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  1. #1
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    Query--is this any good yet?

    Dear Agent,


    Martha had been annoyed and upset for three years when no teacher had validated her feelings toward her daughter Rachel’s education. Rachel struggles so hard to do her schoolwork. Martha was at her wits end but persistent as she went with her gut feeling trying to get help for Rachel. At the beginning of Rachel’s third year Martha finally finds an unlikely ally: the class worry bear, Benjamin Barry Bear. Martha writes to the class bear for help. After awhile Mr. Bear removed himself and deferred to Mr. D., the classroom teacher to help Martha through the special education process. Eventually. Martha was able to advocate for her daughter successfully to get the educational help she needed.

    The Bear Said What? Is a 23,000 word autobiographic novella targeted to adults.

    Thanks for your consideration.



    THANKS FOR FEEDBACK.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    You know, a lot of posters have given you great advice for what, over a year now? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I swear, but you listen to none of it and continue to post the same ...stuff. Over and over and over. Martha, I hope you're a genuine person and not just some bored troll having a go at our expense. I'm thinking it's 50/50. Good luck if you're for real. And congrats if you're a troll. You're the best I've ever seen. Even now I catch myself wanting to recommend guides or classes because you seem so committed. The same guides and classes you've been shown by multiple posters for months.

    Oh, hell. Last time I swear to God. It's not your query letter. It's your writing and it hasn't improved a lick because you haven't worked on it a lick. A query letter is not a magic bullet. A perfect one only gets you to a partial or full request. I saw on an agent blog a few weeks ago where she had requested over a thousand fulls or partials over the last 2 years. That sounds high but she was building her list. She has fewer than thirty clients. You do the math. It's the writing.
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
    - Bob Dylan

  3. #3
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    Dear Keith,

    I am a real sincere person. I am trying the best to my ability. If you will go back to "be true to myself" where I have told all
    what I am about. (aphasia is my name, I hate that game!).

    NO, I cannot go to any classes. I can't learn in a classroom.
    I can't find a feedback works in progress group for the same reason above.
    I do not have a lot of funds to use in writing.

    After the feedback I had two posters that gave me great ideas. I tried to redo my query in my own words. I HAVE WORKED ON MY
    QUERY. I am revising my ms (Bear book).
    I guess maybe I have to just quit. I have persistence and want so much to do the "right thing." I have not given up. At least
    maybe I have tried and maybe I should leave with my head up high and put in the white surrender flag."" "I CAN'T"
    I am not a quitter, I am a survivor. I am trying to relearn but I guess I just don't understand it???? I'm not sure you do either.


    Keith maybe you shouldn't look at my post(s). This way you won't be so annoyed with me. If everyone else feels the same way, I'm sorry
    and if you want me to NOT go back to this website, I understand; however, I can't think of the right words to say.

    Martha

  4. #4
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    "After awhile Mr. Bear removed himself . . ."

    That's a neat trick. I thought it was a stuffed toy bear.


    I can understand Keith's frustration with your posts. They really are basically the same thing, over and over, and it's been years.

    But it's a public website, and if you want to post the same thing over and over, you can do so. Nobody can tell you to leave but the folks who run WN, and you haven't broken any rules. Perhaps it's cathartic for you to keep posting. You don't have to quit if you don't want to.

    Just understand that some of us are going to refrain from offering suggestions because we don't see any results. You don't owe it to us to produce any results, but it does take time to respond, and we've only got so many minutes in a day to critique query letters.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    Martha, I thought you had arranged something with a tutor or co-writer. What's happening on that front?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    DEAR EVERYONE,


    I am as frustrated as you all.

    I DO have a tutor. Ms. Tutor is helping me a lot. She is not a person that knows how queries work nor does she guarantee
    I will be published.

    Please look at my brain injury and maybe you will see why it is hard for me to do. I am not giving up as I hope I can get
    there. I can dream.

    I'm sorry for what it seems to me that you think I am wasting your time. I value your feedback.

    Thanks,
    Martha

  7. #7
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    Martha, I don’t believe for a second that you are a troll. Also, as the mother of a special needs child myself, I understand your frustration with the education system. I also greatly admire your passion and perseverance. But—and I am going to say this as gently as I can—there are many, many people out there who are also passionate about their stories, and none of them will ever be published. The reason is simple: writing, like art, or acting, or singing, or playing an instrument—requires a certain amount of talent. Just because one can write a novel-length story from beginning to end, a story that can, indeed, be enthralling, doesn’t mean the author wrote it well enough to be published.

    Writing classes are often suggested, but they can’t “teach” you how to craft a marketable story. They can’t work miracles. What I’ve found over the years is that many perpetually unpublished writers truly have no idea why no one will publish their stories, or even read past their queries. They simply don’t see it.

    Not everyone can write for publication, just as everyone can't be a concert pianist or a stand-up comic. For instance, I’d love to star in a Broadway musical; it’s been a dream of mine since I was a small child. The fact that I have an unbearable horror of speaking in public (social phobia, they call it now, I guess) knocks me out of the game right there, just as your disability seems to hinder your writing. Assuming I could overcome my stage fright, even if took singing lessons for the next 20 years, I’d still not be good enough to star in a community production, let alone on Broadway—because I can’t sing!. I wasn’t born with that talent. Not that that stops me from singing, any more than your inability to understand what is wrong with your query letter should stop you from writing. If you’re passionate about writing, then by all means, write! But, realistically, your chances of publishing this story are not very good unless someone who CAN write well can help you with it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    Now you're sticking queries in Writing Craft. Cranking out queries without slowing down to understand what is wrong with the previous efforts is not helping you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Query--is this any good yet?

    Perhaps start with something like:

    Benjamin is eight year old Rachel's best friend at school, trouble is, Benjamin is a stuffed toy.

    Once a happy child, little Rachel struggles to understand the classroom......... etc.

    Just a suggestion, although I am still not sure if the MC is Martha, Rachel or Benjamin?

    I would really like to read the first 1000 odd words of the MS to get an insight into your writing. Is it just that QL's are your weakness or is there more to it.

    I don't think you are a troll either but I do think you are too close to this story and perhaps reading the opening of the story might help identify where the issue is.

    Jena also makes some good points.
    I too would love to be able to sing. My grandfather had a great voice and was a professional singer. None of his 8 children and 15 grand children inherited this talent; doesn't stop us from singing though!

    Even so, I still would like to read your words as they are on the page and see if you can 'sing' - perhaps we need to critique your writing before we critique your QL?

    Raven
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

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