Author Topic: Moonbeam. Query for review. A new revision 15/11 please scroll to the end.  (Read 1515 times)

Offline GoldyGirl

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2021, 12:34:14 PM »
The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you. Love the hook! Who is "they" though?

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town I think here is where we should know who he's hiding from. Also, the word "tucked" makes me think he's in witness protection and was placed there to hide.. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laidI think remove the comma here now and then. Love this sentence.  But a captivating girl, a lost memory card and a Facebook post, collide and drag him back out into the open. I love that he's dragged out of hiding, but I get a little lost here. The info is vague. Is the girl using a memory card with a FB post to blackmail some gangsters and he's sucked into helping her, which means he can't hide anymore? I think we need some more clarity. He needs to choose. Keep running from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother and leave the girl in the firing line,This is a question. or the perilous option, head down to London Why London? and end this thing "Thing" isn't a strong enough word. Maybe replace with "fight" or "chase"..

Initially, he chooses the first, but that means abandoning the girl, Megan. Somehow he just can’t do that.  He returns to get her no comma but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already there. Danny and Megan consigne them both to the bottom of the Irish Sea, now there’s no turning back. They head down to London to deal with Ralph Teller and his remaining brother, Micky, Megan’s ex Ohhh. She's tied into the family. I bet that makes for some good drama.

Hey DaggilarrF. I just recommend providing a little more clarity, but overall this sounds like a great, action-packed story.
:hmm:    "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever. The goal is to create something that will." -Chuck Palahniuk

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2021, 04:13:40 PM »
The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you. Love the hook! Who is "they" though?

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town I think here is where we should know who he's hiding from. Also, the word "tucked" makes me think he's in witness protection and was placed there to hide.. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laidI think remove the comma here now and then. Love this sentence.  But a captivating girl, a lost memory card and a Facebook post, collide and drag him back out into the open. I love that he's dragged out of hiding, but I get a little lost here. The info is vague. Is the girl using a memory card with a FB post to blackmail some gangsters and he's sucked into helping her, which means he can't hide anymore? I think we need some more clarity. He needs to choose. Keep running from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother and leave the girl in the firing line,This is a question. or the perilous option, head down to London Why London? and end this thing "Thing" isn't a strong enough word. Maybe replace with "fight" or "chase"..

Initially, he chooses the first, but that means abandoning the girl, Megan. Somehow he just can’t do that.  He returns to get her no comma but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already there. Danny and Megan consigne them both to the bottom of the Irish Sea, now there’s no turning back. They head down to London to deal with Ralph Teller and his remaining brother, Micky, Megan’s ex Ohhh. She's tied into the family. I bet that makes for some good drama.

Hey DaggilarrF. I just recommend providing a little more clarity, but overall this sounds like a great, action-packed story.

Hi, thanks for this. some strong points here. What I wonder is, given that the query as it stands leaves you with questions. Would you be tempted to get answers by reading the first few chapters having read this? In a way I have left it a bit cryptic on purpose. Of course it also saves on word count, and I am very close to the limit at this point.


Offline tkorocky

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2021, 12:34:17 AM »
Here is the most recent edit.

Dear …………..

The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you.

I might be in the minority, but didn't like this hook. Sure, they might stop looking for you. I mean, who has the resources to look for twenty - thirty years? Maybe something like "You'd think after 15 years they would have stopped looking for him.

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid, now and then.

But a captivating girl, a lost memory card and a Facebook post, collide and drag him back out into the open.

Two out of three never show up again, so it seems kind of random.


He needs to choose. Keep running from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother and leave the girl in the firing line

Why can't she just walk away? Are they going to kill everyone he knows?

, or the perilous option, head down to London and end this thing.

Why list an option he's not going to follow at this point in the story?


Initially he chooses the first, but that means abandoning the girl, Megan. Somehow he just can’t do that.  He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already there. Danny and Megan consigne them both to the bottom of the Irish Sea, now there’s no turning back.

That was a little easy.

They head down to London to deal with Ralph Teller and his remaining brother, Micky, Megan’s ex. 

Kind of just ends, a little flat. What has changed? Is this woman a super assassin or something? Are they in love? What does the Facebook post have to do with this?

Moonbeam, an adult crime novel, is complete at 56,000 words. It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. The lean writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero.

Nice comps. I'd like to see more of the plot which I know is there. Right now, it can be summarized as man in hiding kills the two men after him, then returns to kill the man who sent them. What makes your story unique? Voice, character, twists, etc. Also, the title doesn't fit the genre, more like a James Bond movie or fantasy, just something to think about.

Thank you for your consideration.

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2021, 02:41:06 AM »
Once again some useful feedback.  I have a list here of hook lines I have considered for this. Which ones do you guys favour?



1. Danny saved a teenager from being raped by a coked up drug dealer, now he has to face down this guys gangster brothers if he wants any kind of life.

2. A coked up drug dealer gets shot when Danny saves a teenager from getting raped, now he is hunted by a vengeful gangster. If he wants a life, he must stop hiding, and take the fight to them.

3. Danny is a good guy who needs to do some bad things in order to survive.

4. The problem with hiding is people keep looking for you.

5. The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you.

6. The problem with hiding is they never stop hunting for you.

7. The problem with hiding is you never know if they are still hunting for you.

8. Hiding works well, until you’re found.

9. Hiding works well until they find you.

10. The moment he found out she was Micky Teller’s ex, was the moment he knew he could no longer hide.

11. I’ll decide who to shoot first, just as soon as I remember where the f**k I hid my gun.



Offline GoldyGirl

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2021, 11:45:19 AM »
In my opinion, keep the hook (or something similar to it) but clarify who "they" is. As TkoRocky pointed out, some people do give up on the game of hide-n-seek. But maybe Ralph's mobsters don't.
:hmm:    "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever. The goal is to create something that will." -Chuck Palahniuk

Offline FlyingViking

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2021, 07:14:16 PM »
I agree about keeping the hook, I really liked it.  I don't even mind the "they" part as it makes you want to keep reading. 

To address the point that some people may give up on the hide n' seek, consider "Hiding is/becomes a problem when they never stop looking for you."  I'm just not sure it is as compelling as the original.
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Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2021, 08:00:14 AM »
The problem with hiding is you can never be sure when it is safe to come out.

Offline MICRONESIA

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2021, 09:52:42 AM »
^ Yes, that feels like the best hook. Second choice would be #3.


Here is the most recent edit.

Dear …………..

The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you. But sometimes they do? See above.

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid, No need for a comma here. now and then. But a captivating girl, a lost memory card and a Facebook post, collide and drag him back out into the open. He needs to choose. Keep running from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother and leave the girl in the firing line, or the perilous option, head down to London and end this thing. This sentence needs to be chopped up and re-worked. Read it out loud. The grammar is also a bit wonky. You should strive to keep your query sentences under 25 words each.
Initially he chooses the first, but that means abandoning the girl, Megan. Somehow he just can’t do that.  Watch out for too many spacebar spaces. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already there. Danny and Megan consigne them both to the bottom of the Irish Sea, now there’s no turning back. They head down to London to deal with Ralph Teller and his remaining brother, Micky, Megan’s ex. This feels like a play-by-play, lacking voice. "This happens, then this happens, then..." It's synopsis stuff, not query stuff. I don't get much personality from this paragraph. It also doesn't end with much of a hook. You want this to be your "money line" here, but it lands with a thud.
Moonbeam, an adult crime novel, is complete at 56,000 words. I'm sure people have mentioned this, but that is SUPER short for a novel. Some agents will say no based on this alone (I've heard). It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. Telling, not showing. And it's redundant. The lean writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero.

Thank you for your consideration.

This needs some work, especially the second paragraph. It sounds like a great plot, but this query doesn't properly showcase your writing talents. It needs a bit of spice.

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2021, 11:24:52 AM »
^ Yes, that feels like the best hook. Second choice would be #3.


Here is the most recent edit.

Dear …………..

The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you. But sometimes they do? See above.

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid, No need for a comma here. now and then. But a captivating girl, a lost memory card and a Facebook post, collide and drag him back out into the open. He needs to choose. Keep running from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother and leave the girl in the firing line, or the perilous option, head down to London and end this thing. This sentence needs to be chopped up and re-worked. Read it out loud. The grammar is also a bit wonky. You should strive to keep your query sentences under 25 words each.
Initially he chooses the first, but that means abandoning the girl, Megan. Somehow he just can’t do that.  Watch out for too many spacebar spaces. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already there. Danny and Megan consigne them both to the bottom of the Irish Sea, now there’s no turning back. They head down to London to deal with Ralph Teller and his remaining brother, Micky, Megan’s ex. This feels like a play-by-play, lacking voice. "This happens, then this happens, then..." It's synopsis stuff, not query stuff. I don't get much personality from this paragraph. It also doesn't end with much of a hook. You want this to be your "money line" here, but it lands with a thud.
Moonbeam, an adult crime novel, is complete at 56,000 words. I'm sure people have mentioned this, but that is SUPER short for a novel. Some agents will say no based on this alone (I've heard). It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. Telling, not showing. And it's redundant. The lean writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero.

