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Detached (Literary fiction)


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#1 jmarshburn

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

This is my first query attempt. I appreciate all feedback. As I finished it, I felt it read a little dry, but we are our own worst critic. I am also not sure if I should include my personal inspiration of how this story came to be, so please advise on that note. I'll throw my trust in AQC, and take the experience and advice that's here. Thanks.



Dear [Agent]:


When Liz begins therapy after surrendering her son for adoption, she realizes that her feelings about the events run much deeper than she would like to believe.

Liz is just ready to put the birth and subsequent adoption of her son behind her, but as a part of the adoption she must speak to a therapist about the events. It shouldn’t take long, only six sessions and she will be done, and can return to life as normal. After all, it was just another thing that happened. What’s the big deal?

But her therapist, Dr. Benning, insists on asking questions, on hearing the whole story, and analyzing every minute detail. Liz begins to see her therapy as a game of chess, her victory being getting through without the emotional outburst Dr. Benning seems to be encouraging. As she explains the details of discovering her pregnancy at eight months, the denial involved, the process of the adoption, her relationship with the birth father, and the labor and delivery she finds that she is struggling with guilt, shame and grief much more intense than she initially believed. Over six sessions with her therapist, Liz comes to find that she is more affected by her choice than she would like to be.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#2 jcd39

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

I think what is missing is background. How old is Liz? Where is she from, and why is she giving up her baby? Beyond denial, how is it possible that it took 8 months to "discover" her pregnancy. I'm no expert on queries; I'm having some serious problems with my own. I'm just shooting some thoughts back at you. I want to like Liz, and I want to know more about her. Hope this helps. Warm Regards, JCD39

#3 RPH

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:44 PM

This is my first query attempt. I appreciate all feedback. As I finished it, I felt it read a little dry, but we are our own worst critic. I am also not sure if I should include my personal inspiration of how this story came to be, so please advise on that note. I'll throw my trust in AQC, and take the experience and advice that's here. Thanks. First of all, if you aren't totally sold on the QL, then you probably shouldn't be posting it yet. Revise it several times. Then think about it. Then revise it several more times after that. Repeat that process until you are about to go crazy. I revised my QL over 15 times before I posted it here. I thought I had a pretty good QL by that point, and even then, several members pointed out some very useful ideas to make it better. And I would recommend reading as many of the two million examples of QLs that you can find on the internet.



Dear [Agent]:


When Liz begins therapy after surrendering her son for adoption, she realizes that her feelings about the events run much deeper than she would like to believe. I'm not in love with this hook. Specifically, I don't like the word 'surrendering' and about her realizing her feelings... to me it sounds cliche and/or not believable.

Liz is just ready to put the birth and subsequent adoption of her son behind her Is that really something you can put behind you?, but as a part of the adoption she must speak to a therapist about the events. It shouldn’t take long, only six sessions and she will be done, and can return to life as normal. After all, it was just another thing that happened. What’s the big deal? I feel like the last three sentences kind of said the same thing and still leave me wondering... Is that really something you can put behind you?

But her therapist, Dr. Benning I would include Dr. Benning's first name, insists on asking questions, on hearing the whole story, and analyzing every minute detail Yeah, but that's what therapists generally do.. Liz begins to see her therapy as a game of chess, her victory being getting through without the emotional outburst Dr. Benning seems to be encouraging. As she explains the details of discovering her pregnancy at eight months, the denial involved, the process of the adoption, her relationship with the birth father, and the labor and delivery she finds that she is struggling with guilt, shame and grief much more intense than she initially believed. Way too much going on here. You've got to find a way to convey all that in a more concise manner. Over six sessions with her therapist, Liz comes to find that she is more affected by her choice than she would like to be. And this is where you need to hit a home run! You write "Liz comes to find that she is more affected..." You already said that! What I want to know is what was it about Liz's situation that made her put her son up for adoption? That must have been an agonizing decision, and I want to know more about what factors were involved with her choice. But even more importantly, I want to know what she discovers about herself after her therapy sessions and what she plans to do about it.

