TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

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AllieS
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TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by AllieS » September 4th, 2011, 2:19 am

Hey all! I've done some serious work on my query, and took it in a whole new direction after I revised the manuscript. It focuses only on the beginning of the novel, and I hope I'm not as vague because of it. Any comments would be great!

Seventeen-year-old Sophie never considered there was a connection between the trespasser at the wildlife preserve where she works, and the mysterious arrival of Hugh and Connor Kedoa in her town. All she knows is:

• When she sees Connor, her first instinct (amazingly) isn’t to stand quietly against her locker and hope he won't notice her.
• If Hugh keeps giving her those intense looks, she’s going to have to buck it up and ask him what she did wrong.

When Sophie finds Hugh injured in the preserve, she lets go of her questions and helps him. But Hugh wants her to ask questions. He claims he’s a Reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Accepting Hugh’s gift not only means answers to Sophie’s dearest questions, but having an “in” with a being who can judge a person’s character just by looking at her.

Sure, there are downsides, like forgetting what Hugh really is the moment Sophie asks her last question, and the fact that her answers might not be so pleasant. But if Sophie trusts Hugh, maybe he’ll confess why he was so desperate not to be found in the preserve—and why he and Connor moved to town in the first place. No matter what, Sophie has to choose soon.

Because once you ask a Reddo a question, there’s no going back.

TELL ME THIS is my 87,000 word YA urban fantasy with strong series potential. Thank you for your consideration.

Collectonian
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by Collectonian » September 4th, 2011, 8:03 pm

Overall, I think this is an AWESOME new direction to go! The only bit I found confusing was the bullet points at the front, particularly "When she sees Connor, her first instinct (amazingly) isn’t to stand quietly against her locker and hope he won't notice her. ", particularly as it doesn't clarify what her first instinct was. The first bit also implies there is a second trespasser beyond Hugh?

glj
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by glj » September 5th, 2011, 12:24 pm

Hi, Allie. I'm glad that you are continuing to work on your query. Do not give up.

I agree that the bullet points need to go. I've never seen bullet points used in fiction. They keep your letter from reading smoothly.

How about:
All she knows is, when she sees Connor, her first instinct (amazingly) isn’t to stand quietly against her locker and hope he won't notice her. What is her first instinct, to say something embarrassing? Her reaction could provide the reader with more of Sophie's personality. If Hugh keeps giving her those intense looks, looks that seem to see into her soul, accusing looks, she’s going to have to buck it up and ask him what she did wrong.

This leaves me wondering about the relationship between Hugh and Connor. I seem to remember them as being father and son, correct? But yet this implies that they are both seen by Sophie in her school (clearly my assumption because she sees Connor at school and you don't place Hugh elsewhere).

This focuses more on questions, but it doesn't seem to have much impact, the impact that will make a reader want more. I don't get any paranormal or otherwordly sense of Hugh and Connor. Maybe this is what is lacking, more hints that the two of them aren't normal humans.


Seventeen-year-old Sophie never considered there was a connection between the trespasser at the wildlife preserve where she works, comma here is unnecessary and the mysterious arrival of Hugh and Connor Kedoa in her town. All she knows is:

• When she sees Connor, her first instinct (amazingly) isn’t to stand quietly against her locker and hope he won't notice her.
• If Hugh keeps giving her those intense looks, she’s going to have to buck it up and ask him what she did wrong.

When Sophie finds Hugh injured in the preserve, she lets go of her questions and helps him. the "lets go of" makes me think of her questions as being almost physical - she "forgets" her questions?? But Hugh wants her to ask questions. He claims he’s a Reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. I would put the "But Hugh wants her to ask questions." here, after explaining who he is and what he does Accepting Hugh’s gift not only means answers to Sophie’s dearest questions, but having an “in” with a being who can judge a person’s character just by looking at her. I don't see how this last phrase is relevant? Part of me wants there to be a cost to Sophie for getting to know Hugh, and certainly a danger to asking him a question.

Sure, there are downsides, like forgetting what Hugh really is the moment Sophie asks her last question, and the fact that her his answers might not be so pleasant. But if Sophie trusts Hugh, maybe he’ll confess why he was so desperate not to be found in the preserve—and why he and Connor moved to town in the first place. No matter what, Sophie has to choose soon. I'm not certain what her choice is between??

Because once you ask a Reddo a question, there’s no going back.

TELL ME THIS is my 87,000 word YA urban fantasy with strong series potential. Thank you for your consideration

AllieS
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by AllieS » September 5th, 2011, 6:27 pm

Great advice guys! I've decided to remove Connor from the query since giving him the time he deserves would make it too long. Let me know what you think!

Seventeen-year-old Sophie Rowan never considered there was a connection between the trespasser at the wildlife preserve where she works and the mysterious arrival of Hugh Kedoa in her town. All she knows is that if Hugh keeps giving her those accusing looks—looks that make her think he’s seeing a lot more than her freckles—she’ll have to suck it up and ask him what she did wrong.

When Sophie finds Hugh injured in the preserve, she helps him and tries to forget about her questions. But Hugh wants her to ask questions. He claims he’s a Reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Giving answers not only grows his other powers (like seeing a person’s character by making eye contact), but it’s the only way he can access the knowledge locked inside his head.

