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MAX VISION - A YOUNG ADULT BOOK


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#1 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 01:34 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES

Title – MAX VISION

Young Adult

Horror

 

 Max has one desire in life, confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one real friend. She lives in a jail cell, and every now and again, he visits and she whispers things like, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your only true friend, Max.”

 And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the reason people keep going missing in their small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in jail, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.


Preston Copeland

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#2 smithgirl

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:24 PM

Max has one desire goal in life, confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one real friend. She lives in a jail cell, and every now and again, he visits and she whispers things like, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your only true friend, Max.”

 

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the reason people keep going missing in their small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in jail, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

Hi Preston,

 

I see you're back with Max Vision.

 

I think this query is good in the sense that it's creepy; really it's quite creepy. Really well done.

 

My concern is that it's very non-standard, although you probably know that. I assume you want to keep it that way. If you do, then you just have to try it and see what happens. But it has voice and impact; it draws me in. If I were an agent, I would request more.

 

I've never tried writing a non-standard query, but if you feel like the standard query isn't working then maybe try something different. It's up to you. 

 

Good luck.



#3 egavin

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:31 PM

 

 Max has one desire goal in life: confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one real friend. She lives in a jail cell, and every now and again, he visits and she whispers things like, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your only true friend, Max.”

(I think the jail cell part is a little confusing. Since Max is apparently a murderer, it feels a little bit like the woman is just another, fellow serial killer whose egging him on. If, at the end, you can find another way to reveal that she might just be a figment of his imagination, then I don't think you would lose anything from taking the cell metaphor out)

 And Max, sometimes, doesn’t (probably a nitpick, but the  much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the reason people keep going missing in their small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in jail, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

I'd agree with smithgirl. The query's unconventional, but it's also creepy as hell, which is probably what matters. I'd give this format at shot! Best of luck!



#4 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:51 PM

 Max has one desire in life: to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. I like this. The repetition works for it - it has a rhythm to it. The bad grammar adds something that works. Well, he has one real friend. She lives in a jail cell, and every now and again, he visits and she whispers things like, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your only true friend, Max.”

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the reason people keep going missing in their small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in jail, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

- I don't know how I feel about the "lives in a jail cell" thing. It takes away from the short/creepy vibe. That he visits implies that he knows who she is, or has at least seen her, but the second part of this implies that she's more of a voice, not a real person. 

 

This query is "not standard" but sometimes the standard letters end up like cookie cutters. I like the creepy vibe on this short query, but at the same time I feel like it's too short. What's the word count on this? If it's a novella or something, then the short query works, but if it's a novel length then I'd like a few more details to further grab me in. But, that's just me. Horror is my first choice of reading, so I'm no expert. 



#5 RMLucas

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:06 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES

Title – MAX VISION

Young Adult

Horror

 

 Max has one desire goal in life, -- confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one real friend. She lives in a jail cell, and every now and again, he visits and she whispers things like, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your only true friend, Max.”

 And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the reason people keep going go missing in their his (feel by keeping the focus on MC keeps us guessing as to whether she's in jail or not, or even real or not.) small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in jail, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

 

Love the creepiness of this query.  And as stated above, its an interesting format, but I like it. Put up some comments for little things I saw, but as always, take it with a grain of salt and make changes as you like. Good luck! 



#6 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:37 PM

I was about to self-publish this story and haven't been to this forum in months, but I came back a day or so ago and forgot I had posted a non-standard query here. It appears a few people have seen some possible potential in the query, so I have decided to delay self-publishing and am going to give the querying thing another go. 

 

So I cleaned it up, and I hope to begin sending it out in a few days, after some more opinions from you guys.

Well, here it is . . .

 

 

NEWEST MAX QUERY

 

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre - Horror

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#7 smithgirl

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:51 PM

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.” 

 

This is something I wondered before: To  me it seems a bit jarring how you switch from "don't" above to "doesn't" below. Do you think it would be OK to keep it consistent? Maybe change the bottom paragraph to "don't" also?

 

And Max, sometimes, he doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in  her jail cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

 

I've actually been curious if you had any luck with this new query, because I think it's really good. It's the only non-standard query I've ever seen that I thought worked. Have you gotten some requests with it? I just have a few minor things above.

 

Could you please check out my own query? I'm trying to revamp it again, although not sure that will help. Thanks! http://agentquerycon...ate-in-post-13/



#8 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:22 PM

Hey SmithGirl,

Thanks for the good feedback!

I posted this query here months ago and forgot about it. So, I haven't sent it out yet. 

After a few more opinions here, I will be sending this query out, for sure!


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#9 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:34 PM

I was about to self-publish this story and haven't been to this forum in months, but I came back a day or so ago and forgot I had posted a non-standard query here. It appears a few people have seen some possible potential in the query, so I have decided to delay self-publishing and am going to give the querying thing another go. 

 

So I cleaned it up, and I hope to begin sending it out in a few days, after some more opinions from you guys.

Well, here it is . . .

 

 

NEWEST MAX QUERY

 

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre - Horror

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn’t much like her voice. He doesn’t even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

I like the non-standard format of this.  There's one posted on query shark that she approved of that sort of reminds me of it: http://queryshark.bl...04/304-ftw.html

I'd say send a few out, and see how it goes.  Maybe draft a more "traditional" query to have up your sleeve just in case it doesn't get any bites.  The only ciritism I have is that, while intriquing, it doesn't really tell me much about the story or plot.



#10 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 05:50 PM

Thanks DisgruntledWriter for the feedback and the queryshark post!

Great Stuff!

 

 

 

 

NEWEST MAX QUERY

 

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre – Horror

 

 

 

Do you think I should use all correct grammar (doesn't) or all bad grammar (don't)? Which works better?

 

 

 ​Example 1)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And sometimes, Max don't much like her voice. He don't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

Example 2)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max doesn't have courage. He doesn't have muscles. Hell, he doesn't have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn't much like her voice. He doesn't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body. 


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#11 RosieSkye

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 07:17 PM

Thanks DisgruntledWriter for the feedback and the queryshark post!

Great Stuff!

 

 

 

 

NEWEST MAX QUERY

 

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre – Horror

Word count

I'd incorporate this info into a paragraph at the bottom.  Not following proper querying format from the get-go might get you off on the wrong foot.

 

 

 

Do you think I should use all correct grammar (doesn't) or all bad grammar (don't)? Which works better?

 

 

 ​Example 1)

 

15Fifteen-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  (If you're going to use "don't" in this way, that coarse voice needs to carry through every sentence.  It's unlikely that the same person who speaks with such a flagrant misuse of grammar is going to follow it up with phrases such as "one true friend" and "every now and again."  As is, the "don'ts" feel very out of place.)

 

And sometimes, Max don't much like her voice. He don't even know where it really came comes from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.  (This is a bit too vague and coy to be intriguing.  Too many "maybes."  Spell things out a little more clearly, and add some stakes.)

 

Example 2)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max doesn't have courage. He doesn't have muscles. Hell, he doesn't have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn't much like her voice. He doesn't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body. 

 

Hope this helps!



#12 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

I'm not a huge fan of the "dont's."  I agree with what RosieSkye said about how it jars with the rest of the voice of the query.



#13 conundrum

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:15 PM

Thanks DisgruntledWriter for the feedback and the queryshark post!

Great Stuff!

 

 

 

 

NEWEST MAX QUERY

 

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre – Horror

 

 

 

Do you think I should use all correct grammar (doesn't) or all bad grammar (don't)? Which works better?

 

 

 ​Example 1)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have no courage. He don’t have no muscles. Hell, he don’t have many no friends. Well, he has got one true friend. Every now and again then she whispers whispars, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Sometimes, Max don't much like her voice much. He don't even know where it really came come from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar ly'r. Maybe he's the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going  coming up missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers whispars is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roam'n the streets in Max’s body.

I particularly like the bad grammar, and would try to stick with it. It immediately gives you the voice. But I do agree with RosieSkye that you'll have to carry it all the way through, which could trip you up. The bad grammar could also liberate you. I tried to insert only what I thought would be an exaggerated example. The voice I heard in my head when reading it :) Have fun with it, and good luck!

 

 

 

Example 2)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max doesn't have courage. He doesn't have muscles. Hell, he doesn't have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn't much like her voice. He doesn't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body. 



#14 smithgirl

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 01:05 PM

Title – MAX VISION

Category - Young Adult

Genre – Horror

 

 

 

Do you think I should use all correct grammar (doesn't) or all bad grammar (don't)? Which works better?

 

 

 ​Example 1)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max don’t have courage. He don’t have muscles. Hell, he don’t have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And sometimes, Max don't much like her voice. He don't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body.

 

Example 2)

 

15-year-old Max has one goal in life—to confront each one of his bullies. But Max doesn't have courage. He doesn't have muscles. Hell, he doesn't have many friends. Well, he has one true friend. Every now and again she whispers, “I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. I am your real friend, Max.”  

 

And Max, sometimes, doesn't much like her voice. He doesn't even know where it really came from. Or does he? Maybe Max is the liar. Maybe he is the bully. Maybe he’s the reason people keep going missing in his small town. And maybe, the woman who whispers is not in her cell, anymore. Maybe she’s roaming the streets in Max’s body. 

 

Max Vision is an x-thousand-word YA horror novel.

 

 

I also really like the "don'ts." I think they are great for the voice; however, I think that if you start with them then you need to keep them all the way through the query. Otherwise it's a bit jarring. I also agree with RosieSkye's suggestion to make the genre, title, etc. into a more narrative format at the end. I would put it in a third paragraph all by itself. That way you start right off with Max, and you keep the query a bit more standard.



#15 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:19 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MAX VISION

Genre – Horror

Category – Young Adult

 

Final Max Query

 

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Max lives in a trailer park. He would love the chance to wreak revenge on each of his bullies, but he's skinny and has gotten used to suffering. Hell, he barely has a real friend. He does seem to have one true believer, though. He often hears her whispering, “Only I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. Let me out!”

 

Sometimes he tries to block out her voice, but he isn't even sure where it comes from.

Will her influence turn Max into a twisted vigilante? What if he’s the reason that people are vanishing in his small Florida town? Seems the whisperer has bust out of her cell and is now roaming the streets . . . in Max’s body.  


Preston Copeland

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Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#16 MICRONESIA

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:18 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MAX VISION

Genre – Horror

Category – Young Adult

 

Final Max Query

 

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Max lives in a trailer park. He would love the chance to wreak revenge on each of his bullies, but he's skinny and has gotten used to suffering. I think you can go with something a bit stronger than "gotten used to suffering." Something more concrete? Gotten used to bruises and broken bones? Something like that? Hell, he barely has a real friend. He does seem to have one true believer, Something about "true believer" rings false. Again, I think you can go with something more precise. though. He often hears her whispering, “Only I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. Let me out!” Yep. I'm into this.

 

Sometimes he tries to block out her voice, but he isn't even sure where it comes from.

Will her influence turn Max into a twisted vigilante? Avoid rhetorical questions. They're lame. What if he’s the reason that people are vanishing in his small Florida town? This is a nice hook, and I like that you're erring on the side of mystery, but I think we should know a *bit* more about this. Right now, it seems like a missed opportunity. Seems the whisperer has burst out of her cell and is now roaming the streets . . . in Max’s body.  

 

This is quite effective! I love the brevity of it, and there's a ton more I want to know.

 

You should really include the genre stuff at the end, though. What are you marketing this as YA? Horror? Something else? This is going to figure HUGELY into how an agent approaches your material, so you'd best get it right.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#17 crestakaz

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 11:03 AM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MAX VISION

Genre – Horror

Category – Young Adult

 

Final Max Query

 

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Max lives in a trailer park. This sentence doesn't hook me in. Lots of people live in trailer parks He would love the chance to wreak revenge on each of his bullies, but he's skinny and has gotten used to suffering. Hell, he barely has a real friend. These lines aren't bad, but they don't really stand out among the dozens of other narratives like this out there (wimpy kid, no friends, gets bullied) He does seem to have one true believer, though. He often hears her whispering, “Only I can help you, Max. Don’t trust them, Max. Let me out!” The concept of having this here isn't bad, in fact, I really like it, but it needs a little revision. Clarify that this is in his head/mind/body around him, perhaps? I thought he might have a girl locked in a basement or something.

 

Sometimes he tries to block out her voice, but he isn't even sure where it comes from.

Will her influence turn Max into a twisted vigilante? What if he’s the reason that people are vanishing in his small Florida town? Seems the whisperer has bust out of her cell and is now roaming the streets . . . in Max’s body.

 

You're missing a lot of information here. You need stakes (what happens if he listens to her? What does he stand to gain?). Max seems to be a bit of a passenger in the second paragraph, and I'd like to see more about what is on the line for him (in terms of benefits).

 

Just looking at your query on a visual level, it seems way too short. Being short isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if your query is one of those special ones that can break all the rules and get away with it, but it can raise red flags. And reading it, my red flags were confirmed. I think having a short query can work well with a horror genre, but it needs a little more to set it apart and help the reader get invested in what's going on in your story. I think your query could break the rules, but it needs some refinement and work on word choice in order to do that.






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