Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER (YA THRILLER)


Best Answer DV77 , 20 March 2017 - 11:09 PM

Thank you for taking the time to look at my query, Ms. McGinnis.

 

The father is very relevant to the plot, mostly as Stephie's motivation for doing what she does, but yes he features prominently from the second half onwards and is actively involved. 

 

The smuggler and her grandson are the main supporting characters in this. They are key to my plot, but I'd been warned about introducing too many characters by name in a query, and since I didn't want to get too bloated I figured I'd keep it simple and not get too into it now. With regards to the grandson being a romantic figure, yes he is, but having read a few successful queries for romance stories I was trying to do what they do and hint at it.

 

Judging by that summary, were there any adjustments you might recommend in terms of the characters featured in this query?

 

Again, thanks so much for taking a look.

Go to the full post


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#21 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:01 AM

When seventeen-year-old archaeology fanatic Stephie finds a valuable 17th century Vatican coin dumped in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she thinks she’s finally found her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating depression, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

When seventeen year old Stephie finds a valuable 17th Vatican coin dumped in her family's junkyard, the archaeology fanatic thinks she's finally found her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under crushing debt, terrified of her father's debilitating depression, Stephie believes this small treasure could ease her broken family's problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin also wants the coin—and he wants it badly enough to kill Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: It’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, the hiding place of the last Inca gold. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her dad’s debts, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health if she dies, Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives.

 

Man this takes me back to Indiana Jones. I love the concept, the theme and the setup. It's a very, very refreshing relief to have this back in the genre pool again. Only suggestion I've written above. The hook seemed to be really pushing the run-on limit there, lol. I hope it helps. 


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#22 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 05 March 2017 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for all the help, everyone. I'm feeling pretty settled on the query I want to use, and wanted to run my final version by everyone.

 

There is one BIG problem I have though and was trying to get opinions, and it was to do with the final length of the query in total (including bio etc). At the end I include this tidbit about how Paititi is a real place etc and a lot of people reading this query said they find that info interesting, but since it takes the query close to 350 words in total, do I need to delete it because I'm wondering if agents are just taking one glimpse and going 'bleurgh can't be bothered to read'. What do you guys think should stay/go from this final version?

 

Dear (Insert Agent name),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin dumped in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating depression, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin also wants the coin—and he wants it badly enough to kill Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: It’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, the hiding place of the last Inca gold. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her dad’s debts, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health if she dies, Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives.

 

A YA Thriller complete at 86,000 words, THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER revolves around the true story of Paititi—the location where the Incas were said to have moved a temple made of gold to save it from being ransacked by the Spanish during the 1600’s. I believe it will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of us seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted's Nathan Drake. It’s a standalone novel with series potential.

 

I am a former copy editor at Disney Interactive in London, where I was primarily responsible for creating the marketing copy for apps including Mittens and Where’s my Water: Allie.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77



#23 Novelarnia

Novelarnia

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 05 March 2017 - 08:43 PM

I want to start by saying, holy SHIT this sounds amazing.  (Sorry--notsorry--for any young readers.)  Like, seriously, give me this book yesterday.  O.o 

 

Anyway, onto the critique: 

 

Thanks for all the help, everyone. I'm feeling pretty settled on the query I want to use, and wanted to run my final version by everyone.

 

There is one BIG problem I have though and was trying to get opinions, and it was to do with the final length of the query in total (including bio etc). At the end I include this tidbit about how Paititi is a real place etc and a lot of people reading this query said they find that info interesting, but since it takes the query close to 350 words in total, do I need to delete it because I'm wondering if agents are just taking one glimpse and going 'bleurgh can't be bothered to read'. What do you guys think should stay/go from this final version?

 

Dear (Insert Agent name),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin dumped in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. (Love the "scrap heap" bit, since it's so literal. :D ) Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating depression, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin also wants the coin—and he wants it badly enough to kill Stephie to get it. (simplify this to save words.  "A ruthless black market kingpin also wants the coin--and he'll kill Stephie to get it.")

