Monday, June 1, 2015

QK Round 1: Broadway Baby v. Fun Friday My Ass

Entry Name: Broadway Baby
Title: Showstopper
Word Count:
88K
Genre: Contemporary YA

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Cadence Flemming fantasizes about a different life, one where her father’s home safe from war, her stepmonster hasn’t drained their life savings, her best friend Declan’s in love with her, her little sister Peyton stays cancer free, and her dreams of being a Broadway star are possible. Unfortunately, her real life has more drama than Les Miserablés.

So when Cadence and Declan land a spot on the new Broadway television competition, SHOWSTOPPER, which offers a $100,000 dollar prize and a chance to be a Broadway star - her dreams suddenly seem within reach. But competition is fierce and her cutthroat cast mate, Melody, has it in for her, which makes avoiding the elimination rounds harder than hitting a perfect high F. Even worse, halfway into production, Cadence’s nightmare comes true – Peyton’s cancer returns.

With things on set spiraling out of control and her home life becoming more complicated by the second, Cadence finds solace in Declan. He even appears to be falling in love with her, that is until he kisses their co-star Lyle on live television. Refusing to let go of her dreams, Cadence must learn to claw her way to the top if she wants a shot at the spotlight and at granting her dying sister’s last wish of seeing her on Broadway. But one of the contestants is sabotaging the show and trying to get Cadence kicked off – and they’ll do anything to win. Even if it means breaking the law and destroying Cadence’s career, for good.

First 250 words:

You know that moment when you’re watching a Broadway show and the theater goes dark, the music swells, and there’s this pause right before the curtain rises – that moment when anything could happen? If my life were a musical, this would be that moment.

A rainbow of people holding resumes and headshots snakes its way from the fabulous Fox Theatre, around the corner, and past Eighteenth Street into downtown Atlanta. Camera crews litter the streets, cars honk as they try to maneuver through the madness and a half-dozen police officers stand by, watching with interest. Everywhere you look, someone’s singing. I scan the area, my eyes landing on the clusters of people huddled together. Some of them are practicing their moves, some are screaming in excitement and a few are even crying.

But me . . . yeah, I feel like I’ve just done thirty pirouettes without spotting and I’m gonna puke.

My little sister, Peyton, tugs on my sleeve. “Come on Cady!” she yells, darting around one of the cameramen, accidentally clipping his elbow.

“Hey watch it,” the guy barks.

“Sorry!” I yell over my shoulder. My dance bag bounces against my hip and I try to keep the box of cupcakes steady in my left hand as I chase after Peyton who weaves through another group of television crews with SHOWSTOPPER t-shirts. Even though she’s my half-sister, I’m glad Peyton inherited my family’s musicality and latched on to my Broadway obsession, or I might’ve missed out on today.



VS



Entry Nickname:
Fun Friday My Ass
Title: Walk and Roll
Word Count:
50K
Genre: Young Adult

Query:


High school senior Jake Alpert hasn’t thought about killing himself once in the last nineteen months. Those thoughts disappeared the moment he started dating Mia Fields. Her spunk and vivacity banished his depression in a way that years of therapy and medication never could.

That all changes when Mia gets accepted to her dream college nearly 3000 miles away. The long distance is not the only issue. The even bigger problem is that, shortly after receiving this news, Mia passes out without explanation or warning. As this fainting continues over the next few weeks, Mia is forced to go to the hospital, where she is diagnosed with a rare and incurable condition known as POTS.

In the time between this diagnosis and Mia’s discharge from the hospital, Jake grapples with questions he never expected to face. Did he cause Mia’s illness? How will her wheelchair impact their relationship? And, most importantly, can he love Mia through her sickness without becoming suicidal again?

First 250 Words:


Three hundred and fifty words?

You’re going to base my college admission on my ability to condense the most important day of my life into three hundred and fifty words?

Really?

I’ll tell you right now: it’s not going to happen.

Mia Fields deserves more than that.

And who, you may ask, is Mia Fields?

Well, you should know. Two years ago, when we were both seniors in high school, she sent your university an application so stellar that you accepted her into your prestigious pre-med program. I bet that someone there still has files listing her high school GPA and extra-curricular activities. Maybe someone even has a copy of how she answered this question. If, of course, you’ve been using this same dumb prompt for that long.

I don’t know what she wrote, but I can guarantee you that her answer would have changed by now. Why? It’s simple really.

Because whatever she wrote then occurred before that day in the hospital, that day when she was first diagnosed.

That day changed everything, not just for Mia but for all of us. For those of us who loved her most, that diagnosis cracked our worlds into before and after.

It seems to me that a day of this importance deserves a hell of a lot more than three hundred and fifty words.

So if you’re really interested in learning about the twenty-four hours that changed my life, all you’ve got to do is keep reading. And if you’re not, well, I’m sure there are a thousand other applicants eager to tell you about that time they volunteered at their local soup kitchen.

22 comments:

  1. Judges - hit 'reply' to this comment to cast your votes. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Broadway Baby:

      This is truly a fantastic entry. I think the stakes sentence has a little more punch if you combine the last two sentences of the query into one. If the contestant who's sabotaging the show IS Melody, say so. If not, then there's no reason to name Melody at all in the query. My only other concern is that I'm seeing a lot of books about reality TV, singing, Broadway, etc - I need to know what sets this book apart. Is it Melody? Then tell me what she's doing. What does Cadence need to do to stop the sabotage?

      A lot of people will probably tell you to cut the first paragraph of your first 250, but I love it. It works. You've got great description of the scene, and the entire first page is really vivid. I'm not really clear on why Cadence is bringing cupcakes to an audition, I can keep reading to find out. Overall, excellent job.

      Fun Friday My Ass:

      I love that you've got voice here even in your nickname. You're missing genre in your query, though (YA isn't a genre. YA contemporary is, if that's what your book is). But otherwise, the query itself is great. Consider saying "fatal" condition instead of "incurable." There are plenty of incurable conditions that allow people to still more or less live normal lives. I'm nitpicking because it's so good.

      The larger issue with the query is that it's too short. Generally, you want to shoot for about 250 words in the query. That's not set in stone, but there's so much more information you could add here. To start: Why does Jake want to kill himself? What is it about Mia that brings him out of his depression? Why does Jake think he caused Mia's condition? Is Jake so shallow he can't love someone in a wheelchair? Cut all the rhetorical questions and flesh out the query a bit by telling me more about the story, not what's going on inside Jake's head.

      Also, I'm a little wary of the idea that all someone suffering from depression needs to shake it off is to find true love. That may not be the impression you want to give, because it tends to discount the disease.

      The first 250 is a prologue. I adore the voice, despise prologues. A lot of agents don't like starting the book at the end of the story and then jumping back to the beginning and telling the story in flashback. Personally, I'd delete this and start the story with Mia's diagnosis.

      VICTORY TO BROADWAY BABY.

      Delete
    2. Broadway Baby:

      I like your premise, but your query needs a lot of work. There’s too much plot, too many characters, and too many errors (ie. It’s Les Misérables (accent on first e) and “$100,000 dollar” is redundant. ) I’d recommend boiling your story down to the very narrowest pitch – setup and stakes – then build it back up to focus on only the most important story line. Leave out as many characters as you can while still painting the broad picture of what your book is about. It’s tempting to get all the subplots in, but it becomes confusing. I really like your 250. You do a great job setting up the scene, and make me want to continue reading.

