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Author Topic: REWRITTEN "Two of Me" query opinions, please  (Read 271 times)
PureVictory
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« on: September 14, 2018, 05:10:17 PM »

Skylie's perfect life is suddenly disrupted by dreams about a girl who's identical to her. Skylie is in for a huge shock when she learns who this girl is...and more importantly, where she's visiting from. Not only is Skylie's life not perfect, but it's only an illusion. It's a real downer to realize that you don't even exist.

NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION:

Skylie is a 25-year-old pharmacy school student who has popularity, good grades, and a boyfriend who wants to marry her. She's in the prime of her life and feels she has a bright future ahead of her.

However, her future self at 30 years old begins visiting her dreams. Skylie learns that her future is nothing like what she'd planned for herself. Actually, she has no future at all. That's because the girl in her dreams is her ghost.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 08:33:10 PM by PureVictory » Logged
Munley
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Mr. Fluff -- from the SPCA


« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 08:10:00 PM »

Way too theoretical and abstract to give us a grip on person living some sort of life that's about to change in some particular direction.

I'm going to add some concrete, but silly, details to indicate where your pitch could use something we can picture in some world. You'd have to replace them with what really fits.

Original:

Skylie's perfect life is suddenly disrupted by dreams about a girl who's identical to her. Skylie is in for a huge shock when she learns who this girl is...and more importantly, where she's visiting from. Not only is Skylie's life not perfect, but it's only an illusion. It's a real downer to realize that you don't even exist.

Revision with made-up details:

Skylie's content with her poodle, her good grades, and huge stash of pot until Chelsea, the twin in her dreams, shows up in the flesh. Chelsea has a perverse sort of Midas touch. Instead of turning stuff into gold, everything she touches disappears -- the dog, the good report card, the pot -- because there's no Skylie for them to belong to.

ETA:
I just realized you posted this in the Query Review section. Did you mean to post this in the Elevator Pitch section?
A full query would have 2 or 3 paragraphs.

Your general idea of a person coming out of a dream into real life is an interesting one. It just needs to be fleshed out more with specific details, whether you intend a query or an elevator pitch.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 11:49:28 PM by Munley » Logged
PureVictory
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 05:44:18 PM »

Thanks, Munley. The two different sets of queries that I sent out to agents were both very detailed and they all got rejected. I thought maybe some mystery would catch their attention and and make them want to find out more. I might have overdone the simplifying.
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JBeachum
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 03:21:28 PM »

There has to be more substance for them to want to find out more. And really, a query isn't there to get them to "find out more" about the plot. They want to read the query to see if there's a good plot there so they can check out the quality of the writing. You're giving them enough info to make that decision. Anything vague or not defined doesn't give the agent what they need to decide if they want to read more.

Don't give away the ending, or directly state the big twist, but answer the following:

1. Who is the main character?
2. What does the main character want?
3. What is the obstacle in the obstacle's way?
4. What choice does the character have to make?
5. What could happen if the character makes the choice?
6. What could happen if they don't?

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Repped by Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency
Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 03:46:33 AM »

Skylie's perfect life is suddenly disrupted by dreams about a girl who's identical to her. Skylie is in for a huge shock when she learns who this girl is...and more importantly, where she's visiting from. Not only is Skylie's life not perfect, but it's only an illusion. It's a real downer to realize that you don't even exist.

I totally understand going for the blurb query. This is a little too vague I feel. But I really love the idea and what you're saying!  Grin I just think there's missed opportunity to connect with SKylie a little.

IF you start off with 'Reason A and reason B' why Skylies life is perfect until she dreams about a girl who is identical to her, that would help. We don't really know anything about what she values, for her to consider her life perfect. It' s a very white room query in the sense we can't picture her. All I saw was a bed, because she dreams. 

I'm not sure how much plot is needed in a blurb query but even for minimal plot it could do with some expanding.



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PureVictory
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 08:45:40 PM »

I've taken a few tips from everyone. I rewrote it with some more details and world-building.
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vulpion
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 12:57:59 AM »

Wow, what a plot twist! Short and sweet with a relatable MC and setting, it tells me just enough to want to read the first pages - which I will definitely do when I come back home. Smiley I made some suggestions on tightening your sentences below (if that's even needed), but otherwise I can only raise my hat to you.

25-year-old pharmacy school student Skylie has popularity, good grades, and a boyfriend who wants to marry her. In the prime of her life, she's looking forward to a bright future.

Until her 30-year-old self visits her dreams and reveals her future is nothing like what she'd planned. Actually, she has no future at all. That's because the girl in her dreams is her ghost.
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Munley
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 07:10:53 AM »

I've taken a few tips from everyone. I rewrote it with some more details and world-building.

Hi,
I didn't realize your revised version was posted as an amendment to your first post and was waiting for you to post it.

It's much more interesting and intriguing.

My only suggestion is to change the wording of "a bright future ahead of her" because it's a tired cliche. Everything else in the query sounds so much fresher. Love the addition of the ghost. It nails down a big conundrum in a single word.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 11:32:34 AM »

I agree with Munley about the phrasing. I found all those descriptors plain and not unique. 'good grades' , you could say that in a more interesting way. 'a boyfriend who loves her' also put in a bland way.

It does read better though.The ghost idea really interesting.  Smiley
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Aevin
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 04:26:12 PM »

I feel like this needs to be a bit longer and have more substance. I'd very briefly state the "normal life" details of the character, then move into talking in more detail about the ghost. What is it about the ghost in the dreams that threatens her future? What actually happens in the dreams? What does Skylie need to do about it? If it's just a dream, what CAN she do about it? I feel like we're missing a lot of information that would serve to ground us in the action of the story.
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