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  1. #31
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Thank you all again for your feedback. Below I've posted two more versions. The first one has a lot of detail and the second one only address one conflict in the book. Please let me know what you think.

    One:

    Cendall, the only female Grim Reaper ever born, has a year to prove to her fellow Reapers that she deserves the role.

    Fresh out of training, Cendall is eager to prove herself worthy of the position by being the first to collect every soul on her list. The only thing standing between her and her goal are the Guardian Angels who protect human souls, but Cendall is certain she can handle any Guardian that gets in her way. But nothing could have prepared her for Lacie. This soul is protected by multiple guardians, wanted by demons and most startling of all, she can see Cendall.

    Cendall uses every trick in the book to slip past Lacie's Guardians and collect her soul, but a Demon interferes at the last moment. In the chaos, Cendall accidentally saves Lacie's soul instead, along with Trevor, one of the injured Guardians. Realizing Cendall fears termination for her mistake, Trevor blackmails her with an offer she can't refuse: in exchange for his silence, Cendall must keep Lacie's soul safe from the demon until he recovers from his injuries. Cendall agrees with the intention of checking Lacie’s name off her list the instant Trevor is healed. But as the three of them are forced to work together Cendall begins to question why Lacie’s name was on her list in the first place, and if it even belonged there.

    DEATH HAS A DAUGHTER is young adult novel complete at 61,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


    Two:

    Cendall, the only female Grim Reaper ever born, has a year to prove to her fellow Reapers that she deserves the role.

    Fresh out of training, Cendall is eager to prove herself worthy of the position by being the first to collect every soul on her list. The only thing standing in her way are the Guardian Angels that protect human souls so that Reapers can’t take them. After sixteen years of training, Cendall is certain she's ready to battle any Guardian that attempts to protect a soul she's been assigned to reap.

    But training couldn't have prepared her for Lacie. This soul is protected by multiple guardians, wanted by demons and most startling of all, she can see Cendall. She'll have to use every trick in the book to slip past Lacie's Guardians and collect her soul, but she’s determined to succeed. As the consequence of failure would mean proving to her fellow reapers that they were right, she is unfit for the role of a Grim Reaper.

    DEATH HAS A DAUGHTER is young adult novel complete at 61,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.



  2. #32
    Member
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    Jan 2013
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    80
    The first sentence still doesn't have enough zing. Maybe this will help.

    Cendall has finished Reaper training. The final test is to collect the 16 listed souls within a year. After the final test you can be called a Grim Reaper. Cendall will be the first female Grim Reaper if she can complete the test.

    The first three souls are almost textbook but the fourth was not covered in training. This soul has multiple Guardians and Cendall is competing with Demons for the collection.

    Good luck and beware the trolls under the bridges. Never let them see you sweat because it just enables them.

  3. #33
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Mitten State
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    I reluctantly agree, it still lacks zing. Absolutely.

    Candygirl, if you haven't visited Query Shark yet, hie ye yonder with all due haste (I see you smirking, Mr. Mutt).

    I hope it's not too forward of me to post this excerpt from the Shark's latest feeding. It's a good contrast to the query we are working on here. Most importantly it worked for the agent and she would have requested from it:
    "Dr. Richard Hamilton, head of Physics at Livermore National Lab, is faced with the most difficult decision of his life. The machine he spent his whole career creating in secret, works. It can actually receive a message from the future. The problem is, Ďturn the machine off,í was not the kind of message he was prepared for.

    Sometimes holding on too long costs more than youíre willing to pay. "
    AND that's it, the word count and closing follow. It's succinct, it's big picture, and it's definitely not a mini synopsis by any means. It enticed the agent to want to know more, and that's all a query has to do.

  4. #34
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by GentleReader View Post
    I reluctantly agree, it still lacks zing. Absolutely.

    Candygirl, if you haven't visited Query Shark yet, hie ye yonder with all due haste (I see you smirking, Mr. Mutt).

    I hope it's not too forward of me to post this excerpt from the Shark's latest feeding. It's a good contrast to the query we are working on here. Most importantly it worked for the agent and she would have requested from it:
    "Dr. Richard Hamilton, head of Physics at Livermore National Lab, is faced with the most difficult decision of his life. The machine he spent his whole career creating in secret, works. It can actually receive a message from the future. The problem is, ‘turn the machine off,’ was not the kind of message he was prepared for.

    Sometimes holding on too long costs more than you’re willing to pay. "
    AND that's it, the word count and closing follow. It's succinct, it's big picture, and it's definitely not a mini synopsis by any means. It enticed the agent to want to know more, and that's all a query has to do.
    Yeah that's the funny thing. They tell you all these "rules" you need to follow with queries and then every agent site they like queries that don't follow those rules. You can pretty much whatever you want and you might be successful--but probably not. Craig's version is probably better because it doesn't mention most of that nonsensical Guardians stuff.

  5. #35
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2012
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    CANTON,OHIO
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    129
    Your story has potential but your query lacks the hook necessary to reel an agent in. I would stick with three key points.

    1. Cendall is the first female Grim Reaper. Contrary to popular opinion, agents are human too and we humans picture the Grim Reaper as a genderless skeleton, clad in a hooded robe and armed with a sickle. Your MC is female so I would use that element as bait for your hook.

    2. Lacie’s soul is special. So special that several Angels are guarding it and several Demons are trying to acquire it. Why? That’s a question Cendall should be asking in your query but don’t answer it, let an agent nibble on that for a while.

    3. Cendall is a rookie Reaper. If Lacie’s soul is THAT important why send a novice to collect it instead of an experienced Reaper or two? That’s another question Cendall should ask, but not get answered. All other info is pure window dressing, so use it sparingly.
    Your goal is to get a potential agent to want to know more about your story. In a query, less is often more when it comes to info. You want them to ask for a few pages or a few chapters so they can get a feel for your story.

    Hope this helps and best of luck on your fishing trip!

  6. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CANTON,OHIO
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    129
    Here’s my take on your query.

    Death has a Daughter

    Glad that training is now over, Cendall is anxious to begin her new career and proud to be history’s first female Grim Reaper. Confident that she will be able to collect all the souls on her first list, that confidence is shaken when she encounters Lacie’s soul.

    Lacie is being protected by several Angels from the Demons sent to acquire it and Cendall can’t understand what all the fuss is about. If this one soul is that important surely several of her big brothers would be here to even the odds, for not even they would be cruel enough to expect their inexperienced little sister to fight this many foes alone.

    Almost too late Cendall realizes her overconfidence could spell disaster by not allowing her pride to ask her brothers for help.
    If the Demons win this battle, humanity will be lost forever and she may quickly become the last Grim Reaper in history.

    Hope this helps, and once again, Best of luck.

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