Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

A PRACTITIONER'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK - Will Critique Back (New Query in #48, New Adult Urban Fantasy)

Fiction Fantasy New Adult

  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#21 Robin LeeAnn

Robin LeeAnn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 130 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS South

Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:04 PM

critique me, and I'll brutally critique you. lol That's exactly what I need. Brutal. XD (But to get brutal, I must be brutal myself. : P)

 

Dear agent's name,

 

As a master of the magical arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood. (It already sounds great. Just don't make the first sentence too long; that'll overwhelm the agent.) He gives creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. 

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard (What wizard? Is Jesse the wizard?) is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult (What's the occult? Where is it? Parallel universe or so?). As a sorcerer (Does sorcerer = wizard? If not, who's the wizard?), Jesse makes deals with supernatural entities he thinks he’ll never have to pay back (Watch tenses. Also, what deal?). With a mysterious witch summoning his demonic creditor, Jesse must find the sorceress and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. (Explain more. Where did the witch come from? How did Jesse find out about the witch? Is the witch a sorceress? Keep the same terms. If they're witches, call them witches. If they're sorcerers, call them sorcerers. Not both, because that makes me think there's more characters. "Summoning" says she hasn't summoned the demon yet and "banish her demon" makes me think she already did summon the demon. Which is it? - Why would he have to forfeit his soul?) That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To get an extension on his debt (Wait. We're back to the deals? I thought we were on the witch. Is the deals and the witch connected?), lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his new apprentice, Donny, is an awkward teen more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. (lol) Struggling to be a mentor and hunting the black witch (Wait. Now it's a black witch? Is this the same witch as before?), Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to make it as a sorcerer when the chips are down. The last part kind of turned the plot down a few notches. I thought it was about to talk about some serious decision Jesse would have to make, not a book. I'd change that part to match the tone. If you don't change that part, add "which is" after "help,".

 

On this noir (noir? Do you mean black?) romp (romp? Do you mean ramp?) through the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.  If you fix the last half of the last sentence to the paragraph before, that's where you should end your query. This paragraph doesn't add anything for me. If anything at all, it makes me lose all the intensity from the paragraph before.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is an new adult urban fantasy novel ("fantasy novel" is a phrase that can land you straight into the rejection pile. Just saying. I know an agent who won't accept anything with that phrase.) complete at 75,000 words. Picture Blackmoore's “Dead Things” meets “A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” with a sprinkle of “Fight Club” on top. That last sentence sounds too unprofessional to me. Also, what if the agent doesn't know all those things? Like I only know one of them well. I don't know what Blackmoore's is at all.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.  Giving where you study, doesn't add anything to the query. If you add something, say where you work as a writer or editor, or perhaps mention some of your published pieces. Nothing else. Don't say "please enjoy" because that sounds weird. Perhaps just say "I attached ___ to this email. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon."

 

Overall, I know that's a lot of red, but your novel sounds interesting. : ) Just a few more touch ups and I think you'll be good to go. You can do it!



#22 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:58 PM

I took some of your advice and here's the final product.

 

I used one word for 'The Black Witch', and made Jesse's debt more clear. Trouble is, my book tries to be more realistic and practical about magic than most urban fantasy. That's my gimmick. With so much humor, I don't know if that comes through anymore. You all think it's ready to be sent out? For Pitch wars??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you.

 

Thanks!

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward young apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night.

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Blackmoore's “Dead Things” meets “A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” with a sprinkle of “Fight Club” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#23 kjasjg

kjasjg

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 57 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:48 PM

I took some of your advice and here's the final product.

 

I used one word for 'The Black Witch', and made Jesse's debt more clear. Trouble is, my book tries to be more realistic and practical about magic than most urban fantasy. That's my gimmick. With so much humor, I don't know if that comes through anymore. You all think it's ready to be sent out? For Pitch wars??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you.

 

Thanks!

