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Author: Subject: My New Query ... Help me with it please! UPDATED
GarryMcL
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 11:36 AM
My New Query ... Help me with it please! UPDATED


Help me out here ... This is what I have come up with after reading the prescribed reading Michy suggested. It suggested only 3 sentences for the synopsis ... ... I think I have 5 or 6 ... what can I leave out ??? This is more difficult than writing the book. :rolleyes:

Garry-


Dear Mr. ?????????,

I believe that the author/agent partnership is like a two edged sword. The agent is expecting quality from the author and the author should expect the same from an agent. Your resume shows me that you have experience, quality and you represent in my genre, commercial fiction. Therefore, I would like to retain you to represent my novel.


My novel, BESIEGED FROM WITHIN, a commercial fiction novel complete at 81,692 words, is a story about how after sixteen years of oppression of the people, by the U.S. Government, the regime comes to an end. From the loss of the right to bear arms, the country has become over run with animals that have caused the death of many citizens. At the request by the people, for the government to protect them, the government responds by erecting fences around towns and other areas of importance. By the year 2025, the oppressive administration has ended with the assassination of its leading members. A shadow government steps in to right the wrongs forced on the people. The fences must come down. The animals on the outside of the fences must be controlled and the oppressor's enforcers taken care of. One man is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the oppressed United States citizens. This is the story of those operations.


My disregard for political correctness, experience in law enforcement (county, state and federal), pursuit of outdoor activities, engineering experience and political involvement gives voice and credence to the characters in my novel. As a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, I have published approximately 200 articles.

Sincerely,

Garry L. McLaughlin






[Edited on 6/18/2010 by GarryMcL]

[Edited on 6/19/2010 by GarryMcL]

[Edited on 6/19/2010 by GarryMcL]

[Edited on 6/19/2010 by GarryMcL]




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moonshadow68
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 04:33 PM


My novel, The Untied States, Besieged From Within, is a story about how after sixteen years of oppression by the U.S. Government of the people, the oppressive regime comes to an end.

What are you trying to say here? I'm really confused by "government of the people". Sixteen years of oppression means it either covers two presidents or the Constitutional amendment limited presidents to terms has been ignored. Government should not be capitalized and the use of oppression and oppressive in the same sentence seems redundant.
If I get what you are trying to say, how about something more like:
Sixteen years of destroying civil liberties and the Constitution comes to an end when assassins eliminate one of the administration's leading members (why not say presidnet /dictator here?). During the oppression, fences were erected to "protect" the public from the (again, confused here by the reference to animals?) unruly masses. Character name here leads the mission to tear down the fences and make America once again the land of the free.

The United States, Besieged from Within, is a commercial fiction novel complete at xx,xxx words.

"From the loss of right to bear arms the country has become over run with animals that have caused the death of many citizens. At the request of the people for the government to protect them, the government responds by erecting fences around towns and other areas of importance. By the year 2025, the oppressive administration has ended with the assassination of its leading members, and a shadow government steps in to try and right the wrongs forced on the people. The fences must come down. The animals on the outside of the fences must be controlled and the enforcers of oppressors taken care of. One man is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the oppressed United States citizens. This is the story of those operations."

The references to animals confused and the last line here did nothing to further your purpose, i.e. get someone to read your book.

Hope that helps some :)






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GarryMcL
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 05:06 PM



Here is a timeline of was has transpired during the first 16 years.

1. Term limits for President done away with and Constitution gutted or ignored.
2. All weapons confiscated.
3. No killing of animals for any reason including food.
4. All animals including farm, pets and zoo animals released into the wild.
5. Animals killing people.
6. Fences erected around towns etc.
7. People confined, enforcers sent into towns by government
8. The President and 11 of the top people in government assassinated.
9. 2025 shadow government takes over.
10. Restoration begins.

Garry-




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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 06:32 PM


Okay, so take the ten poins you gave me and work it up into a query:

Sixteen years after the Constitution was gutted and all animals released back into the wild, America has become very inhospitable to its human residents. Only the electrified fences installed by the same government that overturned the Bill of Rights protect citizens from the savage packs of roaming animals. The people long for protection and freedom, goals they might just get when government leaders are assassinated and one man tries to lead the country back to freedom and sanity.




