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KEEPERS (YA urban fantasy)


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#1 heynowyou

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 01:55 PM

New Query on Post #18

 

Hi everyone.

Here's my attempt at this wonderful task of writing a query.

Promise to help out as well just leave a link or your signature

 

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book what ifs are all that is left.

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone. A concept alien to, Darryl, her mom’s soon to be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up.

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world. And when blame falls on Ayako, she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing? Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner?

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos.

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. The bad? Darryl’s found out, and he will keep Ayako safe. Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.


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.


#2 ATS

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:20 PM

Hey there. No expert at this, but I'll share my two cents.

 

I had "order of information" questions reading this. The key information I wanted in order was:

 

1) The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame.

 

2) when Ayako comes across a magical book, what ifs are all that is left. Rather, what ifs are what Ayako has to protect us from, right? Or maybe: no fairytale ending is safe.

 

3) By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change.

 

 

And I was unclear about the fiance. He disrupts her "boring, ordinary, and perfect" life. How? And what's the "bad news" about Darryl wanting to keep Ayako safe? Seems like that would be good news.

 

And, finally, how does that add up to a choice between her mother's happiness and the world's safety? I get that world will be in danger if we lose the endings/morals of these fairytales, but the stakes with Ayako's family eluded me.



#3 heynowyou

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:47 PM

Hey there. No expert at this, but I'll share my two cents.

 

I had "order of information" questions reading this. The key information I wanted in order was:

 

1) The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame.

 

2) when Ayako comes across a magical book, what ifs are all that is left. Rather, what ifs are what Ayako has to protect us from, right? Or maybe: no fairytale ending is safe.

 

3) By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change.

 

 

And I was unclear about the fiance. He disrupts her "boring, ordinary, and perfect" life. How? And what's the "bad news" about Darryl wanting to keep Ayako safe? Seems like that would be good news.

 

And, finally, how does that add up to a choice between her mother's happiness and the world's safety? I get that world will be in danger if we lose the endings/morals of these fairytales, but the stakes with Ayako's family eluded me.

 

Awesome, actually all of those points help a lot! I'll start thinking about these changes. I felt that way about the mother's happiness and world's safety thing so good to know it's not clear. 


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.


#4 jphollis

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 02:55 AM

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book what ifs are all that is left. (Nice hook)

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone. A concept alien to, Darryl, her mom’s soon to be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up. (This paragraph seems quite unessacary as it stands. I understand that Daryl and her mom will come into play later, but as it is, the paragraph really breaks the flow from the first paragraph)

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world. And when blame falls on Ayako, she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing? Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner? (This seems like it could be trimmed down and added to the end of the first paragraph. Seems to match up with what you're introducing there)

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. (What?) Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. (Nice, but I would avoid vague expressions like 'thrown into chaos', Show me how her life goes chaotic in as few words as possible).

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. The bad? Darryl’s found out, and he will keep Ayako safe. Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety. (This is where I would say this heart of the problem is. How is Daryl interfering and why it is bad? Why does she have to choose between her mother's happiness and the world's safety? There needs to be a much clearer consequence connected to whichever choice she makes. Leave the read having to know what choice she makes because they can clearly understand the consequences.)

 

Hope this makes sense and helps a bit.


No query or synopsis up yet. Stay tuned if you wish to reciprocate on a critique I've given you.

_________________

My Blog: jphollis.com


#5 KarmaK

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:57 AM

Hi everyone.

Here's my attempt at this wonderful task of writing a query.

Promise to help out as well just leave a link or your signature

 

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book what ifs are all that is left.

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone. A concept alien to, Darryl, her mom’s soon to be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up.

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world. And when blame falls on Ayako, she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing? Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner?

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos.

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. The bad? Darryl’s found out, and he will keep Ayako safe. Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

So, this was all very confusing for me. I think you've got a lot of unnecessary information in there and it distracts from what the actual plot of the novel is. So far, I could make out that there's a magical book and it somehow causes chaos via unleashing fairy tales??? I'd cut out all of the extras. Darryl, her mother, mother goose, everything that deflects from, this is Ayako's problem. This is what she needs to do to fix it. This is what is standing in her way. That's really all we need to know, the rest is filler and unfortunately, in this case confusing filler. I like the opening sentence but you lost me in the rest of it. 

 

I think opening with the opening sentence and then moving into something like When Ayako opens a magic book, she becomes a "keeper"... straight to the point and all. 

