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Veronica's Secret - YA Fantasy - Query


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#1 kjasjg

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:38 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have finally worked up the courage to post my query for critique. My biggest question surrounds the amount of detail to include.

Thanks in advance

Jer

 

Newest query in post 33

 

See Take four below - post 20

See take three below

Dear unnamed agent,

Eighteen year old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. Constantly in trouble for fighting she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes she is just doing the right thing; after all she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital.

 

With her reputation Veronica’s future is not looking all that bright that is until she receives a letter that changes everything. Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkers.

 

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past?

 

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her?

 

I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers.  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy.

 

I would be pleased to send you my manuscript in part or full at your request.

Thank you



#2 R.Redgrave

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:53 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have finally worked up the courage to post my query for critique. My biggest question surrounds the amount of detail to include.

Thanks in advance

Jer

 

Dear unnamed agent,

Eighteen year old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. Constantly in trouble for fighting she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes she is just doing the right thing; after all she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital. (Stitch the sentences in a better way)

 

With her reputation Veronica’s future is not looking all that bright that is until she receives a letter that changes everything. Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkers. (Vague... What's a skin walker? Agents don't like vagueness) 

 

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past? (Are you asking the agent? No! So include the details.)

 

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her? (No questions!!)

 

I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman(Is that the right age for YA...) trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers. (Well, you included something about the walkers. Still it's vague)  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy.(Don't mention trilogy or anything else. Say it has series potential.)

 

I would be pleased to send you my manuscript in part or full at your request.

Thank you

Overall I don't see much stakes. Bring out the uniqueness of your story. Also the stakes. And don't be vague. Never.



#3 Cez

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:57 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have finally worked up the courage to post my query for critique. good for you. My biggest question surrounds the amount of detail to include.

Thanks in advance

Jer

 

Dear unnamed agent,

 

Eighteen-year-old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. This isn't a bad hook, but I think you could do better. Something like: Eighteen-year-old Veronica has put more than one person in the hospital. Is that too dramatic? How about,   Eighteen-year-old Veronica has a reputation for putting people in the hospital.  I'm sure you can come up with a better one.

 

Constantly in trouble for fighting she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes she is just doing the right thing; after all she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital. Suggested rephrase: She's constantly in trouble for fighting and... give us more specifics, what does she do? Fight these bullies, break their bones? Crack their ribs. Try to be as specific as possible.

 

With her reputation Veronica has little hope for her future future is not looking all that bright that is until she receives a letter that changes everything. can you explain this letter a bit more? Who's it from? What does it say? is this a scholarship? Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkersThis is where you lost me, It sounds like you assume the reader knows what a skin walker is. I suggest you tell us she is going to a college and then show us how she gets there and everything is not as it seems . . .( spooky-like) Then give us an info dump (not too massive) about skin crawlers and why someone might be trying to kill her.

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past?

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her?

 

VERONICA'S SECRET is a I am seeking representation for my young adult YA fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers.  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy.

 

I would be pleased to send you my manuscript in part or full at your request.

Thank you



#4 miss@lissa

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 01:23 PM

Hi Everyone,

I have finally worked up the courage to post my query for critique. My biggest question surrounds the amount of detail to include.

Thanks in advance

Jer

 

Dear unnamed agent,

Eighteen year old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. Constantly in trouble for fighting she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes she is just doing the right thing; after all she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital. All of the content here is good; what I would suggest is rewording it. Maybe....Veronica Last Name has a code; only fight bullies. To her, she is only doing the right thing. It's their own fault if it lands them in the hospital. But after her fourth trip to the principles (I know you said she's going to college, but I'd make her seventeen and put her in the eleventh grade. That'll land you in the YA genre and you can still get away with putting in some adult content) office, she's expelled and her parents don't know what to do with her. (Rewrite this however you want. I would just change your phrasing and structure slightly.)

 

With her reputation Veronica’s future is not looking all that bright that is until she receives a letter that changes everything. Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkers. And then a new school reaches out to Veronica. A school for gifted students, Veronica only thinks it could be a joke until she arrives and learns of her condition. Her inhuman strength and speed classify her easily as a skin walker. (put a little about what skin walkers are and things like that.)

 

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past?  I'd take this whole part out and really focus on the conflict. Give hints to why someone would want her dead. What is one of her everyday problems she had to deal with? Add your villain and either a love interest or a friend to give us a connection to her. 

 

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her?

 

I am seeking representation for my YA fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers.  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy.

 

I would be pleased to send you my manuscript in part or full at your request. If they want it, they'll ask. Say 'Thank you for your time' or 'sincerely' it's professional and smooth.

Thank you

 

 

 

The biggest thing I noticed was that you're saying this is YA. Since she's in college, this is a NA. (It's the dumbest thing in the whole gold damned world, but literary agents will tell you that they don't represent it just because she's in college.) Everything I put in the query is optional or just a suggestion. I think you've got an interesting idea going. I love skin walkers but have no idea what Veronica's problem is. I'd emphasis that a little more. 

 

 I'd love to see the new draft. (:  If you've got time, come cut mine up as much as possible



#5 SnowGlobe

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 07:37 PM

Eighteen-year-old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. Constantly in trouble for fighting, she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes, she is just doing the right thing. After all, she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital.

I feel like this would be an issue that would land someone in jail these days, regardless of good intentions and mitigating circumstances.

 

With her reputation, Veronica’s future is not looking all that bright. until she receives A college acceptance letter that changes everything. Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkers. PLEASE DON'T. SERIOUSLY. I realize your book is already written, and you are unlikely to change direction at this point, but I urge you to give this sober reconsideration. Rowling was wrong to take Native stories and use them the way she has. Unless Veronica is a Native character (and I haven't seen any evidence this is the case) and this school is for Native youth (haven't seen any evidence of this), and you know something about Native culture (which you might), I think this is a mistake. 

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough, Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past?

 

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her?

 

I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers.  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy.

 

If you are unaware that Skin Walkers isn't some word created by you or JK Rowling, it stands to reason this isn't your story to tell. If you aren't Native, it stands to reason this isn't your story to tell. If you don't understand that Native people could have gone to jail for telling stories including this concept, up until a very short time ago, it stands to reason this isn't a story for you to tell. I am a strong proponent of OWN STORIES. I might sound like a complete jerk to you, and maybe all of these things actually are true of you. If they are, please state that in the query. This issue has been a hot-button issue as of late. Trust me, I won't be the last person to voice these concerns to you. Me urging some considerate self-reflection will be a lot less harmful than getting raked for it later on. 

 

I am including a link to a list of articles written, criticizing JK Rowling for the casual appropriation of the concept. https://t.co/ZxseQUaxF8



#6 SnowGlobe

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 08:14 PM

Miss@lissa is right about the NA thing. It was the same with mine. I probably wasted a whole bunch of queries chasing the NA thing. I don't regret aging it down to YA. Right or wrong, NA is still struggling to break out of the mindset that it is a genre for romance and erotica only. 



#7 kjasjg

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 12:54 AM

All great feedback 

thanks

 

I've tried to incorporate some of the suggestions in. 

 

Miss Lissa I'd be happy to read yours as well. 

 

Here's take two: - see take three below

Dear unnamed agent,

 

Veronica Steele is an Eighteen-year-old orphan with a reputation. Fighting the local bullies has made her something of a hero to her classmate especially when the bullies up in the hospital bathed in their own blood. Unfortunately school officials hate vigilantes as even more than bullies.

 

With graduation approaching Veronica gets the shock of her life – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. Ignoring their obvious mistake she arrives only to find she’s the one that got everything wrong. St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

Veronica begins to embrace what she is and tries to leave the her reputation in the past. She even begins to feel like she belongs but something weird is going on at St. Francis. Everything points to a secret in Veronica's past. A secret worth killing to protect.

 

Veronica’s Secret is a YA fantasy complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy. I would be pleased to send you the manuscript in part or full at your request.

Sincerely,



#8 kjasjg

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:12 AM

The NA vs YA thing is a little confusing and I think there is overlap.

 

As I understand it The YA is high school - generally and NA is college generally. But does that mean that the characters being college age must be meant for College readers? 

 

Should I just call this a fantasy and skip the age reference If I make a reference. this actually may be a topic for a different thread though.

Thanks

Jer



#9 Joysworld

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:15 PM

All great feedback 

thanks

 

I've tried to incorporate some of the suggestions in. 

 

Miss Lissa I'd be happy to read yours as well. 

 

Here's take two:

Dear unnamed agent,

 

Veronica Steele is an Eighteen-year-old orphan with a reputation. Fighting the local bullies has made her something of a hero to her classmate especially when the bullies end up in the hospital bathed in their own blood. Unfortunately school officials hate vigilantes as even more than bullies. This is your hook, and it doesn't really grab my attention.

 

With graduation approaching Veronica gets the shock of her life – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. Ignoring their obvious mistake she Did she apply to this college or did an acceptance letter arrived out of nowhere? Did she just think it was a mistake because she doesn't think she's good enough or because she thinks they meant it for another person?) arrives only to find she’s the one that got everything wrong. What does she have wrong? St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers. Is a skin walker a person who can transform into an animal? Is skin walkers a part of everyday life, or is it some secret people keep. Up until this point it seemed like this was a story about a teenage vigilante in a normal world.

