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Womens Fiction

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#41 rhwashere

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:11 AM

Newest versions are always here

Please leave a link to your query :)

VERSION #8--- I would love to somehow cut the word count!


Dear Ms. [Agent],

For most, falling in love is a blessing. For twenty-two-year-old Alice Bakers, it is a misfortune. After noticing Seth’s manipulative behavior, Alice ends it with the respected police officer. But, Seth violently lashes out, giving Alice the impression that it will never be over.

I liked your previous opener better.

Dull and predictable—words Seth uses to describe her. To defy those labels, Alice commits a crime...a small crime. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, this new relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into yet another beating. Alice’s newfound resilience motivates her to fight back, but she cannot win without Jake’s aid.

Alice weakens with each brutal attack, and her survival soon depends on Jake’s strength. To separate the two, Seth abducts Alice. She will have to fend for herself and escape before Jake assumes she’s dead and moves on.

PIECES OF ALICE is a romance completed at 98,000 words...


I’m going to second what the last critiquer said. Alice goes from being dependent one one dude to being dependent on another dude. I realize co-dependency is a thing, especially among the abused, but it would be nice to see Alice grow past that in some specific way.

Also, Jake assuming she’s dead and moving on makes him seem like almost as much of a jerk as Seth.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#42 Springfield

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:36 AM

I ask again -- how does this end?

 

I rarely say this here, because often queries don't accurately reflect the ms., but I think you may have a manuscript problem you're not going to be able to query your way out of.



#43 yawriter

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:54 AM

I ask again -- how does this end?

 

I rarely say this here, because often queries don't accurately reflect the ms., but I think you may have a manuscript problem you're not going to be able to query your way out of.

I'm not going to post the ending of my book. Thanks though!



#44 yawriter

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

I’m going to second what the last critiquer said. Alice goes from being dependent one one dude to being dependent on another dude. I realize co-dependency is a thing, especially among the abused, but it would be nice to see Alice grow past that in some specific way.

Also, Jake assuming she’s dead and moving on makes him seem like almost as much of a jerk as Seth.

Thank you for the feedback. The growth of Alice's character is going from dependent to independent at the end. I also cannot explain what's going on with Jake because the query is in Alice's perspective. So it is her perspective of thinking that Jake might forget about her if she doesn't save herself.  Thanks for the feedback. I will take it to heart. 



#45 Springfield

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 10:13 AM

I'm not going to post the ending of my book. Thanks though!

 

O....k??



#46 jpfranco

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 10:32 AM

I'm not going to post the ending of my book. Thanks though!

 

If you are going to post your query, you must be open to feedback, especially when it comes from a professional. ^^ We are trying to help, not steal your idea or spoil it somehow. 



#47 RosieSkye

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 04:28 PM

Newest versions are always here. 

VERSION #9-- Only small changes in this version.  I would love to somehow cut the word count!
 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

For most, falling in love is a blessing. For twenty-two-year-old Alice Bakers, it is a misfortune. Seth gave her the physical and emotional scars to prove it. When the respected police officer violently lashes out after Alice ends things, she worries it is the beginning of a war.

 

Dull and predictable—words Seth uses to describe her.  (Everything before this can be summed up as "Alice's abusive ex, Seth, accuses her of being dull and predictable.") To defy these labels, Alice commits a crime...a small crime. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, There she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, this new relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into another beating. Alice’s newfound resilience motivates her to fight back and prove her autonomy even though Jake is desperate to help. (This is telling rather than showing.  How does she fight back? Physically? With a restraining order?)

 

To separate the strong couple, Seth abducts Alice. Despite their love connection, Alice worries if she does not escape soon, over time Jake will believe she’s dead and move on. (I'm afraid everything falls apart here.  It sounds like this is where your story really starts, but it's where your query peters out. What exactly does Seth do with Alice? Is she chained up in a basement somewhere? Is he hurting her? Why are the stakes that her new boyfriend might move on, rather than anything regarding her safety or well being?)

 

PIECES OF ALICE is a romance completed at 98,000 words...

 

 

Hope this helps!



#48 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:19 PM

Newest versions are always here. 

VERSION #9-- Only small changes in this version.  I would love to somehow cut the word count!
 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

For most, falling in love is a blessing. For twenty-two-year-old Alice Bakers, it is a misfortune. Seth gave her the physical and emotional scars to prove it. I think if you're looking to cut the word count, the previous sentence (Seth gave her...) would be a good place to start. It could probably be combined a little with the next sentence. When the respected police officer violently lashes out after Alice ends things, she worries it is the beginning of a war.

 

Dull and predictable—words Seth uses to describe her. To defy these labels, Alice commits a crime...a small crime. This is good. I understand better now why she did this. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, this new relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into another beating. Alice’s newfound resilience motivates her to fight back and prove her autonomy even though Jake is desperate to help. I don't know if you necessarily need the "even though Jake is desperate to help" part.

 

To separate the strong couple, Seth abducts Alice. Despite their love connection, Alice worries if she does not escape soon, over time Jake will believe she’s dead and move on. I do think this sentence could use a little more as it does just sort of end. Hopefully there's more to Alice wanting to escape than just because she's worried about Jake.

 

PIECES OF ALICE is a romance completed at 98,000 words...

This keeps getting better!


Any help with my query would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#49 yawriter

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 08:47 AM

 

I'm not going to post the ending of my book. Thanks though!

 

If you are going to post your query, you must be open to feedback, especially when it comes from a professional. ^^ We are trying to help, not steal your idea or spoil it somehow. 

 

 

 

Hi there! I read a few pieces of advice from agents saying never post the ending of your book online, so I've taken that to heart. That's all =]. I'm here for criticism...that's why my query is ever changing and that's why I've been sure to return the favors for everyone who has helped me greatly with the same amount of effort. Everyone here has given me wonderful feedback that I’ve definitely used :) Plus, editing is one of my favorite parts of writing, so I actually really enjoy this process.


#50 yawriter

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 08:52 AM

Hope this helps!

Hi! Thank you so much! I really liked your idea of starting with the labels...so I've cut down the first paragraph and kind of mushed them together in a newer version that I have yet to post. I agree, the ending needs work! I'm going to try and add more detail to that ending like you've suggested. I hope it makes more of an impact. You'll see me on your query soon!



#51 yawriter

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 08:56 AM

This keeps getting better!

Thank you so much! I liked your idea about starting further into the query. I've tried that on the next version (not posted yet). I'm thinking about how to add more of Alice's reasons to get away from Seth,  but since this is a romance, I feel like the stakes have to be romance-connected. But I feel, too, that somewhere in the query I have to add other reasons for her escape. Thanks for the help!!! You'll see me popping up in your query soon :)



#52 jpfranco

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:01 AM

Hi there! I read a few pieces of advice from agents saying never post the ending of your book online, so I've taken that to heart. That's all =]. I'm here for criticism...that's why my query is ever changing and that's why I've been sure to return the favors for everyone who has helped me greatly with the same amount of effort. Everyone here has given me wonderful feedback that I’ve definitely used :) Plus, editing is one of my favorite parts of writing, so I actually really enjoy this process.

 

That advice makes sense. It's always best to be protective of your work. There's obviously no tone of voice or body language to go on, so your response came across as flippant. I did share some of the confusion of another member on just where exactly the ms goes, so I saw where he was coming from. Good luck with your query!



#53 Springfield

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:18 AM

 

Hi there! I read a few pieces of advice from agents saying never post the ending of your book online, so I've taken that to heart. That's all =]. I'm here for criticism...that's why my query is ever changing and that's why I've been sure to return the favors for everyone who has helped me greatly with the same amount of effort. Everyone here has given me wonderful feedback that I’ve definitely used :) Plus, editing is one of my favorite parts of writing, so I actually really enjoy this process.

 

 

I've no idea what the purpose of that advice would be, but it's your thing.

 

If, as I suspect, she's rescued by whatsisname, I think you have ms trouble, not query trouble, was why I was asking.



#54 yawriter

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:11 AM

I've no idea what the purpose of that advice would be, but it's your thing.

 

If, as I suspect, she's rescued by whatsisname, I think you have ms trouble, not query trouble, was why I was asking.

 

I totally understand, and I see where you're coming from. I can assure you that, that is not what happens in the end.



#55 lnloft

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 04:11 PM

Newest versions are always here. 

VERSION #9-- Only small changes in this version.  I would love to somehow cut the word count!
 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

For most, falling in love is a blessing. For twenty-two-year-old I personally don't know if we need her age, but others might disagree. But the main reason I'm commenting about it is that all the hyphens look awkward. You're not wrong, so you can keep as is, but maybe a slightly different descriptor to give us her age like, "college senior" or "recent college graduate", if either of those are correct. It's a small thing that's entirely based on appearance, so I wouldn't sweat this too much, though. Alice Bakers, it is a misfortune. Seth gave her the physical and emotional scars to prove it. When the respected police officer It's not immediately clear that this refers to Seth violently lashes out after Alice ends things, she worries it is the beginning of a war. I'm not feeling this line. Makes me picture her pulling on a bullet-proof vest and strapping on a helmet, getting ready for a literal war.

 

Dull and predictable—words Seth uses to describe her. To defy these labels, Alice commits a crime...a small crime. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection I feel like there could still be a way to SHOW them connecting rather than just telling us. However, this new relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into another beating. Alice’s newfound resilience motivates her to fight back and prove her autonomy even though Jake is desperate to help. I see what you're trying to do in this sentence, showing us that Alice can take care of herself without a man (which is good), but the "even though" seems a little awkward. It makes it seem as though Jake wanting to help is a barrier to her fighting back rather than part of her support system. So a little rephrasing might help.

 

To separate the strong couple Just calling them a "strong couple" actually undermines the strength of their relationship to me. It's like you have to keep assuring us that it's legit. The lady doth protest too much, me thinks. , Seth abducts Alice. Despite their love connection, Alice worries if she does not escape soon, over time Jake will believe she’s dead and move on. This last sentence just really falls flat for me. Alice has been abducted, and her biggest worry is... her boyfriend will move on. Not, you know, that's she been abducted, or that she might be killed or seriously harmed? Stakes still need some shoring up.

 

PIECES OF ALICE is a romance completed at 98,000 words...

Take heart, you HAVE made big strides since the first draft I read. You're getting better at focusing on what you need to focus on rather than extraneous details. Still definitely needs work, but you're going in the right direction.

 

I also wouldn't worry about cutting down the query's word count (unless you were referring to the MS word count). You're under 200 words, so I'd honestly say you have a bit of room to spare. Good luck.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#56 yawriter

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:24 PM

Take heart, you HAVE made big strides since the first draft I read. You're getting better at focusing on what you need to focus on rather than extraneous details. Still definitely needs work, but you're going in the right direction.

 

I also wouldn't worry about cutting down the query's word count (unless you were referring to the MS word count). You're under 200 words, so I'd honestly say you have a bit of room to spare. Good luck.

 

Hey there! Thank you for the compliment! I appreciate it. I never stop thinking about this query so it's nice to know that I'm making a dent. I took your advice about the age. I kept putting it in and then taking it out, but I realized it says "adult romance" as the genre and target audience later in the query, so I think that will cover it. I still have to work on the show the relationship part, but I think I addressed the rest with the new version. Thank you for your continued help! 



#57 TheBest

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:49 PM

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

 

Most would say that falling in love is a blessing. But, not Alice Bakers. Her violent ex, Seth, labels her as dull and predictable. To defy the respected police officer, she commits a crime. [Characterization is good, but this intro confused me. Who is the police officer? Where did he come from? If he's Seth, make that clear. If not, make that clear too.]

 

A small crime for starters. [Sentence fragment, but I LOVE your concept.] She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit [Wrong word] attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, their relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into a beating. Alice’s resilience motivates her to fight back and, this time, she is not alone. Jake is by her side. [This changed really fast. Make sure theirs one clear, overarching plot thread that you focus on.]

 

To separate the couple, Seth abducts Alice. Chained up and starved like a neglected pet for years, Seth gets his Alice fix whenever he desires. The thought of whether Jake is married or searching for her distracts Alice as she tries to execute a flawed escape plan. 

 

 

PIECES OF ALICE is an adult romance completed at 98,000 words...

 

[I think the biggest issue here is deciding what to include to create one overarching plot thread. You give a lot of great details, but you ought to go through and write out one hook that leads into one major plot thread with one set of stakes. You also should read the query out loud, and make sure that there are no awkward sentences. Good luck!]



#58 rhwashere

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:40 PM

Romance, as I understand it, is a genre with specific expectations. Years of being chained in a basement and raped does not fit what readers of romance are typically looking for. I see that last paragraph REALLY turning readers of this query off.

And even if you don’t decide to market this as romance, the fact that your story jumps from escaping an abuser and finding love to becoming a sex slave for the abuser for YEARS isn’t appealing for other reasons. For example, it negates whatever emotional investment you may have built into Alice’s journey up to being kidnapped. What difference does Jake make when she’s starving and a subject of repeated rape? The idea that she would even care about romance in such a situation is hard to swallow.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#59 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:23 PM

Newest versions are always here. 

VERSION #10-- Only small changes in this version. I think I'm half way there! 

 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

 

Most would say that falling in love is a blessing. But, not Alice Bakers. Her violent ex, Seth, labels her as dull and predictable. To defy the respected police officer, she commits a crime.

 

A small crime for starters. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, their relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into a beating. Alice’s resilience motivates her to fight back and, this time, she is not alone. Jake is by her side. 

 

To separate the couple, Seth abducts Alice. Chained up and starved like a neglected pet for years, Seth gets his Alice fix whenever he desires. The thought of whether Jake is married or searching for her distracts Alice as she tries to execute a flawed escape plan. This makes her sound weak. "Oh man, I'm held prisoner by my psychotic ex, but wondering if dear Jake has moved on really distrats me from the horror of it all."

This last paragraph makes it sound like the book takes an abrupt genre turn into a gritty crime thriller or something.  I'm also not very familiar with the "romance" genre, either.  I feel like you could almost end the query on the bit about Seth abducting Alice.  When you mention "years" it sounds like this is covering much more than the first act of the novel, even if it's not the case.

 

PIECES OF ALICE is an adult romance completed at 98,000 words...



#60 AsperBlurry

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:28 AM

Thank you, yawriter, for your feedback on my query! Here's mine as promised:

Newest versions are always here. 

VERSION #10-- Only small changes in this version. I think I'm half way there! 

 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

 

Most would say that falling in love is a blessing. But, not Alice Bakers. Her violent ex, Seth, labels her as dull and predictable. To defy the respected police officer, she commits a crime.

 

A small crime for starters. She trespasses on hotel property for a quiet getaway to mull things over and harden her defenses. In her illicit attempt to change, she meets charming hotel manager Jake, and the two establish a playful, romantic connection. However, their relationship enrages Seth. His pleas to win her back quickly deteriorate into a beating. Alice’s resilience motivates her to fight back and, this time, she is not alone. Jake is by her side.  That's what I was waiting for, you showed her strenght and will to fight, good job!

 

To separate the couple, Seth abducts Alice. Chained up and starved like a neglected pet for years, Seth gets his Alice fix whenever he desires. The thought of whether Jake is married or searching for her distracts Alice as she tries to execute a flawed escape plan. It gets very dark here (ok, I like dark :p). But I feel like years of enslavement may be too much. In my opinion, few weeks/months would work better to show her struggles, attempt of escaping while Jake is desperately looking for her. Also, the last sentence kind of takes away the impact of the previous one about abduction. Try something like "desperate to free herself she tries to execute a flawed escape plan". 

 

I think this version is much better than the first one :) I liked it until the last paragraph.. My problem is the main focus of the book. Is it romance or thriller? I'm just not sure where this goes. 

 

Hope it helps!

 

I've also rewritten my query, feel free to take a look at it: http://agentquerycon...back/?p=356167 

 

 

PIECES OF ALICE is an adult romance completed at 98,000 words...







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