THE TIME (YA)

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hannah_dreamergirl_3
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THE TIME (YA)

Post by hannah_dreamergirl_3 » March 7th, 2011, 11:57 am

Hello everyone!

This is my first draft of my query letter. Any constructive critiscm is welcome...


Dear ____________
RE : I wish to submit my YA adventure novel, THE TIME, complete at 117,000 words, for your consideration.

What would happen if the government was secretly using time travel to try and change history? What would happen if someone from another time was causing trouble, wanting to tell the government’s secrets and it was your job to stop them? This is the challenge that Teri Monohan faces after three months of exile from the British governments Secret Departments. This, coupled with facing her all-to-good-looking ex-fiancé, Carter and trying to rebuild an old friendship mean Teri’s personal and work life are about to collide just as she is to face the biggest and most important challenge of not just her career, but her life.

I wanted to write THE TIME because after writing stories I wasn’t ready to share, the main characters were formed in a dream and I knew I had to write this story. I have always loved the strong female characters I see in films such as Salt and Mr and Mrs Smith and wanted to create a novel for people around my own age with a strong female character who is facing huge challenges whilst dealing with a complicated love life.

I take inspiration from writers such as Elizabeth Kostova, Kate Mosse and Meg Cabot as well as taking inspiration from other areas, such as music and film, particularly Inception and The Dark Knight. The theme of time travel may seem like Science Fiction, but THE TIME is very much a romantic adventure for young women who love action films, strong characters and a complex plot.

I am writing to you as I see______ is included in your list whom I very much admire. I wish to submit THE TIME to you and have included the first three chapters and full synopses for your consideration.
Hoping to hear from you soon,

Yours sincerely,
Hannah Bullimore
Check out my new blog at, http://hannahbullimore.wordpress.com

'Good writing is to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon'

ELDoctorow

Collectonian
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Re: THE TIME (YA)

Post by Collectonian » March 7th, 2011, 2:49 pm

Hi :-) Have you checked out QueryShark? If not, I highly recommend reading her critiques of blogs, as she provides a lot of useful information that I think could be applied here. For the most part, your query doesn't give us very much information about the actual novel or give us a lot of reasons to want to find out more. Only the first paragraph is actually about the novel itself, when it should be the bulk of the query. Remember, a query should tell us
  • Who the protagonist is?
  • What is the main choice he or she has to face?
  • What are the consequences of that choice?
You stated this is a young adult adventure, yet the characters are clearly adults. It would be hard to market this as a young adult novel if the characters are not themselves primarily young adults, as they aren't facing young adult situations. From the description you give in the query, it sounds more like a romantic suspense piece, or science fiction romance.

Some more specific comments below
hannah_dreamergirl_3 wrote: Dear ____________
RE: I wish to submit my YA adventure novel, THE TIME, complete at 117,000 words, for your consideration.The "Re" is unnecessary. I'd also move the genre, title, and word count to the end.

What would happen if the government was secretly using time travel to try and change history? What would happen if someone from another time was causing trouble, wanting to tell the government’s secrets and it was your job to stop them?Never start a query with these kinds of questions, especially if it invokes the "you/your". The reader isn't guaranteed to answer the way you want, and it doesn't give you a strong opening This is the challenge that Teri Monohan faces after three months of exile from the British governments Secret Departments.Why is it her challenge? If she is exiled, why does she care? How does she get involved? This, coupled with facing her all-to-good-looking ex-fiancé, Carter, why does she have to face him? what does it matter? and trying to rebuild an old friendship with Carter? With someone else? mean Teri’s personal and work life are about to collide just as she is to face the biggest and most important challenge of not just her career, but her life.This last bit sounds too cliched. Show us it is a big, important challenge rather than tell us. We get a glimpse from the questions, but that needs to be incorporated in to your narrative instead.

I wanted to write THE TIME because after writing stories I wasn’t ready to share, the main characters were formed in a dream and I knew I had to write this story. I have always loved the strong female characters I see in films such as Salt and Mr and Mrs Smith and wanted to create a novel for people around my own age with a strong female character who is facing huge challenges whilst dealing with a complicated love life. Honestly, this is completely irrelevant to the query. It might be something to discuss in casual conversation with an agent after you're talking, but it doesn't belong in the query at all. You have a short amount of space to work with in the query - rather than talking about what inspired you, sell the story.

I take inspiration from writers such as Elizabeth Kostova, Kate Mosse and Meg Cabot as well as taking inspiration from other areas, such as music and film, particularly Inception and The Dark Knight.Not sure this is completely necessary, though not bad either. If kept, needs to be cut down as it sounds almost hodge podgey with so many listed The theme of time travel may seem like Science Fiction,it has time travel in it - it is science fiction by default, just a matter of what kind and if the sci-fi is primary or secondary. but THE TIME is very much a romantic adventure for young women who love action films, strong characters and a complex plot.

