new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

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BethC
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new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by BethC » April 8th, 2010, 11:21 am

I'm being slowly tortured by the Query Demon....so any help, suggestions will be appreciated. I have no problems with criticism, so do your best. (Just a note on the word count. when I completed the first draft it was 134,000 words...I never tell a short story...and I've revised to 103,000). maybe still too long, but I'm much happier with it now. I've also struggled with novel description...YA for sure...romantic/suspense...but also paranormal with the visions and all...YA paranormal romantic/suspense just seems too long....ah the demons that haunt me!

Dear (Agent),

At eighteen Presley O'Connor relies on her ability to read other's emotions to keep her life in a happy balance. So when an unexpected birthday greeting arrives threatening her life, she believes her little talent will save her. But she is no match for what is coming...for the two men determined to have her. One in death. One for life.

Presley isn't the only one affected by the man that has marked her as his next victim. Reid Montgomery, a guy she shamelessly admits to lusting after and who is away at college, begins to have visions of a girl abducted and savagely murdered. Visions aren't new to Reid, but this one is different. This time he is compelled by the legend of his family to save her. To fail will destroy him.

When the killer sets his plan in motion, Reid rushes back to his hometown. Not wanting anyone to know he can see the future, he lets Presley believe saving her is no more than his being in the right place at the right time. She knows he's hiding something, but grateful for his actions, she is willing to accept his explanations. Soon there is more between them than just gratitude. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Fearing Presley won't want him if she learns he has visions and they're the result of a 400 year old spell--a spell with conditions--he pushes her away. Willing to accept anything that will bring Reid back into her life, she is determined to prove she would have loved him ...even without the magic.

My YA romantic/suspense novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY,is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Name and contact info)

Emily J
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Re: new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by Emily J » April 8th, 2010, 12:00 pm

BethC wrote:I'm being slowly tortured by the Query Demon....so any help, suggestions will be appreciated. I have no problems with criticism, so do your best. (Just a note on the word count. when I completed the first draft it was 134,000 words...I never tell a short story...and I've revised to 103,000). maybe still too long, but I'm much happier with it now. I've also struggled with novel description...YA for sure...romantic/suspense...but also paranormal with the visions and all...YA paranormal romantic/suspense just seems too long....ah the demons that haunt me!

Dear (Agent),

At eighteen need comma here Presley O'Connor relies on her ability to read other's emotions to keep her life in a happy balance. So when an unexpected birthday greeting arrives threatening her life, not sure how an "unexpected birthday greeting" can threaten your life, ??? (grrr, happy birthday *shakes fist* or like a birthday card that shoots acid??) she believes her little talent will save her. but save her from what exactly? But she is no match for what is coming...for the two men determined to have her. One in death. One for life. You are being too cryptic. Queries are too short for vague clues. Be more specific

Presley isn't the only one affected by the man that has marked her as his next victim. What man? The birthday guy? "next victim" is he a serial killer? *is confused* Reid Montgomery, a guy she shamelessly admits to lusting after and who is away at college, this clause is too long and awkward begins to have visions of a girl abducted and savagely murdered. Visions aren't new to Reid, but this one is different. This time he is compelled by the legend of his family to save her. what legend? To fail will destroy him.

When the killer sets his plan in motion, birthday guy? what plan? Reid rushes back to his hometown. Not wanting anyone to know he can see the future, he lets Presley believe saving her is no more than his being in the right place at the right time. so he saved her? i think? She knows he's hiding something, but grateful for his actions, what actions? what does he literally do? she is willing to accept his explanations. Soon there is more between them than just gratitude. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Fearing Presley won't want him if she learns he has visions and they're the result of a 400 year old spell--a spell with conditions--he pushes her away. again your subordinate clauses are too long and I find myself stumbling over them Willing to accept anything that will bring Reid back into her life, another long clause! she is determined to prove she would have loved him ...even without the magic.

My YA romantic/suspense novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY,is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Name and contact info)
Got to be honest, I literally do not know what happens in your manuscript. I think this query raises more questions than it answers. I mean I get a vague idea, but you need to clearly delineate the plot. Who does what, where, to whom? What choice must the MC make? More specifics please, because this sounds like a story I would be really interested in!

JTB
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Re: new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by JTB » April 8th, 2010, 12:15 pm

cut your query down to one paragraph first - as if it's the back cover blurb and then work up from there. get to the core of the story and then see what you need to add if anything

at the moment as Emily says - tis very confusing

brandi_fey
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Re: new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:46 pm

BethC wrote:I'm being slowly tortured by the Query Demon....so any help, suggestions will be appreciated. I have no problems with criticism, so do your best. (Just a note on the word count. when I completed the first draft it was 134,000 words...I never tell a short story...and I've revised to 103,000). maybe still too long, but I'm much happier with it now. I've also struggled with novel description...YA for sure...romantic/suspense...but also paranormal with the visions and all...YA paranormal romantic/suspense just seems too long....ah the demons that haunt me!

