Treasure

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itobias
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Joined: February 19th, 2011, 1:15 pm
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Treasure

Post by itobias » March 31st, 2011, 5:16 pm

Critique please.

Dear ,

When young Sam runs away from home, he never imagined the perils he faced at the hands of his Aunt and Uncle on the rough streets of 1840’s London would be eclipsed by the journey his life was about to take him on.

Survival had its price and he lost all his friends Years later a surprise reunion, renewed love, and a partnership in the shipping business and an anything but Civil War; makes blockade runners out of them.

Wars end leaves the South, Sam, and his friends in ruins. In a moment of despair he opens a bible given to him by an old crippled pirate on his deathbed. In it Sam finds the directions to Captain John’s inheritance. His great grandfather's treasure, looted from the Spanish, and as the story goes, as yet undiscovered.

He reads the brittle parchment and realizes the directions ring true, as he has traveled up many a waterway with his years of running the blockade. He could follow these directions in the dark, and he has. But he's not the only one with a plan for the treasure.

Treasure is a work of Historical Fiction, complete at 121,000 words..

Regards,
Tobias Garrett

writermorris
Posts: 33
Joined: May 4th, 2010, 3:12 pm
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Re: Treasure

Post by writermorris » April 8th, 2011, 9:21 am

#1 - Careful of typos. You've got quite a few of them. Typo notes are in red.

#2 - You've got a lot of work to do on the substance of the query as well. The writing is careless and that wouldn't bode well for how well written the manuscript might be. Sorry to be harsh, but better to get the work done now before you try to query.

Dear ,

When young Sam runs away from home, he never imagined the perils he faced at the hands of his Aunt and Uncle on the rough streets of 1840’s London would be eclipsed by the journey his life was about to take him on. Your sense of timing here is weird. "When" he runs away, past tense "perils," "about to take him on." I'm pretty confused about the timing of when this story is going to happen. And the sloppiness of this makes me hesitant.

Survival had its price and he lost all his friends. Again, your sense of timing/tenses is off. Years later a surprise reunion, renewed love, and a partnership in the shipping business, and an anything but Civil War What in the world are you referring to? In the words of Query Shark, this is the point when I stop reading; makes blockade runners out of them.

The war's end leaves the Southhad no idea about location until now, Sam, and his friends in ruins.Why? In a moment of despair he opens a bible given to him by an old crippled pirate on his deathbed. In it Sam finds the directions to Captain John’s inheritance. His great grandfather's treasure, looted from the Spanish, and as the story goes, as yet undiscovered.Once you've fallen into a cliche so much that you even have to acknowledge it in the query letter, this is a bad thing.

He reads the brittle parchment and realizes the directions ring true, as he has traveled up many a waterway with his years of running the blockade. He could follow these directions in the dark, and he has. But he's not the only one with a plan for the treasure.

Treasure is a work of Historical Fiction, complete at 121,000 words..
writermorris
writermorris.blogspot.com

Meredith
Posts: 85
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:55 pm
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Re: Treasure

Post by Meredith » April 26th, 2011, 12:57 am

itobias wrote:Critique please.

Dear ,

When young Sam runs away from home, he never imagined the perils he faced at the hands of his Aunt and Uncle on the rough streets of 1840’s London would be eclipsed by the journey his life was about to take him on.

Survival had its price and he lost all his friends Years later a surprise reunion, renewed love, and a partnership in the shipping business and an anything but Civil War; makes blockade runners out of them.

Wars end leaves the South, Sam, and his friends in ruins. In a moment of despair he opens a bible given to him by an old crippled pirate on his deathbed. In it Sam finds the directions to Captain John’s inheritance. His great grandfather's treasure, looted from the Spanish, and as the story goes, as yet undiscovered.

He reads the brittle parchment and realizes the directions ring true, as he has traveled up many a waterway with his years of running the blockade. He could follow these directions in the dark, and he has. But he's not the only one with a plan for the treasure.

Treasure is a work of Historical Fiction, complete at 121,000 words..

Regards,
Tobias Garrett
I see one major problem with this query. It's a sequence of events. In effect, a very brief synopsis of your plot. But it doesn't do what a query is supposed to. Try writing out just the following and then crafting it into a query:
  • Who is Sam and why should we care about him?
  • What choice does Sam have to make/What problem does he have to solve?/What goal is he trying to achieve?
  • What are the consequences of the choice?/What are the obstacles he has to overcome?
Another way to think of it is that the query doesn't need to tell the whole story. It only needs to go to the inciting incident. From the span of years covered in this query, I suspect you've either included a lot of back story or gone way beyond the inciting incident.
MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com

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