 

Also, in that last bit, don't do the "this book will resonate with readers" thing. If it resonates with readers let it resonate, but agents hate when you tell them what your book is supposed to do. 



#6 DaveTheRave

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 05:05 AM

Hi everyone.

Here's my attempt at this wonderful task of writing a query.

Promise to help out as well just leave a link or your signature

 

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book what ifs are all that is left. At first I thought fairytales might be a typo, but i soon picked up what you meant and i really like this fresh idea.

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone.comma here, this is one sentence not two A concept alien to,no comma here Darryl, her mom’s soon-to-be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up. I'm losing interest. The fresh idea is receding into the rear distance. Boring, ordinary and perfect are the three least interesting adjectives for a main character imaginable. This paragraph took way too long to set up the conflict of a new step-dad.

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world passive voice hurts a query 'Somebody has opened the magical book, unleashing magic into the world...' is more the structure you're looking for And when blame falls on Ayako, she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing? Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner? Your protagonist seems entirely passive. You need one who is taking action to interest us. I don't want her wondering and feeling sorry for herself, I want her fighting back.

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. finally, we've gotten back to the opening idea It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. and here's a task for her, good Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. How does she know all these rules? Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos the relationship between the first and second clauses in this sentence is not clear.

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. No kidding she's an active protagonist, finally. Stating it doesn't help this. The bad? Darryl’s found out, and he will keep Ayako safe you mean stop her from completing her task, right? because it's not clear, safe is completely the wrong word, and how come his memories aren't erased? Is he an ass or somebody trying to do good but not understanding the situation? Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety. You aren't explicitly clear why Darry is determined to stop her and why this trade-off exists. Also, in queries, the framing 'must decide' is not useful. I'm not reading a book to see what somebody in a conundrum decides, I'm reading the book to see how they deal with the consequences of the decision.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales. good

 

Heya, this is a neat idea, but the query needs to be snappier and the plot mechanics clearer.


Feedback is always appreciated on:

 

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

 

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


#7 lsprochnow

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:04 AM

Hi everyone.

Here's my attempt at this wonderful task of writing a query.

Promise to help out as well just leave a link or your signature

 

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book what ifs are all that is left.

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone. A concept alien to, Darryl, her mom’s soon to be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up. I think you're spending too much time here with Ayako's backstory. This is good info, but I would trim it down or insert it somewhere else

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world. And when blame falls on Ayako, she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing? This line doesn't add much to the query. I don't think it's important whether or not Ayako believed in magical books Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner? Mother Goose is the owner of the book? It's not entirely clear if that's what you mean here.

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper”, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. I think this could make a good hook. This really does sound chaotic, and it's a very interesting concept. I would polish this up and consider putting it earlier into your query

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. The bad? Darryl’s found out, and he will keep Ayako safe. Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety. I don't think this is that strong of an ending to the query. Why is it bad that Darryl is keeping her safe? Based off the query, it doesn't sound like the world is in danger.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

Very cool concept. I think you may be throwing too much info at us, though. Some stuff in the query didn't seem crucial to the story, or could be trimmed down quite a bit. Hopefully my feedback helps! Keep it up.

 

Here's my query if you wouldn't mind taking a look: http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/



#8 katiefs

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 03:51 PM

Dear agent,

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. She’s never thought about the huntsman failing to save Little Red Riding hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that is left. (I think this is a very strong beginning.)

 

Ayako has always wanted one thing: to be left alone. A concept alien to, Darryl, her mom’s soon to be fiancé. While he might bring happiness to her mom, Ayako’s done fine without a dad for thirteen years. Her life is boring, ordinary and perfect. (This is a sentiment I don’t feel like many young adults would agree with. Few teens want a boring life.) But few things stay perfect forever, and Ayako’s time is up.

 

As magical books often do, once opened, it unleashes ancient magic into the world. (I know you mentioned a magical book in the first paragraph, but this doesn’t explain it any further. Where did this book come from?) And when blame falls on Ayako, (Who blames her? Nobody else knows that magic books are real either.) she can’t help but wonder how she should have known that magical books were even a thing. (This is good, it sounds like something a person would really say and her tone comes through.) Or That Mother Goose was real, let alone the owner. (These aren’t questions.)

