Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

REVISED: Black Eyes (Urban Fantasy)


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 CS29

CS29

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Few publications of short stories.

Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:11 AM

Dear Agent,

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He specializes in monsters who prey on people.

 

So he's out of his depth when a desperate mother comes to him as a last hope of finding her missing son. The boy, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave behind a single shred of evidence. Turns out Bryan isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely, either. At least a dozen other children have vanished in the last few decades.

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the center of the town's economy for most of its history. He also learns Bryan encountered a black-eyed girl before he disappeared. A girl who looked like the child who vanished before him. Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has ever encountered before.

 

The monster infects him, turning more than just his eyes black. With his body succumbing to this darkness, he has only hours to find a way to kill the monster, free the children of its control, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows.

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel .

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice or feedback you can offer!



#2 rccallahan

rccallahan

    Aloha and Olelo

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:29 PM

Hey!  

 

Saw your query ask and I thought I'd try to help out.  Hope this helps!

 

 

Sam Hain (I see what you did there and it made me snort/laugh in the best way possible) deals with things that shouldn't exist: he specializes in monsters who prey on people.(This sounds like an episode of Supernatural and that makes me happy).

 

So he's out of his depth when a desperate mother comes to him as a last hope of finding her missing son.(Why would he be out of his depth? How does he usually catch cases? It seems like this would be a relatively common way? And why does she come to him?  Is he known as the Supernatural Guru? Or is she just running around with missing fliers, stapling them to anything and anyone who stands still long enough?) The boy, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave behind a single shred of evidence. (How about: The lack of evidence left behind by his kidnapper leaves the police stumped. I just felt like these two sentences should be condensed) However, after Sam does some digging, it turns out Bryan isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely, either. At least a dozen other children have vanished in the last few decades. (This sentence feels like a jump forward from the last one, like there needs to be something that takes us from “There is no hope and no clues” to “Okay, now he’s part of a pattern”).

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns these disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the historical center of the town's economy for most of its history. He also learns Bryan encountered a black-eyed girl before he disappeared.(From who?  How? Something about this seems off.) A girl who looked like the child who vanished before him.(These two sentences seem like they should go together too, but they both seem off.... Forced.  Like I see what you’re doing and why they need to be included, but they kind of come out of your voice and feel very… rote. What about: A local tells him (or whatever happened) that the last time Bryan was seen was in the company of a black-eyed girl who bore a striking resemblance to the last child who vanished.) Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has ever encountered before.

 

The monster infects him, turning more than just his eyes black. With his body succumbing to this darkness, he has only hours to find a way to kill the monster, free the children of its control, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows. (I might be wrong, but this whole section feels like it’s giving too much away for a query.  Or maybe that it’s jumping in and explaining a lot of things way too fast.  Something else I notice is that we have very little sense of what this creature is, does, wants, etc.  Which is fine if you’re going for an air of mystery, but you’re undermining that with the “this is what happens” vibe of this.  If it were me, I’d leave it out of the query, but definitely include a more fleshed out version in the synopsis. Side note-- a lot of the advice posts and "how to" guides suggest that these be done in two paragraphs. I know there's a bunch of conflicting advice, but I thought it worth a mention.)  

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel. (NICE!)

 

Overall notes:  Cool story idea! I'm a character person, so I'd love to see a little more of Sam fleshed out because I don't really get a sense of who he is or why he's doing this (which is SUUPER hard to convey in a query and I completely understand your pain).  Anyway, I'd totally pick this book up. Kinda reminds me a little of mine :) Good luck!

 

RC



#3 trailerbride

trailerbride

    Northern Scum | Southern Belle

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS South
  • Publishing Experience:I used to run an indie writers collective. Now I don't.

Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:23 PM

A good query on the whole. I've cut some of the fat and highlighted places where you could improve it.

 

Hope something helps.

 

Dear Agent,

 

Sam Hain (nice!) deals with things that shouldn't exist--. He specializes in monsters who prey on people.

 

So hHe's out of his depth (but is he? Isn't this what he does?) when a desperate mother comes to beseeches him to as a last hope of finding her missing son. The boy, Bryan, has been missing for months. The pPolice have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave behind a single shred of evidence behind. Turns out Bryan isn't the first child to disappear go missing in Lurnely, either. At least a dozen others children have vanished in the last twenty years few decades.

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the center of the town's economy for most of its history. He also learns Bryan encountered a black-eyed girl before he disappeared (you need a different word here. Repetition!). A girl who looked like the child who vanished before him (This is not a great sentence). Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has ever encountered before.

 

The monster infects him, turning more than just his eyes black. With his body succumbing to this darkness, he has only hours to find a way to kill the monster, free the children of its control, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows.

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel .

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice or feedback you can offer!



#4 CS29

CS29

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Few publications of short stories.

