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Query Shark: #187-Revised 4x


MWF Bot:
#187-Revised 4x

Dear QueryShark

Emory's miserable writing corporatespeak, spinning layoffs and benefit cuts. Sick of being exploited by a soulless corporate world he quits his job. He finds his voice writing radical commentary that catches the interest of a mysterious and wealthy man named Fletcher Spivey. 

"He finds his voice" is not the antidote to "miserable."  The pairing of these two things is one reason I look at this and think "huh?"  That's not a good sign.
One of the things you want to add here is WHY Emory is miserable. Is a job keeping him from his art? Does he hate going to meetings? Does he loath being paid regularly?

Spivey a dying 1960's radical who regrets selling out to run his father's business empire, wants to bankroll a revolt against corporate-run government with Emory at the helm. Eager to turn his words into action, Emory is unknowingly swept up by Spivey, a man who wants to use Emory's political fervor for more than an uprising.

And here's where I absolutely stop believing the emotional truth of the novel -and that's fatal.  I absolutely don't believe you can bankroll a revolt against corporate-run government with Emory at the helm.  And the reason I don't believe it is cause I've read history.  Revolution happens not when someone is at the helm, but when thousands, nay millions, are in the streets.  Who exactly do you think led the anti-war movement? You can't make a revolution if you're busy writing operating rules for the group.

When Emory is nearly beaten to death, he learns he's dying of a malignant brain tumor. His only chance is a risky surgery. If he doesn't survive, he could make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause so Spivey can live and see the revolt through. That is, if Emory can stomach donating his organs to Spivey who's in desperate need of a kidney/pancreas transplant. Emory agrees. He's not thrilled about being a martyr but it beats the hell out of dying in vain.

Emory tries to find out who wants him dead. But Emory's attempt to save the movement from infiltrators leads him not to political enemies but to the very people tending to his injuries. He realizes the malignant tumor may not be real. His suspicions force him to face his blinding trust of his comrades and to uncover a plot in which Emory is more valuable to Spivey dead than he ever was alive.

A LAST DAY PARADE is a literary novel complete at 69,600 words. Thank you

I chopped out everything to do with the organ transplant plot line.  There's a limit to how much of the book you can cover in a query letter and one of the ways you know you're trying to cover too much is you've got a recitation of events instead of a compelling story.
There are two problems here though that I can't fix with strike out suggestions and advice: there's no voice, and I can't suspend my disbelief. Those are two major problems not just in a query but in the novel itself.

Remember, the purpose of a query is to entice me to read the novel: NOTHING ELSE. 
Focus on Emory, and make us care about what happens to him.

Source: #187-Revised 4x

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