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  1. #31
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    Also, you can always change the question to: Chloe had to ask herself what her soul was worth. But, I can say, it really doesn't matter if you start with a question. The agent isn't going to reject it because it is there. They will reject it if they do not like the premise of the novel. If an agent doesn't want vampire novels and you query one: rejection. If your idea is good, and the Q flows, it will appeal to them. Don't think so hard. Summarize it in a snappy way, have some of these people that have really great ideas on here help you tweak it, then see what happens.

    For me, I liked the entire Lucifer and Phoenix stuff. The loser ex, was more like chick-lit, not that I've read your novel, it just seemed that way from the Q. Your idea, if pulled off well, sounds like a winner. What I did with my second novel was to keep the entire thing saved. Then I chopped the crap out of it in a different file based on advice, and tried a diff direction. Then I liked where I was going and ditched the original.

    Some good advise on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award--that i read somewhere on that site--was to limit your pitch to 300 words. Try to encapsulate the high points of your entire novel in under 300 words.

    Anyway...good luck



  2. #32
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    I like the idea of mixing flashbacks(tu)
    I did it with this MS, as at some point I was pointed out that there was two stories going on. The PRO's background took 4 chapters, while the main story actually begun at the chapter 5.
    I felt too bad with dropping all the action of the first four chapters, so, finally, I've started the story from the chapter 5, but mixed many flashbacks from the dropped beginning...
    Pre-Columbian North America

    http://blog.zoesaadia.com/

  3. #33
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    Avonne,

    What are you basing your statement on when you say "But, I can say, it really doesn't matter if you start with a question. The agent isn't going to reject it because it is there."

    Please show me the facts your basing this off. Have you used a QL that starts with a horrible rhetorical question and had success?

    DK

  4. #34
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    But, I can say, it really doesn't matter if you start with a question. The agent isn't going to reject it because it is there

    Considering the number of agents who have said they don't like Q letters that start with questions, I'd say it matters. It may not make them stop reading, but then again . . .

  5. #35
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    I have had communication back and forth with agents, and their main concern to me was that they were interested in 1. a good idea (some prefer marketability, some like non-trend material), & 2. good writing. I actually had one agent correspond back and forth with me, just shootin' the crap, for 5 emails each and ended up sharing her life story with me. (She gave me faith that Agents are Real People and they do care about us non-published authors). Which was funny that she connected with me, because she doesn't rep YA and that's what I sent her.

    Anyway, "No" I haven't actually sent a Q that started with a Rhetorical question. (Not all are bad) but, the Q that I posted (Many thought it was riddled with cliche's and one person suggested I completely trash it) got a lot of response. Again, I stand by my statement, that an Agt isn't going to reject based on starting with a Question. And, I did offer an alternative.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    How would you like to wake up every single morning with your fat ungrateful grandmother sleeping between you and your wife? In My Life Sucks, a hilarious tale about a family of eight living in a one-bedroom flat in New York city...... (Doesn't something silly like that grab your attention?)

    I'm thinking that if I were an agent looking for funny books, this might grab my attention. Rhetorical question or not.

    I went a huntin' for some advice from agents. (They are dying to give it to you, any many blog these days) about queries. One agent said that one of the biggest reasons she rejects is that the novel is not the correct length (with few exceptions). She said, most fiction s/b 80-100k, category romance s/b 50-100k, and fantasy s/b up to 120k. Another big reason she rejects is that the hook is ho-hum. She doesn't care if the story is about love, forgiveness, social issues, in the end she just want a great read. She wants that hook to really stand out and be different. Then she wants to hear the author's voice in the ensuing paragraph. (She prefers her pitch in one tight concise paragraph)

  7. #37
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    Uh-uh.....I just now saw that. AFTER I posted my NF proposal.

    I thought is sounded like a good way to make it different and interesting.

    Well, I will still wait to see what you all think.

    Sorry to hijack your thread for a post, Amy. (blush)

  8. #38
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    Re: Query Help - Another attempt

    C K Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    > Amy,
    >
    > I read every how-to Q book in print when I was
    > querying and was frustrated, not just by the
    > conflicting advice, but also by the piss-poor
    > sample "winning" Qs presented. I decided I had to
    > think outside the how-to authors and think inside
    > the world and minds of the agents I wanted. I
    > immersed myself in research about their worlds
    > until I thought I had a handle of the fears and
    > desires they lived with. Then I figured out what
    > I had that would play against and to those fears
    > and desires.
    Apply yourself to that task,
    > understanding the agent(s) you desire. The shift
    > in thinking makes all the difference. All of a
    > sudden it's not about you and your plot; it's
    > about a particular agent you want. It's about a
    > single reader.


    I think that is excellent advice! I will try that for myself also. There are way too many 'examples' out there. Once could reserach for a year and still be perfectly confused. I think your approach makes much more sense, and it is also much more do-able. Thank you!

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