Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

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gdelao
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Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by gdelao » July 21st, 2010, 5:54 pm

Hello Great Query Polishers of NB Forums!

I would love it if I could get some feedback on my query for my young adult novel, Wilson Mooney. I was so nervous to put this out, but after hanging around Nathan's Forum for a little while now, I see that he has the coolest, most down to earth, and helpful people surfin' his site. Thanks in advance for any input you can give me!

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

A spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.

She has less than two days to live a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.

He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

(contact information address, email and phone #)
Last edited by gdelao on July 22nd, 2010, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by sbs_mjc1 » July 21st, 2010, 6:07 pm

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. This sentence doesn't really give us much character insight, and the effects of her granfather's death aren't mentioned again in the query, so just leave it out. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush. Again, let's get right to the hook.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, almost-eighteen year old Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.
Good. That's your hook.

When a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate leads to an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. With the swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.

She has less than two days to live a fantasymost girls her age only dream of. You said earlier in your query that her infatuation is atypical-- stay consistent. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control keep getting in the way.He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she Wilson learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.
http://sb-writingtheother.blogspot.com/
FORGOTTEN GODS is out September 17th 2011! Check the blog for details.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by thewhipslip » July 21st, 2010, 9:23 pm

gdelao wrote:Hello Great Query Polishers of NB Forums!

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic how is being pessimistic convenient?, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world I'm not sure about all of the 'ly' words in there. Queries should usually go for the punch.. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush. I'm not getting a real sense of the plot here. What does her being alone in the world have to do with her crush? I see how it fits in later, but to start with this, I don't see the connection.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior okay, sorry, but there's an 'ick' factor here that you'll have to get around. I would downplay his being older. Just say he's her teacher and we'll get the idea.. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified don't get what you mean here - how can it be justified? by knowledge?, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

A spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create. Still an 'ick' factor here. Maybe others won't react as strongly, but the gap between twenty-three and eighteen is quite huge. I'm twenty-three right now, and the thought of dating a high school senior seems...strange.

She has less than two days to live a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Why is there only two days?Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.Whose maddening self-control? Max's?

He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday. Give us some specifics here. What does he teach her? And how far is she willing to go? Queries are a time for specifics, not generalities.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

(contact information address, email and phone #)
One thing you HAVE to do: make us love Max as much as Wilson. This is the only way I see this working. Make me see why she's falling in love with him. Stress that she's alone in the world, and be specific about what he makes her feel. To escape the jail-bait factor here, I would down-play the age difference and upgrade the specifics. Let me get a feel for what their relationship is like. And I want a sense of the real OBSTACLES. What is she facing? How does her roommate interfere? You've got a good framework here. Hope this helps!


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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by JustineDell » July 21st, 2010, 9:46 pm

sbs_mjc1 wrote:Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. This sentence doesn't really give us much character insight, and the effects of her granfather's death aren't mentioned again in the query, so just leave it out. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush. Again, let's get right to the hook.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, almost-eighteen year old Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.
Good. That's your hook.

When a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate leads to an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. With the swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.

She has less than two days to live a fantasymost girls her age only dream of. You said earlier in your query that her infatuation is atypical-- stay consistent. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control keep getting in the way.He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she Wilson learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.
sbs_mjc1 did an excellent job helping with this query, I think. S/he (sometimes I wish I could tell the difference on the forums..lol) has tightened it up, gotten straight to point/obstacles/stakes/hook. The only thing I would recommend is taking out the "this is my first novel" bit. Most agents can figure that out if you don't include any writing credits. Also, I would take out the "face-paced" part and move the Aspen, Colorado part to the query itself. Then you just have this: WILSON MOONEY, a mature young adult novel, is complete at 91,000 words.

Other than that, nice job!

~JD

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by gdelao » July 21st, 2010, 10:33 pm

JustineDell wrote:
sbs_mjc1 wrote:Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. This sentence doesn't really give us much character insight, and the effects of her granfather's death aren't mentioned again in the query, so just leave it out. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush. Again, let's get right to the hook.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, almost-eighteen year old Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.
Good. That's your hook.

When a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate leads to an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. With the swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.

She has less than two days to live a fantasymost girls her age only dream of. You said earlier in your query that her infatuation is atypical-- stay consistent. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control keep getting in the way.He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she Wilson learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.
sbs_mjc1 did an excellent job helping with this query, I think. S/he (sometimes I wish I could tell the difference on the forums..lol) has tightened it up, gotten straight to point/obstacles/stakes/hook. The only thing I would recommend is taking out the "this is my first novel" bit. Most agents can figure that out if you don't include any writing credits. Also, I would take out the "face-paced" part and move the Aspen, Colorado part to the query itself. Then you just have this: WILSON MOONEY, a mature young adult novel, is complete at 91,000 words.

