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Franklin Street


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#1 Mae

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:07 AM

This is my very first attempt at a Query Letter. Please be gentle! Comments, questions, and suggestions are all greatly appreciated. Thanks! :biggrin:

A young woman comes into a little bit of money after graduating college and decides to spend it on purchasing her childhood home in a Wisconsin farm town. While getting settled Emilie realizes she really didn’t miss her childhood home at all, but rather the memories that had been associated with it. Through her revival of those memories Emilie discovers some untold secrets about the house she had been fond of as a child.

Chris is a down on his luck construction worker who drives around the country helping people move furniture for extra cash. After helping to move Emilie into her new home he soon finds himself tied up in the mysteries of the old house. Can he break free before his own ghosts catch up with him, or will he end up as enthralled with the old house as Emilie is?

FRANKLIN STREET is a suspense/romance novel complete at 57,000 words, and is a little bit of mystery strung with romance and sexual tension. While likely to appeal to female readers FRANKLIN STREET is versatile enough to satisfy many different adult readers. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines.

Rachael is 24 years old, and holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota. FRANKLIN STREET is the first of four full novels written.

Thank you for time and consideration.


#2 Late Bloomer

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:54 AM

Hi Mae and welcome to AQC.

I see you are new here and wonder if you spent much time checking out other queries before you wrote this one. I wonder about that because your query (although the story idea sounds like it has the potential to be a good one) is lacking is numerous areas. First and foremost you're missing your hook. This reads to me much more like the description of the main characters in your synopsis. I felt like I didn't get any of the things needed in a query. Unfortunately, it's a little on the slow and boring side. Sorry, I'm not being gentle at all am I?

I can tell you can write and I'll bet your story itself it great. But you need start over with your query. Look at some of the other here. A lot of the others. Pay particular attention to the comments made. You won't agree with all of them - we all have our own opinions. In fact, my opinion here may suck big time. But if you read and really listen to what everyone is saying I think you'll begin to understand what the query needs to sound like and what you need. Then I'll bet you come back with something really great.

Remember the hook: 1 to 3 sentences (I believe) opens the show and grabs our attention! Think back of the book blurb. Make me want to buy this book with just that much.

Then when you go into the mini-synopsis you need to give us something to make us care about and know something about these two characters' personalities. And give us a little something to entice us about the mystery.

I'm sure there is a lot more, but since I certainly don't know a whole heck of a lot myself, I'll stop there and look forward to seeing your next stab at it.

Good luck.

#3 mrsbraithwaite

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:16 AM

Dear New Member,
Yeah---the hook. Needs a hook. Seems as if since there are two crucial relationships---Emilie w/ her old home and Chris w/ Emilie---your hook ought to try to use those.
Instead of the rather vague (female readers, many different adult readers) try to find titles of novels like yours (suspense, sexual tension, romance) that have sold well and occupy a respectable market niche.
Bio doesn't need ed credentials---needs something that attaches you to your book---do you see ghosts, rennovate houses?
Believe me, I know how hard this is. i think it took me longer to get an even passable query letter than it took me to write a first draft! Good luck.
Mrs. Braithwaite

#4 Al N

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:51 AM

Hi Mae

Your story looks interesting, but your query doesn’t do it justice.

The AgentQuery blog (agentquery.com) has an excellent presentation on query letters that includes examples of queries for best selling novels.

Put punch in your words, be specific, show the story from one character, and target a specific audience – at least that is what everyone is telling me.

The others commented you lack of a hook – they are right—sorry. Write it to grab an agent’s attention. They are looking at a pile of letters to find the next best seller. You have maybe 30 seconds – use them.

Good skill – it isn’t luck.

Al N

#5 the transylvanian

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:44 PM

Hi, Mae. Your first two paragraphs does not constitute a hook but I have to admit that the second one is intriguing. I am not sure about the last two, as yet. You have great potencial, give us some more info about your heroine, give her more life. Rise up, this is only the begining.

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#6 bkeats

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:43 AM

I'll echo the others here, and suggest checking out the "How to Write A Query Letter" thread stickied here at the top of this forum. I know I did, and I suspect most of the regulars here have, as well. You've got an intriguing story; we just need to see it in a form more conducive to critiquing. Don't worry- we'll be here for you!


