Oct 4, 2010

Query - The Paw Shake Portal (First Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Author's Note: Thank you SO much to all who critiqued my first query. It helped so much! A special thank you to Rick for hosting this -- I would be lost without the Slushpile!

I realized my last query didn't accurately represent the story; I was too tied up in details. I feel like this one is more spot-on, but needs a ton of tightening. I also tentatively changed the title. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Dear (Agent):

Eleven-year-old Alex’s closest friend is his cat. No, he isn’t a loner. His friend Lumina is both human and feline.

When Alex finds a stray cat in his back yard, he doesn’t expect her to be able to turn into a girl his age. Lumina approaches Alex as a human and asks for his assistance in fighting Alley Scratch, an army of cats that hate people. The only way for her to gain the strength and endurance to battle Alley Scratch is to form a “bond of trust” with Alex—the more their friendship grows, the healthier and stronger she will become.

Alex is eager to form this bond to help Lumina, but he also comes up with an idea of his own: Why not show the Alley Scratch cats kindness to help turn them around to the good side? Unfortunately, his plan backfires, causing a chaotic brawl and putting Lumina and her family in even greater danger. Alex must find a way to protect his feline friends without causing another disaster, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to save them.

THE DISCOVERY OF LUMINA is a middle grade novel complete at 30,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Anonymous Author said...

This is better. The title is still a little offputting-- anything containing the word "paw" seems cute; not sure if that's just me.

The sentence "No, he isn’t a loner." seems out of place-- it's not info we need. The third sentence appears to contradict the first.

The "he doesn’t expect..." meme shows up in a lot of queries followed by things nobody ever expects.

If Alex is the main character, maybe you should focus more on his plan (specifics! is kindness hugs'n'kisses or a neuter-and-spay campaign?) and how it fails. And if that comes at the expense of telling us less about Lumina, so be it.

Anonymous Author said...

Oh, oops-- I see you did change the title. My bad.

Mesmerix said...

I would cut that first paragraph. Go straight into, "When Alex finds a stray..." The first paragraph is rehashed telling of the things you convey in the 2nd. IE: It's not necessary.

If you want, you could add his age, "When eleven-year-old Alex finds a stray..." to make sure they understand it's MG.

The plot is clear. I'm not overly familiar with MG queries, so I don't have other advice to offer. It looks good to me and things make sense now. Good work!

Dominique said...

The first paragraph just doesn't work for me.

The second part's very concise, which is good in the query. You might want to use some of the words you've saved in this draft to explain why her family is endangered by Alley Scratch. After all, if they're cats, Alley Scratch shouldn't be too much of a problem for them, right?

Shelley Sly said...

Thanks so much for your feedback!

I will certainly take out that first paragraph. Lumina's family is endangered by Alley Scratch because they are the "royal family" in the cat world, and Alley Scratch wants to overthrow the rulers. I'll be sure to mention that, too.

Additional suggestions are appreciated; otherwise, I'll write the third draft and be back here soon.