Posted 13 June 2017 - 01:38 AM

Thank you both! Lucky for me, you pointed out some of the same parts I myself didn't like, but was having trouble getting right.

 

Let's give this another go. I trimmed down some parts, though hopefully added enough to clarify in others. Thanks again!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He kills monsters who prey on people.

 

 

A desperate mother comes to him to find her son. Bryan has been missing for months. Police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. Bryan's mother reveals he isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely. A dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years.

 

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the former center of the town's economy. Bryan's journal tells of his encounter with a black-eyed girl, who bore a resemblance to the child who vanished before him, right before he went missing. Other locals report more sightings of these black-eyed kids. Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has encountered before.

 

A monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and immune to all forms of damage both mundane and supernatural. The creature refrains from killing him and infects him instead, turning more than his eyes black. Changing him into another of its kind. With his body succumbing to darkness, he has only hours to kill the monster, free the children, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows.

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel .

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#5 Ajax

Ajax

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationEurope

Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:20 AM


Dear Agent,

X <----------- (Leave only one line between the paragraphs.)

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He kills monsters who prey on people. (What's new? What's your fresh spin on this wildly popular trope? I like that you have kept it short.)
X

A desperate mother comes to him to find her son. Bryan has been missing for months. Police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. Bryan's mother reveals he isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely. A dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years.
X

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the (local/town's) mine, the former center of the town's economy. Bryan's journal tells of his encounter with a black-eyed girl, who bore a resemblance to the child who vanished before him, right before he went missing. (How is this relevant to the main plot? Also, consider breaking this sentence into two for more clarity.) Other locals report more sightings of these black-eyed kids.
X
Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has encountered before. a monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and immune to all forms of damage (.) both mundane and supernatural. The creature refrains from killing him and infects him instead, (Why? I feel like you might be giving away too much of the story.) turning more than his eyes black. Changing him into another of its kind. With his body succumbing to darkness, <--------- (What does this mean?) he has only hours to kill the monster, free the children, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows. (How does he know that he only has hours before he turns into this creature? Where is the monster in this period of time?)

X

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel. (This query reminds me of a survival horror game called Outlast. I don't have an idea for companion book titles, but I highly recommend you to add the titles of well-known books that share some key elements with your novel.)

X

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Good luck.



#6 Vio Liddell

Vio Liddell

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 33 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:"Les Agonies de l'Innocence" (Tabou Editions, June 2013). Novellas. Dark erotica/horror.

Posted 13 June 2017 - 03:15 PM

Thank you both! Lucky for me, you pointed out some of the same parts I myself didn't like, but was having trouble getting right.

 

Let's give this another go. I trimmed down some parts, though hopefully added enough to clarify in others. Thanks again!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't existhe kills monsters who prey on people. I agree that this hook sounds too common, and as such, weak. Maybe give us a feature of your MC or a feature of the monsters he kills. What makes your story different from the other ones with the same premise?

 

A desperate mother comes to him in the hope that he can find her son. Young Bryan has been missing for months. Police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. And Bryan isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely: a dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years.

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the former center of the town's economy. Bryan's journal (diary?) tells of his encounter with a black-eyed girl, who bore a resemblance to the child who vanished before him right before he went missing. Other locals report more sightings of these black-eyed kids. Convinced that the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster (something? I feel like "a monster" gives away too much already) unlike any he has encountered before.

 

A monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and immune to all forms of damage both mundane and supernatural. The creature refrains from killing him and infects him instead, turning more than his eyes black. Changing him into another of its kind. With his body succumbing to darkness, he has only hours to kill the monster, free the children, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows. I agree that this paragraph kind of reads like a big spoiler... I think you should keep the suspense about what Sam finds in the depths of the mine.

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

As for the comp with a survival horror game, this sounds more Slender than Outlast to me. Lol

 

I think you have a good query here. Just give a few more specifics about your MC, the kind of monsters he tracks down and kills, and some of the reasons he has for doing so.

 

I'd appreciate your feedback on my query too! It's "The Hero Syndrome (YA dark fantasy)".

 

Good luck!



#7 CS29

CS29

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Few publications of short stories.

Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:20 AM

Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate the help. I've added some parts in parentheses where I'm still having some trouble getting things right. Thanks again for any help or direction you can offer. Vio, I'll definitely give your query a look.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He kills monsters who prey on people. A walking encyclopedia of monsters, myths, and folklore. (I'm sure I need a better way of wording this, but one of the driving plot lines is that Sam has never heard of something like the monster in the mine and that irks him to no end.)

 

A desperate mother comes to him to find her son. Bryan has been missing for months. Police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. His mother reveals he isn't the first child to go missing. A dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years.

 

Sam learns the disappearances began after a disaster in the Lurnley mine. Bryan's journal details his encounter with a black-eyed girl, who bore a resemblance to the child who vanished before him. Other accounts report sightings of black-eyed kids appearing to children before they went missing. Convinced the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are all connected, Sam descends into the mine, where he discovers a creature unlike any he has encountered before.

