Apr 28, 2009

Query - Quest Support (Second Revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Dear (Agent),

Gilbert Gaberlunzie thinks most Heroes are morons. They’d be nothing without his help, because he works at Quest Support, a tech support hotline for people on Quests. Even though Gilbert knows the adventuring routine better than any of the idiots who call him, he’s satisfied where he is. He loves…well, tolerates his job, and wants nothing more than to sit in his cubicle and drink coffee.

Things don’t quite work out that way. When Gilbert accidentally gets the Hero killed during the Final Battle with the Dark Lord, he puts the whole world in peril and loses his job to boot. Since his knowledge of fantasy clichés isn’t good for much else, Gilbert sets out on a journey to defeat the Dark Lord himself and set things right. His feet may hurt and he may be hopeless with a sword, but Gilbert is sure he’s ready for anything the genre throws at him, whether it’s elves, goblins, an oracle, or those giant spiders that always live in caves. But can he handle the inevitable Plot Twist?

Complete at 94,000 words, QUEST SUPPORT will appeal to readers looking for a quirky spin on the familiar fantasy formula, or anyone who’s ever wondered when Heroes wash their socks.

Thank you for your consideration,

Paul

10 comments:

folksinmt said...

Cute! I like it. The only problem I had was the second sentence. It doesn't flow well. Maybe you could put a period after help. and start a new sentence with "He works at..." Don't know, you might need to play with it a bit.

Also, I think you need to put a specific genre rather than the blanket statement at the end. It has a YA feel to it, and if that's not the case you'll want to clarify.

Good job!

hope101 said...

This is good, but my two cents: I liked the voice you had in your first query better. I think it's such a big part of what you have to offer that you need to show it off. Here's your first query, just slightly reworded and trimmed, and with an attempt to keep your brand of humour intact:

"A Cryptic Prophecy speaks of a Young Boy who will wield a Mystic Sword and defeat an Ancient Evil. Gilbert Gaberlunzie has seen this tired old plot play out more times than he can count in his work for Quest Support, a call center that provides assistance to Heroes, Villains, and anyone else involved in Quests. Even though he’s sure he’d make a better adventurer than any of the idiots who call him, Gilbert has no desire for change. He loves…well, tolerates his job, and wants nothing more than to sit in his cubicle and drink coffee.

But things don’t work out quite that way. When Gilbert accidentally gets the Hero killed during the Final Battle with the Dark Lord, he puts the whole world in peril and loses his job to boot. Since his knowledge of fantasy clichés isn’t good for much else, Gilbert decides to defeat the Dark Lord himself and set things right. After interviewing party members and appropriating some malfunctioning magical artifacts from his ex-employer, Gilbert sets off on a journey down the well-trodden paths of fantasydom. His feet may hurt and he may be hopeless with a sword, but Gilbert is sure he’s ready for anything the genre throws at him, whether it’s elves, goblins, an oracle, or those giant spiders that always live in caves. But can he handle the inevitable Plot Twist?

QUEST SUPPORT is complete at 94,000 words. It is a lighthearted fantasy and will appeal to anyone who’s ever wondered when Heroes wash their socks.

Thank you for your consideration,"

Also, what genre is this? You need to put that in near your word count. I think you have a great YA voice and this has crossover potential, although "they" don't suggest you say that in a query.

Good luck!

hope101 said...

Oops. Think I'd restructure the beginning of the second paragraph to this (2 Dark Lords):

"But things don’t work out quite that way. When Gilbert accidentally gets the Hero killed during the Final Battle, he puts the whole world in peril and loses his job to boot. Since his knowledge of fantasy clichés isn’t good for much else, Gilbert decides to defeat the Dark Lord himself and set things right..."

Laurel said...

Paul,

I have liked every version of this query but this one read very easily. It's crisp...in a good way. I would absolutely buy the book if the info in any of your versions were on the back. The idea is fresh and the humor is evident in each version. I'm not an agent and certainly not qualified to evaluate queries but I have read a ton of them lately and I like this one the best. It has a clear sense of story and the ever popular and dreadfully ambiguous "voice."

Some agents like it if you compare your work to other authors, some don't, but if you are querying someone who does this seems like something that would appeal to an Artemis Fowl reader.

word verification: chapine- chafing that occurs from wearing chaps

Paul said...

Thanks for the input, everyone. I think I'm pretty happy with this query, except possible for the first two sentences. I'll do some more tinkering and see what I can come up with.

I've noticed a couple people say this looks like a YA novel. I actually did write Quest Support as an adult novel, but I think it would appeal to YA audiences as well, and there's nothing in it that would be inappropriate for a PG-13 rating.

Rick Daley said...

Paul,

I put up a post on choosing the right genre last night, if you haven't seen it it's worth check out. It may help you in the coin toss between adult and YA...

http://openquery.blogspot.com/2009/04/got-genre.html

Rick

Paul said...

I'm thinking about going with this for my first paragraph. How does this look?

Gilbert Gaberlunzie has had his fill of Heroes, Villains, Ancient Prophecies, and Legendary Swords. Gilbert works at Quest Support, a tech support hotline for people on Quests. Even though he knows the adventuring routine better than any of the idiots who call him, he’s satisfied where he is. He loves…well, tolerates his job, and wants nothing more than to sit in his cubicle and drink coffee.

hope101 said...

I like it. Go for it. (I was looking for a little more about his job, and less repetition about his loathing of heroes. This version accomplishes that goal.) You're going to get a significant hit rate with pretty much any of the queries you have posted, anyway. You have a great voice.

Will you let us know how it goes?

Paul said...

All righty, I'm going to go with the second revision using the new first paragraph. Thanks for all your input, everyone. I'll make sure to let you all know if I get any results on my queries.

Rick Daley said...

Good luck, Paul. I liked your query from the start, I hope the agents feel the same.