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THE TIME SLAVE, YA light sci-fi


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#1 Deeba

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:05 AM

Will not be needing comments for a bit! Thanks for all the help! <3

 

Hello all! I'm having the worst time trying to write this query. I have no idea what I'm doing. Every time I redo it, I feel like it is too vague/not really saying what I want it to say. I need help. Lots of help. :(

 

Query: 

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing my novel, RECONDITE, a NA modern fantasy novel, complete at 93,000 words. I have specifically chosen you because (insert personal tidbit here). I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret.

 

In an underground Compound, two babies were born. One boy. One girl. She was to be the Generational’s heir; he was branded as a Recondite. Based on an ancient system focused on duty and paying back debts, their fates were inevitably sealed….

 

But one always has a choice.

 

20 year old Liam is running out of time and he knows it. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, it’s time for Liam to choose: continue to risk default or find a way out. Determined to find his sister, he sets his sights on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir.

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community will protect you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong. In a single breath, Sahar’s world collides with Liam’s at neck splintering speeds when she finds herself taken and thrown into Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

Sahar is on the fight for her life until she discovers the horrifying secret her community has kept hidden from her. Riddled with half answers and incomplete truths, Sahar trusts no one and seeks out her answers in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet.    

 

One boy. One girl. Two lives forbidden to cross until destiny forces its way in.

 

RECONDITE is the first of a potential thrilling trilogy about love, family, and the power of choice. RECONDITE is intended to attract readers who also enjoy Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT and Marie Lu’s LEGEND.

 

This is my first completed novel. I have never been published, but like the protagonist, one always has a choice and I have chosen to follow my dreams in becoming an accomplished writer. I currently live in Philadelphia.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Deeba Zargarpur

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#2 Dogday

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 11:57 AM

We're all beginners here.

 

Check you this site and start in the archives October 2015.  Janet breaks down a query letter.  3-4 paragraphs that introduces the main character, his/her goal and what in his way.  The query looks at the first third of your novel.  Don't tell the whole story or there is no reason to read it for ourselves.  She has a ton of info on her site that can really help.

 

http://queryshark.blogspot.ca/



#3 Hillary73

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:25 PM

I feel like you have definitely done a much better job than you think you did; this is honestly a really good draft! Here are some specific suggestions:

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing my novel, RECONDITE, a NA modern fantasy novel, complete at 93,000 words. I have specifically chosen you because (insert personal tidbit here). I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature. I would put this paragraph at the end, just before your closing. Start right in with the hook (which is a really great hook!)

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret.

 

In an underground Compound, two babies were born. One boy. One girl. She was to be the Generational’s heir; he was branded as a Recondite. Based on an ancient system focused on duty and paying back debts, their fates were inevitably sealed….  After reading through it and being slightly confused plot-wise, I think it might help to add a bit more here (just a bit though) about the specifics of this world, just so the agent can follow your plot well--can you define Generational and Recondite in a succinct way?

 

But one always has a choice.

 

20 year old Liam is running out of time and he knows it. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, it’s time for Liam to choose: grammatically, this doesn't quite work--techncially, it's Liam who is "not wanting to wait for the third," so the clause following "Not wanting to wait for a third" should begin with his name, something like "Liam must choose"--continue to risk default or find a way out. Determined to find his sister, he sets his sights on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. This is great, I get a feel for what's at stake for Liam and what he has to deal with; but again, because I'm not clear on what "clue" and "default" is referring to, it's a little harder for me to really feel the stakes. You don't want to give too much away, but I think adding something that would hint to what these things refer to (maybe in the paragraph above, like I mentioned) would help.

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community will protect you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong. In a single breath, Sahar’s world collides with Liam’s at neck splintering speeds--I don't even think you need this, it just sounds a little exaggerated when she finds herself taken by whom? and thrown into Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

Sahar is on the fight for her life until she discovers the horrifying secret her community has kept hidden from her. Riddled with half answers and incomplete truths, Sahar trusts no one and seeks out her answers in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. This is awesome, I really feel the suspense, very well done! The only thing I'm wondering here is: should you bring Liam back into this paragraph? Because it seems like this would be the place to tie both their stories and goals together--or does your MS focus on Sahar's POV? Ending with Sahar's struggle makes it seem like that, and if so, you should tone down Liam's bit, but if not, you should bring Liam back in here to make it clear that both characters get equal POV time.  

