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Query Review: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

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#1 Ltjen107

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:37 AM

Hello!  I'm looking for suggestions to help my query shine.  Below please find my most recent version.  Your help is appreciated - much thanks!

 

 

 

Mr./Ms. ____ -

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my novel with you and XCompany. I am seeking representation for my novel, SABLE. According to _____, you have had much success with ____ novelists and I think by novel will be a good addition to your list.   This novel weaves together important current themes with timeless messages of isolation and acceptance, love, being true and believing in one’s self.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sable Starling profoundly yearns to be a part of something greater than herself, but continually finds herself alone in her black and purple goth-punk world.  Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable finds herself living with her judgy, preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California.  Isolationism at an all-time high and Sable is sure living in Astoria will suck, big time.

 

But when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, she finds that she is shockingly wrong and pulls her sinking morale out of her blood-red Dr. Marten boots.  Sable recognizes the band patches and pins on his coat and feels akin to him, part of a culture of which mainstream society was quietly aware, yet had no understanding.  His unique style and heartbreaking beauty make him the kind of creature she would invent in her sleep--in the innermost parts of her mind and hide away in the dark shadows of her heart.

 

But there is something otherworldly about Gabriel.  His ethereal looks, unusual lifestyle, and secretive behavior intrigues Sable even as they unnerve her.  As Sable struggles with her own significance, it is Gabriel who truly sees and accepts her in the way she has yearned for her entire life.  

 

Sable’s new life is something worth fighting for, even worth dying for… but when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities.  Sable’s world begins to crumble as she is forced with a decision of devastating and extraordinary power; and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.  

 

SABLE is complete at 79,431 words and is the first in a series.  Having always considered myself a writer, I’ve taught middle and high school students and have a background in public relations and advertising.  I believe my books will appeal to paranormal-romance readers, specifically those drawn to A Shade of Vampirenovels or craving descriptions like one would find in The Amber Spyglass.  Per your specifications, please find the first ____ pages of my novel included.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

 

Thank you,

 

J. Brown

 

J. Brown Vogel



#2 Springfield

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:37 PM

Oh for god's sake there's already a thread for this. I had a whole edit here, and just erased it. 



#3 yawriter

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 07:15 PM

Hello! To start with I think the query sweet spot is somewhere around 250 words. That was my mistake. There is a lot you an do to combine sentences. 

 

Mr./Ms. ____ -

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my novel with you and XCompany. I am seeking representation for my novel, SABLE. According to _____, you have had much success with ____ novelists and I think by novel will be a good addition to your list.   This novel weaves together important current themes with timeless messages of isolation and acceptance, love, being true and believing in one’s self.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sable Starling profoundly In effort to condense, I'm going to see what can be crossed out yearns to be a part of something greater than herself, but continually finds herself alone in her black and purple goth-punk world.  Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable finds herself living with her judgy, preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California even with the cross outs this is a long sentence.  Isolationism at an all-time high and Sable is sure living in Astoria will suck, big time.

 

But when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, she finds that she is shockingly wrong and pulls her sinking morale out of her blood-red Dr. Marten boots.  Sable recognizes the band patches and pins on his coat and feels akin to him, part of a culture of which mainstream society was quietly aware, yet had no understanding.  Think of the query as a rhythm. Right now EVERY sentences is exceptionally long. Break it up. Have some short with some long...it makes it flow and holds the readers attention. (Also, I'm a complete hopeless romantic, so I would probably read this novel :) )His unique style and heartbreaking beauty make him the kind of creature she would invent in her sleep--in the innermost parts of her mind and hide away in the dark shadows of her heart.again long.

 

But there is something otherworldly about Gabriel.  His ethereal looks, unusual lifestyle, and secretive behavior intrigues Sable even as they unnerve her.  As Sable struggles with her own significance, it is Gabriel who truly sees and accepts her in the way she has yearned for her entire life.So is the meat of the story the main problem Sable feeling important? That's what I get from this, but it doesn't seem like a big enough problem to hook an agent? In my opinion. Most teens go through this.

 

Sable’s new life is something worth fighting for, even worth dying for… but when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities.  Sable’s world begins to crumble as she is forced with a decision of devastating and extraordinary power; to be safe, don't use a semicolon. and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.  ​secret society??? When did that happen? I would bring that up much earlier. 

