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Buccaneers of the Wild Blue: The Kraken Relic

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#1 galaxyspinner

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:29 PM

CURRENT REVISION HERE

 

Just outside of our reality lies the Wild Blue, an endless ocean of monsters, magic, and a host of lost adventurers who never left the Golden Age of Piracy. For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry, it's the only body of water large enough to not make her feel like a big fish in a small pond.

 

Destiny's first trip to the Wild Blue was a happy mistake; she got to meet the fun-loving Captain Hobbes and pilot the Rebecca, a pirate ship that swims through the ocean on a set of enormous squid tentacles. Her return is considerably less whimsical, however, after an eldritch horror named Naut comes to her home and abducts her mom. Naut gives Destiny one command: Steal the Kraken Relic from Captain Hobbes and his lingering Buccaneer fleet, or she will never see her mother again.

 

Destiny signs on with the Buccaneers, braving a mermaid market, a rival fleet, and a sea-load of other hazards. All the while, she ponders just how much of a pirate she's willing to be; after all, if she obeys Naut's will and gets her mother back, it could very well mean the end of the Buccaneers and the fall of the Wild Blue. And the pirates of the Wild Blue are the only line of defense between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at about 61,000 words.


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Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#2 dogsbody

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:54 PM

I think you have a great sense of imagery and fun, here. 

 

But it's a little... this feels less YA than middle grade, or even early reader. I think that's because it contains almost no sense of Destiny and her emotional journey, which is pretty pivotal to YA. Instead it feels like a recitation of events and monsters/concepts: captivating, but almost the fantasy equivalent of those Magic School Bus stories, where the point is to make the reader into an imaginary tourist of a really cool time or place. 

 

It leaves me wondering: why is this Destiny's story, as opposed to anyone else's? If her discovery of Wild Blue is a mistake, and her joining the Buccaneers in response to a threat, where is her agency? What specifically draws her into this other world and life? What makes her a heroine we're willing to dive into a whole other world to follow, with the interest of watching her be challenged and hopefully overcome those challenges? Is she really the kind of person who would let her mom die because of new friends? I know the pirates are some kind of guardians, but you introduce the Wyrd Gods in the final sentence, which doesn't give us time to process those stakes. 

 

It's also, despite the cool images, just a little vague overall. How the heck does Destiny plan to steal a ship, and what makes her plan exciting enough to read a book about? These are the things I would suggest teasing in the end, not the Wyrd Gods -- if they're part of the overall stakes they should probably be much clearer and well-established. 

 

Hope this was in some way helpful. 



#3 galaxyspinner

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:16 PM

That's very helpful; this one's been particularly difficult to boil down to an agent-friendly pitch, and you really put words to some concerns that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

 

I went back to square one with this next draft. My hope is that this one paints a better picture of the protagonist and her pathos.

 

~~~

 

Between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods, there exists a secret ocean known as the Wild Blue. This is a place of monsters and magic, where the former slaves of the Wyrd live out the Golden Age of Piracy in their efforts to defend humanity from the eldritch horrors from beyond. For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry, this infinite ocean is the only pond large enough to accommodate a fish as big as her.

 

When Destiny first stumbles upon the Wild Blue, it seems to be everything she ever wanted. There's danger, there's treasure, and even the mermaids aren't too "girly" for her. Unfortunately, her visit attracts the attention of Naut, a monstrous agent of the Wyrd. Naut needs to bring down the pirate fleets, and he abducts Destiny's mother to assure that she helps him do it.

 

Now Destiny is signed on with the Rebecca, a ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes and his were-shark first mate, she'll brave rival fleets, summon a capricious sea goddess, and even trade away bits of her humanity to find a way to save her mother without dooming the entire world. It may be too big a task for a skinny little girl, but she's been longing for the chance to do something that's too big a task for a skinny little girl for a long time.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.

 

Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#4 Springfield

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:44 PM

That's very helpful; this one's been particularly difficult to boil down to an agent-friendly pitch, and you really put words to some concerns that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

 

I went back to square one with this next draft. My hope is that this one paints a better picture of the protagonist and her pathos.

 

I saw your post was the latest so checked to make sure it wasn't a revision -- you probably want to change the title of the thread to tell posters where to find revisions. Some of us don't read threads before critiquing queries, on purpose, so we're giving you a take without having seen other people's reactions, as an agent would.

~~~

 

Between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods,Do they sabotage Scrabble or something? there exists a secret ocean known as the Wild Blue. This is a place of monsters and magic, where the former slaves of the Wyrd live out the Golden Age of Piracy in their efforts to defend humanity from the eldritch horrors from beyond.This is too much setup without a character, for me.For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry, Honestly, the name -- this sounds like something you order in a Thai place. 'I'll have the Buddha's Delight, the Destiny Curry and the Happy Family Pad Thai..'  this infinite ocean is the only pond large enough to accommodate a fish as big as her. Wait, she's a.... fish curry?That's worse than the name alone, but besides that, I am confused. She's a fish? A literal fish? This seems completely MG, why is she 15? 

 

When Destiny first stumbles upon the Wild Blue, it seems to be everything she ever wanted. There's danger, there's treasure, and even the mermaids aren't too "girly" for her.Ugh. Unfortunately, her visit attracts the attention of Naut, a monstrous agent of the Wyrd. Naut needs to bring down the pirate fleets, and he abducts Destiny's mother to assure that she helps him do it. Why he needs her help isn't clear at all.

 

Now Destiny is signed on with the Rebecca, a ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes and his were-shark first mate, she'll brave rival fleets, summon a capricious sea goddess, and even trade away bits of her humanity to find a way to save her mother without dooming the entire world. It may be too big a task for a skinny little girl, OH EW.  Were I an agent, this would hit the bin, hard, right there. but she's been longing for the chance to do something that's too big a task for a skinny little girl for a long time. Ugh.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.

 

This reads lower MG all the way, and if it is, it's long. Why is the MC 15? 

 

The NAME... a fish curry?



#5 Ireth

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:57 PM

That's very helpful; this one's been particularly difficult to boil down to an agent-friendly pitch, and you really put words to some concerns that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

 

I went back to square one with this next draft. My hope is that this one paints a better picture of the protagonist and her pathos.

 

~~~

 

Between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods, there exists a secret ocean known as the Wild Blue. This is a place of monsters and magic, where the former slaves of the Wyrd live out the Golden Age of Piracy in their efforts to defend humanity from the eldritch horrors from beyond. For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry (I'm not a fan of the name), this infinite ocean is the only pond large enough to accommodate a fish as big as her. (What about her makes her a "big fish"?)

 

When Destiny first stumbles upon the Wild Blue, it seems to be everything she ever wanted. There's danger, there's treasure, and even the mermaids aren't too "girly" for her. Unfortunately, her visit attracts the attention of Naut, a monstrous agent of the Wyrd. Naut needs to bring down the pirate fleets, and he abducts Destiny's mother to ensure that she helps him do it.

 

Now Destiny is signed on with the Rebecca, a ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes and his were-shark first mate, she'll brave rival fleets, summon a capricious sea goddess, and even trade away bits of her humanity to find a way to save her mother without dooming the entire world. It may be too big a task for a skinny little girl (This rubs me the wrong way, but I can't quite articulate why), but she's been longing for the chance to do something that's too big a task for a skinny little girl (ugh) for a long time.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC (this title says "MG" to me more than YA) is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#6 galaxyspinner

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:58 AM

Can't do anything with "ugh", folks; if you don't like my word choice, use your words.

 

I should probably also say that the title is a place-holder while I compile feedback from my beta readers; assume that it will change.


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.

 

Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#7 Ireth

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:12 AM

Apologies for my vague reply earlier. I've had time to figure out what bugs me about the phrase "skinny little girl" -- it sounds like body-shaming. I doubt that's the impression you want to give.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#8 Springfield

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:31 AM

Heh, sorry -- it's, offputting, in a dismissive, misogynistic way. I get you're (I think) suggesting she may be characterizing herself that way, but that doesn't help either how it reads in the query or how it would in the mss. 

 

It'd be one thing for a grown woman to refer to herself as, I dunno, a slut, because it's characterization -- if she's being self-deprecating it likely says something about how she feels about societal expectations, etc., if she's serious it's about her own view of her sexuality, worth, how she feels about societal expectations, etc.

 

A kid and 'skinny little girl,' which casts girl by default there as somewhat incapable, adding little, which is problematic in that sense, especially as you made her 15 and topping it with skinny, which adds an entire layer of body issues, is just not going to fly, I'd wager.



#9 RosieSkye

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:17 PM

That's very helpful; this one's been particularly difficult to boil down to an agent-friendly pitch, and you really put words to some concerns that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

 

I went back to square one with this next draft. My hope is that this one paints a better picture of the protagonist and her pathos.

 

