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Siddhi: Vasitva (Sci-fi/Fantasy/Mythology) - Update in post 56

Fiction Fantasy Multi-Cultural Science Fiction

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#41 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 02:22 AM

Which part did you edit? :tongue: :tongue:


Haha just little parts throughout. Overall you have something truly unique, so there wasn't much to mess with! Haha

#42 punitrastogi

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 02:34 AM

Incredibly unique. Never seen a query like it. You fundamentally showed through your writing the slow collapse of a man. I think this is set and ready to go. Good luck!

 

Thanks a lot sire :)



#43 lsprochnow

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 08:45 AM

Thank you Isprochnow and Dragoness for your inputs.

 

An updated version of the query is given below:

=================================================

 

Less than 5 hours ago, a reclusive and introvert Karan I still think this description of Karan reads a bit oddly, but that might just be me was an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, he had hopes and dreams like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he is one-eighth of a demigod, expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian, who was just ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors 'and his ancestors' comes across as redundant. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, if Chhaya and Harshit were on the same side, and asked him to do something, he would have gladly done it. I think you can find a way to simplify this sentence. You could say '...were on the same side, he would have done anything for them.' or something along those lines

But right now, they represented the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He felt deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special. Good work on cleaning up this part. It reads smoother

 

They expected Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?  Excellent work. I think this is a pretty solid query.

 

I made some updates to mine if you wouldn't mind taking a look  http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a fantasy science-fiction novel with a Hindu mythological reference, completed at 100,000 words. Like the beginning of Harry Potter series, it is the beginning of the story of a hero who discovers his capabilities, his legacy, and his destiny to stop a great evil. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#44 CM_Fick

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:16 PM

Thank you Isprochnow and Dragoness for your inputs.

 

An updated version of the query is given below:

=================================================

 

Less than 5 hours ago, a the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, he had hopes and dreams like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he is one-eighth of a demigod, expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. (I would do something along the lines of: Now he knows that she is an alien. One who sought him out only for his telepathic powers. My issue with this was specifically with "as well, who was seeking")The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian, who was just only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.(Unless this is absolutely necessary to your story, I'd take this out. We already know that it dates back to ancient times.)

 

In different circumstances, if Chhaya and Harshit were on the same side, and asked him to do something, he would have gladly done it.

But right now, they represented the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He felt (why did you chose use past tense here? I think using present would help keep the reader invested in your character) deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expected Karan to fulfil (this spelling would depend on what form of English you are using in your MS. If you use American English, this should be "fulfill" - if not, then ignore this comment) his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a fantasy science-fiction novel with a Hindu mythological reference, completed at 100,000 words. Like the beginning of Harry Potter series, (I agree with an earlier poster that this is a little lofty to compare your novel to. Personally, I left the comparison out, because GRRM and Tolkien were the best comparisons for mine -at least in aspects of world-building) it is the beginning of the story of a hero who discovers his capabilities, his legacy, and his destiny to stop a great evil. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

So there are a few things to consider first off. There are a few too many names to contend with - Karan, Chhaya, Harshit, Ramayan. In my opinion, you should just stick to naming your main character. 

 

I like the overall setup and layout, despite this being non-standard. Good job! 



#45 punitrastogi

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

Thanks a lot guys for your inputs. Really appreciate it. :)

Isprochnow, I would look at your updated query tomorrow. Dont have access to a laptop right now.

CM_Fick, the "as well" was to indicate that there are 2 aliens referenced here. And Ramayan is not a character, its an epic tale of Hindu faith and mythology. I have kept it there to bring the otherwise missing connect to Mythology.
I now see your points wrt comparisons. Will post an updated version soon.

Thanks again. :biggrin:

#46 chadweiss35

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:03 PM

A new version.

Slightly more than 300 words (primarily because of the pitch at the end.), and a different approach than usual.

 

I hope this is the final change in the structure  :P

============================================================

 

Less than 5 hours ago, a shy and reclusive Karan was an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

And now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it. This line kind of confuses me until I read more. Maybe should be better.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, he had the hopes and dreams like any 20-something guy.

And now, he is one-eighth of a demigod, expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

And now, he knewknows that she is an alien as well, who was searching for him for his dormant telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had. Passed down the generations through his genes, Karan will soon discover the power inside him. ?? Here's a suggestion about this.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, heHarshit had been his a best friend in Harshit.

