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Not Enough Words (Gay YA)


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#1 Lauraburns22

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 03:33 PM

6/15 - latest version. Thanks for all the feedback. Please post your query link, and I will review it!

 

Seventeen year old Taylor has a lot to figure out - why her friend, Christian, is acting so strangely and how to stop her crazy anxiety. As if that weren't enough, stupidly attractive and super confident Sara introduces her to the full flavor of the LGBTQIA alphabet soup. Now the only thing Taylor has figured out is that she’s in love with this girl.

 

As Taylor navigates all of the feels of falling in love, Sara teaches her the vocabulary of queerness and a couple other things along the way. But unlike her beautiful, amazing girlfriend, Taylor isn’t sure what her identity is. Does dating guys make her bi? Can she be demiromantic and pansexual but call herself queer? It’s enough to give anybody a panic attack, but when Christian faces a crisis because she's trans, Sara and Taylor learn the true definition of queer family.

 

NOT ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 58,000 words, and it will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MINDCRANK, and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience of growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was.

 

Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time!



#2 Testome

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:25 PM

 

Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my query and give me feedback. :) 

 

Seventeen year old Taylor is trying to figure it all out. This isn't really a hook, too vague for that.
 
Who is this stranger in her chest who steals half her breath when she gets anxious?  Where will she get accepted to college so she can get far away from this stupid town? Will her mother ever stop being a drunken hot mess? Why has her friend, Christian, become so secretive lately? Avoid questions like that in a query. Beyond that, you've introduced to many characters and this is all background setup info.  No need to reveal everything, but What does Taylor want? What stands in her way? What happens, if she fails?
 
Then she meets Sara who comes from a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. Is this mostly romance? If so, I would focus on that.
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is about figuring out how you identify, who your true friends really are, and what it's like to fall madly in love for the first time. It is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. (I have pipe dreams about Instagram and Snapchat images being included as well, but I'm getting ahead of myself.) It's better to show us this info instead of telling us.

It taps into the online world where queer and trans teens seek solace from isolation in rural communities, which creates a support system that I could have never dreamed of growing up in Indiana wondering if everyone else was as attracted to women as I was. Again, too much telling.
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more coming of age LGBTQIA novels for my queer students to read because they need characters with whom they can identify. I decided to write one myself to help fill that void. Unless you have writing credits, this really isn't helpful.
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. I hope you enjoy it enough to get back to me soon. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
QUESTIONS:
Is this too long?
Do I need more synopsis? 
Should it include spoilers? 
Would you read this book?
 

THANK YOU! 

 

I think the main problem is the query is mostly setup/character introduction. I would start with the problem facing Taylor, and move on from there.  If you need to introduce other characters, I would stick to Sara and Taylor. The plot is really missing from the query. Hope this helps.



#3 Lauraburns22

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:57 PM

Thank you so much for taking time to read my query! 
 
Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to manage her anxiety, her alcoholic mom, her newly secretive best friend, and, most importantly, how to get the hell out of this stupid town. 
 
Sara introduces Taylor to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Together, with an ever growing group of fellow queer teenagers, they navigate the complexities of coming out, the pitfalls of fake friends, the heaven and hell of falling in love for the first time, and the most important of all high school rites of passage - prom. But Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. I hope you enjoy it enough to get back to me soon. Thank you for your time! 


#4 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:04 PM

I think the main problem is the query is mostly setup/character introduction. I would start with the problem facing Taylor, and move on from there.  If you need to introduce other characters, I would stick to Sara and Taylor. The plot is really missing from the query. Hope this helps.

I will second Testome's comments. In addition, there is a fundamental lack of conflict that does not entice further reading.

 

She's in love with Sara, but does Sara love her back?

 

What's the rub?

 

Answer that question first and the rest should follow naturally.

 

Good luck and keep up the hard work.


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#5 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:16 PM

 

Thank you so much for taking time to read my query! 
 
Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to manage her anxiety, her alcoholic mom, her newly secretive best friend, and, most importantly, how to get the hell out of this stupid town. This seems like a lot to toss out at once.
 
