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Shallow World: A Sunny-Thorned Seed for the Untold Stories (New Adult romantic dramedy)

Chick Lit New Adult Romance Womens Fiction Offbeat/Quirky

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#1 Iconian

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:19 PM

Dear ____

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy have just started their second semester at their California college―but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry.

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” their differences might just be too great to overcome. Katy's native sensitivity draws her to volunteer for End Prejudice, and pushes her into the arms of the worst possible choice for a new boyfriend―at least in Jynnete's eyes.

 

 

Soon Katy's friends try to get her to break up with him, but she clings even more strongly to him. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous and codependent direction that she had tried to help her avoid. And even as Katy contemplates marriage, Jynnete struggles even harder to break her free, but does little except increase tensions and garner herself accusations of prejudice.

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, schisms, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete watches nearly helplessly, and wonders how she's distanced herself from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs預nd with so little to show for it. And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, 20, have just started their second semester at their California college—but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. Their differences are nowhere more evident than in their dating lives: Katy's regular heartbreak and tears push Jynnete toward the role of her mentor and protector, while Jynnete stormily dumps her own boyfriend and is at the point of swearing off men forever.

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” everything starts changing swiftly. Out of the blue a seemingly perfect guy falls into Jynnete's lap, her future suddenly much brighter. But Katy's heart draws her to volunteer for End Prejudice, where her native sensitivity leads her into the arms of a new boyfriend, a pariah that's practically the worst choice around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Yet the more Katy's friends try to get her to break up with him, the more she clings to him. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous and codependent direction that she had tried to help her avoid.

 

While Katy begins to contemplate marriage Jynnete steels herself, struggling still more zealously to break her friend free, while tensions grow and she parries accusations of prejudice. But the mental jousts Jynnete initiates with her friend's baffling new beau do little, except to begin distancing her from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs.

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, schisms, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete watches nearly helplessly, and wonders how so many of her relationships have strained to the breaking point, and with so little to show for it. And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, 20, have just started their second semester at their California college—but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is compassionate, a free spirit with a flair for fashion, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. Their differences are nowhere more evident than in their dating lives, with Katy's regular heartbreak and tears pushing Jynnete toward the role of her mentor and protector. And with Jynnete having stormily dumped her own boyfriend shortly before, she's feeling more frustrated than ever—ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” everything starts changing swiftly. Out of the blue a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap; but at the same time, End Prejudice and Katy's native sensitivity draws her into the arms of a new boyfriend, a pariah that's practically the worst choice around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. She and her friends soon hold an intervention to convince Katy to break up with him, but Katy clings to him still more tightly. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous and codependent direction that she had tried to help her avoid.

 

While Katy begins to contemplate marriage Jynnete steels herself, struggling still more zealously to break her friend free, while tensions grow and she parries accusations of prejudice. But the mental jousts Jynnete initiates with her friend's baffling new beau do little, except to begin distancing her from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs.

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, schisms, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete watches nearly helplessly, and wonders how so many of her relationships have strained to the breaking point, and with so little to show for it. And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

Part 1 of SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is complete at 122,000 words, the first of an intended duology. It is a fast-paced New Adult romance with a cast full of colorful and mysterious characters, touching on current issues and propelling the reader alongside Jynnete and Katy—through adventure, heartbreak, discovery, and simple fun.

In the past I've worked as a copywriter, and have now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

Jynnete and Katy, 20, have been best friends for over a decade—but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their California college, their worlds begin to drift apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is sensitive, a free spirit with a flair for fashion, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. Their differences are nowhere more evident than in their dating lives, with Katy's regular heartbreak and tears pushing Jynnete toward the role of her protector. And now, with Jynnete having just seethingly dumped her latest boyfriend, she's feeling more frustrated than ever—ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” Jynnete watches as everything changes quickly. While a seemingly great guy falls into her lap, Katy's newest boyfriend is practically the worst choice around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete feels powerless, watching as he leads Katy in almost every perilous and codependent direction that she had tried to help her avoid.

 

As Katy begins to contemplate marriage, Jynnete struggles with increasing zeal to break her free, and soon tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly. All around them schisms open up among the locals, with business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots just on the horizon. As Jynnete battles to retain stability and normalcy through the chaos, she feels herself being driven away from her friends, her new boyfriend, her beliefs, and more, even as untold stories send them all careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

(Perhaps most of all, I'm trying to determine how best to shape this part of the query, so opinions and suggestions especially welcome here):

 

Part 1 of SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is complete at 122,000 words, the first of an intended duology.  It is a fast-paced New Adult romance hybrid with a cast full of colorful and mysterious characters, propelling the reader alongside Jynnete and Katy—through adventure, heartbreak, discovery, and simple fun. While the word count may seem daunting for a typical romance novel, Shallow is a different kind of book. No one is going to tell a 6'4”, 200-pound man that he needs to lose 100 pounds—even losing 50 pounds would probably be unhealthy for him. And so it is with Shallow: while I may well be able to shave off a few thousand words from part 1, possibly ten thousand even, it is a different nature of beast, and I am seeking a unique agent for this unique novel.

