Friday, May 29, 2009

Query letter #3: Bronwyn S

Dear Agent,

When you find yourself naked except for your shoes and backed up against a cold wall mounted mirror, stuck between a rock and very, very hard place. Do you;
[Now, here's where I'm disappointed - word-wise this is a good start but the punctuation is BAD. 'Wall mounted mirror' should be 'wall-mounted mirror'; there should be a comma not a full stop after 'place', and a colon, not a semi-colon, after 'Do you' - all of which I noticed immediately and my heart has already sunk.]
A: Remember that your life is threatened and you need this modelling job so you don’t end up a Jane Doe on the six o’clock news…or; [Again, bad punctuation - don't use a semi-colon if you've given me an 'or'.]
B: Do you [Don't repeat 'do you' here] throw caution to the wind and let him lick away your protests like the candy shell around a chocolate centre and decide that Mixing Business with Pleasure sounds like a whole lot of fun. [There should be a question mark here, and why are there capital letters in the middle of this sentence? You haven't told me the title of the novel yet, so if you use the caps here I'll just think you have a thing for proper nouns - as in, your first language is German. Otherwise this sounds like a story I would read.]

The only way for Allison Marcum to pay her brother’s gambling debts is to transform herself from boring predictable social worker
[boring COMMA predictable] to experienced model. She gets more than she bargains for when she surpasses model and heads straight for flaming hot temptress. [flaming HYPHEN hot - and this paragraph isn't hanging together - I need a bit more information.]

As her lies
[What lies? You didn't say anything about lying!] start to unravel and the loan sharks get impatient, will Allison risk the best thing that’s ever happened to her by telling more lies? Or will she learn to trust the man who makes her toes curl, the man who teaches her that sometimes trust is all you have left. [question mark needed here]

My name is Bronwyn S.
[You don't need to tell me your name - it will be at the bottom of the letter, where I expect to find it.] I am a member of Romance Writers of Australia, the South Australian Romance Association, Romantic at Heart and several small writers groups. [Good - this lets me know that you're serious about your genre - romance is unlike other genres so you need to know what you're doing.] Mixing Business with Pleasure is 60,000 words, my first complete manuscript, polished from top to bottom and back again. [Under no circumstances say that the manuscript is polished from top to bottom if it contains the sort of punctuation mistakes I've just found in this letter.]

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to show you a glimpse into the rocky journey of Sam
[Who is Sam?] and Allison’s happily ever after. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

[Where is my burning-hot reason to read this about this flaming-hot temptress? The story has been described - and it's not a ragingly original storyline, but that's completely fine so long as I have a good reason to read it. So what's the reason? Will my loins stir? Will my heart race? Either of these will do. It's a romance novel - you'll have a lot of competition in this genre - what makes you different from the rest?]

Bronwyn S

Status: REJECTED. Read the AGPS Style Manual for punctuation tips (I'm serious).

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