An aspiring author confronts the literary demons of the world and sets off in search of an agent.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Haiku as Query Letter

Recently, I read a fascinating comment about the query letter: "...because it is short, it's like the haiku of writing. It has to convey a vivid and memorable impression with as few words as possible."

What a wonderful image! And that sparked an idea. I looked over several haiku by Bashō, the famed Japanese poet of the Edo era, and tried to imagine which author might have used which haiku for one of their query letters. Here goes!

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die

This feels like a Stephen King novel.

Wrapping dumplings in
bamboo leaves, with one finger
she tidies her hair

Margaret Atwood

A weathered skeleton
in windy fields of memory,
piercing like a knife

The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold

I would like to use
that scarecrow's tattered clothes
in this midnight frost

Used by Neil Gaiman if he ever decided to re-imagine The Wizard of Oz.

1 comment:

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Followed Janet Reid's link to you. This is brilliant. Your match of Basho with contemporary authors is spot on. Bravo.