Query Critique 46

There is very little actual critique on this query, as it’s already very polished. I think it’s important for writers to be able to see really good queries as well, to have a model to work off of.

Dear Kyra Nelson,

Thirteen-year-old Stevie Blake shoots lightning at 1.21 gigawatts a bolt. I like this opening! Very specific about what makes the character unique. He supercharges iPhones into iDuds just by touching them. He even flies. (Landing is a whole different story.) Good voice.

But in less than thirty days, he won’t exist. I know this is set apart for emphasis, but I’d almost like to see it at the end of the first paragraph, because I think it would really tie the paragraph together. That’s pretty nitpicky, though.

His dad’s former sidekick, Artimus Smiles, has stolen a time machine and is using it to alter history. Suddenly, the good people of Summer Springs can’t remember a time when Smiles wasn’t the richest and most powerful Remarkable around, and they barely remember Stevie.

In the name of the greater good, Stevie breaks a few of the Superhero Handbook ™ rules to find out what’s going on. Unfortunately, breaking-and-entering isn’t legal, not even when spying on a super villain wanna-be. Neither is stealing a Memory Serum so that Stevie’s cousins remember him. Destroying the robot protecting the serum practically guarantees Stevie a life sentence, but he soon uncovers a connection between his dad’s past and Smiles’ present. A sinister connection, straight from a comic book, that could zap Stevie’s shot at a future.

But time is against Stevie, literally. His powers are weakening, he’s fading from pictures, and he could disappear any day. He has to travel in time, Marty McFly style, and stop Smiles from erasing him from existence, even if it means altering history himself. Over all, I think this query is very strong. I would maybe like it to be a little more clear on what exactly Smiles (I love that the bad guy is named Smiles of all things) is doing that’s causing Stevie to disappear. Overall, though, great voice, conflict, and stakes. All the important elements of the query are there.

THE REMARKABLE STEVIE BLAKE AND THE TIME TRAVELER is a 68,000 word upper middle grade novel with series potential. It will appeal to fans of Matthew Cody’s Powerless and John David Anderson’s Sidekicked. Italicize the comparative titles. I hold a BFA in Creative Writing, but unfortunately I possess no superpowers. Thank you for your time and consideration.

R.E. Markable

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