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  1. #1
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    Query- Attempt # 7

    My wife tells me that the number of grey hairs on my head has tripled since I started the query letter writing process. Oh well, here goes nothing...

    Dear Agent,

    I struggled to redefine myself as anyone other then my mothers’ son and ended up with a mother complex so big it’s got condos for sale.

    SHARON WORLD (92,000 words), follows my path as I navigate through the lost innocence of a childhood mired in the detritus of my mothers mental illness. She was a dancer with ballet grace and a mouth like a sailor, living her dream in the theaters of New York until a divorce left her broke, broken and a single-mother whose Bipolar disorder took center stage and manifested in screaming fits of rage.

    I struggled against the role I was cast in as her de-facto husband by acting out in public, banging my head against walls and telling anyone who’d listen that I’d seen the devil. At sixteen, after a few years of self-medicating, I met the girl I wanted to marry and announced it to my parents two weeks later. After college, she stayed with me as I worked a series of awful jobs including a five-year stint at a cable company call center in which a behind the scenes look reveals cross-dressing customers, reps pretending to be answering machines and how we really talked about customers and the company itself when no one was looking.

    Later, as an adult trying to reconcile the complicated relationship I had with my mother, I found that like a prisoner peeking through the bars of a cell, she was aware of all that she’d done but powerless to stop it. I would have to decide if it was possible to let go of my resentment and ultimately accept both the man I’d become and the woman who had given me life.

    I look forward to hearing from you and would be happy to send a full or partial manuscript at your request. Thank you for your time.



  2. #2
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    You might try thanking the people who already took the time to help you, Joshua.

    I struggled to redefine myself as anyone other then my mothers’ son and ended up with a mother complex so big it’s got condos for sale.

    Not a good opening line, even without the spelling and punctuation errors.
    Last edited by leslee; 09-20-2011 at 10:21 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by leslee View Post
    You might try thanking the people who already took the time to help you, Joshua.

    I struggled to redefine myself as anyone other then my mothers’ son and ended up with a mother complex so big it’s got condos for sale.

    Not a good opening line, even without the spelling and punctuation errors.

    leslee, I appreciate all the help that you and everyone else have given me. That said, what is your problem? I am thankful for your reviewing my work but the reason that so many people on this forum have problems with you, and I know that they do, is because of unconstructive comments like the one you just posted. If you are bitter about something, I'm sorry to hear it, but you really should try to just be a little bit nice. Your not my agent or anyone that gets paid to give me the truth as with as little emotion as possible. So, do me a favor, if you don't have anything constructive to say, don't bother commenting.

    Just MY opinion, feel free to ignore.

  4. #4
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    Joshua -

    I don't know how you can crank up so much venom based on the one-line nudge I gave you to thank those who have helped you.

    Apparently you're quite frustrated over your difficulties with your Q letter and decided to take it out on me. But if you can't handle a comment like mine without going to pieces, you're going to have a rough time in the publishing industry.

    Be a little bit nice? I've been more than nice to you. I've spent a lot of time helping you, as have many other people on this board, but you can't be bothered to say so much as a thank you to anyone. Just plain rude. It is not my job to coddle you. You need to put your big-boy pants on and learn to handle critique - even critique you disagree with - if you're going to post here. My comment to you was constructive, but you can't see it.

    Your not my agent

    It's you're, not your. But I'm sure you won't find that constructive, either.

    I will avoid your work in the future. Feel better now?

    http://www.writers.net/forum/showthr...fore-You-Post*
    Last edited by leslee; 09-20-2011 at 11:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    Looks like you blew it, Joshua.

    *_*

  6. #6
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    Actually, Leslee, I like the line. I'm not sure it's the best hook he can come up with, but it does grab my attention.

  7. #7
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    That's okay by me, Joe. It's fine with me if everyone but me loves that line. I was expressing my opinion.
    Last edited by leslee; 09-20-2011 at 02:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Cat
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    Joshua,

    Leslee doesn't have a problem; you have a problem.

    I'm sorry, but your query sucks - yes, sucks. In fact, it is unfixable. Throw it away and start over.

    Your first and biggest problem is that it's not even a query; it's closer to a plot summary, but it doesn't even do that proerly because you don't give the ending. (Pssst! Agents want to know the ending.) What you have written is the blurb for the dust jacket, but you'll never get one of those because every agent you send it to will roll his eyes and toss it.

    There are lots of books, articles, etc. on query writing. Please, for the love of God, read one, even a bad one, to get some glimmering of what agents want to see in a query.

    Writing a good one is an art, but the basic form is pretty straight forward, and you have made no effort whatsoever to follow it.

    And you think leslee has q problem?

    Seven attempts, my a s s!
    Last edited by Cat; 09-20-2011 at 03:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat View Post
    Joshua,

    Leslee doesn't have a problem; you have a problem.
    I, on the other hand, would prefer to say that there's a problem with his query. This may sound like quibbling, but I learned during the 7.5 years I spent doing telephone tech support that you should always avoid implying that the caller has a problem. Their computer, software or Internet connection may be having a problem, but not the caller. (Asking a caller what their problem is implies that the caller is the source of the problem and starts the call out on the wrong foot, especially on the rare occasions that it's true.) Telling Joshua that there are problems with his query is good; telling him what they are and how to correct them is better, but suggesting (or even worse, saying) that he has problems is bad, at least if you want to help him improve his query.

  10. #10
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    More than a missing ending, I think it's missing the answer to the "why does anyone want to read another one of these?" question. This genre has been worked to death in the industry. What's the hook of this one? What does it do/who of interest is it about/what earthshattering explosion did it result in? that makes it something worth putting on the bookstore shelves? I can see the cathartic payoff of writing this and tucking it away; I don't see anything in what is given that justifies publishing it for the buying public. Identify (realistically) your market where these are actually selling and where this builds on or distinguishes itself from what is already selling/has sold. Define why that is so. Include that in your query letter--or consider not submitting it for commercial publication.

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