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Demon (Paranormal Romance) Revision on post #13

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#1 VickyRosly

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:12 AM

Hey guys,

 

It feels so odd to be back here all these years later; I used to be an active member of the AQ forum back in 2010 when I was 17 years old. Well, add almost ten years to that along with a very long period during which I was not writing at all and I'm at back it for what it's worth. It feels exactly as hectic as it felt back then so I guess stress doesn't lessen with age, only gets amplified.  :blink:

 

To get to the point, I've completely re-written the book I was working on 10 years ago with a completely different approach, now aiming to adult audiences.  I look forward to hearing your feedback on my attempt on writing a query letter all these years later (hopefully I'm not terribly rusty at it.)

 

Kind Regards,

 

Vicky

 

 

Query Letter:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting but being the only Demon to ever be created from Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche.

  When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer.

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must seduce a man she can’t even touch, not without shifting into her true nature and ending up getting herself killed that is. She must now decide wether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.

  With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.

  Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series . It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series.

 

Thank you for your consideration.


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#2 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 11:42 AM


 

Query Letter:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting but being the only Demon to ever be created from Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche. (I'm wondering what it means to be a demon in your story. Where does Anelaigh go into hiding?)

  When one of the Devil’s (I think you should refer to Lucifer by one name throughout the query - either the Devil or Lucifer) most treasured generals, Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother, Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer. (I think you're introducing too many characters in your query and I'm starting to get a little confused/overwhelmed

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must seduce a man she can’t even touch, not without shifting into her true nature (What is her true nature? I think if I had a clearer understanding of what a demon is in your book, I would understand this part more) and ending up getting herself killed that is. She must now decide whether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.

  With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.

  Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series . It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Just a few thoughts and suggestions. Sounds like something I'd be interested in reading!


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


#3 VickyRosly

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 02:07 PM

Just a few thoughts and suggestions. Sounds like something I'd be interested in reading!

 

Hello there and thank you for your input!

 

You're raising some points I was struggling with myself actually.

 

1. I believe it's irrelevant to add to the query where she lives in the beginning of the book, since she spends about a chapter there so it felt unimportant. I'm trying to show she lives a separate life than her father but maybe that does not come across.

 

2. Hm, you're quite right about the many characters. The thing is, it's important that David is Michael's son. It plays a vital part in the plot. Hades is also a character that affects the MC heavily so I thought it would be wrong to not mention him in the query.

 

3. In my book demons look like humans. They each have a serpent on them, that bites when they come in physical contact with angels. My struggle is, that is difficult to describe in a few words, hence I wrote the sentence that confused you.

 

I will await for some more input hopefully and work on the revision.


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#4 Aightball

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:03 PM


Query Letter:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Anelaigh is a Demon.   Nice hook!

 

That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting but being the only Demon to ever be created from Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psycheThis paragraph is clunky...I would streamline by giving us only what's the most important stuff: do we need to know what her whims are?  Or is it enough to say that she'd rather focus on her own.  That would help streamline things. 

 

When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals, Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer.   Why will nothing good come of this meeting?  I want to know more about that.  I'd cut the bits about Lucifer and gives us more on this meeting.  What does Hades want?  Why is it bad?  Give us more on this. 

 

As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must seduce a man she can’t even touch, not without shifting into her true nature and ending up getting herself killed that is. She must now decide wether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.  I think this gets confusing here.  If you streamline the above paragraph regarding Hades, you can expand on the Hades angle here.  That will also explain why she's seducing someone she can't touch.  That confused me, because the previous paragraph didn't say anything about it.  Why the seduction?  How does this all tie in with the previous parts of the query?  You definitely need to do some cutting in this and make sure we're only getting what truly matters.

 

With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.  I like this ending.  What's at stake in your novel?  Even if it's character driven, as mine are, you need stakes.  Something has that's 'if A doesn't happen B will'.  What sets your novel apart from others?  Bring that in here and you'll have a strong ending to the query!

