The following is a query critique. Comments, suggestions and discussion are welcome and we hope you join in. I can only offer one opinion. The author of the query and I would love to hear yours.
Dear Ms. Ruth,
Nadine Sterling’s world is covered in darkness.
Flash moment. This snagged me. I knew this was going to be a good query just from this sentence.
The sun and the blue skies have not been seen for many years. Natural catastrophes, disorder, and crime are running wild. People believe God has abandoned them.
In this chaotic world, Nadine tries to be a normal girl—NYU student, barista in a coffee shop, talent singer, loyal friend, and dutiful daughter—except for her visions of Victor Gianni, her imaginary boyfriend.
What? Imaginary boyfriend?? This is interesting. Don’t mind if I do…
She comes up with excuses for them: exhaustion, daydreaming, and hallucinations, but she is obligated to cross out those options when she bumps into a real Victor, one who does not know her and shuns her away.
Besides having her heart instantly broken, Nadine’s visions change and now she sees eerie fates, gods she never heard of before, demons with sharp claws they are not timid to use … and instructions.
To find out if she is losing her mind or involved in a larger and yet obscure scheme, Nadine has to follow the instructions—with the real, rude Victor—(he’s rude and angsty? Yes! I love a romance hero who’s a complete jerk…on the surface.) before the evil behind the darkness catches up with them.
[Book Title] is a new adult paranormal romance novel complete at 80,300 words. It stands alone, but can be developed as the first in a trilogy that I call [Trilogy Title].
I have taken five creative writing courses (four from Writer’s Digest University and one taught by Margie Lawson).
Per your guidelines, you’ll find the first chapter of [Book Title] pasted bellow (I’m sure this was just a typo. Since this query is so good, I think I’ll just overlook it.)
This was intriguing. Please send me the first three chapters and a synopsis. LRuth@Bookends-inc.com. As an aside, and this won’t hurt you in the larger scope of things, most agents do not want you to send any material except your query. You might have been responding to my personal preference to have the beginning of your manuscript—maybe 10 pages or so—tacked onto the body of your email.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Posted on December 15, 2011, in Advice, literary agency, manuscripts, publishing, queries, Query Dice, rejection, slush pile, submissions, writers and tagged character, characterization, characters, commercial fiction, conflict development, credentials, disjointed query, dos and donts, fantasy, including pages in query, making your query interesting, making your query stand out, paranormal queries, paranormal romance, plot, plot description. character development, plot holes, queries, query, query length, query problems, querydice, rejection, romance, slush pile, standard query format, talking about yourself in a query, up-market commercial fiction, world building, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.