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JUPITERS AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE (Revised on post#80)


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#41 jaustail

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:04 AM

How about this:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But no matter how hard he tries, he isn't able to shoot any beams. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn and his best friend. Unfortunately, he finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. With her power of lightning, Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter.

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade, Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

Link


#42 booksbybrendan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:14 AM

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But no matter how hard he tries, he isn't able to shoot any beams. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power (nice, you got to the conflict straight off! Also, good hook with the first sentence. This is just completely my own opinion, but maybe you'd like to vary the ending of the first two sentences? They both end on beams, which kind of throws off the rhythm for me)

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn and his best friend. Unfortunately, he finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. With her power of lightning, Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter. (this paragraph is hard to read for me. Maybe reorganize it a bit? This is all entirely my opinion, but I think we don't need to know Nyla is his best friend. I think the adverb in the second sentence throws things off a bit too. I'd replace it with that's when, like this maybe: "That's when he finds himself in the middle of a war. Jupiter attacks Saturn." I think that's a bit punchier. Also, I don't think it's necessary to include that Nyla has the power of lightning- it doesn't come up again in the query and doesn't really contribute to our understanding of her as a character all that much)

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. (haha that's great) The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun. (are we talking Earth here? That'd be an awesome way to end this query)

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade, Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...

 

This was good! Just a few more revisions and in my opinion you'll have it. Thanks for the critique, and good luck on your writing!


The query I'm working on: http://agentquerycon...-ten-critiques/


#43 jaustail

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:29 AM

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Very encouraging. Good suggestions.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

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#44 jaustail

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for the feedback, booksbybrendan.

 

Here's the revised version.

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. All his attempts to shoot beams are met with failure. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter.

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

Link


#45 Bananas

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:04 PM

I haven't read any of your previous queries, but this one fails on all levels.  It neither sets up a coherent plot, nor the setting, nor the stakes.  I couldn't care less about Doras' superpowers, and that seems to be at least 90% of what this story is.  You need to bring out the originality here.

Thanks for the feedback, booksbybrendan.

 

Here's the revised version.

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. And why should we care about this?  So he has superpowers - shooting ice superpowers.  Like Iceman from Xmen.  Hardly original.  As far as a hook goes, it falls flat.  A hook should lead into the core conflict, not set up some run of the mill super powers.  All his attempts to shoot beams are met with failure. You just said he inherited the power to generate the beams?  But now he can't?  Be clearer with what you're saying.  If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet Uhhh... Pluto isn't a planet anymore.  As of 2006.  Also, what does ''no longer remain a planet' mean?  Are you talking about its planetary mass classification, or is it going to be sent off into the Oort cloud, never to be seen again?  of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power.  I don't understand this plot.  I don't see why we should care who rules some icy asteroid.  They all sound like equally banal choices.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. You keep mentioning "Guardian of X', like we should have any idea what that means.  Are these people gods, as in Mount Olympus gods?  Or are they just local governors/presidents?  He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Again, why should we care about this?  So Jupiter attacks Saturn?  So what?  What happens if either side wins or loses?  Macro conflicts are never as interesting as personal stakes.  Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter.  You're galloping headlong through the plot here.  In one sentence Jupiter attacks and then in the next Nyla defeats him easily.  This hardly builds this Jupiter guy up as some big bad.

 

Enter Doras. Excuse me?  You've been talking about Doras this whole time.  Now he enters?  What's with the stage directions?  He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at herThat happens to a lot of guys on their first time out.  freezing her in an ice hill. Quick!  Get a hair dryer!  The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, Wait, didn't she send him back to Jupiter?  How is he suddenly here?  rendering her unconscious. Eventually say what now?  Just happens to take over an entire planet while Nyla was temporarily unconscious?  There was no one else to stop him?  Or at least who could delay him for a few hours?  the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.  Why are you giving us a blow by blow of the plot?  Queries are supposed to introduce your main conflict, and tell us what the MC needs to achieve, not give us an action-by-action accounting.  

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.   Presumably you're referring to Earth here.  But...if these guardians haven't had contact with Earth, then why are their planets named after Earth gods?  It's not as though the name 'Saturn' is stamped on its rings or anything.

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...



#46 BCVail

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback, booksbybrendan.

 

Here's the revised version.

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But All his attempts to shoot beams are met with failure (There is nothing wrong with the sentence, but given its MG I think this is a good opportunity to add some flare and say this with more voice). If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter.

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill (tragically funny, I like it). The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious (punching her while frozen, I picture her shattering into frozen pieces rather than getting hit unconscious). Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun. (Not sure how important Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto and the peace treaty bits are)

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...

 

I like the idea here, sounds fun. And its a pretty good query so far.

 

 

If you have a moment, I'd appreciate another set of eyes on my query. You can find the link here. Thank you.



#47 jaustail

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:21 AM

Here's a revised version:

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But all his attempts to shoot beams bring results equivalent to grade F minus. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter.

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

Link


#48 MICRONESIA

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

Thanks for the feedback, booksbybrendan.

 

Here's the revised version.

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. All his attempts to shoot I think there is a better verb here. "Shoot" makes one think he's shooting them down. beams are met with failure. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power. How is the ability to manifest ice beams important with respect to Pluto? I feel like you REALLY need to clarify this.

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter. Something is off with the timing in this final sentence. When you say she "is close to defeating," it makes me think we've skipped ahead in time -- to the end of the war. It makes this feel like plot summary. Why do we NEED to know this information? The last sentence also feels like an awkward fragment. 

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. This should be conveyed much sooner. "His problems get even worse when he accidentally freezes the Queen of Saturn..." See? We don't need a bunch of that stuff from the previous paragraph. We also don't need to know that it happens when she congratulates him. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. If she's frozen, wouldn't a punch shatter her head? Like that scene in Demolition Man? Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun. I fail to see his motivation to do any of this? Guilt? He wants to be a hero?

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...

 

I would also consider altering the title. It's extremely similar to that crappy movie Jupiter Ascending. I can almost guarantee you'll have to change this.

 

 

Good luck with your revisions!



#49 jaustail

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Doras doesn't want to be a hero. He wants to save his friend Nyla.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

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#50 MICRONESIA

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:36 AM

But what is at stake for THE CHARACTER? Indiana Jones wants to get that damn artifact into a museum, but there are plenty of other things that drive him. We don't know much about Doras at all.

 

Another thing: If you make your main character 10, be aware that your main readers would be 7-8. Kids like to read about older kids. For instance: 12 year olds want to read about 15 year olds with high school problems (way cooler than these dumb middle school problems). Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.



#51 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:09 AM

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son (I thought Doras was older than that.) Doras should inherit the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But all of his attempts to shoot beams is bring results equivalent to grade F minus. (Insert sentence about importance of beams here and how the power is used to protect the planets.) If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system unless Doras can demonstrate his power. (Expand on what are the consequences of them not being a planet anymore. Expand on the fact the Guardian of Jupitar is trying to take over all the planets.) 

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war (war between what?) when Jupiter attacks Saturn. (Expand on why Jupiter and Saturn are fighting here. Why is there a war? Because we saw Jupiter against Pluto not Jupiter against Saturn in the last paragraph. Explain if Jupiter wants to fight both. --- Also, this is a good time to introduce the relics.) Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter. (That happens towards the end. Don't give it away. Build tension instead by explaining everything. Explain it like you're explaining it to a child. We're supposed to know nothing before reading this letter, so the more you tell us, the better.)

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.  If I remember right, this all happens at the end of your book. Don't write the end in your query. Try not to even right the middle. Why not explain more on why Doras wants to stop the Guardian of Jupiter. Instead of explaining the end, I'd go into detail about the relics. Show that Nyla has the relics from Earth and Mars, what that means, and why the Guardian of Jupiter wants them. Explain what the relics can do. Also, go into detail about Doras too. Does he want to fight this war? Does he want to just protect his planet and not stop the war? What are his motives?

 

I think you have a great start, but just gotta clean up the end. You got this! : )



#52 jaustail

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:21 AM

Thanks a lot Robin and Micronesia. You gave me a lot to think here. And here I was about to send this query letter ahead... :sad:

 

This is harder than writing the novel.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

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#53 jaustail

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:40 AM

How do I mention Jupiter's plan to take over the entire world when I am writing the query from Pluto's perspective? Pluto doesn't know that Jupiter plans to take over the entire world until Jupiter attacks Saturn.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

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#54 Bananas

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 11:47 AM

Ask yourself, what is it that Doras wants, what happens if he doesn't get it, and why does that matter? You say that he needs to master his powers otherwise his planet won't be a planet anymore. But why does that matter? Why should Dora's care what another planet calls them? It seems like you're pushing this query into macro level conflicts because Doras isn't the one driving the plot.

#55 jaustail

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 11:51 AM

Thanks. Will write a query from Jupiter's pov.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

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#56 Cengel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:11 PM

Hey there! Thanks for your comments on my query. In your last comment in this thread, I noticed that you said you were going to write a query from Jupiter's perspective. Does your novel have multiple POVs? If so, that could work. If not, you shouldn't write from Jupiter's perspective. You should write from the perspective of the Main Character.

 

I think you have an interesting story here, but the query is reading more like a synopsis. A query needs to introduce the main character and set up the central conflict/ lay out the stakes. It's like the back cover copy of the book. 

 

Here's a revised version:

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But all his attempts to shoot beams bring results equivalent to grade F minus. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power. why, though? Do all of the guardians of the planets have to have powers in order for them to stay planets?

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and sending him back to Jupiter. She is close to defeating and sending - two verbs together in a list have to have the same ending. You can't say she is close to defeating and send. 

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto. This reads like a plot summary.

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...

 

 

At present, I think there's too much going on in your query. Most agents advise that you only introduce a couple characters and you limit the use of proper names as much as possible. Also, it reads more like a rundown of the plot. I hope this doesn't sound harsh - I think the plot sounds really interesting, it just shouldn't be so present in a query (from my understanding). Some agents recommend taking the first 50 pages approach: you shouldn't reveal anything beyond that point. You just need to set up the story and the stakes.

 

Side note: if you haven't checked out query shark, I would highly recommend it.


Please take a look at my query.


#57 Erevos

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

I endorse Cengel's comments. If there is only one POV, Doras, then don't write a query based on Jupiter.

Moreover I think Doras is the heart of your book, right? So stick with him.

 

Like Cengel said, many agents advise taking the first 50 pages and writing a query based on them. I did the first 80 or so for example. 

Now for your current query.

 

Here's a revised version:

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the Guardian of Pluto dies, his ten-year-old son Doras inherits the throne and the power to generate ice beams. But all his attempts to shoot beams bring results equivalent to grade F minus. If that wasn’t enough, the Guardian of Jupiter sends a notice that Pluto will no longer remain a planet of the solar system, unless Doras can demonstrate his power. I like this, but you can mention that Doras has to pass a test to hold his position...Moreover what happens if he fails? Does Pluto becomes a slave of sorts to the strongest planet?

 

 

Doras flies to Saturn to seek help from Queen Nyla, the Guardian of Saturn. He finds himself in the middle of a war when Jupiter attacks Saturn. Nyla is close to defeating the Guardian of Jupiter, and send him back to Jupiter.

 

Enter Doras. He runs to Nyla to congratulate her and accidentally shoots his first ice beam at her, freezing her in an ice hill. The Guardian of Jupiter seizes the opportunity and punches a frozen Nyla, rendering her unconscious. Eventually the Guardian of Jupiter takes over Saturn and Pluto.

 

Too much. Do it like something like that: "Desperate, Doras seeks help from the Queen of Saturn. But Jupiter has other plans. He attacks Saturn manages to capture it."

 

The other planets sign a Peace Treaty, but Doras refuses to comply. His quest to free Nyla leads him to the dead planet of Mars, while a search for new allies sends him to the unknown planets that lie closer to the Sun.

 

I read here that this comes close to the end....and that's a big no no.

Here you have to write what Doras must do and what will happen if he doesn't. Give me his plan to save the universe, because if he fails Jupiter will reign triumph above all..

 

***

 

JUPITER'S AMBITION is a Middle Grade Space Fantasy Novel complete at around 85k words. The first three chapters...


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#58 Iconian

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:31 AM

Hi jaustail, I really want to thank you for your critique on my query.  I feel like the recommendation to start the query at a different spot really helped make it altogether better.  I see that you're working on a new query here, so as soon as you get your latest version worked out, I'd definitely look forward to critiquing it as well!


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#59 rccallahan

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:13 AM

Hello!  

 

At the risk of sounding like Iconian, I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate your feedback on my work!  It took a minute to find your query, and I'm sorry about that.  It looks like this version has gotten some great feedback, so I'm going to save mine for your revision.  Looking forward to it!  Good luck! 

 

RC



#60 jaustail

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:36 AM

Hmm.. don't know how to write revision that won't be much different from earlier posts.

 

The reason I've put around 75% of story in query is cause before that Doras is complaining and crying. It's only after he shoots the ice beam does he gain confidence and do "stuff".

 

Till 75%, it's other characters and Planet Guardians who fight. The book has 11 povs. But only Doras is major character as he is throughout the book.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

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