Author Topic: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?  (Read 15035 times)

Offline eric

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2008, 11:44:50 PM »
I think Wolfe has given you spectacular advice.  Keep at it and work up the best query you can.  The effort will really pay off.

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2008, 01:57:42 PM »
Okay after a long and friggin fustrated absense on this. I have two new ones. They probably suck, but i'm going to keep trying.....

Dear agent,

A hero can emerge from the shattering of innocence. Dragonfly grew up as a princess, naive and protected. She became a coveted slave, going to the highest bidder. Now she is a mercenary, traveling the universe--but it seems to always be at odds with her. Her heart has been hardened and her blades bloodied. She hunts her father, who sold her into slavery, and means to do him no good. If only she can stay far from her masters piercing eyes, his bruising grip--if only fate does not continue to have it in for her.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN, science fiction, is 87,000 words. Sample chapters and synopsis are enclosed. Thank you for your consideration.


-------------------------------------------------------------
Dear agent,

 A single man can break you. Dragonfly former princess has met this man. He is her master. She’s his ex slave and newly born mercenary. Searching the universe for a father that betrayed and staying far from her master who loves. If only fate does not continue having it in for her.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN my science fiction manuscript is 87, 000 words. Sample chapter and synopsis are enclosed. Thank you for your consideration.

http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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Offline Swampfox

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2008, 02:15:23 PM »
Don’t like the first cher. The second is better.

Use a letter head for your return address; who you are; Your 
e-mail address. You know the drill.

Dear agent,

A single man can break you. Dragonfly former princess met this man. He her ex master, she his ex slave and newly born mercenary. Searching the universe for the father that betrayed her and staying far from her master who loves her. If only fate does not continue having it in for her.


SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN my science fiction manuscript is 87, 000 words.

 Thank you for your consideration.


Something like this.
Swampfox

Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2008, 08:51:08 PM »
I chose the second one simply because it was shorter and more to the point.

Dear agent,

A single (Consider - One.  Otherwise, it opens like a romance novel [i.e. single, married, divorced]) man can break you.  (interesting with the change) Dragonfly former princess has met this man. (this sentence is a grammatical nightmare) He is her master. (telling and rather boring) She’s his ex(hyphen here)slave and newly born (this adverb and adjective phrase is pretty bad) mercenary. Searching the universe for a father that betrayed and staying far from her master who loves.  (This sentence made zero sense.  It's a run-on with no verb) If only fate does not continue having it in for her.   (Come again?  I've never seen anyone put a cliché into a passive gerund phrase with a hidden rhetorical question before ... um, remove it)

So ... I like the opening hook with the change.  That's it.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN my (as opposed to my?  Of course it's yours.  Edit this) science fiction manuscript (this reads dangerously like 'fiction novel'.  You want to change this) is 87, (space error here)000 words. Sample chapter and synopsis are enclosed (given - if an agent opens it, they'll see it, right?  No need to say it here). Thank you for your consideration.  (place this last line separate for the rest)

Nothing about you?  No target audience?  No comparison?  No credits?

Yep, start with that hook again.  Three sentences:  Setup with Hook, Conflict, and Resolution.  Right now, you have no conflict.  You have little girl looking for Daddy.

That needs addressing.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 08:54:37 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Tracy D

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2008, 08:51:57 PM »
Christine, don't know if this will help. I've gotten one request for more material from it, out of about 25 that I've sent out, so it must not be terrible.

Dear...,

A seventeen year-old girl finds peace after struggling with heartache, addiction, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
 
Her junior year of high school, Libby Michaels wants to do better.  She has some serious making up to do, and believes a photography contest will be her vehicle for both peer and parental approval.  Instead, she gets acquainted with a group of recreational drug users and is introduced to cocaine and Ecstasy.  As each of her newfound friends meets with disaster, Libby becomes more and more dependent on drugs.  Finally, on what should be the biggest night of her life, her father finds out about her drug addiction and forces her to go to treatment.  Only there does she dispel beliefs she’s had since childhood, learn the tools to transform her life, and find peace.
    
Peace For Liberty is 84,000 words and Young Adult fiction.  Thank you for considering my first novel for representation.
 

Sincerely,

and then my name and all that stuff.

Oh, and Wolfe, if you'd like to be brutal about my query, have at it. I need all the help I can get.

Keep writing!
--Tracy D

Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2008, 08:55:14 PM »
Please post your query in a new thread.  It's consider a little rude to do that here.  ;)

Wolfe

Offline Tracy D

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2008, 09:11:43 PM »
Chrisitine,

 My goal was to show you my work as an example for you. Didn't mean to offend anyone. Sorry if I did. I know that I pick up things better if I see how someone else attacks it.
 Once again, I meant no disrespect, AT ALL.
 Keep working on it. Also, and this is coming from "How to Get A Literary Agent" by Michael Larsen, AAR, avoid starting your letter with "I" or "My". Write about your book first, and then about yourself. Wolfe is right about the hook, as far as I've read anyway, and I've worked on condensing my query to bare bones for a year now.
 An excellent reference, I think, is the Snowflake Method. Google it and you should find it. If not, send me a pm and I will hunt down the URL for you.