Thank you for your consideration.

This needs some work, especially the second paragraph. It sounds like a great plot, but this query doesn't properly showcase your writing talents. It needs a bit of spice.

Thanks for your feedback. I have pretty much decided that the word count is too low, so some plumping up is required. The good news is this gives me more time to perfect my query, the bad, it may ruin what I have. I feel it would be a mistake to query it as-is. What I can't decide is; should I get some beta readers to help pinpoint areas where I could add to it, or just steam in and then get readers to see if what I do works? maybe both.

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2021, 09:46:30 AM »
I just want to thank everybody for the feedback and let you know, I am working on a revision, and I will be posting it here soon. I hope you guys will take a look when I do.

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. A crime novel query for feedback Revised Version.
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2021, 03:44:33 AM »

Please scroll to the end of the thread to see the most recent edit.


Here is a rewrite.


Dear …………..

The problem with hiding is they never stop looking for you.

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. But then he meets the captivating and beautiful Megan, and discovers he wants more. When she posts a picture of him on Facebook, she inadvertently reveals his whereabouts. He needs to choose now. Leave Megan and continue to run from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who blames him for the death of his brother. Or take the perilous option of going back to London to end this thing.

Initially he chooses the first, but soon realises he can’t leave Megan, let alone in danger. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already have her. A violent confrontation ends with the henchmen at the bottom of the Irish Sea, and Megan an accomplice to murder. Now there’s no turning back. They head to London to deal with Ralph and his remaining brother, Micky. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of surviving.
 
Moonbeam is an adult crime novel, complete at 78,800 words. It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. The lean writing style will appeal to fans of  (still working on the comps.)

Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 03:43:38 AM by DaggilarrF »

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. Revised version added.
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2021, 07:32:05 AM »

Please scroll to the end of the thread to see the most recent edit.

So I am just about ready with this version. Looking for some feedback.


Dear …………..

I am seeking representation for Moonbeam, a crime novel, complete at 78,800 words.

It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit.

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He’s hiding from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who’s sworn to kill him, following the accidental shooting of his brother Eddie. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. But when he meets the captivating and beautiful Megan, he discovers he wants more.  She posts a picture of him on Facebook, inadvertently revealing his whereabouts. Now he needs to choose. Leave Megan and continue to run from Ralph, or the perilous option; go to London to end this thing.
Initially he chooses the first, but soon realises he can’t leave Megan behind, let alone leave her in danger. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already have her. A violent confrontation ends with the henchmen at the bottom of the Irish Sea, and Megan an accomplice to murder. Now there’s no turning back. They head to London to deal with Ralph and his remaining brother, Micky. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of surviving.

The economical writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero, Harry Hole
Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 03:44:04 AM by DaggilarrF »

Offline rivergirl

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Re: Moonbeam. Query for review. New version added 31st 08
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2021, 08:25:05 PM »
I am seeking representation for Moonbeam, a crime novel, complete at 78,800 words. Squeeze in here why you selected this agent so it doesn't look like a mass send out

It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. This isn't bad but could be a stronger hook. Danny and Megan only wanted to sell a little weed and make a few bucks (how? add color where you can)but when the sale goes horribly wrong, they find themselves on the run with blood on their hands. (now onto the blurb).

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He’s hiding from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who’s sworn to kill him, following the accidental shooting make clear that Danny is the one who accidentally shot him. It's not clear here. of his brother Eddie. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. But when he meets the captivating and beautiful Megan, he discovers he wants more out of life? also, imo, this last sentence while interesting doesn't really add to the query. I'd suggest saying he meets the beautiful Megan and he thinks he has it all until a photo of him ends up on his girlfriend's Facebook page. (how does Danny feel about this. Add emotion where you can.  She posts a picture of him on Facebook, inadvertently revealing his whereabouts. Now he needs to choose. Leave Megan and continue to run from Ralph, or the perilous option; go to London to end this thing. Leave out the decision making. You tell us he has a choice then tell the reader the choice. Confused and terrified of waking with a knife in his chest, Danny leaves his comfortable life and heads for London for a final face-off with Ralph. But Danny doesn't get far when he realizes that his heart is back with Megan
Initially he chooses the first, but soon realises he can’t leave Megan behind, let alone leave her in danger. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already have her. A violent confrontation ends with the henchmen at the bottom of the Irish Sea, and Megan an accomplice to murder. Now there’s no turning back. They head to London to deal with Ralph and his remaining brother, Micky. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of surviving. I like the ending. Overall very interesting premise. Squeeze emotion where you can. The reader needs to feel a connection to this character so give him some dimension where you can

