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A Life In Colour (MG Contemporary)

Fiction Middle Grade

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#1 Arcanjoe

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:54 PM

New draft in #34

 

Hey there, any help with this draft would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, total colourblindness. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon he learns it’s all an act for the authorities. They keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell anyone the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see full stop. But if the partners in crime fail to make it back to the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals, and they will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#2 Ireth

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:07 PM

 

Hey there, any help with this draft would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, total colourblindness. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from. (I'm a bit confused. Why would they hide that he's colorblind? What do the glasses do? Is Huey nearsighted as well as colorblind?)

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon he learns it’s all an act for the authorities. They keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell anyone the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter (I like this), she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. (I would think the position of the traffic lights would be just as important as the color? Red is always on top, green is on the bottom.) But if Huey and Bibi fail to make it back to the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals, and they will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#3 jaustail

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

Wow... Great voice in query. Id request pages.

A few things: why did the foster parents adopt the kids? What's their purpose?

When you say he can't see traffic lights n she can't see full stop, what does full stop mean here?

In the last part: and they will be forever trapped, I thought 'they' refers to parents. So maybe reword the sentence.

Also when you say: she shows him that he doesn't have to see colors to have a colourful life, here I mean huey was born colorblind so he wouldnt know what it is to see with colours. So it's not like he's missing being colours.

Had he become colorblind later in life the sentence would've made sense.


But overall fun query. Sounds like a fun book.

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

#4 Springfield

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:26 PM

 

Hey there, any help with this draft would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, total colourblindness. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.What? Why? This is as odd as the opening sentence, and needs explanation. Also, he's 12. Did he never leave the house, or meet another person?

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, What? and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, What's happening to the animals? no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon he learns it’s all an act for the authorities. They keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell anyone the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, like? she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, I thought he was trapped in the attic. Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one can’t see the colour of the traffic lights I'm sorry, is he meant to be mentally challenged as well as colourblind? I'm losing the logic of a lot of things here unless that's where we're going, and if so, I'd come out with it, and the other can’t see full stop. But if the partners in crime fail to make it back to the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals, and they will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour. Again, the logic in the query is off. If they can figure out the way back there... also, might just knock on the nearest door, or go to the shop, or find a police officer...Also, his plan is to live, alone, on an abandoned farm with animals he thinks are still there, at 12? Do you see where the query is not holding up in a logical way? 

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

I don't know how things are explained in the mss, just commenting on what's here.



#5 smithgirl

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:58 PM

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, total colourblindness. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from. Nice punchy hook.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon he learns it’s all an act for the authorities. They keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house Fun detail!  and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell anyone the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape. He is trapped with other foster kids in the same house?

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends: They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see full stop. I'm not sure what it means to see full stop. But if the partners in crime fail to make it back to the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have  would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals, and they They are parents and animals or Huey and Bibi? will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Hi Arcanjoe. Overall I think your query is really good and I get the feeling that the book will have a great voice and fun details. I just had a few comments (inserted in body of query). One other comment: If you query an agent who represents both adult and child fiction, I would clarify at the beginning of the query that your novel is MG. You can just have an introductory sentence: I am writing to please request representation for my MG novel... I'm just saying that because when I first read the opening, I had a serious letdown to see the big secret was colorblindness. It just didn't seem like a big deal. By the end, I understood this is a book for younger children, and that you are exploring this alternate life experience from a child's perspective and maybe for educational purposes, but when I'm so used to reading queries with secrets like he was an alien or he was assaulted, etc. I was initially confused by the colorblindness thing.

 

Can you please review my query when you can? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...ery-in-post-20/

 



#6 Arcanjoe

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

Thanks so much for all of the feedback. Incredibly helpful all round. To some of your questions: full stop is the same as when Americans say period. But I've changed that bit for clarity.

Also, Achromatopsia is not regular colourblindness (which is why I've altered the query below), it is a complete inability to see all colour. On top of that, there's reduced visual acuity and light sensitivity, which explains the glasses.

Huey is very sheltered, having lived on an isolated farm his whole (young) life. All he knows are the farm, the farmer's markets and small parts of Exeter. (Should I add a line about how sheltered he is?)

 

Here's the newest version:

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, Unc, the old groundskeeper who helped raise him and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, both he and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#7 Springfield

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:18 PM

 

Thanks so much for all of the feedback. Incredibly helpful all round. To some of your questions: full stop is the same as when Americans say period. But I've changed that bit for clarity.

Also, Achromatopsia is not regular colourblindness (which is why I've altered the query below), it is a complete inability to see all colour. On top of that, there's reduced visual acuity and light sensitivity, which explains the glasses.

Huey is very sheltered, having lived on an isolated farm his whole (young) life. All he knows are the farm, the farmer's markets and small parts of Exeter. (Should I add a line about how sheltered he is?)

 

Here's the newest version:

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, Unc, the old groundskeeper who helped raise him and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, both he and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

I think all my previous comments stand -- there are too many questions brought up here and logic gaps. I don't think 'full stop' was an issue, just needed a comma; it's a pretty common expression here, but six of one. Adding how sheltered he is wouldn't really address any of the questions/issues I had I don't think.



#8 Arcanjoe

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:54 PM

Springfield, I thought I cleared up the confusion about him being trapped in the attic with the mention of the chores Huey performs? I also mentioned Unc, the groundskeeper who is looking after the animals and the farm. You (very rightly) pointed out that it read like Huey and Bibi were going to look after themselves when they made it to the farm, but Unc is the one that will look after them. Adding him into the query explains this, doesn't it?

 

What other questions do you have? About the traffic lights? You've been very helpful so far. Thank you.


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#9 smithgirl

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 04:59 PM

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, Unc, his old friend Unc the groundskeeper who helped raise him and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. I thought this was better before. This sentence becomes long and clunky when you add Unc. If you want to keep Unc,I would tighten up some other parts.  At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living even worse hell should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped there with other foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape. Would you use the word hell in a MG book? It feels "out of voice"with the rest of the query.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. I didn't make the connection above that Bibi is blind. Maybe other people did. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, both he and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

I saw that Springfield felt that were some logic gaps, but I didn't have any issues like that. I'm not entirely sure what it's like reading an MG novel, but because it's for children, I give it more slack than I would an adult novel. The fact is, the story itself is a bit improbable -- would two young children with visual impairments really make it back to a possibly distant farm? Wouldn't the foster parents just take them back? These are questions that I let go because of the genre. Overall, I think your query is clear, just a few small comments. Thanks for stopping by my query, too.



#10 Springfield

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:26 PM

Springfield, I thought I cleared up the confusion about him being trapped in the attic with the mention of the chores Huey performs? I also mentioned Unc, the groundskeeper who is looking after the animals and the farm. You (very rightly) pointed out that it read like Huey and Bibi were going to look after themselves when they made it to the farm, but Unc is the one that will look after them. Adding him into the query explains this, doesn't it?

 

What other questions do you have? About the traffic lights? You've been very helpful so far. Thank you.

 

Sorry, you're correct you addressed the farm a bit with the groundskeeper, but I would presume the farm isn't just going to stay there, with a groundskeeper, when the owners are dead. I can see a kid would, maybe, though you'd think someone would mention, but that, ok. 

 

The trapped thing you're right, full stop, heh. 

 

I'm stuck on him not knowing he;s colourblind, or his parents somehow keeping it from him, his thinking he can just go home and live on his own (I don't really get the groundskeeper will like, adopt him -- does he think the groundskeeper will keep the farm? He's 12, it just seems such bizarre thinking. I could see an 8-year-old maybe with that thought process but 12 I just can't buy in to that without explanation), and yes, the lights, heh. It's like he's never been outside or met another human for these things. 

 

Also, in a general sense, there are two things: the logic of the characters, which see above I still think is off for a 12-year-old who isn't mentally challenged in some way, and the logic of the plot conveyed in the query, which isn't for kids, but for agents. Those are the people who are going to get stopped by something they can't believe. If it's something explained in such a way that it's clear why it'd make sense within the mss, or, better yet, not there, so the question doesn't come up, that can be one thing, but agents getting stopped going, 'wait...' reading a query is a problem.



#11 eric balson

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 03:20 PM

 

Thanks so much for all of the feedback. Incredibly helpful all round. To some of your questions: full stop is the same as when Americans say period. But I've changed that bit for clarity.

Also, Achromatopsia is not regular colourblindness (which is why I've altered the query below), it is a complete inability to see all colour. On top of that, there's reduced visual acuity and light sensitivity, which explains the glasses.

Huey is very sheltered, having lived on an isolated farm his whole (young) life. All he knows are the farm, the farmer's markets and small parts of Exeter. (Should I add a line about how sheltered he is?)

 

Here's the newest version:

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To twelve-year-old Huey (love the name, it suits the story) Crescent, words like 'red,' 'blue' and 'colour' are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, Unc, the old groundskeeper who helped raise him and all his beloved animals, a promise Sentence is too long: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. It's not clear from the get go that she's blind. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, both he and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Overall, you've captured the voice and the story seems great. It reminds me of "My Life As A Zucchini"

Hope this helps. Please review my query here (post #87): http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-5



#12 treedom

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:37 AM

To twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes his parents, who are buried under an apple tree on the farm, Unc, the old groundskeeper who helped raise him and all his beloved animals, a promise: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes.

Huey makes a promise to his parents (who are buried under an apple tree on the farm), Unc (the old groundskeeper who help raise him), and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes.

At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic at the top of their triangle-shaped house and threaten to make his life a living hell should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind is Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

Vivid intro to what sounds like a dynamic character!

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially because since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey would’ve will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, both he and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

This sounds like a really promising premise! Before you clarified the particular disease Huey had, the colorblindness alone didn't seem debilitating enough. But this disease sounds like it would be. Having more heroic characters with disabilities (like Bibi seems to be) is really important. Plus, it would be interesting to read a book that describes the world without using color.

 

Here is my query. Thanks!

http://agentquerycon...ess-ya-fantasy/



#13 Arcanjoe

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for the continued help. I've implemented several of the suggested ideas below.

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To sheltered twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes a promise to his dead parents, Unc, the old groundskeeper who’s like a grandfather to him, and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house and threaten worse should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, Huey and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#14 kathleenq

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 07:29 PM

I think this is really good! I love the story, and it's very well written. The only note/question I have is the end, where you mention the escape and seeing the color of the traffic lights.

 

So many people who are colorblind just look at the position of the lights - red is always on top, green is always on the bottom, so it's easy to tell which light is which. There's also different walking/stopping signals for walkers, so that might make the problem of traffic lights go away completely.


Synopsis: Glass Domes


#15 slinke13

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 01:20 PM



Thanks for the continued help. I've implemented several of the suggested ideas below.

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To sheltered twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and colour [I didn't see that anyone else commented on this so maybe it's just me, but why not just use a third color? 'red, blue, and orange' or maybe "For sheltered 12yr old Huey C., any colour is a swear word." ? Idk, I like the hook, but it reads a little off to me. Btw, agree with eric, great name :) ] are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives trying to protect him from. [why is it a secret?]

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes a promise to his dead parents, Unc, the old groundskeeper who’s like a grandfather to him, and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes.[Your first paragraph didn't set up any emotional ties to this place we're just now hearing about, so this feels jarring. The way you've set it up, I'm getting more Harry under the stairs vibes than happy kid on a loving farm.] At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house and threaten worse should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime. [diggin this]

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. [this next sentence is better imo - maybe because I have no feelings toward the farm or his animals, but I have an idea who Bibi is and want that precious thing to be happy lol] Worse still, Huey and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Ok, so I think what's really tripping up your query is the first paragraph. I see how you're introducing the  Achromatopsia (definitely couldn't spell that myself lol), but it sets the wrong tone about Huey's life before his parent's death. From what I gathered his parents were very loving so I don't fully understand why they wouldn't embrace his disability. I like the idea of someone with a unique disability learning to navigate the world and learn like you said there still is a colorful life to be lead, but you need to clarify why his parents weren't the ones to show him that. Fix that up and I think pretty much everything after that is great, unique and heart warming :)

 

I'd love for you to take a look at my query as well :) It's in post #25



#16 Arcanjoe

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:03 PM

Thanks Slinke! That's a very good point. I've added a little bit at the end of the hook to address that. I also scrapped colour in the opening line. Works better like this, I think.

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To sheltered twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and green are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his loving but overprotective parents spent their lives keeping from him.

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes a promise to his dead parents, Unc, the old groundskeeper who’s like a grandfather to him, and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house and threaten worse should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, Huey and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#17 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 02:02 AM

 

 

 

Thanks Slinke! That's a very good point. I've added a little bit at the end of the hook to address that. I also scrapped colour in the opening line. Works better like this, I think.

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To sheltered twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and green are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when Huey’s parents die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his loving but overprotective parents spent their lives keeping from him. (I really like this, except at first I thought the whole world banned the used of those words, not just his parents. Perhaps clarify if you can?)

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, (I wasn't sure what Crescent Farm was until I rereard and saw his last name again. Perhaps instead say the home he grew up in or something like that) Huey makes a promise to his dead parents, Unc, the old groundskeeper who’s like a grandfather to him, and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house and threaten worse should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm.  (This is unnecessary. Simply say, 'they plan to escape but ' or something) But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, Huey and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour. 

