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Love, Literary Fiction: Closed for Now


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#61 Bibliophyl

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 06:08 AM

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. Henry is a professor of literature; he has book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced Henry is the only person who can understand what he suffers.

 

But Henry is an irresponsible person and his sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass. [how?] As Marc appears in Henry’s office, then at his front door, Henry spends his days trying to make up with the one person he ever loved [who? I like that you've pared it down to focus more on the conflict between Henry/Marc and stripped out some of the ex-boyfriend stuff, but I think we do need a bit more information in order for this to hit properly] and his nights screwing a woman he hates and who hates him back.

 

Even so, Marc refuses help from anyone else. So Henry tries to set aside the chaos of his own situation. He gives Marc the spare room in his apartment, he becomes the parent Marc needs but never had. But for the first time in his life Henry is heartbroken; his carefree, hedonistic lifestyle has become a thing of hate. The stress is eroding his body and his mental health. If he can’t get his own life in order, and do it soon, then he’ll fail Marc completely.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

From this, it sounds as if Marc is the more interesting character. Being obsessed with/haunted by a book is more interesting than relationship problems IMO. Is it a dual POV? If so, I wonder if you could almost focus on Marc in the query. But I know that might not work for you. I agree with the previous commenter wondering what is the main plot. I think you either have to focus completely on Henry's relationship conflicts and leave out Marc entirely, or focus completely on Marc and not mention Henry's "sexual gallivanting" (nice phrase btw) because in this version it kind of comes out of nowhere with nothing to back it up.

 

Hope that helps! I updated my query too if you want to take another look. 



#62 smithgirl

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:23 AM

For those of you who are familiar with the previous version of the query (focusing on Henry, Jack, and Althea), it was a complete failure. I sent ~ 205 queries and received 2 requests. The Marc part of the story is almost as important as the Henry/Althea part. The two elements run in parallel all through the book. Hence, my attempt to refocus the query -- because realistically speaking, the Marc-focused query can't do any worse.

 

Even with the Marc focus, I still think I have to include the sexual gallivanting, because it's what blows Henry's life apart, so he struggles to give Marc what he needs. The point is that Henry gets himself into a position where he's trying to save Marc even while his own life is going to pieces, and that's important to the story.

 

I'm not sure there's any good solution, but since my original query did so badly, I'm trying this instead, because it can't do worse. 



#63 Tyokunbo

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for reviewing my query

 

 

 

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. (What is in the book?Why is it haunting Marc? Does Henry like the book)) Henry is a professor of literature; he has (the) book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced Henry is the only person who can understand what he suffers. (Why is he convinced only Henry can understand him?)

But Henry is an irresponsible person and his sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass.(This doesn't make Henry sound  interesting and sympathetic)  As Marc appears in Henry’s office, then at his front door, Henry spends his days trying to make up with the one person he ever loved and his nights screwing a woman he hates and who hates him back. (Isn't this a diversion from the central plot of the query)

Even so, Marc refuses help from anyone else. (This doesn't connect with the last sentence of the previous paragraph) So Henry tries to set aside the chaos of his own situation. He gives Marc the spare room in his apartment, he becomes the parent Marc needs but never had. But for the first time in his life Henry is heartbroken; his carefree, hedonistic lifestyle has become a thing of hate. (Does this make Henry sound  interesting and sympathetic?)The stress is eroding his body and his mental health. If he can’t get his own life in order, and do it soon, then he’ll fail Marc completely.



LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

The query is an improvement on the previous one: You're focusing on Marc instead of Jack. So Henry must want to help Marc. He has to stop thinking of his previous relationship. He has to stop thinking of his challenges while helping Jack. He mustn't whine. He has to stop regretting the past. He has to be a strong protagonist.

 

 

Thanks for reviewing my previous query. I have revised it. Can you please help me review it once again?

