How's this query grab ya? NOBODY'S FOOL

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Joined: March 31st, 2015, 9:14 pm

How's this query grab ya? NOBODY'S FOOL

Post by crittermonster » April 2nd, 2015, 2:35 pm

Which is better-- the long query or the short one??

Dear Mr. Bransford,
With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, a great octarine light has gone out of the world, and his legion of fans are cast into the darkness.
Maybe you can offer them a match: my 80,000 word comic fantasy NOBODY'S FOOL.

In the Whellen Country, the Florentine Renaissance, Elizabethan England and free mechanical power mash up to create a land that’s bursting with innovation and prosperity. But all that is about to end, unless its ruler can curry serious favor with an unhappy King. She thinks a magical stranger was sent to help her, but it’s really the disgraced royal jester— with a talking magpie on one shoulder and a chip on the other.

I've written advertising copy since 1992. Take pity upon me.
Eva Sandor


Dear Mr Bransford,

For 20 years, Malfred Murd was the royal jester...until an over-ripe wisecrack got him exiled from the King’s palace on the Isle of Gold. Sure, you’re never supposed to explain humor. But after a whiff of life on the dirt streets of the mainland, “Fred” is desperate to try. It isn’t much of a quest— but to an unlicensed fool, it could make the difference between life (potentially cushy) and death (either from starvation, or a fatal arse-kicking by territorial buskers).

Then Fred spots what he thinks will be a free ride back home.

Dame Elsebet de Whellen might be 70 years old, but she can still rip it up with sword and spear. And that’s good because she’s on a quest, too... a mission to save her prosperous, technologically advanced country from ruin. She’s headed for the Isle of Gold— and needs someone to help her out with a little sorcery.

Fred’s theatrical skills convince Dame Elsebet that he’s the spell-casting sidekick she prayed for. But if she finds out he’s lying, she’ll slice him into precisely equal pieces.

That already exceeds even the bravest fool’s danger quota. But it’s too late to back out, and it’s going to get worse. Because the real danger is hiding in plain sight: an evil far more monstrous than Fred, or Dame Elsebet, or even the King, could possibly imagine.

NOBODY’S FOOL is an 80,000 word comic fantasy.
It’s my first novel.

Posts: 82
Joined: July 6th, 2012, 11:35 am

Re: How's this query grab ya? NOBODY'S FOOL

Post by LizV » July 21st, 2015, 2:35 pm

I realize this has been sitting here a while, but since there's no responses, I'll give you mine.

Absolutely, the long one is better. It introduces two interesting characters, makes clear what's at stake for both of them, and shows how Fred gets himself into trouble, and then more trouble. It also has some good phrases ("slice him into precisely equal pieces", for example), which bodes well for the writing style of the novel. I'm no agent, but this sounds like a book I'd like to read. Good title, too.

I'd steer clear of the short one, if I were you. There are several query no-nos in there (comparing yourself to Massively Popular Author, self-deprecation); I suspect you meant them humorously, but you might get a similar response to what Fred got. And the actual story description is heavy on world-building and light on story specifics; there's not much there to grab me. (Except for "...and a chip on the other", which I grant you is a clever line.)

I hope you go with (or went with, if you got tired of waiting) the long one. And good luck, because that book sounds fun!

herro raymond
Posts: 10
Joined: February 17th, 2016, 10:07 pm

Re: How's this query grab ya? NOBODY'S FOOL

Post by herro raymond » February 18th, 2016, 4:46 pm

I agree with Nathan, the short query is missing that pivotal hook that grabs you while the longer one at least paints a picture of the world you've created. Definitely go with the longer one. Good luck!

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