YA Query?

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ak59
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YA Query?

Post by ak59 » March 10th, 2012, 9:02 pm

This is my query for my paranormal romance novel THE SCION. I've sent it to one agent... nothing so far but it's only day 2! Please, please give feedback. I need help revising, and I'm not sure which Query is better.


Dear __agent___:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has never been much of a normal girl.

As a wealthy, popular, and star-studded athlete, she is served by nannies and cooks in her lonely Malibu, California mansion, while her workaholic mother stays away from home for months at a time.

But all of that changes when two strange men invade her home, telling her that their master is after her. She soon finds herself propelled into the mysterious world of the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses, where she is provided refuge--and finds most of her identity has been a lie. But as a war breaks out between this master and the Descendants, Karen sets off on a wild adventure, with the help of some uncanny teenage Descendants, to stop the war and save them all.

Through forbidden romance, lies, betrayal, blood and sweat, Karen finds her life just may never be normal.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series.

I’ve included the first ten pages you requested. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

OR:

(my more revised edition)

Dear __agent__:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has always been a bit different. She's the top ranked althere in the state--unstoppable, undefeated. Her strength, her celerity, her resilience, and her speed is uncanny--unlike anyone else's. But Karen never considered why. She never wondered if there was something more to her. She never thought that maybe she wasn't human after all.

And then her life changes on the night that two men invade her home, telling her their "master" wants her back. Before she knows it, she is brought before the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses and live to protect humanity from deathly creatures. Within little time, she is thrust into their clandestine world, where young children are able to kill with their bare hands and nineteen year-olds hunt creatures throughout the streets. But many questions remain. What do these people have to do with her and who is this "master" that wants her back? Karen must find the truth behind the deep secrets of the Descendant world before its too late.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series.

Tell me which you like better and any revisions that need to be made! Thanks.

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CharleeVale
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Re: YA Query?

Post by CharleeVale » March 11th, 2012, 10:57 am

ak59 wrote:This is my query for my paranormal romance novel THE SCION. I've sent it to one agent... nothing so far but it's only day 2! Please, please give feedback. I need help revising, and I'm not sure which Query is better.


Dear __agent___:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has never been much of a normal girl.

As a wealthy, popular, and star-studded athlete, she is served by nannies and cooks in her lonely Malibu, California mansion, while her workaholic mother stays away from home for months at a time. This is very cliche, and also sounds like the character is a bit whiny. 'I have everything in the world and my life is horrible, poor me.' Even if that is the case, you don't want that to be in your query.

But all of that changes when two strange strange how? men invade Invade how? Was it staged as a robbery? Did they sneak up on her? did they grab her out of the shower or her bed? her home, telling her that their master is after her. She soon finds herself propelled into the mysterious world of the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses, Which? There are many different mythological systems where she is provided refuge refuge from what?--and finds most of her identity has been a lie. what parts have been a lie? But as a war breaks out between this master and the Descendants, why? Karen sets off on a wild adventure, with the help of some uncanny teenage Descendants, what makes them uncanny? is she uncanny too? to stop the war and save them all. save them what? Death, being painted blue, being doomed to eat ice cream forever? We need to know.

Through forbidden romance,Woah, where did forbidden romance come in? lies, betrayal, blood and sweat, Karen finds her life just may never be normal.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novelthat includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series. Unnecessary. You never want to tell an agent WHY they will like your book, and you have to get them interested in the first one before you can talk about sequels.

I’ve included the first ten pages you requested. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. consideration.

OR:

(my more revised edition)

Dear __agent__:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has always been a bit different. She's the top ranked althere spelling in the state--unstoppable, undefeated. what is her sport? Her strength, her celerity, Isn't celerity another word for speed? If so this is redundant. her resilience, and her speed is uncanny--unlike anyone else's. But Karen never considered why. Really? She never wondered why she was so awesome? She never wondered if there was something more to her. She never thought that maybe she wasn't human after all.

