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First Time Member -- Questions about Query


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#1 Félix

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:37 PM

Hello everyone, I'm thankful to be able to speak on a forum to a group of immensely talented authors and literary insiders about fiction and queries. 

 

Today I have a small favor to ask, if at all possible. I've sent this query of mine out to a few different agents (five, to be exact) and they've all come back with a rejection. And while this may sound petulant or whiny because five is no great number in the pantheon of rejection notices, I'd like to submit my query in its most base form as to possibly be able to improve it with the power of community.

 

And so if you decide to read it and also read any of this and also respond, then I must thank you profusely.

 

Now personalizations are done w/r/t the queries, but those are generally light, the real meat-and-potatoes of the query is provided infra. 

 

Thank you for all criticisms, and if the writing is flat-out bad then please inform me of that too. 

 

Thank you!

 

Dear [EDITOR],

 

Today I would like to present my 102,000-word Novel And Nature Must Obey for your consideration today,

 

Charles Boñeyt is a man with no sense of self. He is not devoid of emotion, but when it comes to deep intrinsic beliefs and actualizations, Charles is unable to feel either. And so, as he experiences this crisis of self, whereas he feels like he’s missing something he doesn’t know ever had in the first place, he decides to move to Deleuze, a city on the crossroads between Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. There he is confronted with a synecdoche of himself in the city of Deleuze, and it makes him realize what he has become. So he must decide if he can fix himself to be alive in a hypertensive-hypertrophic world where he matters very little either way.

 

Then we have Charles Boñeyt Jr, who faces his own dysphoria of self four years after the death of his father. As Charles Jr. follows in the footsteps of his father he is conflicted with what he wants to be, what he knows he is, and his own rapidly deteriorating health at the behest of a disease that no one seems to know about. And in this conflict he finds himself forsaking the people and passions most close to him--whether or not due to the disease or due to his own fading sanity is unknown.

 

Interspersed along with these two main story lines we see the tales of drug addicts, people afflicted with Bipolar Disorder, A student who needs to explain  a call from the school, a system of colostomy bags and catheters to keep people operating at top efficiency, and a group of anal-retentive accountants on the brink of committing terrorism. All stories take place against the backdrop of the ever-imposing Deleuze, which is impassive to it all.

 

Inspired by Pynchon, Delillo, and Wallace, And Nature Must Obey is my cross between Black-Comedy Satire and Speculative Fiction which proposes thoughts on inefficient bureaucracy, alienation, motivation, depression, and the pursuit of happiness in America.

 

Thank you very much for your time, I have included the first fifteen pages of the novel for your consideration. Upon request I can also provide a detailed synopsis and full manuscript.

 

Sincerely,

 

[MY NAME]


from a school, not from the school, that is a slight affectation. Sorry.



#2 Pen

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:28 PM

... I removed my two cents. Sorry.



#3 The Lucky One

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:05 AM

Dear Agent,

 

I would like to present my 102,000-word novel And Nature Must Obey for your consideration. (Genre? Personalisation?)

 

Charles Boñeyt is a man with no sense of self. He is not devoid of emotion but when it comes to deep intrinsic beliefs and actualizations, Charles is unable to feel either. (This sounds VERY vague) As he experiences this crisis, he decides to move to Deleuze, a city on the crossroads between Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. (Does the agent really need to know the names of these 3 states?) There he is confronted with a synecdoche of himself and it makes him realize what he has become. (Again, very vague. Tell what exactly has he become) So he must decide if he can fix himself to be alive in a hypertensive-hypertrophic world where he matters very little either way. (Irrelevant, considering the previous comment.)

 

Then we have Charles Boñeyt Jr, who faces his own dysphoria four years after the death of his father. As Charles Jr. follows his father's footsteps, (we don't know what exactly did the father do, so this information is useless.) he is conflicted with what he wants to be, what he knows he is, and his own rapidly deteriorating health at the behest of a disease that no one seems to know about. And in this conflict he finds himself forsaking the people and passions most close to him--whether or not due to the disease or due to his own fading sanity is unknown. (Not reading more.)

 

Interspersed along with these two main story lines we see the tales of drug addicts, people afflicted with Bipolar Disorder, A student who needs to explain  a call from the school, a system of colostomy bags and catheters to keep people operating at top efficiency, and a group of anal-retentive accountants on the brink of committing terrorism. All stories take place against the backdrop of the ever-imposing Deleuze, which is impassive to it all.

 

Inspired by Pynchon, Delillo, and Wallace, And Nature Must Obey is my cross between Black-Comedy Satire and Speculative Fiction which proposes thoughts on inefficient bureaucracy, alienation, motivation, depression, and the pursuit of happiness in America.

 

Thank you very much for your time, I have included the first fifteen pages of the novel for your consideration. Upon request I can also provide a detailed synopsis and full manuscript.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

1. I'm sorry but this is a terrible query. The sentenses are vague, we don't know what's happening, why it is happening and what follows after it has happened.

2. Maybe you should mention the fight with the Bipolar disorder first, instead of where the agent will probably not even go on to read this query.

3. Why did you use 'today' in the opening line?? One word and your query would have landed in trash.

4. Read good query samples.

5. Follow a trajectory. A disease that haunts the Boñeyts, they're running from it( it's not important which city they are running to), the things that the father does that are going to follow his son like ghosts of the past. A dystopia of mind. Something like that. Something that pique enough interest and also tells something concrete about the story.