I am writing to you as I see______ is included in your list whom I very much admire.I've seen some agents complain about including this, because of the possibility that the person noted is no longer with that agent or that writer hasn't produced anything new in years; use very cautiously. I wish to submit THE TIME to you and have included the first three chapters and full synopsessynopsis for your consideration.(Of course, this line is only included if their submission guidelines as for that, right? :-))

I'd redo these last two paragraphs into a single, simpler one. Keep it shorter, sweeter. Something like (obviously in your own voice :-) ):

THE TIME, a young adult adventure novel, is complete at 117,000 words. It will appeal to young women who love action stories featuring strong female characters and complex plots, with a dash of romance, such as X, Y, and Z (list is optional).


Hoping to hear from you soon,never never never end this way....it implies an expectation that they should respond when you want, rather than when they can. Agents are busy, it make take months to get back. End it simple: Thank you for your consideration,

Yours sincerely, you don't need two closings.
Hannah Bullimore


I hope my comments help. Good first start.

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androidblues
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Re: THE TIME (YA)

Post by androidblues » March 7th, 2011, 2:49 pm

Dear ____________
RE : I wish to submit my YA adventure novel, THE TIME, complete at 117,000 words, for your consideration.

Always put this at the end.

What would happen if the government was secretly using time travel to try and change history? What would happen if someone from another time was causing trouble, wanting to tell the government’s secrets and it was your job to stop them? This is the challenge that Teri Monohan faces after three months of exile from the British governments Secret Departments. This, coupled with facing her all-totoo-good-looking ex-fiancé, Carter and trying to rebuild an old friendship mean Teri’s personal and work life are about to collide just as she is to face the biggest and most important challenge of not just her career, but her life.

Rhetorical questions are a no-no.

I wanted to write THE TIME because after writing stories I wasn’t ready to share, the main characters were formed in a dream and I knew I had to write this story. I have always loved the strong female characters I see in films such as Salt and Mr and Mrs Smith and wanted to create a novel for people around my own age with a strong female character who is facing huge challenges whilst dealing with a complicated love life.

Query shark has talked about this numerous times. More story, less about you. So far I don't have a good idea about what the book is about. I know more about what inspired you to write the novel, which is a bad thing.

THE TIME is a 117,000 word Sci-Fi novel.

I take inspiration from writers such as Elizabeth Kostova, Kate Mosse and Meg Cabotas well as taking inspiration from other areas, such as music and film, particularly Inception and The Dark Knight. The theme of time travel may seem like Science Fiction, but THE TIME is very much a romantic adventure for young women who love action films, strong characters and a complex plot.

I am writing to you as I see______ is included in your list whom I very much admire. I wish to submit THE TIME to you and have included the first three chapters and full synopses for your consideration.Hoping to hear from you soon,

Many agents find this presumptuous. Also, this isn't sounding very YA to me. How old is she? She's old enough to have an ex-fiance right? Therefore, she isn't a teenager, which is an instant turn off for many teens. Also, I'm getting that this is about time travel and facing down her love life. Other than that, I'm lost.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

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hannah_dreamergirl_3
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Re: THE TIME (YA)

Post by hannah_dreamergirl_3 » March 7th, 2011, 4:38 pm

wow back to the drawing board then. thanks for the help. i thinnk this is a good starting point and with you critique it can only get better!

thanks

Hannah
Check out my new blog at, http://hannahbullimore.wordpress.com

'Good writing is to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon'

ELDoctorow

AllieS
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Re: THE TIME (YA)

Post by AllieS » March 7th, 2011, 6:23 pm

Dear ____________
RE : I wish to submit my YA adventure novel, THE TIME, complete at 117,000 words, for your consideration.

What would happen if the government was secretly using time travel to try and change history? What would happen if someone from another time was causing trouble, wanting to tell the government’s secrets and it was your job to stop them? Like some of the people above said, starting with questions like this is a no-no. This is the challenge that (you don't need the that) Teri Monohan faces after three months of exile from the British governments Secret Departments. This, coupled with facing her all-to-good-looking ex-fiancé, Carterneed another comma and trying to rebuild an old friendship mean Teri’s personal and work life are about to collide just as she is to face the biggest and most important challenge of not just her career, but her life.Loooong sentence. Also, you could use a line explaining briefly why she needs to face her ex-fiance and why she's rebuilding an old friendship. The part about the important cahllenge is vague, and I'd love to know what it is. I think you just need to spice things up a little, and give a few more details.

I wanted to write THE TIME because after writing stories I wasn’t ready to share, the main characters were formed in a dream and I knew I had to write this story. I have always loved the strong female characters I see in films such as Salt and Mr and Mrs Smith and wanted to create a novel for people around my own age with a strong female character who is facing huge challenges whilst dealing with a complicated love life.

I take inspiration from writers such as Elizabeth Kostova, Kate Mosse and Meg Cabot as well as taking inspiration from other areas, such as music and film, particularly Inception and The Dark Knight. The theme of time travel may seem like Science Fiction, but THE TIME is very much a romantic adventure for young women who love action films, strong characters and a complex plot.

I am writing to you as I see______ is included in your list whom I very much admire.
Not necessary. Try keeping it as short and sweet as possible. Unless what you have to say is directly related to the agent and you think it'll really help, I'd probably leave it off. I wish to submit THE TIME to you and have included the first three chapters and full synopses for your consideration.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
And then there's the genre problem. Like those above me mentioned, your character seems to be an adult. Figuring out the appropriate genre would help you get a better idea of where your query needs to go.

Hope this helps!

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