The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
Anigirl
Posts: 7
Joined: November 25th, 2013, 7:50 pm
Contact:

The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Anigirl » November 29th, 2013, 12:35 pm

(Hello! I really need some critique on my query letter! Much appreciated!)

Dear (Agent's name),.

In the mid-1970s, thirty years after the end of World War II, Konrad Franks is living a peaceful, happy life with his wife and son in New York City--until he meets a Jewish boy named Alex.

Soon after meeting the boy, Konrad begins to notice odd things happening to him. At first it’s small oddities. A shadow on the wall, a window left open…but as stranger and more hazardous incidents occur, Konrad soon finds out that he’s being haunted, and the spirit is angry one.

The spirit's actions become increasingly violent until it reveals it’s true identity to a terrified Konrad. It is called a Dybbuk, a vengeful Jewish spirit.

His name is Devin, and he is seeking vengeance on the Nazi soldier who murdered him and his entire family during the Holocaust…Konrad Franks.

As the Dybbuk seeks justice and Konrad’s vile past comes to light, Konrad finds his life falling apart and ultimately learns the meaning of an eye for an eye. Now Konrad has to find out a way to get rid of Devin before the spirit gets his revenge…that is, provided the Dybbuk is even real, and not just a figure of his guilty imagination.

THE DYBBUK, complete at over 63,000 words, is a suspensful psycological thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Shawnald
Posts: 6
Joined: December 17th, 2013, 12:34 am
Contact:

Re: The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Shawnald » December 17th, 2013, 1:04 pm

Wow, Anigirl! I really, really like the hook. If I were an agent, I'd definitely skip down to the sample pages.

Why "mid seventies?" You are already jumping us back in time. Why not pick a year? Why the ambiguity?


Dear (Agent's name),.

1974. Immigrant Konrad Franks and his family are living a peaceful, happy existence in ["life"/"living" isn't an echo, but why risk it?] New York City--until a chance encounter with a young Yeshiva student named Alex.

Soon after, Konrad begins to notice small oddities. A shadow on the wall. A window left open. But as stranger and more hazardous incidents occur, Konrad accepts that he’s being haunted, and the spirit is not benevolent.

The spirit's actions become increasingly violent until it reveals its [BRRRRRZT! Rookie contraction mistake. Four demerits to Griffindor!] true identity to a terrified Konrad. It is a Dybbuk, a vengeful Jewish spirit.

His name is Devin, and he is seeking vengeance on the Nazi soldier who murdered him and his entire family during the Holocaust…Konrad Franks.

As the Dybbuk seeks justice and Konrad’s vile past comes to light, Konrad ultimately learns the meaning of an eye for an eye and must find a way to rid himself of Devin before the spirit succeeds in his final act of revenge. [Anigirl, I am the world's foremost user of ellipses, so it is with great hypocrisy that I warn you that you are overusing them in this short query] that is, provided the Dybbuk is even real, and not just a figure of his guilty imagination. [AAARGH! Cue the trombone slide of impotence. Waaaang waaaaaaaaang. This last sentence cuts all the tension out of a good query. Maybe that IS the reveal of the novel and that's okay. But please! Rethink the inclusion of this sentence.]

THE DYBBUK, complete at over 63,000 words, is a suspenseful psychological thriller. [TWO SPELLING MISTAKES IN THE CLOSER!!! Griffindoor is hereby ordered to forfeit the Quidditch Tourney!]

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Again. This you have a great hook and all this query needs is a tiny bit of spit and polish to really zing. If you need any help with your first 30 pages, email me. cshawnmcdonald@gmail.com

Anigirl
Posts: 7
Joined: November 25th, 2013, 7:50 pm
Contact:

Re: The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Anigirl » December 22nd, 2013, 11:00 am

Shawn, Thanks so much for the comment! :D Hm. Is this any better?

1976. Konrad Franks and his family are living a peaceful, happy existence in New York City—that is until he meets a young Jewish boy named Alex.

