Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

INTO THE INFERNO (YA Urban Fantasy) - Will critique back!


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#21 EmperorOfTheNorth

EmperorOfTheNorth

    King of The Road

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 74 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:36 PM

Exactamundo! My prezact thought excisely!

RE: name of secret society.
 
I think that the actual Rosicrucian society (which is not a secret society, but is devoted to "the study of the elusive mysteries of life and the universe", and open to anyone who wants to join) would probably object to your characterizing them as people who chop heads off. If for no other reason, I would change the name to something else.
 
Best of luck!

RE: name of secret society.
 
I think that the actual Rosicrucian society (which is not a secret society, but is devoted to "the study of the elusive mysteries of life and the universe", and open to anyone who wants to join) would probably object to your characterizing them as people who chop heads off. If for no other reason, I would change the name to something else.
 
Best of luck!


Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#22 EmperorOfTheNorth

EmperorOfTheNorth

    King of The Road

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 74 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for all the spectacular feedback! I have rewritten my query, and posted it below. Is it too long? Do you all think its ready to be sent to agents?
Thanks! As always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you.
 
When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to (THE) prom.
 
The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society

As previously stated this is an actual society who might not dig the absconding of their name.

discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians need all the help they can get. To make matters worse, the Rosicrucians assign the kickass, no-nonsense Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s tolerant approach to changelings.


Intriguing thus far. I see where you are heading and it looks powerful interesting.
 
Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

Explain this. I'm confused. Who is she then and why not want saving?
 
Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat.

A lot of cliches though the season for meat is pret' funny.

The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic witches, high intrigue, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!

 
INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Peter Lerangis’s “Seven Wonders” series. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.[/size]
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.[/size]


This looks right good. Needs some tweaks maybe and possibly a little tightening. But looking good.

(Mine is Che Cazzo and Im stuck as thus far the two critiques don't seem hip to my lick)
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#23 morgan.spraker

morgan.spraker

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for all the spectacular feedback! I have rewritten my query, and posted it below. Is it too long? Do you all think its ready to be sent to agents?

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

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh I had to google what an "ankh" was, so it may be good to clarify. Paul already seems like a cool MC from just this line, though to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. You have me hooked

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians need all the help they can get. To make matters worse, the Rosicrucians assign the kickass, no-nonsense Alice Alice sounds kind of cliche and boring with this description. What makes her kickass? No nonsense? Is it her personality, her words, her actions? She needs a little more personalization, or needs to be cut from the query, because the story is about her, not Paul  to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s tolerant approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, does his crush have a name? how important are they to the story, and do they need to be developed? or even want rescuing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat A seasoning for meat? Literally or figuratively?. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic witches, high intrigue, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! I would just say "prom" without the exclamation point. Also, the laundry list description is kind of a letdown after such a good query. I would see how else you could structure it 

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Peter Lerangis’s “Seven Wonders” series why this comp?. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Okay, this story sounds really fun. If you haven't read it already, "Denton Little's Deathdate" sounds like it could be an AMAZING comp for your story. I think you need to focus in on Paul a little bit and at least give his crush a name. Alice should also be rounded out more -- you did it so well with Paul, so I know you can give a glimpse of who Alice is. If you wouldn't mind, would you take a look at my query? http://agentquerycon...ity-ya-fantasy/



#24 AliRey80

AliRey80

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:55 PM

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh Define what this is and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians need all the help they can get. To make matters worse, the Rosicrucians assign the kickass, no-nonsense Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s tolerant approach to changelings. How are they "tolerant"? What does she believe should be done with the changelings?

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic witches, high intrigue, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! Others may disagree, but I think this paragraph is kick butt.

 

Intriguing query! This has made vast improvements from your first. Good luck!! And if you get a chance, I'd love your input on "Unknown".
 



#25 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 675 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:04 PM

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

I like your hook.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais They kidnap him? Paul, revealing Reveals to whom? that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. I don't understand this. The society is trying to claim Paul is a changeling or he really is one? With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians need all the help they can get. So they want help from Paul? Why from Paul? To make matters worse, the Rosicrucians assign the kickass, no-nonsense Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s tolerant approach to changelings. How does this make matters worse?

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. What? This is too confusing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice  journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic witches, high intrigue, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! This paragraph is too vague. And what ever happened to the demon?

