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Best Answer smithgirl , 23 March 2017 - 09:26 AM

A great big thank you to everyone who gave me such fantastic and helpful commentary! I think I'm in a position to submit this to agents now. Best!

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#1 smithgirl

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 11:31 AM

Hi I've been querying with the query below, but so far it hasn't been very successful. Does anyone have an opinion? FYI Love is not the real title, and I have blanked out other portions of the query for anonymity. Thank you in advance for any feedback.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love.

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s every truly cherished.

 

Henry wants to know the secret Jack won’t tell anyone: what happened between him and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of dating women. For two decades, Henry and Jack have maintained an open, transparent relationship, each seeing other people on the side. But when Henry begins to date Althea, without telling Jack, he creates one secret to learn another.

 

Soon Henry discovers that Althea has a motive of her own. She wants Jack back, and she’s convinced he wants her too. In return for her story, she wants Henry to broker a reunion. Henry knows that Jack is too emotionally fragile to tolerate a reunion, nor will he forgive Henry’s betrayal. Unfortunately, Althea just got Jack’s number so the reunion is inevitable, and it’s all Henry’s fault.

 

Love  is complete at 100,000 words. The story bears similarities to Ms. Yanagihara’s book, A Little Life. I believe it will appeal to a similar readership. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue xx) in 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 



#2 strangeface

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:51 AM

Hi I've been querying with the query below, but so far it hasn't been very successful. Does anyone have an opinion? FYI Love is not the real title, and I have blanked out other portions of the query for anonymity. Thank you in advance for any feedback.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love.

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s every truly cherished.

 

Henry wants to know the secret Jack won’t tell anyone: what happened between him and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of dating women I'd just like to say at this point that the "him" pronouns are starting to be a bit confusing for me.. For two decades, Henry and Jack have maintained an open, transparent relationship, each seeing other people on the side. But when Henry begins to date Althea, without telling Jack, he creates one secret to learn another. Why is Henry so interested in going behind his boyfriend's back to figure this out? I think that might be a fundamental question you're not answering.

 

Soon Henry discovers that Althea has a motive of her own. She wants Jack back, and she’s convinced he wants her too. In return for her story, she wants Henry to broker a reunion. Henry knows that Jack is too emotionally fragile to tolerate a reunion, nor will he forgive Henry’s betrayal. Unfortunately, Althea just got Jack’s number, so the reunion is inevitable, and it’s all Henry’s fault. I think this last sentence is where the whole thing kind of breaks down for me. It kind of deflates all the tension that was built up in the previous sentence. Plus, it's really dry. I'd recommend just leaving it at hinting at the choice Henry might have to make. I don't think te whole "it's all Henry's fault" thing is enough to entice me. If anything, it's somewhat infuriating.

 

Love  is complete at 100,000 words. The story bears similarities to Ms. Yanagihara’s book, A Little Life. I believe it will appeal to a similar readership. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue xx) in 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

I think this query is good, but it needs some work in clearing some stuff up. Good luck :)



#3 smithgirl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 11:45 AM

HI Everyone, could you please take a look at my newest query? Much thanks!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished.

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the places Jack won’t go. So when Henry meets Althea, he risks dating her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another.

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. In her wistful way she has it all planned. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. Jack is the one person Henry can’t live without.

 

Love  is complete at 100,000 words. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in xx magazine (issue xx) in 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.



#4 chadweiss35

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. >Good hook<

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the places Jack won’t go.<What does this mean? I think you need to explain the conflict Jack experiences better so we understand why Henry is so driven to discover the secret. So when Henry meets Althea, he risks dating dates her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another.

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. In her wistful way she has it all planned. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him.<I would consider telling us what happened?  Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. Jack is the one person Henry can’t live without. <This last line seems broken from the first paragraph, where you're focusing on Althea trying to restore her relationship with Jack. What the heck happened that twenty years later he still can't see Althea? Focus on that, then start a new paragraph about Henry's dilemma at betraying Jack? Does this ultimately help Jack move past whatever mental obstacles? I think we should understand the obstacles and thus will understand the conflict better.

 

Hopefully this helps. I think ultimately your query needs more story so we can understand it better.



