Friday, April 27, 2018

A to Z - All Things Writing: X + Y = Z

Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge, where, this month, I'll be focusing on all things writing. This may be a random jumping around of topics within my theme, but hopefully something somewhere will be useful to someone. (V is for vague - see that last sentence.) Check out all the participants here . Now, lets get on with today's letter.

X is for X + Y x Q = Z

If you've conquered a query letter or logline or blurb, you're likely familiar with the fact that there is a formula. If you haven't gotten to any of these stages yet, there's still plenty of time to get frustrated while trying to figure these things out with the rest of us. Here are the four main things you need to look for in your book.

Who is the main character?
What do they want?
What stands in their way?
What will happen if they don't succeed?

If you can't identify these things in your book, there's a big red flag. Your book is missing something essential. Time to head back to the rewrite stage.

Got your four pieces identified? Good. It's time to construct the seed of your query/logline/blurb.

MC wants ___ but opposing force ___(does what?) . MC must ___ (action) or _____(stakes)

You could also approach it as:

When ___ (bad thing) happens to MC, they must (action) or (stakes) happen

There are other formulas out there too. Just remember to keep it simple and build from there as needed. This will help you boil your story down to a sentence or two to hook readers or agents. And you thought writing a synopsis was hard?

Have you had to write a query letter?

Would you like a free e-book? This April, I'm giving away free copies of my new anthology, Destiny Pills & Space Wizards. Claim your copy here.
Prefer paperback? The print book goes live on April 20. Reviews are always appreciated.


  1. Well done Jean on combining all the letters - and no, no query letter out there ... but I know there are a lot of good resources around - we're lucky .. cheers Hilary

  2. Very interesting how you used the letter X to represent an unknown number or person or thing.


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