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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2010
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    15

    "Me and Red" QR opening choices

    Help!
    I'm stuck (again!)
    Anyone out there want to help me choose from these opening statements?

    An epic teenage tale of growing up in the wilds, Red and Squirrel's dreamís of becoming mountain men, becomes an excursion of life and death.

    Snow bound high in the Rockies; Red and Squirrel learn life and death go hand in hand.

    Set in the high Rockies, Red and Squirrel learn life's lessons with stark cold reality.

    A fight for survival, draws two mountain men and their son's together in an epic journey through the Rockies.

    Allen



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: "Me and Red" QR opening choices

    Allen, none of them are good. Honestly, they just aren't. You're trying too hard.

    1. An epic teenage tale of growing up in the wilds, Red and Squirrel's dreamís of becoming mountain men, becomes an excursion of life and death.

    You don't tell an agent a book is an "epic teenage tale of" anything. You describe the book, not what they should think of it. Of course you think it's epic. You wrote it.

    2. Snow bound high in the Rockies; Red and Squirrel learn life and death go hand in hand.

    Huge cliche. Life and death go hand in hand. No kidding. Nothing new. And who the hell are Red and Squirrel? You don't start with a summary.

    3. Set in the high Rockies, Red and Squirrel learn life's lessons with stark cold reality.

    Boring. And a summary.

    4. A fight for survival, draws two mountain men and their son's together in an epic journey through the Rockies.

    If this were good, it wouldn't have a comma after "survival" but it isn't good and you're still trying to pitch an "epic" story. That's not going to help you.

    So, toss them. Start over. And I'll give you my handy dandy Q letter assignment. Tell me in ONE SENTENCE what your book is about. The basic skeleton of the storyling. No frills. No conclusions. What is the book about?

    Once you're clear about that and have written it out, you'll have a better idea what to pitch in a Q letter. You don't pitch "epic tale." You pitch a story by describing it to the agent.

    Start with the skeleton sentence. You won't use it in the Q, but it will give you the direction you need.

    Just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: "Me and Red" QR opening choices

    This is what I generally provide as an example of a one sentence description of a book:

    A young girl from Kansas is carried by a tornado to a fantasy kingdom where she encounters witches, munchkins and three friends who help her learn there's no place like home.

    You see how bare-bones basic this is. Of course we know the story is much richer, more detailed. If a writer isn't connecting with the skeleton of their story, they don't know what is essential and what isn't. The Q letter presents essential stuff. Just the turkey, not the side dishes.

    I'm hoping you'll do this, because I'd actually like to know what your book is about.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2010
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    15

    Re: "Me and Red" QR opening choices

    Two young boys and their fathers embark on a journey across the Rockies where they encounter hostile Indians and become snowbound for the winter which brings the boys and their fathers together as they learn life's lessons.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    6,016

    Re: "Me and Red" QR opening choices

    "Two young boys and their fathers embark on a journey across the Rockies where they encounter hostile Indians and become snowbound for the winter which brings the boys and their fathers together as they learn life's lessons."

    Excellent. You've gotten really close on your first try.

    So, let's take another swipe at it. Because after "snowbound for the winter" you fall out into a couple of cliches that aren't entirely descriptive.

    "brings the boys and their fathers together" Well, we already know they're "together" because you've said they're on a journey across the Rockies. So what do you mean by "brings them together?" Use your vocabulary. What happens?

    and

    "they learn life's lessons." Too broad. What lessons. Too cliche. Tell me what they learn. To rely on each other? That Indians aren't all bad? How to hunt and fish? What are they learning? Because "life's lessons" is very vague.

    Keep asking yourself, "What is my book about," and use language that really describes it.

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