In the past I've worked as a copywriter, and have now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

 Jynnete and Katy, 20, have been best friends for over a decade—but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their California college, they start to get pulled in opposing directions. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited and sensitive, and looking to break into fashion; Jynnete is a thinker with an angry streak pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their differences are perhaps nowhere more evident than in their dating lives, with Katy's regular heartbreak and tears pushing Jynnete toward the role of her protector. And now, with Jynnete having just seethingly dumped her latest boyfriend, she's feeling more frustrated than ever—ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever. 

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with their community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” very little can be taken for granted. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy's newest boyfriend is practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete feels powerless, watching as he leads Katy in almost every perilous direction that she had tried to help her avoid.

 

Katy begins to contemplate marriage, while Jynnete struggles with increasing zeal to break Katy free, and soon tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly. All around them schisms open up among the Merson Valley locals, with business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots just on the horizon. And in her own life, as Jynnete battles to retain stability and normalcy, she feels herself being driven away from her friends, her new boyfriend, her beliefs, and more, even as untold stories send them all careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a fast-paced New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is a thinker, pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, tears from Katy.  And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

 

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

 

Dear ____

Tour a slice of life, from Jynnete, Katy, and more, as they face the new challenges brought on by college, romances, adulthood—and the school shooting that precipitates the untold stories that dwarf it all.

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at the Merson Valley Community College in California's Central Valley, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited, compassionate, and fun-loving. Jynnete is mostly a thinker, more scientific-minded, and considers herself a Christian feminist, though she also knows to let her hair down at times. Their contrasting perspectives, personalities, and stances toward romance sometimes bring them and their other friends into disagreement or even conflict—but mostly their relationships are harmonious, if colorful.

 

But shortly after they've returned from Winter Break and only one semester into college, much of their world changes in a day. Without any warning, a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college, leaving four dead in the wake. The community is turned upside down, and students turn out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.”

 

Schisms begin to open up among the locals, tensions start to flare and accusations start to fly—and it's not long before business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem to be just on the horizon in what had been a quiet center of tourism and agriculture.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even, with still more surprising and explosive revelations in their personal lives and those close to them, as untold stories send them careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES part 1 is a New Adult romance hybrid, coming in at 121,792 words. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear _____

I'm seeking the right agent/publisher for my book, Shallow World: A Sunny-Thorned Seed for the Untold Stories. It's one of those unique sorts of books that, at a casual glance, might seem likely to alienate most readers, even among its core audience. I fear as such that most publishers would, by default, try to relegate it to some obscure corner of the publishing world, if not shy away altogether. But in fact, I believe it would be very successful and likely experience near-universal appeal after getting some traction. How so?

 

Imagine, for example, a historical drama, set in the midst of hundreds of people drowning and freezing to death, and featuring a high-profile centerpiece of blatant female nudity—and yet I insisted to you that the story would perform better with school-age girls than anyone. Or, a second example: a story on a planet in a distant star system, featuring nudity and strange sexual customs of aliens that are under assault by human aggressors—and again I felt younger females would be one of its strongest audiences. In response, some might tell me that these elements seem far too incongruous, and such tales might be best confined to smaller indie crowds, such as history aficionados or sci-fi enthusiasts, and that perhaps I even ought to have my head examined if I seriously thought such stories would be well-suited to young women above all.

 

However, the descriptions I have provided are of Titanic and Avatar, two of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Unique, but somehow they worked.

 

So, when I tell you that I've spun a high-energy romance-hybrid with an intellectual bent, touching to greater or lesser degrees on shootings, homelessness, polyamory, gender, homosexuality, gun ownership, relationships and dating, prejudice, feminism, spirituality and religion, politics, philosophy, love, and more; and while I think the book will have a wide-reaching draw, I believe it would be best-suited to young women—I hope you can grant me the benefit of the doubt.

 

Shallow World is a New Adult drama/comedy/romance dipping into the lives of best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 years old. The initial focus is their experiences with college, jobs, new cars, apartments, relationships with friends and boyfriends—until their lives are turned on their heads after a racially-motivated shooting at their local college, slingshotting both girls toward completely new events and revelations, and the unknown.

