Page 1 of 1

YA Query

Posted: December 21st, 2012, 9:07 am
by dthawks27
--Currently being edited....--

Re: YA Query (Rejected 4x)

Posted: December 21st, 2012, 9:18 am
by dthawks27
If anyone has any ideas how to rewrite this, please let me know and I will scrap this completely. This query I have right now doesn't do my work justice. ehhh :|

Re: YA Query (Rejected 4x)

Posted: December 21st, 2012, 11:46 am
by Mark.W.Carson
You need to give people a reason, the hook, for why your book stands out from the rest. So based on the age of your character alone, I get that this is YA... so that's good, and you want to state that directly in the query

However, It reads very cold, without feeling or voice, which you want to evoke in the short space yo have for a query.

You need to bring the tension to the party early, fast and keep it going. Now, my query isn't perfect, by any means, and I am continuing to work on it (It's less important than finishing the book itself), but despite TELLING me everything that's going on, I don't see why it matters.

Try starting with something a bit punchier like:

The doctors treating fifteen-year-old Eden Thomas have no idea he has a very rare blood disorder. At least that's what they want him to believe.
Unbeknownst to him, eight bloodlines exist causing unique manifestations of power, from allowing them the ability to climb walls, spit acid, or even change their shape. Eden's different, though. He's a healer, and the power his blood holds makes him a walking target.

Your paragraph with the "Eden soon finds himself" is very cliche, trite, and says next to nothing, while wasting precious words. The previous faceless carriers needs an explanation as to who they are, and why it matters, otherwise it is wasted space on the page. The fact she's described as wearing a scarf and sunglasses is a red flag that you can't sense what is and is not important to the story and how to hook the reader. You may also find that a book over 100K words, if described like this, is going to be assumed to be full of extraneous details.

I don't mean to be harsh. This could be a very cool book, but it needs to have an injection of personality, otherwise it comes off as flat, and you can do better if you came up with this. Have a look at some of the successful queries on the internet and see what sorts of things they did.

Have you looked at having someone beta read your story, or have you gotten a critique partner to assist you with the finer points?

Re: YA Query (Rejected 4x)

Posted: December 22nd, 2012, 6:50 am
by dthawks27
Wow Mark, everything you said is absolutely right. Ugh, i need to get back to business and fix this thing. Redo! Its just so difficult for me to create a voice in a under 300 word summary. This is not my cup of tea. I don't know how people can write such amazing queries...

I will try to post a rewrite asap. hopefully i can get more feedback. How would you suggest i begin this query? thanks

Re: YA Query (Rejected 4x)

Posted: December 22nd, 2012, 8:35 am
by Mark.W.Carson
I'm glad you understood what I meant and didn't take offense. That already made me happy.

I share your pain with queries. It has taken me many many... many attempts to get to the point where I have one that works without confusing the reader as to what I'm going on about.

Figure you have, as you already know, about ~300 words to get the central conflict across, with whatever little bits are needed to make that part make sense off the bat. They don't need to know how blue the sky is the day the meteor hit, unless that plays a part (not your story, or mine, but an example)

Start with an introduction of the character and with what caused this story to be told in the first place. I'd show you an excerpt of my query, except it is sort of hard to use it as an example, because my story is rather convoluted and intertwined.

You have a few key points. You have Eden, he's being treated for something, and yet doesn't understand, but there's intrigue, other forces in play, etc. A huge part, and one that takes time to get to, is how to make each word count, but not being afraid to take the long way around if you absolutely need to.