 

SABLE is complete at 79,431round... 79,000 words. words and is the first in a series.  Having always considered myself a writer, I’ve taught middle and high school students and have a background in public relations and advertising.  I believe my books will appeal to paranormal-romance readers, specifically those drawn to A Shade of Vampirenovels or craving descriptions like one would find in The Amber Spyglass.  Per your specifications, please find the first ____ pages of my novel included.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

 

Thank you,

 

J. Brown

 

J. Brown Vogel

 

Please visit my query! I'd love to know what you think! Let me know when you've corrected!

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38448-the-citys-whispers-paranormal-ya-romance/?p=352436

 



#4 Dasein

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:33 AM

This needs to be edited quite a bit. I have picked out the parts that I find most interesting that I think can stay.


Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable Starling finds herself living with her judgemental preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California.
 
when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, His unique style and heartbreaking beauty . . .
 
 
when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.

..........................

Don't put the exact number of words. Just say 80,000. Say it has series potential, not that it is part of a series. If you don't have any fiction writing experience, just say it is your debut novel. And nothing else about yourself.
 
Question: why does asking Gabriel for help with her father endanger her relationship with him?

#5 Ltjen107

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:38 AM

Oh for god's sake there's already a thread for this. I had a whole edit here, and just erased it.

Not sure what this means, Springfield, but I appreciate your taking a look.  I'm new to this site and to blogging in general.  Already a thread for what? My query? 



#6 Ltjen107

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:48 AM

This needs to be edited quite a bit. I have picked out the parts that I find most interesting that I think can stay.


Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable Starling finds herself living with her judgemental preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California.
 
when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, His unique style and heartbreaking beauty . . .
 
 
when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.

..........................

Don't put the exact number of words. Just say 80,000. Say it has series potential, not that it is part of a series. If you don't have any fiction writing experience, just say it is your debut novel. And nothing else about yourself.
 
Question: why does asking Gabriel for help with her father endanger her relationship with him?

Dasein, thanks for taking a look.  To answer your question, they also are not sure if Gabriel can save him; there is conflict as Gabriel's "cure" is untested and could possibly kill her father. Also, in my book, it is not known to the public that vampires exist.  There is concern that his help could expose this community as a critical patient suddenly healthy certainly raises questions. 



#7 Ltjen107

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:50 AM

 

Hello! To start with I think the query sweet spot is somewhere around 250 words. That was my mistake. There is a lot you an do to combine sentences. 

 

Mr./Ms. ____ -

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my novel with you and XCompany. I am seeking representation for my novel, SABLE. According to _____, you have had much success with ____ novelists and I think by novel will be a good addition to your list.   This novel weaves together important current themes with timeless messages of isolation and acceptance, love, being true and believing in one’s self.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sable Starling profoundly In effort to condense, I'm going to see what can be crossed out yearns to be a part of something greater than herself, but continually finds herself alone in her black and purple goth-punk world.  Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable finds herself living with her judgy, preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California even with the cross outs this is a long sentence.  Isolationism at an all-time high and Sable is sure living in Astoria will suck, big time.

 

But when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, she finds that she is shockingly wrong and pulls her sinking morale out of her blood-red Dr. Marten boots.  Sable recognizes the band patches and pins on his coat and feels akin to him, part of a culture of which mainstream society was quietly aware, yet had no understanding.  Think of the query as a rhythm. Right now EVERY sentences is exceptionally long. Break it up. Have some short with some long...it makes it flow and holds the readers attention. (Also, I'm a complete hopeless romantic, so I would probably read this novel :) )His unique style and heartbreaking beauty make him the kind of creature she would invent in her sleep--in the innermost parts of her mind and hide away in the dark shadows of her heart.again long.

 

But there is something otherworldly about Gabriel.  His ethereal looks, unusual lifestyle, and secretive behavior intrigues Sable even as they unnerve her.  As Sable struggles with her own significance, it is Gabriel who truly sees and accepts her in the way she has yearned for her entire life.So is the meat of the story the main problem Sable feeling important? That's what I get from this, but it doesn't seem like a big enough problem to hook an agent? In my opinion. Most teens go through this.