Dear (Agent),

At Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor relies on her ability to read other's emotions to keep her life in a happy balance. (This is a good start, piqued my interest.) So when an unexpected birthday greeting arrives threatening her life, (Huh? You need to be more specific on this. What is it exactly and HOW does it threaten her life?)she believes her little talent will save her (in what way?). But she is no match for what is coming:for the two men determined to have her. One in death. One for life.(I don't really understand this. Is one trying to kill her and the other trying to keep her alive? If so, you could just say that and then why.)

Presley isn't the only one affected by the man that has marked her as his next victim. Reid Montgomery, a guy she shamelessly admits to lusts after and who is away at college, begins to have visions of a girl abducted and savagely murdered. Visions aren't new to Reid, but this one is different. This time he is compelled by the legend of his family (what legend?to save her. To fail will destroy him(why?).

When the killer sets his plan in motion, Reid rushes back to his hometown. Not wanting anyone to know he can see the future, he lets Presley believe saving her is no more than his being in the right place at the right time. She knows he's hiding something, but grateful for his actions, she is willing to accept his explanations. Soon there is more between them than just gratitude. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated.(I really like that sentence.) Fearing Presley won't want him if she learns he has visions and they're the result of a 400 year old spell--a spell with conditions (what conditions?)--he pushes her away. Willing to accept anything that will bring Reid back into her life, she is determined to prove she would have loved him ...even without the magic.

My YA paranormal romance romantic/suspense novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY,is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Name and contact info)
Though what I managed to glean from this query intrigues me, an agent will desire more specifics. We need to know EXACTLY what is going on here, not vague references. Including the specifics will not only make your plot come through clearer, but will also reveal how unique your story is... both things agents are looking for. Best of luck with this!

KappaP
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Re: new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by KappaP » April 8th, 2010, 1:42 pm

BethC wrote:I'm being slowly tortured by the Query Demon....so any help, suggestions will be appreciated. I have no problems with criticism, so do your best. (Just a note on the word count. when I completed the first draft it was 134,000 words...I never tell a short story...and I've revised to 103,000). maybe still too long, but I'm much happier with it now. I've also struggled with novel description...YA for sure...romantic/suspense...but also paranormal with the visions and all...YA paranormal romantic/suspense just seems too long....ah the demons that haunt me!

Dear (Agent),

At eighteen Presley O'Connor relies on her ability to read other's emotions to keep her life in a happy balancei had to rely on your description of paranormal YA to realize reading emotions was some type of special power. We can all read emotions. If it's hyper sensitive to a paranormal degree, I'd find a way to make that clearer. I mean... everyone on earth relies on their ability to read others' emotions to keep our lives a happy balance.. So when an unexpected birthday greeting arrives threatening her life, she believes her little talent will save her. But she is no match for what is coming...for the two men determined to have her. One in death. One for life. this is basically where you lost me. a) i am imagining a hallmark card saying "LOLZ I ARE GOING TO KILLZ YOU ^.^" b) its in no way explained how reading emotions is going to save her from a murderer. c) this doesn't really explain much... "one in death" as in one wants her dead? Or one wants her after she's died?

Presley isn't the only one affected by the man that has marked her as his next victim. Reid Montgomery, a guy she shamelessly admits to lusting after and who is away at college, begins to have visions of a girl abducted and savagely murdered. Visions aren't new to Reid, but this one is different. This time he is compelled by the legend of his family to save her. To fail will destroy him. There's a lot of vagueness and awkwardness here. I have NO idea who wants to kill Prelsey or why (which seems pretty crucial?) and saying "the legend of his family" and "to fail will destroy him" are so vague its meaningless. WHAT is the legend? WHY will it destroy him? If he has visions everyday, WHY is this one different? If you can't answer all these questions in the query, find ways to bring it up that don't produce more questions than they answer. "

When the killer sets his plan in motion, Reid rushes back to his hometown. Not wanting anyone to know he can see the future, he lets Presley believe saving her is no more than his being in the right place at the right time. She knows he's hiding something, but grateful for his actions, she is willing to accept his explanations. Soon there is more between them than just gratitude. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Fearing Presley won't want him if she learns he has visions and they're the result of a 400 year old spell--a spell with conditions--he pushes her away. Willing to accept anything that will bring Reid back into her life, she is determined to prove she would have loved him ...even without the magic.

My YA romantic/suspense novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY,is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Name and contact info)
There are basically two stories that I can see here and I think you need to work on entwining them together more effectively. The protagonist having a murderer after her is a pretty big thing, but I have absolutely NO answers about that part of the plot. Who? Why? He's targeted her, so there are clearly reasons, but you don't even hint to them. Without understanding that, I just don't really care too much about what's going on because I don't connect to the characters. Also, the majority of this query focuses on Reid-- it seems like HE is the one with choices to make and consequences, not Presley. I would focus the query around him if this is the case, because otherwise it seems disjointed.
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BethC
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Re: new query for I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, PLEASE HELP

Post by BethC » April 8th, 2010, 3:00 pm

A big thanks to everyone who has posted so far. I will take all the advice and work on this. I'll post another try soon. Beth

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