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Awakened (YA Fantasy) - Revised in Post#75 will return crit!


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#1 ddcash80

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:29 PM

Revised Version in Post #75 http://agentquerycon...e-4#entry338542

 

Thanks for taking the time to critique my QUERY. I am a first time author, just finished my manuscript and I haven't submitted any queries yet, so I am happy to have found this site to give me some feedback. Thanks in advance.
(also I've seen alot of query examples that just jump into the synopsis -- is this normal?? or was the agent intro just redacted??)

 

EDIT: I've updated this with a new spin. Hopefully it works. . .

 

****

Dear Agent...,
 

For over a decade, the aliens have walked among us, living peacefully. In exchange for their place on the planet, the Zorin gave the human race amazing psychic power -- a deadly weapon in the wrong hands.

A beautiful species with the traits of mankind, the Zorin are distinguished by their fiery yellow eyes. But Dax Carter has never seen one. Fifteen-year-old Dax lives happily in the southern town of
Brissal, filled with green grass and dirt roads. It’s a far distance from the rising technology of the eastern capitol.

Dax’s tranquil life falls apart when his mom is attacked by a demented Hollow – failed test subjects of a mad scientist bent on further unlocking the potential of the mind.

 

With his team of friends, Dax must learn how to control his power as he faces the Hollows and tries to unravel a hidden Zorin conspiracy which threatens to spark a world war.

 

Amidst the chaos, Dax turns to his best friend for help, only to find sutured stitches running down the back of his friend's neck, and blackened eyes filled with evil.

 

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

I’m a young scientist, living in Boston, who does cancer research. I have published articles in scientific journals, but this is my first foray into the literary arts. I would be glad to send you pages of my manuscript if you are interested. Thank you for your time and consideration,



#2 SnowFox23

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:42 AM

First, I have to say that this is a pretty solid start for a first time author. Query is professional, and though I was confused a lot, I can see there is a great story in there.

 

Okay, as a first time reader who has no idea about your book I will give you my first impressions and let you decide on where you go from there. Sometimes it can sound harsh, but I'm just giving you my fresh eyes perspective. :)

 

 

Dear Agent...,

For over a decade, the aliens have walked among humans. In exchange for their place on the planet, the Zorin have gifted the human race amazing psychic power -- a deadly weapon in the wrong hands.
 

Sounds like an interesting idea- I just don't quite understand. So- everyone accepts that the Zorin walk amongst us humans? And was every human being gifted psychic abilities?

Built like man men . . . (and woman women), you can distinguish the Zorin by their fiery yellow eyes. But Dax Carter has never seen one. A young teenager, Tell us his specific age, Dax lives happily in the southern town of Brissal, (As an Australian, I wouldn't have a clue where Brissal is. Maybe make it a bit more specific, like southern California, or whatever) filled with green grass and dirt roads. It’s a far distance from the rising technology of the eastern capitol.

Dax’s tranquil life begins to spiral out of control    (try to avoid using clichés in query's, it just smacks of unoriginality) when a mad scientist, bent on further unlocking the potential of the mind, (whose mind? I'm a bit confused now.) escapes from prison and resumes his research, creating deadly monsters (how?, and why?). The dreaded chaos (those two words are a little uninspiring) hits home when Dax’s mother is the victim of an attack. (But what attack? You mean she was attacked by a monster? Also, how was she attacked by a monster because I thought they lived away from all the chaos?!)

With his friends in tow, Dax must learn how to control his power (the psychic thing that everyone has? Why didn't his Mum use it?!)as he fights against a new breed of villain, the dark mysterious Shadow, (Are these the monsters that the mad scientist created?) who drains the life of his prey and stirs up a war between the humans and Zorin.

Just when things couldn’t get worse, Dax turns to his best friend for help, only to find sutured stitches running down his spine and black eyes filled with evil. (Huh? Is his best friend a Shadow now?) I don't understand.

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  I liked that book.

I’m a young scientist, living in Boston, who does cancer research. So awesome! I have published articles in scientific journals, but this is my first foray into the literary arts. I would be glad to send you pages of my manuscript if you are interested. Thank you for your time and consideration,     

 

 

I think there is a great book in there, I just think there is a bit more explaining that needs to happen to pull it together more cohesively.



#3 ddcash80

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:32 AM

First, I have to say that this is a pretty solid start for a first time author. Query is professional, and though I was confused a lot, I can see there is a great story in there.

 

Okay, as a first time reader who has no idea about your book I will give you my first impressions and let you decide on where you go from there. Sometimes it can sound harsh, but I'm just giving you my fresh eyes perspective. :)

 

 

Dear Agent...,

For over a decade, the aliens have walked among humans. In exchange for their place on the planet, the Zorin have gifted the human race amazing psychic power -- a deadly weapon in the wrong hands.
 

Sounds like an interesting idea- I just don't quite understand. So- everyone accepts that the Zorin walk amongst us humans? And was every human being gifted psychic abilities? Yes, everyone accepts that they walk among humans. And yes, everyone accepts them, because they gifted everyone the psychic abilities

Built like man men . . . (and woman women), This was supposed to be "man" the species, like mankind, I may clarify this if more people don't get it. you can distinguish the Zorin by their fiery yellow eyes. But Dax Carter has never seen one. A young teenager, Tell us his specific age, [ok]Dax lives happily in the southern town of Brissal, (As an Australian, I wouldn't have a clue where Brissal is. Maybe make it a bit more specific, like southern California, or whatever)Brissal is actually his made-up hometown, is that too confusing? should I just take out the name? filled with green grass and dirt roads. It’s a far distance from the rising technology of the eastern capitol.

Dax’s tranquil life begins to spiral out of control    (try to avoid using clichés in query's, it just smacks of unoriginality) when a mad scientist, bent on further unlocking the potential of the mind, (whose mind? I'm a bit confused now.) he experiments with humans, he wants to unlock the potential of the "mind"-- in general. escapes from prison and resumes his research, creating deadly monsters (how?, and why?) the how is with brain surgery. the why is stated earlier (to unlock potential,aka more psychic power). failed experiments turn into monsters. I didn't want to go into too much detail in the short synopsis (maybe i should say more?). The dreaded chaos (those two words are a little uninspiring) hits home when Dax’s mother is the victim of an attack. (But what attack? You mean she was attacked by a monster? Also, how was she attacked by a monster because I thought they lived away from all the chaos?!)  Yes, she was attacked by a monster. The scientist hides out near Dax's hometown after escaping prison. I guess I could mention that.

With his friends in tow, Dax must learn how to control his power (the psychic thing that everyone has? Why didn't his Mum use it?!) Yes, the psychic powers. The power is like any other talent, everyone can do it, but at varying levels -- adults the worst. as he fights against a new breed of villain, the dark mysterious Shadow, (Are these the monsters that the mad scientist created?) The monsters have a different name and have a history in the story, the Shadow is a new "thing" --possibly the mad scientist who has achieved his goal and turned himself into a supermonster -- but it's a mystery for this book. who drains the life of his prey and stirs up a war between the humans and Zorin.

Just when things couldn’t get worse, Dax turns to his best friend for help, only to find sutured stitches running down his spine and black eyes filled with evil. (Huh? Is his best friend a Shadow now?) I don't understand. Yes, his best friend was turned into one of the original monsters. This was supposed to be a final hook, leaving you hanging and guessing (but kinda obvious at the same time)

 

 

Thanks for all of your comments. They are helpful to know where I was unclear. I answered all of your questions. Please let me know which points you think I should actually put in the synopsis, that you think would possibly make it better (more clear) without bloating it too much with detail.

 

 

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  I liked that book.

I’m a young scientist, living in Boston, who does cancer research. So awesome! I have published articles in scientific journals, but this is my first foray into the literary arts. I would be glad to send you pages of my manuscript if you are interested. Thank you for your time and consideration,     

 

 

I think there is a great book in there, I just think there is a bit more explaining that needs to happen to pull it together more cohesively.



#4 AdrianGC

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:43 AM

Boston is a great city! I lived there for a year with some friends who went to BC -- one of whom worked for the Red Sox and died from lymphoma in 2000. I wish you all the best with you research...

