WS 34: Elana Johnson 4 Editing Queries

Elana Johnson has this fabulous post on her blog about queries- and a free ebook. You can’t go wrong. This podcast she dissects our queries and makes them cleaner in minutes.

about 26min

Download (right click and go to “save link as” to download)

Here are the queries so you can read along:

Alice Beesley Original(cut short)

I’m seeking representation for my 50,000-word YA paranormal romance novel, MYSTIC MOUND- a modern day Beauty and the Beast tale. Eighteen year old Mindy Cooper’s father, who hasn’t seen

for seventeen years, is missing and presumed dead. She inherits his remote mountain cabin where she finds clues to his dissaperance among his belongings. Thinking he might still be alive, she feels compelled to find him, but gets much more than she bargained for.

In her se4arch, she meets and begins to fall for the mysterious grandson of the caretaker of an ancient burial mound on her property. She also hears and see sins of a monster lurking in the woods and finds the map to the hidden treasure. The story takes some sharp twists and turns in a series of tunnels underneath an ancient Indian burial mound leading to another dimension and a cursed treasure guarded by a legendary beast. Mindy must break the curse to save her father and prevent herself from meeting his same fate.

For her revised Query, click on Alice’s Page under the Writing Snippet Crew to the right.

Nichole –

Jocelyn Carlin

Twelve year old Princess Jennilyn is tired of being treated like a child. When her father and brother reuse to take her on an important mission to help thier drought-stricken kingdom, Jennilyn embarks on a secret mission of her own: she is determines to enlist the help of merfolk enchanters to end the drought. THere is only one problem-contact with the neighboring kingdom of merfolk has been outlawed for sixty years.

Ignoring the potential danger, Jennilyn visits a forbidden lagoon, the sight of an ancient merfolk temple. There, she meets mermaid princess Melania- a girl who is hiding from family problems of her own. The girl overcome thier initial distrust of each other when they discover that an old enchantment is binding both of their kingdoms, preventing then from forming an alliance.

Magical clues reveal that the only way to break the enchantment and bring frindship between humans and merfolk is to find the lost Rings of Transformation.

Forming a fast friendship the two princesses follow a series of magical riddles to rediscover the Rings. If they succeed, they just might sace Jennilyn’s kingdom and solve their own family problems and the same time.

Complete at 68,000 words, The Mermaid Rings is a middle grade fantasy novel that stands alone, but has the potential to launch a series.

 

Ava

Dear Editor/Agent,
On All Saints Day in 1755, a 9.0 earthquake decimated Lisbon, Portugal, and thousands fled to other lands and other lives. THE HIGHWAYMAN is a historical novel about a Portuguese child raised by a Protestant family in the pre-Revolutionary War era, and the woman that child becomes.
Orphaned on the ocean voyage to the American colonies in 1756, the future Mother Hope is christened Charity by her adopted family. She learns that what she wants for her own future will not be tolerated by her new protestant culture, but she is driven by an inexpressible passion.
As a small child, Charity teaches herself to read and is beaten for it, but lifts her chin and bears the burden, prodding herself forward with the knowledge that it has to be. She learns to be silent in the most difficult of circumstances, knowing from the misery of experience that anything she says will be twisted and exploited to punish her. All her will and all her passion bend her toward the forbidden yearning to become a healer. Her progress and her spirit falter when she tries to save a dear friend, losing him and nearly her own life in the process.
Five decades later, at the age of sixty-six, Charity has taken back her Portuguese name and become Mother Hope.  After witnessing the barbarous death of her friend as a young woman, and having been horribly mutilated trying to save him, she has become emotionally wounded and cynical. Her difficulties and aspirations are unchanged from her rebellious beginnings until the arrival of a run-away slave named Joseph who recognizes her instinct for healing and wishes to become her apprentice. Distrustful and bitter, and haunted by the persistent ghost from her past, she tries to drive Joseph away as she has so many others, but the young man refuses to be driven.
Joseph discovers in Mother Hope a sympathetic spirit with common ambitions. Mother Hope finds in the young fugitive slave the redemption she craves for the grievous mistakes that led to her friend’s death so many years before.
The two story lines alternate in chapters between Charity’s life with her protestant family in the 1760’s, and Mother Hope in 1820. In the end, the two plots are combined and resolved, revealing the identity of the ghost, Mother Hope’s broken love story, and the dramatic deliverance of Joseph and his family.
The Highwayman is based roughly on Alfred Noyes’ poem by the same name, and Rudyard Kipling’s “A Smuggler’s Song”. It is complete at 115,000 words. You may e-mail any reply to me at (My E-mail address here.) Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,

 

Lillian J. Banks- we ran out of time to edit this one

I am pleased to present to you for consideration my 62,000 word soft sci-fi dystopian novel Ocean Void.
As Earth burns below, Ocean Davis has become a serial killer.
Living in the domed moon colony that shelters the remnants of the human race, Ocean is a reclusive, emotionally disconnected business woman working for one of the massive pharmaceutical companies that dominate the power structure of her society. By night, Ocean becomes the Evil Temptress. After an attempted suicide by using a concoction of drugs failed, she learned the drugs gave her super-human abilities. She uses these drugs to release her emotional blocks, setting free the multiple personalities that live inside her, and allowing them to seek out and kill men who cheat on their wives and molest their children as her father molested her.
When boy scout Govener Sand Duncan, a trained serial criminal psychologist and clinical counselor, discovers the truth  about her murderous disorder, he unintentionally falls in love with one of her personalities. When he confronts her, Ocean finds herself feeling real emotion for the first time since her childhood. As she struggles with her new emotional awakening, she must defeat her personalities who love to kill. If she can’t the first man she has ever loved will be murdered by her own hand.
If Ocean does defeat her darkest personality, she faces exile in prison for her past crimes, secluded from the man who has helped her heart feel and putting him in danger for not turning her into the corrupt law he works for. Before she can face any of these deep issues she must find a way to get past her own problems in time to the the people living in the poorest sector on the moon from a planned government extermination.

A comparison would be Aeon Flux and Fatal Attraction.

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Information for the beginning or aspiring writer about all things writing in the fiction world. Novels, publishing, etc. We feature author and other professional interviews. View all posts by Writing Snippets

6 responses to “WS 34: Elana Johnson 4 Editing Queries

  • Alice

    I only saw my revised query under my name in the writing snippets crew above. I couldn’t find any one else’s revised queries. Did anyone else do revisions?

  • John D. Payne

    When is it time to write a query letter? When should I send it out? I’ve never tried this because I’ve never finished a book. I’ve been working on a novel for a while now, and I have about 50,000 words written. I think that makes it about a third done, and I have a rough outline for the last two-thirds. At what point do I start querying?

  • Alex

    I’d say when you are done. You still need editing and I’ve heard a good line editor doesn’t hurt.

    IMHO. Of course, I’m not published…. So feel free to take or leave the advice 🙂

    • John D. Payne

      That make sense to me, but some of what they were saying in the podcast made it sound like query letters could be sent out before the manuscript was complete.

      • Writing Snippets

        I’d wait until you finish your book to send the query out but you can write the query at any point. It can even help to write it before you write the book because it’s like a summary of your book. When I plot, I write a one sentence pitch first, then I write a one paragraph pitch that I can use in my query before I even begin writing the book. But my query changes as I write the book since the story changes.

      • John D. Payne

        That makes good sense. I’m going to try writing a query letter for my current project, just to see if it helps give me focus.

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