 Once again, all, didn't mean to be rude. I know where my bread is buttered!

Keep writing!
--Tracy D

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #52 on: August 11, 2008, 11:54:35 PM »
Hahah. No problem Tracy.  ;D That bread comment made up for it all. Nah, just messing with ya. Funny comment though.

Alright Wolfe I have a hook!  ;D Actually i am totally excited that i have one line that works.

The problem is i have nothing to add about me. I've been trying to get short stories published with no luck.  :-\ I'm going to keep trying...I'll try to post a new one tomorrow...Thanks Wolfe.

By the way...she burns that 'daddy' alive.  :)
Chris
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 11:58:04 PM by ChristineK. »
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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Offline david13

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #53 on: August 11, 2008, 11:56:31 PM »
ChristineK. - brave of you to submit to Wolfe, but "there's no gain without pain" as they say.
Thanks to Wolfe for some great advice which I'm sure many readers of this thread are taking note of - I certainly am.

I have an issue with name Raw'd (although it has gone from your latest queries.)
Is that apostrophe necessary?
You had a phrase
With Raw’d and the Seer’s help
What if you have to refer to something belonging to Raw'd on his own?
Raw'd's - ?!

Have you done what nightowl (#2) suggested?
Have you had at least two people, writer friends or teachers, etc. go over the manuscript and offer critique and suggestions?  And have you then rewritten where necessary?  Are you sure it is as perfect grammar-wise as you can make it?
Are you wondering, perhaps, what Wolfe would say if he were to read a sample of your book?
Do some of the points he is making here also apply to the book itself?
David

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2008, 12:02:43 AM »
Lots of questions there David. Um, I did not considering it being brave, but desperate to have my query be all it can be.

Raw'd is still in the novel, but Wolfe said it is not needed to put him in the query.
Yup, apostrophe. This is sci fi.
Actually, funny you should ask that. I would rewrite whole paragraphs just to avoid Raw'd's. Made it more interesting and had me thinking on my toes.

I am always looking for someone to read and comment on my manuscript. You offering?  ;)  So far a few grammar and spelling mistakes were found...okay a little more than a few.

Actually i am scared stiff to give Wolfe a chapter. I'm afraid he'll think it's trash and make me cry.  :(
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2008, 12:48:43 AM »
Another try....

Dear agent,

One man can break you. That man is Dragonfly’s master. Running from him and  toward the father that sold her into slavery. Dragonfly fights with skillful blades to avenge her lost innocents and defend the broken.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is  87,000-words, Science fiction. Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over a period of nearly a year in a new galaxy filled with the unknown. 

Thank you for your time.

I left the part where my info goes out until i actually have something to put in there.  :-\
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2008, 01:33:27 AM »
Once more into the breach, dear friends.  ;)

One man can break you. (excellent hook) That man is Dragonfly’s master. (telling and kills intrigue) Running from him and  (spacing error) toward the father that (who) sold her into slavery (no verb makes this a sentence fragment). Dragonfly fights with skillful (telling) blades to avenge her lost innocents (innocence - otherwise you mean a bunch of virgins) and defend the broken (too vague).

I'm still not reading a conflict.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is  (spacing error) 87,000-(hyphen not needed:  words = no hyphen, word = hyphen)words, Science fiction. Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart (Italics [Dart] other author's titles), it takes place over a period of (wordy) nearly (hedging - decide a specific time frame) a year in a new galaxy filled with the unknown (this does nothing for your query and say nothing because it lacks specifics)

Thank you for your time. (good)


Remember:  Setup and hook (first sentence - which you nail), conflict (second sentence), and resolution with intriguing cliffhanger (last sentence).  Give it another try.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 01:36:51 AM by Wolfe »

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2008, 01:52:48 AM »
Attempt # 5, 492  :P


Dear agent,

One man can break everyone, but her. Dragonfly must face her past and master while trying to profit from her mercenary ways. All her skill is challenged when she faces the kidnapping of a Princess and the father who sold her into slavery.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is 87,000 words, Science fiction. Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over a year in a new galaxy.
 
Thank you for your time.
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

Must be 18 or older to come on over and show some skin.

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2008, 05:29:06 PM »
Had to bump this so that it would be on the first page for Wolfe and other Query masters to see. 
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2008, 06:22:24 PM »
One man can break everyone, but her (Why did you change this from the original?  It rocked). Dragonfly must face her past (cliché) and master while trying (hedging gerund phrase) to profit from her mercenary ways (vague - this isn't a story-worthy conflict, I fear). All her skill is challenged (passive) when she faces the kidnapping of a Princess and the father who sold her into slavery (way too wordy and convoluted).

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is (a) 87,000(-)words (s)cience fiction (genres are lower case).  Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart (good comparison), it takes place over a year in a new galaxy (I know this is horrible, but I'm reading this line like, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.  Can you be more specific or liven up the resolution?  This ending doesn't force one to want to read more).
 
Thank you for your time. (good)


Interesting, but does it have a universal theme or stellar conflict you can focus more on?

Wolfe