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 1 
 on: Today at 09:25:57 AM 
Started by Waterfall - Last post by Waterfall
I've just spent the last two weeks responding to peer-reviewers' reports on my nonfiction book Contingent: The Cruel Ecology of the College Faculty's Underclass. My editor at the University of Chicago Press shoved the deadline for revisions way forward, because her marketing team wants to feature the book in the Spring 2019 catalog. So the MS went in on Friday. Now it'll be a couple of months of line-editing, a couple of months of silence, a month to prepare the index, a couple more months of silence, and then writing articles for the higher ed community starting in February to pave the way for the book's release in March. They were terrific with the last book, and I'm super grateful for their whole team. When the marketing team is on board, you've got a chance. Thumbs Up

Now if only they published fiction...

 2 
 on: Today at 09:08:29 AM 
Started by weirdpsyence - Last post by Waterfall
Thanks to jldelozier's hint—"he's riding on the coattails of his father"—I think I also know who you're talking about. A friend whom I met at Bread Loaf last summer had exactly this same experience with (I assume) this same agent: first-time author with an incomplete MS who got strung along for over a year with no contract and no follow-through. Once the MS was completed, this agent essentially said he was going to do a one-time blast and then back off. If it's the same guy, he's apparently burned a lot of bridges with new authors, though of course we don't know if he's done the same with the editorial community. The agency still has a ton of traction, and that plus the family name probably open most doors.

It's good to be king.

 3 
 on: Yesterday at 10:53:58 PM 
Started by Arte_Evans - Last post by Pineapplejuice
@pineapple,

I want to thank you for suggestions, they've really been helpful, and have helped me think about how I wanted the query to sound. With what you suggested and the comments of what you wanted to see, I blended a recent version of the query with your suggestions; added with a few extra things here and there. (I hope that's alright)

No problem. I wasn't sure of some things so the purple writing in last edit of your query were just suggestions based on guesses. Like with Ruthie being one of the chosen in first para, i wasn't sure if that was the case? Like, I wasn't sure if the throng of slum dwellers applying to go to the Capital for a better life, was what Ruthie was doing when the king offers the trio the task of helping him find out why the people go missing etc. Could you explain it here just in post, for me? I guess I must have been right, or you wouldn't have put it here. But it's still feels confused in my mind and having you explain it just, in talking, not in query , might help.
I'll delete my own wording of 'she struggles to survive' now as it was only to replace 'dilemma' but I think sentence might read ok ending on 'cursing the king' as it creates a strong image for me; Ruthie sifting through rubbish,  and swearing under her breath lol.

When I change to '300 lucky slumdwellers' I don't know how many are allowed to go but it's just an example of another specific that would give the reader confidence about their understanding the image in their mind etc.


***
Living as a human in a demon-human community in the Western Slums, Ruthie Souma divides her time sifting through garbage for her next meal, competing for grunt work to pay the bills, and cursing the King for her struggle to survive. However, when the King offers 300 lucky slumdwellers the chance to join the Capital’s high society comes to the Slums, people rush for the chance to be chosen to lead a life of privilege by the king himself to lead struggle-free lives. And Ruthie is one of them.


A prisoner, Solomon Evans, has fled from the Capital with the King’s secrets at hand, and the odd ability to consume souls at his disposal. When the prisoner crosses paths with Ruthie and her friend Umo ( on their journey to the capital? If Ruthie was chosen, is she headed there now? It's unclear ) , the prisoner brings to their attention that despite hundreds of Slum citizens entering the capital none are heard from again.


Believing the newly formed trio will become a threat to his throne, appearing unmatched with due to ( The King chose Ruthie but didn't know she'd team up? What is about the three that makes them a threat? What do they do to make him pay attention? I mean they have powers but I'm assuming most of the population does at this point, in this world ) their unique abilities, the King offers them a week to reach the Capital and find out what happened to the humans and lesser demons from the surrounding slums. As the tasks get more difficult, the King plans to sap these brave souls of their abilities and join the mass of slum dwellers in potential doom.( What I'm wondering is, why the King is putting them through all this, why doesn't he just kill them? Is there something about them using their powers on their journey that makes it more valuable to him to keep them alive temporarily? Can you just tell me in a note? )


The King lures them into several trials, under the guise of success in defeating the King, ( it sounds here like the King is giving them the chance to defeat him - I"m sure that's not right. What is the reward the King is offering them, or has he threatened them by giving them only a week to 'help'. )
  in which they are stretched to their limits. From the shadows, the king continues to pull the strings, watching the half-breed prisoner, a rare demon and the first human telepath struggle to the meet his impossible demands.


