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Animality (YA Urban Fantasy)

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#1 Arcanjoe

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:50 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat is blessed with an Animality.

 

It's been a year since Kat came to in a forest without her memories but with the curious ability to Flip into a large black cat. Two others woke beside her that night, each with their own Animality. Together they’ve searched for answers and survived for a year by stealing from Vangsford’s rich elite and giving to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to the accidental kidnapping of Raphael Spire, the famous son of a high-profile billionaire, the answers they seek come seeking them.

 

To allow her crew to escape, Kat uses Raphael as bait, drawing in Vangsford’s police force . . . and other uninvited guests: men wielding electrified whips that feel terrifyingly familiar; and a golden-eyed monster she’d believed a myth. The Night Terror decimates the police force, slashes Raphael across the neck and inexplicably frees Kat, who then drags the injured heir to a veterinary surgery she regularly steals medical supplies from. There, she sees her mother, but bolts on being called by her real name: Zalia. Separated from her crew and with Raphael’s condition worsening, Zalia seeks shelter in a cabin on the outskirts of Vangsford. But when Raphael, who’d been near death, suddenly vanishes, and a breaking news bulletin claims Vangsford PD have arrested her crew, Zalia resolves to break them out.

 

At Vangsford Police Station, Zalia is ambushed by the whip-wielding men, but rescued by Raphael in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently caused by the Terror’s cut. With Raphael’s help, she’s reunited with her crew and learns that the reports of their capture were a ruse by VPD to lure her into a trap. Intent on learning the truth about who she is, Zalia visits her mother and discovers she is a descendant of the Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them, making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when one of them is captured by the whip-wielding men, she forms a dangerous alliance with the Night Terror, who is out for revenge against the same people; and Raphael, now desperate for a cure. Zalia will need all of her inner-animal's strength if she is to free her friend and fulfill her promise to her new allies. Even then, she may be playing right into the hands of the hunters who will stop at nothing to reclaim the three Mutari who once escaped them.

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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


#2 npstanford

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:43 PM

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat is blessed with an Animality. //great hook

 

It's been a year since Kat came //minor suggestion, change came to to woke up. when I read it the first time, I read it as "came in to" which confused me later to in a forest without her memories but with the curious ability to Flip into a large black cat. Two others woke beside her that night, each with their own Animality. Together they’ve searched for answers and survived for a year by stealing from Vangsford’s rich elite and giving to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to the accidental kidnapping of Raphael Spire, the famous son of a high-profile billionaire, the answers they seek come seeking them. // I suspect you're aware of this, but the previous two sentences are a bit unwieldy. Also, I am confused at this point... so if Kat has no idea where she came from, does she understand this world outside the forest? 

 

To allow her crew to escape, Kat uses Raphael as bait, drawing in Vangsford’s police force . . . and other uninvited guests: men wielding electrified whips that feel terrifyingly familiar; and a golden-eyed monster she’d believed a myth. The Night Terror decimates the police force //is this the golden eyed monster?, slashes Raphael across the neck and inexplicably frees Kat, who then drags the injured heir to a veterinary surgery she regularly steals medical supplies from. There, she sees her mother, but bolts on being called by her real name: Zalia. Separated from her crew and with Raphael’s condition worsening, Zalia seeks shelter in a cabin on the outskirts of Vangsford. But when Raphael, who’d been near death, suddenly vanishes, and a breaking news bulletin claims Vangsford PD have arrested her crew, Zalia resolves to break them out. 

 

 

At Vangsford Police Station, Zalia is ambushed by the whip-wielding men, but rescued by Raphael in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently caused by the Terror’s cut. With Raphael’s help, she’s reunited with her crew and learns that the reports of their capture were a ruse by VPD to lure her into a trap. Intent on learning the truth about who she is, Zalia visits her mother and discovers she is a descendant of the Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them, making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when one of them is captured by the whip-wielding men, she forms a dangerous alliance with the Night Terror, who is out for revenge against the same people; and Raphael, now desperate for a cure. Zalia will need all of her inner-animal's strength if she is to free her friend and fulfill her promise to her new allies. Even then, she may be playing right into the hands of the hunters who will stop at nothing to reclaim the three Mutari who once escaped them.

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention

 

My two cents: you're summarizing your book, when you really just need to be telling us what's going on. E.g. who's the MC, what's this world, what's the MC trying to do, what's stopping her, etc. So instead of saying Zalia goes here adn this happens then goes here and this happens, I think it needs to be something like:

 

For the last year since waking in the woods Zalia and her crew have been surviving while stealing from the rich while they search for answers. However, when one of their heists go wrong, Zalia finds herself with her first hostage, a spoiled rich guy. Soon, though, she and her hostage are on the run from some monsters and government goons. 

 

She has no idea how she'll and her dumb hostage will rescue her crew, that is, until her mother finds her, and Zalia learns the terrible truth that will force her form odd alliances.

 

***

the above was super rushed, but I think that is the level of detail you need. You should go through and flesh it out with characterization and world building details.

 

Also, I really liked your hook, but in reading your whole query, I wondered if you'd considered something like: For some reason, Zalia always had dreams of being hunted, but little did she know those weren't dreams but memories. 

 

***

Also, I'd appreciat ea look at mine: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/



#3 Arcanjoe

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:17 AM

Thanks npstanford. I've taken your suggestions on board and whittled it down. Draft #2 below. I'm always happy to reciprocate. Thanks!

 

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality . . . and she doesn't know how she feels about it. 

 

Since waking in a forest without their memory and with the curious ability to Flip into animals, Kat and her crew have searched for answers to their little predicament. Always vigilant, never trusting, they’ve survived for a year by using their inner-animal’s enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to the accidental kidnapping of a high-profile billionaire's son, the answers they seek come seeking them.

 

Raphael Spire witnessed Kat Flip, so she can’t possibly let him go. To do so would out them to the world. But when terrifyingly familiar men wielding electrified whips descend on them, a golden-eyed monster comes to their rescue, badly injuring Raphael in the process. Separated from her crew in the bloodbath, Kat drags the infuriating heir to safety, leading to a chance encounter with her mother, who reveals her real name: Zalia Roma; and that she is a descendant of the ancient Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them, making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when Raphael vanishes and one of her crew is captured by the whip-wielding men, Zalia goes on the offensive.

 

When Raphael returns in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently turned Mutari by the monster’s cut, Zalia promises to help him find a cure. In exchange, he begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the golden-eyed monster, who wants revenge on the men that trapped it inside its Animality. If she is to free her friend, keep the Mutari out of the spotlight and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Zalia must go back to the forest facility they escaped a year before. But in doing so she may uncover the terrifying truth about her own past, the past of her crew and the real reason they lost their memory a year ago. 

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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


#4 max.knapp

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

Hello! Very new to this game, so take my advice with a healthy grain of salt. 

 

First thing that strikes me is that there are a lot of terms and names being thrown around which have zero meaning to me as a new reader. I have no clue what an Animality is, but the sentence structure implies its like a personality, but then apparently it makes you a shapeshifter...and then people are Flipping and it has nothing to do with gymnastics. I think a lot of the confusion is that the terms are introduced (ie Flip), and then much later in the query, we get a bit more detail about what it means. If it's a cool world mechanic, the description of it should be enough of a hook that you don't have to rely on throwing out mystery definitions to get my interest.


My final impression is that you're trying to do A LOT with this query. There are tons of threads and interesting points which you're bringing up in here, but there's so much going on that A) it's hard for me to keep track of everything and B) a lot of the points seem underdeveloped. In a brief query, you're simply not going to have enough space to pitch every single great intricacy you've built into your world. Try to pick a few interesting threads (this ability to shapeshift that people have, the tension between scrappy Kat and rich, pompous Raphael, the mysterious golden monster) and focus on those - highlight them, give me a really clear idea what's going on there, and then you can sprinkle in more little things if there's space.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality . . . and she doesn't know how she feels about it. (With this setup, I'm primed to think that an 'Animality' is an analog of 'personality', but the rest of the query seems to imply that it's something different. As is, I don't feel that this hook is very well connected to the rest of your query)

 

Since waking in a forest without their memory and with the curious ability to Flip into animals, Kat and her crew have searched for answers to their little predicament. Always vigilant, never trusting, they’ve survived for a year by using their inner-animal’s enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to But after the accidental kidnapping of Raphael Spire, a high-profile billionaire's son, the answers they seek come seeking them. (More tightly showing that Raphael Spire is the billionare's son makes this read a bit easier, and the fact that he got grabbed during a heist is less needed than the fact that he's somebody important).

