I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

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BethC
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I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by BethC » October 18th, 2010, 10:15 pm

I know I've been gone for...seems like forever...major revisions and now I'm happy again. Just trying a new query. Please tell what you think. I'll only post the main body of the query...will add info about why I'm querying the certain agent, etc. thanks for your help.

Sometimes wishes come true. Sometimes nightmares. When the two weave into one, eighteen-year-old Presley O’Connor discovers only the magic of true love has the power to save her.
For three years Presley has fantasized Reid Montgomery would someday walk back into her life, take her in his arms, and profess undying love. Okay, maybe she’s read one to many romance novels, but she knows—as only a psychic can know—that her attraction to him is more than infatuation.
The nightmares begin after she receives a note wishing her a happy last birthday and her mutilated senior picture. She dreams of the dark and two pairs of eyes. One pair must belong to the man wanting to kill her; she has no doubts about the other eyes. Only one person has eyes that blue.
As the serial killer—hoping to make her victim number six—gets closer, Reid begins to have visions of her abduction and murder. On Christmas Eve, the murderer makes his move and Reid rushes to save her. With the man behind bars and Reid exceeding even her best dream, Presley should be deliriously happy. But love, even for psychics, is complicated.
Another note arrives. The killer makes it clear not even jail can keep him from her. Reid assures her he will always protect her, but her new nightmares tell her differently. A timely jail break when Reid is too far to reach Presley, gives the man just enough time to grab her. This time Presley fears not even their combined powers will be enough to save her.
My YA paranormal romance, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 97,000 words.

katbrauer
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by katbrauer » October 19th, 2010, 1:16 am

I... Okay, here's what I'm getting from the query.

1. Presley's psychic.
2. Someone wants to kill her.
3. She's in lurve with Reid and Reid shall save the day! Unless he doesn't love her. OH NOS.

And here's my issue...

What the hell is Presley doing this whole time? Sitting in the dark and twiddling her thumbs and being depressed about Reid? Listening to Savage Garden and the Cure as she sees how long it takes for her eyes to dry out from too many tears? As the query focuses on Presley, you make it sound like the book is from her POV, yet she's not doing anything in this query but having bad dreams and moaning about how her former boyfriend doesn't love her.

I think you need to rework this query to show that Presley takes life by the balls and allows neither a serial killer nor Reid to dictate her life--does she try to solve the mystery of who this guy is? (One would hope so.) Does she try to get over Reid, or at least not allow his rejection of her to dictate her life three years later? (One would hope so.) Does she have a life outside of any of this? (One would hope so.)

I need you to answer these questions in the query. I think it's great that you've got all these angsty emotions, and there does seem to be a potentail nail-biter of a plot, but I think the fact that you don't detail anything about Presley's action is...worrying. So do that! And I'll give her a try again.
:) Kat
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oldhousejunkie
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by oldhousejunkie » October 19th, 2010, 8:45 pm

I agree with the last poster about Presley seeming kind of vapid. Or at least obsessed with the past. And I won't even get into the fact that it reads like she's just sitting around, waiting to get slaughtered.

Also, I think this query reads too much like a synopsis. It's too long, and a not very interesting one at that. Now I don't think your novel is uninteresting, the premise sounds compelling. So put some passion into this. I really feel like you're selling yourself and your idea really short.

Remember to stick to three paragraphs: opening (introduction), middle (crux of the plot), and closing (leave us wanting more).

So give this a spin again, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

fishfood
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by fishfood » October 19th, 2010, 9:15 pm

I think katbrauer nailed it, but I'll try to give some concrete ideas too. And there's this damsel in distress thing that I'm not really digging here. And I LOVE damsel in distress stuff, believe me. I'm as sap-tastic as you can get. However, there's got to be some personalities involved and I'm not seeing anything (or anyone) in this query. I think what makes queries so hard to write is that as the authors we KNOW and LOVE our characters, so seems obvious to us when writing the query, but its not to someone who has never read your story and fallen in love with your characters. We have to fall in love with them in 250 words or less.

So here's my take.

