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 1 
 on: Today at 10:55:33 AM 
Started by MarcP - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Lol that's ok. I hated being a kid. I know not everyone feels that way  Thumbs Up

 2 
 on: Today at 10:46:50 AM 
Started by MarcP - Last post by MarcP
Hi, Pineapplejuice. Thanks for response. Much appreciated. Sorry for triggering the flashbacks. ;)

 3 
 on: Today at 10:44:51 AM 
Started by MarcP - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Dear…

In “Did a Robot Steal Your Shoe?” (466 words), Luke’s father wants to know what he did at school. He looks forward to hearing about Luke’s day, but six-year old Luke, as usual, doesn’t remember. In an attempt to jog Luke’s memory, his father starts guessing. But these aren’t ordinary guesses. These guesses involve secret doors, spotless giraffes, and baseball playing witches.

This story is based on a conversation I had with my six-year-old son, and is a story I think will resonate with anyone who has ever asked a child about their day and received the very frustrating response: I don’t remember. I've also tested this story with a few children and found there to be a fun interactive element to it as they enjoyed screaming out "No!" along with Luke as his father’s guesses become progressively sillier.

Thank you for your consideration.



I think that's a good query. I'm no expert in Picture Books ( at all ) but I thought it read well.  Grin I don't think I'd change that. Just check for standard format in regards to where to put the title and housekeeping etc. I'm sure you know better than me at this point as I know nothing about PB

 ( I'm mildly irritated by the flashbacks of being a kid and Mum asking me how my day was and being too exhausted from being at school to think about it ,let alone sum it up = but that's subjective and I'm not suggesting you change that of course or you'd have no book lol )

 4 
 on: Yesterday at 08:26:26 PM 
Started by MarcP - Last post by MarcP
Hi, all. New to the forum and thought I'd see if could get any feedback on this query for my picture book. I plan on personalizing the opening paragraph a little once I settle on who I'm sending it to. Any and all comments welcome. Thanks!

Dear…

In “Did a Robot Steal Your Shoe?” (466 words), Luke’s father wants to know what he did at school. He looks forward to hearing about Luke’s day, but six-year old Luke, as usual, doesn’t remember. In an attempt to jog Luke’s memory, his father starts guessing. But these aren’t ordinary guesses. These guesses involve secret doors, spotless giraffes, and baseball playing witches.

This story is based on a conversation I had with my six-year-old son, and is a story I think will resonate with anyone who has ever asked a child about their day and received the very frustrating response: I don’t remember. I've also tested this story with a few children and found there to be a fun interactive element to it as they enjoyed screaming out "No!" along with Luke as his father’s guesses become progressively sillier.

Thank you for your consideration.

 5 
 on: Yesterday at 04:09:50 PM 
Started by jherit01 - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Thank you, Pineapplejuice. After the usual emotional rollercoaster, I took another crack at it, seen below . . .

Kat Manklin and her small band of friends use their mutant psychic powers to escape the hell of Flagstaff, Arizona, where Warlord Joshua holds the local survivors of The Blast as a prison camp. ( I just realised you don't actually say clearly that Flagstaff is the prison camp or that Kat was a prisoner. Maybe reword to make this clearer ) Whatever caused The Blast twenty years ago, the result was EMP effects which took out all electronics around the entire planet. 

Kat Manklin and her small band of friends have been trapped within the gaurded, barbed wire fences of the Flagstaff prison camp ever since The Blast. The EMP effects of The Blast took out all electronics around the entire planet and Warlord Joshua rose to power using his own psychic ability to dominate and oppress.

 and is the man who tortured, raped and murdered Kat's own mother.   But with the ozone depleting from ( it doesn't sound grammatically correct 'depleting from', 'disappearing from' or similar would make more sense, or 'with the depleting ozone' ) the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, sunburn, cancers, and radiation-caused mutations of plant and animal life are even worse dangers than Warlord Joshua's small army and their demented fancies. Something must be done, or all life on Earth will be destroyed in just a few short years.

