HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31

    Query Letter/ feedback please

    Hello people. I'd love some feedback on my festering turd of a query letter. Thanks!


    Dear Agent,

    Stepping into adulthood is an elaborate dance; our paths, our fates, entangle with others and shape who we become. Sometimes these encounters become myth.

    Desperate to prove himself to his friends, Perseus stakes his reputation on acquiring an impossible engagement gift: the head of the Gorgon Medousa.

    Relying on the aid of a stranger, Perseus sails to the Land of the Dead, hoping to steal the weapons of the Gods and locate the Gorgon; but divine help is never free and, as true today as then, strangers are often never what they seem. If he survives the trials to come and returns before the engagement deadline, he’ll save his mother from an abusive marriage and the people of Serifos from their tyrannical King. If not, he will return to his adopted island home the same way he arrived—in a wooden box.

    Meanwhile, in exchange for Perseus’ safe return, his mother promises freedom to the palace slave who helped raise her son: Atheos, the sculptor. He agrees, but an encounter with a Goddess leaves him blinded and stranded on Kisthene; a desolate island where a young woman named Medi nurses him back to health. Uncertain of his benefactor’s true identity, Atheos encourages Medi to leave the island, only to discover an unsettling fact: the cure for his blindness is in her blood.

    Exploring the myth of Medousa, THE BLIND SCULPTOR is a 98K word work of historical fiction set in Ancient Greece, where Medousa’s POV is given equal weight alongside Perseus’ journey from petty thief into manhood.

    I’m an attorney with a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a concentration in Women’s Studies. Bla bla bla bla me me me bla bla bla



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    I'd get rid of those first two sentences entirely; the second paragraph is a better opening. But then it seems like you switch your plot summary from a story of Perseus to a story of the blind sculptor. You should focus on one or the other.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31
    Ok. That's easily done.

    Yep, focus here is a problem. Here's the thing that's got me scratching my head. I've got two different timelines in this novel: Perseus (his present, 3rd person) and then Medousa's (200 years prior, 1st person). The story is told in alternating POV and alternating timelines until the time sequences match up in the last section of the novel. Atheos is the character that links them together. Do I mention any of that in a query letter?

    Thanks,
    N

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31
    In the alternative, would it be better or worse to make it shorter, such as:


    Dear Agent,

    Desperate to prove himself to his friends, Perseus stakes his reputation on acquiring an impossible engagement gift: the head of the Gorgon Medousa.

    Relying on the aid of a stranger, Perseus sails to the Land of the Dead, hoping to steal the weapons of the Gods and locate the Gorgon; but divine help is never free and, as true today as then, strangers are often never what they seem. If he survives the trials to come and returns before the engagement deadline, he’ll save his mother from an abusive marriage and the people of Serifos from their tyrannical King. If not, he will return to his adopted island home the same way he arrived—in a wooden box.

    Exploring the myth of Medousa, THE BLIND SCULPTOR is a 98K word work of historical fiction set in Ancient Greece, where Medousa’s POV is given equal weight alongside Perseus’ journey from petty thief into manhood.

    I’m an attorney with a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a concentration in Women’s Studies. Bla bla bla bla me me me bla bla bla

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31
    Some overnight revisions:


    Dear Agent Fantastic,

    Off the coast of Greece, in the dark waters of the Aegean, lies the rocky island of Serifos, where fatherless Perseus wiles away the palace hours as a petty thief, gathering evidence that his mother’s fiancé is a liar. The problem is, her fiancé is the King and liar or no, her social position is secure once she is his Queen and in his bed. Desperate for a solution, seventeen year old Perseus stakes his reputation on acquiring an impossible engagement gift: the head of the Gorgon Medousa.

    Relying on the aid of a stranger, Perseus sails to Hades, the Land of the Dead, bent on stealing the weapons of the Gods and locating the Gorgon; but divine help is never free and, as true today as then, strangers are often never what they seem. If he survives the trials to come and returns before the engagement deadline, he’ll save his mother from an abusive marriage and the people of Serifos from their tyrannical King. If not, he will return to his adopted island home the same way he arrived—in a wooden box.

    THE BLIND SCULPTOR, a historical fiction novel of 98,000 words, is a retelling of the Myth of Medousa as seen from three points of view: the hero, the Gorgon and the sculptor who redeems her.

    I’m an attorney with a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a concentration in Women’s Studies.


    Thank you for your time and consideration.


    All the best,
    Last edited by Naomi B.; 03-24-2014 at 08:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    I think it's not too bad, but I have just a few suggestions in red:

    Dear Agent Fantastic,

    Off the coast of Greece, in the dark waters of the Aegean, lies the rocky island of Serifos, where fatherless Perseus wiles away the palace hours as a petty thief, gathering evidence that his mother’s fiancé is a liar. The problem is, her fiancé is the King and liar or no, her social position is secure once she is his Queen and in his bed. Desperate for a solution, seventeen year old Perseus stakes his life on acquiring an impossible engagement gift: the head of the Gorgon Medousa.

    Relying on the aid of a stranger, Perseus sails to Hades, the Land of the Dead, bent on stealing the weapons of the Gods and locating the Gorgon; but divine help is never free and, as true today as then, strangers are often never what they seem. If he survives the trials to come and returns before the engagement deadline, he’ll save his mother from an abusive marriage and the people of Serifos from their tyrannical King. If not, he will return to his adopted island home the same way he left—in a wooden box.

    THE BLIND SCULPTOR is a historical novel of 98,000 words that retells the Myth of Medousa from three points of view: the hero, the Gorgon and the sculptor who redeems her.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,


    I think you could add a little more detail about the some of the "trials to come" to spice it up a bit, or maybe why Perseus is so keen on the Gorgon as an engagement gift, but otherwise, I think its not too bad.

    Agents don't care what your occupation or education is unless it shows an expertise or experience that the book demands. For example, if you were to write a book on drug addicts and you were a former addict, but now you are a doctor and a counselor on addiction, then yep, gotta include that. But your book...nobody needs to be an attorney or get a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a concentration in Women’s Studies to write about Perseus. Anybody can read mythology and write a book like that - even me, lol.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31
    Hi John Oberon,

    Thanks for the feedback, your redlining smooths some of the rough edges, much appreciated. I will incorporate most of those changes, thanks!

    I disagree about the education aspect regarding the Religion and women's studies. The JD part, yes, I could leave that out --but the BA part, to me, makes sense to leave in because it relates directly to the subject and themes in the novel (ancient Greek religious practices, women in ancient Greece, etc). I'm sure anyone can read mythology and write a myth retelling, but I'd like to think (maybe arrogantly so) that degrees in those areas give me an extra edge and access to source materials/networks to researchers others may not have.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    Alrighty. Agree to disagree. I suppose your degree may give you some kind of edge, but the book does not demand it.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    31
    I agree with you, the book does not demand it.

    I guess, since I'm still paying back my student loans, I want to milk those pieces of paper for all they're worth! snark snark!

  10. #10
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    lol. Well, that's certainly understandable, but I think when you "serve" your book to an agent, that milk doesn't really enhance the meal.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts