Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

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hulbertsfriend
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Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by hulbertsfriend » August 24th, 2010, 4:06 pm

Dear Agent,

No move in Devin Briar’s life is his choosing, from the simple government job he starts out with, to his climb to power by sheer innuendo and circumstance. Who is behind his rise to power and why him? Is it the powerful Senator, he’s related to, or the five influential members of the media that constantly cross his path?

He was chosen, for reasons that he can’t fathom, by mysterious people that lurk in the shadows of his life. They have to get him ready to stand in front of a runaway political freight train. To do that, they have to transform him into a powerful political voice. The problem is, Devin knows nothing about politics, let alone the insider ways of Washington D.C.

His best friend and roommate, Robin Denton, a world renowned Physicist, can’t imagine life without Devin and her Bugs Bunny slippers. Robin calls on her technological wizardry to help him avoid the political pitfalls before him.

Together they are asked to stop a private financial giant from bankrupting Social Security and rescue a scandal riddled Administration from collapse.

My novel, Devin Briar, is a ******* word, character driven, work of Commercial Fiction, that follows Devin’s path as he does the best he can during extraordinary events. Through it all, it’s the laughter and friendship of Devin and Robin that conquers all before them.
Thank you,
DougM
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"All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground... and miss." Douglas Adams

CraftyCreations
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Re: Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by CraftyCreations » August 24th, 2010, 4:21 pm

hulbertsfriend wrote:Dear Agent,

No move in Devin Briar’s life is his choosing, from the simple government job he starts out with, to his climb to power by sheer innuendo and circumstance. Who is behind his rise to power and why him? Is it the powerful Senator, he’s related to, or the five influential members of the media that constantly cross his path?

He was chosen, for a reason that he can’t fathom, by mysterious people that lurk in the shadows of his life. They have to get him ready to stand in front of a runaway political freight train. To do that, they have to transform him into a powerful political voice. The problem is, the person they want, knows nothing about politics, let alone the insider ways of Washington D.C.

His best friend and roommate, Robin Denton, a world renowned Physicist, can’t imagine life without Devin and her Bugs Bunny slippers. Helping him avoid the sling and arrows, as well as the political pitfalls before him, Robin calls on her technological wizardry.

Together they are asked to stop a private financial giant from bankrupting Social Security and rescue a scandal riddled Administration from collapse.

My novel, Devin Briar, is a ******* word, character driven, work of Commercial Fiction, that follows Devin’s path as he does the best he can during extraordinary events. Through it all, it’s the laughter and friendship of Devin and Robin that conquers all before them.
Thank you,
DougM
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Take this with a large grain of salt. I'm new at this and can only base things on what I've read. I really wish I could figure out how people do strikethroughs and change font colors when they help.

Devin sounds like a person with no desire to do anything with his life and counts on others to get him jobs. Robin sounds a lot more interesting. What is her connection with politics if she's a physicist? I don't think you're supposed to capitalize physicist. The book title is supposed to be in all caps and there's a hyphen between your number and word. Leave out "character driven" as I don't think that's really part of a genre. At 157K words, you're going to need to do some serious editing. From everything I've read - agents don't like anything over 100K.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
Candy
I can spell - my keyboard can't.

jmbrinton
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Re: Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by jmbrinton » August 24th, 2010, 10:14 pm

Dear Agent,

No move in Devin Briar’s life is his choosing [too passive, from the simple government job he starts out with, {no comma plus, give Brian some personality--tell us what his job is] to his climb to power {what power? what position?} by sheer innuendo and circumstance {too vague an expression to be helpful].Who is behind his rise to power and why him? Is it the powerful Senator, he’s related to, or the five influential members of the media that constantly cross his path? {I know these aren't rhetorical questions but I still don't like them. I might be more interested if you said Devin suspects these people.]

{Skip paragraph one and start here} He was chosen {to do what?], for a reason that he can’t fathom, by mysterious people that {who} lurk in the shadows of his life {again, too vague--plus you have already indicated who these people might be). [Delete this sentence and the next}[/colorThey have to get him ready to stand in front of a runaway political freight train {cliche} ]. To do that, they have to transform him into a powerful political voice. The problem is, the person they want, {Change to "But Brian } knows nothing about politics, let alone the insider ways of Washington D.C.

{Devin turns to] his best friend and roommate, Robin Denton, a world renowned Physicist, {for help}. {Robin} can’t imagine life without Devin and her Bugs Bunny slippers. Helping him avoid the sling and arrows, as well as the political pitfalls before him, Robin calls on her technological wizardry. {Why does Devin being put at the front of a political campaign mean Robin has to be without him? or give up her slippers for that matter. Don't normally thinks of physicists as wizards so you'll have to tell me more}

Together they are asked [by whom?] to stop a private financial giant {not sinister enough] from bankrupting Social Security [not sexy enough} and rescue a scandal riddled Administration from collapse [ah, scandals--this could be interesting}.

My novel, {skip My novel, that is obvious] Devin Briar {all caps}, is a ******* word, character driven, work of Commercial Fiction [sounds like an oxymoron--over 100,000 words and character driven sounds more literary than commercial. This length novel would sell easier if it were plot-driven page turner}, that follows Devin’s path as he does the best he can {does the best he can?? -- no wow factor in that] during extraordinary events. Through it all, it’s the laughter and friendship of Devin and Robin that conquers all before them. {Delete this--make that clear from your plot description--the old show don't tell}
Thank you,
DougM
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So, Doug, I know this is draft 4 but you are not there yet. Even if it is character-driven you've got to make it sound exciting. An ordinary guy with no drive who is saved by his friend the physicists and not his own smarts doesn't do it. I am sure that is not what your book is about so start from scratch. Who is Devin? Why is he so easily mainpulated by others--placed in jobs he hasn't chosen? Unable to refuse promotion up the political chain. What are the bad things that are happening in the world and how is Brian key to stopping them? What will happen if he fails? Stick with it--you will get there!!

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hulbertsfriend
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Re: Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by hulbertsfriend » August 25th, 2010, 12:37 pm

I want to thank everyone for their help. I think I'm going to step away from the Query-go-round for a while. I'm constantly amazed at how tough the Query part of writing can be. I'm going to work on editing my MS for a while, and hope for an epiphany for writing a query.

DougM
"All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground... and miss." Douglas Adams

amyashley
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Re: Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by amyashley » August 25th, 2010, 1:02 pm

Doug, I like this one a LOT. I think it is very very close. I stick with my original advice of printing it out and taping it to YOUR wall or to YOUR fridge.

I would bear in mind that you are a good critic as well as us. Asking other authors is not always the best route to getting the best critique. Read it once a day, let it stew, and if you feel a word here or there needs to change or be rearranged then do so.

I have read all of your queries from the first and feel you made a lot of improvement to this. I would read this manuscript at this point if I were an agent, or at the least I would request a partial.

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Beethovenfan
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Re: Number Four! Query for "Devin Briar"

Post by Beethovenfan » August 27th, 2010, 4:17 am

Hi. I posted a comment on your "third query attempt" before I saw this, your fourth attempt. I see in here that you are already editing and your word count is missing so you can just ignore what I posted in the "third." Sorry! :\
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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