And then her life changes on the night that two men invade her home, telling her their "master" wants her back.Same question as above. Before she knows it, she is brought before the Descendants, By who and why? a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses and live to protect humanity from deathly creatures. What kind of deathly creatures? Within little time, she is thrust into their clandestine world, where young children are able to kill with their bare hands and nineteen year-olds hunt creatures throughout the streets. You still haven't told us why? But many questions remain. Yes. What do these people have to do with her and who is this "master" that wants her back? I just figured out right now that the two men aren't the ones who took her to the descendants. I thought that happened. In that case, does she fight them off, does someone rescue her? Karen must find the truth behind the deep secrets of the Descendant world before its too late. Too late for what? Also, this is a large block of text to have in a query. It's hard to read on computer screens.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series.

Tell me which you like better and any revisions that need to be made! Thanks.
This needs work. Your premise sounds interesting, but the querys are both 'this happens,and then this happens, and then this happens.' You never give us any detail about the world or what's going on. You never give us any reason to care why in the world this is happening to Karen and why we should spend an entire book with her. We need to know the stakes, and the consequences, in the story. Details, details details!

All the whys and the hows, you as the writer know. So it's tempting to go, 'Well, DUH! It happens like this!' but remember that we only know what you tell us, Make the readers care, because they won't do it automatically.

If you haven't, go to queryshark.blogspot.com and read the archives. They will help SO MUCH.

CV

geogstacey
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Re: YA Query?

Post by geogstacey » March 12th, 2012, 6:28 am

Dear __agent___:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has never been much of a normal girl.

As a wealthy, popular, and star-studded athlete, she is served by nannies and cooks in her lonely Malibu, California mansion, while her workaholic mother stays away from home for months at a time.
(All this is back story and necessary in the novel, but not in your query.)

But all of that changes When When two strange men invade her Karen’s home, (this is where you need the hook...what is her role in this novel? Is she a queen? Princess? ...I’d say something along the lines, “When two strange men invade Karen’s home, she realizes that she isn’t a human...but a God.) telling her that their master is after her. She soon finds herself Propelled into the mysterious world of the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses, where she is provided refuge--and finds most of her identity has been a lie. But as a When a war breaks out between this master (Who is the master?)And the Descendants, Karen sets off on a wild adventure, with the help of some uncanny teenage Descendants, to stop the war and save them all. (What’s the adventure? Are they searching for someone, something? How will it stop the war?)

Through forbidden romance, lies, betrayal, blood and sweat, Karen finds her life just may never be normal.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series.

I’ve included the first ten pages you requested. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

AK59: I am no expert at query letters but I can understand the reason for your query style, I tried to do the same with smoke and mirrors. But agents don’t want that. They want the details in a short and sweet three little paragraphs. You need a strong hook, something that screams “Hey, I’m nothing like anything else that you have ever read.”
Secondly, we need conflict. What is the conflict in this whole novel? And what are the stakes? Why is there a war? How come she never found out who she was before? Why do these descendents want her? Who is this master? What is her role in this battle? All of this needs to be clear, concise, and correct.
Sorry, this might seem a little over kill, but I still don’t know enough about this novel to even want to read more. I’m sure it’s a good book, but your query definitely needs some TLC.


Everything in red, I would cut. Everything in black...I would keep.

TaylorNapolsky
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Re: YA Query?

Post by TaylorNapolsky » March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm

I actually think it looks great. I would go with your second revised edition though.

I'll be eager to find out how the agent hunt goes. Keep us posted!

Animad345
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Re: YA Query?

Post by Animad345 » May 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm

ak59 wrote:This is my query for my paranormal romance novel THE SCION. I've sent it to one agent... nothing so far but it's only day 2! Please, please give feedback. I need help revising, and I'm not sure which Query is better.


Dear __agent___:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has never been much of a normal girl. Take out the 'much of' to make it flow better.

As a wealthy, popular, and star-studded athlete, she is served by nannies and cooks in her lonely Malibu, California mansion, while her workaholic mother stays away from home for months at a time. Don't pitch her as 'the girl who has everything except for the one thing she really wants'- it has been done far too many times before. Focus on the way she sees herself, not on the way others perceive her. After all, the story is from her POV.

