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BONDER - (YA F) **Professionally critiqued/edited**

Young Adult Romance Fantasy

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#1 TcVcL

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 01:22 AM

Revision in here.

If finding a soul trapped inside a Magic 8-Ball doesn't make a girl question her sanity, then getting transported by it to a different dimension ought to do the trick.

On the morning of her eighteenth birthday, Evan hopes her early graduation from college will land her a job at a music production company. Instead, she finds out the mother she lost at birth once belonged to a clan from another dimension. That is, until she vanished from it without a trace twenty years ago.

In a search for answers, Evan is transported to the other dimension by the trapped soulknown as the Linkonly to learn she is to follow in her mother's footsteps by allowing the Link to merge with her mind. In doing so, she'll gain the power to control ( 'be able to control' ?) one of nature's elements in order to protect her mother's clan from any who would threaten it. (End at 'clan' instead?)

But Taustin, the clan's most ruthless enemy, has learned of her arrival. And he'll stop at nothing to claim the Link for himself in a bid for revenge. If Evan is to prevent the massacre of her mother's people, she'll have to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the woman she never knew. ( 'her mysterious disappearance.' instead to shorten?) What she discovers will test her trust in others, and leave her with a choice she's not prepared to make: the world where she's found purpose, or the place she calls home.



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#2 Cez

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:09 AM

Firstly, this query is too long. I'll pass on the best advice I've received on this site. Start with a quick introduction of your main character and a bit about who she is and her world, just a paragraph. Then take us for a ride into the main conflict of your story. Show the stakes, show your main character's character...

Your query should be between 250-300 words. This isn't a rule but a good guideline. 

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "with interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!

 

* * *

 

An anonymous gift reveals a hidden past, and one young woman must embrace the impossible if she is to survive an unbelievable fate. Start with a stronger and shorter first line. Start with your main character: 18 year old Evan... is running through a raging storm / has entered another dimension / has discovered a jaw dropping secret about her past... 

 

When eighteen-year-old Evan's new Magic 8-Ball suddenly develops a mind of its own, she can't help but wonder if she's going crazy. It's only a toy, after all. Yet somehow it knows her name; it even knows it's her birthday. Determined to figure out how the ball is able to communicate, Evan and her friend Leila brave a raging storm to reach a deserted crossroad as the toy instructs. But neither of them realizes that their true destination is far beyond this world—in a completely different dimension. condense this. 

 

After waking up in an unknown land with no recollection of how they got there, the girls find themselves under the guardianship of the Laraek clan—a people reminiscent of a lost tribe, whose language only Evan can understand. Through them she discovers an impossible truth: her late mother used to be one of them. A former member of the clan’s defense, she possessed an innate ability to harness an element of nature, a trait she then passed onto Evan. With her world now turned on its head, Evan is tested in ways she never expects. And despite her determination to return with Leila to their own dimension, she can’t help but feel a growing kinship for the clanspeople as she comes to know them—especially the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home. Again condense. You don't have to give so much info. Perhaps it's not even necessary to mention Leila. Try to focus on the conflict. Introduce the bad guy and show don't tell.

 

When a ruthless enemy goes to extreme lengths to access the power behind Evan's extraordinary ability, she must prevent the deaths of thousands by drawing on the part of herself that has remained hidden since the day of her birth. Doing so will make her capable of more than she ever dreamed possible, but the cost could mean surrendering everything she is to a darker power.

 

BONDER is complete at 116,000 words. The novel can function as a single title story; however, I do have two possible sequels in mind that I am prepared to delve into if there is interest for the story to continue. The full manuscript is available upon request.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

Good luck



#3 TcVcL

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 07:37 AM

NEW VERSION

 

Okay, I've reworked the query to shorten it. This is the first draft of the new version. Let me know what you think. Word count hits 214.

 

***Being reworked. See below for current hook.

 

* * *

 

Getting struck by lightning should have killed eighteen-year-old Evan and her friend Leila. Somehow having survived against impossible odds, they’re shocked to discover that they’ve somehow been transported into a completely different dimension. In a way, it makes sense—how else could they explain traveling from a country crossroad into the middle of a jungle in a matter of moments?

