Thanks to all of your contributions, Workshop Wednesday has been a success. We’re going to continue on with it for as long as we have entries and the energy to comment on them. If you haven’t yet submitted but are still interested, 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 Jessica Faust,
The day Claire has prayed for the last ten years has somehow become an inescapable nightmare. Her best friend Alice woke up from her coma but Claire’s guilt did not lessen. Jackson returned home with Alice and Claire is still just as heartbroken. More than that, she’s terrified of what happens next. Claire failed to realize what their return would really mean – her reprieve is over.
I’m definitely intrigued by this because I sense that there’s something about the overall story that sounds interesting. I love the idea of praying for what might be considered a miracle and when it happens realizing the nightmare hasn’t ended. That being said, I don’t think this paragraph, or this query, is particularly well written, and for that reason I have major reservations about wanting to read more.
I have no idea what you mean by “Jackson returned home with Alice and Claire….” Who is Jackson? Returned home from where? The hospital? Still heartbroken from what? And “just as” heartbroken as Claire, Alice or as he was earlier? None of this makes any sense here and I’m getting no sense of the story. I like the idea that Claire’s guilt did not lessen, but lessen over what? I’m missing huge chunks of the story here.
I have no idea where these people are returning from or what sort of reprieve Claire had. Basically, I have far more questions than answers.
The happiness Claire has longed for is overshadowed by her fear. Alice’s accident was not the only consequence of their last night together. Now, Claire has something more important than their friendship to lose – a daughter she would do anything to protect.
This feels a tad stronger, and only a tad. That doesn’t mean I would recommend keeping it. I still don’t understand the setup or how they got where they are or where this daughter comes in.
Claire knows in her heart that Jackson belongs with Alice. Resisting him will be easy. This time, Claire is older, smarter and she has a very good reason to stay as far away from Jackson Montgomery as possible. Besides, her love for him was replaced with hate the second he abandoned her. Or at least that’s what she thinks until she takes one look into his eyes.
So in the opening I would have assumed this was women’s fiction, but now I realize it’s a romance, and that throws me.
Reawakened is a 70,000 word contemporary romance novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Overall I think you’re going to have a hard time getting any traction with this query. It tells bits of what a story could be, but doesn’t really tell me anything about your story. Most important, it doesn’t give me the confidence that you could actually write an entire book.