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  1. #1
    Keith Bouchard

    comments on my query

    Hey, this is my first post, but I was wondering if anyone here could possibly give me their opinions on my query letter for my novel that I've finished. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    To whom recieves this,

    Please consider reviewing a novel that I have written, concerning the life challenges and emotional struggles of a young boy taken away from his parents to protect him from villainous threats which are, at first, unknown to him. The world in which the story unfolds is dark with fantasy themes, but with realistic characters and hardships. James, the protagonist, begins the story under the roof of his loving parents, home-schooled and sheltered from the dark secrets his ancestry bears. He was born thirteen years ago, into a world where humans aren't dominant, and a race known as the teleclipts are in control of the earth. A teleclipt what James is is similar to a human but differ in that they are born with advanced mental powers, and are capable of performing mind abilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, and hundreds more. One night, James awakes to his parents in the kitchen opening a letter to learn of unfortunate and frightening news, causing James to be taken away from them and placed into an apprenticeship, allowing him to hone his mental capabilities. It is here that James begins to discover his inner self, making his first friends and learning his first lessons, to eventually become the man he was born to be.

    The language of the novel 106,000 words in total is descriptive and mysterious. The world in which the story evolves is detailed and inviting, as well as dark and moving. The dialogue and characters are realistic, developed, varied, and relateable. This book, I plan, is to be the first of four novels, in which the same story is continued and expanded. It will follow the main characters, allowing them to grow and change with age. Light, darkness, love, hatred, and betrayal are strong themes that are implemented throughout the course of the novel and series, and relationships between the characters at their young ages will grow into strong bonds, and, for some, unbreakable love.

    I have enclosed my contact information, and hope to hear from you. Please notify me if you are interested in reading my complete text or a particular chapter.

  2. #2
    Keith Bouchard

    Re: comments on my query

    Also, to anyone out there who reads this, this is copyrighted, so don't plagiarize! Lol....

  3. #3
    Stacy Copping

    Re: comments on my query

    I have begun to write a similar 106k word novel. The main character is James, a thirteen year old "teleclipt" with advanced mental powers. The story takes place in....please fill in the blank so that I may get this part accurate.

    Just kidding.

    feel free to ignore my advice. It's probably plagiarized anyway. I would change the whole the language of the novel.....for some unbreakable love to
    (Insert title here) is a 106k word young adult fiction novel.

  4. #4

    Re: comments on my query


    Not to be harsh, but your query breaks just about every known rule of a basic query letter writing, from format to content. I suggest you toss the whole thing and spend time researching the subject before giving it another shot. Here's a place to start: <http://www.agentquery.com>. You can also find lots of query critiques by scrolling through the threads in the Agent forum.

    This is not a comment on your novel (which, by the way, was automatically copyrighted the moment you got it into readable form), just your query.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Keith Bouchard

    Re: comments on my query

    Thanks for the information, but it would be helpful in knowing exactly what I've done wrong in order to reverse that. I used the sample query letter from Writer's Market. I'll be sure to check out the link, too - thanks.

  6. #6
    Paul Harris

    Re: comments on my query

    I hope that your opening - To Whom Receives This - is just a space filler and not the real thing. You spelled receives wrong. I suspect that would start you off on the wrong foot.

  7. #7
    Stacy Copping

    Re: comments on my query

    I agree with Jayce. Scroll through the agents section. You will find others have posted their queries and received good critiques.

    Generally, as I understand, it goes like this:

    Dear Ms. or Mr. (fill in agent's name),

    (Place hook here)

    (Brief description/plot)

    (Title) is a (word count) (genre) novel.

    Thank you blah blah blah

    (your info here)

  8. #8
    Keith Bouchard

    Re: comments on my query

    Alright, here is my new query. Please, again, place your suggestions on this one and serve as fresh eyes for grammar or spelling mistakes. Thanks


    Attn. Mr. Smith:

    In a dark and moving landscape, humans have stubbornly accepted a higher, more advanced species as ruler of the nations teleclipts, an evolved form of human who holds mental powers that a normal being cannot.

    James was never one of the children seen passing by his parents' home on Garside Road. He spent his days alone, depressed, and yet optimistic that, one day, he'd have friends to call his own. But thirteen years into his life, that day is still coming, and James sits in his home, practicing his mental powers he was born with. One evening, his parents receive a mysterious letter from the ruler's son, telling of his father's assassination, and wills James and his family the necklace that grants the right to rule over the country. James is taken away from his parents, who have served as his only friends in life, for his own protection against the malevolent villains who strive for much more than the ownership of the necklace. It is at this apprenticeship, that James must hone his skills in order to protect the country and his parents and it is here that James must learn to make his first friends who help him uncover his family's history of murder and lies and, eventually, become the man he is meant to be.

    The novel Illumination is 107,000 words, is a fantasy, and the first in the series of four books. I completed the book in a little over a year's time, and have spent an additional year final drafting and adding the special touches.

    Thank you for your time in reading my query letter, and hope that we are able to work together. My finished novel is available upon request.


    Keith B--

  9. #9
    Joe Zeff

    Re: comments on my query

    I'll start off by pointing out that "practicing his mental powers he was born with." is redundant and has a speeling airror. "...practising the mental powers he was born with." would be much better.

    Next, take out any mention of this being the first in a series. This implies to agents that it won't stand alone and that there are obvious loose ends to be tied up later, and this is a Bad Thing, because if it doesn't sell well, there won't be any series and readers will be left wondering how things worked out. There will be ample time to let an agent (and publisher) know you've got more plans than a stand alone novel once it's on the shelves and selling.

    Last, take out any mention of your book being finished or complete. Yes, I know how important it feels to you, but it doesn't look professional. There are other nitpicks I could make, but I think that's enough for one post. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Keith Bouchard

    Re: comments on my query

    Thanks! I'll make the corrections right away, and if you find more then feel free to post again.

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