 

After coming under the guardianship of the Laraek clan, Evan learns an unbelievable truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Not only that, she possessed an innate ability to control an element of nature—a trait that was passed onto Evan. Encouraged to take her mother’s place within the clan, Evan can’t help but feel a growing kinship for the people as she comes to know them—especially the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home.

 

When a ruthless enemy uses Leila against Evan in order to access an ancient power, she must prevent the deaths of thousands by drawing on the part of herself that has remained hidden since the day of her birth. Doing so will make her capable of more than she ever dreamed possible, but the cost could mean surrendering everything she is to a darker power. 



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#4 ryanchoate

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 10:04 AM

Somehow having survived against impossible odds, they’re shocked to discover that they’ve somehow been transported into a completely different dimension. In a way, it makes sense—how else could they explain traveling from a country crossroad into the middle of a jungle in a matter of moment.

 

Your hook sounds a little too passive, maybe describe in few more words the dimension, or the jungle.  Just a thought.



#5 VitaCoco

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 12:02 PM

Hey, hey. I hope something I suggest helps. See you below.

Getting struck by lightning should have killed eighteen-year-old Evan and her best friend(Period) Leila. Somehow having survived against impossible odds, they’re shocked to discover that they’ve somehow been transported into a completely But they transport to an alternate dimension. In a way, it makes sense—how How else could they explain traveling from a country crossroad into the middle of a (two-word adjective) jungle in a matter of moments seconds?

  • It's recommended to not include questions in a query, but this has voice, so I don't know.
After coming under the guardianship of the Laraek a clan of (what are they?), Evan learns an unbelievable truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Not only that, she possessed an innate ability to control an element of nature (fire? water? air? earth? what?)—a trait that was passed onto Evan. Encouraged to take her mother’s place within the clan, Evan can’t help but feel a growing kinship for the people as she comes to know them—especially with the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home.

When a ruthless enemy uses Leila against Evan in order to access an ancient power (This jumps out of left field. Can you add more to further show how your story is unique?), she must prevent the deaths of thousands by drawing on (that element). the part of herself that has remained hidden since the day of her birth. Doing so will make her capable of more than she ever dreamed possible, but the cost could mean surrendering everything she is to a darker power.

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes" (Pooh).


#6 lrose20

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:24 PM

NEW VERSION

 

Okay, I've reworked the query to shorten it. This is the first draft of the new version. Let me know what you think. Word count hits 214.

 

* * *

 

Getting struck by lightning should have killed eighteen-year-old Evan and her friend Leila. This is obvious. Something better would be: Against impossible odds, teenagers Evan and Leila survive being struck by lightning. Somehow having survived against impossible odds, they’re shocked to discover that they’ve somehow been transported into a completely different dimension. In a way, it makes sense—how else could they explain traveling from a country crossroad into the middle of a jungle in a matter of moments? Noit doesn't make sense, isn't that what makes the story interesting? If it makes sense to them, why should we care? Lightning doesn't generally result in dimension jumping. Consider cutting this.

 

After coming under the guardianship of the Laraek clan, giving us proper names of a group means NOTHING without anything to go off. You don't need to tell us their name. You need to tell us what kind of clan this is. Are these primitive people, highly advanced, a cult, what? Evan learns an I'm sure everything is unbeliavable right now. We don't need that adjective, let the agent etc decide for themselves what's unbeliavable, or astonishing, ec. unbelievable truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Not only that, she possessed an innate ability to control an element of nature—a trait that was passed onto Evan. Encouraged to take her mother’s place within the clan, Evan can’t help but feel a growing kinship for the people as she comes to know them—especially the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home. 

 

When a ruthless enemy uses Leila I hope this isn't the case in your story, but here Leila seems like a cardboard pawn. Until you mention her here, I thought she'd gone home, or been killed or who knows what. She's totally forgettable. Either continue to treat her like a main character, or don't name her in the opening paragraph. against Evan in order to access an ancient power, she must prevent the deaths of thousands by drawing on the part of herself that has remained hidden since the day of her birth. Doing so will make her capable of more than she ever dreamed possible, but the cost could mean surrendering everything she is to a darker power.  This feels rather flat and just very cliche. Maybe your story is cliche, but you have to write a query that makes us think otherwise. Right now I'm left with a feeling of: ew, girl who is totally new to this place is suddenly their only hope of survival, how boring. 

 

Sorry if any of this sounds harsh, I just think honest feedback is the best. As it is, I wouldn't read this story. What makes this story unique, what makes it iressitable. There needs to be more to hook us then: girl has amazing power even though she's done nothing to earn it. Wishing you all the best in your re-write



#7 TcVcL

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 11:04 PM

***Query reworked at beginning of post.



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#8 dizzywriter

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 11:34 PM

In general, your query is very general. Having read so many fantasy, sci-fi queries on this site, there's always someone with special something that makes special things happen.  None of it is special unless you make it specific. The hook is specific about the Magic 8 Ball. That's the original thing I see here. Also read and critique other queries. It will help you with your own. Good luck!



#9 Billy robbins

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 03:57 PM

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!

 

* * *

 

REWORKED VERSION

 

 

Greetings AGENT:

 

I’m currently seeking representation for my YA novel, BONDER. As your agency’s website lists science fiction and fantasy as genres which interest you, I thought perhaps my novel might be suitable for your list.

 

The last thing eighteen-year-old Evan expects is for a secondary consciousness to try merging with her mind. When the merge is interrupted and the entity becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball instead, Evan is transported to another dimension to complete the transference before the connection is lost, and with it, her life.

 

Upon arriving in the alternate dimension, Evan is immediately taken under the guardianship of a people reminiscent of a lost tribe. Through them she learns an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them. What’s more, she once possessed the same entity now residing in the Magic 8-Ball—an ancient being that allowed her to access an innate defensive ability reserved for only six bloodlines in the known lands. Expected to take her mother’s place, Evan must finish the merge before a ruthless enemy outlander steals the entity for himself in order to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him.

 

Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable and unescapable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home.

 

BONDER is complete at 116,000 words. The novel can function as a single title story; however, I do have two possible sequels in mind if there is interest for the story to continue. The full manuscript is available upon request.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

 

An anonymous gift reveals a hidden past, and one young woman must embrace the impossible if she is to survive an unbelievable fate.

 

When eighteen-year-old Evan's new Magic 8-Ball suddenly develops a mind of its own, she can't help but wonder if she's going crazy. It's only a toy, after all. Yet somehow it knows her name; it even knows it's her birthday. Determined to figure out how the ball is able to communicate, Evan and her friend Leila brave a raging storm to reach a deserted crossroad as the toy instructs. But neither of them realizes that their true destination is far beyond this world—in a completely different dimension.

 

After waking up in an unknown land with no recollection of how they got there, the girls find themselves under the guardianship of the Laraek clan—a people reminiscent of a lost tribe, whose language only Evan can understand. Through them she discovers an impossible truth: her late mother used to be one of them. A former member of the clan’s defense, she possessed an innate ability to harness an element of nature, a trait she then passed onto Evan. With her world now turned on its head, Evan is tested in ways she never expects. And despite her determination to return with Leila to their own dimension, she can’t help but feel a growing kinship for the clanspeople as she comes to know them—especially the scarred Ren, whose inexplicable pull has her torn between this world and the place she calls home.

 

When a ruthless enemy goes to extreme lengths to access the power behind Evan's extraordinary ability, she must prevent the deaths of thousands by drawing on the part of herself that has remained hidden since the day of her birth. Doing so will make her capable of more than she ever dreamed possible, but the cost could mean surrendering everything she is to a darker power.

TcVcL; Sounds like scifi to me. You need to pick a genre, if it's sci fi, stick to their basics.The problem is clarity, generalization, and giving us way too much beyond what we need. For a good template see nathanbransford.com

  Also, I'm thinking 100,000+ words is over the limit of sci fi/ fantasy. Do some research,the agents know what to look for in each genre. You should mention 1-2 similar books at the end, and at least read some of them. You have some great ideas. The query is tough for everyone. There are posts under Forum about word length, plotting, etc. that are helpful. Good luck. Billy 

 

1. The MC is descibed, setting; who is Evan, where is she from ? If its the future, or fantasy you'd have to tell at the end.

