Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fresh As A Daisy: Critique My Query!

Hey everyone, I have signed up for a query critique by Daisy Carter and Fresh as a Daisy. Please let me know how I can make my query letter better. Just so you know, my book is from two MC points of view. I have included them both in my query. They are both introduced in the first chapter.




Okay, here it is!
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Nineteen-year-old River Morgan knows how to erase a memory. When she changes a memory, she writes it down in a Memory Book to keep the memories from becoming her own. Endless possibilities hover around this unexplored and little-known power, and every Thief in the sleepy town of Ravyn wants that power. When the book is stolen, River is no longer able to tell the difference between her memories and memories she’s wiped away. Unless she finds the book, her identity will be lost forever.

What Shae Conniers thought was a cool looking journal ends up being a pulsing, and often-glowing book full of trouble. Her fairy-tale, pink-dress-wearing days are over. As it turns out, the Memory Book becomes a memory-stealing book when placed in the wrong hands. New powers sound intriguing to Shae, but the weird memories dancing around her head soon turn scary. It’s the memories that bring River and Shae together, but River’s spunky, funky personality clashes big time with Shae’s princess-got-to-be attitude.

Every Thief in the town of Ravyn craves this unexplored power, but River is dead set on protecting it. When River suddenly begins to loose her identity and both girls fall in love with the Forbidden, she must risk her life by connecting with the underground powers, playing fire with an mystical relic using her against her will and a friend who thinks she might be better off dead.

Because some memories you want to live over and over again.
And some memories are best forgotten.

The Forbidden MemoryBook is a 55,000 word YA paranormal suspense. It is the first book of a series but has no problem standing on its own.

21 comments:

  1. Hey,

    Here to return the favour.
    The hook is great. However, I am confused after that. How does erasing memories threaten Ravyn's identity? Does she take the memory for her own? If so make that clear. Plus erasing and changing memories are two different things.

    I don't connect with Shae at all. What's her motive in all this? She can simply chuck the book and leave right?

    Cut the first line of the third para. Its repetitive. The last para is very confusing as well. Introducing new characters without explanation does not bode well. Who is the Forbidden and what part does he have to play in this? How do the thieves pose a problem? The dilemmas need to be sketched out properly.

    Hope this helps!

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  2. Ouch. It really looks like I have some work ahead of me.

    Let's see. River erases memories. She MUST write them down in the book to keep them from becoming her own. Without the book, the memories fill River's mind as if they were her own, causing her to loose her identity. I did mention that in the first paragraph.

    Shae is completely central to the story. Her memories bring River together and they become best friends as they journey together to stop the Thieves from overtaking the town of Ravyn. The MemoryBook has a way of holding on to the person in it's possession. That why it's a mystical relic using her against her (River) will.

    As for the last comment you made, I don't know how to fix it.....

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  3. Hi! First of all, what an interesting premise! It reminds me of that movie Memento, but like, Memento meets The Vampire Diaries. I would definitely read more based on the premise. I also really like your closing lines. It’s a nice hook, and I kind of like that they’re at the end instead of the beginning. In the first paragraph, I think you could combine the first few sentences. For example:

    Nineteen-year-old River Morgan can erase memories. To keep them from becoming her own, she must write them down in the Memory Book. Every Thief in the sleepy town of Ravyn wants her power, with its endless and unexplored possibilities. When the book is stolen, River can no longer tell the difference between her memories and memories she’s wiped away.

    In the second paragraph, you could explain how Shae came to have the book instead of a Theif. (Or is Shae one?) I tried rearranging a few things with what you had there:

    Shae Conniers (finds) the pulsing and often-glowing book full of trouble, and her fairy-tale, pink-dress-wearing days are over. The Memory Book steals memories when placed in the wrong hands. The book’s powers sound intriguing to Shae, but the weird memories dancing around her head soon turn scary. The memories bring River and Shae together, but River’s spunky personality clashes big time with Shae’s princess-got-to-be attitude.

    Of course these are just a little different perspective, with a little trimming. I think for the love story, you could use more detail or leave it out altogether. I hope this helps! Thanks so much for your comments on my query!

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    1. Oops, typo *Thief. I really wish comment boxes had spell checkers!

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  4. Thank you Laurie for this advice. Everything you said makes sense. The only thing I don't know how to do, without adding to the length is giving more detail.

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  5. Hey, I'm hopping over here from Falling for Fiction. Do you still want to have FFF critique something for you? Your book premise is AWESOME btw. And I really like your names. Since you're in this query critique day I can understand if you don't need the critique anymore. ;0) But we critique other stuff to, you need it.

    I hope you find a CP at today's mixer.

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  6. Hi Jenny! Yes, I meant to email you back and let you know I would be sending my query over to you in plenty of time for for the day you slotted my entry!
    Thanks!
    Talynn

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    1. Sounds good!! (Kinda hoping you send part of your MS, it's sounds fantastic.) ;0)

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  7. i think the first paragraph is excellent. i'm hooked right away. we have a sense of who river is and what is motivating her. we just don't get that same feeling for shae. the second paragraph really needs some work. i don't if you even need to tell us in the query whether she stole it or not - make us want to read it to find out - but we do need to know what her motivations are. maybe try something like "when the book fell into shae's hands, the idea of new powers excited her, but the cost of losing control of her own mind terrified her." that's kind of rubbish, but you get the idea, i hope. then maybe tell us how the girls have to join forces to help each other out and the fight against the others. just some suggestions. still a really interesting idea and i'd love to read it. good luck!

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  8. Para 1: Great, sounds very intriguing. The first paragraph is good.

    Para 2: Shae is not as clear as River. I think the 2nd and 3rd sentences should be swapped.

    And this sentence should maybe be in paragraph 3, because it stops being Shae's POV: "It’s the memories that bring River and Shae together, but River’s spunky, funky personality clashes big time with Shae’s princess-got-to-be attitude".


    Para 3: I was confused in the third (and first) paragraphs, with Thief and Forbidden being capitalized. Who/what are they?

    This sentence should be clearer: "playing fire with an mystical relic using her against her will". Also, should be "lose" instead of "loose".

    Para 4: Sort of just hangs out there, not tied to anything. Perhaps integrate it somewhere else in the query?

    Hope this helps:) Good luck!

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  9. I'm totally interested in your premise and I'd read on without pause! Any suggestion I would have made has been covered, so I'll just say GOOD LUCK!!!

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  10. The only thing I could point out is the vagueness of Forbidden and Thief. Is this paranormal, or fantasy? I think this can be fixed by not not mentioning the romance. Is it that integral? The first few paragraphs made it sound like you had all of the plot in the query, and the fourth one sounds like a subplot. If it's not the main plot, then I don't think you need it (I'm a Grinch who doesn't think romance is necessary, I'm sorry. Not that it isn't good, but your plot sounded wonderful without the fourth paragraph. Not that the fourth paragraph makes it less wonderful--just a bit more complex and confusing).

    All in all, this sounds like an awesome mix of Death Note and Bleach: Memories of Nobody. The first three paragraphs make an excellent hook.

    Good luck!

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  11. Hi! Thanks for posting your query for the critique hop! I'm so sorry I'm so late to post - I had a crazy day!

    I think you've got an AH-mazing premise here. And I was not confused at all about how the memory book works.

    I think everything I would have said has been addressed above by some of the others. My biggest two critiques are:

    1. I don't know if I need the info about the romance. The rest is so strong, and I agree with L.M. that the romance sounds like a subplot (a GREAT one, btw), but one that might not need to be mentioned in the query. Especially since your hook and premise is so strong without it!

    2. I'm pretty sure that you need to make River 18 or younger to call this YA. Changing her age by a year shouldn't make a huge difference in your plot, right? But she has to be high-school aged if you want to market this as YA. I'd hate for any agent to immediately pass on this amazing premise when they read 19. A lot of agents wouldn't continue to read!

    And, like someone said above, make sure you spell check - loose should be lose.

    This sounds like a great read, and I LOVE that last line: Because some memories you want to live over and over again. And some memories are best forgotten. AWESOME!

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  12. For the CP Mixer it's pretty informal. You can contact the other people through their blog links. Just drop them a comment that you saw them on FFF and want to talk about trading MS's. ;0)

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  13. You got some great advice already! ANd I think your story sounds great! Best of luck to you!

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  14. Hi dear! You've got a new friend in me! :) Popping over here from FFF :)

    From the comment section on the FFF post it sounded like you made some changes to this query already, but I thought I'd give my two cents anyway. :)

    First, the premise is really awesome. But I do think it gets sorta muddled. You said that you rewrote it only from River's POV which is PERFECT. The object of the query is to pull us in (or the agent in, really). To do that all you need to show is a character we HAVE to read about (River), the Conflict we can't wait to uncover, and the choice River has to make. If you focus on those things, with this awesome of a premise, you've got it.

    Thanks for stopping over at FFF! :)

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