Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Agent Lincoln Begins - YA Fiction

Young Adult

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 rbearl

rbearl

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 11 September 2017 - 09:56 AM

I've been working on this project for a few years now, this is my fifth revision of the query.  I appreciate any and all critiques.  Thank you!

 

Dear XXXXX,

I’m seeking representation for my 88,000 young adult fiction, AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS. This YA novel set in rural Kansas has a mixture of adventure, friendship, rivalries and with a romantic angle.  

Fifteen-year-old Penny Lincoln an orphan and farmhand is contracted to join a secret spy school in rural Kansas with her best friend and fellow orphan, Declan.

Penny is taught different languages; disguises, technology gadgets and her favorite class combat skills, which she excels.  As her friends develop crushes Penny sits back and watches until intriguing (and attractive) fellow classmate Warren starts inserting himself into her life.  It’s making it hard for Penny to resist him when he always seems to be waiting outside her door.  As her friendship with Warren grows; a rivalry between Declan and Warren forms.   Penny is stuck between Declan, a boy she’s known as her family and Warren, a boy who has taken a fondness to her.

Nearing the end of freshman year the class partakes in their first real life mission.  The objective is simple and entails them to bug a Politician.  However, during their assignment something goes terribly wrong.  Penny and her partner’s cover are compromised and they become trapped in the Politician’s house.  Now, she must find a way to escape without putting any more of her teammates at risk.  

AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS is a stand-alone with series potential. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#2 Springfield

Springfield

    Find me at properediting.com

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 758 posts
  • Literary Status:published
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:02 PM

 

I've been working on this project for a few years now, this is my fifth revision of the query.  I appreciate any and all critiques.  Thank you!

Hi :)

Dear XXXXX,

I’m seeking representation for my 88,000 word young adult fiction, you need a genre AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS. This YA novel set in rural Kansas has a mixture of adventure, friendship, rivalries and with a romantic angle.  

Fifteen-year-old Penny Lincoln an orphan and farmhand is contracted to join a secret spy school in rural Kansas with her best friend and fellow orphan, Declan. This needs commas and reasoning, desperately. Why in the world are children contracted to join a spy school? Spy school operated by whom? 

Penny is taught different languages; disguises, technology gadgets and her favorite class combat skills, which she excels. The grammar and punctuation are off all throughout this, which make me suspect that may be the case with the manuscript as well.  As her friends develop crushes Penny sits back and watches until intriguing (and attractive) fellow classmate Warren starts inserting himself into her life.  It’s making it hard for Penny to resist him when he always seems to be waiting outside her door.  What? Why? Ew. As her friendship with Warren grows; a rivalry between Declan and Warren forms.  About Penny? Please not about Penny. Also, what is Penny's problem? She seems to have none. Penny is stuck between Declan, a boy she’s known as her family and Warren, a boy who has taken a fondness to her. Ugh.

Nearing the end of freshman year the class partakes in their first real life mission.  The objective is simple and entails them to bug a Politician. There are so many errors I didn't feel like tagging them, but this cap is just weird. However, during their assignment something goes terribly wrong.  Penny and her partner’s cover are compromised and they become trapped in the Politician’s house.  Now, she must find a way to escape without putting any more of her teammates at risk.  This reads very MG, save the romance, but it's got no problem and the stakes are so low I'm very confused.

AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS is a stand-alone with series potential. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

See above. First and foremost, this is just riddled with errors. You can't send an agent anything but really clean copy, so I'd suggest going over your manuscript hard. Second though, this is super confusing, as it mostly reads MG, like an Encyclopedia Brown type deal, but you've got an overaged MC for MG, and apparently a romantic triangle at the heart of the thing. Finally, I get no voice, no feeling for your MC at all from any of this, she's entirely passive, and has no problem, and no real stakes. 



#3 galaxyspinner

galaxyspinner

    Spinner of Galaxies

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 253 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 11 September 2017 - 09:32 PM

Dear XXXXX,

I’m seeking representation for my 88,000 ("word") young adult fiction, AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS. This YA novel set in rural Kansas has a mixture of adventure, friendship, rivalries and with (bad syntax; get rid of "with") a romantic angle.

