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Literary Fiction Fiction

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#1 kat8

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 09:56 PM

Thank you for all the help, everyone! I’ve written a fourth version and, after incorporating everyone’s advice, I’m actually really happy with it. I’m going to send it out, so hopefully there will some success this time!

Thank you so much to everyone who commented critiques, I really tried to take all your advice to heart and it really helped me improve my query.

Good luck, everyone! Who knows, I might be back here in a few months with yet another version of this query :)


#3

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that not even a spotlight can protect him anymore. Not even his guitar is enough to block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Though Tyler is starting his third world tour as the world-famous rock star he has always dreamed of becoming, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each show.

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that his hands only stop shaking when they are wrapped around the neck of Grandpa Phil’s too-big guitar. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But when Tyler is sitting across from Grandpa Phil with a guitar in his lap, lost in chords and harmonies, he can finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler can’t finally admit to himself that music alone is not enough to save him from the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his growing dependence on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

27 CLUB is a work of contemporary fiction, complete at 99,100 words. (personalization)

I have included XX below as per submission guidelines. I would be happy to send the finished manuscript upon request.




#2:

Dear AGENT,

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he has one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Only when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar can Tyler finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is the world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso he has always longed to become. The beginning of his third world tour should mean the start of yet another exciting adventure. But Tyler finds that not even his guitar can block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Only the drinks waiting for him at the end of each of his shows offer any release.

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a timid child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into addiction.

If Tyler doesn’t finally confront the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of contemporary fiction. (personalization)





#1:
Dear AGENT,

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows.

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction.

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)

My query: 27 Club


#2 JoQwerty

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 02:53 AM

Trust your own assessment -- the query is flat. And the reason it is flat is because the inciting incident is too vague. In the first paragraph Grayson comes across as mildly depressed, maybe a little bored with life. This is just setting the scene. It is not an inciting incident. We understand that Grayson is successful and that he drinks too much, but this has been going on for some time; what is different now? Why pick up the story at this point in his life?

 

In the fourth paragraph, you say Tyler must face the demons he has spent his life hiding from. But the only demons that come to light in the previous paragraphs are timidity and anxiety, and those demons Tyler overcame once to become a world famous performer.

 

As to the genre, I have been told it is difficult to query a manuscript as literary fiction unless you have an MFA in Creative writing, or have published short stories in literary magazines, or have won a literary contest. If you have any of these credentials, you should mention them. As an alternative genre you might try "contemporary fiction".



#3 perpetual

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 08:50 AM

From your query, I get a clear sense of the story and stakes, which is great. Sometimes that's the hardest part and you already have it down pat! Also, I love the title. That being said, I don't think it'd hurt to specify what he stands to lose besides his career. His life is a given from the title, but is there anyone in his life that cares about him? Addiction often affects those around us just as much, if not more.

 

I second the comment above to list your genre as contemporary fiction instead of literary. Trust the agent to see the potential for literary, if that's the case. And if not, contemporary is way easier to market.

 

I'm also not a fan of the "Somehow" in each paragraph. I feel like it weakens everything prior that you've build up. It feels too, "We don't know why this is. It just is."

 

Also, the query does read dry, which is definitely a side-effect of working on it too much. Haha. Personally, it's not so much as the words as it is the fact that there's nothing distinguishing Tyler. He's not just a musician and he's not just an addict. So who is he? Even nine-year-old Tyler sounds a bit generic and this time, it's due to vagueness. So many kids are lonely and awkward. Even when they're not, they think they are. What are his demons that torment him into adulthood? Again, what makes him the person he is?

 

Having Tyler come alive in the query is especially important if you want to show off the literary potential because that genre is all about character depth and development. We follow the character through a subtle plot, so he needs to be gripping.

 

Hope these thoughts are helpful. :)

 

I'd love your comments on my query as well, linked in my signature.


Query: Click here.

 


#4 kat8

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 01:56 PM

Thank you both for the advice. I'd never heard that about literary fiction, so I'll definitely change that to contemporary.

 

Now I'll try to incorporate the changes without overworking the query so that it doesn't turn out too dry again...

 

We'll see!


