Querypalooza Day 3
Seventeen-year-old Serendipity Tanner has given up on the past—but she hasn’t gotten over it. Three years ago, when her ex-dad’s disappearance launched her into a nuclear blowout with society, Seri divorced her dreams of composing music for a shot at Harvard-bound success. Yet there’s always been a part of her that won’t let go of what could have been, and this summer, her best friend Charles is determined to restore that faith in the past. But just when Seri’s starting to heal, an unexpected tragedy catapults her back into the great unknown. Scared and alone, she falls back on someone who’s been there all along: a boy called The Boy, her not fathomable, kind of gorgeous, definitely angry-at-life tutee at Mott’s Alternative School for Troubled Teens. And when she uncovers his terrible secret, she faces a whole new dilemma: coming to terms with the astronomical insignificance of everything that mattered before. Complete at 73,000 words, THE THEORY OF THE METAPHORICAL GUTTER is the story of a girl whose summer begins and ends with the same five hundred glow-in-the-dark stars, the beautiful and catastrophic business of what transpires in between, and the theory that explains it all.
KAT: There are some critical elements to each query, and I think some of them are missing here. We need a salutation of some sort (Dear Mr/Ms. Agent Name), and possibly a reason you’ve chosen to query them (I see you enjoy YA fantasies about witches…). Also, although a word count is provided, which is great, we don’t know either the genre or the intended age group. Is this YA contemporary? Adult magical realism? I’m not sure. JODI: Yep. We need to know those things in order to know whether the book is even something the agent represents! I’m also curious what this “unexpected tragedy” is, followed by a “terrible secret.” There’s some vagueness going on in here, and while specifics might be too much detail, I’d like to know the basics. What is the tragedy? A car crash? Spontaneous human combustion? I feel like we’re missing a lot of the key details of this story. They’ve all been replaced with big but vague phrases like “unexpected tragedy.” KAT: There are some really great, strong lines in this query that make me think the story itself will have lovely language. The title is fantastic, too. I get the feeling that this story is much more about the characters and their growth than anything else, and that’s perfectly fine. But like Jodi said, I think we need to know more about these mysterious events. I totally understand the urge to “not spoil” anything, but you have to throw us a bone! :)
What do you guys think?