Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

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Quill
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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by Quill » February 26th, 2011, 3:42 pm

littlebird wrote:THIS IS THE NEWEST VERSION!!

Sam Oliveira can barely make it through a day without gut-wrenching visions. Glimpsing natural disasters and terrorist attacks leaves him with a pounding migraine and his head in the toilet, but he accepts that no seventeen-year-old can stop those things before they happen.

When his latest nightmare reveals the murder of his crush, Gabby Wilkins, Sam knows he can’t wait and do nothing. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

The two people who can help Sam—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a cartel boss who wants Sam's gifts for his business—are major players in the drug war Sam’s spent his life avoiding. Neither are appealing options, but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.

So ladies and gentleman, is that last paragraph any better. Should I make it 'Sam's spent his life running from'?
Wait a minute, this sixteen-year-old has spent his LIFE avoiding a drug war? His whole life, since he was a baby? How long has this war been going on? What do you mean "avoiding"?

And, how did we switch from gut-wrenching visions with pounding head in the toilet to him having "his latest nightmare"? Is he having both day visions AND night dreams? Please clarify.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by littlebird » February 26th, 2011, 4:13 pm

Okay...so I obviously suck. Sorry, Quill.

So Sam's mom can also see the future, but she has greater control of her visions. Her boss is the drug lord, but she's tried to keep Sam out of the "business" literally since birth. His uncle is sort of a "good guy," but he has a grudge against Sam's mom and her boss.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by littlebird » February 26th, 2011, 4:18 pm

And yes, he has both visions and nightmares. But I'll change it back to visions for the query. It's clearer that way, right? And I took at "at the hands of a stalker" because I wasn't sure if that mattered. It just sort of mucked up that sentence anyway.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by littlebird » February 26th, 2011, 4:23 pm

The two people who can help Sam—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a cartel boss who wants Sam's gifts for his business—are major players in the drug war Sam’s spent his life avoiding Sam wants no part of?. Neither are appealing options, but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

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maggie
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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by maggie » February 28th, 2011, 1:45 pm

First of all, this sounds awesome. I would totally read this.

I think the query is actually quite good besides the last paragraph--I think it could be a little stronger. I like the inclusion of the drug cartel to distinguish the story from the "typical" YA paranormal, but I think it could be worded a little better. Maybe something like:
The two people who can help Sam manage his visions—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a cartel boss who wants to use Sam's gifts for his business—are major players in the international drug ring Sam's mom works for. If Sam asks them for help, he'll be accepting the life of crime he's hoped his whole life to avoid. But if he doesn't, Gabby's time might run out.
Ok, so my wording is kinda awkward, but maybe something along these lines? Like the if he does...and if he doesn't...moral dilemma thing to close?

Good luck! Sounds like a very cool story.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by littlebird » March 1st, 2011, 4:44 pm

Thanks Maggie! I appreciate your help and interest. Let's hope an agent will like it too!

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by glj » March 2nd, 2011, 6:18 pm

This has promise. I like the way this is going, what it partially reveals, but I think it could be stronger. Seems to lack enough detail for me to grasp the looming conflict for Sam. The most I can make out of this is that: a) Sam has medical/mental problems, b) somehow Sam is being pressured into joining the mob, and c) the girl he likes might be in danger and he doesn't think he can help her. All three are the beginnings of a compelling query. Yet they seem unrelated.

Sam Oliveira can barely make it through a day without gut-wrenching visions. Glimpsing natural disasters and terrorist attacks leaves him with a pounding migraine and his head in the toilet, but he accepts that no seventeen-year-old can stop those things before they happen. For me, this paragraph would work better if it made clear that what he sees is in the future, and so I would assume part of Sam's dilemma is figuring out HOW he could prevent horrible things from happening. But I had a little trouble understanding whether he was seeing bad things happening in the present or in the future. In addition to these visions making him physically ill, wouldn't they wear on his psyche? Bringing this out could add more sympathy for poor Sam-the struggling hero who must overcome pain, self doubt, weird dreams, and most likely skepticism of others in order to defeat the bad guys.

I kinda wanted you to tell me immediately that Sam is only seventeen. It changes how I would view the story if I know that he doesn't have that much life experience to aid him in dealing with such a trauma-causing gift. "Seventeen-year-old Sam Oliveira ..."

Why does being seventeen mean he can't do anything? Isn't it really that these visions just aren't enough information for him to influence future events? Or, in addition, is it that people won't listen to a teenager? I hope it's not the last, as that is too easy and too cheap. If a local pierced, tattooed, crack-smoking high school dropout predicted a major disaster and was right, I suspect people would quickly pay attention. The first warning would be the only ignored warning.


When his latest nightmare reveals the murder This wording seems awkward to me. "Reveals" throws me off. In his nightmare, he watches her be murdered, right? It lacks impact. It is an odd way to talk of a horrible event. Why not something more "When his latest nightmare is a vision of the drawn-out death of Gabby Wilkins, the girl he has a crush on, ..."?? of his crush, Gabby Wilkins, Sam knows he can’t wait and do nothing. Redundant wording. And passive. "Sam must do something." Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, and submerged in water. He can't stop the horrible visions, yet they don't give him enough information to do anything. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

The two people who can help Sam—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a cartel boss who wants Sam's gifts for his business—are major players in the drug war Sam’s spent his life avoiding. Nice dilemma to subject Sam to, but kinda dropped in at the last second. How do the uncle and the cartel boss tie in with the potential murder of the girl? And how would Sam's joining the mob help him save Gabby? They seem unrelated, as it stands. Do any of his visions make Sam think that joining the mob would help save Abby? Neither are appealing options, but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words. Nice title. Many stories have titles that seem unrelated, or at least don't seem related in the posted query. Now, can you work it in at least once? It could add impact. Just a thought.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by AllieS » March 3rd, 2011, 3:46 am

Personally, I like it! It focuses on the right things, Sam's ability and the consequences it has in his life, and also shows why it's so important to him to try and stop Gabby's death--hence the romance. I feel like one more line at the end, something to just tie it all together and get me really itching to read what happens, though, will help. For some reason I feel as though it's being cut off right at the good part, and the uncle and drug lord stuff otherwise seems to be randomly tossed into the mix without a link. Why are they the ones who can help him? But I want to see what else you have to say, so good job! I'm intrigued!

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by misstante » March 3rd, 2011, 4:45 pm

I switched bits and pieces, but think this sounds like a great query for a great book!


Query 1
Sam Oliveira can barely make it through a day without succumbing to gut-wrenching visions. Glimpsing natural disasters and terrorist attacks before they happen leaves him with a pounding migraine and his head in the toilet, but he accepts that no seventeen-year-old can prevent those things. (i like this opening better but wonder about :head in the toilet, something the fawning cheerleaders and baseball scouts don't notice/know. b/c i like knowing he is a stud.

Instead of super hot fantasies about his crush, Gabby Wilkins , Sam witnesses her death at the hands of a faceless stalker. The harder he tries to identify the murderer, the worse his migraines and barfing episodes become. And he can't figure out how to protect Gabby without exposing his gift and scaring her away. (like this dilemma)

Two people can help Sam harness his talent: a relative with a vendetta, and a ruthless drug lord who wants to use Sam’s gift to evade authorities. Neither are appealing options, but time is running out and Sam is getting desperate. (i do want to know about the vendetta of course)

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.

Query 2 (Straight Version)
Everyone wants a piece of Sam Oliveira. Cheerleaders fawn over him, college baseball scouts covet him, and his mother is grooming him to take over the family business. All of which would be totally awesome, if his potential employer wasn't a ruthless drug lord.

Sam's inherited a preternatural talent that lets him glimpse the future. It's a skill the cartel intends to exploit, whether or not Sam chooses to work for them.

Unfortunately everything Sam sees is hazy and confusing--except when the subject is his calculus tutor, Gabby Wilkins. Instead of super hot fantasies, Sam witnesses her death at the hands of a faceless stalker. The harder he tries to identify the murderer, the worse his migraines and barfing episodes become. And he can't figure out how to protect Gabby without exposing his gift and scaring her away.

He's found two people who can train him to use the visions: a relative who’s unwilling to take Sam on as a student, or the cartel boss who will require a lifetime of servitude in return. Neither are appealing options, but Sam is desperate and running out of time.

SAW IT COMING is a YA paranormal romance complete at 63,000 words. It follows Sam's attempts to save Gabby without getting himself, or anyone else for that matter, killed.

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androidblues
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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by androidblues » March 4th, 2011, 12:30 am

I'm going with misstante's version Query #1. It gets to the point quicker and it grabs me into the story while leaving room for conflict at the end.

If I may say one thing, this isn't seeming like Paranormal Romance to me. Paranormal, yes, but Paranormal Romance is typically reserved for books like Shiver and Twilight, where there isn't really a plot outside of the romance. Thank god, you actually have an interesting plot that doesn't revolve around 'true love'.

It's looking pretty good to me.
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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by littlebird » March 9th, 2011, 10:01 pm

@Androidblues: You just made my whole day! Thank you! I've considered listing it as YA Supernatural (seen a couple of those on query tracker) but wonder if that's because people want to hide that they've really written paranormal romance.

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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by hannah_dreamergirl_3 » March 14th, 2011, 3:29 pm

This sounds like an AMAZING idea, let me know when it's published in the uk so I can read it!!!!
I also think the query sounds really good, concise, to the point, whilst giving me a real look into the story and the character. I think its pretty set and ready to go.
Good luck!
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Re: Query: SAW IT COMING (new ending paragraph)

Post by brandileigh2003 » March 14th, 2011, 6:07 pm

I like the avoiding all his life change

I think changing to visions of the future and taking out nightmares will help too

Otherwise good job.

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