Query: Silent No More

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
pollymilton
Posts: 23
Joined: September 28th, 2010, 1:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by pollymilton » October 11th, 2010, 8:11 pm

Dear Agent;

One in three women in the Armed Forces is sexually assaulted or raped by her comrade in arms.

Since 2005 CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS have reported on rape in the military. The Pentagon investigates, unit commanders try to find a way to stop it but more and more victims still come forward.

I was one of them.

At the age of eighteen and fresh out of high school I joined the Women’s Army Corps. I hated Congress’ decision to get rid of the WAC’s and made us a part of the Army. Then Congress made us part of the regular Army. Now women soldiers were "one of the guys." I wasn’t crazy about firing weapons or running but I loved the camaraderie, the work as a legalized drug pusher t and supply sergeant and the sense of belonging to something bigger than me. I loved my time in Germany but hated Fort Riley with a passion. I Can you say why? Is this important to the query - as in the agent needing to know this to represent you?

I took my oath seriously but rape changed everything for me. It left me quiet, alone, in fear and angry at myself. No longer did I want was I willing to die for country, I just wanted to die. Haunted by the memoriesI remained silent for over twenty years. Can you add a sentence of "then what?" - why 20 years? and what did you do that was different?
Everyone equates rape with violence, but no one thinks about the coercion and threats. Not necessarily threats of violence, but something as simple as not going before a promotion board, being stuck on guard duty alone in the middle of the night, or desertion. OK, are these things that are threatened to the women that report? Let's clarify. Not all rapes are violent, but they are crimes of power.The Pentagon investigates, unit commanders try to find a way to stop it but more and more victims still come forward.

When I made one step toward surviving, I knew I was saving myself. When I tell my story, I know I will save another young woman. My past is part of me, but I am still here. The Army made me who I am, but I now I am in control.

SILENT NO MORE: A SOLDIER’S STORY OF SURVIVING MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA is a XX,XXX-word memoir of my career in the Army and how I went from victim to survivor.

My sister, I applaud you. I hope you will see this book published. Hell, I'd rather see it published than mine! I hope this helps - you've got an incredible story and the guts to tell it and you need a gutsy query. Go, go go!!!!
Polly

CraftyCreations
Posts: 33
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by CraftyCreations » October 12th, 2010, 11:23 am

androidblues - unfortunately it happens all too often. The number of reported rapes from 2008 to 2009 increased by 190%. (1700+ to 3300+) The military is just really good at cover-ups! I would love to know the numbers for when I was in. It wasn't until 1988 that the Army first started holding classes on sexual harassment.

Now women soldiers were "one of the guys." I like that statement BUT it's not exactly true. I'm not really sure how to phrase it.

Perhaps: Then Congress made us part of the regular Army. Now we were soldiers.

It's odd, but I was a WAC in the WACs. Once the WACs were "disposed of" I became a soldier in the Army. Just shows how much changed. When the WACs disbanded (for lack of a better term) we became EW's (enlisted women), the men were EM's (enlisted males), then to be cute everybody became EM's (enlisted members.)

I loved my time in Germany but hated Fort Riley with a passion. Can you say why? Is this important to the query - as in the agent needing to know this to represent you?

Germany was filled with lots of parties and carnivals, very few rapes. Fort Riley? Almost every night for 285 nights a year for 4 years. What's super sad is that I felt that as long as it was happening to me, then at least one other woman was safe. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was developing a severe anger problem. But that was something else I turned inward. Germany had the reputation for "making" or "breaking" a marriage. Fort Riley had the reputation for "making" or "breaking" a person. I didn't break until my second trip to Germany and the man I broke it on suffered 4 broken ribs, a broken foot, a black eye, and a massive goose-egg on his head! I still don't feel guilty. I was threatened with courts-martial for causing injury to a superior officer but luckily my commander managed to have everything dropped provided I agreed to get out of the service for being 3 pounds over weight. I served for 12 years.

I remained silent for over twenty years. Can you add a sentence of "then what?" - why 20 years? and what did you do that was different? There's two points of view on this. One, I believed at the time, that rape equaled violence. I had said that I had been raped but at the same time I knew that if I ever admitted it to myself that I would be fighting for my sanity. I was scared I'd lose. Two, and this according mainly to my psychiatrist, IF I had not read a thread on ebay about some woman stating that she had been "raped" by negative feedback, I never would have started to heal.

It took words that trivialized rape to make me admit to myself what happened to me. I just don't know how to phrase it to keep everything short and sweet. (There's an oxymoron word for the moment.) I'm sure there's a way to do it. I just haven't figured it out! ;) This is one of the reasons why I love these boards, they are so helpful for people just starting out. One of these days I hope to be good enough to help others.

Thanks for all the help.
Candy
I can spell - my keyboard can't.

pollymilton
Posts: 23
Joined: September 28th, 2010, 1:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by pollymilton » October 12th, 2010, 11:35 am

Candy,
you can do it. I think it's like a puzzle - keep trying different pieces. You also might try looking at the "Query Shark" site - she might choose your query to critique, and you never know. Also, submit it here for Nathan's query crtitique fridays.
Polly

User avatar
Evelyn
Posts: 65
Joined: October 6th, 2010, 12:01 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by Evelyn » October 12th, 2010, 12:42 pm

Hi Candy,

Your query grabbed me right away. I think it has great potential - it's new and fresh and I believe that's what they look for. It certainly made me want to read your memoir. Good job, I wouldn't change your query very much, and the best of luck to you! Evelyn
CraftyCreations wrote:Dear Agent;

One in three women in the Armed Forces is sexually assaulted or raped by her comrade in arms. I love this opening. Good hook. I mean GOOD HOOK.

