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Love, Literary Fiction: Updated query post 48


Best Answer smithgirl , 13 May 2018 - 04:16 PM

Thank you for everyone who helped. I'm closing this out for a while.

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#41 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:04 PM

Well, it's never good when one's head explodes.  :laugh: by all means . . . relax. 


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#42 smithgirl

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:19 PM

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.

 

It seems like a little mistake at the time; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women. And Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea.

 

So Henry will sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself.

 

Too late Henry sees how reckless he was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#43 conundrum

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 11:47 AM

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

( Hi smithgirl, I feel your pain regarding query overdose. I'm following everyone's progress and I'm wondering at what point do we say, it's done, query ready!

That being said, comments as follows:) )

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets (his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend) at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her. Your hook here hasn't changed,it's great and everyone likes it, but for some reason I stubble over the wording of boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. It might just be me, and I would slip in Jack's name.

 

It seems like a (little) mistake at the time; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women. And Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea. I'm not sure about using the word "little," only because he is forty-ish, and should know better, especially after knowing Jack has suffered considerable pain with Althea. Seems like a major mistake.

 

So Sleep with her, lure from her the secret from her, don’t tell Jack how he learned it comma but and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. But soon Henry learns it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself. I like this para., just a few tweaks for me, but maybe not necessary, let's see what other's think.

 

Now it's to late comma Henry sees how the terrible err he's made. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea, himself; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out. For me you nailed it! Great job! Just a few preference tweaks, but not necessary.

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

I have to say smithgirl...I'm invested in your story and characters now. I've read your synopsis, and know there is a much deeper back story. I hope you get further positive reviews here and can move forward. I'd love to hear that you nabbed an agent. 



#44 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 12:03 PM

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.

 

It seems like a little mistake at the time; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women. And Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea.

 

So sleep with her, lure from her the secret, don’t tell Jack how he learned it but spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. This is a bit clunky to me.  I see what you're trying to do here, but I wonder if you could streamline it slightly. But soon Henry learns it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself. Nice.

 

Too late Henry sees how terribly he erred. Little awkward. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea, himself the himself throws me, I'm not sure if you're talking about Jack or Henry here; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

Few little tweaks here and there to make it flow a little better, but I think this is pretty solid.  



#45 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:13 PM

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her. (Oohh snap. Interested!) 

 

It seems like a little mistake at the time; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women. And Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea. (This last sentence about Jack seems out of place. What does this have to do with the mistake? And is Althea the same girlfriend Henry just slept with?) 

 

So Henry will sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. (I don't understand this. So Henry is not willing to make Jack feel bad by asking him about this secret, but he is willing to make Jack AND this girl feel bad by manipulating and sleeping with her? This logic makes no sense to me.) But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself. (Why does Henry care so much about this secret?)

 

Too late Henry sees how reckless he was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out. (Hmm, so this query isn't bad. In fact, I think the query is well written. However, I think my problem is with the story itself. The stakes seem to be around Henry losing Jack. But Henry seems to be a giant asshole that I don't like and to be honest, I hope he does lose Jack because Jack deserves better. Basically, I don't really care about the stakes, which means I don't care enough to keep reading. I know from comments you've made that you wanted to explore writing an unlikable character, but the problem with that is most people don't have the patience for reading about idiot assholes. They have to have at least one redeeming quality (if Henry has one, it doesn't show in the query) for us to have interest, and if not, it's just tiring and annoying. So i don't think the issue is your query at all, I think it's Henry. He's just too illogical and unlikable. If you can find away to make us see why Henry does these things, maybe that would help?) 

 

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

 



#46 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:25 PM

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her. I think this hook is really great. This is my first time reading your query and I gasped.

 

It seems like a little mistake at the time; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women. And Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea. I'm having a little trouble connecting the first sentence in this paragraph to the second one. I went back and read some of your earlier versions and it seems that Henry sleeps with Althea to learn what the secret is about Jack.

 

"Henry's boyfriend, Jack, is consumed by a terrible secret regarding something that happened twenty years ago between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea. Jack won't confide in Henry so Henry decides to sleep with Althea to lure the secret from her." Just a thought.

 

So Henry will sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself.

 

Too late does Henry sees how reckless he was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

Just a few minor suggestions. I really liked it and I'm intrigued. I think you have a very interesting story on your hands.


Any help with my query would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#47 Tanja

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 03:05 AM

Thank you for your help with my query.

Hope I can return the favor.

 

OK I took some time off to recover because I was having query overdose. Here's my latest attempt below -- super short and tried to make it less synopsis-y. Thank you everyone who has/will provide their comments.

 

 

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend I do agree with codundrum here. It is a bit of a tongue breaker. But I can't think of another way to word it better at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.I still love the hook. It's great. Just that one issue I pointed out.

 

It seems like a little  I also agree with others and think considering his age, little sounds a bit off, though I see you can't delete it. Maybe use: It didn't seem like a big deal; mistake at the time ; Henry and Jack both see other people, men and women why beat around the bush? Why not just say they are bisexual. It's another thing that I think in their age they would stand up for it. Or you could say they  have an open relationship no matter the gender. And I think But would work better here:  But Jack is consumed by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and his ex-girlfriend, Althea.