 

I think many people will dislike a number of things in my book, but I also think there is far more to appreciate about Shallow World. It is probably the most engaging, entertaining, and relevant book I could have written at this time; it's a book that I believe needed to be written, and I hope you'll find it's a book that needs to be read. Read with an open mind, and I expect this story will bring enjoyment and new value into your life and the lives of all those it touches.

 


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#2 Springfield

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

Dear _____

I'm seeking the right agent/publisher for my book, Shallow World: A Sunny-Thorned Seed for the Untold Stories. It's one of those unique sorts of books that, at a casual glance, might seem likely to alienate most readers, even among its core audience. I fear as such that most publishers would, by default, try to relegate it to some obscure corner of the publishing world, if not shy away altogether. But in fact, I believe it would be very successful and likely experience near-universal appeal after getting some traction. How so? None of this belongs in a query.

 

Imagine, for example, a historical drama, set in the midst of hundreds of people drowning and freezing to death, and featuring a high-profile centerpiece of blatant female nudity What?—and yet I insisted to you that the story would perform better with school-age girls than anyone.What? Or, a second example: a story on a planet in a distant star system, featuring nudity and strange sexual customs of aliens that are under assault by human aggressors—and again I felt younger females would be one of its strongest audiences. Completely untrue. In response, some might tell me that these elements seem far too incongruous,Why?  and such tales might be best confined to smaller indie crowds, such as history aficionados or sci-fi enthusiasts, and that perhaps I even ought to have my head examined if I seriously thought such stories would be well-suited to young women above all.

 

However, the descriptions I have provided are of Titanic and Avatar, two of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Unique, but somehow they worked.

 

So, when I tell you that I've spun a high-energy romance-hybrid with an intellectual bent, touching to greater or lesser degrees on shootings, homelessness, polyamory, gender, homosexuality, gun ownership, relationships and dating, prejudice, feminism, spirituality and religion, politics, philosophy, love, and more; and while I think the book will have a wide-reaching draw, I believe it would be best-suited to young women—I hope you can grant me the benefit of the doubt. This doesn't make any sense. James Cameron makes successful movies that you wrongly seem to think both no one would think would be successful because there are nude women in them and because you think women liked them, thus your book with that list of things will be successful That just doesn't follow.

 

Shallow World is a New Adult drama/comedy/romance dipping into the lives of best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 years old. The initial focus is their experiences with college, jobs, new cars, apartments, relationships with friends and boyfriends—until their lives are turned on their heads after a racially-motivated shooting at their local college, slingshotting both girls toward completely new events and revelations, and the unknown. You need a character and a plot in the query.

 

I think many people will dislike a number of things in my book, but I also think there is far more to appreciate about Shallow World. It is probably the most engaging, entertaining, and relevant book I could have written at this time; That's really not an endorsement, if you think about it. it's a book that I believe needed to be written, and I hope you'll find it's a book that needs to be read. Read with an open mind, and I expect this story will bring enjoyment and new value into your life and the lives of all those it touches.

 

So this is not how to write a query. You probably want to check out the threads on how to write a query, some threads in which people are working on queries, etc. None of this belongs in it. You want a character, a plot, a problem, stakes. That's it. 



#3 MICRONESIA

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 08:41 AM

I'll echo the above. This is in the wrong format. You should not be trying to "convince" the agent to request pages, especially not in first person. Agents only care about CHARACTER and PLOT. Think back-cover blurbs. 

 

A query should address the following:

 

 

What does the protagonist want?

What's keeping her from getting it?

What choice/decision does she face?

What terrible thing will happen if she chooses A; what terrible thing will happen if she doesn't.

 

You need to do some research on the proper format. Query Shark is the best place to start. Read a few hundred examples, come back and try this again.



#4 Novelarnia

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:19 PM

Dear _____

I'm seeking the right agent/publisher for my book, Shallow World: A Sunny-Thorned Seed for the Untold Stories. It's one of those unique sorts of books that, at a casual glance, might seem likely to alienate most readers, even among its core audience. I fear as such that most publishers would, by default, try to relegate it to some obscure corner of the publishing world, if not shy away altogether. But in fact, I believe it would be very successful and likely experience near-universal appeal after getting some traction. How so?  Okay... I mean this in the nicest way possible, but agents don't like this kind of thing. By telling them "this book might alienate readers, and publishers shy away," you're telling them, "This book isn't sellable, and I know it." Agents exist to make money off your books. They're going to get you money too, but they won't pick up something they can't sell. :/ Delete ALL this. Start right with the pitch paragraphs. 