2. the complication; everything is good until? A cosmic 8 ball attacks her mind causing ---- 

3. caused by Villian; who is the bad guy that caused the problem?

4. MC quest, goal ; all she wants is ___

5. bio; first time novelist, word county, genre. 



#10 TcVcL

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 06:11 PM

It's the line between generalization and giving away too much that's the issue for me. I've looked at dozens of query letters to get a feel for what to add and what to lose, but I still can't seem to find the right balance. Does anyone have any specific examples of where you're getting too much info and where it's lacking?



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#11 nowownomore

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:34 AM

Hi there!

I am no expert in query letters, but I am reading a lot of Query Shark lately. It's a blog by agent Janet Reid and I think it's a very insightful resource on what to write and what to avoid in a query, especially because it is based on real examples. http://queryshark.blogspot.it/ 

I also recommend Janet Reid's other blog, http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.it/, especially the posts tagged under "query pitfalls". (e.g. http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.it/2013/11/question-query-personalization.html).

 

 

 

REVISED VERSION

 

Greetings AGENT:

 

I am currently seeking representation for my young adult novel, BONDER. As your agency’s website lists science fiction as a genre which interests you, I thought perhaps my novel might be suitable for your list. (I think you might want to put this line towards the end of the query, or maybe even skip it completely. It's really important to entice the reader/agent with your story at first. I read through several agent's blogs, and although everyone has a different opinion on personalised queries, I don't think it's a necessary thing, especially if your query is already long. I am sure you will chose your ideal agents carefully, so you don't need to worry about your novel being suitable for the genres they represent.)

 

The last thing eighteen-year-old Evan expects is for a secondary consciousness to try merging with her mind. But When the merge is interrupted (maybe briefly mention why?and the entity becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball she must complete the transfer before the connection is lost, and with it, her life. instead,

 

Evan is transported to another dimension. to complete the transference Upon arrival    where sh  e is taken under the guardianship of the region’s governing clan, who Through them she learns reveal an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Even more unexpected is that once the  If she completes the merge completes, she will have access to a powerful innate ability meant to be used for the protection of the clan to protect the clan, a responsibility that falls to her bloodline. 

 

However, word of Evan’s arrival and unbounded status has spread throughout the land. Now She must figure out how to finish the merge before a ruthless enemy outlander steals the entity for himself in order to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him.

 

Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, whose irresistible pull has her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home.

 

BONDER is complete at 116,000 words that will appeal to readers of Scott Sigler’s ALIVE and Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT. (Maybe you could put the genre here?)The full manuscript is available upon request. (You've already said it's complete, so I think you can skip this.)

This is my second novel; the first was due to be published through Aspen Mountain Press in 2011, but internal issues with the publisher caused it to be shut down and the authors’ copyrights reverted.

I also hold a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I worked on two of the campus’ bi-annual publications, The Sheepshead Review literary journal and Voyageur Magazine.

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

Good luck!



#12 TcVcL

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Each new draft is better than the last. I feel a lot better about it.



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#13 Jshal04

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 11:05 PM

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!

 

* * *

 

REVISED VERSION (8/4)

 

Greetings AGENT: (Dear Mr./Ms. _______)

 

 

Having graduated college at only eighteen, musically-inclined Evan has everything in place to land her dream job. But as thorough as her plans are, she could never have anticipated a secondary consciousness trying to merge with her mind. When the merge is inexplicably interrupted and the entity her consciousness? becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball, she is transported to another dimension to complete the transfer before the connection is lost, and with it, her life(this is a hook; you don't need to be terribly specific here, just give enough to interest the reader to finish the query letter)

 

 

Immediately (removing immediately doesn't change the meaning) taken under the guardianship of the region’s (region within the dimension?) governing clan(why?), Evan learns an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them (one of whom? what are they?). Not only that, (doesn't change the meaning if you take this out, either) if she completes the merge (details about the merge here, not in the hook) she will have access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan—a responsibility that falls to her bloodline. (need specifics here)

 

However, word of Evan’s arrival and unbonded status has spreads throughout the land. She must figure out how to finish the merge before a ruthless enemy NAME HERE steals the entity for himself and uses it to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him. How does the enemy do this and why was he exiled?

