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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 22--Who is Audrey Wickersham?

Title: Who is Audrey Wickersham?
Genre: Horror/paranormal




REVISION 3

Audrey Wickersham loves books, horror movies and anything supernatural, and she's finally decided to try her first spell. She heads to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye, to find the perfect one. She encounters Agnes, the old Gypsy who offers to create a custom spell for her in the Annex. Audrey is thrilled until she encounters an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai. While messing with the jar they are contained in, a warning shout from Agnes causes her to spill the creatures, allowing them to invade and attack her system.

When she begins to forget basic words in her vocabulary--even her cat--she must tell her overly protective yet devoted father what happened. Their only solution is to confront Agnes, but when they discover Audrey is becoming a zombie, they will try any spell Agnes can come up with to stop it. Audrey's eccentric neighbor volunteers his skills as a nurse, and her best friend proposes an alternate solution in secret. The only problem is she would still have to die.

But Audrey holds a secret of her own. She's developing a taste for humans, and those closest to her are in the most danger. She must decide quickly. Will she go with magick, or death?

WHO IS AUDREY WICKERSHAM? is a young adult horror novel with elements of paranormal and comedy, complete at 64,000 words. It can he opened to a series, and I have already started on the second book.


Revision2

Fifteen year old Audrey Wickersham loves books, horror movies and anything supernatural, and she's finally decided to try her first spell. She heads to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye, to look for the perfect one. She encounters Agnes, the old Gypsy who offers to create a custom spell for Audrey in the Annex. Audrey is thrilled until she encounters an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai. While messing with the jar they are contained in, she is jolted by a warning shout from Agnes, which she responds to by accidentally knocking the jar over, spilling the creatures all over herself, allowing them to invade and attack her system.

When she begins to forget basic words in her vocabulary--even what her cat is--she must tell her overly protective yet devoted father what happened. Their only solution is to confront Agnes. But when they all discover that Audrey is becoming a zombie, they will try any spell that Agnes can come up with to stop it. Audrey's eccentric neighbor Bruce volunteers his skills as a nurse, and her mysterious best friend Kirk offers an alternate solution, proposed in secret to Audrey. The only problem is she would still have to die.

But Audrey holds a secret of her own.  She is developing a taste for humans, and those closest to her are in the most danger. She must decide quickly. Will she go with magick, or will she go with death?

Revision1
Fifteen year old Audrey Wickersham has finally decided to try a spell.  She heads to her favorite hang-out,The Magick Eye, where she encounters Agnes, an old Gypsy woman who is the creator of all things magical for the shop.  She offers Audrey a personalized spell, made in an area of the shop previously unknown to Audrey called the annex.  Audrey is thrilled until she finds herself victim to an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai, which she seemed to be drawn to the moment she stepped foot into the annex.  She is attacked by the creatures and is unable to defend herself.

She is immediately faced with confronting her overly protective yet devoted father, along with their eccentric friend Bruce, with what’s happened to her.  Once they are convinced that she is transforming into something they don’t understand—something not human—Audrey will have to decide if she is willing to fight against the consequences of the attack using the skills of those willing to help, or if she will choose another option entirely, proposed to her secretly by her best friend Kirk.

But Audrey still holds a secret of her own.  She is developing a taste for humans, and those closest to her are in the most danger.  She must decide quickly.  Will she do what everyone is expecting of her, or will she lie and do the unexpected?

Original
Audrey Wickersham loves books, horror movies and anything supernatural.  This is what has driven her to try out a spell, which brings her to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye.  On this particular day she meets Agnes, the old Gypsy woman who makes all of the spells for the shop over in another area (unknown to Audrey until this time) called the annex.  Audrey is thrilled until she finds herself victim to an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai, which she seemed to be drawn to the moment she stepped foot into the annex.  She is attacked by the creatures, which changes her life forever.

She is thrown into an unimaginable situation, along with her overly protective yet devoted father, her mysterious best friend Kirk and her eccentric neighbor Bruce.  With all of their help, Audrey will have to decide if she is going to try and live through her attack and all of the consequences that come along with it, or if she will choose another, more unconventional option, proposed to her secretly by Kirk. 

But Audrey still holds a secret.  She is developing a taste for humans, and those closest to her are in the most danger.  She must decide quickly.  Will she do what everyone is expecting of her, or will she lie and do the unexpected?

23 comments:

Mark Koopmans said...

Hi,

Enjoyed this query - a lot. You have some rick characters and I loved Audrey's twist at the end.

One comment. Perhaps tighten the sentence that begins, "With all of their help, Audrey will have to decide..."

Good luck!

Suzi said...

I liked that twist at the end too--developing that taste for humans.

I think you have a lot of details you don't need, and you need to add details to parts that are too vague.

I would scrap the first half of the 1st paragraph, which sorta seems like a setup we don't need. The important part is the parasite which affects her.

These are the sentences I find vague:
-which changes her life forever.
-She is thrown into an unimaginable situation,
and all of the consequences that come along with it,
-or if she will choose another, more unconventional option

What are the changes in her life? What is the unimaginable situation? What are the consequences and the unconventional option?

The agent will want to know those things because that's what'll set your story apart from others.

Good luck.

Huntress said...

I would make some stylist changes. But most of my suggestions are purely due to taste, I think.

‘…changes her life forever…’ is one of those clich├ęd terms used way too often.

The first paragraph introduces us to Audrey, the Magick Eye, Agnes, the annex, and Zomorwai. The second to a father, best friend, and neighbor. That is a lotta meetin’ and greetin’.

Darn I like this query very much. Due to time limits and many more query crits to go, I can’t go into specifics about the stylistic changes I would make. Drat.

Sara Shrieves said...

Thank you very much! I will absolutely take your advice. :)

Sara Shrieves said...

Okay wow this is definitely a lot of amazingly good advice! I have a lot to do now, ha ha. Thank you so much!

Sara Shrieves said...

Now I will always he wondering! :) I will take the advice you gave me though, thank you so much!

Sara Shrieves said...

I just have one question for all of you, overall. I would be giving away a major plot point of the book (a couple actually) if I answered most of the questions. Is that okay?? I know this would be for an agent, and you of course want to create interest for them in the book. I just wasn't sure if you wanted to give away TOO much. Thank you so much for your help!

Huntress said...

Some agents don't want to know too much. but I think you can tease w/o giving away a major turning point.
To me, the 'tease' is hidden in Too Much Information.

mshatch said...

Before looking at what anyone else had to say, here's what I think:
1. Re: "This is what has driven her to try out a spell, which brings her to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye." What spell? Where did she find this spell?
2. Just say Annex and label it as a place Audrey is unfamiliar with: this will make it more interesting for everyone :)
3. How does being attacked by the Zomorwai change Audrey's life? Be specific.
4. Again, be specific about the unimaginable situation. Don't be shy!
5. Tell the agent about the 'unconventional option.' This is Audrey's choice, her defining moment.

And good luck!

Charity Bradford said...

Hm, I'm going to do a pull from both queries of parts I feel are important. You'll have to make it look and sound nice, but maybe it will give you another way of looking at it.

Fifteen year old Audrey Wickersham loves books, horror movies and anything supernatural, and she's finally decided to try a spell. She heads to her favorite hang-out,The Magick Eye, where *the old Gypsy woman offers Audrey a personalized spell made in the annex. Audrey is thrilled until she finds herself victim to an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai, which she seemed to be drawn to the moment she stepped foot into the annex. (This last sentence is really long and unwieldy. 'finds' is telling, and why is she drawn to the Zomorwai. Does she go close to them and then get attacked, or is it more sinister. Did the Gypsy woman take her back so they would attack Audrey? This is something that needs to be clear.)

All of paragraph 2 is so vague I'm not sure what's important. What is the consequence of the attack? Is there a physical change obvious to them? Is she a bloody mess or just something changing inside? Why wouldn't she fight to live? And I think you need to spell out Kirk's proposal if it is part of the choice she has to make.

But Audrey still holds a secret of her own. She is developing a taste for humans, and those closest to her are in the most danger. (awesome two sentences!) She must decide quickly. Will she do what everyone is expecting of her, or will she lie and do the unexpected? (vague again)

Sara Shrieves said...

Okay I am going to completely try and re-do the second paragraph then. I thought MAYBE this second time around it would be a little less vague but I guess not huh? lol

I wish I had all of you to speak to in person! That would also make this so much better. Anyway, I will be trying again for the rest of the day and checking back for more critiques! Thank you so much Charity! Oh and mshatch! :)

Charity Bradford said...

We should look into some kind of Chat room. Thanks for the idea Sara, and keep trying. Queries are HARD and you are on the right track. Half the battle is being able to share it and ask for feedback. You'll get there. ;)

Sara Shrieves said...

I submitted the second revision! Hopefully it comes across as less vague. I do have to stick with not giving away too much about Kirk though. Man this is HARD! Thank you all of you again for the time you are taking to do this. This is such an awesome opportunity. I sincerely appreciate it.

Huntress said...

Revision #2:
IMO, edit this line,"While messing with the jar they are contained in, she is jolted by a warning shout from Agnes, which she responds to by accidentally knocking the jar over, spilling the creatures all over herself, allowing them to invade and attack her system."

to "A warning shout from Agnes causes Audrey to accidentally spill the creatures and allow them to invade and attack her system."

Also the phrase '...they will try any spell that Agnes can come up with to stop it" seems a bit clunky but I can't nail down the problem.

At 245 words, your query could still use a trim job.

Sara Shrieves said...

Okay I got it down to 215 words, and I edited it using some of your points Huntress, as well as Carol's, which were great. Is 215 okay??

Sara Shrieves said...

Okay when I said "Carol" I meant Charity. :)

Huntress said...

*snicker* well you never know. Maybe we are one and the same.

YO! Charity! Do you forgive her or what?

Charity Bradford said...

:D Of course! I did have you Huntress and Carol confused for at least a year. Mwuhahahaha! how's that for adding to the confusion? At least if I'm getting confused with someone it's you. I'll take that as a compliment.

Sara Shrieves said...

Well it definitely is! Ha ha. :)

mshatch said...

What about this:

Fifteen year old Audrey Wickersham loves anything supernatural so when she finally decides to try her first spell, she heads to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye. There she encounters Agnes, the old Gypsy, who offers to create a custom spell for her in the Annex. (need to say what the Annex is, another world? Another dimension? A magic kingdom? A rumour?) Audrey is thrilled until she encounters an ancient parasite called the Zomorwai, which instantly attack and invade her system.

Sara Shrieves said...

What if I just leave "the annex" out completely? So it would read like this: Audrey Wickersham loves books, horror movies and anything supernatural, and she's finally decided to try her first spell. She heads to her favorite hang out, The Magick Eye, to find the perfect one. She encounters Agnes, the old Gypsy who offers to create a custom spell for her. Audrey is thrilled until she encounters an ancient yet totally disgusting parasite called the Zomorwai. While messing with the jar they are contained in, a warning shout from Agnes causes her to spill the creatures, allowing them to invade and attack her system.

I just think it's causing too much confusion (and frustration on my end) to keep it in because I can't use enough words to describe it properly! It's just another area of the shop that Audrey didn't know about before lol. So I think leaving it out completely would be best. Any thoughts?

Charity Bradford said...

That would be the easiest solution and you won't lose anything from the query by doing that.

Sara Shrieves said...

Okay great! Thank you Charity. :)