Author Topic: My Query - Eastmarch  (Read 23076 times)

Offline eric

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Re: My Query
« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2008, 11:46:43 PM »
I am all about semantics.

The first one strikes me as completely passive, and concerned about Max's memory but not much else:

Our memories define us, but Max’s memories are missing.

He ... [ is ] uncovering his past to find (etc.) 

He struggles to recover his missing memories (etc.)

[He] must decide between his new life and the old.


The second one is more active, and concerns itself with concrete things like Max's case:

[Max] Covertly work[ s ] for a Crown's magistrate,

Max ... finds he was unjustly convicted for murder.

He struggles to ... prove his innocence and get the conviction reversed


I would cut the passive, telly, abstract parts of the second version that talk about Max's memory:

- whose memories are missing -

He struggles to recover his lost memories

He learns that our memories define us and must decide between his new life and the old.


I would probably leave in one reference to the memory thing:

while knowing nothing of his past.

I don't know, I bow to your query expertise as always Wolfe but I just don't see that Andrew will ever get to a viable query while going on about abstract topics.

It could be that the two versions have a distinction without much difference and that they're both equally bad in the big picture.  I was merely thinking that the second one seems less bad, and can go more easily to the progressively less bad side of things.



« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 11:53:31 PM by eric »

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #91 on: September 15, 2008, 04:35:39 AM »
Eric:
The trouble is that the main conflict is not his unjust conviction but the fact that his memories were removed and he is now doing his best to recover them.



Wolfe:
Ok... but you haven't critiqued the queries themselves  ;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Wolfe

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Re: My Query
« Reply #92 on: September 15, 2008, 05:57:56 AM »
Pick one then.  ;)

Wolfe

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2008, 06:08:57 AM »
Ok... this one 



Dear [agent],

Our memories define us, but Max’s memories are missing. He covertly works for a Crown’s magistrate, uncovering his past to find he was unjustly convicted for murder. He struggles to recover his missing memories and get the conviction reversed, but must decide between his new life and the old.

TALES OF EASTMARCH is a ##,000-word fantasy novel. It is similar to Ed Greenwood’s The Kingless Land, and takes place within the port city of Eastmarch.
I wrote this to explore what might happen if someone's memories were removed, and what choices they might make. It was inspired by the quote, "What are we, if not the sum of all our memories?"

I’m a finalist in the Wordclay Short Story Contest of 2008 and wrote two short stories included in the anthology The Orpheus Tales published by Salvatore Publishing in 2008.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,



;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Wolfe

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Re: My Query
« Reply #94 on: September 15, 2008, 07:48:31 AM »
Dear [agent], (good)

Our (as opposite to mine - redundant) memories define us, but Max’s memories are missing (passive, telling, and doesn't work combined ... but I know a way it can ... consider opposites...). He covertly works (consider a stronger verb) for a (the?) Crown’s magistrate (Is this a proper title?  If so capitalize) , uncovering his past to find he was unjustly convicted for murder (passive adverbial telling and where's the conflict?) He struggles to recover his missing memories and get the conviction reversed, but must decide between his new life and the old (And?).

TALES OF EASTMARCH is a ##,000-word fantasy novel. (excellent) It is similar to Ed Greenwood’s The Kingless Land, and takes place within (in - no double prepositions ... even disguised ones) the port city of Eastmarch. (Which is where?) (What happened to the spacing here?  Remember ... the little things make an impression too.)
I wrote this (This? Remember, the last noun reflects the pronoun.  You wrote the port city of Eastmarch.  Use a specific here) to explore what might happen (wordy - again be specific or delete this phrase) if someone's memories were removed (passive), and what choices they might (hedging) make. (this sentence fumbles around and makes you sound like you're uncertain about why) It was inspired (passive) by (passive) the quote, "What are we, if not the sum of all our memories?" (I wouldn't say your novel was inspired from a quote.  Agents will interpret this to mean you're flighty) (Still not reading a valid reason you're the writer for this work)

I’m a finalist in the Wordclay Short Story Contest of 2008 and wrote two short stories included (wordy verb-prepositional) in the anthology The Orpheus Tales published by (wordy - consider: from) Salvatore Publishing in 2008.

Thank you for your time. (good)

Sincerely, (excellent)


Now I'm going to scare you even more.  Fantasy is the hardest genre for a new novelist to enter.  Agents and editors for fantasy demand a new premise or unique idea.  So, your novel better show more than a criminal chasing his memories.  The theme and premise must be deeper than that ... much deeper.

Show us.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 07:53:43 AM by Wolfe »

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #95 on: September 15, 2008, 08:05:24 AM »
How about the other one then ;D



Dear [agent],

Covertly working for a Crown's magistrate, Max - whose memories are missing - finds he was unjustly convicted for murder. He struggles to recover his lost memories, prove his innocence and get the conviction reversed while knowing nothing of his past. He learns that our memories define us and must decide between his new life and the old.

