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#1 AndieKahl

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 04:43 PM

Dear ,

 

Fresh out of high school Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved away to start college and go on impressive adventures. Meanwhile Jenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness Jenna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought. One of these tree’s is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The tunnel takes Jenna to Demore, where creatures from all of earths mythologies have been living free of their human oppressors. Dragons guard the mountains, fairies fly overhead, and mermaids swim in the fountains. This is not a place for Jenna.

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore. The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets.

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, Jenna can’t help but share a secret of her own. The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it.

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor.

 

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters. Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.

 

In addition to my synopsis I have included the first --- of my manuscript below, as requested.

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#2 lionspaws

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:56 PM

Fresh out of high schoolcomma Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved away to start college and go on impressive adventures. Meanwhile Jenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness Jenna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought. These are just some thoughts on cleaning up this paragraph. It's pretty wordy, and you want your query to be concise and clear, so cut out anything that doesn't add to the hook/voice/stakes.

 

I would make this a new para: One of these trees is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The tunnel takes Jenna to Demore, where creatures from all of earth's mythologies have been living free of their human oppressors. Dragons guard the mountains, fairies fly overhead, and mermaids swim in the fountains. This is not a place for Jenna. Why not? Sounds pretty cool! The phrase "free of their human oppressors" is confusing because does it mean they were all once enslaved on earth's surface? 

 

Sounds Alice in the Wonderland-esque :) 

 

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore. The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets. So they let her back in? 

 

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, Jenna can’t help but share a secret of her own. Is Lucy a main character? Is this essential to the plot? Otherwise it just muddies the waters in the query. You could try something like, "When Jenna invites Lucy to Demore, the girls are arrested for trespassing..." The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it.

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor. This paragraph feels much more like a synopsis. You want to set the stakes (either the character must XYZ, or...) and leave the agent wanting to read your manuscript; don't give away everything in the query. 

 

You sound like you have a lot of meat and plot in your story and I hope my comments don't feel overwhelming! I'd recommend reading successful queries and working on cleaning and honing yours :)

 

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters. Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.


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

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"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 


#3 Anadalya

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:38 PM

In usual queries I believe they are supposed to be around 300 words "maximum?" in the body of the query. When they get too wordy people will sometimes get put off by it, or so I have read. :) 

 

Dear ,

 

Fresh out of high school Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved away to start college and go on impressive adventures. Meanwhile Jenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness Jenna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought.

 

One of these tree’s is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The tunnel takes Jenna to Demore, where creatures from all of earths mythologies have been living free of their human oppressors. Dragons guard the mountains, fairies fly overhead, and mermaids swim in the fountains. This is not a place for Jenna.

 

Spacing is your friend, a big wall of words is a bit difficult to read.

 

 

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore. The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets.

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, Jenna can’t help but share a secret of her own. The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it.

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor.

 

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters. Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.

 

In addition to my synopsis I have included the first --- of my manuscript below, as requested.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

Sounds like a really cool story, I do love mythology too!! 


If you get a chance take a look at my fantasy query! Goddesses of War

 

 


#4 Niambi

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:26 AM

Dear ,

Fresh out of high school Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved away to start college and go on impressive adventures. MeanwhileJenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness Jenna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought. One of these {THE} tree’s is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The tunnel {which} takes Jenna to Demore, where creatures from all of earths mythologies {LIVE} have been living free of their human oppressors. Dragons guard the mountains, fairies fly overhead, and mermaids swim in the fountains. This is not a place for Jenna.

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore. The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets. . {By the time we get here, we should know what Jenna's problem is, or what she wants that sets her on her journey.}

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, {It's nice to have this in your story, but unless it adds to the plot it's not needed in the query. Especially if it's already a long query} Jenna can’t help but share a secret of {DEMORE with her friend Lucy} her own. The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. {Why would she go back knowing she can't and after being kicked out?} The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, {what about Lucy?} but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. {if she wants to stay so bad and her life sucks this isn't much of a choice} Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it. {she doesn't have to do anything, the creatures of Demore have made it for her. The hero's journey at this point is her nodding yes.}

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother {she doesn't need to. All Jenna has to do is leave and never come back}. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor. {How does she become a savior?}

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters.

Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.. {You don't have to re-explain why an agent should consider your book down here}

In addition to my synopsis I have included the first --- of my manuscript below, as requested.
Thank you for your time and consideration,


It's long, and there is a great deal of storytelling going on instead of teasing and informing. I usually stay away from critiquing plot and structure and story while helping someone with a hook or query but you may want to go back and really work on the story and character arcs.

From what I'm reading Jenna stumbles into a place she shouldn't be because her kind (humans) have oppressed these creatures, is kicked out, then decides to go back anyway with a friend anyway. Instead of being kicked out again, they offer her a chance to stay for no reason whatsoever, then Jenna has to make the easy choice of staying in her bad life, or living with the mythical creatures.

There's no journey in this story anyone would relate to. At least the query and summary doesn't show us any. Jenna doesn't face any challenges, she doesnt have to make any tough choices, and she doesn't change as a character (or doesn't need to).

Lucy exists for no reason. If Jenna can find her and bring her to Demore then she's not distant at all. If you removed her from the query as it is now then it would still work. If you do place her in the revision there needs to be a reason why. Does she join Jenna on her life-changing hero's journey? If her role is to go to Demore with Jenna, see how cool it is, then go home, she's not a very compelling character.

Lastly, while you wouldn't mention how your novel has a diverse cast of character in the query, keep in mind that diverse usually means ethically and racially human. In your case it's okay to have a myriad of mythical creatures from different cultures, (including Anansi the spider if you want to go all West African) but those characters don't represent diversity. It'd be on the same level as claiming C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" or Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" has diverse characters even though all of the humans were white and few of the fighting characters were women.

#5 daddude7

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:30 AM

Fresh out of high school, Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved on away to start college and go on impressive adventures. Meanwhile Jenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness Jenna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought. One of these tree’s is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The tunnel takes Jenna to Demore, where creatures from all of earths mythologies have been living free of their human oppressors. Dragons guard the mountains, fairies fly overhead, and mermaids swim in the fountains. This is not a place for Jenna.

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore. The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets.

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, Jenna can’t help but share a secret of her own. The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it.

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor.

 

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters. Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.

 

In addition to my synopsis I have included the first --- of my manuscript below, as requested.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 
***
 
Much too long. Lose the unnecessary words. If the query isn't tight enough, the agent has no reason to think the book exhibits an economy of language.
 
I started to line-edit, but decided to stop. You'll want to re-write the query from scratch. Instead of a blow-by-blow synopsis, include the following: Paragraph 1--the main hook, the book's main conflict, its stakes in one sentence or two; Paragraph 2--a "synopsis" which is more of a declaration of setting and spells out what success and failure for the MC in the story would mean. Paragraphs 3&4--comps and bio.
 
Those are the basic standard guidelines. You can vary from them, but do not exceed 250 words if you can help it. 


#6 kwmags

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:23 PM

Fresh out of high school Jenna Nakamura finds herself without any sense of direction. Her best, and only, friend Lucy has moved away to start college and go on impressive adventures. Meanwhilewhile Jenna sits at home in small town Oregon, stuck at her same old job, trapped in her crappy life, with her alcoholic and abusive mother. Giving into sadness J Jenna finds her only comfort hiding in the orchard in her backyard.enna hides in the orchard of her back yard. Once grand from the care her grandfather gave it, the orchard is now dead and barren. Or so she thought. One of these tree’s is not as it seems. Finding a small tin box, Jenna climbs her way into a foxhole under the tree only to discover a secret passage. The orchard holds a secret tunnel to Demore, where creatures from all of earths mythologies have been living free of their human oppressors. With dragons guarding the mountains, fairies flying overhead, and mermaids swimming in the fountains, Jenna quickly realizes she is not in her small town of nothing anymore. This is not a place for Jenna.

Make sure to space

 

Immediately caught, threatened, and cast out, Jenna returns home unable to shake her desire to sneak back in. Unexpectedly, Jenna befriends a young centaur, Aggy, who is as curious about the human world as Jenna is about Demore.  The more Jenna visits the unknown world, the more she begins to feel at home.The two find comradery despite their species and Jenna, for the first time in her life, begins to feel at home. Though Demore is a wondrous city, it is not a utopia. The history with humans, and even with other creatures, is a violent one. Not all the magical citizens will take kindly to a young girl roaming the streets.

Back in the human world, Lucy has been making some discoveries of her own. When Jenna visits the dorms she catches Lucy in bed- with her girlfriend. What does this have to do with the story?? Happy and supportive of Lucy’s coming out, Jenna can’t help but share a secret of her own. The two girls venture to Demore, but before they even enter the city they are arrested by the Gargoyles and put on trial for trespassing into the sacred realm. The Gargoyles label Jenna as Eelamak, meaning she may remain in the city, but she can’t keep going back and forth. In one years’ time, she must choose to abandon her human life, or leave the city forever. Despite her friendship with Lucy and what that has meant to her, Jenna knows she belongs in Demore. It is her one chance to escape her mother and start fresh. Her future awaits her, if only she has the courage to seize it.

Making more friends in Demore than she has in her whole life, and getting fired from her human world job, Jenna is ready to move. She says her goodbyes to Lucy, and with her help, Jenna is finally able to stand up to her mother. Refusing to stay down when hit, Jenna leaves behind the life of a victim and becomes a survivor.

 

My novel, WHERE MAGIC HIDES, is a young adult, standalone, fantasy novel complete at approximately 62,000 words. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and comedy alike, along with any readers who are looking for a culturally diverse cast of characters. Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did. The agent will know all this.

