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Revised-Query Draft, The Madness of Ambrose Bright, Science fiction

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#1 tonyreynolds

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:58 PM

The Madness of Ambrose Bright- query revision.

Taking your comments to heart I have shortened this considerable. I would appreciate a second look. Thanks, Tony

 

Agent Name
Agency

 

I see that you are interested in science fiction and think you would be interested in my completed novel at 63,300 words. Thank you for taking the time to read my query for "The Madness of Ambrose Bright".

 

When the young lady from Mexico with the flowered blouse asks for his help, Ambrose Bright has no clue that the future holds a triple murder, an alternate universe, and a personal madness. But it will.

 

Things are going well for Ambrose Bright, an up and coming graphic novelist. His life is getting back together since being shot. Books are getting picked up and the young lady from Mexico, an archeologist, wants him to document a new site. A comic book guy to document archeology? He’s a little doubtful of her logic but mythology is his stock in trade.

 

Ancient civilizations come and go. They leave their mark on the landscape and the people fade away. But what if they don’t? Ambrose slips through a portal to an ancient realm that never died out. Whose people mirror the bloody and cruel civilization that is scratched into the walls of the jungle-covered ruins he’s been researching; and whose worst criminals are exiled to his own universe.

 

 

Escape is a short-term relief as exiles show up to put their plan for domination into motion. The young lady from Mexico is the first casualty and Ambrose can save her if he will only give them what they want. And his madness truly begins.

 

“The Madness of Ambrose Bright” is my debut science fiction novel, complete at 63,400 words. Of credentials, I have none other than the words of this story.

 

Once again, thank you for your time and consideration.

Contact: Tony Reynolds….



#2 lnloft

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:17 PM

Hi, so, a query is not the same thing as a synopsis. Query is basically a brief (~250-word) sales pitch. Usually covers the first quarter to third of your book. Kinda like the blurb on the back of a book but also its own thing. Synopsis meanwhile is a summary of the whole book. Some agents will request a synopsis to be sent with the query, but you first need to get the query figured out. Check out the how-to stickies on this board, the successful queries board, the Query Shark blog (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/), and Agent Query's how-to (https://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx) to get a better idea of what a query should actually look like. Hope this helps, and good luck.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#3 yawriter

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:26 PM

I would appreciate your feedback on this, my first query draft for my first novel.

 

Hello! So, first, I can already tell this is too long. The sweet spot is actually around 250 TOTAL. Start cutting away!

 

Dear Ms. Agent,

 

Agent Name
Agency

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my query for "The Madness of Ambrose Bright". Following the synopsis are the first xx pages of the novel.

 

Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 63,300 words

 

I noticed you are interested in ____ and think you would be interested in my completed science fiction novel at 63,300 words. -(Remember you are still a writer!)

 

When the young lady What young lady? from Mexico with the flowered blouse and light perfume recruits Ambrose Bright to create a graphic novel about an archeological site she’s researching, he fails to find out he might fall in love, get trapped in another universe with a half-crazed linguist, and murder three blood-thirsty exiles bent on world domination.This is a really long sentence. He should have done better research.

Ah! I thought you already started writing the synopsis!

 

Synopsis:

Ambrose Bright, a twenties-something graphic novelist has just finished a new book when he is approached at a book signing in San Diego by a weathered and calloused old man. Dr. Tadeo Ceballos offers him an opportunity. As wild as it sounds to Ambrose, the doctor, at the prodding of his niece, a grad student of ancient studies at the University of Mexico, wants the comic book writer to document a new and exciting archeological site. They want him to record the site from the point of view of a mythologist rather than a stuffy academic. Sara, Dr. Ceballos’ niece will be his mentor and help him discover and develop the story behind the glyphs and carvings as he is introduced to Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico

As mentor and artist explore the story of Monte Alban and then the discoveries at the new site at Ocho Rocas, a mutual interest grows. They begin the dance. ​I'm a little confused by the formatting here...where are the paragraphs? Beside to put a space between each.

Arriving at the new site Ambrose is side-tracked into searching for Janice Oberhaus, the linguist who had been missing in the jungle for a week. Ambrose explores a space in one of the ruins and stumbles through a portal to an alternate universe. He finds the missing linguist, frantic to get out of this horrid and dangerous universe. She explains that while the ancient civilization in their universe had died out hundreds of years ago, the mirror inhabitants of this universe have survived and with them the bloody rituals, slavery, and brutality that are represented in the carvings and glyphs on the buildings that Ambrose has been trying to weave into his new book.

This universe (Guancuatl) uses Ambrose’s universe (Kwincerta) as a dumping ground for their most dangerous criminals. For the two outlanders to return to Kwincerta they must pass through the high priest’s portal just after three criminals (a con man, a thug, and a serial killer) are sent into exile.  The three exiles plan on surviving their exile and dominating the new world with the help of a stone stolen from the emperor.

