Comment by June Goodwin 19 hours ago
I'm amazed at the well planned vision of this site. Kudos to you Georgia. You are the ultimate in awesomeness. Sorry for accidently posting this comment in the Agent Inbox section! I deleted it.
Hey everyone - if we're not making a line up, I'd love to put my query out there of your thoughts. Thanks, thank, thanks!!
Princess Sadie might have a face that can enchant a crowd, but a goddess wants her head.
Sadie’s beauty is so legendary, Greeks have stopped worshipping Venus, their goddess of love, to dote on a mere mortal. To avenge her stolen glory, Venus sends her son, Cupid, to make Sadie marry the most vile creature alive. She never imaged he would nominate himself as the groom.
Sadie, however, has no idea that Cupid wants her for his own. So when she receives a prophecy that she must marry a creature even the gods fear, Sadie’s sure Venus has finally sealed her fate. Following a wedding procession more appropriate for a funeral, Sadie is left on a hilltop, whisked away by the West Wind, greeted by invisible servants, and ends up married to a man whose only visible feature is his enchanting blue eyes. As if overnight, Sadie finds her fear washed away by the unexpected kindness of her new husband.
As she spends her evenings recounting every detail of her life to the most doting man she’s ever met, Sadie succumbs to the contented bliss of love. That is, until her jealous sisters convince Sadie she’s been tricked by the monster foretold in the prophecy and killing him is her only escape.
When Sadie nearly kills her beloved and, in doing so, learns his true identity, she realizes too late all she has thrown away. Cupid flees, forcing Sadie to journey alone through Greece and come face-to-face with Venus if she wants to reclaim his immortal love. On her road to redemption, Sadie finds the strength to take on the gods and challenges the ancient adage: you cannot escape what is destined.
Complete at 92,000 words, “Destined” is a YA historical romance novel and a modernized retelling of Greece’s most captivating love story, that of Cupid and Psyche. I am a member of SCBWI and was a classical studies major in college.
I am querying you because ..... As per your submission guidelines, I am enclosing the first page of the novel with this e-mail. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully working with you.
I love the premise of this story. I think I squealed a little while reading it. The query detailed the events and conflicts of the story well. Mentioning that you were a classical studies major lends support to your expertise in the area of Greek mythology.
One thing confused me. Sadie is happy with her husband, whoever he happens to be. I don't really get her motivation to kill him. Is it simply because her sisters said so? Sadie is tremendously happy. I don't understand what she's trying to escape from. I tend to get very analytical. I'm a therapist :) Maybe I'm scrutinizing it too deeply. Just something to think about. Overall, I like it.
I see you're a member of SCBWI as am I. Are you going to the Winter Conference?
Thanks for the feedback. I'm sort of stuck in between giving details and already feeling like I have a lot of info in here already. I worry that it's too long. *sigh* I'm glad you squealed a little reading it. That's always nice to hear.
Do you have a WIP currently?
I went to the winter conference last year, but since I live in Florida and the Miami conference is also in January, I decided to stay closer to home (and warmer) this year.
I agree. I thought about the length of it and I was concerned that it may be a bit long. You do want to pare down to the essence of the story and not get too carried away with explaining the plot. If you've gone beyond one typed page, pare it back.
I believe you have the right amount of detail. I didn't mean you had to include the issue regarding her motivation in the query. It's just something an agent may wonder about (or not!). I am working on my first YA novel. It's kind of edgy and deals with a beautiful boy who gets caught in the middle of the situation between his misfit girlfriend and her abusive mother.
I went to a conference a few weeks ago and based on the query and first pages critique, I'm constantly editing and revising. I'm exhausted with it really. LOL
I have a book where the MC is fairly passive throughout the first half. That being said her characteristics change into more agressive and proactive ones as the book progresses. When I wrote out the query and had it critiqued by other writers they all said pretty much the same thing. "It's too passive." If the query is supposed to read from the MC's view point and voice, then how can I make it non-passive since she IS passive. Her 'growth' is part of what makes the book interesting and I'm at a loss on how to reword it so that it reads better? Any suggestions??? I'd be happy to send the query over for someone to read if my post here is unclear...
Remember, the goal of the query is to whet the agents appetite and make them want to read the story. You want to convey the changes that the character is undergoing in a manner that is as interesting and exciting as possible. If your character was depressed, you wouldn't want your query to sound depressed, or if the character was angry, you wouldn't shoot for a query that sounded angry.
You want to state the problem, consequences and stakes in a vibrant way that will elicit attention and interest. Have you posted the query on this site for members to review?
You may want to reconsider having a character that is too passive through a major portion of the book. You don't want agents to stop reading the story because nothing much is happening early on. They could reject the story before ever getting to the "good parts!"
Natalie Whipple has a post about Queries on her blog called Querying: In Hindsight. Thought it was interesting and that I would share it with you guys.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Querying: In Hindsight
It's been a while since I was in the trenches, but recently I've been thinking a lot about querying. Some of my friends are still there, and watching them go through that process has brought the memories (aka: nightmares) back.
Querying is just hard. The next phase may not be any easier, but I sure don't miss the ups and downs of trying to get an agent's attention. It's such a soul-crushing process (at least for me it was). It feels like all your dreams are riding on one little letter. Yeah, no pressure.
Looking back, I kind of laugh at myself. I started out so green. I made so many mistakes. I took it all so...personally. I think much of it was inevitable, but I still feel bad for my poor, querying self. She nearly broke in half. I wish I could go back and tell her to freaking chill out, though she probably wouldn't have listened.
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