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Monsters and Men (Upper MG fantasy/adventure) I'll critique for critiques!

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#1 Cates

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:41 PM

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. It’s only September, and Danny is sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game.
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
Thank you for your consideration. 
 


#2 TheBest

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:12 PM

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. (Great opener! Consider splitting it into two sentences. 'without being the fourth of eight siblings. Or without...) It’s only September, and Danny is (Already) sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.

 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told (YUM!). Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians. (INTERESTING!)
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men ("Monsters and Men"). The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game.
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom (Awkward) Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up (unneeded. Just say MG or YA.) , complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings (Unneeded and awkward). I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI (Might want to spell that out.)
 
Thank you for your consideration. 
 
 
Really great! I think this is practically polished. Just tighten up language, and consider adding comps. Good luck!!
 
You can find my synopsis here: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/
 


#3 dogsbody

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:27 PM

I can already see another discussion about appropriate wordcount brewing. I'm just going to leave this here. 

 

I think the query itself might be a bit overstuffed. If I can suggest an edit:

 

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. It’s only September, and Danny is already sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his seven siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. The charges stem from his parents’ refusal Their parents refuse to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
The immediate questions which come to mind and (I think) should be explored are: why are Danny's parents the only ones who can appoint Custodians? How does the lie save his parents' lives, if they're still defying the government's wishes?
 
To prove his claim, Now, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters  Danny and his siblings will have to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game. Instead of plot details, this is where I would recommend explaining what outcome they're hoping to achieve, and what consequences they will face if they fail. 
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, Middle Grade fantasy adventure complete at 125,000 words.
 
Most of my strike-outs were just cleaning up the language and making it more direct. (Again, this is just my opinion, but being able to do so makes me suspect there's a similar amount that could be cut/cleaned up from your novel as well.) 
 
I removed your intro and outro because I believe in focusing on the main action in the query. Agents can learn about important subplots and romantic interests in the synopsis, but they can take up space needed to explain the major plot points (like the questions I asked) in the query itself.
 
I'm also a little concerned at the "who am I" question at the end, since that's really not Middle Grade fare -- discovering yourself and your place in the world is much more a Young Adult approach in today's market. But your protag is too young for YA. But your wordcount is... a lot, for Middle Grade. So I end up wondering if this is an issue you have to work out regarding your book itself, and not just query revision quibbling. Just as a heads up.  
 
I think you have very interesting ideas, but I would urge you to slow down and unpack them in direct, exciting language. 


#4 Cates

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:07 PM

Thank you! I really appreciate the feedback. I'm going to incorporate it ASAP. I'll reciprocate tonight. Thanks again! 



#5 jaustail

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:12 AM

JMO:
 
 
Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened(too much information keep in mind). It’s only September, and Danny is sick of the eighth grade(<--You can start the query from here and remove all previous part). Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.(lol sounds like a fun read)
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. The charges stem from his(maybe: their) parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game.
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? (not needed imo)
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
 
Sounds like an interesting adventure book with many fight scenes. Maybe cut down the query. it's 445 words right now. Cut it down to half. JMO.


#6 JGettys7

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:39 PM

I'm sorry I don't have anything to add because I feel like TheBest, Dogsbody, and Jaustail already mentioned every point I could make, but I just wanted to say that I really like this idea and will definitely buy this book when it comes out. 

 

Also, I think it's really cool that your main character is one in eight as mine is too (although mine is just the younger brother to septuplets)

 

Keep up the good work, tighten some of your sentences up, and I'm sure you'll be good to go. :-)



#7 MICRONESIA

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:15 AM

 

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. Good lawd this is a long hook! Simplify. Pare down. You're throwing too much information at us. It’s only September, and Danny is sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason. Whoa, nice twist here. I'm intrigued. Starting a sentence with "Fortunately," then starting the next with "Unfortunately," reads awkwardly.
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. Wait, now I'm wondering what world we're in. It sucks that the parents are being executed... but... Dang! There's an amazing fantasy world and my parents are badasses in it! I mean... holy ****! In other words: this needs to be explored a bit more in the query. Or is going to other worlds a normal thing in this universe? The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians. This last sentence is a bit confusing. It's clunkily worded and I don't understand the implications of his claim.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game. Can you get this stuff into the query sooner? Maybe START with this, then go back and fill us in? Because this is the point of interest for readers.
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. Another clunky sentence. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. Too much detail. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
Thank you for your consideration. 

 

 

Good query, but I think you need to focus on three things in your rewrite:

 

1. Clarity/rhythm. Your sentences need to be sharper. Pare down.

2. Density of information. The best queries are about 250 words in length. Only give us the details we absolutely NEED. Otherwise, you bog down your reader -- as you've done here. Simplify.

3. Stakes. So if they fail this test... the parents die? Something even worse happens? I don't really see what the MC is up against AS A CHARACTER. He has to figure out who he is? That's cool, but it's too broad. That's EVERY character EVER. See what I mean? I need to have a better understanding of what winning this game means to HIM, personally.

 

Please have a look at my query as well (link in sig).



#8 EMarie

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:21 AM

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. It’s only September, and Danny is sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. (I like your phrasing overall--but 'less happy' sounds a bit awkward.) The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game.
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. I love this! Intriguing. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? This paragraph is especially strong.
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
I agree with the posters who said this query was very polished. I love the concept--and I think it will definitely appeal to the targeted age group. Danny sounds like a sympathetic character.
 
The only part of the query that I had to re-read to understand fully was this section: The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians. To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game.
 
I definitely appreciate the difficulty of what you're trying to do here. Maybe if this section was condensed a little it would be easier to understand? I had to read it more than once to fully grasp what was going on with the plot.
 
Hope this is helpful! Take any advice with a grain of salt. You definitely have a strong query!


#9 TheBest

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:52 PM

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. It’s only September, and Danny is sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason. (Whoo! Great opener.)

 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. (This lacks punch. Use more intense words) The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game. (This pulled me in! Great idea.)
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. o escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? (This paragraph is the chocolate frosting on your query cake.)
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
This query is amazing!!! You've clearly put a lot of work into it. I did't mention this last time, but the backstory and details on the parents confuses me. It's not that I don't understand it, it's just that the way it's written, I'm not pulled in. It's a little long. Cut it down to the essentials, Ie, one simple sentence about the parents and why they're where they are. Great query, and god luck with agents!!! PS: I still think you should add comps. What books are similar to yours?
 
You can find my synopsis here: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/
 


#10 MakeReadWrite

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:05 AM

 

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, .Or without parents who leave for days with little notice, and  . Definitely without an older brother who saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. It’s only September, and Danny is already sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason. (yesss - I love this opening! Great voice and hook.)
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re even less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. The charges stem from his parents’ refusal to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, (the excellent voice you were writing with just disappeared here - rework to sound more like vocabulary/word choice appropriate to Danny) powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian (do we need all of these specified in the query, maybe just use three examples?) mythology. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, (too many place names might be making the query a little bit dense/heavy) meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game. (Lost me a bit here - I thought the kids had to battle the monsters, not conscript a cool monster army?)
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,) and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing (voice slips here again) a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity (is it likely he'll go insane? From his secrets being exposed?) (isn't he really fighting for the chance to be a Custodian and save his parents?) and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and up, complete at 125,000 (word count is a bit of a red flag - sounds wordy for a MG?) words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblings. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
Thank you for your consideration. 

 

 

Sounds like a super interesting story and the query isn't far off! I think paragraph three and four could be pared down/merged to simplify and shorten the query. I like the flavour you add with the monster types and names - but concerned too many 'in story' named things is confusing in a query. Just need to refine word choice too in a couple of areas - don't lose the lovely sense of Danny you start off with! Best of luck!



#11 kene

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:44 PM

Hi, Cates

 

Middle school is hard enough without being the fourth of eight siblings, without parents who leave for days with little notice, and without an older brother saw you kiss another boy but keeps pretending nothing happened. I'm torn with this. To me, it was a darn good hook. But I'm aware that to others, it may come across as an info dump.It’s only September, and yet Danny is sick of the eighth grade. Fortunately, he won’t have to go back to school for a few weeks. Unfortunately, he and his siblings are missing school because their parents have been arrested and charged with treason.Like this. I think the Fortunately Unfortunately thing looks deliberate on your part, so it works. It reads like an artistic choice, not a mistake.
 
It turns out that when Danny’s parents said they worked for the New York state government, they really meant they were ambassadors to Phantaterrene, a world inhabited by characters from every myth, legend, and story ever told. Danny and his siblings aren’t happy their parents lied to them, but they’re less happy at the thought of their parents being executed for treason. I like this, as it set a tone of the kids. The charges stem from his parents’ refusal They refuse to bow to the corrupt government’s wishes and appoint the government’s chosen elite as Custodians, powerful figures who can shape the future of Phantaterrene. To save their parents’ lives, Danny does the only thing he can think of: he claims his parents chose Danny and his siblings to be the Custodians. Are you able to add something else to this, like 'lies' rather than 'claims' or you could go into detail of what Danny did.
 
To prove his claim, in ten days Danny and his siblings must complete the first Custodians' Trial: a combat and strategy game called Monsters and Men. The game will require each of Danny’s brothers and sisters to use their strength and cunning as they battle dangerous monsters from West African, Mayan, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Sumerian mythology Giving me good Percy Jackson vibes!!. Danny must travel across Phantaterrene, from Troy to Jenne-Jeno to Tikal to Midgard, meet with figures of myth and legend, and beg to use their monsters in the game. Maybe change 'game' to 'trial' or 'contest'? 
 
Luckily, Danny isn’t traveling alone. With him are his twin sister Sandry, who defends Danny against all critics (including himself,), and Prince Orestes, upon whom Danny may be developing a crush at the most inconvenient time. The game is a test of how well Danny knows his siblings (Who can outthink Onini the Python? Who can escape the Set Animal?) and it stands tied after six rounds. In the final round, Danny has to face the Erinyes, harpies who will expose his deepest secrets for all to hear. To escape with his sanity and win the game, Danny has to answer an impossible question: who am I? I was just reading an agents tweet where she said 'don't give 90% of the novel in the query' I don't think you should tell us how the trial went and how it became a tie. Because suddenly, you changed the stakes from rescuing their parents (which is a brilliant stake) to whether or not he want the trial to expose his secrets. 
 
MONSTERS & MEN is a fantasy/adventure for ages 11 and upMiddle Grade, complete at 125,000 words. The story stands alone but has the potential to be a series about the Darcangelo siblingsseries potential. I have an MFA in Writing for Children from XX College, and I am a member of SCBWI. 
 
Thank you for your consideration. 

 

Top story, mate. I'm not the audience but it captured my curiosity non the less. Good luck!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Childrens, Family Saga, Fantasy, Gay Lesbian, Young Adult

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