The economical writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero, Harry Hole
Thank you for your consideration. Make sure all your book titles are in italics including Moonbeam which could also be in all caps

Francis de Aguilar

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. Query for review. New version added 31st 08
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2021, 03:42:50 AM »
I am seeking representation for Moonbeam, a crime novel, complete at 78,800 words. Squeeze in here why you selected this agent so it doesn't look like a mass send out

It follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, and maybe even make a profit. This isn't bad but could be a stronger hook. Danny and Megan only wanted to sell a little weed and make a few bucks (how? add color where you can)but when the sale goes horribly wrong, they find themselves on the run with blood on their hands. (now onto the blurb).

Danny feels safe tucked away in the little Welsh seaside town. He’s hiding from the vengeful gangster, Ralph Teller, who’s sworn to kill him, following the accidental shooting make clear that Danny is the one who accidentally shot him. It's not clear here. of his brother Eddie. He just wants to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. But when he meets the captivating and beautiful Megan, he discovers he wants more out of life? also, imo, this last sentence while interesting doesn't really add to the query. I'd suggest saying he meets the beautiful Megan and he thinks he has it all until a photo of him ends up on his girlfriend's Facebook page. (how does Danny feel about this. Add emotion where you can.  She posts a picture of him on Facebook, inadvertently revealing his whereabouts. Now he needs to choose. Leave Megan and continue to run from Ralph, or the perilous option; go to London to end this thing. Leave out the decision making. You tell us he has a choice then tell the reader the choice. Confused and terrified of waking with a knife in his chest, Danny leaves his comfortable life and heads for London for a final face-off with Ralph. But Danny doesn't get far when he realizes that his heart is back with Megan
Initially he chooses the first, but soon realises he can’t leave Megan behind, let alone leave her in danger. He returns to get her, but finds two of Teller’s henchmen already have her. A violent confrontation ends with the henchmen at the bottom of the Irish Sea, and Megan an accomplice to murder. Now there’s no turning back. They head to London to deal with Ralph and his remaining brother, Micky. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of surviving. I like the ending. Overall very interesting premise. Squeeze emotion where you can. The reader needs to feel a connection to this character so give him some dimension where you can

The economical writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and Jo Nesbo’s flawed hero, Harry Hole
Thank you for your consideration. Make sure all your book titles are in italics including Moonbeam which could also be in all caps

Francis de Aguilar


Thanks for this. New version added with many of your comments in mind.

Offline DaggilarrF

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Re: Moonbeam. Query for review. New version added 01/09
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2021, 04:20:00 AM »

Please scroll to the end of the thread to see the most recent edit.

Dear ……


I am seeking representation for MOONBEAM, a crime novel, complete at 78,800 words. Having had a close look at your web page, I feel this may be a good fit for you.

Danny stops celebrity coke-dealer, Eddie Teller raping a fourteen-year-old girl. During the fight the gun which Eddie pulls goes off, fatally wounding him. Danny grabs a pile of cash, gets the girl home safely, and disappears. He’s running from Ralph Teller, Eddie’s gangster brother, who has sworn to kill him.         

Four years later, in a quiet Welsh seaside town, Danny is content to just fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. But when he meets the captivating and beautiful Megan, he discovers he wants more. A picture she posts on Facebook inadvertently reveals his whereabouts and two of Teller’s henchmen show up. Danny spots them and runs again. Halfway to Ireland he realises Megan means too much to him to leave her behind, let alone leave her in danger. He turns his boat, Moonbeam and returns, only to find Teller’s henchmen already have her. A violent confrontation ends with the henchmen at the bottom of the Irish Sea, and Megan an accomplice to murder. They head to London to ‘deal’ with Ralph and brother, Micky. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of surviving. Danny does have one advantage though; his SAS training.

MOONBEAM follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks, as they try to stay alive, out of jail, extricate themselves from the clutches of an ambitious bent cop, and maybe even make a profit.
The economical writing style will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard, Ian Rankin, Lynda la Plant and Jo Nesbo.

I grew up in London and have been an antique dealer, a car dealer, an addict and a parent. Having found recovery, I became an addiction therapist. Now retired, I live in rural Devon and focus on writing.

Please find attachments as per your guidelines.

Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 03:44:26 AM by DaggilarrF »