~~~

 

Between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods, there exists a secret ocean known as the Wild Blue. This is a place of monsters and magic, where the former slaves of the Wyrd live out the Golden Age of Piracy in their efforts to defend humanity from the eldritch horrors from beyond. For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry, this infinite ocean is the only pond large enough to accommodate a fish as big as her. (Why is she such a big fish?)

 

When Destiny first stumbles upon the Wild Blue, it seems to be everything she ever wanted. There's danger, there's treasure, and even the mermaids aren't too "girly" for her. Unfortunately, her visit attracts the attention of Naut, a monstrous agent of the Wyrd. Naut needs to bring down the pirate fleets, and he abducts Destiny's mother to assure that she helps him do it.

 

Now Destiny is signed on with the Rebecca, a ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes and his were-shark first mate, she'll brave rival fleets, summon a capricious sea goddess, and even trade away bits of her humanity to find a way to save her mother without dooming the entire world. It may be too big a task for a skinny little girl, but she's been longing for the chance to do something that's too big a task for a skinny little girl for a long time. (You initially introduce her as a big fish, and seem to play up her bravery and competence throughout the query, but now she's just a skinny little girl?  Even if that's just how other people see her, it goes against the picture you've already painted.)

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.

 

 

I agree with the others that this reads a little young.  I think replacing phrases like "monsters and magic" and "there's danger, there's treasure" with more specific, adult words will help.

 

Also, if you're going to use you're character's full name in the title of your book, the name should clearly be a person's name, rather than something that could be confused with something else.  "Destiny Curry" sounds like it belongs on the menu at an Indian restaurant.

 

Good luck!



#10 dogsbody

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 07:35 PM

Artemis Fowl (a goddess's name for a boy, no less)

 

Elphame's Choice

 

Froi of the Exiles

 

A Girl Named Digit

 

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

 

Bitterblue

 

Eragon

 

Keturah and Lord Death

 

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney

 

This is just a brief selection of YA titles with "weird" protagonist names in the title. Some of them have done extremely well. 

 

I try not to address other critiques directly unless they contain misinformation.

 

But if everyone in this thread who is saying some variation of "Ew, her name sounds like something from an ethnic restaurant, which is too weird!" could just... not. 



#11 dogsbody

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:20 PM

Between our world and the nightmare realm of the Wyrd Gods, there exists a secret ocean known as the Wild Blue. This is a place of monsters and magic, where the former slaves of the Wyrd live out the Golden Age of Piracy in their efforts to defend humanity from the eldritch horrors from beyond.

 

(It's not terrible, but it's backstory, and it's not terribly gripping either. I'd play it safe and try to start as strong as possible: with Destiny, and why you think we'll like her enough to read a book about her.) 

 

For fifteen-year-old Destiny Curry, this infinite ocean is the only pond large enough to accommodate a fish as big as her.

 

(I like the overall sentiment, but there's no context of why she doesn't feel like the real world is enough for her -- still not a real sense of her, in her "starting point," as the story begins.)

 

When Destiny first stumbles upon the Wild Blue, it seems to be everything she ever wanted. There's danger, there's treasure, and even the mermaids aren't too "girly" for her. Unfortunately, her visit attracts the attention of Naut, a monstrous agent of the Wyrd. Naut needs to bring down the pirate fleets, and he abducts Destiny's mother to assure that she helps him do it.