And now, he knew  knows Harshit as just a guardian, whose ancestry has been protecting Karan’s. Fortunately, a human. Unfortunately, not a best friend.

 

In different circumstances, he would have gladly done whatever been elated to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side, asked him to do. the exact same thing. He would have gladly done whatever they wanted him to. I think this says the same thing, but with less words.

But right now, the illusion of his perfect life broken, they represented the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. To him they represented deception and manipulation.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny, and save billions of lives.

But, how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe life has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

I would use life, because when your talking about galaxies and planets, I read it as literally meaning universe, which confused me.

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a fantasy science-fiction novel with a Hindu mythological reference, completed at 100,000 words. Like the beginning of Harry Potter series, it is the beginning of the story of a hero who discovers his capabilities, and the reputation he has among strangers because of his legacy, and his journey to stop a great evil from bringing an apocalypse. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

I marked the passive voice in green, I think you need to change some of them to active. Its way too many, at least for my liking. I also cut some words for you, I think you could further explain things a touch more concerning Karan. Show us what you mean in a few circumstances. ex. what was he going to do to express his love to Chhaya? Wedding ring, flowers? what? I would like a clear 'show' example of Harshit as no longer his best friend. Your just telling us that.

Hopefully this is some help, I also noted you switched tense, which can happen when you edit so many times.



#47 Novelarnia

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:22 PM

Thank you Isprochnow and Dragoness for your inputs.

 

An updated version of the query is given below:

=================================================

 

Less than 5 hours ago, a reclusive and introvert Karan (I agree--this description reads strangely! Maybe "Five hours ago, Karan was a reclusive introvert, perfect for his job as a banker in Mumbai."  Or something phrased better than that. :P ) was an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, (I'm confused.  Collapsing the lungs with his mind?  How does that work?  Maybe mention telekinesis or whatever power he has.) just by thinking about it.

 

Less than (I'm more a fan of "Four Hours" rather than "Less than 4 hours."  I think it's more succinct. :) ) 4 hours ago, he had hopes and dreams like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he is one-eighth of a (delete "of a" to clean up the sentence) demigod, expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to  ("nearly expressed") express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers (this sentence is awkward, and I'm not sure how to rephrase it. :/ ). The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had. (And this is a little redundant.  Obviously he didn't know he had them, since you mentioned that five hours ago he was a normal guy.)

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian, (delete comma) who was just ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, if Chhaya and Harshit were on the same side, and asked him to do something, he would have gladly done it.

But right now, they represented the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He felt deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special. (I'd also clean up the first sentence a bit; it reads kind of sloppy.  But I really love the idea of him disliking all those close to him for their lies!)

 

They expected Karan to fulfill his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a fantasy science-fiction novel with a Hindu mythological reference, completed at 100,000 words. Like the beginning of Harry Potter series, it is the beginning of the story of a hero who discovers his capabilities, his legacy, and his destiny to stop a great evil. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

Okay, so this is a very interesting query.  I like the format, but I feel like starting all the way at "five" makes it drag.  I'd start maybe at "three" and condense some of these.  For example, you repeat his telepathic abilities in Five and Three: combine them to one paragraph for a real punch! :) 

 

You also use a lot of distancing words.  "He realized."  "He knows."  "He felt."  In order to get us closer to Karan's mind and the trauma he's experiencing, I'd delete / rephrase those sentences.  Here's a great article on deep POV to read for ideas!

 

https://annlaurelkop...egory/deep-pov/

 

And finally, I would recommend against bringing up the Harry Potter series.  Typically, comps should be recent (withing five years), and comparing them to huge blockbusters like Harry Potter turns a lot of agents off.  In some peoples' minds (not me, but I've read agent interviews where this is the case) it's like saying yours will be as big as Harry Potter, which comes across as arrogant.  If you can think of more recent comp titles to use, it would bring your query a lot further! 

 

That's my advice!  Take it or leave it. :)  I think you've got a solid story here, and it'll be on shelves in no time!  Good luck!!



#48 punitrastogi

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:11 AM

Thank you guys for your valuable inputs. :)

 

I hope you would find a lot of your questions and confusions solved in the subsequent version.

 

chadweiss5, I guess you used an old version of the query.

It was actually my fault. I did not update the link in time.

Anyway, a lot of your comments were still applicable.

Especially the one related to the "Chhaya and Harshit" being together para.

Have updated it accordingly.

 

Novelarnia, I had got the suggestion of using five instead of 5.