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Agent...,

For over a decade, the aliens have walked among humans. In exchange for their place on the planet, the Zorin have gifted the human race amazing psychic power -- a deadly weapon in the wrong hands. I'm just a bit confused by the premise...so we KNOW the aliens are here, right? They're not hiding among us, as it were? And in exchange for being here they've given all of us psychic abilities? Is that the gist? 

Built like man . . . (and woman), you can distinguish Similar in most respects (or some phrasing like that), the Zorin are distinguished by their fiery yellow eyes. But Dax Carter has never seen one. A young teenager, Dax lives happily in the southern town of Brissal, filled with green grass and dirt roads. It’s a far distance from the rising technology of the eastern capitol.

Dax’s tranquil life begins to spiral out of control complacency, however, is shaken when his mother is attacked by a deadly monster created by a mad scientist when a mad scientist, bent on using the Zorin's gift to further unlocking the potential of the mind, escapes from prison and resumes his research, creating deadly monsters. The dreaded chaos hits home when Dax’s mother is the victim of an attack.

With his friends in tow, Dax must learn how to control his power (so we all have these powers?) as he fights against a new breed of villain, the dark mysterious Shadow, who drains the life of his prey and stirs up a war between the humans and Zorin.

Just when things couldn’t get worse, Dax turns to his best friend for help, only to find sutured stitches running down his spine and black eyes filled with evil.

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

I’m a young scientist, living in Boston, who does cancer research. I have published articles in scientific journals, but this is my first foray into the literary arts. I would be glad to send you pages of my manuscript if you are interested. Thank you for your time and consideration, 

 

Please take a look at my query when you get a chance. 

 

http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/


Adrian

I'm looking for feedback on my query. Thanks in advance. http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/

 


#5 CarterT

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:35 PM

I think the few critiques above cover all of the important points. I like the premise, and it kind of sounds like a kids version of District 9 (pardon me, I'm very visual so a lot of things connect to movies).

 

My biggest question is Dax's age, and how this connects to the query/audience. When I read young teenager, I think 13 or 14 tops. Is that the age range you are aiming for? Both for your MC and your audience.

 

 

Dax’s tranquil life begins to spiral out of control complacency, however, is shaken when his mother is attacked by a deadly monster created by a mad scientist when a mad scientist, bent on using the Zorin's gift to further unlocking the potential of the mind, escapes from prison and resumes his research, creating deadly monsters. The dreaded chaos hits home when Dax’s mother is the victim of an attack.
 

 

I think something like this is a good change. It ties together a couple of sentences that told important points, but didn't quite flow.

 

 

With his friends in tow, Dax must learn how to control his power (so we all have these powers?) as he fights against a new breed of villain, the dark mysterious Shadow, who drains the life of his prey and stirs up a war between the humans and Zorin.
 

 

You can probably drop 'dark', as most shadows tend to be just that! Feel free to throw another adjective in there. I feel like the green part could use some elaboration, or maybe it's own sentence. It seems like it should have some impact to it, but at the moment is tagged on to the life draining part. Micro vs Macro, so it doesn't hit home.

 

 

Just when things couldn’t get worse, Dax turns to his best friend for help, only to find sutured stitches running down his spine and black eyes filled with evil.
 

 

Yeah, get rid of the crossed out part. Super minor thing, but how is he finding the spinal stitches? They going swimming? Don't get me wrong, it's a good visual, just the logistics of it caught me off-guard. Are the black eyes associated with anything else other than the 'Shadows'?

 

I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

 

Last comment. Have confidence in your work! It will attract fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels! If you don't back your work 100%, do you think the agent will? It sounds like you've got a good story here, so sell it like that.



#6 SnowFox23

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:23 AM

Hiya again.

 

I like the sound of your book.

I read your answers, and I understand a bit better. I would just clarify these things:

 

The fact that everyone inherited psychic abilites, (because I think I wasn't the only one who didn't understand that)

The fact that everyone's powers are not equal  (which, by the way, I really like the idea of. Just out of curiosity, is that why the scientist went to his hometown specifically? To hunt Dax?)