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Peter Lerangis’s “Seven Wonders” series. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Hi Best,

 

I think your query starts well, but then it becomes unclear to me, and its also too vague. You need to be very specific. The story sounds fun and your query has a nice voice, but I'm not clear on the nuts and bolts. It's really hard to specific enough in a query without getting bogged down in details, so good luck there.



#26 sereneew

sereneew

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 78 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 05 January 2018 - 01:45 AM

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. ( I'm already hooked. Did you say demon? LOL ) 

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians need all the help they can get. ( I thought when the demon takes away the Ankh, SF is in danger? What does it have to do with Paul ? ) To make matters worse, ( How does it make matters worse? Is she known to make a mistake in the past? It doesn't add up?)  the Rosicrucians assign the kickass, no-nonsense Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s tolerant approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline , Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. ( This paragraph does not flow. So Paul borrows the ankh to nail a date for prom with her crush, I'm guessing.??? IMO in this paragraph or the previous one, I would detail how Paul got the ankh, and how the demon took it away and then somewhere along the lines, how he met up with Alice. That way your ending makes better sense and builds up tension. ) 

 

Together, Paul and Alice ( How do they meet? Do they meet in school? Does she come to his house? You need to give us a scenario where they cross path. )  journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic witches, high intrigue, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! ( I love the detailed ending! )

 

 

But I'm confused? You have a great hook, that has nothing to do with the other two paragraphs. Personally, I continued to read because of the demon, TBH it caught my attention real quick and throughout the query I was waiting to read more about the demon, but all of a sudden he disappeared ): How does Paul get the Ankh, and where'd the demon go? How did he get the Ankh from Paul. It's okay to spoil parts of your query, because it builds up the tension. You can't assume we know your book. I would recommend just dropping a line about the demon.  Trust me QUERYING is extremely hard when you're limited to the amount of words you can use, but what I've learned is to 'butter up' an agent with your query. You want them to read more and with your hook, I can guarantee many agents would continue to read, but the flow can easily throw them off. Don't get me wrong, I like the voice( A LOT), but I also feel it lacks details and leaves me with questions.  HOPE THIS HELPS (: You're almost there, just need a bit more details, here and there 


If I helped please leave a feedback on my YA FANTASY QUERY http://agentquerycon...st-50/?p=350935


#27 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 162 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 07 January 2018 - 01:42 PM

Wow -- such great feedback! I've emphasized the connection between Paul and the Rosicrucians, as well as strengthening Alice's characterization. Right now, the query is 273 words, though it feels longer -- do you all think it's too much? Too many details? Most importantly, is it ready to be sent to agents?

 

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

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians plot to use Paul’s magic to not only capture his demon, but close underworld borders for good. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#28 bkarperien

bkarperien

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 156 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:08 PM

Wow -- such great feedback! I've emphasized the connection between Paul and the Rosicrucians, as well as strengthening Alice's characterization. Right now, the query is 273 words, though it feels longer -- do you all think it's too much? Too many details? Most importantly, is it ready to be sent to agents?

 

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

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush ("lets" doesn't seem the right word, and the sentence is a bit too convoluted for me. It's also very passive. Maybe something like, "he didn't expect to have both the ankh and his crush abducted by a demon")

fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. (nice voice!)

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais (I don't know, this word seemed wrong here. I get your meaning, but it just doesn't seem to fit.) Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians plot to use Paul’s magic to not only capture his demon, but close underworld borders for good. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

^ This entire paragraph seems to have very little to do with either the first or third paragraphs. It seems like a lot of unnecessary information, and it's very confusing (to me, at least. I may just be an idiot *shrugs*).

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

Throwing in the scholarship thing at the end just didn't flow for me, I'd introduce it way earlier. I'd recommend that you focus more on the stakes that you do such a great job of setting up in the first paragraph. A demon's got his gal and is trying to conquer his city. Now Paul has to choose between making his scholarship deadline and saving the world/his crush. Pretty solid stakes. Now, what's in his way?  This got off to a great start, but I think you could improve it if you focused more on the essence of Paul's journey. 

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! This is just fluff. We don't need the fluff. In a blurb maybe, but not here :)

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.Would leave this out unless absolutely necessary. Last I heard, agents don't really care unless its a Masters, and even then they don't really care. Not that it's not a great thing, good for you! ;) 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Good luck! And I'd love it if you have a chance to check out my query!


Check out my query!


#29 mindy24601

mindy24601

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 07 January 2018 - 07:56 PM

Wow -- such great feedback! I've emphasized the connection between Paul and the Rosicrucians, as well as strengthening Alice's characterization. Right now, the query is 273 words, though it feels longer -- do you all think it's too much? Too many details? Most importantly, is it ready to be sent to agents?

 

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

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. aha! nice! although a bit bulky in terms of the wording... A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.i love your voice

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais i feel like there are a lot of "big" words here, which makes things a bit more awkward to read. just a bit Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. nice With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- no dashes here The Rosicrucians plot to use Paul’s magic to not only capture his demon, but close underworld borders for good.hmmm...so no more changelings? To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.nice

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. okay...i got a bit confused with alice and back to the crush...

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing. good for you!

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

you have a fantastic story here. the wording is a bit bulky in places, but, otherwise, i think you're very close to being done!!!! 

 

i would appreciate having my query ripped to shreds, please: http://agentquerycon...ry-ya-fantasy/ 



#30 RMLucas

RMLucas

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 52 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast
  • Publishing Experience:Wrote for college newspaper.

Posted 08 January 2018 - 03:54 AM

Wow -- such great feedback! I've emphasized the connection between Paul and the Rosicrucians, as well as strengthening Alice's characterization. Right now, the query is 273 words, though it feels longer -- do you all think it's too much? Too many details? Most importantly, is it ready to be sent to agents?

 

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

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets allows? the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. Agree with people above, love the voice

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais (may want to use another word) Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling,” a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. With social upheaval in the underworld, hordes of supernatural refugees are worming their way into modern-day San Francisco -- The Rosicrucians plot to use Paul’s magic to not only capture his demon, but close underworld borders for good. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. You could probably do without this part, doesn't seem related to the previous paragraph or the next.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld (is his crush in the underworld? maybe incorporate it with this paragraph? Seems disconnected with the previous paragraph, as if he has two missions), a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face vicious vampires, sadistic demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Try to keep the query to the MC, theres a lot of information in this query, but some it you can cut out. Try to keep it simple. You seem to bounce around between paragraphs. Keep it to the MC, what is getting in his way, and whats at stake. Otherwise, looking great. Good luck. Would love your own critique,

 

http://agentquerycon...tique/?p=350408



#31 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 162 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 02 February 2018 - 12:25 PM

A lot of great feedback! I sent this query out to my first round of 6 agents, and was unfortunately rejected by 5/6. How can I improve the letter? Make it more appealing? Should I continue to send this version out?

 

Thanks. And like always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you!

 

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]

 

In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert book], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and sense of mystery in [insert urban fantasy novel]. My novel shares that same grit, but my fresh, modern take on the paranormal my work unique. Since you are interested in representing dark, urban fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” -- a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian, Alice, to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!
 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#32 PureZhar3

PureZhar3

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:10 PM

In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert book], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and sense of mystery in [insert urban fantasy novel]. My novel shares that same grit, but my fresh, modern take on the paranormal my work unique. Since you are interested in representing dark, urban fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query: This might just be me, but while personalizing is good, this doesn't strike me as personalization done well. Focus more on them than you. "On *www.awebsite.com* you said that you enjoy representing dark, urban fantasy with a dash of humor. Your representation of * book* by *author* proved this to be true..." If that makes sense?

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Good, good Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. Interesting. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. Make this a full sentence... best to show them you know how the English language works

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” hmm. Lots of information here. Maybe change the word "shanghais"? -- a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian, Alice, to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings. There's good tone here, but I think the second clause could be changed to flow better with the first

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. Good, good.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the underworld, a world where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat.  Again with the make-a-full-sentence. The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! haha I like this
 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing. I would rephrase this sentence. I think I dislike the phrasing?

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Overall, really cool query! This is pretty well written, there are just a few things that I think could be reworded to flow better.

