#3 Query Corner: ‘Egg’

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Morgan’s Query Corner:

Answering Your Query Quandaries

NOTE: If you submit your query to me (morgan.s.hazelwood@gmail.com), and you are selected for inclusion, I will give you a high-level review, in-line feedback, and my own draft of your query. If this is your query, feel free to use or ignore as much of the advice and suggestions as you wish.

[Disclaimer: Any query selected for the page will be posted on this website for perpetuity. I am an amateur with no actual accepted queries and a good number of form rejections. This does not guarantee an agent or even an amazing query, just a new take by someone who’s read The Query Shark archives twice and enjoys playing with queries.]

Overall Impression:

You’ve got a cute middle-grade adventure! You’re following query format beautifully. I think this just needs a bit of polish to avoid cliche phrasing and really make your story shine.

The Original:

[my comments are in blue/italics/brackets]

Dear Ms. Hazelwood,

When 12-year-old Jo and her cousin Andy find a mysterious [cliche!] egg in their favorite hideout – the cave on the bluff near their Wisconsin home [singular? Do they live together?] – Jo’s first instinct is to leave and never go back. The egg is bigger than any she’s ever seen, and so stinky she doesn’t want to be near it. But when she finds [using ‘find’ again] the corpse of the beast that laid the egg, she can’t just walk away. Her own mother left when she was just a toddler, and Jo would never do that to anyone[might be too explain-y?]. So she prepares herself for two things: a serious commitment and a baby dragon.[I think it’s just 1 thing. Serious commitment to a dragon!]

Once the dragon hatches, Jo and Andy help it learn to fly, hunt for its favorite food (pine cones), and speak a few words of English[the dragon can speak!]. But the dragon’s hoarding instinct kicks in and it steals treasure from people in town. Then it eats some of Jo’s chickens, including her favorite hen. When the dragon learns to breathe fire and accidentally burns Jo, Andy insists on sending their dragon away. But Jo doubles down – she will never abandon her dragon even though keeping it risks her friendship with Andy, the safety of her town, and her own life.[a little clunky]

EGG combines the longing and secrecy in THE TIGER RISING with the light-hearted play of PETE’S DRAGON. Set in modern-day rural Wisconsin, EGG is a middle grade contemporary fantasy, complete at 43,000 words. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[Q3]

[email]

[twitter] [phone]

The Revised Query:

Dear Ms. Hazelwood,

When 12-year-old Jo and her cousin Andy find the enormous (and stinky) egg in their hideout cave on the bluff near their Wisconsin homes – Jo’s first instinct is to leave and never go back. But when she discovers the corpse of the egg’s momma, she can’t just walk away. Unlike her own mother, Jo swears she would never abandon a baby! Even if it’s a baby dragon.

Once the dragon hatches, Jo and Andy help it learn to fly, hunt for its favorite food (pine cones), and even speak a few words of English. But then the dragon’s instincts kick in: it eats some of Jo’s chickens, (including her favorite hen!), it steals treasure from people in town, and it learns to breathe fire. When the dragon accidentally burns Jo, Andy declares the dragon is too dangerous. Jo must decide if keeping her promise to the dragon is worth risking her friendship with Andy, the safety of her town, and her own life.

EGG combines the longing and secrecy in THE TIGER RISING with the light-hearted play of PETE’S DRAGON. Set in modern-day rural Wisconsin, EGG is a middle-grade contemporary fantasy, complete at 43,000 words.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Q3]

[email]
[Twitter]
[phone]


Now, not all of my feedback is going to work for the queryist. They know their story best, but hopefully, it puts them on the right path!


And for the rest of you out there?
Best of luck in the query trenches!

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9 thoughts on “#3 Query Corner: ‘Egg’

  1. Cute, but right away, you know what struck me? The episode of Under the Dome when the kids find, yup, an EGG. A mysterious one, to boot! Check it out: “Lovebirds Joe and Norrie first find an egg inside a mini-dome that’s under the dome. (Are you following?) The egg lights up and causes some people to see hallucinations. Later, Julia touches the mini-dome containing said egg and sees…” That’s from: http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/under-the-dome-season-1-summary.html. So I wouldn’t write a book about an egg in the first place. Now, a chicken, that’s another story. 😀

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  2. P.S. – There is also a very strong similarity to the plot – and details – of the movie, E.T. Just saying. I know, I know, this is supposed to be all about queries, but I just can’t seem to turn off my penchant for seeing stuff that resembles other stuff… Sorry!

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