Post by virtualkathy on Jan 31, 2017 2:18:40 GMT -5
Appreciate any thoughts, thanks!
Dear (agent’s name),
I understand you are interested in picture books that are sweet with a deeper meaning, and so I hope you might be interested in my 345-word manuscript MOON TOWER.
Yoska wants the moon, but not for herself. She knows just how to reach it, but nothing goes as she expects and the moon eludes her. In the end, despite many setbacks, Yoska discovers that perseverance, determination and love can overcome even the most challenging obstacles.
I’m a member of the SCBWI and have done two years of the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. I’ve also attended a number of conferences, workshops and classes. I have several other picture book manuscripts available upon request.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Wanting the moon is such a wonderful premise. I think amping up the specifics of the story and downplaying what the character learns might make the synopsis section clearer. It might help to state clearly what she wants (moonlight), how she attempts to get it (by building a tower), and then how exactly "nothing goes as she expects."
This story sounds beautiful. Like previous commenters, I would like to know more details about Yoska's journey. Who does she want the moon for, if not for herself? This would give us a better understanding of what's at stake.
This sounds like a very charming story, virtualkathy! The idea that Yoska longs for the moon for someone other than herself made me intrigued and curious right away. One thought, I'm wondering if you might considering adding a little more info about Yoska so we can form a clearer image of her? Perhaps by indicating her age, location, or even species? This could just be me, but I did not assume Yoska was human. Hope this helps. Best of luck!
Post by virtualkathy on Feb 1, 2017 20:36:40 GMT -5
Hi elenam and rhi, thanks very much for your thoughts and comments! elenam, that's really good point about the stakes, why should we care whether she gets to the moon or not, right? And rhi, you're exactly right that who/what Yoska is, is very open-ended. That's super interesting to me that you assume she isn't human. In the earliest drafts of this story, Yoska was male, and a fox! So, imo you're super insightful to pick up on the non-human aspect! :-) One of the things I juggle in writing PBs is, how much do I leave up to the illustrator? I've read and been told many times that, if it isn't relevant to the plot, leave room for the illustrator. And there's the whole relationship between illustration/art and text, and how that moves the story forward, too--the illustrations can reveal as much about what's happening as the text. Speaking to the (very valid) feedback of, what does she want to moon for, I'm hoping the illustrations will show that she wants the moon for her little sister, who is afraid of the dark. (She plans to make her a nightlight using the light of the moon and the blanket that is mentioned in the art notes.) I need to think it over and decide if I should spell it out more in the text that she wants to help her sister overcome her fear, while she overcomes her own fears, too.
Clearly I'm going to need to rework the query to try and convey that better--great food for thought everyone, thanks very much!