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The Creation's Dawn (Science Fiction)


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#1 Carson Spencer

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

Latest query is on #23
Well I'm back after a lengthy paternity leave and a bunch of things have changed. Thankfully my favorite people are still here and new ones that have excellent insite. If you are wondering if you are one of my favorite people you are. I have rewriten this over and over again till my brain is numb so hopefully all y'all (I love that phrase) can help me see what I've missed. As always thanks for your help.

Dear whoever you are,

Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes mixed up in the middle of a war between two groups of pre human creatures hidden among us. The two groups of creatures are bent on recruiting or destroying him due to his bizarre genetic makeup.

Being much smaller than others around him and fainting when he gets scared could be chalked up to a birth defect but when Tyler starts lighting things on fire when he gets nervous he begins to doubt his humanity. His first term at college turns out to be a disaster when he is set upon by an eccentric boy named Sam. Sam claims that he is a member of a species that pre dates humans and that Tyler is also not human. He proves this by showing Tyler that he is able to draw in life energy from around him just as Tyler draws in heat. When his father refuses to tell Tyler what is wrong with him he begins to dig into his father’s hidden past. His search is interrupted when he realizes that he is being hunted by a Preman assassin. He and his family are captured and Tyler’s father’s sinister past is revealed. With Tyler’s abilities and help from his new friends Sam and Brandon they escape the clutches of a Preman with a vendetta against Tyler’s father. After 18 years of waiting Tyler’s father finally confides the truth about the creation of Tyler and of his unusual genetic makeup. Sam and Brandon secure a meeting with the leaders of their faction to discuss his place in the world. Tyler hopes that the Preman will have away suppress or eliminate his strange problems.

The Creation’s Dawn is a 108,000 word Science Fiction novel. Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,
Carson Spencer

#2 Carson Spencer

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:21 AM

Alright I have mad a few chanages with hopes to get a responce on wether it helps draw in the reader more. I bolded added words and struck through the deleted ones.

Dear Agent,

Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes mixed up in the middle of a war between two groups of pre human creatures hidden concealed among us. The two groups of creatures are bent on recruiting or destroying him due to his bizarre genetic makeup.

Being much smaller than others around him and fainting when he gets scared could be chalked up to a birth defect but when Tyler starts lighting things on fire when he gets nervous he begins to doubt his humanity. His first term at college turns out to be a disaster when he is set upon by an eccentric boy named Sam. Sam claims that he is a member of a species that pre dates humans and that Tyler is also not human. He proves this by showing Tyler that he is able to draw in life energy from around him just as Tyler draws in heat. When his father refuses to tell Tyler what is wrong with him he begins to dig into his father’s hidden past to uncover the truth. His search is interrupted when he realizes that he is being hunted by a Preman assassin. He and his family are captured and Tyler’s father’s sinister ominous past is revealed. With Tyler’s abilities and help from his new friends Sam and Brandon they escape the clutches of a Preman with a vendetta against Tyler’s father. After 18 years of waiting Tyler’s father finally confides the truth about the creation of Tyler and of his unusual genetic makeup. Sam and Brandon secure a meeting with the leaders of their faction to discuss his place in the world. Tyler hopes that the Preman will have away suppress or eliminate his strange problems.

The Creation’s Dawn is the first book in The Chronicles of Creation series. It is complete at 108,000 word. Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,
Carson Spencer

Tyler's father and sister both have big roles in this book but I didn't putthem in for fear of bloating the summery. I wanted to focus on Tyler and his goals and conflicts. I am worried though that I haven't painted an acurate discription of the book with out Tylers narcissistic sister Becky. Any thoghts on wether I need to introduce all the main characters in the query? Again thanks for reading.

#3 Guinevere

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:59 AM

Dear Agent,

Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes mixed up in the middle of a war between two groups of pre human creatures hidden concealed among us. The two groups of creatures are bent on recruiting or destroying him due to his bizarre genetic makeup.

