Monday, May 2, 2011

Justine Dell's Current Query

But first some news: somehow I lost a follower. I'm not the type to obsess over these things, but I'm not going to pretend I didn't notice. I like to tell myself that someone's blogger account expired whenever this happens, because lord knows no one would stop following me on purpose.

Also, in case you haven't heard: Assets from The United States managed to kill Osama Bin Laden yesterday. He was not, as we were told for many years, hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, but actually living in a mansion outside Islamabad. Hopefully this can provide a tiny bit of closure for the innocent people so terribly affected by the cowardly acts of 9/11.

That's all the commentary I'll be giving it.

Now let's get to my good friend Justine's current query. Remember, today is just for you to get a feel for her story, please save your feedback for tomorrow when I'll be sharing mine.

The query:

Perpetually eighteen-year-old Nicodemus thought he knew the purpose of Hell. After all, he was born there. It’s all about teaching humans about humanity, how to care, blah, blah, blah. Two thousand years later, he finds out he was wrong.

Nic, part-mortal part-freak, longs for one thing: a normal life. When he’s forced to bring a fifteen-year-old human to join the permanent ranks of Hell, he realizes normal is the last thing he will ever be. Nic wouldn’t wish his life on anyone. Who wants to be the reason a teenage mother commits suicide or be the person who starts a chain reaction that causes a father to shoot his newborn son? So how can he force someone so young to do what he does? The bringer of pain. Loss. Suffering. It’s not poetic. It’s not altruistic. It’s madness.

Nic didn’t choose his existence, and he certainly doesn’t want to force it on someone else. But when Nic discovers he has a twin—one who’s hell-bent on killing Nic—the race for the human’s soul becomes a matter of life and death. Literally. Freakin’ great.

Between damning the human to a life of servitude in Hell, the homicidal twin, and a hot little pop-tart human girl who makes Nic wild, something’s gotta give. And it has to be Nic. But death is the only answer when these worlds collide. And no one is safe when the gods play favorites. Like Nic doesn’t have enough crap to deal with.

Title, word count, personalization, yada yada!

So that's it!

Remember, please say hi to Justine and thank her for her courage in the comments, but save your advice and thoughts on her query for tomorrow, she knows it needs some work, which is why she's here, but we'll be spending tomorrow trying to help her hone this to a keen edge.

41 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing the query. I'd love to know the title. Can't wait for your comments tomorrow.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I looks forward to seeing the comments on the query tomorrow.

And Matt, I know not the identity of the person no longer following you. What I do know is that I'm stubbornly loyal to a fault, and it'll take something pretty much near apocalyptic for you to shake off my friendship.

Matthew MacNish said...

BTW all, Justine said it's called CRUCIBLE.

Old Kitty said...

Hooraah for the lovely Justine Dell's query!

You know I'd be lying to you if I said it doesn't bother me when I lose a follower! Cos it totally and utterly ruins my day when I lose a follower!! Totally depresses me! I'm like "what have I done that was so bad you had to unfollow me oh, ex-follower of mine?!?!?" :-(

So I am so sorry for this happening to you. It's not nice and I feel your pain!

Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry about that one follower. I went up one down one all last week. Weird.

Justine Dell said...

Ah! I've lost a few followers, too. An epidemic must be going around!

~JD

Michael G-G said...

Yay for you, Justine. Looking forward to Matt's and others' "honing to a keen edge" tomorrow.

Steve Abernathy said...

Maybe Bin Laden was that follower? If so, no big loss. I hear his WIP was a dumb vampire book.

Lindsay said...

Yay for Justine.

Also, I'm with Justine -- I think there's an epidemic going around follower wise. Don't worry. You're still awesome! :)

Lori M. Lee said...

This story sounds really interesting!

Ted Cross said...

Yeah, I lose followers every so often. The truth is, I only want followers who really like what I am writing. It hurts a little but it's for the best.

Hektor Karl said...

I don't quite understand the follow thing, but you just added me. So all should now be in balance. :).

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have yo yo followers too. At least my email subscribers grow steadily without any ups and downs. I'm wondering if some of my followers have become email subscribers instead (I have more of the latter than the former).

I love this query. Great voice. That's usually the hardest thing to get right. Everything else will be easy to fix, as long as you've got voice. It's getting the voice in that's often tough. :D

Hannah Kincade said...

you win some, you lose some. I've lost a few but I can never remember who they are/were. Losing one is not going to dent your massive following! :D

Chris Phillips said...

I told you if you didn't stop posting about Bieber all the time I'd quit following you!

Matthew MacNish said...

Damn. I should have known it was you, Chris!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i lost a follower once. And yeah, i noticed too. Ah well

Hektor Karl said...

With each new gadget comes new statistics to drive bloggers crazy.

Emily White said...

Hi, Justine! *waves* :)

I've lost followers, too. One time, I lost two followers in a day. It was very sad.

Shain Brown said...

At this point if I lost a follower I would be left to follow myself.Sorry about to hear about your follower Matt. I would never unfollow you.

Thanks, Justine. Way to jump in feet first. I can not wait until tomorrow.

Munk said...

Looking forward to your review tomorrow.

Tracey Neithercott said...

Thanks for sharing, Justine.

And I'd be sad too, Matt. Losing a follower feels like having the stranger behind you in line tell you you're not good enough.

Maybe the person followed you there and with Networked Blogs and wanted to consolidate.

aspiring_x said...

CRUCIBLE! CRUCIBLE! CRUCIBLE!
YAY JUSTINE!!!!
looking forward to tomorrow!

Katie Mills said...

yay Justine!! Thanks for sharing your query with us- this premise is amazing!

Sarah said...

Hey JD, just here to lend my support (though you knew that already, I think).

Matt, I think we've all lost followers, and it's hard not to wonder why--but look at how many people you've got with you, how many comment, and how many are really grateful for the help you give your fellow writers.

LTM said...

yay, Justine!!! Can't wait for tomorrow... I'll be emailing Matt's lines to him later. *wink* j/k

good luck~ :o)

Colene Murphy said...

Hi Justine!! Wow that sounds really interesting!!

Justine Dell said...

Thanks everyone! Can't see what Matt (and everyone else) has to say. *bites fingernails*

~JD

Angela Ackerman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela Ackerman said...

Thanks Justine for sharing your query, BTW, and great job!

--Angela

BTN Hip Hop said...

good job justine!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing, Justine!
And I lost a follower today, too! And I have less to lose than you! :)

Carrie said...

Don't worry about losing a follower. Sometimes a follower goes missing. But if it's an account thing they'll come back.

Justine- Thanks for sharing your query. Sounds like a cool story.

Christina Lee said...

Hi Justine!!! I was lucky enough to read the beginning of this novel and it's great! I think the query is strong, but I'll be back tomorrow to see what you come up with, Matt!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hi Justine!! Thanks for sharing your query!

There's one thing I know about the lost-follower: they don't know what they're missing! :)

p.s. I like your buttons!

Anita said...

I just realized I wasn't following you...so that makes up for the person who left!

Joanne Brothwell said...

Thanks for sharing, Justine. I'll be back tommorrow!

Although I'm still a loyal follower of yours, Matt, I have recenly unfollowed someone. I might be an old-fashioned prude, but I just thought it was unprofessional to list "f*#king" under "hobbies and interests". Some bloggers are so weird.

But not you!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Okay, A. I'm mortified to admit that I was either NOT following your blog (though I'm pretty sure I was) OR I was the culprit, though I TOTALLY blame Google. *shakes fist* Either way, the situation's been rectified.
AND
B. Justine is a brave soul and I applaud her for putting up her query!!

Jessica Bell said...

Look forward to your comments! (Ps: whisper, whisper, ... you think he's REALLY dead?)

FantasticFiction said...

Hi JD!! Here is mu critique. I hope it helps. I got lots of requests with my recent query so hopefully this is worth listening to.

Perpetually eighteen-year-old Nicodemus (This name makes me imagine an old man!) thought he knew the purpose of Hell.(This serves as an interisting hook, but I am unsiure about it. I mean, its his thoughts. What are the main actions in the conflict?) After all, he was born there.(THAT is what we need firsthand.) It’s all about teaching humans about humanity, how to care, blah, blah, blah.(I don't get this...He was born in hell so why would he be doing that?) Two thousand years later, he finds out he was wrong.(Wrong about what?)

Nic, part-mortal(,) part-freak, longs for one thing: a normal life.(Thats what they all seem to long for and it sounds cliche.) When he’s forced to bring a fifteen-year-old human to join the permanent ranks of Hell, he realizes normal is the last thing he will ever be. (You should remove the whole normal thing) Nic wouldn’t wish his life on anyone. (That is obvious by now) Who wants to be the reason a teenage mother commits suicide or be the person who starts a chain reaction that causes a father to shoot his newborn son? (This is well done, but I think LOTS can be cut from this query and reassembled) So how can he force someone so young to do what he does? The bringer of pain. Loss. Suffering. It’s not poetic. It’s not altruistic. It’s madness. (Is it really madness, or is it evil isn't some way? Isn't he used to doing this? Maybe he wouldn't think it so terrible if he's done this for all his life)

Nic didn’t choose his existence, and he certainly doesn’t want to force it on someone else. (How?) But when Nic discovers he has a twin—one who’s hell-bent on killing Nic—the race for the human’s soul becomes a matter of life and death. Literally. Freakin’ great. (I don't get this. He has a twin? What is the race? Your query gets very confusing and the way you try to implement voice only makes it more confusing.)

Between damning the human to a life of servitude in Hell, the homicidal twin, and a hot little pop-tart human girl who makes Nic wild, something’s gotta give. (I already don't exactly see what is going on. Who is this pop tart girl? Why do I care about her? I don't.) And it has to be Nic. But death is the only answer when these worlds collide. And no one is safe when the gods play favorites. Like Nic doesn’t have enough crap to deal with. (The tone is off for me. The query is too long, and everything seems confusing, I mean the itsy parts. I think you're on your way and that is great because I like your premise, except I don't see the root of the problem. Why does Nik want to be different when he was born that way? Good luck JD and take my advice with a grain of salt. I hope it helps you.)

Title, word count, personalization, yada yada!

salarsenッ said...

Looking forward to Matt's comments, Justine. Interesting story. I'm a sucker for the Hell-hath-fury but in a nice way story. :)