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Public Critique: Lori's Revised Query

Hello everyone!  Lori has revised her query based on your awesome comments but isn't too sure about the revision.  Please give it a look and offer any further advice or constructive criticism you may have.  If you're interested in having a query, synopsis, or excerpt posted on Lit Rambles for critique, check out my contribute page.

BREATHE
(query)
By Lori Johnson

When an elderly friend gives seventeen-year-old Taylor a beautiful charm bracelet, little does she know the gift is a curse. Taylor wears the keys to the gates of Hell.

Breandán, the new guy at school, is a magnet to everyone who meets him, and even Taylor falls for him instantly. She tosses aside her boyfriend, friends, and popularity for a chance to be with the ethereal stranger. Breandán tells Taylor he has dreamed of her for years. But when Breandán sees Taylor wearing the charm bracelet, he knows she is more than fate – she could be deadly. Breandán admits he’s a warrior angel who was sent, along with his family, to guard the Heir who wears the keys.

Breandán is not supposed to love Taylor, who is now the reluctant Heir. Because of his actions, he is banished back to his home land. Demons from the Realm of Darkness take advantage of Breandán’s absence to possess Taylor’s ex-boyfriend in order to lure Taylor into opening Hell’s doors. Somehow Taylor must find a way to save him without sacrificing the angel she loves, even if it means her own death.

I am querying you because you (personal touch here). My YA fantasy romance, Breathe, is complete at 90,000 words. Per your submission guidelines I have (followed directions here). Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

11 comments:

  1. This is GREATNESS. I finally know what the book's about, care about the MC, and want to read more. I'm not a fan of "angel books," but your concept is really interesting. This is a vast improvement and I like it a lot.

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  2. I really like this query, but the one thing I have to say is that the story doesn't seem to stand out that much from all the other angel stories out there. Right now, I think this query is pretty solid in terms of length, details, description of the story, etc., but could use more voice - something to make it stand out. Otherwise, great work!

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  3. It has improved much but imho, you need to tighten it further. As I understood, the story is about Taylor, but you only give her 3 lines in the beginning. The whole next 1 1/2 paragraphs are devoted to the "oh so perfect" (just teasing) angel. Could you shorten the explaining bits and focus more on Taylor?

    I'd cut the sentence about dreaming and the sentence after deadly, it would give the para more punch. Then, I'd include the angel information in the next para (like Since Breandán is an angel sent to protect the bearer of the bracelet, he's not supposed to love Taylor, and his family sends him home. Demons... rest as before). The second half of the third para is perfect. It states in clear details what's at stake.

    Good luck with this.

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  4. It's clean and clear, but I'd tighten that first graph. Here's my suggestion.
    When an elderly friend gives seventeen-year-old Taylor a beautiful charm bracelet, little does she know the keys that dangle from her wrist open the gates of Hell.

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  5. Thanks so much guys! For the first time, I feel I'm on the right path. Casey's followers are the best.

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  6. Wow, this looks so much better. Love the opening paragraph. Great hook! I'd cut one sentence from the second paragraph (in italics) and would rework the third as follows:

    Breandán, the new guy at school, is a magnet to everyone who meets him, and even Taylor falls for him instantly. She tosses aside her boyfriend, friends, and popularity for a chance to be with the ethereal stranger. Breandán tells Taylor he has dreamed of her for years. But when Breandán sees Taylor wearing the charm bracelet, he knows she is more than fate – she could be deadly. Breandán admits he’s a warrior angel who was sent, along with his family, to guard the Heir who wears the keys.

    Forbidden to love Taylor, Breandán is banished to his homeland. Demons from the Realm of Darkness take advantage of his absence to possess Taylor’s ex-boyfriend and lure Taylor into opening Hell’s doors. Somehow Taylor must find a way to save her ex without sacrificing the angel she loves, even if it means her own death.

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  7. I agree with the previous comments about tightening the second and third paragraphs, and I also agree that this query is much, much better than the original - great revision! You're on the right track, for sure!

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  8. This is so much better!

    This first part almost sounds like Taylor knows what the bracelet is and wears it anyway. “Little does she know” should’ve fixed that, but it doesn’t do it for me. Too cliche? Trying to find the right words myself and they aren’t in my head tonight.



    An elderly friend gives seventeen-year-old Taylor a beautiful charm bracelet. Unaware the gift is a curse, Taylor proudly wears the keys to the gates of Hell.

    When Breandán, the new guy at school, sees her wearing the charm bracelet, he knows she could be deadly. He’s a warrior angel who was sent, along with his family, to guard the Heir who wears the keys. Taylor tosses aside her boyfriend, friends, and popularity for a chance to be with this ethereal stranger.

    Breandán has dreamed of Taylor for years, but his love for the reluctant Heir gets him banished back to his home land. Demons from the Realm of Darkness take advantage of his absence to possess Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Eric, in order to lure Taylor into opening Hell’s doors [gates?]. Somehow Taylor must find a way to save Eric without sacrificing the angel she loves, even if it means her own death.



    Whose POV is this in? Looks like a bit of both right now.

    I keep wanting to shove this in somewhere: “All hell breaks loose. Literally.” I think it’s not the right tone, but it keeps popping up in my head.

    There were a few places where who was 'she' and who was 'he' might need clarifying.

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  9. Great opening. Lots of conflict and tension to draw the reader in. Watch out for the "too perfect" guy. I just read a comment by an agent who is tired of seeing perfect and beautiful male characters. Also, she has to save her ex-boyfriend, right? Specify "her ex" instead of "him" to make it clear.

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  10. This is a good query, the best of luck to you in finding an agent.

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