I'd keep your hook to just the first sentence.

Being much smaller than others around him and fainting when he gets scared could be chalked up to a birth defect but when Tyler starts lighting things on fire when he gets nervous he begins to doubt his humanity.

Great image of Tyler but it reads a bit awkward to me. I don't want to tell you how to write your story but I think this couold use a little polish.

His first term at college turns out to be a disaster when he is set upon by an eccentric boy named Sam. Sam claims that he is a member of a species that pre dates humans and that Tyler is also not human. He proves this by showing Tyler that he is able to draw in life energy from around him just as Tyler draws in heat. When his father refuses to tell Tyler what is wrong with him he begins to dig into his father’s hidden past to uncover the truth. His search is interrupted when he realizes that he is being hunted by a Preman assassin. He and his family are captured and Tyler’s father’s sinister ominous past is revealed. With Tyler’s abilities and help from his new friends Sam and Brandon they escape the clutches of a Preman with a vendetta against Tyler’s father. After 18 years of waiting Tyler’s father finally confides the truth about the creation of Tyler and of his unusual genetic makeup. Sam and Brandon secure a meeting with the leaders of their faction to discuss his place in the world. Tyler hopes that the Preman will have away suppress or eliminate his strange problems.

Is this the synopsis of everything in the first novel? That's sort of how it reads to me. If so, I'd focus on the portion where Tyler meets Sam, finds out he's different, and realizes he is in danger, and what his conflict is.

Tyler's father and sister both have big roles in this book but I didn't putthem in for fear of bloating the summery. I wanted to focus on Tyler and his goals and conflicts. I am worried though that I haven't painted an acurate discription of the book with out Tylers narcissistic sister Becky. Any thoghts on wether I need to introduce all the main characters in the query? Again thanks for reading.

I would leave the other main characters out. Anyone reading your query is going to know your characters are more than Tyler, Sam, and Tyler's father but you don't want to distract from the main kernel of your story. Introducing more characters would be confusing, I think.

#4 Peter Burton

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:55 AM

Alright I have mad a few chanages with hopes to get a responce on wether it helps draw in the reader more. I bolded added words and struck through the deleted ones.

Dear Agent,

Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes mixed up in the middle of a war between two groups of pre human creatures hidden concealed among us. The two groups of creatures are bent on recruiting or destroying him due to his bizarre genetic makeup.


Maybe, if you combined the two sentences:

"Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes mixed up in a war between two groups of concealed pre human creatures bent on recruiting, or destroying him due to his own bizarre genetic makeup."

Being much smaller than others around him and fainting when he gets scared could be chalked up to a birth defect but when Tyler starts lighting things on fire when he gets nervous he begins to doubt his humanity. His first term at college turns out to be a disaster when he is set upon by an eccentric boy named Sam. Sam claims that he is a member of a species that pre dates humans and that Tyler is also not human. He proves this by showing Tyler that he is able to draw in life energy from around him just as Tyler draws in heat. When his father refuses to tell Tyler what is wrong with him he begins to dig into his father’s hidden past to uncover the truth. His search is interrupted when he realizes that he is being hunted by a Preman assassin. He and his family are captured and Tyler’s father’s sinister ominous past is revealed. With Tyler’s abilities and help from his new friends Sam and Brandon they escape the clutches of a Preman with a vendetta against Tyler’s father. After 18 years of waiting Tyler’s father finally confides the truth about the creation of Tyler and of his unusual genetic makeup. Sam and Brandon secure a meeting with the leaders of their faction to discuss his place in the world. Tyler hopes that the Preman will have away suppress or eliminate his strange problems.


I think that here, I would also focus more on Tyler and Sam's meeting, as well as his discovery of the danger he is in.

Perhaps attempting to make something of a cliffhanger out of it.

