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  1. #1
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Query review, please

    Side note: First--Thank you to anyone that takes the time to critique this. Second--Having read some of the feeds about proper query etiquette, I understand that I have probably revealed more in the way of a synopsis than a Q. But, wanted to get this up for feedback.. Thanks


    Just when it seems like the two young lovers can finally be together, Erykk and Mandolyn are ripped apart by the very forces that brought them together. She was sold to Larry Lizzoli’s House of Freaks because at sixteen she sprouted wings. Wings of the butterfly variety. He is the owner’s son. And, he has fallen in love with his father’s prized possession; his prized “freak,” Mademoiselle Butterfly.

    Once it is discovered that these two are set on a course for romance, Larry Lizzoli beats Mandolyn to within inches of her life and discards her lifeless body. Erykk is sent packing, back to life as a college student, where Larry hopes he will forget all about the “freak” that he’s fallen in love with.

    Mandolyn will fight for her life and for her freedom as she struggles to recover from her victimization. Erykk has a fight of his own. He must fight to gain his manhood in an attempt to break away from his father’s militaristic parenting. Will Mandolyn survive? Will Erykk finally obtain what is rightfully his? Or, will the harsh perils of real life crush their hopes at ever being together?

    This story goes beyond romance. It is a story of two people driven apart by societal expectations. A society where “normal” reigns, and “freaks” are outcasts. It’s about the oppression of “freaks,” controlled through violent measures from a man desperate to keep his business profitable. And, mostly, it is about two teenagers desperate to overcome insurmountable odds, conquering their biggest fears to rise above their harsh circumstances.

    In the end, Erykk and Mandolyn find that the love they share is the bond that keeps them strong even through life’s most bitter realities.



  2. #2
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    Re: Query review, please

    Avonne,

    The freakshow setting and a winged girl are great elements.

    Couple overall things, it's hard to help with a Q when we don't know the genre you're going for here. Would encourage you to include your genre, word count, and title in Qs you want feedback on. Unless this Larry is a main character, I wouldn't include even one phrase from his POV in the Q. I don't get a clear idea of what time period this is set. Lastly, you've got quite a few phrases that are cliche. I'm not against a well-placed cliche now and again, but you slather them pretty thick here and the Q feels melodramatic as a result.

  3. #3
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    Re: Query review, please

    Hi, Avonne

    I'm very new here, but I've found the feebdack I've received incredibly helpful, and I think you'll benefit, too. Here is my two cents...

    1. Your first sentence is very jarring...especially because you do nothing to set up the main characters, or even tell the agent who they are. I think a lot of this can be helped by removing the "the" in the sentence, but it's still weak.

    Now, for the whole query:

    Just when it seems like the two young lovers can finally be together, Erykk and Mandolyn are ripped apart by the very forces (very forces is vague and cliche. Who or what brought them together? Tell us) that brought them together. She was sold to Larry Lizzoli’s House of Freaks, because at sixteen, she sprouted wings. Wings of the butterfly variety. He is the owner’s son. And, he has fallen in love with his father’s prized possession; his prized “freak,” Mademoiselle Butterfly.

    Once it is discovered that these two are set on a course for romance (this is very awkward in my opinion. It's also boring in that you're just telling us they are in a romantic relationship. Show us that they are. Make us care and believe that they're in love.) Larry Lizzoli beats Mandolyn to within inches of her life and discards her lifeless body (Because he is disgusted by his son's actions or angry at her? This matters, so explain it better). Erykk is sent packing, back to life as a college student, where Larry hopes he will forget all about the “freak” that he’s fallen in love with.

    Mandolyn will fight for her life (stay in present tense to keep the query exciting! "Mandolyn fights for her life...")and for her freedom as she struggles to recover from her victimization (again, you're just telling us. What does she do? Is she outright rebellious to Larry at this point?). Erykk has a fight of his own. He must fight to gain his manhood in an attempt to break away from his father’s militaristic parenting. Will Mandolyn survive? Will Erykk finally obtain what is rightfully his (do you mean Mandolyn)? Or, will the harsh perils of real life crush their hopes at ever being together (this is terribly cliche again and tells us nothing of the story you've written)?

    This story goes beyond romance (no, no, no...for a lot of reasons). It is a story of two people driven apart by societal expectations. A society where “normal” reigns, and “freaks” are outcasts. It’s about the oppression of “freaks,” controlled through violent measures from a man desperate to keep his business profitable. And, mostly, it is about two teenagers desperate to overcome insurmountable odds, conquering their biggest fears to rise above their harsh circumstances. (I understand your motivation here, but it's not pertinent to YOUR manuscript. You've got a few lines to grip an agent and make them want your story. They can read general, dramatic dribble like this anywhere. SPECIFICS. Make them care about your characters. It sounds like you've created some interesting ones. I want to know more about Erykk and Mandolyn. I don't care about teenagers desperate to overcome obstacles in search of love.)

    In the end, Erykk and Mandolyn find that the love they share is the bond that keeps them strong even through life’s most bitter realities. (Blah!)


    **

    Please, don't be offended by any of my comments. My stuff is in serious need of critique as well, so I'm in the same boat. Hope this helps in some way.

  4. #4
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    Re: Query review, please

    It's not a "lifeless body" if she is still alive.

  5. #5
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    Re: Query review, please

    This is not a query letter.

  6. #6
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    Re: Query review, please

    Firstly, as already pointed out, this is too vague and a bit stale.

    But, from what you wrote, I have these questions:
    - Who sold her? what gave them the right to sell her in the first place? Can she obtain her freedom? If so, how?
    - Why would the Freak Show Owner want to beat up his 'prize' attraction to within an inch of her life? Wouldn't that mean no income?
    - Is this a real world or fantasy? I ask because as first I thought it was a 'new world' but then you go on to talk about the b/f going to school etc. just as in the 'normal' world.
    - And finally, why is the son such a weak-willed person? What makes his fear of his father greater than his love for the MC?

    I got from this a few too many questions that have not been answered.

    I think you either need to address the questions or approach the QL from a different angle.
    Personally, I would start over.
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  7. #7
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Re: Query review, please

    Thank you for a great review. I have had some hits by agents that are interested (cross my fingers they'll bite) but I can always improve, right?

  8. #8
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    Re: Query review, please

    what do you mean 'hits' ?
    Have they asked for partials?
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  9. #9
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    Re: Query review, please

    Avonne, have you done your research on agents, tracked and studied them to know who'd be best for you? There are a lot of sharks out there so you want to know the waters before you go swimming. Having a bad agent is worse than having no agent.

    Here's to hoping you did and these nibbles are from the best.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Re: Query review, please

    Lots of good advice to consider. Thanks

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