 

Sable’s new life is something worth fighting for, even worth dying for… but when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities.  Sable’s world begins to crumble as she is forced with a decision of devastating and extraordinary power; to be safe, don't use a semicolon. and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.  ​secret society??? When did that happen? I would bring that up much earlier. 

 

SABLE is complete at 79,431round... 79,000 words. words and is the first in a series.  Having always considered myself a writer, I’ve taught middle and high school students and have a background in public relations and advertising.  I believe my books will appeal to paranormal-romance readers, specifically those drawn to A Shade of Vampirenovels or craving descriptions like one would find in The Amber Spyglass.  Per your specifications, please find the first ____ pages of my novel included.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

 

Thank you,

 

J. Brown

 

J. Brown Vogel

 

Please visit my query! I'd love to know what you think! Let me know when you've corrected!

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38448-the-citys-whispers-paranormal-ya-romance/?p=352436

 

 

yawriter -- Thanks so much for your help to tighten the language.  Awesome suggestions.  



#8 Springfield

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:22 AM

Not sure what this means, Springfield, but I appreciate your taking a look.  I'm new to this site and to blogging in general.  Already a thread for what? My query? 

 

This has nothing to do with blogging.

 

Yes, there's a thread for this query that already exists. Also a whole primer on how to use the site.



#9 Ltjen107

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 11:58 AM

This has nothing to do with blogging.

 

Yes, there's a thread for this query that already exists. Also a whole primer on how to use the site.

Thanks for letting me know about the primer.  I have posted twice.  Once requesting assistance with genre.  The second post I made was asking for query assistance.  I'm sorry for the confusion and any errors in my use of the site.  I will read check out the primer. 



#10 Bibliophyl

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:21 PM

I love me some paranormal stuff; I hope my fresh eyes can be of use! I think you've got some great comments already but I'll see what I can add. Overall, I think it's on the long side--I've heard that 250-300 is the sweet spot for a query, so I've made some suggestions of where to cut. 

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my novel with you and XCompany. I am seeking representation for my novel, SABLE. According to _____, you have had much success with ____ novelists and I think by novel will be a good addition to your list.   This novel weaves together important current themes with timeless messages of isolation and acceptance, love, being true and believing in one’s self. I've heard agents don't like being told what themes are in your story so I might kill this line. 

 

Seventeen-year-old Sable Starling profoundly yearns to be a part of something greater than herself, but continually finds herself alone in her black and purple goth-punk world.  Refusing to conform after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable finds herself living with her judgy, preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California.  Isolationism [I think you're missing an "is" here] at an all-time high and Sable is sure living in Astoria will suck, big time. This paragraph is all set-up--I think it can be condensed down to one or two sentences: "After several brutal run-ins with bullies, Sable is forced to move away from her accepting father to live with her judgy mother in..."

 

But when Gabriel Blaecleah saunters into her math class, she finds that she is shockingly wrong and pulls her sinking morale out of her blood-red Dr. Marten boots.  Sable recognizes the band patches and pins on his coat and feels akin to him, part of a culture of which mainstream society was quietly aware, yet had no understanding.  His unique style and heartbreaking beauty make him the kind of creature she would invent in her sleep--in the innermost parts of her mind and hide away in the dark shadows of her heart.

 

But there is something otherworldly about Gabriel.  His ethereal looks, unusual lifestyle, and secretive behavior intrigues Sable even as they unnerve her.  As Sable struggles with her own significance, it is Gabriel who truly sees and accepts her in the way she has yearned for her entire life.  

 

Sable’s new life [what new life? I'd make it clearer what result her association with Gabriel has] is something worth fighting for, even worth dying for… but when her famous father mysteriously falls ill [this seems like the most interesting part so far--I might make this more of a focal point--skim over her move and the intro of Gabriel and focus on her father's illness and what she does about it], she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities.  Sable’s world begins to crumble as she is forced with a decision of devastating and extraordinary power; and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives. 