At 76,000 words, Detached book titles are in CAPS is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.


Okay, you wanted feedback and there you have it. It might seem like my comments were harsh, but I promise you they were much more watered down than what I thought about several revisions of my own QL. I think you need to spend a lot of time reading everything you can about QLs, and I think you need to write several more revisions.

Believe it or not, I have something very positive to say. And it has to do with your inspiration to write your novel. I ABSOLUTELY, 100%, think you should mention in the QL that your novel was inspired by true and personal events. I'm assuming that you went through something similar to what your MC went through? That is invaluable information. There is nobody more qualified than you to "get inside of" Liz's mind. And I want to know what goes through her mind. I can't imagine what set of circumstances would lead to her choices and how she would feel afterwards. In fact, it's such an amazing/horrifying/intriguing concept, it would probably make me buy your book. But you've just got to find that agent first...

#4 Jude

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

Dear JMB:

Great content! DETACHED is a terrific title because it makes the reader want to figure out how someone who coud go through something so painful and not face her feelings. Also the whole concept of attachment is a big deal right now. Yep, believe it or not jcd39 it is actually possible for a woman to deny her pregnancy--usually with disastrous results. Jude

#5 EddieTol

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:02 PM

This is my first query attempt. I appreciate all feedback. As I finished it, I felt it read a little dry, but we are our own worst critic. I am also not sure if I should include my personal inspiration of how this story came to be, so please advise on that note. I'll throw my trust in AQC, and take the experience and advice that's here. Thanks.



Dear [Agent]:


When Liz begins therapy after surrendering her son for adoption, she realizes that her feelings about the events run much deeper than she would like to believe.

Liz is just ready to put the birth and subsequent adoption of her son behind her, but as a part of the adoption she must speak to a therapist about the events. It shouldn’t take long, only six sessions and she will be done, and can return to life as normal. After all, it was just another thing that happened. What’s the big deal?

But her therapist, Dr. Benning, insists on asking questions, on hearing the whole story, and analyzing every minute detail. Liz begins to see her therapy as a game of chess, her victory being getting through without the emotional outburst Dr. Benning seems to be encouraging. As she explains the details of discovering her pregnancy at eight months, the denial involved, the process of the adoption, her relationship with the birth father, and the labor and delivery she finds that she is struggling with guilt, shame and grief much more intense than she initially believed. Over six sessions with her therapist, Liz comes to find that she is more affected by her choice than she would like to be.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.


I agree with the commenter above about loving the title (but don't get too attached - no pun intended). I see the bones of a good story in your query, but this needs work. I like the idea of a battle of wills over this but what is the main point of your story? Does she try to get the child back at the end? Does she come to terms? Is this a story of discovery or what? So she discovers she is more affected that she thought, but to what end. Without knowing where you are taking us it is hard to tell what your hook should be.

The concept of your story is good and shows lots of promise, but you give us no clear direction on where this is going. I'm left wondering what happens in the end because you suggest ther is more to this. Develop that more and give us a clear focal point and this would be better.

Good luck,

ET -
In the real world, as in dreams, nothing is quite as it seems.

- The Book of Counted Sorrows

#6 jmarshburn

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:36 PM

Thank you all for the feedback! I am taking RPH's advice and going back to the drawing board in a big way. It's hard to know how much to divulge here without essentially writing the book down. I appreciate your patience with me, and hopefully will have another (at least slightly better) draft fairly soon.

Jenn

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Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#7 Renaissancegirl

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

I really like this query. It builds up all this suspence,,,,,but then at the end drops off like a clip. I don't know if this will make the agent want more or not. It made me want to read more, but I've heard you shouldn't make them wonder what the ending is.

I like the second paragraph. It sounds like the character is speaking. But in the third paragraph, what is the deal with the doctor? I think a little more detail on him would be good.

I'd suggest rewriting the whole thing from scratch. I know you won't want to but it really helped me.

