Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

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BethC
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Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by BethC » April 10th, 2010, 12:45 pm

I'm liking it more and more. I couldn't do this without all the great comments. so do your best now. Just a side note for interest. The idea for this story has been with me for....cough,cough...40 years! During my senior year, I received a letter...not quite as threatening..with my senior picture...turned out a sex offender working in the photography studio had gotten my picture and address and was promising to come see me. And for the record it was the State Police...not Reid that came to the rescue....but a girl can dream....right?????

Dear (agent),

Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off is harboring murderous thoughts.

Unfortunately the threat is real. A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios, has chosen her for his sixth victim. But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley--Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important.

And on Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. The chemistry between them is immediate and powerfu. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Each struggles with the right time to share their secret, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her.

My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)

Joel Q
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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Joel Q » April 10th, 2010, 4:41 pm

Hey Beth,
You don't have to start a new thread every time you make revisions.

You can rename the orginal thread and Edit your first post with a new note at the beginning for us to see the revisied Query at the bottom of the thread.

Hope that helps keep us all in the same thread, b/c some folks might not see the new thread and still make comments on the first query.

JQ

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Joel Q » April 10th, 2010, 4:53 pm

BethC wrote:
Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off is harboring murderous thoughts.

Unfortunately the threat is real. A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios, (I'd say "works in" instead of "finds jobs in" just to simplify the plot for the query)

has chosen her for his sixth victim. But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley--Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important.

And on Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. ("just that"...doesn't really say what he does., I get the idea, but the agent is going to want you to show instead of tell.)

The chemistry between them ("them" the way it is written, "them" is Ried and the killer)

is immediate and powerfu. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Each (Changing "them" should adjust "each" to be clear)

struggles with the right time to share their secret, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break (Prison--what's the time line, because if the killer just got arrested, he'd be in the county/local jail still)

or by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her. Nice end, gives us the dark moment and the questions of what will happen. MUCH BETTER, nice job w/ revisions.

My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)

BethC
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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by BethC » April 10th, 2010, 5:42 pm

thanks Joel for the info on posting and your comments. in the last paragraph where I had prison, it should have been jail...that's the way it is in the story. Arrested on Christmas Eve and the break out happens on July 4th...just before the trial is to begin. I'm beginning to see hope in an actual query.

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Erica75 » April 10th, 2010, 6:50 pm

Beth, this is the first time I've read any of your queries. I think you might be rushing through this and your missing some really easy errors that need polishing. Here's what I picked up on my first read through:
"Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday." Whoof, that's a big sentence. Read it aloud - it really doesn't flow, does it? Especially with the word "her" appearing a grand four times. It needs rewording.

"...checking out her classmates feelings" Classmate's (apostrophe since it's possessive)

"But no one..." I always caution people against using "But" and "And" in sentences for a query or at the beginning of your ms. It can work, but some people have a pet peeve about them (including me) and you wouldn't want that little thing to work against you. It might be such a little thing, they don't notice. But (haha) it could.

Same sentence, you're missing a comma after "brushing off."

"Unfortunately the threat is real." I never got the idea it wasn't real. Maybe change this to include something about how she finds out it's real instead of this vague sentence.

Just a thought - With the uncommon name of Presely being a girl, the sentence "Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder." at first made me think Reid was a girl thinking about her own abduction and murder.

You don't need to start "And on..." with that "and." It's fine without it.

Powerful is missing the final l.

"Nothing, but..." I'm thinking this works better: Nothing but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her -- while Reid's too far away to stop him.

Just some more ideas. Good luck.
we blog - erica and christy - http://lynneawest.blogspot.com/

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Yoshima » April 20th, 2010, 12:28 am

Hey Beth! Fresh eyes. Hope they help you. :)
BethC wrote:I'm liking it more and more. I couldn't do this without all the great comments. so do your best now. Just a side note for interest. The idea for this story has been with me for....cough,cough...40 years! During my senior year, I received a letter...not quite as threatening..with my senior picture...turned out a sex offender working in the photography studio had gotten my picture and address and was promising to come see me. And for the record it was the State Police...not Reid that came to the rescue....but a girl can dream....right?????

Dear (agent),

Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others (others') deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off (comma) is harboring murderous thoughts.

I'm wondering if the first two sentences are in the right place. The third sentence is the one that really made me go "WHOA" and want to keep reading, so maybe it should go first? I think you could easily work the emotion-reading thing in after that. Agree with a previous commenter about the "until a letter arrives..." sentence sounding a little awkward. Suggestion (for consumpution with a grain of salt, of course): "On her eighteenth birthday Presley O'connor opens an envelope, expecting a card and a twenty dollar bill. What she finds is her mutilated senior picture and a wish for a happy last birthday."

Unfortunately the threat is real. (not sure this sentence is necessary) A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios (who works in a photography studio?), has chosen her for his sixth victim. But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley-- (period instead of dash?) Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. (not sure the producing of triplets is important to the query; save it for the synopsis?) Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important. (Love this last sentence! I'm so hooked.)

And on Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. The chemistry between them is immediate and powerful. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Each struggles with the right time to share their secrets, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her.

I love the way you wrapped this up; but I'm wondering if you can't condense sentences 3 and 4. Might make it flow better. Your story sounds really interesting! The premise of being chosen for murder by her senior picture is so interesting but so CREEPY. One of those things that you don't think about until after you read something like this. All the best! :)

My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)

BethC
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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by BethC » April 20th, 2010, 12:37 am

Yoshima,

thank you for the encouraging words. I'm working on the query and will repost later. I've loved this story for...years...and yes, getting your senior picture in the mail along with a promise someone would "see" you...was creepy to say the least.

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Robin » April 20th, 2010, 9:11 am

Beth,
I was thinking many of the same things Erica has mentioned, especially the naming of your characters. I assumed you were talking about 2 girls. Also, the prison break was a little confusing. How long after he is arrested does the prison break take place? What happened to the couple? Why is Reid so far away? Did they catch the bad guy and then go off to college or on with their lives?

Erica75 wrote:Beth, this is the first time I've read any of your queries. I think you might be rushing through this and your missing some really easy errors that need polishing. Here's what I picked up on my first read through:
"Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday." Whoof, that's a big sentence. Read it aloud - it really doesn't flow, does it? Especially with the word "her" appearing a grand four times. It needs rewording.

"...checking out her classmates feelings" Classmate's (apostrophe since it's possessive)

"But no one..." I always caution people against using "But" and "And" in sentences for a query or at the beginning of your ms. It can work, but some people have a pet peeve about them (including me) and you wouldn't want that little thing to work against you. It might be such a little thing, they don't notice. But (haha) it could.

Same sentence, you're missing a comma after "brushing off."

"Unfortunately the threat is real." I never got the idea it wasn't real. Maybe change this to include something about how she finds out it's real instead of this vague sentence.

Just a thought - With the uncommon name of Presely being a girl, the sentence "Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder." at first made me think Reid was a girl thinking about her own abduction and murder.

You don't need to start "And on..." with that "and." It's fine without it.

Powerful is missing the final l.

"Nothing, but..." I'm thinking this works better: Nothing but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her -- while Reid's too far away to stop him.

Just some more ideas. Good luck.
I really like your plot. I find it interesting (and frightening) that something similar has happened to you. You have got to include that tidbit into you bio when you publish this book
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by A.M.Kuska » April 20th, 2010, 9:47 am

BethC wrote:
Dear (agent),

Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off is harboring murderous thoughts.
Woops, didn't realize Presley was female till the third sentence. I would trim the third sentence a little bit for better flow. It just reads awkward.
Unfortunately the threat is real. A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios, has chosen her for his sixth victim. But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley--Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important.
I wonder if replacing the first sentence in this paragraph would be a good idea. Obviously the threat is real, or there wouldn't be much of a story. :-/
And on Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. The chemistry between them is immediate and powerfu. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Each struggles with the right time to share their secret, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her.
Typo: powerful

Also, what does Reid just do? Save her?
My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)
You're going to want every detail of this query letter awesome to make up for that rather long word count. It's still in the possible range, but expect to be asked by agents to do some heavy trimming.

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Emily J » April 20th, 2010, 12:01 pm

BethC wrote:I'm liking it more and more. I couldn't do this without all the great comments. so do your best now. Just a side note for interest. The idea for this story has been with me for....cough,cough...40 years! During my senior year, I received a letter...not quite as threatening..with my senior picture...turned out a sex offender working in the photography studio had gotten my picture and address and was promising to come see me. And for the record it was the State Police...not Reid that came to the rescue....but a girl can dream....right?????

Dear (agent),

Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others' deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. Much better this time around, now I know how a birthday wish can be threatening! Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates' feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off Is it important to mention that she is brushing off a guy? If it isn't Reid I would say leave out is harboring murderous thoughts.

Unfortunately the threat is real. A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios, cut this, isn't important where he works has chosen her for his sixth victim. But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley-- a dash here, not double hyphen Reid Montgomery is having visions of her rather than "her" (indefinite pronoun) put Presley's and I think this solves your problem abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. I would definitely cut the part about triplets and probably the part about soul mates as well Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important. is she his soul mate? If so leave in that part I told you to cut :) though probably make this a little bit clearer

On Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. does just what? saves her? a bit too far away from this sentence to work The chemistry between them is immediate and powerful. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Each struggles with the right time to share their secret, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. i think this is a sentence fragment This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her. I would cut out the articles here, "This time, she knows it will take magic, love, and more to save her."

My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. bit long for YA I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 21st, 2010, 12:17 am

Dear (agent),

Eighteen-year-old Presley O'Connor isn't exactly a mind reader, but reading others deepest emotions works about as well. It's like having your own built-in lie detector. I thought these first two sentences read a little weird, and here's why. I immediately thought that this was something supernatural, but then as I read on, I'm not so sure. Maybe describing her gift as either supernatural (if it is) or a more mundane knack of reading empathy/phsyical "tells". Just a thought for clarification. Her life is good, until a letter arrives on her birthday that includes her senior picture with her face mutilated and a wish for a happy last birthday. I think this sentence is the hook you should start the paragraph with. This was the moment I knew you had something special. Maybe the first two sentences of back story aren't needed? If they are, maybe at a different point in the query?Hoping it's just a joke, she begins checking out her classmates feelings. But no one, not even the guy she's been brushing off is harboring murderous thoughts. These two sentences should be combined, and maybe this is the place where you describe her ability to "read" people.

Unfortunately the threat is real. I don't think this first sentence is necessary. A serial killer, who finds jobs in photography studios, has chosen her for his sixth victim. I like this premise a lot!! But the killer's presence is affecting more than just Presley--Reid Montgomery is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren't new for Reid. For the last 400 years his family has been under the protection of a spell that allows first born sons to see the future, find their soul mates, and produce triplet sons every fourth generation. Reid knows immediately why saving her is so important. I find the section on Reid Montgomery in the same paragraph as our background of the serial killer to be a little awkward. It makes me think they could be one and the same maybe. I'm also not sure how much of Reid's backstory you need here. What about him and his abilities is most pertinent to THIS story, and not those of his ancestors?

And on Christmas Eve, as the killer makes his move, Reid does just that. What does Reid do? This sounds like a major moment in the plot but it doesn't get enough space in your query. The chemistry between them is immediate and powerfu. But love, even when you can see the future, is complicated. Just some clarification...does the chemistry between them happen before or after the killer makes his move? If it happens when the killer makes his move, maybe you should explain what the killer does, what Reid does, and how this creates their complicated relationship. Each struggles with the right time to share their secret, until a disastrous accident forces them to use their powers together. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can stand in the way of their happiness. Nothing, but a prison break by the man still determined to kill her and Reid too far away to stop him. This time, she knows it will take the magic, the love, and more to save her. Here's my first impression, and I didn't read any of your previous versions so I apologize, but it feels like you've got character back stories in 3 paragraphs, but all of the big plot moments that make this story interesting and important are kind of vague and squashed into one paragraph. If you want to keep the query trim, I'd edit out some of the back story in the first 3 paragraphs and give clarity to what exactly is happening when the killer strikes and Reid intervenes and the relationship is made, secrets are kept, and where exactly is Reid when the jail break happens? Don't make it too long, but don't be vague on the meat of your story. I do think you have a very interesting premise, it is a story I'd read, but if I were an agent I'd still be wondering what exactly your book is about, and you probably don't want to create confused agents!

My YA paranormal romance novel, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY, is complete at 103,000 words. I am prepared to send a partial or full manuscript upon your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(name and contact info.)[/quote]
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Going again for .I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by BethC » April 23rd, 2010, 1:10 am

All of the comments have been so helpful and I won't give up...so here is a different take....see what you think. I'm just posting the body of the query this time.


Presley O’Connor expects a memorable senior year. What she doesn’t expect is the letter that arrives on her eighteenth birthday with her mutilated senior picture and a wish for a happy last birthday.

A serial killer has chosen her for his sixth victim, but his presence is affecting more than just Presley. Reid Montgomery, a guy Presley shamelessly admits to lusting after, is having visions of her abduction and murder. Visions aren’t new to Reid. For the last 400 years the first born sons in his family have used the visions to save others and to find their soul mates.

When the killer moves to abduct Presley on Christmas Eve, Reid arrives just in time to pull him from the back seat of her car. Reid knows she is his destiny, but struggles with telling her about his visions. Presley knows the attraction to him is much more than her old crush, but she too is keeping a secret of a sixth sense. The truth is that love, even when one can see the future, is complicated. Keeping secrets almost destroys their love when an accident forces them to use their powers together in an unsuccessful attempt to save a friend. Surviving that, Presley believes nothing can come between them again. Unfortunately for her, the man awaiting trial has other plans. A jail break puts him at Presley’s door when Reid is away and unable to stop him. Racing against a killer’s thirst for blood, Reid will have to use all the magic, love, and more to save her.

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Re: Maybe 3rd time is the charm..I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY

Post by Joel Q » April 23rd, 2010, 7:29 pm

I liked the way the other was shaping up.
this one seems a bit wordy, confusing.
But maybe that's just me.
See what others have to say.
JQ

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