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


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#41 kleblanc13

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:08 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. Love this opening--very catchy and I can already see the "dash of humor"

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” (quotes around changeling seem unnecessary, you use them and italics a lot--I'd cut back a bit) — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns the fierce teenager 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. (The part about the crush having her own plans for the dagger / not wanting to be rescued is interesting but feels out of place with the rest of the query. I can't tell if she's supposed to be the ultimate villain or a minor setback for Paul. Her place in the narrative is unclear to me)


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 (could just be me, but it took me longer than I'd like to understand what you were saying with the phrase party-corners. Perhaps a different phrase could be used to describe Paul's human life). 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 (Even though I haven't read your book, this feels like a proper comparison). 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

 

Really interesting story idea--definitely sounds like something I'd pick up and read. Thanks for looking over my query--you had some very helpful feedback.



#42 Oldborne

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:09 AM

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 Got a laugh out of me there, he accidentally lets the dagger and his crush the girl (or boy) of his dreams 'his crush' sounds ambiguous to me. Be specific  fall into the hands of a demon. How did he let the demon get the dagger and Paul's crush? 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” I can't see how these two things are connected. Is the changeling element important to the query? It doesn't seem to come up again. It might just be a layer of added confusion that you can do away with — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that I would personally avoid italics as emphasis 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 the 'she' is a little out of nowhere since this is the first time Paul's crush has been assigned a pronoun. His crush could have been anything. 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. I like these stakes. They're the right level of superficial (Paul's desire to be popular) and dangerous (potentially losing himself) and set the tone for the story nicely. 

 

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. Try to have two comps. 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

 

A solid query overall with a few minor things to consider. You've got great voice and an interesting sounding novel working for you, which is great. I'd get a bit more specific in places, especially concerning Paul's crush and the changeling aspect (which comes totally out of left-field).

Good luck with this! Hope I've helped. 

 


All feedback appreciated: http://agentquerycon...ust-sf-mystery/

 


#43 PureZhar3

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 09:12 AM

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​comma 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. ​something about this wording fell a bit flat for me... maybe say "rather than" as opposed to "instead of"?

 

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 ​I wouldn't use italics. I've heard (whether or not it's true, idk) that it can cause the emails to go into the junk/spam folder. wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns the fierce teenage Alice to be Paul’s babysitter. She doesn’t exactly appreciate​this doesn't even read right in italics anyway, especially bc given the "exactly" it makes it feel overemphasized 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. ​There's starting to be a lot going on. I would cut out this reference to the crush.

 

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


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


#44 TheBest

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 01:43 PM

Thanks so much for all the great feedback! I go back to querying this Tuesday. I cut the party-corner bit, the italics, and streamlined the whole thing. Is it ready to be sent out? Does the letter still keep the voice without all those details? 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 loneliness 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



#45 Arcanjoe

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 02:20 PM

 

Returning the favour!

 

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. (Nice opening.)

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen (Easier if you just say 'he' here otherwise it can read as if you're talking about someone new)  is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns the fierce teenage (Using words like teen and teenage don't serve you here. This is YA, so them being teenagers is a given. If necessary, use her age. But I think you can probably get away without that here.) 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. (This sentence brings up a whole load of questions that you don't go on to answer. If you cut it, you have a much stronger query. We need the motivations of the two named characters, not the unnamed crush. Axe it and you can use the words elsewhere.)


Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. (I like this sentence.) But when Paul discovers he’s popular with the cutthroat underworlders, his human life of loneliness 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. (Devour his humanity is so broad. How so? What will he have to give up to stay? Also, you begin with the dagger and Paul's hunt for it but it is nowhere to be seen now. Rectifying that seems simple enough though: after 'journey deep into the Underworld', just add 'in search of the dagger'."

 

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

 

The voice here is fantastic. I also think the general conflict and goal are clear too. I only really had two issues - the unnecessary mention of the crush's plans for the dagger and the wording used for the stakes. The first could probably be cut entirely and the second is a minute tweak to the wording. Minor fixes. As is the unnecessary use of teen and teenage. Apart from those minor points, I thought the query was great.

 

Thanks for your fantastic feedback on my query!


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 

Or the first 250 words of my story...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 


#46 Sataris

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:23 PM

 

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. i wonder if this would flow better if you swapped the order of the details; rather than using the dagger to score a hot date to prom, the demon plans on conquering san francisco

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen is a “changeling” i dont think you need quotes here, especially since you're using them differently than you did with "borows" — no space on either side a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't tense shift 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. this seems a little omniscient given that we've been in Paul's head to this point


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 loneliness 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. i like these stakes, but they seem like they're sidestepping the dagger bit a little here. also, what does devouring his humanity entail? not sure what it means since that's the first time that's mentioned

 

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 assume you'll be using your intro paragraph on a case by case basis, but as is it repeats earlier details I studied at Cornell University, with a focus on political science and bottomless coffee cups. One of my critique partners is [Author], NYT/International/ETC best-selling author of [Novel], a novel now included in the New York high school curriculum.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Name

Hope that was helpful, best of luck!


