Thursday, October 14, 2010

Query Critique #4

Today's query comes from kimysworld. Thanks for taking part!

Original is in blue; comments are in black; suggested text is red. 

Dear Ms. Agent,

In 1925, Liz Grayson succumbed to poisoning. In 1955, she burned to death. Today, she fears for her life.
Great hook--this establishes the reincarnation premise and the conflict.

Liz and her boyfriend, Chris Edwards, are ready to make their senior year at Jackson High a memorable one. But when perfect-in-every-way Mina Manson moves to town, she sets her sights on Chris and warns Liz to stay out of her way. Liz digs into Mina's past and discovers the three of them are trapped in a recurring love triangle that spans lifetimes where Mina gets Chris—and Liz ends up dead. 
This is a good way to set the ages and the setting. You also give a good sense of your voice. My only issue is a bit of confusion about how she could dig into Mina's past and come up with any evidence of past lives--something about that seems "off" and challenges my suspension of disbelief. I suggest cutting that phrase from the last sentence.
Liz discovers the three of them are trapped in a recurring love triangle that spans lifetimes where Mina gets Chris—and Liz ends up dead. 

Mina isn't her only problem. Chris doesn't believe in past lives and thinks Liz is just jealous of Mina. Every step Liz takes toward uncovering the truth pushes Chris one step further away. Liz must find a way to prove the truth to Chris and expose Mina before history repeats itself and Liz loses everything. Again.
Also strong, but I'd tighten it up a bit.
Every step Liz takes toward uncovering the truth pushes Chris one step further away. Liz must find a way to prove the truth to Chris and expose Mina before history repeats itself and Liz loses everything. Again.

SOUL STALKER is a 67,000 word young adult paranormal romance. This novel is a standalone with series potential.
Many agents hesitate to take on a series from a debut author.  It often makes the initial sale harder.  However, if your book's a success, then series potential is a HUGE asset.  You've handled this well.  

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you. 
I'm almost embarrassed to have so little to suggest.  This is a very strong query; a lot of it reads like jacket copy. I'd request pages. 

Sincerely, 

XXX XXXX

BTW, Jim Duncan has a great guest blog post up on Nathan Bransford's blog--and it's about querying.  Check it out, if you haven't already seen it (which you probably have, since we ALL seem to read Nathan's blog). 

7 comments:

kimysworld said...

Thank you! I have 3 versions of this query and all of them have garnered requests. I spend a lot of time over on Query Tracker and help with queries there - for some crazy reason I love writing them! Thank you for your comments! I've enjoyed posting and reading your thoughts!

aspiring_x said...

seriously... ummm... when is this coming out? because i need to read this book!
excellent query- very unique concept!

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, this sounds like a great story! If I was an agent I'd definitely request to see the MS.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Oh, this looks like a great book! And you did an excellent job on your query! Nice work.

kimysworld said...

Thank you all! I try! I haven't had success yet with my partials or fulls but I keep plugging away and won't give up!

Eliza Faith said...

love it : )

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