Fifteen-year-old Penny Lincoln (comma) an orphan and farmhand (comma) is contracted to join a secret spy school in rural Kansas with her best friend and fellow orphan, Declan. (This should be your hook, and it's not yet interesting enough to serve as such. The fact that she's going to "spy school" is bizarre enough that I suspect there's something interesting there you could bring up; consider exploring that)

Penny is taught different languages; (incorrect use of semicolon) disguises, technology gadgets (go with either technology or gadgets) and her favorite class (comma) combat skills, ("in") which she excels. As her friends develop crushes (comma) Penny sits back and watches until intriguing (and attractive) fellow classmate Warren starts inserting himself into her life.  It’s making it hard for Penny to resist him when he always seems to be waiting outside her door (creepy).  As her friendship with Warren grows; (incorrect use of semicolon; a semicolon should do the job of a conjunction or a sentence break, and not the job of a comma) a rivalry between Declan and Warren forms.   Penny is stuck between Declan, a boy she’s known as her family and Warren, a boy who has taken a fondness to her.

Nearing the end of freshman year the class partakes in their first real life mission.  The objective is simple and entails them (bad syntax; "entails them bugging a politician) to bug a Politician (not capitalized).  However, during their assignment (comma) something goes terribly wrong.  Penny and her partner’s cover are compromised and they become trapped in the Politician’s house.  Now, she must find a way to escape without putting any more of her teammates at risk.

Your problem here is that there isn't much punch; you devote one paragraph to establishing that she has two boys who like her, giving us very little reason to care about either of them. Are there consequences of this love triangle that go beyond the usual, tiresome high school drama? Further, what does this have to do with the more engaging plot point of her being whisked away to some sort of strange high school for spies?

The following paragraph doesn't fare much better; not only does it entirely shift gears, but it introduces the biggest conflict in the entire query: "something goes terribly wrong". We don't know what goes wrong, we don't know who her partner is, we don't know who the politician is, and we don't know what the consequences are of failure. These are examples of what you should consider exploring more in order to make your reader care.

AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS is a stand-alone with series potential. 


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.


#4 ambmae

ambmae

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:I have been published as a correspondent for the local newspaper. I've also written for various websites, and I've ghostwritten blog posts for companies.

Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:47 PM

I’m seeking representation for my 88,000 young adult fiction, AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS. This YA novel set in rural Kansas has a mixture of adventure, friendship, rivalries and with a romantic angle.  

Fifteen-year-old Penny Lincoln, an orphan and farmhand, you need commas here is contracted to join a secret spy school in rural Kansas with her best friend and fellow orphan, Declan. This sentence is getting long, maybe try: ( Fifteen-year-old Penny and her best friend Declan have been contracted to join an elite spy school where the pupils are all orphans.) Or whatever the case is at this spy school.

(Why? Consider showing how Penny is qualified to join a teenage spy school, rather than telling us that she is.)

Penny is taught different languages; disguises, technology gadgets and her favorite class combat skills, and  she excels.  Try adding some short sentences with all of these long ones to give you rhythm As her friends develop crushes Penny sits back and watches until intriguing (and attractive) fellow classmate Warren starts inserting himself into her life. I would reword this. Maybe try: Penny, unlike her friends, is too busy perfecting her round house kick to flirt with her classmates, but Warren keeps inserting himself into her life and because of (insert charming quality here) Penny is finding it hard to resist him.making it hard for Penny to resist him when he always seems to be waiting outside her door.  As her friendship with Warren grows, a rivalry between Declan and Warren forms make this active voice by saying: Declan and Warren form a rivalry.   Penny is stuck between Declan, a boy she’s known as her family her best friend and Warren, a boy who has taken a fondness to her.This last sentence sounds clunky to me. I would revise. 

Nearing At the end of freshman year the class partakes partakes reminds me of eating, I would try a different verb.in their first real life mission.  The objective is simple and entails bugging a Politician. (Why?)  However, during their assignment, something goes terribly wrong.  Penny and her partner partner’s cover are compromised and they become  artrapped in the Politician’s house.  Now, Penny (she could also be referring to her partner) must find a way to escape without putting any more of her teammates at risk.  

AGENT LINCOLN BEGINS is a stand-alone with series potential. 

 

Congrats on getting this far! Completing your first manuscript is huge! I would suggest installing a grammar editor and checking every line of your book (and query) before sending it out. Grammarly is my personal favorite. 

Don't get discouraged, it's better to get the feedback here than from an agent, right?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Young Adult

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users