Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

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gsfields2004
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Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by gsfields2004 » August 17th, 2010, 1:11 pm

Thanks to everyone who shredded and burned my early query letter attempts. From the ashes, I've created what I hope will be a final draft. All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

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Dear [Agent],

Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his career and retire in Italy with the girl he loves. But when he starts to have premonitions of impending disasters, his life takes a turn no fortune teller could see coming.

Visited in his dreams by an ancient oracle, Jarv is told that what he perceives as dreams are actually different realities. He thinks he's losing his mind until a series of undeniable events convinces him otherwise. The oracle guides Jarv on a journey through the past, present, and future to uncover clues that will help him find the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within. Her only request is that he use the knowledge to stop a Greek god from destroying the world. But the god has a request of his own...destroy the books.

Along his journey he his helped by a resourceful and cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia. He must rely upon both his intelect and skills to perform modern day Herculean tasks, but in the end he must trust his gut and decide whether he should stop an event that could cause the apocolypse. It all boils down to who he'll trust; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own to settle.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives.

Thank you for your consideration and time.


Sincerely
Last edited by gsfields2004 on August 21st, 2010, 6:14 pm, edited 24 times in total.

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by adamg73 » August 17th, 2010, 2:15 pm

I would remove the commas in between dead-end and NAT and all of the commas in the sentence about the sun god and Zeus. Also, you mention that his job is dead-end but then you say that he's risking it. That doesn't really work. Also, how is risking the woman he loves. You don't mention her or their relationship being in danger at all.

I think it's really getting there!

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by hulbertsfriend » August 17th, 2010, 5:26 pm

gsfields2004 wrote:Thanks to everyone who shredded and burned my early query letter attempts. From the ashes, I've created what I hope will be a final draft. All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

------------------------------------------
Dear [Agent],

Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his short career and retire in Italy with his girlfriend. But his life takes a different and unexpected turn when he starts dreaming about disasters before they occur.

After Sibyl the Oracle of Cumae tells him that what he perceives as dreams are actually other realities, he thinks he’s gone crazy...that is until a series of undeniable events makes him believe that he had, in fact, experienced (to experience, he would have had to been physically in the the future, how about a different word---- Seen, glimpsed, ect.)the future.

Sybil guides Jarv on a journey through past, present, and future realities to uncover clues that will help him retrieve the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within them (a peak at the secrets? Their power on mankind?). She asks him to use the secrets to stop the sun god Apollo's plan to overthrow Zeus, but Apollo has a different request; destroy the books.

Jarv's journey will take him to the top of an erupting volcano, to a medieval town in northern Italy, inside a dusty museum outside of London, and to the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Jarv is helped along the way by a resourceful but cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia. But in the end, he alone must decide what to do and whom to believe; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own. (I like this whole para)

Jarv must use his knowledge and talents to perform modern day Herculean tasks and risk getting kicked out of the military, driving away the woman he loves, and losing his own life to avert a possible apocalypse.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives.
Thank you for your consideration and time.


Sincerely,

Gregory Fields

Word count only 350ish, very good, very good!
"All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground... and miss." Douglas Adams

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by wilderness » August 17th, 2010, 5:39 pm

gsfields2004 wrote: ------------------------------------------
Dear [Agent],

Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his short career and retire in Italy with his girlfriend. But his life takes a different and unexpected turn when Then, he starts dreaming about disasters before they occur. You don't need the beginning cliche telling us that it is different and unexpected. Those are implied. It is much stronger to just say he starts dreaming about disasters before they occur, and let the reader be the judge of its impact.

After Sibyl the Oracle of Cumae tells him that what he perceives as dreams are actually other realities, he thinks he’s gone crazy...that is until a series of undeniable events makes him believe that he had, in fact, experienced the future. Good.

Sybil guides Jarv on a journey through past, present, and future realities to uncover clues that will help him retrieve the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within them. She asks him to use the secrets to stop the sun god Apollo's plan to overthrow Zeus, but Apollo has a different request; destroy the books.

Jarv's journey will take him to the top of an erupting volcano, to a medieval town in northern Italy, inside a dusty museum outside of London, and to the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Jarv is helped along the way by a resourceful but cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia. Passive voice. But in the end, he alone must decide what to do and whom to believe; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own.

Jarv must use his knowledge and talents to perform modern day Herculean tasks and risk getting kicked out of the military, driving away the woman he loves, and losing his own life to avert a possible apocalypse.

Although the list of the places he will go is intriguing, I think it would be better if you instill them with the conflict of the Herculean tasks he must perform. Consider:

Jarv's journey takes him to the top of an erupting volcano where he must (insert task here) with the aid of (insert character here). He travels to a medieval town in northern Italy where (insert character here) helps him (insert task here). At the world's largest particle physics laboratory he and (insert character here) manage to (insert task here). But in the end, he alone must decide what to do and whom to believe: a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives.
Thank you for your consideration and time.


Sincerely,

Gregory Fields
Overall, I think the query is very strong. Good luck!

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by Joel Q » August 20th, 2010, 2:38 pm

gsfields2004 wrote: Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his career and retire in Italy with the girl he loves. But when he starts to have premonitions of impending disasters, his life takes a turn no fortune teller could see coming.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives. (move this to the bottom above the 'thank you'.)

Visited in his dreams by the ancient oracle Sibyl of Cumae, Jarv is told that what he perceives as dreams are actually different realities. He thinks he's losing his mind until a series of undeniable events convinces him that he had seen or possibly even experienced the future. Sybil guides Jarv on a journey through past, present, and future realities to uncover clues that will help him retrieve the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within them. Her only request is that he use the secrets to stop the sun god Apollo from overthrowing Zeus, but Apollo has a different request...destroy the books.