      Fun Friday My Ass:

      Your query is great. I was going to suggest you don’t need the line about Mia’s acceptance to college since it’s the illness, not the college, that really matters. But it helps to set up your first page. You’re likely going to get criticized for starting with a prologue. But I don’t mind prologues that work, and I think this nearly works here. I don’t think anyone picking up this book is going to be surprised to learn up front it’s about a dying girl, so you’re not overly foreshadowing. However, as much as I love the idea of using a college essay to tell the story, I don’t think it’s at all plausible it would be followed by the entire book’s worth of words. I mean, I don’t buy that the book is told via college essay. And since it can’t be, the last few paragraphs become vague and leading. I like the concept. I don’t think it’s working for you yet.

      Judgment:

      This is close. Both have an excellent premise and opening. I would want to keep reading both books if I’d started them. I have to go with the one that has the stronger query in this case.

      Victory: FUN FRIDAY MY ASS

      Delete
    3. BROADWAY BABY

      QUERY: The first two paragraphs of this are pretty solid. Good set-up, flowing into the plot of the story. The third paragraph gets a little murky. There’s so much going on! You have several plot points, and it might help to trim it down to one or two for the query. The last two sentences also move to what someone ELSE is doing instead of Cadence. Rework it so we’re focused on what Cadence must do instead of what is being done to her.

      FIRST 250: You’ve done a beautiful job of adding voice to this opening. It’s all in those little details, like bringing dance into her everyday observations. I love that sort of thing, and you’ve done it very well. I expect it continues throughout the manuscript. One thing I have a hard time with is the use of “you,” even from a first-person narrative. Breaking that fourth wall is difficult to do well, and unless it’s intentional, it can come across as sloppy. This is easily fixed in your first sentence. “There’s a moment during a Broadway show when the theater goes dark…” and so on, eliminating the “you” and the question. Also, “everywhere you look” should be reworked. That is a personal preference, of course, but something to think about.


      FUN FRIDAY MY ASS

      QUERY: Great hook into the query. Immediately I want to know more about Jake, why he was depressed, what changed. And you deliver that as well! I was confused about which changed Jake’s state of mind. Was it Mia being accepted to a college 3000 miles away? Or her diagnosis? Is mentioning the college acceptance in the query that important if the meat of the story is about her diagnosis? I’m also wondering how those things affected the relationship. Did Mia’s behavior change? Is it his own anxiety or are there other factors making him doubt whether he can make it through these challenges? I’m having a hard time getting super excited about the story when I’m not positive that it’s not just 200 pages of teenage angst (which I’m sure it’s not!). Throw something in there that will grab me and make me think I MUST READ THIS BOOK NOW.

      FIRST 250: I’m struggling a little with this. It reads like a prologue, and at first I was like, nope nope nope. But then I kept reading and it started to grow on me. I would be interested to know what the format of the rest of the book is like. Is this the only portion that is written as a letter, or is it a recurring thing? The voice here is very strong. It’s clear that you know your character really well, and I would definitely be interested to read more from this character. The 250 is definitely more enticing than the query. See if you can fit some of the voice here into the query.


      Victory to BROADWAY BABY.

      Delete
    4. Broadway -

      This is completely my kind of book and I would no doubt devour it in one sitting. Cady seems like someone easy to cheer for and a real "every girl." The voice in the 250 is strong and I'm hooked right away. The query is also solid though there is a LOT going on in the first paragraph. I'm not sure all of it needs to be mentioned right away - maybe narrow the things down to the ones really plaguing her.

      Friday - I'm going to nitpick because I've worked with many students with POTS and in my experience, which I know is not all experiences, it is a condition that can be managed once a diagnosis is made and those with it can go on to live pretty normal lives. So I struggle with the idea that POTS creates stakes for your MC. I also struggle with the idea that he's been in therapy forever and his depression magically goes away once Mia comes into his life. I hope that it's not that cut and dry in the book.

      The query isn't bad but it leaves me with a lot of questions. Why is he depressed being the biggest. The 250 is unclear - is this his actual essay or are you breaking the fourth wall and speaking to the reader? If it's the actual essay, I would suggest reading some examples of current college essays to get an idea of how students are actually writing them. I like this concept in general but the overall package needs to adjustments.

