Query: Necessary?

 

panda-thought

Third revision done, manuscript printed, backed-up to flash drive, saved on hard-drive; instead of writing another book, I’m querying. 

Writers accept at some point if they wish to be published the traditional route; they must study the, technique, of writing query letters.  Annoying but necessary.  Should it be?

Attempting to see things through an agent’s perspective, I understand why a query letter would be useful.  Receiving possibly hundreds of letters a month, a query letter can be used as a filter.

And this is where I backtrack.

Contradicting myself, why not just read the first few pages of a manuscript?  A poorly written query letter would expose armature writers, but so could the first three pages of the 300 page book they’ve written.  And again, I speak from a point of ignorance, not having worked with, or ever known a literary agent, but it seems to be an illogical, ego stoking, formality.

I’ve read a few articles encouraging writers to spend months polishing a query letter before sending it off.  WHAT?  How about writers’ improve their storytelling ability?  Like actually write fiction?  I admit, I myself have spent, squandered, days learning, writing, revising query my letter – so I’m also being hypocritical.

Agents, and editors can tell from the first few pages if a writer is worth taking on simply be reading their prose.  If the genre falls within the agent’s wheelhouse, and a finished manuscript exists, why not just read the story?  Perhaps the original format of a query resembled this and has become severely bloated over time.  Or perhaps I should keep these thoughts to myself.  After all, my blog is attached to my query letter.

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