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Eyes White as Snow (YA Fantasy)

Fiction Young Adult Fantasy

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#41 Tiffany

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:21 PM

The only thing that jumped out at me was the same thing PureZhar3 mentioned, the phrase "tend to" seems very awkward. Other than that I think it's spot on. I really like the concept of his eyes having power too it's very intriguing!
Please take a look at my query letter in return if you are able to. http://agentquerycon...ens-literature/

#42 rhwashere

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:04 PM

This query definitely reads better, but now I’m wondering how much of your story you’ve covered here. Traditionally, queries focus only on the first act of your story, where you introduce your characters, have an inciting incident, and escalate to your first “oh, crap!” moment.

Is there any way you can reduce the scope of this query to just that first act? Because, to be honest, I found your first paragraph more interesting than all the Farwae stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I like fantasy, but your main task in this query is to make me care about Bryan. Being an outsider in a small town with just his mum does that. Training to use powers with elves in a forest does not. It’s a tired trope and needs emotional significance to keep us interested.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...eep-ya-fantasy/


#43 Arcanjoe

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:04 PM

Thanks again! Agree about the 'tend to'. Been cut. Rhwashere, this query only includes about half the plot, up to the midpoint. If I cut it back further and focus in on his home life, I think I would struggle to get to the key aspects of the story (magic system, divination and the ultimate choice between his new friends and his life at home). This is, after all, Portal Fantasy. So what happens in Farwae is 95% of the story. Though there are no elves to be seen anywhere in my world.  :wink:  New draft below.

 

Dear *Agent,*

 

Moving house sucks. Moving five times in five years sucks more. It turns out small towns don't like a boy with white eyes moving in down the street.

 

Fifteen-year-old Bryan Bradley hopes this quiet seaside village will be different. Together with his mum - the only person he has left in the world - he prays to finally be able to call somewhere home. While exploring, Bryan stumbles upon an opal that looks like a lightning storm trapped inside a marble. One touch and he wakes in Farwae–a land ruled by a cruel King obsessed with a divination that predicts the arrival of a white-eyed boy who is to be his downfall.

 

Bryan escapes the King's trackers by taking refuge with a group of young forest-dwellers known as Mati, who have unusual eyes like his. Their colourful eyes grant them abilities ranging from enhanced eyesight to mind manipulation; the rarer their eye colour the more powerful their ability, and there hasn’t been a white Mati in Farwae for over a century. If the Mati can teach Bryan to unlock his powers, he may be the key to ridding Farwae of the tyrannical King who has hunted their kind to near-extinction.

 

Soon Bryan is navigating sentient forests, honing his emerging abilities with the Mati's enigmatic leader and, without meaning to, joining his new friends’ revolution. But then he learns there’s a way home––the precious opal that brought him to Farwae and then vanished. Bryan is forced to make a choice: find the opal and return home to his Mum and the new life they're building, or stay in Farwae and fight beside the only friends he’s ever known, for liberty in a land where he may finally belong.

 

EYES WHITE AS SNOW is a standalone YA Fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 95,000 words. I’ve had two crime novels published with Carina UK, a subsidiary of Harper Collins. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention,


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

Eyes White as Snow:

http://agentquerycon...-fantasy/page-2

 

Or the first 250 words of my story...

In the Heart of the Desert:

http://agentquerycon...agical-realism/


#44 rhwashere

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:51 PM

Two things:

I would mention that the opal disappears somewhere at the end of paragraph 2, instead of later on. It will let us know that he’s stuck in Farwae for the time being and explains why he doesn’t just go back home to escape the trackers.

And I still think the choice at the end is weak. He’s all set to fight the king and save the day, but suddenly he has to choose whether or not to go looking for that opal? He could have faced that choice long before getting wrapped up with the Mati. Why is that such an appealing option for him after training and joining the revolution, as opposed to before? What bad thing will happen if he chooses to stay and finish his quest?