Tyler's father and sister both have big roles in this book but I didn't putthem in for fear of bloating the summery. I wanted to focus on Tyler and his goals and conflicts. I am worried though that I haven't painted an acurate discription of the book with out Tylers narcissistic sister Becky. Any thoghts on wether I need to introduce all the main characters in the query? Again thanks for reading.


I would probably introduce his father, as that is integral to Tyler's suspicions, but I think you would be better off leaving Becky in the shadows for the moment. At least until the proposal phase where the agent wants to see more.

Just my feeling that she would be redundant at this point, and maybe bog down the query a bit.

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John


#5 Carson Spencer

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:29 AM

I am up at 1:00 in the morning with query induced insomnia. I have to force myself to go to sleep before I finish my rewrite. But I couldn’t go to bed without thanking both Guinevere and Peter for thier helpful insights. I am still working on the second paragraph revision but here is my new hook.

Tyler Jones’s first semester at college turns into a battle for his life as he becomes trapped in a war between two groups of pre human creatures that seek for his allegiance or death.

#6 Cat Woods

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 11:37 AM

And now I'm going to make it even more difficult to sleep by giving you another perspective on your hook.

Your opening paragraph did nothing for me. This did.

Being much smaller than others around him and fainting when he gets scared could be chalked up to a birth defect but when Tyler starts lighting things on fire when he gets nervous he begins to doubt his humanity.


Not only that, but as I putzed with your query to ferret out the important details, I realized that your query can be extremely compact and still pack a punch. Here's a sample of what I mean.


Fainting at the slightest provocation is part of Tyler Jones's birth deffect. Lighting things on fire with his nervous energy is not. When Tyler digs into his genetic background, he risks not only his life, but his very humanity.

In THE CREATION'S DAWN (a 108,000 word Science Fiction novel), Tyler journeys to a time when prehistory clashes with the present and two factions of pre-man battle for his life: one to control him, the other to destroy him.

I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.


Best luck with this.

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#7 kevinmont

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:03 PM

Wow, Cat, nice job.

#8 Carson Spencer

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:59 PM

Thanks a lot Cat. :humph:


And now I'm going to make it even more difficult to sleep by giving you another perspective on your hook.

Your opening paragraph did nothing for me. This did.



Not only that, but as I putzed with your query to ferret out the important details, I realized that your query can be extremely compact and still pack a punch. Here's a sample of what I mean.


Fainting at the slightest provocation is part of Tyler Jones's birth deffect. Lighting things on fire with his nervous energy is not. When Tyler digs into his genetic background, he risks not only his life, but his very humanity.

In THE CREATION'S DAWN (a 108,000 word Science Fiction novel) Tyler journeys to a time when prehistory clashes with the present and two factions of pre-man battle for his life: one to control him, the other to destroy him.

I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.


Best luck with this.


That was some excellent critiquing. One thing I am confused about is were you suggesting that I use "Fainting at the slightest provocation is part of Tyler Jones's birth deffect. Lighting things on fire with his nervous energy is not. When Tyler digs into his genetic background, he risks not only his life, but his very humanity." as my hook or my summery? If that is the summery you are right about it being short. I will have to play around with it. Thanks for the input.

#9 Cat Woods

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

As the whole shebang. Period. Two quick paragraphs and a line of thanks. There are times (and I'm a bit of a rule breaker on occasions) when I think a query can be way shorter than the expected Three Paragraphs Formula--which really ends up about five when all is said and done.

In these few sentences (my example of tinkering to jumpstart your creativity) we learn that Tyler has a birth deffect, a magical-ish power and a genetic history that can wreak havoc on his life and threatens who he is as a person. That's a powerful lot of info in a little space.

Next paragraph has your title, genre and word count and nicely sums up the rest of the struggles your MC will encounter--a clash between the here and now and prehistory as well as a huge conflict that he has to overcome: being controlled (recruited) or being destroyed.