 

Raphael Spire witnessed Kat Flip, so she can’t possibly let him go. To do so would out them to the world. (The setup makes it pretty clear these guys are secretive and scrappy, and this sentence is a hair awkward anyways). But when terrifyingly familiar men wielding electrified whips descend on them, a golden-eyed monster comes to their rescue, badly injuring Raphael in the process (There's a lot going on here. They got discovered, the baddies have electric whips, there's a monster, and now rich boy is injured. Maybe something about how her secrecy was for nothing, and the baddies show up. THEN the monster appears and fights). Separated from her crew in the bloodbath, Kat drags the infuriating heir to safety, leading to a chance encounter with her mother, who reveals her real name: Zalia Roma (I don't really care that Kat's real name is Zalia, and now I have to remember in the rest of query that Kat had a name change. Is it that necessary for us to know that she starts going by another name? This may be a big point in the book, but it's not set up well in the query); and that she is a descendant of the ancient Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them (so animality = shapeshifting! Would be nice to clarify this earlier), making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when Raphael vanishes and one of her crew is captured by the whip-wielding men, Zalia goes on the offensive.

 

When Raphael returns in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently turned Mutari by the monster’s cut, Zalia promises to help him find a cure (Why does he want a cure? Being able to turn into an eagle at will sounds pretty okay). In exchange, he begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the golden-eyed monster, who wants revenge on the men that trapped it inside its Animality (tension: if they're turning into animals, and this guy's animality is a monster, what does this mean about him? It's a cool point to mix in, you could emphasize it more but I also like it as is.). If she is to free her friend, keep the Mutari out of the spotlight and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Zalia must go back to the forest facility they escaped a year before (eeep. Zalia/Kat has amnesia, but now she knows that she had been in some forest research facility. When was this revealed? How does she know that she was there?). But in doing so she may uncover the terrifying truth about her own past, the past of her crew and the real reason they lost their memory a year ago. 

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

 

Thank you for your time and attention



#5 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:13 PM

Thanks npstanford. I've taken your suggestions on board and whittled it down. Draft #2 below. I'm always happy to reciprocate. Thanks!

Dear (Agent),

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality . . . and she doesn't know how she feels about it.

Since waking in a forest without their memory and with the curious ability to Flip into animals, Kat and her crew have searched for answers to their little predicament. Always vigilant, never trusting, they’ve survived for a year by using their inner-animal’s enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to the accidental kidnapping of a high-profile billionaire's son, the answers they seek come seeking them.

Raphael Spire witnessed Kat Flip, so she can’t possibly let him go. To do so would out them to the world. But when terrifyingly familiar men wielding electrified whips descend on them, a golden-eyed monster comes to their rescue, badly injuring Raphael in the process. Separated from her crew in the bloodbath, Kat drags the infuriating heir to safety, leading to a chance encounter with her mother, who reveals her real name: Zalia Roma; and that she is a descendant of the ancient Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them, making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when Raphael vanishes and one of her crew is captured by the whip-wielding men, Zalia goes on the offensive.

When Raphael returns in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently turned Mutari by the monster’s cut, Zalia promises to help him find a cure. In exchange, he begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the golden-eyed monster, who wants revenge on the men that trapped it inside its Animality. If she is to free her friend, keep the Mutari out of the spotlight and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Zalia must go back to the forest facility they escaped a year before. But in doing so she may uncover the terrifying truth about her own past, the past of her crew and the real reason they lost their memory a year ago.

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins.


Thank you for your time and attention


This is a really intriguing premise, but I agree (and have had to learn this myself) that the specific terminology needs to take a backseat in the query letter, until/unless you can explain it concisely. EVERY word matters and it's a hell of a balancing act.

That said, well done! Better than my first query haha

#6 npstanford

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:39 PM

 

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality . . . and she doesn't know how she feels about it. 

 

Since waking in a forest without their memory and with the curious ability to Flip into animals, Kat and her crew have searched for answers to their little predicament. Always vigilant, never trusting, they’ve survived for a year by using their inner-animal’s enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist goes awry, leading to the accidental kidnapping of a high-profile billionaire's son, the answers they seek come seeking them.

 

Raphael Spire witnessed Kat Flip, so she can’t possibly let him go. To do so would out them to the world. But when terrifyingly familiar men wielding electrified whips descend on them, a golden-eyed monster comes to their rescue, badly injuring Raphael in the process. Separated from her crew in the bloodbath, Kat drags the infuriating heir to safety, leading to a chance encounter with her mother, who reveals her real name: Zalia Roma; and that she is a descendant of the ancient Mutari people, who could not only commune with animals but become them, making her and her crew (who are also Mutari) immensely valuable. So when Raphael vanishes and one of her crew is captured by the whip-wielding men, Zalia goes on the offensive.

