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  1. #41
    Senior Member Herman Munster's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    150

    RICKET si ESSENCE!

    > @ leslee,
    >
    > I know a rocket science - and apparently rocket
    > science IS rocket science.


    No, WRONG!

    Rocket science is just blowing things up and forgetting to seal one else.

    I know seals are protected..... so probably using them to seal up one end of a bomb could breach protection orders..

    My SEAL mate says Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..Erf.. Erf.. Erf..

    He also claps his hands a lot!

    H
    Unapologetically so!



  2. #42
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2011
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    10

    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    I just visited Nathan Bransford's' Blog. I have never seen this on any other site. This leads me to think 1. I have researched way to much and now my mind is on overload and not sure what to believe anymore and 2. Is a QL really this simple to write if I follow this formula?

    Here is the mad lib formula Nathan wrote:

    Well, we're going to play query letter mad lib today. Here's how it works.

    First I'm going to need these things:

    [Agent name], [genre], [personalized tidbit about agent], [title], [word count], [protagonist name], [description of protagonist], [setting], [complicating incident], [verb], [villain], [protagonist's quest], [protagonist's goal], [author's credits (optional)], [your name]

    Now, look how your query turns out:


    Dear [Agent name],

    I chose to submit to you because of your wonderful taste in [genre], and because you [personalized tidbit about agent].

    [protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist's quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist's goal].

    [title] is a [word count] work of [genre]. I am the author of [author's credits (optional)], and this is my first novel.

    Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes,
    [your name]


    That's all you need.


    Seriously, is this all I need? Is it appropriate to add the 'tidbit' about the agent you are querying? It is a good formula since I have been wracking my brain on how to minimize my novel into just a letter. This I can do when I am at the query letter stage.

  3. #43
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    I have no idea Karen,

    based on what you just posted above, I quickly 'filled in the gaps' and this is what I came up with for my MS:

    Dear [Agent name],

    I chose to submit to you because [you represent authors whom I admire] and because you [have a personal interest in historical-fantasy].

    King Zvonimir, a deeply religious medieval Croatian king, is assassinated by his cousin. With his last dying breath he curses both his assassin and his people. As his body goes limp his soul moves to its next life where he is told his words did curse his people – for nine hundred years. Shamed and disappointed, he begs for an opportunity to redeem himself.

    This is when he is told of the prophecy that foresaw his death and curse. She of the blood of kings will be born to save the people – but only after nine hundred years and only if she chooses, for the chosen one will have the blood of witches running through her veins also. The Jezi Baba witches, the same evil which invaded his cousin’s heart, are her ancestors also.

    The only way for Zvonimir to regain his dignity and save his people from further misery, is to face his enemy. This, however cannot be if the challenge is not take up by the chosen one - Kristin - not even due to be born until 1995.

    Zvonimir must wait in purgatory and hope the day will come when the assassin’s knife can be plunged into a witch’s heart, even if that heart is the possible witch – Kristin.

    Zvonimir’s Curse is a 115,000-word work of historical-fantasy appealing to the YA and adult markets alike. The reader is taken on a one thousand year journey with forgotten dynasties, faded deities, ghost soldiers and witches. It draws on my Croatian heritage interweaving historical events and Slav mythological creatures.

    Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes,
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  4. #44
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    263

    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    Well, given that Bransford isn't in the agenting business any more...

    Bransford's mad lib method is actually a version of the Noah Lukeman hook, plot, bio method. That works ok for plot-driven stories (most thrillers, mysteries, some suspense, SF, some fantasy) and not so well for character driven stories (romance, some suspense, other commercial, literary, fantasy). For those, the three questions method that emphasizes motivation over plot seems to produce more usable queries.

    Write it both ways, see which one you like best.
    Stan

  5. #45
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    I see what you are saying Stan,
    it really feels like a mini-synopsis and feels like 2 steps back to me?

    It's also interesting that you mention the author of the blog is no longer in the business.
    To me it's like seeing all those QL samples from 1998-2004 and just KNOWING they would never work today.

    Aside from many of them starting with a question, the 'style' is no longer what is wanted/asked.
    It seems to me that the advice on the authors blog is somewhat dated also.

    JMHO though
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  6. #46
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    99

    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    @ CK.. thank-you. I have been so caught up with doing the right thing and finding the exactly right words for my query that I forgot to be me. Was too busy trying to follow a recipe. B)

  7. #47
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2010
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    508

    Re: QUERY and SYNOPSIS STRUCTURE

    Diane,

    Hey, thanks.

    I didn't think anyone ever read what I'd written in this thread. And it was probably the best advise I'll ever manage here. You make my heart all warm and squishy. Be yourself, but strategic self -- after careful study. And BTW most of what folks consider "careful study" is just getting a lay of the land in my research vernacular. Maybe a better way to think about it is to know yourself and work so well and know the agent/publishing world so well, that you can step into this arena fully yourself and fully playing the field. "I am large," Whitman wrote, "I contain multitudes." Figure where your multitudes meet the players in this field you wish to conquer.

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