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Killing Radovan query


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#1 SimonLee

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 11:52 AM

New query.

 

Hi everyone, I've really struggled writing a query--I have ten drafts of a more traditional model I can go back to. But I kind of had this idea, which is risky when writing queries I know, yet I had fun with it, and I want to try and see if I can make it work.

 

I know it's too long (400 words), so I need to cut some things. But I wanted to float it out there and see what you thought. I used to be a journalist, so I decided to write it like a news story--and it's possible I hung too close to the inverted pyramid style. We'll see. Any suggestions welcome.

 

Dear Agent,

 

Fairplay, PA--Local resident Ashley Quinn returned home from medical school last week after receiving news that her family had been murdered, and now she finds herself in a fight for her life. With the funeral and subsequent arrangements finalized, she indicates the murder investigation headed by local authorities has stalled, and that it is up to her to find the killer--who, she is certain, is not human.

 

Ashley has hired paranormal investigator James MacReady, and expanding on Ashley’s claim of the supernatural, MacReady said, “It’s a vampire. All the murdered people had holes in their necks so not rocket science. And I’m not a paranormal investigator. I’m a god damned monster killer. I don’t carry around EMF readers, cameras, or recorders. I carry a machete.”

 

Corroborating MacReady’s claims, Ashley says a mysterious man follows her everywhere, and this man has invaded her dreams. Outside of her dreams, he’s even approached her and introduced himself. “He says his name’s Radovan. Radovan! That’s definitely a vampire name.”

 

Now working exclusively with MacReady, the tandem’s investigation has led them to believe they are dealing with “a really old bloodsucker.” MacReady clarified that “old” is a problem--the older vampires are, the more powerful. When asked where he gets his information, he shrugged and said, “Google, mostly.”

 

The outcome of this investigation is now in question as both Ashley and MacReady have been missing for the last two days. One of the last things Ashley communicated was that, despite how afraid she was, Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. “It’s like he thinks we’re soul mates, and that he’s super appealing,” Ashley said. “But he’s not. He’s just really creepy and acts like I owe him something.”

 

Sources close to Radovan indicate that perhaps in his youth he had moments of indiscretion, but that he is an upstanding vampire now. Reportedly, Radovan questions how long transgressions of the past will hound an individual. When does “sorry” start to count?

 

Before disappearing, Ashley said, in a decision a long time coming, her days in medical school were over. In fact, she sees her relationship with Mac as “that whole Rocky--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of thing,” and that she would love to join MacReady on the road for future adventures, but as noted before, the location and health of this monster hunting duo is seriously in question.



#2 HarlequinWriter

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 07:01 PM

Dear Agent, I don't know if you're just using "agent" as a placeholder here but if you're not, you should know that agents want queries to be personalized. 

 

Fairplay, PA--Local resident Ashley Quinn returned home from medical school last week after receiving news that her family had been murdered, and now she finds herself in a fight for her life. With the funeral and subsequent arrangements finalized, she indicates the murder investigation headed by local authorities has stalled, and that it is up to her to find the killer--who, she is certain, is not human.

 

You'll want to stay away from using past tense. 

 

Ashley has hired paranormal investigator James MacReady, and expanding on Ashley’s claim of the supernatural, MacReady said, “It’s a vampire. All the murdered people had holes in their necks so not rocket science. And I’m not a paranormal investigator. I’m a god damned monster killer. I don’t carry around EMF readers, cameras, or recorders. I carry a machete.” Agents don't want quotations or dialogue. 

 

The first two paragraphs can easily be shortened. Remember, no fluff and straight to the point. Short sentences will be your best friend. This is a rough example of what you should do: 

 

Ashley Quinn is in the fight of her life after her family is murdered. Fairplay authorities are stalled in their investigation, and none believe Ashley when she says the killer in not human. She hires James McReady, a monster hunter who confirms her suspicions. A vampire. 

