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Ya-Query: New edits

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#61 Queen of my backyard

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

I'm going to post the lastest revisions here  :wub:  So you don't have to search. ( Critique for a Critique ) 

Revision 9 down below or check post 57 

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son, plant drugs in his house, crush his business. Bradley deserves it. He drove his business associate, Amber's father, to suicide with a false accusation. (Just my opinion, but the clauses in the last sentence dilute the reveal of why Bradley deserves Amber's wrath. "He drove his..." also makes the reader stop to try to figure out if you're referring to the father, the son, both? Is it critical to mention that Amber's father was Bradley's business partner in the short space allowed for a query? How about: He drove Amber's father to suicide over a false accusation. Short and declarative. It might also be even stronger if you're willing to divulge what the accusation was. If it was an accusation that he embezzled gazillions or was a pedophile... and it was a credible accusation, yeah maybe... but if the guy accused her father of fudging his tax returns or cheating at bingo, well then, go fish... there's no frame of reference here, it's overly vague and since it's your hook, you want it to be tight as heck.)

 

Amber has a thirst for vengeance. She knows she can’t get her father back, but Amber will she'll stop at nothing to destroy Bradley. Amber plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to cause wreck havoc. Instead, crooked cops that were on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. Things take a turn when Amber is under Bradley's radar. (This sentence is awkward. There is no connection between this sentence and the previous sentence to show how Amber came to be under Bradley's radar. Furthermore, what type of turn? If she's "under" his radar, that would be a good thing as it indicates he is unaware of her shenanigans but I believe you're trying to indicate the opposite. Perhaps something like: Things take a turn for the worse when (fill in the blank happens), landing Amber squarely in Bradley's radar. Also, watch your tenses. You want to keep them consistent in present tense.

 

Amber's attempting to figure out a way  (extra words not necessary that just clog up the sentence) attempts to frame Bradley without getting caught, (delete comma) until an encounter with an old admirer throws her off. It's Johnny, Bradley's mischief mischievous (mischief is a verb, mischievous is an adjective... but is his mischievousness relevant?) nephew. (Alternatively, you could also try: Amber attempts to frame Bradley without getting caught until an encounter with an old admirer, Johnny, who happens to be Bradley's nephew, throws her off. I'm honestly on the fence about whether or not that helps trim down, allowing for more details further down, or whether it's too wordy... up to you.) He claims to know her, and she's denying she denies it. Amber realizes she's on thin ice and can't have Johnny exposing her .(Given the sentence that follows, I think this sentence is unnecessary. It's also already clearly evident that she can't allow Bradley to learn who she really is... which begs the question... wouldn't Bradley be familiar with who his business partner's children are?) Now, Amber not only must steer clear of Johnny, she also must get the contract to wreck Bradley, before he frames her like her father. (Wait... get what contract???? Given that you've got at least 250 words to play with in the body of a query and a handful of extra words/sentences in here, I think.... again, just my opinion... that you might benefit from adding a bit of a link/hook-up here. Also, in general, this is another sentence with a lot of extra words that dilute the power. Putting aside for a moment the fact that we don't understand what contract you're referring to, this is what I mean: Now Amber must steer clear of Johnny, and get the contract she needs to ruin Bradley before he frames her as he did her father.

 

You have a really sassy concept with a protagonist that's delightfully imperfect, relatable, but only to a certain extent... which I think is refreshing. I know we're all going for brevity in our queries, but I also think it's critical to ensure that we don't chop word count at the expense of clarity while adding superfluous words in sentences that could be made simple and declarative.... believe me, I'm struggling with this in my own query letter as we speak. It's SO much easier to see it in someone else's when you aren't so close to it. Hope it helps. :) Cheers

Revision 8 down below or check post 52 

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son, plant drugs in his house, crush his business. Bradley deserves it; after all he drove his business associate, Amber's father, to suicide, because of a false accusation.

