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THE REAPING (YA fantasy)


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#81 Bkrasnik

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:47 PM

I took what I could from each critique, so thank you! I tried to add in that the war is still going on in the third paragraph, so I hope I balanced it enough. Let me know what you think! Thank you!

 

 

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - Madeleine’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity. After the disappearance of her friend and fellow Nephilim, Caleb, she begins to fear the worst.

 

Although Madeleine enjoys fighting,(Why would she enjoy fighting? Good people don't like to fight for the hell of it, but it happens as a result of uncontrolled emotions) the Plague are a new being that she had not predicted. They are soulless, vile creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind. She suspects they are responsible for Caleb’s disappearance. As she hunts the Plague and searches for Caleb, she runs into a mysterious man named Jonathan, the only person she can find where Caleb vanished. She suspects Jonathan might know something about Caleb - (add a comma instead of a dash) but she is unsure if he shares a connection with the Plague.

 

Madeleine grows closer to Jonathan. His subtle touches and his words intrigue and confuse her. But she is human and he is Nephilim, and a relationship between them is not allowed. She continues to visit him after long nights of fighting the Plague (this sentences makes it seem like fighting off the plague is a no-biggie, while this relationship between them is the most important thing. It diminishes the scare factor you created in the previous paragraph. I want to see Madeline be emotionally charged about the plague and feel pain from those she lost because of it instead of wiping her cleans of it after a long night.), still wondering if he holds a connection to them or to Caleb. Though his energy feels human to her, she is starting to question herself. His words always tell her to stay away, but she knows he wants her to come back. Knowing him would mean everything to her, and knowing his secrets could lead her to Caleb. But she is afraid if she gets Caleb back, she could lose Jonathan instead. 

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

You have a pleasant writing style with a coherent flow and content that has me intrigued. I feel like you need to determine whether your primary focus in the book is on the relationship between her and Jonathon or on fighting the plague. If its on the plague, you need to elevate the feelings of fear as the query progresses. If its on Jonathon, don't put so much focus on the plague and how gruesome they are if you don't plan to see through it, because it is a distraction to your central theme. 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#82 HeatherBlue

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 02:45 PM

Tried to make it mostly about the relationships but I have to weave in the Plague at least somewhat. Thanks everyone!

 

 

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - Madeleine’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity. After the disappearance of her friend and fellow Nephilim, Caleb, she begins to fear the worst.

 

The Plague are soulless, vile creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind. Madeleine suspects they are responsible for Caleb’s disappearance, but when she investigates the church where Caleb vanished, she runs into a mysterious man named Jonathan. She wonders if Jonathan might know something about Caleb, but she is unsure if he shares a connection with the Plague.

 

Madeleine grows closer to Jonathan. His subtle touches and his words intrigue and confuse her. After long nights of fighting the Plague, her visits to Jonathan soothe her as much as they worry her. She still wonders if he holds a connection to the Plague or to Caleb. Though his energy feels human to her, she is starting to question who he really is. Knowing him would mean everything to her, and knowing his secrets could lead her to Caleb. But she is afraid if she gets Caleb back, she could lose Jonathan instead.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#83 BrookeJS

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 02:53 PM

Tried to make it mostly about the relationships but I have to weave in the Plague at least somewhat. Thanks everyone!

 

 

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - Madeleine’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity. After the disappearance of her friend and fellow Nephilim, Caleb, she begins to fear the worst. ​I'd say start this line with "When" and instead of friend, say ex. Remember, we want drama. Not soap-opera drama, but drama none-the-less.

 

The Plague are soulless, vile creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind. Madeleine suspects they are responsible for Caleb’s disappearance, but when she investigates the church where Caleb vanished, she runs into a mysterious man named Jonathan. She wonders if Jonathan might know something about Caleb, but she is unsure if he shares a connection with the Plague. ​My only issue with this line is your hook. Either change that to say her job is to fight the Plague then provide us the explanation or add back in that she learns the threat is the plague, then give the explanation of what it is. 

 

Madeleine grows closer to Jonathan. His subtle touches and his words intrigue and confuse her. After long nights of fighting the Plague, her visits to Jonathan soothe her as much as they worry her. She still wonders if he holds a connection to the Plague or to Caleb. Though his energy feels human to her, she is starting to question who he really is. Knowing him would mean everything to her, and knowing his secrets could lead her to Caleb. But she is afraid if she gets Caleb back, she could lose Jonathan instead. ​Raise these stakes, add some flare make this more intense and world shattering. Otherwise I love your prose during this part and I love the mystery you're building around Jonathan. 

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Good work here now all you need is more DRAMA lol. Drama is what pulls your reader in, why else are we reading books? They're inherently dramatic! Good job!


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

 


#84 HeatherBlue

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 06:14 PM

Thank you for the last critique. It took me a while to finish because I have been busy recently, but that's okay. I'm not sure where you meant for me to put "when" in the hook, but I switched it around anyway to make better sense with the second paragraph. Fixed my third paragraph, but we'll see how it sounds. Thank you!

 

 

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

After the disappearance of her ex and fellow Nephilim, Caleb, Madeleine begins to fear the worst. As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - her job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity.

 

The Plague are soulless, vile creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind. Madeleine suspects they are responsible for Caleb’s disappearance, but when she investigates the church where Caleb vanished, she runs into a mysterious man named Jonathan. She wonders if Jonathan might know something about Caleb, but she is unsure if he shares a connection with the Plague.

 

Madeleine is torn every time she visits Jonathan. She likes it when he touches her but is also confused since he appears to be a priest. After long nights of fighting the Plague, her visits to him soothe her just as much as they worry her. She still wonders if he holds a connection to the Plague or to Caleb. Though his energy feels human to her, she is starting to question who he really is. Knowing him would mean everything to her, and knowing his secrets could lead her to Caleb. But she is afraid that if she gets Caleb back, she could lose Jonathan, and she is afraid even if he tells her what he knows, Caleb could already be dead.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#85 HeatherBlue

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 05:11 PM

So I tried this one from Jonathan's POV. I feel like I need to put more Madeleine in it, and honestly I just feel like I need more emotion from Jonathan too. But just let me know what information is unnecessary and anything that you think is missing. I also know the writing is not great in parts of it. But I just wanted to throw this out there for now. Thanks!

 

Also let me know if you think it should be from both Jonathan and Madeleine's POV and if you have an example query of that. Thanks!

 

 

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

Jonathan wants to die. When his life was taken from him, he assumed the roll of Death, and with that power, he has created a new being called the Plague.

 

The weight of the souls passing through him has been too much. His thoughts have made his job into a prison, and the Plague were created to kill humans in order for him to collect more souls. They bite their victims, spreading venom into new blood, killing people in the process to become more Plague.

 

But the Nephilim are there to stop him. When eighteen-year-old Nephilim Madeleine walks into his church, he knows immediately what she is. When he starts falling for her, he wants to tell her the truth of what he is, and what he has done, but he doesn’t know if she will forgive him.

 

Jonathan killed her ex-boyfriend, Caleb, the reason Madeleine walked into the church in the first place. It was the last place Caleb’s scent was found, and Jonathan knows why his scent abruptly vanished there. Caleb is not dead, but he is one of the Plague.

 

As his desire to die fades, he is torn between telling her the truth and dying with his secrets. He wants her to love him, but he feels that what he has done is too terrible for someone else to bear. She has helped him see how beautiful the world can be.

 

But he knows, no matter what he does to redeem himself, and no matter how much he loves her, he is going to die anyway, and Caleb is going to die too. The Plague die with him.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#86 HeatherBlue

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 08:35 PM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

Assuming the roll of Death, Jonathan Wells is unable to cope with the thousands of souls passing through his body every day. He creates the Plague in order to manifest his true death.

 

The Plague are soulless beings, using their venom to infect people with the bubonic plague. When they die, they become the creature in order to spread the disease faster. Jonathan is not supposed to go down this dark path, and he is aware that the Nephilim are trained Guardians, killing the Plague every night even as more are being created. Jonathan is the only one that knows they will die with him.

 

Eighteen-year-old Nephilim Madeleine walks into his church. Jonathan knows immediately what she is. He doesn’t want to kill her, and when he realizes he loves her, he understands why. He wants to tell her the truth, but he doesn’t know if she will forgive him. Madeleine’s ex-boyfriend, Caleb, is missing. The church is the last place his scent was found, and Jonathan is afraid she is going to ask about him. Caleb may not be dead, but he is one of the Plague.

 

Jonathan’s desire to die fades. He wants her to love him, but he feels that what he has done is too terrible for someone else to bear. She has helped him see how beautiful the world can be. But he knows, no matter what he does to redeem himself, and no matter how much he loves her, he is going to die anyway, and Caleb is going to die too.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#87 Bkrasnik

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 11:51 PM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

Assuming the roll of Death, Jonathan Wells is unable to cope with the thousands of souls passing through his body every day. (Whoa, that's crazy! Nice opening liner!) He creates the Plague in order to manifest his true death. (I would reword this last sentence just a little bit, so it has more punch.)

