OneChoice1 wrote:After taking a break and getting comfortable with the beginning of my first year in college (Oh yeah!) (Ah, freshman year...*sigh* I'm a junior and still haven't learned any study skills...), I'm back to have others crack the whip on this query of mine. So please, by all means, tear into it. (Will do. ;) )
But before that I want to thank Dankrubis and Yoshima. I've taken both of your critiques into consideration. I've tried to take away the back story and get into you, the readers, knowing Drakel more personally. Like how the things she values in life contrast greatly to what Alan values. I was thinking, should I add an accent mark on the "a" in Drakel's name? So the name won't sound masculine to others, because how I pronounce it is not masculine what so ever. Just a thought. (If it's not a huge pain in the ass to do then I say go for it. But make sure it won't show up weird in emails.)
*Oh, inquiry is a synonym for experimentation, and when I say "someone else," I mean another girl. Please let me know if anything still puts you off.*
~The umpteenth revised version~ (And it's getting better every time!)
Dear [Agent's name]:
In the seventeen years that Drakel Davis has been alive, she's picked up on many things: that she's her most valuable resource in any situation, that she should never get too comfortable, and that when the going gets tough, the established rules don't apply. (I personally think "value" statements are tacky. Plus it feels a little generic (as in too many people share these values, so what makes Drakel so unique?) Unless if you specifically reference how those values affect her in a certain situation, I think you'd be better off either omitting it or choosing the most important one to focus on and mention how it comes into play later.) However, it becomes apparent that her obsession with proving herself is valued above all else when she betrays one of Britain's most notorious crime families. (Not sure how betraying her family is proving herself...I thought she was trying to prove herself to her syndicate/father.) If getting captured and scheduled to stand trial aren't daunting enough, then getting sentenced to execution surely is. Drakel's execution date is postponed in the agreement that she will be a guinea pig for the government's latest experiment. (Like!) For the last months she has left to live, Drakel is sent to America, to an environment better suited for the inquiry (is "to an environment..." really necessary? Seems like fluff you could snip. The important thing is that she's sent to America.). Simultaneously, she has a chance to live a new life, a life under surveillance.
Alan Pierce is a Pastor's son and a well-respected individual. He has a love for skateboarding, wears a lip ring, and possesses an unfailing faith in Jesus Christ. Always eager to express his hunger for the Lord, he willingly accepts ("willingly" is fluff, too. Accept can stand alone.) the challenge of tutoring the Bible to the new resident in town. He unwaveringly sets out (again, "unwaveringly" is fluff. Sets out tells us all we need to know. Watch out for those adverbs. An agent will think you've got them all over your book, too (which you don't, I'm sure), and that might be a turn-off.) to show his sharp-tongued pupil why he worships God, in hopes of helping her understand his beliefs. (I really like your description of him. I like him as a character already.)
The only thing Drakel and Alan have in common is their love for Black tea and Raspberry Almond Crumbles, but with Alan's persistence managing the way, the two teenagers come to attain an anomalous (we don't need "anomalous" to tell us their frienship is odd. We can assume that from them only having food in common.) friendship. Even if Drakel is intrigued by the authentic relationship Alan has with his God, opening up her own heart and mind enough to find God is still like growing a finger. Impossible. (You know I like that part. :) )As the lessons and controversial discussions continue, Drakel finds herself compellingly attracted (..."compellingly" is fluff again. I assume attraction is compelling. Maybe tell us something else about her attraction. Is it unwilling? Does she try to hide it? That would make things exciting.) to someone so diverse. When Alan learns of her true identity, she expects trouble. Instead, he surprises her by continuing in his pursuit of their Bible lessons, without judgment. (much clearer. Good job!) By doing this, Alan unknowingly fosters Drakel's amore. The problem is, Alan already has his eyes on someone else. (aw, poor Drakel! Like the ending.)
USE SOMEBODY is an inspirational romance and is approximately 156,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Note: Since I already know the basics of your story, I was able to fill in gaps without realizing I was doing it. So, on a second read-through, I tried to pretend I was a first-timer. On that run-through, I had no idea how on earth Drakel, who seems like a normal gal to me from the first part, would go about betraying a crime family. I know you don't want too much backstory. I don't want too much backstory because I might get bored. But this is one thing I think needs to be explained if we're to understand why she's going to jail. In my opinion, I thought this had the right idea:
OneChoice1 wrote:With much to prove to a man who always wished for a son, Drakel joins one of Britain's most notorious crime families at the age of ten. Seven years later, Drakel has it all together as the mastermind of the organization. That is, until she decides to betray her syndicate, thus, landing herself on trial and a sentence for execution.
(And I really liked this:)
Drakel discovers that she is surrounded. Surrounded by Christians.
I thought the progression of the query was good; I never wanted to stop reading and I'm interested in the premise. I think the query mostly just needs tightening. Also watch those adverbs. Make your query the best representation possible of your writing. Knock that agent's socks off! ;)