Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We Interrupt Two-Fer Tuesday to Bring You This...

I'm cancelling today's Two-Fer Tuesday because I was working on a query letter last week and I wanted to get some opinions on it.  Ordinarily I'd post it on Friday, but Chapter 3 is posting on Friday, so what the heck.  No one really likes these Tuesday posts anyway.

This is a query for my story Chance of a Lifetime.  Now that I've got some actual stuff on my bio, I thought maybe I'd query it to agents and see if I get lucky.  (Probably not.)  Which means I need to do a query letter.  I tried one last winter on the Grumpy Bulldog blog.  Here's a new, possibly improved version.


When Detective Steve Fischer crosses the mob, he winds up like so many others at the bottom of the harbor.  But thanks to an experimental drug, Steve gets a chance for revenge.  There’s just one side effect:  Steve wakes up as a young woman.

She assumes the name Stacey Chance and sets out to avenge Steve Fischer.  Stacey’s quest becomes more urgent when she learns mob boss Artie Luther plans to sell the experimental drug’s formula to a shady Chinese firm.  Without the drug’s formula, Stacey has no hope to ever be Steve again. 

Armed with only her newfound feminine wiles, Stacey seduces one of Luther’s men and then begins to work her way up the chain of command.  Before she can get to Luther or the formula, though, she might end up at the bottom of the harbor again. 

Chance of a Lifetime is an 85,000-word thriller about revenge and redemption .

My first novel A Hero’s Journey was released by Solstice Publishing in October. 
And remember you can buy my book for just $2.99! 

Tomorrow Practical Superheroism continues!

11 comments:

  1. I would leave out the part where you are trying to sell your book to the agent for $2.99. Other than that, I think you're good to go.

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    1. Obviously that's not part of the query, smart-ass.

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  2. PT:
    I've yet to successfully query an agent so please take my advice with a grain of salt, but I think you are falling into a few cliches that mar the distinctiveness of your pitch. The idea of the "Mob" and "ending up at "the bottom of the harbor" seem worn and dated to me. If you can invent a few fresher concepts here I think your story will shine more brightly.

    These query letters are so darn difficult. I'll be curious to learn what responses you get, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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  3. I would try and make the distinction of how and why the transformation takes place more clear, because otherwise it sounds...kind of gimmicky and creepy. One would assume changing gender would play a more central role than using her "newfound feminine wiles."

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    1. I guess as long as other people are clarifying what they said...Why does this drug change the sex of its user? And is that a major element of the plot? Is society trying to work on a "Children of Men" kind of problem? Or is it really pretty random?

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  4. Personally, I hate the whole "when" thing to start a query even though I know that's generally how it's done. That's probably why I don't like it.

    I would probably leave out "shady." I think that's implied in "Chinese."
    And I would probably do "...bottom of the harbor. Again."

    Both of those are my own personal things, though, and have nothing to do with the quality of your letter, which I think is pretty good. It's concise and flows well, and I think that's all you can ask out of a query. Plus, if you get someone that's paying attention, s/he will got to the part where Stacey seduces one of the henchmen and do a double take and read it again to make sure s/he read it right. I'd think that's a pretty good hook to get someone to want to know more.

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  5. It makes clear what your story is about, so I think it fine.

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  6. I have to concur with Stephen Hayes that "the bottom of the harbor" is rather tired and overused. However, over all, what you have articulated, I believe is a good short summary.

    Take care and all the best,

    Gary

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  7. i liked the query...i would just work on that last paragraph. maybe use a different word then "wiles" and take out the word "though" on the last line. the "bottom of the harbor" line i get bc ur relating to what mobs do, but it doesn't make it clear how the drug got in him before he was killed by the mob or if he was brought up from the water and saved by the drug by someone. u may know, but i don't know by reading the query. and u wouldn't need the word "as" in the last line of the 1st paragraph. hope any of it helps. i think it's hilarious he turns into a girl! following from david! hi!

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    1. just reread, sorry,..."the experimental drug's formula" is missing some flow. not easy to read. maybe "the experimental drugs' formula". i know it seems silly that an apostraphe makes the difference, but then it's read as the possession of the drug, which it is.

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  8. I know nothing about queries, but agree with Andrew. Having the guy start seducing people definitely made it pop. Maybe start with that somehow?

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