#RevPit #10Queries - February 2020

The #RevPit editors held another #10Queries mini event the beginning of the month. The point of these is to provide professional but anonymous feedback on authors' queries and first five pages.

Why anonymous?

When we keep to the constructs and elements instead of specifics, the feedback we provide on the tweets is helpful to other writers, not just the ones who were chosen in the raffle.

Here's a roundup of all my tweets for this mini-event, including some patterns I saw and recommended resources. If you're looking for feedback on your own query and first pages, I'm happy to schedule a critique!

  1. I want to start off the #RevPit #10Queries with an explanation for those new to it. Authors entered a raffle and were drawn at random to send in their query letter and first 5 pages. 20 pro editors read the subs and wrote feedback on them. Today, we are tweeting that feedback...

  2. ...but it's anonymous. That way, it can help any author to see what works and what doesn't in these materials. #RevPit has done several of #10Queries events in the past, and we hear each time how helpful it is for #AmQuerying authors, even if they didn't enter.

  3. So, buckle up. I'll post 2 tweets for each sub--1 for the query, 1 for the pages. I'll be around afterward to answer questions and give some general feedback and advice on these materials. Check the #RevPit #10Queries feed all day for some amazing #WritingAdvice

  4. Feel free to ask questions as I go, and I'll get to them as I can. But I promise I will get to them! #RevPit #10Queries

  5. Q1 YA UF Comps have me🤩 I love this premise just from the first paragraph. Great job explaining the plot. My only critique: a little more stakes. Is there a ticking clock? What will happen if they don't Do The Thing? Still, excited for pages! #RevPit #10Queries

  6. P1 Leads with hook and voice keeps it going. Sets up plot and character arc. Great microtension. Can you work some of the worldbuilding in later and a little more organically? But you can't just end it there--I want to know what happened! #RevPit @10Queries

  7. Q2 ? F Queries need narrative voice + remember that a query is to sell an agent on your story, to show them what stands out about it and get them to want to read your pages. It is not a synopsis. Know your age category and its guidelines. #RevPit #10Queries

  8. P2 POV fluctuates between omni and limited. Starts with a lot of telling, so we don't get to connect with MC. Ground your story in a scene + make sure your scenes have setting + beginning, middle & end #RevPit #10Queries

  9. Q3 A UF Like the premise, but query feels disjointed. How are these items connected? Are you talking about our world or fantasy world? Instead, start with MCs and focus more on a brief explanation of what kicks off the main plot, as well as stakes #RevPit #10Queries

  10. P3 🤔It isn't clear who the narrator is. Careful with phonetic spellings to denote dialect. It takes readers out of the story because they have to translate. Foreshadowing has to be subtle or takes away suspense of what will happen. #RevPit #10Queries

  11. Q4 A CF Really connect with premise + it involves mythology I don't see a lot. The first 3 pghs are great, but it doesn't come together well in the 4th. Can you be more specific about what exactly they have to do+what if they don't? What is the dilemma? #RevPit #10Queries

  12. P4 Slow start w/too much expo. Ground in a scene, balance action and interiority. Once scene starts, it gets better. MMC seems awesome. Still, I find it hard to connect with FMC. Describe instead of summarizing to give a chance to engage. Almost there! #RevPit #10Queries

  13. Q5 A R Good stakes. But this is a common trope, and it's unclear how this story stands out from all the others. Focus more on present-day plot. Or does the story show all this history? I'm not sure what actually happens in this story. #RevPit #10Queries

  14. P5 Good opening pages, but it still isn't clear what makes this story is different so there isn't a strong hook to make the reader keep going. Pages need to sink in their teeth and not let go! Side note: you don't have to italicize internal thoughts. #RevPit #10Queries

  15. Q6 A F It's hard to say, but it feels like there might be too much set up here. We get a good sense of the world and the characters but less of plot and stakes. I wonder if you're focusing on the right details. You might need to tweak. #RevPit #10Queries

  16. P6 This is so well balanced. The proportions feel right. We get to know the MC, a little backstory and worldbuilding as they move through the scene, and we move into conflict. Great pacing, makes me want to know what happens next! #RevPit #10Queries

  17. Q7 ? ? Nice, tight query with conflict and stakes! But we need to know more about MC too--what's the inner conflict? Make sure you get in your ms's stat info. Not having this can mean agents auto reject! #RevPit #10Queries

  18. P7 Great voice, strong scene structure, but the first scene is prologuey and nothing really happens. We don't really get to connect with the MC. It would be OK but condense it pretty dramatically so we get to start the actual story much sooner. #RevPit #10Queries

  19. Q8 MG Con Cool concept, but I'm not clear how these elements go together or what exactly the MC wants or how they plan to get it. Make sure you nail the basics--MC, main plot/conflict, stakes--before you worry about making the writing "sell." #RevPit #10Queries

  20. P8 Voice is amazing! Perfect for MG. We get a lot of information about this MC through the narrative voice, and you handle action/reaction beautifully. I want to read more! Now we just need the query to match #RevPit #10Queries

  21. Q9 YA R Formatting is distracting. Not sure if it's from conversion? Make sure you follow industry standards. What is the conflict the MCs must deal with that will bring them together or force them apart? What actually happens in the plot? #RevPit #10Queries

  22. P9 Love this voice for YA. I like this scene a lot, but it gives us more insight about the non-POV character than the narrator. What can you add at the beginning so we get more focus on POV character before it shifts to the other? #RevPit #10Queries

  23. Q10 ? F Fun premise, but the writing needs some polishing. Be more specific about the element you mention that's what's unique about your story--that's your hook! Good start, just needs some work. #RevPit #10Queries

  24. P10 The first sentences make the rest of this scene a flashback and causes a narrative distance that doesn't feel like 1st person. Scene is a good concept but needs better balance of show and tell + deeper POV. #RevPit #10Queries

  25. That's it for me! Some general thoughts: - Google your titles. If there's already something big with that name, you may want to reconsider. You want your book to be easy to find when your readers search for it. #RevPit #10Queries

  26. - Learn about scene structure. KM Weiland has a great section on it in Structuring Your Novel. - Make sure you know industry standards for formatting and follow them! This is one of the most basic ways to help yourself succeed. - Ditto on ms stat info #RevPit #10Queries

  27. #RevPit #10Queries My most recommended query resources: - -… - @queryconnection

  28. Rules for internal monologue + italics in deep POV: - Only use italics for intentional thoughts, like "You can do it, Jeni!" <<< only if you're a Jeni - Everything else is already the narrator's thoughts so you don't need to italicize #RevPit #10Queries

  29. Not clear on what deep POV is or how to use it? This can help! #RevPit #10Queries

  30. Going to answer questions now! @ or DM me with any others your think of! #RevPit #10queries

  31. I am starting a book club for authors! It will focus on craft books to help you strengthen your self-revision skills. Each month, we will read a craft book then meet to discuss. The 1st meeting will be mid-February. #RevPit #10Queries For details, go to…

  32. 💌Newsletter: 📝Online group for writers: 📻Podcasts: @indie_chicks and @StoryChatRadio #RevPit #10Queries My DMs are always open for writing and editing questions. You can also find me at 🌐Website:

You can read the whole thread on Twitter here:

And you can read the other #RevPit editors' #10Queries tweets here:


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