1. LetaDarnell
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    LetaDarnell Member

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    How to look good in your intro?

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by LetaDarnell, Oct 10, 2014.

    How do you avoid the 'I am nobody and I wrote a story that is known by nobody' intro without lying (and committing fraud)?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't worry about it. People will get to know you over time. There's no instant fame in writing, and the less you worry about fame, the better your focus will be on making your writing unforgettable.

    Welcome to the Monkey House.
     
  3. LetaDarnell
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    LetaDarnell Member

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    I don't think agents or publishers bother to get to know you before accepting you. I think they want an intro and a synopsis and that's it.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, this forum is for new members to introduce themselves to other members. :).

    there is an art to successful query letters, but a large part of it is still persistence in the face of many rejection letters. Generally, you want to have an agent to introduce you and your work to publishers, but the same process applies to securing an agent.
     
  5. LetaDarnell
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    LetaDarnell Member

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    Ah. Sorry. I hope this gets deleted or removed then.
     
  6. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    For query letters, it's a simple technical skill like anything to do with fiction writing.
    1) follow guidelines, no exceptions. If they want Font Romano size 20 double spaced and every second word must have an 'e', you do it with a smile!
    2)This is a flip flop tip; you will either learn to talk your book up first or talk yourself up, I generally advise to show the story and then talk about yourself. It's generally how sale pitches are done.
    3)I recommend having a good hook, 2-3 phrases at most if not 1 paragraph. Kinda like a movie tag "If looks could kill.' or something of the sort.
    4) Don't omit anything important. Tell them what the story is, the character arc, and how it ends. Tell them what your work resembles (Especially if the similar works are under the same house). Don't say "You'll have to read to see the amazing twist!" because that just doesn't work. They're trying to market your book, not enjoy it.

    That's all I can think of on top of my head.
    Lots of great resources.
    If you have little to say about yourself, give them a simple blurb that doesn't lie or put yourself down. It's allowed to omit it if they don't ask for one in their guidelines but it's generally part of the query letter.
     
  7. LetaDarnell
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    LetaDarnell Member

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    Thank you A.M.P.
     
  8. Herro Raymond
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    Herro Raymond Member

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    I would say go with a really really catchy hook to reel them in. Embellishing is not a crime so long as you don't flat out lie
     
  9. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    I suspect you might not have a clear idea of what you are trying to do in an introduction letter. You're trying to tell the agent that you have an interesting story to tell, not that you are an amazing author. Someone will read you book before you get any money. They are going to see if it's good or bad for themselves so they don't need you to tell them how great the characters are; you just need to tell them about the plot and the characters in a way that makes them want to read on. You shouldn't be using hyperbolic language about the amazing quality of your writing but not because it's probably untrue; you shouldn't do it because anyone can put 'best book ever' in their covering letter and agents are just going to tune it out.

    So the focus is on the literary content of the book. You aren't writing a review of your book, you're almost writing a trailer, something that gives a glimpse into the most interesting part of the book. You can take some licence, that's fine, you aren't writing a synopsis here. You're just taking a snapshot of the most interesting part of your book. It's fine to bend things around to show that snapshot off at it's best. You're going to leave out a huge amount of stuff from the book and that's fine too. Move thing around all you need. As long as the snapshot you are showing is actually the same plot point as in the book you're fine.

    No-one is going to sue you, there's no chance you're committing a crime. The worst an agent can do is ignore you. No-one is buying your book on the strength of your pitch, they are buying it on the strength of your book. Even if your pitch bears no similarity to your story it's not illegal to waste an agents time. You probably want to avoid that if you want to be taken seriously but no-one is ever going to say 'Hey you said it was Dave who kills the bad guy! You defrauded me!'
     

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