Kat and her friends head for the LA area and JPL, where she hopes to contact any remaining scientists who can tell her more about the Blast, and why the Earth is dying. Then the military leaders they encounter spring a bit of shocking news.   Kat and her friends may be the last, best hope for the survival of mankind, of all life on Earth.   ( This reads as a big plot problem the way you have it. It's like kat and co have no real reason but curiosity to go find the scientists. How do they even know there are scientists, or where they live? If Kat and co are so crucial to saving it in the scientists minds, why did the scientists not go and find them instead? Sooner? Did they not know about their gifts and how they can help? Maybe say that. And also, how does Kat know that her and her friends gifts can help the scientists?  )

All they have to do is travel fifteen hundred miles to reach the scientists who have a theory of how to stop the decline of the ozone, and maybe even reverse it. They will have to use their rare psychic abilities to battle much worse than mutant animals along the way, and the dark secret Kat carries which will haunt them, and hunt them. ( How can her secret hunt them? A secret enemy can hunt, not a secret, which is a mental burden. I think you're trying to add mystery here but it doesn't add anything because it is too vague , so you might as well leave it out. )  Warlord Joshua is Kat's father ( Did she not know this? Why are you saying this now? ) – and he will stop at nothing to regain that which he believes belongs to him.



 6 
 on: Yesterday at 03:50:57 PM 
Started by newguy617 - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Hi everyone - any and all feedback welcome! I'm also a little unsure of what genre to choose - in the title of this post I called it "steampunk fantasy", but in one query I've also called it "steampunk mystery/adventure", or selected Urban Fantasy in the QueryTracker online form  confused. Any thoughts on that appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



Minerva Penya is the best up-and-coming engineer in the steam-powered city of Fanon. At only 24, she’s got a way with sound frequencies and caloric - the governing Corporation’s mysterious energy source - and a million ideas for fixing the outages sweeping the grid. ( this sentence threw me. I think the explanation after caloric should be in brackets as it's an explanation. Something about the grammar in first sentence felt off to me. I first read it as 'she got away with' as my brain wasn't expecting voice so it read like a typo to me. Maybe it's just me. But you could say,

'At only 24, Minerva  Penya has a way with sound frequences and 'caloric', which is the governing corporation's mysterious energy source. She's the best up-and-coming engineer in the steam-powered city of Fanon.'

But when a deadly boiler explosion rips through her family’s neighborhood, the Corp’s Auditors pin it on her. Min knows the truth - sabotage ( this stops me as I don't know what you mean. How is it sabotage? Sabotage is stopping something from happening? Don't you mean 'scapegoating?', at least from what you said it looks like she's a scapegoat, so you need to explain 'sabotage'. ) - but she’s an easy target for Corp brass with something to hide: she’s a Montan immigrant. Nobody trusts Montans. ( I think you should explain her societal status in the first lines , before the accident as it feels tacked on here )

Reeling from shame ( is she really ashamed? She didn't do anything? Don't you mean guilt by accusation or association? ) and strange sonic visions caused by the accident, Min enlists the help of Albert Sax, a cheeky reporter, somehow trapping the soul of his dead grandfather inside an heirloom rifle in the process. ( Why does she need a rifle? What is he going to help her with? ) Together they flee to the deep tunnels beneath Fanon, discovering a vibrant new world: giant lizards, mutants who summon their ancestors through song, and, to Min’s astonishment, an entire city of Montans in hiding. ( I'm lost now. She's been accused of killing heaps of people but you didn't explain the fallout from that very well. Hasn't she been locked up in thrown in prison, since more powerful forces have pinned it on her? I don't understand how she is free? )

It’s the home she’s never really had. But the underworld also reveals the horrifying secret behind the outages: that all of steaming, stinking Fanon is powered by the song-bound souls of the dead. ( this is an interesting world building thing but it's not plot. I don't know what her challenge is or how she plans to overcome it. The antagonist ( the government , was only briefly mentioned then dropped as a problem leaving me feeling like there is no tension or hook or story unfolding here that it's just an indulgent ramble of a book to entertain the author. I'm sure that's not the case, but this query needs plot )

The souls are getting scarce. The Corp needs more. And Min’s family is next. ( Plot-wise this is problematic for me, the way you put this because no government would use peoples souls as a power source. That isn't an efficient way to produce energy when it take 9 months for a human being to be born. how quickly to the souls' energy last etc? It just makes me think the plot has logistical issues, in believability. ( Maybe if you explained it more it would be believable ) but like this it isn't imho. The idea itself , I love.  Grin I just don't buy it the way you put it. ) 


 7 
 on: Yesterday at 10:03:46 AM 
Started by jessikalindst - Last post by jessikalindst
The thing you can't ever know is the extent to which an agent, at any given moment of time, is consumed with projects outside of manuscripts. Every agent goes through their own season--they may have just made an offer, and are now prioritizing editorial comments for a new client; they may have had six clients all send in a new manuscript or synopsis or proposal, within days or weeks of each other; they may be a new agent, with a lot of free time, or an agent that just needs 6 hours of sleep and can read quickly.

I would agree generally that, when something REALLY captivates an agent's mind, they will almost definitely prioritize reading quickly--but you never really know. Be patient, and keep querying, and WRITE SOMETHING NEW. Write that other novel you've always wished you'd read.

Agreed, you never know. Starting a new project is definitely the best distraction, which I've thankfully started one. So if this first novel doesn't work out, there's always others to be written even if they never get to publication.

 8 
 on: Yesterday at 09:54:36 AM 
Started by jessikalindst - Last post by jessikalindst
The market wants what the market wants. All we can do is keep writing and hope we hit the mark.

Yep, exactly right.

 9 
 on: Yesterday at 09:14:05 AM 
Started by newguy617 - Last post by jherit01
Hi Newguy617. Sorry I don't have any advice on the genre question. I do kind of like the "steampunk fantasy" hybrid, though.

Minerva Penya is the best up-and-coming engineer in the steam-powered city of Fanon. At only 24, she’s got she has she has a way with sound frequencies and caloric - the governing Corporation’s mysterious energy source - and a million ideas for fixing the outages sweeping the grid.

But when a deadly boiler explosion rips through her family’s neighborhood, the Corp’s Auditors pin it on her. Min knows the truth - sabotage - but she’s an easy target for Corp brass with something to hide: she’s a Montan immigrant. Nobody trusts Montans.

Reeling from shame and strange sonic visions caused by the accident explosion, Min enlists the help of Albert Sax, a cheeky reporter, somehow trapping the soul of his dead grandfather inside an heirloom rifle in the process (In what process? Enlisting his help? Or escaping the city? Doesn't quite make sense as it stands – need more info). Together they flee to the deep tunnels beneath Fanon, discovering a vibrant new world: giant lizards, mutants who summon their ancestors through song, and, to Min’s astonishment, an entire city of Montans in hiding.

It’s the home she’s never really had. But the underworld also reveals the horrifying secret behind the outages: that all of steaming, stinking Fanon is powered by the song-bound souls of the dead.

The souls are getting scarce (Why?). The Corp needs more. And Min’s family is next.

Just a bit short IMHO and could use a bit more detail, but very nice so far. Concise and efficient.

 10 
 on: Yesterday at 08:55:55 AM 
Started by jherit01 - Last post by jherit01
Thank you, Pineapplejuice. After the usual emotional rollercoaster, I took another crack at it, seen below . . .

Kat Manklin and her small band of friends use their mutant psychic powers to escape the hell of Flagstaff, Arizona, where Warlord Joshua holds the local survivors of The Blast as a prison camp. Whatever caused The Blast twenty years ago, the result was EMP effects which took out all electronics around the entire planet. 

Shortly after, Joshua came to power using his own psychic ability to dominate and oppress, and is the man who tortured, raped and murdered Kat's own mother.   But with the ozone depleting from the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, sunburn, cancers, and radiation-caused mutations of plant and animal life are even worse dangers than Warlord Joshua's small army and their demented fancies. Something must be done, or all life on Earth will be destroyed in just a few short years.

Kat and her friends head for the LA area and JPL, where she hopes to contact any remaining scientists who can tell her more about the Blast, and why the Earth is dying. Then the military leaders they encounter spring a bit of shocking news.   Kat and her friends may be the last, best hope for the survival of mankind, of all life on Earth.   

All they have to do is travel fifteen hundred miles to reach the scientists who have a theory of how to stop the decline of the ozone, and maybe even reverse it. They will have to use their rare psychic abilities to battle much worse than mutant animals along the way, and the dark secret Kat carries which will haunt them, and hunt them. Warlord Joshua is Kat's father – and he will stop at nothing to regain that which he believes belongs to him.


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