#5 CFrances

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:35 PM

HI Everyone, could you please take a look at my newest query? Much thanks!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. Not catchy enough. Maybe something about like "The only way Henry can learn about his ex-lover Jack is to sleep with Jack's ex-girlfriend"? That sounds both vague and confusing, too.

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the places Jack won’t go. So when Henry meets Althea, he risks dating her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another.  I'd scrap this whole paragraph. Who is the protagonist? What's his/her problem, and what happens if he/she fails to fix it?

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. In her wistful way she has it all planned. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. Jack is the one person Henry can’t live without. Too much summary and not enough tease.

 

Love  is complete at 100,000 words. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in xx magazine (issue xx) in 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.

Smithgirl - This query makes your book just seem like a pretty typical love triangle story, except with the homosexual/heterosexual element, but I'm guessing there's a lot more to it than that. There's nothing here that makes your story stand out. You've read my query (thanks so much!), so you know I'm no expert! I'll be interested to see what others have to say, and I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Good luck. I'll follow you.



#6 smithgirl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

OK, I tried to the make story seem less generic, but now it sounds kind of long and synopsis-y to me. Help!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love (not full title).

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished.

 

One night she appears at his favorite club. He bumps into her and she gives her name, Althea, and he knows it must be her. Two decades ago something happened between her and Jack, and Jack never dated another woman since. But she is small, harmless looking. Henry takes her home, sees her again, doesn’t tell Jack.

 

Soon Althea tells Henrys she wants Jack back. She steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls him, prompting Jack to leave them both.

 

It happens because Henry grew careless, newly distracted by a suicidal student, Marc, from the Intro Lit class he teaches. The boy appears trembling at his front door, calls his personal number. Marc pays strangers to let him sleep in their homes, needing to escape into a happier fantasy.

 

At a loss, Henry lets Marc move in with him, even as he and Althea enter upon a mutually abusive relationship, feasting on the remains of Jack they find in one another. Althea tells Henry her story, what she did to Jack. But the information he’d hoped would bring them closer together might have come too late, and Henry has promised Marc to help him when Henry can barely help himself.

 

 

Love is complete at 100,000 words. Closing stuff.



#7 CM_Fick

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:50 PM

OK, I tried to the make story seem less generic, but now it sounds kind of long and synopsis-y to me. Help!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love (not full title). They know that you are looking for representation. 

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. (This isn't much of a hook. Something that helped me is looking at who my character is, what are their goals/ motivations, and what is standing in their way)

 

 One night she appears at his favorite club. He bumps into her and she gives her name, Althea, and he knows it must be her. Two decades ago something happened between her and Jack, and Jack never dated another woman since. But she is small, harmless looking. Henry takes her home, sees her again, doesn’t tell Jack. Rather than dumping a whole bunch of information into the paragraph, I suggest trying something like: While out at his favorite club, Henry bumps into his longtime lover's ex girlfriend (go on from here about what happens.. lust at first sight, ignoring her history with his friend, she is small, he takes her how and after hides it from his friend.)

 

Soon Althea tells Henrys she wants Jack back. She steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls him, prompting Jack to leave them both.

 

It happens because Henry grew careless, newly distracted by a suicidal student, Marc, from the Intro Lit class he teaches. The boy appears trembling at his front door, calls his personal number. Marc pays strangers to let him sleep in their homes, needing to escape into a happier fantasy.

 

At a loss, Henry lets Marc move in with him, even as he and Althea enter upon a mutually abusive relationship, feasting on the remains of Jack they find in one another. Althea tells Henry her story, what she did to Jack. But the information he’s hoped would bring them closer together might have come too late, and Henry has promised Marc to help him when Henry can barely help himself.

 

 

Love is complete at 100,000 words. Closing stuff.

 

First off, skimming your query, I've noticed there are a lot of names. It's best to keep any unnecessary names out of a query.

 

After the first paragraph, I had to stop critiquing - I'm sorry. It feels like this is a step back to earlier versions. This is a play by play of your book; it isn't a synopsis in my opinion. You need to go back and pick your main character and show the story from his perspective. Lay out your characters, what they are trying to achieve and what's in their way of achieving that goal. Leave out the extra names - especially Marc, who can just be "a suicidal student" and then "suicidal roommate". 

 

I apologize again for not being more help. 



