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  1. Kevin Chirles
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    Kevin Chirles New Member

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    Looking For Help With My Novel

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Kevin Chirles, Oct 29, 2015.

    Hello everyone,

    I completed a full novel and I came here looking for advice. I didn't know exactly where to post, but I would like to know if:

    - My Novel sounds like something that a reader would want to read?
    - How my query letter sounds?
    - Where to find an agent who represents Literary Fiction that doesn't fall into the general genre category?

    Below is my query. I also have a full 2 1/2 page synopsis if anyone is interested in looking at that as well. Any criticism would help!

    Dear Agent,

    I suffered from severe Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because of my dark and tragic experiences. After serving in the Iraq war, nothing has been the same ever since. After years of psychological pain weighing on me, I decided to make my final decision and take my own life. It was here where I realized that my story did not end. I found myself wandering eternity, questioning existence and the meaning of life. Through my profound life review I couldn’t help to wonder what my fate would be here in this purgatorial realm. It is here where I realized how deeply I have affected other people’s lives, and how I could have made a difference in the world if I were still alive.

    DARK is an intense, 79,724 word literary novel that examines how our actions in this life affect one another on the deepest possible level, and what the outcomes could be. The main character, Kayden Giordano struggles with extreme emotional turmoil because of his life experiences with an alcoholic father, sexual abuse, war, loss, and betrayal. Theological elements with deep philosophical questions are explored through Kayden’s existence in order to give a clearer vision on what the meaning of life truly is.

    My novel is a reflection of my own experiences and world travels. I am currently working for the Government as an Intelligence specialist, and I have 6 outstanding years of service in the military. I am also a combat veteran who survived the Iraq war. I felt a strong inspiration to write a novel because of my acute experiences. I am passionate about my story because of how connected it is to my personal life and the lives of others.

    I am querying you because…

    Sincerely,

    Author
     
  2. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    Congrats on finishing your novel, but not to dampen your mood, the PTSD angle will not be a winning ticket unless your story is quite compelling. I have PTSD myself and dare not use it to seek publishing favors...unless your story is deeply rooted in this (which it is) and can actually grab someone's attention. Make sure you explicitly mention how these things affected your main character and why they (literary agents/publishing houses) should give you a chance.
     
  3. Kevin Chirles
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    Kevin Chirles New Member

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    Thank you for the comment carsun1000, I truly appreciate it! Just to clarify, I am definitely not using the PTSD angel to seek any favors from a publishing company. This novel I wrote was a therapy and reflection on coping with my own PTSD struggles from serving in Iraq and how I overcame them. I will try and touch up my query letter, but does anyone have any further direction more clearly on how I an do that?
     
  4. Sentient94
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    Sentient94 New Member

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    '...and how I could have made a difference in the world if I were still alive.'

    This confused me - at first, I was certain you were talking about yourself, but then this closing statement made me think it was about the character. Then I thought, this is a metaphorical description, in line with the PTSD.

    However, it stopped me for a second and I'm one who likes things to be clear, so it may be something a potential agent gets a little turned off by.

    I do think the PTSD is a little too strong; whilst I have the utmost respect for your service (and generally hope you are okay!) it comes down to that whole 'playing the sympathy' card angle. It's good, but it could be reworked to appear more about the book. At the moment it feels a bit like the book is second to the more important matter which is how you have learned to move on. If you have written well, the agent will be able to see how PTSD has made an impact on your writing.

    '79,724' - Maybe round this up? Just me though, I like something clean.

    'I am currently working for the Government as an Intelligence specialist, and I have 6 outstanding years of service in the military. I am also a combat veteran who survived the Iraq war.'

    Here is where I would insert more about how your experiences have impacted the novel.

    Would love to see another draft Kevin!
    Hope I have helped in some way.
     
  5. kateamedeo
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    kateamedeo Active Member

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    Somehow it felt more about you than about the book itself. Maybe you should include some more information about the plot as the paragraph about the book tells things in general, not mentioning anything that actually happens in the story, so can't tell you if it is a novel someone would like to read. It feels as if you are trying to introduce yourself and not your work.

    Congratulations on finishing a novel and good luck! :)
     

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