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  1. #451
    I got a re write posted up in that thread if any body wants to take another look.
    http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showt...073#post658073

  2. #452
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    That link isn't working, I'm afraid. Can you try it again?

  3. #453
    try this one.
    http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32097
    still looking for any and all comments about that KatG. Id would also dearly like it if you could read my synopsis as well.
    Thanks again
    Last edited by InfinityKgt; September 4th, 2011 at 02:54 PM.

  4. #454
    Registered User CrastersBabies's Avatar
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    Hello! I don't have a query letter (yet). But, I'm wondering about multiple storylines/POVs and how people have worked with this in writing their query letters.

    A rundown:

    For mine, I have two countries on the precipice of war. One used to be part of the other but has remained its own nation for 300 years. The "baddie" wants this nation back (an ambitious and ruthless king).

    The story follows the children of these countries' kings and how political intrigue and politicking shapes and impacts each one.

    But, each nation (area) has its own issues/arcs, etc. What is blanketing them all is the threat of war. One side wants peace, the other wants to march. So, I'm trying to figure out if I need one section about the "baddie" country, one about the "I want peace" country and a third section that wraps things together (they all come to a head at the end).

    Man, I hope this made sense.



    Would appreciate "general advice" help!

    Also, there are 6 POVs (3rd person/on the shoulder).

  5. #455
    Ill give a go at the "general advice" (just take it with a grain of salt because i am struggling with exactly the same thing at the moment). One thing i struggled with was keeping everything omniscient POV, but i think thats part of the trick for what we are doing. It seemed to be easier when i pictured myself as an outsider looking down on all the twists and turns already knowing everything. hope this helps. your storyline sounds intriguing.

  6. #456
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrastersBabies View Post
    Hello! I don't have a query letter (yet). But, I'm wondering about multiple storylines/POVs and how people have worked with this in writing their query letters.

    A rundown:

    For mine, I have two countries on the precipice of war. One used to be part of the other but has remained its own nation for 300 years. The "baddie" wants this nation back (an ambitious and ruthless king).

    The story follows the children of these countries' kings and how political intrigue and politicking shapes and impacts each one.

    But, each nation (area) has its own issues/arcs, etc. What is blanketing them all is the threat of war. One side wants peace, the other wants to march. So, I'm trying to figure out if I need one section about the "baddie" country, one about the "I want peace" country and a third section that wraps things together (they all come to a head at the end).

    Man, I hope this made sense.



    Would appreciate "general advice" help!

    Also, there are 6 POVs (3rd person/on the shoulder).
    The pov's in a novel are not the issue in a summarizing description of it. The key points are the locale -- two kingdoms, one formerly a part of the other; the plot -- the bigger kingdom seeks to reinvade the other country and whatever main plotlines stem from that; and the emotional state of the main characters in regards to that plot. The sideplots are relevant if they have good stuff that feeds into the mainplot and main emotional dilemmas of the main characters, but don't get as much mention. If you are dealing with five royal kids, let's say, you might need to ping each one in the description with a very brief indication of their emotional situation, but you are likely to concentrate on the kids who have the biggest impact on the main plotline.

  7. #457
    Registered User CrastersBabies's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Kat!

    What do you think about only addressing maybe 2-3 of the main characters. As it is now, 3 of the characters are main and 3 are more supporting cast.

    Would that make it easier? Or, would it make it easier to focus on one character? Perhaps the one that experiences the most growth (or change) as a character?

    Just throwing a few more ideas out there.

  8. #458
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Three main characters are fine if you can manage to get them across in a quick summary. In a plot synopsis, you can go longer and deal with all six. The three supporting characters may be mentioned in the query letter summary, but they may not be the main focus of the description.

  9. #459
    Registered User CrastersBabies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Three main characters are fine if you can manage to get them across in a quick summary. In a plot synopsis, you can go longer and deal with all six. The three supporting characters may be mentioned in the query letter summary, but they may not be the main focus of the description.
    Thank you! Absolutely invaluable help.

  10. #460
    Riyria Revelations Author sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    I've not read this whole thread on the Query letter so if this is mentioned I apologize. The single most helpful thing I ever found on writing query letters is a "free short" that was done by agent Noah Lukeman (who also wrote The first Five Pages, A dash of style, and a few others).

    Noah estimated that he had read about 10,000 queries over the years and he is great at indicating do's and don'ts. It is a very quick read and I highly recommend it.

    Here is the link:

  11. #461
    Since this is the Query letter section, I thought I'd share mine and see what people thought. I kept it short as is often the advice on these matters:

    PREDATOR IN THE PINE BARRENS is paranormal thriller sprinkled with humor and sexual tension.

    When several bizarre killings, from animal mutilations to mass murder, have only two things in common: the manner of killing and no verifiable clues, a local detective hesitantly teams up with an ambitious paranormal reporter to investigate the off chance that a beast out of folklore could actually be more than myth. Working both in tandem and separately they confirm that the killings are not that of a psycho path or a rabid mountain lion on the loose as had been hypothesized. Instead what comes to pass is an answer rooted in history that neither wants nor can accept.

    My name is Tyler Hawke. Iím currently a photographer/lecturer/writer. I have written many magazine articles over the years on photography. I was also a promotions producer/writer for MSNBC, Riki Lake and CN8 the Comcast Network (news and programming). I have also written some TV commercials for local politicians as well as having written many published Letters to the Editor.

  12. #462
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Hey Tyler!