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. (nice hook and interesting story)

 

But (no need to have the "but" in there; start off this sentence with When and you still have the meaning otherwise good so far) when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward young apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. (how old is the apprentice? first thing that came to my mind since most guys think about that from 13 to 60? lol)

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles (assuming to fulfill his quest to find the Black witch?), the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves. (the dove thing is curious - I like it)

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult (what makes this a new adult?) urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Blackmoore's “Dead Things” meets “A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” with a sprinkle of “Fight Club” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

I like the premise and the new spin on Magic storytelling. I have not read the previous posts since I feel that taints my thoughts on the query so this is based on me seeing this for the first time. I am curious as to what makes this a New Adult Vs. YA or Adult novel? I have seen a great many debates about this new Genre and most (though not all) agree NA has more romance etc. I don't have a decided opinion on the subject but because there is such a debate about it you may want to prepare yourself with an answer if an agent asks the same question.

 

Good luck and feel free to critique mine (link below)

thanks

Jer



#24 Cates

Cates

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:42 PM

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, Sorcerer-turned-Hollywood-hack Jesse Demir gives has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

(Just trying to cut down on the wording here.) 

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. As a sorcerer, Jesse made deals with supernatural entities he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious witch summoning his demonic creditor, Jesse must find the sorceress and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. To escape his demonic creditor, Jesse must banish a sorceress's demon.  That is, assuming he still has one.  (Again, my wording is just a rough version that cuts down on the words. I'm not clear how these events are connected--the sorceress's demon is Jesse's creditor? Or is her demon a different one from the creditor? If Jesse already owes his soul as a debt, then it should be pretty clear he still has a soul. I know my wording may not align with your plot--we need a little clarity, and I think the best way to do it is keep the details to a bare minimum: Jesse needs to banish a witch's demon to escape his debt. Everything else isn't as important.) 

 

To get an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his new apprentice, Donny, is an awkward teen more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the black witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to make it as a sorcerer when the chips are down. (Now I'm really invested. Sorcerer making deal with a demon? Interesting, but relatively common. Sorcerer who thinks he's Mr Badass taking on an awkward teenage apprentice who (seemingly) doesn't want to be a wizard? That's new, and I want to know more.) 

 

On this noir romp through the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves. (In this paragraph, the previous paragraph, and the first paragraph, I really get a sense of your voice as a writer: snarky and sharp. The second paragraph is sorely missing your voice. If I can suggest an exercise, try writing how JESSE would explain his demon deal/hunt for the sorceress in two sentences or less. Obviously don't actually write the query from his POV (that's a query no-no,) but it might help you find the words to convey the plot succinctly, and in the same style as the rest of the query.) 

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” meets “A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” with a sprinkle of “Fight Club” on top. (The rule of thumb I've learned is avoid referencing really well known works, and never reference two well known works--while it's obviously not your intent, the agent will think you're setting a realllllllyyyyy high bar and will be looking for ways that you fail to meet it. Can you come up with a more recent (and less famous) example to which you can compare your story?) 

 

I currently study at Cornell University (Upstate NY FTW!), with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

 

Obviously feel free to ignore anything that doesn't sound right to you--overall I think this is pretty good, the second paragraph just needs a little work. I'm definitely interested in the story and characters. New Adult isn't really my thing, but I'd read the heck out of this. Hope this helps! 



#25 jaustail

jaustail

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationAsia
  • Publishing Experience:Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans Magazine.

Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:08 AM

JMO:

 

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice(I thought his 'talent' would be related to magic or information/research on magic/vampires. Not sure how creativity is related to magic arts. jmo) on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.(maybe there would be more perks like random sex, drugs, alcohol?)

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,”(unnecessary word count) the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward young apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand(lol). Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night.

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Blackmoore's “Dead Things” meets “A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” with a sprinkle of “Fight Club” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages(great way to say you've mentioned pages.).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

The mc sounds over confident like 'i-know-it-all' which is not a bad thing necessarily. Good luck.



#26 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 22 July 2017 - 04:32 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I really think it's improved a lot, and I owe that to y'all! You all think this little guy is ready to get sent to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night.

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#27 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 23 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback!

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#28 dizzywriter

dizzywriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 572 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:36 AM

TheBest, can you make it clear which is the newest version by crossing out the previous ones and giving a head's up in the first post, preferably with a link? Several times when I have had a few minutes to critique your query, I spend most of it trying to figure which one is the one to critique.