But I felt like using 5 makes the query feel like a countdown. An effect that using five somehow doesnt bring.

What do you think?


New version:

====

 

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side.

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#49 lsprochnow

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:10 AM

Thank you guys for your valuable inputs. :)

 

I hope you would find a lot of your questions and confusions solved in the subsequent version.

 

chadweiss5, I guess you used an old version of the query.

It was actually my fault. I did not update the link in time.

Anyway, a lot of your comments were still applicable.

Especially the one related to the "Chhaya and Harshit" being together para.

Have updated it accordingly.

 

Novelarnia, I had got the suggestion of using five instead of 5.

But I felt like using 5 makes the query feel like a countdown. An effect that using five somehow doesnt bring.

What do you think?


New version:

====

 

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war. I think you could probably combine these first two sections. The part about him having the powers of a demigod and saving the galaxy is more interesting than him collapsing the lungs of an alien. And Karan being like any other guy is implied when you say he's just an ordinary banker. You mentioned in the earlier post that you wanted to stick with the countdown from 5. The countdown idea is great, but I don't think it really matters where you start it from. I do agree with Novelarnia that starting from 5 makes it drag a bit

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his whose genes? Harshit's or Karan's? genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side.

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

At this point with your query, I feel like I'm just nitpicking. I think it's solid and I like the formatting. I do think that it could be tighter by combining the first two sections, but I doubt that will make or break it. Great work

 

I made some revisions to my query based off your feedback on the hook. I've love to hear your opinion on it when you have time. http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#50 anthonymbriggs

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for the critique! Here are my comments:

I see what you're trying to do, a gradual progression with plot reveals, but I'm not sure it works. The first problem with this format is the phrase "less than". Technically, five minutes is "less than" each of the times that you set, so all of the reveals could've happened in the last five minutes, which is not the time frame that you intend to convey. What you mean is something more like "approximately five hours ago". That wording sounds more formal and lacks the pushing feel of "less than", but you might want to rethink using that phrase.

The next potential problem comes from what the format, implies: before, 'x' was true, now, 'y' is true and 'x' is no longer true. I'm not sure that logic holds up consistently across the letter though.

For the change at the four hour mark, it says he had 'hopes and dreams'. (This is a cliche but also non-specific and for those reasons alone I would consider replacing it with a specific hope/dream/goal) The format logic indicates he no longer has hopes or dreams. I doubt that's the case. I would think he still has hopes and dreams, just they have changed in view of his new understanding of himself and the world.

For the change at the three hour mark, the format logic indicates he no longer loves Chhaya. So he found out she's an alien and that was it, now he no longer loves her? I would think he must have something left in his heart for her, love (in fiction anyway) should be strong enough to withstand finding out the person you loved is an alien. Hmm, or maybe not. lol Either way, I would need something more so I know he's not shallow. Either the situation is so severe that it destroys his love or he is trying to figure out what he feels and wondering is love still possible, etc.

But the biggest issue I have with the format is it left me with the impression that all of these incredible events happened in just the last five hours. So at 12:00 he's a normal banker in love with a woman. By 5:00 he's:
- discovered that he's actually a 1/8 demigod
- discovered that he has powers he never knew he had
- figured out how to use his new power
- discovered that aliens really do exist
- encountered an alien for the first time
- found out that his girlfriend is an alien
- used his new power to collapse the lung of an alien
- etc.

This short list doesn't even mention his friend or the emotional roller coaster that would ensue from all this - all happening within the span of 12:00-5:00! Literally any one of those events would be mind blowing enough to ponder for at least a week, but all of them happen in just a few hours? This is an overwhelming onslaught that no one could handle. But the letter doesn't indicate that you've considered this problem and will address it. So I am left with a sense of disbelief that I fear I will not be able to suspend while reading the manuscript. Maybe you might want to include a line that reassures the reader that you realize how this may sound, e.g., 'For any normal person this day's experience would result in a nervous breakdown. But something inside Karan has been simmering, waiting for this moment and it rises up and empowers him.'

The premise overall sounds interesting, but for me I would need to be convinced the delivery can work, and this format as-is wouldn't do that. Good luck, hope this helps!

ps you might want to consider starting with the more traditional format and polishing from there. I would leave out the friends and just cut it down to who Karan is, what happens to change his world, what choice does he now have to make, and what are the stakes either way.

#51 Monks

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side.

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

The concept here sounds really interesting, and I feel like Karan is a solid character, from what we see of him here. But overall, I agree with anthonymbriggs. I don't think the structure is doing you any favors. It feels gimmicky, and I can't see anything in your story that would necessitate a non-traditional query like this. There are two big issues with it, in my opinion. One, like anthonymbriggs said, it's confusing. I feel like I'm jumping through hoops just to figure out when things happened. But the bigger issue (which really stems from the first) is that it just pulls me out of the query. I want to get immersed in your hook and your characters, not parse a timeline. When you're doing this structure though, there's just no space for it. You've locked yourself into five roughly equal sized sections that need to hit five different points, and because of that, nothing feels fleshed out. I want to know where Karan's powers came from. I want to know how this galactic civil war got started and what Karan's place in it. That's the biggest omission in this query I think: I don't see how Karan fits in the main plot. There's a deception/conspiracy, something that's part of his genes, and he is destined and expected to save billions of lives. But that's too vague for me to really feel like he's connected to the plot. I think you have a good opportunity here to mix Karan's personal struggles (Harshit, Chhaya, his entire old life) with these powers and this destiny that's been thrust upon him. Let us see how that's affecting him, what his place in the overall plot is, what the stakes are for him, personally, beyond just the fate of the galaxy. That's too big for the reader to care about before they're invested. Tell us why it matters to Karan specifically. I think you should rewrite it, dropping the non-traditional structure, and focus on these elements. Whatever you decide to do though, I'll watch this thread and give you my thoughts. The story sounds really cool, and I'm looking forward to seeing how your query develops.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#52 hermitage

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

Hmm. I actually read this for the first time a couple days ago, and have been puzzling over it a bit in the meantime. My first question, I guess, is whether the "countdown" is actually meaningful in your book, or whether it is purely a device constructed for the pitch. Because it sort of has the look of being the latter, and if an agent takes it that way, it might count as a point against. Does it seem plausible to the reader that each of these revelations or changes happened at approximately one-hour intervals? If not, the approach seems like a liability. Let's get into it a bit and take a closer look.

 


Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

[How is 4 different from 5? First, he's ordinary, and then he's like any other guy. Those sound like direct synonyms. I'd say you have to combine them.] 

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.   

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. [I would want you to expand on this relationship a bit. It feels rushed.] The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then. 

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. [This is kind of an awkward sentence.] A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan [As in the epic poem? If you're doing a tie-in with that myth, you might consider making it a much bigger part of your pitch, and making the reference more clear. But as is, I think it that this "throwaway reference" will probably confuse most readers more than anything else.].

 

[What about "less than 1 hour ago"? Logically, you would have that in the next paragraph, and then "Now..." in the one after that, right? I feel like we have a countdown that just sort of stops.]

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side. [Like they used to be unfriendly with each other, but they both want him to be a hero? I know this because I've read other versions of your pitch, but a new reader might feel like they're in the dark. I'm not sure that you need this bit.]

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

[I'll be honest and say that I understand why we're supposed to feel bad for Karan, but that I personally don't. I would want him to man up a bit and see the bigger picture, which might have its own kinds of exciting possibilities. I assume that he does eventually, but if he doesn't for a while before that, I'm not sure this would be my favorite thing about his character or the story. But surely, others will disagree -- I don't really know what I'm talking about of course, and this is just an instinctive, gut reaction.]

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#53 Linnet_Crawford

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 07:19 AM

New to this thread - I haven't read through all the earlier versions, so apologies if some of my critiques are things that have been said before.

 

This is a solid, concise query (and the concept sounds cool) - but I agree with previous commenters that I don't think the countdown is working, because, as far as I can tell, the events themselves aren't really following a countdown progression (especially the first two). If you did want to keep the structure, I'd recommend starting with 3 and working down to Now

Thank you guys for your valuable inputs. :)

 

I hope you would find a lot of your questions and confusions solved in the subsequent version.

 

chadweiss5, I guess you used an old version of the query.

It was actually my fault. I did not update the link in time.

Anyway, a lot of your comments were still applicable.

Especially the one related to the "Chhaya and Harshit" being together para.

Have updated it accordingly.

 

Novelarnia, I had got the suggestion of using five instead of 5.

But I felt like using 5 makes the query feel like a countdown. An effect that using five somehow doesnt bring.

What do you think?


New version:

====

 

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war.

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then. (this last sentence reads awkwardly)

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized (you should stay in the present tense, like the rest of it) that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side. I like this! Suggests at past conflict

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special. (Getting a nice "Truman Show" vibe)

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes? Is this the only thing preventing him from saving the world (his inability to come to terms with the people around him lying to him?) 

