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Pansies Cannot Survive Here, Y.A. Fiction


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#1 tsnyder

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:11 PM

My latest version is at the bottom of this thread.

 

Thanks a bunch

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, but while staying at her grandma’s house for the summer, Claire learns all about her grandma’s eccentric tastes.

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs tomato leaves as if they are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

After hearing one of grandma's tales about Lyn and her bathtub fight with a scorpion family that resembles cantaloupe seeds, Claire sees strength through family.

 

 After hearing the tale about Hope and the events that led to her murdering her own personal stalker, Claire wonders how far she would go to protect her hometown.

 

Claire’s grandmother explains through her tales how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.
 

NO PANSIES CAN SURVIVE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 41,572 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#2 Sataris

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:04 PM

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee lol, but while staying at her grandma’s house for the summer, Claire learns all about her grandma’s eccentric tastes. you'll have to reword this first sentence without this last clause, but it's a bid redundant with the first line.

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I meanThis might be veering a little close to addressing the reader? not sure. I do like the voice though. who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs tomato leaves as if they are besties? It took me a second to realize that it's the tomato and the grandma that are besties; maybe "rubs the leaves of a tomato as if the two of them are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

After hearing one of grandma's tales about Lyn and her bathtub fight with a scorpion family that resembles cantaloupe seeds, Claire sees strength through family. Not sure who Lyn is, but I'd probably cut this anyway

 

 After hearing the tale about Hope Is hope a person? and the events that led to her hope? murdering her own personal stalker, Claire wonders how far she would go to protect her hometown.

 

the two lines above feel like a synopsis, particularly the first. Also, is her hometown something she's going to have to protect? if so, i'd like to hear a bit more about it

 

Claire’s grandmother's explains through her tales explain how pansies cannot survive in the desert and where prickly pear blossoms are the norm.
 

NO PANSIES CAN SURVIVE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 41,572 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I think the voice comes through pretty strongly in this query, which is awesome. I do, however, wonder what exactly is at stake. You've hinted that Claire considers how far she'd go to save her hometown; does it need saving? It's pretty clear that this is a character driven piece, but what exactly is at stake if Claire doesn't grow enough as a person?


No current query!


#3 kathleenq

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:08 PM

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, (this is fantastic) but while staying at her grandma’s house for the summer, Claire learns all about her grandma’s eccentric tastes. until she stayed at her grandma's house for the summer.

 

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs tomato leaves as if they are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

After hearing one of grandma's tales about Lyn and her bathtub fight with a scorpion family that resembles cantaloupe seeds, Claire sees strength through family.

 

 After hearing the tale about Hope and the events that led to her murdering her own personal stalker, Claire wonders how far she would go to protect her hometown.

 

Claire’s grandmother explains through her tales how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.

 

I don't know how these stories relate to Claire's overall development in protecting her hometown or whatever it is she needs to do. The beginning of this is strong. I laughed out loud, and I wanted it to keep the tone throughout. I don't know who Lyn and Hope are and how they will relate to the overall story, or if they are even real people and it's just stories to teach a lesson. Either way, I think you need to focus more on what Claire is going to have to do, or what she's going to learn overall. The stories are just too disjointed and I've lost interest.
 

NO PANSIES CAN SURVIVE (I like the title in your query request better - Pansies Cannot Survive Here) is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 41,572 words (this is very short for a novel. I also don't think you need the exact word count, perhaps round it to the nearest hundred.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I hope this is helpful! If you have a minute, I'd appreciate you checking out my query, Glass Domes. Thanks!


Synopsis: Glass Domes


#4 tsnyder

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

Thanks for awesome advice.

 

I made some changes.  Noticed that I was not clear concerning how the grandma was a storyteller.  Please give me some more advice.  Thanks a bunch

 

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer.

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if the two of them are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these intense stories about  girls who dine on over the top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering their own stalker.

 

Through these tales Claire sees how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#5 enveniya

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:47 PM

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. (Removed the break here, putting these two sentences in the same paragraph) At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, (added a comma) who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if the two of them are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these intense stories about  girls who dine on over the top chocolate period brownies (!! I laughed at this), who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering their own stalker.

 

Through these tales Claire sees how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.

 

There is very little focus on Claire's motivations and how she can grow through hearing these tales. The stories are funny, but have little relevance to why Claire needs to hear them. Is Claire timid and scared, which is why her grandma is telling her these stories?
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

42k words is really short for a YA novel, and agents might reject your query for that reason alone. 60-80k is usually the norm. You might want to consider changing it to a MG novel, since that word count is more acceptable for that age range, but since you have chocolate period brownies in your novel, that might not be the solution either.

 

Here's a website that provides some advice on word counts for genres: http://www.writersdi...definitive-post

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

You have a very unique voice and I love the tone of this query. It'll be a lot stronger if Claire's wants are tied into the stories her grandma tells her. 

 

If you have the time, please take a look at my query, The Tempest and the Fire!



#6 daddude7

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:45 PM

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer.

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if the two of them are besties? (This line reads awkward. Who's the besties? The grandma and a leaf,or two leaves? Needs a comma after "I mean")  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how to grow into a strong woman females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these intense stories about  girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her their own stalker.

 

Through these tales Claire sees how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms triumph are the norm.
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

***

 

Hope this is helpful. I would like to understand what role Claire plays--she comes across rather passive.



#7 tsnyder

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:41 PM

made another revision.

Claire is a somewhat passive character. She is there to observe, listen, and frustrate grandma with her sometimes snotty teenage comments. 

The fictional characters that grandma creates in the the stories she tells to Claire are more likely the stars of the show. 

I have wondered about the word count for this story. I could always work on it more this summer to see where I could add more.

In general this is fun.

Thanks for the help and advice.

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker.

 

Through these tales Claire learns she too must be seen. She wants to stay in her grandmother’s hometown to continue the stories. She needs to know how they end. Most importantly, she learns how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.  
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#8 loopygoose

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:32 AM

Dear Agent,


Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, how would she know what skunk pee tastes like? until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire she thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs should this be strokes? the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on do they literally dine on them or do they live off them over-the-top chocolate period What does this mean? brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker. 

 

 

Through these tales Claire learns she, too, must be seen. Why? By whom? She wants to stay in her grandmother’s hometown to continue the stories. What's stopping her? She needs to know how they end. Most importantly, she learns how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.  This last sentence doesn't work as the end of a query. You need to leave us with jeopardy that makes the agent want to read your book. 
 

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

What a quirky, interesting idea! You are still at the stage where there are a number of things that need to be clarified (we've all been there) but it looks really fun.  Could you critique my query please?  http://agentquerycon...o-so-in-return/



#9 kwmags

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:35 PM

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. I love this line! already shows characters voice

At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if the two of them are besties? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach (is claire not interested in the stories? does she not want to be at her Grandmas?) Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope.  her story telling. Claire is drawn into these intense stories about girls who dine on over the top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering their own stalker. who will kill to save themselves.

 

Through these tales Claire sees how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm. This doesn't really tell me what is at stake here. What is the depth of these tales, what is she really learning here? I saw in your orginal version something about protecting her hometown? is that something thats important?
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I really do like the characters voice, but other than the Grandma telling wacky stories, what really is the story about? Is Claire lost and confused and her Grandma is trying to 'save' her? The last line needs to be more detailed as to what is at stake and what will Claire really take away from these stories. It sounds like a great read, just need to find more info about it. 

Also, I started critiquing your original one first. Put above it that you have revised it and its later down in the post so people know. Good luck!
My query is 
http://agentquerycon...interchangeable


 

 

 


#10 tsnyder

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:42 PM

I love how this process makes me think.

I've attempted again to connect the meaning behind Claire and why these stories are shared with her.

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker.

 

Through these stories, grandma brings Claire out of a depression. Claire learns by connecting with these fictional characters that her life matters too, if for no other reason than her grandmother says she does. She wants to stay in her grandmother’s hometown to not only continue the stories but to learn more about her quirky grandmother. Most importantly, she learns how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.  
 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#11 Cengel

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

 

I love how this process makes me think.

I've attempted again to connect the meaning behind Claire and why these stories are shared with her.

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer I like the voice here. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends (I would reword "as if both plant and human were friends") Also, I've read that you aren't supposed to put questions into queries, but I'm not sure if that's true or not!?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed. This feels kinda dropped at the end. I might change it to the beginning of the next paragraph.

 

 

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. Claire is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker.

 

 

 

Through these stories, grandma brings Claire out of a depression. Claire learns by connecting with these fictional characters that her life matters too, if for no other reason than her grandmother says she does. She wants to stay in her grandmother’s hometown to not only continue the stories but to learn more about her quirky grandmother. Most importantly, she learns how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm.  This last paragraph reads like a summary, and it sounds like it gives away the ending of the book. Instead, I think you need something that sets up the conflict. Show us what's at stake, but don't solve it for us. 
 

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Good start! If I'm reading your query right, it seems as if the central conflict in the story is Claire's depression - but I'm not totally sure. If this is the case, I think it needs to be highlighted. We don't get a sense of what's at stake here. Especially with that last paragraph, which tells us the conclusion and makes the whole query read more like a summary/short synopsis. 

 

I hope some of this was helpful! I would appreciate it if you would take a look at my query as well.


Please take a look at my query.


#12 tsnyder

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

Does this make things more clear for Claire?

 

Thanks again folks....

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm in order to know that she has value.

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words. I teach English from grades 7-12 in a remote desert town. I’m currently working on my master degree in TESOL.
 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#13 TheBest

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:22 PM

 

Does this make things more clear for Claire?

 

Thanks again folks....

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends rubs tomato leaves like people and plants were friends(This confuses me)?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed.

 

 

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach Claire through two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up and even murder her own stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm in order to know that to finally know her own she has value.

 

 

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words. I teach English from grades 7-12 in a remote desert town. I’m currently working on my master degree in TESOL.
 

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

This query has a unique voice that immediately pulls me in. I would love to read a novel with that same character! However, some of the sentences can get clunky, and lose that pith. Edit it a little bit, maybe clean up the the details, and you'll have a tremendous letter on your hands. Good luck!



#14 Sreid

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 03:05 PM

Thanks so much for the helpful critique. I hope I can be as helpful.

My comments are in red and my suggestions in blue.

 

Dear Agent,

Perhaps consider starting with her age. ​Thirteen year-old Claire never thought ​believed that Nutella could taste​d like skunk pee, until she stayed ​tried a sip at her grandma’s house for the that summer. ​She'd actually have to taste the skunk pee to know the difference. It adds the "yuck" factor to your hook, which is definitely an attention grabber. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. ​So do I at this point! I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends​ holds a tomato plant's leaf like a close friend's hand?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed​ I don't like this phrase so much. it just feels odd, as though something else, other than they themselves, makes females strong. It's also impersonal, not relating to Claire. Might I suggest something along the lines of: ​how to find her inner strength.

 

Grandma weaves fiction with truth as she attempts to reach ​This is written from grandma's perspective and then you hop back to Claire. I find it just a bit jarring. The following would correct that: Claire through ​gets to know two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As ​You just used "as" in the previous sentence. Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is​. ​Break the sentence here so you can shorten this 38-word-long monster. She's drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm in order to know that she has value. ​I see the significance of pansies not surviving in a desert, but how is learning that prickly pear blossoms are the norm needed in order to know one has value? Also, you might consider adding something of the stakes here. What does Claire need to do to overcome her feelings of low self-worth, and what are the consequences if she fails?

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words ​At 42,000 words, it might be considered a novella, but I'm no expert on that. I teach English from grades 7-12 in a remote desert town. I’m currently working on my master degree in TESOL.​ I read an agent specifically say that ones experience as a teacher no more qualifies you to write young adult literature than birthing a child makes you an expert on parenting. In other words, unless you have some published stories, novels or been awarded literary prizes, or have experience which is absolutely vital to your ability to write this book (usually regarding nonfiction) leave this space blank. You might instead consider adding a comparison between your story and a similar, well known, young adult coming of age novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

​I can tell from this query that your story is imaginative and could well be a gripping tale for your target audience. I hope some of my comments were helpful.

 

Steve



#15 tsnyder

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:29 PM

Here we go again.

 

Thanks for all the advice

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and handles the leaves of tomato plants like people would when grasping an old friend’s hand?  But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how to find her inner strength.

 

Claire gets to know two of grandma’s concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and even murder her stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm to finally know her own value. Claire needs to open up her senses and see how she connects to these characters in order to have a relationship with her grandmother and herself.

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words.
 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#16 rewrighter

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:27 PM

Just FYI: 42K is too short for a YA novel. Generally a first MS is between 60-90K. 42K is middle grade length. 

 

 

IN the first graph, I'm confused by your mention of Nutella, weed and chocolate. Do you mean weed as in undesirable plants or weed as in pot? The final sentence goes from  a garden to stories...I get you're trying to build atmosphere here but it's confusing. I also don't know why Claire needs to find her inner strength in the first place. There's no conflict here, only grandma's wisdom and Claire's taste buds. I need conflict, stakes and what'll happen to the main character if those stakes aren't realized. This can be more difficult with YA contemp but I suggest reading some blurbs - by authors like Sarah Dessen or Jolene Perry - to get a feel for it.

 

(Also, avoid first person - "I mean" in a third person POV.  Just start w/: "Who keeps weed in their chocolate," etc. In "murder her own stalker" the "her" doesn't work with the plural subject "girls" that precedes it. These kinds of grammatical errors are red flags to agents.  )

 

The 2nd graph does a good job establishing that Claire is learning about life through stories. But again, there's no stakes. She needs to "open up her senses" to have a relationship "with herself." Both of these are cliches that tell me nothing. What's been going on in Claire's life that she's at grandma's in the first place? What challenges is she facing that making her struggle with self-worth? 



#17 Daisy

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

I agree with everything that the above poster, rewrighter, said. 

 

 

 

 

Here we go again.

 

Thanks for all the advice

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. I like this opening.  It makes me grin and peaks my curiosity.

 

 

 

At first, Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, Who keeps weed in their chocolate and handles the leaves of tomato plants like people would when grasping an old friend’s hand?  Can you reword the second part of this?  Keep everything in your query letter short and snappy and easy to read. I had to re-read the tomato plants line and you don't want an agent to have to struggle to "get" what you're saying.

 

 

But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how to find her inner strength. This should "wow" but it does nothing for me. It's too vague. Be more specific. Lure me into your story.  So far, I'm not lured in. 

 

 

Claire gets to know two of grandma’s concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. concocted characters?  Are they imaginary?  This line is confusing. 

 

 

As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, Why is Claire struggling with her own self worth?  This seems random.  When you introduce her earlier, maybe imply it there.

 

she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and even murder her stalker. Again, this part confuses me. I am mildly intrigued, but not enough.  If I was an agent, I'd probably stop reading now.  Clarify this part so I'm not confused.  An agent will skim over queries. You want this to be clear and concise. Don't make me work to understand what you're trying to say. 

 

 

She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm to finally know her own value. Claire needs to open up her senses and see how she connects to these characters in order to have a relationship with her grandmother and herself.

 

 

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words. I agree, your word count is worrisome for a YA.
 

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 



#18 Lordsfame

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 01:59 PM


Here we go again.

Thanks for all the advice



Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer.At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and handles the leaves of tomato plants like people would when grasping an old friend’s hand? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how to find her inner strength.

Claire gets to know two of grandma’s concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and even murder her stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm to finally know her own value. Claire needs to open up her senses and see how she connects to these characters in order to have a relationship with her grandmother and herself.

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words.


Thank you for your time and consideration.



Here we go again.

Thanks for all the advice



Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer.At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and handles the leaves of tomato plants like people would when grasping an old friend’s hand? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how to find her inner strength.

Claire gets to know two of grandma’s concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and even murder her stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm to finally know her own value. Claire needs to open up her senses and see how she connects to these characters in order to have a relationship with her grandmother and herself.

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words.


Thank you for your time and consideration.


Bluegre


#19 Lordsfame

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:22 PM

I think all they've been trying to say and my opinion is you need to say more about Claire if she is the main character here. Let's know the central idea, the central character's conscious and unconscious desires, her fatal flaws, the overacting conflicts and the critical decision... that's what makes up a great story. The story seems good but I'm not seeing the depth of Claire's character. Is she a spoilt brat that wss shoved to Grandma for refurbishing or what? Are those tales of grandma wàys to refurbish her? Is there any trouble she put gran through while doing this? And is there a bigger sight here, a reason she had to be reformed strongly part from just been a good girl, a mission or something like that sàving her hometown you mentioned.
Also about the tomato plant, I think the words in the first query is okay, you can just change 'rub' to 'stroke' or something.
I will appreciate it if you guys checkout my query too, Diane's fantasy.

Bluegre


#20 JustSwizz

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 12:40 PM

 

Here we go again.

 

Thanks for all the advice

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Claire never thought that Nutella could taste like skunk pee, until she stayed at her grandma’s house for the summer. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. I mean I'd keep 1st pov out of your query, personally, who keeps weed in their chocolate and handles the leaves of tomato plants the last part of the sentence is super long and clunky. Also I had to read it a few times to understand the similie. Maybe break it up or make it clearer. like people would when grasping an old friend’s hand?  But it is through Grandma’s tales When was there a reference of her tales until now? that Claire learns how to find her inner strength Grandma is quirky and weird, and her tales seem like the crux of your query. Maybe try reorganazing this paragraph to make that more clear/important.

 

 

Claire gets to know two of grandma’s concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As Claire struggles with her own self-worth, she is drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and even murder her stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm to finally know her own value. Claire needs to open up her senses and see how she connects to these characters in order to have a relationship with her grandmother and herself I'm not getting the tension between Claire and her grandma. Also, I think the biggest problem is that you're trying to pack in as much detail as possible about the stories and how odd the grandma isPick the most important and go from there.

 

 

 

PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE Great title is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words I agree that this is low for a YA. I wonder if your novel would benefit more from being considered as a MG. We never get Claire's age, too.
 

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Thank you for the critique!

I think your query would definitely benefit from a narrowed focus. Decide what's most important and I think you'll be on the right path. 






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