FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

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geistwrite
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FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by geistwrite » September 24th, 2010, 10:30 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent. FADING GREY is a work of fiction in the paranormal romance genre and is about 90,000 words. Anna’s world is a unique mix of myths and legends come to life.

FADING GREY is the story of Anna, half wolf, half vampire, as she tries to make sense of her past and faces a new and unexpected future. As an abandoned child growing up virtually alone, she was all too often pitied and labeled ‘damaged’ by the human world around her. Only her best friend, Josh, seemed able to view her as she really was, and loved her for all those qualities that separated her from his world. When an encounter with a strange wolf upsets the fragile balance of her unnaturally clear memories she is forced to confront the truth of her inhuman origins. Finding a new love in wolf’s clothing, and then losing him in a violent attack aimed at possessing her, she is lost once more in a world where she has never belonged.

With a single clue left behind by her lost wolf love, she travels to the origin of her birth, to discover the story of her heritage and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the truth. How did her relatively ‘normal’ existence in the human world turn into a ghoulish fairytale searching for a happy ending, but never quite finding it?

DEEP GREY is the first book in a potential series. I have completed a second book and have outlined two additional follow-ups as well. This is a character driven story that is richly developed.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.

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D.S. Deshaw
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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by D.S. Deshaw » September 25th, 2010, 4:32 am

Hi! Thanks for posting up your critique :) I am not an expert, but I hope I can help you in some way :)
geistwrite wrote:Dear Mr. Bransford,

I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent. <- This sentence is what I think a lot of people would say is 'obvious.' It probably doesn't need to be said :) FADING GREY is a work of fiction in the paranormal romance genre and is about 90,000 words. This might be better worded very simply: FADING GREY is a 90,000-word paranormal romance. Anna’s world is a unique mix of myths and legends come to life. I'm not really sure about the term 'come to life' :) and more importantly, I think this line might be a classic case of 'telling' instead of 'showing.' Most people might say that you should show us about an unique mix of myths and legends in the query itself :)

FADING GREY is the story of Anna, half wolf, half vampire, as she tries to make sense of her past and faces a new and unexpected future. As an abandoned child growing up virtually alone, she was all too often pitied and labeled ‘damaged’ by the human world around her. Only her best friend, Josh, seemed able to view her as she really was, and loved her for all those qualities that separated her from his world. I think everything before this point is what people would call 'back story.' Your book (I think) is about this -> When an encounter with a strange wolf upsets the fragile balance of her unnaturally clear memories she is forced to confront the truth of her inhuman origins. Be specific, what does she do to find the truth? Finding a new love in wolf’s clothing, and then losing him in a violent attack aimed at possessing her, she is lost once more in a world where she has never belonged. You can elaborate a bit on this :) Who is trying to possess her? How were they attacked? What world is it that she doesn't belong in?

With a single clue left behind by her lost wolf love what clue?, she travels to the origin of her birth what is the origin of her birth?, to discover the story of her heritage what is the story of her heritage? and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the truth who is her unexpected ally?. How did her relatively ‘normal’ existence in the human world turn into a ghoulish fairytale searching for a happy ending, but never quite finding it? I'm not sure if rhetoric questions are a great idea in queries, to be honest :( it might be stronger if you took out this line and focused on putting in some concrete details about what is happening in your book.

DEEP GREY is the first book in a potential series. You have the title as FADING GREY before this point? You've also said the title three times now :) I think it's okay to mention it just once or twice. I have completed a second book and have outlined two additional follow-ups as well. This is a character driven story that is richly developed. Oh, your story is more character-driven than plot-driven? I think queries for character-driven stories are bit more different--and harder. More on this below...

