Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

DANCING ON EDGES (YA Contemporary Fantasy)


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:48 AM

Revision #4 in post #29

 

In the small Manitoban town of Shady River, human-vampire friendships are illegal. So seventeen-year-old human Loren Brooks' friendship with outcast dhampir Stephen Shorne should be only half illegal -- or so they hope.

 

After Loren saves Stephen from a trio of malevolent vampires, Stephen quickly, if grudgingly returns the favor. Between Loren's half-and-half gender and Stephen's half-and-half ancestry, neither is sure what to make of the other at first. The two bond over the shared feeling of living between worlds, and using art to cope. Loren paints out their struggles with gender identity and parental pressure to undergo surgery, while Stephen dances out his bitterness over the town's only real unity: hatred of him for just being born.

 

Then, while digging through Stephen's history books, Loren finds hints that Shady River's segregation is more than just fantastic racism. If the two of them can find the full truth and the reasons for it, maybe they can rid the town of hatred on both sides. Revealing their forbidden friendship in the process could grant them vindication -- or a stake to the heart.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#2 dverikio

dverikio

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 153 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUnited Kingdom
  • Publishing Experience:I've had a couple articles published on Yahoo but nothing fancy.

Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:09 PM

In the small Manitoban what's that? town of Shady River, human-vampire friendships are illegal. So seventeen-year-old human Loren Brooks' friendship with outcast dhampir (does anyone who hasn't seen Vampire Hunter D know what this is?) Stephen Shorne should be only half illegal -- or so they hope. Huh? The first part of the hook was a little curiosity inducing, but after that it got a little too confusing for my tastes, and the latter half I think could be a lot catchier. Right now it feels flat and makes no sense.

 

 

After Loren saves Stephen from a trio of malevolent vampires, Stephen quickly, if grudgingly returns the favor. How? Between Loren's half-and-half gender and Stephen's half-and-half ancestry, eh? neither is sure what to make of the other at first. a bit ambiguous and flat The two bond over the shared feeling of living between worlds, and using art to cope. Loren paints out their struggles with gender identity and parental pressure to undergo surgery surgery for what?, while Stephen dances out his bitterness over the town's only real unity: hatred of him for just being born. Does he do anything with higher stakes? Right now it just feels 'meh'.

 

Then, while digging through Stephen's history books, Loren finds hints that Shady River's segregation is more than just fantastic racism (is racism the right word for this?). If the two of them can find the full truth and the reasons for it, maybe they can rid the town of hatred on both sides. You've got a chance to make it a little more interesting here, but this part is so ambiguous and vague. Revealing their forbidden friendship in the process could grant them vindication -- or a stake to the heart. Not bad.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

Can't say I'm a fan. Right now what I'm reading is very ambiguous and vague without any real tension or high stakes. In a way it seems a bit like a crossover of Twilight and Footloose, but I'm not really getting any tension at the moment other than they get a bit moody once in a while and express themselves through dance/painting. Isn't there any impending danger, like townspeople spying on them all the time, what is the big secret?  You don't have to tell us full out but it should be hinting towards a little more strongly. The stakes need to be driven up a little more and I need something earlier to get me to care about the characters.

 

Just my two cents, but am looking forward to seeing this evolve.



#3 ACMC

ACMC

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 90 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:22 PM

I have to admit that I was totally ignorant as to what a dhampir is, so I googled it. My vampire reading is pretty thin, but I wonder if it isn't worth saying something like: When you live in a town where vampires and humans are only allowed to associate with their own kind, what can you do when you are half of each? Except that it's a question and clunky. 

 

 

In the small Manitoban town of Shady River, h Human-vampire friendships are illegal. So seventeen-year-old human Loren Brooks' friendship with outcast dhampir Stephen Shorne should be only half illegal -- or so they hope. I think the location might be relevant but not what you should lead with, also her age and the fact that she's human (the problem is the same if she's human or vampire, right?) can come later.

 

After the very human Loren saves Stephen from a trio of malevolent vampires, Stephen quickly, if grudgingly returns the favor. He saves her? This seems vague, also not loving the use of adverbs, they seem weak. Between  Just as Loren is struggling with half-and-half gender identity, andStephen struggles with his half-and-half ancestry, and neither is sure what to make of the other at first. The two But they bond over the shared feeling of living between worlds, and each uses using art to cope. Loren paints out their struggles with gender identity and parental pressure to undergo surgery, while Stephen dances out his bitterness over the town's only real unity: hatred of him for just being born. Through painting and dance, they can each express their frustrations and bitterness. 

 

Then, while digging through Stephen's history books, Loren finds hints they discover that Shady River's segregation is more than just fantastic racism. If the two of them can find the full truth and the reasons for it, maybe they can rid the town of hatred on both sides. Revealing their forbidden friendship in the process could grant them vindication – or a stake to the heart.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.



#4 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 23 September 2014 - 01:59 PM

Thanks, dverikio and ACMC! I don't have time to post a revision, but I'll answer some of your comments.

 

@dverikio - Manitoba is the name of a province in Canada, where the story takes place. I've never heard of Vampire Hunter D beyond the name; I'm sure it isn't the only story about dhampirs. Justin Somper's Vampirates series is another one. The phrase "half-and-half gender" refers to the fact that Loren is intersex; "half-and-half ancestry" means Stephen is a dhampir. The surgery mentioned in the next sentence is gender-reassignment surgery; I'll definitely be clarifying that in the revision. I just wasn't sure about using the word "gender" twice in such close proximity. I might change the word "racism" too -- maybe "bigotry" is better. "Hatred" just sounds vague.

 

@ACMC: Loren is not a "she", but prefers the pronoun "they" -- see my comments above. It's not simply a matter of gender identity (I think you added a word in there and forgot to change the color?), but of the physical gender itself, and Loren's genitalia being half-male and half-female. I feel the line about what Loren and Stephen are each coping with is important, rather than ambiguous mention of "struggles and bitterness".


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#5 Constantine Singer

Constantine Singer

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 107 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, agented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:My debut YA Novel, NeverWhen, will be in bookstores everywhere in 2018. I was discovered in the slush-pile and I got my querying start right here.

Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:40 PM

In the small Manitoban town of Shady River, human-vampire friendships are illegal. So seventeen-year-old human Loren Brooks' friendship with outcast dhampir Stephen Shorne should be only half illegal -- or so they hope This isn't enough.  I need to know character, conflict, stakes and ticking clock within the hook and while I know some of it, the missing elements are stakes and ticking clock -- what happens if they're discovered?  What's the rush -- some secret romances can go on for years.  I was able to deduce dhampir from context, but the term itself, it seems, is derivative of another story and leading with it could get you pegged as fanfic, which I don't think you want.  Why not just call him a half-breed?

 

After Loren saves Stephen from a trio of malevolent vampires, Stephen quickly, if grudgingly returns the favor He saves her?!  . Between Loren's half-and-half gender OK, this is a bit from left field here.  If this is important, it needs to be earlier.  If it's not, then it's a distraction and you should probably leave it out. and Stephen's half-and-half ancestry, neither is sure what to make of the other at first. The two bond over the shared feeling of living between worlds, and using art to cope. Loren paints out their struggles with gender identity and parental pressure to undergo surgery, while Stephen dances out his bitterness over the town's only real unity: hatred of him for just being born.  Needless details.

 

Then, while digging through Stephen's history books, Loren finds hints that Shady River's segregation is more than just fantastic racism.Down here we have a hint of stakes, but still no ticking clock.  We also are getting a hint at the goal -- a little late in the query, though.  Move this stuff up? If the two of them can find the full truth and the reasons for it, maybe they can rid the town of hatred on both sides. Revealing their forbidden friendship in the process could grant them vindication -- or a stake to the heart.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

OK, I'm not a vampire sort-of guy, so I'm not necessarily equipped to give this a full thumbs up/thumbs down thing because I'm not familiar with the genre.  Overall, though, I like the whole between worlds vibe, but what you've got here is not enough for a novel -- it reads like this is a self-exploration, which is off-putting to me.  Give me stakes.  Give me goal.  Give me a ticking clock, and roll them all into a hook and you might have me.