 

One boy. One girl. Two lives forbidden to cross until destiny forces its way in.

 

RECONDITE is the first of a potential thrilling thriller? trilogy about love, family, and the power of choice. RECONDITE is intended to attract readers who also enjoy Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT and Marie Lu’s LEGEND.

 

This is my first completed novel. I have never been published, but like the protagonist, one always has a choice and I have chosen to follow my dreams in becoming an accomplished writer. I currently live in Philadelphia. You don't even need any of this. If you do some other work that relates to the subject of your book, put it in--otherwise, you don't need to put in where you live or if you haven't been published before.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

This is actually a really good query, you should feel good about it! Keep working at it!



#4 Deeba

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 11:42 PM

Thank you so much for your feedback Hillary! So, let me tell you where I've been struggling (and your confusion makes sense because those are exactly the parts where I've been working on fixing). The biggest issue is trying to get that first paragraph to hook well without being too wordy. Let me write out the wordy explanation of whats going on (because I have not successfully been able to define the plot in a succinct manner and maybe you can see a better way in explaining it).

 

 

"In an underground Compound, two babies were born. One boy. One girl. She was to be the Generational’s heir; he was branded as a Recondite. Based on an ancient system focused on duty and paying back debts, their fates were inevitably sealed….  After reading through it and being slightly confused plot-wise, I think it might help to add a bit more here (just a bit though) about the specifics of this world, just so the agent can follow your plot well--can you define Generational and Recondite in a succinct way?"

 

There is an underground Compound in New York City that breeds Recondites, a population of people who were born off the grid and hidden from society. They came to be because their ancestors ended up in some sort of financial struggle/hardship. In order to bail themselves out, there was a man, who titled himself the Generational, that gave them a "loan" a.k.a. helped them out of their current troubles BUT there was a catch. To repay the Generational, one had to pay in time. The thing is, the terms in which the debt had to be settled were so outrageous, it was impossible to live long enough to pay the Generational back. Also, it was very easy to miss a payment a.k.a. easy to default (kinda like being late on paying a bill, interest gets added...). Defaulting meant increasing the time, thus increasing the debt. So these people had to create extensions of themselves, by having children, that promised repayment of their debts. These children became known as Recondites. All Recondites were born inside the Compound and branded with an Identifier, a tracking system in their arm that tells them of their status: green (good standing), red (bad standing), and black (termination required). The system in place was set up to continue the breeding of Recondites for a specific purpose. The Generational needs them, but I don't want to disclose why because that's kinda the secret Sahar finds out later. 

 

The entire system controlling the Recondites is run by the Generational, he is the CEO of sorts. And each Generational has a successor, a child that must take their place to continue running the Compound. Sahar is the successor, or the heir to the entire system, but she is oblivious to it. She has lived her life like any normal person and only finds out about her duties when Liam intervenes. 

 

 

 

 

"Sahar is on the fight for her life until she discovers the horrifying secret her community has kept hidden from her. Riddled with half answers and incomplete truths, Sahar trusts no one and seeks out her answers in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. This is awesome, I really feel the suspense, very well done! The only thing I'm wondering here is: should you bring Liam back into this paragraph? Because it seems like this would be the place to tie both their stories and goals together--or does your MS focus on Sahar's POV? Ending with Sahar's struggle makes it seem like that, and if so, you should tone down Liam's bit, but if not, you should bring Liam back in here to make it clear that both characters get equal POV time."

 

The book is written in both Sahars and Liams POV. Each chapter alternates between one and the other. So where one leaves off, the other picks up. All the events happen in real time so the story continues forward, but you get both perspectives. I think I need to bring Liam back into this paragraph, but I'm not quite sure how to tie it all together. What I want to say is that in Liams quest to find his sister, he will ultimately end up hurting Sahar. If he succeeds, it means the Generational fails/harm will come to Sahars family. But on the flip side, if Sahar finds the answers she needs and accepts her duties as the heir, Liam and his sister will be terminated. I don't go into it in the query, but Liam and Sahar end up trusting each other, until Sahar realizes what Liams true intentions were from the beginning: destroying her family in order to save himself.  


Deeba Zargarpur

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#5 Cailoc

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 04:21 AM

Hi, Deeba! You've done a really good job with tone and setting the characters' conflicts out. I think the biggest thing is just paring down what you already have to make it more concise. I know that's a lot easier said than done, but it feels like there's just too much going on right now. Focus on the essentials of the bigger picture without trying to go into the finer details too much, as that just makes it more complicated and wordy. Also go for stronger verbs since you're on limited word space, and cut out all the unnecessary words. So, for example, instead of "she seeks out her answers," "she seeks answers," is the same meaning with a faster pace. Good luck on querying! :)

#6 Deeba

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:06 PM

REVISION #2 

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret.

 

 

 

In an underground Compound, two babies were born. One boy. One girl. She was to be the Generational’s heir; he was branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debts with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational.

 

 

But one always has a choice.

 

 

 

20 year old Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam must choose: continue to risk default and face death or find a way out. Determined to rescue his sister, he sets his sights on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. 

 

 

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community will protect you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

 

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. 

 

 

One boy. One girl. Two lives forbidden to cross until destiny forces its way in.

 

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing my novel, RECONDITE, a NA modern fantasy novel, complete at 93,000 words. I have specifically chosen you because (insert personal tidbit here). I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature. 

 

 

 

RECONDITE is the first of a potential trilogy about love, family, and the power of choice. RECONDITE is intended to attract readers who also enjoy Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT and Marie Lu’s LEGEND.

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Deeba Zargarpur

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Twitter: @deebazargarpur

Email: deebazargarpur@gmail.com

 


#7 Hillary73

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:22 PM

I like this draft! I think that's a good way to succinctly summarize the world in the second paragraph; before you posted this draft, the other way I was thinking you could phrase it was: "She was to be the Generational's heir, the leader of the Compound; he was branded a Recondite, one of those hidden from society and responsible for repaying his ancestors' debts to the Generational." I don't know, because I really like the way you put it in your second draft! That's just another suggestion.

 

I think you also did a great job incorporating Liam into that sixth paragraph--now I can tell that it will definitely be alternating between their points of view.

 

Awesome revision---I really like this!



#8 Deeba

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:27 PM

@Hillary73 thanks so much! I really appreciate all your comments. This is the first time I've done this and I never thought it would be so hard! Or scary! If you have anything you want me to look at, please let me know!! :)

 

@Cailoc I took your advice and tried to shorten it a bit. Thank you for taking the time to read my draft! If you need a critique on anything, please send it my way! 


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#9 Popeye

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:09 PM


Dear (Agent Name)

 

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret.

 

 

 

In an underground Compound, two babies were (your query letter should be in single tense. Using "is" above then "were" here. Got the point?) born. One boy. One girl. She was to be the Generational’s heir; he was branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debts debt with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational.

 

 

But one always has a choice.

 

 

 

20 year old Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam must choose: continue to risk default and face death or find a way out. Determined to rescue his sister, he sets his sights sight on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. 

 

 

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community will protects you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

 

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. (you're trying too much to establish the drama here. I know it happens when you cannot put your point through. Just sit and think how you can sum up the conflict in 2-3 lines without stressing too much on words).

 

 

One boy. One girl. Two lives forbidden to cross until destiny forces its way in. (this is really not necessary)

 

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing my novel, RECONDITE, a NA modern fantasy novel, complete at 93,000 words. I have specifically chosen you because (insert personal tidbit here). I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature. 

 

 Complete at 93,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family and the power of choice. It is the first in a planned trilogy and may appeal to the fans of.........

 

RECONDITE is the first of a potential trilogy about love, family, and the power of choice. RECONDITE is intended to attract readers who also enjoy Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT and Marie Lu’s LEGEND.

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

The only problem with this query letter is that you're stressing way too much to tell us the story. Don't do that. Just go with the flow and don't worry if some interesting parts are left out.

Also, you may want to look at other query letters while doing your own. It will help you understand the exact things that should go in yours.

Please take my criticism constructively. As a first time query creator you've done a pretty good job. So good luck with the revisions.

 

Also, if you've time, please share some thoughts on my query letter too - Revised Query


Please share some thoughts on my query letter - Query Letter


#10 Deeba

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:13 PM

@zfkhan08 - Thanks for your input! I LOVE criticism. Harsh or not, I don't take it personally, I take it as only bettering myself! I really do find it hard to tell the story and its conflict because I don't want it to come across as boring. I'm gonna sit and work on this. I'll gladly look at your query letter!


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#11 Deeba

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:00 PM

Revision #3. I kinda like this one. But, all opinions are welcome!!

 

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret.

  

In an underground Compound, two babies are born. One boy. One girl. She is to be the Generational’s heir; he is branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debt with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational.

 

But one always has a choice.

 

20 year old Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam sets his sight on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. 

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community protects you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. 

 

Complete at 92,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family, and the power of choice. It is the first in a planned trilogy and may appeal to the fans of DIVERGENT and LEGEND. I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Deeba Zargarpur

Instagram: deebazargarpur

Twitter: @deebazargarpur

Email: deebazargarpur@gmail.com

 


#12 JSDelisi

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 01:57 PM

Dear (Agent Name)

 

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. (Awesome hook.)

  

In an underground Compound, two babies are born. One boy. One girl. She is to be the Generational’s heir; he is branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debt with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational.

 

But one always has a choice.

 

20 year old Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam sets his sight on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. (Mildly confused, is this the boy Recondite? Or is this a different character entirely?)

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community protects you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. (I feel like there are too many paragraphs, perhaps you can consolidate them a bit to help them flow better?)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family, and the power of choice. It is the first in a planned trilogy and With series potential, this may appeal to the fans of DIVERGENT and LEGEND. I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Very interesting concept, but I fear this may come off as a bit dry. There seems to be too much going on to really get a good sense of what is a happening or why we should care about these characters. Perhaps you can simplify this a little to make it a bit easier to grasp? I hope querying goes well, I'd love to read it one day!



#13 kljacks

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:23 PM

Revision #3. I kinda like this one. But, all opinions are welcome!!

 

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. (Love the hook!)

  

In an underground Compound, two babies are born. One boy. One girl. She is to be the Generational’s heir; he is branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debt with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational.

 

But one always has a choice.  (A little vague.  How does one have a choice?  Recondites don't have to have their lives signed away or can a Recondite choose to fight the Generational?  I still like this sentence, though.)

 

20 year old Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam sets his sight on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. (Good!)

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were simple: protect the community and in turn, the community protects you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers.  (What do they want answers to?) With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. (Good!) But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. (I like!)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family, and the power of choice. It is the first in a planned trilogy and may appeal to the fans of DIVERGENT and LEGEND. I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I didn't fully understand what the book was about until I read it a third time and more carefully.  But I understand the gist of it now, apart from the few things I commented on above.  Overall, it's a good query!  It catches my attention, and I'm finding that I want to read more!  Just a few more tweaks, perhaps a few more specifications as I stated in the query, and I think you've got it!  Good job! :smile:



#14 Eighmy

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 10:26 AM

Dear (Agent Name)

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. This is awesome.  But you know that.  Maybe a hint of what the secret is down below will make it even more compelling.

  

In an underground Compound, two babies are born. One boy. One girl. She is to be the Generational’s heir; he is branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones debt with time, Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds leader, the Generational  , a bond-slave for life.

 

But one always has a choice.

 

The 20 year old Recondite Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam sets his sights on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir. If time is running out, doesn't that mean his life is in danger?  Or his sister's?  Maybe it shouldn't be what he "wants" but what he "desperately needs".

 

Heiress Sahar Ihsan has lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community. The rules were are simple: protect the community and in turn, the community protects you. Desperate to break free from their its scrutiny, Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules one night. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational.

 

The clock is ticking as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a life-time of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. I would either cut this out or explain it further because it's cryptic, and I imagine cryptic=frustrating to an agent. Maybe you meant to put a singular "man" there?

 

Complete at 92,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family, and the power of choice. It is the first in a planned trilogy and may appeal to the fans of DIVERGENT and LEGEND. I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I did like Divergent, and I wish you all the best with your novel!



#15 ah_522

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 02:41 PM

Revision #3. I kinda like this one. But, all opinions are welcome!!

 

 

Dear (Agent Name)

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. (Give us a hint of the secret and lure in the reader further.)

  

In an underground Compound, two babies are born. One boy. One girl. She is to be the Generational’s heir; he is branded as a Recondite. Raised in a system based on paying back ones' (apostrophe!) debt with time (but what does that mean? I'm confused.), Recondite lives are signed away to the will of the Compounds' (apostrophe? You don't want to have a typo in the hook, since some agents will stop reading.) leader, the Generational. (Instead of having it in passive voice, put it in active.)