#8 smithgirl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:53 PM

Thanks CM. Yes I feel like it is going backward. The first version was plain but more active. But it sounds so generic. This new one has more info but it's also not good. Try again.



#9 strangeface

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:36 PM

OK, I tried to the make story seem less generic, but now it sounds kind of long and synopsis-y to me. Help!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love (not full title). Just letting you know that this needs to be specialised for each agent. (Just in case you didn't know.)

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might This is grammatically strange. You usually follow a present subordinate clause with a future tense clause. cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished.

 

One night she appears at his favorite club. He bumps into her at his favourite club, and she gives her name, Althea., and h He knows it must be her. Honestly the beginning of this paragraph is fairly boring. You know your story best, so see if you can transition from the first paragraph in a more intriguing way here. Two decades ago something happened between her and Jack, and Jack never dated another woman since Boring sentence. They way you made this clear in the original query was more interesting imo.. But she is small, harmless looking Intriguing new detail.. Henry takes her home, sees her again, and doesn’t tell Jack. Boring sentence.

 

Soon, Althea tells Henrys she wants Jack back. She steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls him to say she wants him back, prompting Jack to leave them both You really need to explain that they're in an open relationship..

 

It happens because Henry grew careless, newly distracted by a suicidal student, Marc, from in the Intro Lit class he teaches. The boy appears trembling at his front door, calls his personal number When did this happen in the story? Before or after the breakup? It's getting pretty hazy here.. Marc pays strangers to let him sleep in their homes, needing to escape into a happier fantasy What does this have to do with anything?.

 

At a loss A loss for what?, Henry lets Marc move in with him Okay, now I now how the previous sentence related to everything, but you didn't transition to it well. It really seemed to come out of nowhere., even as he and Althea enter upon a mutually abusive relationship, feasting on the remains of Jack they find in one another. Althea tells Henry her story, what she did to Jack. But the information he’d hoped would bring them closer together might have come too late, and Henry has promised to help Marc to help him when Henry he can barely help himself What does the first clause have to do with the second clause?.

 

 

Love is complete at 100,000 words. Closing stuff.

 

It's not long, but it does feel more synopsis-y. You're right; the original query was more interesting.

 

I'm sorry, but this one was rather sloppily written.



#10 smithgirl

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 04:28 PM

No, this new query effort was also bad. Removed.



#11 Alexi_Ice

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

First of all, don't give up!!! I saw you removed your latest post so I will just kind of add some general notes. Your premise is interesting! I honestly love anything that explores fluid sexuality and drama with ex's. So here are the main questions I wanted answered in your query:

For one, does your story focus more on Jack or Althea?

Why did Henry and Jack break up in the first place and what drives his need to find out what happened between him and Althea? Because, to me, it makes me think that maybe Jack was not that committed to Henry because of his past. But is Henry trying to find out to heal him? What's his motivation?

Since Henry is the main charachter I would really focus on him and what drives him. The conflict is that Althea was using Henry to get back to Jack. So why does Henry bother with her after she asks for this meeting? Does he think it will help Jack move on from past pain?

The query is good, but broad. I would tighten up focus on Henry and either Jack or Althea depending on which is more important to the story. Will check back on this one later!! Keep trying (:

If you get a moment please check out my query - http://agentquerycon...r-lies-fiction/


#12 smithgirl

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:03 PM

Hi Alexi. Thanks for being supportive. I'm actually not convinced I can make the original query much better. Not that it's not possible but maybe not possible for me. It's a bit dry, but it's concise. I struggle to add more of the story without overwhelming it. Some answers to your questions are below:


First of all, don't give up!!! I saw you removed your latest post so I will just kind of add some general notes. Your premise is interesting! I honestly love anything that explores fluid sexuality and drama with ex's. So here are the main questions I wanted answered in your query:

For one, does your story focus more on Jack or Althea? It's hard to say. They are both really significant characters. Jack disappears for a while after he leaves Henry (after Althea calls him), so Jack is not as present, but he is still important. After Jack leaves Henry is when Henry becomes involved with Althea in a more serious way. Because after Jack is gone Henry finds that he actually needs her, for the first time, and he and Althea become involved in a hateful, mutually abusive relationship different from what Henry has ever experienced. He becomes a different person. Althea is insidious like that, not on purpose, but she brings out the worse in people.

