I was wondering about including content warnings in a query letter. Do you include them for things like graphic murder, recounting of rapes, loss of a baby, etc.? And if so, how do you include them? Where would you include them?
The purpose of the query is to entice your reader to read the pages.
The purpose of the pages is to entice your reader to request the full novel.
That means you're going to tell me about the story.
If the story means your main character has lost a child, then that's what you include.
If the story is about a rape, then that's what you include.
But if those things are just part of the story, not the start of the plot, then you don't need to include them.
No matter what, you should not attach some sort of scarlet #NSWF to your query.
Honestly if something arrived here with a content warning I'd be much less likely to read it, since I think the scariest things are often those that are not graphic.
Freddy Krueger isn't all that scary.
Alfred Hitchcock is absolutely terrifying.
The Lottery will never leave me, and there's nothing graphic about that story in the least.
I'm looking for things that engage my emotions, not upset my digestive system.
Be very judicious in your use of graphic content.
It's a powerful tool to be wielded with great care.