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#54 Novelarnia

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:12 AM

I think there was a miscommunication. XD  I don't care how you spell / type the numbers.  I was just suggesting that starting the countdown from 3 (or three) would make the ending more powerful.  Five just seems a bit much, considering you were repeating information to get there. 

 

But here's my critique of the new one! :D 

 

Thank you guys for your valuable inputs. :)

 

I hope you would find a lot of your questions and confusions solved in the subsequent version.

 

chadweiss5, I guess you used an old version of the query.

It was actually my fault. I did not update the link in time.

Anyway, a lot of your comments were still applicable.

Especially the one related to the "Chhaya and Harshit" being together para.

Have updated it accordingly.

 

Novelarnia, I had got the suggestion of using five instead of 5.

But I felt like using 5 makes the query feel like a countdown. An effect that using five somehow doesnt bring.

What do you think?


New version:

====

 

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, just by thinking about it.

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introverted Karan was like any twenty-something guy. (Well, not like "any" guy; he's clearly not like an extroverted twenty-something. :P )

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod, and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war. (Nice!)

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya.

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well, who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. The powers that he did not know he had then. (This still reads weird.  Maybe "--his telepathic powers.  Powers he didn't know he had, not until five hours ago."  Or something)

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors (too many ancestors in this sentence.  Rephrase). A deception that dates back thousands of years, to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side.

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special. (I still love this.  Nice work here!)

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy, when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes? (And there's the ending hook!  Awesome job.)

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

This is actually loads better!  You're way more succinct, and it shows.  I still think starting at "five (5)" is too much.  You'd have a better punch if you started at 3 and worked your way down, combining where you can.  But overall, this is a pretty awesome query!  Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!!



#55 SimonLee

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:31 PM

Hi Punitrastogi, thanks for your help with my query (the Watchman).

 

You have some good advice on the content of your query here--and I'm edging back and forth between the countdown. I think it can work if you build it to more of an outcome like others suggest. For the query itself, I didn't see any issues not mentioned already, so I focused on "proofreading" as that is something I do for a living.

 

I noticed mostly an issue of comma placement, so I indicated where I removed commas and why. Often my students who have turned in great drafts of writing will ask me why I hit the punctuation so hard. My answer is this: if we can get the small things down like comma usage, then we stand out from the crowd. Some of your comma usage could come down to interpretation of how the clauses are being used--and in these cases I would argue--"no commas." We live in a world where commas are overused and overused incorrectly. Anyway, I hope you find my bit of proofreading helpful. 

Thank you guys for your valuable inputs. :)

 

I hope you would find a lot of your questions and confusions solved in the subsequent version.

 

chadweiss5, I guess you used an old version of the query.

It was actually my fault. I did not update the link in time.

Anyway, a lot of your comments were still applicable.

Especially the one related to the "Chhaya and Harshit" being together para.

Have updated it accordingly.

 

Novelarnia, I had got the suggestion of using five instead of 5.

But I felt like using 5 makes the query feel like a countdown. An effect that using five somehow doesnt bring.

What do you think?


New version:

====

 

Less than 5 hours ago, Karan was just an ordinary banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form just by thinking about it. (No comma after "form." If  you put one there, you are indicating a non-restrictive clause, meaning everything between "Now" and "just" can be removed and the sentence's meaning won't change. Technically, I think you wanted to put a comma before your dependent clause at the end of your sentence, but 99 percent of the time our dependent clauses at the end of sentences don't have commas before them. Even though I see it in published novels all the time. Better safe than sorry and follow the rules here)

 

Less than 4 hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was like any twenty-something guy.

Now, he has one-eighth of the powers of a demigod and is expected to save the galaxy from an impending civil war. (Again--removed comma before conjunction "and" which setup a dependent clause at the end of the sentence)

 

Less than 3 hours ago, he was about to express his love to the girl of his dreams, Chhaya. (Here, I'd leave the comma--the question is if her name is restrictive or non-restrictive information/essential or non-essential. To me, it seems like non-essential information, so add the comma.)

 

Now, he knows that she is an alien as well who was seeking him out for his telepathic powers. (I cut the comma here as "who was seeking..." seems essential, but you have to decide for yourself.) The powers that have been passed through the dormant genes of his ancestry. (Here I like the breaking of convention with fragments) The powers that he did not know he had then.

 

Less than 2 hours ago, he had a best friend in Harshit.

Now, Harshit is just a guardian who was only ensuring the safety of his genes. Karan realized (should this be "realizes?" that like his ancestors, he too has been living a deception created by Harshit and his ancestors. A deception that dates back thousands of years (cut comma in front of prepositional phrase--look at the sentence below that ends "on the same size--technically you  would want a comma there if you have one here) to the period of the Ramayan.

 

In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see Chhaya and Harshit on the same side.

But right now, they represent the illusion he thought to be his perfect life. He feels deceived, manipulated, and used, only because he happens to have something special.

 

They expect Karan to fulfil his destiny and save billions of lives.

But how can he possibly think about unknown humans and extra-terrestrials in the galaxy (cut comma) when his own universe has just collapsed right in front of his eyes?

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#56 punitrastogi

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:28 AM

Thank you everyone for their inputs.

I took a break from query writing, because I felt drained and was not able to come up with any new ideas.

 

I realized that the count-down method has been appreciated by some, but many are not comfortable with it.

I guess there is a risk involved with using a format like this.

A risk that can cost me an opportunity with an interested agent, who might be interested in my book if the query is written in a traditional manner.

 

So, here is another attempt at the query from my side.

I have removed all names, except for Karan's.

 

I have changed the hook as well, to go with the traditional format.

However, I still think that the previous hook is still better.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

========================================================================

 

Karan just wanted to have a vacation with his friends and the girl he really liked. But within a few hours, his life has turned from that of a shy and reclusive banker, to that of the savior of the galaxy.

-OR-

Less than five hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary twenty-something banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form just by thinking about it.

 

 

Karan came to realize that there are many technologically and spiritually advanced species in the galaxy. But in spite of all their advancements and progress, they cannot seem to live in harmony. They are at the brink of a war, and he has the capability to build a team that will stop the galactic destruction.

 

Karan's perfect reality has turned out to be a manipulated version of the truth. The girl that he loves is an extra-terrestrial, and his best friend is with him only to do his job of protecting Karan. In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see them on the same side. But right now, they represent his pain of being deceived, manipulated, and used, only because unknown to himself, Karan’s inheritance links him to a mythological tale, and gives him the telepathic powers of a demi-god.

 

Now Karan must make a choice, knowing that it has galactic consequences. If he chooses to listen to his heart and condemn the ones that lied to him and manipulated him, it would cause a galactic apocalypse which even the human would not survice. And if he chooses to ignore his emotions to try and save the galaxy, he will have to give up his life as he knows it, and he might not survive the monsters that even the gods are petrified of.

 

Either way, chances are that he would not see the end of it all. But not participating in the war would let him spend some time with his true loved ones, and be true to himself. It was the right decision to make.

 

Or so he thought.

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#57 Bananas

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:16 AM

Thank you everyone for their inputs.

I took a break from query writing, because I felt drained and was not able to come up with any new ideas.

 

I realized that the count-down method has been appreciated by some, but many are not comfortable with it.

I guess there is a risk involved with using a format like this.

A risk that can cost me an opportunity with an interested agent, who might be interested in my book if the query is written in a traditional manner.

 

So, here is another attempt at the query from my side.

I have removed all names, except for Karan's.

 

I have changed the hook as well, to go with the traditional format.

However, I still think that the previous hook is still better.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

========================================================================

 

Karan just wanted to have a vacation with his friends and the girl he really liked. But within a few hours, his life has turned from that of a shy and reclusive banker, to that of the savior of the galaxy.

-OR-

Less than five hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary twenty-something banker in Mumbai.

Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form just by thinking about it.  (This hook, while marginally better, doesn't relate to the query below)

 

 

Karan came to realize that there are many technologically and spiritually advanced species in the galaxy. How does he come to realize this?  I doubt he read it in an investment prospectus.  Also, the term "spiritually advanced" is a loaded term.  I have no idea what it means.  It seems like you're implying that spirituality exists on an ladder, with some philosophies and ways of thinking being better than others.  But in spite of all their advancements and progress, they cannot seem to live in harmony. They are at the brink of a war, and he has the capability to build a team that will stop the galactic destruction.  How does he have this capability?  His experience as a banker would not give him these skills.

 

Karan's perfect reality has turned out to be a manipulated version of the truth. Say what?  The girl that he loves is an extra-terrestrial, and his best friend is with him only to do his job of protecting Karan. In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see them on the same side. I'm lost.  How are they not on the same side?  And, what would the right circumstances be?  But right now, they represent his pain of being deceived, manipulated, and used, only because unknown to himself, Karan’s inheritance links him to a mythological tale, and gives him the telepathic powers of a demi-god.  This sentence is a monster.  There's a better way of saying this.

 

Now Karan must make a choice (a choice to do what?), knowing that it has galactic consequences. What are you saying?  Also, what's the 'it' that has galactic consequences?  If he chooses to listen to his heart and condemn the ones that lied to him and manipulated him, it would cause a galactic apocalypse which even the human would not survice. I struggle to make the connection here.  You've managed to say a lot without saying anything at all.  How does condemning someone lead to a galactic apocalypse?  Also, why does he have to condemn anyone?  Because they hid things from him?  Seems like a huge leap.  And if he chooses to ignore his emotions to try and save the galaxy, he will have to give up his life as he knows it, and he might not survive the monsters that even the gods are petrified of.  Wow.  This sentence is another monster.  You're trying to smash too much together.

 

Either way, chances are that he would not see the end of it all. The end of what?  But not participating in the war (What war?) would let him spend some time with his true loved ones, and be true to himself. It was the right decision to make.  Again, I have no idea what you're saying.  What decision?

 

Or so he thought.  

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.



#58 smithgirl

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:29 PM

FYI, I didn't read your earlier query versions.

 

 

Karan just wanted to have a vacation with his friends and the girl he really liked. But within a few hours, his life has turned from that of a shy and reclusive banker, to that of the savior of the galaxy.

-OR-

Less than five hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary, introverted twenty-something banker in Mumbai. Now no comma he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form just by thinking about it. I think this one is better, but neither seems like a really good hook for your story.

 

 

Karan came to realize that there are many technologically and spiritually advanced species in the galaxy. How does an ordinary, introverted banker "come to realize" this? You need to explain. But in spite of all their advancements and progress, they cannot seem to live in harmony. They are at the brink of a war, and he has the capability to build a team that will stop the galactic destruction. Why does he have this capability?

 

Cut the whole paragraph above and incorporate the essential components into the rest of your query. Start your query with the next paragraph, when something happens to Karan. Also, write it in present tense.

 

Twenty-?-year-old Karan learns (how?) that what he perceives as his normal life in Mumbai is actually an engineered version of reality. The girlfriend he loves is actually an extra-terrestrial; his best friend is his (alien?) bodyguard. 

 

Karan's perfect reality has turned out to be a manipulated version of the truth. The girl that he loves is an extra-terrestrial, and his best friend is with him only to be his bodyguard. do his job of protecting Karan. In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see them on the same side. Who on the same side? But right now, they girlfriend/bodyguard? represent his pain of being deceived, manipulated, and used, only because unknown to himself, Karan’s inheritance links him to a mythological tale, and gives him the telepathic powers of a demi-god.

 

Now Karan must make a choice, knowing that it has galactic consequences. What choice? If he chooses to listen to his heart and condemn the ones that lied to him and manipulated him, it would cause a galactic apocalypse which even the human would not survice. And if he chooses to ignore his emotions to try and save the galaxy, he will have to give up his life as he knows it, and he might not survive the monsters that even the gods are petrified of.

 

Either way, chances are that he would not see the end of it all. But not participating in the war would let him spend some time with his true loved ones, and be true to himself. It was the right decision to make. This is too vague.

 

Or so he thought.

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

From reading your query, I'm afraid I'm utterly confused re your actual story. You need to have a clear sequence of events. Clarify why Karan is angry, what his choice is, how his emotions might get in the way, why there could be an apocalypse. You have a lot of information, but it's jumbled and comes at me all at once. I know this is all super hard because everything seems clear to you. Just try to present your story in sequence, with a clear cause-effect. Also write your query in an active voice (no passive voice!). Good luck!

If you get a chance, can you please look at my query? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...rade-critiques/

 

 



#59 Saints

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:03 PM

 

Karan just wanted to have a vacation with his friends and the girl he really liked. But within a few hours, his life has turned from that of a shy and reclusive banker, to that of the savior of the galaxy. (That's quite a jump from vacation to galaxy-savior.)

-OR-

Less than five hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary twenty-something banker in Mumbai. Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form just by thinking about it. (This is also a jump. I'm not sure which I would pick.)