Dax's age.

 

You know better than me if you want to mention the monsters and the Shadow in the query. For me personally, having both threats in the query, makes it a little less compelling. I would focus on only one threat because having two was a little confusing.

I was like, hang on, what are the monsters, how are they created, etc, and then a moment later, it was like, huh? What's the Shadow? Is that what his friend and Mum has?? Is the Shadow the monsters?!

 

Good luck, I know you will do great.

 

 

 

 

 

Dax's age.



#7 ddcash80

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:51 PM

Hiya again.

 

I like the sound of your book.

I read your answers, and I understand a bit better. I would just clarify these things:

 

The fact that everyone inherited psychic abilites, (because I think I wasn't the only one who didn't understand that) I've updated it with this info

The fact that everyone's powers are not equal  (which, by the way, I really like the idea of. I'll try to add this, but I don't know where I can fit in and still make it sound fluid and not too much info. Just out of curiosity, is that why the scientist went to his hometown specifically? To hunt Dax?) The scientist actually is from the same hometown (did his schooling/research in the city) and returns to his hometown to hide/do more research. So it was more of a coincidence that he encounters Dax

Dax's age.

 

You know better than me if you want to mention the monsters and the Shadow in the query. For me personally, having both threats in the query, makes it a little less compelling. I would focus on only one threat because having two was a little confusing. I agree, something was bugging me that it was too much details. I think it was mentioning monsters and shadow, so I will cut the shadow out.

I was like, hang on, what are the monsters, how are they created, etc, and then a moment later, it was like, huh? What's the Shadow? Is that what his friend and Mum has?? Is the Shadow the monsters?!

 

Good luck, I know you will do great. Thanks, If you get a chance, i've updated the query in the original post if you can check it out

 

 

 

 

 

Dax's age.



#8 ddcash80

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

Revised:

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter was granted amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t matter though, since everyone else on the planet got the same thing when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over decade. But when Dax follows the screams one night and sees his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin that’s pulling the invisible strings. It’s a human turned Hollow, a failed experiment of a mad neurosurgeon who’s bent on further unlocking the potential of the mind.

 

As Dax fights to save his town from the Hollows, he discovers that psychic abilities are like any other talent; not everyone is created equal. The most gifted can create pure energy from thin air, turning their minds into a deadly weapon. Dax must learn to control his power to stand a chance.

 

The stakes rise when a hidden Zorin conspiracy begins to unravel, revealing the real reason they came to earth. It threatens to spark a world war -- with aliens and monsters and humans, it’s clear that only one species will survive.

 

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.



#9 CarterT

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter was granted amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t matter make him special though, since everyone else on the planet got the same thing abilities when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over decade. - Glad you gave us a timeframe on this. But one night when Dax follows the screams one night and sees his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin that’s pulling the invisible strings. It’s a human turned Hollow, a failed experiment of a mad neurosurgeon who’s bent on further unlocking the potential of the mind.

 

As Dax fights to save his town from the Hollows, - Is this the same night as he finds his mom? Or later? he discovers that psychic abilities are like any other talent; not everyone is created equal. - It's really interesting the way you chose to word this. I don't know which end of the spectrum Dax is at, and I kind of like that. The most gifted can create pure energy from thin air, turning their minds into a deadly weapons. - this sentence needs another 'beat'. Something else that happens in it. I like it, but it feels cut short. Dax must learn to control his power to stand a chance. - You can do so much more with this sentence! 'With time running out and a war on the horizon, Dax will need to learn to master his powers, or his mother won't be the Hollow's last victim.' or something equally dramatic.

 

The stakes rise - This phrase doesn't match the rest of your query's voice. when a hidden Zorin conspiracy begins to unravel, revealing the real  Too much alliteration if you use 'real reason they came to earth.- I think you can do more with this sentence too. It's soft. This is your closing paragraph...this is where you spend the last of your special effects budget and everything blows up. Wow us! When It threatens to spark a world war -- with aliens and monsters and humans, it’s clear that only one(?) species will survive. - I'm so close to loving this sentence. I like how you're tying your query up (with the threat of war), I just think you need to tighten up the first sentence with the conspiracy, which will give a stronger lead into the final sentence.

