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The Fate Maker's Almanac (Odd Fantasy)


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#1 speedchuck

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:00 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Jason Augustine will die in one year. No more, no less. And he knows it.

Prophecies aren't easy to come by, and are hard to believe. But fate itself convinces Jason of his future by saving his life again and again, leaving him hungry for purpose and desperate for time to fulfull it. He sets his sights on a lofty, even impossible goal.

The Goran.

An order of peace-keeping warrior monks, limited to only those who have the genetic capacity for it. They aren't fully human, and they deal with those things that aren't fully human. Results of war experiments, black magic, and secrets that even the King himself isn't privy to. Jason doesn't have the mutation needed to become Goran. All he has on his side is fate's promise, a friend that left the order, and a name that means a lot more than he knows.

Becoming a Goran is only the beginning of troubles. Jason's last name brings with it a whole host of problems once he learns of the legacy he's inherited. Massacres, kidnappings, genocide, the list goes on. The Augustine name will not be remembered for the good Jason does as a Goran, but for the works of his ancestry that are coming to light. Unless he can right every wrong, and overcome that legacy, he may end up being forgotten in death. Or worse, remembered as an accomplice. If Jason wants to make a difference and be remembered, he'll have to right the course of the world and perhaps even let go of his own ideals.

And he has to hurry. His last year has already begun.

 

THE FATE MAKER'S ALMANAC is a 97k Oddball fantasy with a strong focus on character, ethics, and predestination.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This is a really weird book to query. It started out as a fantasy parody, and now it's just a weird fantasy story. Still, it hits all the high notes of world-building, action, destiny, epic conflicts, and relatable struggles. But because of the change in nature, I'm not sure how to pitch it. There's a lot of plot to it, and to hit the high notes of what makes the story, I have to leave out some things.

 

So, what is this missing? Thanks for the help.


Would very much appreciate the help:

WHAT LIES IN ME (Query, Synopsis)

 

If you have helped me, and would really like some help yourself, and I have not taken initiative... PM me.


#2 Sataris

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:31 PM

Hi Speedchuck, a few things to consider.

 

Jason Augustine will die in one year. No more, no less. And he knows it. Implied

Prophecies aren't easy to come by, and are even harder to believe. But fate itself convinces Jason of his future by saving his life again and again, leaving him hungry for purpose and desperate for time to fulfull it. He sets his sights on a lofty, even impossible goal. So he's essentially immortal? that's pretty cool.

The Goran. I don't think you want this on its own line, because it doesn't really come off as punchy because we have no idea what the Goran is at this point

An order of peace-keeping warrior monks, limited to only those who have the genetic capacity for it. They aren't fully human, and they deal with those things that aren't fully human. Results of war experiments, black magic, and secrets that even the King himself isn't privy to. Probably background we don't need; we just need to know they're superhuman warriors. Jason doesn't have the mutation needed to become Goran. All he has on his side is fate's promise, a friend that left the order, and a name that means a lot more than he knows.

Becoming a Goran is only the beginning of troubles. Jason's last name brings with it a whole host of problems once he learns of the legacy he's inherited. Massacres, kidnappings, genocide, the list goes on. The Augustine name will not be remembered for the good Jason does as a Goran, but for the works of his ancestry that are coming to light. Unless he can right every wrong, and overcome that legacy, he may end up being forgotten in death. Or worse, remembered as an accomplice. If Jason wants to make a difference and be remembered, he'll have to right the course of the world and perhaps even let go of his own ideals.

 

So his conflict is that he doesn't want to be remembered as a murderer and so on? Maybe that should be a bit more central to the query, and the goran thing should just be one of the ways he tries to right the wrongs of his family?

And he has to hurry. His last year has already begun.

 

THE FATE MAKER'S ALMANAC is a 97k Oddball fantasy with a strong focus on character, ethics, and predestination.

 

Couple really cool things here: the limited immortality aspect is really interesting - I'd maybe like an example of how he's cheated death before. Maybe that could contribute to the oddball nature of your story? There's also going to be a lot of tension since we know that, essentially, the character is going to die at the end. I'm assuming this is the case, but if it isn't, you may want to sow a little doubt in here.

 

My main concern is that while the stakes are clear (he has to right a ton of wrongs if he doesn't want to be remembered as an accomplice to atrocities) they aren't very high in the scheme of things, or, at the very least, they're essentially interior stakes. They probably become high once we really like the character, but starting off, we're sort of just looking at a guy who doesn't want to be forgotten. And we know that he can't die throughout the story, and that he will die at one specific point, so his mortality isn't really an issue from that perspective.