 

When Raphael returns in the Animality of a bald eagle, apparently turned Mutari by the monster’s cut, Zalia promises to help him find a cure. In exchange, he begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the golden-eyed monster, who wants revenge on the men that trapped it inside its Animality. If she is to free her friend, keep the Mutari out of the spotlight and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Zalia must go back to the forest facility they escaped a year before. But in doing so she may uncover the terrifying truth about her own past, the past of her crew and the real reason they lost their memory a year ago. 

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

 

Thank you for your time and attention

 

I think a lot of your changes are good, but there is still a lot of opportunity to condense and simplify. I do want to call out that I really like that you've now made Raphael's personality and relationship to Zalia much clearer. 

 

This may sound extreme to you, but I don't think you need the stuff about her mother and the mutari in the query (I might be wrong, but it sounds to me that hte mother revelation comes after the halfway point of the story...)

 

By cutting, you can do a bit more world building and flesh out Zalia's personality more (I think you communicate Raphael's decently well, but a little more there would be nice). This way your query would give us

- MC

- A bit about the world (people turning into animals, government goons, etc.)

- The inciting incident (a heist gone wrong and an annoying billionaires son)

- The conflicts (rescue friends, work with Raphael, find out why she remembers the men with whips)

- The staeks (her best buds from the woods are in danger)

- Maybe a bit of a hint at how they can do this (does Raphael know something?)

 

And thanks for reviewing my query. It helped a lot!



#7 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:07 AM

If you take out the bit about her mother, you should also take out the reveal of her true name. I feel that'll make the reveal a bigger surprise when the agent requests a full.

Just a suggestion :)

#8 Arcanjoe

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:25 PM

Thank you so much for all your help! I've taken out the unnecessary terms, cut out her mother and any mention of her real name. I've also added more of Kat's character and made more of the tense connection between her and Raphael. Below is draft #3.

 

Dear (Agent),

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing her to shift into a black cat at will. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but it makes her stronger, more agile and allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in that dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since. Together Kat and her crew have spent the last year searching for answers to their memory loss, exploring their new-found abilities and staying well clear of the golden-eyed panther known as The Night Terror, who’s been carving a bloody path through Vangsford. Always vigilant, never trusting, they’ve survived by using their enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist turns into a kidnapping after a high-profile billionaire's son catches Kat mid-shift, the answers they seek come seeking them, and so does The Night Terror.

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire, and he wants answers she doesn’t have. But the smug bugger’s not her biggest problem: vicious, strangely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill but subdue. To capture. The resulting melee sees Kat separated from her crew and Raphael badly injured – cut by the Terror. The cut is turning Raphael half animal like her and he’s desperate for a cure. So when one of Kat’s crew is captured by the men, he begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the Terror, who wants revenge on the same men who trapped it inside its animal form. Together they track Kat’s friend’s scent to the forest her crew escaped a year before. If she is to free her friend, uncover the truth about her own past and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Kat must walk into what she knows is a trap, chin raised and ready to fight her way out. 

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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


#9 Arcanjoe

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:49 AM

I've done a little more tweaking. Thanks for the continued help everyone. Here's the latest version:

 

Dear (Agent)

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing her to transform into a black cat at will. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but it makes her stronger, more agile and allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in that dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, searching for clues to their own past. Staying well clear of the golden-eyed panther known as The Night Terror who’s been carving a bloody path through Vangsford, Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist turns into a kidnapping after a billionaire's famous son catches Kat mid-shift, the answers they seek come seeking them, and so does The Night Terror.

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire, and he wants answers she doesn’t have. But the smug bugger’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill but capture. Or recapture. The resulting melee sees Kat separated from her crew and Raphael cut by the Terror. The wound is turning him half animal like her and he’s desperate for a cure. So when one of Kat’s crew is captured by the men, Raphael begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the Terror, who wants revenge on the same men who trapped it inside its animal form. Together they track Kat’s friend’s scent to the forest her crew escaped a year before. If she is to free her friend, uncover the truth about her own past and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Kat must walk into what she knows is a trap, chin raised and ready to fight her way out. 

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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


#10 danipie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

I've done a little more tweaking. Thanks for the continued help everyone. Here's the latest version:

 

Dear (Agent)

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing her to transform into a black cat at will. Alright, I'm certainly intrigued. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but it makes her stronger, more agile and allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in that dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, searching for clues to their own past. Staying well clear of the golden-eyed panther known as The Night Terror who’s been carving a bloody path through Vangsford, information overload in this sentence. i think it's sharper if you start here. Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist turns into a kidnapping after a billionaire's famous son catches Kat mid-shift, the answers they seek come seeking them, and so does The Night Terror. I'd explain the Night Terror a little bit here.