 

By opening the book Ayako’s becomes a “keeper,, those tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. (Cute!) It’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change. Anyone who finds out will have their memories erased. (Finds out what, that she’s a Keeper? And who/what erases their memories?) Keeping her role a secret would be easy if it weren’t for the constant cast of characters that begin to possess those around her, from the three Goldilocks’ three bears to the Knights of the Round Table. Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos.

 

The good news? Ayako is determined to get her life back. The bad? Darryl has found out, and he will is determined to keep Ayako safe. Now Ayako must decide if her mother’s happiness is worth the world’s safety. (I don’t understand this part. First of all, I thought this meant Darryl’s memory would be erased. And secondly, I don’t understand how his help is going to take away her mother’s happiness, or how doing without his help is going to endanger the world.)

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

This sounds like a really cute premise! I think you’re well on your way with this query. There are just some grammatical errors and a few confusing bits. Most importantly, I don’t understand the conflict in the last paragrpah, and that’s critical.

 

If you have time to look at mine, I’d love your input! http://agentquerycon...ara-ya-fantasy/



#9 heynowyou

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:57 AM

Thank you so much for the feedback guys and gals. I made sure to give my thoughts on your query letters. Thanks again. I took the advice and norrowed it down to just Ayako and the fairytales. Hopefully I'm on the right track. So here we go again:

 

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life and recreating their stories "real" might not mean what it once did to Ayako. And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. 

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :)


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.


#10 oonanoona

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 12:15 PM

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Little Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that’s left. (neat idea! nice hook)

 

As Everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako the fine In this case, the print reads that by opening the book she becomes a  “keeper”, people someone tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. (neat job!) And It's up to her to bind these stories together before the morals they teach change, and with them the world. (wow, sort like a Ray Bradbury, time travel butterfly effect.  Cool!)

 

The good news?  (not exactly good news) Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when  until characters start to possess those in her life (family? be more specific) and recreate their stories real might not mean what it once did to Ayako. And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories, their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. 

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

Hey this is a very cool, original idea!  Take a look at my query if you can.  I'd love some feedback!  http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36363-the-baker-beach-detective/



#11 Cesar Montufar

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 01:53 PM

 

 

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know, opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. (These clauses don't work well together. Consider: Ayako's fine print makes her a "Keeper." She must now prevent changes in fairytale plots.) And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real.(New paragraph?)But when characters start to possess those in her life and recreating their stories real might not mean what it once did to Ayako (this section needs a grammar fix. Consider: But when storybook characters start possessing people in her life, using them to recreate fairytales, real no longer means what it once did.). And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories what's really going on, (otherwise it sounds repetitive) their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. 

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

 

The story line sounds more MG than YA, but otherwise the premise is an interesting one. After the first read, I did wonder who left a book like that sitting around, but this may not be something you need to address. 

 

Best of luck!



#12 Arcanjoe

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 02:32 PM

Thank you so much for the feedback guys and gals. I made sure to give my thoughts on your query letters. Thanks again. I took the advice and norrowed it down to just Ayako and the fairytales. Hopefully I'm on the right track. So here we go again:

 

 

The fairytales (fairytale characters?) have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know (comma)opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako the fine print It reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots (Are the villains trying to give themselves a happy-ever-after?). And it’s up to her to bind these stories (Not sure what this means.) before the morals they teach change, and with them the world.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. (If the fine print tells her she's a Keeper, then surely she does?) How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those people in her life and recreating begin retelling their stories in real life, might not mean what it once did to Ayako must.... And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories(comma) their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. (The first two paras are pretty clear, but this last para is quite confusing. The characters have come to life and are trying to rewrite their own stories, right? But to do so they possess people she knows, and in doing that they somehow erase those peoples' existing memories? If that's the case, I think you could make it clear. But it's a fantastic idea and you're getting close.)

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :)

 

You were good enough to look at the first draft of Oasis High School, so thank you for that. I'm now onto draft #3 and I'd love your opinion. Link in the signature.


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 

Or the first 250 words of my story...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 


#13 wildworks

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 03:06 PM

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. (This opening is grabbing but vague, and I’m not sure you can do to fix that, or if you even need to.) Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book what-ifs are all that’s left. (This section doesn’t work for me because it comes off like a question, and you know what they say about questions in queries.)

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. (I like this, and maybe you could open with it instead, but I think it can be tightened. “Everyone knows that opening a magical book comes with fine print, accept it would seem Ayako.”) For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's becomes a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. (Why do the fairytales change their plots, are they absentminded and kinda dumb(I would totally read that) or is there malicious intent?) And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world. (What happened to the former keeper?)