 

 

Karan came to realize that there are many technologically and spiritually advanced species in the galaxy (But he's a banker?). But in spite of all their advancements and progress, they cannot seem to live in harmony (who is "they"?). They are at the brink of a war, and he has the capability to build a team that will stop the galactic destruction (I'm confused what his occupation is).

 

Karan's perfect reality has turned out to be a manipulated version of the truth. The girl that he loves is an extra-terrestrial, and his best friend is with him only to do his job of protecting Karan. In different circumstances, he would have wanted nothing more than to see them on the same side (confused by what you mean by "same side"). But right now, they represent his pain of being deceived, manipulated, and used, only because unknown to himself, Karan’s inheritance links him to a mythological tale, and gives him the telepathic powers of a demi-god (this is a lot of information packed into one sentence).

 

Now Karan must make a choice, knowing that it has galactic consequences. If he chooses to listen to his heart and condemn the ones that lied to him and manipulated him, it would cause a galactic apocalypse which even the human would not survive. And if he chooses to ignore his emotions to try and save the galaxy, he will have to give up his life as he knows it, and he might not survive the monsters that even the gods are petrified of. (This is a little long-winded.)

 

Either way, chances are that he would not see the end of it all. But not participating in the war would let him spend some time with his true loved ones, and be true to himself. It was the right decision to make.

 

Or so he thought. (So, which is it?)

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

Overall, I'm a little confused about the plot. There's aliens, and telepathy, and a mysterious inheritance. I'm not sure about Karan being a banker while also somehow having the ability to build a team to stop the galactic destruction. Maybe if we can prioritize some of the plot points this can be solved.



#60 dragoness

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:17 AM

Hi  :smile: ,

 

I think this version is much better than the former ones!

 

I felt there were several repetitions, and that the pace was too slow sometimes, so I try to change the order of the sentences (and delete some repetitions) in order to make it faster and more clear and interesting. I hope it would help:

Thank you everyone for their inputs.

I took a break from query writing, because I felt drained and was not able to come up with any new ideas.

 

I realized that the count-down method has been appreciated by some, but many are not comfortable with it.

I guess there is a risk involved with using a format like this.

A risk that can cost me an opportunity with an interested agent, who might be interested in my book if the query is written in a traditional manner. (I absolutely agree!)

 

So, here is another attempt at the query from my side.

I have removed all names, except for Karan's. So you can add names like Rama, Ravan and Ramayan...

 

I have changed the hook as well, to go with the traditional format.

However, I still think that the previous hook is still better.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

========================================================================

 

Karan just wanted to have a vacation with his friends and the girl he really liked. But within a few hours, his life has turned from that of a shy and reclusive banker, to that of the savior of the galaxy.

-OR-

Less than five hours ago, the reclusive and introvert Karan was an ordinary twenty-something banker in Mumbai. Now, he is collapsing the lungs of an alien’s human form, (comma) just by thinking about it. (I prefer this hook. I think it's excellent, and that it's not against the traditional hooking...)

 

 

When Karan realizes that the girl that he loves is an extra-terrestrial, and his best friend is with him only to do his job of protecting Karan, his heart is shattered. His perfect reality has turned out to be a manipulated version of the truth, and his beloved ones represent his pain of being deceived and used.

 

 

Then, Karan finds out came to realize that there are many technologically and spiritually advanced species in the galaxy. But in spite of all their advancements and progress, they cannot seem to live in harmony. They are at the brink of a war, and he, having  the the telepathic powers of a Ramayan mythological demi-god, is capable of building a team that will stop the galactic destruction. Chances are that he won't survive the monsters that even the gods are petrified of.

 

Karan must make a choice: , knowing that it has galactic consequences. If he chooses to listen to his heart and condemn the ones that lied to him and manipulated him, it would cause a galactic apocalypse which even the human would not survice. And if he chooses to or ignore his emotions and try to save the galaxy, he will have to give up his life as he knows it, and he might not 

 

Either way, chances are that he would not see the end of it all. But not participating in the war would let him spend some time with his true loved ones, and be true to himself. It was the right decision to make.

 

Or so he thought. (The last two paragraph reveal the end)

 

SIDDHI: VASITVA is a 100,000 word YA/fantasy novel with elements of science-fiction and Hindu mythology. (great!) <<<Will add another book comparison here>>>. It also has the mythology-reality bridge like the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

Would you like to look at my new version? http://agentquerycon...ue/#entry336240







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Fantasy, Multi-Cultural, Science Fiction

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