    Unless the book is meant to be a paranormal romance, (a romance novel rather than a thriller with a strong romance sub-plot,) I would avoid using the word paranormal to describe it. Use supernatural instead.

    When several bizarre killings, from animal mutilations to mass murder, have only two things in common: the manner of killing and no verifiable clues, a local detective
    Much as I'm for stuffing query letter sentences, this one ends up a bit awkward to process. I'd suggest breaking this into multiple sentences. Who is the detective? Also, the manner of killing is a verifiable clue, so do you mean that there are no other clues?

    Paranormal reporter is probably a workable phrase but it's uncommon since newspapers, rather than specialty publications, tend not to have a paranormal beat they assign a reporter to. Occult investigator might be better as a term, but if they call the character a paranormal reporter in the novel, then you could leave it here. Who is the paranormal reporter?

    Why would the detective think an otherworldly mythical beast did the killings as opposed to a person or persons or possibly a large animal? Why does the detective team up with the reporter?

    Working both in tandem and separately
    -- This is one of those phrases that doesn't really communicate any information to the query letter reader. If you're not going to give any real detail about their actual actions, you can just leave that phrase out and have it be: "They confirm that the killings..." (Also typo: psychopath is one word.)

    Instead what comes to pass is an answer rooted in history that neither wants nor can accept.
    That's a nice cover copy tag line and it will probably work okay for the query letter. However, if you have a really cool ending, it might be better to elaborate a bit on what the history is and its consequences, because they can't know that the cool ending exists unless you tell them.

    If you can give a hint as to which mythology the beastie comes from -- Native American, Ireland, whatever -- that would probably be a good idea.

  13. #463
    Superb - thank you!

    I used paranormal reporter because that is what she is in the book. She writes for a website that explores ghost stories and other paranormal activity as well as stories dealing with local myths and folklore.

    "Why would the detective think an otherworldly mythical beast did the killings as opposed to a person or persons or possibly a large animal? Why does the detective team up with the reporter? " Trying to get this into part of or single sentence is going to be some feat to pull-off.

    Thanks for the tip about the "clues".

    I do have a twist ending and that is why the last sentence is stated the way it is. Should I give more of a reveal? I thought that was saved for a synopsis...

    I guess I should give the mythology but I stayed generic - the synopsis has this more fully stated.

    Great insights. I have seen some agents state they want queries not exceed 250 words, so I was being economical and not wanting to dance the edge of 250.

    Again - thank you for your insight.

  14. #464
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Hawke View Post
    Trying to get this into part of or single sentence is going to be some feat to pull-off.
    You can probably manage it in two sentences. Start with six and then it can be worked from there.

    I do have a twist ending and that is why the last sentence is stated the way it is. Should I give more of a reveal? I thought that was saved for a synopsis...
    You can -- are you attaching the synopsis to the query letter? If so, then the open tag line in the query letter should suffice. You want them to want to see the ms. They can only get interested in what you tell them about. But the synopsis lets you get into it more.

    I guess I should give the mythology but I stayed generic - the synopsis has this more fully stated.
    The exact nature of the beast can be left to the synopsis, but when you say "a beast out of folklore" instead you can say "a beast out of Lithuanian folklore" or whatever it is. It's just a word or two more, but it gives them a flavor for the monster quickly.

    I have seen some agents state they want queries not exceed 250 words, so I was being economical and not wanting to dance the edge of 250.
    That's rather foolish of them, but they're trying to avoid long query letters. 500 words would make much more sense. You may need to have two query letters -- the very short one for the 250 words folk, who, if they want it that brief, can be given a cover copy sort of description; and a slightly longer one for the rest that is still one page. It really shouldn't be that many words more -- you just need a few details. A detective and a reporter go after a mythic beast and something happens isn't bad, but it doesn't raise the shiny flag of what the story has got quite as much as it could. Even slight details about the detective and the reporter could catch an agent's antenna.

  15. #465
    Kat - took your advice and hopefully shaped it into something more exciting that one can get a better sense of the story:

    PREDATOR IN THE PINE BARRENS is paranormal thriller containing an increasing sexual tension between the two main characters.

    In the rural regions of southern New Jersey, known as the Pine Barrens, bizarre killings begin to mount. At first the freakish animal mutilations on a local farm give detective Hunter Matthews little pause but when a late night roadside murder mirrors the same method of killing he begins to suspect a psychopath is on the loose. Paranormal Investigator Casey Windall, looking for a real story to break, inadvertently becomes involved in the investigation when she hits something as she tries to make her way to the crime scene of the roadside murder. As suspects are eliminated Casey proposes an alternative theory that Hunter initially dismisses but canít entirely shake from his conscious. Casey begins to look further into the possible reality that a mythical beast from folklore known as the Jersey Devil may actually be more than a scary campfire story. More killings occur that Hunter looks into and when a mass murder of sixteen people confounds another police department, he is called in as a special investigator. Meanwhile Casey tracks down a credible lead that reveals knowledge about the beast thatís been hidden in plain sight. As they both begin to witness their perceptions of reality unravel, what comes to pass is an answer rooted in history that neither wants nor can accept.

    My name is Tyler Hawke. Iím currently a photographer/lecturer/writer. I have written many magazine articles over the years on photography. Prior to my photography career I was a promotions producer/writer for MSNBC, Riki Lake and CN8 the Comcast Network (news and programming). I have also written some TV commercials for local politicians as well as having written many published Letters to the Editor.

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