QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

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klbritt
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QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

Post by klbritt » April 13th, 2012, 1:57 am

Dear Agent,

I am running. Running away from someone that I thought I could trust. A friend. No, that’s not right. He’s not a friend; rather, he’s a mutated version of the boy I grew up with. He doesn’t know who I am anymore. His vocal chords have been stripped, his mind reprogrammed. He’s become a hunting machine. And he’s hunting me.

It’s sixty years after the United States Government fell apart due to a wide scale mutli-country terrorist bombing that left the U.S. in ruins. No longer innocent until proven guilty, rules have changed for criminals.

My name is Delainy Parker and I have been brutally arrested and cast into prison after murdering my stepfather in self-defense. I have committed a level eight crime, which has two punishment options: death by public execution, or serve eight years in the Elite Military. I meet some unlikely friends in the service and stumble upon some of our nation’s buried secrets. I must choose to survive the grueling Military service or to follow love, risking any chance at life outside my prison.

TITLE OF BOOK is a UNFINISHED-word post-apocalyptic novel for young adults and stands alone. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Kristie

===============

This is an incomplete work, written in the first person perspective. I'm not sure if writing the query in first person is widely accepted, so please feel free to critique and give any pointers.
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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CharleeVale
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Re: QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

Post by CharleeVale » April 13th, 2012, 12:55 pm

Writing your query first person generally is considered a gimmick. Some agents may like it, but other won't. It's a risk. I'm critiquing based on the fact that most agents probably won't.
klbritt wrote:Dear Agent,

I am running. Running away from someone that I thought I could trust. A friend. No, that’s not right. He’s not a friend; rather, he’s a mutated version of the boy I grew up with. He doesn’t know who I am anymore. His vocal chords have been stripped, his mind reprogrammed. He’s become a hunting machine. And he’s hunting me. This is very compelling, but it sounds a lot like cover copy. That can be a good thing, however, it doesn't give enough context for the story and is completely unrelated to the paragraph after it.

It’s sixty years after the United States Government fell apart due to a wide scale mutli-country terrorist bombing that left the U.S. in ruins. Is this plausible? No longer innocent until proven guilty, rules have changed for criminals. This is good context, but it needs more. How have they changed? We wnat to know immediately.

My name is Delainy Parker First thing that's missing here is her age. The age of the protag is very important in YA. and I have been brutally How so? did they beat her within an inch of her life? arrested and cast into prison after murdering my stepfather in self-defense. I have committed a level eight crime, how many levels are there? Without knowing the rule changes from earlier we don't know how bad this is considered. which has two punishment options: death by public execution, or serve eight years in the Elite Military. And you get to choose for yourself? If so that is a false choice for the sake of plot. No one in their right mind would choose execution. And 8 years having a steady (although dangerous) job doesn't seem like a terrible punishment. I meet some unlikely friends Who?in the service and stumble upon some of our nation’s buried secrets.What? and why does it matter? I must choose to survive the grueling Military service or to follow love,With who? you've introduced no other characters. risking any chance at life outside my prison. But she's not in prison...she's in the military.

I would definately change this out of first person. Something like:

When (?) Year old Delainy Parker is arrested for murdering her stepfather, she has only two options: Death or the Service. While serving her sentence in military uniform she meets some unlikely friends, and (introduce love interest) who she might be falling for. While together they discover (what they discover, and how it impacts the plot). Now Delainy has a predicament: Something or something.


TITLE OF BOOK is a UNFINISHED-word post-apocalyptic novel for young adults and stands alone. This is my first novel.The title of the book makes me think you're querying an incomplete book. Be careful with that.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Kristie
I think one of the things people need to remember in general about queries is that agents are not normal readers. They do not want to be mystified into reading a book. They want the details of what happens, and why. That's it.

I think you have an interesting premise, but the details of your story aren't getting any love in your query. Maybe that's because the book isn't finished yet?

Hope this helped.

CV

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klbritt
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Re: QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

Post by klbritt » April 13th, 2012, 4:57 pm

Thanks for the comments/critiques. I thought that first person would be the wrong way to go, so thanks for confirming this! I'm definitely not ready to actually start querying agents as the novel is (obviously) still in the writing stages. I'm still working out some of the plot kinks, so thanks for the pointers. I will continue to work on the query letter, and, when closer to the completion of my novel, submit again for a critique!!!

Thanks,
Kristie
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

ellisrae
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Re: QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

Post by ellisrae » April 13th, 2012, 8:45 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed the first person query as it interested me in wanting to read the manuscript. It is a bold move, so depending on the agent it could be the move that gets your foot in the door.

Good luck on finishing! Sounds like an excellent premise!

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GaoYuQing
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Re: QUERY: Untitled YA Post Apocalyptic Novel

Post by GaoYuQing » May 9th, 2012, 11:40 am

I'm not an agent, but I personally liked the first person twist. You lost me though in your final paragraph. For the first part it's all about her being hunted by her childhood friend, suddenly there's a switch to her being a prisoner? Sounds almost like two seperate stories. The first intriguing, the second bland and a data dump. Tie them together into one narrative.

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