Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.
We all know the first line of a query is your “hook.” I call the last line the “sinker.” You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.
If you’re looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey – the query. My comments appear in green.
Of all the things sixteen-year-old Grace thought she’d inherit after her mom’s death, visions of the future never made the list. Pretty good hook. But when a vision allows her to save Max Hubbard, a guy with a cute smile and a questionable background, she decides to uncover all the secrets her mom took to the grave. First on the list: why was Max’s name written in her mom’s planner?
Unlike Grace, Max has no interest in digging up the past. For generations, his family has hunted down women descended from the Greek Fates. His father swears there will be no freewill until the last Fate is killed, but Max knows it’s his father who controls Max’s choices. Sentence is a bit awkward. He’s next in line to take over the family business, but Max only wants to get away from his father and start a normal life. When he meets Grace, he hopes she’ll be his new beginning. You might need to do some explaining here – he knows she’s a Fate, he’s supposed to kill Fates but he resents his controlling father. But what actually stops him from killing Grace? Has he killed Fates before? Is it because she saved him? But the closer they become, the more he realizes she may be the last Fate his father has been pursuing.
When his father and brother make the same discovery, Max must decide if he’s willing to risk his newfound freedom from his father at what point did he become free from his father if he’s next in line to get the business? Do you just mean the freewill to make his own choice? And how would helping Grace to escape risk his freedom? Wouldn’t it cement it? to help Grace escape. Whether Grace will accept his help is another story. She discovers that her mother sought out Max because she was trying to change his fate. But if she meant to bring Max and Grace together or keep them apart, Grace can’t be sure. You could use a stronger ending here, but overall this is pretty well done! Get a little explanation in there as to Max’s motivations and you’re looking good.