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#21 hgsylvan

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 02:54 PM

LATEST VERSION IN #29



#22 jaustail

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:41 AM

JMO:

 

Dear X:

 

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years.(maybe mention your current age before this secret. like i celebrated my thirty-first birthday yesterday and i have a secret.)

 

Despite being cute, disease free and only mildly neurotic I am staring down the barrel of forty, the sex-less days ticking by faster than the national debt and the reality that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon(lol) sucks for a girl that loves the written word.

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and  my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust. Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when that fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty dropping no-brainier. 

 

Nope.

 

Instead I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like alternate side of the street parking and feeding Nero, my 26 - pound cat. 

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship or sex again(maybe comma) I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is.

 

 

TRACY LANE IS NOT A VIRGIN: and other misconceptions surrounding a disastrous love life is a complete 75,000 word memoir that would appeal to fans of Jenny Lawson and Lena Dunham.

 

 

The writing is very smooth. I was looking for more stuff to read in the query. So good job there. I haven't read memoirs and don't know anything about how to query them so can't comment much. I didn't find anything unique here. It sounded like a self-help column. So maybe that could be a problem. Nothing unique. The writing was very good though. Smooth flow. Good luck!!

 

Link to the latest revision of my query is in my signature in case you want to have a look.



#23 MICRONESIA

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 09:13 AM

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years.

 

Despite being cute, disease free and only mildly neurotic Comma after introductory clause. I am staring down the barrel of forty, I'd break this sentence up. "The sex-less days are ticking by..." the sex-less days ticking by faster than the national debt and the reality that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. This final clause is incomplete. It's lacking a verb. "The reality that..." WHAT? Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon sucks for a girl who loves the written word. At this point, I'm thinking, "Sucks. Get over it. First-world problems." I imagine a lot of readers will have the same reaction. No one likes an excuse-making protagonist.

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and  my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust. Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when that fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty dropping no-brainier. 

 

Nope.

 

Instead comma I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like alternate side of the street parking I have no idea what this means. and feeding Nero, my 26 - pound Hyphens should connect words. cat. The previous "overload" sentence worked. This one does not. There's too much crammed in there.

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship or sex again Comma. I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is. Truth about the narrator's sexual history? THAT sounds like the hook. Not Tyler.

 

 

TRACY LANE IS NOT A VIRGIN: and other misconceptions surrounding a disastrous love life is a complete 75,000 word memoir that would appeal to fans of Jenny Lawson and Lena Dunham. Only reference other books.

 

 

The stakes aren't on the page yet. It seems like Tyler already rejected the character, and therefore all that stuff was backstory (i.e. unnecessary). What are her CLEAR and SPECIFIC goals? What is stopping her from achieving them? What is the choice she has to make?


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#24 Chloe Kleine

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

I've been reading queries all night, then I got to your latest update, and frankly it jumps out of the page. I think you're pretty much there. Your voice is strong. I love the separate paragraph for 'Nope' - it probably breaks all the rule, but IT WORKS.

Sure, the query needs a bit of tweaking here and there, (I still have a bee in my bonnet about the national debt 'clocking up' and not 'ticking by',...) but I think you'll get a lot of requests for full MS from agents who love memoirs.

 

There's a few typos (missing hyphen and double space, that you need to tidy up) 


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 


#25 hgsylvan

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:43 AM

hahaha!!! Thanks Chloe!! I know what you mean about reading queries all night - it's all I seem to do. This process is rough. 



#26 smithgirl

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:54 PM

Thanks for stopping by my query and offering excellent advice! I think maybe you're kicking me in the right direction. Horrors of query writing.

 

 

Dear X:

 

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years.

 

Despite being cute, disease-free I think this should be hyphenated but not 100% certain. and only mildly neurotic I am staring down the barrel of forty, and the sex-less days are ticking by faster than the national debt.  and The reality is that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon sucks for a girl that loves the written word. It think this is really good. The only thing is that the first sentence seemed too long. I made a recommendation for cutting into two.

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and  my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust. Love the unicorn dust! Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when the fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty-dropping no-brainier, and we did it like jack rabbits.

 

Nope. I really like this Nope, but grammatically speaking, I think it would indicate it's nope as is in not a no-brainer, not that you didn't spend the night. Maybe modify the previous paragraph just a tiny bit so that the Nope fits. I made my own, wimpy attempt to make the Nope refer back to something else. Obviously, this is up to you. Maybe this is just way too nitpicky. It just threw me when I read it.

 

Instead I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like alternate side of the street parking and feeding Nero, my 26 - pound cat. 

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship (or sex) again I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is.  I like how your query starts off funny and then gets serious at the very end. I know from reading a bit of this thread that you experienced sexual abuse -- is that what you are referring to by sexual history? Because sexual history could mean a lot of things. I think that, maybe, if you mean to refer to abuse than you should be explicit about that. The rest of your query has a very explicit feel about it, and then the end gets a bit vague. Honestly, I think the seriousness of saying you experienced abuse would be a fantastic contrast to the humor of the rest -- really show how everything seemed kind of funny, but really, it's not.

 

TRACY LANE IS NOT A VIRGIN: and other misconceptions surrounding a disastrous love life is a complete 75,000 word memoir that would appeal to fans of Jenny Lawson and Lena Dunham. 

 

Overall I think your query is really good. You have so much voice, and I can never get voice into a query. I hope my comments help. Best.



#27 smithgirl

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:54 PM

HYGS, your critique of my query was a real eureka moment and made it so much better. Thank you so much. 



#28 hgsylvan

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 02:49 PM

That's great news- so glad to hear it!! Let me know if you need help with anything else. 



