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Addy (working title) Romantic Suspense

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#1 Corry

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 08:09 PM

Newest revision at post #11 

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

It's been a while since I've ran a query by you all. Please have it, and thank you in advance...Corry

 

 

Addy was finding her mind just as her family was losing theirs.

 

With winter approaching and no way to continue her studies she was sure it couldn't get any worse. Her mother deemed hysteric, the farm’s levy overdue and her sister marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower with three sons, she considered her fate might be better.

 

That was before the men came.

 

Set with the impossible task of saving their friend, Addy saw her future slipping away. But Chris wasn't just their friend. His importance hidden, her father convinced her that she now do everything to ensure he'd live, otherwise they would not. 



#2 brandonyoung

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 06:47 AM

Change it to present tense. Get the word count up to at least 200 by adding more stuff. Resend.

 

Cool hook, though. I think something along those lines could work.


If you have time, I'd love your feedback on my query...

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/39047-this-cosmic-graveyard-space-fantasy/

 

...or my synopsis:

 

COMING SOON


#3 callalilly

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 12:14 AM

Here's a few thoughts that you can throw out and disregard if you don't agree; as with every query on here -every author knows their book best and will know what advise to take and what advise to ignore. I do agree with brandonyoung -present tense is the preferred format by many agents, though not all so do what you think right. Some more info. would really help. I ask a few questions below that maybe will help you to decide the specific information to include. It sounds interesting, but I don't understand the plot exactly and think with a few more explanations, it might be understood better. Overall though, great first try, keep at it, it has lots of promise and good luck (I'm looking forward to reading it's updated version with more of the story revealed!)

It's been a while since I've ran a query by you all. Please have it, and thank you in advance...Corry

 

 

Addy finds her mind just as her family loses theirs.

 

With winter approaching and no way to continue her studies Addy was sure it couldn't get any worse (Winter has what do do with the changing situations? And why can't she continue her studies?). Her mother is deemed hysteric, the farm’s levy is overdue and her sister is marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower with three sons, Addy considers that her fate might be better.

 

That was before the men came (who are these men?)

 

Set with the impossible task of saving their friend, Addy sees her future slipping away (why? what does these men have to do with Addy?). But Chris wasn't just their friend. His importance hidden (Chris' or the fathers?), Addy's father convinces her that she now has to do everything to ensure Chris lives (Why? I wonder here what the back story between Chris and Addy's father is.), otherwise they would not (who?)



#4 darlah

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 01:45 PM

Addy was finding her mind just as her family was losing theirs.

 

With winter approaching and no way to continue her studies she was sure it couldn't get any worse. (why can't she continue the studies?) Her mother deemed hysteric, the farm’s levy overdue and her sister marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower with three sons, she considered her fate might be better.

 

That was before the men came. (who are they?)

 

Set with the impossible task of saving their friend (Who is their friend and why is he so important?), Addy saw her future slipping away. But Chris wasn't just their friend. His importance hidden, her father convinced her that she now has to do everything to ensure he'll live, otherwise they would not. (Who???)

 

This is not terrible but it is very vague and it needs a little bit more information. I was just a little confused through the whole thing. 



#5 Corry

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 10:10 PM

Thanks all, good suggestions here. I definitely needed more info. Here's my latest;

 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.

Ask and Addy Milet will tell you she was adopted. Of course, it’s not true. She just wishes it were. Exiled to the countryside after losing an inheritance battle with an uncle the family no more knows how to run a farm than how they’ll get back to town one day. Addy's sister has figured out a way, announcing she’s marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower barber with three sons. The same barber who just deemed their mother hysteric. 

Addy, now her mother’s caretaker, is sure her medical know-how exceeds this man’s as she’s training to become a midwife. She also knows a simple case of melancholy when she sees one. But with her studies on hold she embraces the burdensome duty knowing it would have been a far worse fate had the barber chosen her for his wife. Marriage can wait. Unlike her family, Addy has taken to country living, plying her trade on farm animals and woodland creatures. It's a happy existence and she thinks she'll stay after the others leave. 

That was before the soldiers came. 
 
Fresh from a clash, they have now beset her with the impossible task of saving their friend. Addy sees the dream of a life on her terms slipping away. But Chris isn't just their friend. His importance hidden from the family, Addy's father prevails upon her that she now do everything to ensure he lives, otherwise they will not. 


#6 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 02:02 AM

Why is everything in bold? Anyways...

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs. (Good hook.)

Ask Addy and she Addy Milet will tell you that she was adopted. Of course, that's not true. She just wishes it were. (Why?) Exiled to the countryside after losing an inheritance battle with an uncle, (That was a long phrase. Try to tighten it.) the family doesn't no more knows how to run a farm and wants to get back into town. than how they’ll get back to town one day. Addy's sister has figured out a way, announces that she’s marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower barber with three sons. The same barber who just deemed their mother hysteric. (Why did he deem the mother hysteric?) 

Addy, now her mother’s caretaker (What? Why? What's wrong with the mother?), is sure her medical know-how exceeds this man’s as she’s training to become a midwife (That whole phrase confused me. I'm not sure what you're trying to say there.). She also knows a simple case of melancholy when she sees one. But with her studies on hold, (What is she studying? Where? College?) she embraces the burdensome duty, knowing it would have been a far worse fate if the barber chosen her for his wife (But didn't the sister choose him?). Marriage can wait. Unlike her family, Addy has taken to country living, plying her trade on farm animals and woodland creatures. It's a happy existence and she thinks she'll stay after the others leave. (Right now, I should know what your plot is, but I have no idea what's wrong. Is it just family adjusting somewhere? What's standing in Addy's way? I think you're spending too much time on background info.)

That was before the soldiers came. (What soldiers?)

Fresh from a clash, they have now beset (???) her with the impossible task of saving their friend. (I'm confused. Why would soldiers do this? What was Addy before? What happened to their friend?) Addy sees the dream of a life on her terms slipping away (What dream? What terms?). But Chris isn't just their friend (Who's Chris???). His importance hidden from the family, Addy's father prevails upon her that she now must do everything she can to ensure that he lives, otherwise they will not. 
 
The beginning is good. I think you spend too much time telling the background story about them adjusting to the countryside though. It's not that engaging. I would make that paragraph into "As they were adjusting to the countryside, soldiers came..." or so. Dive into what you have at the end. Who are the soldiers? Why do they want Addy? Who's this Chris guy? Why might this Chris guy be important? What does Addy think about all of this?
 
Good luck!
 
If you can, please critique mine in return: http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/


#7 Corry

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 04:39 PM

Another go, TY for taking a look and helping me sharpen this...

 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.

 

Exiled to the countryside after failing to gain a monetary inheritance, Addy's family knows nothing of running their prize, an inherited farm. Fortunately, Addy, training to become a midwife knows exactly what to do - avoid her father's grumbling, her sister's primping and her mother's 'episodes' by tending to farm animals and woodland creatures. There she plies her trade, waiting patiently, as does her family to return to the city where she can resume her studies. 

Now Addy's sister, most desperate to return, has announced she’s marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower barber with three sons. The same barber, layman physician, who just deemed their mother hysteric. How devious, Addy believes, that she's now left to become her mother's caretaker as well. But Addy knows her training exceeds this man's diagnosis. She also knows a simple case of melancholy when she sees one and keeps her mother sated with teas and herbs. She realizes her education never really ended and comes to embrace country living. She thinks she'll  stay after the other have gone. 

That was before the Kingdom's soldiers came. 
 
Fresh from a clash, they have now beset her with the impossible task of saving their friend, Chris. Badly injured and sure to lose his leg, Addy sees the dream of a life on her terms slipping away. But Chris isn't just their friend. His importance hidden from the family, Addy's father persuades her that she now do everything to ensure he lives, otherwise they will not. 


#8 NerdWitch

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:30 AM

Hello Corry, here are some of my edits. I hope you find them helpful and I apologise if they come across as harsh, that's not my intention :) 

 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.  

 

After failing to gain a monetary inheritance, Addy is exiled to the countrysideExiled to the countryside after failing to gain a monetary inheritance However, Addy's family knows nothing of running their prize, an inherited farm. Fortunately, Addy, training to become a midwife knows exactly what to do (hmm..how does she know how to run a farm from being a midwife?) - avoid her father's grumbling, her sister's primping and her mother's 'episodes' by tending to farm animals and woodland creatures. This bit is a little wordy, maybe try something along the lines of: Fortunately, Addy knowledge means she can avoid her family's naggingThere She plies her trade at the farm, while waiting patiently for a chance to return to the city.  as does her family to return to the city where she can resume her studies. 

When Addy's sister suddenly announces engagement to a local man, Addy is left to care for their motherNow Addy's sister, most desperate to return, has announced she’s marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower barber with three sons. The same barber, layman physician, who just deemed their mother hysteric. How devious, Addy believes, that she's now left to become her mother's caretaker as well. But Addy knows her training exceeds this man's diagnosis. She also knows a simple case of melancholy when she sees one and keeps her mother sated with teas and herbs. She realizes her education never really ended and comes to embrace country living. She thinks she'll  stay after the other have gone.   To be honest, I'm not sure about this paragraph, it's chunky and quite confusing. I'm still not certain about Addy's stake or her what her motives are.  

 

That was before the Kingdom's soldiers came.  Maybe combine this with the next paragraph.

 

Fresh from a clash, they have now beset her with the impossible task of saving their friend, Chris (why is it impossible?). Badly injured and sure to lose his leg, Addy sees the dream of a life on her terms slipping away. But Chris isn't just their friend. His importance hidden from the family (I'm not sure I understand?), Addy's father persuades her that she now does everything to ensure he lives, otherwise they will not. (why?) 

 

Overall, I think it's better than the first version. I see a good story at the heart of it. But I think it's too long and reads more like a synopsis. The wording is a bit confusing and sometimes it seems like the plot isn't overly clear. Something that helped me when I started writing queries was to try and structure the paragraphs. It's your query of course so it's up to you but I try to think along these lines:

Also, just a suggestion: the main character is Addy so the query should really focus on her instead of her family members or sisters. It’s all about her motivations and her stakes that drives the story forward. Having too many characters in one query makes it a bit difficult to read and follow.

 

  1. What does the exile mean for Addy?
  2. What are her motives and stakes? Her goal? Does she want to return to the city? Or does she want to stay? Does she have to choose between the two?
  3. How does she feel about staying on the farm? Make the reader feel her emotions more and empathise with her so it draws us in.
  4. Why are the soldiers important to Addy's stake?

Just a few thoughts but I definitely think you're getting there. It's really difficult but you've got this! 


Here's my latest query :) http://agentquerycon...turn-critique/ 

 

 


#9 jpfranco

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:12 AM

It's been a while since I've ran a query by you all. Please have it, and thank you in advance...Corry

 

 

Addy was finding her mind just as her family was losing theirs.

 

With winter approaching and no way to continue her studies she was sure it couldn't get any worse. Her mother deemed hysteric, the farm’s levy overdue and her sister marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower with three sons, she considered her fate might be better.

 

That was before the men came. 

 

Set with the impossible task of saving their friend, Addy saw her future slipping away. But Chris wasn't just their friend. His importance hidden, her father convinced her that she now do everything to ensure he'd live, otherwise they would not. 

I like the hook, but it doesn't get fleshed out in the query. In fact, nothing does. There's just not enough information here. Short and snappy is one thing, but this is a lot fo unrelated sentences thrown together. I have no real idea what's going on here. Why does it matter that her sister married the bachelor, what does Addy want her fate to be, who are the men, or what are they doing, what part does Chris play in this, why might they not live? You've only got the barest, vaguest hint of the most basic stakes: life or death. You can't answer all the questions in your query, or put the entire plot in, but the agent needs to have some idea what the story is about. This is billed as a romance and I see zero elements of that. It's in the wrong tense as well. The two things that intrigue me are the hook and That was before the men came. It might do some good to check out query format, some examples of successful queries, or even just to spend some time browsing the queries on this site. 



#10 jpfranco

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:35 AM

 

Another go, TY for taking a look and helping me sharpen this...

 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.

 

Exiled to the countryside after failing to gain a monetary inheritance, Addy's family knows nothing of running their prize, an inherited farm.This is a bit of a mess. They weren't exiled, they inherited something. You've got an echo of 'inherit.This fist sentence needs to be re-worked.  Fortunately, If your query is full of adverbs, it's a sure sign that your work is, too. Adverbs typically translate to weak writing. Addy, training to become a midwife what does training to become a midwife have to to with tending to farm animals and woodland creatures? Is she just caring for them or helping them birth? Woodland creatures would probably not want her help and farm animals rarely need it knows exactly what to do - avoid her father's grumbling, her sister's primping and her mother's 'episodes' by tending to farm animals and woodland creatures. There she plies her trade, waiting patiently, adverb as does her family to return to the city where she can resume her studies. They are returning to the city? Who will care for the farm? 

Now Addy's sister, most desperate to return, has announced she’s marrying the last eligible bachelor in town, a widower barber with three sons. The same barber, layman physician, who just deemed their mother hysteric. Too much about the barber. Just say that he's marrying the sister and he diagnosed the mother. How devious, why devious? Addy believes, that she's now left to become her mother's caretaker as well. Is is terrible to be her mother's caretaker? Where is her father? But Addy knows her training she's a midwife, not a doctor exceeds this man's diagnosis. She also knows a simple case of melancholy when she sees one and keeps her mother sated with teas and herbs. Melancholy and hysteria are two wildly different things She realizes her education never really ended and comes to embrace country living. She thinks she'll  stay after the other have gone.   Don't tell the agent, show it. Make her feel what Addy feels. 

That was before the Kingdom's soldiers came. Interesting, but they disappear after this. Why did they come? What do they want? What are they doing? All of these questions could be answered in one (maybe two) sentences. 
 
Fresh from a clash, they have now beset her with the impossible task of saving their friend, Chris. Wait, what??? None of this makes makes any sense. I understand the words, but I have zero context for what's going on. Badly injured and sure to lose his leg, Addy sees the dream of a life on her terms slipping away. This sounds like Addy is sure to lose HIS leg. But Chris isn't just their friend. His importance hidden from the family, Addy's father so she does have a father. It's way too late in the query to introduce him persuades her that she now do everything to ensure he lives, otherwise they will not. Still no idea where life and death comes in. 

 

Just saw that I critiqued the wrong query. You need to note where the newest version is so no one wastes time critiquing old versions. 

 

Query writing sucks. I know my crit may come across as harsh, and I'm sorry if it does, but I don't mean it that way. This one is fleshed out a tad, but not enough. Except where you have too much about the widower. One thing I see a lot in queries here is the hook being intriguing, but never coming back into the query. It's a bait and switch, a gotcha. The hook is what the story is about, so it needs to be what the query is about. The only person losing their mind in the query is the mother, and that doesn't appear to even be an important part of the story. 

 

What does Addy want? What is standing in her way, what happens if she doesn't get it? There's still zero elements of romance. 



#11 Corry

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 04:32 AM

Revised #4 ... 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.

 

When an inheritance battle goes awry, Addy’s family is forced to the countryside. Their prize, a neglected farm, is all they have left. Everyone is miserable and determined to find a way back to town. Twenty-six year old Addy, however, has never been happier. A newly trained healer, midwife she can now ply her trade on farm animals while discovering an abundance of medicinal herbs. When her sister announces that she'll soon marry, Addy knows that means she’s left to care for their hysteric mother alone. She also knows a bad case of melancholy when sees one and tries out teas and elixirs in an effort to get her well. She has her reasons. With big plans for the farm milling about in her head, Addy thinks she’ll stay after the others have gone.

 

 

That was before soldiers, fresh from a clash, came. Addy’s heart sinks watching them run roughshod over crops and butchering animals for meat at will. It’s impossible to make them leave. And they will not until their friend, Chris, has healed. But Chris is not just their friend. His importance concealed, he develops gangrene and is on the verge of losing his leg. Now they demand the near impossible of Addy - save their friend's life or lose hers.



#12 dizzywriter

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for your input on mine. I have a revision up. I tend to rewrite rather than comment and explain. I hope you don't mind.

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family [loses] theirs. [Good. But you need to follow this up. If they're losing their minds, she doesn't seem to mind very much in paragraph 2. Everyone's gone and she's taking care of mom and has big plans. It doesn't seem too bad before the bad guys show up.]

 

{After losing an inheritance battle}, Addy’s family is forced to the [dangerous?] countryside [for] their [consolation] prize, a neglected farm. [War rages in the distance] [right? I think you need to introduce the idea of soldiers and clashes here.]