#29 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 23 July 2017 - 03:30 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#30 MICRONESIA

MICRONESIA

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 188 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 05:07 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. This is spectacular so far.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” Movie titles in italics. the wizard Possibly confusing. You're talking about the same person, right? is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. How does taking in an apprentice extend his debt? We're missing something here. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp Don't pat yourself on the back like this. through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves. Doves? Odd. And not particularly grabbing.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” Book titles also in italics. with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. I would leave this out. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

This is a great query. Other than the stuff I mentioned, I think you need to amp up the stakes a bit more. What tough decisions does Jesse have to make? You hint that he's made some mistakes in his past. Being more specific on what his "issues" are would give us a much better understanding of who he is -- and help us to better sympathize with him. Clear that stuff up and I think you're there.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#31 JGettys7

JGettys7

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 05:39 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. 

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” (Don't think this is relevant) the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice (why?). Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. (I don't this is necessary) Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

I really, really like this and other than some minor things, I think it's just about ready.

 

One question: What does taking an apprentice have to do with his debt? I think just a simple explanation about that would clear it right up.



#32 dizzywriter

dizzywriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 572 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 05:47 PM



Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts [you give him too many names: later you call him a wizard. Stick to one thing through-out, otherwise it's very confusing.], Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. [Not sure "creative advice" quite goes with "can't watch sober".] Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. [I like the rhythm of this a lot. But why would a wizard care about free coffee? CAn't he just zap his own? It doesn't really work for me. How about women, wine and song. Something a little more decadent, especially since this is noir.]

 

[I'm afraid this entire paragraph doesn't work because there are too many demons, wizards, a demon creditorr, a witch and the MC and it's all jumbled and unclear who is who. I think calling each character by either their name or one single descriptor would help a lot. Also, is the demon on set the same as the demon creditor and the demon that the witch is summoning? There's too much and it needs clarifying.] But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch [her] and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension [more time to pay] his debt, lone-wolf Jesse [is forced to take] takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny [wants a date more than he wants a wand] is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor [be more specific about the struggle] while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. [too glib and cliche] [And if he doesn't, what will happen? What are the stakes?}

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Thanks for your input on mine. I think you're getting very close. But the second paragraph needs more clarity.

Good luck with the next rewrite, but I wouldn't send it in quite yet.  Your crit on my newest is also welcome.



#33 MICRONESIA

MICRONESIA

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 188 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 06:23 PM



[Not sure "creative advice" quite goes with "can't watch sober".]

 

[I like the rhythm of this a lot. But why would a wizard care about free coffee? CAn't he just zap his own? It doesn't really work for me. How about women, wine and song. Something a little more decadent, especially since this is noir.]

 

[I'm afraid this entire paragraph doesn't work because there are too many demons, wizards, a demon creditorr, a witch and the MC and it's all jumbled and unclear who is who. I think calling each character by either their name or one single descriptor would help a lot. Also, is the demon on set the same as the demon creditor and the demon that the witch is summoning? There's too much and it needs clarifying.] 

 

I don't agree with any of this (sorry, dizzy)...


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#34 dizzywriter

dizzywriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 572 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 07:42 PM

I don't agree with you not liking the doves. I like the doves. ;)



#35 Sataris

Sataris

    lives in a van down by the river

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 220 posts
  • Literary Status:published
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Pro market sff

Posted 23 July 2017 - 09:50 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

i %#%$ing love coffee, but while I like the voice, I'm not sold on it being better than his pay. Could you say something else that keeps the voice? the notoriety? the horror-scene groupies? 

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard Jesse is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

I find this paragraph a little hard to follow. Could you find a way to explain the deal earlier? otherwise the order is a bit confusing jumping from present>past>present. It's also confusing if it's the same demon he has to banish

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. I'm not sure how this follows; he owes his soul, right? why would he get an extension on that debt for taking an apprentice? Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages. Please find my first X pages pasted below, as per your submission guidelines.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Way, way better than the version I critiqued a little while back. I'd clarify the debt, and why exactly an apprentice helps if you're set on including it.  Personally I'd probably cut it - it seems like a subplot that you're going to need to spend too many words explaining, and your main plot is much more interesting.


No current query.


#36 jaustail

jaustail

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationAsia
  • Publishing Experience:Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans Magazine.

Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:16 PM

JMO:

 

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon(is this the demon who has appeared on the set? maybe clarify that), or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice(where does he get one? who gives him the extension?). Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

It sounds like an interesting book. Slight comedy as well.



