View Full Version : Getting Serious--Need a mentor for the submission process

08-14-2004, 05:36 AM
The novel is complete and revised and polished. I had help from this board on the revision process (big shout out to Yeshanu). Now I need help with the rest of it.

I've subscribed to Writersmarket.com and I've started looking for agents. I basically need help crafting and polishing a query letter and creating my synopsis, as well as looking for potential agents.

One quick note, because I noticed mammamaia mention there are some sorts of things she won't work with, for example, and I don't know if other people have similiar policies. It's a murder mystery with scenes of explicit violence, sex, and violent sex. NC-17 and all that.

Anybody with any experience is all is appreciated, because no matter how much experience it is, it's much more than what I've got.

08-14-2004, 08:06 AM
NC-17? So is it a movie or a novel? If it is a screenplay, an alternative is taking it to Zoetrope...you can find some very experienced writers there...but get to ready to slap up some essays...good luck...

08-14-2004, 10:19 AM
It's a novel. "NC-17" is just easily recognizable short-hand for what it contains.

08-14-2004, 08:38 PM
I see...forgive me I can get quite confused...I saw NC-17, and then novel ;) ...good luck...

aka eraser
08-14-2004, 11:48 PM
I might be able to give you a couple of pointers on the mechanics if that's what you're looking for but I think there's more info, particularly on synopses, on the Novel Writing board (probably lurking within Uncle Jim's thread).

The query should be short, usually one page and designed to introduce yourself, your credits (if any) and most importantly, whet the appetite of the reader regarding your book.

The appetite-whetting part is usually a single paragraph that distills the essence of your book into the literary equivalent of the aromas of a delicious meal wafting from a nearby kitchen. (Should be easy eh?.....not) ;)

A synopsis is longer, but not a whole lot, perhaps 2 pages and takes the reader from beginning to end. No teasing here, you're offering the whole meal a la "Honey I shrunk the book!"

You include all the main characters, plot points and reveal the ending. (Also easy eh?....not) ;)

If you knew all this and are impatiently tapping your foot now because you just want help polishing the beasties then I'd suggest you offer them up in the Share Your Work board. Maestro and his talented crew will offer fair and constructive opinions.

Good luck (and wtg Ruth!)

08-15-2004, 07:01 AM

As she says, it's NC-17 (that would be R or even X in Canadian terms), so it really isn't suitable for posting on the board, which is why we did it by email.

pepper, I'll look through what I've got on my bookshelf as far as formats, etc. for submission if that's what you're looking for...

And I'll be back to you soon on your latest revision. (Promise... I'm a little behind at this point. :b )

aka eraser
08-15-2004, 09:30 AM
Hmmm. It didn't occur to me that the query and synopsis would also be rated "adult." Discussing violence and/or sexual content shouldn't be the same as posting examples. Neither the query nor synopsis should include graphic depictions, just the fact that the story contains them.

I can understand why the manuscript passages weren't posted but have a hunch if you can't "PG-down" the query or synopsis you might run into trouble.

08-15-2004, 12:54 PM
Oh, the rough draft of my query is very much in G-territory. It never occurred to me to do anything but put it in G-territory.

Now. having admitted that I've started a rough draft, I shall toddle off to the Sharing forum and see how many people laugh uproariously at my humble attempt.

08-15-2004, 08:09 PM

Sorry folks. I misunderstood your posts. I did think you were talking about posting the ms, not the query.

I've commented on the posted query. Hope it helps.