 

The Plague are soulless beings, using their venom to infect people with the bubonic plague. When they die, they become the creature in order to spread the disease faster (might need a little clarification here--when the plague are alive they are infecting people, but when they die they are a creature infecting people faster? I thought they were a creature to begin with, when they were alive too.) Jonathan is not supposed to go down this dark path (I don't see a connection to this sentence--he is not supposed to go down what dark path? By dark path do you mean being the plague, running away from the plague, etc?), and he is aware that the Nephilim are trained Guardians, killing the Plague every night (Based on your logic, when the plague dies, they spread the disease even faster, so what is the point of killing them, if it will only make matters worse?) even as more are being created. Jonathan is the only one that knows they (who is they? The Plague or the Nephilim?) will die with him.

 

Eighteen-year-old Nephilim Madeleine walks into his church (This feels like an unfinished sentence. I would connect this one with the next). Jonathan knows immediately what she is. He doesn’t want to kill her, and when he realizes he loves her, he understands why (Why does he love her all of a sudden? The logic is flawed again. You are saying that the reason why he realizes he loves her is because he wants to tell her the truth and he doesn't know if he will be forgiven. Those are two strings of thought that have no connection to each other from the point of view of someone who doesn't know the story.) . He wants to tell her the truth, but he doesn’t know if she will forgive him. Madeleine’s ex-boyfriend, Caleb, is missing. (Wait, what? You just introduced two characters out of nowhere, without a proper intro.) The church is the last place his scent was found, and Jonathan is afraid she is going to ask about him. Caleb may not be dead, but he is one of the Plague. (whoa, another random sentence that doesn't follow what happened before.)

 

Jonathan’s desire to die fades. He wants her to love him, but he feels that what he has done is too terrible for someone else to bear. She has helped him see how beautiful the world can be. But he knows, no matter what he does to redeem himself, and no matter how much he loves her, he is going to die anyway, and Caleb is going to die too.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Hi HeatherBlue,

 

I think you have an interesting story, but your query is all over the place. I think the most important thing you need to work on is understanding logical flow and transitions. A lot of your sentences are random and don't connect to what is happening before or after. There is also a lack of context. As an objective reader who doesn't know your story, I am struggling to understand what you are talking about. I don't know if the logical flow issue is also in your book or not, but I would highly recommend you get a beta reader review your book if they haven't already. These are things that can totally be fixed, so don't feel deterred by my comments. Good luck & if you have a few minutes, please take a look at my query as well! Thanks :) 

 

Update: I just reviewed your query in post #83 and it is a lot better than this one. There is logical flow and enough context in that one! 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#88 RoseGlacier

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 12:43 AM

Hi HeatherBlue. I noted a misspelling in your opening line below (*role). 

 

While the premise of your story is interesting, I find the flow of this query difficult to follow. Query writing is tough! Good on you for working so hard at it and being so receptive to assistance.

 

You repeat the word 'plague' a lot, and some of the things you mention seem a little nonsensical in context. Why would Jonathan realize he loves Madeleine so quickly? Jonathan is not supposed to go down this dark path - why? According to whom? How or why did he assume the role of Death? Is he dead? Does he still have a human body? How can Caleb be one of the Plague if he's not dead, when you previously said "When they die, they become the creature"? Venom and the bubonic plague are not interchangeable, but you make it sound like they are. 

 

Obviously I haven't read the story, so I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly based on what you've written. 

 

OH. I just read your post in #83. This is vastly, vastly better than the version in #86. I think you should go with this.



#89 HeatherBlue

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 07:43 PM

Hi HeatherBlue,

 

I think you have an interesting story, but your query is all over the place. I think the most important thing you need to work on is understanding logical flow and transitions. A lot of your sentences are random and don't connect to what is happening before or after. There is also a lack of context. As an objective reader who doesn't know your story, I am struggling to understand what you are talking about. I don't know if the logical flow issue is also in your book or not, but I would highly recommend you get a beta reader review your book if they haven't already. These are things that can totally be fixed, so don't feel deterred by my comments. Good luck & if you have a few minutes, please take a look at my query as well! Thanks :) 

 

Update: I just reviewed your query in post #83 and it is a lot better than this one. There is logical flow and enough context in that one! 