 

Imagine, for example, a historical drama, set in the midst of hundreds of people drowning and freezing to death, and featuring a high-profile centerpiece of blatant female nudity—and yet I insisted to you that the story would perform better with school-age girls than anyone. Or, a second example: a story on a planet in a distant star system, featuring nudity and strange sexual customs of aliens that are under assault by human aggressors—and again I felt younger females would be one of its strongest audiences. In response, some might tell me that these elements seem far too incongruous, and such tales might be best confined to smaller indie crowds, such as history aficionados or sci-fi enthusiasts, and that perhaps I even ought to have my head examined if I seriously thought such stories would be well-suited to young women above all. And this isn't a pitch paragraph. Agents hate rhetoric questions--a lot will refuse your query just on that alone. I definitely agree with the above poster; you need to research queries. Because this will just get you a lot of rejections. >.< 

 

However, the descriptions I have provided are of Titanic and Avatar, two of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Unique, but somehow they worked. Agents don't care about the plots of Titanic or Avatar. Period. They want to know YOUR plot. Even if you use them as comp titles, you have to tell the agent why they relate to your own work. "My book features the thrilling historics of Titanic, with the creative worldbuilding of Avatar." or something. 

 

So, when I tell you that I've spun a high-energy romance-hybrid with an intellectual bent, touching to greater or lesser degrees on shootings, homelessness, polyamory, gender, homosexuality, gun ownership, relationships and dating, prejudice, feminism, spirituality and religion, politics, philosophy, love, and more; and while I think the book will have a wide-reaching draw, I believe it would be best-suited to young women—I hope you can grant me the benefit of the doubt. They will not grant you the benefit of the doubt, and none of this tells them what your actual story is about. Agents get hundreds of queries a day; they don't have time to offer the benefit of the doubt to some random writer with no credentials. 

 

Shallow World This should be in all caps: SHALLOW WORLD is a New Adult drama/comedy/romance Pick one. dipping into the lives of best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 years old. The initial focus is their experiences with college, jobs, new cars, apartments, relationships with friends and boyfriends—until their lives are turned on their heads after a racially-motivated shooting at their local college, slingshotting both girls toward completely new events and revelations, and the unknown. Okay. This isn't bad. If you can expand this into three paragraphs and remove EVERYTHING above, you'll have a working draft of a properly formatted query. 

 

I think many people will dislike a number of things in my book Oh my god, no. No. I'm telling you, you can NOT start by telling an agent how everyone will hate your novel. They can't SELL novels like that, which means yours will collect dust on your hard drive. , but I also think there is far more to appreciate about Shallow World. It is probably the most engaging, entertaining, and relevant book I could have written at this time; it's a book that I believe needed to be written, and I hope you'll find it's a book that needs to be read. Read with an open mind, and I expect this story will bring enjoyment and new value into your life and the lives of all those it touches. And they don't care about this. Don't ever tell an agent what to think about your novel. You have to craft a query that engages them without using fluff words like this. 

 

Gah, Iconian. You gave me such amazing feedback on my query. I really appreciate it. But this... this kind of makes my eyes hurt. :( 

 

Frankly, this isn't a query. This is an earnest letter to an agent in the hopes that your lovely prose will wow them into asking for your book. And unfortunately, life doesn't work that way. Publishing doesn't work that way. I'm attaching some links about writing queries. Please, please review them before rewriting. I'd be happy to take another look at your query once you know what a query is...

 

http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

 

http://www.writersdi...ct-query-letter

 

https://nybookeditor...d-query-letter/



#5 Iconian

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for all the responses.

 

After looking into it further, I think I've figured out what the issue here is.  I came to this forum thinking "cover letter."  Cover letters and queries have always been interchangeable in my mind, but if this whole forum is any indication there's clearly a big difference.

 

Fortunately, I'd already developed the foreword/inner cover intro for the book.  I think I can cobble together some pieces from that to convert into a decent query letter . . . wish me luck!


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#6 Iconian

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:02 PM

Dear ____

Tour a slice of life, from Jynnete, Katy, and more, as they face the new challenges brought on by college, romances, adulthood—and the school shooting that precipitates the untold stories that dwarf it all.

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at the Merson Valley Community College in California's Central Valley, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited, compassionate, and fun-loving. Jynnete is mostly a thinker, more scientific-minded, and considers herself a Christian feminist, though she also knows to let her hair down at times. Their contrasting perspectives, personalities, and stances toward romance sometimes bring them and their other friends into disagreement or even conflict—but mostly their relationships are harmonious, if colorful.

 

But shortly after they've returned from Winter Break and only one semester into college, much of their world changes in a day. Without any warning, a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college, leaving four dead in the wake. The community is turned upside down, and students turn out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.”

