I dutifully read all the posts at Query Shark (the super-agent Janet Reid’s query tutorial) and rewrote my ALBATROSS AND THE LION query letter in an effort to meet her requirements for an enticing come-on. I have just now posted my query on her site, which may or may not engender a reply and if it does may be totally devastating, but it was, in any case, a valuable lesson in technique.

Some of the basics in composition and format: short sentences that begin with the subject; plenty of white space; and a focus on energy, verve, and voice.

Some of the basics in plot exposition: who is the main character; what does she want; what keeps her from it; and what must she sacrifice.

Disclaimer: No animals, children, or free-roaming turkeys were harmed in this exercise, but several acres of forest may have been laid waste.