Query Critique 11

So I’m legitimately going to start calling these Kyratiques. Mostly because I’m vain, and I like the idea of having my own hash tag. Orange comments.


Dear Kyra Nelson,

Blood Reign All caps is a YA fantasy novel complete at 78,000 words, that will appeal to fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. Italicize titles of comparative books.

Seventeen-year-old Alice never considered herself the suicidal type. That is until she finds herself trapped between the men who killed her mother, this comma shouldn’t be here. Is there a comma here because you don’t want it to sound like the men also killed the five-hundred-foot drop? Maybe rephrase to “finds herself trapped between her mother’s killers and a five-hundred-foot drop.” and a five-hundred-foot drop. Rather than face the killers’ dark plans for her, Alice jumps. But instead of death, Alice wakes up in a blood-soaked battlefield, where men in armour American spelling is armor are slaughtering peasants.How does she know they are peasants if this world is so unfamiliar? Terrified, she flees and encounters a seer who believes she is destined to save this unfamiliar world from the evil queen, this comma should not be here either. But maybe consider capitalizing queen throughout, since you use it as a proper noun. and the tyranny of her army.

Alice doubts she can save anyone. Disguised as a man, Why is she disguised as a man? So far we’ve had no clue from the query why this would be necessary to save Wonderland. Alice must survive the war between the queen and rebels, and the flesh-eating monsters stalking Wonderland. This sentence is structured so that I’m not sure if the flesh-eating monsters are part of the war or just something else to survive. Her growing lust for vengeance Establish why she has a lust for vengeance. Make it clear what the queen has done to make her so mad. makes her determined to find her way home. As Wonderland falls into chaos, Alice discovers slaying monsters might have its price–being hailed as a hero–or becoming a monster herself. This is a good clincher.

The Wonderlander

So here’s a thought about grammar and punctuation. I minored in editing in college, and I definitely notice things like missing commas when I read. On the other hand, I don’t consider myself the grammar police, and I’m not totally turned off from a query just because somebody misuses a comma.

However, if I start noticing a lot of little grammar errors, or one big one, it can be a little distracting. For something as short as a query letter, I suggest finding a friend who’s good with the language to help it get cleaned up.



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