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire, and he wants answers she doesn’t have. But the smug bugger’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill but capture. Or recapture. The resulting melee sees Kat separated from her crew and Raphael cut by the Terror. The wound is turning him half animal like her and he’s desperate for a cure. So when one of Kat’s crew is captured by the men, Raphael begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the Terror, who wants revenge on the same men who trapped it inside its animal form. Together they track Kat’s friend’s scent to the forest her crew escaped a year before. If she is to free her friend, uncover the truth about her own past and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Kat must walk into what she knows is a trap, chin raised and ready to fight her way out. what is the trap???

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention

 

if you have time, have a look at my query http://agentquerycon...on-in-44/page-3



#11 CarterT

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:12 PM

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing - a trait that allows her to transform into a black cat at will  - Do you mean an actual black cat? Or like a were-black-cat? I took this as the former, and it makes me wonder how she would be stronger? Wouldn't she be a fraction of her normal size?. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but it makes her stronger, more agile and allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in that a dark forest a year ago. Since we haven't heard about the forest yet, maybe 'a' is better here.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, all(?) searching for clues to their own past. - The way it reads now, it's just the other 2 looking for clues. Staying well clear of the golden-eyed panther known as The Night Terror who’s been carving a bloody path through Vangsford - This feels a bit out of place here. Maybe include it with the final sentence of the paragraph?, Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from Vangsford’s rich elite and give to themselves. But when a particularly ambitious heist turns into a kidnapping after a billionaire's famous son catches Kat mid-shift, the answers they seek come seeking them, and so does The Night Terror - the golden-eyed panther who’s been carving a bloody path through Vangsford. - Who kidnapped who? I'm a little confused here.

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire - I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed with character names. Maybe to ease up on this, you can drop the town's name?, and he wants answers she doesn’t have - Answers to what? But maybe this will be more clear when you iron out who kidnapped who. But the smug bugger’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill, but to capture. Or recapture. - This is a hint that they were involved in her past (I'm assuming). It doesn't tie to anything though, so I think you could leave it out. The resulting melee sees Kat separated from her crew and Raphael cut by the Terror. The wound is turning him half animal like her, and he’s desperate for a cure. - This is different from wounds Kat inflicts? So when one of Kat’s crew is captured by the men, Raphael begrudgingly agrees to a dangerous alliance with the Terror, who wants revenge on the same men who trapped it inside its animal form. - So Raphael speaks for Kat and her friends as well now? And if the terror was after the men that attacked Kat and crew, why did it attack them? Together they track Kat’s their friend’s scent to the forest her crew escaped woke up in a year before. - You didn't mention anything about needing to escape it before, best not to bring it up now. If she is to free rescue her friend, uncover the truth about her own past and fulfill her promise to her new allies, Kat must walk into what she knows is a trap, chin raised and ready to fight her way out. - I'll give you the same advice for this ending that everybody gave me. Well, it's kind of a question actually. What happens if she doesn't succeed? You need that in there (and it can be so tough to do).

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention

I like your premise. What age range are you aiming for in the YA category? Some of your word choices are...older, and I've be careful about that depending on what audience you're talking about. May want to change 'bugger', because if you look up the definition of it...it's really not something you want associated with a younger book.

 

I think there is some room for clarification on a few points, and with that done, it will just make the whole query tighter. You're on the right track though.



#12 Arcanjoe

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:34 PM

Thanks so much for your pointers. CarterT, you're absolutely right about bugger. It's a fairly common expression where I'm from, but taking into account my audience and it's double meaning, best to kick it to the curb. To clarify, Vangsford is a fictional suburb of London. So I've just said London, more immediately relatable anyhow. I've dealt with most of the issues you've pointed out and cleared up the stakes as well (I hope.) New draft below! 

 

Dear (Agent)

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing her to transform into a black cat at will. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but the animal inside makes her stronger, more agile and, when shifted, allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps, which is handy when you’re a thief. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in a dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, intent on reclaiming their precious memories. Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from London’s rich elite and giving to themselves. But when Raphael Spire, son of a famous billionaire, witnesses Kat shift during a heist, they’ve no option but to kidnap him. Soon the whole of London knows, and the answers they seek come seeking them. And so does something far worse: The Night Terror - the golden-eyed panther who’s been carving a bloody path through suburbia. 

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire. But the smug heir’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill but capture. Or, if her crew are correct, recapture. In the bloodbath that follows, Kat’s separated from her crew and Raphael is cut by the Terror, turning him half animal like her. She agrees to help the stricken heir find a cure, but soon needs his help when one of her crew is captured by the men. 

 

Together they track their friend’s scent to a treetop facility in the forest her crew woke in a year before. Believing both the cure and her friend are inside, they form a plan of attack. But the Terror’s out for revenge against those in the facility responsible for trapping it inside its animal form. If Kat fails to quell the Terror’s rage, its bloodlust could cost her any chance of rescuing her friend and recovering her memories.

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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


#13 CarterT

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:51 PM

 

Dear (Agent)

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, - Still feel like you need something in here. Even if it's just 'which allows her to...' to break it up. The 'ing' on allowing steals the pace of the sentence. allowing her to transform into a black cat at will. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but the animal inside makes her stronger, more agile and, when shifted, allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps, which is handy when you’re a thief. - Much easier to understand. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in a dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, intent on reclaiming their precious memories. Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from London’s rich elite and giving to themselves.- Glad you went with London. It's so much easier to associate with that I don't feel it takes up brain power to process! But when Raphael Spire, son of a famous billionaire, witnesses Kat shift during a heist, they’ve no option but to kidnap him. - Much clearer! Soon the whole of London knows, and the answers they seek come seeking them. And so does something far worse: The Night Terror - the golden-eyed panther who’s been carving a bloody path through suburbia. - I like everything about this other than the last word. Think about your audience. Does suburbia mean anything to them? 

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire. But the smug heir’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill, but to capture. Or, if her crew are correct, recapture. In the bloodbath that follows, Kat’s separated from her crew, and Raphael is cut by the Terror, turning him half animal like her - I think you can do more with that. This should be shocking She agrees to help the stricken heir find a cure, but soon needs his help when one of her crew is captured by the men. I think you can do more with 'the men' as well. 

 

Together they track their friend’s scent to a treetop facility in the forest her crew woke in a year before. Believing both the cure and her friend are inside, they form a plan of attack. But the Terror’s out for revenge against those in the facility. Those responsible for trapping it inside its animal form. If Kat fails to quell the Terror’s rage, its bloodlust could cost her any chance of rescuing her friend and recovering her memories.

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention

 

 

So, so, so much better.

 

Made a few small suggestions, but everything is a lot more clear than it was before. You really got it together. Nicely done. 



#14 Arcanjoe

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Posted Yesterday, 06:39 PM

Thanks again CarterT, you've been incredibly helpful. Implemented a few of your suggested changes in the new draft below.

 

Dear (Agent)

 

Every human on earth has a personality, but seventeen-year-old Kat has an Animality, allowing her to transform into a black cat at will. Sure, it takes time and hurts like hell, but the animal inside makes her stronger, more agile and, when shifted, allows her to sneak into peoples’ homes through their cat-flaps, which is handy when you’re a thief. Problem is she has no idea how it happened or who she was before waking up in a dark forest a year ago.

 

Two others woke beside Kat that night, and they’ve been running beside her ever since, intent on reclaiming their precious memories. Kat and her crew have survived the last year by using their enhanced senses to steal from London’s rich elite and giving to themselves. But when Raphael Spire, son of a famous billionaire, witnesses Kat shift during a heist, they’ve no option but to kidnap him. Soon the whole of London knows, and the answers they seek come seeking them. And so does something far worse: The Night Terror - the golden-eyed panther who’s been carving a bloody path through London. 

 

Now she’s stuck with the self-satisfied Raphael Spire. But the smug heir’s not her biggest problem: vicious, vaguely familiar men are descending on them, armed not to kill, but to capture. Or, if her crew are correct, recapture. In the bloodbath that follows, Kat’s separated from her crew and Raphael is accidentally cut by the Terror, transforming him into one of them: an animal. Kat agrees to help the stricken heir find a cure but soon needs his help when one of her crew is abducted right under her nose. 

 

Together they track their friend’s scent to a treetop facility in the forest her crew woke in a year before. Believing both the cure and her friend are inside, they form a plan of attack. But the Terror’s out for revenge against those in the facility responsible for trapping it inside its animal form. If Kat fails to quell the Terror’s rage, its bloodlust could cost her any chance of rescuing her friend and recovering her memories.

 

ANIMALITY is a YA Urban Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. I’ve recently had two crime fiction books published with Carina UK (now HQ Stories), a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention


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

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 

The Boy With The White Eyes:

http://agentquerycon...yes-ya-fantasy/

 

The Kin:

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






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