Sara introduces Taylor to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. You may be trying to give away too much in this query. So far each sentence has been a list, this comes across as a bit ambitious and impersonal. Focusing on Taylor's most pressing and and compelling conflict may be more effective.
 
Together, with an ever growing group of fellow queer teenagers, they navigate the complexities of coming out, the pitfalls of fake friends, the heaven and hell of falling in love for the first time, and the most important of all high school rites of passage - prom. But Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's found. Another list, I think I would keep this one over the other two though. I think it is effective at summing up the themes of the story.
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. I hope you enjoy it enough to get back to me soon. This comes across as desperate. Agents know you want them to enjoy your story and get back to you. Thank you for your time! 

 

 

You must have posted as I was writing my first response! Haha.

 

Hopefully my comments are helpful. I am getting the impression you may be trying to shove a bit too much into the letter. I think focusing and beginning with Taylor's most compelling conflict may go further than impersonally tossing out a list of her issues. It is an improvement over your first letter, though, particularly the last line about her insecurities possibly costing her first real love.

 

Again, good luck and keep up the hard work.


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#6 A.M.Rose

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:27 PM

My comments below in green. 

 

Thank you so much for taking time to read my query! 
 
Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to manage her anxiety, her alcoholic mom, her newly secretive best friend, and, most importantly, how to get the hell out of this stupid town. - So this set up here isn't anything "new" but the next paragraph delivers that -the what is new about this story. If there is a way to combine these two paragraphs and get to the "world of pansexulas" sooner I think you would have a really strong hook.
 
Sara introduces Taylor to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. But she doesn't know is Sara could ever love her back. - Consider adding this line to help establish the conflict.
 
Together, with an ever growing group of fellow queer teenagers, they navigate the complexities of coming out, the pitfalls of fake friends, the heaven and hell of falling in love for the first time, and the most important of all high school rites of passage - prom. But Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. - A lot of houses are looking for these non-traditional types of story telling. I think you have a real gem here and would be completely surprised if you didn't get a lot of asks from this query. I know I am very interested in reading at least the first chapter to see if the voice of the story delivers what this query is suggesting.  
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. I love this bio - shows why you are the person to write this story. Nice! 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. I hope you enjoy it enough to get back to me soon. Thank you for your time! 

 

IMO this query is almost there already. A few tweeks and I think you would be good. 

 

Do you already have a list of agents you want to send this too? I can think of at least 2 of the top of my head that would probably be interested in this. PM me if you would like me to share their names. 

 

Best of luck to you. I'll be looking for this one on the book shelves. 


A.M.Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#7 Lauraburns22

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 08:01 AM

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 


#8 iamkamie

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 10:15 AM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 

 

So I'm relatively new at this query thing but this sounds pretty good to me. It has the characters, the stakes and the mystery. I would just tag on a little something there about the family drama, I noticed you mentioned something about an alcoholic mother in earlier drafts, and maybe elaborate a little on the relationship between Taylor and Sara ( I know Taylor is in love with Sara but is there any reason they can't be together? Does Sara return her feelings or not? Is this gonna cause some drama in their friendship? That sort of stuff). Now this may be just subjective, but that's what immediately caught my attention in the query. Otherwise, pretty good!



#9 df08388

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 01:12 PM

When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. can this be simplified? Something like: Taylor can't wait to get out of her stupid Midwestern town. Then she meets Sara, who. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  (period here) Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.is all this happening in her midwestern town? Or did she leave with Sara?
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time.these sentences are vague and could point to any number of books. I'd be more specific about your book. What makes it different? What is happening in the book?  Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, It feels like you're pushing this alternative group of friends too much. I wouldn't include it in this paragraph. I'd stick to Taylor and Sara. Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late.(too late for what? What mystery?) Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. So there are two goals here. 1.) Solving the mystery of Christian before it's too late. But what does too late mean? What will happen if it is too late? What are the stakes? What is the impact to Taylor? 2.) Taylor isn't sure where she fits in and might lose Sara because of it. This isn't a goal really, it's a problem Taylor has to overcome. But to me, it's a common problem. If I had to choose, I'd keep goal #1 and cut goal #2. It would catch my attention more.  
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
It reads to me as if you're forcing the alternative lifestyle too much. I got it from the first paragraph, and it seemed like overkill in the second.The story is about Taylor. I would keep the focus on her. What I though was good about the second paragraph was the issue with Christian. But, as I mentioned above, I wish it wasn't so vague and that the stakes for Taylor weren't there. It might be helpful to put it in this format: When Christian (insert whatever he's doing that's odd), Taylor and Sara have to figure out what's wrong before (whatever bad thing will happen if they don't stop him). 
 
