Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

MULCH CITY (MG)

Middle Grade

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 07 December 2017 - 05:21 PM

GO TO POST #18

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

At the start of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies.

 

Throughout the summer, Manuel also wins a hotdog eating contest, skins his knees in the Great Downhill Race, celebrates Birthankstermas, and more. The suburban odyssey is both a farewell to his youth and a test for his entry into manhood. He’ll really be a man if he visits the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#2 Timejockey

Timejockey

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:None

Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:34 PM

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars? (I really like this)

 

At the start of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch (sometimes) shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies. 

 

Throughout the summer, Manuel also wins a hotdog eating contest, skins his knees in the Great Downhill Race, celebrates Birthankstermas, and more. The suburban odyssey is both a farewell to his youth and a test for his entry into manhood. He’ll really be a man if he visits the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.

I think this story sounds very unique and has a good hook, but it almost feels like you need to add a bit more. It also feels like you need to focus on the mysterious elements, including the watch and the curse, more and less on the more mundane aspects of his summer. While those add some flavor, its the mystery that really draws someone in.



#3 ThatDan

ThatDan

    Back at it

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Purely scientific

Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:05 AM

Hope the following is helpful. The main issue I have is with the jumping between serious and light-hearted tones. I'm not quite sure how much of either the story actually is, but its hard to tell from the query.

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars? <i like this intro, but (i think) there is a disconnect with the word "cursed." You talk of  summer,sleeping under the stars, and meeting people, all of  which dont promise to be enjoyable in a cursed town/city.

 

At the start of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies. < now we go back to a more serious tone, with the curse and the tragedies

 

Throughout the summer, Manuel also wins a hotdog eating contest, skins his knees in the Great Downhill Race, celebrates Birthankstermas, and more. <jumps back to light-hearted The suburban odyssey is both a farewell to his youth and a test for his entry into manhood. He’ll really be a man if he visits the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. <and back to serious

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Another thing to note,is that I'm unsure if there is a stronger plot than what is mentioned here. To me, it seems as if the story is mostly just an "adventures of Manuel" type of thing. If there is something stronger, perhaps Manuel trying to prove his manhood by solving the mystery surrounding the ghost and the curse, then I think you should include it. But if not, then thats fine too.


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#4 robbyidol

robbyidol

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:19 PM

This is a clever sounding story, and I like some of your lighthearted touches in an otherwise ghostly/depressing town.  But the main thing that is lacking in this query is mention of the stakes - what is at risk (if anything) should Manuel fail at his goal of visiting every house?  What happens if he skips out on the last scary house in the end?  Other than not "becoming a man," what's at risk?

It sounds like the town continues on its normal (if cursed) trajectory whether or not Manuel goes on his adventure for himself.  If the story has a larger through-line and threat of pending doom (for either Manuel or his town), I would make sure to close the query with that.  If your story does not currently have any larger danger at hand, I would consider a revision and working something like that in.  Otherwise it's just a cute "day in the life of Manuel" type story without any real stakes.

You have a good foundation!  I hope this helps.



#5 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:18 PM

Thanks, everyone. I added a sentence at the end to give a clearer picture of the stakes. Is this a good addition? I know it’s rather vague, but I don’t want to explain everything in detail and have the query be too long.

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

At the start of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies.

 

Throughout the summer, Manuel also wins a hot dog eating contest, skins his knees in the Great Downhill Race, celebrates Birthankstermas, and more. The suburban odyssey is both a farewell to his youth and a test for his entry into manhood. He’ll really be a man if he visits the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at breaking his city’s bad luck curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#6 robbyidol

robbyidol

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:55 AM

Okay, so these are more story critiques based on your ideas than a breakdown of your query.  BUT I feel like if you strength your story, your query will become much stronger as well.  Take them or leave them, your call:

 

1) If to break the curse, all one has to do is visit a series of houses, why hasn't this been done before?  Has anyone else tried/failed?  What makes Manuel special?

 

2) If the bad luck curse is not broken, what happens?  It seems like status quo for a depressed neighborhood.  Sure, life kind of stinks, but it seems to be carrying on just fine with or without Manuel - even if it carries on with "bad luck."  Something worse needs to loom over Manuel or the town.

3) I'll just be honest - the "becoming a man" bit feels clunky and in the way of resolving the town's problem with a curse.  I'd focus on the larger story, the cursed town and what might happen if Manuel doesn't save THEM - I'm not interested in Manuel becoming a man.  Let's be real, a 12-year old is at least a decade away from being an actual "man."



#7 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 20 December 2017 - 01:51 PM

I tried to explain things better with my latest attempt:

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars? Plus, the drink he’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink, and everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle.

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies.

 

Everyone wants a bottle of Manuel’s miracle drink after it cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches. It could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking Mulch City’s bad luck curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#8 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

Thanks to everyone for your help so far. I'd like to send this out soon. Do you think it's good to go or does it still need work?



#9 InevitablePlotTwist

InevitablePlotTwist

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 28 December 2017 - 04:15 PM

The stakes are more clear in the revised query, but the two halves of it feel disconnected to me. In the first two paragraphs you talk about the watch and the curse and barely mention the miracle drink, and in the following two paragraphs you talk about the miracle drink and barely mention the curse.

I think it would flow better if you got rid of the second paragraph and put something about the curse after "it could be exactly what Mulch City needs." Then you could try to integrate the information about the watch into the remaining paragraphs.

#10 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 28 December 2017 - 06:47 PM

Yeah, I suspected it was a bit disjointed. I moved things around to improve the flow. Thoughts, anyone?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s bad luck curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#11 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 31 December 2017 - 09:02 AM

Thanks to everyone for your help so far. Do you think the query is good to go or does it still need work?



#12 rockondon

rockondon

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:37 PM

Yeah, I suspected it was a bit disjointed. I moved things around to improve the flow. Thoughts, anyone?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his cursed hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars? Is this sarcasm? Because I'm not sure. Going door to door to every house in that crappy city would suck so I assume so, but I'd make it more obvious.

Random suggestion: Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman (perhaps we could squeeze in mention of his miracle drink here) Manual Lastname has been turned away at every door in Mulch City, until an old lady gives him a watch that keeps memories rather than time. 

 

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. It might be nice to include a few words to show that he's reacting to this wondrous, impossible object. Perhaps an initial skepticism followed by being rocked by the images it has shown him. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, and devastating personal tragedies. The curse sounds like an excuse to blame for natural phenomena. Is there any way you could convince the reader that it's an actual curse? 

 

The drink  Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s bad luck curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.

 

sounds like a fun book. good luck with it. 



#13 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 31 December 2017 - 06:45 PM

Good points. The beginning actually isn't supposed to be sarcasm, but I can see why you'd think that. I moved the first mention of the curse lower in the query to make it fit better. Anyone have thoughts on this latest attempt?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#14 Nessa

Nessa

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 270 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:44 PM

Agent,

 


 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door ​[All those hypens grouped together looks a bit wonky. Just a small thing to point out. It's visually jarring.] salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his hometown of Mulch City. ​[That's a really cute opening. I can already visualize the main character. Tells a lot about his character. :)]What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?​[I like how magical this sounds, but I wonder why he's sleeping under the stars. I'm willing to overlook that last detail, though.]

 

In the beginning of his journey,​[Here I'm a bit confused. Is his journey related to his sales job?] an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time​[Ah, yes. This is where the soft quality of the first paragraph plays off. I really like the mood your voice sets. Very soft and dreamy.]. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch ​[Could replace "the watch" with "it," considering that we already know what you're referring to. Just a small note.]to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid. ​[I wasn't under the impression there was a curse. Could you find a way to mention it in the previous paragraph without making it interfere with the whimsical "sleeping under the stars"? You could cut out that bit and focus on Manuel's reason for visiting houses. Is he really a salesman? Or is he on a journey to solve the curse? That would be an easy way to blend the curse with the sales job. Then the lady giving him a watch can be someone who helps his journey.]

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.​[Ahhh, so no only is this a book I want to read, but I can see a path for your query. If you introduce Manuel as a salesman who is selling miracle drinks to cure his town's curse, you can introduce the lady as someone who furthers his mission, and then introduce the drink's symptoms. I wonder if mentioning the last house will give away too much of the story. Will the story be about Manuel traveling to the final house? Or is it about Manuel's journey to find a cure? I'm also left wondering what the stakes are of Manuel letting the curse go wild.]

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration. ​[Side-note: I love that the drink makes people float to their deaths. It reads so nicely.]


I love dogs


#15 Kelz1990

Kelz1990

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 55 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:54 PM

(Dear) Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he visits every house in his hometown of Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars(Doesn't make sense in this context - just keep "meeting new people")

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. (Should be "rather than show him the time") The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses the watch to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid. (Why buttons and squid?)

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone in Mulch City could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches ​(Who are these characters in the story? Neighbors? Friends?), so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. (Maybe increase the word count slightly if it's got elements of sci-fi and magical realism) Thank you for your consideration.

 

There's just a couple of hiccups here, but overall you're doing good at describing the goals and stakes of the main character. 



#16 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 02 January 2018 - 01:38 PM

Hmm, two people have said they don't understand the "sleeping under the stars." Manuel's on a journey to sell door-to-door to every house in his city before he goes home, so he sleeps outside at night. Does anyone else think this isn't clear in my query?

 

Also, I moved some things around. Do you think this is better than my previous attempt?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old Manuel is a door-to-door salesman in a cursed city. He loves Mulch City despite decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone he knows could use a miracle. He decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he makes his sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses it to unravel the mystery of the curse.

 

Manuel’s miracle drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs. But when it turns out the drink makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.



#17 kevinluvsyou

kevinluvsyou

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old Manuel is a door-to-door salesman in a cursed metropolis city(City used twice this closely together is somewhat grating) He loves Mulch City despite decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid.