But all of that changes when two strange men invade her home, telling her that their master is after her. This is too ambiguous. Don't say 'strange', say why they are strange. Perhaps put 'in order to warn her of an imminent threat- the petrifying (insert character name here)' instead of 'telling her that their master is after her'.She soon finds herself propelled into the mysterious world of the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses, where she is provided refuge--and finds most of her identity has been a lie. But as a war breaks out between this master and the Descendants, Karen sets off on a wild adventure, with the help of some uncanny teenage Descendants, to stop the war and save them all. I can't really offer suggestions without knowing the story, but I think that the wording here can be improved.

Through forbidden romance, lies, betrayal, blood and sweat, Karen finds her life just may never be normal. Lists can be really effective, but in this case it is unnecessary. There was no mention of romance before, so it feels as if it has just been thrown in. You can delete this sentence and skip right to the title and word count of your novel.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series. Up-and-coming isn't necessary. It makes your story sound derivative even if it isn't. Also, the sentence after it is not necessary. 'Chalked full of adventure and romance' is very unspecific.

I’ve included the first ten pages you requested. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

OR:

(my more revised edition)

Dear __agent__:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has always been a bit different. She's the top ranked althere in the state--unstoppable, undefeated. Her strength, her celerity, her resilience, and her speed is uncanny--unlike anyone else's. But Karen never considered why. She never wondered if there was something more to her. She never thought that maybe she wasn't human after all. This is less cliched than the opening of the first query letter but it still needs work. The 'a bit' can be deleted from the first sentence. I've always thought that three words work better than two- consider 'unstoppable, undefeated and unparalleled. The last three sentences of this paragraph don't flow.

And then her life changes on the night that two men invade her home, telling her their "master" wants her back. Before she knows it, she is brought before the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses and live to protect humanity from deathly creatures. Within little time, she is thrust into their clandestine world, where young children are able to kill with their bare hands and nineteen year-olds hunt creatures throughout the streets. But many questions remain. What do these people have to do with her and who is this "master" that wants her back? Karen must find the truth behind the deep secrets of the Descendant world before its too late. I'm not sure about this. One you have made revisions, I think that I will prefer this paragraph of the first query. It is more concise and leaves me wanting more.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythology. The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series. Same suggestions as before apply here.

Tell me which you like better and any revisions that need to be made! Thanks.
This is my first time making suggestions on a person's query. I hope that I helped. ;)

dorothyinman
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Re: YA Query?

Post by dorothyinman » June 22nd, 2012, 4:42 pm

I think your book sounds very promising. I love the idea of the world of the Descendants. Make sure you don't call it the Descendants though or people will get it confused with the book by Kaui Hart Hemmings. I do think that your query could use some work as well. Great luck to you in your endeavors. I can't wait to read the book!

"Dear __agent__:

Seventeen year-old Karen Pensky has always been a bit different. She's the top ranked althereathlete in the state--unstoppable, undefeated. Her strength, her celerity, her resilience, and her speed is uncanny--unlike anyone else's. All of the adjectives get a little cumbersome. I would take out all of the dashes -- and used periods or commas. Perhaps combine the adjectives into one sentence, but cut them down by half at least. But Karen never considered why. She never wondered if there was something more to her. She never thought that maybe she wasn't human after all. I would change these last few sentences. Perhaps say "Karen never considered why she was so special, she just embraced her gifts and strove to be the best in everything."

And then her life changes on the night that Suddenly her life changes one night when two men invade her home, telling her their "master" wants her back. Before she knows it, she is brought before the Descendants, a group of supernatural people that have descended from gods and goddesses and live to protect humanity from deathly creatures. Within little timeI would delete this phrase you don't need it, she is thrust into their clandestine world, where young children are able to kill with their bare hands and nineteen year-olds hunt creatures throughoutthrough the streets. But many questions remain. What do these people have to do with her and who is this "master" that wants her back? Karen must find the truth behind the deep secrets of the Descendant world before its too late.

THE SCION (120,000 words) is YA paranormal romance novel that includes the up-and-coming theme of mythologyI'm not sure I understand the phrase "The up-and-coming theme of mythology".The novel is perfect for the young adult market, as it is chalked full of adventure and romance. I am planning on continuing the story into a three or four book series.I would delete the last two sentences. If you have the other books finished, then you might reference them, but otherwise I think this bogs the letter down. Saying chalked full of adventure and romance is redundant of the sentence before it. "

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