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INFINITY (Adult Romance) revised 6/14


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#21 BrookeJS

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:12 PM

First of all, thank you so much for your input. I'm responding here not to defend my work, but to let you know, in case you stumble upon a new version of this query, why I didn't put your suggestions to work here. The thing is, Melanie is not a victim of anything but her own convictions. She's really not a battered woman. In fact, I expect readers to wonder why she hasn't left him. She's making a choice to stay with Jim. His abuse is subtle at first, and only escalates after Jim comes into the picture. Melanie and Jim are locked in a pattern that has repeated itself over multiple lifetimes, and that is what has her tied to him. 

 

It is a dual POV, which is why I included him in the query. Thanks again for your time! Evey critique helps!

 

You're welcome! I just wanted to say, real quick, that I recognize that your story takes place across multiple lifetimes. I suppose what I am trying to get across is that THAT is part of the cycle of abuse. You have the perfect analogy for it right there. So the question is raised - unless these individuals are cursed (brings in a whole new element - reminds me of Witches of Eastwick), what keeps pulling Melanie and Jim back into this abusive cycle? If it's strictly Jim's hold over her, then play that up. Really emphasis her conflict and distress because if you don't, I fear she becomes unsympathetic to the reader. Why did Melanie choose Jim over Mario in the first place if these three are trapped in this loop? I think your stakes are Mario and Melanie breaking the loop and the consequences of if they do or don't. Something about this lifetime has to be different then all the rest. =)


If you have time I would love feedback on my query: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356112

If you could spare a moment I would really appreciate critiques on my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=355669

 


#22 Bkrasnik

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:04 PM

I worked on the hook, but I'm not sure it's any better. It's my bane. 

 

Newest revision:

 

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time. They may lose each other again, if they can't escape twisted love triangle that has gripped them for lifetimes.

 

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts. When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction she feels for him only further muddles her feelings. Melanie likes to think of herself as someone who always does what’s right, and leaving her husband for another man is not something she’s ever thought was right. Jim’s verbal abuse and alcoholism aren’t valid enough reasons to her to leave him. She fights the pull she feels to Mario, staying loyal Jim, but her loyalty may cost her her own life. Jim has killed her before. The more Melanie pulls away from him, the tighter he closes his grip on her. He may kill her again, if she can’t find the strength to let go of her misguided convictions and save herself.

 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting when Melanie rides into it, all wild red hair and fiery green eyes, on her flashy Appaloosa. The pull he feels to Melanie is so strong it’s surprising to Mario, and it becomes more mystifying still when he begins having dreams about her. The dreams change, but they always end the same way: with Melanie’s death. When Mario realizes that the dreams are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, he finally understands his attraction to her. In the past, Mario has tried to save Melanie, and lost her. He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death.

 

 

INFINITY is a dual POV romance novel about love that spans lifetimes, the parts we play in each other’s lives, and the connection between humans that transcends our earthly existence. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time. They may lose each other again, if they can't escape (the) twisted love triangle that has gripped them for lifetimes.

 

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts. When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction she feels for him only further muddles her feelings. Melanie likes to think of herself as someone who always does what’s right, and leaving her husband for another man is not something she’s ever thought was right (Redundantà “always does what’s right” and “thought was right.” Also leaving her husband for another man is obviously unethical. This is not news to anyone and does not add any value to her character). Jim’s verbal abuse and alcoholism aren’t valid enough reasons to her (Should be “for her” and not “to her”—is this a typo or intentional? Either way, you need to review your work better.) to leave him. She fights the pull she feels to Mario, staying loyal (to) Jim, but her loyalty may cost her her own life. (Sorry, this is where I stop reading. You need to fix all your typos and put in your best effort before you post for others to revise. In terms of content thus far, what you have is a pretty generic plot and 2-D characters. You need to spice this up and make it more unique if you want an agent to pick this up.) Jim has killed her before. The more Melanie pulls away from him, the tighter he closes his grip on her. He may kill her again, if she can’t find the strength to let go of her misguided convictions and save herself.

 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting when Melanie rides into it, all wild red hair and fiery green eyes, on her flashy Appaloosa. The pull he feels to Melanie is so strong it’s surprising to Mario, and it becomes more mystifying still when he begins having dreams about her. The dreams change, but they always end the same way: with Melanie’s death. When Mario realizes that the dreams are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, he finally understands his attraction to her. In the past, Mario has tried to save Melanie, and lost her. He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death.

 

 

INFINITY is a dual POV romance novel about love that spans lifetimes, the parts we play in each other’s lives, and the connection between humans that transcends our earthly existence.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#23 jpfranco

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:04 AM

Thank you for taking the time to critique. I appreciate your note of the typos, you are the first one to pick up on those in the new version, so that helps. It's actually a big part of posting on here. Sometimes we read what we already have in our own minds, so we can't see those, and sometimes even those critiquing don't, either.



#24 Bkrasnik

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:00 PM

Thank you for taking the time to critique. I appreciate your note of the typos, you are the first one to pick up on those in the new version, so that helps. It's actually a big part of posting on here. Sometimes we read what we already have in our own minds, so we can't see those, and sometimes even those critiquing don't, either.

 

No problem, and thank you for providing feedback on my query! 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#25 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:29 AM

This reads like a synopsis. Here are the key points I could find that could be worked into a query:

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time.

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts.  

What she doesn’t know is that their struggle is an echo that reaches back for centuries.

When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction she feels for him only further muddles her feelings. 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting when Melanie rides into it, all wild red hair and fiery green eyes, on her flashy Appaloosa.

When Mario realizes that the dreams are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, he finally understands his attraction to her. 

He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death.

 
Hope this helps!


#26 conundrum

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for all of the input. I suppose I need to scrap this whole thing and start over. I know it's long for romance, I know, I know. I really appreciate the advice, and I'll post my new one once I get it done. I'm trying to find a way to state that it's about reincarnation without a boring, flat, statement like: this is about reincarnation. I thought a history rooted beyond their current lifetimes did the trick, but evidently it did not, soooo... back to the drawing board. 

Hi jpfranco...I need to interject here for a second and make a clarification. Reincarnation is incarnating into other forms, not always human; animals, insects, trees, as such. Incarnation is of the human flesh, incarnating lifetime after lifetime in human bodies on earth. In metaphysics there is the differentiation :) The subject matter is nothing but boring. Since we're all doing it! :)



#27 jpfranco

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:59 AM

Hi jpfranco...I need to interject here for a second and make a clarification. Reincarnation is incarnating into other forms, not always human; animals, insects, trees, as such. Incarnation is of the human flesh, incarnating lifetime after lifetime in human bodies on earth. In metaphysics there is the differentiation :) The subject matter is nothing but boring. Since we're all doing it! :)

This is not a critique. 

We are all doing a lot of things. We are all living our lives, having adventures, falling in love, etc. etc. Yet, we still find books about these things interesting. 



#28 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:01 PM

At first glance, this query looks LONG, especially that second paragraph. The visual impact of seeing a wall of text might not be good for you.

 

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time. They will lose each other again, if they can't escape the twisted love triangle that has gripped them for lifetimes. The first sentence draws me in. The second sentence falls flat because it's vauge, cliche and a bit hokey. I'd drop it entirely.

 

 

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts.  What she doesn’t know is that their struggle is an echo that reaches back for centuries. Don't tell us this -- show it through things that HAPPEN. Jim has an iron grip on Melanie, and she’s not even sure she has a right to escape it. So is he abusive? Just kind of a dick? We need some specifics. When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction she feels for him only further muddles her feelings. Melanie likes to think of herself as someone who always does what’s right, and leaving her husband for another man is not something she’s never considered. Jim’s verbal abuse is too subtle for her to name it, "Name it?" I don't understand. and his alcoholism is not reason enough to her to leave him. She fights her feelings for Mario, staying loyal Jim, but her loyalty may cost her her own life. Jim has killed her before. WHAT? The more Melanie pulls away from him, the tighter he closes his hold on her. He may kill her again, if she can’t find the strength to let go of her misguided convictions and save herself. Yep. This paragraph is overwritten. It also lacks voice, feeling more like a careful play-by-play instead of something enticing. I'm also SUPER CONFUSED. He's killed her before? Do you mean literally? Why are we halfway through the query and you still haven't explained what this entails?

 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting when Melanie rides into it, We know nothing about Mario. all wild red hair and fiery green eyes, Agents LOATHE physical descriptions in place of actual character traits. on her flashy Appaloosa. The pull he feels to Melanie is so strong it’s surprising to Mario, Overwritten. and it becomes more mystifying still when he begins having dreams about her. The dreams change, but they always end the same way: with Melanie’s death. THIS is your hook! Start with this, and get right to explaining it. All this mawkish Harlequin-romance stuff has got to go. When Mario realizes that the dreams are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, he finally understands his attraction to her. In the past, Mario has tried to save Melanie, and lost her. He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death. So what's the conflict? What's the choice? What does Melanie have to DO? How does Jim play into all this.

 

 

INFINITY is a dual POV romance novel about love that spans lifetimes, the parts we play in each other’s lives, and the connection between humans that transcends our earthly existence. 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

This is a scrap and re-do, in my opinion. This time, err on the side of brevity and precision. Get RIGHT to the heart of the story.



#29 jpfranco

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:54 AM

This is a scrap and re-do, in my opinion. This time, err on the side of brevity and precision. Get RIGHT to the heart of the story.

I feel like it's going to make for an awkward query if I have to include a definition of reincarnation. I wish I knew exactly what in my query comes across as "mawkish Harlequin romance stuff." Thanks for your input.



#30 MICRONESIA

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:26 AM

I’m not the one who suggested the reincarnation thing.

You really see nothing melodramatic/sentimental here?

You seem defensive. Not good.

#31 jpfranco

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:06 PM

I’m not the one who suggested the reincarnation thing.

You really see nothing melodramatic/sentimental here?

You seem defensive. Not good.

I'm totally confused. I suggested the reincarnation thing because it's what my novel is about. I'm saying that it's going to be weird if I have to include a definition. Mulitple lifetimes = reincarnation. That's all I'm saying besides wanting something more than a vague statement that it's all hawkish harlequin romance stuff. 



#32 MICRONESIA

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:42 PM

Again, who says you have to define reincarnation? I think you should START with that aspect, since it’s the most unique thing here.

Woman with bad man. Woman falls for other hot guy. Bad man gets pissed. How many times has that been done? I really know nothing about these characters — their desires, what makes them tick — other than the above. They seem like cardboard. Hence: genre romance.

#33 Bkrasnik

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:19 PM

Hi Jpfranco, 

 

I came here to return the favor and provide feedback on your query, but it seems that you haven't posted a recent query in a long time. Feel free to let me know when you do, and I will be happy to do a critique. 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#34 Bkrasnik

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:31 PM

Hi Jpfranco, 

 

I came here to return the favor and provide feedback on your query, but it seems that you haven't posted a recent query in a long time. Feel free to let me know when you do, and I will be happy to do a critique. 

I just noticed in the title you made an edit on May 30, and it was posted on the first thread. I will do a critique for you now! 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#35 Bkrasnik

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:53 PM

*Newest version always here*

 

 

I've tried to shorten it and break it up into smaller paragraphs. Better? Worse? 

 

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time. They have loved- and lost- each other(,) in lifetime after lifetime. (I like this hook  but you need to add a "but...." And then you can mention Jim and why he is what is preventing her to be with Mario. Also get rid of the dashes after loved and lost.)

 

 

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts. What she doesn’t know is that their struggle is an echo that reaches back over centuries. Jim has never been able to tame the fierce spirit beneath her loyal and dutiful nature.

 

When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction Melanie feels for him only further muddles her feelings. She fights her feelings for Mario, staying loyal (to) Jim, but her loyalty may cost her her own life. Jim has killed her before. (I like this but how does this make sense exactly? If he killed her, how is she still alive?) He has an iron grip on Melanie, and she’s not even sure she has a right to escape it. He may kill her again, if she can't find the strength to embrace her wild soul and save herself.

 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting when Melanie rides into it on her flashy Appaloosa. Despite her awkward, flustered behavior when he meets her, he’s drawn to her. That night he dreams of her dying in his arms, and it’s only the first in a series of dreams that always end with her death. When Mario realizes the dreams that have plagued him for months are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, it’s of little comfort. In the past, Mario has tried to save Melanie, and lost her. He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death.

 

 

INFINITY is a dual POV romance novel (include how many words you have in your manuscript)The full manuscript is available upon request. 

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I think that breaking it up into smaller paragraphs is not tackling the root problem here. You need to focus more on content & sentence structure. Although the idea of many lifetimes is an interesting concept, you need to flesh it out more so I can understand what this means in your world. You also need to drill down your story to the three unavoidable questions that you have probably already heard a lot about: What does the character want? Why does she want it? And what keeps her from getting it? Although you somewhat address this, I feel like it not very clear and you are beating around the bush a bit. You are also getting a little too focused on the details, and you need to simplify it a bit. We don't need to know all the little details, but we need to know the main narrative arc. And read more queries to get a feel for how they are written, so you get familiar with the correct sentence structure for a query. In my opinion, I still see a lot of room for improvement. Make sure to go back, and really listen to the advice people are giving you, because I don't see a substantial amount of progress here. 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#36 Tree

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:33 AM

*Newest version always here*

 

 

I've tried to shorten it and break it up into smaller paragraphs. Better? Worse? 

 

Your story reminds me a lot of Dead Again. (I love that movie.)

 

 

Melanie and Mario are falling in love, and not for the first time. They have loved- and lost- each other in lifetime after lifetime. I like this for a hook.

 

Less than a year into her marriage to Jim, Melanie is already having doubts.  What she doesn’t know is that their struggle is an echo that reaches back over centuries. Jim has never been able to tame the fierce spirit beneath her loyal and dutiful nature.

 

When she meets Mario, the powerful attraction Melanie feels for him only further muddles her feelings. She fights her feelings for Mario, staying loyal loyal twice in three sentences to Jim, but her loyalty three times may cost her her own life. Jim has killed her before. She doesn't know this, though, does she? You're in Melanie's POV He has an iron grip on Melanie, and she’s not even sure she has a right to escape it. He may kill her again, if she can't find the strength to embrace her wild soul and save herself. 

 

I'm unclear on whether Melanie knows her life is in danger at this point. I think you mentioned upthread that Jim doesn't start to really escalate until Mario enters the picture. And it appears that Melanie doesn't know that they are a reincarnated love triangle. But Mario does ... so does he tell her? what's her reaction to that? That might be a better way to approach the stakes. 

 

Mario’s life gets a lot more interesting what was so boring about his life? when Melanie rides into it on her flashy Appaloosa. Despite her awkward, flustered behavior when he meets her, he’s drawn to her. I'd rather know what draws him to her than about her being awkward and flustered That night he dreams of her dying in his arms, and it’s only the first in a series of dreams that always end with her death. When Mario realizes the dreams that have plagued him for months are visions of past lives they’ve lived together, what makes him realize that? it’s of little comfort. In the past, Mario has tried to save Melanie, and lost her. He is tortured by the thought of losing her again, but he fears it may have been his interference in the past that lead to Melanie’s death. I'm not the biggest fan of multiple POVs in a query, because it generally takes most of your allotted word count to get one person's choices / stakes on the page in a compelling way. This is especially true if you have some world building to explain ... I understand that your novel has two POVs, but it's usually recommended to pick one for the query and I think that might be why. Have you experimented with one POV or the other?  I noted someone upthread suggested using Mario's POV, but I"m going to suggest Melanie's (so helpful, right?). In a romance you generally want a strong woman protagonist, so I think you'd get more agent attention by focusing on her.

 

INFINITY is a dual POV romance novel. comps & word count  The full manuscript is available upon request. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Good luck! Great premise.






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