My query: 27 Club


#5 Bkrasnik

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 06:19 PM

Hey guys, this is probably the sixth or seventh draft of this query. I don't think it's horrible, but I sort of have the feeling that it's really, really... boring. I think I've spent so much time working on this that it just feels, at least to me, completely lifeless.

 

I'd really appreciate any comments you might have, even as simple as whether this query works for you or piques your interest.

 

I'll be happy to return the favor if you leave a comment! :)

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. (I agree that technically there is nothing wrong with it, but it also doesn't captivate me. It is fine that all of this exists in your book, but I think you need to start off with an element that makes your book unique. If you are good at character development, maybe show that to us here.)

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. (This is good, we are feeling sympathy for him)  But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. (technically, this is a good sentence.)

 

(I would add another paragraph here giving a few highlights of his life)

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction.

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

I think you need give us more specifics on his journey to addiction, especially his breaking point. I would even recommend creating a hook that starts with his breaking point, and then going into background information. I would also highlight what makes your character different. You need to convince us that your character's story is special whether that is his character complex, interesting circumstances, etc. Once you are able to pinpoint that, you will be good. 

 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#6 Caligulas

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:49 AM

Hey guys, this is probably the sixth or seventh draft of this query. I don't think it's horrible, but I sort of have the feeling that it's really, really... boring. I think I've spent so much time working on this that it just feels, at least to me, completely lifeless.

 

I'd really appreciate any comments you might have, even as simple as whether this query works for you or piques your interest.

 

I'll be happy to return the favor if you leave a comment! :)

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso (For me, this is immediately boring. It might just be personal preference, but it start's very Mary Sue-esque. I'd rather see an immediate conflict). The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. (Yeah, this follows up with boring. Personally, I don't find anything fresh about a depressed rock star.)

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. (I think this needs more work, again, it's very seen-it-before, but it's infinitely more interesting than the opening paragraph)

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction. (This title implies he's going to kill himself because that's what that club is. Famous/talented people who killed themselves or died at 27.)

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (This is pretty low stakes. This kind of feels like the story of almost any rock-star. You should focus more on highlighting what makes your story unique whether that's focusing on aspects of the story not seen before or how Tyler himself is unique because just being an alcoholic rock-star isn't at all unique. If his adolescence is the highlight then start with and focus on that. Hope this helps, would appreciate your feedback on my query for When I See Me. :))

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)



#7 TheBest

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:16 PM

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. (This reads really well, but you might benefit from combining a few sentences. I love how the set up is so simple, yet engaging. It also means you could condense a few things.)

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. (WOW! I take it back, definitely keep the same sentence above. Love the contrast here, very clever.) His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him.(This flows really well.) But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction. (Fantastic set up! My only piece of advice is to make the conflict bigger in the childhood section. Maybe say 'lonely' instead of quiet, or 'neglected.' This would just make it clear that there's trouble at both ages. Agents love conflict. So do readers!)

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear (This sentence feels non essential). If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (This is not traditional query formatting. It works, but I suggest moving it up. I liked how you ended with clear conflict at both ages. I'd suggest putting this before the previous paragraph, and then ending by saying "27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a lonely kid captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into a terrible addiction. 

 

If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.")

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

Wow! I love this query, and especially your concept! I'd 100% request. Now, the biggest issue for you is order. You want to end with stakes, definitely, but you also want to make sure conflict is always increasing and you're not repeating yourself. I suggest cutting all but the final stakes in your last paragraph, and then mixing the other details into your other previous paragraphs. We already know that older Tyler's primary conflict is addiction. End with something new by presenting old and young Tyler's conflict together, followed by a simple, punchy sentence about what actions he must take.

 

In the end, though, this query is very polished. All you need to do is rework your last paragraph just  little bit. That could just be cutting the first sentence, or rewording it, really it's up to you. I just really like the idea of ending with both young and old Tyler's conflict together, but you don't necessarily have to -- do whatever works. I HIGHLY suggest maintaining the parallelism and style in the first three paragraphs, though. It's unique and fun.

 

I enjoyed reading this query, and thing you're very close to being ready. Polish it up just a little bit, and you'll have something really special. Good luck!

 

I'd love your opinion on my query! You can find it here: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=357950



#8 yawriter

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:54 PM

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso meh...not much of a hook? More of a description. Maybe "The release of 27 year old Tyler Grayson's third album..." . The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But, Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of show. his shows.

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. whaaa did we go back in time? I don't care for that :(  I want to know what is going to help inspire him again...It feels more like everything I learned about Tyler so far, I shouldn't have read first. I shouldn't know before this...idk if that makes sense. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But, he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. ​I honestly don't think you should use this last paragraph at all. Just my opinion. What is the meat of the story? I see no conflict. I see that he was scared and then he wasn't, now he's a start and then he doesn't like it...so what?  What's the plot? This is great background, but what happens in the story? Now that he doesn't find happiness in music anymore...what happens after that?  If anything, maybe switch these two paragraphs? 

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction.

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)

 

Happy to look at a new version! Keep hacking away! Again this is just my opinions, take them or leave them. Please return he favor with my query. Thanks!


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#9 jpfranco

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:52 PM

Hey guys, this is probably the sixth or seventh draft of this query. I don't think it's horrible, but I sort of have the feeling that it's really, really... boring. I think I've spent so much time working on this that it just feels, at least to me, completely lifeless.

 

I'd really appreciate any comments you might have, even as simple as whether this query works for you or piques your interest.

 

I'll be happy to return the favor if you leave a comment! :)

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. What has happened to Tyler? What stripped away the shiny veneer of fame and celebrity? Give him a story, otherwise it seems like he's just a jaded performer. 

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. You lose me here. I went back and forth several times, confused by the use of the same name but different ages. 

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction. I'm not sure what the point of alternating between perspectives is. 

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, don't tell us how the story unfolds. Your writing needs to show it. the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. Well, what else would it mean? So far the only other character is grandpa, and he may not even be alive anymore by the time Tyler is grown up. What other stakes are there? And why would alcohol end his career? Loads of musicians have addiction problems, but it doesn't necessarily mean their careers end. The stakes are very flat. I'm not attached to Tyler in the least. Alcoholics often live sad lives, that's true, but this one doesn't intrigue me. Right now it just sounds like a sad story. Are there any other characters at all? I don't think Tyler's trip to rock bottom would make for a good read. It would probably just depress me. 

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)



#10 W.P.

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 06:54 AM

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. ((I feel like this could be condensed into one stronger sentence. We don't need all that wording, just "Although the release of his third album expands his fortune and fame as his most celebrated work to date, Tyler finds that the praise doesn't excite him as much as the drink at the end of his shows." Not the best example, but shows what I mean: conciseness.)) Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. ((Alright, here we have conflict. his alcoholism. But we don't really have stakes, and that's what agents are looking for. Sure, we can assume his alcoholism may end up ruining his life and career and even kill him, but we don't know. How serious is his problem with alcohol? How is it affecting his life and his loved ones? we don't have much to care about yet))

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. ((great set up. But what are the stakes? His goals? What should the reader look forward to when reading? why should we read? This reads as a set up, not a story.))

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction.

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.  ((again, not specific enough. I feel like you could really talk about the stakes and makes us "feel" the importance of them))

 

 

You do a great job setting up the story and even the conflicts, but I feel like you need to work on the stakes and telling us why we should care. That's what agents are looking for as well. I think when you nail that, this query will be amazing. :)

 

My query: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=357968



#11 RosieSkye

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:33 PM

In addition to what everyone else has said, I think you simply need to jazz up your language.  You have all the elements of a gripping story - the rock star life, addiction, terrifying parental fights, being an outcast at school.  Delve into those things and describe them in ways that make them come to life, and make Tyler's situation unique and memorable.



#12 kat8

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 08:44 PM

From your query, I get a clear sense of the story and stakes, which is great. Sometimes that's the hardest part and you already have it down pat! Also, I love the title. That being said, I don't think it'd hurt to specify what he stands to lose besides his career. His life is a given from the title, but is there anyone in his life that cares about him? Addiction often affects those around us just as much, if not more.

 

I second the comment above to list your genre as contemporary fiction instead of literary. Trust the agent to see the potential for literary, if that's the case. And if not, contemporary is way easier to market.

 

I'm also not a fan of the "Somehow" in each paragraph. I feel like it weakens everything prior that you've build up. It feels too, "We don't know why this is. It just is."

 

Also, the query does read dry, which is definitely a side-effect of working on it too much. Haha. Personally, it's not so much as the words as it is the fact that there's nothing distinguishing Tyler. He's not just a musician and he's not just an addict. So who is he? Even nine-year-old Tyler sounds a bit generic and this time, it's due to vagueness. So many kids are lonely and awkward. Even when they're not, they think they are. What are his demons that torment him into adulthood? Again, what makes him the person he is?

 

Having Tyler come alive in the query is especially important if you want to show off the literary potential because that genre is all about character depth and development. We follow the character through a subtle plot, so he needs to be gripping.

 

Hope these thoughts are helpful. :)

 

I'd love your comments on my query as well, linked in my signature.

 

I really appreciate the comments, and I tried to use a lot of your suggestions on the newest draft! I'd really appreciate it if you let me know what you think of the most recent query :)


My query: 27 Club


#13 kat8

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 08:46 PM

Dear AGENT,

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is a world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso. The release of his third album should mean continued fame and fortune—and it does, as his most widely celebrated album to date. But Tyler finds that the praise doesn’t excite him like it used to. Somehow, the only thing that matters to him now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each of his shows. (This reads really well, but you might benefit from combining a few sentences. I love how the set up is so simple, yet engaging. It also means you could condense a few things.)

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. (WOW! I take it back, definitely keep the same sentence above. Love the contrast here, very clever.) His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him.(This flows really well.) But he does have one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Somehow, when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar, Tyler can finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a quiet child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer descending into addiction. (Fantastic set up! My only piece of advice is to make the conflict bigger in the childhood section. Maybe say 'lonely' instead of quiet, or 'neglected.' This would just make it clear that there's trouble at both ages. Agents love conflict. So do readers!)

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear (This sentence feels non essential). If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (This is not traditional query formatting. It works, but I suggest moving it up. I liked how you ended with clear conflict at both ages. I'd suggest putting this before the previous paragraph, and then ending by saying "27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a lonely kid captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into a terrible addiction. 

 

If Tyler doesn’t face the demons he’s spent his whole life hiding from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.")

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of literary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

Wow! I love this query, and especially your concept! I'd 100% request. Now, the biggest issue for you is order. You want to end with stakes, definitely, but you also want to make sure conflict is always increasing and you're not repeating yourself. I suggest cutting all but the final stakes in your last paragraph, and then mixing the other details into your other previous paragraphs. We already know that older Tyler's primary conflict is addiction. End with something new by presenting old and young Tyler's conflict together, followed by a simple, punchy sentence about what actions he must take.

 

In the end, though, this query is very polished. All you need to do is rework your last paragraph just  little bit. That could just be cutting the first sentence, or rewording it, really it's up to you. I just really like the idea of ending with both young and old Tyler's conflict together, but you don't necessarily have to -- do whatever works. I HIGHLY suggest maintaining the parallelism and style in the first three paragraphs, though. It's unique and fun.

 

I enjoyed reading this query, and thing you're very close to being ready. Polish it up just a little bit, and you'll have something really special. Good luck!

 

I'd love your opinion on my query! You can find it here: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=357950

 

 

I appreciate the support, your comments really made me smile :) since I've sent this out to about ten agents already and received no requests, I'm making some bigger changes. I'd really appreciate it if you have the time to look at the newest version of the query and let me know what you think!


My query: 27 Club


#14 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:48 PM

I really appreciate all the comments, everyone! So, first I tried rewriting the query from scratch, but I kept returning to the original structure because I really wanted to make it clear that the story alternates between Tyler's childhood and him as a twenty-seven-year old. It sounded like the childhood paragraph was a lot more compelling, so I started with that one and tried to add a lot more specifics.

 

Please let me know if you enjoy reading this query, or if it makes you want to read the book. My first priority right now is just making the query interesting and exciting, because the first one was so BLEH.

