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Our Queries That Worked - FullsDid you just get a request for a full off your query?


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#41 Jean Oram

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:56 PM

TREASON ON THE HIGH SEAS, a 12,250 word chapter book, delivers more bite than a picture book without the violence of mature reads.



If you’re interested in taking a look at my life behind closed doors, I’d be happy to send you some or all of my story, 57,000 words and counting.



i]Only then does Sabrina realize how deceitful and deadly some faeries can be.[/i]

BK


What I noticed in these three was the 'hook' at the end. Sort of a personalized closing that fit with the book and made me go "Oh? Hmmmm! More please!" I think this is something that is often overlooked, but can really, really work. We need to add closing hook to our 'good' query requirements!

For example, above we've got "delivers more bite," "a look at my life behind closed doors," and ""deceitful and deadly faeries." All three work really well in the context of the query. Kudos!

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#42 Jean Oram

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:58 PM

hi i am trying to write my very first query. but i need to know where to send them.and how did you guys got these offers etc please teach me.


Medori, try the "library" here. http://agentquerycon...dex.php?app=ccs It's full of great articles on queries, etc, written by AQC's very own members! Great tips you won't find elsewhere!

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

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#43 EMDelaney

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:31 PM

It is interesting that all the successful queries in this thread (majority for sure) do seem to step outside the supposed "boundries" of AQCs recommendations. (at least slightly) I wonder then, if the perimiters should not be so emphasized. Are we mis-leading writers (newbs) into thinking they cannot be more creative?

(Only discussion, not trying to spark a mutiny)
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#44 RC Lewis

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 03:19 PM

I think (and I could be wrong, because I think mine fits the recommendations for the most part) most of the successful queries show that the writer understood the purpose of the recommended parameters. I imagine most/all of us wrote at least one or two that conformed first. The more they played, the more they found ways to achieve the same goals outside the standard constraints.

Like they keep saying, you have to really understand the rules before you'll be able to break them in a worthwhile way.
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#45 Brendacarre

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:52 PM

I think (and I could be wrong, because I think mine fits the recommendations for the most part) most of the successful queries show that the writer understood the purpose of the recommended parameters. I imagine most/all of us wrote at least one or two that conformed first. The more they played, the more they found ways to achieve the same goals outside the standard constraints.

Like they keep saying, you have to really understand the rules before you'll be able to break them in a worthwhile way.


Well said. :wink:

#46 Randy

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:52 PM

Thanx, Jean.

Cat--thanx for the support. :biggrin:

CC--nothing. That line brings me to Armageddon, when Bruce Willis was talking about the teams at NASA. "They got people just sitting around thinkin' sh*# up." Well, I'm no rocket scientist, but I love thinkin' sh*# up. :biggrin:

Now, RC and EM. Yeah, I have a filing cabinet, and folder full of rejections. I knew I was onto something, though, and I certainly did my query research. I knew, early on, the only way to break the rules is to know them. It really wasn't until I followed AgentQuery for agents, and query format. They did, and still do, have the best format. What sparked my idea about putting a hook on the end was, the majority here seemed to focus on 'biting' the agent. I knew my opener was decent, and, even though the end of the hook was rather flat, I felt the beginning would raise an eyebrow. I can't tell you how many times I reread my piece to pull something out to make it more appealing, and the answer was staring me in the face the whole time. Because my target audience has a limited attention span. I 'hooked' the final sentence of every short chapter. I say short, because of their attention span. I needed to keep them turning that page, and then I thought why not try it in the query? After all, the agent is the first reader. While the body never changed, the last line did. I felt the beginning hook would get them to the mini-syn, and felt if I hooked the ending I would receive, at least, some feedback. The responses were overwhelming.

I only posted my query here one time, when AQ Crew had a contest. So only those that followed that contest saw my query. I agree with Jean, when she says Cat and Alex have an awesome bite in the end also. I never really pieced that together until she pointed it out. She's one of the many reasons I keep coming back here.

BK
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#47 S.K. Keogh

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:12 PM

My query has gotten requests for the full manuscript multiple times, including a publisher. The latest was an agent just this past month. She ultimately decided to pass on it but her assistant sent me an email afterward with these encouraging words: "I wanted to write you a quick message to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the Prodigal. While it's unfortunate that it didn't fit into the client list, I believe it will find its place very soon...I was delighted to find your blog and hope you don't mind if I keep tabs on Jack's progress." :biggrin:

But I recently put this same query in the query critique thread and it pretty much got shredded. :laugh: But since I've had far more rejections than requests for the manuscript, it must still need some tweaking, so I'm pondering over changes. :wink:

>When Jack Mallory crosses the path of notorious sea raider James Logan, his young life is changed forever. His father is murdered before his eyes, his mother kidnapped. So begins Jack’s odyssey to avenge his father’s death and rescue his mother.

The Prodigal is an 89,000-word historical novel, set in the late 17th century in the West Indies and off the coast of the American Colonies. After being unjustly incarcerated in London for seven years, Jack Mallory returns to the West Indies in search of Logan. He meets Maria Cordero whose father has been killed by Logan. They join together in a tumultuous partnership to hunt down James Logan. Jack leads a mutiny aboard a merchant ship and captains a ragtag crew to the coastal waters of Carolina where he ultimately confronts his nemesis and learns that revenge does not necessarily lead to the desired end.

The Prodigal is unique in the historical age of sail genre. While so much of this genre is taken up by stories of officers in the British Royal Navy, my novel is about two ordinary people who turn to piracy out of family-driven necessity. With a strong female character to complement the male protagonist, I feel The Prodigal will attract women as well as men to the story. My screenplay adaptation of The Prodigal received honorable mention out of 19,000 entries in the Writer’s Digest annual contest.

I have been published in America’s Civil War magazine and in regional publications in Michigan. I have also been a member of the Flint Area Writers and have attended writing conferences. While researching The Prodigal, I sailed upon the U.S. brig Niagara. One of their former crewman served as a consultant in the writing of my novel.

Please let me know if you would like to read sample chapters or the entire manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration. <

____________

 

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#48 Brendacarre

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:43 PM

My query has gotten requests for the full manuscript multiple times, including a publisher. The latest was an agent just this past month. She ultimately decided to pass on it but her assistant sent me an email afterward with these encouraging words: "I wanted to write you a quick message to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the Prodigal. While it's unfortunate that it didn't fit into the client list, I believe it will find its place very soon...I was delighted to find your blog and hope you don't mind if I keep tabs on Jack's progress." :biggrin:

But I recently put this same query in the query critique thread and it pretty much got shredded. :laugh: But since I've had far more rejections than requests for the manuscript, it must still need some tweaking, so I'm pondering over changes. :wink:

>When Jack Mallory crosses the path of notorious sea raider James Logan, his young life is changed forever. His father is murdered before his eyes, his mother kidnapped. So begins Jack’s odyssey to avenge his father’s death and rescue his mother.

The Prodigal is an 89,000-word historical novel, set in the late 17th century in the West Indies and off the coast of the American Colonies. After being unjustly incarcerated in London for seven years, Jack Mallory returns to the West Indies in search of Logan. He meets Maria Cordero whose father has been killed by Logan. They join together in a tumultuous partnership to hunt down James Logan. Jack leads a mutiny aboard a merchant ship and captains a ragtag crew to the coastal waters of Carolina where he ultimately confronts his nemesis and learns that revenge does not necessarily lead to the desired end.

The Prodigal is unique in the historical age of sail genre. While so much of this genre is taken up by stories of officers in the British Royal Navy, my novel is about two ordinary people who turn to piracy out of family-driven necessity. With a strong female character to complement the male protagonist, I feel The Prodigal will attract women as well as men to the story. My screenplay adaptation of The Prodigal received honorable mention out of 19,000 entries in the Writer’s Digest annual contest.

I have been published in America’s Civil War magazine and in regional publications in Michigan. I have also been a member of the Flint Area Writers and have attended writing conferences. While researching The Prodigal, I sailed upon the U.S. brig Niagara. One of their former crewman served as a consultant in the writing of my novel.

Please let me know if you would like to read sample chapters or the entire manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration. <

Congratulations, SK. IMHO this is a great businesslike query and it is obviously doing the work its supposed to. :biggrin: Keep us posted on any good news, eh?

