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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Query letter blogfest

Since I'm in big procrastination mode and I know that I need to revise this query letter before I send out any more, I thought that I'd participate in the query letter blogfest hosted by Slice of the Blog Pie. To join in, just post your query letter, and then add your name to the list. Then pick 5 other query letters to crit. Here's my most recent query letter for Nikki's Wish, my YA paranormal, set at 87K words. I'm thinking it needs to be tightened (currently at 200 words) any thoughts?? TIA.




Sixteen-year old Nikki Dreyer just wants a simple fairy tale. As in, after meeting a genie, she becomes his master, he grants her wish to bring her sister back from the dead, and the three of them go bungee jumping at the Minnesota State Fair. 

Unfortunately, magic can’t mend Nikki’s grief so easily. Sam, the genie in question, already has a master, Maxine, and this wicked witch of the Midwest has no interest in resurrecting dead sisters.  

Nikki buddies up to Maxine, gaining her trust and learning what Maxine loves best – hurting Sam. Nikki bonds with Sam too and discovers that there’s more to his magic than conjuring beefcake androids. With Sam’s support, Nikki finds the courage she needs to accept the permanence of death.  Ironically, that’s when a plan to trick Maxine into wishing Sam free – and get her sister back - takes shape. 

Moving on is good, but thwarting death is priceless. Throw saving a sweetheart like Sam into the mix, and Nikki has plenty of reasons to see her fairy tale through. But happy endings aren’t guaranteed because if Maxine catches on to Nikki’s plan, she’ll turn Sam into a loaded weapon... and Nikki will be his target.

7 comments:

Lori M. Lee said...

I love her idea of a simple fairy tale. Great voice.

Why does Nikki buddy up to Maxine? Doesn't necessarily have to be said, but I'm curious and, if you were so inclined, it could be quickly added by saying "To so-and-so or Because this-and-that, Nikki buddies up to Maxine..."

How does wishing Sam free get her sister back? Does he really have the power to do that?

These are just nitpicks b/c I think this is a really great query and the premise is awesome. I'd definitely read a few pages to see if it gripped me :D

Bee said...

I like it, Angie. I really do.
The voice has me gripped. The conflict has my attention.

The little nitpicks are just what Lori mentioned. The first sentence of the last paragraph confuses me just a bit, but all that can be worked on, cos looks like you have a good story out here. It definitely has my attention :))

Angie said...

Thanks for the comments guys!! I'll incorporate your suggestions as I try to tighten it a bit.

RosieC said...

Wow, neat idea. I love it. I would absolutely read this :)

I have little to comment on (seeing as I'm no expect and, well, my own query is in DESPERATE need of fixing), BUT, I would cut "in question" from "Sam, the genie in question". There aren't multiple genies here, so of course he's the one in question.

The other thing I would say would be to ditch the ellipsis in the last paragraph. Just make it a comma. Ellipses don't imply tension or elapsed time, but missing information, which is not the case here.

Well done. Need a beta reader? :)

Rosie
East for Green Eyes

Angie said...

Thanks so much for the input Rosie!! I agree with the "genie in question" bit and plan to change that.

Beta readers - thanks so much for the offer!! I've already had 5 and I'm at the point where I can't bring myself to fiddle with it anymore. It's pretty much as is until I get some input from an agent. If you want to read the first chapter, it's up at the top under the Nikki's Wish tab - there's a link below my older query. :)

Sari Webb said...

Hi Angie, getting around a bit late to the query blogfest, but hopefully I can still help.

I love how the voice comes through so clearly in this query letter. That's something that's hard to get right!

Here are my comments:

Sixteen-year old Nikki Dreyer just wants a simple fairy tale. As in, after meeting a genie, she becomes his master, he grants her wish to bring her sister back from the dead, and the three of them go bungee jumping at the Minnesota State Fair. I like this idea of a simple fairy tale, and how you've incorporated details here without stating them.

Unfortunately, magic can’t mend Nikki’s grief so easily. Sam, the genie in question, already has a master, Maxine, and this wicked witch of the Midwest has no interest in resurrecting dead sisters. I'd show a bit more Maxine's wickedness. I don't really have a sense of it here.

Nikki buddies up to Maxine, gaining her trust and learning what Maxine loves best – hurting Sam. Nikki bonds with Sam too and discovers that there’s more to his magic than conjuring beefcake androids. With Sam’s support, Nikki finds the courage she needs to accept the permanence of death. Ironically, that’s when a plan to trick Maxine into wishing Sam free – and get her sister back - takes shape.

Moving on is good, but thwarting death is priceless. Throw saving a sweetheart like Sam into the mix, and Nikki has plenty of reasons to see her fairy tale through. Does Nikki like Sam romantically? If so I'd show this a bit more. I feel so far like she pities him, and thinks of him more as an abused and defenseless kitten that needs to be saved. But happy endings aren’t guaranteed because I'd cut the because and split this sentence into two. if Maxine catches on to Nikki’s plan, she’ll turn Sam into a loaded weapon... and Nikki will be his target

Angie said...

Thanks for the comments Sari! I'm actually amending it a bit and trying to do exactly as you suggested about adding a bit more of the romance and trying to show Sam's personality more. We'll see how it goes.

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