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When I See Me (YA suspense/sci-fi) Will crit back :)


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#21 Bibliophyl

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:15 PM

Thanks for stopping by my query!

 

Dear Agent McAgent,

 

Seventeen-year-old Ky Abelson only cares about two people in the world, and one of them will soon be dead. When Ky’s brother, Tristan, is sent to the ICU due to a strangely aggressive cancer, life couldn’t get any goddamn worse. Until Ky is attacked…by himself. A grey-skinned, alternate reality version of himself that holds him at knifepoint and asks one question:

 

Where is Tristan?

 

Armed with a bat, Ky’s hearty blow [just a grammar thing here, the subject of the sentence is "Ky's hearty blow" so it sounds like "armed with a bat" is describing that, but it really should be describing Ky. Also hearty is an odd word choice to me. I'd think something like desperate or violent, etc. would convey the danger better] sends his double fleeing through the window. When he [Ky or the double? it's unclear] leaves behind an otherworldly metal fragment, it quickly becomes Ky’s obsession. Enough that his boyfriend Austin—the second most important person to Ky—is beyond concerned ["beyond concerned" sounds too weak for this]. Austin’s clear about thinking [this wording is a bit awkward. Maybe "Austin knows the fragment is just another unhealthy way for Ky to..."] the fragment is another way for Ky to fixate over Tristan. Another roadblock for the romantic future Ky promised in a faraway city. Another, and possibly his [whose?] last, round of heartache. But Ky’s damn sure the fragment can give him a clue why his double is searching for Tristan. And it does.

 

Briefly, it shows images of countless alternate reality Tristans—all dead. Ky’s Tristan is next on the list, and suddenly, Tristan’s strange cancer is looking more like an interdimensional assassination attempt. Now Ky’s [I don't love the 's as a contraction of Ky is...you used it a couple times here, it might just be my personal preference though. It trips me up because it looks like a possessive] backed into a corner disguised as a choice: Find his double in the vain hope of saving Tristan and risk losing Austin or move forward with Austin and do the unthinkable, accept Tristan’s inevitable death. [I don't think it's been made clear enough that saving Tristan and being happy with Austin are mutually exclusive]

 

I can tell you've worked on this a lot and I think it is almost there. Most of my comments are minor. Good luck!



#22 AReadingRedSox

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 11:31 PM

Dear Agent McAgent,

 

Seventeen-year-old Ky Abelson only cares about two people in the world, and one of them will soon be dead. When Ky’s brother, Tristan, is sent to the ICU due to a strangely aggressive cancer, life couldn’t get any goddamn worse. Until Ky is attacked…by himself. A grey-skinned, alternate reality version of himself that holds him at knifepoint and asks one question: Where is Tristan?

 

Armed with a bat, Ky’s hearty blow sends his double fleeing through the window. When he leaves behind an otherworldly metal fragment, it quickly becomes Ky’s obsession. Enough that his boyfriend Austin—the second most important person to Ky—is beyond concerned. Austin’s clear about thinking the fragment is another way for Ky to fixate over Tristan. Another roadblock for the romantic future Ky promised in a faraway city. Another, and possibly his last, round of heartache. But Ky’s damn sure the fragment can give him a clue why his double is searching for Tristan. And it does.

 

Briefly, it shows images of countless alternate reality Tristans—all dead. Ky’s Tristan is next on the list, and suddenly, Tristan’s strange cancer is looking more like an interdimensional assassination attempt. Now Ky’s backed into a corner disguised as a choice: Find his double in the vain hope of saving Tristan and risk losing Austin or move forward with Austin and do the unthinkable, accept Tristan’s inevitable death.

 

Good query! Consider adding some comps as well, just to show agents that there's marketability for your novel. It'd be great if you could critique my query: http://agentquerycon...ry-golden-hour/



#23 Tanja

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 02:41 AM

Hi

Thanks for your feedback on my query. Just returning the favor.

 

Sooo. I think this might be my final draft here. I know I can't please everyone though I appreciate all feedback given that's led to the progress my query has made. I haven't let this rest, but I think it might be good enough to launch. Thoughts?

 

Dear Agent McAgent,

 

Seventeen-year-old Ky Abelson only cares about two people in the world, and one of them will soon be dead.  I would start a new para here and leave this as a hook. When Ky’s brother, Tristan, is sent to the ICU due to a strangely aggressive cancer, life couldn’t get any goddamn worse. Until Ky is attacked…by himself you state in the next line that it's a version of himself. . A grey-skinned, alternate reality version of himself that holds him at knifepoint and asks one question:

 

Where is Tristan? I'm not a big fan of questions in a query. Yes, you want to raise questions but not with a question mark.

 

Armed with a bat, Ky’s hearty blow sends his double fleeing through the window this is very wordy and way too detailed for a query. When he This HE refers back to Ky so you need to rephrase to make clear it's his alternate version who left it behind leaves behind an otherworldly strikes me a little vague metal fragment can you describe it, like is it round, like a penny or something or a little as dust?, it quickly becomes Ky’s obsession. Enough that his boyfriend Austin—the second most important person to Ky—is beyond concerned. Austin’s clear about thinking the fragment is another way for Ky to fixate over Tristan. Another roadblock for the romantic future Ky promised in a faraway city. Another, and possibly his last, round of heartache. It's very unclear if the underlined parts are in Ky's or Austin's POV. Plus, it doesn't really add to the story. It's unnecessary detail that muddles the query and the motivation. Reason why I'm pointing this out is because I've totally lost the connection to Ky and Tristan. But Ky’s damn sure the fragment can give him a clue why his double is searching for Tristan. And it does.

 

Briefly vague, It shows images of countless alternate reality Tristans—all dead I'd consider rephrasing: It shows countless dead alternate images of Tristan. / Still way too wordy but you get the drift. Ky’s Tristan is next on the list what list?, and suddenly, Tristan’s strange cancer is looking more like an interdimensional assassination attempt. Now Ky’s backed into a corner disguised how can a choice be disguised? as a choice: Find his double in the vain hope of saving Tristan and risk losing Austin or move forward with Austin and do the unthinkable, accept Tristan’s inevitable death. Hmm

 

The story is interesting but the catapult for a query is missing. And that's mainly because of too much detail at places where it's not needed and the lack of detail where it's needed. The main thing about a query is to hint at things and not detail every bit. I do understand Austin is an important part of the story but he doesn't move the query along. I would concentrate on Ky's obsession for the, what you call, fragment. The main thing I don't get in the query is how his other half interferes with Ky's life, besides Ky being obsessed with the fragment. And then the fragment showing him different dead versions of Tristan. But besides that, there's no indication of how Ky is actually living with the fact that he's suddenly faced by another side of himself. I think theses are the things you should bring into the query. However, that's my opinion and others might think differently.

 

Hope I could help a little


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#24 smithgirl

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 12:15 PM

Dear Agent McAgent,

 

Seventeen-year-old Ky Abelson only cares about two people in the world, and one of them will soon be dead.

 

I would set his apart as your hook.

 

When Ky’s brother, Tristan, is sent to the ICU with a mysterious due to a strangely aggressive cancer, life couldn’t get any goddamn worse. Until Ky is attacked…by himself. Interesting. A grey-skinned, alternate reality version of himself that holds him at knifepoint and asks one question: Where is Tristan? Make this into a complete sentence rather than a fragment (cut that).

 

Armed with a bat, Ky’s hearty blow sends his double fleeing through the window. But when the double leaves behind an otherworldly metal fragment, it quickly becomes Ky’s obsession. Enough that his boyfriend comma Austin—the second most important person to Ky—is beyond concerned. Austin’s sure clear about thinking the leftover fragment is another excuse way for Ky to fixate on ver Tristan.  Another roadblock for the romantic future Ky promised in a faraway city. Another, and possibly his last, round of heartache. But Ky’s damn sure the fragment can give him a clue why his double is searching for Tristan. And it does. This paragraph makes Austin sound rather selfish, after all, Ky's brother is dying of cancer. Also, if Tristan will die soon anyway, doesn't Austin just have to wait for Tristan to die? Then they can move and have their relationship?

 

Briefly, it shows images of countless alternate reality Tristans—all dead. Ky’s Tristan is next on the list, and suddenly, Tristan’s strange cancer is looking more like an interdimensional assassination attempt. Also interesting. Now Ky’s backed into a corner disguised as a choice: Find his double in the unlikely event he can still save vain hope of saving Tristan (if it's in vain, then actually there is no hope, right?) and risk losing Austin comma or move forward with Austin and do the unthinkable, accept Tristan’s inevitable death.

 

Your query is succinct and the story is interesting. I'm mostly confused about the situation with Austin. Why can't Austin just support Ky until Tristan dies? After Ky learns the fragment can maybe help him save his brother, why can't Austin help him in his mission? It seems unfair for Austin to make Ky choose between him and his brother. I'm sure these issues are clear in the book, but in the query Austin is sounding like someone Ky might be better off without. I completely understand this issues; my characters can also come off as jerks sometimes. You just have so little space in a query.

 

​I also agree with previous commenters that some of your sentences read awkwardly. And you have a lot of sentence fragments. You can have fragments in you novel, but I would try to minimize them in your query.

 

 



#25 Caligulas

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the crits everyone! Query is edited and now in rest mode until I can come back with fresh eyes and decide whether or not it's sitting well with me. Really appreciate all the advice. It's helped tons. :)



#26 Caligulas

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 12:29 PM

 

Dear Agent McAgent,

 

Seventeen-year-old Ky Abelson only cares about two people in the world, and one of them will soon be dead.

 

I would set his apart as your hook.

 

When Ky’s brother, Tristan, is sent to the ICU with a mysterious due to a strangely aggressive cancer, life couldn’t get any goddamn worse. Until Ky is attacked…by himself. Interesting. A grey-skinned, alternate reality version of himself that holds him at knifepoint and asks one question: Where is Tristan? Make this into a complete sentence rather than a fragment (cut that).

 

Armed with a bat, Ky’s hearty blow sends his double fleeing through the window. But when the double leaves behind an otherworldly metal fragment, it quickly becomes Ky’s obsession. Enough that his boyfriend comma Austin—the second most important person to Ky—is beyond concerned. Austin’s sure clear about thinking the leftover fragment is another excuse way for Ky to fixate on ver Tristan.  Another roadblock for the romantic future Ky promised in a faraway city. Another, and possibly his last, round of heartache. But Ky’s damn sure the fragment can give him a clue why his double is searching for Tristan. And it does. This paragraph makes Austin sound rather selfish, after all, Ky's brother is dying of cancer. Also, if Tristan will die soon anyway, doesn't Austin just have to wait for Tristan to die? Then they can move and have their relationship?

 

Briefly, it shows images of countless alternate reality Tristans—all dead. Ky’s Tristan is next on the list, and suddenly, Tristan’s strange cancer is looking more like an interdimensional assassination attempt. Also interesting. Now Ky’s backed into a corner disguised as a choice: Find his double in the unlikely event he can still save vain hope of saving Tristan (if it's in vain, then actually there is no hope, right?) and risk losing Austin comma or move forward with Austin and do the unthinkable, accept Tristan’s inevitable death.

 

Your query is succinct and the story is interesting. I'm mostly confused about the situation with Austin. Why can't Austin just support Ky until Tristan dies? After Ky learns the fragment can maybe help him save his brother, why can't Austin help him in his mission? It seems unfair for Austin to make Ky choose between him and his brother. I'm sure these issues are clear in the book, but in the query Austin is sounding like someone Ky might be better off without. I completely understand this issues; my characters can also come off as jerks sometimes. You just have so little space in a query.

 

​I also agree with previous commenters that some of your sentences read awkwardly. And you have a lot of sentence fragments. You can have fragments in you novel, but I would try to minimize them in your query.

 

 

 

Since you asked, (I didn't address it because the query was buried before and I didn't expect it to come back up lol), Austin thinks Ky's grief is making him literally insane. This came up before from other people who looked at the query elsewhere, and I've edited. It has to rest now for a bit. But Austin is selfish. Lol.



#27 smithgirl

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 03:50 PM

Since you asked, (I didn't address it because the query was buried before and I didn't expect it to come back up lol), Austin thinks Ky's grief is making him literally insane. This came up before from other people who looked at the query elsewhere, and I've edited. It has to rest now for a bit. But Austin is selfish. Lol.

 

 

Oh, it will probably help to say that Ky's grief is driving him insane. But I also understand that Austin can be selfish. Because, in real life, people really are selfish, in many cases. Unfortunately, selfish characters are unpopular with agents -- I face this same problem. 

 

I critiqued your query because you critiqued mine. Sorry if you meant for it to lie fallow for a while. Query writing is so frustrating, you do have to take breaks sometimes. Good luck.



#28 Caligulas

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:45 PM

Oh, it will probably help to say that Ky's grief is driving him insane. But I also understand that Austin can be selfish. Because, in real life, people really are selfish, in many cases. Unfortunately, selfish characters are unpopular with agents -- I face this same problem. 

 

I critiqued your query because you critiqued mine. Sorry if you meant for it to lie fallow for a while. Query writing is so frustrating, you do have to take breaks sometimes. Good luck.

I actually like this process, just leaving this alone for a week or so in order to see it with fresh eyes. Once upon a time I found it frustrating, but I like the balancing act between art and functionality that comes with queries. I disagree about selfish characters though. I've read almost countless stories with selfish supporting characters. I'm not really sure where you're getting that from? As it goes for everything in this field, there's no absolutes. Everyone likes different stuff. I'm interested to know where you heard this from because I never have. :) Regardless, meh. If this story doesn't work out I'll just start on the next, lol.



#29 Tanja

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 12:49 AM

I actually like this process, just leaving this alone for a week or so in order to see it with fresh eyes. Once upon a time I found it frustrating, but I like the balancing act between art and functionality that comes with queries. I disagree about selfish characters though. I've read almost countless stories with selfish supporting characters. I'm not really sure where you're getting that from? As it goes for everything in this field, there's no absolutes. Everyone likes different stuff. I'm interested to know where you heard this from because I never have. :) Regardless, meh. If this story doesn't work out I'll just start on the next, lol.

Don't give up on the story. It sounds too good. Letting the query rest is a good idea. Come back with fresh eyes.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#30 Caligulas

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 09:26 AM

Don't give up on the story. It sounds too good. Letting the query rest is a good idea. Come back with fresh eyes.

 

Aw thank you! That's very encouraging. :)






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