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ON SATAN'S LAP (fantasy)


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#1 Grumpy Llama

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:03 AM

Well, after criticizing yours, I thought it was only fair to let you return the favor. ;)

Dear agent:

When Brandon Shepherd’s soul becomes the target of a bidding war between Heaven and Hell, he knows there’s only one thing to do – see who offers him the sweetest deal.

Brandon had never considered selling his soul before, but being a hard worker and a nice guy simply wasn’t getting it done. Then he meets Lampwick – a smooth-talking demon with a penchant for glossing over Hell’s shortcomings. Hell can make his job less horrible, his bank account less paltry, and his wife less…herself. Even Satan turns out to be a pretty good guy who’s stuck in a shitty job. Of course, if Brandon does take the deal, there is that pesky little matter of eternal damnation.

Not to be outdone, Heaven promises him a picturesque afterlife teeming with contentment, perfection and serenity. And boredom. Soft, merciless boredom. The bottom line is this: no, Heaven won’t help him with his Earthly predicament, and yes, St. Peter is kind of a dick, but at least Brandon wouldn’t spend eternity in torment. So that’s a plus.

Brandon just can’t make up his mind, and both Heaven and Hell are getting tired of waiting. If he doesn’t make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him.

ON SATAN'S LAP is a completed, 62,000-word fantasy.




Thanks in advance ladies and gentlemen. Any help is much appreciated. - Grumpy
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#2 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:54 AM

Well, after criticizing yours, I thought it was only fair to let you return the favor. ;)

Dear agent:

When Brandon Shepherd’s soul becomes the target of a bidding war between Heaven and Hell, he knows there’s only one thing to do – see who offers him the sweetest deal.

Brandon had never considered selling his soul before, but bBeing a hard worker and a nice guy simply wasn’t getting it done (need something else here, something like ...isn't all it's cracked up to be. Or...is giving him ulcers. Or... doesn't make his life any happier. Something a bit more specific. And in present tense.). Then he meets Lampwick, a smooth-talking demon with a penchant for glossing over Hell’s shortcomings. Hell can make his job less horrible, his bank account less paltry, and his wife less…herself. Even Satan turns out to be a pretty good guy who’s stuck in a shitty job. Of course, if Brandon does take the deal, there is that pesky little matter of eternal damnation.

Not to be outdone, Heaven promises him a picturesque afterlife teeming with contentment, perfection and serenity. And boredom. Soft, merciless boredom. The bottom line is this: No, Heaven won’t help him with his Earthly predicament, and yes, St. Peter is kind of a dick, but at least Brandon wouldn’t spend eternity in torment. So that’s a plus.

Brandon just can’t make up his mind, and both Heaven and Hell are getting tired of waiting. If he doesn’t make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him.

ON SATAN'S LAP is a completed, 62,000-word fantasy.


This sounds like a really cute story, and I think your query is really close. The hook's good and we can see what the story's about. I revised as if it were mine. Use what you like and ignore the rest.

Just my opinion, naturally.

#3 Al N

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:14 AM

Grumpy Lama

As Cheryl pointed out ‘correct’ does not occur in writing. It is an imprecise art instead of an exact science. She has excellent comments and suggestions.

I liked it – it is a good representation of your story.
If I were an agent interested in your kind of novel, I’d request a copy of your manuscript.

Good skill – it isn’t luck. I don’t think you need luck anyway.

Al N

#4 bkeats

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:52 PM

I already like this one! :biggrin: Kick-ass title, by the way! Satan as Santa- why not? :laugh:

Dear agent:

When Brandon Shepherd’s soul becomes the target of a bidding war between Heaven and Hell, he knows there’s only one thing to do – see who offers him the sweetest deal. (Questions: Why does Brandon get this option and no one else does? How does he become aware of it? Are all souls up for bids, or just his?)

Brandon had never considered selling his soul before, (Who does, in all seriousness?) but being a hard worker and a nice guy (Maybe insert his occupation here) simply wasn’t getting it done. Then he meets Lampwick – a smooth-talking demon with a penchant for glossing over Hell’s shortcomings. Hell can make his job less horrible, his bank account less paltry, and his wife less…herself. Even Satan turns out to be a pretty good guy who’s stuck in a shitty job. (Whose POV is this? Does Brandon meet Satan, or is this just Lampwick's description?) Of course, if Brandon does take the deal, there is that pesky little matter of eternal damnation.

Not to be outdone, Heaven promises him a picturesque afterlife teeming with contentment, perfection and serenity. And boredom. Soft, merciless boredom. The bottom line is this: no, Heaven won’t help him with his Earthly predicament, and yes, St. Peter is kind of a dick (Again, POV issue. According to whom?), but at least Brandon wouldn’t spend eternity in torment. So that’s a plus.

Brandon just can’t make up his mind, and both Heaven and Hell are getting tired of waiting. If he doesn’t make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him.(Here's my biggest issue. They're all friggin immortal- why are they in such a hurry? What happens if Brandon doesn't decide soon? Are there cosmic repercussions he/we don't know about?)