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her (I sat upright in my chair when you mentioned the smuggler was a woman. YES PLEASE.) hot, but eccentric grandson. (And scootched to the edge of my seat at the hint of romance here.  DOUBLE YES PLEASE) They tell her the truth about the coin: It’s (grammar tiff: you don't capitalize after a colon.  [see what I did there? :P ]) not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, the hiding place (is Patiti a city?  I'd clarify what, exactly, it is.  "It's a clue to the location of Patiti, a lost city reputed to house the last Inca gold." or something)  of the last Inca gold. And if they can find it without dying (I can't decide if "without dying" is awesome voice, or just unnecessary.  After mentioning the mercs and the kingpin, it's pretty implied they want to get there alive.  Also, who wants to die during a treasure hunt? XD ), they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her dad’s debts, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, (YES) outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru (YES YES) and survive the icy mountains of Tibet (YES YES YES); all while being hunted by a lethal private army. (OMFG GIMME) With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health (what about her mom?  Is she already dead?? If so, mention that WAY earlier.) if she dies, Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives. (I'm not sure about this last line.  I know it's hard to pin down a good one, but depression can't be fixed with cash.   Does Stephie realize this in the end??  You should acknowledge their money problems (which you already did) and leave it there.  This line opens up a whole new can of worms.)

 

A YA Thriller complete at 86,000 words, THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER revolves around the true story of Paititi—the location where the Incas were said to have moved a temple made of gold to save it from being ransacked by the Spanish during the 1600’s. (I do agree, this sentence is too much.  I stumbled over it.  If you can simplify, that'd be awesome.  Something like "revolves around the true myth of Paititi, and the temple of gold the Incas moved there to hide from the Spanish."  The 1600s is implied to anyone who knows even a little bit of South American (or any) history.) I believe it will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of us (capitalize "us") (Are you missing words right here??) seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted's Nathan Drake. It’s a standalone novel with series potential.

 

I am a former copy editor at Disney Interactive in London, where I was primarily responsible for creating the marketing copy for apps including Mittens and Where’s my Water: Allie.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77

 

LOVE.  

 

Seriously.  This is amazeballs.  If you write peoples' queries for a fee, let me know, because I'd buy the shit out of that.  

 

Anyway, if you have the chance to check out my query, I'd be much obliged! :)  http://agentquerycon...-adult-fantasy/



#24 Linnet_Crawford

Linnet_Crawford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:26 PM

I agree that this is a super strong query - and also agree with pretty much everything Novelarnia said.

 

The only thing I would suggest is that I actually really liked the direction of the line "With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health if she dies, Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives." I think it grounds the pitch emotionally and hints at an inner conflict for the MC...but it could use some clarification. How is the money going to "fix" their family, beyond paying the debts? Maybe something along the lines of  "With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health if she dies, Stephie must decide whether the cleared debts is worth the risk..." etc

 

 

And I agree that the "true story" but - while very cool - could be trimmed for length. 

 

Best of luck with querying! 


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#25 Monks

Monks

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 111 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:No publishing experience

Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

This is looking really good, DV77. I think you're good to go. As for your question, I think you can cut the bit about Paititi. It's interesting, sure, but does it being based in fact have anything to do with your story? Does it change anything about your book? Personally, I don't think so. If you had the wordcount for it, sure. But I don't think it's necessary, and getting closer to that 250 mark is probably worth more. I think you can also cut the line about it being a standalone novel with series potential. These days, that's practically a given. And if you really want to trim, maybe cut the mention of specific apps you worked on with Disney. Keep the bit about you working there and what you did, just not the apps themselves. But really, these are minor quibbles, and even if you sent it out as is, I think you'd get requests. Nice work!


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#26 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 06 March 2017 - 04:57 PM

Hey guys. Thanks for all your feedback. I've butchered a lot of the additional info and in total now have the word count at 286 (if you include even stuff like dear agent, my name etc), and tidied up a couple concerns that were mentioned. Was wondering something about this first sentence. I removed the 'dumped' to try and make the whole thing flow better and not be such a mouthful. Does it ruin anything or am I making a big deal out of nothing?

 

 

Dear (Agent),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating depression, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin needs that coin—and he doesn't mind killing Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city reputed to house the last Inca gold. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her dad’s debts and get him the help he needs, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health if she dies, Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives.

 

A YA Thriller inspired by true historical events and complete at 86,000 words, I believe THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted’s Nathan Drake.

 

I am a former copy editor for Disney Interactive.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77



#27 Monks

Monks

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 111 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:No publishing experience

Posted 06 March 2017 - 06:12 PM

I like it better with dumped removed. Reads cleaner, and I don't feel like you lost anything.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#28 Ajax

Ajax

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 471 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationEurope

Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:14 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating depression, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems. (I'm just not sure why Stephie has to worry about the bills. Depressed people don't stop living or caring for their child. You need to establish the extent of the father's depression. Depression is not monolithic. Even if we assume that the father is in serious need of help and the story takes place in the US, there's no way the child services won't intervene. I need really good reasons to buy this context.)

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin also wants the coin—and he’ll gladly kill Stephie to get it. (Okay, this is getting predictable here.)

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city reputed to house the last Inca gold. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her dad’s debts and get him the help he needs, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With nobody else to look out for her dad’s deteriorating health (I'm assuming this is his mental heath. Please specify.) if she dies, (Isn't the state responsible for the mentally challenged individuals in absence of an immediate kin?) Stephie must decide whether a chance to see him smile again is worth both their lives.

 

A YA Thriller inspired by true historical events and complete at 86,000 words, I believe THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted’s Nathan Drake.

 

I am a former copy editor for Disney Interactive.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77

 

I am sensing a lot of problematic content here. You need to do more research on depression and the state policies.

However, the query itself is absolutely clear.

 

I hope you will hire sensitivity readers who have suffered from actual severe depression to give you notes on the manuscript.

 

Good luck.



#29 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:01 PM

Hey guys,

 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to critique. I appreciated all the feedback, and in all honesty thought this was ready to query, but I think Ajax touched on an issue and I'm wondering if it's hindering this. The dad's depression. Depression seems to be a very sensitive subject in the literary world, and although I feel I could make some legitimate arguments from my own end as to why I'm not just pulling it out of my a** for shock value, this query isn't quite frankly the place I want to go into an in depth analysis. A lot of agents who ask only for query letters still aren't requesting sample pages, and I'm wondering whether it's the whole dad's depression thing that's offputting because maybe they think I'm trivializing it.

 

So anyway, I changed the end paragraph and updated the stakes a little, and was wondering whether this was any better/equally compelling etc. Any critiques would be appreciated and I'll be happy to return the favor. I'll post the whole thing for old times sake, but for anyone who's read it before it's only the end paragraph I've changed.

 

Dear (Agent),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating grief, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin needs that coin—and he doesn’t mind killing Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city rumored to house the last gold of the Incas. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her family’s debts and hold onto the junkyard her mother cherished, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With her grief-stricken father unlikely to ever recover from the loss of his only daughter if she fails, Stephie must decide whether the chance to save her family’s legacy is worth both their lives.

 

A YA Thriller inspired by true historical events and complete at 85,000 words, I believe THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted’s Nathan Drake.

 

I am a former copy editor for Disney Interactive.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77



#30 bigblackcat97

bigblackcat97

    BOOGA BOOGA

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,046 posts
  • Literary Status:published, agented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Six published novels across Harper Collins and Penguin Random House. See my signature for titles.

Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:53 PM

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating grief, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems. Slightly confused - if it's an ancient Vatican coin why would it only fetch a "small sum?" It raises a question that isn't worth raising, IMO.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin needs that coin—and he doesn’t mind killing Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city rumored to house the last gold of the Incas. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her. Cool - just a note here about the very dry humor. I like it but make sure the voice of the query matches the voice of the ms. 

 

To clear her family’s debts and hold onto the junkyard her mother cherished, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With her grief-stricken father unlikely to ever recover from the loss of his only daughter if she fails, Stephie must decide whether the chance to save her family’s legacy is worth both their lives. 

 

Ok cool, this is actually pretty good. You're right to not address issues of depression within the query, but it does beg the question of how important the father is to the plot... enough to be mentioned in the query? Is he actually WITH her during all this action or is he sitting at home in the junkyard? What about the wily old lady and her hot grandson? They totally disappeared. How imperative are they to the plot? Also, you mentioned grandson is hot, but that's it. Is there a romance angle? 

 

Overall I think you're in good shape here, just figure out who is important enough to the plot (and present enough in the ms) to get a mention in the query. 

 

 


"Establishing the accuracy of quotes found on the internet is extraordinarily difficult." - Jane Austen

13112869.jpg   DUSt+Smaller.jpeg  24376529.jpg  25812109.jpg 25314447.jpg 30249925.jpg

 
@MindyMcGinnis

 

Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire Blog

Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire Podcast


#31 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:09 PM   Best Answer

Thank you for taking the time to look at my query, Ms. McGinnis.

 

The father is very relevant to the plot, mostly as Stephie's motivation for doing what she does, but yes he features prominently from the second half onwards and is actively involved. 

 

The smuggler and her grandson are the main supporting characters in this. They are key to my plot, but I'd been warned about introducing too many characters by name in a query, and since I didn't want to get too bloated I figured I'd keep it simple and not get too into it now. With regards to the grandson being a romantic figure, yes he is, but having read a few successful queries for romance stories I was trying to do what they do and hint at it.

 

Judging by that summary, were there any adjustments you might recommend in terms of the characters featured in this query?

 

Again, thanks so much for taking a look.



#32 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:14 AM

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating grief, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin needs that coin—and he doesn’t mind killing Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city rumored to house the last gold of the Incas. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her.

 

To clear her family’s debts and hold onto the junkyard her mother cherished, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With her grief-stricken father unlikely to ever recover from the loss of his only daughter if she fails, Stephie must decide whether the chance to save her family’s legacy is worth both their lives.

 

Hi DV77

 

So I like the changes you've made, other than the first sentence (of the last paragraph) is a little long imo. Even though it does lay out everything in a tidy list, it reads like that. Maybe if you try to cut it a little: For Stephie, solving a centuries' old mystery will clear her family's debts. But with a lethal army hunting her, she has to stay one step ahead of them, while also outsmarting Peru's dangerous cartels and scaling the icy mountains of Tibet. (at least this badly worded sentence gives you an idea of what I mean. It also brings the danger of being continually hunted to the forefront.) Perhaps if you bring in the fact that she's with the smuggler and her grandson, it will increase their importance as well and bring them into the adventure.  

 

Out side that, I like that you've downplayed the father at the end. He still feels important for her motivation, but his mental state is left at his grief. 

 

 

I'm still picking away at my query, if you have a moment to stop by and let me know your thoughts. 



#33 Linnet_Crawford

Linnet_Crawford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:53 AM

This is a big improvement on the first version I read! Well done cleaning it up.

Hey guys,

 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to critique. I appreciated all the feedback, and in all honesty thought this was ready to query, but I think Ajax touched on an issue and I'm wondering if it's hindering this. The dad's depression. Depression seems to be a very sensitive subject in the literary world, and although I feel I could make some legitimate arguments from my own end as to why I'm not just pulling it out of my a** for shock value, this query isn't quite frankly the place I want to go into an in depth analysis. A lot of agents who ask only for query letters still aren't requesting sample pages, and I'm wondering whether it's the whole dad's depression thing that's offputting because maybe they think I'm trivializing it.

 

So anyway, I changed the end paragraph and updated the stakes a little, and was wondering whether this was any better/equally compelling etc. Any critiques would be appreciated and I'll be happy to return the favor. I'll post the whole thing for old times sake, but for anyone who's read it before it's only the end paragraph I've changed.

 

Dear (Agent),

 

When seventeen-year-old archeology fanatic Stephie finds an ancient Vatican coin in the rubble of her family’s junkyard, she’s convinced it’s her ticket out of the scrap heap. Buried under the crushing debt of her late mom's unpaid medical bills, and terrified by her father’s debilitating grief, Stephie believes the small sum the coin would fetch will ease her broken family’s problems. Great! Personally, I think this hook is great, and I wouldn't change it.

