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Jennafern
02-08-2006, 10:05 PM
Hi everyone!

I have a question about writing a query letter for my latest manuscript. I've written a SF/F novel in three parts (for a few reasons). It's over 300K words, each part 100+. I'm not really sure how to go about it in a query letter. Do I inform the agent or publisher that it is a triolgy and all three parts are needed for the story to be complete or should I shop it around as one large manuscript that could be seperated into three parts.

I'd much rather see it as a trilogy obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have written it this way, but I have a feeling it would turn agents or publishers off knowing that it's the typical Science Fiction/Fantasy trilogy.

Any feedback would be appreciated!

Thanks
~Jenn

clara bow
02-09-2006, 12:15 AM
Hi everyone!

I have a question about writing a query letter for my latest manuscript. I've written a SF/F novel in three parts (for a few reasons). It's over 300K words, each part 100+. I'm not really sure how to go about it in a query letter. Do I inform the agent or publisher that it is a triolgy and all three parts are needed for the story to be complete or should I shop it around as one large manuscript that could be seperated into three parts.


From what I've learned, the general rule of thumb is to pitch one book per query letter. You could certainly state, very briefly, that you envision it as a trilogy.



I'd much rather see it as a trilogy obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have written it this way,

Well of course you do. Whether agents/editors agree is quite a different animal altogether. Your statement reminds me about advice I've read about researching the market. Your book may be fabulous, but if no one's buying, then you're left deciding to try and shop it around anyway or write a standalone book and try to get published that way first. Then, if you're successful, you'd have a better chance at seeing your trilogy in print.


but I have a feeling it would turn agents or publishers off knowing that it's the typical Science Fiction/Fantasy trilogy.


Heh. You're instinct is there for a reason! Another option would be to tailor two different queries, one outlining the trilogy, and the other for just the first book. Then, see who bites.




Any feedback would be appreciated!

Thanks
~Jenn



good question, tough decision. good luck with it!

Cathy C
02-09-2006, 12:37 AM
Even a trilogy has to have books that stand alone as their own story. So, that's how you need to approach it. What you need to tell a prospective editor or agent is one of the following:


1. If the primary plot thread of book one completely wraps up, but some of the subplots remain unanswered and are explored further in book two, then you can say that, "While the primary plot is completely resolved, several subplots remain open to further exploration. I envision two more books which will continue the story." (This would be like the Star Wars trilogy. Each story is complete, and the hero wins decisively, but the bad guys might come back.)

2. If the primary plot and all subplots are resolved in book one, but events outside the book that are hinted at, or are approached from a different angle can occur in books two and three, then you can say, "This book is a stand alone novel, but the overall world conflict has the potential for two more books to completely wrap up the battle." (This would be like the Indiana Jones trilogy. Each story completely wraps up, so that while you follow the hero, it's to an entirely different adventure with no commonality to the others.)

3. If the primary plot IS NOT completely wrapped up, it needs to be. Publishers won't purchase a series that depends on a buyer of book two being disappointed because they can't make heads or tails of what's happening. Also, if something happened to a line or imprint that wouldn't allow book two to be produced, then sales of book one will lag.

Does that help a bit?

Jennafern
02-09-2006, 04:31 AM
Thank you both!! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but now I have a better idea what other's think. THANKS!

~Jenn