 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the help! Please let me know if I can return the favor, and if you'd like me to take another look at one of your query drafts, mention it here so I can make sure I see it!  :)

 

 

THE NEW ONE:

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. (I liked that you started off with the older/present day Tyler in the first version. THAT'S who the story is about, so I think you should lead with him.) His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he has one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Only when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s (Just a quick note that "grandpa" is used a few too many times in these two sentences) too-big guitar can Tyler finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is the world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso he has always longed to become. The beginning of his third world tour should mean the start of yet another exciting adventure. But Tyler finds that not even his guitar can block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Only the drinks waiting for him at the end of each of his shows offer any release. (A few things regarding this paragraph: I'd like to feel more about what Tyler is going through. I think some more descriptive/colorful language could help with that. Also, it seems to me that a large part of the story might be about his addiction and how his world is crumbling around him. If so, I'd like to see more about that and less about the other stuff. His struggle should be the hook.)

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a timid child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into addiction. (I don't think you really need to mention this sentence as it should be evident from the rest of your query.)

 

If Tyler doesn’t finally confront the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (This is good but I'd like to see a little bit more oomph.)

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of contemporary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

 

I think this sounds like a very good and emotional story! I would definitely like to read it. Good job!

 


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


#15 Caligulas

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:04 PM

I really appreciate all the comments, everyone! So, first I tried rewriting the query from scratch, but I kept returning to the original structure because I really wanted to make it clear that the story alternates between Tyler's childhood and him as a twenty-seven-year old. It sounded like the childhood paragraph was a lot more compelling, so I started with that one and tried to add a lot more specifics.

 

Please let me know if you enjoy reading this query, or if it makes you want to read the book. My first priority right now is just making the query interesting and exciting, because the first one was so BLEH.

 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the help! Please let me know if I can return the favor, and if you'd like me to take another look at one of your query drafts, mention it here so I can make sure I see it!  :)

 

 

THE NEW ONE:

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he has one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Only when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar can Tyler finally forget to be scared of the world outside. (I think you should switch up the information. Lead with the hooking part, awkward Tyler with his grandpa's guitar, and end with the "but" part of having a crappy life outside of that. Follows up better with the theme of "these problems have always been here" and keeps the flow similar to the second paragraph. Starting off positively with a child has a better effect than with an adult)

 

Now at Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson, is the world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso he has always longed to become. The beginning of his third world tour should mean the start of yet another exciting adventure. But Tyler finds that not even his guitar block (Blocks or can block?) out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Only the drinks waiting for him at the end of each of his shows offer any release. (Much better. I'm feeling for him now)

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a timid child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into addiction. (Put this at the end and combine with the word count)

 

If Tyler doesn’t finally confront the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (Like what? Stakes are still a little flat. Be specific. What does Tyler REALLY want? The heart of it. Yeah, confront fear/loneliness but that looks different for everyone and means different things for everyone. Does he want love, friends, someone to care about him outside of his job? What does he plan to do to get what he REALLY wants? What is standing in the way of that? The query is much better and the format is fine as is, but it just needs more meat. As is, I'm not sure what Tyler is going to be actually doing in the story. Hope this helps. Can you pop back over to my redo of When I See Me? Sorry, I would have replied to this earlier, but I was confused and thought you hadn't updated the query since my last reply, lol)

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of contemporary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

 



#16 gigigriffis

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 01:30 AM

Dear AGENT,

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson [If I were an agent, I'd assume this is MG based on this beginning, so you may need to make it clear that it's adult right off the bat.] is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he has one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Only when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar can Tyler finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is the world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso he has always longed to become. The beginning of his third world tour should mean the start of yet another exciting adventure. But Tyler finds that not even his guitar blocks out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distracts him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drowns out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Only the drinks waiting for him at the end of each of his shows offer any release.

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a timid child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into addiction.

 

If Tyler doesn’t finally confront the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 words, is a work of contemporary fiction. (personalization)

 

So, my big question here is: what are the stakes? What choice does Tyler have to make? What does he want and what's standing in his way? The wording is good and I understand the story, but I don't get a sense of the tension.


Will you take a peek at my query?

