Here is Tara's Query for her scifi thriller:
[Intro, how I know/heard of you (the agent), etc.]
In 2080 pop travel, laser teleportation, has revolutionized transportation. I absolutely love the idea of traveling in a different way – especially if it’s faster, but if this is scifi I wonder if laser travel is remotely possible? Just asking…scifi geeks can be a picky lot.
Private investigator J. L. Cooper would rather fly. I wonder if there could be a tiny bit more about Cooper here, something to make us like him, root for him. Why would he rather fly? Is that important to the story? Does he have any character traits we might find endearing?
Cooper's latest client
is a desperate character who claims pop travel made his boss disappear. During his investigation, Cooper comes across a slew of similar missing person cases with excessive pop travel as the glaring connection. Cooper must brave his aversion to people and pop travel to investigate the bustling Atlanta Transport Center, a pop travel hub. There he discovers a body and evidence of a deadly pop travel flaw. After his client has a fatal accident and his secretary is kidnapped, Cooper decides he must go directly to the source, the Creator of pop travel, to get resolution. I might name the Creator – especially if the Creator is Cooper’s nemesis.
Mr. Cooper’s activities draw the attention of the FBI causing them to hone in on him. They send attractive, charming Agent Geri Harper to get close to Mr. Cooper and retrieve the evidence. He makes lame attempts to dissuade her, but she sticks with him. I might reword this like this: “Meanwhile, the FBI gets wind of Cooper’s activities and send Agent Geri Harper to get close to him and retrieve the evidence.” I’d also consider naming the evidence. What is it evidence of? And why is the FBI so eager to get their hands on it?
I would want a transitional phrase inserted here, something that shows/tells how/why Cooper and Geri join forces. Together Cooper and Geri confront the Creator who surprises them with plans of his own. And I wonder if this last line might have more punch if it was by itself, like this; “But the Creator has a plan of his own.”
Pop Travel is complete at 70,000 words.
Thank you for your time.
Lastly, I have to say that this sounds like a really fun and futuristic tale. Now, I hope the rest of you will comment and help Tara out with her query. But remember…be kind and be helpful.
Next is Misty's query for her YA High Fantasy:Last but not least I want to reiterate that my purple comments/suggestions are just a single person's opinion. Ultimately it's up the author to decide what works and what doesn't. But the more comments Misty gets from you the better her query will be so please, do add your two cents. Just remember to be helpful, and kind :)
Seventeen-year-old Sloan Reynolds got a new destiny for her birthday that doesn’t include dating or finishing her senior year—an entire realm is awaiting her return, including a king who would prefer she didn’t survive the trip home. ORACLE is a 77,000-word young adult high fantasy. I would probably put the word count at the end of the query.
Sloan has her first vision and passes it off as a simple bout of déjà vu. But when a group of bounty hunting warlocks appear at the steakhouse where she works, Sloan is tossed into a world she never knew existed. Literally. After reading through the first two paragraphs a few times I want to combine them, maybe like this: When seventeen year old Sloan Reynolds has a vision of _____, she passes it off as déjà vu. But when a group of bounty hunting warlocks appear at the steakhouse where she works, Sloan is tossed into a world she never knew existed and before she knows it she's got a whole new destiny, and this one doesn't include dating or finishing her senior year. Instead, she finds an entire realm awaiting her return, including a king who would prefer she didn’t survive the trip home.
Dragged through a portal by the guy she’s been crushing on,
As Sloan comes to terms with her new destiny, she discovers
I think this sounds like a very interesting tale but a few things could make it even more enticing to an agent. If Sloan is an orphan I'd say so - orphans are always interesting - and I'd also make more mention of her visions as it sounds like these may be important - unharnessed powers perhaps? I'd also like to know if she's in this alone, or if the exiled prince/crush and her best friend are going to help her out.
And if you want more of your queries critiqued, send them along to: email@example.com with 'unicorn bell query' in the subject line and we can play this game again next month - unless you'd rather do something else?