Posted by: Robin Koontz | March 1, 2012

250 Word Synopsis

I found a wonderful agent to query! She requires a 250 word description of the book, and she has a lot of advice about what works for her and what doesn’t. I read examples on her blog, Slush Pile Tales, and am hoping that she doesn’t use mine as a bad example! Usually I just sum it all up in about 25 words and then include the first 10-20 pages, as that is what most agents ask us to submit. So, this was a fun challenge for a novice middle-grade writer like my own self. Here is what I sent. I have no shame:

Wiley is just an ordinary girl who loves horses, like most girls her age. Only Wiley understands that horses trust us to do the right thing for them. And she learns that it’s not always what we do.

Wiley’s mom gets her a volunteer job working as a hot walker at the track for kindly Mr. Bradley, who doesn’t believe in running horses when they’re still “babies.” Randy the groomer takes Wiley under his wing and teaches her about the unpredictable personalities of hot-blooded horses. Wiley loves working with the energetic, often crazy animals, but is deeply affected after witnessing her first race. These horses needed a better, safer life. But she’s just a kid; nothing she can do about it.

Wiley gets to spend the summer at Mr. Bradley’s ranch in the country where horses are raised, trained and often rehabilitated off the track. Foster, the ranch boss, also has strong feelings about the racing business and does what she can to encourage Mr. Bradley to switch off to training horses for show and pleasure. Wiley makes a lot of new friends at the ranch, including a very close friend in Tye, Foster’s son. They work with the yearlings and the new foals. But when she learns about a neighboring ranch where the horses are not treated well, Wiley decides to go undercover to expose them. In the process, she and Tye save a lot of horses from an untimely end.

It’s an adventure mystery with a happy ending.

I sent it off this morning. While my brain was taking a break after revising that novel again plus designing the storyboard for the 3rd Rourke title, I decided to create a cover for Hot Walker. The typestyle I chose represents fractured bones. Isn’t that a positive look? I’ll keep working on it…


Responses

  1. I’m liking the cover a lot as is. Seems like enough detail while letting the reader envision themselves as the protagonist.

    Thanks for the tips and the link.😀

    • Thanks much – I’d have to write to the owner of that photo for permission to use it, but it worked for a design.

      • Of course I thought it WAS your creation.😉

  2. Great post! I’ve been querying agents for a few months now (MG novel), and I’m revamping my query letter. I spent several days getting it down to 240 words, but it seems like it needs more humor in it (it’s a funny book….hopefully). I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to do that though.

    • Wow, I had a hard time getting it up, not down. I guess I’ve been writing early readers for too long. Good luck Andrea! You might want to read that Slush blog linked here; it has a lot of good ideas for queries.


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