Happy Writing :smile:

#7 Mae

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 07:10 AM

HUGE LOVE to everyone who responded. I have to say, reading critiques is hard. You go through like stages of acceptance that what you wrote may not be the best it could be. Haha! I have accepted it though, and I am very appreciative of the feedback. Here is my second stab at it. Pretty much all of you said that I should read the "how to write a query" sticky, and I have read it. However, besides the lack of a hook in my original post I guess I am not seeing what is so wildly different from the proposed format. :blink:

Dear Mr(s) Agent,

Emilie always knew she would buy her childhood home. Now that she has she is haunted by the loss of her mother, and the small town secrets she never knew as a child. As she fights to escape the ghosts of her past she will also have to fight with her heart - Over the love of a man she barely even knows

A young woman comes into a little bit of money after graduating college and decides to spend it on purchasing her childhood home in a Wisconsin farm town. While getting settled Emilie realizes she really didn’t miss her childhood home at all, but rather the memories that had been associated with it. Through her revival of those memories Emilie discovers some untold secrets about the house she had been fond of as a child. Chris is a down on his luck construction worker who drives around the country helping people move furniture for extra cash. After helping to move Emilie into her new home he soon finds himself tied up in the mysteries of the old house. Can he break free before his own ghosts catch up with him, or will he end up as enthralled with the old house as Emilie is?

FRANKLIN STREET is a suspense/romance novel complete at 57,000 words, and is a little bit of mystery strung with romance and sexual tension. While likely to appeal to female readers FRANKLIN STREET is versatile enough to satisfy many different adult readers. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your consideration...


#8 Late Bloomer

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 08:47 AM


Emilie always knew she would buy her childhood home. Now that she has she is haunted by the loss of her mother, and the small town secrets she never knew as a child. As she fights to escape the ghosts of her past she will also have to fight with her heart - Over the love of a man she barely even knows. (Much better, but so vague that I'm not sure where you're going with the story so it leaves me not caring instead of intrigued)

A young woman Emilie has come into a little bit of some money after graduating college and decides to spend it on purchasing purchase her childhood home in a Wisconsin farm town. While getting settled Emilie realizes she really didn’t miss her childhood home at all, but rather the memories that had been associated with it. Through her revival of those memories Emilie discovers some untold secrets about the house she had been fond of as a child. Chris is a down on his luck construction worker who drives around the country helping people move furniture for extra cash. After helping to move Emilie move into her new home he soon finds himself tied up tangled in the mysteries of the old house. Can he break free before his own ghosts catch up with him, or will he end up as enthralled with the old house as Emilie is? (Is enthralled really the word you want here? It doesn't invoke mystery or suspense or intrigue)

FRANKLIN STREET is a suspense/romance novel complete at 57,000 words, and is a little bit of mystery strung with romance and sexual tension. While likely to appeal to female readers FRANKLIN STREET is versatile enough to satisfy many different adult readers. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your consideration...

[/quote]

You're definitely on the right track. I love romance/suspense. Make me want to read this. Give me something about the attraction between the MCs. Give me something about the mystery. You're doing great.

#9 L-live

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:44 AM

Oh and also, don't write your bio in third person.

#10 the transylvanian

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:16 PM

Mae, I am proud of you. Looking over the suggestions from Late Bloomer I want to bring to your attention not to repeat about Emilie buying the childhood house in both paragraphs. In my opinian paragraph two is a better fit for it. See if you can begin your hook in a diffrent way.I do not want to make it harder for you darling, you already came a long way.

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#11 Dauphine

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:14 AM

The query letter makes me want to read the story, but the hook doesn't get me excited. From what you mention in the rest of the query, it seems as if the crux of what is going on in the narrative revolves around the relationship that the house has with both Emilie and the Chris in regards to the mystery around it. Maybe that concept would be a good idea to focus on for the hook instead. Hope that helps!
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#12 Moonshade

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:50 AM

Dear Mr(s) Agent,

Emilie always knew she would buy her childhood home. Now that she has she is haunted by the loss of her mother, and the small town secrets she never knew as a child. These two sentences feel a bit clunky. As she fights to escape the ghosts of her past she will also have to fight with her heart - Over the love of a man she barely even knows. This is an interesting hook.

Emilie Lastname, A young woman comes into a little bit of money after graduating college and decides to spend it on purchaseing her childhood home in a Wisconsin farm town. While getting settled Emilie realizes she really didn’t miss her childhood homethe house at all, but rather the memories that had been associated with it. Through her revival of those memories Emilie discovers some untold secrets about the house she had been fond of as a child. What mysteries? Be more specific, at least about their nature. Is the house haunted? Was her parents' marriage a lie? What are we talking here? Chris is a down on his luck construction worker who drives around the country helping people move furniture for extra cash. After helping to move Emilie into her new home he soon finds himself tied up in the mysteries of the old house. Can he break free before his own ghosts catch up with him, or will he end up as enthralled with the old house as Emilie is? [color]Two problems here-- first, the question bugs me. Second, the use of enthrall here has the wrong connotation in my head. I read it as adoring obsession, rather than suspense and tension.[/color]

FRANKLIN STREET is a suspense/romance novel complete at 57,000 words, and is a little bit of mystery strung with romance and sexual tension. While likely to appeal to female readers FRANKLIN STREET is versatile enough to satisfy many different adult readers. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your consideration...


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