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Nancy G.
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 06:39 PM


In order for "suspension of disbelief" to work, I would extend the sixteen years to a longer period of time, and I would set it further into the future than 2010-2025. After all if you sold the book today to a publishing company, today, June 2010, it would take two years to be on the shelves. That would seem to throw the time line off bigtime.
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 06:46 PM


I think Nancy has a good point. I'd be inclined to not have a year mentioned at all. Just set it "sometime in the future" Putting in a year really dates the book. Just think of George Orwell's 1984.
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 06:54 PM


Nancy has a very good point. With your current time line, the animal release would have to be coming up soon.

Also, did you do some research about what would happen with the animals? Obviously, some zoo animals wouldn't be able to survive in this climate or would quickly fall to the released predators, but tigers I think might thrive in the northern states (especially with cows to eat)...

That said, I do like the premise :)






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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 07:11 PM


Quote: Originally posted by moonshadow68  
Nancy has a very good point. With your current time line, the animal release would have to be coming up soon.

Also, did you do some research about what would happen with the animals? Obviously, some zoo animals wouldn't be able to survive in this climate or would quickly fall to the released predators, but tigers I think might thrive in the northern states (especially with cows to eat)...

That said, I do like the premise



Yes, wildlife is my specialty in life and I write about it along with participating in it. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that is active in these pursuits that is what would happen. Yes, I talk about some of the lesser nonpredators and what would happen to them.

As an example: 30 years ago we had no coyotes in Ohio. Now with hunters, trappers and vehicles killing probably over 5,000 a year, their populations are exploding and they are taking peoples pets right off of their porches, in towns. Also have had several people attacked by them. So I have no doubt what so ever would happen if none of any predators were killed. This is true all across the country and the same thing with wild hogs and bears in New Jersey.

Thanks for the ideas. I will work on it some more.

Garry-




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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 07:42 PM


Heck, we have packs of dogs and they are "domesticated" :)



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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 08:00 PM


The title of the book should be in all caps.

Also, I'd suggest just calling it: BESIEGED FROM WITHIN - Commas and long titles don't usually do well.

I can't comment on the query right now.... but I'll try to come back to it soon.




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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 09:13 PM


In my experience, and from what some other's have told me, it doesn't really matter what you call it. If its sold, chances are they will title it something different. They have sales meetings and sales professionals that study markets and trends and come up with titles and cover designs to sell the books.

If you sell it to a small house, you probably can keep the working title.
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[*] posted on 6/18/2010 at 10:26 PM


Doesn't change the fact that having a good name that catches the attention of an agent is important, even if they do change it later.

I kept the title to three of my four books, and the fourth one was really the same title, they just gave it a subtitle that I hadn't used. It was a nonfiction book though.





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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 08:20 AM


UPDATE: I have changed the synopsis portion reflecting some of your suggestions and some of mine own rewording.


Dear Mr. ?????

I believe that the author/agent partnership is like a two edged sword. The agent is expecting quality from the author and the author should expect the same from an agent. Your resume shows me that you have experience, quality and you represent in my genre, commercial fiction.
Therefore, I would like to retain you to represent my novel.

My novel, BESIEGED FROM WITHIN, a commercial fiction novel complete at 81,692 words, is the story how after sixteen years of oppression of the people, by the government, the regime comes to an end, when eleven of its top members are assassinated. During this time the constitution has been gutted, all weapons have been seized, and all animals released to the wild.
The country is over-run with animals and have caused the death of many citizens. The pleas of the people, for the government to protect them, is answered by erection of fences around towns and other areas of importance. A shadow government steps in to right the wrongs forced on the people. The fences must come down. The animals must be controlled and the oppressor's enforcers taken care of. One man is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the citizens. This is the story of those operations.

My disregard for political correctness, experience in law enforcement (county, state and federal), pursuit of outdoor activities, engineering experience and political involvement gives voice and credence to the characters in my novel. As a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, I have published approximately 200 articles.

Sincerely,

Garry





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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 09:13 AM


Garry,
This is significantly better than the first one (as almost all revisions are), but it still has some problems. Hope this helps:
Quote: Originally posted by GarryMcL  
.