 

P.S. Apologies for the harsh review.

 

Good luck.



#4 gigigriffis

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:41 AM

You should go post this in the query forum. Tons of people there weighing in on queries! (I think this area is mostly for intros, though I could be wrong, as I'm new around here as well.)


Will you take a peek at my query?

 

Sincerely,

 

Gigi Griffis

Copywriter, Content Strategist, & Travel Guide Author

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#5 Pen

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:29 AM

 

Dear Agent,

 

I would like to present my 102,000-word novel And Nature Must Obey for your consideration. (Genre? Personalisation?)

 

Charles Boñeyt is a man with no sense of self. He is not devoid of emotion but when it comes to deep intrinsic beliefs and actualizations, Charles is unable to feel either. (This sounds VERY vague) As he experiences this crisis, he decides to move to Deleuze, a city on the crossroads between Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. (Does the agent really need to know the names of these 3 states?) There he is confronted with a synecdoche of himself and it makes him realize what he has become. (Again, very vague. Tell what exactly has he become) So he must decide if he can fix himself to be alive in a hypertensive-hypertrophic world where he matters very little either way. (Irrelevant, considering the previous comment.)

 

Then we have Charles Boñeyt Jr, who faces his own dysphoria four years after the death of his father. As Charles Jr. follows his father's footsteps, (we don't know what exactly did the father do, so this information is useless.) he is conflicted with what he wants to be, what he knows he is, and his own rapidly deteriorating health at the behest of a disease that no one seems to know about. And in this conflict he finds himself forsaking the people and passions most close to him--whether or not due to the disease or due to his own fading sanity is unknown. (Not reading more.)

 

Interspersed along with these two main story lines we see the tales of drug addicts, people afflicted with Bipolar Disorder, A student who needs to explain  a call from the school, a system of colostomy bags and catheters to keep people operating at top efficiency, and a group of anal-retentive accountants on the brink of committing terrorism. All stories take place against the backdrop of the ever-imposing Deleuze, which is impassive to it all.

 

Inspired by Pynchon, Delillo, and Wallace, And Nature Must Obey is my cross between Black-Comedy Satire and Speculative Fiction which proposes thoughts on inefficient bureaucracy, alienation, motivation, depression, and the pursuit of happiness in America.

 

Thank you very much for your time, I have included the first fifteen pages of the novel for your consideration. Upon request I can also provide a detailed synopsis and full manuscript.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

1. I'm sorry but this is a terrible query. The sentenses are vague, we don't know what's happening, why it is happening and what follows after it has happened.

2. Maybe you should mention the fight with the Bipolar disorder first, instead of where the agent will probably not even go on to read this query.

3. Why did you use 'today' in the opening line?? One word and your query would have landed in trash.

4. Read good query samples.

5. Follow a trajectory. A disease that haunts the Boñeyts, they're running from it( it's not important which city they are running to), the things that the father does that are going to follow his son like ghosts of the past. A dystopia of mind. Something like that. Something that pique enough interest and also tells something concrete about the story.

 

P.S. Apologies for the harsh review.

 

Good luck.

 

 

No you weren't hash as you might think. I was. That's why I removed my two cents from the table.

 

Honestly, I don't think this is a good time for us new writers anyway. Economy is too jacked up to take a chance on a new person. Those that are professional, established, have a good platform, and basically can sell themselves. I think those are the ones that agents and publishers want.  Let's get brutally honest here.

 

You and I could very well have the next big hit. But they won't care how well written it is, how unique it is, because it comes down to the numbers. Example. Look at Snookie. If she wasn't on MTV her book wouldn't have been published.

 

 

For writers like me. Political Correctness will prevent most of the works from getting out there. My time to have tried getting my thoughts out there was 30 years ago I think. (Yeah I was just born then.) Look at what they did to Orson Scott Card. There is no more challenging thought, showing different perspective, freedom and freedom of speech is mere illusion. Better to tell the pretty lie than the ugly truth. Personally I think the truth is beautiful.

 

 

For what it's worth Felix. I'd say at least try a bigger font, tell us more about yourself, your accomplishments (if applicable), your platform (if applicable). When you're pitching a book you're a pitching a product. So what makes your product good enough to sell? Your last couple of lines needed to be your first couple of lines (but that's just me).

 

Look at the members on this site. Look at who gets invited into those next level forums, etc. Look at who the small publishers here gather around. Just look. You'll see. If you're left out to try that's a pretty good indication of your career. But even the most talented people got booed off a stage, got their works rejected, and went unnoticed. They worked harder and moved on.

 

It's good to have a dream, but have your feet on the ground too. Good hunting.



#6 Félix

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:27 AM

Yes, thank you for all your thoughts. I'm not offended by the query critique because I expected as much, I simply found the information of the outlines too hard to funnel. I have more of a grasp of how it works and due to in no small part to your help, but I'm still a writer not a marketer so it's poor. I appreciate all the help. I didn't understand how this worked, I'm not protesting that now I do, I think I still don't, but it's better now.

 

http://agentquerycon...lative-fiction/

 

So thank you all again.

 

And Pen, for your brand of pessimism I appreciate, but please don't think I'm bitter about the world around me and the environs and the utter depressing realness of it all. I'm not just this forum, or my writing. As I'm sure you aren't either. 

 

Thank god I didn't hear your first post it sounds utterly brutal. 






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