Author Topic: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?  (Read 13093 times)

Offline Margarett

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #75 on: September 04, 2008, 10:32:48 AM »
Kristina, Here is a hint in all works where one has a "master" it is common to allways make it capital "Master".  At least in all my research.  It implies respect or love of the Master.

feel free to ignore this!
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "

luvwriting

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2008, 12:42:13 PM »
Taking Wolfe's advice I've reordered it and added a few bits to make it flow better. See what you think (bend to his iron will is a terribly tired cliche, but I can't think of anything else right now, and remans unbroken nolonger fit, but I'm sure you can do better than me :) )


One man can break you, but Mercer breaks heroes. However, one person refuses to bend to his iron will - Dragonfly, the mercenary. The action takes place over two years, beginning on the verdant planet Feral, continues on to the bugger infested Arkon, and concludes on the mountain covered Gelva, as Dragonfly attempts to keep her child safe from Mercer while seeking the father who sold her into slavery. 

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is a Science fiction novel complete at 87,000 words. It is similar in style to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart.


This goes a long way to fitting the query template suggested by the US Agent Nathan Bransford in his blog, here:
http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/03/query-letter-mad-lib.html

Quote
[Agent name], [genre], [personalized tidbit about agent], [title], [word count], [protagonist name], [description of protagonist], [setting], [complicating incident], [verb], [villain], [protagonist's quest], [protagonist's goal], [author's credits (optional)], [your name]


Although the list of place names sets if firmly in the offworld, Sci-Fi (or Science Fantasy) genre, it does not do much to explain the plot. However, I was sufficiently hooked by the bugger infested Arkon to advise leaving it in.

Best of luck with it.

luvwriting

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2008, 07:47:14 PM »
Thanks everyone! Here is another try.

Dear agent,

One man can break you. Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken. As a mercenary she attempts to keep her child safe and searches to murder the man who sold her into slavery - her father.

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is an 87,000-word science fiction. Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over two years and begins on the deserted planet Feral, continues on the bugger infested Arkon, and concludes on the mountain covered Gelva.

Thank you for your time.
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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

Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2008, 03:45:52 AM »


Dear agent, (good)

One man can break you. (excellent - I really like this hook still, but consider linking this sentence and the second one with commas in a stanza)(consider a comma here to connect all three together) Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken. (This line together could make an intriguing hook ... let's see it) (Course, now you need a cemented conflict here) As a mercenary (telling) she attempts to keep her child safe (this part sounds more sub-plot now - consider deleting to focus on the main plot) and searches to (consider a stronger connective word like must murder) murder the man who sold her into slavery - (needs a long dash, but I like this)her father.  (I really like this cliffhanger)

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is an 87,000-word science fiction. (excellent) Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over two years and begins on the deserted planet (consider another -ed word to link with the others)  Feral, continues on the bugger (not crazy about this word - is this British slang for insects?)(place a hyphen here for proper word use)infested Arkon, and concludes on the mountain(hyphen here too)covered Gelva. (near perfect)

(Still nothing about you?)

Thank you for your time. (good)

(Let me see your choice of closer too:  sincerely, respectfully, bite me...)


This is shaping up extremely well.  Now I'm intrigued.  Make some of those small changes and we'll go from there.

Wolfe

luvwriting

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2008, 01:36:53 PM »
Quote
One man can break you. Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken. As a mercenary she attempts to keep her child safe and searches to murder the man who sold her into slavery - her father.


Good but there is not a link between:

One man can break you. Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken.

and

As a mercenary she attempts to keep her child safe and searches to murder the man who sold her into slavery - her father.

