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Thread: Query Help

  1. #1
    Amy Lou
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    Query Help

    I seem to be stuck in query purgatory and I was wondering if this was getting close. I am still working on the final paragraph. I've tried to show that Chloe is not a weak pathetic woman that's been dumped by her husband, I wanted to spin it that she's a good friend. I really do appreciate your thoughts on this, they are helping, I hope...
    Amy



    Dear Agent,

    Chloe's guardian angel warned her not to get involved with Phoenix. According to him, her new surroundings were dangerous. How was she to know the guy serving drinks behind the bar was an angel sent to protect her, and the man she fell in love with was only after one thing, her soul.

    Chloe has something her best friend longs for, true love. Her best friend has something Chloe is grateful she never had to experienced, an arrogant fiancé that treats her like trash. She never dreamed she would get the chance to know him better, but when Chloe's fairytale marriage ends she finds herself renting the guesthouse behind their estate. She's always concerned with her best friend's choices in lovers, but her fiancé turns out to be charming, and so are his friends. She falls for the shy one in the group, the one that's not so obvious with his desires. From the moment they are introduced, Phoenix is always near. She doesn't realize he's protecting her from himself.

    Phoenix is the son of a fallen angel, ordained to deceive a woman into producing an heir and offers her soul to Lucifer. When he meets Chloe, he knows he could easily deceive her, there's love in her eyes reflecting back at him. Yet he experiences an impulse he's never felt for a human. He will protect her from his iniquities even if he must betray his legion and face eternal damnation as a servant in hell. His plan is simple, he will stay close enough to protect her from the others and show her a hint of the wickedness that created him to send her running in the other direction. She can’t possibly love him once she sees the demon inside.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Query Help

    Hi Amy,

    Overall I'd give this attempt a C. It's kind of flat (as in dull) and flabby (as in too many unnecessary details) at the same time. The first and second paragraphs make it sound like Chloe's the protagonist, the last paragraph, the most interesting makes it sound like Phoenix's story.

    I think the first paragraph has a hook buried in it, but you need to pop it. If it were me I'd do something like....

    Unlucky in love (or another term that defines your character) Chloe is looking for her soulmate. Unluckily for her, the (word that defines Phoenix) bartender she falls for is after her soul.

    Maybe not the greatest wording, but the soulmate / soul angle is very strong.

    Not quite sure why you feel the need to emphasize that she's a good friend. If her being a good friend is what leads her into trouble then by all means go with it. But as a character trait to highlight in a query, it's kind of flat. Also it sounds kind of weird that you refer to her "best friend" repeatedly.

    I think you need to focus a bit more on the plot rather than the circumstance surrounding the story.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Query Help

    Okay, I'm going to take that C and be thrilled because it's getting closer than I was before. LOL
    Your critique is very helpful. I am having such a difficult time knowing what to included and what to leave out. I'm sure this is very common. Chloe's best friend is her access into this evil world but it's not the main plot. I was trying to show Chloe as something other than being victim.

    I hear what you are saying about the paragraph about Phoenix. The book is written from 2 POV's so I was attempting to do that in my query. Although most of the book is Chloe, with small sections between chapters that show Phoenix's world.
    Can't I just write something like,

    Dear Agent,

    The plot? Let's see - Chloe falls in love with Phoenix. There's an instant connection, like nothing she'e every experienced. Phoenix feels a connection. Something he's never experienced with any other human. He vows to protect her from himself and the others. They form a bond, he tells her they can't be together because of something he's involved in. She has no idea what. He shows her his dark secret (I know sounds funny). She unravels the mystery behind him with the help of Mike (the bartender aka guardian angel) Guardian angel and demon (Mike and Phoenix) work together to relocate Chloe away from the nephilim. All the while Phoenix is being pressured to destroy her. Phoenix is the only one that can destroy her because love for him dwells in her heart. But they can kill her. They are suspicious and kidnap Chloe. Phoenix comes to her rescue where he is told to destroy her. She has a chance to end her life, she dies in Phoenix's arms and as he's coached to sacrifice her soul to his master he does the opposite, he delivers her soul to God and in Chloe he finds redemption.

    Okay if it were only that simple. LOL
    Seriously, thank you for helping me out. I will think about the plot more and try to focus more on that.
    Amy

  4. #4
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    Re: Query Help

    "I seem to be stuck in query purgatory . . ."

    Yeah, it does feel that way, doesn't it? You really made me laugh. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Query Help

    I'm always happy to provide amusement! LOL But yes it does feel that way, I just keep thinking the day will come when someone will come say, "Yes your query is perfect" and let me out!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Query Help

    Amy, that day will never come. Someone always has an opinion to suggest you change something. Your job is to weed out good feedback from bad or indifferent.

    Keep at it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Query Help

    I don't know if any good writer thinks anything they write is "perfect." I think we always see paragraphs we could improve, whether it's the day after or a year after we wrote them.

    But, at some point, YOU have to look at it your Q letter and say it's finished for now. When you can look at your Q letter, with everything you're learning about them, and be satisfied with it, that's the day you send it.

  8. #8
    Amy Lou
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    Re: Query Help

    Yes, very true DK. I keep thinking if I arrange the words a certain way or rearrange the sentences that the gates will open up and allow me to walk through and I will hear "Well done, thou good and faithful writer."
    LOL Thanks for the comment.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Query Help

    Hi Amy,

    When it comes to a query, remember the following:

    1) the purpose of query is NOT to tell your story, it's to get someone to want to read it. So think to yourself if you had one minute in an elevator with the agent or publisher of your dreams, what would you tell them about your novel to interest them in the novel. That's the vantage point that I suggest you craft the query from.

    2) a query is a writing sample so you should make every effort to infuse your query with the same voice that is in your manuscript.

    The pages you posted for critique had a really great tone that is not reflected in your query.

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Query Help

    I have thought about this question before, like when people find out I'm writing a novel and they say "What's it about" When I sum it up for them, they say "Oh my goodness, that sounds really interesting." I usually say something like, through life changing circumstances, Chloe finds comfort in a friend. She also becomes surrounded by the nephilim and fallen angels that created them, only they are disguised as gorgeous charming men. They seek a woman's soul to sacrifice to the master, but first the woman must fall in love, marry them and in the bonds of marriage they will conceive a child. Chloe falls in love with one of them." \

    I know that's not great but it goes something like that. With all of everyone's comments I think I might have something better than what I posted. It's hard for me to find my writing voice while doing this letter. Here's what I have been working on.


    Chloe's guardian angel warned her not to get involved with Phoenix. How was she to know that the guy serving drinks behind the bar was an angel sent to protect her soul from the only man she's ever loved.

    Not one for believing in love everlasting, considering her history with men, Chloe never expected to find her soulmate in Phoenix. He's mysterious and guarded, just the type she should stay away from. From the moment they are introduced she is drawn to him. Phoenix is always near, almost protective. She doesn't realize he's protecting her from himself. (this is rough I realize but I've left out all that bs about best friends and her marriage ending.)

    Thanks again for your help!

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