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A DARKNESS IN SPRING (dark fantasy); FINAL VERSION


Best Answer MICRONESIA , 29 May 2018 - 01:56 PM

Final version. After this, I'm dropping the mic and walking away. If anyone has any last-minute suggestions, leave them below. 

 

I can't take it anymore. Let the chips fall where they may. I'm done.  :cool:

 

 

 

After stealing twenty-grand from a broken ATM, fledgling Wiccan Cassandra Morrow ditches city life for the glades and witch-green fields of the Blue Ridge Mountains. But when a local boy is found dead in the woods, she realizes nature isn’t especially motherly in this rustic community. Every few decades, a handful of children are lured inexplicably into the wilds, only to drop dead among the wisteria and bristlemoss.

 

Desperate to prevent another tragedy—and banish her lifelong complacency—Cassandra resolves to unearth the truth. One night, she stumbles upon a pagan cult, who whisper tales of woodland portals to a paradise called Over Yonder, where the children’s souls are taken. Her panic mounts when she catches Miles, her roommate and lover, leaving offerings to nature spirits called “the Fair Folk.”

 

The spirits, she discovers, are gathering forces for a coming invasion—and dead children are only the beginning. Fed up with mankind’s abuse of nature, the Fair Folk aim to restore the planet to a verdant paradise. But in order for them to enter our world, a portal must unlock beneath a mountain. And for some reason, they want Cassandra’s help.

 

Refusing them means death, and time is running out. Because soon the mountain will open up, and the culling will begin.

 

A DARKNESS IN SPRING is a dark fantasy novel of 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Universal Harvester and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. In 2010, I received an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Thank you for your consideration.

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#21 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:49 AM

So more Jean, then. Got it. I'll come back with a revision in the next day or two.

 

Y'all effing rock.



#22 MICRONESIA

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:19 PM

I just posted the third version. I went with most of your suggestions. Jean has been given more background and motivation. Hopefully, this also clears up the reason for her "selection" by the dark forces. 

 

I even stuck Crazy Mad back in. I don't know what I was thinking, haha.

 

Hopefully "genocide" is stronger than "slaughter" at the end. Is it clear that the dark forces will be wiping out all mankind? I want to make sure readers realize how high the stakes are.

 

I'm not much of a gamer, but I'll check out those titles. Thanks for the recommendations.



#23 Iconian

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:34 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to reclaim her pagan roots and explore the wilderness within herself. [And] recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. [woot!] There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory. Starry-eyed Jean is shocked to learn that she has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce everyone she loves on Earth.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

You could perhaps do a little more to connect the dots between the last three paragraphs, flesh it out a bit more.  But even as is, I think you're ready to take it to the agents!

 

Anyway, please take another look at my query and leave a critique--thanks!


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#24 BCVail

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 10:00 AM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. (Good hook.)

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. (Two things come to mind. 1 - Typically you'd want to introduce the character in the first sentence... but this works. It draws in your attention and that is the point after all. 2 - There is nothing wrong with the Worst of all sentence, and this is being super nit picky but if he's a ghost we can already assume he died... maybe try something like "Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of a child forever lost on the nearby mountain side." Again, nothing wrong with out you have it, just throwing out potential alternatives) Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her pagan roots and the wilderness within herself (Nice, gives us a good character goal). But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” (Not sure if you specifically need the names of the people - their descriptions would be sufficient - but I don't think it hurts the query so entirely up to you.)

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it ("All she has to do is renounce the world and abandon everyone she loves." Just a thought, not a necessity). (I'd like to see a little more connection between the previous paragraph and how hostile pagan forces (does this read pagan people or pagan type spirits?) taking over the world.)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

I think you have a stronger query now than the first version I looked at. Just a few little things, mainly the connection between the the Landlord killing people and the hostile Pagan forces needs to be clarified. Nothing fancy, but perhaps just a quick line to help bridge.



#25 Sataris

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 04:23 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

I'm kind of torn on this simile as being the lead in, but I really like the image it gives you, and I can't think of a better suggestion.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. this seems like a bit of a jump from the earlier bits; maybe a bit light after talking about the kid dying Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself.  This makes it seem like she has a choice to make with moving there, but the first line implies she's already made that choice. Is she considering leaving? But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

I really like the details you've used to introduce these characters, and you've done it in a way where we know we don't need to memorize their names for the rest of the query. I cut the last bit because I don't think we need to know the entity's name, and it's probably implied that some force is acting behind the scenes if it's gathered up all these people.

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.

 

I think the stakes themselves work here, but I'm not sure who exactly she cares about at this point. I kind of pegged her as being a recluse who wasn't particularly close to anyone. Granted, even a recluse would probably have a hard time dooming the world. But it might help if we had an example of her loving someone in here to make it more personal.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

There's some really good writing in here. The largest issue I had was the one at the end; the stakes hinge on us believing that paradise might not be worth her giving up the people she loves, but we don't see any of those people. A single quick line would probably do it. I hope that was helpful. If you've got a minute, my query is in my signature.


No current query.


#26 MICRONESIA

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:27 PM

Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself.  This makes it seem like she has a choice to make with moving there, but the first line implies she's already made that choice. Is she considering leaving? 

 

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 

 

In other words, she's already there.

 

Does this fix the time issue? 



#27 ThatDan

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:07 AM

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 
 
In other words, she's already there.
 
Does this fix the time issue?


Still could be interpreted that her sojourn is away from the house in the opener.

"Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature-- that's the reason she moved to rural North Carolina in the first place. And it might be the last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself."

Another way of putting it that might be clearer

I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#28 EMarie

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:26 AM

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. (By the end of this paragraph, I was definitely sold on your query and your writing. The first couple lines of the paragraph seemed a bit weak--maybe it was the 'flutes trill within the walls' line. That didn't quite work for me. But by the time you explained who Jean was--someone who wants to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself--I started to get interested in this character and the story. You do a great job summing up who Jean is and her internal struggle. I also loved the "Fair Folk" and the "Otherworld" elements of your story you mention here.) 

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” (Nice writing! The characters you introduce all sound intriguing. 'Crazy Mad' who 'communicates with a lump under her carpet'--seems a bit cryptic. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though I have no idea what is going on here and that could be off-putting.) 

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it. (I didn't think this paragraph was as strong. 'Pagan' and 'hostile' may be a bit of an overkill. Also, I'm not sure 'revolution' is the best word choice for what is going on. I loved the part about Jean getting to enter the Otherworld. I didn't really like the line that 'all she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.' To me this doesn't sound like much of a struggle--what would motivate Jean to want to leave the world fro the Otherworld? Maybe set up a scenario where there's more tension. To me it sounds more like you as the authorial voice just  making a statement and less about what's going on in Jean's head. If that makes sense.)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin. (Similar to 'revolution' I don't really think 'genocide' is the right word, or at least doesn't have the right connotations. Maybe use a different word, or find a different way to express that everyone is going to die while still staying with the fantasy mood and tone of your story.)

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

I think you have a good query here that shows your writing ability.



#29 Sataris

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 08:52 AM

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 

 

In other words, she's already there.

 

Does this fix the time issue? 

 

I like Thatdan's suggestion for this if you're set on keeping it.

 

That said, do you think the query is better if we think it's her only chance to explore the wilderness in herself? I think the sentence itself is nice, and it flows quite well while establishing your character, but I'm not sure why it might be her last chance (other than the impending apocalypse, but when we get to this sentence at first, the stakes aren't as clear). And if the reason is the apocalypse rather than something practical, it seems like she'd have larger concerns.

 

Basically, I'm sold on her finding her roots, but I'm not sure you need the second set of lower stakes.


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#30 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:53 PM

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer and one of those holes resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. (Good hook.)

 

Flutes trill within the walls. (This sentence took me a second to get. It's just a jump from the hook sentence, but I can see why you put it the way you did. Perhaps say "That's when the strange occurrences at Jean's apartment started" or something similar before it.) Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps finding the ghost of the kid who had wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure to the weather. Then again, But Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. (Wilderness within herself? Does she have some aggression issues? Mental disorder? What do you mean by this?) But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. (How do the events remind her of the Fair Folk? Just because a kid got lost on the mountain? - Also, does the Otherworld = Underworld or parallel plane or so?)

 

When dead bodies start piling up (Where at? By the apartments?), everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced (I'd add more to this one like: "who seems to be hiding something" or so, because he seems like nothing compared to the others.). There’s Crazy Mad who's an elderly recluse (recluse?) who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants (The word tenants sounds strange here.), have been collected for a much larger purpose that—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord” knows about. (This whole paragraph makes me think I'm watching the movie "Clue" or at least playing the board game.)

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. (How and why was she chosen?) The prize is a permanent residence in the Otherworld, the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. (So if Fair Folk are kidnapping kids to take them to this paradise, it doesn't sound too bad. Not as bad as I was thinking at least.) All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.  This sounds out of place to me. I think it can end with the paragraph above.

 

Good query though. I like the plot. I'd just clarify some details throughout.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel complete with 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.



#31 lyncfs

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:12 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. ​(nice hook)

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. ​(Good explanation of her motivations and the things that haunt her)

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” ​(wow, nice stakes. I like how you give us a list of the tenants to get the creepy atmosphere Jean is in)

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it. ​(Your last line is a little lacking. I think it's because I don't get a sense of what Jean loves. In the second paragraph instead of going on about her Wiccan roots, I would add some things that she finds dear to her to get a better sense of her character)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin. ​I like this line but it's a little vague and not related to Jean. 

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time. ​(Add bio and comparables?)

I think you've captured the creepiness of your story very well. I like the strange and sinister characters but I don't get a sense of what makes Jean qualified to lead the revolution or why she was chosen. 


THE IMMORTAL GUARD. Link to my query. Please critique, if I have reviewed yours.

#32 MICRONESIA

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:11 AM

Thanks, everyone. Clearly something is still off with the ending. Back to the drawing board!

#33 MICRONESIA

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:21 AM

I like Thatdan's suggestion for this if you're set on keeping it.