Overall, I like the voice of this query.

any of your critiques on my query would be appreciated: http://agentquerycon...6-the-book-war/ thanks!
Ashley Joy Lowell - passionate dance teacher, Jesus follower and salon owner/stylist extraordinaire

Please take a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...ef/#entry170154

You can view my eBooks at http://www.amazon.co...t=relevancerank.

#8 jmarshburn

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:31 PM

Dear [Agent]:

What makes a good mother? Unrelenting love for a child, compassion, patience, support of husband, family, and friends are helpful, of course. But at the very least, the awareness that she is pregnant would be an ideal quality.

Twenty-two year old Liz, is shocked to discover eight months in that she is pregnant. Sure, she’d gained some weight, and sure she had been experiencing an inexplicable feeling of emotional blandness, but pregnant? It was the last thing she’d ever considered, and worse, the accusation she had flatly denied to everyone who had asked. In the brief two months before giving birth, Liz has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and as she speeds through the process, she works hard to hold onto the detachment her denial provided. Thinking of herself as a surrogate, she visits an agency, speaks to a social worker, and chooses adoptive parents.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After all, she spent eight months convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant. How much harder could it be to get over this? But as she relates the story to her therapist, who seems relentless in his insistence that she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. She maintains that this experience is just another thing that happened and she is not the type to grieve over it until, with the help of her therapist, she admits that in fact this is the most painful life experience she has suffered and she needs to accept it.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#9 carowell

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

I'm newly joining in the discussion of your query but I think it has a lot of potential. The rewrite is moving in the right direction. I would like to take a peek at the father and the circumstances regarding how she got the baby in her and why she chose the adoption route. I also would like to know where this is leading. Keep going. I interested.

#10 jmarshburn

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:03 PM

I've gotten some mild feedback from other sources and made one or two changes, but unfortunately a lot of the feedback I'm getting is telling me it's ready. This is my third revision, and would love some help. I'm feeling very confident with it, and am ready to start this process. Any critique and feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

-Jenn



Dear [Agent]:

What makes a good mother? Unrelenting love for a child, compassion, patience, a supportive husband or boyfriend, and family and friends are helpful, of course. But at the very least, the awareness that she is pregnant would be an ideal quality.

Twenty-two year old Liz, is shocked to discover eight months in that she is pregnant. Sure, she’d gained some weight, and sure she had been a little off lately, but pregnant? It was the last thing she’d ever considered, and worse, the only thing that she had flatly denied to everyone who had asked. In the brief two months before giving birth, Liz has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and as she speeds through the process, she works hard to hold onto the detachment her denial provided. Thinking of herself as a surrogate, she visits an agency, speaks to a social worker, and chooses adoptive parents.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After all, she spent eight months convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant. How much harder could it be to get over this? But as she relates the story to her therapist, who seems relentless in his insistence that she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. She maintains that this experience is just another thing that happened and she is not the type to grieve over it until, with the help of her therapist, she admits that in fact this is the most painful life experience she has suffered and she needs to accept it.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#11 Brighton

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

Dear [Agent]:

What makes a good mother? Unrelenting love for a child, compassion, patience, a supportive husband or boyfriend, and family and friends are helpful, of course. (My reaction at this point: sure, sure, where is this going?) But at the very least, the awareness that she is pregnant would be an ideal quality. (Then: Oh, interest piqued, good hook.)

Twenty-two year old Liz, is shocked to discover eight months in that she is pregnant. Sure, she’d gained some weight, and sure she had been a little off lately, but pregnant? It was the last thing she’d ever considered, and worse, the only thing that she had flatly denied to everyone who had asked. In the brief two months before giving birth, Liz has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and as she speeds through the process, she works hard to hold onto the detachment her denial provided. Thinking of herself as a surrogate, she visits an agency, speaks to a social worker, and chooses adoptive parents.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After all, she spent eight months convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant. How much harder could it be to get over this? But as she relates the story to her therapist, who seems relentless in his insistence that she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. She maintains that this experience is just another thing that happened and she is not the type to grieve over it until, with the help of her therapist, she admits that in fact this is the most painful life experience she has suffered and she needs to accept it.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