 

Give us a very VERY brief taste of the stakes in your hook. Let me know what kind of story we're about to embark upon. The description of Mulch City is great, but needs to be moved into one of the further paragraphs because all it does is provide backstory instead of "hooking" me with something exciting or interesting plot-wise.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone he knows could use a miracle. He decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he makes his sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. (Why does he decide this? It's a pretty lofty goal and unless he's just doing it because he wants to for no reason, I feel like we need to know what is driving him to visit every single house) What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars? (Is this last sentence sarcasm? If so, I need a little better indicator that this is the case. If it's not sarcasm, then your description of Mulch City up above makes me think that there are lots of better things to do with the summer than sleep in a city with squid/button rain that's experiencing economic woes)

 

In the beginning of his journey, an But when an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time, (insert ultimate conflict of the story here). The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses it to unravel the mystery of the curse. (I think the curse needs to be brought to the forefront of your letter, instead of being mentioned in passing here and in your hook.)

 

Manuel’s miracle drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs. But when it turns out the drink makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse. (Here's the paragraph I was looking for earlier! It has the stakes, the conflict, and what Manuel must do to overcome the conflict. Now you need to spread this paragraph out because it's packed too tightly with too much sudden plot. Smooth it out and talk about the ghost, the curse, and what Manuel's stakes are -- "If Manuel doesn't do this, then people die. If Manuel does do this, xxx bad happens." Make Manuel's choice a difficult one and tell us the corssroads he is about to walk down.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade novel with shades of sci-fi and magical realism. Thank you for your consideration.


I'll do a query review for a query review!

 

Check mine out here!


#18 Kirk39

Kirk39

    New Member

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

Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:03 AM

I think I like my old version better, with a few minor changes. Thoughts?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he makes his sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses it to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone he knows could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade magical realism novel. Thank you for your consideration.



#19 sereneew

sereneew

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 78 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:44 PM

I think I like my old version better, with a few minor changes. Thoughts?

 

Agent,

 

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he makes his sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

( I'm not a fan of the hyphens as well. I'd recommend another opening and this is just me rewording LOL, you don't have to use it, just giving you ideas, "

 

" Twelve-year-old Manuel didn't plan on killing people ( you can tweak this on your own. I'm no sure if anyone died, still confused about the floating people) . He was only trying to be a successful salesman. But when he discovers his product is bringing people closer to death, he sets out to find a cure to stop the mayhem/havoc/disaster/etc.... "

 

You don't have to use this, but this is what a catchy hook would be,,,, ESPECIALLY when agents read that a 12 yo has something to do with peoples death. But you can play around with it and make it in your own voice. 

 

and then your second paragraph can be 

 

At the start of summer, Manuel decides he wont go home, until he makes a sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone he knows could use a miracle. The drink cured s Mrs. Silverson’s warts and caused s Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses it to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid. 

 

Manuel continues on his journey with his new watch,  until ( insert conflict.... i.e " Uncle Frank falls down dead after drinking the entire bottle" ). It turns out there's a hidden sorcery behind the drink. While it may work wonders, it also brings people closer to their deaths. Now, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With the help of what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating ( are you emphasizing floating as dying? I'm kind of unsure.)  people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade magical realism novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

So I did a lot of tweaking. You don't have to use my examples, but you see how I made the query more catchy. Just by the hook readers would be intrigued with questions. Why does a 12 yo become a murderer? What does he do to fix it? Is there any penalties for him? And then when you follow with the magical drink, it just flows properly. I'm not sure how to include the curse which is why I left the paragraph as is, but do you get my point. You need to build up tension. Also, add more scenarios and conflicts. Hope this helps. Goodluck! (:  Sorry for cutting it short. I've been staring at the screen for over an hour so my eyes are killing me LOL but I hope I helped. 


If I helped please leave a feedback on my YA FANTASY QUERY http://agentquerycon...st-50/?p=350935


#20 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:51 AM

Twelve-year-old door-to-door salesman Manuel decides at the start of summer he won’t go home until he makes his sales pitch to every house in Mulch City. What better way to live summer to the fullest than by meeting new people and sleeping under the stars?

 

In the beginning of his journey, an old lady gives Manuel a watch that keeps memories rather than time. The watch shows him the sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary memories embedded in the neighborhoods. He uses it to unravel the mystery of Mulch City’s curse—the curse responsible for decades of economic woes, disastrous sports teams, devastating personal tragedies, and occasional downpours of buttons and squid.

 

The drink Manuel’s selling is supposed to be a miracle drink. Everyone he knows could use a miracle. The drink cures Mrs. Silverson’s warts and causes Ernie to grow six inches, so it could be exactly what Mulch City needs.

 

But when it turns out the drink also makes people float higher and higher to their deaths, Manuel must visit the last house on his schedule—the house where the ghost who cursed Mulch City lives. With what he learns from the watch, Manuel has a chance at saving the floating people and breaking his city’s curse.

 

MULCH CITY is a 38,000 word middle grade magical realism novel. Thank you for your consideration.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Middle Grade

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users