Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #45

(Redacted)

7 comments:

Kaitlin Adams said...

The query isn't bad, but isn't great. I want to know more about how last night's sexual encounter went awry since this seems to be a main turning point in the plot.

I would not mention the other book you're writing. If you are writing another book, send a separate query. Mentioning and telling about the other book just confuses the reader or puts way too much information in the query than necessary.

The voice of the actual story is catchy- I like it. It wanders a bit, but for the most part, I think it has a lot of potential. Good luck!

Jen said...

Query: I agree in that I'd like to know more about how the night went awry. Right now, I'm not really drawn into reading just from the query. There's nothing that really stands out and makes me go oooohhh...I want to read this.

First page: I like his voice. But this makes it seem like he wants to have sex, and he's not really okay with being a virgin. Like he's admits he's afraid, but that doesn't change anything. I only point that out because in the query you say he's okay with being a virgin. I don't know for me the two seem a little contradictory. But that's just my opinion.

I think this could be really good though. Good luck!

Suzi said...

Paragraph 3, 2nd sentence is unnecessary.

Paragraph 4, sentences 3 & 4 confuse me. I understand what you’re saying, but it could be written much better.

I don’t quite get what the conflict will be. Why do I want to read this? All I see is a virgin boy has a wild night with a non-virgin girl.

What is it that makes this story interesting? Can you give more hints at what happen?

Paragraph 5. Don’t mention your other novel, this query is not the place.

The beginning of the story seems sort of long a long ramble, which your character admits and apologies for. But there is no action to grab me really. Just a lot of backstory

danielle devor said...

I would try to cut some from this query letter. Talking about the T-shirt seems to take my attention away from the story. Also, Your hook just didn't seem hookish enough to me. Just saying that Rube is a virgin wasn't enough to grab me- maybe add something in there as to why he is a virgin.

First Paragraph- too many There's in the same paragraph

Third paragraph- I would like the story to start out by grabbing me like this paragraph did.

Jenna Wallace said...

The first part of the query is pretty good, but then you leave us hanging without telling us what is at stake. If you give us a "If he... then..." type of closure after your bombshell about Emma, then we'll have a reason for wanting to read on.

And definitely ditch Bic and Bill. Focus on one book at a time.

As for the first 250, I did not get a sense this was aimed at a YA audience. There is so much rumination and philosophy I don't see it reaching the intended audience. And a lot of agents have said they don't like it when the narrator talks directly to the reader ("Apologies for running off topic...")

I think the subject is interesting but if you want to reach the contemporary YA market, I think you need to read some more contemp YA and get a sense for who you are writing for.

Nora Coon said...

When I read the query, it makes me wonder how you've written 61,000 words that cover 24 hours. I know it can be done, and brilliantly, but I think it would be reassuring if we had a beter idea of what happens in those 24 hours.

The first page doesn't help that concern - it's a lot of musing, which doesn't feel like YA. I don't mind the narrator speaking directly to the reader, but I know others may. I think we do need to see something more happening before we get into the main character's thoughts. At this point, we don't know where he is or what's happening as he thinks.

Good luck!

The Agent said...

To me, the query feels too in-depth and yet at the same time doesn't say enough about the story. Or perhaps I'm wishing there was more external action/motion within the story? Having an internally focused story is fine, but I'm not sure as the story stands now (and particular within a span of only 24 hours) that there is enough solid content there to fill a full novel.

The paragraphs have a strong voice but don't feel anchored to anything; I don't have much sense of the character, as we're stuck within his head the whole time. I'd rather start with a more active introduction to this person, and show us how he feels through his interactions rather than too much internal monologue.