The following is a query critique. Comments, suggestions and discussion are welcome and we hope you join in. I can only offer one opinion. The author of the query and I would love to hear yours!
Dear Ms. Ruth,
His eyes are dark with black shadows, and his lips curl up at the edges. Maybe I’m being paranoid. I wasn’t alone, it’s Mardi Gras, and the streets are full of people. Daniel is close by, still giving interviews for his movie. Security is everywhere because of this party, so why is every hair on my body standing up?
He’s still coming towards me. His eyes now tearing into mine. I want to look away, act like it’s nothing, but I cannot. His steps increase as his expression darkens. I try to move but remain frozen. My breath speeds up and I will myself to not panic. I force myself to take a step, but it’s too late. I hear the sound, (what sound?) feel the pain, and fall to the ground.
People say when you’re dying your life flashes before your eyes. I see faces of my family and friends rapidly flashing across my mind. I think about Daniel and smile inside. He chose me out of countless girls to be his girlfriend. I hear faint screams around me. I feel remorse about everything I didn’t get to do in life. Faces kept flashing before me, but one was constant, Cary’s face. <—There is a tense conflict in the past two sentences. Flashes of Cary’s smile, the burning of his eyes and the blush in his checks when he looks at me. The thought of never seeing him again… I want to rip those evil eyes out of the socket of the man who did this to me… and I will.
[redacted] is a completed 70,000 word young adult romance involving angels and demons.
I would be honored to send the completed manuscript at your request. I have included a sample for your review. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I would reject this. I have absolutely no idea what the premise of the story is, what the conflict is, or really anything about the characters because all I’ve been given is the writing sample the author said was included. The writing isn’t half bad, but writing style or voice can rarely move an agent or editor to request more material just on its own.
After reading this, the most solid thing I knew about this author and his/her book was that he/she hadn’t done enough research on how to query agents.
Note to the author: this isn’t a dead-end for you, though. Why don’t you write a standard query letter and resubmit it to the QueryDice. I’m sure we’d all like to know what brought your characters to the moment in which we’ve seen them here, and what they do after. Good luck.
Posted on August 17, 2011, in book publishing, publishing, queries, Query Dice, slush pile, submissions and tagged disjointed query, dos and donts, including pages in query, plot, plot description. character development, queries, query, query problems, romance, slush pile, standard query format, urban fantasy, voice, world building, writing, ya, young adult. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.