What more is there? The rest of your query has background info that doesn't significantly strengthen the interest I have in the book. I don't need to know that his dad has withheld info for 18 years to want to keep reading. I can surmise that he was some sort of a genetic anomoly, whether made or born, and the answer doesn't change how much I want to keep reading. I don't have to know that he has a friend who helps him along the way and that a bullyish kid in his class creates problems. These things are given on some level or another.

In other words, they are just fillers. Your premise itself is unique and intriguing and I think you might lose that if you put too much info in your query.

Of course, that's just my opinion and may not feel right for you. Regardless, I wish you the best and hope to see this on the shelves someday.


While reading this, I thought of the book Almost Adam by Petru Popescu. It's a book I read ever few years because it is different enough to satisfy me regarding the whole genetic conundrum of where we come from and what makes us human.

http://www.amazon.co...u/dp/0380728249

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#10 Carson Spencer

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:32 PM

When I realized how awful my last post was I deleted it. I am sorry everyone for how bad that was.

#11 Carson Spencer

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 02:59 PM

Ok I am trying to boil this down to character, conflict and goal. I have rewriten the whole thing in hopes that this new way will be more intruiging. Thank you everyone for your advice so far.

I also just got the business card of my neihbors cousin who is a Publisher for Random House. I know Random House doesn't take un agented authors but I figure what the heck maybe I'll get some connections. So here is the full letter.

Dear ________,

I recieved your contact information from __________ who I have resently given my manuscript to for review.THE CREATION'S DAWN is a Science Fiction novel complete at 108,000 words.

The religious beliefs of creatures more ancient then humans transform Tyler’s life into a battle for survival.

Created by his father from human and pre human DNA Tyler Jones becomes the target of a race of creatures that can sense their own kind. Tyler’s genome make him develop similar gifts to those of our predecessors. The powers that make him unique could change the tide in a war that secretly controls the human race. The abduction of his family begins his quest to free himself from the chaotic war raging around him.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerly,
Carson Spencer

I also wonder if I should change it to fantasy. The genetic engineering makes me think science fiction but the powers of pre human creatures make me think fantasy. I have read the articles on genre and am still undecided

#12 Cat Woods

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 03:05 PM

I'm on my phone and so won't leave a long message. However, I wanted to pop in and let you know I love the new hook. Nice job. You are definitely on the right track.

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#13 Peter Burton

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:11 PM

A very nice hook, and query all around.

As far as the subject, I think it could fall either way as the lines between SF and Fantasy often get blurred...Star Wars is a prime example.

I'd probably send this one out as SF, myself. But, I am partial to SF.

It's a good query, give it a round and see if you get any offers.

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And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

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#14 Carson Spencer

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:42 PM

Thanks Cat and Peter. It's good to know I am making progress. I know this query is tight enough to hold water but I wounder if I have given enough information to get the Agents interest with my latest Query. Thanks everyone for your input.

#15 Peter Burton

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:54 AM

I would think that you have given enough info to incite interest...it certainly makes me want to know more, but I am partial to SF. :wink:

At worse no one will bite, and we work on it again. At best several will bite, and your stuck with trying to figure out who will be best for you! :biggrin:

(Personally, I hope you get stuck with option two, and it drives ya crazy...so there!) :tongue: :biggrin:

Either way, you've nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Give 'er a shot.

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John


#16 Darke

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:17 AM

Hmm...not enough of a bite for me. There are some good parts, but I don't really feel like anything is at statke here.

Dear ________,

I recieved your contact information from __________ who I have resently given my manuscript to for review.[Don't care for this, but that's just my opinion] THE CREATION'S DAWN is a Science Fiction novel complete at 108,000 words.