#49 RSMellette

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:19 PM

My screenplay adaptation of The Prodigal received honorable mention out of 19,000 entries in the Writer’s Digest annual contest.
<


One thing that might tick up your request rate a percentage point or two might be to not mention the screenplay. Believe me, I know how that hurts. The MS I got my agent on is based on an award-winning screenplay that had some great write-ups, but I never included that in my query. There's a prejudice in the literary world against screenwrights. Some of it is deserved. I've done theatre in Los Angeles for decades, and I can't tell you how much I hated someone adapting their bad screenplay into an even worse stageplay. They would have no respect for theatre, no knowledge of the history, and really only a desire to use it as a stepping stone to sell their script. Of course, their scripts usually weren't selling because they sucked, so a play is going to make it suck less?

Obviously, your script doesn't suck, so kudos and congratulations - but in the literary world people might think you're using them as a stepping stone. You can't do that. You must, in your heart believe that your MS is the ultimate medium for your story. You must forget your screenplay exists. Only then will you have a chance at a published novel, and only then will you be able to come out and say, "I have a screenplay."

And only then might we writers who love and respect not only the story, but the media in which the story is brought to the audience, help purge the prejudice from our worlds.

Represent! :)

#50 LGwenn

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:15 PM

This query has garnered 2 full requests thus far. Hopefully I can manage a few more or even *gasp* an agent!

Mandi's an orphaned faery princess. But for a chick pushing 30 and living in Philadelphia, that means exactly squat. The only perk of the position is Hayune, her faery bodyguard, but after years of unrequited love she's (almost) over that, too.

Mandi has never garnered much interest from the residents of Faelyn, but suddenly she's real interesting to the Faery Court. No one will be straight with her, but she manages to learn a few things. One: Mom is very much alive and still the queen. And two: the skanky lake creature with big boobs and malicious intentions that killed her dad just kidnapped the brother she didn't know she had.

Mandi forces Hayune to give her a crash course in magic. But when the aquatic hooker tries to drown Mandi, her body guard disappears. On her own she has to save her brother and keep him alive in the Human Realm until it's safe to take him back to Faelyn. Because someone--maybe Hayune--wants to take the throne and killing off both the Queen's children is the first step

ALAMANDINE'S SONG, an adult urban fantasy in the same vein as Nicole Peeler's Jane True series, is complete at 90,000 words. I am a member of the RWA and Critters online workshop. I am sending you this query because (something personal and wonderful)

Thank you for your consideration,

#51 Brendacarre

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:30 AM

This query has garnered 2 full requests thus far. Hopefully I can manage a few more or even *gasp* an agent!

Mandi's an orphaned faery princess. But for a chick pushing 30 and living in Philadelphia, that means exactly squat. The only perk of the position is Hayune, her faery bodyguard, but after years of unrequited love she's (almost) over that, too.

Mandi has never garnered much interest from the residents of Faelyn, but suddenly she's real interesting to the Faery Court. No one will be straight with her, but she manages to learn a few things. One: Mom is very much alive and still the queen. And two: the skanky lake creature with big boobs and malicious intentions that killed her dad just kidnapped the brother she didn't know she had.

Mandi forces Hayune to give her a crash course in magic. But when the aquatic hooker tries to drown Mandi, her body guard disappears. On her own she has to save her brother and keep him alive in the Human Realm until it's safe to take him back to Faelyn. Because someone--maybe Hayune--wants to take the throne and killing off both the Queen's children is the first step

ALAMANDINE'S SONG, an adult urban fantasy in the same vein as Nicole Peeler's Jane True series, is complete at 90,000 words. I am a member of the RWA and Critters online workshop. I am sending you this query because (something personal and wonderful)

Thank you for your consideration,


Yup. If this was a book already, I'd be buying it, LGwenn. :biggrin: I can sure see why you've got requests for fulls. Keep us posted eh, and keep submitting this. Its a winner.

#52 redwood

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:18 AM

Thanks everyone for sharing these. I'm getting lots of ideas *scribbling furiously with dull pencil on notebook paper like she's getting ready for a test.*

Dang, they're all so good.
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#53 Cat Woods

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:00 PM

These are awesome, all. So much voice and passion in them. No wonder agents are drooling to see the rest of the manuscript!

Best luck as you go forward.

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#54 Jean Oram

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:10 AM

I agree with Jean, when she says Cat and Alex have an awesome bite in the end also. I never really pieced that together until she pointed it out. She's one of the many reasons I keep coming back here.


Well, gee, shucks. :wub: I'm flattered. Thanks, BK.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

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#55 anticipa

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:46 PM

I've gotten 2 requests for fulls off this one:

Dear Firstname Lastname:

By May of her junior year, Leslie Weekly's life has pretty much decomposed into a hopeless mess.