Hope this is helpful.   


#10 cassia

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 01:24 PM



 


Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. [I think you could start with something even more hook-ey. It's almost there, though!]
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. [I think you have all the "ingredients" for a great query! Stakes and mystery and only the most important characters. I just personally think this paragraph kind of just lists all of these great things - maybe you could find a way to kind of smooth this paragraph out, if that makes any sense, make the transitions between the single statements smoother, so it reads better. :-) ]
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 

 

Hey! I think you have a great novel on the way, it sounds really interesting and I would for sure read it. You have stakes, the mystery and a great reason why YOU are the person to write this novel / what inspired you. The only things I would critique, I put directly into the query :-) Good luck!



#11 Daisy

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:06 AM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 

 

 

 

This sounds really good.  The only thing I would suggest working on is that one sentence I highlighted.  It seems weaker than all the other sentences around it.  "Solve the mystery" and "before it's too late" are clichés, so this kind of stands out like a sore thumb in an otherwise strong query.  :smile: 

 

I'm assuming this is YA, but I'd mention it so nothing is assumed.



#12 Mezzanine

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:35 AM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 

 

 

I applaud your goal of wanting to create more literature for the LGBT community.
 
I’m part of the LGBT community myself, but when I read this I felt like I didn’t really see what the deeper story was about. It feels like something I’ve heard a hundred times before.
 
Also, some people, myself included, find the Q-word (in your second paragraph), which is a slur, to be insulting. Some of the younger generation don’t, of course, and some use it politically to contradict its power as a political project, but using it runs the risk of insulting some people. It’s up to you, but something to consider if you haven’t already.
 
Also, please try to be very careful with the words you use. I think, for example, that you mean “identity” rather than “identify” in the first paragraph. Some might overlook that, but many may read that as being careless, and an indicator of what to expect throughout your work, and pass you over.
 
The bigger problem you face is that you do a lot of telling, very little showing. 
 
I also couldn’t really get a sense of what the story was about. You mention the main character learning about her identity a couple of times, but it seems like the real story is solving the mystery behind Christian’s behavior. That seems to be the only thing in here that suggests something that could be new, but it’s something you’ve told us very little about. But up to that point we didn’t hear anything about Christian to have a context in which to understand what strange behavior it is you’re referring to. Does Taylor’s identity have anything to do with that? You mention her identity again after referring to Christian’s behavior, but the two don’t appear connected.
 
I’d do away with your author bio because it doesn’t really sell you as an author. Your bio should focus on giving evidence of your amazing skill as a writer. It's okay to leave this out if you don't have publication credits.
 
In your query, they’re really going to be looking for a big choice facing the main character as well as the stakes involved (e.g., what happens if they take Choice A, what about Choice B, and what are the big and deeply conflicted stakes involved in each?) Without this, many would say it reads as a list of events with no plot. That big choice defines the character, gives the story shape and direction, and reveals deeper conflicts and meaning, and more.
 
I really do support the work you’re doing and wish you the best of luck! Keep going, you’ll get there!
 


#13 scooper09

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:24 PM

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow,  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
(I like the hook very much! You might want to use a more descriptive word other than stupid to describe the Midwestern town)
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
(Not sure about Christian's strange behavior and how it plays in to the main plot of the story. I think the meat and potatoes of the story is Taylor and Sara. If Christian is the b story, I would leave it out the query)
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
I think the query is well done. Just gone thrown a little by Christian. 


#14 RosieSkye

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 11:27 PM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. (I'd reword this, because I'm not sure who wants to get out of town - Taylor or Sara.) Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify in the LGBTQIA rainbow.(period) (This is telling rather than showing. How does Sara introduce Talyor to these things?) Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. (I think we need more detail about Sara herself, and why Taylor is in love with her besides the fact that she introduces her to new things.)
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. (Again, telling rather than showing. I'm assuming Taylor's friends ditch her? And what kind of heaven and hell does she go through?) Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. (Hmmm... it sounds like this might be where your story really starts, but you gloss over it as though it's an afterthought.) Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF (italics for comp titles). This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 

 

 

As I've stated above, I think your query suffers from too much telling and not enough showing.  Also, I'm not sure what your actual STORY is.  What's going on with Christian, how/why is he acting strangely, and why might it be too late if they don't do something?  If that's a major plot point, you should expand on it.  If not, you should delete it.  As written, it just raises a bunch of questions, and then you move onto something else.

 

If the main storyline is the group helping Christian, you should condense everything before that, because it's just setup.  "When Taylor meets wild, adventurous Sara, she immediately falls in love with her.  Now they must work together, because their mutual friend Christian is going off the rails...."  Obviously that wording is horrible, but it gives the idea of how to get right to the main storyline (if Christian is, in fact, that storyline.)  

 

Good luck!



#15 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:13 AM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out how to get the hell out of her stupid Midwestern town. Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuals, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identify identity? in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Period as someone else pointed out.  Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara.
 
Taylor learns there's nothing like coming out to show you who your true friends are. She also discovers the heaven and hell of falling deeply in love for the first time. Together, with their ever growing group of queer friends, Taylor and Sara have to solve the mystery behind their friend Christian's strange behavior before it's too late. Ultimately, Taylor's not sure where she fits in the alphabet soup of identities, and her insecurities might cost her the first real love she's ever found. I agree with other readers that it is slightly unclear whether the conflict is trying to escape her town or Christian's strange behavior. Whichever it is, I would emphasize it as others have suggested. If it is Christian, what is an example of this strange behavior? Show this and I think you will also solve the complaint of too much telling.
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! Much better !
 

 

I think the idea of "SHOW DON'T TELL" in a query is a huge misnomer. As soon as you begin to show rather than tell, people will accuse you of all setup and to just get to the point/conflict, it's a lose-lose if you try too hard at it. If you can do it naturally, and it makes the query better, then by all means. But I think it would be a mistake to butcher this thing to accomplish it.

 

I do see what others are saying about beating the agent over the head with the LGBT themes. I think removing a bit of it from the second paragraph could help, but then again agents are so thirsty for this sort of story I don't really think it would hurt all that much either.

 

This letter is pretty close, if you could show the conflict to remove any doubt what the focus of the story is this will be ready. This seems rather simple and easy to do particularly if it has to do with Christian.

 

Thank you for your critique of my letter as well! I should have a new version posted within the next couple of days. Good luck!


The Road To Getting Published: https://www.youtube....-0wTffY7TekGDiA


#16 Lauraburns22

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:35 PM

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out a lot of things like what to do with the suddenly overwhelming anxiety that makes her feel like a stranger in her chest is stealing half her breath.
 
Self assured and super cool Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuality, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identity in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. When they start dating, Taylor has to navigate her insecurities about Sara's old life, the overwhelming emotions of falling in love for the first time, and the art of coming out. There's nothing like announcing you have a girlfriend to show you who your true friends are. When Sara and Taylor's mutual friend, Christian, faces a crisis based on her identity as a transgirl, they all realize that it's not how we identify, but what we do about it that matters. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This Young Adult/New Adult coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
 
I hear the feedback about showing not telling and lists. Christian is a big part of the plot, but the love story and its implications are the biggest part I would say, but I definitely want to acknowledge both and I realized I was leaving a huge story line about Taylor's anxiety out, which features prominently into the first ten pages that the agent will be reading. Does this do a better job? 
 
