Sunday, April 24, 2016

#CPfest 2016 Query Critique Day 5 + Special Annoucement

It's submission day! #FicFest is here! 
For more details, check out my posts here and here, and the hostess with the mostest Tiffany Hofman's post here.

Happy #FicFest Day!

Leave it to me to be late to my own giveaway.

Day 5 Critique - Can you Do it Please?

Instead of me offering a query critique, I'm asking you to do one in the hopes of getting your own manuscript mentorship.

Rewrite my PB query (below) and email it to me with the subject line CPFEST CRASH AND SEEK QUERY CRITIQUE CONTEST. I'll choose the best three in order and await mentor results from #Ficfest on MAY 4th. If my choices aren't chosen as PB finalists, I will offer one of them and their submitted manuscript a mentorship as though they were another alternate! This will include 8 weeks of help with pitches, queries, and manuscript to prepare for traditional submissions. I will also include a list of agents that take PB submissions!

HURRY! I'm only taking submissions for this special giveaway through the #FicFest Submission window!


Dear best agent in the world:

Mattie and John are playing hide and seek but the storm outside is loud and scary. The lights go out and they don’t know if they should keep playing or stop and ask mom for dinner. There are lots of fun hiding places, and the storm is making lots of fun sounds like crashes, booms, and bangs. Maybe they can make similar sounds in their game?

Crash and seek is a picture book submission with about 800 words in the manuscript. It is similar to Chicka Chicka boom boom, and will be as famous as Harry Potter! I don’t have illistrations but I’m sure you could help me find someone to create my vision before we send it to publishers.

I am a writer and have been for about five years. My family says this is a perfect and fun book that any child would love to read. If you have any questions, please feel free to calll me at xxx-xxx-xxxx. I just know you’ll love it since I read on your personal website that you love thunder storms.

Sincerely,
Emily M.



Also, CPSeek is still happening! All #CPFest posts for PB writers will be in the comments on last Monday's post. You are welcome to comment however you like, though if you are specifically searching for a CP, you should make sure to include your critiquing style, maybe some favorite authors of yours, what sort of critique you are looking for, etc. You don't have to be entering Ficfest to post in the #CPFest. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

#CPfest 2016 Query Critique Day 4 (#1)

Are you getting excited about #FicFest? I know I am! In honor of this first annual manuscript contest, a few of the mentors (incluyendome a mi) are giving away a query critique each day leading up to submission day (that's April 24th guys, as in a day from now!) I'm behind this week, so I'll actually post two today! Be sure to check out the second one for a special #FicFest announcement! For more details, check out my posts here and here, and the hostess with the mostest Tiffany Hofman's post here.

Happy #FicFest Eve!

Day 4 #QueryHelper Critique


First thoughts: This one has a good length, if a bit long but her self paragraph is a tad longer then some. That's a good thing!

Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Alice Burton is looking forward to college, but she doesn’t know how she is going to pay for it. [EM1] Getting passed over for the National Developmental Lacrosse Team means less exposure to coaches and scholarships, but Alice can handle that[EM2] . Things escalate when she discovers her father, a local celebrity, has gambled away her senior year tuition. If she can’t find a way to pay it she will be forced to transfer to the local public school, which doesn’t have lacrosse, and a college scholarship will truly be out of reach.

Alice focuses on figuring out her future, but thanks to her recent weight loss, everyone else is focused on her figure. When hot, twenty-something Chris Thompson checks her out she feels powerful, but when her dad’s friend, thirty-something, pro-athlete Karl Bean leers [EM3] at her, Alice realizes her new body comes with considerable risks.[EM4]  While she’s busy trying to convince Chris Thompson that she’s not too young for him, Karl Bean steps in to pay her tuition. [EM5] Chris wants her to expose Karl but Alice can’t afford to lose his monetary support. Alienated from her friends and family, she must find a way to protect her body, her tuition money, her future and her heart.[EM6] 


This is my first novel. I have a degree in English from George Mason University and I majored in Fiction Writing at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. When I’m not writing, I work in the admission office of a private school where I talk to high school students every day about books they love and issues that are important to them.[EM7] 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Jamie Beth C.


 [EM1]Great hook, but I sort of want to know something special about Alice.
 [EM2]This downplays the tension of being passed over for the NDLT. Maybe remove this and combine with the next one? Something like, “Getting passed over for the National Developmental Lacrosse Team is bad enough, but then she discovers that her local-celeb dad has gambled away the tuition for her private school senior year.”
 [EM3]This seems threatening. Maybe try a different word that sounds more racy.
 [EM4]This feel formal for a high school mind set. Maybe write it differently?
 [EM5]There’s a disconnect in the two parts of this sentence. I expected Karl Bean to make a move before offering the tuition cost, or a sentence about how he expects another form of loan repayment. Give us more of the MCs feelings within the vocab you use in the query, a little spunk or something.
 [EM6]I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this stakes sentence.
 [EM7]The last two paragraphs are great!

Final thoughts: This query has a few confusing spots and needs a bit more tension, but the well-written stakes sentence almost cancels that. With a bit of rewriting, this query is ready for the big time.

Thank you Jamie for trusting me with your work!


The rafflecopter picks have already been chosen, but I may or may not have a little surprise coming later on today. So keep coming back to critique #2 today and connect with me on twitter for the announcement!

All #PCFest posts for PB writers will be in the comments on Monday's post. You are welcome to comment however you like, though if you are specifically searching for a CP, you should make sure to include your critiquing style, maybe some favorite authors of yours, what sort of critique you are looking for, etc. You don't have to be entering Ficfest to post in the #CPFest. 

Come on back tomorrow for our next #CPFest critique!

Friday, April 22, 2016

#CPfest 2016 Query Critique Day 3

Are you getting excited about #FicFest? I know I am! In honor of this first annual manuscript contest, a few of the mentors (incluyendome a mi) are giving away a query critique each day leading up to submission day (that's April 24th guys, as in a day!) For more details, check out my posts here and here, and the hostess with the mostest Tiffany Hofman's post here.




When Friday strikes and you volunteer to help at your daughter's private school's auction and get roped into clean up crew, you post at nearly midnight.....

Day 3 #QueryHelper Critique


First thoughts: Great length of query (a common theme in CPFest critiques, so bravo all of you!), though its broken down into littler paragraphs. We'll see if that is necessary.


As fear rips the world apart[EM2] , Allisane and Damien will sacrifice everything to protect their people. The problem? They’re on opposite sides.[EM3] 


Captain Damien Ardeo, common born and uncommonly advanced[EM5] , will do anything to prevent war between the men of fire and flight. But with every winged horse trained, the light-wielding Ӕleders threaten his people’s very existence. [EM6] His Emperor spurs the conflict. His nobility preys on their own subjects. Who truly deserves his protection?[EM7] 




Sincerely,
Rachel C.






 [EM1]Wonderful opening, J


 [EM2]This feels a little vague. Can you be a tad more specific to add to your hook?


 [EM3]I think this whole paragraph could work as a hook if it was written a tad differently with more specifics.


 [EM4]I had to read this several times to understand it, I think because of all the pronouns. Then you throw in Imperial Corps below and I don’t know whose side their on? Maybe bring up the fire vs. flight races sooner will help us sort out the problems sooner? Make it clearer which side each of your MCs are one and what they stand to lose.


 [EM5]What does advanced mean? Intelligent? Programmed? Good fire power?


 [EM6]This almost seems like the eleders train the horses? Is that right?


 [EM7]This almost seems like he’s uncertain of how right his side of the conflict is. If that’s the case, make it more clear and use it to add tension to your query. What is he questioning and does he consider switching sides? What holds him back? This doesn't all have to be included in the query, but these questions can help you with the stakes for this character.


 [EM8]While I understand that the stakes are which side of war will win, I’m not invested or rooting for either one. Also, no where in this query do we know if Allisane and Damien meet or end up working together, or if there is a connection there. If you use the connection in your opening hook, I’d almost want to see it in the stakes wrap up too. Bring it full circle.


 [EM9]Great comps here.


 [EM10]Great self info!

Final thoughts: This query is a little confusing because there is a lot going on and we aren't grounded in the world and don't completely understand the sides. Also, I want to know if there is more of a connection between the MCs and how that plays out. Don't despair with all my suggestions. Use what works for you and your novel.

Thank you Rachel for trusting me with your work!


The rafflecopter picks have already been chosen, but I may or may not have a little surprise coming on tomorrow. So keep coming back to these critiques and connect with me on twitter for the announcement.

All #PCFest posts for PB writers will be in the comments on Monday's post. You are welcome to comment however you like, though if you are specifically searching for a CP, you should make sure to include your critiquing style, maybe some favorite authors of yours, what sort of critique you are looking for, etc. You don't have to be entering Ficfest to post in the #CPFest. 

Come on back tomorrow for our next #CPFest critique!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#CPfest 2016 Query Critique (Belated) Day 2

Are you getting excited about #FicFest? I know I am! In honor of this first annual manuscript contest, a few of the mentors (incluyendome a mi) are giving away a query critique each day leading up to submission day (that's April 25th guys, its sooooo soon!) For more details, check out my posts here and here, and the hostess with the mostest Tiffany Hofman's post here.



Technical difficulties means this one is running a tad late, but here is....

Day 2 #QueryHelper Critique

First thoughts: Great length of query and simple, straight forward salutation, if a little funny.

Dear Wise Mentors:

As an unregistered dream spy, [C1] Delania Mather knows the danger in marrying someone she can’t trust. [C2] Every night, she drinks tinctures to send her into a deep sleep that will suppress her abilities. Without the herbs, the dreams of her family, friends and neighbors would invade her mind. She’d see their fears and desires, and they just might recognize her presence there, which would be dangerous for someone who hasn’t registered her psychic ability. [C3] Yet, medicating herself unconscious every night would make her husband suspicious – if she agreed to marry anyone.

Unsure how to wiggle free from an impending proposal and protect her family from the punishment of being unregistered[C4] , Delania boards a ship destined for the Fog, an all-encompassing entity that induces madness when sailors pass through it. She survives the madness desperate to return home[C5] , but the ship is attacked by an enemy fleet from a war-mongering nation. She expects to be held captive, but the King welcomes[C6]  her into the political intrigue of his court, inviting her to spy on his people’s dreams for his own gain. [C7] Agreeing could mean accepting the exploitation she spent her whole life hiding from, but appeasing the King could also be her ticket home.[C8] 

DREAM SPY is an 88,000-word YA fantasy that can best be described as REIGN with magical abilities to spice up the rivalry and romance. The novel won the 2013 PennWriters Novel Beginnings Contest and will appeal to fans of Maria V. Snyder and Melissa Marr.[C9] 


Thank you for taking the time to consider my request.

Sincerely,


Tamara G.


 [C1]This is a great hook! It makes the read wonder what a dream spy is, why she isn’t registered, and why the society makes dream spies register in the first place.
 [C2]Okay this line makes me immediately think adult fiction, so you might want to add Dalania’s age in this sentence so it settles firmly in the YA category in the mentor/agent/editors mind.
 [C3]This sentence feels a little long. Also, you’ve yet to te us why she’s chosen not to register.
 [C4]So her family can get punished too?
 [C5]This is confusing because she just boarded the ship to get away and know she survives to come back home? Why the change of heart? It may be easier to just say that she gets attached by the enemy fleet while aboard.
 [C6]You do a great job of not giving us too many characters in this query, but I sort of want to know the king’s name.
 [C7]Again, sort of a long sentence with a lot going on.
 [C8]I think the stakes are great, but this sentence lacks tension/urgency. Also, why does she want to go home when she just ran away? Maybe a snippet on that will help make her situation seem more dire.
 [C9]Great specs!
 [C10]Some great things here, but I don’t know what Backspace and Sisters in Crime are so maybe put “writers club” or “writers association” after them so the reader knows.
Final thoughts: This query feels heavy and the stakes need some urgency. BUT it has an intriguing plot and won an award already. I could easily see #FicFest mentors fighting over this one.

Thank you Tamara for trusting me with your work!

If you'd like to get your query under the #QueryHelper's critical eye, be sure to check out this post and enter the rafflecopter giveaway for you chance to be chosen! 

All #PCFest posts for PB writers will be in the comments on Monday's post. You are welcome to comment however you like, though if you are specifically searching for a CP, you should make sure to include your critiquing style, maybe some favorite authors of yours, what sort of critique you are looking for, etc. You don't have to be entering Ficfest to post in the #CPFest. 

Come on back tomorrow for our next #CPFest critique!