Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Done for now. Please don't comment.


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!

Go to the full post


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
61 replies to this topic

#21 Saints

Saints

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 12 March 2017 - 09:11 AM

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. I had to read this a few times to understand.

 

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. So this Henry decides to date his boyfriend's ex to find out why they broke up, right? I would maybe focus on the fact that the guys have an open relationship, then do a line like "But does being open also mean dating an ex?" or something like. Maybe not a rhetorical. 

 

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. I'm not sure how, but this feels like a little spoiler-y. Even though you don't reveal what she did to Jack, it's smoothed over by this decision Henry has to make about brokering the reunion. 

 

Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls Jack (spoiler?), 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. This definitely feels like spoilers. I'm not sure I want to know that they get back together in the query letter. 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. This is a little vague. I'm not sure what the climax of the story could be. "Can ever come back" sounds a little like you're hinting at suicide. If you are, you might want to make this point more clear.

 

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.

 

 

 

Hi there! Take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I didn't read any of your other drafts, just jumped straight to your most updated one. This manuscript makes me seriously worried for all your characters - good job!



#22 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

Hi Everyone. Here is my latest query attempt. It's gotten bit longer, still, and has a lot of information, but I don't think it has too many spoilers. The book, itself, still includes a lot more that 's not included here. And if the agents request a synopsis, they get all the information anyway. So here goes. Than you in advance!

 

SEE POST 33!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Henry thinks he can step in and out of bed with Jack’s ex-girlfriend, and that everything will still be fine. But it turns out the relationship could cost Henry the one person he truly can’t live without: Jack himself.

 

It’s just that Henry wants to know the secret he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally 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 starts dating her, without telling Jack, thus creating one secret to learn another.

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own: She wants Jack back. She tells Henry what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her and love her like she thinks he once did. 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 the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned.

 

By learning Jack’s hidden past Henry thought he could bring them closer together. But now Jack is farther than ever before. Henry is going to pieces and he knows Jack is, too. He’s just not sure he can get the pieces back together again.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.



#23 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 12 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

Hi Everyone. Here is my latest query attempt. It's gotten bit longer, still, and has a lot of information, but I don't think it has too many spoilers. The book, itself, still includes a lot more that 's not included here. And if the agents request a synopsis, they get all the information anyway. So here goes. Than you in advance!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Henry thinks he can step in and out of bed with Jack’s ex-girlfriend, and that everything will still be fine. But it turns out the relationship could cost Henry the one person he truly can’t live without: Jack himself. (You aren't really giving us much about your main character. You've named him, and given us his conflict, but not how he must overcome it to succeed in completing his goal. By giving him an age, you may also set the tone for the target audience. That being said, this is much clearer than the previous version.)

 

It’s just that Henry wants to know the secret he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, (perhaps something like: There is a secret Jack isn't sharing, but Henry's desperate to know what happened between Jack and his ex, Althena.) that left Jack so emotionally 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 starts dating her, without telling Jack, thus creating one secret to learn another. (this last part doesn't read right.)

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own: She wants Jack back. She tells Henry what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her and love her like she thinks he once did. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. (this all seems vague and veiled. I had to read it over a few times to try and get all the pieces, but I think that with some reworking this could be made much more clear and serve the purpose you meant for it to have.) 

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into (aren't they already dating?) a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned. (I like the descriptors you used for their relationship here)

 

By learning Jack’s hidden past Henry thought he could bring them closer together. But now Jack is farther than ever before. Henry is going to pieces and he knows Jack is, too. He’s just not sure he can get the pieces back together again.

 

Love is a 100,000-word (target audience is necessary - is it MG, YA, NA, A?) literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.

 

 

I haven't been following the critiques since my last post here, so I'm coming at this with fairly fresh eyes.

 

This version is much tighter than the previous one, but I think there are quite a few places that still need work. I'll check back on future updates. 

 

 

 

I've also updated my own query if you have a moment to review. Link in signature. Thank you in advance. 



#24 chadweiss35

chadweiss35

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I've placed second and been honourably mentioned twice in Polar Expressions Summer Annual Short Story contest.<br />Several poems with Polar Expressions Summer Annual Poetry Contest<br />Numerous short stories in semi-professional magazines such as Flashing Swords, Golden Visions, Abandoned Towers.

Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

Hi Everyone. Here is my latest query attempt. It's gotten bit longer, still, and has a lot of information, but I don't think it has too many spoilers. The book, itself, still includes a lot more that 's not included here. And if the agents request a synopsis, they get all the information anyway. So here goes. Than you in advance!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Henry thinks he can step in and out of bed with Jack’s ex-girlfriend, and that everything will still be fine. Normally they would be in their open relationship, but when Henry starts prying into his partner's past with his ex, it could cost Henry the one person he truly loves, Jack. maybe something with these points, but written much better than what I put down. But it turns out the relationship could cost Henry the one person he truly can’t live without: Jack himself. since i read ur earlier query this makes sense, but i worry a fresh reader won't understand. I think you should have the bit about an open relationship in the opening paragraph.

 

It’s just that Henry wants to know the secret he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally 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 starts dating her, without telling Jack, thus creating one secret to learn another. ​I like a lot of this paragraph, but I think you could combine pertinent points with first paragraph. 

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own: She wants Jack back. She tells Henry what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her and love her like she thinks he once did. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. ​<this still needs to be explained a little better, since they have an open relationship, I think we needs to understand the betrayal better.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at the prospect of being abandoned.

 

By learning Jack’s hidden past Henry thought he could bring them closer together. Yet, the harder he pulls at Jack, the further he slips away, each of them falling to piece. But now Jack is farther than ever before. Henry is going to pieces and he knows Jack is, too. He’s just not sure he can get the pieces back together again.<This last line needs to say more...I don't know what, but it needs to clinch the sale somehow. 

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.

 

You've definitely made progress, keep working at it, I think you did what I did with my query, edit the hell out of it and lose some of your voice. Very hard to not to do, but something to keep in mind.



#25 ryankalford

ryankalford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 181 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:12 PM

I'd been meaning to stop by here since I remember when you reviewed my old query and synopsis all the way back in 2015!  Sorry I didn't get around to it yet, but like a good Lannister, I always pay my debts! 

 

Hi Everyone. Here is my latest query attempt. It's gotten bit longer, still, and has a lot of information, but I don't think it has too many spoilers. The book, itself, still includes a lot more that 's not included here. And if the agents request a synopsis, they get all the information anyway. So here goes. Than you in advance!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Henry thinks he can step in and out of bed with Jack’s ex-girlfriend, and that everything will still be fine. But it turns out the relationship could cost Henry the one person he truly can’t live without: Jack himself.

 

I don't feel like this hook works for the simple reason it causes a one gaping question to pop out to me---why would he want to do this? I know you answer this below, but it needs to make logical sense from the get-go for it to reel in and "hook" the reader. Making me scratch my head with a question that stops me from reading to wonder about it isn't the intended effect your looking for, I think. 

 

It’s just that Henry wants to know the secret he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally 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 starts dating her, without telling Jack, thus creating one secret to learn another.

 

I feel like the hook should involve mention of Henry's motivation. Something like, "Throughout their relationship, Henry has always been curious to know the dark secret behind Jack's relationship with his ex-girlfriend that left him so emotionally scared. So much so, he's willing to jump in bed and sleep with her to find out."  Okay, that's a crappy rough draft, but I'm sure you could take the basic idea of it and do much better. 

 

Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own: She wants Jack back. She tells Henry what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her and love her like she thinks he once did. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

This part feels a little bit clunky. The sentences are simple enough, but there feels like too much criss-crossing for me to follow who's who and what's what. Can you simplify it down a bit, preferably more focused on Henry's POV?

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned.

 

By learning Jack’s hidden past Henry thought he could bring them closer together. But now Jack is farther than ever before. Henry is going to pieces and he knows Jack is, too. He’s just not sure he can get the pieces back together again.

 

Too vague (and cliche) to be the stakes. Need more specifics.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.

 

 

Hmm. I think this is shaping up, but it's still a bit too rocky for comfort. Hope I've been helpful, and I'll try to keep an eye on this. :)

 

Best of luck!


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#26 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 14 March 2017 - 12:01 PM

Hi ryankalford. Thank you so much for dropping by. I'm really struggling with how to include the open relationship in the hook without making it sound like a bunch of backstory, but I think your recommendation is good. I have to somehow add the info in a way that seems active.

 

Query writing is so hard!!!!

 

Not sure if you were reviewing my query for this book or my other book back in 2015. Might have been this book still, since not so successful. Your own query sounds quite good!



#27 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:23 PM

OK, try try again. Maybe this is better. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed their wonderful comments.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
[intro]
 
For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a dark secret: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. So when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed. But for the first time he doesn’t tell Jack, thus creating a new secret that might prove even more dangerous than the first.

