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AROUND THE BLOCK (YA)


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#1 RobDurham

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:00 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

At 17, Mark hopes finding his first girlfriend is as effortless as his ritualistic morning runs, but an unwanted admirer humiliates him by spewing her feelings in a school-wide trainwreck of a display. He soon learns that not all of the negative attention hurts his chances when a senior, notorious for partying with college guys, notices him and has no reservations about pressuring Mark into doing much more than holding hands.

 

Mark Lender is openly desired by Katy, the most outlandish girl in school who isn’t afraid to profess her love and embarrass him at any time. Katy’s unorthodox and delusional gestures towards “her Marky” are witnessed by nearly the entire school--including Angel, the standout, flame-throwing softball pitcher who dwarfs him with her 6’1” frame and reputation of sexual experience. After she shows interest, Mark soon finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts, Mark’s obsession and guilt both grow with the possibilities of Angel. Dad seems proud, but what must his deceased mother be thinking? The novel explores Mark’s attempt to outrun the social pressures of both being the pursued and pursuer, while discovering that despite his book smarts, his inexperience in dating leads to multiple erroneous assumptions.

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I am in my seventh year of teaching high school language arts and my eighteenth year as a professional stand-up comedian. Both careers contribute heavily to my writing. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham

 



#2 Springfield

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:29 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

At 17, Mark hopes finding his first girlfriend is as effortless as his ritualistic morning runs, This is a bit odd -- like he's shopping. but an unwanted admirer humiliates him by spewing her feelings in a school-wide trainwreck of a display.  He soon learns that not all of the negative attention hurts his chances when a senior, notorious for partying with college guys, notices him and has no reservations about pressuring Mark into doing much more than holding hands.

 

Mark Lender Is this the same guy? Why is his full name here on second ref if so? is openly desired by Katy, the most outlandish girl in school who isn’t afraid to profess her love and embarrass him at any time. Katy’s unorthodox and delusional gestures  towards “her Marky” are witnessed by nearly the entire school--including Angel, the standout, flame-throwing softball pitcher who dwarfs him with her 6’1” frame and reputation of sexual experience. This reads like an expanded retread of the first paragraph; I'm not sure what's going on here. After she antecedent  shows interest, Mark soon finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts, you keep alluding to stuff you're not showing, and I really don't like how Katy is portrayed here. Mark’s obsession and guilt both grow with the possibilities of Angel. Dad seems proud, Of what? but what must his deceased mother be thinking? Mark's grandmother? The novel don't. explores Mark’s attempt to outrun the social pressures of both being the pursued and pursuer, while discovering that despite his book smarts, his inexperience in dating leads to multiple erroneous assumptions.

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I am in my seventh year of teaching high school language arts and my eighteenth year as a professional stand-up comedian. Both careers contribute heavily to my writing. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham

You have two paragraphs that repeat, but no real problem and no stakes, and I think you're really going to run into trouble with that portrayal of Katy. 



#3 Nessa

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:54 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

At 17, Mark​[Last name] hopes finding his first girlfriend is as effortless as his ritualistic morning runs, but an unwanted admirer humiliates him by spewing her feelings in a school-wide trainwreck of a display​[Idk about him but this seems pretty effortless. How does this affect him finding a girlfriend?? Does it make him undesirable?]. He soon learns that not all of the negative attention​[Bad PR, huh. Could you infuse this in the previous sentence?] hurts his chances when a senior, notorious for partying with college guys, notices him and has no reservations about pressuring Mark into doing much more than holding hands.

