Last time I posted the Shining's recut trailer. A horror movie made to look like a sweet family comedy. This time I have the beloved Mary Poppins movie recut and called "Scary Mary."
The beauty of these recut movie trailers are how misleading they are. If you watch the Shining recut and expect a happy family drama, you are going to be incredibly surprised with the real movie. Similarly, if you expect a horror film with the Scary Mary trailer, finding yourself in a Disney musical would be quite a culture shock. So how does this relate to writing?
Have you ever read a book jacket and been excited about the story only to find the book didn't live up to the promises? Or the book cover has nothing to do with the story inside? I have had this happen several times, to the point where I wonder if the people designing the book packaging actually read the book they are working on.
And I thought this could also happen in the whole query process. Think about it, writing a good query letter is incredibly hard. Trying to make it as interesting as possible so we can snag an agent's attention is our entire objective. Sometimes you want to make it sexier, more unique, maybe more so than your actual book really is. But we have to be sure that the query letter lives up to the manuscript in order to avoid being misleading. Would we even know if we are being a little misleading in an attempt to get agent's attention in the first place? And is it ok to make it a little sexier than your actual book? Perhaps the tell tale sign is in the correlation of rejections to partials or fulls read. Maybe there is a sign in there.
I think my query letter lives up to my manuscript. I feel very comfortable about it. But then again, maybe I'm pulling a Scary Mary.