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Friday, October 18, 2013

Query Critique #3

Hope Everyone is having a fabulous week! Time for another query critique. As always, thanks so much to the authors!

QUERY:

Anna is stuck in a rut. To be fair, though, it’s a very comfortable rut
that her dad approves of, and that she dug for herself. But still, it’s
time for a change.

Change comes in the form of Coy McLeod Nice :), visiting Anna’s small hometown from the far away land of Chicago. He’s as spontaneous, passionate, and independent as Anna is… not.

I don't feel I get a good sense of the plot/story from the above paragraphs, and they don't really grab my attention. I think it's good that you briefly mention how Anna and Coy are so different. However, I wasn't sure if that-their differences-was the main conflict/tension or not. You might try to make that a little clearer. Also, I think it might be more effective if you try to incorporate that into the following paragraph--How important is it to the plot? 

When Coy gets the idea to take a Shakespeare Festival road trip, Anna
agrees to go along, hoping the spontaneity of the trip will help her to be
more open to new things. This gives me a better idea about the story, and I think this would be a better place to start, but keep in mind you also want to set up the tension/conflict. But when she returns home, she is just as uncertain of what to do with her future as when she left. I don't understand why she is so uncertain. This sort of goes along with my previous comment. What is it that is going to make me want to keep reading? Coy has added a new choice to Anna’s list of possible future plans- he wants her to move to
Chicago with him. As if things weren’t confusing enough already. I think this line works well. It sort of lets us know the stakes. 

Should she finish college at her family’s alma mater, while staying at home
with her widower father? Or take a chance on Coy, and step into the
unknown? As time runs out on Anna’s last semester of school, it will take a
proposal, a death, and The Sound of Music to bring the curtain down on her
old life.

Not a bad start. I would just try to tighten it up a little bit. 

LOVE AND THE BARD is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 90,000
words. It would appeal to readers who enjoy contemporary Young Adult
novels, such as those by Sarah Dessen, and are now looking for an older
protagonist. The first ten pages are included after my contact information.
You are also welcome to use my work for a first-page critique on your blog
should you wish. Thank you very much for your consideration!

2 comments:

Carl Hackman said...

Anna is stuck in a rut. To be fair, though, it’s a very comfortable rut that her dad approves of. But still, it’s time for a change.

When passionate and spontaneous Coy McLeod visits her small town things become a lot more complicated. He invites her to take a Shakespeare Festival road trip. Anna agrees to go along, hoping the spontaneity of the trip will open her horizons. On top of this, Coy adds a new choice to Anna’s list of possible future plans- he wants her to move to Chicago with him. As if things weren’t confusing enough already.

Should she finish college at her family’s alma mater, while staying at home
with her widower father? Or take a chance on Coy, and step into the
unknown? As time runs out on Anna’s last semester of school, it will take a
proposal, a death, and The Sound of Music to bring the curtain down on her
old life.

LOVE AND THE BARD is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 90,000 words. It would appeal to readers who enjoy contemporary Young Adult
novels, such as those by Sarah Dessen, and are now looking for an older
protagonist.

Take my suggestion with a pinch of salt Kara :)

Here is what I try and go by when I'm writing my query (I'm not represented yes so these are not presented as a key to the perfect query LOL)

1. The hook
2. The inciting event
3. The protagonist's goal and conflict
4. What happens if he/she fails
5. Genre and word count.

Kara said...

Thanks so much, Jordy and Carl! The thing I always forget is what Carl called #4 on his list. I think I'll try including that with my next draft.

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