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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2013
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    First Draft Query

    "Dear

    The now retired British spy reflects on the intrigue and near death experience of his wife at the hands of a counterspy from Canada. With death confronting him at every turn of his life, he expects, after retiring from MI-6, to have put it all behind him until his daughter pulls him back into the underworld with tragic results.

    Can an eighty-year old x-spy survive the rigors of such physical demands; and, can he save his daughter, the service and the British people from the Russian organization?

    This fictional work containing 120,000 words is my first formal work, although, for the past 12-years I have been creating fee-based custom storylines for clients online. These works ranged in size from short stories, 15,000 words to short novels of 65,000 words. Writing those stories although satisfying, has prepared me now for works that are more serious.

    This work contains a range of intrigue as well as suspense; and, it always has an undertone of a love that pervades the female and male protagonistsí minds.
    I have both formally copyrighted and attached an ISBN number to this story.

    For your kind consideration, I remain sincerely yours

    Denis Mahoney"



    I thought that since the novel will be in editing for a couple of weeks, I would get a bit of a jump on things with the query letter I scratched out this weekend.

    Does this work for anyone?

    Thank you DCM



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Sorry Denis. I am not an agent, but this doesn't work for me.

    Not enough info about the story or your characters to interest me. How does the unnamed daughter draw her unnamed father back in? Is she a spy or an innocent victim? Does this in any way relate to the near death experience of his unnamed wife? What Russian organization?

    You see where I'm going with this, don't you? No details, no sense of drama, nothing to get an agent excited about. Show some of the suspense you mention.

    Just my first impressions.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    No need to be sorry Musketter 3 as I do see exactly what you mean. I think I was trying to keep it to around 200 words for the letter and lost sight of what was important. Back to the drawing board!

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
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    Does this person have a name? That would be helpful to know. It should be "ex-spy" not "x-spy." And you mention a counterspy from Canada and then say he has to save the British people from Russia, so I'm a bit confused.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the insight Rogue Mutt. I have come to realize that a 200 word query letter mentioned to me was a fallacy. I am now researching more diligently online, I will take it back to the drawing board; and republish here when I think I have it to a place where it is acceptable to the industry. Thank you again.

    Denis

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Now I'm curious about this fallacious query letter that apparently led you astray...

  7. #7
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    I was reading a series of posts on a forum - unsure at the present time which one - wherein the author was insistent that a query letter should not exceed 200 words. After spending a day researching, I can categorically say that the author of the piece was incorrect. It has become apparent that it is the substance and as long as it does not ramble aimlessly on, then it will do the job. Hope that appeases your curiosity Gilfendel

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    lol, it does, thanks. The rule of thumb I've used is about 250 words and three paragraphs, but you're correct: it's the effectiveness of the query that matters, not its length.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    Does this person have a name? That would be helpful to know. It should be "ex-spy" not "x-spy." And you mention a counterspy from Canada and then say he has to save the British people from Russia, so I'm a bit confused.
    The name is bond...James bond Sorry, I just had too

    Gilfindel, I agree with Musketter3; You should try to flesh out the details more. It's basically all telling and could use a stronger opening sentence.
    Last edited by Author Pendragin; 05-21-2013 at 07:21 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    lol. tell that to Silverback; it's not my query ;-)

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