Writers rock, and other trueisms

English: Masaya volcano, Nicaragua Français : ...

Volcan Masaya in Nicaragua, home of the Cotorra Verde, aka green parrots. (Image via Wikipedia)

I have done some pretty bizarre things in my day: watched parrots fly through the sulfuric fumes of a Nicaraguan volcano, fired an automatic grenade launcher, I even drank Fresca with cyclamates. But nothing prepared me for the quagmire known as the query letter.

Thank goodness for the writer community!

In my last post, I presented the opening statement of my first query letter. The response was awesome, in number and in quality. Several writers had similar suggestions; all were positive in their constructive criticism. Thus, I present paragraph 1 of query v4.0:

“Trying to show her parents she could be a success without a man, young Elena Martinez joins the Navy, only to soon find herself about to be dishonorably discharged. Left with no choice but to accept orders becoming the Navy’s newest covert agent, Elena is given a mission where she will face treacherous arms merchants and zealous Iranian commandos while trying to save the world from evil domination. Then Elena’s father calls and her life really  becomes interesting.”

I’m not saying this is the final version, but at least it’s a better version. And why do I think this?

Because writers rock!

And Fresca tastes better with cyclamates.

P.S. Thanks to all who commented. You all really do rock!

 

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6 thoughts on “Writers rock, and other trueisms

  1. If you get a chance this weekend, you might just want to read Ch. 15 in Jurgen Wolff’s “Your Writing Coach”. It’s a whole chapter about query letters, the correct way to do them and agents.

    There might be a nugget in there to reaffirm what you’ve written. 😉

    You stand on the cusp!

  2. This is indeed much improved! It is in itself a more exciting read, and (as one would hope) promises “more excitement where *that* came from” in the book it’s repping. (:

  3. Hey! I found your blog through Lightning Droplets, and just thought I’d share my thoughts on this snippet.

    I’m mainly stuck on this sentence: “Left with no choice but to accept orders becoming the Navy’s newest covert agent, Elena is given a mission where she will face treacherous arms merchants and zealous Iranian commandos while trying to save the world from evil domination.”

    It’s quite the mouthful, but you hold my interest throughout. One small editorial remark: “becoming” should be changed to “to become”. Overall, you should try to strive for a consistent tense.

    Also, I lost interest at “evil domination”, simply because it sounds very cliche. I don’t doubt that your story is interesting and unique (because, believe me, zealous Iranian commandos do sound unique). But an editor with a sharp eye will get caught on those two words and begin to question your story.

    Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for the input! I have been tossing the tense issue around for a few days. I should go with “correct” as opposed to “how I speak.” I will certainly make the change now that someone else has brought it up. The sentence length is a holdover from trying to summarize the novel in one sentence. I will ponder how to break it up. World domination? Yes, cliche. I’m trying to word it better.
      It’s all a learning process for me, so I appreciate any help I can get. My 5th grade English teacher is pointing her finger at me right now, I am sure, saying “I told you so.”
      Hope you enjoy the writing here – I post weekly, as long as work, school and family (especially 2 puppies) allows.

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