 

Everyone is miserable and determined to find a way back to town. [more specifics are needed. If the crops are getting destroyed in paragraph 3, is the family actually working the fields? That's an important detail. What is making them miserable?] Twenty-six year old Addy, however, has never been happier. A newly trained healer, midwife she can now ply her trade on farm animals [healing people is different than healing animals unless she's practicing/experimenting on them. How far advanced is medicine in this world? Is this modern or medieval? I think you need to be more specific about the trade she's plying on these animals.] while discovering an abundance of medicinal herbs [to help treat her mother's melancholy. Do other people use her services or is this farm isolated?]. [With her sister about to marry,] Addy knows that means she’s left to care for their hysteric [ this is not a modern usage, and the adjective would be "hysterical"] mother alone [where did "everyone" go? Who is "everyone" that's miserable?] She also knows a bad case of melancholy [this is also old fashioned. you need to be clearer about the time period].  when [she] sees one and tries out teas and elixirs in an effort to get her well. She has her reasons. With big plans for the farm [like what? be specific] milling about in her head, Addy thinks she’ll stay after the others have gone.

 

 

That was before soldiers [this needs to be built up in the previous paragraph], fresh from a clash, came. Addy’s heart sinks watching them run roughshod over crops and [stealing livestock] butchering animals for meat at will. It’s impossible to make them leave. [That's it? That's the threat to our heroine? Nice guys but they ruin the crops?] until their friend, Chris, has healed. But Chris is not just their friend. His importance concealed, he develops gangrene and is on the verge of losing his leg. Now they demand the near impossible of Addy - save their friend's life or lose hers. [these are fine stakes. But you need to build up to it.]

 

I hope this helps. It's a good story.



#13 jpfranco

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 09:36 AM

Revised #4 ... 

 

Addy is finding her mind just as her family is losing theirs.

 

When an inheritance battle goes awry, Addy’s family is forced to the countryside. Their prize, a neglected farm, is all they have left. Everyone is miserable and determined to find a way back to town. Twenty-six year old Addy, however, has never been happier. A newly trained healer, midwife she can now ply her trade on farm animals while discovering an abundance of medicinal herbs. When her sister announces that she'll soon marry, Addy knows that means she’s left to care for their hysteric mother alone. She also knows a bad case of melancholy when sees one and tries out teas and elixirs in an effort to get her well. She has her reasons. With big plans for the farm milling about in her head, Addy thinks she’ll stay after the others have gone.

 

 

That was before soldiers, fresh from a clash, came. Addy’s heart sinks watching them run roughshod over crops and butchering animals for meat at will. It’s impossible to make them leave. And they will not until their friend, Chris, has healed. But Chris is not just their friend. His importance concealed, he develops gangrene and is on the verge of losing his leg. Now they demand the near impossible of Addy - save their friend's life or lose hers.

The romance is still completely absent. We don't know who Addy is or who Chris is. These are things we absolutely must know. We need some context for the stakes as well. 

 

What does Addy want? What is stopping her? What happens if she succeeds, what happens if she fails?

 

All we know is she's a midwife 'exiled' to the countryside. It might be important to the plot that she's a midwife, but I don't think you need that in the query. We need to know who she is, not what she is. We need a reason to be attached to her. As far as her caring for her mother, I don't think it's necessary to specify that she's a midwife in the query. She can take care of her without necessarily being a midwife. Try to show what's going on rather than tell. Chris has got to come into the query sooner. Some context for why the soldiers are raiding them would help. Then we might know why they are in danger. As it stands, here's what it says:

 

Addy is a midwife helping farm animals birth. She must care for her mother alone. She might want to stay in the countryside.  Soldiers come. Some guy name Chris is hurt, but he's important some way that no one knows about. He might die, and so might Addy. 

 

If I were writing this, I'd leave out the midwife part, and instead show who Addy is, (is she a wild child who loves nature? A witch? A good daughter who will sacrifice her own desires to care for her family?) show why she likes the countryside, what she gets out of it, and why her family hates it. I'd leave out the whole inheritance part as well. I'd show Chris showing up, the romance, and then  s h o w  the soldiers arriving and destroying everything Addy has come to love, including possibly her lover (I guess Chris is the romantic interest). Hint at Chris's importance when you introduce him. 

 

Hope this helps 







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