Query Critique #4


Submitted Query: 

Dear Natasha,

Successful architect Maggie Dawson leaves the security of her job to pursue her passion as a filmmaker. Her talent, despite her family’s disapproval and skepticism, is recognized by a producer…and Mike Gennaro. Her best friend A-list actor. The way you introduce MIke Gennaro could have more impact if you restructure the sentence. If he’s her best friend, he’s clearly going to recognize her talent. He just happens to be an A-list actor, so maybe rephrase this and combine it with the follow up sentence to look something like: …recognized by a producer and her best friend, Mike Gennaro. An A-list actor, she’s had a crush… She’s had a crush on him for years, but she knows better than to act upon her feelings. Her mother, Andrea, is his agent, and she’s spent a lifetime convincing Maggie she’s neither good for him or Hollywood. Lots of names in the first paragraph. I wonder if we need to know Andrea’s name or if you can simply say her mother and his agent or vice versa. Or take it a step further and combine the information of his agent being her mom and mix it with the previous sentence. I’m curious if this paragraph might do better if you leave out the information about Andrea until the second paragraph and maybe just say something like “…knows better to act on her feelings believing she’s not good enough.” Then follow that with the a revised version of the sentence below. When Mike asks Maggie to direct his new production company’s debut movie, Maggie discovers her crush isn’t one-sided. 

When Mike asks Maggie to direct his new production company’s debut movie—one Andrea hasn’t brought him—and Maggie discovers her crush isn’t one-sided, Andrea doesn’t let them be. <<If you follow the suggestion above then you’d delete this sentence and start your next paragraph here introducing Mike’s agent here>> Jealous of Mike’s relationship with her daughter and determined to regain control over her golden goose, she plots to get Maggie fired from the studio. Tweaking that sentence as I mentioned above might look like: Fed by jealousy and determined to regain control over Mike, his agent Andrea and Maggie’s mom, plots to have Maggie fired from the studio. And when that doesn’t work, Andrea reveals a secret she shares with Mike that may cost Maggie her dream job, the only man who can make her happy, and her own life. She must choose whether to give up or fight back for the life she deserves. Great stakes!

UNREHEARSED is a 94,000 word standalone women’s fiction novel with series potential. while it’s a standalone novel, it has series potential. Attached are (whatever submission material the gent asks for.) <<Of course don’t include this line if they don’t ask for material to be submitted. And be careful you don’t attach pages when they want it to be pasted in the body of the email.

I’m an Egyptian American ESL teacher. TEACHERS UNITE! Many of my short stories have been published in both English and Arabic. My most recent publications are: The Circle and Mission Honeymoon. A time-travel fantasy and a romantic sci-fi at The Monkey Collective Anthology Volume 2. <<This sentence is confusing me for some reason. Maybe something like this: Two of my most recent publications can be found in The Monkey Collective Anthology Volume 2. My literary short story Waves will appear in October at Rhymes’n’Bones Magazine. I’ve self-published my first erotica short story Her Majesty’s Harem last week. <<I wouldn’t include this information unless it’s sold lots of copies or made lists because agents generally don’t care about your self-published history. I’ve also worked as an assistant director for several Middle Eastern movies, short films and plays. On Twitter, I’m the host of #womenwrite writing game hashtag. Very cool, I’m going to have to check this out! 

Thank you for your time and consideration. Looking forward to hearing from you.


N.J. Adel
(phone, email, twitter handle)


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