 

Amber has a thirst for vengeance, ever since Bradley made the town call her father a thief, and that guilt drove her father to take his life. She knows she can’t get her father back, but Amber will stop at nothing to destroy Bradley. Amber is the hottest girl in school, and no one knows about her past. After Amber gets Bradley’s son’s affection by her looks and sweet talk, she uses him to get invited to the fundraiser held in his home. When Amber plants drugs in Bradley’s library, she sends a tip to the cops, in hopes of causing havoc. But nothing happens. Instead, there were crooked cops who take away the drugs, without questioning Bradley. In a heated moment, Amber comes across a contract that could shut down Bradley’s business. Before she could snap a picture, Bradley takes it away.  His intense stare worries Amber, she doesn’t want to get caught.

 

As she attempts to search for the contract, she confronts an old admirer who can ruin her disguise. It was Bradley’s mischief nephew, Johnny. When Amber tries to make a quick escape, she’s stopped and questioned by Johnny. He’s claiming to know her, and she’s denying it. Amber knows she’s on thin ice and has to get rid of Johnny, before he exposes her. Now, Amber not only must steer clear of Johnny, she also must get the contract to wreck Bradley, before he ruins her.  

 

 

Revision 7 down below :

 

Dear Agent xx,
 

Seventeen-year-old Amber Blake intends to destroy Bradley Jameson; a business associate who drove her father to suicide.

 

The high school senior is confident she can seduce Jameson's son and plot a scheme to ruin Mr. Jameson. She wants to plant drugs in his house, ruin his multi-million dollar business​, and make his family hate him. ​  

 

When Jameson’s son, asks Amber to join him at his father's annual fundraiser, she can’t even respond without sounding like a spaz. Amber tends to be blissfully ignorant. Whenever she finds a chance to wreak Mr. Jameson, she drags trouble with her. So when she plants drugs in the library and sends a tip to the cops, she remembers that she forgot to wipe her prints off the package. Amber is left with a lot of regrets, but she also catches Mr. Jameson's attention. All the clues keep leading towards her, but her relationship with Mr. Jameson's son is the only thing keeping her name clean.

 

As she attempts to cover her tracks, an old friend shows up, Mr. Jameson’s arrogant nephew, Johnny. Amber is attempting to misdirect Mr. Jameson's nephew from finding the person in charge of the heinous crime, which she committed. Despite the threat he poses, she's falling in love with him.

 

Now Amber faces a tough choice: fall in love with Johnny and not serve justice for her late father, or continue her mission and lose her only chance at a normal life.


If you found my comments helpful, please consider critiquing my query at http://agentquerycon...fantasyrevised/


#62 AmberA

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:29 PM

So I'm tweaking up my query a bit and including many recommendations everyone had. I have two alternative hooks, let me know which one is better. 

 

Hook 1: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son and plant drug in his house to shut down his business. Bradley deserves it. He drove Amber's father to suicide over a false accusation.  And he needs to pay.

 

Hook 2: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson. He deserves it, after all Bradley framed Amber's father over a false allegation that he distributed illegal pharmaceutical drugs, killing innocent lives just to embezzle millions. The humiliation drove Amber’s father to suicide.  And Bradley needs to pay.

 

Amber’s doing a great job by concealing her identity and fooling Bradley’s son into liking her,  but her thirst for vengeance could be her downfall.  She’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Her attempts to destroy Bradley are worthless as long as he has crooked cops in his back pocket. To make matters worse, each failed plan brings more and more scrutiny on her. As Amber attempts to collect intel that can ruin Bradley, an encounter with an old admirer, Johnny, who happens to be Bradley's nephew, throws her off. Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity. As much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not leave him. But her peculiar actions land Amber squarely in Bradley’s radar.

 

Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber faces a choice: choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down.


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#63 MICRONESIA

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:11 PM

So I'm tweaking up my query a bit and including many recommendations everyone had. I have two alternative hooks, let me know which one is better. 

 

Hook 1: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son and plant drugs in his house to shut down his business. Bradley deserves it. He drove Amber's father to suicide over a false accusation.  And he needs to pay. Redundant. 

 

Hook 2: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson. He deserves it, after all Bradley framed Amber's father over a false allegation that he distributed illegal pharmaceutical drugs, killing innocent lives just to embezzle millions. The humiliation drove Amber’s father to suicide.  And Bradley needs to pay.

 

 

Version 1 is choppy, yet easier to follow. Version 2 is jumbled and confusing, without much flow at all. If I had to choose, I'd go Version 1 -- but the syntax needs some work.

 

Amber’s doing a great job by concealing her identity and fooling Bradley’s son into liking her,  but her thirst for vengeance could be her downfall.  She’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Her attempts to destroy Bradley are worthless as long as he has crooked cops in his back pocket. To make matters worse, each failed plan brings more and more scrutiny on her. As Amber attempts to collect intel that can ruin Bradley, an encounter with an old admirer, Johnny, who happens to be Bradley's nephew, throws her off. Clunky sentence. And vague. Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity. As much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not leave him. But her peculiar actions land Amber squarely in Bradley’s radar. I have no idea what this sentence means.

 

Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Also feels redundant. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down. We've forgotten about the father by this point.

 

You have two adversaries to slay here: 1) vagueness and 2) thin characterization. For the former: we hear a lot ABOUT the story and characters, but it's couched in un-specific language. For instance, you mention her "failed plans," yet we only hear about one of them. You say the bad dude is "untouchable," but we don't know how or why. This leads into my second concern: we know next to NOTHING about these characters. We know the MC is vindictive and likes this one dude... and that's about it. There's this nephew dude, who she likes. There's this bad guy who is real crooked, and the MC does not like him. And the bad dude's son... is the bad dude's son. See what I mean? Specifics, specifics, specifics!


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#64 AmberA

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:42 PM

You have two adversaries to slay here: 1) vagueness and 2) thin characterization. For the former: we hear a lot ABOUT the story and characters, but it's couched in un-specific language. For instance, you mention her "failed plans," yet we only hear about one of them. You say the bad dude is "untouchable," but we don't know how or why. This leads into my second concern: we know next to NOTHING about these characters. We know the MC is vindictive and likes this one dude... and that's about it. There's this nephew dude, who she likes. There's this bad guy who is real crooked, and the MC does not like him. And the bad dude's son... is the bad dude's son. See what I mean? Specifics, specifics, specifics!

 

 

OH my goodness. I get commenters telling me to be vague and then I get commenters that tell me to be specific. I've been bouncing back and forth with several queries. Good god, this is a struggle. Thank you for your feedback. On a previous version, I listed Amber's plans, but commenters told me to remove it and be vague. I've also been told to focus on MC only, which is what I've been doing. I've been focusing on the MC and her goals and etc...


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#65 Sataris

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:21 AM

So I'm tweaking up my query a bit and including many recommendations everyone had. I have two alternative hooks, let me know which one is better. 

 

Hook 1: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son and plant drug in his house to shut down his business. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of X drove Amber's father to suicide over a false accusation.  And he needs to payThis is stronger overall. I still wonder if you should just start the hook with the seduction bit, since that's a lot more interesting right off the bat than the drugs thing. then you can see how far you want to take us into the story

 

Hook 2: Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson. He deserves it, after all Bradley framed Amber's father over a false allegation that he distributed illegal pharmaceutical drugs, killing innocent lives just to embezzle millions. The humiliation drove Amber’s father to suicide.  And Bradley needs to pay.

 

Amber’s doing a great job by concealing her identity she's not actually concealing her identity though, right? she's just trying to manipulate him? and fooling Bradley’s son into liking her,  but her thirst for vengeance could be her downfall How so?.  She’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Her attempts to destroy Bradley are worthless as long as he has crooked cops in his back pocket. To make matters worse, each failed plan brings more and more scrutiny on her. As Amber attempts to collect intel that can ruin Bradley by doing what?, an encounter with an old admirer, Johnny, who happens to be Bradley's nephew, throws her off. Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity oh, this makes me think that she actually is pretending to be another person entirely.. As much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not leave him. But her peculiar actions land Amber squarely in Bradley’s radar.

 

Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber faces a choice: choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down.

 

I think both the hook and ending have been improved here; the hook itself maybe could use a bit of simplifying. There are some vague phrases in the second paragraph that I highlighted, many of which it seems could be cut. I think it might help if you presented the events in a more linear, concrete fashion.

 

It seems to me that the biggest issue right now is the clarity about her pretending to be someone else. Maybe just- amber manufactures an entirely new personality to get close to X, Bradley's son. Then you can have the Johnny thing come in and make it clear that he knows who she really is, while at the same time his uncle is actively investigating her. Make it seem more like the balancing act that it seems to be.

 

But yeah, nice work! this is really starting to come together. And thanks for the feedback!


No current query.


#66 AmberA

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 01:16 AM

REVISION 10 ( Thank you for the feedback  :blush: ) @Sataris I tried to get rid of the vagueness. Also, I liked your suggestion about the alternative hook. Hope this is better !

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay.


Amber manufactures an entirely new personality to get close to Henry, Bradley's son, and uses to get invited to his home. She plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreck havoc. Instead, crooked cops on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. Amber’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Each failed attempt to destroy Bradley brings more and more scrutiny on her.


Things take a turn for the worse when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy.  Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity.  But as much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not kill him.

 

To make matters worse, Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down.


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#67 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:50 AM

OH my goodness. I get commenters telling me to be vague 

 

WHAT?

 

Pretty much every lit agent on planet Earth will tell you that SPECIFICS are what make a good query -- and hell, just writing in general.

 

Keep in mind: some people on here have no clue what they're talking about. Take everything with a grain of salt... including this.

 

I'll look at your new one here in a bit.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#68 lnloft

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:49 AM

REVISION 10 ( Thank you for the feedback  :blush: ) @Sataris I tried to get rid of the vagueness. Also, I liked your suggestion about the alternative hook. Hope this is better !

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son. Okay, to me this isn't working right yet as a punishment. Jameson's been a bad man, so now she's going to be his son's girlfriend? I know that's not what's actually going on, but this doesn't sound right to me. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay.


Amber manufactures an entirely new personality So they didn't know her before? I do suppose it's entirely plausible, it just seems weird that they wouldn't go, "Heeeey, you look identical to the daughter of that guy I accused of embezzlement..." to get close to Henry, Bradley's son, and uses to get invited to his home. She plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreck wreak havoc. Instead, crooked cops on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs They just leave the drugs in the library? without questioning him. Amber’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Each failed attempt to destroy Bradley brings more and more scrutiny on her. Elaborate? She's now trying other things to get even?


Things take a turn for the worse when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy.  Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity.  But as much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not kill him.

 

To make matters worse, Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down. Better layout of the stakes than the previous version I read. I would argue that maybe she's not letting her father down, since maybe he wouldn't approve of these shenanigans, but I'm thinking it's probably okay to leave, since Amber at least things she's letting him down.

Getting there. I feel like the whole drug thing just kinda feels weird, because apparently it fails, and that feels like it's the end of it, so it's almost like, "Why do we care that happened?" A thought, dependent on which way your story goes: if, (A) there are definite ramifications of the failed drug bust, you can elaborate more on how that's leading them to suspect Amber, or, if (B) it's just the first of several schemes that she tries, you can list them out briefly, like, "She does X. Does Y. Does Z. Each one Bradley wriggles out of trouble, and each one leaves Amber closer to being exposed."

 

And, yeah, I'll just add to the discussion above: don't be vague. Concrete details show off your skills as a writing and help you stick out from the crowd.

 

Good luck.



#69 VSChapman

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 02:37 PM

REVISION 10 ( Thank you for the feedback  :blush: ) @Sataris I tried to get rid of the vagueness. Also, I liked your suggestion about the alternative hook. Hope this is better !

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay.


Amber manufactures an entirely new personality to get close to Henry, Bradley's son, and uses to get invited to his home. She plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreck havoc. Instead, crooked cops on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. Amber’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Each failed attempt to destroy Bradley brings more and more scrutiny on her.


Things take a turn for the worse when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy.  Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity. (Wait, don't they know who she is already? Wasn't Johnny an old boyfriend in a previous version? If so, they wouldn't be exposing her true identity)  But as much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny (the more it) makes her want to kiss him, not kill him.

 

To make matters worse, Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down. (I think these stakes are good. I wouldn't change these.)

