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  1. #1
    Joe Trent
    Guest

    Yet another query (2)

    Final time on this one, I promise. By the way, this goes with a larger package that includes marketing info and a two-page, double-spaced synopsis--required by this agent.

    Dear Mr. Xxxxx:

    You’ve found yourself in a place where your foundations of family, culture, even technology have been ripped away. What will you do to survive? How far will you go?

    Michael Patriate is minding his own business—of merging two mega-corporations—until he’s snatched away and deposited into Renaissance Italy. He starts over with nothing except his business skills and the wristwatch that could get him killed. He finds love and success, but must choose one over the other. And when the duke of Venice calls, Michael faces his biggest challenge: his own conscience.

    THE KING OF SILK is a historical novel featuring a paranormal, time travel twist, complete at 100,000 words. Similar novels are World Without End (2007) by Ken Follett and A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2006) by Diana Gabaldon.

    I am a member of Panhandle Professional Writers (critique chair for 2008-2009), the Write Right Critique Group, and the Muse Online Conference Group.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,



  2. #2
    Danyelle --
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    These are just my opinions.

    1. I would put your character in it, rather than asking rhetorical questions: Michal's family....have all been ripped away. Now he's faced with how to survive and must ask himself how far he will go.
    Obviously rough, but you get the idea.

    2. I would add a bit to the blurb. I read it and have no idea what happens. You give the skeleton of the plot, but I would add some more details.

    3.I would rework the third paragraph a bit. Just a personal preference: THE KING OF SILK is a 100,000-word historical novel featuring... Just a slight rewording.

    4. I would leave out complete.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Has this already been published?

  4. #4
    Joe Trent
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Nope-not publish yet.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Wonky
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Your hook shouldn't be in second person.

    How does your character time travel? He falls into a cliche portal?

  6. #6
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Get rid of the question paragraph at the beginning.

    Then when I read the next paragraph, I have nothing but questions, but they're not good questions. I'm just confused about what the plot is.

    Michael Patriate is minding his own business—of merging two mega-corporations—until he’s snatched away and deposited into Renaissance Italy. He starts over with nothing except his business skills and the wristwatch that could get him killed. He finds love and success, but must choose one over the other. And when the duke of Venice calls, Michael faces his biggest challenge: his own conscience.

    When you say he starts over, what does that mean? He's snatched away and deposited in Italy. Are you saying he lost his business? I like business skills and a wriswatch that could get him killed.

    Mystery is good, but this is just TOO cloaked, too vague. There's not enough here to make me really salivate. What could you do to reveal more of the plot? Maybe fill in the gaps for us, so we can be more helpful. ??

    Bea

  7. #7
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    I'll go backwards on this one:

    1. Thank you for your consideration. (good)

    2. I am a member of Panhandle Professional Writers (critique chair for 2008-2009), the Write Right Critique Group, and the Muse Online Conference Group. (Very nice)

    3. THE KING OF SILK (good) is a historical novel (good) featuring a paranormal, time travel twist (interesting), complete (remove this word) at 100,000 words (good). Similar novels are World Without End (2007) by Ken Follett and A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2006) by Diana Gabaldon (Nice market sale - remember to italics the titles from different authors). (Overall paragraph: Good)

    The reason I did this is backwards is because the ending is stellar. The beginning ... not so. And that is where is counts...

    4. You’ve found yourself in a place where your foundations of family, culture, even technology have been ripped away. What will you do to survive? How far will you go?

    No hook, no true conflict, no resolution. The overall effect is amateurish. Am I the protagonist in this novel? I do not believe so. Also, the questions in a query are killer. You are to make statements about your novel, not ask the reader what they would do.

    Why ask?

    Is what I would do going to be present in the novel?

    Don't think so.

    The introduction fails and would be rejected by most after the first paragraph.

    5. Michael Patriate is minding his own business (cliche)—of merging two mega-corporations (how does this information help in the story or query? There is no mention of it later, so I am guessing it does nothing at all)—until he’s snatched away and deposited into Renaissance Italy. He starts over with nothing except his business skills and the wristwatch that could get him killed (This makes no sense at all. Shouldn't he be trying to find his way back or wondering how he got there? Starting over? How about getting home? I understand what you are going for with the wristwatch: WITCH! But, it does nothing for the query) He finds love and success, but must choose one over the other. And when the duke of Venice calls (Duke is a title in this case and should be capitalized), Michael faces his biggest challenge: his own conscience. (What just happened?)

    This paragraph is a nightmare. The sentence idea do not connect at all. You jump from one topic to the next with no flow or reason to it.

    Where is the conflict? What is the drive for the protagonist (read: quest)? Where is the story?

    As of right now, you did not give the reader anything that says - I want to know more.


    Overall: The last part of your query is beautiful, but it is no starter where it counts - the beginning. There is no true plot, conflict or reason to keep reading.

    Sorry, but this would be a solid no for me.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Wolfe

  8. #8
    Joshie !
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Hmmmmm

    I agree with wolfe.

    I do have alot of things I would really like clarified. Mainly already mentioned so I won't repeat them. You need to add more to the plot para. Then wait a few days and read it. Fix what you look at and say "What the hell was I thinking?" then wait a few days and read it again. The best way I found to come up with Ideas is to foget about it alltogether. If you try really really hard to write a query. Your just not gonna. And It's gonna show. Just take a deep breath take your time and it will come to you.

    Joshie!

  9. #9
    E Lynd
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    I've read several agents say they don't like the rhetorical questions. Which doesn't mean you can't use them, but why use them if it might annoy someone you want to impress? (Note that that is somewhat rhetorical...but I'm not trying to impress you.) So I'd start by nixing that entire first paragraph, and just get to the story. I don't think it really adds to your query at all, anyway. Read it again without the first paragraph, and see if you agree.

  10. #10
    Joe Trent
    Guest

    Re: Yet another query (2)

    Wonky,

    No, not a cliche portal--though perhaps that far superior method might sneak in during the rewrite. Here's the scoop:

    INK SLINGER, the evil wizard, slips MICHAEL his secret Time-Travel Ridicule Potion and banishes him to a well-worn background period. Only when Michael creates the perfectly original plot will he be allowed to escape his genre and return to the land of Literary Fiction.

    Hey, let's put that other book on hold!

    :-)

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