 

 

Hi HeatherBlue. I noted a misspelling in your opening line below (*role). 

 

While the premise of your story is interesting, I find the flow of this query difficult to follow. Query writing is tough! Good on you for working so hard at it and being so receptive to assistance.

 

You repeat the word 'plague' a lot, and some of the things you mention seem a little nonsensical in context. Why would Jonathan realize he loves Madeleine so quickly? Jonathan is not supposed to go down this dark path - why? According to whom? How or why did he assume the role of Death? Is he dead? Does he still have a human body? How can Caleb be one of the Plague if he's not dead, when you previously said "When they die, they become the creature"? Venom and the bubonic plague are not interchangeable, but you make it sound like they are. 

 

Obviously I haven't read the story, so I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly based on what you've written. 

 

OH. I just read your post in #83. This is vastly, vastly better than the version in #86. I think you should go with this.

 

 

Thank you! This is very interesting to know that it makes more sense from Madeleine's POV. I tried to write it from Jonathan's POV because he starts the book, but Madeleine tells most of the story. I think I just have more material to work with when it comes to writing from her POV in the query. I will come up with a new draft soon and see what you guys think of it. *And I can't believe I swapped "role" for "roll." Anyway, thank you!



#90 HeatherBlue

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 06:57 PM

Dear Agent or Publisher, 

 

After the disappearance of her ex and fellow Nephilim, Caleb, Madeleine begins to fear the worst. As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - this eighteen-year-old’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity.

 

When the Plague - soulless creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind - started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. She suspects they are responsible for Caleb’s disappearance, but no one else has found any evidence of where he could be. Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily, so she decides to investigate on her own. She storms into the church where he vanished, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan.

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something from her. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She wants to know him - and his secrets could lead her to Caleb. But she is afraid if she gets Caleb back, she could lose Jonathan, and most of all, she is afraid that Caleb is already dead.

 

CLOSING...



#91 HeatherBlue

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 06:55 PM

I have two different beginnings, so tell me which one you think is more hook-y. Only thing I did was switch the first two sentences. Thank you!

 

 

Version 1:

 

When the Plague - soulless creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind - started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing.

 

As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - eighteen-year-old Madeleine’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She decides to investigate on her own. She storms into the church where they found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan.

 

 

Version 2:

 

As a new Guardian in an army of Nephilim - human and Angel hybrids - eighteen-year-old Madeleine’s job is to fight off a rising threat to humanity.

 

When the Plague - soulless creatures with the purpose of devouring humankind - started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She decides to investigate on her own. She storms into the church where they found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan.

 

(this paragraph is last for both versions)

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something from her, and the more she feels drawn to him. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her.



#92 HeatherBlue

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 07:30 PM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a threat to the human race rises, eighteen-year-old Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim will do everything in their power to stop them.

 

The Plague are soulless creatures named for their consuming sickness as the infected human dies. When they started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She starts an investigation of her own, storming into the church where they found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan.

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something from her, and the more she feels drawn to him. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#93 HeatherBlue

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:03 PM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a threat to the human race rises, eighteen-year-old Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim will do everything in their power to stop them.

 

These soulless creatures infect humans with their venom in order to multiply their race. When the Plague started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She starts an investigation of her own, storming into the church where they found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan.

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something, and the more she feels drawn to him. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#94 crestakaz

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:29 AM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a threat to the human race rises, eighteen-year-old Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim will do everything in their power to stop them. What threat? Stop whom (the Nephilim? but they're helping her?)? This is a little too vague, especially as a hook. Plus, the "threat to human race" bit can get cliched, particularly if there's not any specificity. I'd rework this a little.

 

These soulless creatures infect humans with their venom in order to multiply their race Again, are we talking about the nephilim, or is this someone else?. When the Plague started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing one of her own being the Nephilim?. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance Isn't that a bit contrary to what the previous sentence? She doesn't expect one of her own to go missing, yet she immediately assumes "they" are responsible for his disappearance? Also, is "they" the Plague? I just read that as a singular disease type of situation due to the bubonic plague, black plague, etc.. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She starts an investigation of her own, storming into the church where they found his scent getting a little too specific here, perhaps, with the location; I think only the "investigation" part is necessary, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan what makes him mysterious? You don't have to give away his backstory, but what quality makes him interesting? Just something that lets us in on the atmosphere of your query/MS.

