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Query Letter - What Would Satan Do?


Does this query suck?
Yes.
20%
 20%  [ 1 ]
No.
60%
 60%  [ 3 ]
Satan? Seriously.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I like liver.
20%
 20%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 5

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festusbongwater



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 33
Query Letter - What Would Satan Do?  Reply with quote  

I'd be grateful for any input you folks might have to offer about the following query letter:

Dear Ms./Mr. _______:

Disgusted with God’s plan for Judgment Day, Satan has quit his job and left Hell in favor of a quiet retirement in Washington, D.C. But life on Earth isn’t easy for a fallen angel with a short fuse and no impulse control. When a parking attendant not-so-spontaneously combusts and a weight-challenged woman somehow ends up in low-Earth orbit, Satan attracts the attention of a meddlesome FBI agent. Worse, there are signs that someone is trying to bring about the end of the world without him.

The Governor of Texas invades Louisiana, and Satan decides it’s time to head to the Lone Star State. There he tangles with a megalomaniacal televangelist; joins the Militant Arm of the American Geriatrics Association; and wields the Flaming Stick of Divine Justice at a guy whose hobbies include invading churches to denounce ritualized cannibalism. Through it all, one thing is clear: Someone has to put a stop to Judgment Day. Now, having spent millennia trying to wreck the place, Satan may be the world’s only hope.

WHAT WOULD SATAN DO? is 93,000 words of mainstream fiction that should appeal to folks who like reading Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, and P.G. Wodehouse. I'm a member of the Lesser North Texas Writers and The Writers Guild of Texas, but it’s probably my job as a trial lawyer that really qualifies me to make up stories about Satan.

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Post Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:18 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
 Reply with quote  

sounds funny. I'm interested. It seems a bit short.

Doesn't sound mainstream at all. I think it's really important when submitting queries to have a really good handle on your genre. It will save a ton of time.

http://nicoledelsesto.blogspot.com/


My blog (the right column) has publishing industry resources that might have some good info for you. (easier to post that link than the individual links) ... i highly recommend Nathan Bransford's blog. He dissects queries.

Good luck!
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Post Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:15 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
 Reply with quote  

I voted no even though I also like liver.

It's intriguing but I think it loses focus in the second paragraph.

In addition to the doubtless wonderful resources that the divine Ms. N has so graciously furnished you with, there are some great books, like the Larsen/Pomada book (check their website) as well as several great writing boards where agents will crit you query, like writers.net. Google "query shark" for some terrific advice and critted examples. She doesn't fdo it any more but she left up the site.

All the best.
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Post Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:29 pm   View user's profile Send private message
MrEMann



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 1642
Location: I'm much better in real life than I am in person
 Reply with quote  

I'm not qualified to comment. But there wasn't a choice for people who don't like liver and are not qualified to comment.


Sounds fun though.
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Post Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
 Reply with quote  

MrEMann wrote:
I'm not qualified to comment. But there wasn't a choice for people who don't like liver and are not qualified to comment.


Sounds fun though.


People who don't like liver are definitely not qualified to comment so it would be assumed. Twisted Evil
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Post Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
 Reply with quote  

Well, I'd like to read your book...

BTW, I'm prety sure Satan had a hand in the layout of DC-
did you include that in the story? Wink

Post Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:32 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ginjg



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 6617
Location: Los Angeles
 Reply with quote  

the devil, you say…
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Post Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:40 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
festusbongwater



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 33
The Devil Went Down in the District of Columbia  Reply with quote  

Having lived in DC, I am certain that it was laid based on Satan's own street map. It is, in a word, F'ed.

Thanks for the feedback. I did look at Query Shark and a lot of other resources before writing the query -- I just wanted to see if I could get some feedback from like-minded folks.
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Post Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
sugarraydodge



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 647
Location: Utah
 Reply with quote  

knikkki wrote:

http://nicoledelsesto.blogspot.com/


I didn't know this existed. Nobody tells me anything! Bookmarked. Razz
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Post Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:19 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
NickB



Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 1
 Reply with quote  

Hi, I'm new here and unpublished, but I read a lot and am very picky. You had me at the first sentence.

I agree that the second paragraph was a little confusing, but that was only because I didn't "get" that you were saying these things were the work of the person trying to destroy the earth...easily remedied (though I know that when you go over and over that flaming query letter, it all starts to look as defined as cottage cheese on white china.)

So, my questions on reading the query: 1. Washington, D.C.? Why, Satan, why? I mean, I get the joke, but I wanna know why not Fiji.
2. Can you give a hint about who's trying to end the world? Just a little morsel?
3. Why must Satan stop this? Has he grown fond of the place? Is the World-Ender person harshing his mellow? How mellow can you get in D.C.? Or is Satan spending all his time f'ing with politicians and hurling poo at Greenpeace? It's a party!
4. I agree about genre...humor? Where is Chris classified? (And probably you know, but many point out the difficulty of establishing a readership in mainstream. I have no first-hand experience there, though.)
5. There's plenty there for me to want to read it...like I said, you had me with the first sentence; but, an agent or editor might want to know HOW Satan will dispatch the villain(s) and save the world.

I'm really excited to read this book and I think others will be, too. I hope this message was helpful and not too AAARG-inspiring...I HATE criticism, but NEED it badly myself. Good luck. Please resubmit if you change it or get any agent/editor/just-plain-helpful feedback on it. I second Nathan Bransford's site for query letter polishing, but I think you're on the right track...almost there. Then again, you may change nothing and still get interest. I'm often surprised at what agents like versus what they don't...I'll disagree and wish I could represent the ones they passed up. Other times, we're in sync. Good luck, man!

Post Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message
mxlemore



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 44
Location: Georgia
 Reply with quote  

knikkki wrote:
... i highly recommend Nathan Bransford's blog. He dissects queries.


I agree, Nathan's blog is invaluable. Also, I've bookmarked your blog too, knikkki! Smile

Festus, I thought the query was very succinct and to the point. I still haven't gotten to the stage of writing a query letter quite yet, but at least you left out all the extraneous shit. Best of luck!
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Post Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:43 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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