3rd try Query- CAPTIVATED

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myangelie04
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3rd try Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by myangelie04 » May 21st, 2010, 4:40 pm

ATTEMPT 3 See, this is why I'm glad I posted here before actually querying. Please keep the good advice coming, people!!!

Dear Agent,

Having superpowers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

As the only child of a telepathic mother and an infinitely strong father, Johnny Hart can read minds, manipulate electricity, and possesses sheer brute strength any guy would kill for. Johnny never asked for any of it. All he wants is to be normal. Ever since his parents died, leaving him in the care of his aunt and uncle, he’s hidden his talents, keeping everyone but his family at arm’s length to protect his secret. Now, his cousin’s new best friend could be his undoing.

When Cat Kelly moves to town, she’s instantly smitten with her new friend Livvie’s hot, mysterious older cousin. She knows he’s hiding something, and as their relationship transforms from young infatuation into a connection between soulmates, Johnny finds it impossible to keep his secret from Cat.

Johnny has major issues threatening his relationship. His parents died while on a mission for The Protectors, a secret team of paranormals. Now the team’s leader, Rodrick, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny to the team. Johnny has no desire to meet the same fate as his parents, and refuses to have any part of it. But when a stranger begins stalking him, he discovers Rodrick is not the only one who covets his talents.

When a vicious assault thrusts Cat into the center of the dangerous tug-of-war over Johnny, he makes a difficult decision: he agrees to do Rodrick’s bidding in exchange for protection for the love of his life. But he may be in over his head when he discovers the scary truth about Rodrick. The Protectors are really a front to conceal a much more twisted agenda: Rodrick’s been experimenting with their DNA in an attempt to engineer his own army of enhanced supersoldiers. As if that’s not bad enough, he plans on using Cat as his first human test subject. Johnny must find a way to release Cat—and himself—from Rodrick’s clutches, before it’s too late.

Complete at approximately 165,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I’m submitting to you because [insert agent specific flattery here]. Thank you for your consideration.



ATTEMPT 2 Here's my second try. The word count is still under construction; with 165000 there's ALOT of fat to trim, which is proving to take quite some time. Anyway, here goes!

Dear Agent,
Having superpowers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

As the only child of a telepathic mother and an infinitely strong father, Johnny can read minds, manipulate electricity, and possesses sheer brute strength that any guy would kill for. But he never asked for any of it. All he ever wanted was to be normal. Ever since his parents died, leaving him in the care of his aunt and uncle, he’s hidden away his talents, keeping everyone but his family at arm’s length in order to protect his secret. But his cousin’s new best friend could be his undoing.

When Cat Kelly moves to town, she’s instantly smitten with her new friend Livvie’s hot, mysterious older cousin. She knows there’s something strange about him, but she had no idea how crazy his secret really was. Not until the day he tells her about his powers—and more.

Johnny has major issues. His parents died while on a mission for The Protectors, a secret team of paranormals. Now the team’s leader, Rodrick, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny to the team. Johnny has no desire to meet the same fate as his parents, and adamantly refuses to have any part of it. But when a stranger begins stalking him, he soon learns that Rodrick is not the only one who covets his talents.

When a vicious assault thrusts Cat into the center of the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he makes the only decision he can: he agrees to do Rodrick’s bidding, in exchange for protection for the love of his life. But he may be in over his head when he discovers the scary truth about Rodrick. The Protectors is really a front to conceal a much more twisted agenda: Rodrick’s been experimenting with their DNA in an attempt to engineer his own army of enhanced supersoldiers. As if that’s not bad enough, he plans on using the very girl he’d promised Johnny he’d protect as his first human test subject. Johnny must find a way to release Cat—and himself—from Rodrick’s clutches, before it’s too late.

Complete at approximately 165,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I’m submitting to you because [insert agent specific flattery here]. Thank you for your consideration.



ATTEMPT 1 Okay, this is my first attempt at a query letter. I've tried to take advice from all the different blogs I've read, but there's nothing like having my own work critiqued, so here it is! Oh, and just FYI, I'm well aware of how crazy the word count is, and I'm working on reducing it while still keeping the essence of my novel. Thanks in advance for the feedback!


Dear Agent,
Cat’s new boyfriend, Johnny, is pretty amazing. He can read minds, control electricity, and look incredibly hot while doing so.

But Johnny has a dark cloud hanging over his head: Rodrick, an old family acquaintance whose very name makes Johnny’s skin crawl, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny onto his secret team of men who possess similar abilities, the same team that Johnny’s parents lived—and died—for. Although Johnny has been working hard to avoid the same fate his parents met, it soon becomes evident that Rodrick may not be the only one who covets Johnny’s talents.

When Cat begins to get caught up in the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he’s forced to sell his soul to the devil in order to protect the love of his life. But he may be in over his head when he discovers a scary truth about Rodrick; his team of men is really a front to conceal a much more sinister and twisted agenda.

Complete at approximately 167,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. While it is a stand-alone novel, there is potential for a sequel, and spin-off characters. I'm submitting to you because [insert agent-specific flattery here]. I look forward to a chance to send you my full manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.
Signed,
Me
Last edited by myangelie04 on May 23rd, 2010, 10:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Emily J
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Re: First Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by Emily J » May 21st, 2010, 10:15 pm

myangelie04 wrote:Okay, this is my first attempt at a query letter. I've tried to take advice from all the different blogs I've read, but there's nothing like having my own work critiqued, so here it is! Oh, and just FYI, I'm well aware of how crazy the word count is, and I'm working on reducing it while still keeping the essence of my novel. Thanks in advance for the feedback!


Dear Agent,
Cat’s new boyfriend, Johnny, is pretty amazing. He can read minds, control electricity, and look incredibly hot while doing so. not a bad opening line, could be even stronger tho, first line is the hook

But Johnny has a dark cloud hanging over his head: Rodrick, an old family acquaintance whose very name makes Johnny’s skin crawl, long embedded clause has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny onto his secret team of men who possess similar abilities, the same team that Johnny’s parents lived—and died—for. okay this sentence is too long and has too much plot Although Johnny has been working hard to avoid the same fate his parents met, it soon becomes evident that Rodrick may not be the only one who covets Johnny’s talents. i imagined the next sentence to develop this more fully, but it doesn't

When Cat begins to get caught up in the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he’s forced to sell his soul to the devil in order to protect the love of his life. wait, literally? or figuratively? i'm confused But he may be in over his head when he discovers a scary truth about Rodrick; we're back to Rodrick? is he the devil? i'm a bit thrown off on the flow of sentences his team of men is really a front to conceal a much more sinister and twisted agenda. don't be vague, crptic, and especially cliched, it doesn't do you any favors

Complete at approximately 167,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. ack this is young adult!! you need to about 100,000 words While it is a stand-alone novel, there is potential for a sequel, and spin-off characters. I'm submitting to you because [insert agent-specific flattery here]. I look forward to a chance to send you my full manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.
Signed,
Me
I don't have enough specifics here. The villain, Rodrick is really nothing but a name to me. I don't have a good sense of the world you have created or how these powers work or if the devil really is involved. More specifics or even better, more unique details to ground your story and make it memorable. And I think you could work on the logical flow of one sentence to the next.

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shadow
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Re: First Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by shadow » May 21st, 2010, 10:19 pm

First queries are toughies! Prepare to revise! lol. Don't worry, I am not taunting you.

Dear Agent,
Cat’s I don't know but cat makes me think of the animal. Maybe its just me and the fact that I never heard that name before. new boyfriend, Johnny, is pretty amazing. He can read minds, control electricity, and look incredibly hot while doing so. Not bad hook actually! Good start, but I think you could add a little more spunk.

But Johnny has a dark cloud hanging over his headJust get to the chase instead of the clouds.: Rodrick, an old family acquaintance whose very name makes Johnny’s skin crawl, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny onto his secret team of men who possess similar abilities, the same team that Johnny’s parents lived—and died—for. That's very long. I think it needs to be broken up. Although Johnny has been working hard to avoid the same fate his parents met, it soon becomes evident that Rodrick may not be the only one who covets Johnny’s talents. How is exactly that Rodrick in any aquantance with J or his parents?

When Cat begins to get caught up in the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he’s forced to sell his soul to the devil in order to protect the love of his life. Get's a tad bit confusing here. But he may be in over his head when he discovers a scary truth about Rodrick; his team of men is really a front to conceal a much more sinister and twisted agenda. What agenda? You shouldn't keep them guessing! They need to know!

Complete at approximately 167,000 words, You are right that is quite long for YACAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. While it is a stand-alone novel, there is potential for a sequel, and spin-off characters.I'm submitting to you because [insert agent-specific flattery here]. I look forward to a chance to send you my full manuscript.Thank you for your consideration.
Signed,
Me

Good LUCK!!!
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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ceiser
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Re: First Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by ceiser » May 22nd, 2010, 1:17 am

Hi, myangelie04. Your idea sounds pretty interesting. Here were my impressions.
myangelie04 wrote: Dear Agent,
Cat’s new boyfriend, Johnny, is pretty amazing. He can read minds, control electricity, and looks (?) just a small thing, but did you want to say that he can look hot or does look hot? incredibly hot while doing so.

But Johnny has a dark cloud hanging over his head: Rodrick, an old family acquaintance whose very name makes Johnny’s skin crawl, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort how about something like: But Johnny's got trouble. He's being relentlessly pursued by an old family acquaintance whose name makes Johhny's skin crawl. Rodrick wants to recruit Johnny him onto his a secret team of men who possess similar abilities first, this is nitpicky again, but I'm guessing that Johnny's mom wasn't a man, and, second, do you have a word that you use to refer to these paranormals? how about paranormals?, the same team that Johnny’s parents lived—and died—for. Although Johnny has been working hard to avoid the same fate his parents met, it soon becomes evident that Rodrick may not be the only one who covets Johnny’s talents. This last sentence can be smoothed and tightened, I think. You might also want to give us some idea of the scope of this threat.

When Cat begins to gets caught up in the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he’s forced to sell his soul to the devil in order to protect the love of his life There are lots of cliches here and the sentence starting with Cat makes it a bit confusing. You might want to consider starting the sentence with something like: When Johnny sees Cat getting drawn into the tug of war... And actually, what does Cat have to do with the story? This really seems like Johnny's story. I'm sure Cat is very nice, but it doesn't seem like the query should start with her.. But he may be in over his head when he discovers a I suppose any good bad guy is prone to have many scary truths, but it made me look twice, maybe the scary truth? scary truth about Rodrick; this should be a colon, not a semicolon his team of men is really a front to conceal a much more sinister and twisted agenda. This doesn't come as much of a shock or surprise, which I think is your intention, because Johnny's opinion of Rodrick and the group are so low.

Complete at approximately 167,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance As others have pointed it, sounds a bit long. While it is a stand-alone novel, there is potential for a sequel, and spin-off characters. I'm submitting to you because [insert agent-specific flattery here]. I look forward to a chance to send you my full manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.
Signed,
Me
Please don't take anything I say as gospel--you can see how many attempts I've made with my query here and I'm still not there. I think you're off to a good start, though, and just need to tidy some things up.

kenpochick
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Re: First Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by kenpochick » May 22nd, 2010, 10:26 am

myangelie04 wrote:Okay, this is my first attempt at a query letter. I've tried to take advice from all the different blogs I've read, but there's nothing like having my own work critiqued, so here it is! Oh, and just FYI, I'm well aware of how crazy the word count is, and I'm working on reducing it while still keeping the essence of my novel. Thanks in advance for the feedback!


Dear Agent,
Cat’s new boyfriend, Johnny, is pretty amazing. He can read minds, control electricity, and look incredibly hot while doing so. (Good )

But Johnny has a dark cloud hanging over his head: Rodrick, an old family acquaintance whose very name makes Johnny’s skin crawl, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny onto his secret team of men who possess similar abilities, the same team that Johnny’s parents lived—and died—for. (This sentence is too long. Try separating it into smaller sentences.) Although Johnny has been working hard to avoid the same fate his parents met, it soon becomes evident that Rodrick may not be the only one who covets Johnny’s talents.

When Cat begins to get caught up in the dangerous tug of war over Johnny, he’s forced to sell his soul to the devil (Do you mean literally the Devil? If so capitalize. If not, try a different phrasing because it's not clear. You've already set it up as a fantasy so this could be literal.)in order to protect the love of his life. But he may be in over his head when he discovers a scary truth about Rodrick; his team of men is really a front to conceal a much more sinister and twisted agenda. (Which is what?)

Complete at approximately 167,000 words (This is way too long. You've got to cut it at least to under 100k. I know everything out there says YA should be between 50k and 99k, sometimes longer for fantasy but that's really long), CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. While it is a stand-alone novel, there is potential for a sequel, and spin-off characters. (Sequel or new books with spin off characters? I'm not sure you need to mention the spin-off character option, that's available with every book) I'm submitting to you because [insert agent-specific flattery here]. I look forward to a chance to send you my full manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.
Signed,
Me
Good luck!

lachrymal
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Re: Revised Query- CAPTIVATED

Post by lachrymal » May 22nd, 2010, 3:10 pm

Having superpowers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

As the only child of a telepathic mother and an infinitely strong father, Johnny can read minds, manipulate electricity, and possesses sheer brute strength that [you can delete this "that"]any guy would kill for. But he never asked for any of it. All he ever wanted was to be normal. Ever [you've got an "ever" here and one in the previous sentence, and you could probably delete both of them] since his parents died, leaving him in the care of his aunt and uncle, he’s hidden away [you can delete "away"] his talents, keeping everyone but his family at arm’s length in order [you can delete "in order"] to protect his secret. But his cousin’s new best friend could be his undoing. [you've got two sentences in this para that begin with "but"--try to make it only one at the most]

When Cat Kelly moves to town, she’s instantly smitten with her new friend Livvie’s hot, mysterious older cousin. She knows there’s something strange about him, but she had no idea how crazy his secret really was. Not until the day he tells her about his powers—and more. [why do we need the "more" here? Do you mean he's telling her about the info you give us below?]

Johnny has major issues. His parents died while on a mission for The Protectors, a secret team of paranormals. Now the team’s leader, Rodrick, has been relentlessly pursuing him in an effort to recruit Johnny to the team [could you just say "relentlessly trying to recruit Johnny"? You could delete a lot of words and give the sentence a lot more impact]. Johnny has no desire to meet the same fate as his parents, and adamantly [you can delete this adjective. It's kind of implied.] refuses to have any part of it. But when a stranger begins stalking him, he soon [you can delete "soon". The sentence means the same thing without it] learns that [you can delete "that"]Rodrick is not the only one who covets his talents.

When a vicious assault thrusts Cat into the center of the dangerous tug of war [I think it needs to be "tug-of-war"] over Johnny, he makes the only decision he can [how about something smoother, like "he makes a fateful decision" or something like that? Also, because there's always a choice, so it wasn't the only decision he could have made.]: he agrees to do Rodrick’s bidding, [you don't need this comma]in exchange for protection for the love of his life [now, I'm assuming you mean Cat here, but you haven't given me much hint of their connection or relationship, so it feels a little jarring]. But he may be in over his head when he discovers the scary truth about Rodrick [3rd sentence in the query beginning with "but"]. The Protectors is really a front to conceal a much more twisted agenda: Rodrick’s been experimenting with their DNA in an attempt to engineer his own army of enhanced supersoldiers. As if that’s not bad enough, he plans on using the very girl he’d promised Johnny he’d protect [how about just saying "he plans on using Cat as his first..."? It's a lot fewer words, and it's not as if you're trying to create suspense, so I see no problem with just using her name] as his first human test subject. Johnny must find a way to release Cat—and himself—from Rodrick’s clutches, before it’s too late.

Complete at approximately 165,000 words, CAPTIVATED is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I’m submitting to you because [insert agent specific flattery here]. Thank you for your consideration.

Based on this query, I suggest one of the things you do in your effort to cut your word count is to very carefully comb your ms for any unnecessary words and phrases. I had to do that with my WIP and was able to delete over 5000 words that way! It won't solve all your word count issues, but it might get you farther than you think! Best of luck--this story sounds fun!

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