So, I'm probably that person that MICRONESIA is talking about. :)  I feel like I shouldn't even comment when I can't even get my own where I want it to be. At least I haven't told anyone to be more vague yet! ;) And I totally get it, I have people telling me conflicting things too. This stuff is hard and everyone has an opinion. Speaking of that... don't kill me but I actually like an earlier version better. The one that started like this... 'Seventeen-year-old Amber Blake intends to destroy Bradley Jameson; a business associate who drove her father to suicide.' Not really feeling the 'seduce his son' as payback yet until we know why/how. I think of you kept this first sentence from an earlier version and added it to this version it may work. Good luck!



#70 AmberA

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 06:58 PM

Getting there. I feel like the whole drug thing just kinda feels weird, because apparently it fails, and that feels like it's the end of it, so it's almost like, "Why do we care that happened?" A thought, dependent on which way your story goes: if, (A) there are definite ramifications of the failed drug bust, you can elaborate more on how that's leading them to suspect Amber, or, if (B) it's just the first of several schemes that she tries, you can list them out briefly, like, "She does X. Does Y. Does Z. Each one Bradley wriggles out of trouble, and each one leaves Amber closer to being exposed."

 

And, yeah, I'll just add to the discussion above: don't be vague. Concrete details show off your skills as a writing and help you stick out from the crowd.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Thank you for your feedback, and to answer your comment about people knowing her. So no. They don't know that she's the daughter. She was young when her father died and since they never really had a relationship with her other than making an appearance at the funeral, they don't know what Amber looks like, only Johnny does because he stayed around. Makes sense now? Sorry for the confusion, I'll try to fix those up.  :happy:


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#71 AmberA

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:12 PM

Question: So I don't want to give out all of Amber's scheme, wouldn't that be more of a synopsis thing? 

 

Latest Revision 

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son : plant drugs in his house, ruin his business, seduce his son. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay.

 

Amber manufactures an entirely new personality, to get close to Henry, Bradley's son, and get invited to his home. She plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreak havoc. Instead, crooked cops on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. It’s just the first of several schemes that Amber tries to ruin Bradley, but she’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Each scheme Bradley wriggles out of trouble, and each one leaves Amber closer to being exposed.

Things take a turn for the worse when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy.  Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and expose her true identity.  But as much as Amber doesn't want to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnny makes her want to kiss him, not kill him.

To make matters worse, Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down.


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#72 dizzywriter

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for your input on mine. It took me a while to find your latest revision. It would make it much easier to post a link at the top of your first post. Or at least say which page it's on.

Question: So I don't want to give out all of Amber's scheme, wouldn't that be more of a synopsis thing? 

 

Latest Revision 

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son : plant drugs in his house, ruin his business, seduce his son.[You repeated your self and the punctuation is off.]  Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay.

 

Amber manufactures an entirely new personality, to get close to Henry, Bradley's son, and get invited to his home. She plants drugs in Bradley’s library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreak havoc. Instead, crooked cops on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. [I'm not sure a failed scheme is good in a query] It’s just the first of several schemes that Amber tries to ruin Bradley, but she’s after a man who seems completely untouchable. Each scheme Bradley wriggles out of trouble, and each one leaves Amber closer to being exposed. [I think you need a concrete situation to show this. You're telling here.]

Things take a turn for the worse  [cliche] when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy, and old admirer. ber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and [ who threatens to ] expose her true identity.  But as much as Amber doesn't want to admit it,[despite herself] the more time she spends with Johnny[, the more she want] makes her want to kiss him, not kill him. [Is this girl's only option to kill him? It seems a bit psycho.]

To make matters worse,[You have "worse in the second graph, too] Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down.

It's an interesting story. But I don't think the drug story is a good one for the query to demonstrate the difficulty she faces in getting her revenge. Or, it's too long. If you could give it more action and condense it, especially if it ends with her almost getting caught, that could be better. Keep at it. 

 

If you have time, I have a revision up. I used many of your suggestions. Thank you. 



#73 Queen of my backyard

Queen of my backyard

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Posted Yesterday, 12:57 PM

Question: So I don't want to give out all of Amber's scheme, wouldn't that be more of a synopsis thing? 