Why did Henry and Jack break up in the first place and what drives his need to find out what happened between him and Althea? Because, to me, it makes me think that maybe Jack was not that committed to Henry because of his past. But is Henry trying to find out to heal him? What's his motivation? Jack and Henry are not broken up at the beginning of the story. They are in an open relationship that has been ongoing for ~ 20 years. Jack lives with another man and Henry lives by himself, but engages in an endless string of less important relationships with women, although some he remains very good friends with. Jack also semi-lives with Henry, when Jack's live-in partner travels (which is often). Jack and Henry are soulmates, but they also do not commit exclusively. it's a complex relationship that is hard to convey in a query. It would be a mistake to think that Jack and Henry are not committed, though, emotionally. They really can't live without each other. In fact, Henry is largely motivated to get the story from Althea because it's something Jack never recovered from, and Henry has been unable to get anything from Jack. So Henry is motivated to help Jack. He also thinks maybe he can get some good sex on the side. Win-win. Henry doesn't really think through the potential consequences until it's too late. Jack is actually rather damaged and Henry largely takes care of him, but at times Henry can be somewhat irresponsible. His life has always been good and easy.

Since Henry is the main charachter I would really focus on him and what drives him. The conflict is that Althea was using Henry to get back to Jack. So why does Henry bother with her after she asks for this meeting? Does he think it will help Jack move on from past pain? At some point Henry wants to break it off with Althea, after he knows the story and he sees she wants Jack. But he's also a bit of a sucker for sex, and he lets it go on too long. She gets Jack's number from his phone and then it's too late. In the end, Henry was just being somewhat irresponsible, but it has serious consequences.

The query is good, but broad. I would tighten up focus on Henry and either Jack or Althea depending on which is more important to the story. Will check back on this one later!! Keep trying (:

 

I know the query is broad; that's its biggest weakness. It's concise about what it says, but the story seems a bit non-specific. But the relationship between Henry and Jack is complex; it's hard to clarify without a big data dump. I know all query writers face this dilemma. But I can't drop either Jack or Althea from the query because they are both essential.



#13 Alexi_Ice

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:50 PM

Just keep trying (: I read the second try now and I think that one is looking better. It makes it feel a bit more exciting. Secret affairs, rivalry and past heartbreak.

Is the reason Jack is so afraid of women going to be a bit reveal in the story? If not, you might start with it. Something like

___ years ago Athena and Jack met, the pair loved blah blah blah, but then Althea betrayed Jack by ___ and warping his perspective on women and love forever.

Enter Henry, Jack's soulmate and partner in their open relationship. He knows Jack holds back due to his past so when he runs into Althea at ___ he knows she must be the one that holds the key to Jacks pain. And Henry is desperate to open that lock. Henry pursues the secret of what Althea has done on one condition: he sets a meeting between her and Jack. Henry realizes Althea wants Jack back because ___


Anyway obviously thats just a random, poorly written example but it was the best I could come up with for now hahahha!

If you get a moment please check out my query - http://agentquerycon...r-lies-fiction/


#14 smithgirl

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

Ha! Your random example is good! Somehow it's always easier to write other people's queries. I really think that revealing what Althea did would give away a alot although, of course, it's in the synopsis. I am back to chipping at version 2. I just can't fit the student in, although it's important. Too much for a query.



#15 smithgirl

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 03:27 PM

OK, so in this case I expanded on my second query attempt (post #3). It's longer now, it's always hard to know what is too long, but hopefully better...? Thank you in advance. I know some people think the hook is weak, but keeping it while I tweak the other parts.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished.

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the story Jack can’t bring himself to tell. So when Henry meets Althea, he dates her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another

.

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls Jack, at which point the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into upon a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned. Henry sees himself from the outside, terrified of what’s happening, unable to stop his decline.

 

All these years Henry took care of Jack. For the first time Henry needs Jack to take care of him. But it’s uncertain if Jack can ever come back.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue [ ]), 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.

 

 



#16 Jhur

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:44 AM

Hi I've been querying with the query below, but so far it hasn't been very successful. Does anyone have an opinion? FYI Love is not the real title, and I have blanked out other portions of the query for anonymity. Thank you in advance for any feedback.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I am writing to please request representation for my literary novel, Love.