 

Mark Lender is openly desired by Katy​[Is she the girl who proclaims her admiration in the first paragraph?], the most outlandish girl in school who isn’t afraid to profess her love and embarrass him at any time. Katy’s unorthodox and delusional gestures towards “her Marky” are witnessed by nearly the entire school--including Angel, the standout, flame-throwing softball pitcher who dwarfs him with her 6’1” frame and reputation of sexual experience​[Is it necessary to constantly bring up sexual experience?]. After she shows interest, Mark soon finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts​[Such as...? Calling him "her Marky" is one thing, but that doesn't sound like it'd apply to the other stunts. If you delete the first paragraph, you can incorporate her big "I LIKE YOU!" moment into this paragraph.], Mark’s obsession​[This is definitely going to be a red flag for some agents.] and guilt both grow with the possibilities of Angel. Dad seems proud, but what must his deceased mother be thinking? ​[Whose deceased mother? Also, where are the stakes?] The novel explores Mark’s attempt to outrun the social pressures of both being the pursued and pursuer, while discovering that despite his book smarts, his inexperience in dating leads to multiple erroneous assumptions.​[Delete last sentence. Show in your query, don't tell.]

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I am in my seventh year of teaching high school language arts and my eighteenth year as a professional stand-up comedian. Both careers contribute heavily to my writing​[Idk, but if my teacher were inspired by his experience to write a novel that sounds like a raunchy comedy with 25yo+ actors playing high school students, I'd be immensely grossed out.]. ​[Looking at Springfield's comment above, I agree that your portrayal of female characters is going to hinder your progress. Publishing and stand-up comedy have different standards. What's funny in stand-up is not going to be funny in publishing, especially for the YA market.]I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham


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#4 RobDurham

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:44 PM

Thank you both. I was misled by some advice from a rookie lit. agent (who I want my $25 back from--lol).  I've rewritten most taking your advice into consideration.

 

Dear (Agent),

 

17-year-old Mark Lender soon guesses which classmate left him a note about wanting him: The same girl lands him in detention later that day for a mess his pals made. Her infatuation intensifies allowing others to witness her antics.

 

Surprisingly, not all attention is harmful when you’re looking for your first girlfriend.

 

To the amusement of his peers, Mark is being stalked, chased, and even tackled by Katy after she joins the track team to get closer to "her Marky". 6’1” flame-throwing, softball star Angel Hayden takes notice of the situation. After Mark helps her with calculus during detention, she eventually offers him the kind of attention she’s known for only giving to college guys. Even before she pins Mark to the wall with a kiss (right in front of Katy), he finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts involving balloon-o-grams, lies, and delusional outbursts, Mark must decide if he’s actually prepared to start a relationship with someone who’s playing on a different field.

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham



#5 Daisy

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 03:24 PM

Thank you both. I was misled by some advice from a rookie lit. agent (who I want my $25 back from--lol). I've rewritten most taking your advice into consideration.

Dear (Agent),

17-year-old Mark Lender soon guesses which classmate left him a note about wanting him: The same girl lands him in detention later that day for a mess his pals made. Her infatuation intensifies allowing others to witness her antics.

Surprisingly, not all attention is harmful when you’re looking for your first girlfriend.

I'd start right here ---- > To the amusement of his peers, seventeen-year-old Mark Lender is being stalked, chased, and even tackled by Katy Last Name (It will flow better) after she joins the track team to get closer to "her Marky".


6’1” flame-throwing, Six-foot-one softball star Angel Hayden takes notice of the situation. I have no idea what flame throwing means in this context. :wacko:

I think I'd mesh those two sentences together:


To the amusement of his peers, seventeen-year-old Mark Lender is being stalked, chased, and even tackled by Katy Smith.
When Katy joins the track team to get closer to "her Marky", six-foot-one softball star Angel Hayden takes note of the situation.


After Mark helps her (Angel?) with calculus during detention, she eventually offers him the kind of attention she’s known for only giving to college guys.


Even before she pins Mark to the wall with a kiss (right in front of Katy), he finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts involving balloon-o-grams, lies, and delusional outbursts, Mark must decide if he’s actually prepared to start a relationship with someone who’s playing on a different field. I LOVE YA, especially if there's any sort of romance in it, but I'm not feeling anything here.
Mark's personality is not coming through in this query. Katy seems a bit interesting, but Angel sounds like a tramp. I'm not really caring about any of your characters yet and I wish I did. :sad:
The way it is now, Mark is interested in the girl with "reputation" which makes me think he's pretty shallow. You still need to show me these are characters I want to hang out with for 58,000 words. :wub:

I like the beginning (Where I suggested you start) That hooks me, but it sort of fizzles after that.
Try and keep me on the hook and reel me in. I can already tell I like your voice. I'm your ideal reader for this sort of book, so charm me with your characters.


AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Rob Durham



#6 Springfield

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:32 PM

Thank you both. I was misled by some advice from a rookie lit. agent (who I want my $25 back from--lol).  I've rewritten most taking your advice into consideration. An agent -- or someone professing to be one -- charged you for advice? Charged you... $25? I question the whole 'agent,' part of this scenario.

 

Dear (Agent),

 

17-year-old I'm sorry, but if you say you're an English teacher, you can't send out queries with errors in them. It's going to be more offputting to agents than if someone without your credentials does it, I pretty much guarantee. Mark Lender soon guesses Soon? This isn't grounded in anything. which classmate left him a note about wanting him: The same girl lands him in detention later that day for a mess his pals made. I don't follow. Her infatuation intensifies allowing others to witness her antics. See above re: errors and confusion.

 

Surprisingly, not all attention is harmful when you’re looking for your first girlfriend. Still lost.

 

To the amusement of his peers, Mark is being stalked, chased, and even tackled by Katy after she joins the track team to get closer to "her Marky". You really can't do this -- I mean you can, you can do whatever you like, but I'd bet a stack of cash this will go over like a lead balloon. 6’1” flame-throwing, softball star Angel Hayden takes notice of the situation. After Mark helps her with calculus during detention, she eventually offers him the kind of attention she’s known for only giving to college guys. Even before she pins Mark to the wall with a kiss (right in front of Katy), he finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts involving balloon-o-grams, lies, and delusional outbursts, Mark must decide if he’s actually prepared to start a relationship with someone who’s playing on a different field.

The characters are not coming across as realistic, and they're fairly offensively portrayed to boot, imo. This just won't fly in the market. I don't know how well this reflects the book, but I think you're going to have a hard time selling what you've got here, if this is a real representation of the ms. If it's not, I'd suggest you dial it back to more realism, and also work on the problem and stakes.

 

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham



#7 RobDurham

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:00 PM

 

Thank you for rewording those lines for me.  They (Mark and Angel) fizzle because the relationship never really materializes.  It's more about Mark thinking he's in one than actually falling in love.  I was trying to recreate the stupidity of a teen who thinks everything is 10 times more important than it is vs. a more experienced dater who just wants to have a good time.  I'll try to state that somehow.

It's challenging to get that across though and from what it sounds like, my whole concept isn't a crowd-pleaser because one girl comes across trampy and the other is undesirable because of her appearance and actions.  Regardless, thank you for your feedback.



#8 Daisy

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:04 AM

 

 

Thank you for rewording those lines for me.  They (Mark and Angel) fizzle because the relationship never really materializes.  It's more about Mark thinking he's in one than actually falling in love.  I was trying to recreate the stupidity of a teen who thinks everything is 10 times more important than it is vs. a more experienced dater who just wants to have a good time.  I'll try to state that somehow.

It's challenging to get that across though and from what it sounds like, my whole concept isn't a crowd-pleaser because one girl comes across trampy and the other is undesirable because of her appearance and actions.  Regardless, thank you for your feedback.

 

 

Oh,  I definitely wouldn't describe this as not a "crowd pleaser".  It's tricky to show all the sides of your characters in a query, but when done right it's awesome.

 

Remember, queries aren't written...they're re-written over and over and over and over...

 

Leaving the query alone for a week or more, not even to peek at it, and then coming back to with fresh eyes works wonders.

 

Good luck. :smile:



#9 Springfield

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:29 AM

 

 

Thank you for rewording those lines for me.  They (Mark and Angel) fizzle because the relationship never really materializes.  It's more about Mark thinking he's in one than actually falling in love.  I was trying to recreate the stupidity of a teen who thinks everything is 10 times more important than it is vs. a more experienced dater who just wants to have a good time.  I'll try to state that somehow.

It's challenging to get that across though and from what it sounds like, my whole concept isn't a crowd-pleaser because one girl comes across trampy and the other is undesirable because of her appearance and actions.  Regardless, thank you for your feedback.

 

 

You're so misunderstanding how this is coming across I don't know where to begin, honestly. 

 

One girl comes across as trampy? It's not 1952. 

 

The problem with Katy isn't that she's coming across as undesirable; it's that it reads as though you're making light of mental illness, criminal behaviour, making someone a caricature of a boy-crazy loon... I don't know how to explain this to you, seriously, because I really don't know where to start with how offputting the whole Katy thing is as a portrayal.



#10 RobDurham

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:54 AM

You're so misunderstanding how this is coming across I don't know where to begin, honestly. 

 

One girl comes across as trampy? It's not 1952. 

 

The problem with Katy isn't that she's coming across as undesirable; it's that it reads as though you're making light of mental illness, criminal behaviour, making someone a caricature of a boy-crazy loon... I don't know how to explain this to you, seriously, because I really don't know where to start with how offputting the whole Katy thing is as a portrayal.

Well yeah, she's "the weird girl."  Am I allowed to have that?  It's not a mental disorder, it's just a weird girl who has no social awareness.  I teach plenty of them.  It doesn't mean they're on the spectrum, they just are socially out there.  

Sorry, I'm obviously frustrated as I've rewritten this thing 40 times at least.  

I'm having trouble describing the 2 important female characters. One is weird and obsessed with the protagonist. The other is popular (not beautiful), but intimidating because of her her stature and reputation.  I'll go back to figuring out a way to describe them.

Thank you all for your help.



#11 Springfield

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 07:52 PM

Well yeah, she's "the weird girl."  Am I allowed to have that?  It's not a mental disorder, it's just a weird girl who has no social awareness.  I teach plenty of them.  It doesn't mean they're on the spectrum, they just are socially out there.  

Sorry, I'm obviously frustrated as I've rewritten this thing 40 times at least.  

I'm having trouble describing the 2 important female characters. One is weird and obsessed with the protagonist. The other is popular (not beautiful), but intimidating because of her her stature and reputation.  I'll go back to figuring out a way to describe them.

Thank you all for your help.

 

How much current YA do you read?



#12 RobDurham

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 04:15 PM

OK, I've taken some time away, regrouped, read several how-to books, and now I've got this. It's possibly too short, but that's better than too long I've heard.  Thank you in advance for your feedback and minimizing the snark:

 

Dear (Agent),

 

Late bloomer Mark Lender has an admirer who, unfortunately for him, doesn’t stay a secret. But the school-wide attention perks the interest of a more appealing girl who bloomed long before her senior year.

 

Every morning Mark Lender trains for track through the streets of Pond Bridge. During the school day he’s busy eluding Katy Mancer and the teasing from his classmates who even made him a meme. But all the miles of running lead to 6’1” softball star Angel Hayden who’s known for making a man out of boys like him--but is he ready? Turns out his guilt is just one of the many obstacles.

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rob Durham



#13 RobDurham

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:52 PM

Revised yet again, this time someone gave me some serious help and practically wrote it for me...(which feels dirty, but dammit I tried!)

 

He's an overlooked track star without a track record with the ladies. But in the blink of an eye he's gone from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage when a girl with no interest in reality or fashion sense begins to stalk him. And suddenly she's not the only one looking his way. The most popular girl in school just gave him a ride home and he can't quite believe it. But he has no experience, and worse, he's never even kissed a girl. Enter Angel Haydon, a six foot one jock with the guidance he needs. Can Angel turn his awkward fantasies into reality? Is he really ready to take it to the next level?



#14 JP1994

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:54 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

He's an overlooked track star without a track record with the ladies. But in the blink of an eye he's gone from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage when a girl with no interest in reality or fashion sense begins to stalk him. (This sounds like a hook. Should be separate from the main body, like so. Plus, consider condensing a bit. Sentences in a hook should be sharp. e.g. 'He's an overlooked track star with no track record with the ladies. At least until a girl devoid of fashion and reality begins stalking him.')