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? (I like the way she puts it off like it’s not her problem, but I don’t like the use of a question.) Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life her friends and family and recreating their stories real might not mean what it once did to Ayako. (Something seems grammatically wrong in this last sentence, and I’m unable to read it.)And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories their memories will be erased by the keepers council. (Real people, or the fairytales?) From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. (I think you can end stronger.)

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

Interesting story. It’s very Once Upon a Time. I also agree that it sounds middle grade rather than YA.

 

Hope this helps.

 

My Query is below if you’re interested.



#14 katiefs

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 05:48 PM

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed, or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a some fine print. For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a “keeper,, (comma inside the quotes) people a person tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life and recreating recreate their stories, "real" might not mean what it once did to Ayako. And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. (This sentence doesn’t make sense.) Keeping her friends and families family’s memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. 

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, (no comma) is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

This is a big improvement! I think you’re almost there. Good luck!

 

I appreciate your notes on my query. I’ve got an updated version if you feel like taking a look: http://agentquerycon...-in-9/?p=330973



#15 Daisy

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:21 AM

 

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood? But when Ayako comes across a magical book what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world. 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life and recreating their stories "real" might not mean what it once did to Ayako. And if anyone finds out about keepers or the stories their memories will be erased by the keepers council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. 

 

The problem is that you haven't made me care about Ayako at all.  It's pretty cool she's caused fairytales to escape, yet so far, you are making her sound like a "chosen one" and she coming across dull.  I want to cheer for her, but it sounds like everything is happening to her or around her.  She's the heroine of this story! Make her sound like one!   :biggrin:  

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

 



#16 Vio Liddell

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 08:06 PM

The fairytales have escaped (from where? From who?) and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase (you should only put the first name in the query) is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was never kissed. Or what if the huntsman had failed to save Littler Red Riding Hood. But when Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that’s left.

 

As everyone but Ayako seems to know, (I guess that you want to give us a glimpse of your character’s naivety here. I love the idea, but it sounds a bit awkward this way. It implies that everyone around Ayako or even on earth knows that magic exists and how it works. Try to reword this) opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. For Ayako, the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots (are there several books of this type in the world, or did all the keepers open the same?). And It’s up to her to bind (watch? Capture?) these stories before the morals they teach change and with them the world. So two things happen when she opens the book: 1) the fairytales escape and 2) she becomes a keeper. You should consider placing these two bits of info in the same paragraph, maybe in your opening. Something along the lines of: “But when Ayako opens a magical book . . .” Agents want something that goes straight to the point, and even if I love your lines about the “fine print”, I think they’re slowing the query down.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her (your character sounds too passive here. You must share a reaction rather than a thought from her. Thoughts are part of the storytelling and they aren’t punchy in a query). How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? (Turn this into a declarative. Just a question: what has Mother Goose got to do with the keepers?) She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life and recreate their stories, real might not mean what it once did to Ayako. (Wow, I’m both drawn in and completely lost! Lol) And if anyone finds out about keepers, or the stories their memories will be erased by the Keepers Council. From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Keeping her friends and family memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. That’s very interesting, but quite muddled up.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, KEEPERS is a YA urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

 

My first reaction: yay, a Japanese MC! I love your premise (as a big fan of retellings). Besides, many agents are seeking this kind of stories right now.

I had started critiquing your previous query when you updated. I see you don’t mention Darryl or Ayako’s mother in this new version. Is the relationship between Ayako and Darryl a subplot or a part of the main storyline? At first I thought it was just backstory that you could cut out, but you came back to it at the end of your query and I was left wondering about it. Now I see that you chose not to mention it at all, but I’m still wondering as you only mention Ayako’s “friends and family”, which is a bit vague. If Ayako and her stepfather relationship plays a real part in the conflict, you should keep a few lines about it all the same.

I think you should reorganize the information in your paragraphs and cut them down a little to keep only the essentials.

Also, don’t forget the commas  :wink: 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my query, The Hero Syndrome (YA dark fantasy).

 

Good luck to you!



#17 dmsimone

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 09:06 PM

So you've read my query and you know it's not perfect, so I hope I am helpful here!