#29 hgsylvan

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 03:41 PM

Thanks so much everyone for taking time to read. The input has really helped me so much. 

 

 

Dear X:

 

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years.

 

Despite being cute, disease-free and only mildly neurotic I am staring down the barrel of forty,  and the sex-less days are ticking by faster than the national debt. The reality is that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon sucks for a girl that loves the written word.

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust. Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when the fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty-dropping no-brainer - we did it like rockstars.

 

Nope.

 

Instead I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like feeding Nero, my 26 - pound cat. 

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship (or sex) again I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. The scars of being a survivor of sexual abuse might not be date night ready, but I had to find a way to make it work. Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is.  



#30 jaustail

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:45 PM

JMO:

 

Dear X:

 

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years.

 

Despite being cute, disease-free and only mildly neurotic I am staring down the barrel of forty,  (there is an extra space here)and the sex-less days are ticking by faster than the national debt. The reality is that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon sucks for a girl that loves the written word.

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust. Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when the fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty-dropping no-brainer - we did it like rockstars.

 

Nope.

 

Instead I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like feeding Nero, my 26 - pound cat. (maybe: twenty-six - pound cat. Numerical are easier to read than digits)

 

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship (or sex) again I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. The scars of being a survivor of sexual abuse might not be date night ready, but I had to find a way to make it work. Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is. 

 

 

Maybe make her more active to find love. Like does she find suitors somewhere? Is she an ardent fan of the show 'Bachelor'? Does she hit on some neighbor? Or does she ask her friends and colleagues to find some date for her?



#31 KatieLDavis

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:38 AM

Hi!

This query is very unique! The advice I'll give you is going to be based on everything I've ever read about querying, but take it with a grain of salt.

I think there will be a small handful of agents that will like that it's written from your MC's perspective (I'm assuming you did that because your book is written in first person.) As harsh as this may sound, I think most agents will toss your query without reading it fully because it's not written in third person present(industry standard.) That's not to say there won't be some who love it and want pages ASAP, but I think your best chance of getting your query read will be writing it in third person present. But by all means, you can give it a shot this way! Who knows, you might query an agent who loves it!


As for the actual content, definitely write "twenty-six-pound cat," as the user above suggested.

Also, I think you focus a little too much on your character's non existent sex life instead of WHY she can't get laid, or her adventures trying to get laid. If most of the book is about her adventures trying to date at 40, focus on that more and her awkwardness a bit less.

You can show how sexually awkward she is through the rest of the query when you explain her challenges trying to date.

Lastly, your last paragraph just reads weird to me, like I feel like it should be in present tense, but I know that won't work either. I think if you switched to third person for the query, that issue could be easily resolved, but again, that's up to you.

If you're really set on first person, your query doesn't need a whole lot of work. I really love the voice and I want it to work this way because it's good! I just don't want you to hurt your chances.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

#32 hgsylvan

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:17 AM

Hi Katie -

 

Thanks for giving it a read, I appreciate it.  I know it's weird that it is in first person and past tense (I struggle with the past tense sooooo much), the reason for that is because it is a memoir. So the rules for query a memoir vs fiction is a bit different.

 

 

Thanks again for taking your time to read it and comment. 



#33 Chloe Kleine

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:01 AM

hgsylvan - You are right. Trust me (and Carney), first person query for a MEMOIR is just fine and expected for a MEMOIR that's also written in first person (which they usually are). (But you already know this).  :happy:


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 


#34 Chloe Kleine

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:19 AM

Hgsylvan,

More from me...

Thanks for your recent critique! Much appreciated :-)

I think you are almost there with yours. It's looking great, and your writing style / voice is very compelling.  Just a few pointers below:

 

 

Dear X:

 

I have a secret…I haven’t had sex in ten years. (Good)

 

Despite being cute, disease-free and only mildly neurotic I am staring down the barrel of forty,  (no space here) and the sex-less days are ticking by faster than the national debt (clocks up :happy: ). The reality is that I have become THE cat person in my group of married, pregnant friends. Not to mention that dating in Los Angeles during the digital age of the emoticon sucks for a girl that loves the written word. (Good)

 

You’d think when Tyler Covington, book lover, reformed gangbanger and all around piece of perfection waltzed into my life, the seas would have parted, along with my legs, and my world would be filled with love, orgasms, and unicorn dust (I love this sentence). Everything about him screamed I-Am-The One. So when the fateful moment arrived and he asked me to spend the night, obviously it was a panty-dropping no-brainer - we did it like rockstars.  (Drop this latest addition - it can be misread as - we actually did it - As they say, 'Less is more')

 

Nope. (Splendid)

 

Instead I bolted from his bedroom in a full blown panic, throwing out excuses like feeding Nero, my 26 - pound cat. (We all love Nero now)

 

If I was ever going to have a relationship (or sex) again I needed to uncover the truth about my sexual history and disarm my malfunctioning survival system before I drove away every available bachelor. The scars of being a survivor of sexual abuse might not be date night ready, but I had to find a way to make it work. <=Up to here, I think your query is brilliant, but the last sentence is slightly less powerful - I wonder if you can sex it up a bit?... Sounded easy enough, but the path to true love never is.  

 

PS: I think 'Tracy is not a Virgin' is a GREAT title.


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 


#35 KatieLDavis

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 09:32 AM

Ah! How did I miss the memoir tag?! I'm going to blame mobile ;)Not that I knew it was different for memoirs.

I'm glad the rules are different because I love the voice that comes through in first person. Honestly, send a few of these out and see what kind of response you get! If I were an agent, I'd request more!





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