Rhetorical Question...question

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Shannon
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Rhetorical Question...question

Post by Shannon » December 9th, 2009, 2:10 pm

Before Nathan's head explodes, let me put this out here - this is not about starting queries with rhetorical questions. I promise, I have read the blog topic on this: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2006/10 ... in-my.html. Again, for Nathan...put the knife down...this is not about starting my query with a rhetorical question.

With that being said, here is my question:

Imagine a query that follows the expected formula (WHO needs to do WHAT or BAD THING will happen) and ends with the final question: Can he do it before x takes place?

My boyfriend and I are debating about whether or not that constitutes a rhetorical question.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Rhetorical Question...question

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 9th, 2009, 2:13 pm

I really only chafe at queries that begin with rhetorical questions, I'm not opposed to rhetorical questions entirely.

kristi
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Re: Rhetorical Question...question

Post by kristi » December 9th, 2009, 3:45 pm

Shannon wrote:Before Nathan's head explodes, let me put this out here - this is not about starting queries with rhetorical questions. I promise, I have read the blog topic on this: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2006/10 ... in-my.html. Again, for Nathan...put the knife down...this is not about starting my query with a rhetorical question.

With that being said, here is my question:

Imagine a query that follows the expected formula (WHO needs to do WHAT or BAD THING will happen) and ends with the final question: Can he do it before x takes place?

My boyfriend and I are debating about whether or not that constitutes a rhetorical question.

Thanks in advance for your replies.
Although to play devil's advocate, I don't use a question if I can picture the agent's response in my head - in other words, I don't use questions. In your example above, if I were an agent and the query as a whole was good I'd think "Of course he can do it before x take place or you wouldn't have written the darn book." If the query was less than stellar I'd think "Who cares if he can do it because I'm not reading the rest of this crap." That said, I've seen successful queries online that contained rhetorical questions but I think it's safer to leave them out. Just one opinion.

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Josin
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Re: Rhetorical Question...question

Post by Josin » December 9th, 2009, 3:55 pm

Shannon wrote: Imagine a query that follows the expected formula (WHO needs to do WHAT or BAD THING will happen) and ends with the final question: Can he do it before x takes place?
You don't have to phrase it as a question.

The only question is whether or not he can ______________ before __________________. (or preferably, a less boring variation)

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