Going on earlier versions it is clear that Mercer was not her father. But in this version you imply the main antagonist is Mercer, aka her father.
Although they are separate antagonists, by deleting "as Dragonfly attempts to keep her child safe from Mercer"  you fail to establish the conflict between mercer and dragonfly, but intead have jumped to the conflict between dragonfly and her father.
I suggest adding another line, in the middle or at the end, to clarify this.
JHMull has posted a copy of his query on the thread Agent Responses which is worth checking out.


luvwriting
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 01:45:18 PM by luvwriting »

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #80 on: September 18, 2008, 06:58:18 PM »
Dear agent,

One man can break you, Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken. To avoid Mercer's wrath she can not stop running and she must murder the man who sold her into slavery — her father. 

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is an 87,000-word science fiction.  Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over two years and begins on the slave-planet Feral, continues on the bugger-infested Arkon, and concludes on the mountain-covered Gelva.

Someone's magazine recently published my short story. (someone is not a real magazine just a fill-in until someone does publish my short stories.)

Thank you for your time.

Bite me :P

Okay how about...
Sincerely
http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/

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

luvwriting

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2008, 07:21:02 PM »
In this version I see you've lost the child. Surely that is an important character in the plot. You also seem to have caught this 'max word count' bug that's been going around - words dropping like flies ;) - so I think it needs to be longer.



luvwriting

Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #82 on: September 20, 2008, 07:45:39 AM »
You also seem to have caught this 'max word count' bug that's been going around - words dropping like flies ;) - so I think it needs to be longer.

Thirty seconds. US agents give you thirty seconds or less to attract their attention. Call it microwave society’s ADD, but a long and bloated query isn’t going to cut it anymore. A solid and short query causes two reactions:

1. Draw attention because agents believe you show confidence in your writing with a short query.

2. Draw attention because you chose the right words—the best words—to get to the point.

Filler, fluff, and fancy words don’t go as far as our English teachers believe in publication. Consider when you channel surf for a television program. How much time do you give the show before considering to watch? About three seconds or less right?

Same judgment applies here.

I don’t believe in basics like ‘See Jane run’, but I do believe less is more in a query letter. If you choose all the right words in your query, it sends the signal you chose all the right words in your novel.

Fill white space there. Don’t do it in your query letter.

Remember: Keep it simple, stupid. But do make it strong.

Wolfe

Wolfe

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #83 on: September 20, 2008, 08:03:15 AM »
Dear agent, (good)

One man can break you, Mercer breaks heroes, but Dragonfly remains unbroken. (Interesting, but I'm finding the first sentence head-and-shoulders above the others.  Consider letting it stand alone or bulk the other passages.) To avoid Mercer's wrath(comma here) she can not (cannot is one word) stop running (telling) (comma here again) and she must (must she?) murder the man who sold her into slavery — (a long dash connects like—this) her father. (Interesting)

This isn't bad, but I have no idea about the conflict.  It's too vague now.  Also, Mercer isn't as interesting as her father.  Consider focusing on this plot point—the main one, I hope. 

SURVIVAL OF THE BROKEN is an 87,000-word science fiction.  (excellent) Similar to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart, it takes place over two years and begins (find a word that start with the letter 'c' or 'k' that means begins to continue the alliteration) on the slave-planet Feral, continues on the bugger-infested Arkon, and concludes on the mountain-covered Gelva.  (outstanding—but needs some changes) (Still not crazy about 'bugger' - isn't that British slang for butting uglies?  Might want to reconsider.  Don't see why you can't say 'insect-infested ... alliteration too.)

Someone's magazine recently published my short story. (someone is not a real magazine just a fill-in until someone does publish my short stories.) 

Thank you for your time. (good)

Bite me !  (rejected)

Okay how about...
Sincerely (better, but don't forget the comma) ;)

It's shaping up well.  Notice the massive strikethroughs are gone? I do like the idea, but focus more on the main conflict and choose one antagonist. 

Wolfe
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 09:55:35 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Margarett

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Re: New query.... Its less than a page....need advice! good or bad?
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2008, 05:03:28 PM »
WOW! Wolfe do you know your stuff.  That is a purely bare bone tease for the agent.

Now if I could do mine that well? I might have a sale.

If the book is good also does help.

Would love to read this one.

You got great advice here.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "