Query for Darkness Becomes Her

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suesan0814
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by suesan0814 » June 22nd, 2010, 5:53 pm

Jeanne Bannon wrote:I've never written a query before so any and all help is appreciated
Thanks in advance!


Hey, Jeannie, girl. Had to let you know I was here. Thanks for giving me the heads up on the site. I posted a query! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I've already gotten some great suggestions!

So, let me put my 2cents in... again! LOL


Dear

Please consider representing my novel Darkness Becomes Her.

Darkness Becomes Her is a paranormal thriller of 105,000 words. [It tells the story of] ***I'd take this out and start a new paragraph with Dane Westwood...

Dane Westwood, is a spiritual warrior/vigilante. She possesses the ability to not only peer beyond this reality into the world of spirit, but she’s able to see entity attachments in the energy fields of those around her.

Start another paragraph here. Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity by a mysterious Dark Angel. The Dark Angel guides the women, leading them to Costa Rica and a handsome and gifted healer named Gregorio Pappas. Although Gregorio can perform miracles, he is also tangled up in a plot that involves reducing the world’s population.

Move this down also.The book culminates with Dane’s decision to abandon June to join the handsome healer in his diabolical plot. She believes she loves him, but it is a power beyond her that’s driving her into Gregorio’s arms [and] I'd cut this for nefarious reasons.

Presently, I work as a freelance editor and have done so full-time for almost twenty years. I am a former freelance writer with a journalism degree and have published several short stories and articles.

You can contact me at any time. I hope my book’s premise has intrigued you. I look forward to your response.

Since I've read the novel, (and you know I loved it) I can say that you've done a great job if laying out the story in a so few words. Well done!

Sincerely,

Jeanne Bannon

Jeanne Bannon
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by Jeanne Bannon » June 22nd, 2010, 6:08 pm

suesan0814 wrote:
Jeanne Bannon wrote:I've never written a query before so any and all help is appreciated
Thanks in advance!


Hey, Jeannie, girl. Had to let you know I was here. Thanks for giving me the heads up on the site. I posted a query! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I've already gotten some great suggestions!

So, let me put my 2cents in... again! LOL


Dear

Please consider representing my novel Darkness Becomes Her.

Darkness Becomes Her is a paranormal thriller of 105,000 words. [It tells the story of] ***I'd take this out and start a new paragraph with Dane Westwood...

Dane Westwood, is a spiritual warrior/vigilante. She possesses the ability to not only peer beyond this reality into the world of spirit, but she’s able to see entity attachments in the energy fields of those around her.

Start another paragraph here. Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity by a mysterious Dark Angel. The Dark Angel guides the women, leading them to Costa Rica and a handsome and gifted healer named Gregorio Pappas. Although Gregorio can perform miracles, he is also tangled up in a plot that involves reducing the world’s population.

Move this down also.The book culminates with Dane’s decision to abandon June to join the handsome healer in his diabolical plot. She believes she loves him, but it is a power beyond her that’s driving her into Gregorio’s arms [and] I'd cut this for nefarious reasons.

Presently, I work as a freelance editor and have done so full-time for almost twenty years. I am a former freelance writer with a journalism degree and have published several short stories and articles.

You can contact me at any time. I hope my book’s premise has intrigued you. I look forward to your response.

Since I've read the novel, (and you know I loved it) I can say that you've done a great job if laying out the story in a so few words. Well done!

Sincerely,

Jeanne Bannon
Hey Susan - thanks so much for everything. Reading and reviewing my book and helping out with the query. You've been invaluable, truly, I really mean it. But who would have thought writing a query would be so damned hard! I'm finding it harder to write than a few chapters in my book. I'm not going to rush it though, I'm taking all this valuable advice from you and the others and will eventually make my query sparkle.

Jeanne Bannon
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her - REWRITTEN

Post by Jeanne Bannon » June 23rd, 2010, 9:02 pm

Okay, here is my new and hopefully improved query. Thanks to everyone for the valuable advice - I hope I've done you proud.

Dear Mr. Bransford

I am seeking representation for my paranormal thriller DARKNESS BECOMES HER.

Dane Westwood is a vigilante, a warrior of the spirit world. She has the unique ability to see beyond our world and into the world of spirit. Because of her gift, Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity from a virulent manmade virus by the mysterious Dark Angel. The Dark Angel, who only appears as a shadow, guides the women, leading them to Costa Rica and a handsome and gifted healer named Gregorio Pappas. Although Gregorio can perform miracles, he is leading the plot to reduce the world’s population to a mere half million people. Dane’s mission to murder Gregorio is complicated when she falls in love with him.

DARKNESS BECOMES HER is a paranormal thriller complete at 105,000 words. It would appeal to the fans of Lisa Jackson.

I have been a freelance editor for the last twenty years. I have worked as a freelance writer and hold a degree in journalism and have published several short stories and articles. Recently, my stories have appeared in Unheard Magazine, The Earth Comes First and Ex Cathedra.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Bannon

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Quill
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her - REWRITTEN

Post by Quill » June 23rd, 2010, 10:29 pm

Jeanne Bannon wrote:
I am seeking representation for my paranormal thriller DARKNESS BECOMES HER.
I still think it is best to omit this and just dive into your description.
Dane Westwood is a vigilante, a warrior of the spirit world.
This isn't clear to me. You seem to be saying that a vigilante is a warrior of the spirit world. I know vigilante as something else, namely one who take the law into one's own hand. Not a warrior per se.

Also, "warrior of the spirit world" does not tell us much. What is a warrior of the spirit world.