 

Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, (romantic interest comes out of nowhere) whose irresistible pull has her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home. (since I have no clue what powers Evan might have, it's hard to know if she's worth rooting for. why does Evan care about this world when her life on Earth was so awesome?)

 

BONDER, a YA science fiction novel complete at 116,000 words, will appeal to readers of Stephenie Meyers’ THE HOST and Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT (I've heard that comparing to huge best-sellers is a bad idea bc agents want an idea that can have "fresh" appeal rather than ride on the coat-tails of something that already broke records, etc). The manuscript is available upon request. (this is assumed)

 

This is my second novel; the first was due to be published through Aspen Mountain Press in 2011, but internal issues with the publisher caused it to be shut down and the authors’ copyrights reverted. I hold a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I worked on two of the campus’ bi-annual publications, The Sheepshead Review literary journal and Voyageur Magazine.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. (/consideration)


"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times..."


#14 TcVcL

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 11:23 PM

You seem to be seeking out a lot of detail, which is something I have been warned against and have a difficult time trying to find a balance in. While I will take some of your suggestions under advisement, I do not agree that certain information is necessary to know up front. I've answered some of your concerns within the text. Thank you for your input; I will start working on the next revision.

 

 

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!

 

* * *

 

REVISED VERSION (8/4)

 

Greetings AGENT: (Dear Mr./Ms. _______)

 

 

Having graduated college at only eighteen, musically-inclined Evan has everything in place to land her dream job. But as thorough as her plans are, she could never have anticipated a secondary consciousness trying to merge with her mind. When the merge is inexplicably interrupted and the entity her consciousness? (It is not her consciousness that gets trapped, it is the thing that tries to merge with her.) becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball, she is transported to another dimension to complete the transfer before the connection is lost, and with it, her life(this is a hook; you don't need to be terribly specific here, just give enough to interest the reader to finish the query letter)

 

 

Immediately (removing immediately doesn't change the meaning) taken under the guardianship of the region’s (region within the dimension?) (Yes, since she's now in another dimension) governing clan(why?). Evan learns an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them (one of whom? what are they?). Not only that, (doesn't change the meaning if you take this out, either) if she completes the merge (details about the merge here, not in the hook) (Not mentioning the merge up front makes the dimensional travel seem like it's coming out of left field) she will have access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan—a responsibility that falls to her bloodline. (need specifics here) (I've been warned about giving away too much information, and specifics here will only confuse readers because the details are quite complicated)

 

However, word of Evan’s arrival and unbonded status has spreads throughout the land. She must figure out how to finish the merge before a ruthless enemy NAME HERE steals the entity for himself and uses it to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him. How does the enemy do this and why was he exiled? (Previously mentioned it grants access to a special ability; obtaining a potential power is generally enough to make bad guys seek it out. Also, it is mentioned that she must finish the merge before he steals it, not that he does, so there is no 'how he steals it' to explain)

 

Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, (romantic interest comes out of nowhere) whose irresistible pull has her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home. (since I have no clue what powers Evan might have, it's hard to know if she's worth rooting for. why does Evan care about this world when her life on Earth was so awesome?)

 

BONDER, a YA science fiction novel complete at 116,000 words, will appeal to readers of Stephenie Meyers’ THE HOST and Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT (I've heard that comparing to huge best-sellers is a bad idea bc agents want an idea that can have "fresh" appeal rather than ride on the coat-tails of something that already broke records, etc).(While this is understandable, I use these examples because there are similar concepts at work as in THE HOST, and the narrative is similar to DIVERGENT. Overall, they are the closest comparisons I am aware of)  The manuscript is available upon request. (this is assumed)

 

This is my second novel; the first was due to be published through Aspen Mountain Press in 2011, but internal issues with the publisher caused it to be shut down and the authors’ copyrights reverted. I hold a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I worked on two of the campus’ bi-annual publications, The Sheepshead Review literary journal and Voyageur Magazine.

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. (/consideration)

 



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#15 TcVcL

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 01:26 AM

Did a quick rewrite/revision. See first post for new version.



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#16 Nä-lé Änäkä

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 01:35 AM

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!
 
