Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Query Work

Hey everyone!
Anyone else working on a query letter?
I've been rewriting mine with little results. I think I need to just scratch what I have and start a new one. Trying to revise the old one only keeps the old stuff in there.
I'm posting the most recent revise. What do you all think?

Here it is:

River Morgan received an extraordinary gift for her sixteenth birthday. Her grandfather gave her a Memory Book and taught her how to erase memories. To keep the memories from becoming her own she must write them in the Memory Book. When the Book is stolen, River is no longer able to tell the difference from her memories from those she's wiped away. Unless she finds the Memory Book, her identity will be lost forever.

The Book becomes a memory stealing book when placed in the wrong hands. Shae Conniers thought she had swiped a cool looking journal but it ends up she gotten nothing but trouble. The powers of the Book sound intriguing to Shae but when the memories swirling around her head turn scary, she's glad the memories lead her to River so she can rid herself of the nightmare memories. Although the girls personality clash big time, they know they must unite to fight the powers of the Book. River has the Book back, why hasn't her memories returned?

To unlock the powers for the book, River connects with some underground forces who promise they have the answers she need. The choice comes at a high price for Shae. Now River must choose between finding her own identity or doing what is right for Shae. Or, she can search for the answer that will save them both.

SOUL DRIVER is a YA Historical Fantasy mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and The Shadowy One, a Celtic myth, and is complete at 60,000 words.

20 comments:

  1. River Morgan received an extraordinary gift for her sixteenth birthday. Her grandfather gave her a Memory Book and taught her how to erase memories. I WOULD COMBINE THESE FIRST TWO SENTENCES AND MAKE IT ACTIVE VOICE. To keep the memories from becoming her own she must write them in the Memory Book. I'M CONFUSED ABOUT WHERE THESE MEMORIES COME FROM. When the Book is stolen, River is no longer able to tell the difference from her memories from those she's wiped away. Unless she finds the Memory Book, her identity will be lost forever.

    The Book becomes a memory stealing book when placed in the wrong hands. THIS SENTENCE SOUNDS A LITTLE AWKWARD. MAYBE HOLD OFF ON THIS INFORMATION AND INCORPORATE IT LATER. Shae Conniers thought she had swiped a cool looking journal COMMA but it ends up she gotten nothing but trouble. The powers of the Book sound intriguing to Shae THIS LINE PARTICULARLY NEEDS A LITTLE MORE VOICE, AND I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SHAE'S PERSONALITY but when the memories swirling around her head turn scary, she's glad the memories lead her to River so she can rid herself of THEM. Although the girls personality clash big time, they know they must unite to fight the powers of the Book. River has the Book back, why hasn't her SHAE'S memories returned?

    To unlock the powers for the book, River connects with some WHOSE POV IS THIS? BECAUSE SOME IS VERY UNSPECIFIC. underground forces who promise they have the answers she need. The choice comes at a high price for Shae. Now River must choose between finding her own identity or doing what is right for Shae. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SHAE IF SHE DOESN'T? THAT INFORMATION WILL RAISE THE STAKES. Or, she can search for the answer that will save them both. THIS SEEMS LIKE TOO OBVIOUS OF A CHOICE.


    I think you need to iron out some of the info in this query because it's a lot to take in, and I was a little confused about where these memories are coming from and how they are latching on to the girls and why her grandfather would give her such a book. You say that it's historical fantasy but I didn't get that impression (the historical part) from the query.

    Interested to see your edits. The mash-up you listed sounds like this story will be really awesome. Good luck!

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  2. Sorry if a critique is not what you were looking for. I just reread the top of your post and realized I have been spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME on WriteOnCon to think you were obviously asking for a critique. Jeez, my mind is fuzzy.

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    1. No Amanda! I wanted a critique or some help or advice. Anything and everything to improve this! Thanks a million for your advice! I'll use it in my revise.

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  3. Sounds good to me. Have you asked Matthew at the QQQE to critique it? he does an awesome job.

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    1. I haven't asked him yet. I just recently found his blog, so I'm still working on the nerve (or brave heart or alligator skin. Whatever.)

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    2. I literally searched that site for hours and couldn't figure out how to submit a query for critique! How do you do it?

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    3. Amanda, you email him personally!

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  4. I really second AmandaFoody's suggestions. I'd suggest taking this to Absolute Write forums or Write On Con forums for feedback. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I plan to use her advice for my revise!

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  5. Nice article, thanks for the information.

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  6. Okay, I'm not all that good on queries (and currently looking for critique on my own query), so take what I'm saying with a pinch of salt, yeah?
    This is how my mind wants to position some of the stuff going on. Some of it may be wrong, but I hope you get the gist of what I pulled from it (I'm a little confuzzed with the last piece though. What choice? What price?). Hope it helps:

    For her sixteenth birthday, River's grandfather has given her a Memory Book and taught her how to erase other people's memories. To keep the memories from becoming her own she must write them in the Book. When the Memory Book is stolen, River is no longer able to tell the difference between her memories and those she's wiped away. Unless she can find the Book, her identity will be lost forever.

    In the hands of Shae, the Book becomes a memory stealing book. At first, Shae thinks she's swiped a cool journal and the powers of the Book sound intriguing, until the memories swirling around her head turn scary. She's glad when the memories lead her to River so she can rid herself of them. Although now River has the Book back, her memories are still jumbled.

    To unlock the powers for the book, River connects with some underground forces who promise they have the answers she need. The choice (to accept their aide, maybe) comes at a high price for Shae (who'll be giving up what? Her life? Her identity?). Now River must choose between finding her own identity or doing what is right for Shae. Or, she can find a solution that will save them both.

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    1. Oh yes! I can really use this and also understand some the questions raised by Amanda. It makes perfect sense and I will definitely put the missing info into the query. I just have been busy today, but I'll be posting it tomorrow.
      Thanks!!

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  7. It sounds like a fantastic story! I did a quick critique also, but it's a word document, so I can email it to you if you send me yours. I'm at dallenco[at]gmail[dot]com.

    ~Debbie

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  8. Some great advice has already been given. I totally agree with Amanda's advice. Maybe take the two biggest plot-moving memories she has and be specific? It's just sort of vague, which is hard NOT to do in a query, but important. And, yes, post this at WriteOnCon if you haven't yet.

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    1. Thanks so much Shell! That a good idea about adding in a memory. Both River and Shae have the same memory at one time, so maybe I could add that memory into the query?

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  9. Trying to nail my query at the moment too! Soo frustrating trying to get it right! Some great advice here though. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne:) Same good luck to you, too:)

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  10. My own query is currently out there- such a painstaking but necessary process. While I do not feel qualified to re-write what you have written, I would say that it seems a bit long. By telling so much of the story in the letter, it doesn't leave me wanting to pick up the phone to say, "Please send me your ms, I'm dying to know what happens." I think it also needs more drama and action words; like....
    When a mystical memory book is given as a gift but later mistaken as a journal an identity is risked. If balance is to be restored a new friendship must be forged... or something to that effect. It seems like the query should also show, not tell, just the way a story does.
    Again, I'm no expert, but I hope that helps.

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  11. Thanks for this advice. I really love these ideas.

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