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration. I would shorten this to: Thank you for your consideration.
You have an interesting story here. I can see how it's mainly character-driven. However, I think your query seems mainly plot-driven. I did a quick Google search on character-driven queries, and I found a post on it here that mentions really defining your character in your query. If you're query is about Anna, I need to really have a sense of who she is at the end of the query--through her actions and her motivations. At the end of a more character-driven query, I think the biggest question that should be answered is 'Who is the MC and what are their goals?' rather than 'What happens in the book?' My advice is to start with the action, focus on Anna exclusively, and put in concrete details of her transformation from the beginning of the novel to the end. I hope this helps.
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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by arbraun » September 25th, 2010, 9:13 pm

Dear geistwrite,
geistwrite wrote:I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent. I wouldn't mention the lack of publications. FADING GREY is a work of fiction in the paranormal romance genre and is about 90,000 words. Anna’s world is a unique mix of myths and legends come to life. I would put this paragraph at the end of the query. Also, the last sentence is too vague. I'd be more specific.

FADING GREY is the story of Anna, half wolf, half vampire, as she tries to make sense of her past and faces a new and unexpected future. I'd not repeat the title. As an abandoned child growing up virtually alone, she was all too often pitied and labeled ‘damaged’ by the human world around her. I'd delete the adverb and the word, "all"--wordy. Only her best friend, Josh, seemed able to view her as she really was, and loved her for all those qualities that separated her from his world. When an encounter with a strange wolf upsets the fragile balance of her unnaturally clear memories she is forced to confront the truth of her inhuman origins. What is the encounter? Finding a new love in wolf’s clothing, and then losing him in a violent attack aimed at possessing her, she is lost once more in a world where she has never belonged. Vague also.

With a single clue left behind by her lost wolf love, she travels to the origin of her birth, to discover the story of her heritage and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the truth. What is the clue? How did her relatively ‘normal’ existence in the human world turn into a ghoulish fairytale searching for a happy ending, but never quite finding it? Again, vague.

DEEP GREY is the first book in a potential series. I have completed a second book and have outlined two additional follow-ups as well. This is a character driven story that is richly developed. I'd concentrate on this book first, then mention you've written a series later.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.
Good wrap-up, not overstating.

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by geistwrite » September 26th, 2010, 11:45 pm

I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent. FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance.

Anna, half wolf and half vampire, is caught between two worlds that war to own her or kill her.
As a child abandoned by her loving parents in a small Idaho town, she tries to find her way in-between worlds where she will never belong. Facing crystalline memories that date back to the day of her birth and fevers that leave her incapacitated she is labeled ‘damaged’ and pitied by the human world around her. When an antagonistic stranger upsets the fragile balance of her memories she begins to unravel the clues of her heritage as the wolf in her falls for everything wolf in him.
But before the pieces all fall into place she is left broken and alone once more in a violent wolf attack aimed at possessing her. With a single note left behind by her lost love, she travels to the town of her birth, to discover the story of her heritage and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the past. But she will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature to find new hope for her future.

FADING GREY is the first book in a potential series.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.


Ok, this is a revised Query... I'm trying to capture the story while leaving questions that make you want to know more but not ones that make you say, why and what does this mean. Have revised many times, so I will try this one on for size... Thank you!

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by thewhipslip » September 27th, 2010, 2:49 pm

geistwrite wrote:I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent Cut this PLEASE. FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance.

Anna, half wolf and half vampire, is caught between two worlds that war to own her or kill her They want to own her AND kill her? How would they own her if they kill her? Cut one or the other. I know what a werewolf is, I know what a vampire is - I do not know what a half-wolf/half-vampire is, so I would give specifics on that.
As a child abandoned by her loving parents in a small Idaho town, she tries to find her way in-between worlds where she will never belong . Facing crystalline memories how are the memories crystalline?that date back to the day of her birth and fevers that leave her incapacitated she is labeled ‘damaged’ and pitied by the human world around her where is she? who knows about her? I'm confused. When an antagonistic stranger upsets the fragile balance of her memories she begins to unravel the clues of her heritage as the wolf in her falls for everything wolf in him wait - what? what's going on? what are her memories? where is she? how old is she?.
But before the pieces all fall into place pieces of what? what is she trying to solve? give me some specificsshe is left broken and alone once more in a violent wolf attack aimed at possessing he. With a single note left behind by her lost love, she travels to the town of her birth, to discover the story of her heritage and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the past. But she will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature to find new hope for her future.

FADING GREY is the first book in a potential series.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.

What I need to know, and the outline you should follow for your query:
1. Age of main character, who/what she is.
2. The catalyst - what sets her story and the plot in motion.
3. The conflict: the decision your MC faces in the plot and what's at stake if she makes the wrong decision.


Ok, this is a revised Query... I'm trying to capture the story while leaving questions that make you want to know more but not ones that make you say, why and what does this mean. Have revised many times, so I will try this one on for size... Thank you!
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by oldhousejunkie » September 27th, 2010, 3:00 pm

geistwrite wrote:I am an unpublished writer seeking a literary agent. FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance. You REALLY need to move this to the end. See Janet Reid's "Query Shark" blog. She rants all the time about people who do this. And once again, do not say that you are an unpublished writer. It's a given if you don't list any publishing credits, and it's a given that you're looking for a rep. Start with your story.

Anna, half wolf and half vampire, is caught between two worlds that war to own her or kill her. This is an awkward sentence.
As a child abandoned by her loving Loving? They abandoned her. Just stick with 'parents.'parents in a small Idaho town, she tries to find her way in-between worlds we know that she's caught alreadywhere she will never belong. Facing crystalline Huh?memories that date back to the day of her birth and fevers that leave her incapacitated she is labeled ‘damaged’ and pitied by the human world around her. I see that you are showing us that she is caught between two worlds, but I think it could be done better. When an antagonistic stranger upsets the fragile balance of her memories she begins to unravel the clues of her heritage as the wolf in her falls for everything wolf in him. I would name is this antagonistic stranger, and then I would break this sentence up. It's got two subjects...or at least it reads like it has two subjects.

But before the pieces all fall into place she is left broken and alone once more in a violent wolf attack aimed at possessing her. Try: "But before the pieces fall into place, a violent wolf attack leaves her broken and alone."With a single note left behind by her lost love, she travels to the town of her birth, period, not comma. And then new sentence: "Searching for the story of her heritage, an unexpected ally comes to her aid." Ok, great, but you need to expound upon thisto discover the story of her heritage and finds an unexpected ally in her search for the past. But she will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature to find new hope for her future. This would be an ok ending line, if the rest of the query wasn't so vague. It's ok to put in details. You should lure an agent with a great storyline, not by being so vague they're like "Say what?"

FADING GREY is the first book in a potential series. Once again, worry about your first book. If you haven't already written more books in the series then don't mention it. Actually, don't mention the other books even if you have written them. The ending should read: "FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance. Thank you for your time and consideration."

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration. Don't be so humble.A lot of agents find it annoying. A query is essentially a cover letter to a resume, so it's best to stick to a business format. Just with character and voice!
This has a lot of potential. Keep up the good work! :-)

geistwrite
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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by geistwrite » September 27th, 2010, 11:57 pm

Ok, I have been trying to do more of a summary than anything else and have been getting lots of questions in the process that people seem to want answered. I went for a new approach with this one. It is different from anything I have tried yet, and tries to specifically answer questions that the other queries I have done have led to. Let's give it a try...



Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their two feuding races. Her existence has been disputed for the last fourteen years since her parents’ brutal murders, as many from both sides have attempted to locate her. She, however, has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows that she doesn’t fit into the human world she has grown up in. Because of her perfect memory dating back to her birth and fevers that leave her incapacitated she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by the human world around her. When Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching, upsets the fragile balance of her memories, she begins to unravel the truth about her heritage, and falls for Peter in the process.

But before the pieces of her past fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. With a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature if she is to find a new hope for the future.

FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by ABFTomioka » September 28th, 2010, 1:52 am

Hello there!
I really like the premise of your story - it's exciting, with built-in conflict, but has a relatable main character. You do a good job capturing these elements in your query letter, and it's really short and sweet, which is wonderful. I just have a couple suggestions for you:

Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their feuding races. But 14-year-old Anna has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows she doesn’t fit into the human world. Because of her unnaturally perfect memory and incapacitating fevers she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by everyone around her. (I might add a linking sentance here...a bit more about Anna's personality, how she feels and what she wants, so we know what Peter disrupts with his arrival.) When Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching. His appearance upsets the fragile balance of her memories. Anna begins unravelling the truth about her heritage, and falls for Peter in the process.

But before the pieces of her past fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. Following a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature if she is to find a new hope for the future. I love this part - really catchy!

FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration. Maybe rephrase, something like: Thank you for considering my work. Just to keep it shorter and to the point.

Best of luck!

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by thewhipslip » September 28th, 2010, 2:36 pm

You've got the bare bones here. Nice job. My comments below.


Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their two feuding races This is good. Her existence has been disputed for the last fourteen years since her parents’ brutal murders, as many from both sides have attempted to locate her. She, however, has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows that she doesn’t fit into the human world she has grown up in. Because of her perfect memory dating back to her birth and fevers that leave her incapacitated she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by the human world around her I still don't understand this. I would be specific about the effects of her lineage. From what I gather here: she's got a good memory and consistent fevers. Would that really make her damaged int he eyes of others? And what does that mean for her? Who takes care of her? An orphanage?. When Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching, upsets the fragile balance of her memories don't get what this means either - he reminds her of something, or he tells her the truth about something?, she begins to unravel the truth about her heritage, and falls for Peter in the process.

But before the pieces of her past fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. With a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother So Peters'a a half-vamp-half-werewolf too? I would mention that earlier. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman nature if she is to find a new hope for the future This is okay, but could be better. What's the conflict here? She's in love with Stephen too? What choice does she face? Be specific? And who's the antagonist in this? What is she facing?.

FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance

Thank you for the opportunity to present my literary work for your consideration.[/quote]
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by geistwrite » September 28th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Your comments are all helpful and I thank you very much for the time you have put in to reading my query. I think perhaps I am getting closer to conveying what I want to say here. Hopefully it is coming together for those reviewing it too.


Dear M. Agent Name,

Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their feuding races. Her existence has been disputed for the last fourteen years since her parents’ brutal murders, as both sides have attempted to locate her. 17 year old Anna, however, has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows that with her unnaturally perfect memory and incapacitating fevers, she doesn’t fit into the human world she has grown up in. Because of her early abandonment and growing up virtually alone, she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by everyone around her. Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching, upsets the subtle balance of control she has maintained over her memories and fevers. With Peter’s help, Anna begins unravelling the truth about her heritage, falling for him in the process.

But before the pieces of her past can fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. Following a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother. But answers about her past can’t help her find the love she has lost or decipher her own combined nature. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman heritage if she is to find a new hope for the future.

FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance.

Thank you for considering my literary work for further review.

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by arbraun » September 28th, 2010, 4:45 pm

Looks a lot better.

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Re: FADING GREY - A Paranormal Romance Query

Post by oldhousejunkie » September 29th, 2010, 12:50 pm

Excellent turn-around! I'm sure there are some nit-picky things in there that you'll want to change (word choice, phrasing, etc.) but otherwise, this looks good! Congrats and best of luck to you.
geistwrite wrote:Your comments are all helpful and I thank you very much for the time you have put in to reading my query. I think perhaps I am getting closer to conveying what I want to say here. Hopefully it is coming together for those reviewing it too.


Dear M. Agent Name,

Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their feuding races. Her existence has been disputed for the last fourteen years since her parents’ brutal murders, as both sides have attempted to locate her. 17 year old Anna, however, has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows that with her unnaturally perfect memory and incapacitating fevers, she doesn’t fit into the human world she has grown up in. Because of her early abandonment and growing up virtually alone, she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by everyone around her. Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching, upsets the subtle balance of control she has maintained over her memories and fevers. With Peter’s help, Anna begins unravelling the truth about her heritage, falling for him in the process.

But before the pieces of her past can fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. Following a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother. But answers about her past can’t help her find the love she has lost or decipher her own combined nature. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman heritage if she is to find a new hope for the future.

FADING GREY is a 90,000 word paranormal romance.

Thank you for considering my literary work for further review.

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