QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

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fivecats
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QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by fivecats » October 18th, 2010, 10:44 am

Hi All,

Many thanks in advance for your comments on this query. I appreciate your willingness to share your opinions, be they in-depth or overviews.


-- Tom

=========================================

A steam-driven mechanical pterodactyl is out of control over Victorian-era London and the Queen is not amused.

Nine-year-old Ib cannot believe his luck. He finally has a room and bed of his own and a bounty of food each day—all for agreeing to be the lab assistant to an odd professor. In fact, the professor's quirks almost make the job fun. Then the frightening gearwork pteranodon in the laboratory comes to life and escapes out into the London skies.

Her Majesty’s Royal Guard gives the professor two days to capture his renegade machine or else. Eager to prove himself, Ib helps his employer work out the details following an inspired brainwave: since the professor’s steam-powered creations tend to be a bit, well, unpredictable, why not try a human-powered rescue machine? However, after Ib realizes he is to be the human powering it, his newfound loyalty to the professor is tested in a way that might make him extinct.

THE PTERRIBLE PTERANODON is a 25,000 word MG Steampunk adventure. It is similar to Jon Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series and Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens series. I am working on further adventures for Ib and the professor.

[Insert specific reasons for contacting this agent]

Thank you for your consideration,


Tom M. Franklin
______________________________________
Tom M Franklin
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Quill
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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by Quill » October 18th, 2010, 11:00 am

Nice.

1. I see you have "pterodactyl" in the first sentence and "pteranodon" subsequent.

2. 25,000-word (hyphen)

3. Wondering if "however" should follow "powering it" rather than start the sentence.

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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by sbs_mjc1 » October 18th, 2010, 11:12 am

A steam-driven mechanical pterodactyl is out of control over Victorian-era London and the Queen is not amused.
This is feels like the movie-poster tagline, and is out of sync with the rest of the query.

Nine-year-old Ib couldn't believe his luck. He finally had a room and bed of his own and a bounty of food each day—all for agreeing to be the lab assistant to an odd professor. In fact, the professor's quirks almost make the job fun. That is, until the frightening gearwork pteranodon in the laboratory comes to life and escapes out into the London skies.
[The use of tense here was a bit confusing]

Her Majesty’s Royal Guard gives the professor two days to capture his renegade machine or else. Eager to prove himself, Ib helps his employer work out the details following an inspired brainwave: since the professor’s steam-powered creations tend to be a bit, well, unpredictable, why not try a human-powered rescue machine? However, after Ib realizes he is to be the human powering it, his newfound loyalty to the professor is tested in a way that might make him extinct.

THE PTERRIBLE PTERANODON is a 25,000 word MG Steampunk adventure. It is similar to Jon Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series and Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens series. I am working on further adventures for Ib and the professor.

[Insert specific reasons for contacting this agent]

Thank you for your consideration,


Tom M. Franklin[/quote]

Good query-- your book sounds like a lot of fun!
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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by glj » October 18th, 2010, 1:11 pm

This is a fun query. I like it. Short and succinct. I agree with the previous comment about pterodactyl versus pteranodon, you need to be consistent (agent may wonder if you use both indiscriminately in the ms).


A steam-driven mechanical pterodactyl is out of control over Victorian-era London and the Queen is not amused. Nice! I can hear her saying so, and probably in a funny, exaggerated voice

Nine-year-old Ib cannot believe his luck. He finally has a room and bed of his own and a bounty of food each day—all for agreeing to be the lab assistant to an odd professor. In fact, the professor's quirks almost make the job fun. Examples of the professor's quirks here could add more fun to your query. Then the frightening gearwork pteranodon in the laboratory comes to life and escapes out "out" isn't necessary into the London skies.

Her Majesty’s Royal Guard gives the professor two days to capture his renegade machine or else. Eager to prove himself, Ib helps his employer work out the details following an inspired brainwave: May just be me, but "brainwave" seems like too modern a term? since the professor’s steam-powered creations tend to be a bit, well, unpredictable, why not try a human-powered rescue machine? However, after Ib realizes he is to be the human powering it, his newfound loyalty to the professor is tested in a way that might make him extinct.

THE PTERRIBLE PTERANODON is a 25,000 word MG Steampunk adventure. It is similar to Jon Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series and Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens series. I am working on further adventures for Ib and the professor.

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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by D.S. Deshaw » October 18th, 2010, 1:38 pm

This is a good query. The first line threw me a little bit because it wasn't directly about the main character, but "the Queen is not amused" is a great addition to the query. Playing around with different hooks might be good idea to try to coax the absolute best line out of your brain. I know it's in there :)

I'm not sure if steampunk needs to be capitalized? It might be more professional to spell out middle grade as well. The term "in fact" is usually unnecessary and might free you up for some room to explain what the professor's quirks are :) I was a bit thrown by your use of "brainwave." Is there another word you can use that can simultaneously word-build (which you've already done a great job of doing)?

Last comment: I'm not sure if your query reads from Ib's point of view or not. The query doesn't sound like an adolescent boy. Does the book sound like one? It seems to be a good idea to sync the tone of the book and the tone of the query :)

Otherwise, like I said, great query!
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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by androidblues » October 18th, 2010, 3:29 pm

sounds cool, I like steampunk stuff. Especially MG. Is it written in Emily Rodd style or from Ib's point of view?
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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by priya g. » October 18th, 2010, 3:32 pm

fivecats wrote:
A steam-driven mechanical pterodactyl is out of control over Victorian-era London and the Queen is not amused THIS SENTENCE COMPLETELY THROWS ME IN- I KNOW THE ERA AND THE QUEEN PART IS GOOD TOO.

Nine-year-old Ib cannot believe his luck. He finally has a room and bed of his own and a bounty of food each day—all for agreeing to be the lab assistant to an odd professor. In fact, the professor's quirks almost make the job fun MERGE THIS WITH THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE OR REMOVE. Then the frightening gearwork pteranodon in the laboratory comes to life and escapes out into the London skies. I DONT GET TOO MUCH ON IB, IS HE LIKE ANY NORMAL CHILD? IS HE EXTRAORDINARILY INTELLIGENT? IS HE SO HAPPY ABOUT THE FOOD ETC BECAUSE HE IS AN ORPHAN? NAME OF THE ODD PROFESSOR?

Her Majesty’s Royal Guard gives the professor two days to capture his renegade machine or else. Eager to prove himself, Ib helps his employer work out the details following an inspired brainwave: since the professor’s steam-powered creations tend to be a bit, well, unpredictable, why not try a human-powered rescue machine? However, after Ib realizes he is to be the human powering it, his newfound loyalty to the professor is tested in a way that might make him extinct. GOOD PARAGRAPH, BUT THE CONFLICT ISNT COMING OUT TOO STRONG. HOW ABOUT PUTTING A SENTENCE ON WHAT THE DANGERS OF THIS RESCUE MACHINE ARE?

THE PTERRIBLE PTERANODON is a 25,000 word MG Steampunk adventure. It is similar to Jon Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series and Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens series. I am working on further adventures for Ib and the professor.

[Insert specific reasons for contacting this agent]

Thank you for your consideration,


Tom M. Franklin
i think this is a good idea. hope to see the next version

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wilderness
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Re: QUERY: The Pterrible Pteranodon

Post by wilderness » October 19th, 2010, 12:39 am

This sounds cute. I esp. like the first line; it immediately grabs me with both story and voice. I wonder if you could work in a little more characterization for Ib -- ultimately, what drives him? It's on the short side so you have room to give us a few more intriguing details. Love the ptitle. :)

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