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  1. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    New Year, New Start on Submitting Queries

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by S-wo, Jan 21, 2010.

    Late last year I was holding off from writing a lot because of my education. I'm still in the same situation now, but if I continue to hold things off I won't ever reach my goal. I'm getting back on to submitting queries to agents, but since I've been so out of practice and definitely won't notice some important things, I'm hear again for feedback for my current query.

    All critiques appreciated.

    October, 3 2009

    (My name and address)

    (Agent's name and Address)
    Dear Mr/Ms. Agent:

    A lowly street fighter and a vindictive queen form an alliance against the world’s most dangerous criminal.

    In the country Alyuwan, underground street fighter Andrew Scaves, prepares for his championship match. During the intercession he attends a ceremonial festival where he witnesses the assassination of the king and queen. A week later the new queen, Malaya appears on his doorstep. Her visit isn’t one of leisure. She blackmails Andrew into assisting her on a mission to suppress justice to a malignant and mysterious man merely known as The Red Terrorist. In just the first week the mission turns into a catastrophe. An allied kingdom is invaded and Andrew nearly loses his life. Struck by his near death experience, Andrew seeks a way to escape the queen’s lust for revenge.


    Hello (Ms./Mr. Agent's name), I am aware of your current affiliation with (Insert author here) whom has written a sequel to (Insert book title here)whose work reflects mine in the since of using an otherworldly setting to create an immersive story.

    According to your blog on (x website) you are looking for urban fantasy novels to represent which I have fortunately written. My novel will cater to the teenage and the 18-50 adult demographic who crave to see fantasy put on a modern setting. I hope that you'll consider my proposal for KRYSTAL LIGHT which is 145,000 words in length. I thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I look forward to hearing from you.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    To begin with, a summary for a submissions editor is not like a teaser on the dustcover of the published book. You should summarize the entire story.

    Also, make sure you check and double check your punctuation. You have a comma in the first sentence of the second paragraph that does not belong there. If you can't get the punctuation correct in your query letter, it sends a grim message of what to expect in the manuscript.

    Finally, your query is not a query. there is nothing there apart from the (incomplete) summary. State what it is you are asking for.
     
  3. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Oh, I forgot to post the rest of that. My mind's off focus at the moment.

    Edit: Now everything's included I believe.
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm not an agent or publisher, so take this with a grain of salt, but here is a criticism of your letter:

    I'm not a reader of fantasy so I probably wouldn't buy the book anyway, but I have to say that that was a rather uninspiring query letter. Remember, the more precisely you write, the more space you have to convince them, so cut out all the unnecessarily padded sentences and focus on ways you can sell your book. If you want to be published, agents and publishers need to know what's in it for them, so tell them what you can do for them.
     
  5. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    No reason behind that huh?

    What's the name have to do with anything?
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    S-wo, members can give you a hand with laying out the query, but this is NOT the Review Room. You have to find your own grammar and wording fixes.

    Also, please remember that thread bumping is prohibited on this site.
     
  7. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Those two words are synonyms though so why was that even mentioned and where do I get critiquing for this letter if there is no place for queries in that forum?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't, unless you want to treat it as a type of nonfiction. But the Review Room isn't a proofreading service, and neither are the Writing Issues forums.

    If you are at the query letter stage, you must have already written your book. That pre-assumes you have a good working knowledge of SPaG.

    It's fine to ask about how to organize your query letter here. But you are still expected to work out the details of clear written communication.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you trawl through a thesaurus you might find them listed as synonyms, but their usage varies. A cancerous tumor might be malignant, but a villain is better described as malevolent.

    I'm sorry if my critique seemed unfair to you, I don't mean it personally, but you asked for help and I gave it. If you disagree, simply disregard it.
     
  10. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    I'm not so sure on that. Going by several resources here and one of them is from an actual big name agent.

     
  11. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. I cant help but agree with s wo. From what i've read, the primary purpose of a query is to capture tbe interest of the agent ie. To convey whats unique and markatble about your manuscript. It also needs to be a conscise and smooth read. Some plots simply cannot be put into query form and reveal the ending. Example those with multiple twists that conclude with the biggest twist. Either the brevity or the smoothness will be compromised if you try to condense that sort of plot into two paragraghs since the ending relies on numerous plot developments to make sense to the reader. And most of example queries I've seen accepted, don't reveal the ending. Query shark is a good website to check out.


    2. I think there should be a query section on this site. They're an essential tool for a writer's success. Why not make it a branch off the publishing section.

    3. S- wo . You should take heed of what the above reviewers have said. Your query doesn't capture whats special about your book. And is utterly devoid of "voice". In other words the tone is flat. We have no grasp of the main character or your writing style. And try to be more receptive to suggestions. I remember you posting a similar query last year and recall in particular a comment on " supress justice" making no sense. After all these months you still haven't changed it. That type of error will singlehandedly kill your query. Use the help you get or you'll get nowhere.
     

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