 

Schisms begin to open up among the locals, tensions start to flare and accusations start to fly—and it's not long before business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem to be just on the horizon in what had been a quiet center of tourism and agriculture.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even, with still more surprising and explosive revelations in their personal lives and those close to them, as untold stories send them careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES part 1 is a New Adult romance hybrid, coming in at 121,792 words. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#7 Springfield

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:21 PM

Dear ____

Tour a slice of life, from Jynnete, Katy, and more, as they face the new challenges brought on by college, romances, adulthood—and the school shooting that precipitates the untold stories that dwarf it all.

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at the Merson Valley Community College in California's Central Valley, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited, compassionate, and fun-loving. Jynnete This name is so terrible, sorry. It's like nails on a chalkboard for my eyes. It's not even clearly pronounceable. Gin-nuh-tay?. is mostly a thinker, more scientific-minded, and considers herself a Christian feminist, though she also knows to let her hair down at times. Their contrasting perspectives, personalities, and stances toward romance sometimes bring them and their other friends into disagreement or even conflict—but mostly their relationships are harmonious, if colorful. This is all just telling someone ABOUT your characters in an abstract way. Character, problem, stakes.

 

But shortly after they've returned from Winter Break and only one semester into college, much of their world changes in a day. Without any warning, a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college, leaving four dead in the wake. The community is turned upside down, and students turn out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.”

 

Schisms begin to open up among the locals, tensions start to flare and accusations start to fly—and it's not long before business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem to be just on the horizon in what had been a quiet center of tourism and agriculture. None of this has anything to do with a character.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even, with still more surprising and explosive revelations in their personal lives and those close to them, as untold stories send them careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES part 1 is a New Adult romance hybrid, coming in at 121,792 words. That is way, way, way long, and the redundant language in the query is going to make agents think it's not a justifiable length. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more. I think that just says you got a job as a copywriter and now don't have it anymore. That doesn't really belong in a query.

This is still not a query. I have no idea what problem your character has, what they have to do to solve it, what might befall them if they don't. 

 

You've got this tagged as romance, but there's no romance here either. 

 

The length is really a problem. That's like 50% more than this should be.



#8 Novelarnia

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:30 PM

Dear ____

Tour a slice of life, from Jynnete, Katy, and more, as they face the new challenges brought on by college, romances, adulthood—and the school shooting that precipitates the untold stories that dwarf it all. This is a log line, not a hook. Let the agent create one of these later, if they care to. Get on with the story!

 

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at the Merson Valley Community College in California's Central Valley, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited, compassionate, and fun-loving. Jynnete is mostly a thinker, more scientific-minded, and considers herself a Christian feminist, though she also knows to let her hair down at times. This is too much description. Simplify it to maybe one sentence blatantly stating their differences.  Their contrasting perspectives, personalities, and stances toward romance sometimes bring them and their other friends into disagreement or even conflict—but mostly their relationships are harmonious, if colorful. And this is just backstory. Agents don't care about this yet--again, you're telling them how to feel. SHOW them. Get into the minds of your characters and introduce the inciting incident here instead! 

 

But shortly after they've returned from Winter Break and only one semester into college, much of their world changes in a day. Without any warning, when a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college, leaving four are left dead in its the wake. The community is turned upside-down, and students turn out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” We don't care about "students." We care about Katy and Jynette. Get the story back to them, and how this shooting turns THEIR lives upside-down. 

 

Schisms begin to open up among the locals, tensions start to flare and accusations start to fly—and it's not long before business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem to be just on the horizon in what had been a quiet center of tourism and agriculture.  And again, we don't care about the community. This is all a backdrop to a story you haven't introduced yet. 

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even, with still more surprising and explosive revelations in their personal lives and those close to them, as untold stories send them careening down ever more uncertain paths. Well, you got back to them, and that's great! But this is MUCH too vague. Agents want specifics. Tell them what explosive revalations the friends have, and how it affects their relationship. End with the stakes--a question with two conflicting answers. That's proper query procedure. 

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES part 1 And this is too much. Just tell us the title; don't give us a subtitle too. Also, "part 1" isn't for you to decide. It's for an agent; if your book doesn't sell, there won't be sequels. You can say, "SHALLOW WORLD is the first in a planned series." But it's vital to mention it's "planned," because then an agent knows you realize there might not be more. Get it?  is a New Adult romance hybrid, Romance hybrid isn't a genre. Romance is. But again, we don't know anything about Katy or Jynette, so we don't really know if they have a romance.  coming in at 121,792 words. Okay. A 121k novel is going to be a TOUGH sell. Like, your writing better be the word of God, tough. Especially for a genre like NA romance, which at most should clock in around 90k. Brush up on your word count goals--link below--and keep them in mind when writing. Agents won't give you the time of day if your book is too far over the proper word count. 

