Monday, June 18, 2018
So, your query works. I read your pages. Then I said no. Some reasons why.
1. Over writing. "Massive red orb" when what you mean is "sun."
Unless it's science fiction, and suns can be small blue triangles as well as massive red orbs, you should save the description for things that matter. That the sun is shining does not require the sun be described as a massive red orb.
2a. The female characters are described by what they look like; the men by what they do.
I'm over this.
Completely, totally, over this.
2b. The characters are described in ways that make them caricatures. I see this a LOT with starting-out writers. Our hero isn't just smart, he's a rocket scientist. She's not just a waitress, she won the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Characters are more interesing when they're flawed.
2c. Stock characters. Alcoholic, burned out cops; brilliant but socially inept hackers; mindless thugs; mobsters; DMV employees who always manage to cough up info when the hero needs it.
Give any of these characters some fresh twist and I'm all in. This is why you read 1000 books in your category, so you know what's been done before and what hasn't.
3a. Nothing happens.
Something needs to change for the story to start. If I have to wait too long, I lose interest. It doesn't have to be someone being set on fire; it can be subtle. It just needs to be there.
3b. Not enough happens by page 50
The plot should be fully underway by this point. If the only thing that's happened is the characters have been moved around, we'll still need a sense of what's at stake. Think of it this way. Your characters are driving cross country from NYC to LA. Whether they're going too fast or too slow is something you know ONLY if you also know they have to be in LA by six pm tomorrow or the world will end. It's not just what they're doing, it's what's at stake.
at 7:00 AM