Hello all! Making my third round of queries on my first novel (now heavily revised) with a brand new query. Thought I'd try it out here first. Thanks for reading!
Yesterday Maddie Harrison was bored. To tears. To death. Then, with the help of a few odd ducks, she escapes actual death. Twice. And boring becomes the stuff of dreams.
This is extremely clunky and awkward to read. The idea is fine for a hook, but rephrasing could work wonders. Something like, "Maddie harrison used to be bored to death. When she escaped actual death, boring became the stuff of legends.
Her new friends recruit her to help them fight their fight and offer to (get this) pay her for it. Sweet deal. Soon she's facing off against wannabe gods, Nietzsche fanboys on a mission, and ghosts who mug old ladies. Then she finds a prophecy foretelling her heroic death (of course) and things spiral out of control.Reorder this: "Things spiral out of control when she finds a prophecy fortelling her heroic death."
The gang Okay, who is the gang? We've heard mention of them twice, but know literally nothing about them assures her prophecies are made to broken
while she assures herself it's all a load of pulp. Literally. But it becomes clear "becomes clear" is super vague and uninteresting. Throw us a specific event. Like "When lightning bolts keep narrowly missing her, she realizes that some big..." that some big bad is out to get her out there doesn't care what anyone thinks. Also clear: they have no idea who he is or how to stop him.
But the worst part? Maddie has a feeling her new boss doesn't want to stop him at all.
HATS OF LIGHT GRAY is an episodic sci-fi fantasy
best described as the novelization of an imaginary television dramedy. It channels the lexicon and tone of Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixed with the speculative realism of Fringe. It's Douglas Adams and Dean Koontz having a book-baby These comps were such a turn off for me. I've read multiple agents stating that comparisons should be 1) books and 2) preferably recent, to show current market viability. Complete Some agents hate, with a passion, saying the word "complete" in a query because, "of course it's complete, or you wouldn't be querying me!" at 175,000 words, this is an epic standalone novel with series potential.
so much for your time and consideration.
There's definitely a lot of unnecessary wordiness. That is particularly deadly with a long word count, because the agent will assume that you don't know how to be succinct. The longer the word count is, the more you need to demonstrate your skills of brevity. Cut away the fluff, and we just don't have enough content. We don't know who the MC is or what they want. We don't know what the world's like at all (you should definitely be able to tell it's sci-fi in the query without being told) and we don't know who the group the MC joins is, why she joins them, what their goals are, what the goals of the antagonist are, etc. Specific details entice readers. Work on adding a few more of those, as well as clarifying the plot. Once you take down fluff, you've actually got a pretty short query, so you have room to work here.