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  1. #1
    Amy Lou
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    QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    This is simply a start and I was wondering if I am on to anything? It's not complete, but I wanted to post the first two paragraphs to see if I'm barking up the wrong tree again. The last paragraph will be about them both and pull everything together. Thank you for your advice.
    Amy



    Dear Agent,

    When Chloe's young marriage is over, she's left with empty dreams and a cookie cutter house in the suburbs. A new beginning is just what she needs. Chloe is thrilled when she's asked to rent the cottage behind her best friend's estate, the one she shares with her wealthy fiance. Just as Chloe begins to mend, she stumbles upon love and a wicked corruptness that now surrounds her. In her new world where she had hoped to find healing, Chloe discovers fallen angels that walk the earth and the nephilim she falls in love with.

    Phoenix hears of Chloe before they ever meet, she's moving into the guesthouse behind his father's estate. To the outside world Phoenix and his legion are peers, in their world however, they are the Nephilim. Son to a Fallen Angel, Phoenix was created to deceive a woman into producing an heir and offer her soul to his master, Lucifer. When Phoenix is introduced to Chloe, deceiving her should be his only priority, yet he experiences an impulse he's never felt for one of God's creations, an impulse he must deny.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    Amy, sorry but this doesn't hint at an engaging plot.

    Heed all the in-my-opinion and I-don't-read-romances-or-paranormals stuff. Still a story is a story, right? You still have to show a compelling character arch.

    But...

    You give us a weak character right off the bat.

    When Chloe's young marriage is over, she's left with empty dreams and a cookie cutter house in the suburbs.

    Here's what I know of your protagonist. She's only been married a short time and gets left. Worse with a house that's described in pejorative terms. So I know Chloe is a stupid whimp of a woman who buys a house she disdains. You've given me a victim, not a protagonist. If you'd written -- Chloe only married because she couldn't imagine life on her own and only agreed to the dismal little house in the suburbs because it was part of the bargain -- you'd have the makings of a real protagonist. A protagonist must have a fault she deals with during the story. Sure, she can be a victim...but we have to see her fault in her victimhood or she has no place to expand, which means you have no place for a story.

    Then you make is worse by having her fall in love with a fallen angel sort. So what was so bad about the ex-husband? Surely, at least, he wasn't a fallen angel. What's your character arch for Chloe? Here you've got stupid, victim woman who moves into friend's guest cottage and gets even stupider by engaging in a relationship, presumably, with a fallen angel. No character arch -- stupid victim becomes stupider victim. What's the point? What's the story?

    I can't see any way to pull together a deceitful, lustful fallen angel with a stupid, cowardly woman and make for a story that means anything. It just seems like a victim fantasy. Oh, the fallen angel will rescue me. Is this what you wrote? If so, keep working at real character arch. If not, bring the important stuff to the forefront.

    Make sense?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    I liked the previous one better
    Pre-Columbian North America

    http://blog.zoesaadia.com/

  4. #4
    Amy Lou
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    Hi CK,
    Thank you so much for your critique. And you honest opinion. The story should sound engaging even if ti's not your style, you're right about that. And I certainly don't want to create a wimpy character LOL

    Her character flaw is that she has lost a baby through a stillbirth and her being so occupied with having another baby pushes her husband away, it ruins her marriage. So it is her fault that the marriage ends. I just didn't think I needed to include that much of the story but if it paints a better picture of her I could somehow work it in. And less of her being a victim.

    She's really not stupid, I promise. And she''s not looking for someone else to fix her. But your honesty makes me laugh and I really do appreciate it! I want to know these things and I don't want my story to come across this way.

  5. #5
    Amy Lou
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    Thank you Zoe for your comment.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    I agree with CK. This story sounds way too bland the way you're representing it. One thing that's really helped me is defining the conflict clearly in the query. Try filling in the blanks:

    Chloe must do (what?) or (what?) will happen.

    These are your stakes and they should find their way into your query.

    Also, I think you should work on making every statement very specific. For example: Just as Chloe begins to mend, she stumbles upon love and a wicked corruptness that now surrounds her. How many stories do you think a statement like that could apply to? I can think of a few. Make sentences like this so specific that they couldn't apply to any other manuscript but yours. And do that for the entire query.

    This is just one opinion, but I hope it helps.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    When Chloe's young marriage
    Chloe is thrilled
    Just as Chloe begins
    Chloe discovers
    hears of Chloe
    introduced to Chloe


    Sometimes writers fall in love with the names of their characters. To repeat "Chloe" so often in two paragraphs becomes boring. The reader thinks, "Okay, I get it, her name is Chloe." Find a way to describe your storyline without relying upon the name so heavily. The repetition doesn't help.

    You've got only a couple of paragraphs to convince an agent to look at your work. Do you think what you posted is strong enough to accomplish the task? There's a rambling quality to all of it. Do you know what your book is about? What is the storyline? All that space dedicated to how she's moving into a new house? That can't be the most significant detail you could present, can it?

  8. #8
    Amy Lou
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    I can assure you that I'm not in love with my character's name, that was just not thought out, this was a rough draft of a direction I was taking. I realize what I posted was not strong enough to send out to an agent yet, I was just hoping I was going down the right path. But I guess not. LOL
    I know what my book is about and the story but I'm just having a difficult time putting it all together. I think I'll walk away from this query writing and edit my book, maybe that will refresh my mind and allow me to focus. I'm so confused. Thanks for all of your help!
    Amy

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: QUERY CRITIQUE - Is this anything?

    You don't sound confused. You sound like you have a good plan. Return to the book, do the editing, and then work on the query.

    Best of luck to you.

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