* * *
 
REVISED VERSION (8/4)
 
Greetings AGENT:
 
 
Having graduated college at only eighteen, musically-inclined Evan has everything in place to land her dream job. But as thorough as her plans are, she could never have anticipated a secondary consciousness trying to merge with her mind. When the merge is inexplicably interrupted and the entity becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball, she is transported to another dimension to complete the transfer before the connection is lost, and with it, her life.
 
Only two things really stick out in this first part. Just what interrupts this merging? Saying inexplicably just feels like an empty gap. Then she is teleported? Not sure if this is more a sore thumb or empty gap. Try taking the two parts that talk about the merger and merge them. Exp: When a secoundary consciousness fails to merge with her it ends up trapped in a Magic 8-Ball instead. When strangers transport her to another demention she leans that she must complete the merge or risk losing her life. This second sentence I would even concider working into the paragraph below.
 
Immediately taken under the guardianship of the region’s governing clan, Evan learns an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Not only that, if she completes the merge she will have access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan—a responsibility that falls to her bloodline.
 
However, word of Evan’s arrival and unbonded status has spread throughout the land. She must figure out how to finish the merge before a ruthless enemy steals the entity for himself and uses it to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him.
 
Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, whose irresistible pull has her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home.
 
Okay by this point you have way over meantioned that she needs to complete the merger and that she could die so I would cut back on some of that, give us new stuff or stop. Secondly WHO or WHAT is this Ren. It comes at us right out of the blue here. Do we even need to know about it?

BONDER, a YA science fiction novel complete at 116,000 words, will appeal to readers of Stephenie Meyers’ THE HOST and Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT. The manuscript is available upon request.
 
From what I know you are going to need to really bring down your word count. I'd say aim for 80 to 90k, if you want to go with a little older age group. For most YA books its 60k I think. Anyway beyond that I would not mention your first book since it was offically published, you don't want to send the wrong message on accident. Over all it's coming along nice.

This is my second novel; the first was due to be published through Aspen Mountain Press in 2011, but internal issues with the publisher caused it to be shut down and the authors’ copyrights reverted. I hold a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I worked on two of the campus’ bi-annual publications, The Sheepshead Review literary journal and Voyageur Magazine.
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.



#17 TcVcL

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 01:45 AM

A revision has already been posted. Feel free to take a look!

 

 

Hello. I'm new to the site and hoping I can get some feedback on my current query letter. I've sent a couple of versions of this to agents, and though many reply they've read it "interest", there hasn't been any bites so far. The story has a lot of elements to it and I'm having difficulty in figuring out what needs clarification and what can be removed. I'm also having trouble on which genre to place this in: sci-fi or fantasy. The story contains elements of both, though in my view, it tends to veer more toward sci-fi. Also, I know the word-count is high (the story is complex, so there's a lot going on), but that just gives room for cuts in the editing process. Give me your thoughts and critique away!
 
* * *
 
REVISED VERSION (8/4)
 
Greetings AGENT:
 
 
Having graduated college at only eighteen, musically-inclined Evan has everything in place to land her dream job. But as thorough as her plans are, she could never have anticipated a secondary consciousness trying to merge with her mind. When the merge is inexplicably interrupted and the entity becomes trapped in a Magic 8-Ball, she is transported to another dimension to complete the transfer before the connection is lost, and with it, her life.
 
Only two things really stick out in this first part. Just what interrupts this merging? Saying inexplicably just feels like an empty gap. Then she is teleported? Not sure if this is more a sore thumb or empty gap. Try taking the two parts that talk about the merger and merge them. Exp: When a secoundary consciousness fails to merge with her it ends up trapped in a Magic 8-Ball instead. When strangers transport her to another demention she leans that she must complete the merge or risk losing her life. This second sentence I would even concider working into the paragraph below.
 
Immediately taken under the guardianship of the region’s governing clan, Evan learns an unexpected truth: her late mother used to be one of them. Not only that, if she completes the merge she will have access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan—a responsibility that falls to her bloodline.
 
However, word of Evan’s arrival and unbonded status has spread throughout the land. She must figure out how to finish the merge before a ruthless enemy steals the entity for himself and uses it to exact revenge on the clan that exiled him.
 
Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but also that of the scarred Ren, whose irresistible pull has her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home.
 
