Ready to be done with this! Query for VISIONS (YA)

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Ready to be done with this! Query for VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 12:44 am

Newerest version is on p. 2

Dear Mr. Agent,

A grieving seventeen-year-old must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing Princeton, NJ.

Dealing with the aftermath of the unpreventable accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who ended up dead. And why not? Her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body.

When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. Even if he is the hottest guy in school and their attraction to one another ignites a passion within her that’s impossible to ignore, she is wary of what this attraction might bring. After all, she is a master of avoidance, determined to steer clear of meaningful relationships.
When the deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. If you would like to consider VISIONS, I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal
Last edited by TiffanyNeal on February 14th, 2010, 10:33 pm, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
christi
Posts: 166
Joined: January 31st, 2010, 3:54 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 8:54 am

TiffanyNeal wrote:Dear Mr. Agent,

A grieving seventeen-year-old must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing Princeton, NJ. (I think her name should be in this first part. Maybe: Seventeen-year-old Channing...// That she is 'grieving' is a given when you read the first part of paragraph two.//And below you have used Reed Thatcher's full name, but not hers. I think they should both be the same format: either both full names or both first names. Just my opinion.)

Dealing with the aftermath of the unpreventable accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who ended up dead. And why not? Her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body. (This is concise enough, in my opinion, and sets the tone for her frame of thought, giving us insight into the character.)

When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. Even if he is the hottest guy in school and their attraction to one another ignites a passion within her that’s impossible to ignore, she is wary of what this attraction might bring. After all, she is a master of avoidance, determined to steer clear of meaningful relationships. (This is probably important to the story, but not to an agent. It's a standard montage of many teen books. Yours needs to stand out. In my opinion, I'd kill this part. You set up there's a guy, she wants him, but no wait, life sucks and things get in the way, leading to the next bit...)When the deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. If you would like to consider VISIONS, I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript. (This is a given. Every author would love to send the manuscript for consideration. You wouldn't be querying without the intent of sending one.) Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal

I know it looks like I ripped it to shreds, but it was all done with the best intentions. The writing is good and concise and I've no real suggestions for changing any of that. I just think it would read better with some of my suggestions. It's just my opinion, bear in mind, and I'm sure you'll get more, maybe even better ones. The book sounds pretty interesting, though. I wish you the best of luck with it.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

NicoleLee
Posts: 9
Joined: February 11th, 2010, 7:26 pm
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by NicoleLee » February 12th, 2010, 10:00 am

Dear Mr. Agent,

A grieving seventeen-year-old must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing Princeton, NJ. (Why does she care about Princeton, NJ? I like the sentence but it needs one more element, her connection to Princeton, NJ.)

Dealing with the aftermath of the unpreventable accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who ended up dead. And why not? Her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body. (Overall I like)

When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. Even if he is the hottest guy in school and their attraction to one another ignites a passion within her that’s impossible to ignore, she is wary of what this attraction might bring. After all, she is a master of avoidance, determined to steer clear of meaningful relationships.(Delete this sentence)
(However,)When the(Delete: the) deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. If you would like to consider VISIONS, I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal

Overall I like and your book sounds very interesting :)

User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 11:17 am

Okay...Thanks for the help! I totally agree on the first name/last name deal. I meant to put that in there, but didn't catch it before I posted it. How's this:

Dear ______,

I read on your website that you’re looking for “young adult fiction with ______.” Because of this, I believe you’d be interested in my young adult novel.

Channing Russo, a grieving seventeen-year-old must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing her hometown of Princeton, NJ.

Dealing with the aftermath of the accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who were in the ground. And why not? She could have prevented the accident considering she had the vision of it happening months before hand, but she didn’t. Now, her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body.

When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. However, when deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal

User avatar
christi
Posts: 166
Joined: January 31st, 2010, 3:54 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 11:38 am

TiffanyNeal wrote:
Dealing with the aftermath of the accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who were in the ground. And why not? She could have prevented the accident considering she had the vision of it happening months before hand, but she didn’t. Now, her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body.
I like the rest of it, but this paragraph could use a little more umph now. We need to feel her survivor's guilt better, in my opinion, to really showcase your writing ability.

I'll try suggestions, one line at a time.


Dealing with the aftermath of the accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who were in the ground.

Her siblings have died, and the guilt bears down like a vice. Months before their deaths, she had a vision of what was to come. Unable to prevent it, her remorse consumes her and she wishes that she had died instead.

her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body

Her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and her parents' growing disregard for her existence feeds the stone of regret that is firmly entrenched in her stomach.


Okay, I'm not saying to use my words or even reword it my way at all. I'm just giving examples of what might be a little punchier in my opinion. Remember I'm just trying to help. You can totally ignore me. I've got thick skin. :-)
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

User avatar
theWallflower
Posts: 81
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by theWallflower » February 12th, 2010, 11:44 am

Channing Russo, a grieving seventeen-year-old must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing her hometown of Princeton, NJ.
What is she grieving about?
What is it about her ability that makes it unwanted? I think it would be pretty neat to see into the future.
"Terrorizing" isn't specific enough, nor would it motivate me to risk my neck to stop him, even if I had psychic powers. Something must have happened close to home that motivated her.
Dealing with the aftermath of the accident that claimed the lives of her brother and sister, Channing wishes that she were the one who were in the ground. And why not? She could have prevented the accident considering she had the vision of it happening months before hand, but she didn’t. Now, her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb, and what’s worse, her parents treat her with as much regard as a cold lifeless body.
That first sentence is awkward.
Time-bomb seems like a bad simile. Does she have a temper?
What kind of accident was it?
Also, this is not the story, this is the premise. Agents don't care about the premise. They want the story. They want to know what happens, not what happened.
When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. However, when deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.
Eliminate everything after "life", we already know that part and it's vague.
Who is Reed Thatcher? What is her relationship to him? Why is he her ticket back to "life"? (and why does she need a ticket back to life?)

This query seems schizophrenic. I don't know what happens in the story. There's no summary, there's no events, just random glimpses. I sort of know what the central conflict is but I don't know why she's doing something about it or what she's doing about it.
Waterworld meets The Little Mermaid
Image
MERM-8: Now available from Musa Publishing

User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 12:25 pm

This query thing is killing me!! Not really, but you know.

Okay, so let me just give you guys a run down and I can see if you can help me make things more clear.

First of all, she gets visions through touching people.

The reason her visions are unwanted now is because she saw the car accident that killed her brother and sister; she feels guilty that she was unable to stop it from happening, since she knew about it before hand. Her parents don't know about her "visions" but her dad is coping by being a workaholic and her mom is in a deep depression now, hence neither one of the parents being able to provide her with the support she needs. She feels like it is all her fault.

Now, she avoids people, mostly b/c she doesn't want to get close enough to anyone to let them in on her secret. Nor does she want to feel like she needs to step in and try to change the future again, since the time with her brother and sister was so unsuccessful.

Reed's the new guy at school...she doesn't want to form a relationship with him, but their connection is hard to deny. And, then Channing runs into a girl on the street one day and has the vision of her being murdered by strangulation - the same way that the serial killer on the loose is killing girls. She is afraid that if she doesn't do something to try to stop him, that she will only feed more guilt into her already burdened feelings. She doesn't go to the police b/c or rely on any outside sources b/c she doesn't think that anyone would believe her.

Basically, she's trying to deal with all of this on her own.

I hope that clears things up. Trying to convey all of this in the query has been extremely difficult for me...

User avatar
christi
Posts: 166
Joined: January 31st, 2010, 3:54 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 12:37 pm

Don't fret it too much. Look at mine: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=597

I rewrote that sucker about two dozen times PLUS it's on Query Shark being mocked by the world. Although it can be frustrating to hash it out, having a good one can land that elusive agent. Okay, not for me, apparently. I'm up to eight rejections now and a bunch of no-responses, but... it's supposed to work. In theory. Just keep revising away until it's shiny. We'll be here to annoy you with more suggestions when you post again! :-)
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 12:49 pm

With suggestions...let's try this... :) Chrisi, I'll go check yours out. And it's funny about the schizophrenic thing, b/c that is exactly how I feel.

Dear ______,

I read on your website that you’re looking for “young adult fiction with ______.” Because of this, I believe you’d be interested in my young adult novel.

Grieving seventeen-year-old, Channing Russo must use her unwanted ability to see into the future, track down, and stop the serial killer who is terrorizing her hometown of Princeton, NJ. Her siblings have died, and the guilt bears down like a vice. Months before their deaths, she had a vision of what was to come.
Unable to prevent it, her remorse consumes her and she wishes that she had died instead. And why not? Her friends tiptoe around her like she’s a ticking time-bomb and her parents' growing disregard for her existence feeds the stone of regret that is firmly entrenched in her stomach.

When she least expects it, Reed Thatcher shows up in her life, making her long for a taste of heaven, having already been through hell. He might just be her one way ticket back to life. However, when deadly visions, mounting guilt, and recurrent nightmares, become more than she can deal with, Channing is faced with the difficult decision that could lead her away from Reed and straight into the hands of the killer.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. I am a member of DFW Writer’s Workshop. If you would like to consider VISIONS, I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal

User avatar
maybegenius
Posts: 349
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 4:49 pm
Location: Northern California
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by maybegenius » February 12th, 2010, 1:16 pm

I'd actually really like to see more about the serial killer, and how Channing is the one who has to stop them. Setting her up as a young woman with survivor's guilt and absent parents is a good start, but I was a bit jaded by the introduction of new-cute-love-interest-guy. Your protagonist falling for the "hottest guy in school" isn't what's going to set your story apart - it's too common. If you introduce him at all, I'd introduce him in the context of how he helps her find and stop this serial killer, not as the love interest. If he doesn't help her with the killer, I'd leave him out.

The most interesting things about your query are 1.) the fact that Channing can see the future, even if she can't always stop bad things from happening, and 2.) her unique gift puts her in the position of stopping a serial killer. Focus on those two things and bring them out.

I'd combine your first and last sentences, like this: "Your website mentions that you’re looking for “young adult fiction with ______.” I believe you’d be interested in my young adult novel VISIONS, complete at 65,000 words." Put that at the beginning, and list any credits/bio stuff at the end.
aka S.E. Sinkhorn, or Steph

My Blog | My Twitter | YA!Flash Tumblr

Represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary

cjtrapp
Posts: 23
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 2:24 pm
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by cjtrapp » February 12th, 2010, 2:49 pm

I like the basice structure of your query, and can see what is going on with ease. Watch out for cliche's.

wishes that she were the one who ended up dead
friends tiptoe around her
ticking time-bomb
When she least expects it
taste of heaven
been through hell.
one way ticket
hottest guy in school
ignites a passion
recurrent nightmares
more than she can deal with
straight into the hands of the killer

Cliche's are the query KOD.

User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 4:24 pm

Don't you hate it when you think things are going good with the query and then it all turns to crap at you have to start from scratch again????

Okay, so here's a new try. I'm only posting the tagline and the next sentence. I want to see if it's worth continuing, before plugging away at it just to scrap it! :)


Seeing into the future is not all it's cracked up to be, especially when seventeen-year-old Channing Russo gets a glimpse of a girl being strangled to death. Now she must get over the guilt that sent her brother and sister into their caskets and use her ability to stop the serial killer on the loose in New Jersey.

User avatar
maybegenius
Posts: 349
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 4:49 pm
Location: Northern California
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by maybegenius » February 12th, 2010, 5:08 pm

Yes, I like that much better!
Now she must get over the guilt that sent her brother and sister into their caskets
This bit is still a little awkward. Her guilt didn't send her siblings to their graves. She IS feeling guilty that she couldn't prevent their deaths, even though she saw a vision of them. I would rework that opening into something like:
Seeing into the future is not all it's cracked up to be, especially when seventeen-year-old Channing Russo gets a glimpse of a girl being strangled to death. Only she has the foresight needed to stop a serial killer on the loose in New Jersey, but there's a problem: she's crippled by guilt over the deaths of her brother and sister... deaths she foresaw, but could not stop.
That's still pretty clunky, so you may need to work with it to make it flow more smoothly. Maybe some of the others have ideas on how to streamline it? :)
aka S.E. Sinkhorn, or Steph

My Blog | My Twitter | YA!Flash Tumblr

Represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary

cjtrapp
Posts: 23
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 2:24 pm
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by cjtrapp » February 12th, 2010, 5:16 pm

Maybegenius maybegenius--stole my post while I was still typing! Not to say Imaybegenius... I've never been formally tested. Good feedback, and a great re-write.

User avatar
TiffanyNeal
Posts: 12
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 12:39 am
Location: Keller, TX
Contact:

Re: VISIONS (YA)

Post by TiffanyNeal » February 12th, 2010, 6:05 pm

Newest Revised Query

Okay, ten millionth time is a charm...LOL! I took out back story and tried to focus on the main point...Tell me what you think...

Dear ______,

I read on your website that you’re looking for “young adult fiction with ______.” Because of this, I believe you’d be interested in my young adult novel.

Seeing into the future is not all it's cracked up to be, especially when seventeen-year-old Channing Russo gets a glimpse of a girl being strangled to death. Channing can't shake the images of the brutal murder, and even though she made a decision to never try to change the future again, she can't bear the thought of doing nothing. With Channing on his trail, this serial killer that's terrorizing Princeton, NJ, chose the wrong place to prey on young girls. She is determined to stop him.

Luckily, she doesn't have to do it alone. Her visions guide her along the way and the new guy in town, Reed Thatcher, does more for her than just help her track down the killer. He makes her feel alive again. But, when he wants Channing to stick to the conventional ways of catching the killer, she decides to take things into her own hands.

However, all of her "undercover" investigating doesn't go unnoticed and the serial killer has plans of his own. Not taking Reed's advice, Channing winds up shackled and gagged on a cold, metal table. Too bad her visions never showed her this.

VISIONS is a young adult novel, complete at 65,500 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Tiffany Neal
Last edited by TiffanyNeal on February 12th, 2010, 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests