Query Workshop B-10: PIECES OF REVENGE

It’s day five of the query workshop with me and three of my blogging friends. Two queries on four blogs for ten days. I’ll have three more queries from the winners of a drawing on Katherine Amabel’s (@katherineamabel) blog Beyond the Hourglass Bridge up tomorrow on the blog. Come back tomorrow to critique them and get more entries for the critique prizes, which will be announced on Monday.

And here’s my next critique…

     

 Dear (NAME),

Anastasia Snow has lost everything. Her family, her home, her humanity. Now, six years after her family’s brutal murder she is finally strong enough to bring those responsible to justice.

For years, Anastasia has been training her body and her mind, preparing for the day she will meet those responsible for her ruined life face to face. Armed with her combat skills and a memory that keeps hold of every little detail, she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her existence for years.

Kallos Enterprises is a company set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows better, she’s seen first hand what kind of monsters lurk behind the pretty walls of that company’s skyscrapers. Her plan is to infiltrate the one company responsible for her broken life, exposing them for who they are.

After arriving in the city, she meets the mysterious Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn’t remember him, but he remembers her. The feelings and emotions he evokes in her are more than she can handle, more than she thought she was capable of. The world around them is changing and Anastasia must fight against time to right the wrongs of Kallos Enterprises. Together Anastasia and Logan uncover secrets that threaten to change the world forever. With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must fight with everything they have in order to survive.

Complete at 69,500 words, Pieces of Revenge is a Young Adult thriller, that is full  of fast paced action, car chases, and just a bit of romance.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have attached (WHATEVER ASKED FOR) for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

B’s critique …

 Dear (NAME),

Anastasia Snow has lost everything. Her family, her home, her humanity (How did she lose her humanity? Was she left for dead and survived?) . Now, six years after her family’s brutal murder, she is finally strong enough to bring those responsible to justice. (I’m hooked.)

For years, Anastasia has been training her body and her mind, preparing for the day she‘ll come face to face with those responsible for her ruined life face to face. Armed with her combat skills and a memory that keeps hold of every little detail (Maybe this would be better –> a detailed memory of that fateful night), she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her existence for years.

Anastasia’s quest for answers leads her to Kallos Enterprises, a company set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows better, she’s seen first hand what kind of monsters (do you mean actual monsters or business men?) lurk behind the pretty walls of that company’s skyscrapers. Her plan is to infiltrate the one company responsible for her broken life, exposing them for who they are. (I’m confused how does this tie into her family’s murder? Make sure to connect the two. Did her father work there and he was killed to keep silent about the experiment? Was he going to blow the whistle on Kallos?)

After arriving in the city, she meets the mysterious Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn’t remember him, but he remembers her. The feelings and emotions (What type of feelings and emotions is he evoking? It can go two ways, hatred and loathing or love and wanting.) he evokes in her are more than she can handle, more than she thought she was capable of. The world around them is changing and Anastasia must fight against time to right the wrongs of Kallos Enterprises. (I’m still confused. How is the world changing? What wrongs is Kallos Enterprises doing with people? Are they turning them into something evil…hopefully?)Together Anastasia and Logan uncover secrets that threaten to change the world forever (For bad? For good? How will the world change? Up the stakes. What are those nasty men at Kallos up to?). With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must fight with everything they have in order to survive.

Complete at 69,500 words, PIECES OF REVENGE (titles are in all caps) is a Young Adult thriller, that is full  of fast paced action, car chases, and just a bit of romance.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have attached (WHATEVER ASKED FOR) for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

This sounds like a kickass premise. I’m all for combat girl going after bad guys. The problem is clarity here. They say to entice an agent to ask for more pages (and you do) but I worry that the role Kallos Enterprises plays in the plot isn’t clear enough. Of course, I could be completely wrong. So we’ll see what all the wonderful critiquers participating in this workshop say. Their comments are impressive. Great job!

I hope this helps. If you decide to revise and would like me to read it again, just post it in the comments of this post.


Okay, everyone, what do you think? 


And don’t forget to stop by the other blogs and read their query critiques. For each critique you leave in the comments, you get an entry into the drawing to win one of three first chapter critiques from me.