First of all, Leslie's medical condition - a severe and crippling case of synesthesia, which makes Leslie able to see sounds and hear colors - is driving her practically insane because her medication has gone AWOL. She can't concentrate to save her life, so she's failing every class she's taking. No matter how many letters she writes to the scientists over at the lab in Minneapolis, they can't give her a free re-issue of those experimental meds until August - and her foster parents sure as hell can't afford to pay for more after the layoffs.

Secondly, her foster brother, Zeke, is in the hospital, after having overdosed in the middle of the night - on what, Leslie doesn't know.

Thirdly, the one boy she's ever loved - and who's ever loved her back - is hiding out in the woods to escape completely untrue drug-dealing allegations. Leslie is sneaking out every night to visit him, throwing her sleep all to hell.

What's worst, though, is Leslie's discovery that one person is the sole reason for all three of these things - the person she thought for years was her best friend. And when the final bomb drops, Leslie finds herself alone and battling a torrential rush of sensations she'd never meant to experience.

CROSSOVER is a story about the impossible burdens that one teenage girl attempts to shoulder, a story about the pain of unalterable outcomes, a story about the things that change Leslie into who she is. It is told in a scrambled series of first-person vignettes from throughout Leslie's junior year that enable the reader to see the transformation that she is forced to undergo.

CROSSOVER, a Young Adult fiction novel, is complete at 47,000 words. [This following part was in one of the two that got a response.] It is my first novel, and, given that I am a junior in high school, I believe that I can adequately portray the voice and common pressures of a high school student. I saw that you said in a Live Panel chat room this past Monday that your hope generally decreases for a story when an author mentions that he or she is a teenager, so I hope my ripe age of sixteen hasn't deterred you. However, I also saw your interview with the Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog, and I believe that Crossover has the flavor of universal appeal that you stated your agency was seeking. The issues it addresses - helplessness, loss, loneliness, sexuality, denial - are far broader than typical high school woes.

Thank you so much for your time and your consideration.

Sincerely,


-----


So, yup. It's a bit of an odd letter. XD I didn't know how to go about writing it, really, because the story doesn't actually reach the point the query describes until 3/4 of the way through the book - and, to convolute things even more, the novel is comprised of scenes that jump around in no particular order. It goes from July to October to April to August, I believe, in the first ten pages... But if I'd started the mini-synopsis at the chronological beginning of the novel, it would've sounded unbelievably uninteresting.

It was a task to write. But something worked, I guess... I'm 2 for 8, woohoo!

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#56 RC Lewis

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:08 PM

So, yup. It's a bit of an odd letter. XD I didn't know how to go about writing it, really, because the story doesn't actually reach the point the query describes until 3/4 of the way through the book - and, to convolute things even more, the novel is comprised of scenes that jump around in no particular order. It goes from July to October to April to August, I believe, in the first ten pages... But if I'd started the mini-synopsis at the chronological beginning of the novel, it would've sounded unbelievably uninteresting.

It was a task to write. But something worked, I guess... I'm 2 for 8, woohoo!


Sounds like a great story--I'd read it. And I love that someone your age knows what synesthesia is, since I mention it in my YA book. :wink: It does what a query is supposed to do--makes me say, "Okay, I gotta get my hands on this and see how it plays out." Plus, it's full of voice, which is a huge factor, I think.

One thing, though ... I know you're doing revisions to the ms based on feedback you got from one of the agents, but if you do send this letter out to others, please, *please* take out the "fiction" in "fiction novel." It's a redundancy thing. :blush:
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#57 anticipa

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:44 PM

Hahahha, why, that's rather embarrassing. XD Redundancy deleted... and stricken from memory... and record... forever...

Man, as for synesthesia, I just think it's the coolest thing. =D I wish I had it; supposedly it's great fun in most cases.

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#58 RC Lewis

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:47 PM

Like I tell my high school students, there's nothing embarrassing about it as long as you're learning. :biggrin:
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#59 Cat Woods

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 04:56 AM

I ditto that this sounds like an interesting book. Your request rate obviously shows agents like it as well. Hopefully your novel is what was promised and you find an agent soon.

Best luck!

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#60 kevinmont

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:40 PM

I have to work "soul mate," "mayhem," and "bedlam" into my query.




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