 

Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series . It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series. From what I've been told and researched myself, agents don't want something that's not a stand alone right out the gate.  The best thing to do is end the book in such a way it can stand alone but it could also have a sequel/series.  Then, in your query, say 'It is a standalone book with series potential' or something similar. 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

I think overall your query is not bad at all.  It does need some work, but all queries do.  I made a lot of suggestions for you and you can take them or leave them as it works for your story and query.  It is a bit long, but that can be fixed with edits.  I'm looking forward to the edits!


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#5 felty87

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:32 PM

I agree with the suggestions made from the other members. I get the idea of the story but it needs cleaned up a bit. one other problem I noticed that no one addressed is the novel is a paranormal romance and I don't see the romance aspects spelled out. I will wait for your next revision. I am writing a query for my paranormal romance and it is brutal. lol 



#6 VickyRosly

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 01:19 AM

@Aightball Thank you for the comments, the clear out my head a bit. I've been writing the book for 2 years so everything makes sense to me :P

 

@felty87 Didn't think of that thanks! It is brutal indeed, so challenging pitching an entire book in 200 words. I think most of us then to overthink it so try not to be too harsh on your attempts!

 

Guys I'll work on a revision and keep you updated! Thank you a bunch <3


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#7 jpfranco

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 10:41 AM

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting this really has no meaning in your query, and you only have so many words. Save them for where you need them but being the only Demon to ever be created from Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche. The second sentence takes up the rest of the paragraph, making it hard to follow. Break it up. Isn't toying with the fragile human psyche devious? 

 When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals comma Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Why her? What makes her special enough to be chosen?  Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer. There is a lot going on here, and killing someone's son is certainly not going to end a quarrel. 

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must seduce a man she can’t even touch, who? why? not without shifting into her true nature and ending up getting herself killed that is. This crosses the line between mystery and confusion. Without reading the book, this does not really make sense. She must now decide wether whether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms. Who's cat and mouse game? Your query says she went into hiding, but not why, and it doesn't give any indication that she's had to run from, I guess her father? Going into hiding is not the same as cat and mouse. Without any context of why she's running from her father, this does nothing for your query. This whole paragraph is confusion. 

  With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all-consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking. This is really out of nowhere

 

 

  Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words with series potential. that would appeal to adult audiences such as of you need to re-word this. J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series. Don't explain what it's about to the agent. The writing must show it. 

 

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

There's no feeling at all here of who Anelaigh is. We know nothing about her other than she's a demon. You've got stakes in here, but they are vague. "Bow to her father's whims (No idea what those are) or end the cat and mouse game (haven't seen any sign of one of those, and I have no clue how she'd end it) Then there's this hint of falling in love with a human, but no idea how that happens, who he is, nothing. There's no hint of what will happen to Analaigh if she fails/chooses not to follow through, or why she might choose not to. In fact, the stakes come across as nothing very dramatic. There's no danger to Analaigh or to anyone else. Not that we can see. Anelaigh doesn't sound like someone I want to root for, either, what with the toying of the human psyche, the mocking of humans, and of being a demon. This is billed as a romance, but it has only the barest hint of a romance, and the agent will have to read between the lines to get it. 

 

The idea of a demon temptress falling in love could be interesting, but I really think you need to scrap this query and start over. I don't mean to be discouraging, but that's kind of impossible when it comes to queries. It's like a foreign language compared to writing a novel. Just try again. It doesn't mean you're a bad writer. Querying is The. Worst. But if you keep hacking away, you will get there. 



#8 mkuriel

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 01:20 PM

 

Dear Agent,

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting (<<vague, passive>>) but being the only Demon to ever be created from Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche.

(this whole first paragraph is vague, clunky, and wordy. I think it's meant to give an idea of the setting and MC, but it doesn't beyond, Anelaigh is the only demon that Lucifer has ever created. )

 

  When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, (redundant. Tracks her down implies they're face-to-face, i.e. meeting) Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael,(awkward) Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer. (waaaayyy too many extraneous details. And since the protag is Anelaigh, why should we care about what Lucifer wants? I.e. stop implying that Lucifer wants Anelaigh to kill David and say it outright.)

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must seduce a man she can’t even touch, not without shifting into her true nature (vague and misleading: your true nature is the underlying constant of your identity. It can be revealed "shifted into" makes no sense. Suggest: She must seduce a man she can't touch without sprouting bat-wings and horns. )and ending up getting herself killed that is. (this sentence is way too long. suggest breaking off the clause in red to make a new sentence) She must now decide wether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.

  With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.

  Demon is paranormal romance (wait, what? Where's the romance? This query reads like suspense, not romance) novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as fans of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series (any other comps?). It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series. (Let the story show us what it's about.)

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

My best suggestion: back to basics.

Short, crisp sentences are better than long ones. That means subject verb clause. There are many clause, subject verb more clauses in this draft. It reduces clarity.

Use those short clear sentences to answer:

Who is the MC? (Anelaigh)

What does she want? (to live her own life? To not kill David? I can't provide a clear, concrete goal after reading the query, which is bad.)

What's in the way? (Lucifer wants her to kill David.)

What bad thing will happen if she succeeds? (She'll do her father's bidding? Again, it isn't clear.)

What worse thing will happen if she doesn't? (Lucifer will be angry with her? Not clear.) 

Your answers to those questions should give us a sense of the plot, stakes, and why Anelaigh is a character worth reading about. 

 

My next best suggestion: Read 50-100 queries on queryshark.blogspot.com before attempting further revisions.

 

Good luck!



#9 VickyRosly

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 02:03 PM

Hey guys.

 

I tried to take all comments into consideration. As for the shark blog I am well aware of it and have read plenty. 

 

Here's my revision, coming from a different mindset.

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she was well aware he would come knocking at her door eventually.  She is his most treasured creation after all, and her father likes his property on a short leash.

  When Hades, an old flame and her father’s lackey, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Dragged into a millennia old quarrel, Lucifer now demands of her something in the realms of the impossible; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. And he’s not asking nicely.

  Getting close to her intended target is a challenge on its own; like each Demon, Anelaigh carries a serpent which will bite during any physical type of contact with an Angel and turn her into her true demonic form. Of course being one as old as she offers some minimal control but Anelaigh would much rather keep her head attached to her shoulders. She needs to get David alone and get on with the kill as inconspicuously as possible. But he turns out not quite exactly what she had in mind.

   As the two come closer, Anelaigh begins to find the possibility of killing David more dreadful that the Devil’s wrath.With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must decide whether she’s willing to carry out her father’s plan or face whatever horror he’s planned for her should she refuse.

 Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to fans of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

On another note, I've forgotten how frustrating is to write a query.  :sad: 


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#10 jpfranco

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 03:40 PM

Hey guys.

 

I tried to take all comments into consideration. As for the shark blog I am well aware of it and have read plenty. 

 

Here's my revision, coming from a different mindset.

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she was well aware knew-- keep it simple with the wording he would come knocking at her door eventually.  Long and rambling sentence She is his most treasured creation after all, and her father likes his property on a short leash. This is intriguing

  When Hades, an old flame and her father’s lackey, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Here's a chance to paint a picture. How did she know nothing good was coming? Dragged into a millennia old quarrel, Lucifer now demands of her something in the realms of the impossible; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. And he’s not asking nicely.