 

In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. This is impressive, but too old to be relevant. Just mention, "I used to be a copywriter, and have now returned to writing fiction." Or something. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

Okay, this is better. You're getting there. But it's still SUPER obvious you haven't actually done research on queries. You need to scour the websites I posted before, read blog posts and articles and successful queries that secured agents, because otherwise an agent will pin you as a newbie right away. And you don't want that; they're looking for a business partner, and a good business partner does his research. 

Trust me, you don't want to rush into this. Take your time. Read about querying. A very useful book is "Get A Literary Agent," found here: https://www.amazon.c...ing=UTF8&btkr=1

 

Here's the link about word count lengths.  This is so, so important. A lot of agents will discount your query just for being over the proper wordcount. They might not even read the sample pages--so it won't matter how amazing your pages are. Don't give agents a reason to say no! 

 

http://www.writersdi...definitive-post



#9 Iconian

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:45 PM

Working on this has certainly opened my eyes to some needed improvements for my query.  Thank you all for your help!  I've been going through the websites you gave me, Novelarnia.  I think I've been applying most of the techniques they talk about.  I see now that I didn't make the romantic elements nearly clear enough, nor why the shooting and End Prejudice were so central to the story.  Hopefully the latest version of the query helps to clear it up.

 

But there are some other things about the query that I'm hesitant to change.  For one, I think probably the best thing is to not mention the word count at all, as it seems to be creating too much disruption.  For now, I think I'll wait to hear some more perspectives about the query before I make any additional changes.

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. Katy is free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, and tears from Katy. And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

 

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#10 JChristian

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:11 AM

Dear ____

Best friends Odd couple Jynnete and Katy are both 20 and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. This feels too on-the-nose as is. Katy is free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Not seeing the odd-couple angle. I'm just seeing different majors. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, and tears from Katy. And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever. Condense this down, and give us the meat. Their views on dating often collide in sparks of mutual disapproval or even tears, especially after Jynnete dumps her latest beau and is ready to swear off men --or even Katy-- forever.

 

But then Dun dun duuuuuun! (Ignore my sense of humor) Doesn't lead in well.  When a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon. Relate this back to the MCs or its just raw exposition.

 

Yet For Jynnete and Katy it Define 'it' will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly Adverbs ahead great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain pathsVague. What are untold stories?

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

You need to tell us what will happen if Katy marries this bum, or if she doesn't. What are the stakes for these MCs? How does the turmoil in town relate to those stakes? Who is the antagonist? How must it be resolved, and what happens if they fail? Punch me in the guts with it at the end.

Good stuff here. Keep up the good work.

J.

 



#11 Iconian

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:20 AM

Thanks for the critique--and shoot, I think I might have cut too much out.  The odd couple aspect in particular isn't nearly so clear now.  I'll have to clear it up on my next go.


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#12 jaustail

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:20 AM

JMO:

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20(since later you're mentioning enrollees, so maybe don't mention age. i'm able to guess their ages) and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. Katy is free-spirited(comma) and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, and tears from Katy. And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.(put this from either Jynnete or Katy's pov.)

 

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down(<-- I think you should start the query from here), with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around(this is interesting)—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter(maybe comma) life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more.

 

 

JMO but I think this needs a rewrite. I'm not able to feel for the characters. Write from either Jynnete or Katy's pov.

A trick is to write query in 1st person pov and then replace pronouns.



#13 Springfield

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:02 AM

Working on this has certainly opened my eyes to some needed improvements for my query.  Thank you all for your help!  I've been going through the websites you gave me, Novelarnia.  I think I've been applying most of the techniques they talk about.  I see now that I didn't make the romantic elements nearly clear enough, nor why the shooting and End Prejudice were so central to the story.  Hopefully the latest version of the query helps to clear it up.

 

But there are some other things about the query that I'm hesitant to change.  For one, I think probably the best thing is to not mention the word count at all, as it seems to be creating too much disruption.  For now, I think I'll wait to hear some more perspectives about the query before I make any additional changes.

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. Katy is free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, and tears from Katy. And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever. This paragraph seems to have nothing to do with the next, and it's very distant. You still haven't identified a PROBLEM your character has.

 

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths.None of this has anything to do with the shooting, and there's still no essential problem. It just reads like a series of events happening.

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more. 



#14 ThatDan

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:34 AM

Regarding the word count; you can leave it out for the purpose of avoiding repetitive feedback here, but once you start sending out your query, you WILL need to include it. Its not optional.

I'm in the same boat as you, and I know its a hard call, but you've only got two choices. 1: take your chances and hope that large word count doesnt scare everyone away, or 2: go back to your manuscript and do some HEAVY editing.