 

It’s just that Althea wants Jack back. And although Henry learns what happened, he sees her twisting the situation to her own ends. She begs him to broker a reunion saying Jack will forgive her and love her. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion will be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes, growing desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment.

 

Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Jack is unstable, and Henry imagines him hanging from the ceiling fan. Henry knows and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but at this point he’s unsure that’s even possible.

 

Love is a 100,000-word adult literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.



#28 lsprochnow

lsprochnow

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 95 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I self-published a post-apoc western novella called A Far Cry from Living. The novel I'm currently working on is called The Cloven King, which I'm trying to traditionally publish

Posted 14 March 2017 - 04:52 PM

OK, try try again. Maybe this is better. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed their wonderful comments.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
[intro]
 
For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a dark secret: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. This intro is so much stronger than your previous version. I suggest maybe leaving out Althea's name here though. Naming three characters in your opening sentence might be too much So when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed why? In the last version you gave a good reason for this, but it seems pretty odd without any reason being given. But for the first time he doesn’t tell Jack, thus creating a new secret that might prove even more dangerous than the first.

 

It’s just that Althea wants Jack back. And although Henry learns what happened I would clarify what you mean here by 'what happened.' I know you mean between Althea and Jack, but that's because I read your last version. I don't think it's entirely clear here, he sees her twisting the situation to her own ends. She begs him to broker a reunion saying Jack will forgive her and love her. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion will be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes, growing desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment. I think this is a pretty solid part right here

 

Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Jack is unstable, and Henry imagines him hanging from the ceiling fan the hanging from a ceiling fan part is a little abrupt. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but at this point he’s unsure that’s even possible.

 

I think this version is much stronger than your previous one. You're definitely on the right track. While I was reading the first part of your query, I found myself getting a little confused between Jack and Henry. I think my confusion stems from the query juggling three main characters rather than just focusing on one. Hopefully some of my feedback is helpful. There's no doubt you're moving in the right direction.

 

I made a change to the last paragraph in my query. I would love your opinion on it when you get a chance: http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/

 

Love is a 100,000-word adult literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.



#29 npstanford

npstanford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 14 March 2017 - 08:16 PM

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a dark secret: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. So when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed. //I feel you might need to explain a bit about why Henry would do this. It might be clearer to reword as: "Jack and Henry enjoyed an open relationship for two decades, until Henry crawled into the bed of Jack's ex, Althea, and began to learn the dark secrets of his lover's past. But for the first time he doesn’t tell Jack, thus creating a new secret that might prove even more dangerous than the first.

 

It’s just that Althea wants Jack back. And although Henry learns what happened, he sees her twisting the situation to her own ends. She begs him to broker a reunion saying Jack will forgive her and love her. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion will be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. I don't know if you need all the detail of who said whom to what. Maybe "But Jack doesn't realize that Althea is just using him to get back to Henry. And when Henry realizes what the two did, he leaves them both." That's not super beautiful sentences, but I think that ordering might be clearer. 

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes, growing desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment.

 

Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Jack is unstable, and Henry imagines him hanging from the ceiling fan. Henry knows and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but at this point he’s unsure that’s even possible. //One thing misisng here is any sense of hope. IMO, it might be stronger if you can hint at some option, even if it a big stretch, for Henry to get Jack back. It's hard to root for someone when you can't even imagine them winning :-)

 

Love is a 100,000-word adult literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.

 

 

Sounds super intense and dramatic :D

 

- I had a really hard time keeping track of which one was Henry and which one was Jack throughout the query. I don't have any concrete suggestions on how to address this issue, but just wanted to make sure you were aware.

- I pointed it out above, but I think you can simplify the query by cutting out a lot of the back and forth between the characters. Your basic summary is that Henry sleeps with his bf's ex to learn about his bf's past. Soon everybody hates each other and nobody is talking. How can Henry fix this?



#30 Monks

Monks

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 111 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:No publishing experience

Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

Overall, this sounds like interesting stuff, though in general, the query confused me in quite a few spots. I think the overall structure of the query is solid though. Just need to make a few points more clear, and then it will all flow so much better. I also agree with other posters that naming all three characters in the first sentence is tough to keep track of. I also agree with npstanford's point that there's a good bit of back and forth between characters that could be cut out. You don't necessarily have to, and I don't think it's a bad query with that stuff left in there. But it could be more concise that way. No huge changes necessary though. I'd say this is close. Nice work.

 

OK, try try again. Maybe this is better. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed their wonderful comments.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
[intro]
 
For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a dark secret: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. This leaves me wanting a little bit more. I think you need to be more specific about what happened between Jack and Althea. Just saying that there's a dark secret and it left Jack scarred doesn't really tell me anything. So when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed. This feels like a huge non sequitur to me. Because Althea and Jack's breakup left Jack scarred, Henry decides to jump into bed with Althea? I'm sure there's reasoning behind this in the novel, but as it's laid out here, I have no idea why Henry would do this. But for the first time he doesn’t tell Jack, thus creating a new secret that might prove even more dangerous than the first. And after this sentence (and after rereading this paragraph), I think I figured it out. Jack is keeping a secret from Henry about what happened with Althea, and Henry sleeps with Althea to try to figure it out. So I get it now (I think), but it took too much rereading, in my opinion. Maybe others feel differently, but I think this first paragraph needs to be reworked to avoid any of this possible confusion.

 

It’s just that Althea wants Jack back. And although Henry learns what happened, he sees her twisting the situation to her own ends. She begs him to broker a reunion This phrasing feels weird. saying Jack will forgive her and love her. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion will be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. A bit more clarity here could help as well. Presumably she calls him and gets her reunion (if only over the phone). What does that look like? Why does it drive Jack to leave both of them? In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes, growing desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment.

 

Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Jack is unstable, and Henry imagines him hanging from the ceiling fan. Henry knows and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but at this point he’s unsure that’s even possible. Good stakes here, though the final sentence could be stronger. "Unsure that's even possible" just isn't a very solid line to end on, but the stakes themselves seem good.

 

Love is a 100,000-word adult literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#31 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:12 PM

OK, I've tried to address all the concerns, but now I feel like the query is dry and the first paragraph his become really long. I think the query in post 22 sounds better, and has more voice. Not sure if the query below is getting better. Thanks!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

OK, on second thought this needs more work. Sorry, back to work.



#32 danipie

danipie

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 89 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:26 PM

OK, try try again. Maybe this is better. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed their wonderful comments.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
[intro]
 
For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a dark secret: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. So when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed. But for the first time he doesn’t tell Jack, thus creating a new secret that might prove even more dangerous than the first. this whole opening paragraph feels a little clunky. I think you could tighten it up a little.

 

It’s just that Althea wants Jack back. And although Henry learns what happened, he sees her twisting the situation to her own ends Maybe you could talk about the big secret? i'm left feeling a little confused more than intrigued. She begs him to broker a reunion saying Jack will forgive her and love her. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. but A reunion will be too much for Jack. Also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer.

 

When Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes, growing desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment. i want to know more about why henry thought it was a good idea in the first place to sleep with the person who destroyed jack...

 

Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Jack is unstable, and Henry imagines him hanging from the ceiling fan. Henry knows and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but at this point he’s unsure that’s even possible. a little more plot suggestion here could be good. the ending feels like it falls a little flat.

 

Love is a 100,000-word adult literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. Closing stuff.

 

if you have time have a look at my query! http://agentquerycon...on-in-38/page-2



#33 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:47 PM

OK, seriously, one more try. I don't think it's very voicey, but maybe clearer. Thank you again!!

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s a hurt Henry has been unable to address, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Because Henry doesn’t know Althea is sleeping with him to get Jack back. Henry gets Althea’s story and plans to leave her, but she steals Jack’s number from his phone. Jack gets her call and there’s no time for Henry to explain. Jack feels betrayed by the one person’s he’s always trusted, and he leaves them both.

 

In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes to become desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment. Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral; he just has to find a way to gain Jack’s forgiveness.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]



#34 ryankalford

ryankalford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 181 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:25 PM

OK, seriously, one more try. I don't think it's very voice, but maybe clearer. Thank you again!!

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s a hurt Henry has been unable to heal address, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Outside my suggestion of "heal", I love this. Very concise and clear. Win!

 

Because Henry doesn’t know Althea is sleeping with him to get Jack back. Henry gets Althea’s story and plans to leave her, but she steals Jack’s number from his phone. Jack gets her call and there’s no time for Henry to explain. Jack feels betrayed by the one person’s he’s always trusted, and he leaves them both.

 

I don't like the first sentence as a continuation from the hook with the "because. It rings to me. I'd try something more like "Henry's desperate for her story, but Althea's desperate to get back with Jack. After learning what hapened between her and Jack, Henry tries to hop out her bed for good , but not before Althea steals Jack's number from his phone."

 

Smething closer to that for a bit extra punch. Otherwise, a very good paragraph.

 

This part is pretty clunky to me. Could be shortened up to be more direct and concise.

 

In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes to become desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment. Soon Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral; he just has to find a way to gain Jack’s forgiveness.

 

And, unforunately, this is where it went off rails for me.The stakes feel incomplete. What does Henry need to do to get Jack back, and what might it cost him? Plus some of the sequences of the sentences don't feel like they relate too well. If I"m to take a quic crack redoing the first sentence for a starter, I'm thinking something like,

 

"Left to fend for themselves, Henry and Althea's relationship spirals into a mutually hateful bond that eats away at Henry's health--both his sanity, and in front of the mirror."

 

 

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]

 

This is shaping up nicely!. The third/stakes paragraph is the only great hurdle left for you to solve to put this baby away, I think.

 

Best of luck!


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#35 dragoness

dragoness

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:05 AM

I think you better add a hook, to focus the reader on Henry's conflict.

 

Here are my detailed comments:

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared a close n open (it's not open) relationship (I think "friendship" is better here) overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s a hurt Henry has been unable to address, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Because Henry doesn’t know Althea is sleeping with him to get Jack back. He nry gets Althea’s story and plans to leave her, but she steals Jack’s number from his phone. Jack gets her call and there’s no time for Henry to explain. Jack feels betrayed by the one person’s he’s always trusted, and he leaves them both.

 

In his absence, Henry and Althea’s relationship changes to become desperate and mutually hateful as both of them struggle with this unexpected abandonment. Soon, (comma) Henry doesn’t recognize himself, his newly gaunt body in the mirror, the way he and Althea scorn each other. Mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral; he just has to find a way to gain Jack’s forgiveness.

 

Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]

Good luck!

 

I'd thank you if you'd like to look at my query: http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#36 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:22 AM

Hi Dragoness. Thanks for stopping by! Just to clarify:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared a close n open (it's not open) relationship (I think "friendship" is better here) overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred.

 

It is an open relationship in the sense that they have an ongoing physical/romantic relationship with each other while seeing other people on the side.



#37 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:39 PM

Thanks again, everyone! My newest version is below. Some points:

 

1. At this point there is no stand-alone hook. I had to keep making the hook longer to include all the essential information (the open relationship between Jack and Henry, why Henry is motivated to learn the secret). So now it's more like a first paragraph that is a hook. Comments?

2. Some people thought it was TMI to include Althea's name in the first sentence (along with Henry and Jack), but to me it's better there because it's hard to add later. So which do you think is better? Althea in the first or in the first and second sentences?

3. I'm having a difficult time addressing how Jack and Henry get back together at the end because it's actually the tragic fallout of the subplot (also TMI for the query) that prompts Jack's return.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Althea in first sentence:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Althea only in second sentence:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Example of query all together (using Althea in first sentence):

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

 Henry is desperate to learn Althea’s story, but Althea is desperate to get Jack back. When she finally reveals her secret Henry wants to hop her bed for good, but she steals Jack’s number from his phone. Her call reveals Henry’s betrayal, and the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both.

 

 Henry and Althea descend into a relationship rooted in hatred for each other and longing for Jack. It erodes Henry’s sanity and physical health, and mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but he’s not sure how to make that happen. It might take yet another tragedy in Henry’s life to bring Jack back.

 

 Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]



#38 Bananas

Bananas

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 180 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

Thanks again, everyone! My newest version is below. Some points:

 

1. At this point there is no stand-alone hook. I had to keep making the hook longer to include all the essential information (the open relationship between Jack and Henry, why Henry is motivated to learn the secret). So now it's more like a first paragraph that is a hook. Comments?

2. Some people thought it was TMI to include Althea's name in the first sentence (along with Henry and Jack), but to me it's better there because it's hard to add later. So which do you think is better? Althea in the first or in the first and second sentences?

3. I'm having a difficult time addressing how Jack and Henry get back together at the end because it's actually the tragic fallout of the subplot (also TMI for the query) that prompts Jack's return.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Althea in first sentence:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Althea only in second sentence:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Example of query all together (using Althea in first sentence):

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. I have trouble with this sentence - it's very hard to read.  I'd suggest either breaking it down into smaller chunks or starting over from scratch.  There's a better way to convey what you're trying to say.  It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.  Again, there's a lot happening in this sentence.  It's hard to follow.  You've got Henry being unable to help his partner, Henry meeting Althea, Henry sleeping with Althea, Henry lying to Jack, and the creation of a new secret between Henry and Jack.  