  Getting close to her intended target is a challenge on its own; like each Demon, Anelaigh carries a serpent which will bite during any physical type of contact with an Angel and turn her into her true demonic form. Of course being one as old as she offers some minimal control but Anelaigh would much rather keep her head attached to her shoulders. This sentence is pure confusion. Since the disguise and demonic form sound too complicated for a couple of sentneces, you might leave it out entirely She needs to get David alone and get on with the kill as inconspicuously as possible. How though? Is she on earth? I got the feeling that she wasn't. Is she in another dimension? How will she find David? If he's also the son of a demon, he wouldn't be human, would he? Is he the love interest? But he turns out not quite exactly what she had in mind. Too vague

   As the two come closer, vague Anelaigh begins to find the possibility of killing David more dreadful that the Devil’s wrath.With the clock now ticking closer to her end, Anelaigh must decide whether she’s willing to carry out her father’s plan or face whatever horror he’s planned for her should she refuse. Stakes are still too vague, I'm afraid

 Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to fans of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

On another note, I've forgotten how frustrating is to write a query.  :sad: All you have to do is condense 74k words into a few short, snappy paragraphs of plot, character, and stakes  :wacko: lol



#11 VickyRosly

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 01:16 AM

@jpfranko Hey!

 

Queries tend to be a bit vague in general. It's a pitch not synopsis so, I haven't seen any of them that give all the details straightforwardly. The comment is confusing me a bit :/


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#12 jpfranco

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:15 AM

@jpfranko Hey!

 

Queries tend to be a bit vague in general. It's a pitch not synopsis so, I haven't seen any of them that give all the details straightforwardly. The comment is confusing me a bit :/

They tend to be somewhat vague, as you just don't have the room for all the details, but it shouldn't be so vague that the agent has no idea what's going on. You don't want to go into the territory of confusing. There has to be an idea of what makes the MS worth reading.  The agent has zero context for "or face whatever horror he’s planned for her should she refuse." There's nothing in the query to indicate what that might mean. It could be anything. The love interest should definitely not be a mystery. This is billed as a romance, but there's no romance in the query. 



#13 VickyRosly

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 07:10 AM

So my weekend off is finally here, I spent the week reading other people's queries and I can definitely say I'm more confused than ever :P. Anyways, here it is. I have no clue if I'm moving towards the right direction.

 

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she knew the Devil would come knocking at her door eventually.  Father likes his property on a short leash after all.

  Looking to rekindle a millennia old feud, Lucifer comes strutting back into the picture with a preposterous demand; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. He’s made it rather clear failing is not an option, not if she enjoys having her head attached to her shoulders that is. Under the guise of being the newest addition to his guard Anelaigh travels to Vienna, where she begins weaving her deadly web around the angel heir. Or so she thinks.

  With a mind that dangerously matches her own shade of wicked, it's obvious David's not a man to be swept off his feet with coy glances and fluttering eyelashes; the more she delves into seducing him the more her own feelings seem to grow and she knows very well that could turn out to be her own undoing. As the target on her own back begins to itch, Anelaigh must decide if she’s willing to cross the Devil at his own game for a man she could never have.*

Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

* Btw, I'm not sure if that part adds a mysterious touch or if it makes the reader wonder why she can't have him. Let me know.


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#14 Aightball

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 10:35 PM

So my weekend off is finally here, I spent the week reading other people's queries and I can definitely say I'm more confused than ever :P. Anyways, here it is. I have no clue if I'm moving towards the right direction.

 

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she knew the Devil would come knocking at her door eventually.  Father likes his property on a short leash after all.  I like this!  It hooks us right away and I like the voice here, too!

 

Looking to rekindle a millennia old feud, Lucifer comes strutting back into the picture with a preposterous demand:; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. He’s made it rather clear failing is not an option, not if she enjoys having her head attached to her shoulders that is. Under the guise of being the newest addition to his guard, Anelaigh travels to Vienna, where she begins weaving her deadly web around the angel heir. Or so she thinks.  This is much better!  It's easier now to see the main part of the story and it's pulling me in, making me want to know more and see what's going on.  You've given us a clear picture of the story and the characters as well as hinting at what she has to do.

 

With a mind that dangerously matches her own shade of wicked, it's obvious David's not a man to be swept off his feet with coy glances and fluttering eyelashes; the more she delves into seducing him the more her own feelings seem to grow and she knows very well that could turn out to be her own undoing. As the target on her own back begins to itch, Anelaigh must decide if she’s willing to cross the Devil at his own game for a man she could never have.*  This is better.  The stakes are there, and I personally think they're strong; others may have different thoughts.  But I like this.  Now your book sounds super interesting and I definitely want to read it!  You've given us, again, a clear picture of the story and what your MC must do.  And again, I think the stakes are clearer.

 

Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

* Btw, I'm not sure if that part adds a mysterious touch or if it makes the reader wonder why she can't have him. Let me know.

 

This is better!  I really like this update and I think you've done a great job giving us the story and stakes.  It still needs a few tweaks but I think it's overall strong!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis:

Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#15 Koechophe

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 11:22 PM

Hey Vicky, love your story, if you read my query, you'll find mine is extremely similar. When I was 16, I went through the query process hardcore and was super active on this site, and now that I'm a bit more grown up, I'm trying again. For what it's worth, I'm rooting for you =D. 

 

 

Anelaigh is a Demon (I'm reading this sentence, and it just isn't quite doing it for me as a hook. I honestly feel like a bit more information would grab me. Maybe once upon a time being a demon would be enough, but now Demon MCs are common enough that I think you need more.). That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting but being the only Demon to ever be created from (I question the word "from" here. If it's deliberate, that's fine, but you need to explain that in more depth I.E. "From Lucifer's blood" or "From Lucifer's corpse". If you don't mean something like that, the correct word here would be "by lucifer".  Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims (see, this here implies to me that it should be "created by lucifier" because she sounds like his literal daughter.) and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche.

The opening line has a fair bit of info, most of it isn't necessary. I think you could hook and provide most of it the same way with a simple opening sentence that reads something like "Anelaigh is on the run from her father, Lucifer. " And then follow up with something to preserve the character building for Anelaigh that you do (which is really nice). Something like "She has no desire to be her father's servant; she'd much rather spend her days toying with the fragile human psyche." Even those two sentences as an opening line reads a lot more grippingly than the paragraph you've got. 

 

  When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing archangel Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer.

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must is asked to seduce a man she can’t even touch (this is a bit of a leap for me. When did Anelaigh agree to do this? And why? If you put in the above edit, I think it might clarify a bit better)--not without shifting into her true form and nature and ending up getting herself killed, that is. She must now decide whether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands, or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.

  With the clock now(it looks like "now" is a crutch word for you. I'd recommend watching for it in your writing) ticking closer to her end (This confuses me as a reader. What do you mean by "her end"? Is she going to die? If so, we need to know about it a lot sooner than now. Or just leave it out, if you don't have time to explain), Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.

  Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series . It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series. (Just leave all this out, especially that it has a sequel. You don't need to tell what your book is, you should've already shown it through your query.)

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

So thoughts. I think that the writing needs some trimming, as I outlined above, and even more so if you can manage it. I also think that there needs to be a bit more done about her "romance" with David. This is a romance novel, yet there isn't even a whiff of affectionate feelings right up until the end. Just spare the drama of choice and TELL us she decides to obey her father and start courting the guy, and then talk about how she develops feelings for him (since she obviously does).

I think you do well with establishing Aneleigh's character, but honestly, the thing reads a bit cheesy to me. Kind of like the trope where a robot finds love, the idea of a demon finding love is clique, and needs to be handled carefully. Don't talk about how the emotions she mocked are of real value, it sounds like it's straight out of a hallmark film. 

Over all, I think it's got promise, but I think you could do more for conflict in the query than just the internal conflict you have going. A sense of danger from Lucifer and a sense of desire in their love would really make the query pop.

 

Good luck! 

-I critique because I care. 



#16 VickyRosly

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 05:36 AM

 

Hey Vicky, love your story, if you read my query, you'll find mine is extremely similar. When I was 16, I went through the query process hardcore and was super active on this site, and now that I'm a bit more grown up, I'm trying again. For what it's worth, I'm rooting for you =D. 