 

But one always has a choice. (This feels jarring and out of place, plus you already expand on this later on.)

 

20 year old Twenty-year-old  (spell everything out) Liam knows time is running out. The disappearance of his sister was his first clue; defaulting on his debt was his second. Not wanting to wait for a third, Liam sets his sight on the only person that can help him get what he wants: the heir.  (Is he the Recondite? I'm confused. Your hook should lead to your next para, and I'm lost about what's going on already.)

 

Sahar Ihsan lived 20 excruciating years under the magnifying glass of her community.  (which is the Compound?) The rules were are (write everything in present tense!) simple: protect the community and in turn, the community protects you. Desperate to break free from their scrutiny, (why? Has she done something wrong or they did something to her? This comes out of nowhere. If there is discontent, then make it obvious.) Sahar allows herself one night to shatter all the rules. But everything goes terribly wrong when Sahar finds herself entangled in Liam’s plan to break free from the Generational. (How? What goes wrong? Be specific.)

 

The clock is ticking (Cliche expressions should be best avoided.) as Sahar and Liam race to find their answers. With the Generational hot on his heels, Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her. (give a hint.) But nothing is ever what it seems. Riddled with a lifetime of incomplete truths, Sahar seeks the answers to her fate in the most unexpected places, starting and ending with the men she was never meant to meet. (Men? Huh? This comes out of nowhere.)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, RECONDITE is a NA fantasy novel about love, family, and the power of choice (this is unnecessary, because this should all be shown in your QL. If you have to tell it here, then you should rework your query to show all these concepts.) . It is the first in a planned trilogy and may appeal to the fans of DIVERGENT and LEGEND. (I would not recommend using Divergent and Legend. For most agents, if you use the big name books, it implies you haven't done your research into your genre.)  I have included (whatever they asked for) of my novel for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I had a massive headache reading this QL, because it's all over the place. Your hook doesn't align with the rest of your paragraphs, and I'm not sure what's going on here. You need to strike a balance between specificity and vagueness, and it's leaning on vague. A LOT. I don't know if these two characters are siblings, or if they're something else. 

 

I recommend you take a look at Query Shark or the Writer's Digest series on successful queries. A query should not take 2-3x to get. It should be clean and simple from the start, so it raises more questions but with just the precise amount of info needed. 

 

Of course, take my crit with a grain of salt. 

 

Good luck. 

 

If you can, please check out my synopsis. 



#16 Deeba

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 08:34 PM

Thank you everyone! I really really appreciate the crits! This is my first time trying to navigate the query letter, so I'm absorbing everything! I completely understand the confusion and I'll post a revision once I'm done! 


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#17 Deeba

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 06:26 PM

Revision #4:  Okay, so I revamped my query. I realized it was more contemporary sci-fi than fantasy (there's no magic/mystical beings in my story). Let me know if this is better! (The agent I'm querying had a specific guide for the format. Introduction has to be first, summary of story in the middle, a little bio at the end)

 

Dear (Agent),

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing RECONDITE, a NA contemporary sci-fi novel, complete at 92,000 words. I have included a synopsis and the first 10 pages of my manuscript for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. In an underground Compound, an ancient community births a hidden society of people called Recondites. Enslaved to a debt system where time is currency, Recondite lives are signed away to the Compounds’ leader, the Generational. With their every move monitored by internal tracking technology, the only way to gain their freedom is to run out of time.

   

Twenty-year-old Recondite Liam wants out of his servitude, but the disappearance of his sister is the hitch in his escape plan. Riddled with guilt over wanting to leave her behind, Liam decides a trade is the only way to get her back: the Generational’s heiress for his sister.

 

Clueless to her inheritance, twenty-year-old heiress Sahar Ihsan awakes terrified in Liam’s home with no recollection of how she got there. Desperate to return home, Sahar tries to figure out their connection. When Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her, Sahar is faced with an impossible decision: take her rightful place as heiress or help free the man she was never meant to meet.    

 

RECONDITE is my debut novel. I currently reside in Philadelphia. 

