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  1. #1
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    New version of query letter

    I'm throwing out the chum!!

    Dear Agent Fantastic,

    For thousands of years, the name "Medusa" has inspired dread -- a beautiful but dangerous woman from ancient Greece who could, with one glance, turn a man into stone.

    The version of her legend we know best focuses on the thieving prince who beheaded her, Perseus. My novel, THE BLIND SCULPTOR, a completed 98,00 word Historical Fantasy, re-tells the story from her side, giving this iconic villainess a voice for the first time.

    Abandoned by her parents, abused by her family and banished to a deserted island, alone and confused, Medusa wrestles with her haunted past, uncertain of her future. When she learns of Perseus' hunt for her head, the prospect of a quick death is tempting. But with the arrival of a sightless stonemason, also banished from civilized society to her island, the unexpected friendship that grows between them causes her to question whether life might be worth fighting for.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,



  2. #2
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    Naomi. Hi.

    I don't ordinarily comment on queries because I suck at them, but, in this case, two things jumped out at me. Most of the first two paragraphs focus on Medusa's legend, and not your story. You might want to rethink that. And in the third paragraph you don't tell us much that is compelling about the story: "wrestles with haunted past"; "quick death is tempting"; "unexpected friendship". I'm not sure you're telling us enough for an agent to want to read it.

    What actually happens in the story?

    Good luck!!!

  3. #3
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    I hear you. Here's one problem I face: critical feedback I got yesterday was that I led with MY story without any background info.

    The query letter reader complained, HEY not everyone knows Greek mythology let alone the myth of Medusa. Could you tell me more before you dive into all these unfamiliar names and places?

    *sigh*
    Last edited by Naomi B.; 04-22-2014 at 01:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naomi B. View Post
    a completed 98,00 word Historical Fantasy,
    Ain't no agent got time for that!

  5. #5
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    Pardon me, but I have seen standard manuscript lengths for historical fiction be 80k-140k. So thanks for your quick reply, but...no.
    Last edited by Naomi B.; 04-22-2014 at 01:05 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naomi B. View Post
    Pardon me, but I have seen standard manuscript lengths for historical fiction be 80k-140k. So thanks for your quick reply, but...no.
    So how much is 98,00 again? I can't seem to find the invisible k, perhaps you can use the poof key on your keyboard and materialize it.

  7. #7
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    Abandoned by her parents, abused by her family and banished to a deserted island, alone and confused, Medusa wrestles with her haunted past, uncertain of her future.
    Don't know about Medusa, but I'm certain, in a textbook, in the far flung reaches of the galaxy, somewhere, that sentence qualifies as first runner up for marathon sentence of the year. Run on marathon sentence, run on. Keep passing the touch in that phrase to phrase relay.


    You can try:

    Banished in a bolt of lightning by her abusive family, Medusa wanes away on an desolate island. The arrival of another pariah -- a blind stonemason named Perseus -- at the shores of her purgatory may have finally given Medusa the one thing she's looking for: a reason not to turn herself to stone. THE BLIND SCULPTOR, is a completed 98,000 word Historical Fantasy, and the closest any mortal has ever come to looking through Medusa's eyes -- without turning to stone, that is.



    Not saying that's how it's best accomplished, but that's one way to do it.
    Last edited by Author Pendragin; 04-22-2014 at 01:52 PM.

  8. #8
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    I can see you're going to helpful. Thanks and have a good evening.

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
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    You could summarize it in one sentence as: It's Wicked only with Medusa! The same type of description would apply to Disney's new Malefiscent (sp?) movie. I guess all these bad guys in myths and fairy tales were really just misunderstood.

  10. #10
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I agree with Tinman - you don't tell much of the story. I think the complaint that "not everyone knows Greek mythology" is true, but probably not among book agents. I think most agents are at least as well-read as I am and know at least a little about Medusa, enough that this lead sentence would act as a good pilot for the rest of your query:

    Medusa is a beautiful but dangerous woman who can turn men into stone with one glance.

    Now start there, tell the story with more specificity, reveal some good clear conflict, and you're on your way.

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