Saturday, December 13, 2008


Dear Query Shark

Frank, a recent graduate from the Young Gods Academy, has been assigned to manage a small, lower level planet on the outskirts of the universe.

Frank has always been awkward and accident prone, and, while at the Academy, lived in the shadow of his handsome best friend Kris. He was hoping for a fresh start, but the inhabitants of his new planet are not very god-friendly and the previous god made a mess of the maintenance.

When Kris visits unexpectedly, Frank hopes he would help with fixing up the planet, but his friend involves Frank’s unconventional – and unpopular – mother secretly, placing the planet’s future – and Frank’s career - in jeopardy. With the help of a group of celestials fond of the planet, Frank has to thwart his mother's plans and save his small planet from complete annihilation.

Young Gods is complete at 54000 words.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,

I'd read this cause it sounds funny, and it's got voice.
I look for voice before almost everything else.


Jinxie G said...

If the book is as good as this query, I would totally read it! Good job!

Adam Heine said...

The query does look good. I've only got two quick-and-easy comments at the moment.

(1) I assume the planet is Earth? If so, maybe you can drop another clue or two so the reader isn't left wondering.

(2) The two hyphenated asides ("and unpopular" and "and Frank's career") are too close together. It makes that part of the letter sound stilted or repetitive. Maybe find a way to reword one of those so it says the same thing with a different rhythm.

talpianna said...

She's baaaaaaaaack!!!!!

It appeals to me, too; but I'd like at least a hint why his friend turns on him. And perhaps more about his mother's motives. Might also mention a few of the actual plot points, and something more about the friendly celestials. Other gods?

Also, is this for younger readers? It's rather short, and it reminds me of such YA books as THE GAME, ARCHER'S GOON, and DOGSBODY by Diana Wynne Jones. Hope you can do as well as she does.

WV: lunti--You've heard of brunch, a combination of breakfast and lunch? Lunti is a combination of lunch and high tea.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

I'm having a light bulb moment.

Voice! That's where I've gone wrong with past query letters. I must let my "voice" flow into the query and synopsis as well.

Thanks for this, Query Shark. And thanks also to the author. Great premise and an easy, natural style to the letter.

none said...

It's not Earth, is it? I've read a passel of stories along these lines, and it always turns out to be Earth.

Of course, if the readership is YA, they won't be as burnt out as I am!

Apart from that, good job :).

Liana Brooks said...

Query Shark is back in the water!!!

Author- I love this hook, it really sounds like a fun story. Good job :o)

Oh.... I'm kind of hoping it isn't Earth. Maybe a fantasy place like Earth, but not the actual history. I think that would ruin it for me. But I'd have to read it to see, wouldn't I?

About Me said...

Short and to the point. This is a good one and it's sounds like a fun novel. Kudos on the voice, very nice. Good job, author.

Lehcarjt said...

Works for me, I'd pick it up.

Couple of small thoughts though. "Frank hopes he would help" could be "Frank hopes he will help." And the entire third paragraph could use a bit of smoothing.

Still well done.

Anonymous said...

Short and sweet.

I too, would try to get rid of some of the dashes in the 3rd paragraph. Maybe commas would work in some cases, or rephrasing like Adam suggested.


Good luck! It sounds like you have a lot of fun writing--and to me, that`s what it`s all about!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and a comma splitting up 54,000 words.

Ellie said...

Huh, this doesn't work for me at all. The sentences are too long and weighted down with clauses and appositives. I don't get any sense of voice.

Worse, there's absolutely no sense of what specific difficulties Frank faces at his new planet, or how Frank's mother puts the planet in jeopardy.

Obviously I'm in the minority and the query clearly works for most people. But I just feel like this got pared down to fit some "describe your book in five sentences" criterion.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I was wondering if 54000 words isn't a bit short even if it is YA.


Robyn.K.Y said...


Thomma Lyn said...

Sounds like a fun book to me! :-D And I'm glad to see you back. Thank you for doing this; it's very helpful!

Chris Eldin said...

This story sounds awesome! Good luck, author!!

talpianna said...

Merry Christmas, Sharky dearest!

talpianna said...

It's been a couple of weeks. Has our favorite fish deserted us again?

WV: zingit--what we want Sharky to come back and do!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. Do want.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, but I'm still hung up on the fact that he got away with "I look forward to hearing from you soon."
(Also, yes, I'm a few years behind, but the rules did say to read *all* the archives.)

Joy Slaughter said...

Voice seemed to be a theme for you that month. There are several posts that mention it. Voice something I struggle to see. I need to research more here.

Anonymous said...

The premise is great, and the query, short and sweet, though paragraph three could be smoother. It does have voice, but she or he never stated the target audience. If it is MG, the word count is more than fine.