      VICTORY TO BROADWAY

      Delete
    5. BROADWAY: What a great query! You've got voice, you've got clear stakes, and I felt like I knew Cady after reading it. However, you do have quite a bit going on here, so I'd suggest looking at each paragraph and seeing what can be removed. IE: in your first paragraph: only list Cady's biggest troubles. The third paragraph also feels a little cluttered, and I wonder if removing the part about the kiss would help streamline things. Just something to consider!

      Your first 250 were as full of voice as your query, and I really enjoyed reading this! However, I always feel strange when a first-person narrator uses "you." Consider removing that use of "you" from your opening to make it even stronger!

      FRIDAY: I think your query is a little on the lean side. The way the query reads now, it sounds like Mia is a cure-all for Jake's depression, and of course, that wouldn't be realistic. But I doubt it comes across that way in the book--I just thinking we're missing some information here that would help us care about your MC and his story. It also sounded to me like part of the conflict is that Jake is wondering if he can still love Mia if she's in a wheelchair/during her sickness. This makes me feel like Jake is shallow, when I should be sympathizing with him, so again, I think you need more details to show your MC's struggle and his depth!

      Your opening actually really intrigued me, and made me want to read more--but at first, I thought it was a prologue. Maybe you could add a line at the top to make it clear that this is your MC's essay, to eliminate any confusion as readers begin the story. Just a thought!

      These entries both sound like compelling stories, and I loved both opening pages! However, one query stood out to me as more ready for the later rounds of the competition.

      Victory to...BROADWAY BABY!

      Delete
    6. Broadway Baby

      Query - I love the hook. It engaged me right away and made me laugh at the Les Mis line. This is a great Query. I really don't have much to critique. I just, really, really like this query. It's solid. Great job!

      250 - The voice is really great. However, I'd take out that first question. Make it a statement and get rid of 'you'. For instance, I've never been to a Broadway show or a local theater for that matter, so no, I don't know that moment and it disconnects me right away. I'd suggest letting the reader feel it through Cadence instead. Otherwise, I think you did a great job.


      Fun Friday My Ass

      Query - There's something missing here. I don't think you need to put the acronym for the incurable disease. Also I would take out all those questions at the end. You need to put in statements. By asking redundant questions you just bring up more questions that the agent doesn't have the answer too. I'm not really clear what the main conflict is in this book. Is it Jake dealing with Mia's sickness? Or is his battle with depression more the fore front? It's just not clear.

      250 - I'm not sure how I feel about the first 250. It's a unique way of doing it, but it feels more like a prologue or a voice over that would be done in a movie. With 'you' it becomes second person, which is really hard to pull off. Is the entire book in second person? That makes me wary. If this is a prologue and the rest of the book isn't in second, I would use the first 250 from your first chapter instead. Otherwise, I think the voice comes out strong giving an idea of the narrator--but again, I don't know who that is at the moment.

      Victory: BROADWAY BABY

      Delete
    7. Wow! Two more amazing entries!

      Broadway Baby,

      While I like your premise, I think your query reads too much like a synopsis. Your first line needs to be your hook - concise and to the point. Right now it reads like one long run-on sentence. Extra details like the sister's cancer and other side stories can be cut so you can focus on the real heart of the story - Cadence's appearance on Showstoppers. If you make this your focus, as well as the ensuing issues with her castmates, I think the query will have more direction.

      First 250: I like inner monologue, but I'm not sure starting your first chapter with a question is the best way to go. I'd recommend cutting the first line and starting with what I think is the most powerful line (and says a lot about the character) "I feel like I've just done thirty pirouettes without spotting and I'm going to puke." Just with that line I get a sense of both voice and character.