 

Corroborating MacReady’s claims, Ashley says a mysterious man follows her everywhere, and this man has invaded her dreams. Outside of her dreams, he’s even approached her and introduced himself. “He says his name’s Radovan. Radovan! That’s definitely a vampire name.” Put this information earlier in the query. Agents will want to know why she suspected the supernatural. Rough example sentence: A mysterious man follows Ashley everywhere, even in her dreams. 

 

Now working exclusively with MacReady, the tandem’s investigation has led them to believe they are dealing with “a really old bloodsucker.” MacReady clarified that “old” is a problem--the older vampires are, the more powerful. When asked where he gets his information, he shrugged and said, “Google, mostly.”

 

The outcome of this investigation is now in question as both Ashley and MacReady have been missing for the last two days. Wait, I thought this story was from Ashley's point of view. How can she go missing from her own story?One of the last things Ashley communicated was that, despite how afraid she was, Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. “It’s like he thinks we’re soul mates, and that he’s super appealing,” Ashley said. “But he’s not. He’s just really creepy and acts like I owe him something.”

 

Sources close to Radovan indicate that perhaps in his youth he had moments of indiscretion, but that he is an upstanding vampire now. Reportedly, Radovan questions how long transgressions of the past will hound an individual. When does “sorry” start to count?

 

Before disappearing, Ashley said, in a decision a long time coming, her days in medical school were over. In fact, she sees her relationship with Mac as “that whole Rocky--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of thing,” and that she would love to join MacReady on the road for future adventures, but as noted before, the location and health of this monster hunting duo is seriously in question. This query becomes very confusing in the last three sentences. I don't know how to help since I don't really understand. Also, 90% of it is fluff. Just focus on the plot as a whole, not specific moments.  



#3 Dollophead

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 10:25 PM

Fairplay, PA--Local resident Ashley Quinn [right here is where I would insert "just wanted to be X" or "has always yearned for Y." We need to know about her goals to be able to relate to her. Then you can flow right into, "But when she] returned home from medical school last week after receiving news that her family had been murdered, and now she finds herself in a fight for her life. With the funeral and subsequent arrangements finalized, she indicates the murder investigation headed by local authorities has stalled, and that it is up to her to find the killer--who, she is certain, is not human.

 

Past tense, always always always past tense for queries. 

 

Ashley has hired paranormal investigator James MacReady, and expanding on Ashley’s claim of the supernatural, MacReady said, “It’s a vampire. All the murdered people had holes in their necks so not rocket science. And I’m [Agree with Harlequin, you can't put quotes in a query. Maybe just say something like, "the unwilling James MacReady, who is"] not a paranormal investigator. I’m but a self-proclaimed god damned machete-wielding monster killer. I don’t carry around EMF readers, cameras, or recorders. I carry a machete.” This being said I love his voice. I love the bit of humor you incorporated into the "news story." Your manuscript sounds super promising!

 

Corroborating MacReady’s claims, Ashley says a mysterious man follows her everywhere, and this man has invaded her dreams. Outside of her dreams, he’s even approached her and introduced himself. “He says his name’s Radovan. Radovan! That’s definitely a vampire name.” I think you can integrate this into the previous paragraph ^ and even put it before she hires MacReady. Would make the flow more smooth. 

 

Now working exclusively with MacReady, the tandem’s investigation has led them to believe they are dealing with “a really old bloodsucker.” MacReady clarified that “old” is a problem--the older vampires are, the more powerful. When asked where he gets his information, he shrugged and said, “Google, mostly.” Heh XDXD I'm chuckling. I like your writing style. Sadly, I'm not sure this paragraph is keepable for your query.

 

The outcome of this investigation is now in question as both Ashley and MacReady have been missing for the last two days. One of the last things Ashley communicated was that, despite how afraid she was, Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. “It’s like he thinks we’re soul mates, and that he’s super appealing,” Ashley said. “But he’s not. He’s just really creepy and acts like I owe him something.” This is interesting! I like it! Now, if you can incorporate it into a more standard query format, I think you can keep the general idea of this paragraph in here. Like, "Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. [But then something happened] just before Ashley and MacReady disappeared." 