 

Veronica begins to embrace what she is and tries to leave the her reputation in the past. Does she only know she's a skin walker because she's going to a skin walker school? Or did she have events that led her to believe she's one and after being accepted to a skin walker college she finally accepts that she is one? She even begins to feel like she belongs but something weird is going on at St. Francis. What is weird? What are some specifics?) Everything points to a secret in Veronica's past. A secret worth killing to protect.Is she having to kill people to keep her secret? What's her secret? Why is it worth killing for?

 

Veronica’s Secret is a YA fantasy complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy. I would be pleased to send you the manuscript in part or full at your request.

Sincerely,



#10 Katx

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:17 PM

All great feedback 

thanks

 

I've tried to incorporate some of the suggestions in. 

 

Miss Lissa I'd be happy to read yours as well. 

 

Here's take two:

Dear unnamed agent,

 

Veronica Steele is an Eighteen-year-old orphan with a reputation. Nice, punchy, I like it. Fighting the local bullies has made her something of a hero to her classmates especially when the bullies up in the hospital bathed in their own blood. the bullies are landed in hopsital, bathed in their own blood. Unfortunately school officials hate vigilantes as even more than bullies. Nice, just a few grammatical errors to clear up.

 

With graduation approaching Veronica gets the shock of her life – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. Ignoring their obvious mistake, she arrives only to find she’s the one that got everything wrong. St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers. Nice, well written. Comma to add. And given how mcuh you've cut down your query I'd put another sentence with just a little more detail about Skin Walkers, seen as this is the focus of your story.

 

Veronica begins to embrace what she is and tries to leave the her reputation in the past. She even begins to feel like she belongs but something weird is going on at St. Francis. Everything points to a secret in Veronica's past. A secret worth killing to protect. This ends a bit too abruptly for my liking - I want more detail on the weird.

 

Veronica’s Secret is a YA fantasy complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy. Say it has series potential instead I would be pleased to send you the manuscript in part or full at your request.

Sincerely,

 

Hope I've been helpful - please give my query a glance, the link is below :)


If I've given you a critique please have a look at my latest thread, it is both much needed and appreciated! Thank you :)

 

http://agentquerycon...ry/#entry344705


#11 Guest_pjwentzel_*

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:45 PM

Dear unnamed agent,

 

18-year-old Veronica Steele's reputation for leaving bullies lying in a pool of blood has earned her a place at St. Francis College where she discovers she is a Skin Walker who transforms into ??? every ???.

 

But Veronica's past holds a a different kind of secret--one someone is willing to kill to protect. Veronica must ???????? cliff hanger ending goes here.

 

is an Eighteen-year-old orphan with a reputation. Fighting the local bullies has made her something of a hero to her classmate especially when the bullies up in the hospital bathed in their own blood. Unfortunately school officials hate vigilantes as even more than bullies.

 

With graduation approaching Veronica gets the shock of her life – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. Ignoring their obvious mistake she arrives only to find she’s the one that got everything wrong. St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

Veronica begins to embrace what she is and tries to leave the her reputation in the past. She even begins to feel like she belongs but something weird is going on at St. Francis. Everything points to a secret in Veronica's past. A secret worth killing to protect.

 

Veronica’s Secret is a YA fantasy complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the  a completed trilogy. I would be pleased to send you the manuscript in part or full at your request.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

1) The length is good. You want it under 250 words and this is 217. Leaves you room to personalize it for the agent.

2) I can't make sense of the story. I think you're starting in the wrong place. See my edits.

3) Don't say you want to send them your MS. Of course you want to send them your MS. This is obvious and doesn't need to be stated.

4) Usually you CAPITALIZE the title of the book.

5) To address your other question this is definitely YA not NA. You generally go down 2 years from the age of your protagonist for the age of your readers.



#12 Cez

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:55 PM

This still has some kinks but it's an incredible improvement. Great job.

All great feedback 

thanks

 

I've tried to incorporate some of the suggestions in. 

 

Miss Lissa I'd be happy to read yours as well. 

 

Here's take two:

Dear unnamed agent,

 

Veronica Steele is an Eighteen-year-old orphan with a reputation. Fighting the local bullies has made her something of a hero to her classmate especially when the bullies end up in the hospital bathed in their own blood. Unfortunately school officials don't share the enthusiasm. hate vigilantes as even more than bullies. A good introduction

 

With graduation approaching Veronica gets the shock of her life – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. Ignoring their obvious mistake she arrives only to find she’s the one that got everything wrong. St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

Suggested rephrase: With graduation approaching Veronica thinks her luck has changed/sees a chance to turn over a clean leaf/thinks she has found her lucky break when she receives an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. But St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home as/which she quickly learns when the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar in front of the entire terrified/shocked freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

Veronica begins to embrace what she is and tries to leave the her reputation in the past. can you elaborate a bit more about skin walkers in this paragraph, and how this influences her? She even begins to feel like she belongs but something weird is going on at St. Francis details, this is too vague, Can you refer to some incident that make her realize this?. Everything points to a secret in Veronica's past again too vague. What is 'everything' that points. Can you give us an example?. A secret worth killing to protect.You have the potential for a strong ending.

 

Veronica’s Secret is a YA fantasy complete at 89,000 words and the first novel in the completed trilogy. I would be pleased to send you the manuscript in part or full at your request.

Sincerely,



#13 kjasjg

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:02 AM

Thanks for the great feedback everyone. Even though I may not take everyones suggestions this is great experience and every comment has me thinking. Sorry for the typos lol I shouldn't post at 1 am.

Jer 

 

Take 3:

 

Dear,

Veronica Steele is an 18-year-old orphan with a reputation. Sending bullies to the hospital bathed in their own blood makes her a hero to her classmates but school officials aren't so enthusiastic.

 

 

With graduation approaching Veronica finally catches a break – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. With her reputation it must be a mistake but this is her chance, possibly her last one, to start over. Unfortunately St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home which she learns as the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar shocking the entire freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

For the first time Veronica knows why she’s so different and what she has been missing all of her life. Veronica has a place where she belongs. That should have been her clue that everything was about to fall apart.

 

Her best friend abandons her, a spoiled rich girl brands her as an outcast and she is getting into fights … again! As she sets out to prove she’s being set up Veronica stumbles across something more sinister at St. Francis. Someone is hiding a dark secret tied to her past and finding out the truth could cost her everything.

 

VERONICA’S SECRET is a YA fantasy Complete at 89,000 words with series potential.

(I keep flip flopping on this point does it hurt to say the trilogy is completed?)

 

Thank you for your consideration.



#14 Cez

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:35 PM

Thanks for the great feedback everyone. Even though I may not take everyones suggestions this is great experience and every comment has me thinking. Sorry for the typos lol I shouldn't post at 1 am.

Jer 

 

Take 3:

 

Dear,

Veronica Steele is an 18-year-old orphan with a reputation. Sending bullies to the hospital bathed in their own blood makes her a hero to her classmates but school officials aren't so enthusiastic.

 

 

With graduation approaching Veronica finally catches a break – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. With her reputation it must be a mistake but this is her chance, possibly her last one, to start over. Unfortunately St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home which she learns as when the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar shocking the entire freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

For the first time Veronica knows why she’s so different and what she has been missing all of her life. Veronica has a place where she belongs. That should have been her clue that everything was about to fall apart. I'd suggest you use this para to tell us more about skin walkers. Tell us at least what Veronica turns into, or something of what she can do + how it's making her fit in.

 

Her best friend abandons her, a spoiled rich girl brands her as an outcast and she is getting into fights … again! This reads like a shopping list of actions. I suggest you pick the one most relevant to the story and focus just on it, Why does her best friend abandon her? or why is this rich girl making her an outcast? How does she get into fights? As she sets out to prove she’s being set up Veronica stumbles across something more sinister at St. Francis. Someone is hiding a dark secret tied to her past and finding out the truth could cost her everything This is too secretive. I know it's hard to take mysteries which you've crafted very carefully in your book and spell them out in a query letter, but that's what you have to do. This is too vague. Either tell us what clues she finds that makes her realize there's a secret, or tell us about the secret. Also, show the stakes. if you don't tell us why she's fighting or what this secret is about we don't know what's on the line, what are the risks?

 

VERONICA’S SECRET is a YA fantasy Complete at 89,000 words with series potential. I don't see why it would hurt, though most agents would like to focus on one book at a time. If they like your manuscripts they'll probably ask you about the rest of the series. Quick question, can this be a standalone novel?

(I keep flip flopping on this point does it hurt to say the trilogy is completed?)

 

Thank you for your consideration.



#15 kjasjg

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 12:46 PM

Hmm... 

As its written no this can't stand alone or at least there is a cliffhanger that leads into the next book (after the secret is revealed). I wrote it as a continuous story.



#16 ltlibrarian

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 03:47 PM

Hi Everyone,

I have finally worked up the courage to post my query for critique. My biggest question surrounds the amount of detail to include.

Thanks in advance

Jer

 

Dear unnamed agent,

 

 

Eighteen year old Veronica is not what anyone would call a model student. Constantly in trouble for fighting she has been vilified by school faculty all her life. In her eyes she is just doing the right thing; after all she only ever fights bullies who pick on the weak. It’s their own fault if it lands them in the hospital.

 

 

With her reputation Veronica’s future is not looking all that bright that is until she receives a letter that changes everything. Veronica is going to college. Sadly no one bothered to tell her it was a college for skin walkers.

 

this is lacking a hook. It establishes veronica's character, but it doesn't say what makes the novel special. I think you need to combine these first two paragraphs into a single paragraph and keep all the details about fighting bullies in a separate paragraph

 

As if a new school wasn't difficult enough Veronica has an entirely new set of problems. Was she really a skin walker? Could she really escape her past?

 

 

Is someone REALLY trying to kill her?

 

Apparently agents really hate rhetorical questions so avoid these. Also, explain what a skin walker is and details about the school. And establish some stakes.

 

I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel Veronica’s Secret about a college freshman trying to survive in a society of shape shifters called skin walkers.  Veronica’s Secret is complete at 89,000 words and has series potential and the first novel in the completed trilogy. - cannot pitch a series right off the bat

 

If she's in college then your novel is classified as New Adult or Adult, not young adult. It's the college setting that takes it away from the young adult genre.

 

I would be pleased to send you my manuscript in part or full at your request.

Thank you

 

I think it would be worth it for you to look up some articles and guides on query structure to help out. good luck!


Looking for feedback on my query, will return the favour!

 

Website: http://ltlibrarian.com - book reviews, round-ups, quotes, writing tips, etc.

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#17 kjasjg

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 07:44 AM

Great feedback again everyone. This is directing me towards more of a rewrite of the query with a slightly different focus. I think the hook needs work and I need to stop focusing on the side stories. 

 

Everything I read tells me to keep the Query between 200 and 300 words so I am clearly trying to put too much in. (you should see the copies that I didn't post lol). 

 

I think I may be too close to the story to write the query - does that even happen?

Jer  :smile:



#18 ltlibrarian

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:23 AM

Query writing is its own challenge and skill. It's selling what you have vs. telling your story so it's hard for sure. Just keep working  on it and going through this forum. I find that the more I look at other queries, the better of an idea I get about my own. You can also look in the 'successful queries' section for examples of what's worked


Looking for feedback on my query, will return the favour!

 

Website: http://ltlibrarian.com - book reviews, round-ups, quotes, writing tips, etc.

Twitter: @lunchtimelib

 


#19 AllisonCastle

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:48 AM

Dear,

Veronica Steele is an 18-year-old orphan with a reputation. Sending bullies to the hospital bathed in their own blood makes her a hero to her classmates but school officials aren't so enthusiastic. Love the voice in this first paragraph!

 

 

With graduation approaching, Veronica finally catches a break – an acceptance letter to an elite college in Colorado. With her reputation, it must be a mistake, but this is her chance, possibly her last one, to start over. I'd restructure this sentence--too many pauses with the commas. Unfortunately St. Francis is no ordinary college; a point driven home which she learns as when the dean transforms into a Black Jaguar shocking the entire freshman class. St. Francis is a college for Skin Walkers.

 

For the first time Veronica knows why she’s so different and what she has been missing all of her life. Veronica has a place where she belongs. That should have been her clue that everything was about to fall apart.

 

Her best friend abandons her, a spoiled rich girl brands her as an outcast and she is getting into fights … again! As she sets out to prove she’s being set up Veronica stumbles across something more sinister at St. Francis. Someone is hiding a dark secret tied to her past and finding out the truth could cost her everything. This last paragraph is great, but I would like to know what's specifically at stake besides "everything."

 

VERONICA’S SECRET is a YA fantasy I believe you can classify this as YA contemporary fantasy, since it's set in our world. Complete at 89,000 words with series potential.

(I keep flip flopping on this point does it hurt to say the trilogy is completed?) No, I wouldn't mention this. Always use the line "this is a standalone with a series potential."

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

Oh no, please don't use the term "Skin Walkers"! JK Rowling's Magic in North America got in big trouble over that recently, so I bet it's still fresh in agents' minds! Simply switch it out for another term. Hopefully the magic isn't actually based on Navajo/Native culture, and you're just calling it that?

 

Otherwise, love the voice in this query and sounds like a fun story. Reminds me of THE MAGICIANS, which I've seen agents asking for. Maybe add that as one of your comp titles if it works?



#20 SnowGlobe

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 03:53 PM

AllisonCastle, I'm glad at least one person recognized the same issue as me and commented on it. 






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