By repeated request we’ve started Workshop Wednesday. It will definitely play out through 2011, and beyond that we’ll just have to see. We’ve received well over 200 queries at this point, but we are choosing at random, so don’t be afraid to participate as per the guidelines in our original post.
For anyone wanting to comment, we ask that you comment in a polite and respectful manner, and we ask that you be as constructive as possible. If you can be useful to the brave souls who submitted their query and comment on the query, that’s great. Please keep any anonymous tirades on publishing or other snarky comments to yourself. This is and should remain an open and safe forum for people to put themselves and their queries out there so that everyone can learn. I’m leaving comments open and open to anonymous posters, as I always have; don’t make me feel the need to change that policy.
And for those who have never “met” Query Shark, get over there and do that. She’s the originator of the query critique, the queen, if you will.
Dear Ms. Faust,
A firefly is a curious thing. A casual glance shows a tiny flying bug that glows in the humid summer nights of the South but there’s more to that twinkle. Blinking patterns flash in different intervals and wavelengths. For the firefly, each illumination tells a story.
I love this opening so much that my usual chatter about indents and email style vs. letter style is forgotten. You grabbed me with this right away, and do you want to know why? It’s the voice. There’s such a lovely, Southern rhythm and flavor to this and I knew this was set in the South before you even told me. You grabbed me with this. I loved it, plain and simple.
That’s how Adeline Stewart sees everyone around her; every feeling and emotion played out in swirling colors and flowing movements. These colorful auras tell their story. Even death shows itself with its violent black clouds and waves of nausea. Adeline is all alone with her secret, careful not to stand out in her small southern town. But all secrets come out eventually. The only problem is there’s someone out there who thinks she should take her secret to the grave.
This query is not necessarily full of “don’ts,” but I would suspect that if it were turned over to a query critique group it would be ripped apart for all of the things it doesn’t do, all of the “rules” it doesn’t follow. The biggest being that it doesn’t really tell me anything about the plot. That being said, I like it a lot.
The voice in this comes through beautifully and I get from the first line of this second paragraph that it’s YA. I did have to read the last paragraph to confirm, since I thought maybe it was going to be women’s fiction, but I got what you were doing here. Your voice made that clear.
WATCHING FIREFLIES is young adult paranormal novel complete at 78,000 words. My manuscript was a finalist in the Santa Fe Writers Project contest. The judge was Pulitzer prize-winner Robert Olen Butler. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Great ending. Adding the contest mention is smart. It shows me that others have recognized your work and that you are actively out working on your writing and learning about publishing.
There’s no question I would request this and I imagine I’m not the only one. Bravo!