Also, you go ahead in the next sentence to use "spirit" again and "world" twice again. So all in all, maybe consider changing something there.
She has the unique ability to see beyond our world and into the world of spirit.
This is good (and clear).
Because of her gift, Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity from a virulent manmade virus by the mysterious Dark Angel.
For several reasons I still think it is better to say "dispatched by the mysterious Dark Angel" instead of putting Dark Angel at the end.

1. The way you have it could lead one to understand that the virus is by the Dark Angel.

2. You have two Dark Angels in a row (It ends one sentence and begins the next sentence)

3. It seems more dramatic to me to end with virulent virus. It's good to end each sentence with the biggest possible punch.
The Dark Angel, who only appears as a shadow, guides the women, leading them to Costa Rica
Again, I wish to point out the redundancy of guiding the women and leading them. Seems one or the other would suffice, and the other doesn't add anything.
and a handsome and gifted healer named Gregorio Pappas. Although Gregorio can perform miracles, he is leading the plot to reduce the world’s population to a mere half million people.
Again, I don't follow. Is this the same plot as the virus? Might be good to say, for us slow ones, that the population reduction is planned to be via the virus.
Dane’s mission to murder Gregorio is complicated when she falls in love with him.
This is very good.

One niggling thought. Nothing after the first line about her vigilante/warrior qualities and their use ?
DARKNESS BECOMES HER is a paranormal thriller complete at 105,000 words. It would appeal to the fans of Lisa Jackson.

I have been a freelance editor for the last twenty years. I have worked as a freelance writer and hold a degree in journalism and have published several short stories and articles. Recently, my stories have appeared in Unheard Magazine, The Earth Comes First and Ex Cathedra.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
This all seems fine to me. Not that I know who Lisa Jackson is, or am familiar with any of those publications.

Good luck with this. It sounds like a ripping yarn.

Jeanne Bannon
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by Jeanne Bannon » June 23rd, 2010, 10:40 pm

Thanks Quill - I so appreciate you pushing me to do better. Since I am intimately involved in my story, I cannot see my query through objective eyes so your input is extremely valuable. Off I go, back to the drawing board. :)

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Heather B
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by Heather B » June 23rd, 2010, 11:58 pm

I have to agree that the 'seeking representation' line should either be moved down or omitted entirely. After all, why else would you be sending the query?
Two other things I though would help are concerning your last paragraph. The first is that you should mention why your book would appeal to fans of Lisa Jackson. Is it your characters? Plot? Settings? Be specific.
The other thing is mention your articles more specifically. Which editions were they published in? An agents needs to be able to find these things quickly.

Also, is it usual in your world for warriors to follow the word of a shadow? Wouldn't they be suspicious? Either way you should state why.
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

http://heathermbryant.blogspot.com.au/

adamg73
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her - REWRITTEN

Post by adamg73 » July 29th, 2010, 6:22 pm

Jeanne Bannon wrote:Because of her gift, Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity from a virulent manmade virus by the mysterious Dark Angel.
I'm not sure why June has been sucked into this mess. What is it about Dane's gift that involves her?
Jeanne Bannon wrote:Dane’s mission to murder Gregorio is complicated when she falls in love with him.
While this may be a good plot twist, you state it so bluntly. There's no intrigue.
Sounds like an interesting story though!

mfreivald
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by mfreivald » July 31st, 2010, 10:21 pm

This only applies to the latest version. I didn't read any previous.

Most of my response is “What Quill said,” but I have a few other points.
Dane Westwood is a vigilante, a warrior of the spirit world.<--This could be better by condensing it to “Dane Westwood is a vigilante of the spirit world.” However, it still suffers from the vagueness mentioned by Quill--<< She has the unique ability to see beyond our world and into the world of spirit.<--When I first read this, it seemed redundant. If she is a vigilante (or a warrior) of the spirit world, then of course she can see beyond our world. I think you need a more tangible way to establish that she is both a regular human and is a spirit vigilante.--<< Because of her gift, Dane and her best friend June are dispatched on a mission to save humanity from a virulent manmade virus by the mysterious Dark Angel.<--I had to read this sentence and the following one a few times to figure out the Dark Angel didn’t make the virus. Also, it’s passive. Much stronger would be: “Because of her gift, a mysterious Dark Angel dispatches Dane and her best friend June on a mission to save humanity from a virulent manmade virus.” It could use even more improvement, but it’s much stronger that way.--<< The Dark Angel, who only appears as a shadow,<--I don’t think you need this. It clutters it up, and it really tells us nothing about the story.--<< guides the women, leading them to Costa Rica and a handsome and gifted healer named Gregorio Pappas. Although Gregorio can perform miracles, he is leading the plot to reduce the world’s population to a mere half million people.<--This sentence, in my humble opinion, is where the tension gets tangled and confusing. Try to make the tension unfold*--<< Dane’s mission to murder Gregorio is complicated when she falls in love with him.
*So, not knowing your story, I’m kind of making this up, but you might try something like this:

Gregorio’s miracles fascinate Dane, but wonder turns to horror when she believes he is responsible for the virus and intends to reduce the worlds population to half a million. How can she stop him when she loves him?

That’s just a quick riff, but it’s my attempt to keep the tension pulling tighter to the end.

adamg73 makes a good observation. Mentioning June doesn’t seem to do anything for the query.

Best wishes,
Mark

Jeanne Bannon
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Re: Query for Darkness Becomes Her

Post by Jeanne Bannon » August 1st, 2010, 8:28 am

Thank you both, Adam and Mark. Your suggestions will absolutely make my query better. Much appreciated.
Jeanne

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