No current query.


#47 TeaTime

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:25 PM

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, (Good opening.) 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 (him?) a hot date to prom.

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen (I agree with Arcanjoe that teen is confusing as it could be a new character--I'd just say "he.") is a “changeling” — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't (Tense) 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 (He's just a noob, right? Should the society send some of their own people, or is there a special reason why he should go?) just one month (In retrospect, this is a really long time in terms of his crush who's been kidnapped by a demon.) to retrieve the dagger and rescue his crush. Trouble is, she has plans for the dagger, and may not even want rescuing. (Since the crush isn't the main focus (Paul & Alice are), I'd cut this line or really rework the focus.)


Together, Paul and Alice journey deep into the Underworld, a world ("world" feels a little redundant right after "Underworld.") where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. But when Paul discovers he’s popular with the cutthroat underworlders, (Interesting character turn) his human life of loneliness and trivia (Trivia? There are several little bits of who Paul is, but they're so randomly sprinkled in that they feel a bit disconnected & jarring.) 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. (I agree it would be interesting to know a little more about what losing his humanity entails exactly.)

 

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

 

This is fun premise that sounds like it trades off well between a dark underworld theme & teenage woes. I get the general impression of who Paul is as a character, but the smattering of details drop in unexpectedly that they trip up the flow a bit.

 

But I think this query has a good voice & characters that sound like they have lots of potential to play off of each other. All the lucks  :smile: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#48 Aightball

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:31 PM

Thanks so much for all the great feedback! I go back to querying this Tuesday. I cut the party-corner bit, the italics, and streamlined the whole thing. Is it ready to be sent out? Does the letter still keep the voice without all those details? 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. I'm personally a fan of keeping these at the end and starting with a strong hook.  YMMV =)

 

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 No need to mention his name so often =) 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 (how old?  I'd rather know that the the generic teenager) 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 loneliness 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 Unless your degree makes you uniquely qualified to write this book, you can cut this. 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

 

Interesting novel idea!  I think you'll find a wide audience for this and I suspect my niece might be one of them =).

 

I made some suggestions for you above.  You can cut how often you mention the MCs name.  You want it in there, of course, but you can also say 'him' on occasion, using his name only when we really need to be reminded.  Also, you don't have to use as many descriptors for him...you can save those for the actual novel.  Stick to the basics to draw us in and you'll be good.

 

Good luck!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...3-love-and-war/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis:

Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#49 BrookeJS

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:00 AM

Thanks so much for all the great feedback! I go back to querying this Tuesday. I cut the party-corner bit, the italics, and streamlined the whole thing. Is it ready to be sent out? Does the letter still keep the voice without all those details? 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.​ ​I think I would try saying something a little different. Instead of revealing "she has plans" maybe something along the lines of "Turns out, he's been getting played by his crush this whole time!" I think something like that builds a touch more mystery and makes us wonder how and why, and then I definitely have to read to find out! =) 


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 loneliness 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. ​(I ​really ​like this part, this is where I get the most Harry Dresden vibes. It drives home the turbulence and temptation faced during adolescence.)

 

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

 

I really like this idea. It reminds me of a young Harry Dresden or at least the tale of a creature that could easily fit into his world and let me tell you I LOVE Harry Dresden. So, right away I know I want to read your story. I think those above managed to point out the few remaining issues. Aside from my small note I really like it! 


If you have time I would love feedback on my query: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356112

If you could spare a moment I would really appreciate critiques on my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=355669

 


#50 TheBest

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:22 PM

Thanks so much for all your help! I recently had an editor look at this IRL, and she gave me a few suggestions, which I've worked into this version. What do you all think? Is it more clear now? More fun?

 

Thanks!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert Agent Name],

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon. A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld. Oops.


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 fierce teenager 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 ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging.

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. To survive, Paul passes himself off as the vicious changeling he’s cracked up to be. But to Paul’s shock, he starts casting spells and taking names like a pro, popular for the very first time. Suddenly the rescue mission loses its shine. Paul must choose between saving the city that made him an outsider, or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity.

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#51 MICRONESIA

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:44 PM

Thanks so much for all your help! I recently had an editor look at this IRL, and she gave me a few suggestions, which I've worked into this version. What do you all think? Is it more clear now? More fun?

 

Thanks!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert Agent Name],

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! No exclamation point. Maybe say "finally" succeeds? Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon. A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco Why SF? Parking is impossible and the clubs barely stay open after two. instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld. Oops.


A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen is a changeling — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. Calling him "the teen" just confuses things. And if that wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns fierce teenager 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 ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging. Nice!

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. To survive, Paul passes himself off as the vicious changeling he’s cracked up to be. But to Paul’s shock, he starts casting spells and taking names like a pro, popular for the very first time. Suddenly the rescue mission loses its shine. Paul must choose between saving the city that made him an outsider, or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity. This whole paragraph goes on for a beat or two too long. I want to know QUICKLY: a) the impact of his choice and b) what aspect of HIMSELF he has to overcome in order to do to. Get in and get out -- quickly. You almost had me.