 

 

Thank you so much for the feedback guys and gals. I made sure to give my thoughts on your query letters. Thanks again. I took the advice and norrowed it down to just Ayako and the fairytales. Hopefully I'm on the right track. So here we go again:

 

 

The fairytales have escaped, and seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase is to blame. Ayako has never wondered what would happen if Snow White was  is never kissed. Or what would happen if the huntsman had failsed to save Littler Red Riding Hood.? But When Ayako comes across a magical book, what-ifs are all that’s left. First thing I thought about when you said "Fairytales have escaped" is how the tales themselves have escaped a book..but it is interesting enough to make me keep reading. Then I wondered if you should say something like "The fairytale characters have escaped the ancient tome..." just to add a bit of clariy (I'm making up your story, obviously for the sake of these comments). I changed some tenses to present - as a query should be in present tense.

 

As Everyone but Ayako seems to know opening magical books usually comes with a fine print. I like the turn of phrase you are trying for and it almost hits the mark... Suggest: Everyone but Ayakao knows to read and understand the fine print before opening magical books. For Ayako the fine print reads that by opening the book she's become a  “keeper”, people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. Turn of phrase in queries is awesome and hard to do...you've got it in the first sentence, don't try to repeat it in the second. Suggest: Had Ayako been paying attention, she would have learned that opening the book causes her to become a Keeper - a person tasked with protecting fairytale characters from meddling with their own plots.  And it’s up to her to bind these stories before the morals they teach change, and with them the world. Sounding wordy...suggest: It falls to Ayako to bind the characters to their tales and prevent them from altering the moral of the story.

 

The good news? Ayako doesn’t really see what any of this has to do with her. OK sentence but doesn't sound polished. How about: Ayako thinks the problem - and her task - is irrelevant. How could she have known magical books were even a thing? Or that Mother Goose was real and the owner of the book? These would have been the third questions asked in this query. I would try to limit these and reword.She's still not entirely convinced any of this is real. But when characters start to possess those in her life  You lost me here. What does "possess those in her life" mean? Are they taking over bodies? and recreating their stories, "real" might not mean what it once did to Ayako. I can't suggest an alternative wording becuase I don't know what you intend to say here. And If anyone finds out about keepers or the stories their memories will be erased by the keepers council. Oh - now you've introduced another new concept. I'd like to understand how she finds out about the council, if they are good, bad, do they illicit punishments? From the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, Ayako’s life is thrown into chaos. Too vague - need a little more specificity. Keeping her friends and families memories might be harder than keeping secrets or fairytales. So what is the challenge here? To (1) keep the fairytales from changing their plots, (2) keep the fairtales from possessing those in her life, though I don't know what that means, (3) prevent folks from finding out about keepers so they don't lose their memories...or all three? I think maybe focus on one major challenge and make that the highlight of the query...then give it the details to convey a clear message.

  

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers, is a young adult urban fantasy novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :)



#18 heynowyou

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:22 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I've been struggling to take it all in lol It's hard to know what advice to listen to and what not to. Here's a third attempt. I hope I'm getting closer, you tell me. 

 

 

No one ever told seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase that opening magical books usually comes with consequences. To be fair, no one ever told her magical books were even a thing. But when Ayako opens Mother Goose’s book, the fairytales escape and Ayako is the girl to blame

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper,” one of the many people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It seems not every character likes how their story ends and once freed they’ll take every chance to change their fate. It falls to Ayako to put these stories back into the book before the morals they teach are altered, forever changing the world.

 

Ayako’s plan is simple; ignore this like she’s ignored everything else in her life. She's kept her distance from her friends and family making sure no one can ever disappoint or hurt her. Her life has always been boring, predictable, and perfect. Just like she wants it. What’s one more thing to ignore?

 

But when she learns that anyone who finds out about the stories has their memories erased, ignoring things is no longer an option. As fairytale characters, from the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table, begin to possess her friends and family, keeping her new life a secret proves harder than she imagined. But Ayako knows what she has to do. She’ll save those she’s pushed away before she destroys their world. Stories, memories, her friends and family, not matter what it takes she will keep them safe.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers is a young adult urban fantasy standalone novel, with series potential, that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :) 


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.


#19 Daniel Andrews

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:57 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I've been struggling to take it all in lol It's hard to know what advice to listen to and what not to. Here's a third attempt. I hope I'm getting closer, you tell me. 