      Fun Friday,

      Great opening line in your query. Your follow-up line is good as well. What becomes the true heart of your story though, Mia's illness, is buried way too far in your second paragraph. This feels like the turning point of your story and sets the stakes, so I'd recommend trying to get it front and center. Also, and this just may be me, but I don't know what POTS is. It might be better to refer to her sickness as being something rare and incurable.

      First 250: I'm not sure you're starting your opening in the right place. Everything you've shared feels like backstory. As a reader I want to start where the action begins. Is it when Jake and Mia meet? Or when Mia is diagnosed? Think about where your narrative really begins and start there.


      Fantastic entries and I wish you both luck with your books!

      My final vote goes to...

      Broadway Baby

      Delete
    8. Note: For round 1 since there's so many entries, I'm judging based on the query only!


      BROADWAY BABY

      I love stories with contests and rivalries; this one sounds like a lot of fun.

      You start off with a long sentence (almost 50 words) that could be split up a bit to make it more readable.

      Also, I think the sentence containing "Cadence must learn to claw her way to the top" would be stronger without the "must learn to" part - just a little bit of tightening!


      -vs-


      FUN FRIDAY MY ASS

      This one sounds rather intense, and potentially quite heart-wrenching.

      The questions at the end of the query don't really work for me. I think the first one threw me off, because I'm not knowledgable enough about the condition to understand why Jake would have reason to believe he could have caused it. Would it be possible to work in some sort of short description of POTS?



      Victory to... BROADWAY BABY!

      Delete
    9. Jackie Jormp-JompJune 4, 2015 at 2:50 AM

      BROADWAY BABY

      This is a really strong pitch and a fun hook. I think you could trim and condense it a bit, though - maybe cutting “and her cutthroat cast mate, Melody, has it in for her,” as well as the last sentence, which seems repetitive to me. Also, watch out for the over use of the word “dream” and clichéd phrases about chasing her dreams and destroying her dreams etc. Finally, by including her father and stepmonster in the first paragraph, it makes me think that the story will center around them as much as the competition, but I’m not sure that’s your intention.

      The first 250 are great – well paced with a fun voice – and great use of musical theater jargon. I get a clear sense of the excitement and energy of the setting, as well as the relationship between the MC and her half-sister, without too much telling. A “group of television crews” sounds weird to me – I’d say “crew members” maybe.

      FUN FRIDAY MY ASS

      This query is suscint, energized and really intriguing. I love the first sentence. I wonder if you could bring a bit more of the MC’s voice from the 250 into the query, though. Also, what is POTS? I once heard an agent say, as she critiqued a pitch, “don’t make me Google.” I got the gist of it in context, but it took me out of the query for a moment, and it would be better to keep the reader locked in.

      The 250 is fantastic – I love the writing style and voice of the MC. I also like the concept of it starting with a dumb college essay question. I don’t have much else to offer, here. Great work!

      Dang, this is a really hard decision for me. I really want both of these entries to move forward, but alas, “there can be only one.” (nerd.)


      Victory to FUN FRIDAY

      Delete
    10. Hey Judge Sally Sparrow! Thank you so SO SO much for judging 11 match-ups (11!) even though you weren't assigned this round. The query feedback will help tons. We won't be able to count your vote because of the lack of 250 consideration, but seriously, thank you thank you. The writers will appreciate it tons.

      Delete
  2. Broadway - The part about the cupcakes confused me and I wasn't sure why she'd bring cupcakes with her. Fellow contestants would be to nervous to eat and judges most likely wouldn't accept one. I also wondered if you were aware that NBC did this very thing a few years ago for a revival of Grease.

    And, I agree with the judge above - I love your first paragraph. You captured that moment of anticipation perfectly. You forgot your comma in "Come on, Cady" and personally I'd like to hear more about the people in mind. Does it appear they've spent the night there? Do people have their hair in curlers? Are people in costume? These are things I'd like to know about

    Fun Friday - the judge above beat me to the comment about the rhetorical questions. If you follow agents on twitter (and if you don't you should) a lot of them tweet about questions in the query. Take those questions and turn them into something that will entice those agents.

    Someone might disagree with me on this one but I would spell out "Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome" if I were you. And add a short explanation of what it is in layman's terms. Don't be vague about it - let us know how this is going to change Mia's life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Broadway baby:

    I love the concept here. The first part of your query is strong. The last paragraph it says someone is trying to get Cadence kicked off. Is that someone Melody? If so, could you just put her name instead of someone, if it isn't, is including Melody in the second paragraph necessary? Great work I want to read this!!

    Jenna-Lynne Duncan (your query Kombat neighbor "A pirate's life for me" ⚓️

    ReplyDelete
  4. Friday Fun Day-

    First of, I love your nickname and title. When I first read the first two sentence of your query I took it as he's been suicide thought free for 19 months and then he started dating Mia and his progress disappeared. Could just be me though. your entry left me wanting more! You would benefit greatly from a longer query. I love the voice in your 250!

    -Jenna-Lynne Duncan
    "A Pirate's Life for Me" ⚓️

    ReplyDelete
  5. Broadway -
    I liked the theatrical tie-in in the query with '...her real life has more drama than Les Miserable.' While reading the query, I'm assuming Cadence wants to sing on Broadway because of the following line '...makes avoiding the elimination rounds harder than hitting a perfect high F.' But, when the excerpt opens, Cadence compares the way she feels to pirouetting without spotting and she's carrying a dance bag. If Cadence is competing as a dancer and a singer, I think clarifying that in the query would be helpful. One other quibble, if Melody is the cast member referred to in the final paragraph of the query, let us know -- otherwise I think you can cut her name. I really liked the opening of the excerpt -- the way you place the reader in a 'pre-show' head space.

    Fun Friday -
    In the query, I had a problem with the idea that having a girlfriend would solve Jake's mental health issues. I can see it contributing to his sense of connection and well-being, but you might want to considering tweaking the opening paragraph. It was unclear to me how Jake could have caused Mia's illness and if there's some sort of link, I think spelling it out would help. In the first 250, I liked the way the prose sucked me into the mc's mindset, but it may not be the best place to begin -- since it's all internal dialogue.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Okay it just deleted my comment so I'm gonna have to retype it:

    Broadway: I like the way you worded things, almost dramatically, especially the "Stepmonster" part. But near the end of the hook I was wondering if there was something in Cadence's life that DIDN'T go wrong. But I think the Les Miserables reference made me feel a little be easier about it. I was a bit confused near the end, on whether her sister has a big part to play in the book, because you mention the cancer comes back, but that's it. As well as I'm not entirely sure WHY she wants to be a broadway star. What's her motivation? I think it's well written, but it lacks a few questions.

    Fun Friday--

    I had the same issue as Peggy about the girlfriend. I think that perhaps if the nature of Mia and Jake's relationship is shown through more, it would show how they help each other and how he got over his mental health issues. I also wonder why he'd think that he caused her POTS. I do like the opening paragraph of the first 250 words, I think it's really strong and I relate due to having had to do college essays just a year ago! Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Broadway Baby - This sounds like a fast-paced, fun story. Your query was strong, but I almost felt a little bogged down in ALL the things your MC wanted. Maybe you can just zone in on the really crucial ones. The voice in your 250 was good. I loved the feeling of the first paragraph.

    Friday - Your query was fine, but your 250 were amazing. The voice, the passion, all of it. It made my heart beat a little faster. I loved it. I'm wondering about the stakes in your query though. Depression isn't something that gets turned off and on like that, so I wonder if you could maybe specify exactly what his life would lose if he lost his girlfriend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Broadway Baby
    - I love competitions. And the personal matters give this a nice balance for the show. The energy of the beginning is charming.
    Fun Friday My Ass
    - Tough situations. And the snarky beginning makes it clear that this won’t be a cheap exploit. Real feelings and no tricks. I like it.
    Connie

    ReplyDelete
  9. BROADWAY BABY
    Your query is engaging and clear. The last paragraph could use some work, though. Your sentences could be more concise.

    I’m not a fan of the narrator addressing the audience and most agents/editors frown upon it. You’ve give the reader a nice sense of setting, but I’m not sure you started this in the right place.

    FUN FRIDAY MY ASS
    First off, the nickname drew me right in. From that and the first 250, I can tell you have a lot of spunk, but I don’t see any of that in the query. It’s bland and clearly you have the skills to do better.

    I can tell you the same thing as BROADWAY BABY about addressing the narrator. You could argue that this is a different type of narration because this is meant to be a letter to a college admissions board. But I’m reading this, and I’m not on a college admissions board, therefore I feel disconnected from the story immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  10. BROADWAY BABY
    Your query is engaging and clear. The last paragraph could use some work, though. Your sentences could be more concise.

    I’m not a fan of the narrator addressing the audience and most agents/editors frown upon it. You’ve give the reader a nice sense of setting, but I’m not sure you started this in the right place.

    FUN FRIDAY MY ASS
    First off, the nickname drew me right in. From that and the first 250, I can tell you have a lot of spunk, but I don’t see any of that in the query. It’s bland and clearly you have the skills to do better.

    I can tell you the same thing as BROADWAY BABY about addressing the narrator. You could argue that this is a different type of narration because this is meant to be a letter to a college admissions board. But I’m reading this, and I’m not on a college admissions board, therefore I feel disconnected from the story immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Broadway Baby

    QUERY: I love the first paragraph. You pack in a lot of info and yet it reads very smoothly. I think it’s because your word choice is so concise i.e. stepmonster, drained, cancer free. The second paragraph should start without the “so” otherwise it feels too casual. In the third paragraph, again, you use great descriptive and concise word choices such as “claw her way to the top.” Nice. When you get to the sabotaging bit, it comes out of left field and doesn’t streamline as well as the rest of your query. Either use a stronger transition or get rid of it. Otherwise this was super easy to read!

    250: Wow, love this. The first line captivated me. Immediately I felt like I was hearing the voice of the main character. Also, you instantly bring up the magic of theatre, which is perfect for this query. Check some of your punctuation. I’m not an expert but it might be worth an extra look. Otherwise, this is awesome.

    Fun Friday My Ass

    QUERY: Oh man, this one is intense! You lay the story out clearly. It’s very readable. One question that struck me was how could he cause Mia’s illness? Immediately, I’m thinking STD and I’m not sure that’s what you’re getting at… so it might be worth explaining that more. Also, it would be helpful to explain POTS so that we understand the nature of her illness. I really like your premise but it would help to have more voice infused into the query. What is Jake like? Is he a misfit? I didn’t get a true sense of his character. A couple tweaks and you can add a lot to an already great query!

    250: Oh, this is amazing. I wanted more voice in your query, well, your 250 is drenched in voice! I would read this in a heartbeat. You have me hooked. I love first person narrators when they are heavy in voice like this. (I also like prologues. Sorry prologue-haters but I personally do!) I can completely see Jake now and I can feel his emotion regarding Mia. Also, by starting here with Jake reflecting back on Mia’s college application, I definitely feel a sense of doom as if things are not going to go right for them. For me, it brought about an emotional response while reading.

    I am so glad I don’t have to judge this matchup. These are two of the best entries that I’ve read so far. Counting up the votes, I’m sad to see that Fun Friday My Ass didn’t get the respect it deserves at least IMO. I hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So many helpful bits of advice. I may have lost, but I have gained so much insight into ways that I can improve my query and for that I'm incredibly grateful. To SC, to the judges, and to all the people who shared your feedback. Best of luck to Broadway Baby and my fellow WriterBees!

    ReplyDelete