Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Mania--Query Letter

One of our readers has submitted a query letter for critique. Please offer only constructive comments.

Critique Archive #45

Dear Agent,

Why would a boy, who doesn't believe in magic, risk his life for a girl who exists only inside a mirror?

Ten Wicket, a high school outcast, bonds with a girl named, September Snow, who eventually goes on to become a Hollywood superstar. Mysteriously, once the spotlight falls on her, she will no longer have anything to do with him. While searching for answers, he discovers that the line between what's real and what's not, might have a few surprising jogs in it.

Mysterious reflections, powerful enemies, a mythical muse, a magic necklace and trips to a futuristic world are just a few of the twists that tie knots in Ten's pragmatic, left brain. His cynicism and cloaked vulnerability, courtesy of a rocky relationship with his parents and a cheating ex-girlfriend, ironically make Ten an easy mark for another complicated love entanglement. Along the way, the secret behind his and September's relationship, the girl in the mirror, dangers that await, and the answer to who Ten Wicket really is, begins to unravel.

WICKET, a YA, 150,000-word, fantasy-fiction novel (first in a series) weaves together mystery, adventure, suspense, fantasy, and romance cut in the shape of a triangle. At times, you will hate the characters, at times, you will love them. In every character, you will see yourself. It is, of course, a story about mirrors, but as with Ten, the magic really begins when looking beyond the reflection.

Thank you,

AUTHOR

5 comments:

Kate said...

You've TOLD me a lot about the story and characters and it does sound intriguing, but you haven't shown what choice(s)Ten has to make and what are the consequence(s) of his choice(s).

You are very good at summarizing concisely. Put that to work showing choices and consequences for the main character instead of listing events and hinting at conflicts.

Love this:
WICKET, a YA, 150,000-word, fantasy-fiction novel (first in a series) weaves together mystery, adventure, suspense, fantasy, and romance cut in the shape of a triangle.

Good luck!

Susan said...

Isn't that *really* long for a YA? Your second full paragraph is too long, and made me want to skim over it.

Is the girl who becomes famous the same person as the girl in the mirror? I was a little confused about that.

Good luck. It sounds very interesting.

Adam Meyers said...

Yeah, the big jar I saw was you started saying:
"Why would a boy, who doesn't believe in magic, risk his life for a girl who exists only inside a mirror?"

Which made me think it was going to be one story, than the explanation backtracked and I was lost as to how the next few lines connected to that first one. I've also heard agents (I'm sure it's not all of them) who've said they hate it when the first thing in a query is a question. That's a matter of personal choice, of course, but I at least vote for cutting that first line. I think the query will be stronger for it.

Elly said...

I agree with Kate. What is Ten's problem (not the subplot stuff but the real conflict of the story) and how is he going to go about resolving it?

Your query shows that you have a mastery of words, now give us some meat!

Becky said...

I'm intrigued by the story, which means you're doing your job with it, but I think you could draw me in more.

While I know some agents don't like questions in the first sentence, if you choose to use it the query should center around that question. It's a great question, but it was never answered.

I'm confused over this superstar. Is she a major part of the story? I thought it was going to be about the girl in the mirror. . . .

Now, being nit-picky, a punctuation mishap ("girl named, September Snow, who") snapped me out of the query and you had to earn back my attention. I know it's fairly minor, but you don't want to give the agent/editor any reason to set your query aside.

Good luck!