My novel, BESIEGED FROM WITHIN, a commercial fiction novel complete at 81,692 words, is the story how after sixteen years of oppression of the people, by the government, the regime comes to an end, when eleven of its top members are assassinated. During this time the constitution has been gutted, all weapons have been seized, and all animals released to the wild.
The country is over-run with animals and have caused the death of many citizens. The pleas of the people, for the government to protect them, is answered by erection of fences around towns and other areas of importance. A shadow government steps in to right the wrongs forced on the people. The fences must come down. The animals must be controlled and the oppressor's enforcers taken care of. One man is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the citizens. This is the story of those operations.



In the first sentence: "this is the story how" is awkward and semi-redundant. You don't need to tell the agent that it's a story.
Try something like, "My novel ...tells how 16 years of government oppression of the American people ends when 11 top officials are assassinated."
Part of the goal is that you want active sentences, not passive. With the "by the government" the sentence feels more passive that it is.
I like the second sentence. It's a good quick summary of what happens, clarifying what comes next.
This sentence: "The country is over-run with animals and have caused the death of many citizens." is grammatically incorrect. It says that the country have caused the death of many citizens. Replace the and with a that and it becomes a correct sentence, but still not a great one. Again, you want active sentences.
More like, "Animals over-run the nation and kill many people." Also, to be very nitpicky, citizens doesn't work for me here. It's almost like using enemy combatants instead of war dead; it minimizes the human impact of the sentence.
"The pleas of the people, for the government to protect them, is answered by erection of fences around towns and other areas of importance" another grammar problem. Pleas are plural. Pleas are ignored not is ignored. And, what does "area of importance" mean? Try to use specifics.
The last section: "The fences must come down. The animals must be controlled and the oppressor's enforcers taken care of. One man is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the citizens. This is the story of those operations."
enforcers taken care of -- what do you mean? killed, removed from power, bribed? More specific wording here is more powerful.
See how much smoother this is: "The animals must be controlled. The enforcers must be removed and the fences must come down."
Again, this is the story of those operations is awkward and unnecesary.
I know I'm being pushy here, but a good query can get you a book deal and a bad one gets you a form letter.




[Edited on 6-19-2010 by moonshadow68]




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Nancy G.
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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 09:35 AM


I'll tell you a sentence that has bothered me from the beginning: "Your resume shows me---" . It sounds like they have submitted a resume for a job and puts them in the in the position of asking to be hired as your agent. In reality, you are asking them to take you on as a client, a much different thing. "I would like to retain you---" does the same thing: it sounds like you are hiring them, not them choosing you. And the word "retain", although true it sounds like you are going to be paying them to represent you, which is not true. Most people think of the word "retain" as in "retaining a lawyer" by pay him/her something up front.

Although unintended, those two sentences sound arrogant to me, and I'm afraid they might earn you an immediate rejection. Other's may disagree, and I'm sure they'll let me know if they do.
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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 10:15 AM


Actually Nancy, I sort of agree.

I think there is some value in making it clear that you are "hiring" an agent, but at the same time, this does come across as a bit arrogant :)




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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 10:24 AM


Okay ... I think we are getting there. You don't know how much I appreciate all of the help. I am sure some of you are thinking, "What the hell is he doing trying to be a writer?"

Garry-

REVISED .........

I believe that the author/agent partnership is like a two edged sword. The agent is expecting quality from the author and the author should expect the same from an agent. My research shows me that you have experience, quality and you represent in my genre, commercial fiction.
Therefore, I would like for you to represent my novel.

My novel, BESIEGED FROM WITHIN, a commercial fiction novel complete at 81,692 words, tells how after sixteen years of government oppression of the people, the regime comes to an end, when eleven of its top members are assassinated. During this time the constitution has been gutted, all weapons have been seized, and all animals released to the wild. The country is over-run with animals that are causing the death of many citizens. The pleas of the people, to the government to protect them, are answered by erection of fences around towns, farms and industrial complexes. A shadow government steps in to right the wrongs forced on the people. The animals must be controlled. The enforcers must be removed and the fences must come down. One man, Jerry McKenzie, is chosen to plan, organize, train and lead the action in freeing the citizens.




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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 10:27 AM


Garry,

I'm sure Michy will be back to pick it apart some more (probably correcting things I told you), but it seems muh better to me. I have a clear picture what the novel is about and why I might want to read it.

Good luck!
Cindy




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Nancy G.
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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 10:53 AM


I agree. This is much better.
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[*] posted on 6/19/2010 at 11:17 AM


Thank You ladies ...... :)

Garry-




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