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  1. #1
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    WHERE ANGELS LOSE THEIR WAY Query help

    Hello all. I have just finished a draft of my query letter and I'd appreciate some feedback. It's hard to step back and see it through the eyes of somebody who doesn't know the story as well as I do. Any notes or advice at all would be very welcome.


    Imaginary Agent
    Imagination Agency
    123 Imagination Lane
    Imaginationville, Imaginary zip code

    Dear Ms. Agent,

    Based on your recent sale of the new adult fantasy A BOOK THEY SOLD, I think you may be interested in my debut novel. WHERE ANGELS LOSE THEIR WAY (97, 000 words) is a new adult novel that is a paranormal exploration of the difference between the person you think you are, and the person you really are.

    Discovering that youíre failing out of university can ruin your day. Discovering that youíre a monster Ė thatís another story.

    Christine Delacroix is on the verge of greatness, at least in her head. Behind her confidence is Chrisís fundamental belief in who she is. She is a good student and doggedly pursues what she considers to be right, despite being unable to see moral greys. When her first failing grade threatens her rigid sense of self, she feels compelled to restore her former confidence at any cost.

    Itís then that Chris stumbles upon a terrible secret Ė the existence of demons. Without hesitation, she joins an underground group of demon hunters. They blindly believe that demons must be exterminated for the safety of humanity. They know almost nothing about the creatures they slaughter, and they donít want to know more. Chris is comforted by their certainty, which affirms her strict right-and-wrong view of the world.

    Otherwise indistinguishable from humans, adult demons can manifest demonic traits at will, sprouting claws, fangs, and tentacles. The variation is endless. One thing all demons have in common is they canít manifest until they undergo a series of terrifying nightmares Ė the same nightmares plaguing Chris.

    Confronted by the awful revelation that she is, in fact, a demon, Chris is forced to make a choice: she can hold onto her past perceptions and destroy her own kind, or accept the difficult truth that how we cope with our darkness is what makes us truly human.

    WHERE ANGELS LOSE THEIR WAY is a stand-alone novel with series potential. I have included the first ten pages per your request.

    Thank you for your time and your consideration,

    My Name
    My email
    My phone



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    You can lose that first paragraph. Don't change your character's name in the middle of the query. Don't tell them it's stand-alone with series potential; they can figure that part out. The rest there's some detail you can eliminate to make it flow better. I'm not sure why anyone would join a group of demon hunters "without hesitation."

    Overall your story seems pretty generic. Swap "demon" for vampire, werewolf, angel, siren, mutant, superhero, mermaid, psychic, or whatever other thing and it's the kind of story that's been done to death.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Here's a secret...the existence of demons is no secret to a few billion people. And to the best of my knowledge, demons are spiritual entities. They may possess a physical being, but they themselves have no physical body. But okay, it's a fantasy.

    Christine does not sound like she has a "strict right-and wrong view of the world". She sounds like a weak, insecure, narcissist willing to do anything to promote her own importance. It strikes me that you're bent on presenting the idea that there is no real right and wrong, and people who live their lives counter to this idea are bigoted, judgmental, and ignorant. There's only Things That Happen, and it's only our perceptions that interpret these things as right or wrong, and the only thing that really matters is how we cope with these things. I know it's fantasy, but sheesh...any story needs some plausibility, lol.

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
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    Ha, if I don't like something John has to not like it even more.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Actually, I think it's a real rarity when we agree on anything, and when we do, you don't seem to like it too much, lol.

  6. #6
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    Actually, I think it's a real rarity when we agree on anything, and when we do, you don't seem to like it too much, lol.
    In this case I can see your point. From the query Chris sounds like someone I wouldn't want to know. The query makes her sound like a rigid Type-A workaholic who only stops slaughtering demons once she starts to realize she might be one. If it's the author's intent to make her seem like a jerk then job well done.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your input. Your words were harsh, but incredibly helpful. The issue with Chris' character in particular is one I definitely needed to hear. I spent this afternoon reworking the whole thing and though I'm nowhere near finished, I can tell it's gotten much better.

    Thanks again for the critique.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Well, great. I hope you re-post when you finish your re-work.

  9. #9
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    Hey,

    I just had a few other things to add. To be completely honest, I think failing out of your university qualifies for more than a bad day. Its not "i'm a monster" bad, but still. It seems like an unnecessary thing to downplay.

    Also, you start by saying she is failing out of school, then you switch to just failing one class. To me, that is confusing because they are two very different things.

    Lastly, would anyone really join an organization of demon hunters without any kind of thought? Typically I would assume that involves some danger and specific skills that a university student might not be ready to take on. Especially if she is so concerned about one bad grade. Just the thoughts of a beginner. Take them or leave them

  10. #10
    Rogue Mutt
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    Dang, I was licking my chops thinking there was finally some action and it's just someone replying to a six-week-old thread.

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