Soon after, Konrad begins to notice odd things happening to him. A shadow on the wall. A window left open. But as stranger and more hazardous incidents occur, Konrad accepts that he is being haunted, and the spirit is anything but benevolent.

The spirit’s actions become increasingly violent until it reveals it’s true identity to a terrified Konrad. It is a Dybbuk, a vengeful Jewish spirit.

His name is Devin, and he is seeking vengeance on the Nazi soldier who murdered him and his entire family during the Holocaust…Konrad Franks.

As the Dybbuk seeks justice and Konrad’s vile past comes to light, Konrad ultimately learns the meaning of an eye for an eye and must find a way to rid himself of Devin before the spirit succeeds in his final act of revenge.

THE DYBBUK, complete at over 63,000 words, is a suspenseful psychological thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I didn’t include the Yeshiva student part since Alex isn’t really in a Yeshiva in the book itself. Thanks for the awesome critique! I hope this is better!

Shawnald
Posts: 6
Joined: December 17th, 2013, 12:34 am
Contact:

Re: The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Shawnald » December 30th, 2013, 5:50 pm

Yes, better.

And the world loves Spartan queries, but maybe we've sanded too much out. Maybe add back in a few eyedropper's worth of details.

Like "Jewish boy." That's too ambiguous a visual. Sure, he's not really a Yeshiva student, but he's something. Something other than an ethnicity and a gender. You've still got to make the reader see it.

Anigirl
Posts: 7
Joined: November 25th, 2013, 7:50 pm
Contact:

Re: The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Anigirl » February 5th, 2014, 10:10 pm

I made some slight adjustments after having gone to some other forums (not that I dont absolutely love this one) and here's the result. Please tell me how it looks!:
----
1976. Konrad Franks and his family are living a peaceful, happy existence in New York City—that is until he meets a young Jewish boy named Alex.

Soon after, Konrad begins to notice odd things happening to him; a shadow on the wall, a window left open. But as stranger and more hazardous incidents occur, Konrad accepts that he is being haunted, and the spirit is anything but benevolent.

As the spirit’s actions become increasingly violent, Konrad discovers its true identity. It is a Dybbuk, a vengeful Jewish spirit. His name is Devin. He is seeking vengeance on the Nazi soldier who murdered him and his entire family during the Holocaust…

As the Dybbuk seeks justice and Konrad’s past comes to light, Konrad ultimately learns the meaning of an eye for an eye and must find a way to rid himself of Devin before the spirit succeeds in his final act of revenge.

THE DYBBUK, complete at over 63,000 words, is a suspenseful psychological thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jillian Karger
Posts: 4
Joined: February 23rd, 2014, 10:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The Dybbuk- Query help and critique!

Post by Jillian Karger » February 24th, 2014, 4:46 pm

1976. Konrad Franks and his family are living a peaceful, happy existence in New York City—that isuntil he Konrad meets a young Jewish boy named Alex. (I think we need a little more about Alex here, and how meeting him brings out the Dybbuk. Does Alex put a curse on Konrad? How does he know about Konrad's past, anyway?)

Soon after, Konrad begins to notice odd things happening to him; a shadow on the wall, a window left open. But as stranger and more hazardous incidents occur, Konrad accepts that he is being haunted, and the spirit is anything but not benevolent.

As the spirit’s actions become increasingly violent, Konrad discovers its true identity. It is a Dybbuk, a vengeful Jewish spirit. His name is Devin. He is seeking vengeance on the Nazi soldier who murdered him and his entire family during the Holocaust.

As the Dybbuk seeks justice and Konrad’s past comes to light, Konrad ultimately learns the meaning of an eye for an eye and must find a way to rid himself of Devin before the spirit succeeds in his final act of revenge.

THE DYBBUK, complete at over 63,000 words, is a suspenseful psychological thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

---

I think you have an interesting hook here. However, I don't understand what makes Konrad sympathetic and why the reader would root for him. Right now I'm hoping that Devin gives Konrad what's coming to him, and that's probably not what you want.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest