Why Your Query Letter Should Focus On Plot Not Theme

Gratitude!

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

This is my number one gripe with queries: pitches that focus on theme and not plot.

It seems writers like to cover everything in a query letter, including how to make us feel.

Here’s why focusing on theme when you pitch is a bad idea:

1. You’re wasting valuable space that should be spent on facts not proposed emotions. Ultimately, the writer doesn’t truly know how the reader will feel after reading their work. So when someone tells me how I’m going to feel, firstly I don’t believe them, and secondly writers that do this waste valuable space that should be spent on facts like plot, not possible emotional threads that may or may not be there.

2. Theme can be vague and makes you sound unsure of what you’re book is about. “The bond between a mother and daughter” is a concept not a story. It’s a theme, not…

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