 

http://agentquerycon...pic/38912-kari/



#64 smithgirl

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 01:54 PM

For those of you who are familiar with the previous version of the query (focusing on Henry, Jack, and Althea), it was a complete failure. I sent ~ 205 queries and received 2 requests. The Marc part of the story is almost as important as the Henry/Althea part. The two elements run in parallel all through the book. Hence, my attempt to refocus the query -- because realistically speaking, the Marc-focused query can't do any worse.

 

Even with the Marc focus, I still think I have to include the sexual gallivanting, because that's what blows Henry's life apart, so he struggles to give Marc what he needs. The point is that Henry gets himself into a position where he's trying to save Marc even while his own life is going to pieces, and that's important to the story.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. Henry is a professor of literature, he has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the book can understand what he suffers.

 

Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but recently his own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass, and he lost the one person, Jack, he ever loved. As Marc appears in Henry’s office, then at his front door, Henry spends his days trying to make up with Jack and his nights punishing himself by screwing a woman he hates and who hates him back.

 

But Marc refuses help from anyone else. So Henry tries to set aside the chaos of his own situation. He gives Marc the spare room in his apartment, he becomes the parent Marc needs but never had. But for the first time in his life Henry is heartbroken. His formerly carefree, hedonistic lifestyle has become bedlam. The stress is eroding his body and his mental health. If he can’t get his own life in order, and do it soon, then he’ll fail Marc completely.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#65 AReadingRedSox

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 04:56 PM

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. Henry is a professor of literature, he has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the book can understand what he suffers.

 

Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but recently his own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass, and he lost the one person, Jack, he ever loved. As Marc appears in Henry’s office, then at his front door, Henry spends his days trying to make up with Jack and his nights punishing himself by screwing a woman he hates and who hates him back.

 

But Marc refuses help from anyone else. So Henry tries to set aside the chaos of his own situation. He gives Marc the spare room in his apartment, he becomes the parent Marc needs but never had. But for the first time in his life Henry is heartbroken. His formerly carefree, hedonistic lifestyle has become bedlam. The stress is eroding his body and his mental health. If he can’t get his own life in order, and do it soon, then he’ll fail Marc completely.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

I think the problem here is that you're including too much information. There's nothing that's really grabbing me or making me want to read more. I have no idea what the central point of this novel is, or what it's even about really. There aren't any stakes here; you're just telling me about parts of Henry's life. I think at this point it might benefit you to rewrite the query entirely and really up the stakes and the tension.



#66 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for taking a look at mine! Hope you find my comments helpful:

 

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide. I like the concepts introduced in this hook! I wonder if there might be a more active way of phrasing this than "never thought". Something like a specific incident he has to keep the kid from committing suicide might be more exciting. Just a suggestion.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: he is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. Henry is a professor of literature, he has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the book can understand what he suffers.

 

Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but recently his own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass, and he lost the one person, Jack, he ever loved. As Marc appears in Henry’s office, then at his front door, Henry spends his days trying to make up with Jack and his nights punishing himself by screwing a woman he hates and who hates him back. This paragraph feels like a bit of a digression from the previous one. I'm not sure you have room for all of this since it's a query letter, not a synopsis.

 

But Marc refuses help from anyone else. So Henry tries to set aside the chaos of his own situation. He gives Marc the spare room in his apartment, he becomes the parent Marc needs but never had. But for the first time in his life Henry is heartbroken. His formerly carefree, hedonistic lifestyle has become bedlam. Honestly doesn't sound like a good environment for a child at all. The stress is eroding his body and his mental health. If he can’t get his own life in order, and do it soon, then he’ll fail Marc completely. The story from Marc's childhood was really interesting...I think I wanted to know more about that. It also might help make the stakes more specific if I knew what was going on there.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#67 smithgirl

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 03:53 PM

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. 

 

Henry is a professor of literature, he has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the book can understand what he suffers. Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but what Marc needs is so far beyond some office visits and a sympathetic ear.

