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THE FAMILY GRIM (YA FANTASY)


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#41 R Jensen

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 07:54 PM

Back for more. I didn't love the second paragraph so I've tried to rework it a little bit. Let's see how this round goes. Loved everybody's comments, by the way. Pleae keep them coming. THANKS!

Dear Agent:

Two hundred years ago Death’s most feared servant, the infamous Grim Reaper, sacrificed his immortality for the woman he loved, entrusting his eternal duty to his future descendants: the Family Grim. Three generations later, Jude Grim struggles to balance these deathly duties with his life as a high school student buried beneath the shadow of his twin brother Drew, the local golden boy.

The twins first learned of their unusual bloodline four years ago. Drew took it as a sign of his greatness. Jude took it as a curse. And now, thanks to Drew’s insatiable temper and Jude’s compassionate soul, the onetime best friends are bitter enemies. Adding to the rivalry is Haven Snow, Drew’s current girlfriend and Jude’s childhood sweetheart. One night Drew’s temper gets the best of him, and in a fit of rage he uses his powers to kill a classmate, hiding the body in a nearby river. When Haven discovers Drew’s secret, she becomes his next victim.

Determined to save her, a heart-broken Jude pursues Death’s forbidden remedy: seeds from the legendary Tree of Life. The seeds hold the power to reverse a reaper’s kill, but must be used quickly. With Drew hot on his trail and Death watching their every move, Jude has twenty four hours to find the tree and bring Haven back before she’s lost forever.

THE FAMILY GRIM, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

#42 RileyRedgate

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:47 PM

I really like this rewrite.

I still might put less in the hook - I'd suggest instead of:

"Three generations later, Jude Grim struggles to balance these deathly duties with his life as a high school student buried beneath the shadow of his twin brother Drew, the local golden boy."

Something briefer like:
"Three generations later, Jude Grim struggles to balance these deathly duties with his duties as a high school student."

Then I'd add the other information in later (most of it's already addressed, but not that Drew's a 'local golden boy').

Just a suggestion; take it or leave it. Great work!

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#43 Petal65

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:33 AM

I agree, it's great, but could use a little trim:

Dear Agent:

Two hundred years ago Death’s most feared servant, the infamous Grim Reaper, sacrificed his immortality for the woman he loved, entrusting his eternal duty to his future descendants: the Family Grim. Three generations later, Jude Grim struggles to balance these deathly duties with his life as a high school student buried beneath in the the shadow of his twin brother Drew, the local golden boy.

When the twins first learned of their unusual bloodline, four years ago. Drew took it as a sign of his greatness. Jude took it as a curse. And now, thanks to Drew’s insatiable (not quite the right word, appetites are insatiable, but tempers? Intractable?) temper and Jude’s compassionate soul, the onetime best friends twins are bitter enemies. Adding to the rivalry is Haven Snow, Drew’s current girlfriend and Jude’s crush childhood sweetheart. One night Drew’s temper gets the best of him, and in a fit of rage he uses his powers to kill a classmate, hiding the body in a nearby river. When Haven discovers Drew’s secret, she becomes his next victim. (do we need to know the circumstances of Drew killing Haven? Why not just say 'When Drew's bloodlust makes Haven a victim" or something)

Determined to save her, a heart-broken Jude pursues Death’s forbidden remedy: seeds from the legendary Tree of Life. The seeds hold the power to reverse a reaper’s kill, but must be used quickly. With Drew hot on his trail and Death watching their every move, Jude has twenty four hours to find the tree and bring Haven back before she’s lost forever. (love this paragraph, chase, stakes, ticking clock, it's got everything)

THE FAMILY GRIM, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,


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#44 JMB

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:38 AM

A few minor things. Does 200 years = only 3 generations? Don't we have a new generation every 30 years or so, depending on the age at which parents give birth? I'm assuming Jude and Drew have human life spans since Grandpa Grim gave up immortality for love.

I keep wanting to reverse the twins' name. Jude, the betrayer, feels like he should be the bad boy. And the girls name (Skylar?) was better before. Haven Snow doesn't sound like a person to me.