 

So Henry decides to will sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club.  I would put this to the end of this para. Stay with the secret first and then he finds out it was no coincidence she was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself.

 

Too late Henry sees how reckless he was It's a little awkwardly worded.Maybe: It's too late when Henry realizes how reckless he was.. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone, and she can tell Jack where she got it. I'm still struggling with the phone number part. It nearly feels like telling, not showing. So far from other versions, I understand Henry doesn't know she took Jack's number from his phone. Therefore it's even more telling because the query is in Henry's POV. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

 

 LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

It's certainly reads less like a synopsis and it has improved a lot. I just made a few suggestions but my main issue is still the part about the phone number. Is that part really the big cliffhanger? I'd say his fear that Jack will find out is bigger than just the phone number she's got, of which I'm not really sure if Henry even knows about. So if he doesn't know about it, it shouldn't be in the query. Unless, and that's something I don't know, the book is written in dual POV and Althea has a voice in the book too. If this is the case, then I suggest writing the first para in Henry's POV and the second in hers and then bring it together in the third. But if the book is in Henry's POV only, then I would leave out the number and concentrate on the conflict Henry has about Jack finding out about his night with Althea.

 

Hope this helps


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#48 smithgirl

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:42 AM

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.

 

It doesn’t seem like such a big deal at the time After all, Henry and his boyfriend, Jack, both see other people, men and women. And Jack’s beautiful soul is poisoned by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and the very same ex-girlfriend, Althea.

 

So Henry decides to sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. Then, finally, Henry can help Jack move on. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself.

 

It’s too late when Henry appreciates how reckless he really was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone. She can tell Jack where she got it and expose Henry’ s role in the affair. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.



#49 kleblanc13

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:00 PM

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.

 

It doesn’t seem like such a big deal at the time After all, Henry and his boyfriend, Jack, both see other people, men and women. And Jack’s beautiful soul is poisoned by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and the very same ex-girlfriend, Althea.

 

So Henry will sleep with her, lure the secret from her.(So is that the reason he slept with her? Also are you writing that sentence in the future tense? The whole thing should be in present) He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. Then, finally, Henry can help Jack move on. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself.

 

It’s too late when Henry appreciates how reckless he really was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone. She can tell Jack where she got it and expose Henry’ s role in the affair. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out (Find out what? If Jack can forgive him I assume? Seems too weak for a closing line).

 

LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.

 

I'm struggling a bit with this query. Even though you describe Jack's soul as being poisoned by what happened with Althea, I have no context for what sort of tragedy we are talking about. Is it a lost child? A murder? I honestly don't know what the stakes for the story are because the query is too vague about everything. You also have a few sentences like the one I flagged about that seem to switch from the present tense. I think the query needs some tightening and I need to have a better sense of what the stakes are then I do now.

 



#50 smithgirl

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:16 PM   Best Answer

Thank you for everyone who helped. I'm closing this out for a while.



#51 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:06 PM

Dear [Agent Name]:

 

When Henry meets his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a club he makes a terrible mistake: He sleeps with her.

​I like the hook. :)

 

It doesn’t seem like such a big deal at the time After all, Henry and his boyfriend, Jack, both see other people, men and women. ​(Their open relationship kind of takes away the power of the hook, the lack of morality can have that effect. Also, if they both see other people, why is it a terrible mistake?) And Jack’s beautiful soul is poisoned by the terrible secret of what happened twenty years ago, between him and the very same ex-girlfriend, Althea. 

 

So Henry decides to sleep with her, lure the secret from her. He won't say how he learned it, and spare Jack the burden of sharing a story he finds too unbearable to tell. Then, finally, Henry can help Jack move on. But soon Henry finds it was no coincidence Althea was at the club. As desperate as Henry is to extract the secret from Althea, she is equally desperate to reclaim Jack for herself. ​(This paragraph was kind of confusing. So many things going on at once)

 

It’s too late when Henry appreciates how reckless he really was. He knows Jack is too emotionally fragile to face Althea; Henry can’t broker the union she demands. But Althea has Jack’s number from Henry’s phone. She can tell Jack where she got it and expose Henry’ s role in the affair. Jack is the only person Henry has ever truly loved, but he’s unsure Jack can forgive him for sleeping with her. Unfortunately, Henry is about to find out.

 

​I feel like your making this query too complicated. There is so much going on, and I assume, the book is the same, but here you only have a few hundred words to explain. I would rethink your approach. 

​Simplify things. I know there has to be more to this story than a secret. Who is Henry? What is he like? Tell us how him and Jack are together, then maybe lead into the betrayal, although, it doesn't sound like betrayal, it sounds ok, between them...

 

​I would only mention the woman once, and focus on how close they are, the betrayal, and the stakes of that choice...

 

​This is just my opinion, so take it with a puff of smoke. :)

 

Hope that helps

 

LOVE is a 100,000-word literary novel. Author bio, comps, etc.


Preston Copeland

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Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com





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