(Well it definitely caught my interest with the not knowing she was pregnant part, and the why that was able to happen part sounds like a mystery one has to read the book itself to solve.I guess what I'm trying to say but I think not being very articulate at saying is, there is seems to be some drama behind why she has reacted to this pregnancy in such a strange way, but I wish the query assured me in some way that if I were to read the book that I would in fact get to find out why, and not just go through the process with her of facing this experience and overcoming it. ) Hopefully that made sense. If not, completely disregard it, and take away the fact that you really do have me curious as to why she was in such denial.
"The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. ...and to this conception he was faithful to the end." -The Great Gatsby

#12 INCspot

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:08 PM

Dear [Agent]:

What makes a good mother? Unrelenting love for a child, compassion, patience, a supportive husband or boyfriend, and family and friends are helpful, of course. But at the very least, the awareness that she is pregnant would be an ideal quality.

Twenty-two year old Liz, is shocked to discover eight months in that she is eight months pregnant. Sure, she’d gained some weight, and sure she had been feeling (?) a little off lately, but pregnant? It was the last thing she’d ever considered, and worse, the only thing that she had flatly denied to everyone who had asked. In the brief two months before giving birth, Liz has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and as she speeds through the process, she works hard to hold onto the detachment her denial provided. Thinking of herself as a surrogate, she visits an agency, speaks to a social worker, and chooses adoptive parents.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After all, she spent eight months convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant. How much harder could it be to get over this? But as she relates the story to her therapist, who seems relentless in his insistence that she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. She maintains that this experience is just another thing that happened and she is not the type to grieve over it until, with the help of her therapist, she admits that in fact this is the most painful life experience she has suffered and she needs to accept it. Accept that it's been a painful experience?

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.


Intriguing concept for a book. The part that really had me snagged was the mention of the game of chess mentality towards her therapist.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

Dream, Neil Gaiman's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

#13 jmarshburn

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:51 PM

Thank you both for your comments! I hope to take yours and those of others and put together another draft by this weekend. In the meantime, happy writings and good luck!

-Jenn

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#14 jmarshburn

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:57 PM

It feels strange to revise something by making it longer, but let's see how this one goes. Here is my 3rd try. Thoughts?



Dear [Agent]:

What makes a good mother? Well, at the very least, the awareness that she is pregnant would be a start.

Twenty-two year old Liz, is shocked to discover that she is eight months pregnant. Sure, she’d gained some weight, and sure she had been feeling a little off lately, but pregnant? It was the last thing she’d ever considered, and worse, the only thing that she had flatly denied to everyone who had asked. She was too young. Her relationship with the father had been long over. It took eight months for her to even figure out that she was pregnant. What kind of a mother would she be? In the brief two months before giving birth, Liz has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and as she speeds through the process, she works hard to hold onto the detachment her denial provided. Thinking of herself as a surrogate, she visits an agency, speaks to a social worker, and chooses adoptive parents.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After all, she spent eight months convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant. How much harder could it be to get over this? But as she relates the story to her therapist, who seems relentless in his insistence that she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. As he drives her to examine her denial, her emotional detachment, and her relationships with friends and family, she struggles to maintain that this experience is just another thing that happened. The deeper he delves, the harder she works to keep her composure. She has already proven to herself that she is a terrible mother; that she does not deserve her child. It takes the work with her therapist to help her realize that her decision is one of compassion.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#15 jmarshburn

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

Here is my fifth revision. All feedback is appreciated. Thanks for your time!

-Jenn



Dear Agent:

Liz has already proven that she is a terrible mother who does not deserve her child. After all, what kind of a mother doesn’t even know she’s pregnant?