 

Sources close to Radovan indicate that perhaps in his youth he had moments of indiscretion, but that he is an upstanding vampire now. Reportedly, Radovan questions how long transgressions of the past will hound an individual. When does “sorry” start to count? I love this guy's voice too. Ohmygosh. Can I read your book please?

^This paragraph is definitely keepable btw. Just add it to the bit up there^^ Also, what does Radovan have to do with Ashley's family? Explain

 

Before disappearing, Ashley said, in a decision a long time coming, her days in medical school were over. In fact, she sees her relationship with Mac as “that whole Rocky--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of thing,” and that she would love to join MacReady on the road for future adventures, but as noted before, the location and health of this monster hunting duo is seriously in question. I ship them so hard.

 

All right. So...I definitely think you should rework this as a more traditional query. I'm sure there are agents out there who would love this spin on it, but don't sent it like this if you don't know who they are. That being said, I am just so taken in with this story. I'm all over it. I'm buying the book when it's out. 

 

It must look like I butchered your poor query, but really I think a lot of it is salvageable. Don't scrap it. Just snip out the bits that don't belong and sew it together. I believe in you!



#4 SimonLee

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:00 PM



 

Dear Agent, I don't know if you're just using "agent" as a placeholder here but if you're not, you should know that agents want queries to be personalized. 

 

Fairplay, PA--Local resident Ashley Quinn returned home from medical school last week after receiving news that her family had been murdered, and now she finds herself in a fight for her life. With the funeral and subsequent arrangements finalized, she indicates the murder investigation headed by local authorities has stalled, and that it is up to her to find the killer--who, she is certain, is not human.

 

You'll want to stay away from using past tense. 

 

Ashley has hired paranormal investigator James MacReady, and expanding on Ashley’s claim of the supernatural, MacReady said, “It’s a vampire. All the murdered people had holes in their necks so not rocket science. And I’m not a paranormal investigator. I’m a god damned monster killer. I don’t carry around EMF readers, cameras, or recorders. I carry a machete.” Agents don't want quotations or dialogue. 

 

The first two paragraphs can easily be shortened. Remember, no fluff and straight to the point. Short sentences will be your best friend. This is a rough example of what you should do: 

 

Ashley Quinn is in the fight of her life after her family is murdered. Fairplay authorities are stalled in their investigation, and none believe Ashley when she says the killer in not human. She hires James McReady, a monster hunter who confirms her suspicions. A vampire. 

 

Corroborating MacReady’s claims, Ashley says a mysterious man follows her everywhere, and this man has invaded her dreams. Outside of her dreams, he’s even approached her and introduced himself. “He says his name’s Radovan. Radovan! That’s definitely a vampire name.” Put this information earlier in the query. Agents will want to know why she suspected the supernatural. Rough example sentence: A mysterious man follows Ashley everywhere, even in her dreams. 

 

Now working exclusively with MacReady, the tandem’s investigation has led them to believe they are dealing with “a really old bloodsucker.” MacReady clarified that “old” is a problem--the older vampires are, the more powerful. When asked where he gets his information, he shrugged and said, “Google, mostly.”

 

The outcome of this investigation is now in question as both Ashley and MacReady have been missing for the last two days. Wait, I thought this story was from Ashley's point of view. How can she go missing from her own story?One of the last things Ashley communicated was that, despite how afraid she was, Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. “It’s like he thinks we’re soul mates, and that he’s super appealing,” Ashley said. “But he’s not. He’s just really creepy and acts like I owe him something.”

 

Sources close to Radovan indicate that perhaps in his youth he had moments of indiscretion, but that he is an upstanding vampire now. Reportedly, Radovan questions how long transgressions of the past will hound an individual. When does “sorry” start to count?

 

Before disappearing, Ashley said, in a decision a long time coming, her days in medical school were over. In fact, she sees her relationship with Mac as “that whole Rocky--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of thing,” and that she would love to join MacReady on the road for future adventures, but as noted before, the location and health of this monster hunting duo is seriously in question. This query becomes very confusing in the last three sentences. I don't know how to help since I don't really understand. Also, 90% of it is fluff. Just focus on the plot as a whole, not specific moments.  