 

But when it’s clear Marc’s life is in danger and he refuses help from anyone else, Henry knows it’s up to him. Unfortunately, Henry’s own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallivanting just came to bite him in the ass, and he lost the only person he ever loved. In despair he’s embarks upon a new, mutually hateful destructive relationship that erodes his sanity and physical health. If Henry can’t get his own life together, and do it soon, he’ll fail Marc completely.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#68 JessicaCohen

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 04:30 PM

OK, trying again. Argh.

 

 

 

As an unmarried, childless playboy I'm wondering if instead of playboy, you should include that he's a professor here? it seems more important at this point than the playboy aspect of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide. the care of Marc--a suicidal, teenage boy.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book  an obscure horror story  (dark fairy tale may work here too if it fits with your book) that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. 

 

Henry is a professor of literature, he has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the bookstory can understand what he suffers. Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but what Marc needs is so far beyond some office visits and a sympathetic ear.

 

But when it’s clear Marc’s life is in danger and he refuses help from anyone else, Henry knows it’s up to him. Unfortunately, Henry’s own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallanting gallivanting? just came to bitebit him in the ass, and he lost the only person he ever loved. In despair he’s embarks upon a new, mutually hateful destructive relationship that erodes his sanity and physical health. I feel like this got really far away from what you were building up to with Marc, especially in mentioning the story. If Henry can’t get his own life together, and do it soon, he’ll fail Marc completely. This stanza I feel definitely needs some tweaking. You had some really nice build up in the first two, and now it's fallen flat.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

Story definitely sounds interesting! Query just needs a bit of work.

 

Here's mine, if you'd like to chime in, and I'd be glad to look at yours again once you've done some tweaking. http://agentquerycon...will-crit-back/



#69 taylorhale

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 04:31 PM

OK, trying again. Argh.

 

 

 

As an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three, Henry never thought he’d be the one responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide. (Oh nice hook. I think it could use some reworking for more punch though. Maybe: At forty-three, Henry is an unmarried, childless playboy, and [something about his life, like "and his life is bleak" or "and his life is stagnating"]. He never thought he'd be responsible for preventing a teenage boy's suicide.)

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, a troubled boy named Marc. Over time Henry coaxes (maybe use a different word. You don't want it to sound like your teacher is pressuring a student to share something they don't want to) Marc into sharing his fears: He is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. I think we need more here. And maybe it should be mentioned that Henry has a career upfront. Mention that he's a teacher when you introduce him in paragraph one.

 

Recommendation:

 

One of Henry's literature students, Marc, is a troubled boy from ____. As the quiet kid at the back of the class (or some other characterization that makes Marc stand out), Henry takes notice of Marc, and eventually they become close (something stronger here - I don't know what happens in the story). Marc confides in Henry that he is haunted by a terrible story from an obscure book his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child.

 

Henry is a professor of literature, (We got that.) Henry has the book on a shelf in his office, and Marc is convinced only someone who’s read the book can understand what he suffers. Henry makes a point of helping all his students, but what Marc needs is so far beyond some office visits and a sympathetic ear.

 

The book on the shelf seems random, even if Henry is a literature teacher. How about something like:

 

Henry is surprised to find that he has that same book on his ever-growing shelf of literature, but he was never negatively impacted by it (or was he? I don't know, I'm making this up, but we need more here).

 

Or:

 

Because Henry's spent years building his personal library, he has that same book on his shelf. 

 

 

 

But when it’s clear Marc’s life is in danger and he refuses help from anyone else, Henry knows it’s up to him. Unfortunately, Henry’s own life is on the rocks. His sexual gallanting just came to bite him in the ass, and he lost the only person he ever loved. (I would cut out Henry's sexual gallanting and the details about his personal life. It makes Marc's problems seem less important to the story. We don't need to know everything about Henry to be interested in reading the book) In despair he’s , he embarks upon a new, mutually hateful destructive relationship that erodes his sanity and physical health. If Henry can’t get his own life together, and do it soon, he’ll fail Marc completely. (Yeah I'm a little lost on the importance of Henry's personal problems. If the stakes are: if Henry doesn't get his life together, he won't be able to help Marc, then I think you need some rephrasing.

