QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

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writersink
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QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by writersink » October 31st, 2012, 10:07 am

EDIT: Revised version posted in the replies!

Okay, so I'm REALLY bad at queries. Any help that anyone can give would be much appreciated!

Dear (agent)

Twelve year old Tory Fletcher’s idea of a hero is someone who manages to stay awake through a double period of history. In other words, someone who is not her.

Unfortunately, one of her ancestors made a deal with Life and Death. In return for immortality he had to help stop the Shadows – pure darkness which destroy everything in their path – from eating their way through all the aliens in the universe. To do this, he enlisted the help of the Guards, people immune to their poisonous effects – a brilliant plan, until the Guards realized they could use the Shadows to control the most influential aliens in the universe.

It seems all Fletchers should stick to doing nothing. Less people would get hurt.

Since Tory's family messed everything up, she must travel across the universe to take down the Guards, using power she doesn't have. If she fails, Life will curse all future generations of Fletchers with extreme bad luck.

No more pressure than the average maths test then.

TWELVE O'CLOCK is a middle grade aimed at fans of lighthearted science fiction and has the potential to be turned into a series. It is completed at 60,000 words, and I would like to present it for your consideration.

Regards,
Last edited by writersink on November 1st, 2012, 2:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

harryjchong
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock

Post by harryjchong » October 31st, 2012, 10:21 pm

You have spelling mistakes and your grammar is off. Fix that and then work on explaining your story better. Give the general idea of your story, but add in the specifics. What you've written about is just a concept. It doesn't give enough detail, despite its length. And remember to make it cohesive as well.

Now, here are some questions I have, or a reader would have, which you need to answer:

How does he find out his ancestor is an immortal?

How does history class play a role in your story?

What do you mean by extreme bad luck? What does that mean exactly for Tory?

Who or what is 'Life or Death'?

Where does this novel take place?

What are the challenges that Tory faces (perhaps in everyday life)?

writersink
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock

Post by writersink » November 1st, 2012, 4:59 am

Thank you for your feedback! I'll definitely go about making those changes!

Regarding the spelling mistakes... I can't see any! Would you mind pointing them out?

writersink
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by writersink » November 1st, 2012, 2:03 pm

Here's the revised version! Again, I'm so grateful for any help.

Dear (Agent)

Twelve-year old Tory Fletcher is not a hero. She’s grown up in a quiet English village and she’s spent most of her life in a state of boredom.

But she’s the last remaining free member of the family who brought in the Guards: the only people who stand between all the aliens in the universe being eaten by the menacing Shadows. But the Guards' protection isn't all it was cracked up to be. They're not hungry for alien flesh, but they are starving for the aliens' savings accounts, political power, and favourite teapots.

There is one small hope for the universe, though – the power that Tory, as the only remaining member of the family that brought the Guards in, can wield against them. Unfortunately, it’s a power she doesn’t know how to use.

If she doesn’t overthrow the Guards, an old curse will guarantee she, and all future generations of her family will be plagued by unrelenting bad luck. Things like stubbed toes, missed buses and breaking plates may not seem too horrible, but they pile up.

Her quest to stop the Guards will take her across the universe. She’ll face talking trains, bad tempered planets and giant orange balls. The odds are hopeless, and the risks are high.

Not much harder than the average maths test then.

TWELVE O'CLOCK is a middle grade aimed at fans of light-hearted science fiction and has the potential to be turned into a series. It is completed at 60,000 words, and I would like to present it for your consideration.

Regards,
Last edited by writersink on November 4th, 2012, 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

harryjchong
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by harryjchong » November 4th, 2012, 6:28 am

I hate to say this, but I'm still having difficulty with your synopsis. I just don't see how everything connects. I can imagine how they connect, and fill in the gaps on my own, but as far as the information you've given me it doesn't entirely make sense. For example, if there is an old curse on her family, why will it only affect future generations? Why isn't it affecting people she knows in the present? How did she become the exception to this? How did she discover this? What exactly is at risk?

Anyway, I hope I haven't discourage you. I think it's good that someone such as yourself is writing. Maybe you can get more help here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/write or http://www.reddit.com/r/writing

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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by harryjchong » November 4th, 2012, 6:33 am

One more reply!

Try to summarize your story in one sentence. That will be a useful exercise for you.

If I had to do it:

"12 year old Tory Fletcher must travel across the universe and use her mythical powers to fight an evil force known as the Guards to break an ancient curse of bad luck."

But yeah, best of luck to you. Keep practicing your craft. You have an open mind. You will eventually improve as a writer.

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wilderness
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by wilderness » November 5th, 2012, 9:39 pm

It sounds interesting but I think you need to go back to the drawing board in terms of explaining the rules of your world. Only then can we understand what's at stake. Hope this helps!
writersink wrote:Here's the revised version! Again, I'm so grateful for any help.

Dear (Agent)

Twelve-year old Tory Fletcher is not a hero. She’s grown up in a quiet English village and she’s spent most of her life in a state of boredom.
I think you can get to the good stuff faster.

But she’s the last remaining free member of the family who brought in the Guards: the only people who stand between all the aliens in the universe being eaten by the menacing Shadows.
Her family brought in the Guards from where? What are the Guards and what do they do? What are the Shadows? Why are they eating aliens and why do the humans care? I assume Tory is human? Maybe take up more sentences if you need to.

But the Guards' protection isn't all it is cracked up to be. They're not hungry for alien flesh, but they are starving for the aliens' savings accounts, political power, and favourite teapots. Again confused. Are the humans the aliens?

There is one small hope for the universe, though – the power that Tory, as the only remaining member of the family that brought the Guards in [you already mentioned this], can wield against them. Unfortunately, it’s a power she doesn’t know how to use. Vague, what is this power?

If she doesn’t overthrow the Guards, an old curse will guarantee she, and all future generations of her family, will be plagued by unrelenting bad luck. Things like stubbed toes, missed buses and breaking plates may not seem too horrible, but they pile up.

Her quest to stop the Guards will take her across the universe. She’ll face talking trains, bad tempered planets and giant orange balls. The odds are hopeless, and the risks are high.

Not much harder than the average maths test then. Cute last line, but it's not clear to me what the obstacles are and what the stakes are.

TWELVE O'CLOCK is a middle grade aimed at fans of light-hearted science fiction and has the potential to be turned into a series. It is completed at 60,000 words, and I would like to present it for your consideration.

Regards,

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wilderness
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by wilderness » November 6th, 2012, 12:58 pm

I just read your first attempt, and actually that one was a lot more clear. I'd go back to that one and work from there. The problem with the first attempt is that it's all backstory and not enough about the MC and what she has to do. I also liked the first line in the first attempt much better.

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Shipple
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by Shipple » November 19th, 2012, 8:45 am

So I read through both queries and agree that the first one is better. I say this because the second query doesn't achieve the same tone or interest with the intro sentence and because the second query had me going "Wait, what?" several times. The first query seemed much more consistent in tone and felt less like it jumped around too much.
writersink wrote:EDIT: Revised version posted in the replies!

Okay, so I'm REALLY bad at queries. Any help that anyone can give would be much appreciated!

Dear (agent)

Twelve year old Tory Fletcher’s idea of a hero is someone who manages to stay awake through a double period of history. In other words, someone who is not her. I think this is a very fun first meeting with Tory. We get an idea of what her life WAS like and who she is.

Unfortunately, one of her ancestors made a deal with Life and Death. In return for immortality he had to help stop the Shadows – pure darkness which destroy everything in their path – from eating their way through all the aliens in the universe. To do this, he enlisted the help of the Guards, people immune to their poisonous effects – a brilliant plan, until the Guards realized they could use the Shadows to control the most influential aliens in the universe. This is where things got confusing. There are just too many terms here. Life, Death, Shadows, Guards, Tory's family. It is very hard to understand who they all are and how they all connect. I know this can be very hard in a short query, but try to pare this down as much as possible to the essential elements and then make sure it's clear who those essential elements are and what they do.

It seems all Fletchers should stick to doing nothing. Less people would get hurt. Again, fun, and we get a little better idea of what's at risk, i.e., a lot of people could be hurt if she fails.

Since Tory's family messed everything up, she must travel across the universe to take down the Guards, using power she doesn't have. If she fails, Life will curse all future generations of Fletchers with extreme bad luck. I think the above stake is much more compelling. I know it would suck to have bad luck, but when you're talking stubbed toes, people just shrug.

No more pressure than the average maths test then. I don't think you really need this. Use your word count to expand the second paragraph to make it compelling and interesting. You've already got your humor in the first and third paragraphs, so those set your tone.

TWELVE O'CLOCK is a middle grade aimed at fans of lighthearted science fiction and has the potential to be turned into a series. It is completed at 60,000 words, and I would like to present it for your consideration.

Regards,
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

writersink
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Re: QUERY: MG Science fiction - 12 o'clock - Revised

Post by writersink » November 20th, 2012, 12:59 pm

Thank you to everyone for the great feedback! I've got a clearer idea of what needs to be done now, so thank you all!

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