Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Writing Wednesday - The 5 W's
Yesterday I read an article about the 5 W's and their use in writing a non-fiction piece. About half-way through reading I thought the same theory could work when writing a query letter. These are the same questions that make up a plot -- on a very basic level that is.
Consider this for an example. It's a slightly shorter (but not much shorter) version of the query I used to sell RAFE'S REDEMPTION.
I'm seeking representation for my historical novel, set in (when) 1866 (where) Colorado. (who) Maggie is an artist determined to (what)travel and sketch the western landscape. Her cousin is determined to see her dead. But when (why)they're trapped in a rough outpost, Maggie is used as collateral for her cousin's gambling debt.
(who) Rafe went (what) into town to buy supplies, not a woman. But when he sees a beautiful woman being sold to the lecherous townsmen, he (what) offers the winning bid. The last thing Rafe wants or needs is a woman. (why)He's got trouble of his own - a vengeful killer chasing after him.
Trapped by blizzards and pursued a killer, (who)Rafe and Maggie must attempt (what)to cross the Rocky Mountains (why)before his past catches up to them.
As I said this is a pretty basic breakdown, but I hope it's helpful when trying to write the dreaded query letter:)