Hey guys! I wanted to share my newest query with you. I have another revision of my novel, but before I do that, I need to print the book and maybe hold off on reading for about a weeks so I can approach with fresh eyes.
I have been reading QueryShark's blog for the past two days. I stayed up until 12:30 just to get through most of the archives. I do this because:
1.) Query Shark says to read the archives.
2.) I learned a TON just by reading the first page of query critiques.
3.) I am not going to submit my query to Query Shark, but I need all the help I can get. I am not submitting because I don't want my query critiqued, but because she states that 99% of the queries submitted don't get posted. So, I felt it's easier to let my bloggers have at it at the moment
From Query Shark, I took tips from her "how to add plot to your query." I'd post that here, but I feel like I would betray her "read through the archives" statement. So, if you'd like to read what I read, HERE is the link to Query Shark.
Query Shark (Janet Reid) said that the age of your character isn't necessarily important to add to the query, but in mine, I am not sure if it works. She said she is always looking for VOICE. I noticed the queries she really liked were dominated by voice. Also, reading Query Shark made me realize how IMPORTANT it is that your query is polished and tight because agents will look for indicators that tell them what your book might be like--for instance, if you have unnecessary words, or long sentences. Also, no address at the top of the letter!
What I don't want in my query is "character soup" as Query Shark says. I don't want the readers to feel overwhelmed by characters. I also (as I said) need to take a break from both the novel and the query so I can return with an objective eye.
So, without anymore rambling, here is my query...please, critique away!
Dear Mr/Ms. Agent:
Eighteen year old pirate Barren Reed remembers one thing from his childhood—his father's murder at the hands of his older brother, William. Since then, he stakes out the coast of Maris, attacking any and all ships that pass through The Cliffs in an attempt to lure his brother into a fight to the death. When he learns his brother is to marry soon, Barren decides to set his attention on the fiancée. Kidnapping Larkin proves far more difficult than he ever thought--she's the most defiant and stubborn woman he's ever met, and to top it all off, she's handy with a sword.
Larkin is just one of Barren’s problems—especially when his attraction toward her grows. His brother is making plans to overthrow their uncle, King Tetherion. Turns out, Teth knows exactly what Will is looking for—a bloodstone that will give him power over dark magic. Tetherion will charge Barren with the task of locating the stone, though Barren isn’t sure he wants something so dangerous in Tetherion’s hands—especially since its existence is the reason he doesn’t remember his childhood.
Barren will face condemnation by his uncle if he chooses to destroy the bloodstone, and at worst, death, but the secrets he’s unraveled on his adventure tell him not to hand it over.
I am pleased to submit for your consideration my young adult novel, CUTLASS, complete at 90,000 words. I have a BA in English Writing and I am pursuing a Masters in Library Science and Information Studies.
Thank you for your time and consideration.