Hope that little bit of info helps, and good luck. Your query has come a long, long way from the first version and is starting to take shape nicely.



#15 Erevos

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:57 AM

Hello Iconian and thank you for the critique!

I giving a + to all the comments above, especially Christian's.

I think your query at its current form reads a bit more like a quick synopsis than a query...I know you want to convey the tension and passion among Jynnete and Katy to us, but the voice of the query isn't really working.

 

I think Jaustail offered a nice alternative. Start from the shooting and its effect on the community. Then introduce us the two protagonists as quick as possible and their stormy relationship.

 

Finally add what will happen if Katy marries this guy OR (because not every story has a big IF) why Jynnete tries so hard to push him out of Katy's life and how these untold stories will somehow destroy their relationship.

Now, I don't need to know everything, but I assume that these stories have a greater impact that it is implied here. If so, focus on them and give your query passion.

 

Overall, I like your 2nd draft better! You can take it as a basis and work on it! You have an exciting story...SHOW IT TO US! 

 

I'll come back for your next draft!  :happy:


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#16 Rbevin17

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:16 AM

Thanks for the critique - here are my suggestions! I would try to make your sentences a little shorter.

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College, are something of an odd couple. Katy is emotional and energetic, free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion. While (I would break up this sentence, it’s a bit long) Jynnete is a thinker, pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives. sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, tears from Katy.  And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Now that her latest boyfriend just dumped her, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. (this sentence is a bit vague, I would be a bit more specific.  I don’t see the obvious connection between riots and their relationship) While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories (this is also a bit vague, rumors? Secrets?  I would use more definite language) send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths.

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is a New Adult romance hybrid. In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more. (this last sentence is a little confusing too… just a year of copywriter life?  But 2006 was a long time ago)



#17 lyncfs

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:01 PM

Working on this has certainly opened my eyes to some needed improvements for my query.  Thank you all for your help!  I've been going through the websites you gave me, Novelarnia.  I think I've been applying most of the techniques they talk about.  I see now that I didn't make the romantic elements nearly clear enough, nor why the shooting and End Prejudice were so central to the story.  Hopefully the latest version of the query helps to clear it up.

 

But there are some other things about the query that I'm hesitant to change.  For one, I think probably the best thing is to not mention the word count at all, as it seems to be creating too much disruption.  For now, I think I'll wait to hear some more perspectives about the query before I make any additional changes.

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy, both 20 ​(I know it's important to have the age for young adult but not sure for new adult?) and recent enrollees at California's Merson Valley Community College ​(is the college important? It slows me down), are something of an odd couple ​(why? I think you need to improve your hook. Enrolling in community college and being odd doesn't make them special. You should say what makes them odd). Katy is free-spirited and compassionate, and trying to break into fashion, while Jynnete is pursuing a chemistry degree, and considers herself a Christian feminist. Their perspectives on life often collide, but perhaps nowhere more than in their dating lives, sometimes bringing anger and disapproval from Jynnete, and tears from Katy. And having just dumped her own latest boyfriend, Jynnete's now feeling more frustrated than ever, ready to throw in the towel and swear off men forever.

 

But then a racially-motivated shooting occurs at their college and the community is turned upside down, with students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign.” Schisms open up among the locals, and soon business boycotts, a mayoral recall election, and even riots seem just on the horizon.

 

Yet for Jynnete and Katy it will go far beyond all this even. While a seemingly great guy falls into Jynnete's lap, Katy starts contemplating marriage with practically the worst guy around—at least in Jynnete's eyes. Tensions flare and accusations of prejudice fly as Jynnete pushes harder and harder to get him out of Katy's life, and untold stories send them and their friends careening down ever more uncertain paths. ​(This is where the plot gets interesting. I would slash all the shootings --- unless one of the guys they're dating is responsible--- and start with how they were best friends and suddenly are not because of a guy. Your sentences seems a bit long as well and you can condense.)

 

SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES ​(I don't understand what a sunny-thorned seed is. Maybe rethink this title to make it more understandable from a glance) is a New Adult romance hybrid ​(What is it a hybrid of?). In 2006 I was one of 12 candidates selected out of hundreds as a copywriter for a financial institution. After a year as a copywriter life led me down other paths, but I've now returned to my love of writing once more. ​(I'm not sure if a copywriter's job is prestigious and it was an awfully long time ago. I would just stick to this is your first book).

 

So I agree with the others, your query does sound like a synopsis. I would focus on the two friends and why their relationship is breaking apart. Is your novel told from two POV's? You might want to focus on either Jynnete's or Katy's story which would be interesting if the query turned up one sided (i.e. seeing Jynette's world through Katy's eyes and the events are skewed.)


