Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wed & Writing: Back to the Query

Okay, guys I'd planned on doing a post where I showed you a table I made to deal with editorial letters or paragraph form critiques, because it helped me a lot. But I'm still obsessing over the Phantom Fires query, so I thought I would post it again and post the table next week.

This is in the MC's pov. I'll change it to third person if people think the content works this time. When I change it to 3rd person, I'll include her name and age.

Dear Agent,
Violent blue and orange flames leaped from the ground swallowing Laurent. I watched powerless to help. With each passing second my heart tore more. My connection to him was stronger than it had been in years. I'd had this dream before. I just had to wait for it to end. Except, my big sister came through the door and shrieked at the sight of Laurent burning, me on my knees watching it and in bed staring at both a desperate me and a burning Laurent. Turns out it was no dream. I domair. It means I can live in two moments at once, the present and either the future or the past—Laurent's fire, the future.

Laurent's my next door neighbor and former best friend. We were inseparable until four years ago when he randomly turned on me and went to the dark side. Now we just fight, but things are changing. I went to an ice cream shop with another guy. Laurent and his girlfriend were there. He looked up, saw me with Damian, and Laurent lost his mind. He says he's protecting me, that Damian's dangerous. There is more to it than that. Even if he were just warning me to keep me safe, it doesn't seem like he'd be so aggressive about it. I'm beginning to understand Laurent loves me, what I don't understand is what he's hiding, why he can't just tell me how he knows Damian and why Damian won't tell me either. I must find out, because what these boys are hiding—it's connected to the domair. To the fire that will steal Laurent. If I'm going to save Laurent, I must know the secret they share.

Beth Fred is a member of yalitchat, and SCBWI. She maintains a blog and has written for an online magazine. Phantom Fires, a young adult paranormal romance, is complete at 90,000 words.


  1. I still love your blog over here, it's so super cute! Not to mention I just noticed the face on the top right hand corner (very cool and creative).

    You know what I think about the query!!! You're definitely getting better! Polishing is key :)

  2. You know it's funny that I blogged about querying from your MC's POV today. I almost think this reads too much from her POV. The first paragraph reads more like an opening to a book than a query. I think you need to pull back a little bit. There's too much play by play in the first paragraph that isn't necessary. I want to know the MC's name and her big problem. You don't need all the details you have in that first paragraph. I say try switching it to third person. It may point out places that are doing too much telling.

  3. This is a vast improvement over the earlier ones I read. i love the 1st person POV. Seems like it helped you clarify the things that you needed to say.

  4. I like the query, but I'm not an agent. I know a lot of agents say they don't like receiving query letters written in character. So, that's something to consider. Good luck with the process!
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