TALES OF EASTMARCH is a ##,000-word fantasy novel. It is similar to Ed Greenwood’s The Kingless Land.

I’m a finalist in the Wordclay Short Story Contest of 2008 and wrote two short stories in the anthology The Orpheus Tales from Salvatore Publishing in 2008.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,


"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read. http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1146002
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Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #96 on: September 15, 2008, 02:16:55 PM »
Now I'm going to scare you even more.  Fantasy is the hardest genre for a new novelist to enter.  Agents and editors for fantasy demand a new premise or unique idea.  So, your novel better show more than a criminal chasing his memories.  The theme and premise must be deeper than that ... much deeper.

He's not a criminal...  he was convicted unjustly for political reasons.  ;D


The theme... as I've said before...  is that our memories define who we are, they shape every decision we make.

In your opinion, is that deep enough? Different enough?

Because if it's not, tell me now and i'll put this aside and work on something else :)

« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 02:39:54 PM by Andrewf »
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Wolfe

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Re: My Query
« Reply #97 on: September 15, 2008, 02:40:05 PM »
He's not a criminal...  he was convicted unjustly for political reasons.  ;D


The theme... as I've said before...  is that our memories define who we are, they shape every descision we make.

In your opinion, is that deep enough? Different enough?

Because if it's not, tell me now and i'll put this aside and work on something else :)

That's the thing:  It's not my place to tell you the premise or theme is good enough.  It's your job in the query to convince agents it is.  If you have doubt, you might want to consider why.

Just my humble opinion.

Wolfe

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #98 on: September 15, 2008, 02:45:54 PM »
That's the thing:  It's not my place to tell you the premise or theme is good enough.  It's your job in the query to convince agents it is.  If you have doubt, you might want to consider why.

Just my humble opinion.

Wolfe

That's just it... I think it is enough. ;D

But considering your previous comment, "The theme and premise must be deeper than that ... much deeper." You were either trying to tell me that in your opinion the theme wasnt strong enough, or that it wasn't coming through on the query.

"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Wolfe

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Re: My Query
« Reply #99 on: September 15, 2008, 02:54:44 PM »
The latter.

Wolfe

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #100 on: September 15, 2008, 03:00:10 PM »
Aha...  ;D

Right then... back to work ;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #101 on: September 16, 2008, 09:47:12 AM »
Let's try this one...  :)



Dear [agent],

Memories define us, but blank memories won't stop Max uncovering his past when his only clue is a tattoo on the back of his left hand. Each clandestine deed earns Max another piece of the memory puzzle, eventually finding an unjust conviction for political ends. With old memories in hand, Max must decide between his new life and the old.

TALES OF EASTMARCH is a ##,000-word fantasy novel, similar to Ed Greenwood’s The Kingless Land.

I’m a finalist in the Wordclay Short Story Contest of 2008 and wrote two short stories in the anthology The Orpheus Tales from Salvatore Publishing in 2008.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,



;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read. http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1146002
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luvwriting

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Re: My Query
« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2008, 11:21:12 AM »
I see you've been talking of themes. I'm not sure if this is any help, but the following blog post from Nathan Bransford may be worth a read:

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/06/do-you-have-plot.html

Also, Nathan warns that the theme of the novel should be clear from the plot:

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/09/things-i-dont-need-to-know-in-query.html


As for your latest example, the tattoo is too much detail, and I'm not sure the Agent will appreciate the pun 'memories in hand'. Probably best to save the word count for a jucier piece of plot.

luvwriting

Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #103 on: September 16, 2008, 11:32:08 AM »
As for your latest example, the tattoo is too much detail, and I'm not sure the Agent will appreciate the pun 'memories in hand'. Probably best to save the word count for a jucier piece of plot.

luvwriting

Fair enough on the tattoo, that can be dropped.  But the memories in hand is no pun... that's literal  ;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Offline Andrewf

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Re: My Query
« Reply #104 on: September 16, 2008, 11:48:59 AM »
dropped the tattoo...



Dear [agent],

Memories define us, but blank memories won't stop Max uncovering his past. Each clandestine deed earns Max another piece of the memory puzzle, eventually finding an unjust conviction for political ends. With old memories in hand, Max must decide between his new life and the old.

TALES OF EASTMARCH is a ##,000-word fantasy novel, similar to Ed Greenwood’s The Kingless Land.

I’m a finalist in the Wordclay Short Story Contest of 2008 and wrote two short stories in the anthology The Orpheus Tales from Salvatore Publishing in 2008.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,



;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read. http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1146002
Ask about eBook versions if required.