Thursday, May 19, 2011

Query 81: Redux

Tru Adventures

Dear Agent:

Teen witch Tru Marcile has a neat ability to see glimpses of future event. But the two witches who crash her Sweet 16 party to kill her? Definitely didn’t see that one coming. Just to be safe, her estranged uncle enrolls her in Ipswich Prep school of Socrecry out in the middle of Nowheresville.

Even worse, they fly brooms and use incantations; it’s lame and not to mention cliché. At Ipswich, Tru learns that being a freak is the least of her worries:Within a week she’s on the queen bee’s hit list, her visions cause her more harm than good, and the guy she likes is on the rebound.

When she learns that her uncle is hiding something, she finds herself intrigued with what he’s hiding and why she’s a target. Tru realizes the only way she’s going to get any respect from the queen bee is to prove she’s got bad-ass witch potential. When a series of blood-curdling revelations starts to emerge, Tru prepares for the biggest threat of all:a power-hungry witch determined to destroy her. Good thing she’s got some new friends who have her back through the good spells and the bad.

Complete at 69k words, TRU ADVENTURES is a stand-alone novel in a planned series and will appeal to fans of Rachelle Hawkins and Richelle Mead. Currently, I’m working on another book set in the same world as TRU ADVENTURES. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Comments

I think this query is at that awkward teenage phase where it's a little gangly and unsure of itself. It's a phase most queries have to go through as they mature, so that's OK. I know you've been concentrating on edits to the manuscript, so those edits may help you on your next revision here. This version feels a little rushed: a few spelling and spacing issues you'll want to clean up.

Teen witch Tru Marcile has a neat ability to see glimpses of future event. But the two witches who crash her Sweet 16 party to kill her? Definitely didn’t see that one coming. Just to be safe, her estranged uncle enrolls her in Ipswich Prep school of Socrecry out in the middle of Nowheresville.

The first bit of this is interesting and has voice. The "just to be safe" phrase isn't working for me, though. There's just been an attempt on her life and her uncle apparently knows something about it. Perhaps here is the better spot to introduce that her uncle seems to know what's going on. And "estranged" is a bit odd. If he's estranged, why does he have contact with her and where are her parents? Why aren't her guardians taking care of the enrolling?

Even worse, they fly brooms and use incantations; it’s lame and not to mention cliché.

The "it" needs an antecedent. Or better, maybe just change to something like "... incantations -- how lame and soooo cliché.

At Ipswich, Tru learns that being a freak is the least of her worries:

In this version, she's not discovering she's a freak, so this doesn't really make sense.

Within a week she’s on the queen bee’s hit list, her visions cause her more harm than good, and the guy she likes is on the rebound.

I like the queen bee and the guy, as their issues are described succinctly and specifically. I think we need something the same for her visions.

When she learns that her uncle is hiding something, she finds herself intrigued with what he’s hiding and why she’s a target.

This is the bit I think needs to be combined with the uncle's decision to send her off to Nowheresville.

As it is, there's no transition between her being a target of assassins and Tru's lesser problem with the queen bee.

Tru realizes the only way she’s going to get any respect from the queen bee is to prove she’s got bad-ass witch potential.

And then there's no segue between gaining respect from the bee and the revelations of the witch out to kill her. We either need to see how they fit together or discuss them separately.

When a series of blood-curdling revelations starts to emerge,

I don't know what this means. If you're going to throw in "blood-curdling," I want something to back it up. Are these revelations coming from her visions? Is this part of the visions being more harmful than helpful? Can you give us an example?

Tru prepares for the biggest threat of all:a power-hungry witch determined to destroy her. Good thing she’s got some new friends who have her back through the good spells and the bad.

The guy she's interested in who was mentioned earlier seems to have dropped out of the query.

Complete at 69k words, TRU ADVENTURES is a stand-alone novel in a planned series and will appeal to fans of Rachelle Hawkins and Richelle Mead. Currently, I’m working on another book set in the same world as TRU ADVENTURES. Thanks for your time and consideration.

I wouldn't mention you're working on that next book in the series. Conventional wisdom is that you be working on another book outside the series in case the first book doesn't sell. Note that agents will often ask what else you're working and can they have a look if they're interested in the book you're querying. They're hoping to see something different.

I'd also throw "YA" in between "stand-alone" and "novel".

2 comments:

Wilkins MacQueen said...

A few too many problems here to mention the next book. Apart from the awkward presentation and Potterish cloning you've left out the good stuff which would help the query.

Why just to be safe? Delete. Who said she was a freak? Why? What visions?
What is uncle hiding? Target for what? What blood curdling thing(s)? I was led to believe the queen bee was the threat, nope, it's the power hungry witch you haven't mentioned yet.

I'd get the plot arc out and on paper. Then put the query together so it shows us what is going on. I'd eliminate all cliches including the cliche about cliches.
Apart from my rather brutal comments, I kind of liked this. I would like to get connected to Tru which I can't in this query. I'd like to know what's in her head, and learn what she wants and all that.

Hope to see a strong revision.

Sarah Laurenson said...

You've got a lot of the voice in here and that can be the harder part. Now to clean it up and make it flow.

Watch antecedent references. The first three sentences are great except there's an ambiguous reference in the last sentence. Can't tell if it's referring to Tru or the two witches who are crashing the party unless I stop and think about what makes the most sense.

Like the others, I think you need to take a look at where to combine things so they make the most sense.

It's getting there and I bet the next one will be awesome.