Sure, there are some “potential downsides” to Hugh’s offer, like forgetting what Hugh really is the moment Sophie asks her last question. And for some reason, Hugh refuses to tell her why he’s out in the preserve—and why no one seems to know where he lives. But Sophie thinks he might trust her with his secrets if she takes the offer and asks questions.

Then again, his answers to all of her questions might not be so pleasant. And once you ask a Reddo a question, there’s no going back.

TELL ME THIS is my 87,000 word YA urban fantasy with strong series potential. Thank you for your consideration.

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GingerWrite
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by GingerWrite » September 5th, 2011, 11:48 pm

"Sure, there are some “potential downsides” to Hugh’s offer, like forgetting what Hugh really is the moment Sophie asks her last question. And for some reason, Hugh refuses to tell her why he’s out in the preserve—and why no one seems to know where he lives. But Sophie thinks he might trust her with his secrets if she takes the offer and asks questions."

Other than the section above, I love your query! This part just seems a bit disjointed. The first sentence mentions potential downsides, but it doesn't carry over into the next one. I'd say just polish up your transitions and you'll be golden!

Good luck querying!
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)

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MattLarkin
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by MattLarkin » September 6th, 2011, 3:48 pm

Well I'm intrigued. I don't read much YA, but it sounds like something I'd be willing to try.

I don't like artificial quotation marks, such as the ones in the paragraph Ginger mentions. They strike me as just as trite as someone making air-quotes. As Ginger says, I think you can either say potential downsides and mention more than one, or just mention that she'll lose her memory of what he is. Even that is not a real risk unless we know she cares about that for some reason.
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AllieS
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by AllieS » September 13th, 2011, 7:07 pm

Thank you Matt and Ginger! I'm trying the chop the query word-count even more, so I removed the part about the preserve. I took your comments in mind as I wrote this new query, so I hope it's cleaner than the last!

Most Recent Revision

Seventeen-year-old Sophie Rowan doesn’t understand why new-boy-at-school Hugh Kedoa keeps giving her intense looks. Last she checked, new students usually don’t give death-stares to strangers.

When Hugh hurts himself and Sophie is the only one around to help, she learns his secret. Hugh claims he’s a Reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Giving answers not only grows his other powers (like seeing a person’s character by making eye contact), but it’s the only way he can access the knowledge locked inside his head.

Now Sophie understands the strange looks. She also understands that the downsides to Hugh’s offer are pretty big. She’ll forget what Hugh really is the moment she asks her last question, and how she got her answers in the first place.

But Sophie takes the offer, and it turns out she’s a little different—different enough to stump a Reddo.

Different enough to have an unanswerable question.

Now she’s caught up in a forbidden world no outsider was ever supposed to know about—and she’s determined to get her answer before time runs out.

TELL ME THIS is my 84,000 word YA urban fantasy with strong series potential.
Last edited by AllieS on September 14th, 2011, 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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GingerWrite
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by GingerWrite » September 13th, 2011, 7:23 pm

I like what you've done to revamp it, and gotten rid of the quotation marks. Now the only general problem I see is that you're focusing almost solely on one event. We hear about the lead-up to her finding out he's a Reddo, but after that we don't know any external conflict. We just know the internal struggle. Since it's something I've had trouble with in my own query, I don't know if others agree, but it's something I noticed.
Much better, though!
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)

AllieS
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by AllieS » September 14th, 2011, 3:06 pm

No, I totally agree Ginger. I've tweaked the latest version hoping to show more conflict. Thanks for all your help!

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GingerWrite
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by GingerWrite » September 15th, 2011, 12:24 am

I LOVE the revised version. The second you mentioned the "unanswerable question" I felt the urge to read your book. Because now I NEED to know what the question is. Always a plus when you can hook 'em in. There are a couple of words that I would take out, but I think you've got a pretty solid query now.
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)

michelleimason
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Re: TELL ME THIS (formerly REDDO), YA Urban Fantasy new query

Post by michelleimason » September 17th, 2011, 3:11 pm

Hi Allie! Thanks for your feedback on my query. In case you're still looking for some on yours, here are a few notes. Good luck!


Seventeen-year-old Sophie Rowan doesn’t understand why new-boy-at-school Hugh Kedoa keeps giving her intense looks. Last she checked, new students usually don’t give death-stares to strangers. I like this line. The only thing is that it reminds me of TWILIGHT as that's Bella's first encounter with Edward.

When Hugh hurts himself and Sophie is the only one around to help, she learns his secret. Hugh claims he’s a Reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Like this concept! Giving answers not only grows his other powers (like seeing a person’s character by making eye contact), but it’s the only way he can access the knowledge locked inside his head.

Now Sophie understands the strange looks.(Because he's trying to see her character?) She also understands that the downsides to Hugh’s offer are pretty big. She’ll forget what Hugh really is the moment she asks her last question, and how she got her answers in the first place. Why does she want to remember?

But Sophie takes the offer, and it turns out she’s a little different—different enough to stump a Reddo.

Different enough to have an unanswerable question. Very good teaser!

Now she’s caught up in a forbidden world no outsider was ever supposed to know about—and she’s determined to get her answer before time runs out. Also very interested to know what the forbidden world is - related to the question or Reddos? Not necessarily something you have to answer here, though.

TELL ME THIS is my 84,000 word YA urban fantasy with strong series potential.

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