 

Recommendation:

 

But just as Marc's problems are piling up, Henry's own issues catch up to him... then continue on with the stakes. And maybe add more details onto the beginning on the state of Henry's life.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 Thanks so much for your feedback on my query! I hope this helps :)



#70 smithgirl

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 08:18 PM

Thank you everyone for your help! I'm trying again.

 

 

Henry is an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three. He never thought he’d be responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide.

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, Marc, who comes to office hours but just sits there, anxious and not speaking. Gradually Henry coaxes the boy to talk and learns his story: Marc is haunted by an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child.

 

Henry has the book in his office; it’s the story of a boy from an abusive home. Now Marc is convinced that only someone who read the book can understand how, in his mind, that boy’s story became Marc’s own. Precisely because he does understand, Henry knows that Marc needs much more help than office visits and a sympathetic ear.

 

But as a career bachelor and hedonist, Henry is not up to the task—at least that’s what he thinks. His own, irresponsible lifestyle has finally caught up with him and Henry feels woefully unequipped to help a boy on the edge of destruction. But Marc has chosen Henry, he won’t take help from anyone else. If Henry can’t get his life together, then Marc will have no help at all.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#71 taylorhale

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 08:43 AM

Thank you everyone for your help! I'm trying again.

 

 

Henry is an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three. He never thought he’d be responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide. This still sounds awkward to me. "Preventing a teenage boy's suicide" ?

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, Marc, who comes to office hours This confuses me. Office hours? Comes to class? but just sits there, anxious and not speaking quiet. Gradually, Henry coaxes I still don't like this word here, it sounds inappropriate for a student/teacher relationship. "Henry gives Marc a shoulder to lean on, and Marc confides." This is a huge difference from Henry "coaxing" him - that way sounds like he's pressuring him, but the way I worded it sounds like he's a good teacher who's there for him until Marc chooses to tell his story. the boy to talk and learns his story: Marc is haunted by an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child.

 

Henry has the book in his office; it’s the story of a boy from an abusive home. Now Marc is convinced that only someone who read the book can understand how, in his mind, that boy’s story became Marc’s own. Precisely because he does understand, Henry knows that Marc needs much more help than office visits and a sympathetic ear. Can you be more specific here? We can infer he means Marc is suicidal because of the hook, but I think here, we could use a little more. Maybe even a specific incident. "But when Henry finds Marc about to jump off the school building, he realizes he needs much more than a sympathetic ear..." something like that :-)

 

But as a career bachelor and hedonist, Henry is not up to the task—at least that’s what he thinks. His own, irresponsible lifestyle has finally caught up with him, and Henry feels woefully unequipped to help a boy on the edge of destruction. But Marc has chosen Henry, he won’t take help from anyone else. If Henry can’t get his life together, then Marc will have no help at all.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

I think you're getting there! This is a big improvement :)



#72 Tanja

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 09:14 AM

Hi smithgirl

 

I took the freedom and rewrote your query. You can take from it whatever you like. Toss the lot. Up to you. But what I tried is to move things along. I used Henry's messed up life at the beginning as much as Marc. I left the stakes open. You know the story the best, but try to bring a tiny hint back in of Henry's life and his challenge of either starting to learn take responsibly or fail Marc, himself, and the love of his life. Something along that line.

 

Okay here's the revision

 

Just as bachelor of forty-three Henry hits rock bottom—his hedonist lifestyle has finally caught up with him—literary student Marc may just be his salvation. That is if Henry can keep him from suicide.

 

With patience, Henry manages to coax the reason out of teenager Marc why he’s visiting him during office hours but never speaks a word.  It’s all about a book Marc’s parents used to read it to him repeatedly when he was a child. And that same book, about a boy being abused, is on Henry’s desk/shelf. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand his sorrows.

 

Henry comprehends that Marc needs much more than office visits and a sympathetic ear, but he feels challenged as his life needs a cleanup… work on the stakes from here. Bring in a bit of his life in here.