 

And suddenly she's not the only one looking his way. (If she loses relevance this fast, she shouldn't serve as the hook.) The most popular girl in school just gave him a ride home and he can't quite believe it. But he has no experience, and worse, he's never even kissed a girl. Enter Angel Haydon, a six foot one jock with the guidance he needs. Can Angel turn his awkward fantasies into reality? Is he really ready to take it to the next level?

 

(It's too short and the stakes are too vague. 'Take it to the next leve'l? Could you expand, mention some of the difficulties that entails? Most decent queries have a clear conflict and some stakes. You only have a little of the former and none of the latter.)

 

AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies. (Good credentials. Will get you noticed.)

 

The whole thing needs expansion, more details that scream, 'Read me!'

<script> </script>



#15 A.M.Rose

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:37 PM

To be frank, I'm concerned with this story based on the queries I've read here, but I'm hoping it just isn't coming across the right way. Nevertheless, my comments below in green 

Revised yet again, this time someone gave me some serious help and practically wrote it for me...(which feels dirty, but dammit I tried!) We all need help with queries don't be too hard on yourself

 

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Mark Lender is He's an overlooked track star without a track record with the ladies. (This start immediately gives us an idea of this character. Good.) This is something he's looking to change. But he's shocked it would happen so fast or like this. In the blink of an eye he's gone from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage all because when a girl with no interest in reality or fashion sense begins to stalk him. (This part still concerns me. Stalking is a real issue. One girls have to deal with more often than they should, so I hope you aren't making light of this situation. Also, I'm not understanding how being stalked by the "weird girl" (your words from above) turns him into Mr. Popular. Most of the time when this trope plays out - the unpopular girl falling all over the unpopular boy - it usually ends in ridicule by his peers, not admiration, but this is your story. I'm just interested in how this plays out.)

 

And sSuddenly she's not the only one looking his way. The most popular girl in school just gave him a ride home and he can't quite believe it. (I'm not sure about this line, something feels off about it to me. (but it could just be me) Maybe it needs to sound like what you just stated that there is more than one girl. In the lunch line the girl in front of him picks up the tab, and then the most popular girl gives him a ride home. He can hardly believe it. But he has no experience, and worse, he's never even kissed a girl. Enter Angel Haydon, a six foot one jock with the guidance he needs. Can Angel turn his awkward fantasies into reality? Is he really ready to take it to the next level? Questions in query letters are frowned upon. 

 

As Angel turns his fantasies into realities Mark must decide ....

 

Honestly I'm still not 100% sure what this story is about. 

 

I get that your MC is Mark

That he wants a girl friend (goal)

That his inexperience stands in the way (obstacle) (But I think there should be more)

But I have no idea what the stakes are. What does he stand to lose? Not having a girl friend or not being able to take it to the next level isn't really stakes. I mean they are, but just not ones with substance, that people really care about. I'm not trying to be a jerk. I just want you to understand that the reader is really going to have to love Mark and want him to get a girlfriend for these stakes to work. There's a reason there are so many "must save the world or everyone dies" stories. Those are stakes with meat. The world exploding is basically as far as you can take stakes and that's the point - to push the stakes of your story as far as you can. What is the worst thing that can happen to Mark? 

 

So overall I worry you don't have enough going on. (Once again, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just looking at this from a potential agents perspective.) This kind of just sounds like a teenage boy's wet dream. Having the slutty girl hitting on him and another one falling all over herself to be with him. Is this story about how Mark loses his virginity? Or is there more to it? I'm hoping there's more. That this is a coming of age novel in some way. Which I think would be really great and we need more boy MC coming of age books. But I think in order for this to work there needs to be more here than what you have laid out. 

 

Please remember, these are just my opinions. The writing world is very subjective so what doesn't work for one, will work for someone else. So take what works for you and leave what doesn't. In the end it is your story and you need to tell it the way you are most comfortable with.

 

I wish you all the best. 

 

 


A.M. Rose

Author of Road to Eugenica - Available 2018 from Entangled Teen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#16 galian84

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:09 AM

Revised yet again, this time someone gave me some serious help and practically wrote it for me...(which feels dirty, but dammit I tried!) (Nah, don't :) I'd wager 99% of us get extensive help on our query letters. They're a totally different beast than writing a novel)

 

He's (who? Use his name) an overlooked track star without a track record with the ladies. But in the blink of an eye (cliché phrase) he's gone from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage (I like your phrasing here!) when a girl with no interest in reality or fashion sense begins to stalk him (as some critters already mentioned, the mention of 'stalking' is a careful line to tread and could potentially offend a lot of people). And suddenly she's not the only one looking his way. The most popular girl in school just gave him a ride home and he can't quite believe it. But he has no experience, and worse, he's never even kissed a girl. Enter Angel Haydon (Is she the most popular girl in school that you mentioned earlier?), a six foot one jock with the guidance he needs. Can Angel turn his awkward fantasies into reality? Is he really ready to take it to the next level? (I don't see any stakes or a conflict here and I don't know what the "next level" means...reads as vague. And I know using rhetorical questions in queries are iffy, but ultimately it's up to you)

Hi Rob, fresh eyes here :) This sounds more like a back cover blurb or a brief pitch, than a query letter. My thoughts above. With all that being said, how necessary is the girl who stalks him, in the grand scheme of the story? She's not mentioned again later in the query. The meat of the story seems to be about his (sexual) awakening with Angel, if I'm reading this correctly? If so it should be more focused on his relationship with her. Unfortunately, while I think I get a general sense of what the story is about, I'm not really sure what's going on and I started getting confused after the third sentence. Needs more specifics.

 

Otherwise, sounds like you have a fun premise here!



#17 RobDurham

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:34 PM

Bingo?  Maybe?  I'm soooo close I think!

 

Seventeen-year-old Mark Lender loves running track but has no track record with the ladies. Something he’s looking to change. He’s shocked when the interest of two girls takes him from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage. Katy Mancer seems obsessed with him, but she’s oblivious to fashion--or reality, so her advances only give Mark’s bullies a bigger target. Then there’s Angel Hayden, a six foot one home run-hitting jock, who’s so popular she parties with college guys and is way too experienced for a guy like him who’s never made it to first base. Mark can either learn quickly or strikeout.



#18 MICRONESIA

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:42 PM

I'm soooo close I think!

 

You're not. What you have now is so short and rudderless that there's NOTHING to separate it from a trillion other stories of its ilk.

 

Specifics make queries. Characters make queries. PLOTS make queries. This just seems like some dude trying to score. That in itself isn't a plot. Surely to goat there's more to your book than this.

 

Someone earlier nailed it. This isn't a query; it's a blurb.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#19 Springfield

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:17 PM

Bingo?  Maybe?  I'm soooo close I think!

 

Seventeen-year-old Mark Lender loves running track but has no track record with the ladies. Something he’s looking to change. This isn't a sentence. He’s shocked when the interest of two girls takes him from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage. Not bad. Katy Mancer seems obsessed with him, but she’s oblivious to fashion I'm sorry? What 1950s backwoods are these characters in? Every version I can't get a hold on this. I know plenty of teens and some are assholes but... --or reality, so her advances only give Mark’s bullies a bigger target. Your MC turns unlikable right here.

Then there’s Angel Hayden, a six foot one home run-hitting jock, People are going to think this is MMF, just btw.  who’s so popular she parties with college guys and is way too experienced for a guy like him who’s never made it to first base. Mark can either learn quickly or strikeout. A guy wants to get laid does not a book make.

 

This is all premise, no plot.



#20 RobDurham

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:51 AM

Yes, I mentioned earlier I'm just going for the blurb part now earlier.  I understand it's not a good query, and yeah, I'm sure I've broken some rule for this site, but hey, you labeled it a blurb, so at least that's good.






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