Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q10: I'm generalizing, but sometimes concepts like falling stars (star becomes person), genies, etc. are hard to conceptualize. When you try to explain in query, it gets confusing. I've seen several today, so not just this query, but not following how this works. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q9: When queries are super long, I get bogged down in details. Still, I read the sample, but didn't connect with the writing. If you can get a high-concept pitch in a query--where you distill the plot & essence of a story into 1 (or 2) simple sentence(s), do it. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q8: Wasn't sure about the hook, but then I saw the comps and decided to keep reading. (Comps matter for many reasons). But in the end, I didn't feel engaged in the opening scene. Pass #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q7: Cute voice, but I'm not really looking for kids chapter books at this time. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q6: Too similar to something one of my clients has done. Pass #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

As a follow up to Q5, it's a great idea to follow editors as well as agents on Twitter, to see what they are buying, what they are tweeting about, their #MSWLs, etc. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q5: Super commercial dark fantasy MG that deals with loss which is nice to see in middle grade since kids this age are learning to tackle those tough subjects. High stakes and the title's to die for. This is literally what I see editors asking for. REQUEST. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q4: I'm going to pass on this one. The dialog doesn't feel authentic in what is supposed to be a chaotic first scene. You can get a good emotional response from strong dialog, so take advantage of your character's words! #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q3: Pass. Query doesn't lay out much in the way of a plot arc so I'm not sure what's going to happen. Word count is also super high for a debut. I'm kind of sad though because it touched on material I generally love. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q2: I know several editors who like it when an author plays with structure, but I'm not connecting with the way this one's organized--even though the concept is interesting. I'm looking for an active engaging scene to hook me in the first pages. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q1: Torn on this one. Good hook, but similar to what's already out there. Clearly talented writer. Distinct voice across multiple points of view. Pass, but will ask to see other work as they mentioned they write in multiple genres. #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P10 - MG F 🥗

Wanted to put on Maybe list but voice feels too young for me. Good first line but some details need to be clarified earlier on (unknown family members popped in at random).

Like it, but not sure writing is strong enough to fully flesh out plot. #RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

Q10 - MG Fantasy

Good way to illustrate dark, unique retelling.

Digging the plot, but the end paragraphs make the stakes fall flat. More specifics might help solidify story progression. Also questioning the need for multi-POV.

#RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P9 - YA ?? 🥗

Pages are filled w/ explanations & telling language. Gives a character sketch of character rather than naturally letting us learn this as the story continues.

Voice is ok, but not strong enough yet to hook. Good place to open story, though. #RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

Q9 - YA ??

Genre is unclear/query specifies odd mix of genres. Maybe contemporary w/ thriller elements?

First para can be condensed, but definitely intrigues me w/ setting/conflict. Stakes are left flat, though, and unsure how secondary character plays role.

#RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P8 - YA UF 🥠

The pages have a good voice. Good starting point = making me care about MC more than in query.

Good job starting right with clarity on inciting event. Right to the point and draws me in. #RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

Q8 - YA Urban Fantasy

Good conflict and good motivation, but I need more to care about MC. First para can be condensed and focused to help.

LOVE the UF element. Wish query said if it's dual POV or not.

#RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P7 - YA F 🥗

This doesn't feel like the right opening scene. It seems like a lot of details dropped in, without explanation or true purpose, just to prove they have world building elements.

Feels like a scene in the middle of the book, not the start.

#RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P7 - YA Fantasy

Word count is low for Fantasy. Query begins with world details/terms I don't understand. Simplify so the reader can follow along.

Feels like MC doesn't care about outcome or journey... so why should I care enough to read it? Not a good hook. #RevPit #10queries

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Apr 26

P6 - YA Contemporary 🥠

Not the MC I thought would open the story. But I like how first two chapters set up the motivations for both POVs.

Okay writing. I like it, but unsure if I love it. A different opening may be a better hook.

#RevPit #10queries