Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writing Wednesdays: A Call for (Query) Help

Hi all. As many of you know, I'm taking part in the CAGI contest over at Cupid's Literary Connection, as well as Deana Barnhart's GUTGAA blogfest. That means I've gotten some great feedback on my query. And by great I mean things I need to change. Overall, I think my query is pretty good. I've gotten about a dozen requests from agents, so I feel like I'm doing something right. BUT, I know there's always room for improvement. Several people have said I need to put the paranormal stuff up front, and that I need to show the stakes at the end. Of course, I'm limited by word count - I'm trying to keep it around 250 words (without my bio paragraph). So here's my original query, as well as my new query with a few changes. If any of you can take a look and let me know if it's any better, I'd really appreciate it.


BEFORE:
Friday Anderson’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Ever since she survived the accident that killed her mother, seventeen-year-old Friday has felt stuck. She’s lost her only parent, she’s living in a town where dreams go to die, and even her hair and nails have stopped growing. Her only hope for getting out is earning enough money for college tuition, so when a mysterious ad appears in the local paper for a job assisting a rock band, Friday jumps at the opportunity.

Spending time with the gorgeous guitarist, Craig, certainly beats baling hay, but there’s something odd about the four young musicians, who spend most of their time bickering while their instruments gather dust. When Friday overhears a hushed conversation behind closed doors, she finally learns the truth: the band members are Athanatos, immortals trapped somewhere between life and death. Not only is Friday one of them, she’s the only immortal capable of killing another, and it’s up to the others to keep Friday from becoming a deadly weapon in the world’s oldest blood feud. Between magic rings, ancient curses, and the fact that Friday’s going to have to live with the same haircut for the rest of her life, it’s definitely going to take some time getting used to this whole “undead” thing.

Forever should just about do it.

AFTER: -->
Friday Anderson’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Seventeen-year-old Friday wakes up from a car accident to find her cancer mysteriously cured. Everyone calls it a miracle, but now that her mother is gone and she’s being forced to move to a tiny Montana town, it feels way more like a curse. Her only hope of moving on is earning enough money for college, so when an ad appears in the paper for a job assisting a rock band, Friday jumps at the opportunity.

Hanging out with the gorgeous guitarist certainly beats baling hay, but there’s something odd about the four young musicians, who spend more time bickering than practicing. When Friday overhears them discussing a plan to move to New York -- and take Friday with them -- she finally confronts the band members and learns the truth: they are Athanatos, immortals trapped somewhere between life and death. Not only is Friday one of them, she’s the only immortal who can kill another, making her the one weapon capable of ending the world’s oldest blood feud.

Now Friday has a choice: confront the people hunting her down and risk the lives of the mortals she loves, or run and leave anything resembling a normal life behind. Between magic rings, ancient curses, and the fact that Friday’s going to have to live with the same haircut for the rest of her life, it’s definitely going to take some time getting used to this whole “undead” thing.

Forever should just about do it.

2 comments:

Misha Gericke said...

Hahaha I love your second query more than the first. It doesn't quite follow the normal structure, but I think it works for me. :-)

Alleged Author said...

I definitely like that you took out the nails bit. The mother being gone seems a bit more glib that you mean it to be, IMO. But I can't think of a way to add info without taking too much to do it. I'd request pages!