I'm keeping the bio even though it doesn't sell me as a writer because it's a way of making sure the agent knows that this is an #ownvoices book - gay YA written by a gay. 


#17 suja

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 03:34 PM

I haven't read your other queries. Thought I'd lay fresh eyes on this one. Since I'm no expert, please take what works and discard the rest of my comments.

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out a lot of things like what to do with the suddenly overwhelming anxiety that makes her feel like a stranger in her chest is stealing half her breath. This sentence is over-long and convoluted. Also, "a lot of things" is rather vague. Maybe - Seventeen-year-old Taylor is struggling with incapacitating anxiety when she meets (her new classmate, her co-worker, how are they connected?) Sara.
 
Self assured and super cool Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuality, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identity in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara Nice. I like this.. When they start dating, Taylor has to navigate her insecurities about Sara's old life, the overwhelming emotions of falling in love for the first time, and the art of coming out. There's nothing like announcing you have a girlfriend to show you who your true friends are Nice. When Sara and Taylor's mutual friend, Christian, faces a crisis based on her identity as a transgirl, they all realize that it's not how we identify, but what we do about it that matters. Good. I like this, too.
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This Young Adult/New Adult coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience after growing up in Indiana and wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. I think this will strike a chord with readers. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
 
I hear the feedback about showing not telling and lists. Christian is a big part of the plot, but the love story and its implications are the biggest part I would say, but I definitely want to acknowledge both and I realized I was leaving a huge story line about Taylor's anxiety out, which features prominently into the first ten pages that the agent will be reading. Does this do a better job? 
 
I'm keeping the bio even though it doesn't sell me as a writer because it's a way of making sure the agent knows that this is an #ownvoices book - gay YA written by a gay. 

 

Let me know if you have any questions :)



#18 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 05:26 PM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out a lot of things, comma? like what to do with the suddenly overwhelming anxiety that makes her feel like a stranger in her chest is stealing half her breath. This sentence clunks and doesn't do a ton to sink its hooks in.
 
Self assured and super cool Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuality, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identity in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. When they start dating, Taylor has to navigate her insecurities about Sara's old life, the overwhelming emotions of falling in love for the first time, and the art of coming out. There's nothing like announcing you have a girlfriend to show you who your true friends are.  This introduction of Christian seems a bit abrupt and a bit tacked on. When Sara and Taylor's mutual friend, Christian, faces a crisis based on her identity as a transgirl, they all realize that it's not how we identify, but what we do about it that matters. 
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This Young Adult/New Adult coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
 
I hear the feedback about showing not telling and lists. Christian is a big part of the plot, but the love story and its implications are the biggest part I would say, but I definitely want to acknowledge both and I realized I was leaving a huge story line about Taylor's anxiety out, which features prominently into the first ten pages that the agent will be reading. Does this do a better job? 
 
I'm keeping the bio even though it doesn't sell me as a writer because it's a way of making sure the agent knows that this is an #ownvoices book - gay YA written by a gay. 

 

 

I understand the conflict much better now, this having to navigate a relationship with someone who is far more experienced and "cooler." I think the hook has suffered a little bit though in the process. Also, I think there is probably a more seamless way to mention the conflict with Christian, but I do like the way you close out the paragraph with the "what we do about it that matters" line.  I think that is a strong finish, so smoothing over the beginning would help quite a bit.

 

Good work, it is getting closer and closer!


The Road To Getting Published: https://www.youtube....-0wTffY7TekGDiA


#19 JackW

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:53 AM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out a lot of things like what to do with the suddenly overwhelming anxiety that makes her feel like a stranger in her chest is stealing half her breath.
 
This first sentence is very long.
 
Self assured and super cool Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuality, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identity in the LGBTQIA rainbow. Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. When they start dating, Taylor has to navigate her insecurities about Sara's old life, the overwhelming emotions of falling in love for the first time, and the art of coming out.
 
Why is she insecure about Sarah's old life?
 