That said, do you think the query is better if we think it's her only chance to explore the wilderness in herself? I think the sentence itself is nice, and it flows quite well while establishing your character, but I'm not sure why it might be her last chance (other than the impending apocalypse, but when we get to this sentence at first, the stakes aren't as clear). And if the reason is the apocalypse rather than something practical, it seems like she'd have larger concerns.

Basically, I'm sold on her finding her roots, but I'm not sure you need the second set of lower stakes.

You're right. I need to clear that up a bit. Mainly, I thought it was essential to clarify why she moved there in the first place. She's serious about this nature spirituality stuff, but maybe I should make it seem less... dire.

At least that's what I think you're getting at.

#34 TheBest

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:04 AM

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides(Awkward) over Jean’s new apartment complex. (Nice hook)

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to reclaim her pagan roots and explore the wilderness within herself. [And] recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. (This was explained really well despite complexity)

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at(In) the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her(Who's her?) roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” (Damn! This really pulls me in)

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory. Starry-eyed Jean is shocked to learn that she has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce everyone she loves on Earth. (Good stakes, but maybe make it even more intense. 'Renounce' everyone offers less tension than the earlier paragraph.)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin. (Nice)

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

​This query is great! It reads very, very polished, like it's just about ready to be sent out and get some requests. However, consider going through pacing and stakes,and deciding exactly where you want the most tension. Also, Jean features very little in a book centered around her. Maybe add in another sentence in the beginning just about her character motivation. All in all, incredibly impressive query. Good luck!



#35 Sataris

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:30 AM

You're right. I need to clear that up a bit. Mainly, I thought it was essential to clarify why she moved there in the first place. She's serious about this nature spirituality stuff, but maybe I should make it seem less... dire.

At least that's what I think you're getting at.

 

yep that's it


No current query.


#36 eric balson

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:51 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. Noice!!

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. The struck out part sounds vague But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. 

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” Are the landlord and the fair folk somehow connected? If so, mention how, cause it'll seem like one of them isn't relevant.

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen by whom? why? you haven't really told us what makes her special. I know you mentioned she has Wiccan roots, but that doesn't automatically imply she possesses power--not unless you mention it in your query at least  to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it. Who are those she loves? You haven't really delved into who Jean is, who she cares about etc.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

Hope this helps. Please check out my query here (post #69); http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-4



#37 Theo A. Gerken

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:07 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

I can't make up my mind if I like the title or not. I think I don't like it, but it's not bad. It doesn't make sense to me, that's my problem with it. Maybe a stronger, more evocative title?

 

The Otherworld -- is a pretty good title.

 

You do a good job in describing the plot, the people, and the supernatural part. There is a general flow to the query -- it reads well. This is hard to accomplish is sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural because there is so much to introduce.

 

The first sentence is strong. The last two sentences about the genocide are strong too. It's dramatic and immediate, and it sounds like a fun book.

 

I have no major complaints. This query is in good shape.

 

Link to my query below.



#38 Spooky

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:38 AM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

This is meant to be helpful, not harsh. I apologize if it comes across as the latter.

The story sounds really interesting, but your main character barely appears in the query. Stuff is happening all around her, but she doesn't seem involved. You talk about reality, the building, the neighbors, the landlord, but I still don't know:

a) who the character is,

b) what she wants,

c) what she needs to do to get it-- help the revolution is vague and move to North Carolina is bland.

You need to give us more. Start with protagonist, stay with the protagonist.

Best of luck!



#39 MICRONESIA

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:35 PM

Fourth attempt at typing this message. This website is EXCRUCIATING. For those who critiqued my query in the month I was gone, I'll get to you soon. Maybe it's this computer or something. Ugh.

 

Anyway, query updated.



#40 jaustail

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:17 AM

JMO:

 

 

Dear [agent]:

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer(this analogy made me think this book is on environment. maybe use an analogy that is more connected with the book or genre)—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure(exposure to? the sun's uv rays? if that's the case then the ozone stuff makes sense). It all reminds Jean of the “Fair Folk” legends—woodland spirits who steal children’s souls and take them to the Otherworld.

Even so, that rotting inn she bought across town isn’t going to repair itself. Nor will the women she’ll soon shelter there. After all, she moved to rural North Carolina to ditch security and truly help people. Plant gardens, raise consciousness, start a revolution.

But when dead bodies start piling up at the apartment complex, Jean begins eyeing her neighbors suspiciously. There’s Miles, her roommate, who is (ugh) falling in love with her. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, an adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. And there’s the psychedelic entity that visits Jean in her bedroom—an entity that calls itself “the Landlord.”(maybe trim this paragraph. it doesn't move the plot and more like setting)

Pagan, hostile forces are commencing their own revolution, and Jean has been chosen to help. She knows a renewed devotion to nature might be the only thing that can save the dying planet. But at what price? There isn’t much time to decide where she stands.(this interested me. i think you should start with here. that Jean gets dreams that the nature is calling her to fight the polluting humans or something like that)

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the culling will begin.

A DARKNESS IN SPRING is a horror novel of 75,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

 

If this book is about nature vs humans then this it's fun. Good luck.

Link to my revised query is in my signature.






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