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MAX VISION - A YOUNG ADULT BOOK


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#81 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:15 PM

​THANKS GUYS FOR ALL THE HELP!

​I'M GOING TO START SENDING THIS QUERY TO AGENTS, BUT I AM STILL OPEN TO MAKE MINOR CHANGES IF YOU HAVE ANY.... THANK YOU. 

TITLE: MAX VISION

YOUNG ADULT – PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER / HORROR

9/16/17 (NEWEST QUERY)

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. 

 

Shy Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be the school bully. When she flirts with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.


Preston Copeland

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#82 C. C. Carroll

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:52 PM

 

​THANKS GUYS FOR ALL THE HELP!

​I'M GOING TO START SENDING THIS QUERY TO AGENTS, BUT I AM STILL OPEN TO MAKE MINOR CHANGES IF YOU HAVE ANY.... THANK YOU. 

TITLE: MAX VISION

YOUNG ADULT – PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER / HORROR

9/16/17 (NEWEST QUERY)

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. 

 

Shy Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be the school bully. When she flirts with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

I think it sounds good. I hope you get an agent. All I've gotten are great big "R's." Let us know when te book comes out. NO way it's not picked up! Great idea!!



#83 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 07:05 PM

Wow, well thank you C.C. Carroll. But even if the query does my story a little justice, I still need to have a skin-tight manuscript.

So I will go and begin the query process with your positive thoughts in mind.

Gracias.


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#84 smithgirl

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 10:39 AM

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. I still love this hook. 

 

Shy Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be the school bully. When she flirts with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

 

I think your query is really good now. Good luck with agents!



#85 hgsylvan

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:28 AM

Sorry, I don't know how to change color - made a few suggestions. 

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. Great hook - LOVE THIS!!!

 

Shy (introverted?)Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be   is also the school bully. When she is caught flirting with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws a naked Max into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral. (I might consider another word for naked - as it is used back to back. I would probably rework the "During gym class" sentence. Wouldn't it be after gym class? cause why would they be naked during gym class? and don't think you need the word class..."After gym, the bully throws a disrobed Max into a crowded hallway, igniting a slew of cell phones #saycheese.   

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

Great work! It reminds me a lot like the premise for Carrie. It's a solid query, just thought it could use a little tightening up. 



#86 jaustail

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:48 PM

JMO:

 

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. 

 

Shy Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be the school bully. When she flirts with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive(maybe comma) lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

 

Nothing much to edit. Great query. Gives clear idea of the story. Good luck!!

Link to my revised query is in my signature in case you want to have a look.



#87 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:32 PM

HEY GUYS, I'VE RECEIVED ABOUT 10 REJECTIONS WITH MY FORMER QUERY, SO I'VE CREATED A NEW "TITLE" AND "NEW QUERY..." 

 

                                                                   NEW TITLE - "HIS ALTAR HER EGO" 

                                                                      CATEGORY - YOUNG ADULT

                                                              GENRE - CONTEMPORARY HORROR

 

EDIT ME, I'LL EDIT YOURS

 

                                                Query (Do you like the New Book Title- "HIS ALTAR HER EGO"  ?) 

 

 

In a quiet middle-class neighborhood in New Port Richey, Florida, people begin disappearing. Nobody in town or at the local high school suspects 15-year-old Max Jacob as the culprit.

 

Then again—why should they? Max seems normal enough. He doesn’t break rules. He makes decent grades and for a fun hobby, he shoots his bow and arrow with his best friend. He even likes to help out a local homeless guy in his neighborhood. However, Max has had some problems lately with cruel kids, and even a teacher is picking on him. A kind lady in the neighborhood has taken Max under her wing. She doesn’t like people who pick on defenseless kids. She tells Max that he’s a special boy, one with great powers that can help him deal with bullies. 

The problem is—she’s dead.

 

The other problem—Max believes her advice. He even decides to wear the lady’s costume and help the missing people repent of their sins. It’s not long before Max sees blood for the first time. And it’s not long before he discovers he must destroy the evil creation, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#88 cookingdan

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:59 PM

Hey Preston, thanks for checking out my query. 

 

 

In a quiet middle-class neighborhood in New Port Richey, Florida, people begin disappearing. Nobody in town or at the local high school suspects 15-year-old Max Jacob as the culprit. It's a good hook, but not particularly interesting (oh, another mystery novel) I think your MC, a vigilante drag queen, makes for the meat of a more interesting hook, as in previous queries Maybe there's a way you could mesh the two? When people from a quiet middle-class neighborhood in New Port Richey begin disappearing, nobody suspects 15-year-old Max Jacob - who's alter ego is a vigilante drag-queen. - or something along those lines.

 

Then again—why should they? Max seems normal enough. He doesn’t break rules. He makes decent grades and for a fun hobby, he shoots his bow and arrow with his best friend. He even likes to help out a local homeless guy in his neighborhood. Not sure how much of this is necessary info - I think you could rather give us a better idea of the plot here. However, Max has had some is having problems lately with cruel kids, and even a teacher is picking on him. A kind lady in the neighborhood has taken takes Max under her wing avoid passive voice. She doesn’t like people who pick on defenseless kids. She tells Max that he’s a special boy, one with great powers that can help him deal with bullies. This sentence feels ... weird

The problem is—she’s dead.

 

The other problem—Max believes her advice you can't believe advice - you take/follow it. He even decides to wear the lady’s clothing costume and help the missing people repent of their sins. It’s not long before Max sees blood for the first time why/how?. And it’s not long before he realizes discovers he must destroy the evil creation, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

 

 

Honestly, I thought your previous query letter was better, though it could have still used a bit of work. This sounds like a such a great story! I'd also suggest marketing it as MG rather than YA. The voice of your query and the language used is definitely more MG.



#89 Artsnerd

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:35 PM

(Returning the favor! :)

 

In a quiet middle-class neighborhood in New Port Richey, Florida, people begin disappearing (not sure if this is the strongest opening; I glanced at your other queries and the previous ones seemed more powerful). Nobody in town or at the local high school suspects 15-year-old Max Jacob as the culprit.

 

Then again—(replace this em-dash with a comma so that the em-dash in the next paragraph has more of a punch, maybe?) why should they? Max seems normal enough. He doesn’t break rules. He makes decent grades and for a fun hobby, he shoots his bow and arrow ("practices archery" so it's not so wordy?) with his best friend. He even likes to help out a local homeless guy in his neighborhood. However ("but", instead?), Max has had some problems lately with cruel kids, and even a teacher is picking on him ("even a teacher is picking on him" seems a rather shocking thing, so maybe make it its own separate sentence and just exclude the "and"?). A kind lady in the neighborhood has taken Max under her wing. She doesn’t like people who pick on defenseless kids. She tells Max that he’s a special boy, one with great powers that can help him deal with bullies. 

 

The problem is—she’s dead.

 

The other problem—Max believes her advice. He even decides to wear the lady’s costume and help the missing people repent of their sins. It’s not long before Max sees blood for the first time. And it’s not long before he discovers he must destroy the evil creation, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

I hope this helped! I haven't really critiqued too many queries before, so sorry if I'm a bit rusty. Your story has an intriguing premise! :)


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

Avatar created by me.


#90 smithgirl

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:52 AM

Query (Do you like the New Book Title- "HIS ALTAR HER EGO"  ?) I think this title does a better job of indicating what the story is about. Not that Max Vision was bad. 

 

 

 

In a quiet middle-class neighborhood in New Port Richey, Florida, people begin disappearing. Nobody in town or at the local high school suspects 15-year-old Max Jacob as the culprit. Honestly, I thought your last hook was better. The vengeful drag queen part gave the story character. I would use the original hook or add the vengeful drag queen part back.

 

Then again—why should they? Max seems normal enough. He doesn’t break rules. He makes decent grades and for a fun hobby, he shoots his bow and arrow with his best friend. He even likes to helps out a local homeless guy in his neighborhood. However, Max has had some problems lately with cruel kids, and even a teacher is picking on him. A kind lady in the neighborhood has taken Max under her wing. She doesn’t like people who pick on defenseless kids. She tells Max that he’s a special boy, one with great powers that can help him deal with bullies. I don't think this paragraph communicates much important.

 

The problem is—she’s dead. OK, here's the interesting part, but it takes a while to get here.

 

The other problem—Max believes her advice. Why wouldn't he? She's kind. He even decides to wear the lady’s costume and help the missing people repent of their sins. It’s not long before Max sees blood for the first time. And it’s not long before he discovers he must destroy the evil creation, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

 

So first of all, ten queries isn't very many. I'm not sure I would rewrite just because of that. I thought your original query was really good. This one feels a bit dull, and you leave out the whole vengeful drag queen part, which I thought was the real selling point. It made your story fun and unique. Personally, I would recommend sticking with the other query a bit longer. You don't know why the agents are rejecting it -- maybe they like the story but they don't think they have the right editorial connections, maybe they just took something similar, maybe they just took something (period) and they're not likely to take something again soon. Maybe they're tired of YA but don't mention that in their bio.

 

Maybe their morning coffee was bad and they're in a rotten mood.

 

I'm just saying, you can't know that ten agents rejected your query because it was bad. The request rate for queries is very low. I was just reading the 2016 end-of-year stats at Nelson Literary Agency (http://nelsonagency....-of-year-stats/). They received ~ 30,000 queries, made 92 full requests (0.3%) and took on 3 new clients (0.01%). So those are the numbers you're dealing with. Your original query was good. Really. I would just stick with that.

 

Good luck.

 



#91 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:44 PM

Thank you CookingDan, Artsnerd, and Smithgirl! By the way, those names sound hilarious, a story in the making.

 

Smithgirl, I really appreciate the solid, solid advice... I actually counted and I have sent 31 queries, in which 7 have been rejected. So you're absolutely right, 7 or 10 is not much, considering the statistics. And yeah, you're right, there could have been many reasons for the rejections, none of which are with the quality of the query...

 

With that said, I'm keeping the original query below, and will send out another 30. 

 

I made a couple of tweaks, so any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

                                                                                   Young Adult Horror

 

                                                                              Title - HIS ALTAR HER EGO

 

                                                                                      FINAL QUERY

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies.  

 

As tenth grade begins, Max’s math teacher publicly humiliates him for sleeping in class. To make things worse, Max must avoid a gangster kid who’s bullied him since ninth grade. When the gangster sees Max chatting with his chick, he’s enraged. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. He sees his eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. He hears his voice become sinister. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the wind out of the bully with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the zip-tied bully to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but the other side of him is repulsed by his actions. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#92 pinkatailmon

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 10:00 PM

Thank you CookingDan, Artsnerd, and Smithgirl! By the way, those names sound hilarious, a story in the making.

 

Smithgirl, I really appreciate the solid, solid advice... I actually counted and I have sent 31 queries, in which 7 have been rejected. So you're absolutely right, 7 or 10 is not much, considering the statistics. And yeah, you're right, there could have been many reasons for the rejections, none of which are with the quality of the query...

 

With that said, I'm keeping the original query below, and will send out another 30. 

 

I made a couple of tweaks, so any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

                                                                                   Young Adult Horror

 

                                                                              Title - HIS ALTAR HER EGO

 

                                                                                      FINAL QUERY

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. (There's a little too much going on in that sentence to be a hook. Break it down and maybe just focus on the punishing bullies bit) 

 

Max is having the worst year. As tenth grade begins, Max’s math teacher publicly humiliates him for sleeping in class. To make things worse, Max must avoid a gangster kid who’s bullied him since ninth grade. When the gangster sees Max chatting with his chick, he’s enraged. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. (I'd squeeze these sentences into two and make them shorter and punchier.) Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. He sees his eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. He hears his voice become sinister. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the wind out of the bully with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the zip-tied bully to the abandoned house. (This passage is awesome)

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but the other side of him is repulsed by his actions. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer. (I love the stakes, though I'd like some more info. Is he possessed and has no control over his body?)

 

I have a concern that has to do with the story (which you can absolutely ignore since reading is so subjective). YA is getting more and more inclusive and diverse these days (like with #ownvoices) and I worry that agents will balk at accepting a story that casts transgender people in a negative light. Again, I could be misinterpreting the query because Max does gain self-respect and power from his alter ego. Maybe tweak it a bit to emphasize that, or simply mention Maxi is a vengeful ghost. If Max is really transgender, I'd play that up.

 

Hope this helps!



#93 jds1979

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 11:30 PM

Hi Preston Copeland.Biz. Thanks for taking a look at my query. 

 

I've read through all of the iterations of your query, and I think you have a really decent query here. I like the premise of the drag queen Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vigilante. I really only had one issue with it; I don't like the word creepy where you talk about the transformation. I think it discounts the description of the transformation. I teach middle school, so I hear that word ALL the time. It's too vague. Try terrifying, menacing, ghostly, etc. Just a thought. 

 

Thanks again for the feedback! 

 

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies. 

 

Shy Max Jacob really loves his high school crush, but her boyfriend happens to be the school bully. When she flirts with Max on the school bus, her boyfriend retaliates. During gym class, he throws Max naked into a crowded hallway. Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible images of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. His eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. His voice becomes creepy use a different word here. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the bully unconscious with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the body to the abandoned house.

 

Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired, but he’s also repulsed by his bloodied captive lying zip-tied by his heels. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.



#94 MissTeela

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 09:31 PM

Thank you CookingDan, Artsnerd, and Smithgirl! By the way, those names sound hilarious, a story in the making.

 

Smithgirl, I really appreciate the solid, solid advice... I actually counted and I have sent 31 queries, in which 7 have been rejected. So you're absolutely right, 7 or 10 is not much, considering the statistics. And yeah, you're right, there could have been many reasons for the rejections, none of which are with the quality of the query...

 

With that said, I'm keeping the original query below, and will send out another 30. 

 

I made a couple of tweaks, so any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

                                                                                   Young Adult Horror

 

                                                                              Title - HIS ALTAR / HER EGO   consider adding the slash. double meaning, too, because it's a horror. haha. get it? slash? 

 

                                                                                      FINAL QUERY

 

After fifteen-year-old Max Jacob explores the abandoned house of a dead woman, her spirit possesses his soul and tempts him to become Maxi, a vengeful drag queen who punishes bullies.  What about a simple, grabby first sentence? Max Jacob always got along better with dead people. Only if it's true, of course. It speaks loads about his personality. Okay, so tempts him how? I think you need to say. Or can you say instead that the dead woman 'forces' Max? See the difference? One implies Max has a choice (tempts him). The other implies he doesn't (forces him). But I have to say, the premise is pretty funny. I was wondering if the story could be a horror comedy. Not sure if that even exists. 

 

As tenth grade begins, Max’s math teacher publicly humiliates him for sleeping in class. What about 'humiliates him in front of hisclass?' As if that wasn't bad enough, To make things worse, Max is worried (acutally, a stronger word than worried would be better) must  avoid about a bully who has it out for him. gangster kid who’s bullied him since ninth grade. When he the gangster sees Max chatting with his chick, he’s  grows enraged. During gym class, he throws tosses a Max naked Max into a crowded hallway. Oh no! Already suffering from low self-esteem, Max is devastated when his naked image goes viral.

 

That night at the trailer park, Max is depressed and tries to forget about the incident. Yet the terrible horrific images visions of his nude body replay in his mind. That’s when the dead woman's spirit offers a powerful vision: one where Max transforms into Maxi. He sees his eyes grow darker. His nails become longer. He hears his voice become sinister. Only it’s not a vision anymore: In the darkness, Maxi knocks the wind out of the bully with a bat and uses a stolen truck to deliver the zip-tied bully to the abandoned house.

 

In living out the vision, Max finally feels the self-respect and power he’s always desired., bBut the other side of him is repulsed by his actions. Max must destroy the evil creation, Maxi, or become something far worse than a kid with low self-esteem: a murderer.

 

 

I'd like to see higher stakes here. Sure, becoming a murderer is horrific. But what about something even more horrible? What if Max realizes that in order to kill the evil creation he will (or may) lose something important to him, like a 'good' part of himself?  

 

This didn't seem all that scary to me. It sounded kind of funny. It can be both, for sure, if that's what you intended. Interesting story idea, though! 

 

 






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