Although he has no idea why the stone is valuable, Ambrose comes to possess it and becomes the target of the three exiles. They are bloodthirsty and determined to get the stone back.

Sara and Ambrose have become very fond of each other. During a robbery of artifacts at the new site by one of the exiles and Janice Oberhaus who has been coerced to work with the criminals, Sara is seriously injured. Ambrose tries to keep the exiles from finding her at the hospital but to no avail. To force Ambrose out in the open they kill Sara. His madness, steeped in the guilt of leading the killers to Sara is the midwife of his revenge. Blinding anger, guilt and alcohol lead him to the back streets of Oaxaca where he is found by one of the criminals and forced to return the stone or the exile will kill Dr. Ceballos who has also been kidnapped.

Ambrose learns that the exiles cannot directly touch the stone and uses that as a weapon to kill the kidnapper. Only one exile remains.

Ambrose meets up with the remaining exile when he tries to destroy the stone forever. The last exile tells him of the stone’s ability to bend time and in return for giving up the stone he will show him how he might go back and save Sara. His madness intensifies as he must choose between having Sara back or making his own universe safe.
########################################################################

Bio: I have no other credentials other than the words of this book.
Website: www.xxx.com

Contact info: Tony Reynolds, xxx etc.

 

 

I think the advice to cut this down would be what you should work on . What is the problem in the story? Start with that. I was getting fairly lost in your synopsis. Please let me know when you're ready for me to look at it again! I'd be happy to!

 

Please return the favor and read synopsis for my query letter. Thank you in advanced!

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38448-the-citys-whispers-paranormal-ya-romance/?p=352436



#4 Dasein

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:52 PM

I agree with what the other commenters said, that what you have here is not really a query. To write a query you have to strip the story down to the bare bones. To give an indication of how I will start with this part, which I am guessing is your log line:

"When the young lady from Mexico with the flowered blouse and light perfume recruits Ambrose Bright to create a graphic novel about an archeological site she’s researching, he fails to find out he might fall in love, get trapped in another universe with a half-crazed linguist, and murder three blood-thirsty exiles bent on world domination. He should have done better research."

I suggest something like this:

When an alluring young woman from Mexico engages Ambrose Bright to create a graphic novel about an archeological site she’s researching, he does not expect to get trapped in another universe with a half-crazed linguist, and have to kill three blood-thirsty exiles bent on world domination. Maybe he should have turned her down.

#5 tonyreynolds

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:51 AM

Hi, so, a query is not the same thing as a synopsis. Query is basically a brief (~250-word) sales pitch. Usually covers the first quarter to third of your book. Kinda like the blurb on the back of a book but also its own thing. Synopsis meanwhile is a summary of the whole book. Some agents will request a synopsis to be sent with the query, but you first need to get the query figured out. Check out the how-to stickies on this board, the successful queries board, the Query Shark blog (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/), and Agent Query's how-to (https://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx) to get a better idea of what a query should actually look like. Hope this helps, and good luck.

Thank you for the distinction between query and synopsis. I will check out the how-tos and Query Shark.



#6 tonyreynolds

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:55 AM

I think the advice to cut this down would be what you should work on . What is the problem in the story? Start with that. I was getting fairly lost in your synopsis. Please let me know when you're ready for me to look at it again! I'd be happy to!

 

Please return the favor and read synopsis for my query letter. Thank you in advanced!

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38448-the-citys-whispers-paranormal-ya-romance/?p=352436

 

Most of the comments/advice I received was to cut it down. That I can do. Formatting seems to be as much a function of understanding how to cut and paste into the forum but I'll watch that as well. Thanks for the feedback.



#7 tonyreynolds

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:59 AM

I agree with what the other commenters said, that what you have here is not really a query. To write a query you have to strip the story down to the bare bones. To give an indication of how I will start with this part, which I am guessing is your log line:

"When the young lady from Mexico with the flowered blouse and light perfume recruits Ambrose Bright to create a graphic novel about an archeological site she’s researching, he fails to find out he might fall in love, get trapped in another universe with a half-crazed linguist, and murder three blood-thirsty exiles bent on world domination. He should have done better research."

I suggest something like this:

When an alluring young woman from Mexico engages Ambrose Bright to create a graphic novel about an archeological site she’s researching, he does not expect to get trapped in another universe with a half-crazed linguist, and have to kill three blood-thirsty exiles bent on world domination. Maybe he should have turned her down.

Thanks for your input. I'm not sure your suggestion gave the same tone I was looking for but perhaps I wasn't as clear either. I'll keep working at it.



#8 tonyreynolds

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:53 PM

The Madness of Ambrose Bright- query revision.

Taking your comments to heart I have shortened this considerable. I would appreciate a second look. Thanks, Tony

 

Agent Name
Agency

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my query for "The Madness of Ambrose Bright".

 

When the young lady from Mexico with the flowered blouse asks for his help, Ambrose Bright has no clue that the future holds a triple murder, an alternate universe, and a personal madness. But it will.