  

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Deeba Zargarpur

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Email: deebazargarpur@gmail.com

 


#18 jalh

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 11:00 AM

Revision #4:  Okay, so I revamped my query. I realized it was more contemporary sci-fi than fantasy (there's no magic/mystical beings in my story). Let me know if this is better! (The agent I'm querying had a specific guide for the format. Introduction has to be first, summary of story in the middle, a little bio at the end)

 

Dear (Agent),

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing RECONDITE, a NA contemporary sci-fi novel, complete at 92,000 words. I have included a synopsis and the first 10 pages of my manuscript for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature. 

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. In an underground Compound, an ancient community births a hidden society of people called Recondites. Enslaved to a debt system where time is currency, Recondite lives are signed away to the Compounds’ leader, the Generational. With their every move monitored by internal tracking technology, the only way to gain their freedom is to run out of time. Very interesting, I am intrigued!

   

Twenty-year-old Recondite Liam wants out of his servitude, but the disappearance of his sister is the crux in his escape plan. Riddled with guilt over wanting to leave her behind, Liam decides a trade is the only way to get her back: the Generational’s heir for his sister. The thing about the heir kind of comes without context- is he planning to kidnap her?

 

Clueless to her inheritance, How is she clueless? Is she just living life as a regular girl, unaware of the community of which she is a part? Or is she aware of the community but not her role within it? twenty-year-old heiress Sahar Ihsan awakes terrified in Liam’s home with no recollection of how she got there. Desperate to return home, Sahar tries to figure out their connection. When Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her, Sahar is faced with an impossible decision: take her rightful place as heiress or help free the man she was never meant to meet.    I like it :)

 

RECONDITE is my debut novel. I currently reside in Philadelphia. 

  

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

It sounds very intriguing! I would love your thoughts on my query as well if you have the time :)



#19 morgansivan

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 11:46 AM

Dear (Agent),

 

I am sending my query to you in hopes that you will consider representing RECONDITE, a NA contemporary sci-fi novel, complete at 92,000 words. I have included a synopsis and the first 10 pages of my manuscript for your consideration. If you would like a larger sample, or the entire manuscript, you may contact me using the information below my signature.

 

New York City is breeding a terrifying secret. In an underground Compound, an ancient community births a hidden society of people called Recondites. Enslaved to a debt system where time is currency, Recondite lives are signed away to the Compounds’ leader, the Generational. With their every move monitored by internal tracking technology, the only way to gain their freedom is to run out of time. [Great hook! I’m telling you, I’m so going to read this book!]

   

Twenty-year-old Recondite Liam wants out of his servitude, but the disappearance of his sister is the crux in his escape plan. Riddled with guilt over wanting to leave her behind, Liam decides a trade is the only way to get her back: the Generational’s heir for his sister. [Only in my opinion, I already figured out Liam is going to kidnap the heir but you can mention it for good measure? Either way, it works. I get what you mean and it intrigues me.]

 

Clueless to her inheritance [I understand why she is clueless, you said in the beginning that the Recondite society is hidden but like jalh, the agent you want to query might ask the same question as him. For me it works, again.], twenty-year-old heiress Sahar Ihsan awakes terrified in Liam’s home with no recollection of how she got there. Desperate to return home, Sahar tries to figure out their connection. When Liam is forced to unveil the horrifying secret Sahar’s community has kept hidden from her, Sahar is faced with an impossible decision: take her rightful place as heiress or help free the man she was never meant to meet.  

 

For me this query really works! I’d definitely want to read more and find out about the Recondites and how Liam and Sahar are going to deal with the situation. If you don’t receive any bad feedback, I say it’s good to go. Really amazing idea, the query gives enough information and everything makes me want to know more. If you decide to submit, let us know how the things evolve. Fingers crossed here! Good luck!


My NA Fantasy query - Burned Wings http://agentquerycon...y-death-angels/

 


#20 Deeba

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:28 PM

Thanks so much morgansivan and jalh. The 2 parts that need to be tightened are Liam's idea to kidnap Sahar and Sahar not knowing the secret society of enslaved people her community is facilitating. She is COMPLETELY clueless, as in she lived her entire life normal, so she has no idea that she's supposed to inherit this "business". The reason why she's kept clueless is because of her mother. Her mother is trying to protect her from being involved in this kind of life, so when Sahar was a baby, her mother divorced her father and did everything in her power to keep them separate. If you have any ideas on how to convey that in a sentence or less, I'd be welcome to hear it! And I'll definitely comment on your queries :) 


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