HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Dutch Henry
    Guest

    Discuss my query please

    With your help I started to revise my query last night...You've been so helpful I need to thank you right here- THANK YOU- but here follows my latest revision.

    Young Tom struggled to understand the cruelty of men. As a boy suffering under the buffalo hunterís lash he learned just how evil a man could be. The love he feels for Soft Cloud introduces him to the good that can be found in people, but when he is ordered to kill Tall Dog, her father, by Red Cloud, her grandfather, Tom discovers just how cruel he can become himself. Leaning on the steady shoulder of a new friend, an Army scout who rode Pony Express with Bill Cody, Tom begins to learn that there is a place and time to be hard, but trust between friends can solve any problem.
    TOM NAMED BY HORSE is an historical fiction suitable for any reader over 16. I wanted to tell a story about a young manís quest to understand good and evil, and how one cannot exist without the other. My love of history and passion for horses helped me shape the 97,000 word story line. I have competed in thousands of miles of long distance endurance riding, and trained horses for years.
    I would be honored if you would represent my work.
    Thank You
    Dutch Henry



  2. #2
    Dutch Henry
    Guest

    Re: Discuss my query please

    I made some changes already--I think I like this one better--

    Young Tom struggled to understand the cruelty of men. As a boy suffering under the buffalo hunterís lash he learned just how evil a man could be. When he escapes and finds Soft Cloud her kindness introduces him to the good that can be found in people, but when he is ordered to kill Tall Dog, her father, by Chief Red Cloud, her grandfather, Tom discovers just how cruel he can become himself. Leaning on the steady shoulder of a new friend, an Army scout, Tom begins to realize that there is a place and time to be hard, but trust between friends can solve any problem.
    TOM NAMED BY HORSE is an historical fiction suitable for any reader over 16. I wanted to tell a story about a young manís quest to understand good and evil, and how one cannot exist without the other. I told that story in a lively frontier tale. My love of history and passion for horses helped me shape the 97,000 word story line. I have competed in thousands of miles of long distance endurance riding, and trained horses for years.
    I would be honored if you would represent my work.
    Thank You
    Dutch Henry

  3. #3
    Mark Phillips
    Guest

    Re: Discuss my query please

    Okay this is better but still needs work. I would break that second (very long) sentence into two or three parts. Also don't tell us what you wanted to write, i.e. "I wanted to tell a story aobut a young man's guest..." You should have shown us that already in the query. By the way, I did get that vibe in the query so this part is really not necessary. Also, don't tell us the story is lively, that's for the agent to decide.
    The last paragraph (which is just business info) should be mcuh shorter. Here's an example:

    TOM NAMED BY HORSE is a 97,000-word historical fiction novel set in 1896 (or whatever year). I have a love of history (do you have a degree in history because it would be helpful to put this here if you do). I have competed in thousands of miles of long distance endurance rides and trained horses for years.

    Two more things, the title reminds me of Dances with Wolves in that, it seems like, that's what the Natives call Tom. You might want to think of a title change. I know that can be a big decision and it's not that big of a deal, just a suggestion.

    Also, you have no hook in this letter. You go right into the summary of plot. The first sentence needs to be something catchy that excites the agent. What I was always told is to think of it as if you were pitching somethning to a movie studio.
    For instance. Good, evil, to Tom these used to be just words until he experienced their true meanings.

    Now that example isn't that good, but I'm hoping it gives you the flavor of what a hook should be.

  4. #4
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Discuss my query please

    Listen to Mark. He is spot on.

  5. #5
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Discuss my query please

    Dutch, I liked the title. Not knowing more about your novel than the little you wrote in the query, here's my very rough draft. Maybe it will give you some ideas:

    Enduring the constant lashes from the buffalo hunter, Young Tom learns during his childhood how evil humans can be. But when he escapes, he meets Soft Cloud, a kind woman, who teaches him the inherent goodness in people. When Chief Red Cloud, her grandfather, orders him to kill Tall Dog--his own son and Soft Cloudís father--Tom discovers his own cruel nature. [You will need to say what actually happens then. Does he obey the order or not? I suspect a moral crisis and ambivalence follow but your query doesnít say that and it seems important that you touch on it for the flow and logic of the story and the query!] When he befriends an army scout he learns the valuable lesson of trust that can overcome all problems caused by man (???).

    For many years I have trained horses and have competed in thousands of miles of long distance endurance riding. I have combined these skills with my love for history to create this novel about life at the frontier around 1840(???).

    TOM NAMED BY HORSE is 97,000 words of historical fiction, suitable for readers over sixteen. May I send you this manuscript, partial or complete, for your consideration? Thank you,

  6. #6
    gulliver h
    Guest

    Re: Discuss my query please

    I like the title too. But then I'm also horsefolk. It sounds like a good story, but definitely don't say "suitable for any reader over 16"--you're not the MPA, so don't do that.

    I'm going to work from your original, not the rewrites, each of which have merit: Your first two sentences reprise the same idea. Cruelty of man/men. Twice. Be more economical. You don't have much space, use it wisely. (How did that happen? Tell me quickly, but tell me.) It then becomes confusing with the various Cloud-people (forgive the license) and their relationships. We don't even know who Soft Cloud is, but he loves her? How did that happen? I don't want a long story here, but I want something to get me from one place to another. His best friend is an 'Army Scout', very important, but you don't name him here..? And my guess is that 'trust' can't solve 'any problem'. That's a little weak and generic.

    Dutch, you have what sounds like a 'saga-ish' book....love, romance, despair, brutality, moral ambiguity, etc., etc. Good stuff. (I actually like this, so don't take any of this the wrong way)

    What writers do you like? i.e. are you a Cormac guy, or a Norman Maclean guy? McMurtry? What is this book like, if it has to be like anything? I'm asking that mostly to help me help you, but also to give you a guide, track, bridle path toward how to format this.

    And you must lose, of course, the 'motivation/honored' paragraph--it's not going to help you sell the book, sadly. This query should be tight, sharp and compelling. About the story, not you. EXCEPT the endurance riding. That's great. Keep it.

Posting Permissions

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