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Great voice, cool plot. I would read this.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#52 cmmg

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:19 PM

Thanks so much for all your help! I recently had an editor look at this IRL, and she gave me a few suggestions, which I've worked into this version. What do you all think? Is it more clear now? More fun?

 

Thanks!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert Agent Name],

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon. A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. (I like this!)The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld(is this part necessary? I like the voice but it feels like the demon does something in the sentence before. Then it does something here again that's unrelated, if that makes sense?). Oops.


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 fierce teenager 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 ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging. (so this is why the crush is mentioned)

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets. To survive, Paul passes himself off as the vicious changeling he’s cracked up to be. But to Paul’s shock, he starts casting spells and taking names like a pro, popular for the very first time. Suddenly the rescue mission loses its shine (I'm not sure why this would happen until I read the next sentence. I feel like Paul's feelings here are little wishy-washy like "I'm finally popular, not I don't want to stop the demon" because he can stop the demon and then still hang out in the Underworld and be popular, can't he? And I'm not really feeling that Paul is SO unpopular that it would really 100% loose its shine). Paul must choose between saving the city that made him an outsider, or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity.

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

I actually really like this. I think you have a good hook and development. I'm not so sure about the very last paragraph because there's some dense wording, and I'm not sure I understand Paul's logic right before the end. But other than that, I'd say it's good!


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#53 TheBest

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 02:33 PM

Thanks again for all the terrific feedback! You were definitely right about the last paragraph being too complex. I tweaked it below. Is it simpler now? 

 

Thanks!

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon. A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld. Oops.

 

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 fierce teenager 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 ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging.

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them 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 demon-hunting mission loses its shine. Paul must choose between battling his own kind to save a city that rejected him, or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity.

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#54 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:17 PM

Thanks again for all the terrific feedback! You were definitely right about the last paragraph being too complex. I tweaked it below. Is it simpler now? 

 

Thanks!

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! Still don't like the exclamation point, especially in your first sentence. From what I read on blogs, agents hate them as well. Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon. A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld. Oops.

 

A demon-hunting society arrests Paul for the blunder, revealing that the teen Just say "he," for goat's sake. is a changeling — a magically-inclined underworlder raised among humans. And if that wasn't stressful enough, the society assigns fierce teenager 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. Love this characterization.

 

The society gives high-strung Paul just one month to retrieve the ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging.

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them 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 demon-hunting mission loses its shine. Paul must choose between A bit too on-the-nose? "Gotta get the choice in here!" I think it could be framed in a more creative way. battling his own kind to save a city that rejected him, Wait, the city rejected him? When did this happen? I thought he was just kind of down on his luck. or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity. 

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Almost there.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#55 yawriter

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Posted Yesterday, 12:28 PM

Thanks so much for all your help! I recently had an editor look at this IRL, and she gave me a few suggestions, which I've worked into this version. What do you all think? Is it more clear now? More fun?

 

Thanks!

 

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

 

Dear [Insert Agent Name],

 

When sixteen-year-old overachiever and amateur occultist Paul “borrows” an enchanted ankh to conjure a social life, he actually succeeds! I am indifferent about the exclamation point. I don't see a lot of queries that have them, so idk what to feel lol. Well, he succeeds in summoning a demon.Wha... so you said he succeeds at conjuring a social life...but he didn't, he summons a demon...that is more of a hook. "social life...he summons a nasty demon instead"...or something like that . A demon that, unfortunately, plans on using the ankh what is an ankh?  to conquer San Francisco instead of scoring Paul a hot date to prom. The demon steals the ankh and kidnaps Paul’s crush before disappearing into the Underworld. Oops.


If you want to add more depth to Paul by saying "oops" you could begin by saying something more along the lines of " As if he doesn't feel like he could do worse, 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 fierce teenager Alice too many spaces between these two wordsto 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 ankh and rescue his crush. If he fails, the society turns his head into a wall hanging. Great! Love this. Stakes are high here. I wonder if he'll fall for Alice and forget about the crush. 

 

Paul and Alice’s search for the ankh takes them deep into the Underworld, a world where might makes right and danger strides through the ashen streets<--I didn't understand the last part of this sentence. To survive, Paul passes himself off as the vicious changeling I thought he IS a changeling... how is he just passing himself off as one now? he’s cracked up to be. But to Paul’s shock, he starts casting spells and taking names like a pro, popular for the very first time. Suddenly the rescue mission loses its shine. Paul must choose between saving the city that made him an outsider, or joining a world that wants to devour his humanity.

 

 

 

INTO THE INFERNO is a YA contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 80,000 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].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

So for a query, this is pretty long... 2-3 paragraphs tops. Less than 250 words is ideal too. If you tweak some things, I'm sure you could get the word count cut down. Great job! Keep up the good work. Please read Pieces of Alice query when you get a chance. 






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