Query Critique Week

Presenting…Query Day!

Query Critique Week was such a huge success (I can’t even count how many people have emailed me saying they had full requests! YAAAAY!!), and I’ve received so many emails asking when it would happen again, I’ve decided to make it more of a regular thing…

Now, I can’t manage the same scale of queries I handled in January, but I CAN manage a handful each month.  And so I’d like to introduce you to…

~ Query Day ~ (Read more…)

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Query Critique Wrap-Up

GAH!  Yesterday I reached 100 followers! This is momentous — MOMENTOUS, I SAY!  I feel so very loved.

😀

♥ THANK YOU, FRIENDS! ♥

Now back to our regularly scheduled program: my Query Critique Week(s) is coming to a close — though there’s still another week of it on Let the Words Flow (with agent feedback!).

I critiqued a total of 25 queries, and I wanted to give a quick overview of some of the various issues I saw.

Biggest Issues

By biggest, I mean “most harmful”. These are the issues that mean instant death for your query. Think “box jellyfish of the query world”. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #10: Run, Delaney

Today’s query is our last, and it’s from a beginning writer — in other words, BE GENTLE.  While everyone has been offering amazing feedback, we can all come across harsh if we’re not careful.

So try to be helpful but sweet for this newbie — it’s her first attempt at querying!

🙂

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Dear Agent,

<insert special comments for agent> As such, I believe you’ll enjoy my 50,000 word YA urban fantasy novel RUN, DELANEY. Delaney is a teen werewolf and mother, on the run from her pack and its leader Sable, who’s also the father of her child.

Deep in the woods of the Tyson County Forest, live three packs: the Solar, the Schulsia, and the Secchi. Delaney leads a content life as a Solar pack member until one fateful night when her home, the Solar Compound is attacked with fire by an unknown enemy. Enter Sable: a charismatic rogue bearing promises to protect the traumatized Solar. He wins the title of Pack Leader and forces Delaney to be his mate. She learns of his ties to the mysterious enemy, and her own bloodline connection to their schemes. (Read more…)

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10 comments

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Query Critique #9: The Devil’s Utopia

This week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have my close friend Amanda Plavich at bat — the same lady who took my fabulous author photos (isn’t she a multitalented Renaissance gal?) , so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  If you anything rude, I will <insert horrible fate> you.  Now go out and spread the word so Amanda  can get tons of helpful feedback!

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Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Adelaide’s existence is defined by her role: she’s a Forsaken, and as such must always serve the Cherished.

Her remote village in the rainforest was founded on the utopian ideals of Erich Schwartz and is still ruled by this charismatic, yet cruel man.   (Read more…)

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22 comments

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Query Critique #8: The Insect Collector

First off, be sure to stop by Regan Leigh’s blog, where I’ve done a guest post weighing in on the negative book review “controversy”.  Quick summary: Don’t do it.  Period.

Also, this week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have the awesome Katharine Owens on board, so please leave your feedback in the comment section.  If you leave nasty comments, I will destroy you.  Now go out and spread the word so Katharine an get loads of helpful feedback!

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Dear Dream Agent,

(Personal sentence describing why I am soliciting this agent.)

Beatrice Thompson is sixteen, worried about Darfur and climate change, and quickly getting in over her head with her summer job.

Beatrice loves insects. She loves watching their behavior, capturing them, and pinning them. Spending time in their world helps her ignore her own. It helps her forget that she’s been left out both at school and in her own family. (Read more…)

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15 comments

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Query Critique #6: The Elite

Today is Maggie‘s turn, so please leave your feedback in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be destroyed!  Spread the word so Maggie can get tons of help (not that she needs it, of course)!

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Dear Agent,

After two mysterious young men show up at her high school prom, 16-year-old Avery Hunter finds herself a half-willing kidnappee on a private jet to Paris. These eccentric, wealthy people claim to be distant relatives, and their villa in Paris, the ballgowns—and the amazingly attractive young men they call knights—are all too much fun for Avery to care how peculiar they are.

But then she discovers that these same people who can shut down the Prada store on the Champs Elysees for their own private use can order the bombing of a nation’s capital and not think twice about it. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #5: What You Can’t Take Back

Melinda R. Cordell is up today, so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be destroyed!  Spread the word so Melinda can get tons of helpful feedback!

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Dear Nice Agent Person:

I’m querying you because you’re so awesome, et cetera.

After being bullied for the millionth time in seventh grade, Zanny finally finds a defender and friend; herself, or rather her older self, brought back in time as a ghost. But more than embarrassment and social standing are at stake. When the older Zanny tells her that Jake, the boy she’s pining for, is going to die in three days, Zanny has to overcome her shyness and lousy social status now to keep people from dying. But it’s one thing to dream about saving lives and rewriting your past. (Read more…)

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19 comments

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Query Critique #4: Because She Said So

Put your hands together for Holly (my fab crit partner!).  Her query is below for community feedback, so please leave your thoughts in the comments (no snark permitted).  Spread the word so Holly can get as much quality criticism as possibility!

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Dear Agent Sooz,

Because you are fantastic and wonderful and have a love of fantasy books, (Or, you know, some kind of personalization) I believe you may be interested in my 50,000 word young adult fantasy, BECAUSE SHE SAYS SO.

Sixteen-year-old Kate is trapped in a fairy tale and must escape before the story rips away her identity or the narrator orders Kate’s death.

Kate made a stupid wish to escape her life in favor of a fairy tale dream. The promise of Happily Ever After when faced with a dying brother is enticing to say the least. When the wish comes true, Kate begins to realize that fairy tale land isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Inside the story, she is bound by the words the God-like narrator speaks and forced to play the part of the princess and repeat the same story over and over again. Plus, the venomous Prince Charming is out to kill her, there is no Happily Ever After, and Kate isn’t sure which of her so-called friends is actually helping the narrator control her. (Read more…)

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26 comments

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Query Critique #3: The Saints of Belvedere Road

Darke Conteur is up today, so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be instantly incinerated!  Spread the word so Darke can get tons of helpful feedback!

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Dear [agent name]

Amelia Saint thinks she’s losing her mind.

Demonic visions have left Amelia doubting her sanity. When she learns her husband has bargained away the soul of their eldest child to make partner at his law firm, her sanity isn‘t the only thing she could lose. Worse, she learns Henry plans to bargain the souls of their two remaining children to fulfill his political aspirations.

With help from strangers adept in the occult, she discovers a way to keep her children alive. If Amelia can prevent the minions of Hell from taking full possession of her son’s body for seventy-two hours, both pacts will be broken and Henry will be forced to take his son’s place in Hell. (Read more…)

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30 comments

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Query Critique #2: We Were Broken

Okay, peeps!  Laura Wardle is up today, so please leave you thoughts in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be instantly incinerated!  Oh, and spread the word so Laura can get lots of helpful feedback.

Also, be sure to check out Janet Reid’s latest post on query letters.  Lots of great information to be mined from the Query Shark’s mind! (Like my dorky use of homophones?  You know you did!)

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Dear Agent:

I am writing to inquire if you would be interested in my contemporary romance novel, WE WERE BROKEN, due to your stated interest in the romance genre (that line will change according to the agent’s sales and whatnot– I’ll always try to mention a book they’ve sold recently). A brief overview follows:

Twenty-one year old Grace Blanchett just wants to forget about the night she found her fiancé sleeping with her best friend. (Read more…)

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