 

 

No one ever told seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase that opening magical books usually comes with consequences. To be fair, no one ever told her magical books were even a thing. But when Ayako opens Mother Goose’s book, the fairy tales escape and Ayako is the girl to blame.

 

By opening the book Ayako’s becomes a “keeper,” one of the many people tasked with protecting fairy tales from changing their plots. It seems not every character likes how their story ends and once freed they’ll take every chance to change their fate. It falls to Ayako to put these stories back into the book before the morals they teach are altered, forever changing the world.

 

Ayako’s plan is simple; ignore this like she’s ignored everything else in her life. She's kept her distance from her friends and family making sure no one can ever disappoint or hurt her. Her life has always been boring, predictable, and perfect. Just like she wants it. What’s one more thing to ignore?

 

But when she learns that anyone who finds out about the stories has their memories erased, ignoring things is no longer an option. (Why not? Are they coming for her? Still sounds like she could ignore it if that's what shes always done.) As fairytale characters, from the three Goldilocks bears and the Knights of the Round Table, begin to possess her friends and family, keeping her new life a secret proves harder than she imagined. (This previous sentence is rather confusing and clunky, should probably be rewritten. Stating they are fairy tale characters is redundant, just use their names for better impact) But Ayako knows what she has to do. (How on earth does someone who has ignored all of their problems their entire life have any clue what to do in this situation? Particularly one unfamiliar with magical books) She’ll save those she’s pushed away before she destroys their world. (How would she destroy their world? Because shes responsible for opening the book?) Stories, memories, her friends and family, not matter what it takes she will keep them safe. (Pretty vague ending)

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers is a young adult urban fantasy standalone novel, with series potential, that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :) 

 

This is an interesting idea. It took me a until the second paragraph to begin to grasp what the conflict was going to be and what you were going for.

 

The last paragraph in particular left me with a ton of questions and rather confused. There is also a general lack of specificity throughout the letter that makes it difficult to understand exactly what is being said, "magical books" "forever changing the world", "everything else in her life" "disappoint or hurt her." Why does she have access to mother goose's book? How would it change the world? What else has she ignored in her life? Why has she been disappointed in the past? I know this is very difficult to do in such a short space, but specifics help a ton in adding voice and connecting us to the character.

 

I also do not quite understand how she would plan on ignoring this issue if the simple act of opening the book makes her a "keeper." What about opening it made her a "keeper" then if she can simply choose to ignore it?

 

I think filling in these holes and adding specifics will help a great deal. Good luck and keep up the hard work!

 

It would be much appreciated if you might take a look at my query for THE FESTIVAL: http://agentquerycon...n-updated-1218/


The Road To Getting Published: https://www.youtube....-0wTffY7TekGDiA


#20 hermitage

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 12:22 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I've been struggling to take it all in lol It's hard to know what advice to listen to and what not to. Here's a third attempt. I hope I'm getting closer, you tell me. 

 

 

No one ever told seventeen-year-old Ayako Minase that opening magical books usually comes can come with consequences. To be fair, no one ever told her magical books were even a thing. But when Ayako opens Mother Goose’s book, the fairytales escape and Ayako is the girl to blame. {missing period}

 

By opening the book Ayako’s become a “keeper,” one of the many people tasked with protecting fairytales from changing their plots. It seems not every character likes how their story ends, {missing comma} and once freed they’ll take every chance to change their fate. It falls to Ayako to put these stories back into the book before the morals they teach are altered, forever changing the world.

 

Ayako’s plan is simple: {this should probably be a colon rather than a semicolon} to ignore this like she’s ignored everything else in her life. She's kept her distance from her friends and family, {missing comma} making sure no one could ever disappoint or hurt her. Her life has always been boring, predictable, and perfect -- just like she wants it. What’s one more thing to ignore?

 

But when she learns that anyone who finds out about the stories has their memories erased, ignoring things is no longer an option. As fairytale characters -- from the three Goldilocks bears to the Knights of the Round Table -- begin to possess her friends and family, keeping her new life a secret proves harder than she imagined. But Ayako knows what she has to do: She has to save those she’s pushed away before she destroys their world. Stories, memories, her friends and family -- not {typo} matter what it takes, she'll keep them safe.

 

Completed at 98,000 words, Keepers is a young adult urban fantasy standalone novel, with series potential, that will resonate with readers who enjoy reimaginings and retellings of classic fairy tales.

 

As always leave a link or your signature and I'll give your query a look. :) 






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