 

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s every truly cherished. Hmm This is a good hook but a bit confusing, because at first glance I thought Jack was his ex-girlfriend, and then towards the end of the sentence, I'm left confused by how the 'truly cherished' person is. May try something like: It took only one wrong decision. Henry thought sleeping with Jack's ex-girlfriend was a harmless fling, until he realizes it'll cost him the only person he's ever truly cherished. Jack himself. In other words, I'd structure the hook in a way that won't get the readers confused by the characters.

 

Henry wants to know the secret Jack won’t tell anyone: what happened between him and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of dating women. For two decades, Henry and Jack have maintained an open, transparent relationship, each seeing other people on the side. But when Henry begins to date Althea, without telling Jack, he creates one secret to learn another.

 

Soon Henry discovers that Althea has a motive of her own. She wants Jack back, and she’s convinced he wants her too. In return for her story, she wants Henry to broker a reunion. Henry knows that Jack is too emotionally fragile to tolerate a reunion, nor will he forgive Henry’s betrayal. Unfortunately, Althea just got Jack’s number so the reunion is inevitable, and it’s all Henry’s fault.

The last two paragraphs flow really well.

 

Love  is complete at 100,000 words. The story bears similarities to Ms. Yanagihara’s book, A Little Life. I believe it will appeal to a similar readership. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue xx) in 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

 

Thanks for critiquing my query letter, so I dropped by to check yours out. I think it's intriguing, and my feedback is that you should figure out a way to tweak the hook a bit.



#17 lsprochnow

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

OK, so in this case I expanded on my second query attempt (post #3). It's longer now, it's always hard to know what is too long, but hopefully better...? Thank you in advance. I know some people think the hook is weak, but keeping it while I tweak the other parts.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. Since you're still working on the hook, I'll save my feedback for the reworked version

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women 'terrified of women' seems pretty strange to me. Why not something like 'left Jack deeply scarred.'?. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the story Jack can’t bring himself to tell. So when Henry meets Althea, he dates her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another. I think this final sentence can be reworded so its reads smoother. It's pretty choppy how you have it now

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. You could easily combine these first two sentences into one sentence She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. By telling us that Althea tells Jack's story, for me it sort of negates all the mystery you built around it Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls Jack, at which point the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into upon a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned. Henry sees himself from the outside, terrified of what’s happening, unable to stop his decline. This last sentence is a bit confusing. How does he see himself from the outside? How is he declining?

 

All these years Henry took care of Jack. For the first time Henry needs Jack to take care of him. But it’s uncertain if Jack can ever come back. after reading your query, the important questions to me are: how is Henry going to grow from being abandoned by Jack? How will he and Althea help each other grow? I was never concerned about whether Jack would return

 

I think you're off to a good start with this query. I would suggest removing some of the build up around Jack's secret, since that doesn't seem to be the main focus. I'll keep an eye on your posts for the next version!

 

Here's my query if you wouldn't mind taking a look: http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue [ ]), 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.

 

 



#18 theboldfox

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 12:54 PM

When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. 

 

Henry wants to know the secret that he and his long time lover Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship,  but Jack will not fully commit(?). Henry believes it to be the story of the relationship that Jack can’t bring himself to tell. So when Henry meets Althea, he dates her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another.

.

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. Even so, and she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls Jack, at which point the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into upon a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned. Henry sees himself from the outside, terrified of what’s happening, unable to stop his decline.

 

All these years Henry took care of Jack. For the first time Henry needs Jack to take care of him. But it’s uncertain if Jack can ever come back.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue [ ]), 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.

 

 

I don't think it is a bad query. I'm not in love with the first line, so I'm going to kill it. I sort of like jumping into the story. I've kind of guessed at what I think is going on -- that the open relationship is actually a cover for Jack's lack of commitment. There are plenty of people who are happily in open relationships, so I"m not sure if that's really a valid change. 

 

If you get a chance, please have a look at my query. It's in the first post in the link in my signature below.


Good karma! Please have a look at my query if you have a moment: http://agentquerycon...s-ya-dystopian/


#19 smithgirl

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:45 PM

Thank you everyone! 



#20 Alexi_Ice

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:45 AM

I really like the new one and I think it gives JUST ENOUGH away. I can't wait to see what you do with the hook (:

If you get a moment please check out my query - http://agentquerycon...r-lies-fiction/





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