Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXXVII

November 16th, 2011 • Kate

gillianjacobs117063392-419x629Some unforgetable shoes for T.P. — although I may have already posted them once, I can’t remember. (See what I did there?) Continuing the theme, here’s today’s About My Query post:

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

A first love is hard to forget. Luckily for Liz Wagner hers moves away, but when his grandmother is diagnosed with dementia and is unable to live alone, he returns.

Zach is back. Who cares? Liz certainly doesn’t. Until Zach starts showing up everywhere even rekindling the bromance of video games with her brother. Now she cares. It’s official. Zach is out to ruin her life. Ugh!

While Liz deals with the emotional turmoil of a first love returned, a real tragedy strikes at her brothers college, causing her to lean on the one person she has been desperately trying to avoid.

She needs Zach more than ever. Even if she just thinks of him as a ride to get her to the hospital. But once there he becomes the glue keeping her from falling apart and makes her wonder… is it possible for two people to change yet still be perfect for each other?

And once the dust settles and the world is right again, will she be brave enough to open her heart to the boy who ripped it out?

Displaced Hearts is a 60,000 word contemporary young adult novel that explores love, loss and rediscovery. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

T.P.

First of all, I think this would start off stronger with “Your first love is hard to forget”, instead of the more general “A first love.” And why is is lucky for Liz that hers moves away — the usual assumption about someone you love would be that you’d want them to stick around. That being said, was it a deliberate choice to contrast the “hard to forget” line with Zach’s grandmother’s dementia? I think a lot of readers would see that and think you’re making a pun about memory.

The next paragraph is way too choppy, and the one line that doesn’t feel so is weirdly long or incorrectly punctuated. Moving on, you’ve got several more short paragraphs that I think would be better combined into one, longer one — even if that means losing some details. And speaking of details, I think you should be more specific about the tragedy that strikes. It’s obvious that it affects Liz’s brother, else why is she at the hospital regularly? You should say so.

I’m also wary of too many questions. I like “Is it possible for two people to change yet still be perfect for each other?”, but am less enamored of “will she be brave enough to open her heart to the boy who ripped it out?” When you combine those with “Who cares?” in the second paragraph, it’s about two too many.

Otherwise, though, it looks good! What do my brilliant blog readers think?

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3 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXXVII”

  1. Amy Sonnichsen Says:

    I'm definitely not brilliant with queries, but I think it would be good to make it abundantly clear in the first paragraph that this boy broke her heart. This wasn't obvious to me (maybe it should have been) and so I spent most of the query confused and re-reading. I hope this helps! The plot of your book sounds very interesting!
    Best of luck!

  2. Deserae Says:

    I actually like this a lot, although I wonder if the second to last paragraph is necessary. I like the idea of that start, "And once the dust settles and the world is right again…" but the ending of that sentence seems implied in conjunction with the rest of the query. I'd consider removing this paragraph— I don't feel its subtraction will take away from what you have.

    And though I don't want to tamper with the tone of this or the ideals expressed, the second paragraph doesn't feel quite right. I don't know if it's my own distaste for rhetorical questions and exclamations in queries, but I feel like there's room for improvement in it somehow. I honestly hate that I can't express what it is about it I'm stuck on. Maybe the "bromance" sentence isn't reading quite right to me or maybe it's something else… But I'd reread it and see if you're absolutely sure there's no other way to express those thoughts. If you're quite sure that this is how it should read, then I believe you because I'm probably over analyzing this, anyway.

    I don't see much here that needs to be changed, though, overall. You summarize your story very well and I feel this is a very good query that gives the reader a good gist of what they're getting into. The story sounds intriguing and different. I wish you the best of luck as you submit!

  3. T.P. Says:

    How did you know my favorite color is purple? I love those shoes. Thank you and everyone for the feedback. I have a lot of revising on my hands.