Becca C.
Becca (Becks) Coffindaffer
 Marieke Nijkamp

Sarah Nicolas
 Sarah Nicolas

11 comments to Query Workshop B-10: PIECES OF REVENGE

  • I really liked this query. It had some good hooks that kept me reading to the end. I was also wondering about the humanity thing. It made me sit up and go “Wha?”…but as I read, you made it more clear.

    On the memory thing, does she have a photographic memory? That was what I got from that sentence. If so, call it like it is. Less confusion there.

    On the feelings, I assumed it was love and wanting, but it is a little ambiguous. Was this the intent? Maybe she wants him, but also feels hatred for him? Anyway, you might want to clarify that.

    Other than those points, I loved it. Awesome job.

  • I also think it would be helpful to know Anastasia’s age. Otherwise, really cool premise!

  • Laurie Litwin

    I want to read this right now. I love love your premise. I think your query is good. But, I think it can be great. I think you need to add a little more detail and make me really care about why she wants revenge. Give the query a little voice. Add a little punch to make it really stand out in the crowd. It just needs a little work, and it’ll be there. Good luck!

  • I’m wondering if this is a modern retelling of the story of Anastasia Romanov (the name and the family being slaughtered made me think of her)? If so, you *might* mention it at the end. I’m not sure what the others would suggest. If that’s not the case, it’s still cool. Very interesting concept. I have a lot of the same questions as Brenda and the others. Mostly needs some clarifying. Otherwise, very well done. Great job and good luck!

  • I love stories with girls that kick butt! So this sounds great. I agree that you need some sort of tie in to the Kallos Enterprises. I was a little lost in the jump from her wanting revenge to wanting to expose the company. Why? What did the company have to do with the death in her family? Was someone in her family an “experiment?”

    Also, how does she meet Logan? Does he work for the company? Does he search her out? Do they run into each other over coffee? He is obviously a main character, so I’d like just a teeny amount of info about him.

    I think you have a great story and I would totally read it! Good luck!

  • I agre that you need to link the company to her family’s deaths, and make it clearer what the atrocities the conpany is committing. Good story.

  • I think condensing this query will help. We lose the plot when introduced to Logan, but if he is woven in earlier, I think it would do the trick. Less paragraphs, more summing up. Good luck!

  • The first paragraph does hook my interest, especially making me wonder what has caused her to loose her humanity and what she’s done to make her stronger… and how she plans to bring the murder(s) to justice.

    I think it’s good that you go on to explain the questions raised in the first paragraph, though I feel like it’d be nice to see just a bit more detail about –how– she trains herself.

    I’m really intrigued by the third paragraph, though I wonder if your reference to monsters is to the “improving genetics” or to the people running the show.

    For some reason, “she meets the mysterious Logan” isn’t cutting it for me. I guess it feels too generic? Again, it feels like just a bit more detail might help out here.

    Why must she fight against time? What’s causing her to have to rush? This could be something that would up the suspense or stakes.

    I’m definitly curious about the madman, and I like the note that it is a ” Young Adult thriller, that is full of fast paced action, car chases, and just a bit of romance.” Gives me a feel for what might not have been conveyed in the query (I was thinking it was leaning towards a sci-fi bent, with the genetics, but that could easily vary).

    The story itself sounds interesting, and I agree with Brenda’s comments on this one. With some clarity, and maybe a bit more of the character’s voice, this could really shine. 🙂

  • Sounds good. I think Brenda and the others have you covered 🙂

  • I agree with Brenda and the others. It does need just a little bit more clarity, but I think tightening up the sentences, adding a little more voice, and following Brenda’s suggestions will really help this.

    Good job!

  • I’m a huge fan of kick ass heroines, and love that she plans to take them down herself. What it leaves me wondering if why she has to? If Kallos Enterprises is the “bad guy” then were they exonerated? Never implicated? Was their death ruled an accident? How does the business fit into the plot? I think if we knew a little more about the company and what they do and how her family was murdered, it would answer some of the clarity issues Brenda is bringing to light (the large and the small). This sounds like a fantastic story. Good luck!

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