 

Hope this helps.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#73 Caligulas

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 10:43 AM

Hi smithgirl

 

I took the freedom and rewrote your query. You can take from it whatever you like. Toss the lot. Up to you. But what I tried is to move things along. I used Henry's messed up life at the beginning as much as Marc. I left the stakes open. You know the story the best, but try to bring a tiny hint back in of Henry's life and his challenge of either starting to learn take responsibly or fail Marc, himself, and the love of his life. Something along that line.

 

Okay here's the revision

 

Just as bachelor of forty-three Henry hits rock bottom—his hedonist lifestyle has finally caught up with him—literary student Marc may just be his salvation. That is if Henry can keep him from suicide.

 

With patience, Henry manages to coax the reason out of teenager Marc why he’s visiting him during office hours but never speaks a word.  It’s all about a book Marc’s parents used to read it to him repeatedly when he was a child. And that same book, about a boy being abused, is on Henry’s desk/shelf. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand his sorrows.

 

Henry comprehends that Marc needs much more than office visits and a sympathetic ear, but he feels challenged as his life needs a cleanup… work on the stakes from here. Bring in a bit of his life in here.

 

Hope this helps.

 

I think this is a good outline to work with and write in your own voice with your own wording smithgirl. :)



#74 eric balson

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 11:01 AM

Thank you everyone for your help! I'm trying again.

 

 

Henry is an unmarried, childless playboy of forty-three. He never thought he’d be responsible for keeping a teenage boy from suicide. I'm not convinced that the first sentence smoothly leads up to the second sentence: it feels like you're talking about one thing in the first sentence and another in the second. Perhaps you should mention that he's selfish, in the first sentence. (You probably tried to show that by mentioning he's a play boy but i don't think it's that explicit)

 

It’s one of Henry’s literature students, Marc, who comes to office hours "office hours" doesn't read right but just sits there, anxious and not speaking. Gradually Henry coaxes the boy to talk and learns his story: Marc is haunted by an obscure book that his parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child.

 

Henry has the book in his office; it’s the story of a boy from an abusive home. Now Marc is convinced that only someone who read the book can understand how, in his mind, that boy’s story became Marc’s own. I'm kinda lost. Is the book not an important part of the story? It's confusing for you to bring it up, create an atmosphere of intrigue around it, and then just discard it. Precisely because he does understand, Henry knows that Marc needs much more help than office visits and a sympathetic ear.

 

But as a career bachelor and hedonist, Henry is not up to the task—at least that’s what he thinks. His own, irresponsible lifestyle has finally caught up with him specifically, how is he paying for his sins and Henry feels woefully unequipped to help a boy on the edge of destruction. But Marc has chosen Henry, he won’t take help from anyone else. If Henry can’t get his life together, then Marc will have no help at all.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

Hope I've been of help. Please take a look at my query here:

http://agentquerycon...lternate-query/



#75 SheWrites

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 08:06 PM

Smithgirl, I read through this threat, and I do think that this version is the strongest so far. Great work!

 

Just As a bachelor of forty-three comma Henry hits rock bottom—his hedonist hedonistic lifestyle has finally caught up with him— and literary student Marc may just be his the salvation that he needs. That is if Henry can keep him from suicide. Lose the dashes.

 

I would switch this a bit and say: As a bachelor of forty-three, Henry (last name's) hedonistic lifestyle has finally caught up with him. A teenage literary student, named Marc, may be the salvation he needs. 

 

With great patience, Henry manages to coax the reason out of teenager Marc why while he’s in the office for his therapy appointment but never speaks a word. visiting him during office hours but never speaks a word.  It’s all about a book Marc’s parents used to read it to him repeatedly when he was a child. comma And that and this same book, about a boy being abused, is on Henry’s desk shelf. Get rid of the slash Now Marc is firm believes that Henry is the only person who can understand his sorrows.  darkest nightmares, the ones that make him want to take his own life. (Go nuts here - his deepest, darkest horror - whatever it is, make it big)

 

Henry comprehends that Marc needs much help beyond more than office visits and a sympathetic ear, but he feels challenged period as his His own life needs a cleanup… lose the ellipsis work on the stakes from here. Bring in a bit of his life in here. Does he love a boy on the edge of destruction enough to turn his own life around? That is the question, the stakes - Henry will have to dig deep ~ you can word this best!

