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,
Sixteen year old transfer student Hannah Slaughtery never imagined her future would involve fighting against monsters she doesn’t believe in with people she’s not even sure she likes.
I like this opening. It grabs my attention and I think it works. If I wanted to get picky, although I don’t know that it matters in the grand scheme of your query, I would wonder why you bother to mention that she’s a transfer student. I don’t know that it matters for a query.
But when she and four other students attend a retreat at Piaculum Academy, they discover they are the next generation of Partizans, a band of supernatural warriors dating back to the dawn of man. Each must decide how much of themselves they are willing to sacrifice as they stand against the Formorians, a ruthless and tyrannical empire of demons who have been wiping out the Partizan lines for generations in order to make way for their own ascension.
I like this, I only wonder if you aren’t complicating things too much by over-describing. Do you need to name the groups in the query or can you simply say that they discover they are the next generation in a line of supernatural warriors charged with standing against an empire of demons . . . ? I also wonder, for the book’s sake, if you need a bigger conflict. In other words, if they don’t know if they are willing to sacrifice themselves, do they care about their own ascension (I assume you mean to power)?
All of that pickiness aside, I think this paragraph works.
As Hannah struggles to comprehend her legacy, she is distracted by the unexplainable, yet undeniable connection she feels toward Finn, another Partizan, who is obviously hiding something from her.
I think the problem I have with this is that I don’t feel the action of the book or the big climax or conflict. I feel a little blah about all of this. You tell me the setup, but you don’t really tell me a lot about Hannah’s individual struggle, and I don’t think her attraction to Finn is it.
Mentored by Garrett, a First Crusade era Catholic priest turned vampire, Hannah begins her metaphysical transformation to become a witch, knowing only one thing for sure: the carefree days of her youth have come to a screeching halt.
In the framework of your query this feels dropped in, and maybe this is the heart of the series. Maybe we need to learn more about this transformation. Maybe this is really the core of your query.
The Partizans, a YA paranormal is complete at 72,000 words and has series potential. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.
Overall I think this is a good query and I definitely think you’ll get some requests off it. I do, however, worry that it’s a little flat, that you could insert some excitement, some action into it that would push it over the edge and give it that oomph to get you lots of requests. I think your book overall is probably different and intriguing, but that doesn’t come through in a big enough way in the query. The query sounds a little like a lot of other queries, which is why I think you need to work on focusing on more action.