 

 Henry is desperate to learn Althea’s story, but Althea is desperate to get Jack back. When she finally reveals her secret Henry wants to hop her bed for good, but she steals Jack’s number from his phone. This is clunky.  The way this is written it sounds like Althea stealing Jack's number somehow prevents Henry from leaving her bed.  I doubt this is what you mean.  Her call reveals Henry’s betrayal, and the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both.  A - the guys have an open relationship, so the concept of betrayal is a little foggy here.  If you're saying that Henry was supposed to get permission ahead of time, or something like that, you need to say something to that effect.  Right now, I have trouble seeing how Henry sleeping with Jack's former lover equals betrayal.  B - isn't Althea, Jack's ex?  How does he leave her again?  

 

 Henry and Althea descend into a relationship rooted in hatred for each other and longing for Jack. It erodes Henry’s sanity and physical health, and mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but he’s not sure how to make that happen. It might take yet another tragedy in Henry’s life to bring Jack back.

 

 Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]  I wonder what the tone of this novel is.  Right now, everyone reads like they're crazed, narcissistic, and co-dependent.  I have trouble rooting for any of them, but that might be your intention.  



#39 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:45 PM

Thanks again, everyone! My newest version is below. Some points:

 

1. At this point there is no stand-alone hook. I had to keep making the hook longer to include all the essential information (the open relationship between Jack and Henry, why Henry is motivated to learn the secret). So now it's more like a first paragraph that is a hook. Comments? I sit here and chuckle, because I too have felt this pain. 

2. Some people thought it was TMI to include Althea's name in the first sentence (along with Henry and Jack), but to me it's better there because it's hard to add later. So which do you think is better? Althea in the first or in the first and second sentences? I've edited the one (#2) I think works best. 

3. I'm having a difficult time addressing how Jack and Henry get back together at the end because it's actually the tragic fallout of the subplot (also TMI for the query) that prompts Jack's return. I suggest leaving this open ended and phrasing it in the form of the stakes. e.g. only once Henry does X will it give him the opportunity to make amends and see if Jack will accept him back. (very had example and I'm sorry for it)

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Althea in first sentence:

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Althea only in second sentence:

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when he Henry meets Althea(,) he and steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating he creates a new secret more dangerous than the first.

 

Example of query all together (using Althea in first sentence):

 

[intro]

 

For two decades Jack and Henry have shared an open relationship overshadowed by a secret: what happened between Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Althea, that left Jack so emotionally scarred. It’s an injury Henry has been unable to heal, so when Henry meets Althea he steps into her bed, without telling Jack, creating a new secret more dangerous than the first. (See above)

 

 Henry is desperate to learn Althea’s story, but Althea she is desperate to get Jack back. When she After finally revealing her secret(,) Henry wants to hop (leave might be a better choice here) her bed for good, but before he can, she steals Jack’s number from his phone. When her call reveals Henry’s betrayal, and the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. my suggestions here are for flow and to try to keep his, his, and hers straight. 

 

 Henry and Althea descend into a relationship rooted in hatred for each other one another (you use each other again below) and a reckless longing for Jack. As the malignant relationship (or something equally as desperate) It erodes both Henry’s sanity and physical health, and mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking once again(?). Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but he’s not sure how to make that happen. It might take yet another tragedy in Henry’s life to bring Jack back.

 

 Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff] (still need the audience here)

 

Overall, I think this is a great improvement. I have noted my suggestions above, but most of them are for readability and flow, more than the actual content. I'll check back for future revisions, but this is coming together. 



#40 ryankalford

ryankalford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 181 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:17 PM

 

 

 Henry and Althea descend into a relationship rooted in hatred for each other and longing for Jack. It erodes Henry’s sanity and physical health, and mutual friends tell him Jack is drinking. Henry knows he and Jack need each other to get out of this spiral, but he’s not sure how to make that happen. It might take yet another tragedy in Henry’s life to bring Jack back.

 

The last line is headed in the right direction, but it's too vague. What tradegy? Need dem specifics!  Otherwise, the sequence of events are really concrete and concise.

 

 Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. [closing stuff]

 

 

I didn't feel the need for bothering with any editing suggestions this round after CM's post (which his red pen is a far better value to you than mine). But I did note that your query is only roughly 180 words. You're leaving a good deal of your budget at the table. Might help in adding a bit more of Henry's particular voice in places, plus fleshing out the ending stakes proper.

 

Either way, looking forward to your next!


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users