 

 

 

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I'm going to take a couple of days and return to this. I know queries should be present tense, but the past tense model was one of those areas I adhered closely to journalistic standards. 

 



 

Fairplay, PA--Local resident Ashley Quinn [right here is where I would insert "just wanted to be X" or "has always yearned for Y." We need to know about her goals to be able to relate to her. Then you can flow right into, "But when she] returned home from medical school last week after receiving news that her family had been murdered, and now she finds herself in a fight for her life. With the funeral and subsequent arrangements finalized, she indicates the murder investigation headed by local authorities has stalled, and that it is up to her to find the killer--who, she is certain, is not human.

 

Past tense, always always always past tense for queries. 

 

Ashley has hired paranormal investigator James MacReady, and expanding on Ashley’s claim of the supernatural, MacReady said, “It’s a vampire. All the murdered people had holes in their necks so not rocket science. And I’m [Agree with Harlequin, you can't put quotes in a query. Maybe just say something like, "the unwilling James MacReady, who is"] not a paranormal investigator. I’m but a self-proclaimed god damned machete-wielding monster killer. I don’t carry around EMF readers, cameras, or recorders. I carry a machete.” This being said I love his voice. I love the bit of humor you incorporated into the "news story." Your manuscript sounds super promising!

 

Corroborating MacReady’s claims, Ashley says a mysterious man follows her everywhere, and this man has invaded her dreams. Outside of her dreams, he’s even approached her and introduced himself. “He says his name’s Radovan. Radovan! That’s definitely a vampire name.” I think you can integrate this into the previous paragraph ^ and even put it before she hires MacReady. Would make the flow more smooth. 

 

Now working exclusively with MacReady, the tandem’s investigation has led them to believe they are dealing with “a really old bloodsucker.” MacReady clarified that “old” is a problem--the older vampires are, the more powerful. When asked where he gets his information, he shrugged and said, “Google, mostly.” Heh XDXD I'm chuckling. I like your writing style. Sadly, I'm not sure this paragraph is keepable for your query.

 

The outcome of this investigation is now in question as both Ashley and MacReady have been missing for the last two days. One of the last things Ashley communicated was that, despite how afraid she was, Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. “It’s like he thinks we’re soul mates, and that he’s super appealing,” Ashley said. “But he’s not. He’s just really creepy and acts like I owe him something.” This is interesting! I like it! Now, if you can incorporate it into a more standard query format, I think you can keep the general idea of this paragraph in here. Like, "Radovan seemed to think he was the lead in his own paranormal romance. [But then something happened] just before Ashley and MacReady disappeared." 

 

Sources close to Radovan indicate that perhaps in his youth he had moments of indiscretion, but that he is an upstanding vampire now. Reportedly, Radovan questions how long transgressions of the past will hound an individual. When does “sorry” start to count? I love this guy's voice too. Ohmygosh. Can I read your book please?

^This paragraph is definitely keepable btw. Just add it to the bit up there^^ Also, what does Radovan have to do with Ashley's family? Explain

 

Before disappearing, Ashley said, in a decision a long time coming, her days in medical school were over. In fact, she sees her relationship with Mac as “that whole Rocky--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of thing,” and that she would love to join MacReady on the road for future adventures, but as noted before, the location and health of this monster hunting duo is seriously in question. I ship them so hard.

 

All right. So...I definitely think you should rework this as a more traditional query. I'm sure there are agents out there who would love this spin on it, but don't sent it like this if you don't know who they are. That being said, I am just so taken in with this story. I'm all over it. I'm buying the book when it's out. 

 

It must look like I butchered your poor query, but really I think a lot of it is salvageable. Don't scrap it. Just snip out the bits that don't belong and sew it together. I believe in you!