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...eep-ya-fantasy/


#45 Wayfarer

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Posted Yesterday, 02:38 AM

Moving house sucks. Moving five times in five years sucks more. It turns out most small towns don't like a boy with white eyes moving in down the street.

 

Fifteen-year-old Bryan Bradley hopes this quiet seaside village will be different. Together with his mum - the only person he has left in the world - he prays he has finally found somewhere he can call home. While exploring, Bryan stumbles upon an opal resembling a lightning storm trapped within a marble. One touch and he is transported to (Wakes is awkard, just because it assumes we assume that the marble knocked him out) Farwae–a land ruled by a cruel King obsessed with a divination that predicts his downfall at the hands of a white-eyed boy.

 

Bryan escapes the King's trackers by taking refuge with a group of young forest-dwellers known as Mati, who have unusual eyes like his. Their colourful eyes grant them abilities ranging from enhanced eyesight to mind manipulation; the rarer their eye colour the more powerful their ability, and there hasn’t been a white Mati in Farwae for over a century. If the Mati can teach Bryan to unlock his powers, he may be the key to ridding Farwae of the tyrannical King who has hunted their kind to near-extinction.

 

Soon Bryan is navigating sentient forests, (I'd read this book because of this part alone. Forests are my garden of eden) honing his emerging abilities with the Mati's enigmatic leader and, without meaning to, joining his new friends’ revolution. But then he learns there’s a way home––the precious opal that brought him to Farwae and then vanished. Bryan is forced to make a choice: find the opal and return home to his Mum and the new life they're building, or stay in Farwae and fight beside the only friends he’s ever known, for liberty in a land where he may finally belong.

 

So much better. I had pretty minute phrase adjustment opinions, but the overall structure is great. 



#46 darsenault

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Posted Yesterday, 03:16 AM

I'm going to make my notes in blue off Wayfarer's edits because I agree with all of them.

 

 

Moving house sucks. Moving five times in five years sucks more. It turns out most small towns don't like a boy with white eyes moving in down the street.


Is moving house a UK term? I've only ever heard people say simply, "Moving sucks," but I'm open to being wrong. Also, this first line should be your hook, but its the weakest part of your query. Your story begins in paragraph two, so your query should as well.
 

Fifteen-year-old Bryan Bradley hopes the quiet seaside village will be different. Together with his mum - the only person he has left in the world - he prays he has finally found somewhere he can call home. While exploring, Bryan stumbles upon an opal resembling a lightning storm trapped within a marble. One touch and he is transported to (Wakes is awkward) Farwae–a land ruled by a cruel King obsessed with a divination that predicts his downfall at the hands of a white-eyed boy.


Why is he being chased out of towns? White eyes are weird, but I've seen some pretty crazy looking people that everyone just gets used to. Remember: you can't say something happened because you need it to happen, it has to make sense.
Divination is an art or practice, the word is not interchangeable with prophecy, which is what you seem to be avoiding.

 

 

Bryan escapes the King's trackers by taking refuge with a group of young forest-dwellers known as Mati, who have unusual eyes like his. Their colourful eyes grant them abilities ranging from enhanced eyesight to mind manipulation; the rarer their eye colour the more powerful their ability, and there hasn’t been a white Mati in Farwae for over a century. If the Mati can teach Bryan to unlock his powers, he may be the key to ridding Farwae of the tyrannical King who has hunted their kind to near-extinction.

 

Soon Bryan is navigating sentient forests, (I'd read this book because of this part alone. Forests are my garden of eden) honing his emerging abilities with the Mati's enigmatic leader and, without meaning to, joining his new friends’ revolution. But then he learns there’s a way home––the precious opal that brought him to Farwae and then vanished. Bryan is forced to make a choice: find the opal and return home to his Mum and the new life they're building, or stay in Farwae and fight beside the only friends he’s ever known, for liberty in a land where he may finally belong.

 

I disagree with the commenter above who says your choice is weak. I see it clearly, and it seems appropriate.

 

Your query is VERY strong. If you sent it as-is, I think you'd get requests for partials. The cuts I suggested mostly serve to make it tighter and a more fluid read.







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