Night Butterfly - latest query draft!

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Yoshima
Posts: 93
Joined: January 3rd, 2010, 4:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Night Butterfly - third attempt - feedback welcomed!

Post by Yoshima » January 3rd, 2010, 5:17 pm

I think your query is pretty darn fabulous as is, but I just wanted to comment on the last paragraph:

"Anya escapes her captor with a disc containing incriminating evidence. Getting hold of that disc is André’s only chance of exposing the key players involved in London’s brutal underworld of sex slavery. Valentina is André’s best bet of finding Anya, but he is distracted by his feelings for her, and the very men he is chasing find Anya first. They also take Valentina."

I think the third sentence needs rephrasing. Right now, it sounds like his feelings for Valentina are the reason Anya is captured by your villains. That doesn't make much sense to me, since I was under the impression that neither Andre nor the "men" could find Anya and I assume the "men" operate independently of Andre's feelings. I think you're trying to say that Andre is distracted and because of that he doesn't get to Anya in time to save her; if that's the case, then in the end you got your point across...but I had to reread it multiple times first. It's mostly that I know you can do better. :)

I hate to say this, but after the last sentence, I was left wondering not what happens next, but how the heck Andre let Valentina get captured. Since she's his lead to finding Anya (and someone he cares about), I assumed he was keeping a close eye on her. It just doesn't seem right that all the sudden she gets captured. I don't think you should abandon the dramatic one-liner idea altogether (I love the device of the dramatic one-liner, actually), but I wanted to give you my gut reaction to the one you have now because I'd hate for an agent to have it down the road. Hope this helps you in your revisions!

c.ska
Posts: 25
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 6:22 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Night Butterfly - third attempt - feedback welcomed!

Post by c.ska » January 5th, 2010, 8:27 am

First out, RiayNight and Yoshima, thank you both! I must admit I was hoping to get away with the third draft as my final one...BUT nothing in life is easy, right? I've slept on the new feedback a few nights and now have somthing of a revision to show for it. I hope it answers a few questions. However, I have applied a slightly cautious approach, changing as little as I can possibly get away with. Having said that, RiayNight, I really appreciated your comments, but it proved a tricky task finding a happy medium between draft 1 and 2. Maybe at a later stage!

I plan to start sending out the finished query next week...thanks again for all the invaluable help! And I mean that. Now, I present to you, THE FOURTH DRAFT!

Dear Agent,

(Personalised sentence)

In Russia there is no city, town or village that has not seen some of its girls disappear. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, pretty young girls became Russia’s best export. A published poet with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics, I based my novel NIGHT BUTTERFLY around research on this lost generation of girls.

When 14-year-old Anya Lebedeva goes missing, her older sister Valentina must leave her home in a small village outside Moscow to find her. The leads take Valentina to Paradise Seven, a strip club in London’s East End, where she is drawn into a dangerous world of prostitution, violence and exploitation.

Valentina works as a stripper to get closer to the owner, Mr X, the only link to her sister’s disappearance. Meanwhile Anya is sold to Archibald Stevens, the owner of ‘the Villa’. DI André Johnson is part of the vice squad raiding the notorious Villa - finding ten identical girl’s rooms, complete with pink wallpapers and Barbie dolls, but no girls.

Anya escapes her captor with a disc containing incriminating evidence. Getting hold of that disc is André’s only chance of exposing the key players involved in London’s brutal underworld of sex slavery. Valentina is André’s best bet of finding Anya, but distracted by his feelings for her, he realises too late that he has underestimated the enemy. The men he has spent months undercover making a case against, not only get to Anya first, they now have Valentina too.

NIGHT BUTTERFLY is a 65,000 word gritty suspense novel with romantic elements. Please find included a synopsis and the first few pages. Many thanks for your time.


Sincerely,

Yoshima
Posts: 93
Joined: January 3rd, 2010, 4:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Night Butterfly - latest query draft!

Post by Yoshima » January 7th, 2010, 1:51 am

The first thing I noticed this time was that the first paragraph kind of throws me. You're telling me the setting of the book and I was getting all into it...then I read "A published poet with..." Question mark above my head for a second. Maybe save your explanation for writing it for your personalized agent blah blah blah section, that way the reader isn't pulled out of your setting to read about your qualifications, you know?

In paragraph two, you say Valentina is "drawn into to the dangerous world..." It's the "drawn into" that I'm so-so about. It makes it seem like she's helplessly dragged into the situation, rather than doing it intentionally to find her sister.

If I was reading this for the first time, I would think "what's the Villa? what are they notorious for?" Maybe one or two word explanation about it would help.

I would take out the comma after "case against" in the last paragraph.

These are all just suggestions, again. It's looking good! :)

lexcade
Posts: 107
Joined: January 2nd, 2010, 12:57 am
Location: northern ky/cincinnati
Contact:

Re: Night Butterfly - third attempt - feedback welcomed!

Post by lexcade » January 7th, 2010, 6:35 am

c.ska wrote:First out, RiayNight and Yoshima, thank you both! I must admit I was hoping to get away with the third draft as my final one...BUT nothing in life is easy, right? I've slept on the new feedback a few nights and now have somthing of a revision to show for it. I hope it answers a few questions. However, I have applied a slightly cautious approach, changing as little as I can possibly get away with. Having said that, RiayNight, I really appreciated your comments, but it proved a tricky task finding a happy medium between draft 1 and 2. Maybe at a later stage!

I plan to start sending out the finished query next week...thanks again for all the invaluable help! And I mean that. Now, I present to you, THE FOURTH DRAFT!

Dear Agent,

(Personalised sentence)

In Russia there is no city, town or village that has not seen some of its girls disappear. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, pretty young girls became Russia’s best export. A published poet with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics, I based my novel NIGHT BUTTERFLY around research on this lost generation of girls. even though every agent is different, i'd still start with the story instead of your credentials and reason for writing it. great info to have, just not in the best spot.

When 14-year-old Anya Lebedeva goes missing, her older sister Valentina must leave her home in a small village outside Moscow to find her. The leads take Valentina to Paradise Seven, a strip club in London’s East End, where she is drawn into a dangerous world of prostitution, violence and exploitation. why? what draws her in? the possibility of finding her sister? leprechauns? how does she come to find out about Mr. X?

Valentina works as a stripper to get closer to the owner, Mr X, the only link to her sister’s disappearance. Meanwhile Anya is sold to Archibald Stevens, the owner of ‘the Villa’. DI André Johnson is part of the vice squad raiding the notorious Villa - finding ten identical girl’s rooms, complete with pink wallpapers and Barbie dolls, but no girls.

Anya escapes her captor with a disc containing incriminating evidence. Getting hold of that disc is André’s only chance of exposing the key players involved in London’s brutal underworld of sex slavery. Valentina is André’s best bet of finding Anya, but distracted by his feelings for her, he realises too late that he has underestimated the enemy. The men he has spent months undercover making a case against, not only get to Anya first, they now have Valentina too. now we've lost their first connection, where she strips for him. i guess we could assume, given what they're both doing, but apart from her connection to Anya, what makes Valentina the special stripper Andre turns to?

NIGHT BUTTERFLY is a 65,000 word gritty suspense novel with romantic elements. Please find included a synopsis and the first few pages. Many thanks for your time.


Sincerely,
since i stumbled in long after your first post, i have to say first that i'm extremely impressed by A) your topic, B) your execution, and C) the vast improvements from the first draft to this one. from what i can see, you're nearly there. just needs a little more TLC. great job!
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

c.ska
Posts: 25
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 6:22 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Night Butterfly - latest query draft!

Post by c.ska » January 7th, 2010, 6:57 am

thank you both! I really appreciate your comments...c.ska

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest