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#1 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:27 AM

REVISION IN POST #44

 

After I had shared this and revised it, I submitted it to some agents. I was getting no where and thought I would revise it again and any feedback would be appreicated:

 

 

 

Dear Agent

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. She is now free to live and worship without fear. Until a fire at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue, where Ron’s body is found with a suspicious fatal head wound. Ciara becomes a prime suspect when a vague e-mail from Ron to Ciara is located on Ron's computer.

 

Detective Yair McCormac finds the e-mail to Ciara and is sure it is an open and shut case. He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then shot at…twice. A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

As Yair and Ciara attempt to avoid a relationship, the case throws them together; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check is approximately 79,000 words. Thank you for your time.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#2 trickster71

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:43 AM

You need a one or two sentence hook here.

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. If she is not dependent on anyone, why does Ron have to help her? She is now free to live and worship without fear. Until a fire at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue, where Ron’s body is found with a suspicious fatal head wound. This sentence needs to be reworded. It is bulky and awkward.  If his body is found, you don't have to say it is fatal, and of course it is suspicious since he is found dead in a synagogue. Ciara becomes a prime suspect when a vague e-mail from Ron to Ciara is located on Ron's computer.  This sentence is as vague as the email :)

 

Detective Yair McCormac finds the e-mail to Ciara and is sure it is an open and shut case. He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then shot at…twice. The was this is written says that the house was shot at twice, not  Ciara.  A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance. I'm not a big fan of focusing on 2 MCs in a query, unless the writer has a really good handle on writing query letters.  It just complicates everything.  Stay focused on Ciara or Yair.

 

As Yair and Ciara attempt to avoid a relationship, the case throws them together; opening her wounds for the healing she needs  that sounds weird to me. and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

Sounds like an interesting novel.  Make sure to include the genre in the next line.  Keep at it and good luck!

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check is approximately 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Want a more in-depth critique/edit of your query, synopsis, or MS?

Contact me at:  refugeforwriters.com

 


#3 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

You need a one or two sentence hook here.

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. If she is not dependent on anyone, why does Ron have to help her? (Even one who is independent needs help moving, right?) She is now free to live and worship without fear. Until a fire at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue, where Ron’s body is found with a suspicious fatal head wound. This sentence needs to be reworded. It is bulky and awkward.  If his body is found, you don't have to say it is fatal, and of course it is suspicious since he is found dead in a synagogue. Ciara becomes a prime suspect when a vague e-mail from Ron to Ciara is located on Ron's computer.  This sentence is as vague as the email :)

 

Detective Yair McCormac finds the e-mail to Ciara and is sure it is an open and shut case. He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then shot at…twice. The was this is written says that the house was shot at twice, not  Ciara.  A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance. I'm not a big fan of focusing on 2 MCs in a query, unless the writer has a really good handle on writing query letters.  It just complicates everything.  Stay focused on Ciara or Yair. I understand that, but this novel focuses on both characters and the changes they go through. I really did try to eliminate Yair, but couldn't without taking away a lot of the query, including the last paragraph,  and I can't take Ciara out.

 

As Yair and Ciara attempt to avoid a relationship, the case throws them together; opening her wounds for the healing she needs  that sounds weird to me.(meaning some wounds need to be opened in order to heal) and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

Sounds like an interesting novel.  Make sure to include the genre in the next line.  Keep at it and good luck!(Have a question on genre, what if it is three genres? I heard agents only want to know one and if that is the case, then I would say the genre is whatever that agent is looking for, right? Like the one I have here is an example to an agent who is interested in romance)

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check is approximately 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Whew, thanks for poiinting out that part where it looked like the house was shot at. I never know the best way to make changes while explaining why I made or didn't make them, so I have put in red my reply and questions above while below is the revision.

 

 

 A vague e-mail connects Ciara to Ron, whose body was found at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue.

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. She is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in Ron's murder.

 

Detective Yair McCormac finds an e-mail from Ron to Ciara and is sure it is an open and shut case. He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at…twice. A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#4 trickster71

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:26 PM

Maybe I wasn't clear on some suggestions last time.  I will take another stab at this. :)

 

A vague e-mail connects Ciara to Ron, whose body was found at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue.  This isn't a hook.  Right now at first glance, the reader has no clue who Ciara or Ron is and what's going on here.  But you get the idea that is should be short. :)

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. She is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in Ron's murder. Maybe you can tighten this up into a hook. In this query, her son isn't important as he isn't mentioned again.  I'm also not sure it is crucial to say Ron helped move her.  Also, what I suggested was not taking Yair or Ciara out of the query, but show their story thru only one POV in the query.  You could easily change this query to Yair's POV, but if you are querying romance agents, it is probably best to tell it from Ciara's POV. 

 

When Detective Yair McCormac discovers a dead body in a Messianic synagogue, all evidence points to a young mother.

 

When Yair McCormac finds   uncovers an e-mail from Ron the victim to Ciara Montgomery, he and is sure it is an open and shut case. He learns she is new in town, has just buried her husband, and has . He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair's gut-instincts waver when  feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at(space)…(space)twice. I'm thinking you should start a new para here, because the following doesn't correlate with the beginning of the para.

 

 A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. I'm not clear on why he doesn't believe in Yeshau is important here.  Also, you say Yair is Jewish, and wasn't Yeshau Jewish?  This might be confusing for others as well. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah. I'm trying to use your words, but stay in Yair's POV here:  As the case throws Yair and Ciara closer together, he needs to prove her innocence and help her find a way to heal the wounds of her past.  He also must come to terms with his Messiah if they ever hope to have a future together.

 

I don't know, these are just some thoughts/suggestions.  I feel like there is a major religious theme here, but it isn't coming across very well.  What is Ciara's issue with finally being free to worship as she wishes?  Was her controlling husband an opposing religion or something?  I feel like something super-important is missing in here.  Does he have children?  What difference does it make if he doesn't agree with his family on religion?  He is single, right?  And an adult. I'm just wondering if some of this info that isn't being told could really tie your query together and give a character arc for your MCs.  Good luck on this and keep at it!

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Want a more in-depth critique/edit of your query, synopsis, or MS?

Contact me at:  refugeforwriters.com

 


#5 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:57 PM

Maybe I wasn't clear on some suggestions last time.  I will take another stab at this. :)

 

A vague e-mail connects Ciara to Ron, whose body was found at Beit HaMashiach, a Messianic synagogue.  This isn't a hook.  Right now at first glance, the reader has no clue who Ciara or Ron is and what's going on here.  But you get the idea that is should be short. :)

 

No longer dependent on anyone after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery's friend, Ron, helps her and her young son move across the state. She is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in Ron's murder. Maybe you can tighten this up into a hook. In this query, her son isn't important as he isn't mentioned again.  I'm also not sure it is crucial to say Ron helped move her.  Also, what I suggested was not taking Yair or Ciara out of the query, but show their story thru only one POV in the query.  You could easily change this query to Yair's POV, but if you are querying romance agents, it is probably best to tell it from Ciara's POV. 

 

When Detective Yair McCormac discovers a dead body in a Messianic synagogue, all evidence points to a young mother.

 

When Yair McCormac finds   uncovers an e-mail from Ron the victim to Ciara Montgomery, he and is sure it is an open and shut case. He learns she is new in town, has just buried her husband, and has . He even finds incriminating evidence against her, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair's gut-instincts waver when  feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at(space)…(space)twice. I'm thinking you should start a new para here, because the following doesn't correlate with the beginning of the para.

 

 A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua. I'm not clear on why he doesn't believe in Yeshau is important here.  Also, you say Yair is Jewish, and wasn't Yeshau Jewish?  This might be confusing for others as well. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and his belief in the Messiah is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah. I'm trying to use your words, but stay in Yair's POV here:  As the case throws Yair and Ciara closer together, he needs to prove her innocence and help her find a way to heal the wounds of her past.  He also must come to terms with his Messiah if they ever hope to have a future together.

 

I don't know, these are just some thoughts/suggestions.  I feel like there is a major religious theme here, but it isn't coming across very well.  What is Ciara's issue with finally being free to worship as she wishes?  Was her controlling husband an opposing religion or something?  I feel like something super-important is missing in here.  Does he have children?  What difference does it make if he doesn't agree with his family on religion?  He is single, right?  And an adult. I'm just wondering if some of this info that isn't being told could really tie your query together and give a character arc for your MCs.  Good luck on this and keep at it!

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

trickster you are working my brain today..lol Your questions and suggestions are in red while mine is in red and bold.




Almost a year after the death of her controlling husband, Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship  without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

 

Also, what I suggested was not taking Yair or Ciara out of the query, but show their story thru only one POV in the query.

You could easily change this query to Yair's POV, but if you are querying romance agents, it is probably best to tell it from Ciara's POV.

(This has three genres, the romance part was an example, just like if I were to query an agent interested in suspense or inspirational, but if I had to choose, I would rather use Ciara's POV)

 

When Ciara's friend's dead body is discovered in a Messianic synagogue, all evidence points to her. Detective Yair McCormac shows Ciara the e-mail he retrieved from the victim's computer and later he finds out her criminal record has been expunged. It wasn't until she was shot at … twice, (really a space? I learned it was no spaces) that Ciara noticed his suspicions towards her have changed.

 

Ciara knew Yair was a Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, but more importantly he didn't believe in Yeshua as the Messiah.  (I will have to work on this, I can't seem to go any further)

 

 

I don't know, these are just some thoughts/suggestions.

I feel like there is a major religious theme here, but it isn't coming across very well.

What is Ciara's issue with finally being free to worship as she wishes?

Was her controlling husband an opposing religion or something?

I feel like something super-important is missing in here.

Does he have children?

What difference does it make if he doesn't agree with his family on religion?

He is single, right?

And an adult. I'm just wondering if some of this info that isn't being told could really tie your query together and give a character arc for your MCs.

Good luck on this and keep at it!

The reason you are probably asking these kind of questions is because there is no contemporary romance novel with faith like this one. (I know this because not only have I looked, but an editor friend also looked and the closest she came to was Bodie Thorne, which is historical and the characters are either one religion or another. So yes, faith is a big part of the story)

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance (or suspense or inspirational) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#6 rdavis060

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:45 PM

Let me take a shot at helping.

1.Write down what your MC, Ciara wants most. Write it in one sentence

2. Write what is standing in her way in one sentence

3. Is she experiencing an internal conflict? write it in one sentence.

Write those three sentences and post it. I think you will be surprised at the results. Then, when you get that done, I see part of your query that works quite well - so we can add it at that time.

You can also email me at rdavis060@gmail.com with all this and I'll show you how to put it all together.
R. Davis

#7 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:00 PM

Let me take a shot at helping.

1.Write down what your MC, Ciara wants most. Write it in one sentence  "Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship

without fear."


2. Write what is standing in her way in one sentence  "prime suspect in a murder"

3. Is she experiencing an internal conflict? write it in one sentence. "she does have an internal conflict, her past she wants left in the past"

Write those three sentences and post it. I think you will be surprised at the results. Then, when you get that done, I see part of your query that works quite well - so we can add it at that time.

You can also email me at rdavis060@gmail.com with all this and I'll show you how to put it all together.
R. Davis

Hi Davis, here is what I have after answering your questions:

Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#8 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:01 PM

Hi Davis, here is what I have after answering your questions:

Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

Of course that is only Ciara's POV, not Yair's.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#9 carmela

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:18 PM

Trickster, what do you think of this? It is more of Yair's POV, not what I really wanted, but if it works, who am I to argue?


Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He even finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at…twice.

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua as the Messiah. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and he is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance (suspense, inspirational) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#10 Ireth

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:46 PM

I'm not Trickster, but I thought I'd weigh in on this anyway. :) Hope my comments are helpful.

 

Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He even finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at (I think a long dash would work better than ellipsis) twice.

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua as the Messiah. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and he is challenged by her Biblical allegiance.

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair(comma) opening her wounds for the healing she needs(comma) and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. REALITY CHECK is a romance (suspense, inspirational) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#11 RosieSkye

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:15 PM

I'm not Trickster either, but here goes. :)

 

Trickster, what do you think of this? It is more of Yair's POV, not what I really wanted, but if it works, who am I to argue?

 

You need a hook here.

 

DOUBLE SPACE BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS
Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear (this makes me think one of two things - either your story takes place several centuries in the past, or Ciara lives in some oppressive Middle Eastern country)...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.  (What happened in her past?)

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He even finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at…twice.  (You mean there were two separate instances when someone broke into her house and shot at her, right?  As written, it sounds like they guy broke in once and fired a gun twice.)

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.  (This sort of comes out of nowhere.  You're talking all about the murder case, and suddenly you start talking about his religious beliefs.  Also, I had to Google "Yeshua.")  His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and he is challenged by her biblical allegiance.  (I'm not sure what this means.)

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; (comma, not semicolon) opening her wounds for the healing she needs (generally opening wounds is the opposite of healing them) and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.  (Not sure what this truth is.  More religious detail needed.)

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check REALITY CHECK is a romance (suspense, inspirational) (hmm, maybe "inspirational romance with elements of suspense?") novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I like what you've got going on here, and it's understandably difficult to mesh a romance, a murder plot, and faith elements.  You're missing what's at stake for the characters, what choice they ultimately have to make.  Also, as someone not well-versed in Judaism, that whole side of the story left me scratching my head.  I think you need to include more details about that to appeal to a broader audience.

 

Just a thought: maybe start your query with Yair and his religious beliefs, and then introduce Ciara and the problems he faces by being attracted to her and her different views.  (At least I think they're different - I can't exactly tell by your query.)  Then the murder case can sit in the background until the stakes are raised for the characters on that front.

 

Good luck! 



#12 rdavis060

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:22 AM

Okay,
  Sorry I've waited a while to get back to you. Thanks for taking my advice and writing those important points in the first sentence. Now you have a start, so use some of the others' advice to complete it.
 
Ciara Montgomery, finally free from the absolute control by her abusive husband, is now able to live and worship without fear-- until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget, a  past .... (a simple explanation here about what happened - it must have to do with her expunged record) and the ensuing murder conviction tests her beliefs in ways she never thought possible.

 

Detective Yair McCormack is a recent widower who rebels against any God who would take his beloved wife. Assigned to the case, he discovers that Ciara might not be guilty. Thrown together in an effort to prove her innocence, Ciara and Yair draw strength from each other as he helps to heal the wounds she has suffered and she gently brings him back to the God he thought he would never trust again.

 

Maybe I'm way off base here. I'm assuming things that I have no knowledge of, but I thought I would give it a go. Now you have a short query that an agent won't mind reading, (only a few sentences) a main character who knows what she wants (to live and worship freely) what is keeping her from doing it (arrested for murder) and a strong romantic suspense element (She believes strongly - he is angry at God for taking his wife).

 

As for a one sentence hook, I'm not sure of what would be appropriate. Something like.....As the doors clang shut on her cell door, an abused frightened woman once again looks to the God she has so fervently believed in all her life.

 

Hopefully, Trikster will come back and give you something better - she is really good at it.

 

I hope this helps,

Randall Davis



#13 carmela

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:00 AM

I'm not Trickster, but I thought I'd weigh in on this anyway. :) Hope my comments are helpful.

Thanks Ireth, I love your quote, I could use it, just replace tea with coffee. lol 

This is a first I have heard of putting the title in all caps, I learned that putting the title in italics is the way to go and of course when I pasted it, the format was removed.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#14 carmela

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

I'm not Trickster either, but here goes. :)

 

 

I like what you've got going on here, and it's understandably difficult to mesh a romance, a murder plot, and faith elements.  You're missing what's at stake for the characters, what choice they ultimately have to make.  Also, as someone not well-versed in Judaism, that whole side of the story left me scratching my head.  I think you need to include more details about that to appeal to a broader audience.

 

Just a thought: maybe start your query with Yair and his religious beliefs, and then introduce Ciara and the problems he faces by being attracted to her and her different views.  (At least I think they're different - I can't exactly tell by your query.)  Then the murder case can sit in the background until the stakes are raised for the characters on that front.

 

Good luck! 

RosieSkye, thanks, I am not a doctor, but I was under the impression some wounds need to be opened in order to heal correctly, even emotional ones, and that was my point. As for the faith part, I thought I had I had clearly pointed out the differences, I will look over it again since the only part of Judaism I mentioned was that was Yair's faith. I actually had more details in my earlier drafts and was told it wasn't needed. 


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#15 carmela

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:35 AM

Okay,
  Sorry I've waited a while to get back to you. Thanks for taking my advice and writing those important points in the first sentence. Now you have a start, so use some of the others' advice to complete it.
 
Ciara Montgomery, finally free from the absolute control by her abusive husband, is now able to live and worship without fear-- until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget, a  past .... (a simple explanation here about what happened - it must have to do with her expunged record) and the ensuing murder conviction tests her beliefs in ways she never thought possible.

 

Detective Yair McCormack is a recent widower who rebels against any God who would take his beloved wife. Assigned to the case, he discovers that Ciara might not be guilty. Thrown together in an effort to prove her innocence, Ciara and Yair draw strength from each other as he helps to heal the wounds she has suffered and she gently brings him back to the God he thought he would never trust again.

 

Maybe I'm way off base here. I'm assuming things that I have no knowledge of, but I thought I would give it a go. Now you have a short query that an agent won't mind reading, (only a few sentences) a main character who knows what she wants (to live and worship freely) what is keeping her from doing it (arrested for murder) and a strong romantic suspense element (She believes strongly - he is angry at God for taking his wife).

 

As for a one sentence hook, I'm not sure of what would be appropriate. Something like.....As the doors clang shut on her cell door, an abused frightened woman once again looks to the God she has so fervently believed in all her life.

 

Hopefully, Trikster will come back and give you something better - she is really good at it.

 

I hope this helps,

Randall Davis

rdavis060   You also have given me some ideas, though you made it seem that Ciara and Yair had recently lost their spouse when in fact Ciara's husband died a year before and Yair's wife died over 9 years ago. Again, like I told the previous member, I had this info in my earlier drafts and was told to remove it.. :wacko:  LOL

Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#16 carmela

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:06 AM

RosieSkype I went over your suggestions and I hope this makes it more clear:

 

You need a hook here.  The first two sentences is the hook

 

DOUBLE SPACE BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS  (again, it seems when I copy here it removes the formatting, it is doubled spaced between paragraphs)

Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear (this makes me think one of two things - either your story takes place several centuries in the past, or Ciara lives in some oppressive Middle Eastern country)(Even today in America there are problems with living and worshiping without fear)...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

(What happened in her past?) (this is a suspense, how much do I need to tell in a query?)

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He even finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is innocent when her home is broken into and then later she is shot at…twice.

(You mean there were two separate instances when someone broke into her house and shot at her, right?

As written, it sounds like they guy broke in once and fired a gun twice.) (I added the word “later”)

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.

(This sort of comes out of nowhere.

You're talking all about the murder case, and suddenly you start talking about his religious beliefs.

Also, I had to Google "Yeshua.") (Considering this is a new paragraph, I am describing his character in a little more detail)

His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and he is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

(I'm not sure what this means.) (More or less means his faith is challenged by her faith)

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, the case throws her together with Yair; (comma, not semicolon) opening her wounds for the healing she needs (generally opening wounds is the opposite of healing them)(I have contacted a friend who is a nurse and waiting on her reply, because I have had wound I had to open in order for it to heal) and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

(Not sure what this truth is.

More religious detail needed.) (In Judaism, they don't believe The Messiah has come yet)

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check (So, nothing about my education?) REALITY CHECK is a romance (suspense, inspirational) (hmm, maybe "inspirational romance with elements of suspense?")

(I put it that way because agents only accept one genre, which is why the “suspense, inspirational” words are in parenthesis) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I like what you've got going on here, and it's understandably difficult to mesh a romance, a murder plot, and faith elements.

You're missing what's at stake for the characters, what choice they ultimately have to make.

Also, as someone not well-versed in Judaism, that whole side of the story left me scratching my head. (I had to comment here, even one who is steeped in Judaism would be confused as well as a Christian. Either that or highly offended.)

I think you need to include more details about that to appeal to a broader audience.

 

Just a thought: maybe start your query with Yair and his religious beliefs, and then introduce Ciara and the problems he faces by being attracted to her and her different views.

(At least I think they're different - I can't exactly tell by your query.)

Then the murder case can sit in the background until the stakes are raised for the characters on that front. (So you're saying to focus on the faith part rather than the romance or suspense?)


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#17 carmela

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:15 AM


 

RosieSkype,here is a quote from a nurse about opening wounds:

 

"If there is infection inside of a wound, it has to be open, otherwise it will get worse.Same with emotional wounds, I'd say. Somethings need to be aired out, instead of bottled up!"