The trio fight their way to the Capital, taking on a sea of wealthy civilians, tasked with slowing them down. They free the slum dwellers, who have been imprisoned because the King has fantasies of a “pure” world. The King wants to eradicate all humans and sub-demons, but as the trio draws closer, it’s clear he’s underestimated the gifted slum dweller and her courageous sidekicks.


I think it needs a stronger ending, more dramatic with stakes but I can't think of anything and wordcount already at limit 




 4 
 on: Yesterday at 09:24:47 PM 
Started by Arte_Evans - Last post by Arte_Evans
@pineapple,

I want to thank you for suggestions, they've really been helpful, and have helped me think about how I wanted the query to sound. With what you suggested and the comments of what you wanted to see, I blended a recent version of the query with your suggestions; added with a few extra things here and there. (I hope that's alright)

***
Living as a human in a demon-human community in the Western Slums, Ruthie Souma divides her time sifting through garbage for her next meal, competing for grunt work to pay the bills, and cursing the King for her struggle to survive. However, when the chance to join the Capital’s high society comes to the Slums, people rush for the chance to be chosen by the king himself to lead struggle-free lives. And Ruthie is one of them.


A prisoner, Solomon Evans, has fled from the Capital with the King’s secrets at hand, and the odd ability to consume souls at his disposal. When the prisoner crosses paths with Ruthie and her friend Umo, the prisoner brings to their attention that despite hundreds of Slum citizens entering the capital none are heard from again.


Believing the newly formed trio will become a threat to his throne, appearing unmatched with their unique abilities, the King offers them a week to reach the Capital and find out what happened to the humans and lesser demons from the surrounding slums. As the tasks get more difficult, the King plans to sap these brave souls of their abilities and join the mass of slum dwellers in potential doom.


The King lures them into several trials, under the guise of success in defeating the King, in which they are stretched to their limits. From the shadows, the king continues to pull the strings, watching the half-breed prisoner, a rare demon and the first human telepath struggle to the meet his impossible demands.


The trio fight their way to the Capital, taking on a sea of wealthy civilians, tasked with slowing them down. They free the slum dwellers, who have been imprisoned because the King has fantasies of a “pure” world. The King wants to eradicate all humans and sub-demons, but as the trio draws closer, it’s clear he’s underestimated the gifted slum dweller and her courageous sidekicks.


 5 
 on: Yesterday at 05:52:08 PM 
Started by izzibella - Last post by izzibella
My name is Izzibella Beau and I'm the author of several books on Amazon. I've written YA, NA, paranormal, and co-authored a true-life story with my good friend Ms. Abigail Rich. I've also written several screenplays, still pitching the Hollywood scene and hoping to get noticed, but trying to turn what I write in novels into feature films and/or digital properties. I created a company, H.J. Productions, and am still in the process of getting all of our crew and whatnots in order to begin production os LIVE book trailers and possible indie films. Let me know if I can be of any assistance, I'm only a message away. Looking forward to great communication from all fellow authors. 

 6 
 on: Yesterday at 05:45:59 PM 
Started by HLHumbert - Last post by izzibella
Welcome, back. I'm a newbie here on this site, so hopefully, we can all motivate one another to continue writing.

 7 
 on: Yesterday at 10:27:58 AM 
Started by weirdpsyence - Last post by jldelozier
Sorry to be the party-pooper here, but you need to be extremely wary.  I know who you're talking about. My take is that he's riding on the coattails of his father with minimal effort on his part. Keep in mind, you are entering into a business arrangement. You MUST have a contract detailing how much he/the agency is getting paid, what the term is (one book, one year,) the process for either party to terminate said contract etc. You do NOT currently have a legally binding contract with him - a verbal contract is worth the paper its printed on.

If you do decide to proceed with him, it is standard and recommended to at least have a phone call where you get to ask such questions - there are several good lists online about what to ask during "the call." If he refuses to schedule a call or provide a contract, run. At the end of the call, don't give another commitment.  Say you'd like a week to think about the discussion and you'll get back to him. At the end of that week, if you decide he's not for you, send a simple, professional business letter saying, "Thank you, but you decided to explore other options." No details are necessary. Remember, you are hiring HIM, essentially as a paid employee or at least a partner. You'd vet your mechanic better than most of us vet our agents.

If you decide to test the waters and query elsewhere, you do no and should NOT mention anything about this prior arrangement in your queries.

 8 
 on: Yesterday at 09:39:23 AM 
Started by TheRulez - Last post by Pineapplejuice


Ok looking pretty good now but still a little way to go I think as some things need clarification but it's heaps clearer and has a stronger feel.


A war has been raging since time immemorial, but Peter only learns about the conflict, and the gods who wage it, as he stands over his father’s broken body.

When Marcus appears, he offers Peter the chance to become an immortal being like him. He’ll gain the ability to heal from any wound and run faster than the human eye can follow. But the promise of eternal life comes with the need to “stay in the gray,” ; too many bad deeds will permanently rob him of his sanity, too many good ones will probably kill him. ( Semicolon perhaps, incase they don't realise the 'too many' sentence is describing what 'staying in the grey' is. )

The other gods will stop at nothing to claim the treasures ( what are the treasures? ) . Countless innocents are trampled underfoot when they begin invading cities all over the world.

After losing his friends, his fiancé, and his mortality, Peter thinks there is nothing else he’ll have to sacrifice. ( I'm not sure what the 'sacrifice' applies to. If you mean he is supposed to kill a family member to keep the balance of evil inside him etc might need to explain as it reads as empty ) To prevail over these other ( more powerful reckless etc How are they different to Peter? and how are they his enemy? ) gods, he’ll have to kill. The act alone might take away his sanity. Or, perhaps, saving so many innocents will mean the end of his own life.

In a battle across continents that brings Peter into battle with all the other god in every corner of the world, Peter is forced to engage in bloody conflict as a newly turned god. ( He isn't forced. And people use this term so often in queries that it's a cliche ) At the same time, he must ensure that the violence he experiences, or doles out, doesn’t consume what little humanity he has left.

I would like to present my urban fantasy novel, Deus ex Machina: A Sinful Victory (139,000 words). It is a stand-alone story, but the first in a planned four-book series.


REWRITE EXAMPLE: with suggestions of specifics to replace ( needs replacing as I don't know what the specifics are )

A war has been raging since time immemorial, but Peter only learns about the conflict, and the gods who wage it, as he stands over his father’s broken body.

When Marcus appears ( at the cemetary, after most of the mourners have left/ informing Peter he's one of the chosen etc ) , he offers Peter the chance to become an immortal being like him. He’ll gain the ability to heal from any wound and run faster than the human eye can follow. But the promise of eternal life comes with the need to “stay in the gray,”; too many bad deeds will permanently rob him of his sanity, too many good ones will probably kill him.

The other gods will stop at nothing to claim the 'treasures', those opportune situations that keep them in the grey safely, leaving Peter to struggle with the scraps situations, so that he is in a state of perpetual moral dilemma Countless innocents are trampled underfoot when they begin invading cities all over the world.

When Peter needs to do a bad deed to save his own life it means injuring one of his friends, his fiancé, but they are all dead. Peter thinks there is nothing else he’ll have to sacrifice and death looms close To prevail over these other more powerful and reckless gods, he’ll have to kill. The act alone might take away his sanity. Or, perhaps, saving so many innocents will mean the end of his own life.

In a battle across continents that brings Peter into battle with all the other gods in every corner of the world,   he must ensure that the violence he experiences, or doles out, doesn’t consume what little humanity he has left. Because to preserve his sanity, he has to stay true to himself


 9 
 on: Yesterday at 08:14:41 AM 
Started by TheRulez - Last post by TheRulez
Here's a revised version thanks to all your previous feedback. I focused a little more on the stakes, like you said.

A war has been raging since time immemorial, but Peter only learns about the conflict, and the gods who wage it, as he stands over his father’s broken body.

When Marcus appears, he offers Peter the chance to become an immortal being like him. He’ll gain the ability to heal from any wound and run faster than the human eye can follow. But the promise of eternal life comes with the need to “stay in the gray.” Too many bad deeds will permanently rob him of his sanity. Too many good ones will probably kill him.

The other gods will stop at nothing to claim the treasures. Countless innocents are trampled underfoot when they begin invading cities all over the world.

After losing his friends, his fiancé, and his mortality, Peter thinks there is nothing else he’ll have to sacrifice. To prevail over these gods, he’ll have to kill. The act alone might take away his sanity. Or, perhaps, saving so many innocents will mean the end of his own life.

In a battle across continents that brings them to every corner of the world, Peter is forced to engage in bloody conflict as a newly turned god. At the same time, he must ensure that the violence he experiences, or doles out, doesn’t consume what little humanity he has left.

I would like to present my urban fantasy novel, Deus ex Machina: A Sinful Victory (139,000 words). It is a stand-alone story, but the first in a planned four-book series.

 10 
 on: Yesterday at 07:50:32 AM 
Started by weirdpsyence - Last post by Tabris
I agree with calling. Act as though you have no second-guesses at this point, but call, explain the ms is ready, and ask what happens from here. In effect, interviewing the agent for the job once he already has it. That's going to give you a sense of how things feel, and once the agent is actively engaged, you may find yourself pleased with the situation. I wouldn't say anything about second-guessing. Just say, "I want to know what your plans are, and how you want to work together on this. What do you want me to do? What will you be doing?"

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