 

Sincerely,

 

Gigi Griffis

Copywriter, Content Strategist, & Travel Guide Author

Blog  /  Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter


#17 TeaTime

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:35 PM

THE NEW ONE:

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is an awkward, lonely child. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But he has one escape: grandpa’s house and, more importantly, grandpa’s guitars. Only when Grandpa Phil is sitting across from him and his tiny hand is wrapped around the neck of Grandpa’s too-big guitar can Tyler finally forget to be scared of (Maybe just say "about") the world outside.

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is the world-renowned rock star and guitar virtuoso he has always longed to become. The beginning of his third world tour should mean the start of yet another exciting adventure ("another exciting adventure" feels a bit generic). But Tyler finds that not even his guitar can block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years (I would maybe combine the first two items in this list to something like "block out the echoes of his mother's screams"), or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. (This is interesting if he still doesn't know how to make friends any better than when he was a boy, maybe specify that) Only the drinks waiting for him at the end of each of his shows offer any release.

 

27 CLUB tells the life story of Tyler Grayson, alternating between his early years as a timid child captivated by the guitar and his twenty-seventh year as a world-famous performer spiraling into addiction. (More specifically alcoholism? Or are there more things he's addicted to?)

 

If Tyler doesn’t finally confront the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his dependency on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (The stakes seem mostly fine to me, but it would be good to see if there are any current chances or people who might help him to avoid the "27 Club")

 

27 CLUB, complete at 99,100 (Just round to 99k words, or even just round up to 100k) words, is a work of contemporary fiction. (personalization)

 

 

I think this query sets up the character's situation & problem well, but it would be good to see some hope about how he might solve his problems. I think this query's coming along though, as it's greatly improved over the older version above.  :smile: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#18 W.P.

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 01:33 PM

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that not even a spotlight can protect him anymore. ((I think this could be trimmed down to make for a stronger sentence, like "not even a spotlight can protect Tyler Grayson anymore". also, the sentence feels unfinished. It doesn't make me ask questions, it makes me confused. I think your previous first sentence worked better)) Not even his guitar is enough to block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. ((reads more like a novel, than a query. and we don't need all this backstory.))  Though Tyler is starting his third world tour as the world-famous rock star he has always dreamed of becoming, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each show. ((This sentence is the core of the paragraph. It says it all. I don't even think you need the other sentences. But if you do want to keep the part about the guitar helping him through life, you could trim it a bit I think. Even something like "Growing up in a complicated household, Tyler used to seek refuge in his guitar, but now, an adult and a famous guitar virtuoso, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to is the drink awaiting him at the end of each show." Not the best example but it shows what I mean)))

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that his hands only stop shaking when they are wrapped around the neck of Grandpa Phil’s too-big guitar. ((Same thing here: could be trimmed down to "Nine-year-old Tyler's hands only stop shaking when they are wrapped around the neck of Grandpa's too-big guitar." I think removing the "beginning to realise" makes it a stronger sentence.)) His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But when Tyler is sitting across from Grandpa Phil with a guitar in his lap, lost in chords and harmonies, he can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. ((this paragraph is much stronger and tighter than the first. But this paragraph isn't really necessary now that you say in the first paragraph that he used the guitar to help him through life. So this paragraph is actually redundant now.))

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler can’t finally admit to himself that music alone is not enough to save him from the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his growing dependence on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

 

27 CLUB is a work of contemporary fiction, complete at 99,100 words. (personalization)

 

I have included XX below as per submission guidelines. I would be happy to send the finished manuscript upon request.

 

 

I think the previous first sentence was stronger. Even the first paragraph. But that's just my opinion. :) 

 

 

I have updated my query. If you could share your thoughts on it, it'd be great. :)  http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=358070



#19 Caligulas

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 04:03 PM

As always, I really appreciate all the help and I'm happy to return the favor!

 

I definitely think the query is improving! The only part I'm still really struggling with is the stakes. I'm not sure if they are specific enough to add a lot of tension, but there isn't a single problem or moment Tyler is reacting to; it's a whole life of shyness, sensitivity, and anxiety that he's reacting to now. I think that's why I'm having a really hard time finding the right words.

 

Also, I think it is clear in this draft, but I just want to make sure that it's very clear that the story alternates between the past and the present. The form plays a big role in the story, and I'm not sure whether I need to state it outright. I tried to fit that in, but it felt really clunky wherever I tried.

 

Thanks!

 

THE NEWEST, #3

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that not even a spotlight can protect him anymore. Not even his guitar is His guitar isn't enough to block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Though Tyler is starting his third world tour as the world-famous rock star he has always dreamed of becoming, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each show. (I think this para is great. However...)

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that his hands only stop shaking when they are wrapped around the neck of Grandpa Phil’s too-big guitar. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But when Tyler is sitting across from Grandpa Phil with a guitar in his lap, lost in chords and harmonies, he can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. (I think this para is meh. They kind of keep alternating and I think that's because you're putting too much emphasis on the time switch as if the story is from two people. It's not. I suggest something like:

 

Back when Tyler Grayson was nine-years-old, he realized that his hands only stopped shaking when they were wrapped around the neck of Grandpa Phil’s too-big guitar. Then he could finally forget to be scared of the world outside.

 

Now a twenty-seven-year-old rockstar, Tyler is beginning to realize that not even a spotlight can protect him anymore. His guitar isn't enough to block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. Though Tyler is starting his third world tour as the world-famous rock star he has always dreamed of becoming, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each show.)

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds, (I don't like this. It pulls me how of query-mode and start to mimic house cleaning. I think something more like, "As Tyler ruminates on the harsh childhood that lead to his fame,") the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler can’t finally admit to himself that music alone is not enough to save him from the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his growing dependence on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career. (Are you implying suicide? I have a question, what's the actual answer to this? What, other than losing his career, does Tyler stand to lose in the story? And how does the process of admitting things to himself look in the story? The entire story could be Tyler sitting in a room thinking. We need more insight into what he's actually doing. Also, this is a long sentence, perhaps break it in two. You have a lot of long sentences. Shorter is better for queries)

 

27 CLUB is a work of contemporary fiction, complete at 99,100 words. (personalization)

 

I have included XX below as per submission guidelines. I would be happy to send the finished manuscript upon request.



#20 Bibliophyl

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for stopping by my query!

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that not even a spotlight can protect him anymore. Not even [just a wording thing, I don't love the repetition of "Not even" from the previous sentence] his guitar is enough to block out the echoes of his parents’ screams, distract him from the absence of the mother he hasn’t seen in nine years, or drown out the suffocating silence of his enormous, empty hotel rooms. [I like these very specific things you've listed here] Though Tyler is starting his third world tour as the world-famous rock star he has always dreamed of becoming, he finds that the only thing he looks forward to now is the drink waiting for him at the end of each show. [I wonder if this last sentence would work as your first sentence--it's a nice hook]

 

Nine-year-old Tyler Grayson is beginning to realize that his hands only stop shaking when they are wrapped around the neck of Grandpa Phil’s too-big guitar. His parents’ fights terrify him, school frustrates him, and the ability to make friends eludes him. But when Tyler is sitting across from Grandpa Phil with a guitar in his lap, lost in chords and harmonies, he can finally forget to be scared of the world outside. [This seems like backstory--it's throwing me off a bit. Can you tie it to the previous paragraph a little more?]

 

As the story of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence unfolds,[this is kind of puling me out of the query since the reader is the one that experiences the story unfolding and not Tyler. I think you want to remain tightly grounded in Tyler's POV] the reality of his current addiction becomes clear. If Tyler can’t finally admit to himself that music alone is not enough to save him from the fear and the loneliness he’s spent his whole life running from, his growing dependence on alcohol will mean the end to much more than just his career.

 

27 CLUB is a work of contemporary fiction, complete at 99,100 words. (personalization)

 

I have included XX below as per submission guidelines. I would be happy to send the finished manuscript upon request.

 

This is well written--my only concern is that I'm not getting a sense of what actually happens in the story. I get the setting, major themes, and the character, but what are some plot points? Only pointing that out because I've seen agents criticize queries that don't talk about the actual plot enough. Though I am no expert obviously :) Good luck!







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