THE IMMORTAL GUARD. Link to my query. Please critique, if I have reviewed yours.

#18 Iconian

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

I think I'm really going to have to think this next version through.  A whole lot of different viewpoints here--thank you all for your ideas!  Getting all the necessary elements represented correctly is going to be a balancing act.  One thing I am now feeling strongly about though is that I ought to start the query with the shooting, per jaustail.  I think it might take me an hour or two to restructure the whole query . . .

 

A few points first though,

 

ThatDan:  Why do you feel so certain that it's necessary to include the word count?  I think it might be possible to drop a few thousand words, but much of the key to this book is its fast pace, which takes the reader through the words quickly.  I've actually written in the foreword that though the book may seem long and daunting, it should actually be a lot easier to read than some might initially think. I think the best way to keep an agent from making up their mind just based on a word count . . . is to omit that word count.

 

Erevos, thank you for your words also.  For those bothered about "untold stories," it's intentionally vague--it's a theme throughout the book, starting right from the title.  But perhaps I can find a way to portray them to make it more interesting . . .

 

I think the odd couple element is now clearer in the latest version.  In particular, Katy is emotional and energetic, trying to break into fashion; Jynnete is a thinker and pursuing a chemistry degree.  They're practically polar opposites.

 

With so many different moving pieces here, it's clear I'm not going to please everyone.  Novelarnia thinks I should just pick one genre for the book and stick to that; lyncfs seems to wants the query to state what the other genres are . . .

 

 

One thing though that I think almost everyone has pointed out: I really feel the bit about my copywriting sounds good, but everyone seems to think it's too old to be helpful.  I could go for a vague, "In the past I've worked as a copywriter," but I think the circumstances under which I got into copywriting were pretty impressive.  It's something I feel very hesitant about dropping out . . .


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#19 Springfield

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 05:18 PM

I think I'm really going to have to think this next version through.  A whole lot of different viewpoints here--thank you all for your ideas!  Getting all the necessary elements represented correctly is going to be a balancing act.  One thing I am now feeling strongly about though is that I ought to start the query with the shooting, per jaustail.  I think it might take me an hour or two to restructure the whole query . . .

 

A few points first though,

 

ThatDan:  Why do you feel so certain that it's necessary to include the word count?  I think it might be possible to drop a few thousand words, but much of the key to this book is its fast pace, which takes the reader through the words quickly.  I've actually written in the foreword that though the book may seem long and daunting, it should actually be a lot easier to read than some might initially think. I think the best way to keep an agent from making up their mind just based on a word count . . . is to omit that word count. 

 

Why do you think agents will think you left it out? They'll know you left it out because it's a problem. It needs to be cut by like 40,000 words. That's not a few. Have you had beta readers, who are neither friends nor family read this? Your feeling that it's a quick read isn't likely to be a universal.

 

Erevos, thank you for your words also.  For those bothered about "untold stories," it's intentionally vague--it's a theme throughout the book, starting right from the title.  But perhaps I can find a way to portray them to make it more interesting . . .

 

Do you mean you never explain the stuff in the book? 

 

I think the odd couple element is now clearer in the latest version.  In particular, Katy is emotional and energetic, trying to break into fashion; Jynnete is a thinker and pursuing a chemistry degree.  They're practically polar opposites.

 

Those don't, to me, mean an odd couple or polar opposites. They mean they have different vocations, or avocations. 

 

With so many different moving pieces here, it's clear I'm not going to please everyone.  Novelarnia thinks I should just pick one genre for the book and stick to that; lyncfs seems to wants the query to state what the other genres are . . .

 

 

One thing though that I think almost everyone has pointed out: I really feel the bit about my copywriting sounds good, but everyone seems to think it's too old to be helpful.  I could go for a vague, "In the past I've worked as a copywriter," but I think the circumstances under which I got into copywriting were pretty impressive.  It's something I feel very hesitant about dropping out . . .

 

The circumstances sound like you got a job, frankly. I don't understand what about it is impressive-seeming. It says 11 years ago, you had a copywriting job for a year. It's just not relevant, and it's worded so oddly.



#20 ThatDan

ThatDan

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:10 PM

Re word count: 

An agent needs to know this because a publisher needs to know this. A publisher needs to know if it will be worthwhile printing, and the cost will be based on pages printed, hence word count. Yes, it is unfair that seemingly arbitrary word limits exist, but it's the reality of printing. Publishers are reluctant to take a gamble on anything too long because it will lose a lot of money if it bombs.

Thus agents hesitate when the count is too long because it will be hard to sell.

Omit the count, and like Springfield said, agents will assume the worst.







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