 

Now Destiny is signed on with the Rebecca, a ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes and his were-shark first mate, she'll brave rival fleets, summon a capricious sea goddess, and even trade away bits of her humanity to find a way to save her mother without dooming the entire world. It may be too big a task for a skinny little girl, but she's been longing for the chance to do something that's too big a task for a skinny little girl for a long time.

 

(It still feels very vague! And as much as I enjoy the evocative details, you do indulge in the dreaded "listing." Not always a dealbreaker, but not your strongest foot forward. 

 

I still feel like Destiny's emotional reactions to things are absent, making this feel... shallow? Opaque? I'd love to get a better feeling of the internal conflict, because as cool as tentacle ships and mersharks are, they're just cool things until I know how they affect Destiny's emotional journey, and how those feelings lead to the rest of the story.) 

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.

 

It's much stronger, but I feel like you could do even more if you wanted.

 

Hope this was helpful. 



#12 Springfield

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

Artemis Fowl (a goddess's name for a boy, no less)

 

Elphame's Choice

 

Froi of the Exiles

 

A Girl Named Digit

 

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

 

Bitterblue

 

Eragon

 

Keturah and Lord Death

 

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney

 

This is just a brief selection of YA titles with "weird" protagonist names in the title. Some of them have done extremely well. 

 

I try not to address other critiques directly unless they contain misinformation.

 

But if everyone in this thread who is saying some variation of "Ew, her name sounds like something from an ethnic restaurant, which is too weird!" could just... not. 

 

For my part, it had absolutely nothing to do with an 'ethnic' food being weird, as it being weird to give someone a name that is a food (is not traditionally a name) and sounds like a dish. Someone came in here with an MC named Fancy Hamburger, or Precious Vichyssoise, I'm saying the exact same thing (with different surrounding examples).



#13 dogsbody

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:05 PM

For my part, it had absolutely nothing to do with an 'ethnic' food being weird, as it being weird to give someone a name that is a food (is not traditionally a name) and sounds like a dish. Someone came in here with an MC named Fancy Hamburger, or Precious Vichyssoise, I'm saying the exact same thing (with different surrounding examples).

 

Destiny is a name that's been popular for over two decades. Curry/Currie has a long history as an Irish and Scottish surname. (See: Tim Curry. Or even Arthur Curry, one of Aquaman's secret identities. It's not rare.)

 

Clementine. Olive. Rosemary. Basil. Madeline. All "food" names you object to? You've never heard of someone with the last name Fish, or Rice? Francis Bacon? Alex Guinness? Kevin Bacon? Stephen Fry? 

 

What makes those names "traditional" and others not?

 

I just wish we could refrain from the justification of "it's weird because it's weird exotic food."



#14 RosieSkye

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 10:48 AM

Destiny is a name that's been popular for over two decades. Curry/Currie has a long history as an Irish and Scottish surname. (See: Tim Curry. Or even Arthur Curry, one of Aquaman's secret identities. It's not rare.)

 

Clementine. Olive. Rosemary. Basil. Madeline. All "food" names you object to? You've never heard of someone with the last name Fish, or Rice? Francis Bacon? Alex Guinness? Kevin Bacon? Stephen Fry? 

 

What makes those names "traditional" and others not?

 

I just wish we could refrain from the justification of "it's weird because it's weird exotic food."

 

 

My problem has zero to do with what type of food it is.  (I'm a foodie, and eat exotic things all the time.)  It's putting front and center a name that sounds more like a food than a person.  Following it up with "Kraken Relic" puts me even more in the mindset that it could literally be some sort of magical dish.

 

All of the above examples have first names that are clearly names of people.  Putting two names together when both can also be other things gets confusing.  Yes, Destiny is a girl's name, but I don't think it's common enough that that's the first thing people think of when they hear it.

 

Like Springfield said, if her name were Hope Bacon or Faith Chowder or whatever, I'd be saying the exact same thing.



#15 Springfield

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 11:18 AM

Destiny is a name that's been popular for over two decades. Curry/Currie has a long history as an Irish and Scottish surname. (See: Tim Curry. Or even Arthur Curry, one of Aquaman's secret identities. It's not rare.)

 

Clementine. Olive. Rosemary. Basil. Madeline. All "food" names you object to? You've never heard of someone with the last name Fish, or Rice? Francis Bacon? Alex Guinness? Kevin Bacon? Stephen Fry? 

 

What makes those names "traditional" and others not?

 

I just wish we could refrain from the justification of "it's weird because it's weird exotic food."

 

Why assume we think of curry as weird and exotic?

 

I don't consider curry weird or exotic. I make curries all the time.  I admit I didn't think of Tim Curry, because, as noted, that's a traditional name with a food surname, I suppose. Yeah, Destiny is a name, but it's not a particularly common one, or a traditional name name. Hence I used similar examples in my other post -- Precious Vichyssiose, Fancy Hamburger -- both are names, but of the same ilk, and both sound like menu items to me, same as Destiny Curry. I don't think of hamburger as exotic, though I never make or eat them and do think of them as disgusting and weird. Not to do with the food, but the combo of the food and descriptive name.



#16 galaxyspinner

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 12:33 PM

It's much stronger, but I feel like you could do even more if you wanted.

 

Hope this was helpful. 

 

That is very helpful, thanks. This is proving to be a difficult query to write, since the premise requires more explanation than usual.

 

Further, I'm realizing now that the protagonist's name is a little problematic. It works better in the text itself, since it's a plot point that she doesn't like her own name, but it's just coming off as awkward when not put in that context. I'm considering making a change to "Destiny Rice" or something else that would hit the ear better, but I'll discuss that with my readers.

 

~~~

 

Destiny is taunted by her own name; she lives in a world where there is no magic or adventure, where the most trouble she can get into is the constant reprimands from a high school that isn't smart enough to do more than keep her in line. She fantasizes about escaping to a place where a girl like her can thrive. She finds such a place in an extradimensional ocean full of pirates and eldritch horrors, but she barely has enough time to enjoy it before it steals her mom.

 

Now Destiny is caught up in the longstanding war between the pirate fleets and the Wyrd Gods. She signs on with the Rebecca, a pirate ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes, his were-shark first mate, and a hard-drinking mermaid, she just might have something that resembles a chance to kill an enemy that cannot be killed. However, unless she can prove that she's even more awesome than she thought she was, she might have to betray her new friends to get her mother back. It's a lot to ask from a fifteen-year-old girl, but she's not about to blow the first chance she's ever had to accomplish something that's a lot to ask from a fifteen-year-old girl.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult fantasy complete at 61,000 words.


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.

 

Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#17 dogsbody

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:12 PM

My problem has zero to do with what type of food it is.  (I'm a foodie, and eat exotic things all the time.)  It's putting front and center a name that sounds more like a food than a person. 

 

Mocking names that fall outside the Anglo-Saxon tradition by saying they "sound like food" is a very old bias, and I don't think it does you or anyone else any favors in 2017. (See: Han Tzu in "Ender's Game," who was re-christened "Hot Soup" to belittle him and because his real name was too hard to pronounce.) Names with "immediate" meanings (Destiny) or which translate to literal meanings in English are very popular in certain cultures, and they face incredible bias, mockery, and backlash simply on the basis of their names. Intention is not the issue here -- making fun of names that don't sound "normal" is a much larger issue than your personal feelings or reactions, and since there is already an established history of "un-traditional" names in successful YA titles, I don't think it's helpful criticism.  

 

If you're genuinely interested in continuing this discussion with me, I'd be happy to do it over messages, but I don't want to clutter up the thread with this any longer.

 

Let me leave it as: critique the query, please, and not the names



#18 dogsbody

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:20 PM

 

Destiny is taunted by her own name; she lives in a world where there is no magic or adventure, where the most trouble she can get into is the constant reprimands from a high school (maybe "teachers"? and then fix the verbs? only, high schools aren't sentient, and so...) that isn't smart enough to do more than keep her in line. (ooh, NICE.) She fantasizes about escaping to a place where a girl like her can thrive. She finds such a place in an extradimensional ocean full of pirates and eldritch horrors, but she barely has enough time to enjoy it before it steals her mom. (This feels like you skipped over a BUNCH. How does she discover it? How does that change her life? THEN how does it all turn out much more fraught than anticipated?)

 

Now Destiny is caught up in the longstanding war between the pirate fleets and the Wyrd Gods. She signs on with the Rebecca, a pirate ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes, his were-shark first mate, and a hard-drinking mermaid, she just might have something that resembles a chance to kill an enemy that cannot be killed. However, unless she can prove that she's even more awesome than she thought she was, (this is very awkward phrasing) she might have to betray her new friends to get her mother back. It's a lot to ask from a fifteen-year-old girl, but she's not about to blow the first chance she's ever had to accomplish something that's a lot to ask from a fifteen-year-old girl.

 

It still doesn't feel... believable, emotionally. I don't know anything of Destiny except she's smarter and awesomer (apparently) than anyone gives her credit for, which is... lacking nuance, unfortunately. You might be nearing a caricature of "strong female character" in your query, which is an actual issue in YA right now -- agents lament well-rounded and flawed characters who read like real human beings and not just cookie-cutter heroines (usually on Twitter). Again, this more surface treatment of your main character is why it still feels distinctly MG instead of YA. 

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult fantasy complete at 61,000 words.



#19 galaxyspinner

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:51 PM

Damn, you're absolutely right. It'll probably take a few more tries to finesse this into shape, but am I on the right track here?

 

~~

 

Destiny is taunted by her own name; she lives in a world where there is no magic or adventure, where the most trouble she can get into is the constant reprimands from a high school dean who isn't smart enough to do more than keep her in line. A happy accident that places her in an extradimensional ocean full of pirates and eldritch horrors seems to be everything she ever wanted, but she barely has enough time to enjoy it before an overambitious misstep puts her mom in the clutches of the Wyrd Gods.

 

Now Destiny is caught up in the longstanding war between the pirate fleets and the Wyrd. She signs on with the Rebecca, a pirate ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes, his were-shark first mate, and a hard-drinking mermaid, she just might have something that resembles a chance to kill an enemy that cannot be killed. It's the first time in her life she's ever had to be aware of how small, fragile, and wildly inexperienced she is, but she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she let the Wild Blue finally make a little girl out of her.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words.


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.

 

Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#20 speedchuck

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 12:22 PM

Destiny is taunted by her own name; she lives in a world where there is no magic or adventure,. where The most only troubles she can get into is are the constant reprimands from a high school dean who is n't hardly smart enough to do more than keep her in line. The second half of this first sentence is difficult to read. It doesn't seem that important, it's bloated with descriptions, and it just keeps going on. There's probably a better way to describe the perfect but boring life she has. A happy accident that places her in an extradimensional ocean full of pirates and eldritch horrors seems to be everything she ever wanted Rather cliche, but she barely has enough time to enjoy it before an overambitious misstep puts her mom in the clutches of the Wyrd Gods. Both of these sentences are rather long. The red words add unnecessary length, and don't add much.

 

Now Destiny is caught up in the longstanding war between the pirate fleets and the Wyrd. She signs on with the Rebecca, a pirate ship that swims about on a set of gigantic squid tentacles. With the help of the boyish Captain Hobbes, his were-shark first mate, and a hard-drinking mermaid, she just might have something that resembles a chance to kill an enemy that cannot be killed. It's the first time in her life she's ever had to be aware of how small, fragile, and wildly inexperienced she is, but she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she let the Wild Blue finally make a little girl out of her. Second paragraph is better than the first, if a bit normal. The "In a war, team up, impossible odds, character-tie-in to stakes" is pretty standard. What are the Wyrd? Why would they kidnap some random mom? Why would the more experienced pirates even want Destiny with them? I feel like some causality is missing. The side characters do sound interesting.

 

DESTINY CURRY AND THE KRAKEN RELIC is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 61,000 words.







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