1 - There's nothing like announcing you have a girlfriend to show you who your true friends are. 2 - When Sara and Taylor's mutual friend, Christian, faces a crisis based on her identity as a transgirl, they all realize that it's not how we identify, but what we do about it that matters. 
 
Are these two things related?
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This Young Adult/New Adult coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
 
I hear the feedback about showing not telling and lists. Christian is a big part of the plot, but the love story and its implications are the biggest part I would say, but I definitely want to acknowledge both and I realized I was leaving a huge story line about Taylor's anxiety out, which features prominently into the first ten pages that the agent will be reading. Does this do a better job? 
 
I'm keeping the bio even though it doesn't sell me as a writer because it's a way of making sure the agent knows that this is an #ownvoices book - gay YA written by a gay. 

 

 

Hope that helps.



#20 heynowyou

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:54 PM

 

Dear agent - 
 
When seventeen year old Taylor meets Sara, she's trying to figure out a lot of things like what to do with the suddenly overwhelming anxiety that makes her feel like a stranger in her chest is stealing half her breath. (This is just too long a sentence and not exactly smooth to read)
 
Self assured and super cool Sara introduces her to a world of pansexuality, gender fluidity, polyamory, and every other identity in the LGBTQIA rainbow. (Again long sentence, and a little too much telling and no showing. I think showing a little of how Sara introduces such a varied and diverse world might help in giving this query a little more voice and a lot more show) Now Taylor has figured at least one thing out - she's in love with Sara. (While I don't doubt that the story will show how great Sara is and why Taylor falls for her this doesn't do it. So I'm left wondering why does Taylor feel this way? Nothing shows me why Taylor would like much less love Sara.) When they start dating, Taylor has to navigate her insecurities about Sara's old life, the overwhelming emotions of falling in love for the first time, and the art of coming out. There's nothing like announcing you have a girlfriend to show you who your true friends are. When Sara and Taylor's mutual friend, Christian, faces a crisis based on her identity as a transgirl, they all realize that it's not how we identify, but what we do about it that matters. (I'm sure Christian is important to you and the story but there's one sentence about her and it doesn't exactly connect her to Taylor or Sara's relationship in any way. So it seems out of nowhere. And like a side comment about a third character. When you've spent the rest of the query on Taylor and Sara.)
 
NEVER ENOUGH WORDS is complete at 55,000 words, and will appeal to lovers of ANNIE ON MY MIND and SISTER MISCHIEF. This Young Adult/New Adult coming of age story is told through journal entries and poems by Taylor, alternating character perspectives, and social media/text messages. 
 
As an English teacher, I've always wished there were more LGBTQIA novels for my students to read. I decided to write one myself drawing from my experience growing up in Indiana wondering if all the other girls were just as attracted to women as I was. 
 
Per your submissions guidelines, the first ten pages of the manuscript are included below. Thank you for your time! 
 
 
 
I hear the feedback about showing not telling and lists. Christian is a big part of the plot, but the love story and its implications are the biggest part I would say, but I definitely want to acknowledge both and I realized I was leaving a huge story line about Taylor's anxiety out, which features prominently into the first ten pages that the agent will be reading. Does this do a better job? 
 
I'm keeping the bio even though it doesn't sell me as a writer because it's a way of making sure the agent knows that this is an #ownvoices book - gay YA written by a gay. 

 

 

I think the main problem is that there's no emotion to Taylor and Sara. If this is a girl loves girl story in the end then that's what this needs to be about. Even if it's about discovering who you are it should then be about that. There's also no feeling of personal stakes. There's no villain or force to overcome just a side comment on learning who your friends are once you come out. Maybe concentrate only on two things: the inciting incident (meeting Sara) and Taylor's first moment of choice and its repercussions whatever those might be. I hope any of that helps, and obviously these are all just my thoughts so feel free to ignore any and all of them. Good luck


Here's my attempt at a query letter

KEEPERS (YA urban fantasy)

Any help is appreciated and will be reciprocated to the best of my abilities.





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