 

A monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and seemingly immune to all forms of damage. But rather than spill his guts, the creature spares him. He wakes unharmed, but as he continues his investigation, finds his body changing. More than his eyes are turning black. With his mind and body slowly failing, Sam must figure out what he's up against and how to stop it while he still can. (Not so sure about this sentence, but this is a turning point in the story, where he figures out how to fight the creature because of what it's done to him. This last bit still seems spoilery, so I'm trying to narrow it down, but leave it vague at the same time.)

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel. (A friend of mine has actually referred to the book as Harry Dresden meets Dean Winchester (Supernatural, if you're not familiar) with a little more asshole thrown in, which while funny, feels both inappropriate and a bit too high a claim.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#8 rccallahan

rccallahan

    Aloha and Olelo

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:27 AM

Hey! 

 

I see your awesome revisions!  If I may, I had a few more thoughts, reading your update: 

 

Thank you both! Lucky for me, you pointed out some of the same parts I myself didn't like, but was having trouble getting right.

 

Let's give this another go. I trimmed down some parts, though hopefully added enough to clarify in others. Thanks again!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He kills monsters who prey on people. <3

 

 

A desperate mother comes to him to find her son.; Bryan has been missing for months. Police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. Bryan's mother reveals he isn't the first child to go missing in Lurnely. A dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years. (This paragraph still feels really choppy to me)

 

 

Diving deeper, Sam learns the disappearances started after a disaster in the mine, the former center of the town's economy. Bryan's journal tells of his encounter with a black-eyed girl, who bore a resemblance to the child who vanished before him, right before he went missing. Other locals report more sightings of these black-eyed kids. Convinced the mine and children are connected, Sam descends into its depths, where he discovers a monster unlike any he has encountered before.

 

A monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and immune to all forms of damage both mundane and supernatural (This is a fragment). The creature refrains from killing him and infects him instead, turning more than his eyes black. Changing him into another of its kind (again, another fragment that should really be combined and clarified with the previous sentence.  That said, this is much better than the last version!). With his body succumbing to darkness, he has only hours to kill the monster, free the children, and save himself before he joins the creature in the shadows. (Because I also have shadowy monsters in my story, I'm curious:  is he physically going to join this creature-- like is it a writhing mass of darkness, or is it a specific creature that you're not naming for suspense's sake?  I'd love to learn a little bit more about this creature/monster thing.) If you have a sec, I'd love your opinion on my UNSUNG LULLABY query http://agentquerycon...mance/?p=340892  I wish you the best of luck! 

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel .

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#9 CS29

CS29

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Few publications of short stories.

Posted 18 June 2017 - 12:47 AM

Thanks Aloha and Olelo! I'll give your query a look.



#10 CS29

CS29

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Few publications of short stories.

Posted Yesterday, 04:06 AM

Did some more tweaking. I want to thank everyone for their help and feedback. I immensely appreciate it. Hopefully it sounds a bit better now. I've noted some parts i'm still not sure about. Thanks in advance for any help or advice you may have!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Sam Hain deals with things that shouldn't exist. He kills monsters who prey on people. Years of experience have made him a walking encyclopedia of monsters, myths, and folklore. (I'm sure I need a better way of wording this, but one of the driving plot lines is that Sam has never encountered anything like the monster in the mine, which irks him to no end.)

 

A desperate mother comes to him to find her son, Bryan, who has been missing for months. The police have found nothing. Whoever took him didn't leave a shred of evidence behind. His mother reveals he isn't the first child to go missing around Lurnley. A dozen others have vanished in the last fifty years.

 

Sam soon learns the disappearances began after a collapse in the local mine. Bryan's journal details his encounter with a black-eyed girl in the days before he went missing. His description of her bears a striking resemblance to the child who vanished before him. A few talkative locals report sightings of black-eyed kids approaching the other children before they disappeared. Convinced the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are all connected, Sam descends into the mine, where he discovers a creature unlike any he has encountered before.

 

A monster of shadows, powerful enough to gut a man in a blink, and seemingly immune to all forms of damage. Rather than spill his guts, the creature spares him. He wakes unharmed and confused, but continues his investigation. He soon finds his body changing, but more than his eyes are turning black. With his mind and body slowly failing, Sam must figure out what he's up against and how to stop it while he still can. (Not so sure about this part, but this is a turning point in the story, where Sam figures out how to fight the creature because of what it's done to him. This last bit still seems spoilery, so I'm trying to narrow it down, but leave it vague at the same time.)

 

At 79,000 words BLACK EYES is an adult urban fantasy novel. (A friend of mine referred to the book as Harry Dresden meets Dean Winchester (Supernatural, if you're not familiar) with a little more asshole thrown in, which while funny, feels both slightly inappropriate and a bit too high a claim.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users