 

Things are going well for Ambrose Bright, an up and coming graphic novelist. His life is getting back together since being shot. Books are getting picked up and the young lady from Mexico, an archeologist, wants him to document a new site. A comic book guy to document archeology? He’s a little doubtful of her logic but mythology is his stock in trade.

 

Ancient civilizations come and go. They leave their mark on the landscape and the people fade away. But what if they don’t? Ambrose slips through a portal to an ancient realm that never died out. Whose people mirror the bloody and cruel civilization that is scratched into the walls of the jungle-covered ruins he’s been researching; and whose worst criminals are exiled to his own universe.

 

 

Escape is a short-term relief as exiles show up to put their plan for domination into motion. The young lady from Mexico is the first casualty and Ambrose can save her if he will only give them what they want. And his madness truly begins.

 

“The Madness of Ambrose Bright” is my debut science fiction novel, complete at 63,400 words. Of credentials, I have none other than the words of this story.

 

Once again, thank you for your time and consideration.

Contact: Tony Reynolds….



#9 JRUET

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:01 PM

Note: I didn't not read former renditions/critiques so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)

 

When the use "a" she's not the only young lady and if you MC doesn't know her yet she's not special yet young lady from Mexico with the flowered blouse I don't think this descriptor adds much, but if you're attached to it, it should say "in a flowered blouse" asks for his help, Ambrose Bright has no clue that the future holds a triple murder, an alternate universe, and a personal madness. But it will.

 

(Things are going well for Ambrose Bright, an up and coming graphic novelist. His life is getting back together since being shot.) This seems like back story, unless it's pivotal to the plot any additional bg info is distracting. Think of your potential agent as an over caffeinated, tired, six year old with ADD in a toy store ;) - if you aren't as direct and exciting/interesting/clear as possible you'll lose her attention, even if you have the coolest story on the block  Books are getting picked up and the young lady from Mexico so if she's a major player in this story (i.e. one of the main characters) you could probably name her. At first I thought she was just a jumping off pint, but now she seems more important than that, an archeologist, wants him to document a new site I'm not sure I followed your jump from being a graphic novelist to documenting an archeological site. A comic book guy to document archeology? And clearly I've jumped the gun, that was your point :) Even so though, you don't want anything that will make your reader stop to say "wait, what?" because it pulls his attention away from what your selling He’s a little doubtful of her logic but mythology is his stock in trade.

 

(Ancient civilizations come and go. They leave their mark on the landscape and the people fade away.) This seems like a total diversion from the story you were previously telling me- I was all invested in the triple murder thing, but now we're jumping to a whole other topic But what if they don’t? I've read that agents are snarky and dislike rhetorical questions Ambrose slips check your word choice here- "slips" makes me think this is something that "happened" to your MC and anything that "happens" to the MC as opposed to being caused by his actions seems passive and weakens your character. through a portal to an ancient realm that never died outSo is he time traveling here? Space traveling? Alternate universe traveling? I assume you don't mean it actually didn't die out, because then it would still exist (Whose people mirror the bloody and cruel civilization that is scratched into the walls of the jungle-covered ruins he’s been researching; and whose worst criminals are exiled to his own universe.) I'd look at your idea order here, it's currently confusing. Maybe try something along the lines of: Then AB stumbles through a portal into an ancient civilization. He realizes the cruelty of these people is quite literally written on the walls- he's been studying their hieroglyphs in the jungle-covered ruins. But there's a bigger problem, somehow they've managed to send their most dangerous criminals into AB's world.

 

 

Escape escape from what? This seems like a lead-in you could eliminate is a short-term relief as exiles show up to put their plan for domination into motion. The young lady from Mexico is the first casualty and Ambrose can save her if he will only give them what they want "Casualty" suggests she's already dead, saving her suggests she isn't. And his madness truly begins. I didn't realize he was going mad until right here. So are you telling me he's making this up, or just that nobody believes him, or are you using it in a "this is madness" type of way?

 

“The Madness of Ambrose Bright” title should be in all caps with not quotes is my debut science fiction novel, complete at 63,000 words You can round to the nearest thousand. Of credentials, I have none other than the words of this story.

 

Once again, thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Okay, so you have interesting concepts here, but I honestly felt like ear paragraph was about an entirely different story. Each one had elements of a book I'd like to read, but they didn't fit together. I think you would benefit from the following:

 

1. Write down what the book is about in one sentence. Preferably one that doesn't have multiple clauses.

2. Answer the following:

-what the main character needs or wants to achieve

 

-what threatens the MC enough to kick-start the story

 

-what steps the MC takes to achieve that goal

 

-what challenges the MC overcomes to get there

 

Then look at those notes and build the query around it. You don't need (and frankly can't) include every element of your novel into the query, you just need enough to make the query reader want more.

 

Hope this helps and isn't too overwhelming. Like I said, interesting concepts, confusing cobbling. Good luck!

 

I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks!http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-last-revision-before-initial-inquiries/?p=353277







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