Jan 2, 2011


Dear __________,

Pluto is no longer a planet. Lynn’s father is dying. She cannot grieve for him. She hates him too much. Pluto is an outcast in the solar system. Lynn is an outcast in her family. She feels out of orbit when she is around them. She cannot tolerate their tears, screams, broken dishes, pills, and unfinished sentences. She’d rather be alone. And then she meets Peter.

WALKING OFF PLUTO examines the impact of grief on the lives of two sisters and a wayward young man who helps them to realize that everyone grieves, just in different ways. Seventeen-year-old Lynn burrows herself in the comfort of the sky while her older sister, Chloe, seeks to crack through Lynn’s self-created shell. But the only thing that can break through Lynn is Lynn. And it will feel like a journey across the universe to figure that out.

My young adult novel is complete at 50,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Little excerpt:

Lynn gazes through her black and white telescope and sees what she wants to see. A gush of wind flings black hair over her forehead, blocking her view of the starry winter night. She brushes the strands back with her fingers, careful not to touch the scope. She has it positioned and zoomed exactly the way she wants it.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Someone is walking up the hill—the dying leaves crumble under knee-high boots. She should be startled, but it’s only her sister, Chloe.


Kaleen said...

Metaphors are difficult to put in queries. I had to read the first paragraph twice to figure out that her father isn't Pluto, and that Pluto isn't an actual setting in the book (or is it?). The premise sounds good, but the conflict seems a bit weak as no stakes have been given. What are the difficult decisions, and what is at stake for Lynn? Consequences? Needs a bit more nail-biting tidbits to pull the reader/agent in. Good start!

Natty B said...

I have a habit of putting too much in a query, so I started small this time. But I do have more I can add. Thanks for the suggestions!

Elena Solodow said...

I did like the beginning, but be careful of rambling. After the first two sentences, it's too choppy. I would combine the first too into something like:

Lynn's father is dying - but she's more concerned about Pluto losing its planet status.

That's rough, but it gets to yoru point faster.

Then go into the next part:

Lynn is an outcast in her disfunctional family until she meets Peter.

Also, you shift focus from Lynn, to Peter, and then to her sister. If the book focuses on both sisters, you need to start the query with the both of them. Bring Peter in after the fact.

Be more specific about the plot. Who's doing what and why and what are the stakes?