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  1. #11
    Wayne G
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    This query doesn't work either, but at least I'm seeing a hint of a good story. You have a princess being bartered for the sake of a war. So she escapes. Follow JC's advice and give us the heart of this conflict. Cut all the extraneous stuff - who cares if Sarazi has a wife and if they live on a mountain top, for example? It's not essential to the query.



  2. #12
    Wonky
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    Joan, what agents are suggesting you self-publish? There is no reason to do that. It's not even "publishing" anyway. It's more like self-printing. You'll sell maybe 100 copies if you're lucky. You might get lucky and get a few local bookstores to sell your book on consignment, and sell a handful to friends and family, but that's about it.

  3. #13
    Elena Solodow
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    I learned this from a writing class and found it very helpful:

    Imagine that you're in prison and during your incarceration there you've written a novel. One day, the evil prison warden comes in and tears your novel to shreds, only leaving you with one paragraph - what would that paragraph be?

    It may help for you to use this exercise, Joan, to narrow down exactly what the focus of your novel is. You can even skip the paragrpah and just write down one sentence that your book embodies. That sentence/paragraph might then help you focus your query. I did this a year ago with my novel and it really, really helped me understand what I was going for story-wise - what I really wanted to write about.

    Like everyone has said above, you don't need to put in all those extraneous details unless they somehow make your story unique, but from what I've read, they don't seem to. I think you also need to be careful with introducing Starvia - it seems to me that you're explaining too much about this new world, which is overwhelming your query. What you need to put in is your STORY, not the background, not all the details of where it takes place, just the key points to your STORY.

    Try that exercise, I think it will help you narrow things down.

    -Elena

  4. #14
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    Elana - that is some of the BEST advice I've ever seen on these boards on getting to the heart of a query/story.

    Very true.

  5. #15
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    Ain't no prison warden above taking an ass whoopin'.
    km

    BTW, I had a Gateway computer that did this to a WIP years ago. Tough lesson.

  6. #16
    Sangay Glass
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    All great comments.

    Joan do take the advice to learn more about query writing.

    Here's a link to a start. The writer is from India, and it goes to show that queries are a universal requirement of writers.

    http://www.indiahowto.com/how-to-wri...ry-letter.html

    If you took all the writers examples and put them on one sheet it is a perfect short and sweet, three paragraph query.

    This is just basic stuff. There's a lot written on the subject online and in books.

    Start searching.

  7. #17
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    On a side note, I've read and been told that TV guide has some of the best query letter examples ... indirectly ... because they have to get to the point of the story fast and hook you.

    Check it out!

    http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/4650

    Tin Man

    Sunday at 9pm on SciFi

    It's night one of an all new, twisted take on the Wizard of Oz, "Tin Man". This new tale tells the story of DG (Zooey Deschanel), a young woman plucked from her life and thrust into the Outer Zone (the O.Z.) -- a fantastical world of wonder and magic. As DG goes on her journey, she discovers her true identity, battles evil winged-monkey-bats and tries to fulfill her destiny.

    Okay ... maybe not the BEST example, but you get the idea.

  8. #18
    Robert Brown
    Guest

    Re: i need a frank evaluation of my query letter

    Joan, the advice I would give you is don't query on a series. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you do. It's difficult enough to find someone who wants to take on single title so you're just adding to your problems if you try to get representation for a series. Don't believe me, ask other agents.

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