Query Critique 7/11/17

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Query Critique 7/11/17

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 9th, 2017, 4:14 pm

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the query up for critique on the blog tomorrow, July 11th. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back with my own post on Tuesday:

Dear (Agent's name)

Counting the Stars, a YA contemporary novel with speculative elements, is complete at 83,904 words.

16-year-old Lucy Andrews knows she's different. No one else fears the color red, secretly draws in bathroom stalls, or blames themselves for the world's problems. Fortunately the people who mean the most to Lucy accept her, quirkiness and all. But then her best friend Janice commits suicide and her father is in a car accident that leaves him in a coma.

Lucy is left with Janice's parents who notice her odd behaviors, worry that she'll hurt herself, and have her committed to a mental hospital. In the hospital, Lucy is given a drug which "cures" her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but destroys her creativity. She realizes she'd rather be so-called crazy than unimaginative.

Along with the help of her new artist friends, Lucy must destroy the drug before it is mass produced and prescribed to teens everywhere.

Thank you so much for taking the time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Kristy

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Query Critique 7/11/17

Post by J. T. SHEA » July 9th, 2017, 11:09 pm

Interesting. A few thoughts occur to me:-

I would round up the word count to 84,000 words.

Unfortunately, this novel may not really be very 'speculative'. Many drugs and psychiatric procedures like ECT are already implicated in destroying creativity, among other ill effects, particularly on teens. So it might be useful to specify any ways in which the novel's imaginary drug is different and more dangerous than real life psychiatric drugs.

A bit more about how Lucy and her friends try to destroy the drug might be helpful too.

Thanks to Kristy for this.

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