Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

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hanna2494
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Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by hanna2494 » April 13th, 2010, 11:24 am

I was told I needed to include more on my query, so here is what I've come up with. Feel free to offer suggestions and opinions! Thank you.

NEWEST QUERY AT THE END!!


Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers is surprised to find her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She doesn’t understand his desperation for her to abandon him, especially when a storm is rolling in, and does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, Tristan sprouts wings. Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Recovering from the encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. In the meantime, she seeks comfort in her developing friendship with Robert Lynch, a down-to-earth guy in her anatomy class, who like Tristan, has a secret. After kissing Robert, Nicola comes to realize that she is in love with him as well, but despite her mixed feelings, she chooses Tristan’s absent love over Robert’s.

Nicola’s best friend, Tara, who she discovers is Tristan’s sister, leads her to Tristan’s hiding place. Nicola discovers that her beloved Tristan, to prevent his kin of angels—not exactly the spiritual kind she had envision—from finding out how much of their existence she knows, is dying. Trying to save him, Nicola comes to the realization that one will have to die for the other to survive. Meanwhile, Tara is furious seeing the two guys she loves give their lives for Nicola: Tristan literally dying to protect her, and Robert dying to be loved by her. On the day of prom, Tristan leaves so he can die alone, and Nicola reluctantly attends the dance with Robert. Shattered and heartbroken, Nicola is surprised to find a fragile Tristan waiting outside. Coming face-to-face with his kin, Tristan is forced to fight. Nicola is attacked by one of the angels. Tristan comes to her rescue only to find her badly wounded. A gigantic wolf, Robert, finds Tristan standing over Nicola’s broken body and charges after him. Their remorseful betrayer, Tara, appears in the form of a giant bird and faces off with the wolf. In the end, only one survives.

___________

Thank you,
Hanna
Last edited by hanna2494 on April 17th, 2010, 3:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Quill
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by Quill » April 13th, 2010, 12:01 pm

Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers is surprised to find her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She doesn’t understand his desperation for her to abandon him, especially when a storm is rolling in, and does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, Tristan sprouts wings. Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Recovering from the encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. In the meantime, she seeks comfort in her developing friendship with Robert Lynch, a down-to-earth guy in her anatomy class, who like Tristan, has a secret. After kissing Robert, Nicola comes to realize that she is in love with him as well, but despite her mixed feelings, she chooses Tristan’s absent love over Robert’s.

Nicola’s best friend, Tara, who she discovers is Tristan’s sister, leads her to Tristan’s hiding place. Nicola discovers that her beloved Tristan, to prevent his kin of angels—not exactly the spiritual kind she had envision—from finding out how much of their existence she knows, is dying. Trying to save him, Nicola comes to the realization that one will have to die for the other to survive. Meanwhile, Tara is furious seeing the two guys she loves give their lives for Nicola: Tristan literally dying to protect her, and Robert dying to be loved by her. On the day of prom, Tristan leaves so he can die alone, and Nicola reluctantly attends the dance with Robert. Shattered and heartbroken, Nicola is surprised to find a fragile Tristan waiting outside. Coming face-to-face with his kin, Tristan is forced to fight. Nicola is attacked by one of the angels. Tristan comes to her rescue only to find her badly wounded. A gigantic wolf, Robert, finds Tristan standing over Nicola’s broken body and charges after him. Their remorseful betrayer, Tara, appears in the form of a giant bird and faces off with the wolf. In the end, only one survives.
This reads more like a synopsis than a query. There is too much detail, too much info. It appears to tell the whole story.

Besides introducing the main characters and setting, what is important to get across is the central conflict of the book.

At 364 words, it seems too long. Especially with you still needing to add a closing paragraph.

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wilderness
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by wilderness » April 13th, 2010, 4:13 pm

Agree with Quill. I don't know what your previous version was, but this is way too much info. All you want to include is the inciting incident (she finds out her bf is supernatural) and the main conflict with a few carefully selected details that give your story depth and make it unique.

Also, a lot of the sentences are awkward to read. Too many clauses interrupt the flow. Try reading your query aloud and see which sentences you trip over.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by KappaP » April 13th, 2010, 4:19 pm

I know this is NOT what you want to hear-- but I read that and really struggled to find ways that it differed from Twilight. A different supernatural beast, yes..... but the tortured boyfriend, the second-fiddle-great-guy love interest (...who turns out to be a wolf).

Who is the book about, what choice do they have to make, what are the consequences. This should clock in between 150 and 300 words TOTAL (including closing, etc). GIve us some details, yes, but don't overload on them.
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kenpochick
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by kenpochick » April 13th, 2010, 4:21 pm

The wording is better than your original but I agree with the others, it reads like a synopsis rather than a query. Try just focusing on who the main characters are, what the issue is that they face and how they overcome it.

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by JTB » April 13th, 2010, 5:22 pm

You did need a little more in your query - but not that much :-) - I think you're doing what I do - trying out different things till you get there and I'm guessing that's about what it takes.

Now you've got this info, you should be able to do what has already been mentioned, cut to the core of the story - giving it drama, conflict and a reason for us to wanna read the book
j

hanna2494
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by hanna2494 » April 14th, 2010, 11:39 am

Query Attempt # 2

Dear [Agent Name]:

Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers is surprised to find her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She doesn’t understand his desperation for her to abandon him, especially when a storm is rolling in, and does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, the unimaginable happens, Tristan sprouts wings. Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with the monster lurking in her dreams, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. Tristan, to prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, is dying. Now Nicola has two choices. She can out herself to the others, giving her life to save Tristan. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

GILDED WINGS is a 90,000-word YA fantasy novel.

Than you for your time,

My Name
_____________

Thank you,
Hanna
Last edited by hanna2494 on April 16th, 2010, 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by A.M.Kuska » April 14th, 2010, 11:58 am

Keep the original also. While the people here are right and you don't want it for queries, a well written synopsis is hard to come by. You've been handed a gift. Take it!

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by JTB » April 15th, 2010, 7:15 am

'

much improved now ....

your first para might read better like this ....


Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers finds her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, the unimaginable happens, Tristan sprouts wings.

or

When seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers finds her boyfriend Tristan chained up in the driveway, the unimaginable happens, he sprouts wings.

Your second para (a couple of sentences) is about the attack and disappearance and her need to tell someone

your third: the dilemma, conflict and quest


getting there .....

j

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by Joel Q » April 15th, 2010, 2:15 pm

Much better than the first version. Nice revision.
hanna2494 wrote: Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers is surprised to find her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She doesn’t understand his desperation for her to abandon him, especially when a storm is rolling in, and does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, the unimaginable happens, Tristan sprouts wings. Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

I agree with JTB of cutting the first paragraph a bit. My reason though, Tristan almost kills her, so he is not a very likable charater and so why would she risk her life to save him...that's too much for a query to handle. There's enough tension with the surprise of wings. Maybe you could tone it down and say Nicola was hurt as he tried to flee (not attack) if you feel its important for the query.


Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with the monster lurking in her dreams, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. Tristan, to prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, is dying. I don't like that sentence, too long of a clause in the middle. Now Nicola has two choices. She can out herself to the others, the angels? giving her life to save Tristan. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

GILDED WINGS is a 90,000-word YA fantasy novel.

Than you for your time,

My Name
_____________

Thank you,
Hanna

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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by Ghost in the Machine » April 15th, 2010, 2:25 pm

Hi Hanna,

Here’s some ideas:

Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers is surprised to find her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. She doesn’t understand his desperation for her to abandon him, especially when a storm is rolling in, and does her best to liberate him. But when the rain comes in contact with his skin, the unimaginable happens, Tristan sprouts wings. Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Thoughts: Wow. This is a strong image and I like the feeling of chaos and tension. My only twinge is POV. I’d be tempted not to say why Tristan attacks Nicola and write it more from her POV, even if you stick to third person. It would also be nice to have some details added like where Nicola is coming from, whose driveway this is, and what exactly is Tristan chained to?

Suggestion: Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers returns home from soccer practice to find her boyfriend Tristan chained to her mother’s car. Horrified at the bruises on his face and blood on his shirt, she doesn’t understand why he screams at her to leave, now. Thunder booms in the sky after a flash of lightening. Nicola ignores his anger, doing her best to liberate him. But when the first splattering of raindrops strike his skin, the unimaginable happens—Tristan sprouts wings.

Comment: Now that might be a nice place to stop the paragraph. Consider leaving the attack for the next one.


Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with the monster lurking in her dreams, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. Tristan, to prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, is dying. Now Nicola has two choices. She can out herself to the others, giving her life to save Tristan. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

Thoughts: The ending line is strong, but this paragraph is confusing. Please tell me where I am wrong. Tristan is an angel, but not necessarily in a religious way. He and his kin are supposed to keep their true identities a secret. Nicola now knows the secret, so she must be killed. Tristan is dying, but Nicola can save him by letting his kin kill her? This is what is confusing. How would this save Tristan? What is he dying of? An angel-disease or is someone or something out to get him?

What is the monster lurking in her dreams? Is she some kind of strange being? Or is it something else?

With these questions, I’d need to know what’s really going on to make helpful suggestions on the second paragraph. I’ll check back later.

Also, I have to agree with KappaP. After reading the longer version, I can’t help but think of Twilight with the love triangle, angel instead of vampire, and werewolf. Your second query is miles better that the first, though. Good luck!