ON SATAN'S LAP is a completed, 62,000-word fantasy.


Thanks in advance ladies and gentlemen. Any help is much appreciated. - Grumpy


Just a few preliminary thoughts. Looking good!

Happy Writing :smile:

#5 jo-

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 02:48 PM

Dear agent:

When Brandon Shepherd’s soul becomes the target of a bidding war(how does this happen?) between Heaven and Hell, he knows there’s only one thing to do – see who offers him the sweetest deal.

Brandon had never considered selling his soul before, but being a hard worker and a nice guy simply wasn’t getting it done.(Getting what done?) Then he meets Lampwick – a smooth-talking demon with a penchant for glossing over Hell’s shortcomings. Hell can make his job less horrible, his bank account less paltry, and his wife less…herself. Even Satan turns out to be a pretty good guy who’s stuck in a shitty job. Of course, if Brandon does take the deal, there is that pesky little matter of eternal damnation.

Not to be outdone, Heaven promises him a picturesque afterlife teeming with contentment, perfection and serenity. And boredom. Soft, merciless boredom. The bottom line is this: no, Heaven won’t help him with his Earthly predicament, and yes, St. Peter is kind of a dick,(in what way is St. Peter a dick?) but at least Brandon wouldn’t spend eternity in torment. So that’s a plus.


Brandon just can’t make up his mind, and both Heaven and Hell are getting tired of waiting. If he doesn’t (soon) make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him.

ON SATAN'S LAP is a completed, 62,000-word fantasy.



It sounds like a fun read - it's a great premise!!

#6 Late Bloomer

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:11 PM

Just my opinion, but I LOVE the query as is - every word of it. And and want to read the book now!

Great job!!

#7 Raleigh RoxStar

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 05:08 PM

I recognized your title right away. This is such a great book and concept. I think you've really nailed it in the query. It is short, sweet and to the point. Hate that I didn't get to finish reading it in our virtual critique group. :-)
Roxanne R.
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Creative Writer - Smart, sexy, multicultural women's fiction.
Blog: MindfulBanter.com

#8 Grumpy Llama

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 05:12 PM

Ha-ha. Hey, Roxanne. Yeah, life got a bit too crazy, sadly. I hope to return soon. Hope you're doing well.

And thanks to everyone for taking time to look at it.
"Life is too important to be taken seriously."

#9 RileyRedgate

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:32 PM

This is a slick and well-executed query. My only issue is that I'm left wondering how you make 62,000 words from it. I'm picturing a very, very long internal monologue, and that's surely not the case. I like your clincher:

"If he doesn’t make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him."

And yet, I can't help feeling like there's got to be something more tangible after that. This query takes place entirely inside your MC's head. Which makes sense, given that the main conflict is his choice, but any sort of complicating consequence would, I feel, really flesh things out. Do demons make his life hell by plaguing his cubicle job? Do heavenly bribers try to win him over by showering his house with flowers? All sorts of possibilities, but I'd like to know which the correct one is.

This is, of course, just one opinion. Your voice is strong, your premise is awesome, and the query's wonderfully written. Do as suits your story best, and you'll come out on top in the end.

Best of luck!

author of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE and NOTEWORTHY

rep: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

 

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#10 Moonshade

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:41 PM

Dear agent:

When Brandon Shepherd’s soul becomes the target of a bidding war between Heaven and Hell, he knows there’s only one thing to do – see who offers him the sweetest deal. At first I thought this as a cliche, but the end of the sentence twists it into interesting.

Brandon had never considered selling his soul before, but being a hard worker and a nice guy simply wasn’t getting it done. Then he meets Lampwick – a smooth-talking demon with a penchant for glossing over Hell’s shortcomings. Hell can make his job less horrible, his bank account less paltry, and his wife less…herself. Even Satan turns out to be a pretty good guy who’s stuck in a shitty job. Of course, if Brandon does take the deal, there is that pesky little matter of eternal damnation. I'm loving the voice here.

Not to be outdone, Heaven promises him a picturesque afterlife teeming with contentment, perfection and serenity. And boredom. Soft, merciless boredom. The bottom line is this: no, Heaven won’t help him with his Earthly
predicament, and yes, St. Peter is kind of a dick, but at least Brandon wouldn’t spend eternity in torment. So that’s a plus.

Brandon just can’t make up his mind, and both Heaven and Hell are getting tired of waiting. If he doesn’t make a decision, and soon, they’re gonna make it for him. Nice. Very nice.

ON SATAN'S LAP is a completed, 62,000-word fantasy.


My one problem here is that it seems like an obvious choice. Satan's a nice guy, St. Peter's a dick, etc, etc, so why should he bother with Heaven?

I think the one thing you need to play up is what exactly "eternal damnation" means. Because in some belief systems, it's fire and brimstone and torture. In others, it's just having to acknowledge that you suck-- and getting out of that might not be worth putting up with St. Peter.

Otherwise I love it. Especially the title.

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