 

Easier said than done, I know -- if it was easy, I wouldn't be trolling for help on my own query.  :)


Look for NeverWhen, my debut novel from Putnam/Penguin Teen in bookstores everywhere in 2018!


#6 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 03 October 2014 - 02:46 PM

Seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks' biggest frustration in life is being saddled with any pronoun but singular "they"--until they're embroiled in a turf war between humans and vampires. Talk about rearranging priorities.

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects them from the vampires, too. Just as Loren struggles with being half male and half female, Stephen struggles with being half human and half vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope--dancing for Stephen, painting for Loren.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe they and Stephen can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#7 bookgirl_kt

bookgirl_kt

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Completed my first book, and trying to get published.

Posted 03 April 2015 - 02:48 PM

My 2 cents:

 

Seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks' biggest frustration in life is being saddled with any pronoun but singular "they"--until they're embroiled in a turf war between humans and vampires. Talk about rearranging priorities. (I took a moment to understand that what this meant was that the main character was intersex; it's a good line but I'm not sure about it being the hook? I actually liked your first hook better.)

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects them from the vampires, too. Just as Loren struggles with being half male and half female, Stephen struggles with being half human and half vampire. (Nice parallel.) The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope--dancing for Stephen, painting for Loren.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe they and Stephen can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them. (Great ending line!)

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.



#8 rockondon

rockondon

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 386 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 04 April 2015 - 04:07 PM

Seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks' biggest frustration in life is being saddled with any pronoun but singular "they"-- (I'm sorry but this doesn't work for me. It's confusing) until they're embroiled in a turf war between humans and vampires. Talk about rearranging priorities.

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects them from the vampires, too. Just as Loren struggles with being half male and half female, Stephen struggles with being half human and half vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope--dancing for Stephen, painting for Loren.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased (or, incomplete? altered? cherry-picked?) historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe they and Stephen (they and Stephen sound clunky to me) can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


  SEAHAVEN-tiny_zps81d97748.jpg My query is complete but please take a look at my synopsis seahaven-sketch1tiny_zps366c1aee.jpg


#9 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 11:56 AM

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now.

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too. Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#10 rockondon

rockondon

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 386 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 12:23 PM

 

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now. Why plural? I would think that Loren self-identifies as male or female and guessing by the name, I'm thinking she feels she's a girl. As such, I wouldn't think gender-sensitive pronouns are a problem and I'd refer to her like any other female. As for this intro, the whole intersex thing is really distracting and the zombie threat doesn't resonate because of it. After reading the rest, her gender issues don't seem relevant. All it does is distract from other elements in the query and if I were you, I'd remove all mention of the intersex thing from the query).

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too (this was a bit of a jump. Suddenly I'm wondering who the outcast is, and who Stephen is, and if Stephen and the outcast is the same person. Perhaps you could mention that she defends her friend, Stephen, who is bullied for being half-human, half-vampire.). Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I'd work on the stakes a bit. Such as, when the town unites against them, they are forced to do X before Y happens. Or they are forced to choose between their friendship, or acceptance in the community. Or something like that.


  SEAHAVEN-tiny_zps81d97748.jpg My query is complete but please take a look at my synopsis seahaven-sketch1tiny_zps366c1aee.jpg


#11 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 01:09 PM

Thanks for your input, Rockondon. Loren identifies as neither male nor female (though they may eventually tend toward genderfluid), hence the use of "they" as a singular pronoun. Referring to them as "she" is incorrect. I chose the name Loren deliberately because it is unisex. I cannot remove the gender issue from the query because it is an integral part of the character and their conflict. Also, Loren and Stephen don't become friends until after the defending incident, so it's inaccurate to say they're friends beforehand. Also-also, the undead are vampires, not zombies. :)


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#12 Bvarnell101

Bvarnell101

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 201 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've self-published a single book. I probably should have tried getting a literary agent first, but became so scared by all the people telling me not to get an agent that I went ahead and self-published through Createspace and KDP Amazon. I'm not sure if that was the right decision, but I've learned a lot since then, and my book is doing very well for a first time author.

