Query Letter Critique

Original Query Letter

 

Jimmy Rickliefs’ rock star career ends when a drunk driver runs a red light.

 

In the wake of the near-fatal accident, Jimmy’s shattered body can’t keep up with his job. Permanent injuries from the accident leave him barely able to walk. A brain injury caused seizures. When the emotional impact of his recovery starts tearing his marriage and his friendships apart, he starts to re-think going back to the band.

 

But when his daughter is born twelve weeks early, Jimmy’s priorities change. His daughter faces an uncertain future; the doctors don’t know if she’ll ever walk or talk. Between Jimmy and his daughter, medical bills are drowning the new family. Jimmy knows that if he quits the band, his wife will carry the financial burden and they could be out on the streets. But if he returns to the band that he loves, he could provide everything his daughter needs. Faced with a quandary between what’s right and what’s safe, Jimmy has to decide if returning to music is worth the risks.

 

Driven is mainstream/commercial fiction complete at 85,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Query Letter After I Got My Grubby Paws On It

 

Jimmy Rickliefs’ rock star career ends when a drunk driver runs a red light. Strong opener! Although, if I’m going to get picky, I have to say the last name sounds made up and not so rockstar-ish.

 

In the wake of the near-fatal accident, Jimmy’s shattered body can’t keep up with his job. Permanent injuries from the accident  It’s a given how he acquired these injuries since you just mentioned a near-fatal accident. leave him barely able to walk. A brain injury caused seizures You’ve switched tenses here. The rest of the para is present tense (which is correct for a query letter), and here you have past tense. When the emotional impact of his recovery starts tearing his marriage and his friendships apart, he starts to re-think going back to the band. I like this. It’s a nice set-up and I’m curious what’s going to happen next—exactly what you want from your reader!

 

But when his daughter is born twelve weeks early, Jimmy’s priorities change. I’m going to be honest, this seems like a big shift. You’d not mentioned his wife was pregnant before now—the focus was on Jimmy’s accident and difficult recovery, and so I expected you to built on that. Instead you’ve thrown a completely separate plot into the game. I would mention his wife’s pregnancy earlier, at the very least. But I’m not sure that alone would be enough to make this transition smooth. His daughter faces an uncertain future; the doctors don’t know if she’ll ever walk or talk. Between Jimmy and his daughter, medical bills are drowning the new family. Jimmy knows that if he quits the band, his wife will carry the financial burden and they could be out on the streets. But if he returns to the band that he loves, he could provide everything his daughter needs. Faced with a quandary between what’s right and what’s safe, Jimmy has to decide if returning to music is worth the risks.

 

Driven is mainstream/commercial fiction complete at 85,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

You have a solid start here. A great opener and lead-up to the stakes, and the bones of the query are very good. It gets a little weak near the end, but I can’t see that being something very difficult to fix. You’re in pretty good shape. Thanks for sharing this with me, and good luck in your querying endeavors!

Posted in query critique, query letter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>