 

 

Nah, I don't think you butchered this. In fact, the feedback gives me a useful framework on how to go forward. I appreciate your enthusiasm! I think I need to try to find a balance between voice and keeping to the standard. Of course, this is the toughest part, so again, thank you so much! I feel very encouraged by this. :) 

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I'm going to take a couple of days and return to this. I know queries should be present tense, but the past tense model was one of those areas I adhered closely to journalistic standards. 



#5 SimonLee

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:50 AM

All right, I've trimmed it to 247 words. So progress! 

 

Dear So-and-so,

 

When Ashley decides to drop out of medical school to find who killed her parents, she can’t help but hear her father’s chiding voice, but you’ve worked for this your whole life! Ash never wanted medical school, and in the search for her family’s killer, she feels her first true sense of agency.

 

She returns to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania, and the killer sets his sights on her. Ash realizes that this is no regular man. The killer Radovan stalks her every move, disappears at any sign of the police, and now infiltrates Ash’s dreams with messages about being soul mates. In fact, Radovan reveals himself to be a vampire. A really handsome vampire who killed her family as part of his self-devised courtship model.

 

Ash isn’t having any of Radovan’s pick-up artist advances though, and when professional monster hunter James MacReady happens to ride his Prius into town, Ash enlists his aid. Immediately, Ash and Mac connect in that whole Rocky Balboa--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of way. Radovan’s response to another man entering the picture is one of indignation. Of rage! An assault on his stellar character--how dare this girl besmirch his honor? To clear his name, Radovan changes his plan from courting Ash to killing her and everyone else in his way.

 

But for Ash, killing Radovan is just a speed-bump on the road to her new life: hunting monsters with Mac and his Prius.



#6 Dollophead

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 05:35 PM

When how old? Ashley decides to drops out of medical school to find who killed her parents' killer, she can’t help but hear her father’s chiding voice, but you’ve worked for this your whole life! Ash never wanted medical school, and in the search for her family’s killer, she feels her first true sense of agency. Everything I crossed out you already said in some way. Combine this sentence with the next paragraph, but first tell us why she feels agency. We want to know why this is going to drive her through the entire story. 

 

She returns to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania, and the killer sets his sights on her I would replace what I crossed out with some description of Radovan. Ashley (be consistent with the names) realizes that this is no regular man. The killer Radovan stalks her every move, disappears at any sign of the police, and now infiltrates Ash’s dreams with messages about being soul mates. In fact, Radovan reveals himself to be a vampire. Reveal this earlier in the paragraph. A really handsome vampire who killed her family as part of his self-devised courtship model. Can you give a slight more bit of detail about the courtship model? Like, why did he think this would work?

 

Ash isn’t having any of Radovan’s pick-up artist advances though, and when professional monster hunter James MacReady happens to ride his Prius into town, Ash enlists his aid. Immediately, Ash and Mac connect in that whole Rocky Balboa--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of way. This kind of stylistic choice would work better in your manuscript. In a query, your words have to be your own. No quotes (no matter how great).  Radovan’s response to another man entering the picture is one of indignation. Of rage! An assault on his stellar character--how dare this girl besmirch his honor? To clear his name, Radovan changes his plan from courting Ash to killing her and everyone else in his way. I love how you incorporated Radovan's voice. But since Ashley is the main character, you should probably stick with her voice alone (for the query). 

 

But for Ash, killing Radovan is just a speed-bump on the road to her new life: hunting monsters with Mac and his Prius. You can cut this part out. I think the ending of the last paragraph works fine for the conclusion :)



#7 RosieSkye

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:49 PM

All right, I've trimmed it to 247 words. So progress! 

 

Dear So-and-so,

 

When Ashley decides to drop out of medical school to find who killed her parents, she can’t help but hear her father’s chiding voice, but you’ve worked for this your whole life! Ash never wanted medical school, and in the search for her family’s killer, she feels her first true sense of agency.

 

She returns to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania, and the killer sets his sights on her.  Ash realizes that this is no regular man. The killer Radovan stalks her every move, disappears at any sign of the police, and now infiltrates Ash’s dreams with messages about being soul mates. In fact, Radovan reveals himself to be a vampire. A really handsome vampire who killed her family as part of his self-devised courtship model. (I'm just curious about Ashley's intentions here. Does she know that Radovan was the one who killed her parents?  If not, how does she discover who he is?  If so, what does she plan to do with/about him?)

 

Ash isn’t having any of Radovan’s pick-up artist advances though, and when professional monster hunter James MacReady happens to ride his Prius into town, Ash enlists his aid. Immediately, Ash and Mac connect in that whole Rocky Balboa--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of way. (Since a query is your chance to show off your own voice as a writer, don't waste valuable real estate referencing something else. Find your own unique way to get this thought across.) Radovan’s response to another man entering the picture is one of indignation. Of rage! An assault on his stellar character--how dare this girl besmirch his honor? To clear his name, Radovan changes his plan from courting Ash to killing her and everyone else in his way.

 

But for Ash, killing Radovan is just a speed-bump on the road to her new life: hunting monsters with Mac and his Prius. (You've diluted your stakes here.)

 

 

I think the biggest issue with this query is that you flip flop POV's, and I don't know whose story this is.  If it's Ashley's, you need to keep your query from her POV.  If your manuscript is dual POV, you can either state that at the end of your query, or you can do one paragraph from Ashley's viewpoint, and one from Radovan's.  But melding the two is never advisable.

 

Good luck!



#8 SimonLee

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:33 PM

 

When how old? Ashley decides to drops out of medical school to find who killed her parents' killer, she can’t help but hear her father’s chiding voice, but you’ve worked for this your whole life! Ash never wanted medical school, and in the search for her family’s killer, she feels her first true sense of agency. Everything I crossed out you already said in some way. Combine this sentence with the next paragraph, but first tell us why she feels agency. We want to know why this is going to drive her through the entire story. 

 

She returns to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania, and the killer sets his sights on her I would replace what I crossed out with some description of Radovan. Ashley (be consistent with the names) realizes that this is no regular man. The killer Radovan stalks her every move, disappears at any sign of the police, and now infiltrates Ash’s dreams with messages about being soul mates. In fact, Radovan reveals himself to be a vampire. Reveal this earlier in the paragraph. A really handsome vampire who killed her family as part of his self-devised courtship model. Can you give a slight more bit of detail about the courtship model? Like, why did he think this would work?

 

Ash isn’t having any of Radovan’s pick-up artist advances though, and when professional monster hunter James MacReady happens to ride his Prius into town, Ash enlists his aid. Immediately, Ash and Mac connect in that whole Rocky Balboa--I’ve got gaps, you’ve got gaps, together we fill gaps--kind of way. This kind of stylistic choice would work better in your manuscript. In a query, your words have to be your own. No quotes (no matter how great).  Radovan’s response to another man entering the picture is one of indignation. Of rage! An assault on his stellar character--how dare this girl besmirch his honor? To clear his name, Radovan changes his plan from courting Ash to killing her and everyone else in his way. I love how you incorporated Radovan's voice. But since Ashley is the main character, you should probably stick with her voice alone (for the query). 

 

But for Ash, killing Radovan is just a speed-bump on the road to her new life: hunting monsters with Mac and his Prius. You can cut this part out. I think the ending of the last paragraph works fine for the conclusion :)

 

 

I appreciate the advice, thank you! The last line was hard for me (and this is why fresh eyes are so important), but I sat there thinking: how do I end this. But seeing your point, if I just remove it, the query already ends just fine! 

 

I think I didn't make clear in the first sentence that her sense of agency comes from her father dying--he forced her into medical school, and his dying makes her secretly, guiltily, feel free to make her own choices.

 

I struggle with the issue of POV (not that I don't understand it), but that I want to convey certain information from the book--that I see as really the hook that might make this differ from other vampire stories--but Radovan doesn't have a POV in the book. I think it's important to show that he thinks he's Edward from Twilight (or whatever), but to Ashley, his advances are not okay--the idea of the blindness of--and sometimes terrifying nature of--male privilege. I'll tinker with the paragraph. So as to the "courtship model," it's a tongue-in-cheek way of creating a metaphor for the nice guy syndrome. "See HOW NICE I AM? YOU MUST LOVE ME!" Anyway, the idea of isolating a woman by murdering her family is meant to be a hyperbolized (word I just made up?) example of men going too far in their attempts to woo a woman. Showing up at a woman's place of employment with a hundred roses. An exaggeration behind that kind of thinking. Maybe I should build up with those more "mild-but-not-really-mild" examples, and then throw in the hyperbole?

 

I think the biggest issue with this query is that you flip flop POV's, and I don't know whose story this is.  If it's Ashley's, you need to keep your query from her POV.  If your manuscript is dual POV, you can either state that at the end of your query, or you can do one paragraph from Ashley's viewpoint, and one from Radovan's.  But melding the two is never advisable.

 

Good luck!

 

I appreciate your feedback. I'll make it more clear than Ashley knows Radovan killed her family (he kind of brags about it like he did her a favor). I'll also try to link Ashley's hiring of Mac as part of her solution in how to deal with Radovan. The first query I had (over twice as long!) pointed out that Mac's good a killing--albeit younger--vampires with his machete. Though, in the book, Ash and Mac share equal POV time, this book is very much about her dealing with this problem. She's the straight-"man" character--the world of monsters is not real to her until this, so there's also a bit more horror associated with her POV. Mac's been doing this a long time, so he's a bit more cynical and sarcastic about the whole thing, even when he's in over his head.

 

Anyway, you've both given me plenty to consider.



#9 Dollophead

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  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
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Posted 14 October 2018 - 02:37 PM

I think I didn't make clear in the first sentence that her sense of agency comes from her father dying--he forced her into medical school, and his dying makes her secretly, guiltily, feel free to make her own choices. 

 

The way you stated it before: "When Ashley decides to drop out of medical school to find who killed her parents, she can’t help but hear her father’s chiding voice, but you’ve worked for this your whole life! Ash never wanted medical school, and in the search for her family’s killer, she feels her first true sense of agency," makes us think that Ashley going on a quest for revenge is what makes her feel agency. I came away with the impression she liked detective work better than medical work--that she was happy because she was finally doing what she liked. But, if you want to work that guilty-for-her-new-agency perspective, I think you can say it sort of kind of like this: "When Ashley decides to drop out of medical school to find her parents' killer, the newfound freedom to make her own choices is paired with guilt for violating her father's dying wish."

 

I struggle with the issue of POV (not that I don't understand it), but that I want to convey certain information from the book--that I see as really the hook that might make this differ from other vampire stories--but Radovan doesn't have a POV in the book. I think it's important to show that he thinks he's Edward from Twilight (or whatever), but to Ashley, his advances are not okay--the idea of the blindness of--and sometimes terrifying nature of--male privilege. I'll tinker with the paragraph. So as to the "courtship model," it's a tongue-in-cheek way of creating a metaphor for the nice guy syndrome. "See HOW NICE I AM? YOU MUST LOVE ME!" Anyway, the idea of isolating a woman by murdering her family is meant to be a hyperbolized (word I just made up?) example of men going too far in their attempts to woo a woman. Showing up at a woman's place of employment with a hundred roses. An exaggeration behind that kind of thinking. Maybe I should build up with those more "mild-but-not-really-mild" examples, and then throw in the hyperbole?

 

This is a really really good idea! Satiring the nice guy attitude through a vampire novel is utterly unique (and makes me want to read your book more :D). You don't have to insert Radovan's POV to do this. The fact that he's mad that she didn't like his courtship model and plans to kill her now that she's rebuffed his advances is enough, I think. It doesn't seem like using the milder examples and then throwing in the hyperbole is necessary; all you really need is Radovan's motivation for killing her family and then his hissy fit. Just play with conveying this in a more Ashley voice than Radovan voice.






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