Query Critique Winner

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hi everyone!  Larissa was lucky number 8 for this month's query critique!  Below is her original query:

Dear Ms. Pestritto,
 

A feel weeks ago I took your Potential Client Match Quiz, and after scoring 96/100 I was just waiting for the right time to query you. So I’m pleased to introduce my first novel, WAITING FOR FOREVER. It's an Adult Contemporary Romance with a touch of Fantasy, complete at 80,000 words.
 

Always a skeptic, Mark McCarthy never believed in such a thing as soulmates until his life ends in a car accident. At only twenty-three, he must say goodbye to everything he used to call life, and accept this new reality of waiting for this Brazilian girl of color everyone claims to be his soulmate. In The Waiting Room – this world where people from all walks of life have a bird’s eye view to their soulmates’ lives – he can choose between waiting for her, or moving on and giving up on their supposed special connection forever. And in his head the choice seems pretty obvious – why would he wait decades in that boring place for a girl he only met once? – until the day he catches a glimpse of Olivia's life.
 

When Mark realizes soulmates’ love is not something easy to let go of, he decides to wait for Olivia’s entire life to play out so they can live together the eternity that was promised.  And The Waiting Room doesn’t seem so bad when he discovers that their connection is more powerful than he imagined. He might not be able to be with her physically, but he can still be with her in mind. However, the more conscious the living soul is of the dead soul, the faster she will die to come meet her half, and Mark is about to find out that playing Olivia’s guardian angel can have serious consequences for them both.
 

In the living world, Olivia Brandão seems to have gotten everything she always wanted. She has a great job, she can finally help her parents financially, and she loves her devoted fiancé – but she can’t shake the feeling that something is missing in her life. Smart and sensitive, she’s willing to risk everything to follow her heart. What she doesn’t know is that her “something missing” is no longer in her world and that the more she searches for it, the closer she gets to her own death. In the blink of an eye, now Mark must choose between do what is best for him and let fate do its job; or break his own heart and give the love of his life an opportunity he didn’t have: to live a long and happy life – even if it will be with someone else.
 

Though WAITING FOR FOREVER has been written as a trilogy, it can stand alone. I believe it will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY, or Cecelia Ahern’s PS, I LOVE YOU.
I’m a Brazilian writer, currently living in France where I’m preparing a PhD thesis in Geography. Thanks to the first #DVpit the full manuscript is already being considered by REUTS Publications.
 

Thank you for your consideration.
 

Sincerely,Larissa Lopes

And here is my critique:

Dear Ms. Pestritto,
 

A feel weeks ago I took your Potential Client Match Quiz, and after scoring 96/100 I was just waiting for the right time to query you. So I’m pleased to introduce my first novel, WAITING FOR FOREVER. It's an aAdult cContemporary rRomance with a touch of fFantasy, complete at 80,000 words.
 

Always a skeptic, Mark McCarthy never believed in such a thing as soulmates until his life ends in a car accident and he realizes that he he has to make a pit stop on his way to the afterlife to see if he wants to meet herAt only twenty-three, he must say goodbye to everything he used to call life, and accept this new reality of waiting for this Brazilian girl of color everyone claims to be his soulmate. In tThe Waiting Room – this world an in-between place where people from all walks of life have a bird’s eye view ofto their soulmates’ day-to-day lives – he can choose between waiting for her, or moving on and giving up on their supposed special connection forever. And in his head the At first, the choice seems pretty obvious – why would he wait decades in purgatory that boring place for a girl he only met once? [When did he meet Olivia?  This isn't mentioned until now!] – but then he gets to really know Olivia until the day he catches a glimpse of Olivia's life.
 

When Mark realizes soulmate's love is not something easy to casually let go of, he decides to wait for Olivia to join him on the other side ’s entire life to play out so they can live together forthe eternity like they are supposed tothat was promised.  After making that chioce,And tThe Waiting Room doesn’t seem so bad; when he discovers that they have a powerful mentaltheir connection that allows him to be with heris more powerful than he imagined. He might not be able to be with her physically, but he can still be with her in mind. However, the more conscious athe living soul is of its dead soulmatethe dead soul, the faster she will die to come meet her half, and Mark is about to find out that playing Olivia’s guardian angel can have serious consequences for them both.
 

In the living world, Olivia Brandão seems like she hasto have gotten everything she always wanted. She has a great job, she can finally help her parents financially, and she loves her devoted fiancé – but she can’t shake the feeling that something is missing in her life. Smart and sensitive, she’s willing to risk everything to follow her heart. What she doesn’t know is that her “something missing” is no longer in her world and that the more she searches for it, the closer she gets to her own death. [You need to expand on this area more.  If Mark is communicating with her, does she not realize that he is a real person and her dead soulmate?  Why does she not specifically know what is missing?  And does she get closer to her death because she wants to die to join Mark or because something more sinister is happening?] In the blink of an eye, now Mark must choose between doing what is best for him and letting fate do its job,; or breaking his own heart and givinggive the love of his life an opportunity he didn’t have: to live a long and happy life – even if it will be with someone else.
 

Though WAITING FOR FOREVER has been written as a trilogy, it can stand alone. I believe it will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY, or Cecelia Ahern’s PS, I LOVE YOU.
I’m a Brazilian writer, currently living in France where I’m preparing a PhD thesis in Geography. Thanks to the first #DVpit the full manuscript is already being considered by REUTS Publications.
 

Thank you for your consideration.
 

Sincerely,Larissa Lopes

The premise of this story is so interesting and the query is on its way--there are a few areas that I think can be changing to help with clarity, but overall it is very compelling!  Chime in with your thoughts below.  Larissa, congrats on winning and I hope this is helpful to you.  Best of luck sending this out!

3 comments:

  1. I really like the premise, but I admit I felt the query went on too long. I *think* (admitting I'm no query expert) that it needs to get to the point a bit faster. Good luck, Larissa!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Quick suggestion: Change the second word in the query to "few."

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a cool premise! I like the title too. Unique!

    ReplyDelete

 
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