 

Does he maybe have a family he's leaving behind that he doesnt want to pass the tainted family name onto? does he think that cancelling out the wrongs of the past will somehow affect the prophecy? What happens if he doesn't become a Goran? Will he just move onto doing other good works? Might also help if you played up the "giving up his ideals" line - that adds a bit of interior conflict. You also mentioned he has to right the course of the world; maybe we need a bit more about what will happen to the world if he fails to do this? Will it be destroyed or claimed by evil? That would add a bunch of exterior conflict.

 

As to the nature of the story, I don't think you're leaving out too much here, except that if your story really reads as an oddball romp, your query might be leading the reader in the wrong direction. If i were to request pages here because of this query, I'd basically expect a serious a story, which might cause some dissonance. Maybe try to work a bit of the character's voice in, since this seems to be a character-driven piece.

 

I hope that was helpful. If you've got a minute, I'd appreciate it if you'd check out my query here: http://agentquerycon...poc-ya-revised/



#3 trailerbride

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:13 PM

Well, you asked, so this query is lacking tight writing, detail, and stakes I can believe in. If I was an agent, I'd be tempted to assume the story will suffer from the same weaknesses. I've thrown in some suggestions I hope may help, but not knowing the details of your story, I'm not sure they will.

 

Dear Agent,

 

Jason Augustine will die in one year. No more, no less. And he knows it.

Prophecies aren't easy to come by, and are hard to believe.  Since you don't explain how he came by the prophecy, I think the first part of this is unnecessary. I'd rethink this opening and maybe delete it to focus on the next sentence.

 

 

But fate itself convinces Jason of his future by saving his life again and again, Is Fate a real thing in your story, or are you just using it in the general sense. If it's the latter, I'd maybe drop it and combine the second and third sentences into something like:

 

He didn't believe the prophecy at first., but after he survived some example here, he realized ... something here to describe and expand on the prophecy.

 

Such as

 

He didn't believe the prophecy at first., but after he survived a fall from the top of the Empire State Building and an attack by a giant grizzly bear, Jason realized the old woman had been telling the truth, after all--he was going to die on Christmas Day.


 

leaving him hungry for purpose and desperate for time to fulfull it. He sets his sights on a lofty, even impossible goal. -- The lofty generality of this pushes me away from your story. You need something to pull me in. And that should probably include how he feels about his death and life. Something like:

 

Terrified of dying alone and unremembered, desperate to give his short life meaning, Jason decides to ...

 


The Goran.

An order of peace-keeping warrior monks, limited to only those who have the genetic capacity for it. They aren't fully human, and they deal with those things that aren't fully human. Results of war experiments, black magic, and secrets that even the King himself isn't privy to. Jason doesn't have the mutation needed to become Goran. All he has on his side is fate's promise, a friend that left the order, and a name that means a lot more than he knows.

 

This whole section needs reworking. It's detailed where it doesn't need to be, and frustratingly generic where it should be detailed. I shouldn't need, for example,  to read on to learn that the name in question is his family name.

 

Becoming a Goran is only the beginning of troubles. Jason's last name brings with it a whole host of problems once he learns of the legacy he's inherited. Massacres, kidnappings, genocide, the list goes on. The Augustine name will not be remembered for the good Jason does as a Goran, but for the works of his ancestry that are coming to light. Unless he can right every wrong, and overcome that legacy, he may end up being forgotten in death. Or worse, remembered as an accomplice. If Jason wants to make a difference and be remembered, he'll have to right the course of the world and perhaps even let go of his own ideals.

 

The same applies here, I think. It's waffly where it should be tight, and again frustratingly general. Picking up from and fixing "Jason decides to ..." above, you could do something like:

 

Desperate to give his short life meaning, Jason finagles his way into the Goran, an order of warrior monks who protect the realm from ... . Fighting demons and shaving his head turns out to be the least of Jason's problems. According to the Goran's Big Book of Bad Villains, his own ancestors were the worst of the worst. Specific examples here. To make a difference and be remembered when he's gone, Jason must ...

 

I also think you need to work on his motivation/stakes. Really what does anything matter after he's dead? Nothing really in this query yet has convinced me why he would care.

 

And he has to hurry. His last year has already begun.

 

THE FATE MAKER'S ALMANAC is a 97k Oddball fantasy with a strong focus on character, ethics, and predestination.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This is a really weird book to query. It started out as a fantasy parody, and now it's just a weird fantasy story. Still, it hits all the high notes of world-building, action, destiny, epic conflicts, and relatable struggles. But because of the change in nature, I'm not sure how to pitch it. There's a lot of plot to it, and to hit the high notes of what makes the story, I have to leave out some things.

