Thursday, June 4, 2009

Too much work for lunch

I opened up my old Weredeer query over lunch (which I'm still at, natch) to see how much work it needed. Reading Carrie Harris, Query Ninja's query critiques has inspired me.

Alas, now that I know a little more about what makes a query good, I'm horrified to find that not only is my Weredeer query not good, it's possibly the worst query ever written that is not actually written by someone semi-literate. It's so bad it doesn't even make me want to read the book, and presumably I find weredeer intrinsically interesting.

But I can fix it! The query's a too-long explanation of what happens in the first part of the book, which has to go. Instead, I need to figure out the key hook and focus on that. Um.

What makes this book special? Hell if I know. Kristof can turn into a deer, yes, but that's not really, you know, enough to get most people to pick up a book. The core theme of the book, I think, is Kristof's friendship with Gabe, who has basically nothing in common with him--not species, not background, not sexual orientation, not nothin. And yet they forge a strong friendship that gets them both into huge amounts of trouble while they're trying to help each other out.

Does that sound like a hook? Can I actually say something like "The Weredeer explores the bonds of friendship between two men from different worlds" with a straight face? Hmm. I'll work on it.

(Also, someone just microwaved something that smells like poo with broccoli. It's in a little plastic tray, which means she probably spent three bucks on it at least. My ham sandwich and Sun Chips cost me almost nothing and they smell like food that hasn't yet been through a digestive tract.)


Cate Gardner said...

Well I'd never heard of weredeer until I discovered your blog so I personally think that's pretty special.

Aaron Polson said...

Sun Chips=awesome.

Weredeer=extra awesome.

I think you have the seeds of a hook...keep watering.

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate and Aaron--thanks! Maybe I'll make the query revamp my weekend project.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I like the interspecies relationship hook idea. Have fun planting that seed and seeing what it grows into.

K.C. Shaw said...

I think I'm so used to this book, and its world and characters, that I'm taking a lot of it for granted. Maybe thematically it's a little more interesting than I've been thinking.

Y'all are making me feel good. :)

BT said...

Glad I read this post before lunch...

The interspecies thing is good, but what is the huge amount of trouble? What is the central question of the book?

I think you may need to feed that in there somewhere.

Maybe it would help to spend the weekend revamping, and then send it to the QN for comment.

K.C. Shaw said...

BT--ooh, excellent, those are questions I need to ask myself! I had thought about sending the revamped query to QN if she hasn't been inundated with them yet.

Your query was very interesting, incidentally, even after madlibbing. I'm looking forward to reading that one once it's published!

Carrie Harris said...

You laugh at my jokes, so I will make space for you even if I am inundated. Which I'm not. It's been nice and steady so far.

And weredeer are pretty freaking interesting, if you ask me.

K.C. Shaw said...

Maybe weredeer just seem old hat to me because I've written about them so much.