 

Latest Revision 

**I have no clue what the heck is up with all the spontaneous font changes so sorry for any confusion it causes.

 

Seventeen-year-old Amber has a plan for Bradley Jameson: seduce his son : plant drugs in his house, ruin his business, seduce his son. Bradley deserves it. His false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide.  And he needs to pay. < I think LNLOFT mentioned this in an earlier critique, but how does seducing his son damage Bradley in any way? Also, bc the MC winds up shifting her affections to Johnny, we're left to wonder what happened to that part of her plan. I think the revenge angle makes more sense w/o the seduction part. Many posters have said the drug angle wasn't working for them either so I wondered if you could simplify this opening to something along the lines of: Seventeen-year-old Amber's mission in life is to ruin Bradley Jameson. Bradley deserves it––his false accusations of embezzlement drove Amber's father to suicide. And now he needs to pay.

 

Amber manufactures creates a an entirely new personality identity, to get close to Henry, Bradley's son––her ticket to an invite into Bradley's home. (she's pretending to be someone she's not so it's an alternate identity, not personality. The use of "his home" needed clarification IMO, to keep the focus on Bradley being her goal, esp. since you now have two males in the sentence.) and get invited to his home. In her first of many attempts to destroy Bradley, She Amber plants drugs in Bradley’s his library and sends a tip to the cops, hoping to wreak havoc. Instead, crooked the cops that show up turn out to be crooked––they're on Bradley's payroll show up and leave the drugs without questioning him. It’s just the first of several schemes that Amber tries to ruin Bradley, but Amber's after a man who's proving to be seems completely untouchable, and with each scheme Bradley wriggles out of, trouble, and each one leaves she gets closer to being exposed. < How does she get closer to being exposed? I ask because two paragraphs down you introduce the concept that Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, but this sentence would suggest that she may already be under suspicion, no?

Things take a turn for the worse get complicated when Amber encounters an old admirer. It’s Bradley’s nephew, Johnny--- a ruthless playboy. (Are you sure you want to describe him as ruthless when you're about to tell us your MC is falling for the guy in 2 sentences? It doesn't say much for her character. You've already got a MC willing to destroy someone's life for revenge who is presumably ok with the ramifications that will have on his family... i.e.- his son, who will be in the exact spot she was in when her life was affected by her father's death, right? Now you're telling us the type of dude she goes for is the ruthless playboy sort. At this point I've sort of lost interest in your MC bc she isn't demonstrating any redeeming qualities.) Amber needs to get rid of Johnny before he tries to get in the way of her scheme and exposes her true identity and gets in the way of her scheme. (presumably Johnny doesn't know about her scheme so if you consider cause and effect, it's what Johnny knows and could do, expose her ID, that would then get in the way of her plans.)  But as much as Amber doesn't want hates to admit it, the more time she spends with Johnnythe more she makes her wants to kiss him, not kill him. (If you read that sentence out loud as you have it written, you'll see that it doesn't make sense. But wait... hold the presses... now your revenge seeking, ruthless playboy loving MC is planning to KILL someone??? Where did that come from?? You just took this novel into entirely new territory. Maybe that was just word choice? Could you say something like "the more she wants to kiss him, not make him disappear." since you previously mentioned she needs to get rid of him?

To make matters worse, Bradley and his son are getting suspicious, so ––time to complete her plan is running out. Now Amber must choose between pursuing revenge against a powerful man, who could ruin her life with a snap of his fingers, or bail on her plans and live the rest of her life knowing she's let her father down. (The stakes are really clear here and this is pretty tight. I think if you clear up the previous mention of her coming close to being exposed so it doesn't feel like a re-hash of info already given, then it will be great. 

I think this version is cleaner than the last one I read but... I'm concerned your MC is coming off as unlikable (I may have missed the "...kill him" line in the earlier version, not sure). A little simplification (NOT the same as being vague, what I mean is being CLEAR about what matters most in the query, what the MC wants, what's at stake, what happens if she doesn't get it, etc) will go a long way to getting you where you need to be... that and making sure the reader doesn't want to march right over to Bradley's house and expose your MC for what she is, or call the crooked cops back there, ya know what I mean? Make us feel for her a little more.


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