The Saturday Slash

Axe2 clip artMeet my Hatchet of Death. This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot me an email.

The first line of a query is your hook, and it really needs to work. You want it to punch your reader in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.

If you’re looking for query advice, but are intimidated by my blade, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey – the query. My comments appear in green.

It was a pleasure to meet you at the DFW Writer’s Conference. Enclosed are the items requested by you. My completed work tentatively titled The Messenger either italicize or ALL CAPS your title is an 80,000 word Adult Fantasy novel.

Rachel Acelin is a typical college student about to graduate from university when she is inhabited clarify – is this like possession? different? by the Archangel Gabriel. Enlisted as “angel Über” this probably needs more explaining, especially since it just sounds like she’s driving a cab to aid Gabriel in an earth bound mission, Rachel must help the Archangel to capture Lucifer’s twin brother. The twins were kept separate for a reason, should the brothers join forces an apocalypse is inevitable. Conscripted to aid the angel on his task, Rachel is forced to obtain knowledge regarding a second rebellion which took place in heaven which was removed from the Bible. Why this knowledge? How does it aid them in their task? Does it help identify the twin? Do they know who the twin is? Is Lucifer also searching for his twin?

Aside from being thrust into an ongoing war, Rachel is running out of time. Each day that she is inhabited by Gabriel is a day lost with her ailing mother who is withering away in a hospice. Even more troubling is her unwillingness to surrender to the divine surrender how? by becoming a believer or by surrendering herself to him inhabiting her? which is crippling Gabriel and keeping him from accessing his full celestial powers. Going into battle with Lucifer could lead to Rachel’s death without her surrender. Free will has its caveats, and Rachel must be a willing participant. All of this ties into the question of what exactly inhabiting means. So what are the pros and cons of her being inhabited? You stated that she’ll die in battle with Lucifer if she doesn’t… so what’s the downside? What happens if she does surrender? In other words – why wouldn’t she?

The Messenger is a standalone with series potential. The first contact story will appeal to fans of Becca Fitzpatrick’s series “Hush, Hush”, and Cassandra Clare’s series “Mortal Instruments.” I am active member of the DFW Writer’s Group community with a BA in English, and a published poet.

Your comp titles are a little dated, but that probably can’t be helped as angel books have been a no-go for awhile in publishing. I would suggest perhaps looking for comparisons outside of printed works, like television or movies. Your comp titles won’t sink you though. Right now what’s needed is clarification on my questions above. You also mention a search for lost manuscripts (a la Dan Brown) but – as above – I don’t know how this ties into the overall plot.