 

So even if it doesn't make sense, sometimes a wound does have to be opened in order to heal


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#18 trickster71

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:02 PM

Carmela~ you asked me about the education thing.  By all means, since you are a creative writing major include it in your query.  It shows your commitment/intentions to honing the craft of fiction.  Now let's say you are majoring in english or journalism -- same deal -- it is revelent.  If you are an artist, engineer, nurse, or work for NASA, then it is not revelent unless you are writing a novel that requires a lot of expertise in art history, mechanics, medical, or the Space Program.  An agent doesn't care if you head up your local writing group, belong to AQC, love to read, have been writing since the age of four, etc.  If you have publishing credits, then say so.  If you have a platform of 10,000 followers on your blog, say so.  Other than that, agents don't care about how many dogs you have, that you love to travel, have 7 kids, and a five-legged step-dad.  See the pattern?  Your bio in a query isn't going to stand up and be a deciding factor on whether an agent requests more pages unless the query itself is great and your MS has marketing potential.  Therefore, it is advised not to waste precious space in your query to tout yourself needlessly when it should be showcasing your novel.  Does that make sense?

 

 

Ciara Montgomery is free to live and worship without fear...until she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. The investigation is opening up her past and a time she'd rather forget. I'm thinking you have to have some explanation of this freedom to have it make sense to someone reading this for the first time, which is what the agent will do.  Maybe something like: 

 

Now that Ciara Montgomery's controlling Catholic husband is dead, she can live and practice her Jewish faith without fear.  Until her friend is murdered in a synagogue -- and she is the prime suspect.    (I have no clue if the dead husband was Catholic or not, but if he WAS Catholic, Southern Baptist or athiest, it would explain the preciousness of this new-found freedom.  Whatever the case, try to include it.)

 

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He even finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet Yair feels she is  may be innocent when her home is broken into and then she is shot at…twice. I changed the "is" to "may be" because in one sentence you say he "is sure" she is guilty, the next sentence he "feels she is innocent".  That is a complete turn-around in a heartbeat and makes him sound wishy-washy.  What you want to convey is that he eventually changes his -- but not like a light switch.  You may consider rewriting that 2nd sentence to convey that more clearly.

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, Yair doesn’t understand his family’s belief in Yeshua as the Messiah. This mention of Yeshau still seems like it's coming out of nowhere in the context of this query and that particular sentence. Maybe move it to the part where he is challenged by her biblical allegiance. His fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens, and he is challenged by her biblical allegiance. 

As Ciara attempts to avoid a relationship, They BOTH are hesitant to start a relationship, not just Ciara.  Since you end the sentence with both of them, include Yair in the beginning as well or break up the sentence into two -- showing the conflict each has about finding love. the case throws her together with Yair; opening her wounds for the healing she needs and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah. You need to set up the stakes better.  What would happen/what do they stand to lose if they resist each other?  I hope this helps.  I like the story, I just think some things need to be clear.  Good luck on this and keep at it!

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance (suspense, inspirational) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 


Want a more in-depth critique/edit of your query, synopsis, or MS?

Contact me at:  refugeforwriters.com

 


#19 carmela

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:57 AM

Trickster you are wonderful, below is the revised version:

 

Now that Ciara Montgomery's controlling and hypocritical husband is dead, she can live and worship without fear...until her friend is murdered and she is the prime suspect. The investigation opens up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

 

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet as Yair spends more time with her, he feels Ciara may be innocent, especially when her home is broken into and then later she is shot at…twice.

 

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, his fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens. Yair doesn't understand his family's belief in Yeshua as the Messiah and he is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

His despair of losing another loved one and her anxiety of losing her independence, like in her first marriage, make them both hesitant to start a relationship.  Yet the case throw them together; opening her wounds for healing and his eye to the truth of his Messiah.

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance (suspense, inspirational) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#20 carmela

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:33 PM

I hope this is the last time working on this.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Now that Ciara Montgomery's controlling and hypocritical husband is dead, she can live and worship without fear...until her friend is murdered and she is the prime suspect. The investigation opens up her past and a time she'd rather forget.

 

Detective Yair McCormac is sure this case will be closed soon. He finds incriminating evidence against Ciara, including an expunged criminal record. Yet as Yair spends more time with her, he feels Ciara may be innocent, especially when her home is broken into and then later she is shot at…twice.

 

A Jewish widower, father, and brother-in-law to the deceased, his fear of commitment, since the loss of his wife, is tested as his feelings for Ciara deepens even as he is challenged by her biblical allegiance.

 

His despair of losing another loved one and her anxiety of losing her independence, like in her first marriage, make them both hesitant to start a relationship.  Yet the case throws them together; opening her wounds for healing and his eyes to the truth of his Messiah.

 

I’m currently majoring in creative writing. Reality Check a romance (suspense, inspirational <-the genre depends on the agent I am submitting to) novel of 79,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/





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