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Bobby Junior (Adult Fiction, Dark Comedy)

Fiction Commercial Fiction Humor/Satire Offbeat/Quirky

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#1 mcnamml

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 09:18 AM

I have taken the first critique and made quite a few adjustments. Please see most relevant query for critique (3rd post).

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

With the stylistic flow of a Coen brothers’ film and all the dark satire of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, BOBBY JUNIOR is an adult fiction novel complete at 75,000 words.

 

Bob and Cheryl, while hailing from different sides of the country, were cut from the very same cloth. Two millionaires, one who spearheaded a profitable get rich quick scheme, the other a two-bit con man who struck gold in what was only supposed to be a fender bender. Cheryl knew a lucrative opportunity when she saw one, and Bob was an opportunity. With a look that said “I’ll follow you to the depths of the earth and back” and a bank account that said “honey you can have whatever you want”, she couldn’t pass him up.

 

After a whirlwind romance, Cheryl and Bob decided to kick it up a notch and make a baby. They were the perfect case study for why a comprehensive exam should be administered before parenthood. Bobby was born a beautiful healthy baby who nearly skirted a severe mental disability and came away with only a cleft lip. But a beautiful Joaquin Phoenix-esque cleft lip, after the surgery. Cheryl believed the Surgeon’s General was sabotaging the tobacco and alcohol industries with his nonsensical recommendations for pregnant women.

 

Bobby was supposed to be a boy and when the ultrasound proved otherwise, it was too much effort to change the name now. On Bobby’s 7th Birthday, her parents took notice of her above-average domestic capabilities acquired from time spent with the housekeeper and nanny, Blanca. Cheryl saw another opportunity, why pay for help when you can have an indentured servant, free of charge? But even Cheryl knew that her daughter, whom she considered to be “slow or something”, would catch on sooner or later. To justify the need for Bobby to become the full time help and quit her schooling, Cheryl decided that impending death was the best route to take.  Her and poor Bob were dying of the pancreatic cancer. But even the best con men get conned. Bobby, after years of servitude and mental abuse, had finally caught on to the multitude of lies her parents had been feeding her. Never underestimate a child with internet access.

 

With all of her known life sabotaged by Bob and Cheryl, Bobby spent the rest of her days as a legal minor making sure life came full circle for the two of them. 

 

I live in New Orleans, Louisiana where I am an Environmental Scientist for the state by day, and a fiction writer by night.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

SIGNATURE



#2 Koechophe

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 11:04 AM

My last query letter for a science fiction novel I posted on AQ Connect got 4 full manuscript requests after making suggested edits, and from one of those a publishing contract that I declined. I am in need of your help again and WILL return the favor. Thank you in advance!!

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

With the stylistic flow of a Coen brothers’ film and all the dark satire of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, BOBBY JUNIOR is an adult fiction (this isn't enough, you need to specify the genre more exactly. Is it contemporary fiction? Fantasy? Etc.)novel complete at 75,000 words. This works a lot better at the end. It's generally a good idea to throw out word count and Comps after the main body of the query, right before your bio.

 

Bob and Cheryl, while hailing from different sides of the country, were are cut from the very same cloth. Two millionaires, one who spearheaded a profitable get rich quick scheme, the other a two-bit con man who struck gold in what was only supposed to be a fender bender (Reverse the order of this, since Bob is mentioned first in the previous sentence, it makes for less confusion). Cheryl knew a lucrative opportunity when she saw one, and Bob was an opportunity. With a look that said, “I’ll follow you to the depths of the earth and back” and a bank account that said, “honey you can have whatever you want," she couldn’t pass him Bob up.

 

After a whirlwind romance, Cheryl and Bob decided to kick it up a notch and make a baby. They were the perfect case study for why a comprehensive exam should be administered before parenthood. Bobby was born; a beautiful, healthy baby who narrowly nearly skirted a severe mental disability and came away with only a cleft lip. But a beautiful, Joaquin Phoenix-esque cleft lip, after the surgery. Cheryl believed the Surgeon’s General was sabotaging the tobacco and alcohol industries with his nonsensical recommendations for pregnant women. (this doesn't fit here, if you really want it in the query, you should put it towards the begining of this paragraph.)

 

Bobby was supposed to be a boy, and when the ultrasound proved otherwise, it was too much effort to change the name now. On Bobby’s 7th Birthday, her parents took notice of her above-average domestic capabilities acquired from time spent with the housekeeper and nanny, Blanca. Cheryl saw another opportunity. Why pay for help when you can have an indentured servant, free of charge? But even Cheryl knew that her daughter, whom she considered to be “slow or something”, would catch on sooner or later. To justify the need for Bobby to become the full time help and quit her schooling, Cheryl decided that impending death was the best route to take.  Her she and poor Bob were "dying of the pancreatic cancer". But even the best con men get conned. Bobby, after years of servitude and mental abuse, had finally caught on to the multitude of lies her parents had been feeding her. Never underestimate a child with internet access.

 

With all of her known life sabotaged by Bob and Cheryl, Bobby spent the rest of her days as a legal minor making sure life came full circle for the two of them. 

 

I live in New Orleans, Louisiana where I am an Environmental Scientist for the state by day, and a fiction writer by night.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

SIGNATURE

 

This query is interesting. It's not bad writing; aside from quite a few grammar errors and being a bit verbose, the voice is definitely there and the charactarization is good. But it does nothing to grab my interest. It feels like the whole query is an elongated backstory, and it ends before I even get to the plot. There's no real stakes here, and there's not any real "oh, I want to find out what happens!" I honestly can't tell if the issue is with the Query, or with the actual story you're trying to query itself. I'd highly recommend trimming the backstory, showing us the stakes, and making the story sound a lot more exciting than just "abused child sues parents". It honestly doesn't sound like adult fiction from the query either; the plot seems to emanate from Bobby, giving it a decidedly YA feel.

I critique because I care. Good luck!



#3 mcnamml

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:54 PM

Most recent query:

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

Cheryl and Bob are cut from the same cloth. Two millionaires, one who spearheaded a profitable get rich quick scheme, the other a two-bit con man who struck gold in a fender bender. Cheryl knew a lucrative opportunity when she saw one, and Bob was an opportunity. With a look that said “I’ll follow you to the depths of the earth and back” and a bank account that said “honey you can have whatever you want,” she couldn’t pass Bob up.

 

The two of them were the perfect case study for why a comprehensive exam should be administered before parenthood. Cheryl believed the Surgeon’s General was sabotaging the tobacco and alcohol industries with his nonsensical recommendations for pregnant women. Bobby was born; a beautiful, healthy baby who narrowly skirted a severe mental disability and came away with only a cleft lip. A beautiful Joaquin Phoenix-esque cleft lip, after the surgery.

 

On Bobby’s 7th birthday, her parents took notice of her above-average domestic capabilities acquired from time spent with the nanny, Blanca. Cheryl saw another opportunity. Why pay for help when you can have an indentured servant, free of charge? But even Cheryl knew that her daughter, whom she considered to be “slow or something”, would catch on sooner or later. To justify the need for Bobby to become the full time help and quit her schooling, Cheryl decided that she and poor Bob were “dying of the pancreatic cancer”. But even the best con men get conned.

 

Bobby finally catches on to the multitude of lies her parents have been feeding her. With a bit of ingenuity and self-education from the good old internet, she uses the rest of her days as a legal minor trying to figure out how to make sure the two of them pay dearly, with their sanity, and if she’s lucky, their lives. Happy 18th Birthday to Bobby.

 

With the stylistic flow of a Coen brothers’ film and all the dark satire of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, BOBBY JUNIOR is an adult comedy fiction novel complete at 75,000 words.

 

I live in New Orleans, Louisiana where I am an Environmental Scientist for the state by day, and a fiction writer by night.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#4 Koechophe

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 05:06 PM

First off, this one reads much cleaner and more succinct than the last one, and you managed to preserve your unique voice with it. I think that's great! Hope you don't mind if I take another dive at it:

Most recent query:

 

 

Dear AGENT,

 

As I'm reading through here, I'm noticing an inconsistency in your tenses: you start present, then switch to past, then go back to present at the end. It is highly recommended to always keep a query in present tense, as anything put in past-tense will read as backstory, which queries aren't really supposed to have. I won't go through and mark all the tenses, but I'd recommend switching the whole query to present.

 

Cheryl and Bob are cut from the same cloth. Two millionaires, one who spearheaded a profitable get rich quick scheme, the other a two-bit con man who struck gold in a fender bender. Cheryl knew a lucrative opportunity when she saw one, and Bob was an opportunity. With a look that said “I’ll follow you to the depths of the earth and back” and a bank account that said “honey you can have whatever you want,” she couldn’t pass Bob up.

 

Good intro here. Really charactarizes well, and shows your voice.

 

 

The two of them were the perfect case study for why a comprehensive exam should be administered before parenthood--especially since Cheryl believed the Surgeon’s General was sabotaging the tobacco and alcohol industries with his nonsensical recommendations for pregnant women. Bobby was born; a beautiful, healthy girl who narrowly skirted a severe mental disability and came away with only a cleft lip. A beautiful (you use beautiful in the last sentence. Try "gorgeous" or some other synonym). Joaquin Phoenix-esque cleft lip, after the surgery.

 

 

On Bobby’s 7th birthday, her parents took notice of her above-average domestic capabilities acquired from time spent with the nanny, Blanca (no reason to put this name here, she's never mentioned again). Cheryl saw another opportunity. Why pay for help when you can have an indentured servant, free of charge? But even Cheryl knew that her daughter, whom she considered to be “slow or something”, would catch on sooner or later. To justify the need for Bobby to (keep it in chronological order: quit her schooling and become the full-time help) become the full time help and quit her schooling, Cheryl decided that she and poor Bob were “dying of the pancreatic cancer”.

 

(New paragraph here adds more punch, in my opinion) But even the best con men get conned.

 

Bobby finally catches on to the multitude of lies her parents have been feeding her. With a bit of ingenuity and self-education from the good old internet, she spends uses the rest of her days as a legal minor trying to figure out how to make (this line is a bit clunky, try:) making sure the two of them pay dearly--with their wallet, their sanity, and if she’s lucky, their lives. Happy 18th Birthday to Bobby.

 

There's definitely improvement in showing the climax, but I still feel like more could be done in the last paragraph to really make the reader excited to see what happens. Maybe mention some of the specifics of Bobby's plan, or the (inevitable) wacky retaliation of her parents. The last line reads much better at the beginning, though. 

 

With the stylistic flow of a Coen brothers’ film and all the dark satire of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, BOBBY JUNIOR is an adult comedy fiction novel complete at 75,000 words. I think this can all be one paragraph, but maybe I'm wrong. I live in New Orleans, Louisiana where I am an Environmental Scientist for the state by day, and a fiction writer by night.

 

 you're on a great track, I think a bit more fine-tuning and you'll be there (though definitely get a few more opinions =)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.







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