 

 

Anelaigh is a Demon (I'm reading this sentence, and it just isn't quite doing it for me as a hook. I honestly feel like a bit more information would grab me. Maybe once upon a time being a demon would be enough, but now Demon MCs are common enough that I think you need more.). That fact alone is enough to keep her life interesting but being the only Demon to ever be created from (I question the word "from" here. If it's deliberate, that's fine, but you need to explain that in more depth I.E. "From Lucifer's blood" or "From Lucifer's corpse". If you don't mean something like that, the correct word here would be "by lucifer".  Lucifer himself has caused her to spend the last centuries in hiding; Anelaigh has no desire to cater to her father’s devious whims (see, this here implies to me that it should be "created by lucifier" because she sounds like his literal daughter.) and would much rather focus on her own, the most entertaining of them being toying with the fragile human psyche.

The opening line has a fair bit of info, most of it isn't necessary. I think you could hook and provide most of it the same way with a simple opening sentence that reads something like "Anelaigh is on the run from her father, Lucifer. " And then follow up with something to preserve the character building for Anelaigh that you do (which is really nice). Something like "She has no desire to be her father's servant; she'd much rather spend her days toying with the fragile human psyche." Even those two sentences as an opening line reads a lot more grippingly than the paragraph you've got. 

 

  When one of the Devil’s most treasured generals Hades, tracks her down and demands a meeting, Anelaigh knows nothing good will come out of it. Looking to put an end in his millennia old quarrel with his archangel brother Michael, Lucifer is now set on completing a most difficult task; killing archangel Michael’s only son and heir to the throne, David. And the Devil does not take no for an answer.

  As if infiltrating David’s closed circle as his guard isn’t already challenging enough, Anelaigh must is asked to seduce a man she can’t even touch (this is a bit of a leap for me. When did Anelaigh agree to do this? And why? If you put in the above edit, I think it might clarify a bit better)--not without shifting into her true form and nature and ending up getting herself killed, that is. She must now decide whether she’ll bow down to her father’s demands, or end their cat and mouse game on her own terms.

  With the clock now(it looks like "now" is a crutch word for you. I'd recommend watching for it in your writing) ticking closer to her end (This confuses me as a reader. What do you mean by "her end"? Is she going to die? If so, we need to know about it a lot sooner than now. Or just leave it out, if you don't have time to explain), Anelaigh must face the possibility that her evil nature might not be all consuming after all and that even one as cruel as she might be capable of all those fragile emotions she has spent her long life mocking.

  Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series . It focuses heavily on the complexity of human nature and vices as people commonly perceive them, challenging what perversion really is. It is written with the intent of a sequel and could possibly turn into a series. (Just leave all this out, especially that it has a sequel. You don't need to tell what your book is, you should've already shown it through your query.)

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

So thoughts. I think that the writing needs some trimming, as I outlined above, and even more so if you can manage it. I also think that there needs to be a bit more done about her "romance" with David. This is a romance novel, yet there isn't even a whiff of affectionate feelings right up until the end. Just spare the drama of choice and TELL us she decides to obey her father and start courting the guy, and then talk about how she develops feelings for him (since she obviously does).

I think you do well with establishing Aneleigh's character, but honestly, the thing reads a bit cheesy to me. Kind of like the trope where a robot finds love, the idea of a demon finding love is clique, and needs to be handled carefully. Don't talk about how the emotions she mocked are of real value, it sounds like it's straight out of a hallmark film. 

Over all, I think it's got promise, but I think you could do more for conflict in the query than just the internal conflict you have going. A sense of danger from Lucifer and a sense of desire in their love would really make the query pop.

 

Good luck! 

-I critique because I care. 

 

 

Hey dear, thank for your input but I have revised the query twice, this one was the first version! The version I wrote yesterday is on post 13.... I'll check your query today :)


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#17 W.P.

