Friday, May 24, 2013

Forging Fridays - Which Secrets are Good Ones

Today is our eighteenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...eighteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.

Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*


Avia's twelfth birthday promises to be a bleak one when she wakes up, yet again, without wings.This first line is very cute and pulls us right into the world, the character and her problem. Good job! Years have passed since every other fairy her age has been expertly flitting around the forest on beautiful wings while she looks up from below. With a supportive family backing her up, she finds ways to get around her world and explore unconventional talents this happens very early on in the book from what I'm seeing here, there's no need to keep this a secret from an agent/editor. In spite of the career-bully Veek and his posse, Avia is beginning to thrive and find her place in the world. Everything after the first line loses a touch of voice. It's still good, but maybe find a way to make it sound a tad bit more engrossing on the voice side of things.

When her best friend Ro goes missing, she uncovers a plot to enslave the fairies a plot by...? and she must figure out a way to save him. For the first time in her life, the way she does things is the best way. Is flying suddenly dangerous? No need to be vague here, let us know why. She ends up in a dark mountain with all kinds of nefarious creatures this is a fun world-building aspect, give us a couple of examples of the types of creatures to pull us in further and she's able to defy detection because they have underestimated her unique abilities. Not only is she able to resuce (rescue) Ro and the other fairies trapped inside the mountain, but she also defeats the evil queen and her nephew Veek when the queen loses her own wings and is forced into a fair fight. This should be the end (I'll explain why below) and so needs to pack much more of a punch. We also don't need to know here that she does these things. THIS is the only time I'd recommend keeping a secret or not being specific in a query. You want to tell the main conflict, her goal, what she has to do to accomplish it and what's at stake (what she'll lose if she fails). I would not recommend revealing that she wins or how she does it though. This is the one aspect that really should be kept a secret.

Avia thrives and comes up with creative ways to move around in a world that was not built for her. She is strong and determined even when the odds are most decidedly against her. Every kid needs a friend like Ro that accepts you for who you are. Different does not mean broken. No matter what your difference is, you can be the best You there is! This last section really makes the story sound like an after-school special. You don't need this. Instead of telling us these things about the story, find small creative ways to show us this in the body of the query. 

For example: in the last paragraph when you mention that Ro has gone missing, that sentence could easily be rephrased to carry this impactful information about the kind of friend he is.

"Avia's best friend, Ro, is the opposite of Veek in every way. He *fun character trait 1*, *fun character trait 2*, and he never makes Avia feel like there is anything wrong with her or her missing wings. So when Avia discovers that Ro's gone missing, she..." and continue on from there. This is, of course, just an example (and not a very good one, really) so make it your own, but you get the idea.

This is a cool query with a good voice. Just need to hone in on where to add in/take out a couple of tidbits and you'll be good to go. :) You also obviously need an intro paragraph/info/personalization/etc, but I'm guessing you know this already and just stuck with the body of the query. 

Good luck!


Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.


  1. I really like this query series! Helpful advice. I'm taking notes... ;)

  2. I like the query series too. Helps writers like me (who haven't written any queries yet) learn from the queries and from the advice posted.

  3. This is Awesome, thank you!! A query letter is an entirely different beast than writing a novel. It's hard to switch between the two. Thanks again!!