Query idea: MARKED - YA

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CharleeVale
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Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by CharleeVale » October 18th, 2011, 3:43 am

So I was just thinking about my WIP the other day, and this kind of popped into my head. It breaks every single rule of querying, I know. I don't even know if it would make a good query, so I'm putting it out there to see if any of you think it is intriguing/to see how badly it sucks.
Here you go!

Dear Agent,

The Consilium saved our world from crisis——They will control you.

The Consilium provides you with a purpose——They will mark you.

The Consilium will protect you——They will chain you.

The Consilium can make you better——They will break you.

The Consilium thinks you are special——They will kill you.

MARKED stands complete at blah, blah, blah. Alright -- tell me how stupid this is! :P

CV

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Quill
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by Quill » October 18th, 2011, 11:11 am

It reads like an extended tagline.

Effective, but might want to balance it/complete it with a paragraph about the opposing force, presumably the good guys, your protag. A few sentences to balance the setup you've given. Provide a direction the book takes, a bit of its personality (and personnel), maybe a crux.

Nicole R
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by Nicole R » October 18th, 2011, 12:39 pm

I kinda like it...but I think it would be stronger if you somehow intro'd your MC too.

Right now, you give us a decent overview of the world, but the characters and stakes are missing. Can you incorporate your MC's name into this and make it personal to her while keeping this out-of-the-box style? I think that would really pop. Plus, if I remember right from your excerpts, your MC's pretty kick-ass. :D

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wilderness
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by wilderness » October 18th, 2011, 4:30 pm

As is, I don't think you've got enough there to intrigue the agent; all I've really learned is your story seems to be a dystopia of some sort.

However, I've seen something similar done very effectively on query shark: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

Note that the author has used repetition, rhythm, and sparse structure for an edgy query style, but she's still managed to give us a really good idea of the plot. We know the MC, her goal, and her motivation. Pretty clever.

See if you can combine the terse style while still introducing the basics of what we need to know, and maybe you'll have something. Good luck!

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CharleeVale
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by CharleeVale » October 18th, 2011, 9:06 pm

Funny you should point that out. That query is what made me think I could make something like this work! *Ponders everyone's suggestions*

CV

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Quill
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by Quill » October 18th, 2011, 10:58 pm

Thanks for the link to that Janet Reid critique. Yup, that one works because it tells a story.

Charlee, I think you could still use your concept if you show a progression, indicating the plotline, through the format you've got, like the Query Shark one does.

Good luck!

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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by dios4vida » October 19th, 2011, 5:57 pm

I agree with what's been said so far. It's very intriguing, it has a good rhythm and definitely sets a tone for your story. A paragraph about your protag and how he/she is against the Consilium, illustrating the characters and plot, would really help round that out.

It is different, but not in a gimmicky way. I think it could be very effective. I say run with it and see what happens.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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CharleeVale
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by CharleeVale » November 8th, 2011, 3:03 pm

So I did something silly. I revised the about query into something I liked, and when Kate Schafer Testerman put out a call for queries to critique I sent mine in. I'm crazy! Anyway, this is what I sent in.


Dear Agent,

My name is Calista, and I have a Clear designation.

I was seventeen when the Consilium marked me, and I let them.

They told me I was unique, and I believed them.

They burned my home with my family inside, and I survived.

Their control is slipping, and I am the key.

They want me dead, and I will fight back.

MARKED, a Young Adult Dystopian, is complete at 80,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

Charlee Vale
Last edited by CharleeVale on November 9th, 2011, 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA *updated*

Post by CharleeVale » November 8th, 2011, 3:04 pm

Sorry about the extra post. I was updating from my iPad and it didn't end well...

CV
Last edited by CharleeVale on November 9th, 2011, 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

JMB
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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by JMB » November 8th, 2011, 4:13 pm

The version you sent to KT was intriguing. You might want to try it in 3rd person.

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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by glj » November 13th, 2011, 4:28 pm

My name is Calista, and I have a Clear designation.
I was seventeen when the Consilium marked me, and I let them.
They told me I was unique, and I believed them.

Not bad, and I've seen the Query Shark posting you refer to, but this feels like it could be more engaging. To me, since the "marking" is part of the title and in your second line, it seemed to be the focus of the story. As a result, I wanted to know more about what "marking" was and what it meant to the character.

Just my personal taste, but this is too incomplete to be compelling for me. After all, there may be other weird people like me who immediately form a mental image of an adult putting a checkmark on each baby's forehead with a magic marker. You might be giving the reader too much freedom to create the wrong mental image.

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Re: Query idea: MARKED - YA

Post by thewhipslip » November 16th, 2011, 11:29 am

I really like it, but I agree that you need more specifics toward the end to provide some conflict. It's got a great voice, and I would definitely request pages as an agent, even with the query as it is now.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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