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Posted Yesterday, 05:59 AM

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she knew the Devil would come knocking at her door eventually.  Father likes his property on a short leash after all. ((I'm loving the voice, but I'm left wondering what are her own devious needs. I think it's too vague, but if you let us know it might give us an idea of what the character is like))

  Looking to rekindle a millennia old feud, Lucifer comes strutting back into the picture with a preposterous demand; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. He’s made it rather clear failing is not an option, not if she enjoys having her head attached to her shoulders that is. Under the guise of being the newest addition to his guard, Anelaigh travels to Vienna, where she begins weaving her deadly web around the angel heir. Or so she thinks. ((good, clear stakes! But I'm wondering if the web is literal, like it's a type of magic. When stories are supernatural, sometimes it's hard to tell when something is literal or metaphorical xD ))

  With a mind that dangerously matches her own shade of wicked, ((whose mind? Hers or David's? Not sure what you mean, but the paragraph still makes sense, so you can remove it without a problem.)) it's obvious David's not a man to be swept off his feet with coy glances and fluttering eyelashes; the more she delves into seducing him the more her own feelings seem to grow and she knows very well that could turn out to be her own undoing. As the target on her own back begins to itch, Anelaigh must decide if she’s willing to cross the Devil at his own game for a man she could never have.* ((I'm guessing she can't have him because she's a demon and he's an archangel. I think you can leave it like this since the context says it all.))

Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for your critique! I'm here to return the favour. :)

 

I like the voice and clarity of your query. Some things could be removed and tweaked, but overall it works. The one thing that could be added, I think, is characterisation. I feel like David is sort of a blank page, and it's hard to believe she is attracted to him when we don't have any idea as to why. Is he charming? Handsome? Funny? All we know is that his name is David and he's an archangel. I think that if you tell us what's so great about him, the romance will feel a lot more alive. :)



#18 jpfranco

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Posted Yesterday, 03:45 PM

So my weekend off is finally here, I spent the week reading other people's queries and I can definitely say I'm more confused than ever :P. Anyways, here it is. I have no clue if I'm moving towards the right direction.

 

 

Anelaigh is a Demon. When she decided to abandon Lucifer’s close circle some centuries back to cater to her own devious needs, she knew the Devil would come knocking at her door eventually.  Father likes his property on a short leash after all.

  Looking to rekindle a millennia old feud, Lucifer comes strutting back into the picture with a preposterous demand; killing an archangel’s only son and heir to that throne, David. He’s made it rather clear failing is not an option, not if she enjoys having her head attached to her shoulders that is. Under the guise of being the newest addition to his guard comma Anelaigh travels to Vienna, where she begins weaving her deadly web around the angel heir. Or so she thinks.

  With a mind that dangerously matches her own shade of wicked, it's obvious David's not a man to be swept off his feet with coy glances and fluttering eyelashes; the more she delves into seducing him the more her own feelings seem to grow and she knows very well that could turn out to be her own undoing. As the target on her own back begins to itch, Anelaigh must decide if she’s willing to cross the Devil at his own game for a man she could never have.*

Demon is paranormal romance novel complete at 74K words that would appeal to adult audiences such as of J.R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series .

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

* Btw, I'm not sure if that part adds a mysterious touch or if it makes the reader wonder why she can't have him. Let me know.

 

 

I think this is much improved, and you are heading in the right direction. I think David needs a bit more oomph, like a whole sentence about who he is/why he is attractive. Also, I'm still confused about him being a man. Is he a human man? Or a male demon? 

 

I'm not sure if that part adds a mysterious touch or if it makes the reader wonder why she can't have him. Let me know.

Personally, I like it. 



#19 VickyRosly

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Posted Today, 03:02 AM

I think this is much improved, and you are heading in the right direction. I think David needs a bit more oomph, like a whole sentence about who he is/why he is attractive. Also, I'm still confused about him being a man. Is he a human man? Or a male demon? 

 

I'm not sure if that part adds a mysterious touch or if it makes the reader wonder why she can't have him. Let me know.

Personally, I like it. 

 

poor David is an angel and you've turned him into a human :tongue:


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