#37 EMarie

EMarie

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 29 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 24 July 2017 - 01:59 PM

I think this query does a great job showcasing your writing ability. I just have a couple of comments.

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. Great paragraph.

 

But when (I thought 'but' was unnecessary. It wasn't clear to me why this paragraph was in sharp enough contrast from the one preceding it to need 'but.') a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. (I became a little lost during this sentence. I think it was the phrase 'his unholy creditor.' The pronoun 'his' refers to Jesse but I didn't get that during the first reading.) That is, assuming he still has one. Another great line.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. I absolutely loved the Jesse-Donny dynamic as you describe it here. It sounds like they have a lot of fun, entertaining interactions/

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves. I agree--you should leave in the doves. :-) 

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Strong query! I like your confident tone, and I think your writing definitely backs it up.



#38 epercak

epercak

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 71 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUnited Kingdom
  • Publishing Experience:Published short fiction in Literary Journals, 'From Glasgow to Saturn' and 'Radii'

Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:02 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I guess it was hard to tell which was the new version. I've crossed out the others. Here's the new one:

 

 

I changed the comp, re-worded a lot of sentences, and feel ready to send this out. I have a hard deadline of August 1 for Pitch wars. What do you all think about the comps? Is this little guy is ready to get sent out to agents??

 

As always, critique me, and I'll mercilessly critique you!

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better. Good setup and sense of the tone. 

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard he is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul.These previous sentences are a little convoluted since you're introducing a few new characters and their motivations all at once. I think it could use a little tweaking for clarity's sake. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp You don't want to state genre within your synopsis. They should also be able to tell it's a 'noir romp' from your depiction through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves. This last part is too vague and, though it gives a sense of the story it doesn't articulate the conflict at all. I can tell you're trying to give a bit of the tone, but you want to close with well-defined stakes.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult Be careful about using this term. Some agents will interpret this as meaning there's a lot of sex urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

There are some good ideas here, but you'll need to clean it up a little more. There's some confusing parts and it's not quite popping the way it needs to. The story sounds interesting and clever, but it gets a little lost in the language. Keep at it!

 

 

My query if you have a moment



#39 dizzywriter

dizzywriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 572 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:27 PM

I like it a lot now. But a few quibbles. Good luck. I think you're very close. Your input is welcome on my newest revision. 

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a demon appears on the set of Jesse's Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world [there's nothing chaotic in this query. Maybe "dangerous" or some version of it] of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with a demon he thought he’d never have to pay back. With a mysterious Black Witch summoning his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the witch and banish her demon, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To earn an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage apprentice, [twice is too many times so close together] Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night. 

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Stephen Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,



#40 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:14 PM

Thank you all for the outstanding feedback! I'm really glad I got your critiques, because I just got my first request for a manuscript!!! This is the last revision before pitch wars, assuming you all like it. Is this one ready? I've tried to make the demon thing clearer by naming the creature.

 

Like usual, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you!

 

Dear agent,

 

Master of the magic arts, Jesse Demir, has turned his talents to Hollywood, giving creative advice on the kinds of horror movies that you can’t watch sober. Selling out isn’t as glamorous as monster slaying, but the pay is good, and the free coffee is even better.

 

But when a familiar demon appears on the set of Jesse’s Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” the wizard is pulled back into the chaotic world of the occult. Years ago, Jesse made a deal with the demon lord Uvalla, a deal he thought he’d never have to pay back. But when a mysterious Black Witch summons his unholy creditor, Jesse must find the Black Witch and banish Uvalla, or he forfeits his soul. That is, assuming he still has one.

 

To help pay off his debt, lone-wolf Jesse is forced to take on an apprentice. Unfortunately, his awkward teenage protégé, Donny, is more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to be a mentor while hunting the Black Witch, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a compilation of tips and tricks to help wizards face creatures that go bump in the night.

 

On this noir romp through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, the duo meets modern werewolves, wiccans, nosferatu, and terrifying ghouls. And doves. There are lots of doves.

 

A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK is a new adult urban fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. Picture Peter Mclean’s “Drake” meets Blackmoore's “Dead Things” with a sprinkle of “Half-resurrection Blues” on top.

 

I currently study at Cornell University, with a focus on creative writing. Please enjoy my first [xx] pages.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Fantasy, New Adult

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users