Okay by this point you have way over meantioned that she needs to complete the merger and that she could die so I would cut back on some of that, give us new stuff or stop. Secondly WHO or WHAT is this Ren. It comes at us right out of the blue here. Do we even need to know about it?

BONDER, a YA science fiction novel complete at 116,000 words, will appeal to readers of Stephenie Meyers’ THE HOST and Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT. The manuscript is available upon request.
 
From what I know you are going to need to really bring down your word count. I'd say aim for 80 to 90k, if you want to go with a little older age group. For most YA books its 60k I think. Anyway beyond that I would not mention your first book since it was offically published, you don't want to send the wrong message on accident. Over all it's coming along nice.

This is my second novel; the first was due to be published through Aspen Mountain Press in 2011, but internal issues with the publisher caused it to be shut down and the authors’ copyrights reverted. I hold a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I worked on two of the campus’ bi-annual publications, The Sheepshead Review literary journal and Voyageur Magazine.
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#18 Nä-lé Änäkä

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:38 AM

Okay so this may be a slaughtering of your story but I wanted to give you AN idea of cutting out unneeded words and ideas to get to the point for your query. This type of tighening up of your language may help you lower your word count too. I am having to go through a book myself right now. lol I really tried not to change the over all message let me know.


For Evan, graduating college at eighteen has her on the fast track. Yet despite her accomplishments, she knows she’s meant to do more. So when her Magic 8-Ball develops a stubborn mind of its own and transports her to a different dimension, she can’t help but feel that her greatest accomplishment is yet to come.
 
Upon arrival Evan is taken under the guardianship of the territory’s governing clan. Through them she discovers that: her late mother was one of them. Evan is expected to follow in her mother’s footsteps and mentally bond with the entity inside the Magic 8-Ball. A secondary consciousness descended from a sacred plane, it will grant her access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan.

Word of Evan’s arrival has spread throughout the land and gained the attention of Taustin, a ruthless outlander who was exiled from the clan long ago. Evan must bond with the entity before Taustin is able to steal it for himself and exact revenge. Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but alsothe clan who have her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home.

#19 TcVcL

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 06:32 AM

I think your shortened version works quite well, though it loses some of the emotion that plays a large part in the story. Overall, the query is pretty close to the recommended word count--I won't be adding much more for the closing section, so I'm not too worried about that. I'll definitely take your recommendations under advisement. Thanks!

Okay so this may be a slaughtering of your story but I wanted to give you AN idea of cutting out unneeded words and ideas to get to the point for your query. This type of tighening up of your language may help you lower your word count too. I am having to go through a book myself right now. lol I really tried not to change the over all message let me know.
For Evan, graduating college at eighteen has her on the fast track. Yet despite her accomplishments, she knows she’s meant to do more. So when her Magic 8-Ball develops a stubborn mind of its own and transports her to a different dimension, she can’t help but feel that her greatest accomplishment is yet to come.

Upon arrival Evan is taken under the guardianship of the territory’s governing clan. Through them she discovers that: her late mother was one of them. Evan is expected to follow in her mother’s footsteps and mentally bond with the entity inside the Magic 8-Ball. A secondary consciousness descended from a sacred plane, it will grant her access to a powerful ability meant to be used to protect the clan.
Word of Evan’s arrival has spread throughout the land and gained the attention of Taustin, a ruthless outlander who was exiled from the clan long ago. Evan must bond with the entity before Taustin is able to steal it for himself and exact revenge. Failure will not only cost Evan her life, but alsothe clan who have her torn between a world where she’s finally found purpose, and the place she calls home.



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query


#20 TcVcL

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 12:07 AM

Firstly, this query is too long. I'll pass on the best advice I've received on this site. Start with a quick introduction of your main character and a bit about who she is and her world, just a paragraph. Then take us for a ride into the main conflict of your story. Show the stakes, show your main character's character...

Your query should be between 250-300 words. This isn't a rule but a good guideline. 

Good luck

Thanks for your suggestions. I've revised the letter. Feel free to take a look and let me know what else you think could be tweaked. Thanks!



The feel of creative passion cannot be conveyed in words, for there are none that exist that would suffice. The only thing one can do is harness it and turn it into inspiration.

 

 

Bonder query






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