Facing the end of college and the impending threat of real-world responsibilities, four friends jump at one last chance for a life of freedom and debauchery when one of them returns from South America with the exotic Goli fruit, a little green confection that alone does nothing, but when consumed with a generic brand of cereal flakes gives them the greatest hallucinogenic high the world has ever known.
That's one sentence.
I'm a very big believer in starting with the subject of the sentence, then the verb. If convoluted you must be, the place to start is not the sentence you place first.
With all the criminal know-how expected of a bunch of northeastern Ivy League choirboys, they set up shop selling little green fruit to college kids and enjoying the easy money. But before long, they learn the hard way that their perfect setup isn’t made to last when of their own makes a cross-country sales drive and finds himself held hostage in Colorado with half of their inventory at the mercy of their greatest fear: real criminals. Now, it’s up to the others to drop everything to save him and, if at all possible, their burgeoning business. Eighteen hundred miles and a whole cast of nefarious characters stand between them and the glory of Goli.
The start of your query is tucked in the middle of this paragraph. It's "Character X finds himself held hostage in Colorado." How he got there is immaterial. Start with the point where something actually happens.
Full of all the wild uncertainty that comes with adulthood and raging against the dying light of youth, Goli Oats weighs in at about 101,000 words and is the first of three thematically-related novels I intend to produce in what I call the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll Trilogy.” Goli Oats embodies the “Drugs” facet and my next novel, Blue, which is already partially completed, will address the “Sex”, followed by the third, Groupie, which pertains to, of course, “Rock ‘n Roll.”
blah blah blah. You haven't sold me on the first novel yet, so the fact you plan two more is wasted on me. MORE about the plot of the first novel will be much more persuasive than anything.
I will know your name and your hometown from your signature and contact info. I don't care where you go to school. I don't care about your tenacious drive for whatever. The ONLY thing I care about is whether you can write well, and if this is a novel I want to read. Focus on that.
Thank you and I look forward to working together,
It's an endless source of amusement to me that a noticeable percentage of writers have a hard time with Dear (whomever). I've seen TO: I've seen just my name. I've seen Greetings; I've seen Hello! and a few others that made me laugh. Standard business letter format includes a salutation. Attn: is not a salutation. It's a mail stop directive. If you just can't bring yourself to use the standard business format of "Dear Query Shark" I suggest "Good morning"
Four friends, facing the end of college and the impending threat of real-world responsibilities, jump at one last chance for a life of freedom when one of them returns from South America with a strange wonder drug and sends them hurling down a path of excitement and danger in the tireless pursuit of the quick score and easy living.
This is so general as to be meaningless. It's also not very interesting. Four college kids decide to become drug dealers?
Goli Oats, the first novel in the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll Trilogy from writer (redacted), is the sensational story of four young, misguided but well-meaning friends facing the daunting prospects of careers they don’t want, pre-determined futures, and a lifetime of corporate-sponsored boredom.
You're talking about yourself in the third person. You're telling, not showing about the novel. This is where I'd stop reading.
Their grim outlooks, however, are suddenly brightened when one of them returns from a year-long sabbatical in the jungles of South America with a strange fruit which, when eaten alone, does nothing, but when paired with a generic brand of bland cereal flakes gives them the greatest hallucinogenic high they have ever known.
A college student takes a year long sabbatical? Unless things have changed since I was in college, this doesn't make any sense. Professors take sabbaticals after years of teaching. Students may take a semester or a year abroad, but those aren't called sabbaticals.
Seeing a once-in-a-lifetime way out of all of their problems, they ready themselves for the trials of building a fruit-drug empire that will span the country, entangle them with an ever-widening cast of nefarious characters, and bring excitement and troubles they never dreamed of facing.
This is meaningless description.
Full of all the wild uncertainty that comes with adulthood and raging against the dying light of youth, Goli Oats is at once a completely fresh take on the drug world epic, an indictment of corporate hypocrisy and a slightly twisted, fruit-addled buddy comedy. Just don’t feed it to your goat.
If you tell me this book is a comedy, and the query letter isn't funny or amusing, there's a problem. A big one.
"Drug world epic" is not a category I'm familiar with. If you're offering a fresh take on something, there has to be an old take on it first.
(Author) is from (place), and a student at the (school). He has spent his entire life with a tenacious drive for writing and storytelling in one capacity or another. Though his creative efforts thus far have been primarily devoted to musical performance and composition, short stories and screenplay writing, with an aim to further himself in both acting and filmmaking, his passion for the last year has been the authorship of his first novel, Goli Oats. Goli Oats, weighing in at about 101,000 words, is the first of three thematically-related novels he intends to produce in what he calls the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll Trilogy.” Goli Oats embodies the “Drugs” facet and his next novel, Blue, which is already partially completed, will address the “Sex”, followed by the third, Groupie, which pertains to, of course, “Rock ‘n Roll.” Through his writing, he tries to bring his own unique voice to rather unconventional themes and ideas predicated on a strong base of social satire and embellished with lively, exciting characterizations. He is firmly dedicated to building his career as a novelist and is looking for the agency that can assist him in that effort now, at the beginning, and throughout his career.
Don't ever talk about yourself in the third person in a business letter. It's just plain bad writing.
The query letter should be about the book. You've got almost as many words about you and your plans (203) as you do about the book (255). More about the book. A lot less about you, particularly since none of it is an actual writing credential.
Thank you and I look forward to working together,