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Attempted Query 1

February 9, 2011

Mostly for my own benefit, here’s my initial attempt at a query for this story.

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Dear Agent’s Minion:

Some heroes are born to greatness while others stumble into it.  For Dr. Emma Earl, the road to greatness is a long and painful one.

It begins when she is the lone survivor of a car crash that kills her parents.  Throwing herself into her studies, Emma becomes a researcher at the elite Plaine Museum, where she hopes to work for the rest of her life.  A monster in black armor known as the Black Dragoon derails those plans by nearly disemboweling her during a charity gala.

In the hospital, Emma is led by her mother’s ghost to a hidden cavern beneath the museum.  There she finds a suit of red plate armor that allows her to jump long distances, deflect bullets, and turn invisible.  By putting on this armor, Emma becomes the latest in a line of heroes known as the Scarlet Knight, the evil Dragoon’s sworn enemy.

But to stop him, Emma must first face up to the personal demons she’s dodged most of her life.

A Hero’s Journey is a 100,000-word novel that begins not only Emma’s path to greatness as a hero, but as a person as well.

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Does that last line make sense?  I’m trying to convey that over the course of the series she becomes a mature woman as well as a hero.  Hurm.

Probably a little wordy.  Have to work on tweaking that.

Until our next attempt…

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11 Comments
  1. It’s good, but yes, a tad wordy. Not overmuch, though. I wish you could delete the third paragraph… and add a bit about your credentials. Otherwise good!

  2. Third paragraph? The one about her finding the armor and becoming the Scarlet Knight?

    Credentials? What credentials? A self-published novel?

  3. Ethan Cooper permalink

    BJ,

    Your letter needs a little work. Even so, I’d put that aside for, oh, 15 years.

    Instead, my best advice is this: First, get an MFA. Then, work your way up in the creative writing field, establishing connections along the way. After many years of solid achievement, THEN you send your query letter to agents, who will take a look at your proposal, provided your resume is solid and gives them something to sell.

    Sad to say: But there’s so much stuff out there that you’ll never break through unless you have a record of solid institutional achievement. Agents think: Why go out on a limb for a nobody?

    There is no slush pile.

    Coop

    • I would have gone for an MFA, but then I decided I’d rather not still be living in my mom’s house 15 years later and working at Burger King.

      Last night I thought what I need to do is target a high-profile author and then set up a fake “accident” I can save him/her from. Then he/she will be so grateful that he/she will introduce me to his/her editor and I’ll be on Easy Street! Which actually sounds like a good screwball comedy. Coming Soon: Zach Galifinakis (that guy from “The Hangover”) in “Saving Stephen King.”

  4. Ethan Cooper permalink

    Might work.

    Still, I’d advise targeting a well-known Hollywood figure, who would then refer you to his or her agent. Literary types are fine and all that. But it’s my impression that Hollywood really calls the shots in Agentville.

    Coop

    • Great idea. Arrange to “stalk” some washed-up celebrity or reality TV “star” and then when they publish a book about their “ordeal” or whatever, I can get a deal with the same agent!

      • Ethan Cooper permalink

        This line of thought shows little promise. Better to believe in the slush pile.

  5. Maybe I should set up a prayer altar to the holy Slush Pile and sacrifice something to it. What would a slush pile like? Manuscripts? Paper clips? Rubber bands? Toner cartridges?

    • Ethan Cooper permalink

      The slush pile trades in desperation and futility.

  6. I’m becoming concerned about Ethan Cooper.

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