Author Topic: Query letter for Murder On Marsh Island Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks  (Read 32233 times)

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
X:

Well, I REALLY like that concept for our next Hollywood mealticket, bucko!  Have your person call my person and we'll do lunch.  And who said we've run out of ideas in the old writing world?

(I do think the idea's pretty funny.)

Wolfe, sorry for the hijack.  May I redeem it by saying I think W. is exploring for query language, not being just literal, X.?

Wolfe

  • Guest
A novel can go without a universal message.  Now, please review all blockbusters on the market. You will find one in them all. So ... if you want to cement your name as a household one, write your novel deeper than your average competition.

The bigger and more universal the message, the more it sells ... even if the writing lacks skill or talent.

And I know we all can pick those blockbusters out, can't we?  Combine this with writing skill and talent, and your name will shine throughout history.

Set the bar high. Set your standards higher. Set your goal highest. Do this, and I promise you will set your place in history. Agents, editors, and publishers seek authors like this.

Ask Sara Gruen ... she sought query and writing advice on another website too. :)

Wolfe
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 08:58:21 AM by Wolfe »

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
I don't know Sarah Gruen, but I think that is valuable and useful advice, Wolfe.  I remember reading an interview with Salman Rushdie where he said he decided at one point to write a book about the entire history of the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent.  A laughably impossible task that no publisher in their right mind would countenance.  He insisted.  And the book became Midnight's Children.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 09:31:42 PM by eric »

Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors donít die; They play with cats
Maybe something like this

Sheriff Lightfoot, repulsed and dismayed by the evidence, digs into Marsh Islandís secrets to solve the crime.


Offline BrigidMary

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
    • Visit my website!
Literary Agent Janet Reid just posted a link this morning that you might find helpful. It's an exercise about creating compelling log lines, and it seems to be a very valid (and worthwhile) exercise. Check it out. I plan to use it myself:

http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-put-it-together-into-one-neat.html
Brigid Kemmerer
Author of <b><i>Storm: The Elemental Series</i></b>, coming April 24, 2012 from K Teen (Kensington Books)

Offline Annmarie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3526
  • Got my kinky boots on. Watch out!
Set the bar high. Set your standards higher. Set your goal highest. Do this, and I promise you will set your place in history. Agents, editors, and publishers seek authors like this.

I'm trying, brother.  :)
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Offline Xerika

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1596
    • Rob Johnson - writing, podcasting and reluctantly olive farming
Well, I REALLY like that concept for our next Hollywood mealticket, bucko!  Have your person call my person and we'll do lunch.  And who said we've run out of ideas in the old writing world?

eric, I look forward to the collaboration. I understand my person called your person and reversed the charges ('called collect', I believe you colonial types call it), but they couldn't agree on who would buy the lunch. :)

Wolfe. Thank you for your response to my my post about messages and themes. I'll do my best to make my writing less shallow in future. Honest.  :)

JH. Apologies for subverting your thread for a few minutes.  :)
http://rob-johnson.org.uk/ - writing, podcasting and reluctant olive farming

"I'd Rather Eat My Own Face" podcast. The truth about olive harvesting. http://wp.me/p2bC2C-8U

"If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." - Elmore Leonard

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
Well, my person got that call from your person but she thought it was an obscene phone call.  Apparently the heavy breathing pushed her over the edge.  Anyway, as soon as we can figure out how to use Other People's Money for lunch we're set to go, and I look forward to it too.  Hi to your dogs and your darling, and JH, apologies for the hijack, it's over now.

Wolfe

  • Guest
Sheriff Lightfoot, repulsed and dismayed (telling) by the evidence (passive phrase), digs into (weak verb and preposition combination) Marsh Islandís secrets to solve the crime.

Remember, you want to write a line the agent, editor, and publishing house will use again and again with promotion. After you write your last line, you need to feel amazed and confident about it. If you doubt it, redo it.

I'll help. Donald, please forgive me if you read this...  ;)

Use one of these words in your last line: love, heart, dream, journey, fortune, or destiny.

You can choose a synonym, but place the word near the sentence's start or end.

Wolfe

Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors donít die; They play with cats
The corpse, sprawled on the ninth green, draws more stares than it did as Miss Georgia.  Yet, Sheriff Lightfoot discovers more to the murder than a dead diva.

  He came to admire this woman and it was his destiny to deliver justice.

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
There's an unfortunate tense change in the third sentence, an even more unfortunate non-parallel syntax construction in the two parts of the compound sentence, and a wholly unfortunate passive verb as well.  The "came to" phrasing is also passive as well as clunky.  The admiration is telling and it is a plot detail, it does not seem to belong here IMHO.  Sorry, JH.

What you have now contains two abstract nouns as well as an abstract verb (even), all of which is just too much.  You can use the rare abstraction when it serves your purpose ... but I personally would shy away from a crowd of them. 

And last, I wonder if there might also be a way to get your special word closer to the end of the sentence, less telly, and perhaps more snappy.  Just my thoughts.

Briefly, I guess if I were drawing lines I would line out the whole sentence.  Maybe Wolfe can salvage something.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 10:50:50 PM by eric »

Wolfe

  • Guest
May we see all three sentences together?

Wolfe

Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors donít die; They play with cats
The corpse, sprawled on the ninth green, draws more stares than it did as Miss Georgia.  Yet, Sheriff Lightfoot discovers more to the murder than a dead diva.  He came to admire this woman and it was his destiny to deliver justice.

Or

The corpse, sprawled on the ninth green, draws more stares than it did as Miss Georgia.  Yet, Sheriff Lightfoot discovers more to the murder than a dead diva.  He would have liked her in life; he would serve her justice in death.

Wolfe

  • Guest
I like the second one more, but it needs clean-up.  First, correct the tenses.  Make them all present or past tense. For example, you need to change draws to drew if you use sprawled in the first line.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:08:30 PM by Wolfe »

LinRobinson

  • Guest
Hey, I'd read it.

Quote
The shallowest book you'll read all year!

Jason Myres knows that the CIA are plotting to implode the ozone layer, and he is the only one who can save the world.

Don't be mistaken though. This is not just another book about global warming and conspiracies.

It's a book about a guy like you or I who'd rather party than save the world.

And that's exactly what Jason does with some riproaringly hilarious results.

Let's paaaarty!!!!