 

She’s sorely mistaken.

 

A ruthless black market kingpin needs that coin—and he doesn’t mind killing Stephie to get it.

 

Moments from being gunned down by his hired mercenaries, Stephie is rescued by a wily old smuggler and her hot, but eccentric grandson. They tell her the truth about the coin: it’s not just a historical artifact. It’s a clue to the location of Paititi, a lost city rumored to house the last gold of the Incas. And if they can find it without dying, they’ll gladly split the fortune with her. Also great!

 

To clear her family’s debts and hold onto the junkyard her mother cherished, Stephie will have to solve centuries’ old Vatican mysteries, outsmart cartels in the jungles of Peru and survive the icy mountains of Tibet; all while being hunted by a lethal private army. With her grief-stricken father unlikely to ever recover from the loss of his only daughter if she fails, Stephie must decide whether the chance to save her family’s legacy is worth risking her life both their lives. This is the only sentence that I think could use just a little tinkering - what it says is great, but it's a little dense and I had to read it a couple times. 

 

A YA Thriller inspired by true historical events This might suggest that there was a real quest by a girl through Peru and Tibet...may want to clarify  and complete at 85,000 words, I believe THE JUNKYARD DAUGHTER will appeal to fans of Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us seeking a heroine in the mold of Indiana Jones/Uncharted’s Nathan Drake. Also great! Honestly, I think the query is fantastic and I'm surprised agents haven't been requesting pages based on this...I know I've also been generally frustrated with the radio silence for my own query :p. Hard to tell what is/isn't working. Best of luck!

 

I am a former copy editor for Disney Interactive.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

DV77


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#34 bigblackcat97

bigblackcat97

    BOOGA BOOGA

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,046 posts
  • Literary Status:published, agented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Six published novels across Harper Collins and Penguin Random House. See my signature for titles.

Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:55 PM

Thank you for taking the time to look at my query, Ms. McGinnis. - No problem :) I got my start here at AQC and need to pay it back! (And you can call me BBC here, that's my old nickname)

 

The father is very relevant to the plot, mostly as Stephie's motivation for doing what she does, but yes he features prominently from the second half onwards and is actively involved. Ok cool.

 

The smuggler and her grandson are the main supporting characters in this. They are key to my plot, but I'd been warned about introducing too many characters by name in a query, and since I didn't want to get too bloated I figured I'd keep it simple and not get too into it now. With regards to the grandson being a romantic figure, yes he is, but having read a few successful queries for romance stories I was trying to do what they do and hint at it. I think you have the right of it here. You don't want to name too many, and just indicating that the grandson is attractive definitely does the job of hinting at a small romance. I think you can get away with what you have already on that end. I would say find a way to mention whether or not the grandma/son are along on these journeys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Maybe if you try to cut it a little: For Stephie, solving a centuries' old mystery will clear her family's debts. But with a lethal army hunting her, she has to stay one step ahead of them, while also outsmarting Peru's dangerous cartels and scaling the icy mountains of Tibet. (at least this badly worded sentence gives you an idea of what I mean. It also brings the danger of being continually hunted to the forefront.) Perhaps if you bring in the fact that she's with the smuggler and her grandson, it will increase their importance as well and bring them into the adventure.  

 

Adding that I like CM's approach here for blending and also to mention the smuggler/gson.


"Establishing the accuracy of quotes found on the internet is extraordinarily difficult." - Jane Austen

13112869.jpg   DUSt+Smaller.jpeg  24376529.jpg  25812109.jpg 25314447.jpg 30249925.jpg

 
@MindyMcGinnis

 

Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire Blog

Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire Podcast


#35 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:06 AM

Thanks a lot for your help, everyone. I will look into those final suggestions and maybe tweak just slightly but now I feel I'm starting to get a little too nitpicky. I definitely like where this query is now compared to where it started and couldn't have done it without the community here, and am more confident it's the best it can be, win or lose, which is all I can really ask for.

 

I'll keep an eye out on the query section to pay it forward a little, but if I somehow miss anyone's who wants me to take a look just feel free to send me a message.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users