Query Critique 89

Dear (agent name here),

I am seeking representation for NO STRANGERS TO LOVE, a 40,000-word YA mystery set on a deserted island. This is a little on the short side for YA.

After witnessing the suicide of a peer, seventeen-year-old Leighton Cross moves to New York City to escape from her past. Her ex-boyfriend, Elijah Aarons, who also witnessed the suicide, catches up to her two years after to tell her that he is being blackmailed about the suicide. Based on the timeline, this sounds like it’s bordering on being NA rather than YA. Shortly after, Leighton finds she is being blackmailed, too. The two decide to run away, but their plane crashes. Leighton and Elijah make it to an island which occupied by “the community”– a group of plane crash survivors that have been inhabiting the island, some even for decades. While attempting to survive, Leighton must sort through her feelings for Elijah and figure out who is the anonymous blackmailer that is on the island with them. I’m feeling a little bit of a disconnect between the blackmail and the  plane crash. Make the connection clearer, because right now they almost feel like separate plots. If Leighton is to survive, she must learn to trust no one because not everything is as it seems. I think you can make these stakes a little more specific than “not trust anyone” and they’d be stronger. Overall, I’d say you could be a little more clear in describing the conflict and exactly what’s going on.

I have self-published three books on Amazon. I am savvy with social networking, and I am also a member of the National Junior Honor Society at my school. I believe I am the write This is either misspelled or ineffective wordplay. person to write this because I have experienced many of the emotions the characters struggle with throughout the story. I also believe I have crafted a unique plot with a twisted, stunning ending. I don’t think you need these last two sentences. Let the story speak for itself.

The first three chapters of my manuscript are pasted below. Note that the Epilogue is supposed to come first in order to build suspense for the surprise ending. Thank you very much for your consideration.

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