I think it is good to let us know in the opening hook that Jude has an evil twin. An earlier draft had a closing hook that I liked better, telling us that Jude has to worry not just about beating Drew but about what Death will do when he learns what the boys have been up to.

Said it before, and will say it again, you've got a fun story and a well-written query. It should get agents to read pages. Have you tested the waters yet?

#45 R Jensen

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:50 PM

Thanks for all the comments. I've had a tough time deciding on if I should add a final line about what Death will do to Jude or not. I think I will add it, but I'm going to work on the sentence a little longer. And no, I haven't sent out the query yet. I've been working on the final edit of the manuscript. I hope to send the query out sometime in the next few weeks (I'll admit the intimdation factor is probably holding me back as well :blush: ).

#46 Anubis

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:15 AM

I was already intrigued by the first draft, but the revised draft works just as excellently while providing more of that YA flavor. Good work.

#47 M.E.Pritchard

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

Love it! Great job with all the revisions! Send it out and good luck! :happy:

#48 R Jensen

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:01 AM

Okay -

The edits to the MS are almost done and I plan on sending out the first round of queries shortly. Here's my final version (at least until I change it again). As always, thanks for any comments!

Dear Agent:

Two hundred years ago Death’s most feared servant, the infamous Grim Reaper, sacrificed his immortality for the woman he loved, entrusting his eternal duty to his descendants: the Family Grim. Six generations later, Jude Grim struggles to balance these deathly duties with his life as a high school student buried beneath the shadow of his twin brother Drew, the local golden boy.

The twins first learned of their unusual bloodline four years ago. Drew took it as a sign of his greatness. Jude took it as a curse. And now, thanks to Drew’s insatiable temper and Jude’s compassionate soul, the onetime best friends are bitter enemies. Adding to the rivalry is Haven Snow, Drew’s current girlfriend and Jude’s childhood sweetheart. One night Drew’s temper gets the best of him, and in a fit of rage he murders a classmate, hiding the body in a nearby river. When Haven discovers Drew’s secret, she becomes his next victim.

Determined to save her, a heart-broken Jude pursues Death’s forbidden remedy: seeds from the legendary Tree of Life. The seeds hold the power to reverse a reaper’s kill, but their power fades with time. With Drew hot on his trail and Death watching their every move, Jude has twenty four hours to find the tree and bring Haven back before she’s lost forever.

THE FAMILY GRIM, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

#49 RileyRedgate

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:21 AM

I like this draft. It keeps all the phrasing you seem attached to, has solid voice, and also tells us a heck of a lot about your plot and your characters. I wouldn't beat it to death - I'd go right on ahead with that first batch.

Best of luck! :smile:

author of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE and NOTEWORTHY

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#50 R Jensen

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:30 PM

I had left the query untouched for a few weeks until yesterday. Made a few minor changes and then posted it again. Now after a night's sleep, I've decided there are some things that can be better explained to coincide with the changes made to the MS. Here goes, and I would love to hear if people like this version of the one in #48 better. Thanks a ton.

Dear Agent:

Two hundred years ago Death’s most feared servant, the infamous Grim Reaper, sacrificed his immortality for the woman he loved, entrusting his eternal duty to his descendants: the Family Grim. Six generations later, Jude Grim risks an even greater price when he abandons these deathly duties to save his childhood sweetheart from a much too early grave.

Seventeen-year-old Jude and his twin brother Drew first learned of their unusual bloodline four years ago. Drew took it as a sign of his greatness. Jude took it as a curse. And now, thanks to Drew’s insatiable temper and Jude’s compassionate soul, the onetime best friends are bitter enemies. One night Drew’s temper gets the best of him, and in a fit of rage he murders a classmate, hiding the body in a nearby river. When Haven Snow, Jude’s childhood sweetheart, discovers Drew’s secret, she becomes his next victim.

Determined to save her, a heart-broken Jude pursues Death’s forbidden remedy: seeds from the legendary Tree of Life. The seeds hold the power to reverse a reaper’s kill, but this power fades with time. With Drew hot on his trail and Death watching their every move, Jude has twenty four hours to find the tree and bring Haven back before she’s lost forever. If he succeeds, an eternal punishment from Father Death awaits.