Since 2005 CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS have reported on rape in the military. The Pentagon investigates, unit commanders try to find a way to stop it but more and more victims still come forward. I like this, too.

I was one of them. And this. I think all of this is just right.

In 1982 (or whatever year), At the age of eighteen and fresh out of high school I joined the Women’s Army Corps. I hated Congress’ decision to get rid of the WAC’s and made us a part of the Army. I wasn’t crazy about firing weapons or running but I loved the camaraderie, (the work as a legalized drug pusher and supply sergeant) I would take this out or explain what it means. and the sense of belonging to something bigger than me. I loved my time in Germany but hated Fort Riley with a passion.

I took my oath seriously but rape changed everything for me. It left me quiet, alone, in fear and angry at myself. No longer did I want to die for country, I just wanted to die. Haunted by the memories I remained silent for over twenty years.

Everyone equates rape with violence, but no one thinks about how coercion and threats can also play a part. It can be something as simple as as not going before a promotion board,being stuck on guard duty alone in the middle of the night, or desertion. Not all rapes are violent.

SILENT NO MORE: A SOLDIER’S STORY OF SURVIVING MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA is a XX,XXX-word memoir of my career in the Army and how I went from victim to survivor.

>Nice words, nice words, nice words<

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully this one is better and I greatly appreciate any comments.

Candy

CraftyCreations
Posts: 33
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by CraftyCreations » October 12th, 2010, 2:07 pm

Thanks again for the help.

I actually wanted to submit to Query Shark but according to her site, she doesn't do memoirs. I forgot about Nathan's. I think I'll actually take a chance. I know he uses a random generator, but I might get (un)lucky! Do I need to put in what >nice word<s I'd use or leave it all out completely? Guess I should go over and read all the rules huh?

I love my hook. I was shocked at the statistic! I didn't think it was that high but the research I did only confirmed what the news media had already determined. Guess you could say that I didn't want to BELIEVE it was that high.

I guess "legalized drug pusher" is an inside joke and didn't think about it. I was a pharmacy technician as well as a supply sergeant. Changing that immediately.

I like the first three paragraphs - if you can really call them that - as well. When I first started my query, I did some research and found out that the government started keeping track in 2004. The media started its reporting in 2005. That was the reason I wanted to put it in. It makes it sound as if this is something just now coming to light. But at least now it doesn't sound like my ending paragraphs are falling flatter than a pancake like before!

Thanks so much for your input and help.
Candy
I can spell - my keyboard can't.

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More (#2 at the end - post #14 - I hope)

Post by wilderness » October 12th, 2010, 2:08 pm

CraftyCreations wrote:Dear Agent;

One in three women in the Armed Forces is sexually assaulted or raped by her comrade in arms.

Since 2005 CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS have reported on rape in the military. The Pentagon investigates, unit commanders try to find a way to stop it but more and more victims still come forward. I only suggest removing this to make more room for the words about your story.

I was one of them.

At the age of eighteen and fresh out of high school I joined the Women’s Army Corps. I hated Congress’ decision to get rid of the WAC’s and made us a part of the Army. I wasn’t crazy about firing weapons or running but I loved the camaraderie, the work as a legalized drug pusher and supply sergeant and the sense of belonging to something bigger than me. I wasn't sure what legalized drug pusher meant either. I loved my time in Germany, but at Fort Riley the trouble started.

I've rearranged some of your words here. I think the explanation about Germany and how you ended up leaving the army is an important part of the query. It gives us a better sense of what happened, and what the book is about.


Everyone equates rape with violence, but no one thinks about the coercion and threats. Not necessarily threats of violence, but, something as simple as not going before a promotion board, being stuck on guard duty alone in the middle of the night, or desertion. Not all rapes are violent.

Germany had the reputation for "making" or "breaking" a marriage. Fort Riley had the reputation for "making" or "breaking" a person. I didn't break until my second trip to Germany and the man I broke it on suffered 4 broken ribs, a broken foot, a black eye, and a massive goose-egg on his head! I still don't feel guilty. I was threatened with courts-martial for causing injury to a superior officer but luckily my commander managed to have everything dropped provided I agreed to get out of the service for being 3 pounds over weight. I served for 12 years.

I took my oath seriously but rape changed everything for me. It left me quiet, alone, in fear and angry at myself. No longer did I want to die for country, I just wanted to die. Haunted by the memories I remained silent for over twenty years.

SILENT NO MORE: A SOLDIER’S STORY OF SURVIVING MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA is a XX,XXX-word memoir of my career in the Army and how I went from victim to survivor.

>Nice words, nice words, nice words<

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully this one is better and I greatly appreciate any comments.

Candy

CraftyCreations
Posts: 33
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by CraftyCreations » October 12th, 2010, 2:39 pm

wilderness - I never in a million years would have thought to put the analogies of Germany and Fort Riley in a query. I'm definitely putting it in. I think it conveys how much it took to finally break me.

I've been asked many times why I was coming forward now and the only answer I had was that I felt it was necessary for women veterans to know that "not all rapes are violent."

I think my query will be much stronger now and I can't thank you great folks enough!

Candy
I can spell - my keyboard can't.

Down the well
Posts: 516
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Silent No More

Post by Down the well » October 13th, 2010, 9:08 pm

Wow, that's really powerful stuff. I was hooked from the first paragraph to the last. Very enticing query.

Good for you for having the courage to write it. Please let us know how the query battle goes. Best of luck.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests