Summertime Query

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » September 30th, 2010, 7:06 pm

Dear Agent,

Precocious ten year-old Summer Thomas is in love with her older sister's best friend. There's just one problem - he's twenty two.

When her sister, Rachel, leaves home for college Summer is distressed. But then Rachel's best friend Zach, who Summer is head over heels for, returns home. Despite the protests of her best friend, Dexter, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

As time progresses Summer starts to wonder if she's not the only one who has feelings for Zach. She begins to suspect that her sister wants to steal Zach away and rushes to steal him right back.

SUMMERTIME is 50,000 word YA novel written in the vein of John Green.

Best regards,
Cory Archie
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

Tangynt
Posts: 6
Joined: September 3rd, 2010, 10:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by Tangynt » September 30th, 2010, 8:00 pm

First off, I don't think 10 is YA.

Secondly, there isn't much in this query to paint a clear picture of what happens. A girl falls in love with a guy and goes after him. That's about it. It's a taste of a taste, if that makes any sense. How does she pursue Zach? Does Zach know how she feels? Has he done or say anything that made her love him? Did she just wake up one morning and know he's the one?

Thirdly, it doesn't read with a 10-year-old's voice. Not saying kids can't be mature, but I don't get a single hint of anything that I could say definitively reads like it might have come from the protagonist.

I wish I could give more feedback but there isn't enough here to really delve into. Hope this little bit helps.

trirae
Posts: 19
Joined: September 29th, 2010, 3:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by trirae » September 30th, 2010, 11:56 pm

Very new myself. Just jumping in with critiques and ideas.
androidblues wrote:

Precocious I think you can do a bit more with this adjective. What makes her precious? ten year-old Summer Thomas is in love with her older sister's best friend. There's just one problem - he's twenty two. I'm guessing this is the set up to her conflict, but it feels a little repetitive to the second line. I think just want more of what's going with her

When her sister, Rachel, leaves home for college Summer is distressed. But then Rachel's best friend Zach, who Summer is head over heels for, returns home. Despite the protests of her best friend, Dexter, Summer begins to pursue Zach. I'm not sure you need Dexter in the query.

As time progresses Summer starts to wonder if she's not the only one who has feelings for Zach. She begins to suspect that her sister wants to steal Zach away and rushes to steal him right back. One of the things i'm wondering about is the tone/intention of the book. For example, is Summer pursuing Zach comical to the reader? How should I feel about the ten year old going for the 22 year old? Obviously, it's her pipe dream, but maybe play with out to create the tone a little more.

SUMMERTIME is 50,000 word YA novel written in the vein of John Green.

Best regards,
Cory Archie

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 1st, 2010, 12:39 pm

Thanks for the help. Here's a revised version.


Ten-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in-love with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty two.

Zach doesn't know Summer likes him. Summer knows that he isn't interested in jail-bait and certainly doesn't like the idea of going to prison. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the window. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

SUMMERTIME is 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

thewhipslip
Posts: 179
Joined: July 15th, 2010, 2:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by thewhipslip » October 1st, 2010, 1:00 pm

I'm not getting a feel for your MC. She sounds kind of manipulative, and I'm imaginging this creepy little girl with big eyes and a devilish grin - not sure if that's what you're going for. If this is a lighthearted romp, I think the query should reflect that. If it does have a sinister feel to it, then you're on the right track. But I'm not seeing much of a conflict. Does she think she actually has a chance at making a 22yo go after a 10yo? That's a train to pedophilia, and not something I'd really want to read about - especially a girl seeking it out. If she's mature beyond her age, give us proof that she is in the query.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

Mark17
Posts: 30
Joined: September 26th, 2010, 11:27 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by Mark17 » October 1st, 2010, 1:09 pm

What I get is that there is probably some light-hearted stuff that she does to try to win the boy, little things like the description of Zach tell me that. If that is the case I would say to show it more in this query. The query can be a little longer and you can show the voice a little more. I would also definitely take out the jail-bait and going to prison thing, it gives a creepy vibe that, considering the subject matter, you will probably want to avoid. (Unless that is the point of the novel, in which case the query needs to be different.)

The conflict is here, 10-year-old Summer pursues a 22-year old playboy that lives with his mom. And I think that's definitely an intriguing one sentence pitch. But the reason you have to show what the tone is, is because if this is a lighthearted romp that's one thing. If it is serious and she fails we'll be reading about
the broken heart of a 10-year-old. If it is serious and she succeeds, that's an entirely different thing and you'd be leading the reader to root on something creepy and, as you said before, illegal. Voice and tone will be really important here, because it dictates the kind of story we are about to read.

Good luck.

User avatar
Remmik
Posts: 11
Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 2:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by Remmik » October 1st, 2010, 1:44 pm

Startlingly mature or not, a ten year old protagonist doesn't sit well for YA. I think you're either going to have to go MG or "adult." If Zach is the protagonist, he's too old for the story to be YA.

Like the other posters, I can't tell from the tone of the query if it's supposed to be a sort of kiddy screwball comedy or if there's a serious squick factor here. Or if it's supposed to be a sincere literary exploration of childhood obsession or some such thing.

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 1st, 2010, 6:55 pm

Definitely kiddy screwball comedy. Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to integrate it tonight.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 1st, 2010, 7:06 pm

Mark17 wrote: If it is serious and she fails we'll be reading aboutthe broken heart of a 10-year-old. If it is serious and she succeeds, that's an entirely different thing and you'd be leading the reader to root on something creepy and, as you said before, illegal. Voice and tone will be really important here, because it dictates the kind of story we are about to read.
Thanks Mark, btw I don't read that sort of stuff. It creeps me out.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Revised Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 2nd, 2010, 1:17 pm

Twelve-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. She tried to give a valediction in 5th grade when she was head of the honor roll, she gave her older brother monetary advice when he entered college, and she even wrote an advice column for her sister's high school friends.

Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in-love with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty two.

Zach doesn't know Summer likes him. Summer knows that she probably doesn't stand a chance. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the window. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

In a serious of comedic events Summer tries, and fails, to win over Zach. Just when she decides to give up, she begins to wonder if Zach and her sister have taken an interest in each other. While knowing that it is wrong, Summer will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

SUMMERTIME is 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Revised Summertime Query

Post by wilderness » October 2nd, 2010, 10:46 pm

androidblues wrote:Twelve-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. I'm glad you upped the age but I think 14 or 15 would still be better. She tried to give a valediction in 5th grade when she was head of the honor roll, she gave her older brother monetary advice when he entered college, and she even wrote an advice column for her sister's high school friends. Nice examples.

Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. I thought she was giving advice to her sister's friends? That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in-love (no hyphen) with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty two. (hyphen in twenty-two)

Zach doesn't know Summer likes him. Summer knows (repeating the word "knows") that she probably doesn't stand a chance. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the window. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

In a serious of comedic events Summer tries, and fails, to win over Zach. What comedic events? Give us some examples, like the ones in the first paragraph. Just when she decides to give up, she begins to wonder if Zach and her sister have taken an interest in each other. Here's a chance to insert some voice. There's probably a funnier way to put it than "taken an interest in each other". While knowing that it is wrong, Summer will stop at nothing to keep them apart. It is wrong for a 12-year-old to pursue a 22-year-old. Breaking them up is nothing in comparison. Can we amp this up a little? Also, how does she try to break them up? Give some examples and then end with her internal conflict. Also, hint that maybe she's learning something in this story.

SUMMERTIME is a 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.
Sounds like there could be some good comedy in this, but you need to get more specific and tell us what some of the hijinks she gets into are. Good luck!

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 3rd, 2010, 1:04 am

Thanks wilderness. I agree I'm still missing some funny bits. I'll revise it again tomorrow and post it.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 3rd, 2010, 2:09 am

Twelve-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. She tried to give a valediction in 5th grade when she was head of the honor roll, she gave her older brother monetary advice when he entered college, and she even wrote an unsuccessful advice column for her sister's high school friends.

Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in love with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty-two.

Zach is oblivious to the fact that Summer likes him. Summer knows that she probably doesn't stand a chance. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the window. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

She tries to take him out to dinner, only to have him arrange a date with the waitress. She sets up a dinner with his parents, only to be mistaken as his daughter by a waiter. She even tries to write an essay on why they should be together, only to be ridiculed when she shows it to her sister.

Just when she decides to give up, she begins to wonder if Zach and her sister have become more than best friends after she discovers them making out on New Years Eve. Summer doesn't want to interfere with her sister's relationships, yet she has never liked the idea them dating

But when they leave her behind on yet another trip to the movies, Summer becomes fed up. She will stop at nothing to keep them apart, even if it means using her sister's email to send fake messages to Zach. Summer knows that what she is doing is wrong, but she is no longer just fighting for Zach - she is fighting for the right to be treated like an adult.

SUMMERTIME is a 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

priya g.
Posts: 109
Joined: September 26th, 2010, 2:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by priya g. » October 3rd, 2010, 6:31 am

there has been a definite improvement from your first draft! some tips here and there:

Twelve-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. She tried to give a valediction in 5th grade when she was head of the honor roll, she gave her older brother monetary advice when he entered college, and she even wrote an unsuccessful advice column for her sister's high school friends.

Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in love with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty-twothis paragraph comes across as chunky, though at the end, only three points stand out- Zach treats her like an equal so Summer loves him but the problem is that he is 22. Try summing up these points in this order..

Zach is oblivious to the fact that Summer likes himhow about- Zac is oblivious to a preteen's escalating affection. . Summer knows that she probably doesn't stand a chance. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the windowchunky sentence again. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

She tries to take him out to dinner, only to have him arrange a date with the waitress. She sets up a dinner with his parents, only to be mistaken as his daughter by a waiter. She even tries to write an essay on why they should be together, only to be ridiculed when she shows it to her sisterthis sentence brings down the humor, removing it might be a good idea.

Just when she decides to give up, she begins to wonder if Zach and her sister have become more than best friends after she discovers them making out on New Years Evehow about: after she discovers them making out on New Year's Eve, Summer begins to wonder if Zach and her sister are no longer just best friends. Summer doesn't want to interfere with her sister's relationships, yet she has never liked the idea them datingbringing in an element of jealousy would prove stronger, I think Summer lacks conviction by simply not liking the idea of them dating

But when they leave her behind on yet another trip to the moviesa bit chunky again. how about 'when their relationship becomes a tad more clear,, Summer becomes word usage has become dull here. how about: Summer knows that she has reached the peak of her patiencefed up. She will stop at nothing to keep them apart, even if it means using her sister's email to send fake messages to Zach. Summer knows that what she is doing is wrong, but she is no longer just fighting for Zach - she is fighting for the right to be treated like an adultbeautiful last line!.

SUMMERTIME is a 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.

User avatar
androidblues
Posts: 134
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 5:59 pm
Location: Albuquerque,NM
Contact:

Re: Summertime Query

Post by androidblues » October 3rd, 2010, 11:59 am

Twelve-year-old Summer Thomas is mature beyond her years. She tried to give a valediction in 5th grade when she was head of the honor roll, she gave her older brother monetary advice when he entered college, and she even wrote an unsuccessful advice column for her sister's high school friends.

Unfortunately no one ever takes her seriously. That is except for Zach, her sister's best friend. Zach treats her like an equal, instead of like a child, and doesn't tell her to butt out of adult conversations. Summer has been in love with him since she was eight, even if he's a playboy who lives off of his mother. There's just one problem - he's twenty-two.

Zach is oblivious to the fact that Summer likes him. Summer knows that she probably doesn't stand a chance. But when he returns home from college to visit her sister all of her common sense flies out of the window. So despite the protests of her best friend and her sister, Summer begins to pursue Zach.

She tries to take him out to dinner, only to have him arrange a date with the waitress. She even sets up a dinner with his parents, only to be mistaken as his daughter by a waiter.

Just when Summer is about to give up she discovers Zach and her sister making out on New Year's Eve. She begins to wonder if they are no longer just best friends. Summer doesn't want to interfere with her sister's relationships, yet the idea of Zach dating her sister sets off a flame of envy.

Summer knows that she has reached the peak of her patience, especially when their relationship becomes a tad more clear. She will stop at nothing to keep them apart, even if it means using her sister's email to send fake messages to Zach. Summer knows that what she is doing is wrong, but she is no longer just fighting for Zach - she is fighting for the right to be treated like an adult.

SUMMERTIME is a 50,000 word YA novel that will appeal to readers of John Green and Sarah Dessen.

Thanks for the help priya.g.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests