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The Hero Syndrome (YA dark fantasy) - rev. #54

Fantasy Young Adult Fiction Adventure

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#1 Vio Liddell

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 09:32 AM

Your advice and support are very helpful. Many thanks to you all.
 
New version at post #54.

 

Still happy to critique back!

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer like her two best friends, Chloe and Tilda. One night, while her parents are away, Malory confesses she can’t fix a mysterious video game called Untitled. Of course, Chloe and Tilda offer their help. But the experience might be a little different from what they expect.

 

Fickle. Diseased. Wonderfully imaginative. That’s how everyone describes Malory. And the world she accidentally gave birth to is in her image. As soon as Chloe runs the game on the computer, the three girls dematerialize and get sucked into the video game. But is it really a video game?

 

Impossible to tell whether you’re going to live your wildest dream or your eeriest nightmare: Untitled’s realm went haywire since a tyrant, J-L Veneroso, took control of it. And J-L seems to know many secrets. Doctor-Freak-Malory, Captain-Future-Chloe and Sissy-Tilda have to find and stop J-L if they want the game to be fixed . . . and a chance to go back to reality.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA contemporary dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. It tackles edgy themes like incest, immoral relationships and their long-term damage, suicide and addiction, but also coming-of-age matters. When you’re in a total mess because of teen angst and you struggle to accept your difference, wondering about your dreams in a society that is a threat to freedom, what can you do other than take refuge in a never-never world to try to find answers? My concept can be reminiscent of Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde or Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. I occasionally run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

Violetta Liddell

 

 

(contact infos)



#2 Testome

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 03:10 PM



Hello everyone!

 

I've been struggling with this query for months now, trying to find what didn't work as agents never requested partials or fulls (I'm not a native English speaker and it feels like I'm not really mastering the art of query letters.... I'm better at story-telling, well I hope so :laugh: ).

 

I'll be happy to give you my thoughts about your queries in exchange for honest feedback! Thank you very much in advance!

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer like her two best friends, Chloe and Tilda. One night, while her parents are away, Malory confesses she can’t fix a mysterious video game called Untitled. Of course, Chloe and Tilda offer their help. But the experience might be a little different from what they expect. A big problem here is there is no hook.  It's a tad too vague  With the hundreds of queries an agent has to read, there in no reason to continue reading passed this point.

 

Fickle. Diseased. Wonderfully imaginative. That’s how everyone describes Malory. And the world she accidentally gave birth to is in her image. As soon as Chloe runs the game on the computer, the three girls dematerialize and get sucked into the video game. But is it really a video game? Your hook is here, but most agents would have stopped reading already.

 

Impossible to tell whether you’re going to live your wildest dream or your eeriest nightmare: Untitled’s realm went haywire since a tyrant, J-L Veneroso, took control of it. And J-L seems to know many secrets. Doctor-Freak-Malory, Captain-Future-Chloe and Sissy-Tilda have to find and stop J-L if they want the game to be fixed . . . and a chance to go back to reality.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA contemporary dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series.Sell this book first because a series right off the bat will alienate agents. It tackles edgy themes like incest, immoral relationships and their long-term damage, suicide and addiction, but also coming-of-age matters.Right now this all comes out of nowhere and I don't see it in the query.  Besides, you want to show us instead us stuff like that anyway. When you’re in a total mess because of teen angst and you struggle to accept your difference, wondering about your dreams in a society that is a threat to freedom, what can you do other than take refuge in a never-never world to try to find answers? Avoid questions like that.My concept can be reminiscent of Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde or Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. I occasionally run writing, art and computer workshops for children Only writing credits is helpful. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

Violetta Liddell

 

 

(contact infos)

Although I know you hint at the conflict, I would choose something more active and less telling to gain a better grasp of the character, and see more of her obstacles and challenges because right now we only see what she wants.  The stakes are also somewhat vague.  Hope this helps. Also, the italics are distracting.



#3 KrystenH

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 05:49 PM

Hello everyone!

 

I've been struggling with this query for months now, trying to find what didn't work as agents never requested partials or fulls (I'm not a native English speaker and it feels like I'm not really mastering the art of query letters.... I'm better at story-telling, well I hope so :laugh: ). No worries, even we native English speakers stink at queries.

 

I'll be happy to give you my thoughts about your queries in exchange for honest feedback! Thank you very much in advance! 

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer like her two best friends, Chloe and Tilda. One night, while her parents are away, Malory confesses she can’t fix a mysterious video game called Untitled. Of course, Chloe and Tilda offer their help. But the experience might be a little different from what they expect. ​Hm, this isn't much of a hook. You could probably repurpose the next paragraph into a hook a lot better. 

 

Fickle. Diseased. Wonderfully imaginative. That’s how everyone describes Malory. And the world she accidentally gave birth to is in her image. As soon as Chloe runs the game on the computer, the three girls dematerialize and get sucked into the video game. But is it really a video game? I would stay away from asking rhetorical questions in a query because the answer will always be the opposite of what you want.

 

Impossible to tell whether you’re going to live your wildest dream or your eeriest nightmare: Untitled’s realm went haywire since a tyrant, J-L Veneroso, took control of it. And J-L seems to know many secrets. Doctor-Freak-Malory, Captain-Future-Chloe and Sissy-Tilda have to find and stop J-L if they want the game to be fixed . . . and a chance to go back to reality.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA contemporary dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. It tackles edgy themes like incest, immoral relationships and their long-term damage, suicide and addiction, but also coming-of-age matters. When you’re in a total mess because of teen angst and you struggle to accept your difference, wondering about your dreams in a society that is a threat to freedom, what can you do other than take refuge in a never-never world to try to find answers? My concept can be reminiscent of Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde or Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike. I would take all this out. You should show this in the meat of the query through the conflict and stakes.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. I occasionally run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

Violetta Liddell

 

 

(contact infos)

 

 

I kind of have to agree that the conflict and stakes are really vague. Also, woah, character soup. Stick to one--maybe two--named characters maximum. Who is the main character? Malory? Or is it Chloe? What is the conflict? What are the consequences? What will happen if the MC can't attain her goal? It doesn't need to be world ending stakes, but they need to be important. Focus on those three and you will have a good base for a query. I hope my advice helps.

 

Can you take a look at my query, Shadowfall? Thank you!



#4 Lauraburns22

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:42 PM

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer. Fickle. Diseased. Wonderfully imaginative. That’s how everyone describes Malory, and the world she accidentally gave birth to is in her image.just like her. She can't fix Untitled, her mysterious video game, so asks her best friends, Chloe and Tilda, for help. As soon as Chloe starts runs the game on the computer, the three girls dematerialize and get sucked into the video game. But is it really a video game?

 

 

like her two best friends, Chloe and Tilda. One night, while her parents are away, Malory confesses she can’t fix a mysterious video game called Untitled. Of course, Chloe and Tilda offer their help. But the experience might be a little different from what they expect.

 

Impossible to tell whether you’re going to live your wildest dream or your eeriest nightmare: Untitled’s realm went haywire since a tyrant, J-L Veneroso, took control of it. And J-L seems to know many secrets.Whose secrets? Doctor-Freak-Malory, Captain-Future-Chloe and Sissy-Tilda have to find and stop J-L if they want the game to be fixed . . . and a chance to go back to reality. The addition of names to their names is distracting. 

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA coming-of-age, dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. It tackles edgy themes like incest, immoral relationships and their long-term damage, suicide and addiction. When you’re in a total mess because of teen angst and you struggle to accept your difference, wondering about your dreams in a society that is a threat to freedom, what can you do other than take refuge in a never-never world to try to find answers? show this in your synopsis My concept can be reminiscent of Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde or Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. I occasionally run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

Violetta Liddell

 

This sounds like an interesting book idea, and I would pick it up to read it. I would add more descriptions of the edgy subject matter in your synopsis to grab an agent's attention. 

 

if you have a chance, please critique my query for NOT ENOUGH WORDS (GAY YA).

 

Thank you and good luck! 



#5 cassia

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 01:36 PM



Hello everyone!

 

I've been struggling with this query for months now, trying to find what didn't work as agents never requested partials or fulls (I'm not a native English speaker and it feels like I'm not really mastering the art of query letters.... I'm better at story-telling, well I hope so :laugh: ).

 

I'll be happy to give you my thoughts about your queries in exchange for honest feedback! Thank you very much in advance!

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer like her two best friends, Chloe and Tilda. One night, while her parents are away, Malory confesses she can’t fix a mysterious video game called Untitled. Of course, Chloe and Tilda offer their help. But the experience might be a little different from what they expect. [I agree - this could be more hook-ey. The first sentence states nothing unusual. Maybe start off directly with something that isn't, f.e. something that has to do with the video game and what makes it unusual.]

 

Fickle. Diseased. Wonderfully imaginative. That’s how everyone describes Malory. And the world she accidentally gave birth to is in her image. As soon as Chloe runs the game on the computer, the three girls dematerialize and get sucked into the video game. But is it really a video game? [I think most of the time it is best to avoid rhetorical questions in a query. And you could start directly with the part where they are being sucked into a video game - it's a good hook!]

 

It is impossible to tell whether you’re going to live your wildest dream or your eeriest nightmare: Untitled’s realm went haywire since a tyrant, J-L Veneroso, took control of it. And J-L seems to know many secrets. Doctor-Freak-Malory, Captain-Future-Chloe and Sissy-Tilda have to find and stop J-L if they want the game to be fixed . . . and a chance to go back to reality.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA contemporary dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. It tackles edgy themes like incest, immoral relationships and their long-term damage, suicide and addiction, but also coming-of-age matters. When you’re in a total mess because of teen angst and you struggle to accept your difference, wondering about your dreams in a society that is a threat to freedom, what can you do other than take refuge in a never-never world to try to find answers? My concept can be reminiscent of Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde or Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. I occasionally run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon. [I would cut that part - I believe I read that something like this may come off as too "desperate" or pushy in a query.]

 

Yours sincerely,

Violetta Liddell

 

 

(contact infos)

Hey! Your story sounds really interesting and different from a lot of things that I read before, and it's always great to find something new! I think you need to restructure a little bit, though. You already have the stakes, but you need a start that'll hook the agent and that will make him want to read more immediately!

I would appreciate it if you could check out my own query (YA fantasy ... by cassia ;)

 

Thank you!



#6 Vio Liddell

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 10:33 AM

Is this better?

 

 

Dear (name of agent):
 
 
Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer, like her two best friends Chloe and Tilda. One night, Malory asks them for help with a mysterious video game she can’t fix. Fatal error: they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game.
 
Malory didn’t tell her best friends everything. She tricked them into an alternate world, halfway between a feat of dark magic and a miracle of technology. Fickle. Diseased. Full of eerie wonders. Malory’s world is just like her. But things have gotten worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power and ruined all of Malory’s efforts to fix her game.
 
On their way to find and stop the Boss, the three girls go from surprise to surprise: Malory because J-L bullies her like he never did before, Chloe and Tilda because they encounter monsters and gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s broken childhood. The truth must be found for the girls to quit the game . . . but the truth is not the same for everyone.
 
Be careful. Don’t get hooked on the game. It knows you better than you know yourself.
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.


#7 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 04:49 PM

 

Is this better?

 

 

Dear (name of agent), I would use a comma here since you go on to use contractions which shows this letter is more informal than a colon would call for in a business letter. This is super nit-picky but I did the same thing originally in my letter and was recently convinced to change it.
 
Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer, like her two best friends Chloe and Tilda. One night, Malory asks them for help with a mysterious video game she can’t fix. Fatal error: (very funny) they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. I would probably be considered a hardcore gamer personally and I'm not sure what you mean by "fix" when it comes to a video game. Is she a programmer or game designer? Just because someone is a hardcore gamer doesn't mean they can fix code or glitches. Or by "fix" do you mean "beat" the video game, as in finish the story mode or what have you?
 
Malory didn’t tell her best friends everything. She tricked them into an alternate world, halfway between a feat of dark magic and a miracle of technology. Fickle. Diseased. Full of eerie wonders. Malory’s world is just like her. But things have gotten worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power and ruined all of Malory’s efforts to fix her game. I think Malory created this video game now so this makes a little more sense. I think you need to describe Malory as something more specific than a "hardcore gamer" to show she would have the chops to code an entire video game by herself.
 
On their way to find and stop the Boss, the three girls go from surprise to surprise: Malory because J-L bullies her like he never did before, Chloe and Tilda because they encounter monsters and gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s broken childhood. The truth must be found for the girls to quit the game . . . but the truth is not the same for everyone. I would imagine the goal of the game would be to beat the last boss? J-L in this case? And if this is a video game why doesn't he just kill them all instead of bullying them? I suppose anything is possible in a video game, I just don't understand what truth they are looking for and why it would let them quit the game. Malory should have a good guess how to escape if she created this world.
 
Be careful. Don’t get hooked on the game. It knows you better than you know yourself. This line comes across a bit cheesy, I think you can do better.
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

This is an interesting premise, but there are a lot of fundamental questions that need to be answered because of it.

 

First, it needs to be more clear Malory is a programmer or video game designer, at first I thought she was just like millions of other kids at home and they don't know how to create video games.

 

Second, can they die in this world? And if they die, do they die in real life?

 

And third, why isn't the goal to kill the last boss? Does Malory know how they might escape?

 

I hope my comments are helpful! Thank you for taking a look at my query, I have posted a new version with your feedback in mind. Good luck and keep up the hard work!


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#8 heynowyou

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:22 PM

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent): (coma)
 
 
Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Malory has been a hardcore gamer, like her two best friends Chloe and Tilda. One night, Malory asks them for help with a mysterious video game she can’t fix. (Daniel mentions it, but I game. A lot. I'm not sure that qualifies me as someone who would try to fix a game. Why not just say a game that wont load, or she want to play, or something else. Fix doesn't really work) Fatal error: they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game.
 
Malory didn’t tell her best friends everything. She tricked them into an alternate world, halfway between a feat of dark magic and a miracle of technology. Fickle. Diseased. Full of eerie wonders. Malory’s world is just like her. But things have gotten worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power and ruined all of Malory’s efforts to fix her game. (Ok. This is where the story really starts. There's a lot here, and all pretty interesting, but it falls short. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's because Malory hasn't been set up as this sort of genius who can program a game much less get people stuck in it. I think setting that up first might help this)
 
On their way to find and stop the Boss, the three girls go from surprise to surprise (vague, and a little bit of a cliche. Maybe phrase this another way): Malory because J-L bullies her like he never did before, Chloe and Tilda because they encounter monsters and gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s broken childhood (This entire sentence confused me. I had to reread it three times to understand what I think you're saying. All of this should replace the "surprise to surprise" bit and be worded differently.). The truth must be found for the girls to quit the game(What truth? That malory put them in there? Why would she put them in there without a clear way to get out?) . . . but the truth is not the same for everyone.
 
Be careful. Don’t get hooked on the game. It knows you better than you know yourself.
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

The premise is interesting. It's very .hack, log horizon, Sword Art Oline, ect. But at the end of the query all I'm left is confused. There's nothing that's making me rally behind Malory. There's nothing and no one to really root for. Chloe and Tilda are just kind of there. J-L doesn't seem to have any reason to bully Malory, and shouldn't he/it as the villain be trying to do more than just bother her?

 

It's the start of a query but it needs some focus. Hope that helps. 


Here's my attempt at a query letter

KEEPERS (YA urban fantasy)

Any help is appreciated and will be reciprocated to the best of my abilities.


#9 Vio Liddell

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:06 PM

Thank you very much Daniel and Heynowyou for returning the favor! I’m working on a new version based on your feedback.
 
Are you sure about the comma following the agent’s name? From what I’ve read you must use a colon because the query is still a business letter.
 
I understand that the word “fix” is a big problem here. It completely misled you. At the time I couldn’t think of a better fit, but now I think “set” would be much less confusing. Malory isn’t a programmer, a game designer or a hacker at all. She's just a teen who messed up a ritual of dark magic with a DVD-Rom at hand. That’s fantasy, not cyberpunk, that’s where it’s a bit tricky. The alternate world here is survival-horror inspired, not the MMORPG kind of thing. But another important point is that Malory tells lies; she misrepresents or disguises things, she’s an unreliable narrator.
 
I keep in suspense whether or not they can die in the game. Malory tells them at some point that the only way to rage quit before the end is to kill yourself (but she doesn’t tell whether or not it implies just killing yourself as an avatar or killing yourself for real).
 
Some things are tricky to specify without spoiling all the plot twists, but you know what it feels like. The way the game has been created is something I only reveal by the end of the novel, but I feel like I’ll have no choice but to give it away in the query, because it’s essential to define the genre and set up Malory’s character.
 
@Heynowyou: I didn’t know .hack but I checked out on the Internet and apparently yes, my story is similar to one .hack novel in particular, Epitaph of Twilight :wink:  Too bad it was never released in the US, I would have loved to read it :sad:


#10 Vio Liddell

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 10:53 AM

Dear (name of agent):
 
 
When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory asks her two best friends for help this night, she knows they will agree – even if she doesn’t tell them everything.
 
Malory can’t set a mysterious video game. Chloe and Tilda will surely manage. Fatal error: they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face the fact she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She tricked her best friends into an alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom. This world is fickle. Boundless. Full of eerie wonders. Malory has been hooked on it for years without anyone knowing. As Malory grew up, the game lost the flavor of dream it once had, but things got definitely worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power over it. He twisted Malory’s world so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone.
 
Malory’s best friends are nothing like each other: Chloe is the kind to bulldoze ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked or covered in blood. Tilda is the kind to freak out if a bug climbs up her shoe or if someone tells her fairytales don’t exist. For both of them, the way to the Great Boss won’t be a piece of cake. And there’s no rage quit about it: they have to reach and defeat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. They soon realize these are keys to complete the game. But J-L loves juicy secrets – especially those he can harm with.
 
Malory’s obsession is to restore her game no matter the cost. J-L’s obsession is to destroy every inch of her, including her best friends. And with Chloe who wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda wonders if she isn’t the only one to care about discovering the truth and returning to the real world.
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.


#11 JonasJ

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 11:25 AM

I really liked! Maybe bacuse I am a gamer too. I hope you can check over the one I posted. GOOD LUCK!

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory asks her two best friends for help this night, she knows they will agree—even if she doesn’t tell them her hidden motives. Malory can’t set a mysterious video game. Chloe and Tilda will surely manage.

 

Malory, Chloe and Tilda they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. This world is fickle. Boundless. Full of eerie wonders. Malory has been hooked on it for years without anyone noticing.

 

As Malory grows up, the game lost the flavor of dream it once had, but things got definitely worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power over it. He twisted Malory’s world so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone.

 

They all have to defeat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. They soon realize these are keys to complete the game. But J-L loves juicy secrets—especially those he can harm with.

 

Malory’s obsession is to restore her game no matter the cost. And with Chloe who wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda wonders if she isn’t the only one to care about discovering the truth and returning to the real world.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME it is completed at 62,390 words and is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



#12 RyanDouglass

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 02:01 PM

 

Dear (name of agent):
 
 
When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory asks her two best friends for help this night, she knows they will agree – even if she doesn’t tell them everything. ("for help this night" struck me as odd phrasing. Maybe take out "this night." I like that we see the strength of Malory's friendships right away, but I think you could also mention what she needs help with in the opening line.)
 
Malory can’t set a mysterious video game. (Not sure what "set" is supposed to mean here. Does it mean "beat"?) Chloe and Tilda will surely manage. Fatal error: they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face the fact she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine.  That sentence is vague. She tricked her best friends into an alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom. This world is fickle. Boundless. Full of eerie wonders. (What kinds of eerie wonders?) Malory has been hooked on it for years without anyone knowing. As Malory grew up, the game lost the flavor of dream it once had, but things got definitely worse since when a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power over it. He twisted Malory’s world so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone.
 
Malory’s best friends are nothing like each other: Chloe is the kind to bulldozes ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked or covered in blood. Tilda is the kind to freaks out if a bug climbs up her shoe or if someone tells her fairytales don’t exist. For both of them, the way to the Great Boss won’t be a piece of cake. And there’s no rage quit about it (rage quit?): they have to reach and defeat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. They soon realize these are keys to complete the game. But J-L loves juicy secrets – especially those he can harm with.
 
Malory’s obsession is to restore her game no matter the cost. J-L’s obsession is to destroy every inch of her, including her best friends. And with Chloe who wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda wonders if she isn’t the only one to care about discovering the truth and returning to the real world. (This final paragraph should end with Malory's motivation. She's the main character, right?)
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

I like your idea but I'd like to see more of what motivates J-L. Is he just evil for the sake of being evil? 


Check out my query here: http://agentquerycon...-box-ya-horror/


#13 suja

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 05:32 PM

Hi, returning the favor. 

 

Dear (name of agent):
 
 
When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory asks her two best friends for help this night, she knows they will agree – even if she doesn’t tell them everything.Consider giving us a hint of what she needs help with here. Otherwise this seems rather vague. If the thing she needs help with is dangerous, add a hint of the danger, too, to hook us in. 
 
Malory can’t set a mysterious video game. Chloe and Tilda will surely manage. Fatal error: they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face the fact she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She tricked her best friends into an alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom Dis she trick them? Or did she not know that they'd be sucked in? Important distinction. This world is fickle. Boundless. Full of eerie wonders. Use a sentence here to show us the world if you need to. But what you have now is rather vague. Malory has been hooked on it for years without anyone knowing. As Malory grew up, the game lost the flavor of dream it once had Not sure what you mean by the game losing its flavor, but things got definitely worse since a Great Boss, who goes by the name of J-L, seized power over it. He twisted Malory’s world so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. You could start the query here. Use a hook from this paragraph. Sixteen-year-old hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends' help in setting a video game, and isn't prepared when the game sucks her friends in (Something a bit more voice-y and in your own words) Also, the last part makes it seem like the game is meant to be a confrontation between Mallory and J-L. But when you say "she no longer feels up to facing him alone", I have to wonder if she deliberately hurt her friends by tricking them. If that's the case, then make it clearer. Something like - When sixteen-year-old hardcore gamer Mallory seeks her best friends' help at setting a video game, it leads to a critical error. Her friends are sucked into the game. What they don't know is that Mallory has been hooked on this alternate world for years. Something J-L, the mysterious boss of the game, is well aware of. (These are just suggestions.)
 
Malory’s best friends are nothing like each other: Chloe is the kind to bulldoze ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked or covered in blood. Tilda is the kind to freak out if a bug climbs up her shoe or if someone tells her fairytales don’t exist. For both of them, the way to the Great Boss won’t be a piece of cake. And there’s no rage quit about it: they have to reach and defeat J-L if they want a chance to return home You could tighten a lot of this - Chloe is a risk-taker, while Tilda is a dreamer. . As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. They soon realize these are keys to complete the game. But J-L loves juicy secrets – especially those he can harm withThis is implied earlier. 
 
Malory’s obsession is to restore her game no matter the cost. J-L’s obsession is to destroy every inch of her, including her best friends. And with Chloe who wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda wonders if she isn’t the only one to care about discovering the truth and returning to the real world. ​Here the POV shifted to Tilda. Try to keep it centered as you did before. Caught in J-L's obsession with destroying Mallory, the friends must expose him and beat the game if they want to save her and return to the real world. (Just another suggestion. I'm not sure if this is what you're going for)
 
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.
 
I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
 
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

My 2c, please take what works.



#14 Vio Liddell

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 07:01 PM

As usual, thanks to you all! Here's a new version based on your comments and Suja's suggestions (which have been very helpful). What do you think?

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine.

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone.

 

Malory’s best friends are nothing like each other: Chloe bulldozes ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked or covered in blood. Tilda freaks out if a bug climbs up her shoe or if someone tells her fairytales don’t exist. For both of them, the way to J-L won’t be a piece of cake. And there’s no rage quit about it: they have to reach and beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. And when Chloe wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda must make a ginormous effort to stay cool. If only Malory could see that her guilt is fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on Chloe and Tilda as well. She could expose J-L before he destroys every inch of them.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



#15 Testome

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 07:57 PM



As usual, thanks to you all! Here's a new version based on your comments and Suja's suggestions (which have been very helpful). What do you think?

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game If she really tricks them into helping I would mention it here instead, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. Not sure you need this. It doesn't really help you. It's too vague anyway. 

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends I might have used this somewhere in your hook. into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. I might describe how it's twisted a bit more.

 

Malory’s best friends are nothing like each other: Chloe bulldozes ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked or covered in blood. Tilda freaks out if a bug climbs up her shoe or if someone tells her fairytales don’t exist. For both of them, the way to J-L won’t be a piece of cake. And there’s no rage quit about it: they have to reach and beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through and deal with the whims of the game, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. Pieces that had never left a doctor’s office. This seems random and out of left field. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. how did they come to that conclusion?

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. And when Chloe wants to take every challenge the game can offer her, Tilda must make a ginormous effort to stay cool. If only Malory could see that her guilt is fueling her own gameThis is vague. , she could keep it from feeding on Chloe and Tilda as well. She could expose J-L before he destroys every inch of them.This is vague.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words seems a bit short for fantasy, even YA.) is a YA dark fantasy. It is the first book of a series. I would focus on this book first.Series can be off putting to agents. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. Not helpful. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

I feel there is a bit too much telling and you spend more time on secondary characters rather than Malory.



#16 punitrastogi

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:12 AM

I feel there is a bit too much telling and you spend more time on secondary characters rather than Malory.

I kind of agree to Testome here.

 

Your MC is a very unlike other "hero" characters in a fantasy story.

Malory seems to be a selfish, secretive, and manipulative.

I think that can be your USP as well. if you use it well in your query.

 

I suggest you only use Malory and J-L's names and weave the query around them.

 

And as I always say - Tighten it up. :)

 

Would love your feedback on my query - http://agentquerycon...33/#entry335518



#17 Alexi_Ice

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

I like the idea! I agree with the above poster about taking out the information about Malory's friends (if you must mention them maybe keep it short and sweet?) and focus more on her and the game, or even her and L-J. Also, when you speak about her memories having been locked up at the doctors office I think it seems a bit too random, maybe either take out or expand on it. Why were they locked away? Does she not remember these things? Did someone steal them to use against her in the game? Other than that I think it looks like a good, fast paced read with an unconventional hero character.

 

 If you wouldn't mind reading over my query it's Ice and other Lies - fiction on page one. Thank you!


If you get a moment please check out my query - http://agentquerycon...r-lies-fiction/


#18 Vio Liddell

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:02 PM

New version!

I'll return the favor asap, promise.

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine.

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. She remembers a time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

 

Malory can’t understand how it all has come to this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: she and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. If only she could see that her guilt and fears are fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on her best friends as well. She could expose J-L and understand why he became the boss before he destroys every inch of them.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



#19 Ajax

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:50 PM


 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. (I'm intrigued by the voice.)

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, (Why? Is she her frenemy?) that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. (The flow of the query derails here. Is J-L even real? Is he another player? How did he twist Malory's dream? This makes no sense.) She remembers a time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. (This reads like filler content. Focus on the main story.) And when there were not slaves (Who exactly are these slaves? I cannot tell what's real and what's part of the game. This is just confusing me.) her age watching her every move.

 

Malory can’t understand how it all has come to this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: she and her two best friends (Who is this random third wheel? This comes out of nowhere.) have to beat J-L (Why J-L?) if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. (This sounds like an unnecessary detail within the parameters of this query. It doesn't tell me anything about the main story.)

 

Malory is determined to restore her game (What?) no matter the cost. If only she could see that her guilt and fears are fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on her best friends as well. (Very clunky sentence. I have no idea what it means. Paraphrase it.) She could expose J-L (Why?) and understand why he became the boss (How exactly will this help her?) before he destroys every inch of them. (This sounds menacing but without an actual impact. Also, this is vague.)

 

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. (It felt significantly more like sci-fi to me.) My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013). (I'm not sure if it's okay to mention about publishing credits for "dark erotica" in a query for a YA project. Furthermore, it seems like you published it in the French language. Published work in a non-English language is not accepted as a publishing credit.)

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Good luck.

 

 



#20 suja

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:22 PM

Hi, returning the favor. 

New version!

I'll return the favor asap, promise.

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. I like this, but I'm wondering if you could place the second line below somewhere. It explains what happens, but what you want is a hook here. Hinting about a fatal error hooks us in to read further. 

 

Like the coward she is Don't tell us this. Show it to us. , she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Consider starting at the beginning, where Mallory has been hooked on this game, this world she accidentally locked up years ago. Something only the boss knows. Then give the examples about how he twisted her mind. This will set up empathy for her. Then say something like, In order to beat him / expose him, she is forced to trick her friends into this alternate world. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. She remembers a time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

 

Malory can’t understand how it all has come to this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: she and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. Nice

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. If only she could see that her guilt and fears are fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on her best friends as well. She could expose J-L and understand why he became the boss before he destroys every inch of them.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

An exciting concept. Sounds like a fast-paced read :)







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