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Shallow World: A Sunny-Thorned Seed for the Untold Stories (New Adult romantic dramedy)

Chick Lit New Adult Romance Womens Fiction Offbeat/Quirky

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#81 EMarie

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:38 PM

Hi, Iconian,I think you've made a lot of progress on this query since I first read it!

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy have just started their second semester at their California college―but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry.

 

But ('But' seems like an unnecessary word--maybe start with "in the wake of the shooting") in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” their differences might just be too great to overcome. Katy's native sensitivity draws her to volunteer for End Prejudice, and pushes her into the arms of the worst possible choice for a new boyfriend―at least in Jynnete's eyes. (I think this could still be condensed. Something like: BFF's Katy and Jynette have always been an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynette is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. Katy and Jynette have just started their second semester at a California college when a racially motivated shooting occurs on campus. In the wake of the shooting, Jynette and Katy's friendship is strained as they find themselves pulled in different directions. Katy's sensitivity draws her to volunteer for an End Prejudice Campaign and pushes her into the arms of the worst possible choice for a new boyfriend--at least in Jynette's eyes.)

 

I assume one friend is white and one African-American? If so, I would mention that. 

 

Soon Katy's friends try to get her to break up with her baffling (maybe cut this word) new beau, fearing he'll use and corrupt her, but she clings to him even more strongly. (Why doesn't Jynette like the new boyfriend?) For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous direction that she had tried to help her avoid. (Maybe reduce this sentence--Jynette feels powerless as she is forced to watch her friend ignore her advice.) And even as Katy contemplates marriage, Jynnete struggles even harder to break her free, but does little except increase tensions and garner herself accusations of prejudice. ('When Katy goes so far as to contemplate marriage, Jynette confronts her friend, and in an angry showdown Katy accuses Jynette of prejudice toward her boyfriend.' This isn't the best phrasing ever--but I hope it will give an idea of what I meant by condense.) 

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete's interventions and exhortations all seem to be backfiring, and she now watches almost helplessly, wondering how she's distanced herself from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs. And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths. (Again, I would probably try to condense this paragraph and streamline your ideas.)

 

I think this query has improved a lot, and you are well on your way!



#82 JGettys7

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:09 PM

Iconian, I feel like your query gets better every time you post it.

 

However, I do agree with just about everything EMarie said and feel like with just a little condensing, it would be great. Also, it would reduce the repetition Sataris pointed out. 

 

Other than that, thanks for your comments on my query and keep at it. You're so close! 



#83 RosieSkye

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:57 PM

Thank you, everyone that has left critiques again!  While I like Version B of the query, perhaps it's just not necessary.  Perhaps the extra length just doesn't help enough to make it worthwhile.  So I'll be working with Version A.

 

Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. Wow. Sounds like a conflicting combination.

 

What can I say?  The world's a messy place.  Maybe I should rename the book "Messy World" instead.

 

 

 

I've been through the whole manuscript two or three times since I finished it, but I think you're right.  I'll plan on going through the whole thing at least once more before I really get started sending off queries.

 

 

 

Alright, the latest revision.  I've worked on clearing up some of the confusion for the latest query, so hopefully it will make a little more sense.  Please note that I've omitted the final paragraph for the time being, with the word count and genre, as I feel that paragraph is complete.

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy have just started their second semester at their California college―but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry. (There are far too many adjectives here, and I find myself bogged down trying to envision these people.  Fashionistas are stereotypically a bit on the shallow and self-absorbed side rather than compassionate, and a feminist/Christian/chem major seems equally complex.  Multilayered characters are great for your manuscript, but your goal here is to quickly point out how different they are.  I'd say something like "Katy is carefree and compassionate, whereas Jynnete is more hard-nosed and logical" or something like that.  Paint them with broader strokes to get your point across more clearly.  Also, are they of different races?)

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down (cliche) and students turning out in droves (also cliche) to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” their differences might just be too great to overcome. Katy's native sensitivity draws her to volunteer for End Prejudice, and pushes her into the arms of the worst possible choice for a new boyfriend―at least in Jynnete's eyes. (What's so bad about him?)

 

Soon Jynnete Katy's friends (stick with your MC here) try tries to get her Katy to break up with her baffling new beau (How is he baffling?  This is clearly a big plot point, so we need FAR more detail about this guy), fearing he'll use and corrupt her, but she clings to him even more strongly. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous direction that she had tried to help her avoid. (What perilous directions?) And even as Katy contemplates marriage, Jynnete struggles even harder to break her free, but does little except increase tensions and garner herself accusations of prejudice. (I assume the BF is a different race, then?)

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete's interventions and exhortations all seem to be backfiring, and she now watches almost helplessly, wondering how she's distanced herself from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs. (I'm not sure where all of this is coming from. I thought she was simply trying to keep Katy from throwing her life away on a bad guy.) And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths. (This is vague.  What's ultimately at stake for Jynnete?  What choice does she have to make?)

 

 

Hope this helps!



#84 Iconian

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:34 PM

I used to be much more of a minimalist.  I think it's important to be able to cut out fluff that doesn't matter in your writing--but as the years have gone by, I've also discovered that you can also go too far.  And the same with answering questions, as well.  I think it's a good thing for an agent to be curious about a story.  I believe there's a balance to be found through all of it.

 

Anyway, I think everyone ought to take a look in the "Examples of Successful Queries" forum.  It's interesting to see the things what worked there.  I think this is the best thing I came across there, Tiffany220's query at http://agentquerycon...ests-in-a-week/

 

 

A few people on here didn't think it was very good (which was a huge discourageing)but I think it's all just a matter of what a certain person likes. I think people out there that have been criticized to death need to see this, for encouragement.

 

 

Writing is definitely a balancing act.  It just seems so important to have the right boundaries for this sort of thing.  You have to be able to accept criticism from others, to be able to improve your query . . .

 

But you also have to be able to know when going farther would be too much.  I think I've reached that point with my own query.  Like so many things in life, sometimes you just have to accept that some people won't like it.  But I think my query really expresses everything I wanted to get across about my book.  I'm sure I could further reduce the word count and still get the point across, but it's more of a literary book, and I think I need to be able to get that across.  Taken apart one piece at a time, I can see how it might make sense to change some of it.  But when you read all of it from start to finish, I think it says what it needs to.

 

Anyway, unless anyone can suggest some changes that will improve the query in major ways, I think this will be the final version.  I think the query itself is about as good as it's likely to be--I think the biggest thing likely to hold it back now is the book's word-count.  I have to hope--perhaps we all have to hope, in the end--that I can find an agent that "gets it."

 

Other than that, thank you to everyone that has contributed so much to improving this query--Novelarnia, Micronesia, Jaustail, JChristian, JGettys7, dogsbody, lyncfs, secondstar87, Erevos, Emarie, and everyone else--in a world filled with so many different systems that don't work, agentqueryconnect is a place that does.  Just remember to help others out with their queries, and I think you'll find that you get the help you need with yours too!

 

Thank you everyone!

 

 

 

 

Dear ____

Best friends Jynnete and Katy have just started their second semester at their California college―but after a racially-motivated shooting occurs on campus, their worlds begin drifting apart. The BFF's have always been something of an odd couple: Katy is a compassionate and free-spirited fashionista, while Jynnete is a strong-willed Christian feminist studying chemistry.

 

But in the wake of the shooting, with the community turned upside down and students turning out in droves to attend the college's “End Prejudice Campaign,” their differences just might be too great to overcome. Jynnete finds a seemingly perfect boyfriend, in spite having previously almost sworn men off altogether. But at the same time, Katy's innate sensitivity draws her to volunteer for End Prejudice, and pushes her into the arms of the worst possible choice for a new boyfriend―at least in Jynnete's eyes.

 

Soon Katy's friends try to get her to break up with her baffling new beau, fearing he'll use and corrupt her, but she clings to him even more strongly. For one of the first times in her life Jynnete begins to feel powerless, forced to watch her friend move in almost every perilous direction that she had tried to help her avoid. And even as Katy contemplates marriage, Jynnete struggles harder still to break her free, but does little except increase tensions and garner herself accusations of prejudice.

 

With their second semester of college drawing to a close, boycotts, a mayoral recall and riots threaten the whole city. Katy's future already seems decided, set on a path of bleakness and denial. Jynnete's interventions and exhortations all seem to be backfiring, but she prepares for a final showdown, while wondering how she's distanced herself from her friends, her own new boyfriend, and even her beliefs. And at any moment everything might totally change or collapse, with untold stories sending everyone careening down still more uncertain paths.

 

Part 1 of SHALLOW WORLD: A SUNNY-THORNED SEED FOR THE UNTOLD STORIES is complete at 122,000 words, the first of an intended duology. It is a fast-paced New Adult romance with a cast full of colorful and mysterious characters, touching on current issues and propelling the reader alongside Jynnete and Katy―through adventure, heartbreak, discovery, and simple fun.

 

In the past I've worked as a copywriter, and have now returned to my love of writing once more.


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#85 JGettys7

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:46 PM

Very well said. I agree that what some of us here like is not going to be the same as what an agent likes. As long as you're happy and confident with your query where it is now, then I think that's all that matters.

 

Good luck finding an agent! And I can't wait to read all about Jynnete and Katy! :-)







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