 

I would appreciate your brutal critique on my query - link in the signature. Thanks!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#33 Wayfarer

Wayfarer

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 224 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:33 AM

When Sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh with the intent to conjure up a social life. Instead, he unintentionally ends up placing boththe ankh it and his crush into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” -- a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian, Alice, to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworldly roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. (Long sentence, try to break this up. Sentence 1 ends with "rescue his crush". Pick up the second the same as you're now continuing the first.)

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the underworld-- a world  where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world where danger lurks behind every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat . The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! (This last sentence flattens the built up tension of the query. It feels shoehorned in. If you must, rework this paragraph to include it first.)



#34 Laurie E. Smith

Laurie E. Smith

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 85 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have been a professional in the comics industry (as a colourist and line art reconstructionist) for 23 years. In terms of writing, I had a short story ("Like Ants to Honey") published in the "Far Horizons" e-mag (Issue #2, May 2014); I've also posted over 1.23 million words of fan fiction on Archive of Our Own, with with a total of 614473 individual hits, 29416 kudos, and 3919 reader bookmarks.

Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:46 AM

A lot of great feedback! I sent this query out to my first round of 6 agents, and was unfortunately rejected by 5/6. How can I improve the letter? Make it more appealing? Should I continue to send this version out?

 

Thanks. And like always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you!

 

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]

 

In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert book], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and sense of mystery in [insert urban fantasy novel]. My novel shares that same grit, but my fresh, modern take on the paranormal [makes] my work unique. Since you are interested in representing dark, urban fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:

 

["my fresh, modern take on the paranormal makes my work unique" sounds a bit pretentious. Instead you might try: "My novel shares that same grit, but I think I have a fresh, modern take on the paramormal that wil make my novel appealing to readers.]

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon[--] one who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

The demon-hunting Rosicrucian society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” -- a magically-inclined underworlder [this term stopped me dead in my tracks because I have very little idea what it actually means] raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Rosicrucian, Alice, to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with the Rosicrucian’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.

 

Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the underworld, a world [repetitive: perhapse use "realm" instead?] where might makes right and cunning reigns supreme. A world [repetitive: perhaps use "place"?] where danger lurks behind [around?] every corner, and kindness is seasoning for meat. The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!
 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lance Rubin’s “Denton Little's Deathdate.” I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing.  [This last line seems a bit out of place, like it should have its own paragraph, since it has no relation to the line right before it.]

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

[It sounds like you have an intriguing concept here! :) I wish you all the best!]



#35 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 162 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 06 February 2018 - 10:49 AM

After taking it to a few query partners IRL, here's the newest version. I'd love your feedback.

 

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

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]


In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert novel], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and mystery in [insert novel]. Since you are interested in representing dark fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:


When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he accidentally lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.


A demon-hunting society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings.


Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.


Together, Alice and Paul journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right, danger strides through the ashen streets, and cunning reigns supreme. The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing and bottomless cups of coffee.


Thank you for your time and consideration.



#36 ajvan

ajvan

    AJ Vanderhorst

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 112 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:My short story, Leviathan's Hook, was published in the Midnight Times literary journal.

Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:11 AM

This is my first time seeing this, so maybe fresh eyes will help a little. 

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]

 

In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert novel], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and mystery in [insert novel]. Since you are interested in representing dark fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he accidentally lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. (Funny opening sentence! A little wordy, but I'm hooked.) A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

A demon-hunting society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings. Well written, but things go a little sideways here, because you just intro'd the demon taking over San Fran. Quick, back to the demon problem!

 

Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. Does this mean dealing with the ankh-wielding demon?

 

Together, Alice and Paul journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right, danger strides through the ashen streets, and cunning reigns supreme. Love the tone of that sentence! The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! Will the demon be at the prom?

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing and bottomless cups of coffee.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Really enjoyed this query. I do think it kind of makes a left turn in that third paragraph, then drives further from your opening hook in the next two by focusing a little too much on the relationships at the cost of the conflict. Then it closes with a journey...but I doubt your story is really about the journey, per say. Questions I'm left with: Why is it essential that he enters the underworld? Does the prom really figure large in this story? And what happened to that conquest-minded demon?? I think you're getting close though, lots of humor and the query has a great voice. Last but not least, I've got a query up as well if you'd like to take a look.



#37 Nikita

Nikita

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 62 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:18 PM

After taking it to a few query partners IRL, here's the newest version. I'd love your feedback.

 

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

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]


In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert novel], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and mystery in [insert novel]. Since you are interested in representing dark fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:


When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he accidentally lets the ankh and his crush Add em-dashes to set off "and his crush" to help make this sentence easier to read. fall into the hands of a demon. A demon who plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. I'm finding this fragment a bit jarring. 


A demon-hunting society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings.


Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing. I love the juxtaposition of normal school stuff with fantasy. It highlights the stakes!


Together, Alice and Paul journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right, danger strides through the ashen streets, and cunning reigns supreme. The duo will face zealous vampires, wicked warlords, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!


INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing and bottomless cups of coffee.


Thank you for your time and consideration.

I really love this query, and think you do a good job of showcasing your voice!



#38 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 162 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 08 February 2018 - 02:27 PM

Thanks for all your fantastic edits -- I reworked the second paragraph and tried to make the demon plot more central.  I'd love your feedback!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]


In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert novel], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and mystery in [insert novel]. Since you are interested in representing dark fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:


When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he accidentally lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. Unfortunately for Paul, the demon plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.


A demon-hunting society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings.


Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.


Together, Alice and Paul journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right, danger strides through the ashen streets, and cunning reigns supreme. The duo will face wicked warlords, zealous demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom!


INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing and bottomless coffee cups.


Thank you for your time and consideration.



#39 PureZhar3

PureZhar3

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for all your fantastic edits -- I reworked the second paragraph and tried to make the demon plot more central.  I'd love your feedback!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert agent name here]


In researching agents, I was excited to discover that you represent [insert novel], by [insert author]. I am particularly impressed by the grit and mystery in [insert novel]. Since you are interested in representing dark fantasy with a dash of humor, I hope you enjoy my query:


When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul Bernelli “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure up a social life, he accidentally lets the ankh and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. Unfortunately for Paul, the demon plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom. ​Excellent!


A demon-hunting society discovers the blunder and shanghais Paul, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. To make matters​ Worse, the society assigns the sullen teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings.


Despite a looming scholarship deadline, Paul puts his bright future on hold to unravel his underworld roots and rescue his crush, although she may not be who she claims, or even want rescuing.


Together, Alice and Paul journey deep into the Underworld ​-- a world where might makes right, danger strides through the ashen streets, and cunning reigns supreme. The duo will face wicked warlords, zealous demons, and worst of all: the dreaded prom! 


INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I currently study at Cornell University with a focus on creative writing and bottomless coffee cups. ​Ha :D


Thank you for your time and consideration.

​I really like this! you've definitely strengthened it since I was last around :)

 

​If you're up for it, I have a new version of my query up (in the original post) which I would appreciate if you would, once again, brutally critique. Thanks!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#40 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 162 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 01 April 2018 - 12:32 PM

Thanks so much for all you feedback! I started querying, and was rejected by 19/20 agents, with 1 full. Since then, I submitted my query for critique by a literary agent, and made some drastic changes. I'd love your opinion. Is this query ready to be sent out? Improved? What do you all think?

 

Thanks!

 

Dear [Insert Agent Name],

 

From your profile on #MSWL, I see we share a love of [Novel]. Since you are interested in YA fantasy with a strong voice and a dash of humor, please consider my YA contemporary fantasy novel INTO THE INFERNO, complete at 78,000 words.

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted dagger to conjure a social life, he accidentally lets the dagger and his crush fall into the hands of a demon. Unfortunately for Paul, the demon plans on using the dagger to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring a hot date to prom.

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns the fierce teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate the assignment, or see eye-to-eye with her people’s nonviolent approach to changelings.

 

The society gives high-strung Paul just one month to retrieve the dagger and rescue his crush. Trouble is, she has plans for the dagger, and may not even want rescuing.


Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. But when Paul discovers he’s popular with the cutthroat underworlders, his human life of party-corners and trivia loses its shine. Paul must choose between being an outsider on earth, or taking his place in a world that wants to devour his humanity.

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 78,000 words. It will appeal to fans of “Denton Little's Deathdate,” by Lance Rubin. I studied at Cornell University, with a focus on political science and bottomless coffee cups. One of my critique partners is [Author], best-selling author of [Novel], a novel now included in the New York high school curriculum.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Name






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users