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Beyond the North Star (Revised Version on post #34)


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#1 ViviMont

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:25 AM

Dear Amazing Agent:
 
 
With two hooked blades at her back and her ruthless training, Captain Tethys must help a fugitive prince, save her uncle and finally get the revenge she's always fought for. 
 
After years training in the Resistance’s star ship, 17-year-old Tethys has passed her final trial. She's a Captain of her own vessel meant to sail the black waves of space and war against the Earthers who have taken everything from her. Her new title also comes with an unexpected proposal by the fierce Admiral Croan. But when her uncle goes missing and his shipped burned to the ground, all signs point back to the Admiral and the cause she believed in so strongly. Tethys has no choice but to fight against her loyalty and search for the truth.
 
Now what she should do with the two Nevean refugees that literally crashed right into her path, she has no idea. The Nevean Prince and his friend escaped their planet’s hostile takeover, now they look for a way back in and a miracle to save their people. With the Prince’s mother dying, he must get back to Nevea and complete the sacred ritual that will save his planet waiting just beyond the North Star.
 
The Prince’s disarming smile and child-like innocence is not enough to convince Tethys to join their mission. But uncovering her uncle’s involvement and who the Earthern conqueror is waiting for them in Nevea is all the persuasion she needs. Wendowlyn, The Red Maiden, will taste Tethys’ hooked blade one way or another. It’s a promise Tethys has lived by since the murder of her family by the Red Maiden’s hands. Once the ragtag army of three land in Nevea, they must resist the lure of murderous mermaids, fight a tribe of mercenaries and complete the ritual. All before the Queen is murdered and a secret unlocked that can make the Earthers unstoppable.
 
 
BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. ( Should I include that I have another book due for publication summer 2017? Not self-published.)
 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#2 CrookedGrin

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:00 PM

Just a quick thought - since your real hook (ha ha) is that this is a retelling of Peter Pan, maybe you should open with that, or at least get it closer to the beginning. I didn't feel super compelled by the opening line; it seemed to be missing a twist to truly grab my interest. But when I saw the part about Peter Pan, that was something I could really grab onto.

 

Keep in mind that I have no idea what I'm talking about.


If I critiqued your query, please reciprocate: THE UNHOLY CHORD


#3 ViviMont

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:09 PM

Just a quick thought - since your real hook (ha ha) is that this is a retelling of Peter Pan, maybe you should open with that, or at least get it closer to the beginning. I didn't feel super compelled by the opening line; it seemed to be missing a twist to truly grab my interest. But when I saw the part about Peter Pan, that was something I could really grab onto.

 

Keep in mind that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

 Yeah, that's a good idea. I was thinking I should start it off by saying it's a retelling so they go into the query with that thought in mind. Thank you!


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#4 CMS1138

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:30 PM

Hi Everyone!! It's been a while since I've been on the query side of things again. This book is still in its beginning stages, so it's a work in progress as is the query. This is query: first draft and can sure use the help of the wonderful Agentquery peeps. Thank you so much, I will return the favor by checking out your query as well. 

 

 

Dear Amazing Agent:

 

 

With two hooked blades at her back and her ruthless training, Captain Tethys must help a fugitive prince, save her uncle and finally get the revenge she's always fought for. As a hook this doesn't quite grab me.

 

After years training in the Resistance’s star ship, 17-year-old Tethys has passed her final trial. She's a Captain of her own vessel meant to sail the black waves of space and war against the Earthers who have taken everything from her. Her new title also comes with an unexpected proposal by the fierce Admiral Croan. But when her uncle goes missing and his shipped burned to the ground, all signs point back to the Admiral and the cause she believed in so strongly. Tethys has no choice but to fight against her loyalty and search for the truth. A lot of unnecessary details here, I'd cut the story lines and focus on the conflict. 

 

Now she has no idea what she should do with the two Nevean refugees that literally crashed right into her path, she has no idea This was just phrased awkwardly. The Nevean Prince and his friend escaped their planet’s hostile takeover, now they look for a way back in and a miracle to save their people. With the Prince’s mother dying, he must get back to Nevea and complete the sacred ritual that will save his planet waiting just beyond the North Star. This is a little contradictory, in the second sentence you say they are looking for a way to save their planet, but in the third it sounds like they know about this ritual. Which is it? 

 

The Prince’s disarming smile and child-like innocence is not enough to convince Tethys to join their mission. But Uncovering her uncle’s involvement and who the Earthern conqueror is waiting for them in Nevea is all the persuasion she needs. Wendowlyn, The Red Maiden, will taste Tethys’ hooked blade one way or another. It’s a promise Tethys has lived by since the murder of her family by the Red Maiden’s hands. Once the ragtag army of three land in Nevea, they must resist the lure of murderous mermaids, fight a tribe of mercenaries and complete the ritual. All before the Queen is murdered and a secret unlocked that can make the Earthers unstoppable. Personally, I'd cut almost all of this. It's backstory and plotlines. Stick to the character conflict.

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. ( Should I include that I have another book due for publication summer 2017? Not self-published.) I'd imagine that mentioning that you already have one book getting published is going to be a huge plus.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Those are some thoughts on your query. I would suggest that if your manuscript is still in the beginning stages that you stop spending energy on your query. The synopsis is okay because that will help you structure the novel. But your query is going to change as you solidify the central conflict of your story. Write the thing first, then worry about pitching it. 

 

Good luck!

 

http://agentquerycon...he-mirror-road/



#5 ViviMont

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:50 PM

Those are some thoughts on your query. I would suggest that if your manuscript is still in the beginning stages that you stop spending energy on your query. The synopsis is okay because that will help you structure the novel. But your query is going to change as you solidify the central conflict of your story. Write the thing first, then worry about pitching it. 

 

Good luck!

 

http://agentquerycon...he-mirror-road/

Thank you for all your suggestions!! I will definitely review and redo.

 

I've been kind of stuck for a bit, but hashing out the query has really helped me move forward. I can always tweak it as the story goes evolving. But yeah, perhaps you're right, writing out the synopsis would be more effective. :)

 

Best wishes!


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#6 nerdypajamas

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 01:06 PM

I agree with CrookedGrin-I think the fact that your story is a retelling of Peter Pan should be more apparent. Also, there's just way too much going on, in terms of characters and plot points. I would recommend focusing on three characters (at the absolute most), and cutting out any information that's not pertinent to the main plot. 



#7 Gibber

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:28 PM

*lurking until the next update*



#8 DaveTheRave

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 07:19 PM

e

 

Hi Everyone!! It's been a while since I've been on the query side of things again. This book is still in its beginning stages, so it's a work in progress as is the query. This is query: first draft and can sure use the help of the wonderful Agentquery peeps. Thank you so much, I will return the favor by checking out your query as well. 

 

 

Dear Amazing Agent:

 

 

With two hooked blades at her back and her ruthless training, Captain Tethys must help a fugitive prince, save her uncle and finally get the revenge she's always fought for. 

 

After years training in on? the Resistance’s star ship, 17-year-old Tethys has passed her final trial. She's a Captain of her own vessel meant to sail the black waves of space and war against the Earthers who have taken everything from her. How? This is a pretty well-worn phrase so falls flat without detail.

 

Her new title also comes with an unexpected proposal by the fierce Admiral Croan. marriage? business? adventure? this unbaited hook doesn't work But when her uncle goes missing and his shipped burned to the ground, all signs point back to the Admiral and the cause she believed in so strongly. Tethys has no choice but to fight against her loyalty and search for the truth.The previous two sentences should be condensed.

 

Now what she should do with the two Nevean refugees that literally crashed right into her path, she has no idea. This glib phrasing is not helpful. The Nevean Prince and his friend escaped their planet’s hostile takeover, now they look for a way back in and a miracle to save their people. With the Prince’s mother dying, he must get back to Nevea and complete the sacred ritual that will save his planet waiting just beyond the North Star. This whole paragraph comes out of nowhere. It's extremely distracting and I can't care about any of it.

 

The Prince’s disarming smile and child-like innocence is not enough to convince Tethys to join their mission. But uncovering her uncle’s involvement in what? and who the Earthern conqueror is waiting for them in Nevea is all the persuasion she needs. his sentence is extremely confusing, i've lost track of what is going on Wendowlyn, The Red Maiden, Yet another character is introduced, i'm just skimming now will taste Tethys’ hooked blade one way or another. It’s a promise Tethys has lived by since the murder of her family by the Red Maiden’s hands. this should have been deployed at the opening Once the ragtag army of three land in Nevea, they must resist the lure of murderous mermaids, fight a tribe of mercenaries and complete the ritual. what ritual? All before the Queen is murdered what queen? and a secret unlocked that can make the Earthers unstoppable.

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. ( Should I include that I have another book due for publication summer 2017? Not self-published.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Hi Vanessa, this is way too complicated, way overstuffeffed with random tidbits and has too many characters. The narrative flow gets lost and I can't understand what's going on, let alone how it relates to Peter Pan. Just give the essence of the story.


Feedback is always appreciated on:

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...e&module=usercp

 

Opening 250: http://agentquerycon...iller/?p=317580


#9 ViviMont

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 09:40 PM

I agree with CrookedGrin-I think the fact that your story is a retelling of Peter Pan should be more apparent. Also, there's just way too much going on, in terms of characters and plot points. I would recommend focusing on three characters (at the absolute most), and cutting out any information that's not pertinent to the main plot. 

You're right! It is a mess. *Bleh* I may have jumped the gun, as CMS suggested, and started the query too early without resolving and really completing the story itself. Since I was stuck for a bit, I had read writing out the query helped move ideas along. And it did, it worked! 

 

I'll still give it another go because it's got to be done eventually. Thank you for all your help. :)

 

*lurking until the next update*

Hehe, Lurk away, I'll come back to it soon. Thanks for being willing to help. 

 

 

e

 

Hi Everyone!! It's been a while since I've been on the query side of things again. This book is still in its beginning stages, so it's a work in progress as is the query. This is query: first draft and can sure use the help of the wonderful Agentquery peeps. Thank you so much, I will return the favor by checking out your query as well. 

 

 

Dear Amazing Agent:

 

 

With two hooked blades at her back and her ruthless training, Captain Tethys must help a fugitive prince, save her uncle and finally get the revenge she's always fought for. 

 

After years training in on? the Resistance’s star ship, 17-year-old Tethys has passed her final trial. She's a Captain of her own vessel meant to sail the black waves of space and war against the Earthers who have taken everything from her. How? This is a pretty well-worn phrase so falls flat without detail.

 

Her new title also comes with an unexpected proposal by the fierce Admiral Croan. marriage? business? adventure? this unbaited hook doesn't work But when her uncle goes missing and his shipped burned to the ground, all signs point back to the Admiral and the cause she believed in so strongly. Tethys has no choice but to fight against her loyalty and search for the truth.The previous two sentences should be condensed.

 

Now what she should do with the two Nevean refugees that literally crashed right into her path, she has no idea. This glib phrasing is not helpful. The Nevean Prince and his friend escaped their planet’s hostile takeover, now they look for a way back in and a miracle to save their people. With the Prince’s mother dying, he must get back to Nevea and complete the sacred ritual that will save his planet waiting just beyond the North Star. This whole paragraph comes out of nowhere. It's extremely distracting and I can't care about any of it.

 

The Prince’s disarming smile and child-like innocence is not enough to convince Tethys to join their mission. But uncovering her uncle’s involvement in what? and who the Earthern conqueror is waiting for them in Nevea is all the persuasion she needs. his sentence is extremely confusing, i've lost track of what is going on Wendowlyn, The Red Maiden, Yet another character is introduced, i'm just skimming now will taste Tethys’ hooked blade one way or another. It’s a promise Tethys has lived by since the murder of her family by the Red Maiden’s hands. this should have been deployed at the opening Once the ragtag army of three land in Nevea, they must resist the lure of murderous mermaids, fight a tribe of mercenaries and complete the ritual. what ritual? All before the Queen is murdered what queen? and a secret unlocked that can make the Earthers unstoppable.

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. ( Should I include that I have another book due for publication summer 2017? Not self-published.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Hi Vanessa, this is way too complicated, way overstuffeffed with random tidbits and has too many characters. The narrative flow gets lost and I can't understand what's going on, let alone how it relates to Peter Pan. Just give the essence of the story.

 

 

Thanks for all your suggestions! You're completely right. Within the next few days I'll keep working at it, as well as the book itself. 

 

I'll make sure and repay the favor! Take care all!


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#10 ViviMont

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:43 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow. 

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. But when Pan, a Nevean prince, and his friend crash land in her path she’s sucked into their quest to regain his planet.

 

Now with the disappearance of her uncle and the burning of his ship pointing back to Tethys’ commanding Admiral, it only makes her decision to help the Nevean refugees that much easier. Though having a common enemy with the Prince doesn’t hurt either. Wendowlyn, the Earthern conqueror who’s in control of Nevea and once upon a time destroyed Tethys’ own homeland, is close to a dangerous discovery harnessed in the Nevean people. With it, Wendowlyn can easily rehome her destructive Earthers in any planet.

 

With Tethys’ old ship, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea. They’ll need to infiltrate from within and complete an ancient rite that’ll save Pan’s people. Battling murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries and Nevea’s soil breathing with its own mischief, it’s either survive the planet just beyond the North Star or let it die at the hands of Wendowlyn. 

 

(Mention publishing creds.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#11 Gibber

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 02:32 AM

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. (I'm not entirely sure you need to tell us who the characters are here, since you seem to do fine down below?) May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow. (True story: these are the only two fairy-tale retellings that I like. Mostly because I hit them first and then got burned out.)

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space(comma) and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. (Love the "indecent remark.") But when Pan, a Nevean prince, and his friend crash land (Phrasing is a bit awkward, maybe "a Navean prince crash lands"? Since I don't remember the friend coming up in the query again, I'm not sure he's necessary. The book I'm querying on here has a main triad, but I left the third one out of the query for brevity's sake.) in her path she’s sucked into their quest to regain his planet. (Oh sweet, so it's kind of Peter Pan meets Treasure Planet?)

 

Now with the disappearance of her uncle and the burning of his ship (Well that escalated quickly. Maybe slow it down a bit? Like, I didn't know she had an uncle?) pointing back to Tethys’ commanding Admiral, (That's a mouthful. I had to re-read it to untangle it. Also, is she in the space!navy? Captain Hook is a pirate, and I assumed so was this version.) it only makes her decision to help the Nevean refugees that much easier. (She was against helping them? Why?) Though having a common enemy with the Prince doesn’t hurt either. Wendowlyn, the Earthern conqueror (I'm having a hard time keeping track of the named characters now. And a harder time grasping the geography.) who’s in control of Nevea and once upon a time destroyed Tethys’ own homeland, (That's a firehose of an info dump straight to my face. By now, I'm pretty lost.) is close to a dangerous discovery harnessed in the Nevean people. (Specificity is your friend. I still don't have a good grasp of who these people are or why the Evil Overlord is bad.) With it, Wendowlyn can easily rehome her destructive Earthers in any planet. (So... Captain Hook isn't from Earth? But if people are sailing about the stars, that means they can move around, right? I would assume that Earthens also man these ships and have thus escaped Earth?)

 

With Tethys’ old ship, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea. (I still have no idea where this is. Aside from, like, a planet.) They’ll need to infiltrate from within (Why?) and complete an ancient rite (What is it?) that’ll save Pan’s people. (How? See above specificity note.) Battling murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries and Nevea’s soil breathing with its own mischief (I'm not sure what this last thing means.), it’s either survive the planet just beyond the North Star or let it die at the hands of Wendowlyn. 

 

(Mention publishing creds.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V

tl;dr version: I got confused. There was a lot going on, planet names and people names and official titles and stuff, and I could not keep it straight with a quick read. I'd suggest honing down on only the most important, compelling elements and building it with super specific details from there. The idea itself sounds really cool, and despite my exhaustion of retellings, I'd give this one a shot if I saw it on a shelf. (I have a thing for space!pirates.)

 

I like that the prince sounds like the gentleman in distress, but I'm not sure who he is or what he wants (aside from "save my people", but that's sort of generic for this sort of thing). I like the story idea but the query is too fast and too chaotic to really engage me.

 

P.S. I totally start writing the query when I'm three or four chapters into a manuscript. It helps me identify the through-line of the story. Once I can condense the plot line down to one sentence, I have something to ground me when I start getting flaily/frustrated/bored with the book. Bonus is that once the first draft is done, I've already got a rough draft of a query to tinker with so I'm not starting from scratch. It's helpful multitasking.



#12 DaveTheRave

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:25 AM

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow.

I suppose it's personal taste but most of us tend to put this stuff at the end, seeing the story itself as a better hook.

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. Good, much stronger hook than last time! But when Pan, a Nevean prince, and his friend crash land in her path she’s sucked into their quest to regain his planet. This is also great in thrusts forward into the story. However, as you use 'but' you need to show why she's ambivalent about the wisdom of helping them, given her character description she could have been spoiling for some action and been the one rallying them into the fight. Does she think it's a lost cause? Does she have more self-centred ends she'd prefer to pursue?

 

Now with the disappearance of her uncle and the burning of his ship pointing back to Tethys’ commanding Admiral, this clause is a little awkward, re-work it only makes her decision to help the Nevean refugees that much easier weak phrasing, and also we have no idea what connects the Neveens with the admiral, tethy's uncle and the military power the three of them serve so don't understand why that makes it easier. Though having a common enemy with the Prince doesn’t hurt either. Huh? yeah i'm still lost here, also it's better to use the character's name if you've already given it. Wendowlyn, the Earthern conqueror who’s in control of Nevea and once upon a time destroyed Tethys’ own homeland, is close to a dangerous discovery harnessed in the Nevean people. With it, Wendowlyn can easily rehome her destructive Earthers in any planet. Yup, completely lost. Too much info without clear dynamics. 

 

With Tethys’ old ship, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea. They’ll need to infiltrate from within and complete an ancient rite that’ll save Pan’s people. Battling murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries and Nevea’s soil breathing with its own mischief, kind of like this phrase but kind of think it's too much and too vague for a query it’s either survive the planet just beyond the North Star or let it die at the hands of Wendowlyn. This is, again, a lot of info for a 'stakes' paragraph and swamps its impact

 

(Mention publishing creds.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V

 

Ok, this is much better than last time, especially the start gives a good MC intro and kicks us into the plot. After that, though it still unravels, you need to either cut some info or find a way to express it more clearly for those of us who know nothing about this world and need to be fed its dynamics more carefully.


Feedback is always appreciated on:

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...e&module=usercp

 

Opening 250: http://agentquerycon...iller/?p=317580


#13 ViviMont

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 07:03 PM

tl;dr version: I got confused. There was a lot going on, planet names and people names and official titles and stuff, and I could not keep it straight with a quick read. I'd suggest honing down on only the most important, compelling elements and building it with super specific details from there. The idea itself sounds really cool, and despite my exhaustion of retellings, I'd give this one a shot if I saw it on a shelf. (I have a thing for space!pirates.)

 

I like that the prince sounds like the gentleman in distress, but I'm not sure who he is or what he wants (aside from "save my people", but that's sort of generic for this sort of thing). I like the story idea but the query is too fast and too chaotic to really engage me.

 

P.S. I totally start writing the query when I'm three or four chapters into a manuscript. It helps me identify the through-line of the story. Once I can condense the plot line down to one sentence, I have something to ground me when I start getting flaily/frustrated/bored with the book. Bonus is that once the first draft is done, I've already got a rough draft of a query to tinker with so I'm not starting from scratch. It's helpful multitasking.

 

 

That's exactly what I was trying to go for, Peter Pan meets Treasure Island! Yeah, besides The Lunar Chronicles, and the Sarah J. Maas retellings I haven't really gotten into another series derived from fairytales. Mine is very conceptual from the Peter Pan story, it strays quite a bit. Hehe.  I love space pirates too.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one to try out the query before finishing the novel. :/ It really does help zone in your focus on plot points.

 

I'd forgotten how hard it is to write the query though. Thank you so much for your suggestions and comments!  


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#14 ViviMont

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 07:09 PM

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 80,000 words and told by both Captain Hook’s (Tethys) and Pan’s (The Nevean Prince) perspectives. May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow.

I suppose it's personal taste but most of us tend to put this stuff at the end, seeing the story itself as a better hook.

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. Good, much stronger hook than last time! But when Pan, a Nevean prince, and his friend crash land in her path she’s sucked into their quest to regain his planet. This is also great in thrusts forward into the story. However, as you use 'but' you need to show why she's ambivalent about the wisdom of helping them, given her character description she could have been spoiling for some action and been the one rallying them into the fight. Does she think it's a lost cause? Does she have more self-centred ends she'd prefer to pursue?

 

Now with the disappearance of her uncle and the burning of his ship pointing back to Tethys’ commanding Admiral, this clause is a little awkward, re-work it only makes her decision to help the Nevean refugees that much easier weak phrasing, and also we have no idea what connects the Neveens with the admiral, tethy's uncle and the military power the three of them serve so don't understand why that makes it easier. Though having a common enemy with the Prince doesn’t hurt either. Huh? yeah i'm still lost here, also it's better to use the character's name if you've already given it. Wendowlyn, the Earthern conqueror who’s in control of Nevea and once upon a time destroyed Tethys’ own homeland, is close to a dangerous discovery harnessed in the Nevean people. With it, Wendowlyn can easily rehome her destructive Earthers in any planet. Yup, completely lost. Too much info without clear dynamics.

 

With Tethys’ old ship, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea. They’ll need to infiltrate from within and complete an ancient rite that’ll save Pan’s people. Battling murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries and Nevea’s soil breathing with its own mischief, kind of like this phrase but kind of think it's too much and too vague for a query it’s either survive the planet just beyond the North Star or let it die at the hands of Wendowlyn. This is, again, a lot of info for a 'stakes' paragraph and swamps its impact

 

(Mention publishing creds.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V

 

Ok, this is much better than last time, especially the start gives a good MC intro and kicks us into the plot. After that, though it still unravels, you need to either cut some info or find a way to express it more clearly for those of us who know nothing about this world and need to be fed its dynamics more carefully.

Yeah, that middle sucks. Even reading it back myself today I couldn't understand it. lol Again, thanks for your awesome-sauce comments. 


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#15 ViviMont

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 08:19 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 70,000 words and told in alternating perspectives. May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow. 

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space, and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. She’s the Resistance’s most loyal officer, but when Pan-- the Nevean prince crash lands in her path, she’s sucked into his quest to regain his planet.

 

Three years Tethys has trained to become a Captain. She has put her faith in the Resistance and ignored those who have branded her a soulless pirate. After capturing two Nevean refugees and chaining them to her ship, Tethys discovers her uncle has gone missing and his home burned to the ground. All signs point back to the Resistance, and helping the Neveans becomes a chance at redemption. Though she’ll never admit that the Prince’s warm kindness has thawed her icy heart, and Tethys will follow Pan’s innocence to regain her own.

 

With Tethys’ ancient ship able to traverse the galaxy undetected, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea-- a planet just beyond the North Star. They’ll need to escape the notice of Wendowlyn, the malicious conqueror, and arrive in the deadly Skull Island. There lies the salvation of Pan’s people, an ancient rite claimed to be a myth. They’ll need to battle murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries, and the island’s soil which breathes with its own mischief. But Pan isn’t the only one with unwavering certainty to the rite’s power and the quest to save his people leads to a struggle to stay alive.  (Not in love with this ending. *Sigh* Really the quest to save his planet is much bigger, but to save the galaxy from Wendowlyn’s greedy hands.)

 

 

My book, The Elementalist, is due for publication summer 2017 by Bookfish Books.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#16 miss@lissa

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 11:05 PM

Please tell me you're looking for beta readers because I'm a total sucker for all things, pirates, Pan, and from what it sounds like- your story. I love this query.



#17 ViviMont

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 11:41 PM

Please tell me you're looking for beta readers because I'm a total sucker for all things, pirates, Pan, and from what it sounds like- your story. I love this query.

Thank you so much! YES, I definitely will be on the market for Betas. But you see the thing is... *scuffs shoe* Its not finished. Almost! but not quite. Can I get back to you? <3


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#18 miss@lissa

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 09:40 AM

Thank you so much! YES, I definitely will be on the market for Betas. But you see the thing is... *scuffs shoe* Its not finished. Almost! but not quite. Can I get back to you? <3

 

Of course! Seriously, I love this story. Sounds so cool and original. 



#19 ViviMont

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:48 AM

Of course! Seriously, I love this story. Sounds so cool and original. 

Yay, thank you!


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#20 Gibber

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:40 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

BEYOND THE NORTH STAR is a YA Sci-Fi retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Complete at 70,000 words and told in alternating perspectives. May appeal to readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and R.C. Lewis' Stitching Snow. 

 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space, and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. She’s the Resistance’s most loyal officer, but when Pan-- the Nevean prince (At this point, I don't know what Navean means. I thought it was a people, like, a country? But this is set in space (and later you mention his planet), so I wonder if you might want to clarify that somehow?) crash lands in her path, she’s sucked into his quest to regain his planet.

 

(For) Three years Tethys has trained to become a Captain (Why is captain capitalized? And captain of what?). She has put her faith in the Resistance (Who's the resistance fighting?) and ignored those who have branded her a soulless pirate. (lol) After capturing two Nevean refugees and chaining them to her ship, (The way this is phrased, it sounds like she lashed them to her outer hull. Probably not what you're going for.) Tethys discovers her uncle has gone missing and his home burned to the ground. (I can't tell if this sentence has tenses problems or if the wording is just a bit weird?) All signs point back to the Resistance, and helping the Neveans becomes a chance at redemption. (How? What's the Navean's connection to this resistance? I still don't understand the underlying pattern.) Though she’ll never admit that the Prince’s (Capitalized?) warm kindness has thawed her icy heart, and Tethys will follow Pan’s innocence to regain her own. (Aw. I like the gender twist here. Most people see the female character as being the one who has to be innocent. I love that it's the opposite in your story. Because gender norms are stupid.)

 

With Tethys’ ancient ship able to traverse the galaxy undetected, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea-- a planet just beyond the North Star. (I know this is a sci-fi set in space, but we haven't had a clear feel of that until this paragraph.) They’ll need to escape the notice of Wendowlyn, the malicious conqueror, (Ah ha ha! Wendy's the villain! Love it.) and arrive in (at?) the deadly Skull Island. There lies the salvation of Pan’s people, an ancient rite claimed to be a myth. (I still don't understand the significance of this.) They’ll need to battle murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries, and the island’s soil which breathes with its own mischief. But Pan isn’t the only one with unwavering certainty to the rite’s power and the quest to save his people leads to a struggle to stay alive.  (Not in love with this ending. *Sigh* Really the quest to save his planet is much bigger, but to save the galaxy from Wendowlyn’s greedy hands.) (Hmm, yeah. This ending does fall flat. I think I always ended my queries with The Choice the mc has to make. (I've never put a whole lot of thought into how I end my query letters. I always just stopped where it sounded good? Hrm. I should probably analyze that.) I'd suggest looking at the backs of your favorite books and see how they end their plot blurb there, see if that inspires anything.)

 

 

My book, The Elementalist, is due for publication summer 2017 by Bookfish Books.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-V

Color me jealous. This sounds like something that could really blow up (in a good way) for you.






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