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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Carlin | 28 comments Hi Everyone!

I'm a few months away from needing this, but I've been chipping away at my query whenever I need a distraction from other things. Every time I open it, it changes drastically, because I have no idea what I'm doing. So I figure maybe it's time to get some other eyes on it to help point me in the right direction next time I look at it.

The MS is a comedy sci-fi. I want the tone of the query to reflect the tone of the book, but it's hard to capture the jokes in such a short blurb, so I've basically shoehorned a few jokes from the book into the query. Any suggestions would be appreciated here. Here it is in it's present form.

Oh Dearest of Agents (I won't really say that),

As a foot soldier, Freeda always ends up on planets that are only one thing: ice planet, desert planet, spaceship dealership lot planet. That changes when she graduates from flight academy, determined to shoot down the enemy's top ace. She gets her wish, but when she collides with his damaged fighter, they both crash in the jungle.

Copernicus is a genderless ace who disables rather than kills “his” targets. Suffering from combat-induced PTSD, his ploy to fake his own death goes smoothly until Freeda blindsides him in the clouds.

When Copernicus saves Freeda from her crashed fighter, they are stuck working together to survive. Eventually swayed by Copernicus' selflessness, Freeda decides that war is as pointless as arguing with an Orthodox Tautologist (the galaxy's main religion, the Tautologist primary belief is that this statement is false). Together, Freeda and Copernicus form the Pacifists, a militant anti-war group.

Soon they assemble a ragtag crew, consisting of Copernicus' prankster twin brothers; a big rig driver and former orbital race champion; and XxXGam3rDud3-69, a perpetual teenager whose species was created in a botched attempt to overcome the aging process.

The Pacifists attract the attention of the military industrial complex when they disrupt the Galactic Naval Corporation with non-lethal weaponry, leaving bombers and fighters floating helplessly, waiting for a tow. With the profiteers of war in pursuit, Freeda and Copernicus will do whatever they can to stay a step ahead.

THE PACIFICISTS, complete at 88,000 words, is a satirical space opera that tackles the difficult question: War, what is it good for? Thank you so much for your time. I am the host of the Denver Moth StorySLAMs, and have been featured on as well as guest-hosted the Moth podcast.

message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments Hey Kevin,

First, I want to apologize for never getting back to you on the second part, life got really crazy after I last got back to you and hasn't really recovered.

Second, the main complaint is probably it's too long. The supposed sweet spot is 100-150 words and you're at 236. I think what you have can be trimmed while keeping with your goals. I think your humor in the blurb reflects the novel well, but you give away the ending of the first novel and I think that's a mistake. Unless my memory is messed up, of course.

Another thing you need is comps, or well-known (but not famous) books where you'd expect to shelve yours in the book store. Agents/publishers like these because it gives them a better idea of where you think yours should go.

Since you're selling a series you have a challenge. Most agents/publishers love the idea of a series, but want the first to be standalone. That way, if sales don't justify putting the rest of the books out, the readers won't be left hanging.

I think you are on the right track, just need some tightening up.

message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Carlin | 28 comments Thanks Keith! And no worries, of course! I appreciate the notes you did give me. They were extremely helpful.

It's actually not a series. It's just one book. I give away the end of part one, but I think that might be less a spoiler in the query and more a flaw in the book that it takes so long to get to the main premise, lol.

As for the comps, I'm totally stumped. I've looked for comedy sci-fi over the years, and there's so little of it out there. The whole genre is pretty much Adams, and of course we all know better than to compare anyone to Adams, let alone ourselves ;) I'd love some suggestions in the genre. Not just to use as comps, but to actually read!

Anyway, thanks for your help! I really appreciate that you're always willing to take a look at these. I promise to pay it forward someday. Right now I usually don't feel comfortable offering comments on queries because I'm so clueless about it myself!

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