Posted 06 April 2015 - 02:10 PM

 

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now. (I'm a little confused. Is this a story about someone with both male and female parts in the middle of a zombie apocalypse? I'm not sure I understand what's going on here.)

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too. (So it's humans and vampires? Who's the outcast? Is that Stephen?) Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Hmm, this isn't a bad, but I don't really get that ending. The way you tell this story makes it sound like vampires and humans live in the same town, but aren't allowed to mingle, which makes little sense to me because if they live in the same town, they would have to mingle and intermix at some point. Why live in the same town if they don't get along? Also, if humans and vampires aren't allowed to mingle and the townspeople will kill them for doing so, why is Stephen alive in the first place? It sounds like they would have him him (her?) long before your story started. The story itself sounds intriguing, but I'm just not sure if I understand the conflict, since the conflict itself sounds kind of forced based on what I'm reading of the query.



#13 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for your comments, Bvarnell. The town in question does have both humans and vampires, and both are recognized as citizens, but they're segregated and go to great lengths to avoid interacting unless necessary ("necessary" being in areas like government). There are strict curfews that everyone abides by: humans are only allowed out during the day, while vampires are only allowed out at night. That allows vampires who desire such to hold down jobs and the like, working the "graveyard shift" (no pun intended) while the humans work day shifts.

 

Stephen's history is explained in the novel: his parents, a human man and a vampire woman, had an illicit relationship that resulted in Stephen being conceived illegitimately. His parents hid him from the town for fifteen years by basically keeping him under house arrest, until he got reckless and sneaked outside. That resulted in his parents being killed, and Stephen fleeing for his life. Now Stephen is back in town many years after the fact, hoping in vain that things have changed. Since he was kept hidden and then immediately fled, no one knows his name, only that he's a dhampir and thus an outcast.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#14 ML Willard

ML Willard

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:None

Posted 06 April 2015 - 03:20 PM

 

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now. I read your notes so I understand your need to clarify the gender issue. And I do know why you're using the pronoun 'their' but this whole hook leaves me confused. I read it three times and it stopped me cold each time.  I think you should go back to a form of the original hook combined with the explanation of gender.

 

Loren's decision to protect Stephen, the town outcast, from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences this is kind of ambiguous.  We don't have any idea what happened so we don't know the stakes for Loren or Stephen--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too.  Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Your whole query is from Loren's POV except this one line.  Maybe revise it to be from his/her POV and not Stephen's for a smoother read? Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

This is very bare bones.  I understand that a query should give enough to tantalize but not the whole load.  At the same time, I think you need a little bit more.  Why should we care about Loren's crusade to find out why humans and vampires can't be friends? Is this all about Stephen and Loren's friendship or is there more for them in the future? Are they considering an actual, and doomed, relationship as Stephen's parents did?


Life is a Journey of the Mind.

Never be afraid to walk the path.


#15 rockondon

rockondon

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 386 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 04:10 PM

I'm quite happy with the idea of humans and vampires living in the same community. Heck, True Blood was one of my favorite shows.

 

But the gender issue is ruining this query. If the first paragraph refers to a single person as 'they,' then no agent will make it to the 2nd paragraph. If you try to justify using 'they' or endeavor to find a gender-neutral pronoun or anything along those lines, I feel you're just hurting your own chances to get published. Queries are hard enough to write without dealing with stuff like that.

 

If Loren truly doesn't self-identify as male or female, and she just so happens to fall dead center in the gender spectrum, I would think that she is bigender. By that I mean, she displays male tendencies sometimes, and female tendencies at other times. At the time that your query takes place, you can decide where Loren is at psychologically and refer to him/her appropriately. Doing so might provide more insight into Loren's character as well.


  SEAHAVEN-tiny_zps81d97748.jpg My query is complete but please take a look at my synopsis seahaven-sketch1tiny_zps366c1aee.jpg


#16 Patomac

Patomac

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 55 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:16 PM

 

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now. I think this is a great juxtaposition, but I don't like the phrasing necessarily. "Being X..." is one of my personal pet peeves-- it always sounds roundabout. Maybe "As a (intersex individual), (human), etc..."

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too. This one threw me for a loop. I do think you need to have a sentence or two (or a cleverly worded phrase) about how Loren's town is, otherwise I think the reader tends to assume that there are secret vampires... and then we wonder just how it is that Loren seems to know about them. Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope.

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them. I'd like more here too-- maybe a tidbit about what the records or hiding, or a way to show the town uniting against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

 



#17 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:21 PM

The query is set in the present day, in a fictional town in Manitoba, Canada. I'm having trouble believing that representation of a non-binary-gendered person is in itself a thing that will hurt my chances of being published. Intersex is a perfectly valid gender identity, and Loren does not identify as bigender. As the hook of my query says, Loren does not initially know how to classify themselves. I did mention that they might possibly tend toward genderfluid, which to my knowledge is not the same as bigender. But that doesn't happen until later on in the book.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#18 ah_522

ah_522

    I like Earl Grey macaroons.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 663 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUnited Kingdom
  • Publishing Experience:academic journal and publications, i'm currently querying my second MS

Posted 07 April 2015 - 02:17 AM

Hi Ireth! I've seen so many of your posts around, but I've never read one of your queries (finally I am! hooray!), so here goes nothing. =)

 

 

 

Being intersex, seventeen-year-old Loren Brooks doesn't know where the heck they (I think another pronoun might be better, b/c they is a bit confusing. Is there one gender she/he ID's with more than the other?) stand on the gender spectrum. Being human, their place in the conflict between the living and undead has never been in question--until now.

 

Loren's decision to protect the town outcast from bullying vampires comes with unexpected consequences--and not just because Stephen protects Loren from the vampires, too. Just as Loren struggles with being neither fully male nor female, Stephen struggles with being neither fully human nor vampire. The two become friends through that shared understanding of living between worlds, and using art to cope. (nice parallel!)

 

But humans and vampires are forbidden by law to intermingle, as Stephen knows too well; his parents long ago paid the ultimate price for their love. Loren intends to find out why, and what all the biased historical records are hiding about the town's real origins. Maybe the two of them can be rid of hatred on both sides--if revealing their friendship doesn't get them killed when the town unites against them.

 

DANCING ON EDGES is a YA contemporary fantasy of ##,000 words. [Personalization, etc.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

I actually don't agree with rockondon, because the #weneeddiversebooks movement has been discussing PoC, LGBTQ books and anything outside of the traditional publishing domain, and I've seen lit agents who do want these books. (I think Melinda Lo discussed this in a study that kick started the movement, but you should probably check the WNDB tumblr/website on more info. 

 

In regards to the intersex issue/identification, most people who are intersex usually identify with one or the other. Maybe it might be better to have Loren choose m/f, and then discuss how it affects him/her (ie although loren identifies as x, since he/she was born intersex, he/she has always felt like he/she didn't belong in [place]). Then potentially delve a bit into his/her background (which is a bit lacking).

 

I'm afraid I don't know about the other things, since I only know about the biology of intersex people, this is my meagre contribution. 

 

Hope that helps! 



#19 sarahaspen

sarahaspen

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 180 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS South

Posted 07 April 2015 - 11:56 PM

http://mobile.nytime...?referrer=&_r=0

Is it possible to say gender neutral instead of intersex? Using the pronoun they is, I think, a recent development that's gaining attention and I think you should definetly keep it in your query and it should be to your advantage that you have approached this issue in your story. Good luck!

#20 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,789 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:44 AM

http://mobile.nytime...?referrer=&_r=0

Is it possible to say gender neutral instead of intersex? Using the pronoun they is, I think, a recent development that's gaining attention and I think you should definetly keep it in your query and it should be to your advantage that you have approached this issue in your story. Good luck!

 

Loren has partially-developed genitalia for both genders, so "intersex" is the most appropriate term in my opinion.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users