Specificity as a necessity in queries

Being specific in queries will raise the stakes

I’ve had a chance to critique a lot of queries of late. One problem I consistently see is vague-ery–writers being unclear and mystical about events in the story. No doubt it’s an attempt to either cut the word count or not reveal too much about the story.

But it don’t work.

Let’s look at an example.

“After Micki learns a dark secret, she must forget her grief about her father’s death before the next major crisis.”


That might work for movies, but not for queries. Let’s de-vague-ify that!

“After Micki learns that the secret service’s next target is the president, she must forget her grief over the murder of her father and prevent the collapse of the government,”


Holy cow–we just ramped up the stakes.


Be specific!

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