 

I think the story has potential, but don't get caught in too many details. I understand its also a coming out story for Lucy, but is that the main plot? If not no need to mention it in your query unless it is a huge plot line. Its important, but let your story tell that. Sounds like a fun book to read!!!!

If you have a chance my query, Interchangeable needs some help! http://agentquerycon...interchangeable

 



#7 AndieKahl

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:38 PM

It's long, and there is a great deal of storytelling going on instead of teasing and informing. I usually stay away from critiquing plot and structure and story while helping someone with a hook or query but you may want to go back and really work on the story and character arcs.

From what I'm reading Jenna stumbles into a place she shouldn't be because her kind (humans) have oppressed these creatures, is kicked out, then decides to go back anyway with a friend anyway. Instead of being kicked out again, they offer her a chance to stay for no reason whatsoever, then Jenna has to make the easy choice of staying in her bad life, or living with the mythical creatures.

There's no journey in this story anyone would relate to. At least the query and summary doesn't show us any. Jenna doesn't face any challenges, she doesnt have to make any tough choices, and she doesn't change as a character (or doesn't need to).

Lucy exists for no reason. If Jenna can find her and bring her to Demore then she's not distant at all. If you removed her from the query as it is now then it would still work. If you do place her in the revision there needs to be a reason why. Does she join Jenna on her life-changing hero's journey? If her role is to go to Demore with Jenna, see how cool it is, then go home, she's not a very compelling character.

Lastly, while you wouldn't mention how your novel has a diverse cast of character in the query, keep in mind that diverse usually means ethically and racially human. In your case it's okay to have a myriad of mythical creatures from different cultures, (including Anansi the spider if you want to go all West African) but those characters don't represent diversity. It'd be on the same level as claiming C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" or Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" has diverse characters even though all of the humans were white and few of the fighting characters were women.

Alright, I need to define myself a bit since you've decided to have such an attitude. It's one thing to critique, but you're being way overly rude. You claim my character who is explained to have an abusive parent and inner/ mental problems has no conflict? And why would you assume by diversity I mean the mythical creatures? jenna NAKAMURA is Japanese and as stated Lucy is LGBT



#8 Ajax

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:46 PM

My only critique would be to reduce the word count from 650 words to 250-300 words and cut the section:

 

Ultimately this story is a character piece, a coming of age story. With Jenna facing abuse and her best friend coming out of the closet, I aim to show how it really does get better. With this book, I hope to bring something new to young adult fantasy, leaving behind romance in favor of friendships and replacing old stereotypes with fresh and honest perspectives. The fantasy world of Demore is where creatures from all across Earth’s mythology have gone to live. The centaurs speak Greek, the dragons are Chinese, the mermaids will drown you if you get too close. I studied ancient myths throughout school and eagerly included my love of world mythology and folklore into this book. I hope you find this world to be the same wonderful escape that Jenna did.



#9 Niambi

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:31 AM

Alright, I need to define myself a bit since you've decided to have such an attitude. It's one thing to critique, but you're being way overly rude. You claim my character who is explained to have an abusive parent and inner/ mental problems has no conflict? And why would you assume by diversity I mean the mythical creatures? jenna NAKAMURA is Japanese and as stated Lucy is LGBT


I'm not being rude. I'm tell you what I see as potential problems with the piece.

Maybe I should have said that you're conflict isn't clearly defined, but no matter how I say it the main character has no conflict after the creatures tell her she can stay. She didn't work for that, it was given to her, and at that point there's no reason for her to go back home to confront her mother.

My question about diversity came because adding it in a query isn't necessary. I also wanted to warn you about how the world defines diversity. A last name doesn't make your character Japanese. You can certainly add that bit to the query, however, you may want to protect yourself because (and I state this again) diversity in storytelling refers to the humans of novel. I used two examples above which I'll repeat here. C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" and Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" didn't have diverse characters even though both novels had diverse species.

Ultimately, you have to be clearer about your message is all I am trying to say. No offense needs to be taken.

#10 lionspaws

lionspaws

    lionspaws

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:18 PM

I think Niambi was trying to be helpful. That's what we're here for! We're all rooting for each other and hoping everyone gets published. Ultimately our writing only comes out stronger when others help us see potentially weak places in plot and characters. The publishing and reading world is a highly competitive place, so I know that personally I appreciate all the help I can get to make my writing stronger.


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#11 JeffJustWrites

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    Hal ethrimi! (Keep writing!)

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:24 PM

The thing that's so frustrating about a query, Andie, is that you have to sell the agent on your story in one page. Trust me, it's a perpetually maddening prospect, especially for a worldbuilding-heavy fantasy novel, no matter the demographic. 

 

So, that said, breathe. 

 

Read.

 

Write.

 

Focus on the MC, her conflict, and her choice. Sprinkle the elements of your world to intrigue the agent. And ultimately, find the way your reader would connect to your MC. 

 

And keep writing! :)

 

JJW


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At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 





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