August's winner, and recipient of a 10-page critique from agent Tricia Lawrence, is maine character!
This month, anyone who shares their thoughts in the comments is eligible to win $10 for Amazon/B&N or a 20-page critique from me. Your comment doesn't have to be long, just useful!
A big thank you to Aline for submitting the query for her novel, DEAD RECKONING. (You may remember reading the first page here).
Remember all this is just my opinion. If it doesn't feel right to you, ignore it. Any in-line comments are to the right, overall thoughts at the end.
|The middle of this paragraph feels|
like telling to me. I say get to the
story, so we can see what Anne does.
|The 2nd sentence here moves too fast|
for me. A lot of events appear out of
nowhere (it feels like).
"With her own crew": Is she a
The end of this gets vague (for me)
and telling again.
|I'd cut the first two sentences, unless|
you got pro rate (5+ cents/word) for
one of those markets.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
A love a good pirate story, and there are a lot of elements here that I love, but I think you might be trying to cram too much into the query. For example, the query lists a lot of exciting things -- two trials! an execution! near death! bitter loss! -- but without context, it's just a list.
Like if I were talking about Pirates of the Carribean, I could say, "To save the governor's daughter, Will Turner must commandeer a Navy vessel, outwit the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and face a crew of the undead before they sacrifice the girl he loves."
OR I could say, "To rescue the girl he loves, Will Turner seeks help from the thing he hates the most: a pirate. But as he tries to stay one step ahead of the Royal Navy, and the pirate who's supposedly helping him, he discovers there's more pirate in his blood than he would like to admit."
Okay, so it needs work, but do you see my point? A list without context is not as interesting as a character with a goal and an arc. It's not enough to say what Will does (seeks help from a pirate) and learns (that he is a pirate), we have to know why it matters (because he hates pirates). You can even skip things (the undead crew) for the sake of focusing on the main arc and why it matters.
I know it's not the best example, but I hope it's helpful. I bet somebody else can give you better advice in the comments.