THE FAMILY GRIM, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 66,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

#51 Mews

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:51 PM

I enjoyed everything except the "you know who" The voice is off from the rest of the writing and sounds a bit lazy. Otherwise, Nice

#52 RileyRedgate

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:44 PM

I'm not sure I understand. If he succeeds, an eternal punishment awaits?! Why is he doing this, then? The 'childhood sweetheart' thing sounds far too frivolous to merit risking eternal damnation.

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#53 R Jensen

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:21 PM

Thank you Anticipa. I keep trying to reword this to make the second half of the hook something I like and end up adding more problems than I solve. I'm going to take off that last sentence (I think it sounds better without it) and try my latest version of the 2nd sentence (at least it feels good to know I'm down to only one sentence that needs work). Plese let me know what you think.

Dear Agent:

Two hundred years ago Death’s most feared servant, the infamous Grim Reaper, sacrificed his immortality for the woman he loved, entrusting his eternal duty to his descendants: the Family Grim. Three generations later, seventeen-year-old Jude Grim must choose between these deathly duties, his twin brother Drew, and the girl he has always loved.

The twins first learned of their unusual bloodline four years ago. Drew took it as a sign of his greatness. Jude took it as a curse. And now, thanks to Drew’s insatiable temper and Jude’s compassionate soul, the onetime best friends are bitter enemies. One night Drew’s temper gets the best of him, and in a fit of rage he murders a classmate, hiding the body in a nearby river. When Haven Snow, Jude’s childhood sweetheart, discovers Drew’s secret, she becomes his next victim.

Determined to save her, a heart-broken Jude breaks his Reaper Oath and pursues Death’s forbidden remedy: seeds from the legendary Tree of Life. The seeds hold the power to reverse a reaper’s kill, but their power fades with time. With Drew hot on his trail and Death watching their every move, Jude has twenty four hours to find the tree and bring Haven back before she’s lost forever.

THE FAMILY GRIM, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 66,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

#54 RileyRedgate

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 02:19 AM

Oh man. I think this is a winner.

One simple fix - last para, first sentence, you echo 'heart-broken' with 'Jude breaks'.

And one more thing, take it or leave it - I think the phrase about Drew's insatiable temper might run a little more smoothly if it said something like, "And now, thanks to THE CLASH BETWEEN Drew’s insatiable temper and Jude’s compassionate soul..." as it sets up a bit more of a contrast rather than making it seem like they're working together or something.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't change a thing else before you send out a sample round. Best of luck whatever you do. I'd request the whole darn thing. :)

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#55 R Jensen

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:16 PM

Haven't posted anything for a while, so I thought I better give an update as to the status of my query. I sent out the one posted on #53 and had five requests and six no's. Of course four of the five requests have since declined :blush: . After making some edits to the ms based on their suggestions I have sent out a new batch of queries and am waiting to hear. The fifth request just requested the full off of a partial and I'm waiting to hear. Good luck to all of you. This site made all the difference for me.

#56 RileyRedgate

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:22 PM

Great to see you check in! This is awesome, R. Your request rate is phenomenal! I hope one of those or more turns into a straight-up YES. :biggrin:

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#57 A.M.Supinger

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:52 AM

Good luck!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

#58 bkeats

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:45 AM

Same here. Keep us posted, best of luck, and remember us when you're famous! :biggrin:

#59 R Jensen

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:21 AM

I've been meaning to post an update for a while now but life's been crazy. The agent I was crossing my fingers for offered to help me edit the MS! I agreed to work exclusively with him which I was a little nervous about because I had to tell the other agents who were considering the manuscript I had signed with someone else, but felt the chance to work with him was too good to pass up. Anyway, I hope my next post is to announce my official signing. Thanks again to all the help from everyone here. You made all the difference :smile:

#60 RileyRedgate

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:40 AM

Exclusive? Eek! That's so fantastic!

If/when you sign, time for an online party. I'll bring the drinks. :biggrin:

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