The religious beliefs of creatures more ancient then humans transform Tyler’s life into a battle for survival. [I like this. It grabs me, lets me know there's a strong conflict]

Created by his father from human and pre human DNA [,] Tyler Jones becomes the target of a race of creatures that can sense their own kind. [Nice!] Tyler’s [unusual?] genome [gives him the ability?] make him develop similar gifts to those of our predecessors. The powers that make him unique could [to] change the tide in a war that secretly controls the human race. ['War' and 'control' don't feel right here. Is this the reason he was created? To stop this war or for one side to have more of an advantage over the other? How does he feel about being so different? Resentful? Does he even care?] The abduction of his family begins his quest to free himself from the chaotic war raging around him. [This didn't seem strong enough. What's really at stake here? what could happen if one side wins over the other? How will it effect Tyler?]

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerly,
Carson Spencer

I also wonder if I should change it to fantasy. The genetic engineering makes me think science fiction but the powers of pre human creatures make me think fantasy. I have read the articles on genre and am still undecided


I'd leave it at science fiction.

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#17 Carson Spencer

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:49 PM

Thanks everyone for your help I want to throw this one at you with a few changes. I agree with you J.L. About the begining. Normally I wouldn't put the who I obtained there contact information from right there but this particular letter is intended for a publisher at Random House. Normally they don't read anything from Authors unless it goes through an agent so I felt that I need to state that right up front so my letter didn't get tossed.


Dear ________,

I recieved your contact information from __________ who I have resently given my manuscript to for review. THE CREATION'S DAWN is a Science Fiction novel complete at 108,000 words.


The religious beliefs of creatures more ancient then humans transform Tyler’s life into a battle for survival.

Created by his father from human and pre human DNA , Tyler Jones becomes the target of a race of creatures that can sense their own kind. Tyler’s bizarre genome inadvertently gives him abilities only our predecessors had before the fall of man. Tyler’s gifts could change the tide in the war that caused the fall of man. Tyler cannot escape the consequences of his fathers desire to play God; now he must choose to help in the restoration of humanity or let it slip into the total control of a race seeking domination.

Thank you for your consideration.



Sincerely,
Carson Spencer




#18 Derrick

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 02:19 AM

Do not put "science fiction novel." Just "science fiction."

The religious beliefs of creatures more ancient then than humans transform Tyler’s life into a battle for survival.


Tyler Jones becomes the target of a race of creatures that can sense their own kind. Tyler’s bizarre genome inadvertently gives him abilities only our predecessors had before the fall of man. Tyler’s gifts could change the tide in the war that caused the fall of man.


echo

Tyler cannot escape the consequences of his fathers desire to play God; now he must choose to help in the restoration of humanity or let it slip into the total control of a race seeking domination.


I'd opt for a period over the semi-colon here.

Other than that, I didn't really get a feel for who Tyler is rather than what Tyler is. Do you know what I'm saying? Good fiction is about people, not events, not world building, etc.

I think I discovered the issue I have with this, or why maybe it's not resonating with me. Check it out. You're hook:

The religious beliefs of creatures more ancient then humans transform Tyler’s life into a battle for survival.


If we just look at the structure of this sentence, religious beliefs are the subject and Tyler's life is the object. In my opinion, if you try to rearrange this to have Tyler as the subject, it'd be more effective. Like "When blah blah blah happens, Tyler __________s religious beliefs of ..." Just a thought.

#19 JMB

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:52 AM

Did you mean "recently" where you wrote "resently" in the opening sentence? And it should be "than" (compare) not "then" (time) in the next paragraph. You've got to have someone proofread this and your book before submitting.

And Post 17 has lost all the interesting details-Tyler's shortness, ability to harness energy, etc. It is too general in terms of the challenge he faces. What exactly does Tyler have to do and why must it be Tyler who does it?

#20 Carson Spencer

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 08:48 AM

You guys are exsactly right. I steped away from Tyler in that one and lost the focus. That's what happens when I try and be creative late at night. I think I will rework the previous one on number #11. The other problems in my life I blame on all the people that recomend reading "Self Editing for Fiction Writers" . Now I am rewritting my whole book again. :wink:




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