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  1. #1
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    critique my query letter?

    Hi all -- help is much appreciated.
    ~ = redacted


    Dear *agent*:

    My name is ~. I'm writing to query my completed 70,000 word novel manuscript, The Mad Monks. The book is about boundary issues, empty spaces, touching, and feeling.

    Synopsis:

    In the P.R. era, the entire world is divvied up into Lots, not by aliens, but by alien forces. Anyway, everyone has gotten used to it, and in year P.R – 6, Jaime was more concerned with other things, such as finally teasing out a signal from all the static that she was forced to bathe in completely naked, day after day. She was twenty years old, a student at prestigious Moosemore College (located deep inside a New England forest) and already a mystic of the apophatic tradition – lazy, malaise, drooping eyelids, empty in her eyes, singularly concerned with moral perfection – passively. She sought a signal through the static by saying no to as much as she could: to her past, to the future, to the reality at hand most of all.

    Jaime had never intended to meet Maddy, and when Maddy left her it was even less intentional. Maddy threw a monkey wrench into Jaime’s apparatus, the ghost in Jaime’s machinations, her goal-oriented nay-saying. Maddy left her for Gary -- smooth skinned, and calm, just like a cucumber: good company for Maddy, and a suitably shaped dildo for Jaime (months later). He had been to jail at some point. Neither Maddy nor Jaime could figure out where else he had been, and Maddy was so observant (and Jaime was talented at looking at a very far away point and coming up with some answer for anything).

    Time for Gary was running out however. He had committed a terrible crime, years ago. The jailers had his DNA on file and were looking to match his spunk to his name, so that they could take his body and keep it away from everyone else, where it could do no more damage. Meanwhile, Jaime had all this time on her hands (Jaime’s time weighed next to nothing). Since Jaime was already traveling so light (emptier than ever, after Maddy left her), she decided to leave. She went as far as she could go, first to Lot 900, on the other side of the world, and then to Lot 1001, the biggest emptiest place there is – the Central Asian Steppe. She walked into it with little more than backpack and cooking utensils). But soon Jaime, who noticed so little, noticed a certain darkness on the edges of her vision, a certain blindness. It progressed in an inside out fashion (donut shaped). She had consumed a very bad brine. Jaime went completely blind within 24 hours, and was brought back to Ulan Bator by a kind passerby, which is where the story ends.

    I am a New Yorker pursuing dual careers in Theoretical Neuroscience and in writing. I’m a graduate of ~ (prestigious) College (and ~ (prestigious) High School). This is a query for the first of two novels that I have written. I've been published in most of ******** magazines, and I have had a magazine internship in Shanghai. Thank you for your time. I am best contacted by email, at ~. My cell phone number is ~. I have posted the first 10 pages of the manuscript below.

    best,
    ~



  2. #2
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Hell, AnnMary. I'm not going to do any critiquing at this point. I am going to encourage you to read a number of threads posted here that ask for query letter critiques. Then, take a look at this again. I'm certain you'll see why it needs to be ditched and you need to start over. Seriously - do yourself a favor and check out previous requests.

    Then, feel free to post another attempt for our input. Good luck!
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  3. #3
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    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:

    You need to do the basic homework regarding query letters. You have a number of things here that do not belong in a Q letter, and the format is likely to get you rejected.

    http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

    You don't automatically send pages to an agent. You don't tell them you've written other unpublished books. If you want to provide publishing credentials, you need to be specific. "I've been published in most of Dartmouth's magazines" is not the way you present credentials.

    Your letter is too long and rambling. A query letter does not include a long, chatty synopsis. And a sentence like this: The book is about boundary issues, empty spaces, touching, and feeling - is exactly what you don't want to include.

    Please take a look at the query letters in this forum, the comments, and the suggestions provided in the link before you send anything to an agent.

    Best of luck to you.
    Last edited by leslee; 08-09-2011 at 12:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    AnnMary,

    And you shouldn't start your query by saying, "My name is ....." They'll know how to find it soon enough.

    *_*

    (Did you mean to say "Hell," Cindy? Sounds like my kinda talk. )

  5. #5
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    Please do take a look at query letters in this forum. You'll learn what to include - and what not to include. Then try again. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Foyle View Post

    (Did you mean to say "Hell," Cindy? Sounds like my kinda talk. )
    Oh, for cry eye; NO! I meant to say "hello!" I'm sure AnnMary thinks I'm a royal jerk now. So sorry!!
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by c bets View Post
    oh, for cry eye; no! I meant to say "hello!" i'm sure annmary thinks i'm a royal jerk now. So sorry!!
    roflmfao, cc!

  8. #8
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    Just put the blame on good ol' Mercury Retrograde, Cindy.

    *_*

  9. #9
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    And you shouldn't start your query by saying, "My name is ....." They'll know how to find it soon enough.
    Heh, that's how I started my query. I guess for nonfic it's ok?

  10. #10
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    So, why is AnnMary now a guest named M.S.B. Jeep?
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

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