 

SABLE is complete at 79,431 words and is the first in a series.  Having always considered myself a writer, I’ve taught middle and high school students and have a background in public relations and advertising.  I believe my books will appeal to paranormal-romance readers, specifically those drawn to A Shade of Vampirenovels or craving descriptions like one would find in The Amber Spyglass [It's great that you have comp titles in here! That is something I've been struggling with] Per your specifications, please find the first ____ pages of my novel included.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

 

Good luck with this! Overall I think if you trim it down (esp the beginning) and put more focus on the key conflict (her father's illness), it will be much stronger. You might want to keep an eye on the beginning because it runs the risk of sounding very Twilight-y (a loner girl who doesn't fit in, a move to live with one parent, meeting a handsome new student in class, etc.), which might turn off agents. Also, I realized that you never actually said what is going on with Gabriel. Is he a vampire/angel/demon/etc.? Specificity is really important here--agents aren't going to spend a lot of time reading and you don't want to give them a chance to be confused :)

 

I hope I was helpful! Best of luck!



#11 Springfield

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:46 AM

Thanks for letting me know about the primer.  I have posted twice.  Once requesting assistance with genre.  The second post I made was asking for query assistance.  I'm sorry for the confusion and any errors in my use of the site.  I will read check out the primer. 

 

I apologize -- the original post said 'most recent version' and I saw another thread of yours with a similar title, but it was in the genre section. I didn't notice that, and thought you'd made two threads in the query section, one with a revision. I misread; I'm sorry. You didn't do anything wrong. 



#12 Springfield

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:48 AM

 

Hello!  I'm looking for suggestions to help my query shine.  Below please find my most recent version.  Your help is appreciated - much thanks!

 

 

 

Mr./Ms. ____ -

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my novel with you and XCompany. I am seeking representation for my novel, SABLE. According to _____, you have had much success with ____ novelists and I think by novel will be a good addition to your list.   This novel weaves together important current themes with timeless messages of isolation and acceptance, love, being true and believing in one’s self.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sable Starling Is an exotic dancer who... profoundly yearns to be a part of something greater than herself, but continually finds herself alone in her black and purple goth-punk world.  This isn't doing anything for me as an opener -- it's confusing (I don't know when or where we are, or why she doesn't have friends), and vague. Refusing to conform to? after several brutal run-ins with bullies (that leave her scarred in more ways than one) Sable finds herself living with her judgy, preppy mom in upstate New York, rather than her cool, accepting, low-key musician father in California.  Isolationism at an all-time high and Sable is sure living in Astoria will suck, big time.Astoria?

 

But when Gabriel Blaecleah Gesundheit saunters into her math class, she finds that she is shockingly wrong About? and pulls her sinking morale out of her blood-red Dr. Marten boots.  Sable recognizes the band patches and pins on his coat and feels akin to him, part of a culture of which mainstream society was quietly aware, yet had no understanding. I'm so lost, and nothing is happening. What is her problem?  His unique style and heartbreaking beauty make him the kind of creature she would invent in her sleep--in the innermost parts of her mind and hide away in the dark shadows of her heart.

 

But there is something otherworldly about Gabriel.  His ethereal looks, unusual lifestyle, and secretive behavior None of this is detailed. intrigues Sable even as they unnerve her.  As Sable struggles with her own significance, it is Gabriel who truly sees and accepts her in the way she has yearned for her entire life.  Ugh. I may shove Sable off a cliff.

 

Sable’s new life is something worth fighting for, even worth dying for… but when her famous father mysteriously falls ill, she turns to Gabriel and his clandestine abilities.  Sable’s world begins to crumble as she is forced with a decision of devastating and extraordinary power; and must choose if an attempt to save her father is worth risking Gabriel and the enchanted, secret society in which she thrives.  No clue what any of this refers to.

 

SABLE is complete at 79,431 words and is the first in a series.  Having always considered myself a writer, I’ve taught middle and high school students and have a background in public relations and advertising.  I believe my books will appeal to paranormal-romance readers, specifically those drawn to A Shade of Vampirenovels or craving descriptions like one would find in The Amber Spyglass.  Per your specifications, please find the first ____ pages of my novel included.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

 

Thank you,

 

J. Brown

 

J. Brown Vogel

 

 

I think your query is a lot of backstory. Goth girl meets goth guy, finds out he has some unnamed abilities then wants him to save her father, is what I got from that, but I'm not sure what her actual problem is -- her sick father? Her powers? -- or the stakes. 

 

The query also suggests your ms may have overwriting. 

 

 

 







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