Other than that, nice job!
~JD
Thank you guys so much for this. I really appreciate your help with the tightening up and keeping to details.
@sbs_mjc1 Thank you for posting your thoughts about what I needed to do to tighten it up. And @ Justine, thanks! It feels nice to have some encouraging words.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by gdelao » July 21st, 2010, 10:40 pm

thewhipslip wrote:
gdelao wrote:Hello Great Query Polishers of NB Forums!

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic how is being pessimistic convenient?, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world I'm not sure about all of the 'ly' words in there. Queries should usually go for the punch.. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush. I'm not getting a real sense of the plot here. What does her being alone in the world have to do with her crush? I see how it fits in later, but to start with this, I don't see the connection.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior okay, sorry, but there's an 'ick' factor here that you'll have to get around. I would downplay his being older. Just say he's her teacher and we'll get the idea.. To her, age has always been a number that can be justified don't get what you mean here - how can it be justified? by knowledge?, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

A spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create. Still an 'ick' factor here. Maybe others won't react as strongly, but the gap between twenty-three and eighteen is quite huge. I'm twenty-three right now, and the thought of dating a high school senior seems...strange.

She has less than two days to live a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Why is there only two days?Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.Whose maddening self-control? Max's?

He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday. Give us some specifics here. What does he teach her? And how far is she willing to go? Queries are a time for specifics, not generalities.

At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.

This is my first novel. I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

(contact information address, email and phone #)
One thing you HAVE to do: make us love Max as much as Wilson. This is the only way I see this working. Make me see why she's falling in love with him. Stress that she's alone in the world, and be specific about what he makes her feel. To escape the jail-bait factor here, I would down-play the age difference and upgrade the specifics. Let me get a feel for what their relationship is like. And I want a sense of the real OBSTACLES. What is she facing? How does her roommate interfere? You've got a good framework here. Hope this helps!

Thanks thewhipslip, I do see where that sense of jail-bait could come into play. I see what you mean by making sure obstacles are more important than focusing on age. My beta reader's have totally fallen in love with Max,(because they've read the story) but now I've got to get the attributes they see in Max into a 250 word query letter and still get the plot across too! I really do appreciate your help.

gdelao


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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by Quill » July 21st, 2010, 11:48 pm

gdelao wrote:
Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush.
This is a pretty good start. Actually, the only thing that sticks out is "hurry and pass" which says what it needs to, I guess, but could be more elegant.
While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior.
You could omit "a guy".
To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.
Unclear to me what "age has always been a number that can be justified" means. Seems you could omit that and start with "The fact that...."
A spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong.
Could you start the sentence with "During a spontaneous.." or something, to make it a complete sentence. I'm not against incomplete sentences, but this one doesn't seem to quite work.
The swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.
1. Possibly omit "core" as being redundant to "deep in her".

2. "Connection to his family" is okay; would "connection with his family" be better? Not sure.

3. Awkward, "Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create." Isn't it really that the weekend is already creating the complications, rather than that it can create them?

4. Shouldn't you start the sentence with "with"? With the swarms and connection, Wilson grasps. As it is the sentence is incomplete.

5. Not sure it is wise to use the word "create" twice in the same sentence. How about "the swarms of butterflies he triggers"? Or something else more accurate than creates.

6. Add Aspen, Colorado here.
She has less than two days to live a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.
Good, but I'd replace this third "create" (obstacles created) in just two sentences.
He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.
1. A little too revealing for a query. Maybe say "he wants to teach her what forbidden first love (omit "truly") feels like and she wonders if she is ready to learn..." I would rather you leave it with some suspense as to the outcome.

2. Not sure whether or not "before they return to school on Monday" helps or hurts. It could sound like a bit of a letdown.Maybe add "And then what?" or something to that effect.

3. Hopefully the query you send out will have an em-dash after "go" instead of a dash and a space.
At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.
Omit "is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado." Do say it is a YA novel. Do add the Aspen above. It is rarely advisable to describe the project at the end. The place to do it is by showing within the pitch above.
This is my first novel.
Omit this.

I like the story and the query, which has a nice voice, and is fairly clearly put. Since most of your query describes a single weekend it is imperative that you be super clear about what she is thinking and feeling and when. For instance "She has two days to live out a fantasy" sounds like she has already decided to do so, which somewhat undermines later when you have her learning how far she is willing to go. Same with her saying "complications a weekend with Max can create" about a weekend already underway. This makes it a bit disjointed and could disturb the smooth flow right into an agent's heart. Good luck.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by gdelao » July 22nd, 2010, 12:29 pm

Quill wrote:
gdelao wrote:
Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush.
This is a pretty good start. Actually, the only thing that sticks out is "hurry and pass" which says what it needs to, I guess, but could be more elegant.
While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, a guy five years her senior.
You could omit "a guy".
To her, age has always been a number that can be justified, but the fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.
Unclear to me what "age has always been a number that can be justified" means. Seems you could omit that and start with "The fact that...."
A spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong.
Could you start the sentence with "During a spontaneous.." or something, to make it a complete sentence. I'm not against incomplete sentences, but this one doesn't seem to quite work.
The swarms of butterflies he creates deep in her core with just a touch and the instant connection she feels to his family, Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create.
1. Possibly omit "core" as being redundant to "deep in her".

2. "Connection to his family" is okay; would "connection with his family" be better? Not sure.

3. Awkward, "Wilson begins to grasp the complications a weekend with Max can create." Isn't it really that the weekend is already creating the complications, rather than that it can create them?

4. Shouldn't you start the sentence with "with"? With the swarms and connection, Wilson grasps. As it is the sentence is incomplete.

5. Not sure it is wise to use the word "create" twice in the same sentence. How about "the swarms of butterflies he triggers"? Or something else more accurate than creates.

6. Add Aspen, Colorado here.
She has less than two days to live a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.
Good, but I'd replace this third "create" (obstacles created) in just two sentences.
He teaches her what forbidden first love truly feels like and she learns just how far she is willing to go- all before they return to school on Monday.
1. A little too revealing for a query. Maybe say "he wants to teach her what forbidden first love (omit "truly") feels like and she wonders if she is ready to learn..." I would rather you leave it with some suspense as to the outcome.

2. Not sure whether or not "before they return to school on Monday" helps or hurts. It could sound like a bit of a letdown.Maybe add "And then what?" or something to that effect.

3. Hopefully the query you send out will have an em-dash after "go" instead of a dash and a space.
At 91,000 words, WILSON MOONEY is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado.
Omit "is a fast paced, mature, young adult novel set in Aspen, Colorado." Do say it is a YA novel. Do add the Aspen above. It is rarely advisable to describe the project at the end. The place to do it is by showing within the pitch above.
This is my first novel.
Omit this.

I like the story and the query, which has a nice voice, and is fairly clearly put. Since most of your query describes a single weekend it is imperative that you be super clear about what she is thinking and feeling and when. For instance "She has two days to live out a fantasy" sounds like she has already decided to do so, which somewhat undermines later when you have her learning how far she is willing to go. Same with her saying "complications a weekend with Max can create" about a weekend already underway. This makes it a bit disjointed and could disturb the smooth flow right into an agent's heart. Good luck.
Quill, I really appreciate the time you gave to my query. It helps to see it broken apart and evaluated. Your input is invaluable. I really do appreciate you answering my plea!

In the beginning of the query, I noticed several people told me to lose the part, [She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush.]

Would you agree? What is your thought about all the ‘ly’ words? Does it get in the way of the hook that he's her teacher, or does it set up what type of person she is?

You are right the novel takes place in a weekend. It ends on Monday when she walks into his classroom. Did you feel that was clear enough in the query?

The fact that Wilson is inexperienced and still a virgin, I have to figure out how to bring across her confusing feelings of wanting to go further, but being afraid, in the query. Max feels waiting until she is 18 is important, not only legally, but emotionally. He is the one that keeps stopping. (I know, I know, but it’s a chick book. lol)

Thanks again and I will be posting the updated query soon.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult

Post by Quill » July 22nd, 2010, 3:52 pm

gdelao wrote: In the beginning of the query, I noticed several people told me to lose the part, [She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she is desperate to hurry and pass, because she has a secret crush.]


Would you agree? What is your thought about all the ‘ly’ words? Does it get in the way of the hook that he's her teacher, or does it set up what type of person she is?
I voted to keep it and only pointed out that "hurry and pass" is a bit awkward (maybe try "a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here" or something). I'm not big on adverbs in a query but these seem to work. Yes they do give us some of her personality, a nice little snapshot.
You are right the novel takes place in a weekend. It ends on Monday when she walks into his classroom. Did you feel that was clear enough in the query?
It was clear that it ended on a Monday, though it is not clear where it starts. It wasn't my point that the timeframe was unclear, but that some of her thoughts and feelings, and maybe events, seemed to jump around, as you have written it, whereas they need to track linearly and clearly. I also questioned you about whether it is wise to end the query with the Monday thing, or maybe to add something about the future, just so it doesn't sound all wrapped up. Queries aren't about wrap-ups.
The fact that Wilson is inexperienced and still a virgin, I have to figure out how to bring across her confusing feelings of wanting to go further, but being afraid, in the query. Max feels waiting until she is 18 is important, not only legally, but emotionally. He is the one that keeps stopping. (I know, I know, but it’s a chick book. lol)
Indeed you do. That was my point. And about Max, I wonder if there is any way to bring that tidbit in, just to give a better feel for what is really going on here, though without giving away too much. We need tension in this query, but not too much revealing. I know it is like walking a tightrope.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by gdelao » July 22nd, 2010, 4:40 pm

Okay, so here is the second updated query. Thank you so much for all the input, I really do appreciate the help you all have given me. I am ready to have it broken down again!


Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. It is an age difference she believes is justifiable. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels with his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers.

She is living a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far they are willing to go?

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,

(My contact info.)
gdelao

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by Quill » July 22nd, 2010, 5:26 pm

gdelao wrote:
Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. It is an age difference she believes is justifiable. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels with his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers.

She is living a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far they are willing to go?

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,

(My contact info.)
gdelao
Improved for sure.

Still some problem areas:

1. Having to do with timeline accuracy coupled with building your tension:

a. "Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers" might be better, "a weekend in Aspen threatens to deliver" or "appears to promise" or some such.

b. "She is living a fantasy" sticks out; is she living a fantasy at that point in time? You say she is living it and then tell how things are getting in the way (preventing it).

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "she is being offered a fantasy..."? Or, "It seems she is being offered a fantasy (but then there are these obstacles) (not least of which is her own reluctance, which you don't mention, but which might be good to hint at).

c. "Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality." Here you give her the satisfaction of learning, while you have Max teetering. In a way this makes him almost the main character. Seems this would be stronger if you had her struggling (and him teetering), rather than have her learning. Both of them in dilemma. You seem to solve her problem (even though you say "forbidden") which defuses the tension you want in the query.

2. The only other thing that sticks out for me is "It is an age difference she believes is justifiable." I see you've reworded it so at least it is clear what you mean, but it is still awkward for two reasons, really.

a. "Justifiable" is an odd and not very descriptive word. Couldn't you just say "she doesn't mind the age difference" "It doesn't matter to her" or some such?

b. Excuse me for intruding onto the story itself but frankly, her being eighteen, I actually don't think five years is that much. Going with your teacher, yeah, that's big. Have you thought of making him six or seven years older than her? Twenty-three is pretty young for a teacher anyway...

Anyway, just some thoughts, and I hope I haven't confused things.

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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by thewhipslip » July 22nd, 2010, 7:01 pm

gdelao wrote:

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic I still don't get how being pessimistic is convenient..., brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush. The last sentence is better, but still a bit awkward.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. It is an age difference she believes is justifiable. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos. I want to hear about Max here. Why is she attracted to him. These are facts. I want emotion.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels with his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers.How does she know his family?

She is living a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far they are willing to go?

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,

(My contact info.)
gdelao
Better, but I'm still not getting a sense of Max in this, and Wilson reads like Bella Swan swooning over Edward. What's unique about her character? Give us some more insight.


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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by gdelao » July 22nd, 2010, 8:15 pm

Quill wrote:
gdelao wrote:
Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. It is an age difference she believes is justifiable. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels with his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers.

She is living a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far they are willing to go?

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,

(My contact info.)
gdelao
Improved for sure.

Still some problem areas:

1. Having to do with timeline accuracy coupled with building your tension:

a. "Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers" might be better, "a weekend in Aspen threatens to deliver" or "appears to promise" or some such.
The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels when she meets his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen appears to promise.

b. "She is living a fantasy" sticks out; is she living a fantasy at that point in time? You say she is living it and then tell how things are getting in the way (preventing it).
She seems to be offered a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "she is being offered a fantasy..."? Or, "It seems she is being offered a fantasy (but then there are these obstacles) (not least of which is her own reluctance, which you don't mention, but which might be good to hint at).

c. "Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality." Here you give her the satisfaction of learning, while you have Max teetering. In a way this makes him almost the main character. Seems this would be stronger if you had her struggling (and him teetering), rather than have her learning. Both of them in dilemma. You seem to solve her problem (even though you say "forbidden") which defuses the tension you want in the query.
Wilson tussles with her sexual inexperience and the unknown expectations of what forbidden first love feels like. While Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far are they are both willing to go?

2. The only other thing that sticks out for me is "It is an age difference she believes is justifiable." I see you've reworded it so at least it is clear what you mean, but it is still awkward for two reasons, really.
While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. To her his age is no big deal. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

a. "Justifiable" is an odd and not very descriptive word. Couldn't you just say "she doesn't mind the age difference" "It doesn't matter to her" or some such?

b. Excuse me for intruding onto the story itself but frankly, her being eighteen, I actually don't think five years is that much. Going with your teacher, yeah, that's big. Have you thought of making him six or seven years older than her? Twenty-three is pretty young for a teacher anyway...
I have thought about making him a little older... but I didn't want it to get too Jail-Bait-ish.

Anyway, just some thoughts, and I hope I haven't confused things.

As before, thank you so much for your input. I will work on your suggestions and re-post the full polished query. I am grateful.

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gdelao
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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 2**

Post by gdelao » July 22nd, 2010, 8:26 pm

thewhipslip wrote:
gdelao wrote:

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic I still don't get how being pessimistic is convenient..., brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month, a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush. The last sentence is better, but still a bit awkward.
Thewhipslip, Thank you for your thoughts.
Just real quick, (or long) Wilson has a convenient pessimism about her. That is what keeps her in control of her life. It becomes convenient when she doesn’t feel like explaining the crappy parts of her life to people around her. She uses her pessimistic nature to protect herself. She isn’t always pessimistic, just in times when it’s convenient. Does that make sense?


While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. It is an age difference she believes is justifiable. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos. I want to hear about Max here. Why is she attracted to him. These are facts. I want emotion.
You really think more emotion here? Do you think the hook of him being her teacher should be the focus? I never thought of giving more information about Max here, because the focus is that he is her teacher. Let me spend some time thinking about your suggestion. Thanks.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels with his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen delivers.How does she know his family?
I think by changing the line, [and the instant connection she feels with his family,] to, and the instant connection she feels when she meets his family, would help the reader see she’s already spent time with Max and his family in Aspen. Thanks for that advice.

She is living a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in her way.

Wilson learns what forbidden first love feels like, while Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far they are willing to go?
I beefed up (wouldn’t know I was vegetarian using words like beefed.) this section to give a little more sense of the struggle she has with her sexual inexperience.

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,

(My contact info.)
gdelao
Better, but I'm still not getting a sense of Max in this, and Wilson reads like Bella Swan swooning over Edward. What's unique about her character? Give us some more insight.
In a query am I supposed to give you a since of both characters? Or because the book is written in first person, am I supposed to focus on the MC? I didn’t know that.

Let me chew on the comparison of Bella and Wilson, because, knowing the story, the only thing Bella and Wilson really have in common is they are both 17 year old females that fall in love with an older guy. But being you haven’t seen the story and you compared them like that after reading the query…Warrants another moment for me to ponder. Thank you for your input, I appreciate it.


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gdelao
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Re: Query- Wilson Mooney- Young Adult **Updated Query 3**

Post by gdelao » July 22nd, 2010, 10:11 pm

Dear (Agent),

Wilson Mooney has been in boarding schools since she was eight years old. She is conveniently pessimistic, brilliantly witty, and regrettably, after her grandfather’s untimely death, all alone in this world. She looks forward to turning eighteen in a month--a birthday she wishes would hurry up and get here, because she has a secret crush.

While most girls set their sights on boys close to their own age, Wilson has fallen for Max Goldstein, five years her senior. To her his age is no big deal. The fact that Max is her government teacher evokes a whole different set of taboos.

During a spontaneous ski trip with her roommate and an unexpected encounter with Max, Wilson finds out his desire for her is just as strong. The swarms of butterflies he unleashes deep within her with just a touch and the instant connection she feels when she meets his family, Wilson sees the dilemma a weekend in Aspen appears to promise.

She seems to be offered a fantasy most girls her age only dream of. Unfortunately, obstacles created by her narcissistic roommate, her inconvenient age and his maddening self control, keep getting in the way.

Wilson tussles with the unfamiliar territory of her sexual inexperience and how her forbidden first love makes her feel. While Max teeters on the razor thin edge of morality. Just how far are they are willing to go?

WILSON MOONEY is a 91,000 word, young adult novel.

I have included the first five pages for your consideration.

Thank you,
(My contact info.)

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