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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Revised query for YA

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message 1: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Woodman | 19 comments Hello all,

I am hoping I can get some feedback on the query below. Thanks in advance!

Twenty-year-old Jane Philips is frantic. Her brother and father are suffering something unimaginable in a government-run death camp, and it's her fault.

All she wanted was to leave quietly, to travel with her family and create a new life as a colonist. But her stubborn jerk of a brother refused to leave this God-forsaken planet with them. Jane had to talk some sense into him, but she was naive to think the government wouldn't be watching her, especially when they despise her father, the leader of the colonists, as they do. She led them right to her brother, and managed to get both her brother and father thrown into a prison few people see, and nobody ever leaves.

Jane knows she has no choice but to attempt the absurd. She will find a way into the prison to set her brother and father free, or she will die trying, because the alternatives, leaving them to die or getting herself imprisoned alongside them, are too grim to bear.

JANE AND THE EXODUS is work of young adult fiction. It is complete at 111,000 words and is ready for your consideration.


message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I feel this is better from what I remember last time (it might have been better to add to that thread rather than start a new one, for that continuity), but it still feels wordy to me. And 'unimaginable' just doesn't sound very strong.


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 115 comments I also think this is better than last time! But the second paragraph feels off--why is the government after her father and brother, and not her? The last paragraph is also off. It's supposed to be the most exciting part of the query, but it falls flat. This is much better, but I think you need to up the excitement of the actual words/sentence structure...but the stakes are definitely there!

Don't give up! I know query writing sucks :(


message 4: by Cimone (new)

Cimone Watson | 93 comments I agree with Keith and Jessica. The second paragraph is in past tense; is this describing events that took place before the start of the novel? If so, I think it should be shorter. If it's during the novel, I think you should put it in present tense.


message 5: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Woodman | 19 comments Keith wrote: "I feel this is better from what I remember last time (it might have been better to add to that thread rather than start a new one, for that continuity), but it still feels wordy to me. And 'unimagi..."

Thanks for taking time to reply on all these Keith. I didn't want to continue an old thread, because I felt like my last queries were bringing up subplots, and I didn't want people to get confused. Maybe it would have been better, however. I'll keep working on it, but it sounds like I'm getting closer.


message 6: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Woodman | 19 comments Jessica wrote: "I also think this is better than last time! But the second paragraph feels off--why is the government after her father and brother, and not her? The last paragraph is also off. It's supposed to be ..."

Thanks for the comments, Jessica, and for the encouragement! It feels like I am getting closer.


message 7: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Woodman | 19 comments Cimone wrote: "I agree with Keith and Jessica. The second paragraph is in past tense; is this describing events that took place before the start of the novel? If so, I think it should be shorter. If it's during t..."

Thanks Cimone, I thought about the past/present tense issue before I posted. Everything I mentioned in the query occurs during the novel, but I was trying to set up the decision she has to make, and the stakes, but I guess it's losing something along the way. Will keep working on it!


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