Twenty-two year old Liz is shocked to discover that she is eight months pregnant. Sure, she’s gained some weight, and sure she’s been feeling a little off lately, but pregnant? She is too young to have a baby. Her relationship with the father has long been over. It has taken eight months for her to even figure out that she is pregnant. Nonetheless, in a brief six weeks a new baby will be born, and she has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and the only way she can survive it is to carry the detachment her denial provided along the way. She speeds through the process, visiting an agency, speaking to a social worker, and choosing adoptive parents, all the time believing she is simply a surrogate for the deserving parents who will adopt this baby.

Now, a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to put these events behind her and return to life as normal. After eight months of convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant, she finds no problem distancing herself from the supposed grief her therapist tells her she will feel. But as she tells the story to her therapist, who seems relentlessly insisting she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. He pushes her to accept her denial, and her emotional detachment as natural coping mechanisms, while she uses them as proof that she is unfit to be a parent. When he invites her to explore her relationships with her family and her best friend, she struggles to maintain they’re denial is irrelevant. Why can’t this just be something that happened? The deeper he digs, the harder she works to keep her composure. It takes the work with her therapist to help her realize that her decision is rooted in more than necessity. It is a life-changing event that will live in her heart forever.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration.

Jenn
http://writingsonwri....wordpress.com/



Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.' - Paul Auster


#16 kiva555

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:21 AM

So, I will say to you what others have said to me...and what almost all the agent websites reiterate...no questions in the hook. I know. It sucks. Mine had questions too. But what every agent out there I have researched says...it is amateur. It makes them hit the reject button. They don't want a guessing game. They want good writing. And asking questions is a default. What did I do? I wrote the question I was compelled to write, then reworded it without the question.

Now I am certainly no expert, but I trust the agents, and since they are my audience...I will comply. Begrudgingly.



Ok...I am lame...I felt compelled to try and rework it.


After all, what kind of a mother doesn’t even know she’s pregnant?

After all, any mother who is worth anything would know in an instant she was pregnant. (or something of the sort...see? without the question you are making a statement, which is invariably stronger)

Damn, I hate when those agents are right.
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#17 MattReeves

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

Dear Agent:

Liz has already proven that she is a terrible mother who does not deserve her child. After all, what kind of a mother doesn’t even know she’s pregnant?



I actually will have to disagree with kiva555. While it is true that agents usually dislike questions in the Queries they receive, that doesn't mean there aren't exceptions once in a while. If there is one thing Query Shark has taught us, it's that the rules of Query's are sometimes broken to good effect.

For me, your question felt like it gave the perfect mood for the story. So, as far as I'm concerned, keep it. But maybe someone else will disagree. Oh well.

#18 kiva555

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:48 AM

Yes...rules can be broken. If you are a published author. At least that is what I see on blogs from lit agents over and over again. I guess they tend to read questions and make up their own sarcastic answers...then usually delete. Usually. Not always. But is it worth the risk? Just sayin'.

Good blog about the idea from Nathan Bransford (lit agent turned writer)
http://blog.nathanbr...-beginning.html

Obviously, peeps gotta go with what they feel is best. I guess I would just make sure you ask yourself...is a question the only way to gain interest? Do you lose more than you gain if you take it out?
As Nathan says...Bob Dylan used this effectively in Blowing the the Wind, therefore Bob Dylan is exempt from the rule. :)

But that is just my 2 cents.
"When life hands you a lemon, say "Oh yeah, I like lemons. What else you got?"
-Henry Rollins

Realizing the plight of a writer: a) it's a lonely endeavor b) it wreaks of redundancy c) it is both satisfying and heartbreaking d) it's an exercise in futility. But when someone laughs or my words evoke a strong reaction on a page, it is all worthwhile.


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#19 S Jenan

S Jenan

    Even my dreams are third person past tense.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:06 AM

This whole query comes alive for me at 'she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win.'. I'd start with that as the hook, and work backward into her situation.

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#20 Ammari Sky

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:29 AM

Okay, I see that this on going but a quick note. Do not tell anyone this is a debut novel, it's not until it's published. :)
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