 

AWAKENED is complete at 105K words and is the first book of a planned trilogy, although it stands alone with a clear ending. I believe it might It will appeal to attract the fans of other dystopian YA fantasy novels such as the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

 

Sorry with how much red is there, but really, you've taken a few big steps in the right direction. I've put my questions and comments above. You're getting closer!

 

If you have a chance to look at either of my queries, they are in the signature below. Thanks!



#10 ddcash80

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

Revised:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade. But one night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin controlling the invisible force. It’s a human turned Hollow, a monstrosity born from a scientist’s experiments on the mind.

 

Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town, enlisting the help of his friends. Penndleton’s mischievous antics keep Dax on his toes, while Arys’ strength and determination keep the team from falling apart. Together, they learn how to master their power, and fight the Hollows. But they soon realize that no matter what, the casualties keep piling up. The chaos is shrouded in mystery. Hollow victims are brutally beaten, but new patients lie in the hospital without a scratch and in a deathly coma.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he begins to unravel a hidden Zorin conspiracy, revealing the true reason they came to earth. It threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.



#11 SnowFox23

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 12:17 AM

Revised:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade. But one night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin controlling the invisible force. It’s a human turned Hollow, a monstrosity born from a scientist’s experiments on the mind.

 

Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town, enlisting the help of his friends. Penndleton’s mischievous antics keep Dax on his toes, while Arys’ strength and determination keep the team from falling apart.

I'm not sure I would keep this, but you know best.

 

Together, they learn how to master their power, and fight the Hollows. But they soon realize that no matter what, the casualties keep piling up. The chaos is shrouded in mystery. Hollow victims are brutally beaten, but new patients lie in the hospital without a scratch and in a deathly coma.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he begins to unravel a hidden Zorin conspiracy, revealing the true reason they came to earth. It threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.

 

 

Just came back to say that is so much better! Great revisions.

It is very succinct now, and more intriguing than before.

Great job.

 

I would only suggest that maybe refrain from adding those details of Dax's friends. It slows the pacing down too much, and it is a bit irrelevant too. Unless you are really pushing the whole friendship trio thing as a main theme, I would chop it out entirely.

 

Otherwise, this is a much better query than before.



#12 Erevos

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:00 AM

Revised:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though; since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade. But one night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin controlling the invisible force. Wait, so Zorin are bad? I'm confused. Since they walk among men, I assumed they are friendly. It’s a human turned Hollow, a monstrosity born from a scientist’s experiments on the mind.

 

Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town, enlisting the help of his friends. Penndleton’s mischievous antics keep Dax on his toes, while Arys’ strength and determination keep the team from falling apart. Together, they learn how to master their power, and fight the Hollows. But they soon realize that no matter what, the casualties keep piling up. The chaos is shrouded in mystery. Hollow victims are brutally beaten, but new patients lie in the hospital without a scratch and in a deathly coma. Everything's fine but like SnowFox said, maybe skip the detail description of his friends. I did the same in my novel. Friendship and bonds are important, but you waste space in your query and slow the pace for no reason.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he begins to unravel a hidden Zorin conspiracy, revealing the true reason they came to earth. It threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive. A big vague ( I think). Maybe mention the reason they came and mention what Dax has to do to save the planet.

 

To be honest I'm a bit confused. So, a human scientist created the Hollows and while Dax tries to find a solution, he uncovers the truth about the real reason the Zorin came to earth?

If so, them maybe try to emphasize the last sentence a bit more.



#13 ddcash80

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:38 AM

To be honest I'm a bit confused. So, a human scientist created the Hollows and while Dax tries to find a solution, he uncovers the truth about the real reason the Zorin came to earth?

If so, them maybe try to emphasize the last sentence a bit more.

Firstly, Zorin aren't necessarily bad. I wrote it like "Oh, it's not a Zorin attacking his mom" just as a segway into the Hollows. I've been working on ways to clarify this in my next revision.

 

I will probably take you guys' advice and drop the friends bit.

 

You are correct in your summary: human scientists create hollows, and Dax tries to find solution. But Hollows aren't the only problem, as Dax finds out. Some secrets of the Zorin come to the surface about why they came to earth. It's an intricate story with twists/turns and I tried to convey that in the query.

 

I dont want to give away why the Zorin came to earth in the summary since it's a big plot twist and it's not completely fleshed out in this book (first of trilogy).

 

Thanks for critique!



#14 newb

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:56 PM

I thought this was great. The sudden introduction of the friends threw me though. Maybe you could say "enlisted the help of his friends Penndleton and Ary." Then talk about what they do?



#15 Erevos

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:35 AM

Firstly, Zorin aren't necessarily bad. I wrote it like "Oh, it's not a Zorin attacking his mom" just as a segway into the Hollows. I've been working on ways to clarify this in my next revision.

 

I will probably take you guys' advice and drop the friends bit.

 

You are correct in your summary: human scientists create hollows, and Dax tries to find solution. But Hollows aren't the only problem, as Dax finds out. Some secrets of the Zorin come to the surface about why they came to earth. It's an intricate story with twists/turns and I tried to convey that in the query.

 

I dont want to give away why the Zorin came to earth in the summary since it's a big plot twist and it's not completely fleshed out in this book (first of trilogy).

 

Thanks for critique!

 

I can totally understand and respect that! I'm dealing with the same issue. How to not reveal much - especially things that are meant to be revealed in the next book-, but make the query actually sound compelling!

I'll be sure to check out how you do it!



#16 BadgerFox

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:36 AM

Revised:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers -- he can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though[: I agree this could use a semicolon instead] everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade. But one night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, it’s not a Zorin controlling the invisible force. It’s a human turned Hollow, a monstrosity born from a scientist’s experiments on the mind.

 

Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town, enlisting the help of his friends. Penndleton’s mischievous antics keep Dax on his toes, while Arys’ strength and determination keep the team from falling apart. [The bit about the friends seems to be peripheral to the central plotline, but it's not a shooting offence. If you could find a way to explain how the friends are more integral to the story, succinctly, you could keep mention of them] Together, they learn how to master their power, and fight the Hollows. But they soon realize that no matter what, the casualties keep piling up. The chaos is shrouded in mystery. Hollow victims are brutally beaten, but new patients lie in the hospital without a scratch and in a deathly coma.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he begins to unravel a hidden Zorin conspiracy, revealing the true reason they came to earth. It threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.

 

​[Bravo! I think this looks really good. I can't see many more adjustments beyond those already pointed out. It's clear you worked really hard on this and I think the effort shows. :) Good luck with your query!] 



#17 ddcash80

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:16 PM

REVISED. it seems like I'm going in the right direction (thanks to all of your help). I've made some changes based on other feedback, trying to clear up confusion and connect everything together. Hopefully i'm going forward and not backward.

Dear Agent,

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers. He can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade, peacefully enjoying the earth’s sun. One night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, he faces a creature that lurks in the shadows instead -- a human turned Hollow. They’re monstrosities born from a scientist’s experiments on the mind.

 

After the Hollow escapes, Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town. He must learn how to master his power -- to generate force fields and shoot powerful blasts -- to stand a chance and fight back. Though he soon realizes that no matter what, the casualties keep piling up. Hollow victims are found brutally beaten, but new patients lie in the hospital without a scratch and in a deathly coma.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he discovers that the Zorin aren’t as innocent as they seem. They use the chaos to shroud a devious plan, treating mankind as their pawns. As the conspiracy unravels, it threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.



#18 bkarperien

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:25 PM

REVISED. it seems like I'm going in the right direction (thanks to all of your help). I've made some changes based on other feedback, trying to clear up confusion and connect everything together. Hopefully i'm going forward and not backward.

Dear Agent,

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers. He can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

Interesting hook, but I'd like to know...what does make Dax special? What is it about him that makes him unique? Why should I care about him? Why is this story about him and not any other cookie-cutter kid? I'd love to get a strong sense of your mc from the get go.

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade, peacefully enjoying the earth’s sun. One night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, he faces a Hollow-- a monstrosity born from a mad? scientist’s dangerous? unethical? psychotic? experiments.

After the Hollow escapes, Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town. He must learn to master his power -- to create force fields and shoot powerful blasts (powerful blasts of what? Seems vague) -- to stand a chance of surviving. But there's something far more deadly more at work in town, something even Dax might not be able to stop. Hollow victims are found brutally beaten, but new patients begin to fill the hospital, their bodies unmarked, in deathly comas.

As Dax digs deeper, he discovers that the Zorin aren’t as innocent as they seem. As their conspiracy unravels, it threatens to spark a world war between aliens and monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.

So? What does that have to do with Dax? This doesn't sound like his story anymore. Is he gonna do anything about it or what? ;)

 

I hope that helped a bit. A good start but I think it needs to focus more on your mc and his problem. The clarity was great, but it didn't feel entirely cohesive.

Good luck!


Check out my query!

 


#19 ddcash80

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

REVISED:

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers. He can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade, peacefully enjoying the earth’s sun. One night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, he faces a creature that lurks in the shadows instead -- a human turned Hollow. They’re monstrosities born from failed experiments on the mind.

 

After the Hollow escapes, Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town. He must learn how to master his power -- to generate force fields and shoot powerful blasts of energy-- to stand a chance and fight back. Though he soon realizes that there’s something far more sinister at work in his town. Hollow victims are usually brutally beaten, but new patients begin to fill the hospital, without a scratch and in deathly comas.

 

As Dax digs deeper, he discovers that the Zorin aren’t as innocent as they seem. They use the chaos to shroud a devious plan, treating mankind as their pawns; and Dax’s small town is ground zero. As the conspiracy unravels, it threatens to spark a world war between aliens, monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.



#20 Bananas

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

I think you need to focus on what makes your story different.  What makes me want to read about Dax?  Personally, the "chosen one" trope is so overdone, it actually turns me off.  

REVISED:

 

Fifteen-year-old Dax Carter has amazing psychic powers. This sentence doesn't draw me in.  In this day and age, the idea that a character has powers isn't unique.  He can read a thought from across the room, or make an object fly a hundred yards. That doesn’t make him special though, since everyone else on the planet received the same gift when the aliens arrived.  If I was an agent, I'd stop here.  This first section doesn't lead me to want to read more.  I need some sort of indication that something interesting is going to happen.

 

The Zorin have walked among mankind for over a decade, peacefully enjoying the earth’s sun. That's nice.  ZZZZZ.   One night, when Dax is woken by screams and finds his mom’s lifeless body hanging in the air, he faces a creature that lurks in the shadows instead -- a human turned Hollow. Here we go.  They’re monstrosities born from failed experiments on the mind.  Hmmmm.  Hollows - the product of a failed experiments.  To me, this is a little too close to Mrs. Peregrine's.  I think you need to find a new name, one that doesn't point so directly at a recent blockbuster hit.  

 

After the Hollow escapes, Dax takes it upon himself to protect his town. Why just him?  If everyone has powers, why are they not forming a local super-powered militia?  He must learn how to master his power -- to generate force fields and shoot powerful blasts of energy you'd think everyone would already be working on that.  I know I would  -- to stand a chance and fight back. Though he soon realizes that there’s something far more sinister at work in his town. I don't love this sentence.  It's a little vague and doesn't nicely lead into the next sentence.  Hollow victims are usually brutally beaten, but new patients begin to fill the hospital, without a scratch and in deathly comas.  I'm not sure how comas are more sinister.  To me, nearly being beaten to death vs comas are just shades of the same thing.  I think you need to paint a more vivid picture here - why the comas are worse.  

 

As Dax digs deeper, he discovers that the Zorin aren’t as innocent as they seem. I think I need more clarity on the "digging".  What is he actually doing? How does a fifteen year old do this?  They use the chaos to shroud a devious plan, treating mankind as their pawns; and Dax’s small town is ground zero. As the conspiracy unravels, it threatens to spark a world war between aliens, monsters and humans, and it’s clear that only one species will survive.






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