 

 
These are my thoughts - Keep on, never give up! XOXO SheWrites This is a powerful story!


#76 smithgirl

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 08:28 PM

A big thank you go Tanja, who made some genius recommendations. Thank you Tanja! I hope this is better. Thank you to everyone who's been coming by. I appreciate it.

 

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When Henry’s hedonistic bachelor lifestyle finally catches up with him, he thinks he’s lost everything. His one salvation could be a troubled student named Marc. That is, if Henry can keep the boy from suicide.

 

Henry, a professor of literature, patiently coaxes from Marc the reason he comes to Henry’s office but doesn’t speak. It’s all about an obscure book Marc’s parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. That same book, the terrible story of a boy abused by his parents, is in Henry’s office. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand how he suffers.

 

Precisely because he has read the book, Henry knows Marc needs more than office visits and his sympathetic ear. But Henry’s own life is on the rocks; the one man he ever loved just left him. After a lifetime of reckless confidence, Henry is learning what it is to be hopeless and empty. Even as Marc’s prospects spiral downward, Henry is falling, too. But if Henry can’t get his own situation in order, Marc will have no one to help him at all.

 

​LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc. 



#77 Tanja

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 04:31 AM

Glad I could help. And thank you so much for your tremendous help with my query. I was about to toss the whole thing :wink:

See if I can help you a little more.

 

A big thank you go Tanja, who made some genius recommendations. Thank you Tanja! I hope this is better. Thank you to everyone who's been coming by. I appreciate it.

 

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When Henry’s hedonistic bachelor lifestyle finally catches up with him, he thinks he’s lost everything because it's mentioned further down that he's lost the love of his life, it kind of sounds unneeded in the hook. Maybe steer it more towards his feeling. Doesn't have to be 'hit rock-bottom', but something along that line. His one salvation could be a troubled student named Marc. That is, if Henry can keep the boy from suicide.

 

Henry, a professor of literature, patiently coaxes from Marc the reason he comes to Henry’s his office but doesn’t speak. It’s all about an obscure book Marc’s parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. That same book, the terrible story of a boy abused by his parents, is in Henry’s office. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand how he suffers. I agree with SheWrites here. Darkest horrors, nightmares, something strong

 

Precisely because he has read the book, Since we understand that Henry read the book, you don't need this. One other option is you leave what's above, but down here you write: Being familiar with the book, Henry knows what horrors and nightmares Marc must be going through and a sympathetic ear isn't not enough to help. Henry knows Marc needs more than office visits and his sympathetic ear. But Henry’s own life is on the rocks; the one person he ever loved just left him. After a lifetime of reckless confidence, Henry is learning what it is to be hopeless and empty. Even as Marc’s prospects spiral downward, Henry is falling, too. But if Henry can’t get his own situation in order,think of something stronger. Clean up his own mess, or grow up, or take responsibility he always tried to avoid, something like that Marc will have no one to help him at all.

 

​LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc. 

 

Much  better. I think it mainly needs a little oomph now. But it's really good now. Maybe other's disagree. The only thing that's missing now are Henry's sex preferences. I can't think of something how to feed it in at the moment, but it's certainly something that should be in the query, so it doesn't come by surprise for an agent.  I'll have a think about it or someone else might have an idea. Will keep checking on the process. Well done


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#78 smithgirl

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 08:07 PM

Dear Agent:

 

When Henry’s hedonistic bachelor lifestyle finally catches up with him, he thinks he's lost everything. His salvation could be one of his students, a troubled boy named Marc. That is, if Henry can keep him from suicide.