Ghost in the Machine

hanna2494
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by hanna2494 » April 16th, 2010, 10:20 pm

Query:

When Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers goes outside to take out the trash, she finds her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. Horrified at the bruises on his face and blood on his shirt, she doesn’t understand his raging desperation for her to leave, now. Thunder booms in the sky after a flash of lightning. Nicola ignored his plead, doing her best to liberate him. But when the first splattering raindrops strike his skin, the unimaginable happens—Tristan sprouts wings.

Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with Tristan, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. To prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, Tristan is dying—refusing to enter his divine stage by staying human. Coming to a realization, now Nicola has two choices. She can out herself to the angels, giving her life in the process to save Tristan’s. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

___________

Thank you.
Last edited by hanna2494 on April 17th, 2010, 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yoshima
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by Yoshima » April 17th, 2010, 12:59 pm

Hey hanna. Query hell sure is fun, isn't it? :) Hope this helps as you polish your query.
hanna2494 wrote:NEWEST QUERY:

When Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers goes outside to take out the trash, she finds her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. Horrified at the bruises on his face and blood on his shirt (not sure this is necessary, because you already said he was beaten by a street gang), she doesn’t understand his raging desperation for her to leave, now. Thunder booms in the sky after a flash of lightning (well, this is kind of an obvious statement...thunder always booms after lightning.). Nicola ignored (ignores, keep it present tense) his plead (plea or pleading), doing her best to liberate him. But when the first splattering raindrops strike his skin, the unimaginable happens—Tristan sprouts wings. Hmm. Interesting. Haven't heard of rain being a trigger for angels before. :)

Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity (she's already seen the wings, so isn't the damage already done?), Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears.

Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a (an)-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with Tristan, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. To prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, Tristan is dying—refusing to enter his divine stage by staying human (wondering if you should switch around "refusing..." and the dying thing, since dying is a consequence of refusing to enter his divine stage, right? Also, "non-spiritual" and "divine" kind of contradict each other. Maybe use another word?). Coming to a realization (cut this phrase), now Nicola has two choices. She can out (can out? forgetting a word here?) herself to the angels, giving her life in the process to save Tristan’s. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

I hope this helps you! It's so difficult to make your entire book come out right when you've only got about 250 words. I think you've got a good start here, though. Good luck! :)
___________

Thank you.

Joel Q
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by Joel Q » April 17th, 2010, 2:44 pm

hanna2494 wrote:NEWEST QUERY:

When Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers goes outside to take out the trash, (skip the trash, I assume it has nothing to do with the story- use the space for more relevant story info) she finds her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. (This gang, is it real, or is that just what he tells her... or is it the other angels that did it... I ask because I wonder if during the rest of the story the gang is something that adds conflict later) Horrified at the bruises on his face and blood on his shirt, she doesn’t understand his raging desperation for her to leave, now. Thunder booms in the sky after a flash of lightning. Nicola ignored his plead, doing her best to liberate him. But when the first splattering raindrops strike his skin, the unimaginable happens—Tristan sprouts wings.

Consumed by an overwhelming instinct to protect his identity, Tristan attacks Nicola, nearly ending her life before he disappears. (I still don't like the attack part--makes him unlikable and/or her stupid for staying w/ him, to much to explain in a query,)

Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-a-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with Tristan, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. To prevent his kin of non-spiritual (are their two kinds of angels in the story, spiritual and non-spiritual? or are all of them non? If all are non, I'd leave it out or find a better place in the query to tell us this) angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, Tristan is dying—refusing to enter his divine stage by staying human.(I understand what you are trying to say in this sentence but as written it doesn't work for me...dying to prevent... And are the othe angels going to kill him or by refusing to change, does that kill him AND how does that save Nicola Coming to a realization, now Nicola has two choices. She can out herself to the angels, giving her life in the process to save Tristan’s. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.

You got some good stuff here, I'm just having a hard time with the logical steps.
JQ


Thank you.

hanna2494
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Re: Query: A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER

Post by hanna2494 » April 17th, 2010, 3:56 pm

NEWEST QUERY:

When Seventeen-year-old Nicola Summers goes outside to take out the trash, she finds her boyfriend Tristan chained in the driveway after being beaten by a street gang. Horrified at the bruises on his face and blood on his shirt, she doesn’t understand his raging desperation for her to leave, now. Nicola ignores his plea, doing her best to liberate him. But when the first splattering raindrops strike his skin, the unimaginable happens—Tristan sprouts wings.

Recovering from the frightening encounter, Nicola’s not sure if she should confide in someone, pack her bags and move to her mother’s, or search for her winged-monster-of-an-ex-boyfriend. When she comes face-to-face with Tristan, Nicola discovers a truth that is more heartbreaking that anything she imagined. Refusing to enter his angelic stage to prevent his kin of non-spiritual angels from finding out how much of their existence Nicola knows, Tristan is dying. Now Nicola has two choices. She can expose herself to the angels, giving her life in the process to save Tristan’s. Or she can let her beloved Tristan die to save herself.

Either way, one has to die for the other to survive.
_________

Thank you.

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