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The Center of this Eden, Science fiction novel: Latest revision post #48

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#1 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:27 PM

Latest revision at #48.

 

If you post a critique, I'll definitely try to return the favor on your query, synopsis or 250 words. If yours isn't on the first two pages or in your signature, please let me know where to find it!

 

Finally brave enough to post my query on here. :happy: My book isn't finished revising yet, but it was 135,000 before. I'm hoping to get it down to at least the 115,000 below, possibly 110,000. So, tear it apart guys!

 

Dear Agent:

 

When Jamie deVries disobeys the wishes of his father, he discovers a world filled with brutality and oppression beneath his lavish lifestyle.

 

At the home of his classmate, Jamie, heir to the most influential political family on the planet Philomela, meets tough and practical Jess, a slave. He can't deny his interest in her, but the treatment she receives from her master appalls him. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie what life on their planet looks like from the bottom. However, their growing love coincides with the rumblings of a political revolution on Philomela. The people of Philomela have grown tired of authoritarian rule by the planet's tiny group of elite families. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat to the supremacy of the deVries family. When he orders Jamie to cast her aside, Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at 115,000 words.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Some things I have been wondering about:

 

My novel is actually three novellas, which have two year timeskips between them. The query covers the first novel to the end and the premise of the second two. Should I indicate the three novellas in the query, or just go with 'novel'? (It's the reason for the length, of course)

 

It's quite short, at 220 words (only 198 for the summary). Is it too short?

 

When I plugged this into a few web analyzers, the summary is apparently written on a 9th or 10th grade reading level. Are my words and sentences too long and complex? (It went up to 11th grade when I added the word "authoritarian' and removed the last sentence :unsure: )



#2 Ireth

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:35 PM

Finally brave enough to post my query on here. :happy: My book isn't finished revising yet, but it was 135,000 before. I'm hoping to get it down to at least the 115,000 below, possibly 110,000. So, tear it apart guys!

 

Dear Agent:

 

When Jamie deVries (how old is he?) disobeys the wishes of his father, he discovers a world filled with brutality and oppression beneath his lavish lifestyle. (This is really vague, and could apply to any number of books. Make things more specific to your MC and his story.)

 

At the home of his classmate, Jamie, heir to the most influential political family on the planet Philomela, meets tough and practical Jess, a slave. (That's a lot of words just to say "High-ranking boy meets slave girl." I'd try to rearrange this information a little and add a bit more emotion.) He can't deny his interest in her, but the treatment she receives from her master appalls him. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie what life on their planet looks like from the bottom. However, their growing love coincides with the rumblings of a political revolution on Philomela. The people of Philomela have grown tired of authoritarian rule by the planet's tiny group of elite families. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat to the supremacy of the deVries family. When he orders Jamie to cast her aside, Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at 115,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Some things I have been wondering about:

 

My novel is actually three novellas, which have two year timeskips between them. The query covers the first novel to the end and the premise of the second two. Should I indicate the three novellas in the query, or just go with 'novel'? (It's the reason for the length, of course)

 

It's quite short, at 220 words (only 198 for the summary). Is it too short?

 

When I plugged this into a few web analyzers, the summary is apparently written on a 9th or 10th grade reading level. Are my words and sentences too long and complex? (It went up to 11th grade when I added the word "authoritarian' and removed the last sentence :unsure: )


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/


#3 brandonyoung

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 02:04 AM

Dear Agent:

 

When Jamie deVries disobeys the wishes of his father, he discovers a world filled with brutality and oppression beneath his lavish lifestyle. Too vague. Could you focus on one specific thing that makes your novel standout?

 

At the home of his classmate (how old are these characters?), Jamie, heir to the most influential political family on the planet Philomela, meets (who meets) tough and practical Jess, a slave. This sentence is confusing. You're bombarding us with names. Is it important that we know he meets Jess at his classmate's house, and is it important that you tell us Jamie is heir to this family? It's also very wordy. This wordiness might also be a problem in your actual novel, which is why it's longer than you want it to be. He can't deny his interest in her, (see, this could easily be 'He likes her' or something) but the treatment she receives from her master appalls him.

 

After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie what life on their planet looks like from the bottom. If she's a slave, how did she manage to save his life from a forest tiger? Where did the forest tiger even come from? However, their growing love coincides with the rumblings of a political revolution on Philomela. The people of Philomela have grown tired of authoritarian rule by the planet's tiny group of elite families. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat to the supremacy of the deVries family. When he orders Jamie to cast her aside, Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her.

 

What's your story about? Is it about the relationship between Jamie and Jess? Or the political revolution? I would choose to centre the query around the political revolution, and mention Jess somewhere in the stakes--without going into too much detail.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at 115,000 words.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Some things I have been wondering about:

 

My novel is actually three novellas, which have two year timeskips between them. The query covers the first novel to the end and the premise of the second two. Should I indicate the three novellas in the query, or just go with 'novel'? (It's the reason for the length, of course) Just go with novel because, in the end, people are buying this to read a novel. Unless you're planning on marketing it as a compilation of three novellas...

 

It's quite short, at 220 words (only 198 for the summary). Is it too short? No. That's a good length.

 

When I plugged this into a few web analyzers, the summary is apparently written on a 9th or 10th grade reading level. Are my words and sentences too long and complex? (It went up to 11th grade when I added the word "authoritarian' and removed the last sentence :unsure: ) I wouldn't worry about what the web analysers say. Just write your query in a similar style to your actual novel.


I'm not currently in need of query letter revisions, but I am looking for some amazing beta readers. If you're interested in reading a very short standalone YA fantasy which is heavy on character, crying moments, and not so much on epic scopes and war, shoot me a DM and I'd love to lend you a copy. I'm also open to reading your novels in exchange!


#4 morgansivan

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 11:09 AM

When Jamie deVries disobeys the wishes of his father, he discovers a world filled with brutality and oppression beneath his lavish lifestyle. [For me, this hook works. Yeah, it’s a little vague but I get the point.]

 

At the home of his classmate, Jamie, heir to the most influential political family on the planet Philomela, meets tough and practical Jess, a slave. He can't deny his interest in her, but the treatment she receives from her master appalls him. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie what life on their planet looks like from the bottom. However, their growing love coincides with the rumblings of a political revolution on Philomela. The people of Philomela have grown tired of authoritarian rule by the planet's tiny group of elite families. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat to the supremacy of the deVries family. When he orders Jamie to cast her aside, Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her. [This paragraph made my head hurt a little. So much information all at once. You should pick either you focus the main attention on the love story or the takeover.]

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others. [The last paragraph works nicely for me. I get what’s at stake and for a rich guy it’s hard to start living at the bottom for the sake of others.]

 

Keep working on the query. I know it’s hard as hell but it will get better in time. Good luck!


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

 


#5 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 06:23 PM

Thanks so much Ireth, brandonyoung and morgansivan! You've really made me think about how it was worded, and how a lot of things I thought were obvious weren't in the query. Hopefully this revision is better:

 

Dear Agent:

 

On the planet Philomela, twelve aristocratic families control the population with brutality and oppression. Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed no better government existed—until it steals the person he loves most.

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. He has never met anyone as tough and practical as Jess, who loves the freedom of the untamed forest. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie that his lavish lifestyle causes others to suffer. From Jess, Jamie receives the acceptance his family has never given him. But their growing love coincides with the beginnings of a political revolution. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her revolutionary ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside. Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

I hadn't mentioned before, but the main character is seventeen when the book begins. I didn't want to give his age as I felt it would make agents think "YA" when it isn't. By the end of the novel, he's twenty-five. Hopefully I got rid of most of the info that led you all to wonder about his age. 



#6 swimwritesurf

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:27 PM

Thanks so much Ireth, brandonyoung and morgansivan! You've really made me think about how it was worded, and how a lot of things I thought were obvious weren't in the query. Hopefully this revision is better:

 

Dear Agent:

 

On the planet Philomela, twelve aristocratic families control the population with brutality and oppression. Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's Planet Philomela's most influential political family, always believed no better government existed—until it steals the person he loves most.

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. He has never met anyone as tough and practical as Jess, who loves the freedom of the untamed forest. (I don't think this bit fits well) After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie that his lavish lifestyle causes others to suffer. Maybe add some details how she shows him this. Jess, Jamie receives from her the acceptance his family has never given him. But their growing love coincides with the beginnings of a political revolution. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her revolutionary ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside. Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her. Try ending this paragraph a bit stronger. What is she in danger of? Why can't he save her? 

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus (nucleus sounds like a strange word to use here. Maybe try "heart" ?) of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Looks good so far, but there are just somethings that need clarification. 

~In your hook, it says that the government steals Jess. Do they literally steal here? There is nothing that mentions this in your query, so you might want to add that. If not, try a word other than steal. 

~What is stopping Jamie for achieving his goal? 

~What is at stake if he doesn't succeed? ^^

~there is a lot of repetition (Jess, Jamie, revolution, etc.. )Try to arrange the sentences in a way that isn't so repetitive) 

 

Hope this helped a little.

 

Good luck! 

 

I hadn't mentioned before, but the main character is seventeen when the book begins. I didn't want to give his age as I felt it would make agents think "YA" when it isn't. By the end of the novel, he's twenty-five. Hopefully I got rid of most of the info that led you all to wonder about his age. 


If I've offered advice on your work, please try to reciprocate. Thanks!

 

Promo blurb here

 

Spirit of the Wind on Amazon here

 

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#7 morgansivan

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 04:48 AM

Dear Agent:

 

On the planet Philomela, twelve aristocratic families control the population with brutality and oppression. Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's Philomela most influential aristocratic family, always believed no better government existed–until it steals the person he loves most. [Now, how is the government stealing Jess? Maybe takes away? Something to give me a glimpse of what can happen and what this government can do. Also, can you include the brutality and oppression in the hook? Maybe before the “until”? It’s an important part and adds more consistency to the hook but not in a different sentence.]

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. He has never met anyone as tough and practical as Jess, who loves the freedom of the untamed forest. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie that his lavish lifestyle causes others to suffer. [I’m not sure you need all this information at once. It doesn’t give much information except the fact Jess saves Jamie. Can you skip the saving part and tell us something different instead?] From Jess, Jamie receives the acceptance his family has never given him. [Good sentence! Keep it. It shows Jamie’s family doesn’t get him and maybe forced them to accept this government.] But their growing love coincides [this sounds mushy.] with the beginnings of a political revolution.

 

Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her revolutionary ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside. Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her. [I like this part. Is to the point without info dump. Maybe the last sentence can be cut off? I feel more connected with the part of ordering Jamie to cast her, maybe away?, than that he promises to protect her. And how can’t he save her if he promises to protect her? It’s confusing.]

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others. [Nope, not strong enough of an ending. His life style isn’t a real, heartwarming, pulse racing stake. If he will overthrow his father then he can change the planet lifestyle, right? He will still be doing great as the new leader, isn’t it?]

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

I hadn't mentioned before, but the main character is seventeen when the book begins. I didn't want to give his age as I felt it would make agents think "YA" when it isn't. By the end of the novel, he's twenty-five. Hopefully I got rid of most of the info that led you all to wonder about his age. Yes, there’s definitely no wonder about his age. Leave that aside. I know it’s not traditional but in this case it works.

 

Overall, this query is better than the last. There are some things I don’t understand you need to work at but you’re on the right track. Keep working and good luck!


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

 


#8 Miss Nomer

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 07:11 AM

Thanks so much Ireth, brandonyoung and morgansivan! You've really made me think about how it was worded, and how a lot of things I thought were obvious weren't in the query. Hopefully this revision is better:

 

Dear Agent:

 

On the planet Philomela, twelve aristocratic families control the population with brutality and oppression. Jamie deVries, heir to the planet Philomela's most influential political family, always believed no better government existed—until it steals the person he loves most.

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. He has never met anyone as tough and practical as Jess, who loves the freedom of the untamed forest. ​but Jamie's father sees her revolutionary ideals as a threat. After she saves his life from a forest tiger, Jess shows Jamie that his lavish lifestyle causes others to suffer. From Jess, Jamie receives the acceptance his family has never given him. But their growing love coincides with the beginnings of a political revolution. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her revolutionary ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside. Jamie promises to protect Jess from his father's wrath, but cannot save her. (I think a lot of what you have here is a bit obvious for their situation. The conflict here is not really how they feel about each other. It's about how their father reacts)

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Jamie must decide if he will sacrifice his comfortable way of life for the freedom of others. (The first sentence here his good. The last sentence makes no sense. Of course he's going to join the revolution, but just how far will he go to stop his father?)

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

I hadn't mentioned before, but the main character is seventeen when the book begins. I didn't want to give his age as I felt it would make agents think "YA" when it isn't. By the end of the novel, he's twenty-five. Hopefully I got rid of most of the info that led you all to wonder about his age. 

 

You're getting there. I'm curious about who actually is revolting. And is it just a revolution against Jamie's father? Is he that powerful? Or is this an uprising of the slave class against the aristocrats? For me, that''s the story. Jess is just the catalyst that propels Jamie into opposing his father.



#9 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 09:09 AM

Thanks swimwritesurf, Miss Nomer and morgansivan (again!). After a little moving around I've pumped up in the info about the revolution and cut a lot of the love story. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it tears him from the person he loves most.

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. Jess shows Jamie how his lifestyle causes others to suffer and offers him the acceptance he never received from his family.

 

But their growing love coincides with the beginnings of an insurrection among the underclasses. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. He seeks to reform the government and create a world he believes Jess would admire. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, he must live with the guilt of contributing to Philomela's problems.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#10 morgansivan

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 10:58 AM

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it tears him from the person he loves most. [Great hook!!!]

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. Jess shows Jamie how his lifestyle causes others to suffer and offers him the acceptance he never received from his family.

 

But their growing love coincides with the beginnings of an insurrection among the underclasses. [I really like this 4 words. Really strong.] Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, he orders Jamie to cast her aside.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. He seeks to reform the government and create a world he believes Jess would admire. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. [This is what I’m talking about!] If he fails, he must live with the guilt of contributing to Philomela's problems. [I realize you must hate me at this point and I’m sorry of being so harsh on you but this last sentence is just “meh”. The previous one was so strong and powerful and full of aspiration and this cuts down my enthusiasm completely. A lot of people live with guilt, Jaime can do that too. It’s not enough.]

 

I get the idea Jess dies, just stating some things here. Maybe I am wrong, but this is what I understand. I can’t see why Jamie would create a world “he believes Jess would admire”. Please, tell me if I’m wrong here, about Jess’s death. You said Jamie is 25 by the end of the book which, again, makes me wonder if he’s alone by then or not. There’s something missing in this query and I can’t put my finger on it. I get the fact that Jess sets Jamie off but maybe there’s something else you can say about them? Just a wild thought here.

 

I will be here until you have this query so great I’ll be the one who’ll want to pay you to publish the book ;). Keep working and good luck!


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

 


#11 Gibber

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 11:26 AM

Thanks swimwritesurf, Miss Nomer and morgansivan (again!). After a little moving around I've pumped up in the info about the revolution and cut a lot of the love story. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it tears him from the person he loves most. (This is a bit too long and convoluted to work for me.)

 

When Jamie meets Jess, a slave, he begins to respect a woman from a class he always considered inferior. (Why?) Jess shows Jamie how his lifestyle causes others to suffer (How?) and offers him the acceptance he never received from his family. (Why doesn't his family accept him? And why would the opinions of a slave matter to him?)

 

But their growing love coincides (I'm not sure "coincides" is the right word for this.) with the beginnings of an insurrection among the underclasses. Jamie's father, the harshest opponent of the revolution, (Is there a better, more concise way to word this?) sees Jess and her ideals as a threat. (How does he know about them?) Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, (Can you be more specific?) he orders Jamie to cast her aside. (This seems like a weak way of dealing with what could be a serious problem. Why doesn't the father do it himself? Sell her off or straight up kill her?)

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge (This feels too extreme coming off the above paragraph. If you can strengthen the former, give a reason for the latter, it could work.) propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. (His dad is the ruler?) He seeks to reform the government and create a world he believes Jess would admire. (I thought he was going to overthrow his dad? It sounded more like a "knives in the dark" kind of thing rather than an "argue in the senate" thing.) Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. (Is there a way you can par down the word count on this, yet strengthen the conflict? I know what you're describing--and it sounds freaking awesome--but that's a weak-tea way of wording it.) If he fails, he must live with the guilt of contributing to Philomela's problems. (The ending is a bit too weak for me.)

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

I like the sound of this. Political machinations are my drug of choice. But the worldbuilding feels a little too vague in this (though you have to be careful you don't go overboard explaining it) and your mc's choices aren't as clear as they should be. It reminds me of Red Rising, the whole "infiltrating the elite to murder-fest them from the inside." Which is great. My suggestion is to tighten the wording and make the conflict more clear (show me the threat).



#12 Miss Nomer

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 11:42 AM

I'm not going to copy and edit your query because much of what I think has been stated in morgansivan's post, and I also agree with the previous poster about the word 'coincides' at the beginning of the 3rd paragraph. The only other thing I want to add is that before, you made it clear that Jess died, and it was implied that Jamie's father had a hand in it. In this draft, it's not as clear. I think it should be because then the idea of Jamie wanting revenge works. Not it just seems like he's pissed he had to dump his girlfriend, and the thought of getting revenge is a bit dramatic.

 

I think you're getting there. This has come a long way from your first draft. Keep working on it.



#13 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 01:03 PM

One more revision today. I felt like it would take longer to revise, but you've all given me such precise criticisms. It looks a lot different, and hopefully with more specific consequences and stakes. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it destroys the person he loves most.

 

Jamie has never questioned the inferiority of slaves, until he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family.

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father punishes Jess himself.

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#14 morgansivan

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 02:06 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it destroys the person he loves most. Smooth and clean.

 

Jamie has never questioned the inferiority of slaves, until he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family. God, this is so much better! You have no idea what a difference it is from this morning [morning in my country anyway]

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father punishes Jess himself. You don’t cease to amaze me. How did you pull this so quickly? Tell me your secret, please! This paragraph says everything perfectly.

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Noooo L.  Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess. So, so, so. I’m thinking, if you don’t say that Jess dies and leaves that to the guess of the reader, will the last paragraph still work? I mean, cut the word “death” and you are left with a last line that makes me wonder what happened to Jess so horribly if that’s the ultimate punishment for others. Really well put the entire paragraph, I see what’s at stake and how Jamie evolves.

 

Really nicely written query. I’m proud! I think you are almost good to go!


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

 


#15 qtr44

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 06:26 PM

One more revision today. I felt like it would take longer to revise, but you've all given me such precise criticisms. It looks a lot different, and hopefully with more specific consequences and stakes. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, (I don't think "heir to the family" is correct wording) always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it destroys the person he loves most. (I really like this, but it's not clear what Philomela is.  Is it another planet?  A country on another planet?  A country on a future Earth?)

 

Jamie doesn't questioned the inferiority of slaves (Removed comma) until he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. (I assume that she's a slave, but you should state this explicitly.  I also think you could benefit from describing exactly how he meets her.  It seems unlikely that someone in his position would meet a slave by chance.  Is she his personal servant?  Is she a rebel who seeks him out?) She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family. (Is this why he becomes sympathetic to her cause?)

 

But as their love grows, (I'd state in the previous paragraph that he falls in love with her) an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, (By corrupting his son?) his father punishes Jess himself. (We see in the next paragraph that he killed Jess, but I'd still make it clear here that that's what happens.)

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution (I don't think "revolution" is the right word.  Maybe use "plot" instead) to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. (You should say earlier that his father is the ruler.  Generally speaking, I'm still not clear on the role of Jamie's family.  Are they royalty?  Dictators?  Are there other powerful families, or are they the only one?) Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, ​(Meaning he wants to abolish slavery?  Take his own family out of power?) Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. (Here, too, I'd like to know more about his family's role.  What does his position allow him to do?  And how can he change things if his father's watching him?  I assumed from the rest of the paragraph that he ran away to join the revolution.  Since he seems to have stayed put, it would be worth clarifying exactly how he benefits from that.)  If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, (Adult?  YA?  Specify.) complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cool idea!  There are a few points I think you should clarify, but you're definitely on the right track.



#16 BrandiZ

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 02:30 AM

One more revision today. I felt like it would take longer to revise, but you've all given me such precise criticisms. It looks a lot different, and hopefully with more specific consequences and stakes. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's  (country?) oppressive government had no flaws—until it destroys the person he loves most. great hook

 

Jamie has never questioned the inferiority of slaves, until he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital (oh okay now I'm guessing Philomela is a country), Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family.

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father punishes Jess himself.

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge (he wants to kill his dad?)  propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler (for an overthrow of this magnitude, I'm guessing his dad would have to die). Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's (oooh planet - got it. One family rules a whole planet? Wicked world-building) inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess. I hope Jamie realizes how much blood (lots), sweat and tears goes into abolishing slavery, especially on a planetary scale. He seems more motivated by love than reality. I suppose revenge does that to you.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 I realize none of my comments are helpful. To me, that means your letter is pretty solid. Thanks for your advice on mine. Super helpful.

 

Good luck!



#17 KirkDJohnston

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:42 AM

One more revision today. I felt like it would take longer to revise, but you've all given me such precise criticisms. It looks a lot different, and hopefully with more specific consequences and stakes. 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, always believed Philomela's oppressive government had no flaws—until it destroys the person he loves most.

 

Jamie has never questioned the inferiority of slaves, until he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family.

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father punishes Jess himself.

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Hi, I decided to edit a few little bits of your query and see if you think it's useful. Bear in the mind that I am literally are virgin writer, so I hope you find some of it useful. :-)

 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet's most influential political family, truly believes that Philomela's oppressive government has no flaws—until it destroys the woman he loves.

 

Jamie has never questioned the inferiority of slaves, but that all changes when he meets Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers Jamie the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family. But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie, acting out of character, refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, Jamie’s father punishes Jess personally.

 

After her death, Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family had subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#18 Miss Nomer

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 01:15 PM


But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father punishes Jess himself.

 

After her death,(you went from punishment to death - jarring) Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of a revolution to overthrow his father as Philomela's ruler. Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

That's it -  just one little comment. I would definitely consider BrandiZ's comment about not knowing if Philomena is a planet or a country, and I like KirkDJohnston's revision for that. A couple of small edits, and this looks ready to go. WOOT!



#19 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 08:41 AM

Another try this time. Thanks so much for everyone's help!

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet Philomela's ruling family, believes its oppressive government has no flaws—until it destroys the woman he loves.

 

Jamie never questions the inferiority of slaves before meeting Jess. Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family.

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins. Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion. Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father decides to eliminate Jess himself.

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of the revolution and a plot to overthrow his father. Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries. Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality. If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#20 apac

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:52 AM

Another try this time. Thanks so much for everyone's help!

 

Dear Agent:

 

Jamie deVries, heir to the planet Philomela's ruling family, believes its oppressive government has no flaws—until it destroys the woman he loves. (This sentence makes no sense for me...if the government is oppressive, how can  our mc think it has "no flaws".  Are you trying to say that it's oppressive - but he doesn't really see it? I would find a better way to say that if so.) 

 

Jamie never questions the inferiority of slaves before meeting Jess (maybe its neither here nor there, but the descriptions of your mc so far make me not like him AT ALL. I would find a way to make the reader connect to him before you get into the love stuff. Maybe put the family issues first?)  Raised far from the capital, Jess refuses to accept her debased position. She offers him the acceptance he never received from his perfection-seeking family. (Their connection is not clear to me here...acceptance sounds nice and bland but doesn't *grip* me..what exactly makes them fall in love?)

 

But as their love grows, an insurrection among the underclasses begins (Are the *slaves* revolting? Not clear to me). Jamie's father, the revolution's harshest opponent, sees Jess and her ideals as a threat after Jamie refuses to help him suppress the rebellion (is she leading the rebellion? Or is it just the fact that Jamie is consorting with a slave? Not clear to me). Fearing she will weaken the deVries family, his father decides to eliminate Jess himself. (clearly state what he does - he kills her. "Decides to" is a passive verb. Imagine someone "deciding"...kinda dull no?)

 

Jamie's thirst for revenge propels him into the nucleus of the revolution and a plot to overthrow his father ("propels him" is a passive construction. What does he do exaclty? Join the revolution? Send them $$? Spy for them?). Determined to create a new government he believes Jess would admire, Jamie allies himself with the commoners his family has subjugated for centuries (another passive verb " allies himself". What does he do exactly? Lead a fight? Run away and join them? Smuggle supplies? Be specific). Unless he hides his true motives from his father, he will lose the position he must maintain to end the planet's inequality . If he fails, his new allies will suffer the same fate as Jess.

 

THE CENTER OF THIS EDEN is a science fiction novel, complete at XX words. (Bio and personalization)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Hi waxesnostalgic, this sounds SO COOL!!! What I would work on (if this were my query) is ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION. Lose the more passive verbs ("allies himself", "decides to', etc..) and insert some *juicy* action to describe what our MC does. Do our characteres *smuggle* *spy* *kill* or *destroy*? Consider amping up the action to grip the reader better.  

 

Love the title btw.  

 

Hope this was helpful! 







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