STATUS: I can finally hear out of my left ear! This may not sound amazing but try living without for a week. Anyone talking to me on my left side constantly got an annoying “what?” In other great news? That YA author decided to sign with me. Yea! Welcome aboard.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? SEVEN YEARS by Natalie Merchant
1. Here’s a query with a first sentence that highlights that the heroine loses everything because of addiction, betrayal, and loss of control.
And yet the heroine has a whip-smart comedic tone.
Can’t see how that’s going to be pulled off so it’s a NO.
2. A romantic suspense query. Woman in jeopardy plot outline. Very common so I’m looking for something that will make it stand out. Oops. Phrasing misfires and yes, they do stand out but I was thinking more along the lines of a hook.
We have a “malevolent machinations of an assailant” and “arresting passion that burgeons.”
I’m thinking “malevolent” and “burgeons” probably shouldn’t both be used in the same sentence.
3. A query for a novel that specifically targets the non-reading pre-teen and early teen boys. But it’s 100,000 words.
4. This writer describes the novel as a romance with historical, thriller, and fantasy elements. It has chick lit elements but is also highly literary.
Folks. No. You cannot label your work everything but the kitchen sink. If uncertain, commercial mainstream can work just fine.
5. In this query, the writer has created an alternate world sans cars as a setting for a romance.
I can’t tell why this story needs to be told in this alternate reality. It should somehow be central to the romance unfolding or why it is needed becomes the big question.
I also read two fantasy YA queries that I literally had to read twice because I couldn’t follow the convoluted plots that were outlined.
And normally, I wouldn’t read it twice (time constraints and all that) but it’s a little late, I was a little tired, and I thought maybe it was me.
Nope. On second reading, the two queries were just as unclear.
I know fantasy query pitches are often the most difficult to capture as you have to sum up the story and the world in a very short bit of space but don’t try to cram too much in. Confusion might be the result.