iWriterly Video: How to Write a Query: Specific vs. Vague Conflict

Tired of getting form rejections from agents? Or, perhaps you haven’t started querying yet and you’re looking to stand out in the query box. Learn how to write specific vs. vague conflict in a query in this iWriterly video.

The purpose of a query is to entice a literary agent or editor to read (more of) your manuscript. Some literary agents will only read the manuscript pages if the query entices them enough, other agents will read both the query and pages for each submission they receive, and yet others will read the pages before they query. But in order to receive a partial or full request, it’s essential for agents to finish reading your submission thinking, “I need more.” And there’s an easy way you can do that within your query: specific conflict.

When I worked as a literary agent and read through the query box or perused the feed of Twitter pitch contests, writers would often over-simplify their stories or plot. This over-simplifying not only doesn’t provide an overview of the story in the plot summary (also called the story blurb), but it doesn’t leave a reader eager for more.

Learn how to write specific vs. vague conflict in a query in this iWriterly video.




Want to Learn More About How to Write a Strong Query?


On September 24, 2018, Meg will be teaching a one-week query-writing class, Query-Writing Boot Camp 2.0 with Savvy Authors.



Just like writing a book is a skill acquired through hard work and practice, so is writing a query letter. A query is essentially a pitch for your novel in the form of a book industry-specific cover letter. If you are looking to take your writing career to the next level and have your work noticed by literary agents, join Meg LaTorre, host of iWriterly and creator of Query Hack, for a query-writing boot camp this upcoming September. In this one-week course, you will learn: popular types of query formatting, how you can stand out, personalization, as well as how to create a strong book blurb/plot summary that will have literary agents asking for more.

Included in this one-week workshop:

  • Two lessons on how to write a query
  • Live query critiques
  • Live Q&A with instructor to ask individual query questions



  • September 24: First lesson posted
  • September 25: Live Q&A from 7:00-7:30 pm EST
  • September 26: Second lesson posted
  • September 27: Live Q&A from 7:00-7:30 pm EST