 

So, what is this missing? Thanks for the help.



#4 secondstar87

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:19 PM

Jason Augustine will die in one year. No more, no less. And he knows it. Great hook! 

Prophecies aren't easy to come by, and they are hard to believe. But fate itself convinces Jason of his future by saving his life again and again, leaving him hungry for purpose and desperate for time to fulfull it. He sets his sights on a lofty, even impossible goal. I get what you're trying to say with this phrase, but it's confusing. In other words, because he could have died multiple times and didn't, he now believes the prophecy? 

The Goran, an order of peace-keeping warrior monks, limited to only those who have the genetic capacity for it. They aren't fully human, and they who deal with those things that aren't fully human. R results of war experiments, black magic, and secrets that even the King himself isn't privy to don't end with a preposition ;). Jason doesn't have the mutation needed to become Goran. All he has on his side is fate's promise, a friend that left the order, and a name that means a lot more than he knows. Huh! Intriguing...

Becoming a Goran is only the beginning of troubles. Jason's last name brings with it a whole host of problems once he learns of the legacy he's inherited. 
Awkward phrasing; try something like "Jason discovers the legacy of his name..." Massacres, kidnappings, genocide, the list goes on. The Augustine name will not be remembered for the good Jason does as a Goran, but for the works of his ancestry that are coming to light. Unless he can right every wrong, and overcome that legacy, he may end up being forgotten in death. Or worse, remembered as an accomplice. If Jason wants to make a difference and be remembered, he'll have to right the course of the world and perhaps even let go of his own ideals. I don't think you need those sentences as they are repetitive and detract from your paragraph rather than add to it. Your meaning is clear; Jason wants to right the wrongs done by his family. But how exactly did they do these wrongs? Like, was his great-grandfather a powerful king?? And why would he have to let go of his ideals--mean sacrifice his dream of becoming a goran? 

And h He has to hurry. His last year has already begun. Great ending! So does it not occur to him to try and avoid his own death? 

 

THE FATE MAKER'S ALMANAC is a 97k 97,000 word Oddball fantasy with a strong focus on character, ethics, and predestination. that will appeal to readers of XXX and YYY. Also, is oddball fantasy a genre? You should do some genre research. What is your target audience? You should give us an idea of Jason's age, which may make it YA. 

 

Sounds like a lot of fun, and I like Jason already! I'd appreciate your thoughts on my latest query draft for "To Sail the Stars." 


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#5 speedchuck

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:47 PM

About to go on vacation. I will absolutely update this next chance I get, as well as return the favor. Thanks.


Would very much appreciate the help:

WHAT LIES IN ME (Query, Synopsis)

 

If you have helped me, and would really like some help yourself, and I have not taken initiative... PM me.


#6 daddude7

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:17 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Jason Augustine will die in one year. No more, no less. And he knows it.

Prophecies aren't easy to come by, and are hard to believe. This sentence reads clunky. Perhaps you could mention how Jason knows, if it's material to the story? Avoid the passive voice and keep it related to JasonBut fate itself convinces Jason of his future by saving his life again and again, leaving him hungry for purpose and desperate for time to fulfull fulfill it. He sets his sights on a lofty, even impossible goal.

The Goran. Combine this and the next two paragraphs.

An order of peace-keeping warrior monks, limited to only those who have the genetic capacity for it. They aren't fully human, and they deal with those things that aren't fully human. Not human themselves, they deal with those who aren't fully human as well: Results of war experiments, black magic, and secrets that even the King himself isn't privy to. Jason doesn't have the mutation needed to become Goran. All he has on his side is fate's promise, a friend that  who has left the order, and a name that which means a lot more than he knows.

Becoming a Goran is only the beginning of Jason's troubles. Jason's His last name brings with it a whole host of problems once he learns of the legacy he's inherited. Massacres, kidnappings, genocide, the list goes on. The Augustine name will not be remembered for the good Jason does as a Goran, but for the works of his ancestry that are coming to light. Unless he can right every wrong, and overcome that legacy, he may end up being forgotten in death. Or worse, remembered as an accomplice. If Jason wants to make a difference (what is the difference? be specific) and be remembered (as what?), he'll have to right the course of the world and perhaps even let go of his own ideals. Tighten this--just too many words. Too much passive voice. Avoid general statements, and try to be specific.

And he has to hurry. His last year has already begun.

 

Add a bio. 

 

THE FATE MAKER'S ALMANAC is a 97k Oddball fantasy with a strong focus on character, ethics, and predestination.

 

********************************************************

I hope that helped. My query is in my signature.






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