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  1. #11
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    greg,

    Whether you like the way leslee delivered the message or not, she gave you good advice. You need to do some homework on how to put together a query letter. We can help you if you've got some idea of the basics, but the above doesn't demonstrate that. I'd have to write several pages to bring to your attention all the issues I see there. Just from the first paragraph:

    I completed a book AS LESLEE SAYS, NOT THE WAY TO START A QUERY. IF YOU'RE QUERYING THE AGENT ASSUMES THE BOOK IS COMPLETE, REVISED, EDITED, AND READY, IN YOUR OPINION, FOR PUBLICATION. SAYING THIS WILL MAKE THE AGENT THINK YOU DON'T REALIZE THAT'S THE BACKGROUND ASSUMPTION, WHICH WILL MAKE THE AGENT THINK YOU HAVEN'T REALLY LOOKED INTO THE QUERYING PROCESS, WHICH WILL ACTUALLY LEAD THE AGENT TO WONDER WHETHER YOU'VE REALLY EDITED YOUR WORK AND POLISHED IT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, WHICH WILL IN TURN CAUSE THE AGENT TO QUESTION...OH, NEVER MIND. THE AGENT ALREADY THREW THE QUERY AWAY AND WENT ON TO THE NEXT ONE. called I Told My Mind To Shut The F*ck Up, Seeing Past The Mind Created Story Of My Life. THIS ISN'T A HOOK. YOU NEED A HOOK. ALSO, PUTTING THE F-WORD IN YOUR PROPOSED TITLE WILL DETER THE AGENT BECAUSE HE/SHE WILL WORRY ABOUT PUBLISHERS NOT BEING WILLING TO CONVINCE STORES TO PUT THE BOOK ON THEIR SHELVES. ALSO, THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR TITLE MAKES NO SENSE. IF YOU'RE SAYING THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE WAS CREATED BY YOUR MIND, YOU NEED A HYPHEN (MIND-CREATED), BUT EVEN THAT'S POOR. MIND-CREATED IS A CLUNKY TERM, AND YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE PAST A STORY ANYWAY. This 60,000 word memoir NOT SURE 60,000 WORDS DOES IT FOR A MEMOIR does more than just narrate my life. "NARRATE MY LIFE" ISN'T REALLY PROPER GRAMMAR. ALSO, YOU'RE TWO SENTENCES IN TO YOUR QUERY - VALUABLE REAL ESTATE - AND WE REALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT YOUR BOOK EXCEPT IT'S A MEMOIR. THAT'S NOT GOING TO DRAW THE AGENT IN. It shows how to conquer unbelievable obstacles in order to get what you want SO YOU SAY. NOTHING IN THE WRITING OF THIS QUERY SO FAR CONVINCES THE AGENT THAT YOUR WRITING WILL BE COMPELLING ENOUGH TO DO THIS. YOU NEED TO TELL US ABOUT THE BOOK, NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK THE BOOK WILL DO FOR PEOPLE. —no matter what your mind says. THIS IS AWKWARD BECAUSE A MIND DOESN'T "SAY" ANYTHING. JUST DON'T GET WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO HERE.

    These issues are just too fundamental, not to mention frequent, for me to continue a line-by-line critique of your query; I'd exceed the maximum post length. You need to go back and research what a query letter is and what it shouldn't try to do. I can't give you better advice than that because, at this point, there IS no other advice to give you.

    ...Aside from make sure you have your spelling and grammar right. It's "fare," not "fair," and leslee has already pointed out that you've misspelled both of the authors' names mentioned in the query.

    If this post drives you into a white-hot rage and prompts you to sling back a blast of fiery indignation, you're not cut out to be a writer. Writers thrive on criticism. It's the way they find out what they don't know.

    Good luck.

    JH



  2. #12
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    Hi Greg,

    Iíve never written a query and admire anyone who gets to that stage. I can share a couple of thoughts that popped into my head as I read this, for what itís worth, but feel free to ignore me.

    It is a bit long. I started to get interested at the fourth and fifth paragraphs and wonder if you would do better to start there. You have a fascinating story to share.

    The title puts me off immediately- both because it is very wordy and because the profanity seems a bit jarring and out of place. Iím not a prude at all, but Iíd expect a more light-hearted subject matter with a title like that. It doesnít do justice to the story you describe in paras 4+5.
    Just my opinion, good luck

  3. #13
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    Thank you Susan. I am making revisions based on what was written. I like the criticism I get here. I think many here like to say things like, "You'll never make it in this business, if you can't take the criticism," just to feel superior. I can take it well. But I do think people get carried away, and say more than necessary to help. Helping is not really what some people want to do at all. I'm not in the writing business. I had a good story, so I told it, and now I am just seeking out some help.

  4. #14
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    I think many here like to say things like, "You'll never make it in this business, if you can't take the criticism," just to feel superior.
    And this is exactly what new writers say when they don't like our advice. Next you'll be asking, "Well, what have YOU published, smartypants?"

    Grow up.

  5. #15
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    I like the criticism I get here.

    As long as it's what you want to hear.

    I'm not in the writing business.

    Oh. I thought you were trying to sell a book you wrote. What is that? The dry cleaning business?
    Last edited by leslee; 01-28-2012 at 08:03 AM.

  6. #16
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    Very nice girls. I guess you have me all figured out now.

  7. #17
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    Not really.

  8. #18
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    I guess you have me all figured out now.

    Nah. Conclusions based on nothing are your thing, Greg.

    I totally get who you are now.

    See?

  9. #19
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    Very good Leslee. I guess you're right. Thank you.

  10. #20
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    Thanks Marcel, I really appreciated the PM. They really had me feeling like a fool. I have recieved excellent criticism for things on here, but sometimes, people cut at the core of my concept without really understanding what I am trying to do, even if I'm not conveying it correctly. I know Jena, I should grow up.

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