Ditch the first line. Start with the action. I was immediately grabbed by this line about the birthday note. And you I would play the psychic part a little different. You also randomly switch between Reid and Presley's pov. Stick with one or delineate both clearly. Remember the query doesn't have to "fully" explain your book, it just has to entice the agent to want to read more. If I were to play around, the query would maybe go something like this:

Presley receives a card for her 18th (or 19th?) birthday (in the mail? stuck to her locker?). Except it's not your average birthday card: It's a picture of her mutilated senior photo. And then the nightmares begin. Two pairs of eyes; one pair dark, sinister and unfamiliar, the other pair belongs to Reid--the boy she loves, the boy who walked out of her life three years ago.

Presley isn't the only one with nightmares, Reid has them too. Except in his dreams, he can see Presley's abduction and murder. (does he have any personality other than being psychic that makes us care about him? Maybe a little more info about this murderer? Is he a serial killer on the loose? What makes Presley special enough to be a target?)On Christmas Eve, the killer makes his move, but Reid is there in time.

With (said killer) behind bars, Reid and Presley attempt to pick up where they left off... (Don't just say it's complicated. I'd think it'd be simple with psychics. I mean, isn't that every girls fantasy? To have her boyfriend reading her mind--so to speak of course... We need some romantic tension. I'd be torn: pissed that my true love left me hanging three years ago, but overwhelmingly grateful after mysteriously disappeared boyfriend rushes back to save me)But then Presley receives another card. Prison bars aren't enough to keep her safe this time. Though Reid has assured Presley of their love and her safety, a timely jail break proves otherwise when Reid is (where exactly?)

Do you see now how many holes are in the query?

Keep plugging away! :D
BethC wrote:I know I've been gone for...seems like forever...major revisions and now I'm happy again. Just trying a new query. Please tell what you think. I'll only post the main body of the query...will add info about why I'm querying the certain agent, etc. thanks for your help.

Sometimes wishes come true. Sometimes nightmares. When the two weave into one, eighteen-year-old Presley O’Connor discovers only the magic of true love has the power to save her. For three years Presley has fantasized Reid Montgomery would someday walk back into her life, take her in his arms, and profess undying love. Okay, maybe she’s read one to many romance novels, but she knows—as only a psychic can know—that her attraction to him is more than infatuation.
The nightmares begin after she receives a note wishing her a happy last birthday and her mutilated senior picture. She dreams of the dark and two pairs of eyes. One pair must belong to the man wanting to kill her; she has no doubts about the other eyes. Only one person has eyes that blue.
As the serial killer—hoping to make her victim number six—gets closer, Reid begins to have visions of her abduction and murder. On Christmas Eve, the murderer makes his move and Reid rushes to save her. With the man behind bars and Reid exceeding even her best dream, Presley should be deliriously happy. But love, even for psychics, is complicated.
Another note arrives. The killer makes it clear not even jail can keep him from her. Reid assures her he will always protect her, but her new nightmares tell her differently. A timely jail break when Reid is too far to reach Presley, gives the man just enough time to grab her. This time Presley fears not even their combined powers will be enough to save her.
My YA paranormal romance, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 97,000 words.

BethC
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by BethC » October 19th, 2010, 10:58 pm

Thank you all for your comments and I agree. I have a query I've sent (obviously not this one) to 12 agents and received requests for 3 partials and 2 fulls...so I may stick with that one for the moment. Based on critiques from two Beta readers and a "retired" editor, I've tightened my manuscript and am ready to start the querying process again. I still want to look at a different query so will try to rework this and repost.

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Quill
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by Quill » October 19th, 2010, 11:31 pm

Beth, that's an outrageously good response from your query letter. Good luck with those partials and fulls!

So why in heaven's name are writing another version now?

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cheekychook
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by cheekychook » October 20th, 2010, 12:12 am

Just my two cents, but if you have a query that got that many positive responses STICK WITH IT.
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oldhousejunkie
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Re: I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, New take

Post by oldhousejunkie » October 20th, 2010, 1:37 pm

cheekychook wrote:Just my two cents, but if you have a query that got that many positive responses STICK WITH IT.
DITTO. Wow. Do you mean that you might have changed a few things when you tightened up the manuscript so your original query doesn't necessarily reflect those changes? IMO, just tweak the original if that's the case. No matter what, your response rate is pretty darn awesome, so good luck to you.

Maybe you need to school us by posting your original? :-)

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