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

This is a really cute idea and I like your query, but I'm not sure if the stakes are high enough. The risk of breaking a promise isn't very punchy (though I get that to a kid it's a big deal) and while the risk of staying at a terrible foster home forever is a good stake, I'm not sure what will happen when he reaches the farm. Will no one come looking for them? Will no one show up to send him back to the bad place? Why can't he simply go tell someone this is happening? I guess my point is - I get why a kid would thinkgoing home solves everything, but as an adult I know the whole situation is doomed whether he gets there or not, so I don't feel the stakes. Does that make sense? Also, I think it might help if we know how old Huey is. I can't tell if he's a little kid, or a pre-teen.  Best of luck to you! I feel you have a great story, you just need to clarify it a bit more in your query :) 



#18 dragoness

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:01 AM

The story seems interesting  :smile: .

 

I have several questions the query didn't answer, and I think it should:

 

- what is the problem with living without colors? (I figure it's like living in a black & white movie - sad but not really preventing any action. Isn't it?)

 

- why should the foster parents be nice first and evil later? Do the authorities check only in the beginning? Can't the kids complain to them?

 

- why coming back will help them - won't the authorities look for them, find them in the farm, and take them back to the foster home?

 

- Doesn't the farm belong to new owners now?

 

Here are some more comments I had:

To sheltered , words like red, blue and green are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when twelve-year-old Huey Crescent’s parents die in a car accident, (comma) and he’s sent to a foster home, (comma) that he learns he why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his loving but overprotective parents spent their lives keeping from him. (I think most of the hook is not interesting and better be deleted, but it's still needs a good example of the problem.)

 

Before leaving Crescent Farm, Huey makes a promise to his dead parents, Unc, the old groundskeeper who’s like a grandfather to him, and all his beloved animals: he will make it back home, no matter what it takes. At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house and threaten worse should he attempt to tell Unc or anyone else the truth. Trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling blind girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts (I think the shirt thing is not clear and not relevant) and seems to come and go as she pleases. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter(the example doesn't say what you mean, IMO) , she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime. (Great ending!)

 

Under the guise of walking the family dog, Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to Crescent Farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. If the partners in crime fail to make it back to Unc and the safety of Huey’s farm, then Huey will have broken the promise to his parents and his animals. Worse still, Huey and Bibi will be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

I think the query will be very good with some changes  :smile: . Let me know when you have another version.

 

Thanks for commenting on my query. Would you like to look at the new version? http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#19 Arcanjoe

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:50 AM

Thanks Kjcloutier and Dragoness. Very helpful!


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/


#20 Arcanjoe

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 04:28 PM

I've taken a lot of the advice on board and reworked the query. I've cut any mention of the promise and beefed up the connection to Unc (an important part of the story). I hope I've addressed the issue a few of you had about what would happen after they made it back to the farm. Is this clearer now? Thanks so much in advance for taking a look!

 

Dear *Agent*,

 

To sheltered twelve-year-old Huey Crescent, words like red, blue and green are banned. To say them gets him in almost as much trouble with his overprotective parents as taking off his oversized glasses when the sun’s still up. But it’s only when they die in a car accident and he’s sent to a foster home that he learns why: Huey has Achromatopsia, a total inability to see colour. A truth his parents spent their lives keeping from him.

 

At first, his foster parents appear kind and welcoming, but soon Huey learns it’s all an act so the authorities will keep sending them children and paying them handsomely for it. When Huey’s not scrubbing the toilets or snaking the drains, they keep him in the leaky attic of their triangle-shaped house. Scared that if he tells he may be sent to a new foster home on the other side of the country, hundreds of miles away from his beloved farm, Huey stays silent. His only connection to the farm and animals is Unc, the old groundskeeper who helped raise him and now plans on applying to be Huey's guardian. But trapped with foster kids who make fun of his oversized glasses and quivering eyes, and unwilling to wait for the guardianship decision to be made, Huey begins planning an escape.

 

He finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Bibi, an always-smiling girl who wears “Blind and Beautiful” T-shirts. A self-styled master spy who longs to touch and smell the outside world, Bibi's only too happy to plot, scheme and conspire with Huey. Though her ideas are always nuttier than crunchy peanut butter, she shows Huey that he doesn’t need to see colours to have a colourful life, and soon they’re more than friends. They’re partners in crime.

 

Huey and Bibi map the neighbourhood and work out the best route back to the farm. But the journey will be dangerous, especially since one of them can’t see the colour of the traffic lights and the other can’t see at all. The partners in crime must make it back to Unc and the safety of the farm or be forever trapped in that nightmarish foster home, with no hope of a life in colour.

 

A LIFE IN COLOUR is a standalone Middle Grade Contemporary novel, complete at 55,000 words. It’s WONDER meets A MONSTER CALLS, with the added animal charm of PAX. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Eyes White as Snow: 

http://agentquerycon...now-ya-fantasy/






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