The journey will take him to the top of an erupting volcano, to a medieval town in northern Italy, inside a dusty museum outside of London, and to the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Helped out along the way by a resourceful but cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia, (I don't think you need this, it's kind of an information dump to me.) Jarv alone must decide what to do with the knowledge in the books and whom to believe; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own.

Jarv risks getting kicked out of the military, driving away the woman he loves, and losing his own life as he uses his brains, skills, and guts to perform (again, not needed, kind of a different way to say the previous paragraph, like you had two endings and didn't know which to use.) modern day Herculean tasks that may avert a possible apocalypse. (though I do like this last part, could you at it to the vendetta sentence some how?)
Thank you for your consideration and time.
Overall a really good query.
JQ

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by Preacher » August 20th, 2010, 2:43 pm

The first thing i would do is take the title/genre/word count of of where it is and install it at the end. My initial impression is that this letter may just be too long. Agents want instant gratification, or so i've been told. They want us to get it, hook em hard, and get out like we were never even there.

I also echo JQ's comments, i think he pretty much hit the major points head-on there.

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by clara_w » August 20th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his career and retire in Italy with the girl he loves. But when he starts to have premonitions of impending disasters, his life takes a turn no fortune teller could see coming.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives. at the end of your query pls

Visited in his dreams by the ancient oracle Sibyl of Cumae, Jarv is told that what he perceives as dreams are actually different realities. He thinks he's losing his mind until a series of undeniable events convinces him that he had seen or possibly even experienced the future. I'd just say that he has experienced the future. No possiblySybil guides Jarv on a journey through past, present, and future realities to uncover clues that will help him retrieve the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within them. Her only request is that he use the secrets to stop the sun god Apollo from overthrowing Zeus, but Apollo has a different request...destroy the books.

The journey will take him to the top of an erupting volcano, to a medieval town in northern Italy, inside a dusty museum outside of London, and to the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Im not a big fan of this part, I think the old around the world would suffice here.Helped out along the way by a resourceful but cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia, Jarv alone must decide what to do with the knowledge in the books and whom to believe; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own.

Jarv risks getting kicked out of the military, driving away the woman he loves, and losing his own life as he uses his brains, skills, and guts to perform modern day Herculean tasks that may avert a possible apocalypse.

I like this query but I feel you're not squeezing the juice f your story right. The opening is good, the second is ok, and the third is not so great. I'd seriously consider adding some mistery to the econd, like, making us doubt who is right, the Sybil or Apollo, throw us in Jarvs confusion. On the third, I wouldnt quote so many characters because they just dont add much to the query in my opinion.

All the best with your querying!

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by EllieAnn » September 15th, 2010, 9:20 am

What a cool story! I'd be excited to read it.
Just one grammatical error:
but Apollo has a different request . . . destroy the books. (there is a space between every period)
I like how this is a modern story of a Green hero's quest. It sounds fantastic!

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by priya g. » October 5th, 2010, 5:25 pm

Dear [Agent],

Disillusioned Air Force Major Jarv Guerra’s career is at an end. Passed over for promotion, he is put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job where he hopes to coast through the rest of his career and retire in Italy with the girl he loves. But when he starts to have premonitions of impending disasters, his life takes a turn no fortune teller could see coming GOOD BEGINNING- NOW YOU NEED TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS, IN THE QUERY OFF COURSE, THAT ARISE FROM THIS PARAGRAPH: HOW DO THE PREMONITIONS COME? DOES HE BELIEVE THEM? WHAT LEADS HIM TO BELIEVE THEM? WHAT DOES HE DO ABOUT THEM? HERE GOES! .

Visited in his dreams by an ancient oracle, Jarv is told that what he perceives as dreams are actually different realities MAKES SENSE- A BIT MORE CLARIFICATION WOULD HELP. He thinks he's losing his mind until a series of undeniable events convinces him otherwise WHAT INCIDENCES?. The oracle guides Jarv on a journey through the past, present, and future to uncover clues that will help him find the Lost Sibylline Books and decipher the secrets within. Her only request is that he HER AND HE? TYPO, I AM ASSUMING use the knowledge to stop a Greek god from destroying the world. But the god has a request of his own...destroy the books. THIS SENTENCE ISN'T AS CATCHY.

Along his journey he his helped by a resourceful and cheeky British petty officer, his well connected academy roommate and best friend, and an eccentric French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia DOES TIES TO MAFIA RELATE TO THE STORY?. He must rely upon both his intelect SPELLING and skills to perform modern day Herculean tasks, but in the end he must trust his gut and decide whether he should stop an event that could cause the apocolypse SPELLING. It all boils down to who he'll trust; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a god who has a vendetta of his own to settle GOOD SENTENCE, THOUGH A BIT CHUNKY.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 85,000-word fantasy novel set in modern day Europe where ancient myths collide with present day lives.

Thank you for your consideration and time.


Sincerely

wonderful query- but i still wish to know how he gets the books, maybe just a tiny hint or clue! hope i helped...

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Re: Final (I Hope) Query Letter - The Oracle's Revenge

Post by androidblues » October 6th, 2010, 11:39 am

Maybe a little clarification as to why he is chosen in particular? I might be kinda slow but I'm not really understanding from the second and third paragraph what the stakes are. If you spelled them out a little more clearly maybe I would get it. This isn't my type of book though, I'm not a fan of disillusioned military officers getting into magical adventures so I can't judge on the plot.
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