 

Henry, a professor of professor of literature, patiently coaxes from Marc the reason he comes to office hours, over and over, but doesn’t speak. It’s all about an obscure book Marc’s parents read to him repeatedly when he was a child. That same book, the story of a boy abused by his parents, is among those in Henry's bookshelf. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand the images driving him over the edge.

 

Because Henry's read the book he does understand; he knows that Marc needs so much more than office visits and his sympathetic ear. But Henry’s own life is on the rocks. The one man he ever loved just left him, and Henry is screwing a woman he hates. After a lifetime of reckless confidence, Henry is learning what it is to be hopeless and empty. 

 

So even as Marc’s prospects spiral downward, Henry is falling, too. Marc won’t take help from anyone but him. Henry knows if he can’t save himself, then Marc will have no one at all.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc. 



#79 CS29

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:04 AM

Dear Agent:

 

When Henry’s hedonistic bachelor lifestyle finally catches up with him, This feels vague. Can you allude more to what happens to him? Why he needs salvation? his one salvation could be a troubled student named Marc. That is, if Henry can keep the boy from suicide.

 

Henry, a professor of literature, patiently coaxes from Marc the reason he comes to Henry’s office but doesn’t speak. Does this just happen once? Or repeatedly? Does he not have some pretense for coming to a literature professor's office? It’s all about an obscure book Marc’s parents read to him, over and over again as, when he was a child. That/The same book, the terrible story of a boy abused by his parents, is sits in Henry’s office. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand the nightmares he suffers. What kind of nightmares? Related to his suicidal feelings I imagine, but more concrete detail would be good. And why can Henry understand? Has he read the book? Does he know something?

 

Henry does understand; he knows that Marc needs so much more than office visits and his sympathetic ear. But Henry’s own life is on the rocks. The one man he ever loved just left him, and he’s screwing a women (woman?) he (Henry does? or his lover hates her?) hates. After a lifetime of reckless confidence, Henry is learning what it is to be hopeless and empty. 

 

Even as Marc’s prospects spiral downward, Henry is falling, too. How are things getting worse for them? Marc won’t take help from anyone but him. Henry knows if he can’t save himself, then Marc will have no one at all. I like the sentiment here. Henry needs to save himself to save Marc. The stakes are pretty good, but if you could elaborate on them a little to make this part hit harder.

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

I hope some of this helps. Good luck!



#80 W.P.

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 10:55 AM

When Henry’s hedonistic bachelor lifestyle finally catches up with him, his one salvation could be a troubled student named Marc. That is, if Henry can keep the boy from suicide. ((this last sentence threw me off a bit. had to reread it))

 

Henry, a professor of literature, patiently coaxes from Marc the reason he comes to Henry’s office but doesn’t speak. It’s all about an obscure book Marc’s parents read to him, over and over, when he was a child. That same book, the terrible story of a boy abused by his parents, is in Henry’s office. Now Marc is firm Henry is the only person who can understand the nightmares he suffers. ((This paragraph doesn't quite read like a query but a play by play. too many unnecessary details. I think the thing about him being a professor and Marc being a student should be part of the hook. A student helping a teacher, being his salvation? that's a hook. ))

 

Henry does understand; he knows that Marc needs so much more than office visits and his sympathetic ear. But Henry’s own life is on the rocks. The one man he ever loved just left him, and he’s screwing a woman he hates. After a lifetime of reckless confidence, Henry is learning what it is to be hopeless and empty. ((great stuff))

 

Even as Marc’s prospects spiral downward, Henry is falling, too. Marc won’t take help from anyone but him. Henry knows if he can’t save himself, then Marc will have no one at all. ((great stuff))

 

LOVE [not real title] is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

 

 

Wow! The query has changed so much! It feels like a completely different novel too. xD Honestly, this query is light years ahead. So. Much. Better. It's concise and knows what it has so say. Great job!

 

 

Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. If you could take a look at my query as well, it'd be great. :)  http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=358512






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