Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Workshop Wednesday

Thanks to all of your contributions, Workshop Wednesday has been a success. We're going to continue on with it for as long as we have entries and the energy to comment on them. If you haven't yet submitted but are still interested, don't be afraid to participate as per the guidelines in our original post.

For anyone wanting to comment, we ask that you comment in a polite and respectful manner, and we ask that you be as constructive as possible. If you can be useful to the brave souls who submitted their query and comment on the query, that's great. Please keep any anonymous tirades on publishing or other snarky comments to yourself. This is and should remain an open and safe forum for people to put themselves and their queries out there so that everyone can learn. I'm leaving comments open and open to anonymous posters, as I always have; don't make me feel the need to change that policy.

And for those who have never "met" Query Shark, get over there and do that. She's the originator of the query critique, the queen, if you will.

Dear Query Shark,

Well. It is certainly interesting to know who else you’re querying, but now I feel like you haven’t done enough research to know that I’m not her.

I am contacting you because I believe I cannot get enough help for my query, I will probably learn how to write better and someone might even fall over laughing at my mistakes while reading your blog. And now for the real query…

I feel sorry for you now.

Collin Wyle is seduced and carried into the depths of hell by a beautiful woman. Her horrific shriek awakens him in his bed in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat, his skin burning from the heat. Collin has been having what he calls ‘intense’ dreams for months now, with little help from doctors, pills and alcohol.

When he dreams of an acquaintance who is battling for her own life and her children from their abusive father, he decides to take matters into his own hands. The following day he sees the local news discussing the facts… from his dream. He then realizes, these are not dreams, but real life events. He has influence in the lives of others, the ability to help them or harm them. But at what cost?

This is a thriller. Tell me what is going to thrill me. The real gut of this story is Collin’s ability to receive premonitions in his sleep and then use them to help or harm others. But that is the very last sentence of the query, which makes me worry that you spend the majority of your manuscript on backstory and descriptions of dreams before finally getting to the point. I need to know what this is about before I’m nearly finished reading it. Then, so that I’m not left thinking, “So?” I need to know why this is a problem for Collin and what he does about it. Are there other threads? Friendships or romances, etc?

Sinners & Saints is a paranormal thriller about 85000 words.

The author has an active, vivid imagination. He has found that interacting with many different personalities helps create life-like characters.

Thank you for your time and consideration.