Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jen Daiker's Current Query

So, hopefully you read yesterday's post, in which I set this up. If not, go read it.

Here is Jen Daiker's current query for IN THE MIND OF A CELEBRITY STALKER. I will share my thoughts and feedback tomorrow:

For twenty-four year old Jules Ausborn, Relationships aren’t exactly built on trust – or even reality, for that matter.

She’s used to receiving unsolicited, and frankly awful, dating and self-improvement advice from her overly critical mother. That’s a normal day for her. She’d much rather seek guidance from celebrities she admires than the same help from her own family.

What starts as a new years resolution and an infatuation with Paula Deen, slowly turns into a quest to straighten out her dating life. But when Jules takes things too far, blocked numbers and restraining orders produce a pile of trouble for her. She’s not exactly someone celebrities would normally befriend.

When you mix together misinterpreted dating advice, family pressures to be in a relationship and a hot next door neighbor who wants to be that guy, Jules finds herself on a wildly unexpected ride, seeking advice from Carrie Bradshaw’s sex talks and her fairy Godsister, Anne Hathaway. Jules has to decipher what advice she should heed, and when to let her own heart lead the way. Her Journal is the only one who knows the whole story.

IN THE MIND OF A CELEBRITY STALKER is a 60,000-word epistolary, chick lit novel.

The first five pages are included and a synopsis and the complete manuscript are available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Daiker

Jen obviously adds her contact info and so forth, but we don't need that here. Please remember to save your thoughts for tomorrow, when I will put my feedback in the post.

38 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Hey, Jen, Thanks for being willing to open up your query. Sounds like Jules is a little unstable so could be a fun ms.

My one piece of advice would be to be more specific.

Can you give us an example of the awful dating advice she gets from her mother and show us instead of tell?

How does she seek guidance from celebrities? Does she read People? Or what?

"turns into a quest to straighten out her dating life" does the refer to Jules or Paula?

How does she take things too far?

what is the misinterpreted dating advice?

What exactly is a wildly unexpected ride?
These are some of the areas you could be more specific.

Best of luck with querying!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks Jen for sharing this. Can't wait to see what you think Matt.

Katie Mills said...

alright Jen! SO fun finally know what you've been hard at work on! This sounds great!

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Nice.

Suzie F. said...

This sounds like such a fun story, Jen! Great job!

Shain Brown said...

I think the fun part of the story is whether she believes she is stable or not, and what her perception of reality really is.

salarsenッ said...

Hey there! Firstly I want to say 'nice job'. I think Laura has hit on a few good points.

I love the opener and the closer. Both got me. I'm thinking the first two middle paragraphs can be condensed into one. Try and scale down to the bare essence. (I know it's hard; trust me.) And that last sentence "She's not normally..." sounded a little abrupt. If you filter that idea into a second paragraph, I think that will work.

I love the premise and the Carrie/Anne mentions.

Great job!

Bish Denham said...

Oh so brave you are Jen! Looking forward to your comments, Matt. (And those from other bloggers.)

Jessica Bell said...

This sounds awesome, Jen! Looking forward to tomorrow. Just to clariy, I'm not supposed to gove opinion on the query today, right? Supposed to wait till tomorrow? Or have I read wrong? Anyhoo, love the premise. Sounds like chick lit to a tee!

Elena Solodow said...

This is a great start, Jen, but I agree with the others that you have to be more specific. That's what queries are built on. If your book is humorous, the query needs to have the same humor. And having read half of your book already, I know it's funny.

I think the hook is good, but could be stronger. I don't think the "trust" part flows naturally into the lack of reality bit at the end. Since the "reality" bit is the most interesting, I would focus the hook on that. How Jules is finally giving up on reality now that the advice she's been given seems crazier than her own fantasies.

Give us specific examples of her mother's advice, her friend's advice, her sister's advice, etc. SHOW us that she's being overwhelmed with bad advice, which provides the necessary evidence for the inciting event, i.e. the moment when your MC makes the decision that guides the rest of the novel.

That would be her decision to start the journal. Be specific about what the journal is, since that's the whole point of your novel - and the funniest part of it. That will lead naturally into the bit about restraining orders, which is the conflict.

The other conflict is going to be the guy next door, since his role in the novel is to pull her away from the fantasies she's set up for herself by writing the journal. That should be your focus in the last paragraph. How Jules is now pulled between the glorious world she's fallen into by imagining she's friends with all these celebreties, and the real world that she could have with Graham, the neighbor.

The last paragraph of a query should always be to set up the stakes. What is the final decision the MC must make, and what is standing in their way?

Hope this helps!

L.G.Smith said...

Thanks for offering this up. Nice.

Jared Larson said...

Short, sweet, and to the point. Well done.

Carolyn V. said...

I had no idea you were working on this Jen! Sweet! I love the shortness of it. Can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts tomorrow.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i'll be back tomorrow, for official commenting, but man, that is a lot of pink. Almost...too much pink?

Matthew MacNish said...

The pink is for a good cause!

Emily White said...

Sounds like a cute story! :)

Patti said...

I would also agree that you need to be more specific, but I think you've got an interesting story.

Jess said...

This sounds like a super cute story (I'm a sucker for celebrity stuff)!

Teenage Bride said...

Jen is one super talented writer! No doubt in my mind that we will be seeing her name in print very soon!

Sara B. Larson said...

Sounds like a great premise and a fun read! So, I'm supposed to wait until tomorrow to give my feedback? I think it's a great start, but my general advice would be to add more voice and focus on your main hook. Lots of great feedback in the comments here already, so I guess I'll wait and see how much more you get and add any other thoughts I have tomorrow. :)

Michelle Merrill said...

Can't wait to come back for more tomorrow! Thanks for posting :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Well now, I had no idea Jen was doing adult fiction. How did I not KNOW this? I think I just assumed she was doing YA. Doh!

Ok, wrapping mind around new fact. How refreshing, though. I love YA, but I miss grown-up fiction sometimes. I don't get to read enough of it.

I'll be back tomorrow to check out your thoughts, Matt.

Old Kitty said...

Ooohhh poor Jules!!! I feel so sorry for her - but as it's chicklit, here's hoping for a frothy romantic and whacky story - yay!!!!

I only will quibble about the Relationships with a big R but then perhaps that was deliberate!

Take care
x

Cynthia Lee said...

This sounds really cute and fun. I don't ordinarily like chick lit but this I could go for.

Christina Lee said...

This premise is Kick A, Jen! And you know how else I feel about you (by email). <<<333

Donea Lee said...

I've already had the privelege to read some of CS and loved it!!! Jen is awesome ~ :) Can't wait to see what fabulous advice and tips you get tomorrow! And thanks to Matt for helping Jen out!

Lydia K said...

I love the premise--taking pop culture and celebrity gossip to another level! Go Jen!

Talli Roland said...

You know I love it, Jen! I think it's a fantastic premise and perfect for the genre. I do think Laura has some great points - a little more detail when it comes to Jules' life would make this even stronger.

LTM said...

Yay, Jen! See? I told you she was a natural! :D <3

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, I can't WAIT to rip this to shreds! Mwa ha ha! (Kidding. I'm KIDDING. But I do have some thoughts, which I will come share tomorrow. BTW, is tomorrow Friday? What happened to Fridays?)

Claude Forthomme said...

Great blog, I'm having fun! Can't wait to read your comments tomorrow...Thursday? Wednesday?
Weeeellll

Lisa and Laura said...

Um...was this book written for US? We'll share some thoughts tomorrow!

Kristi Helvig said...

I love the premise of this and can't wait to see the feedback.

Theresa Milstein said...

I like the beginning now that you've tweaked it. And I like the way you describe the protagonist's relationship with her mother.

But I think you're spending too much time with the celebrity end of it. We need to know more about the plot. The mom and the restraining orders are a hint. This is the best one so far - you're almost there.

You've got great voice! : )

Sarah said...

You have a great premise--your MC sounds like she might have some fascinating mental health issues-- and have gotten some great feedback so far! I'd just say watch the random capitalization (Relationship), you don't need a comma after "Deen", and I would be careful with "chick lit", as I've seen numerous agents say they consider that an out-of-style genre and won't consider it. Women's fic? Commercial fic?

Pk Hrezo said...

Sounds like a really fun story! But I think you can give the query some more voice. Right now it's okay, but it needs to reach out and grab the agent. Also, I'd get rid of all those adverbs like exactly, frankly, overly, etc. You don't need them and they clutter your sentences. I think you should expand on blocked numbers and restraining orders--too vague. What's the main conflict of the story besides her internal decisions? Spell it out for us in your awesomely snazzy voice. :)
Can't wait to read this in print someday!

Laura Pauling said...

Clearly I missed the memo at the bottom about saving thoughts for tomorrow! Sorry!

Catherine Denton said...

Looking forward to tomorrow!
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