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something, and the more she feels drawn to him. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever by this sentence, I don't get the feeling she needs him that much; right now, she just seems to have a mild attraction to him, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her Since Caleb is written just to be her ex, it doesn't initially put a lot of motivation into her choice; she seems to only know Caleb and at most feels bad that he's gone missing. Right now, her choice seems clear that she'd go with new guy she's attracted to.

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington No offense, but is there a reason you included the specific town? This feels like filler info, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Starting out on a rocky basis only led the rest of the query to raise even more questions. A lot of the questions would be answered if the opening sentence was clearer. I'd rework your stakes, as well; if that's an accurate depiction of the stakes, then focus on making her relationship with Caleb seem more important. An ex who goes missing is sad, yes, but it doesn't seem like she has that much motivation to save him otherwise.

 

I think you're getting something going here, but it neesd a little more work.



#95 W.P.

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 05:10 AM

As a threat to the human race rises, eighteen-year-old Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim will do everything in their power to stop them ((reads a bit too vague and so it doesn't have the impact that this should have. I like the content of this paragraph, I just think the wording could be more specific and impactful.))).

 

These soulless creatures infect ((I suggest "Soulless creatures are infecting..." because when you say "these" it sounds like you are referring to the "nephilim" because they are the last creatures mentioned. and you never mentioned any other creatures or even these ones. you referred to them as "a threat".))) humans with their venom in order to multiply their race. ((I'm sure in the book it makes sense, but here, it sounds odd. How does poisoning humans help them multiply? needs to be clearer))) When the Plague started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. So when her ex, Caleb, vanishes, she assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. She starts an investigation of her own, storming into the church where they found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan. ((I feel like this paragraph isn't concise enough and seems to have no focus. I suggest keeping it tight, like, "When a plague of soulless creatures starts killing humans, Madeleine's ex, Caleb, vanishes. When they find his scent in a church, she rushes there, but finds a mysterious man, Jonathan, instead." Not the best example, but it shows what I mean: your whole paragraph could be trimmed down to two sentences.))) 

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something, and the more she feels drawn to him. The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her.  ((again, I think it should be more concise. It's redundant at times and too wordy too. Could be trimmed down to two-three sentences. Like, "Although she suspects he's hiding something, she can't help feel drawn to him. She fears interrogating him about the Plague and Caleb will drive him way. But if she doesn't, the chances of finding  Caleb alive grow slimmer." This is a poorly-worded example xD but it shows what I mean. It's best to be concise and keep your writing tight)))

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

I feel like your query ends too soon? Like we don't know enough about the novel yet. and that "ending" makes Madeleine sound really selfish. Anyone in her position (I hope) would much rather find a loved one (sure, he's an ex, but I'm guessing also her friend). Even if she didn't know him alll that well, he's still a human being and his life might be at stake. But she's worried about not losing a mysterious guy she knows little about (I'm guessing since they haven't known each other that long). This is the problem with queries I think. What works perfectly in a novel may be hard to explain in under 200 words. xD 

Also, you mentioned Nephilim once but then never again. And you don't explain why she's helping them. why's she so important? what can she do that others can't? Although this is a fantasy, it didn't read like it. Because the last paragraph didn't really show that. 

 

I think it's important to keep the query focused on one thing. Find the core is my advice. :)

 

I hope this has been helpful. :D

 

 

 

​If you have time, could you please take a look at my query as well? http://agentquerycon...ren-ya-fantasy/



#96 Quillaby

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 05:56 AM

Dear Agent or Publisher,

 

As a threat (what threat?) to the human race rises, eighteen-year-old Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim will do everything in their power to stop them.

 

Oh, the threat is a them. A group or something. See, when you start off which a phrase like "as a threat to the human race rises" the reader's brain immediately flings into all sorts of directions. For example, mine immediately conjured some kind of global weather catastrophe. That made the "them" at the end jarring and confusing.

 

This first sentence would be much, much better following the vetted subject/verb/clause formula: Madeleine and the rest of the Nephilim must stop the Plague from multiplying/killing everyone. 

 

These The Plague are soulless creatures (we need specifics) who infect humans with their venom in order to multiply their race. When the Plague started killing humans, Madeleine did not expect one of her own to go missing. So wWhen her Madeleine's ex, Caleb, vanishes, she Madeleine assumes they are responsible for his disappearance. No one else has found any evidence of his whereabouts, and Madeleine knows Caleb would never give up that easily. (give up on what? This doesn't make sense) She starts an investigation of her own, storming into the church where they (is "they" the Nephilim?) found his scent, only to run into a mysterious man named Jonathan. (what makes him mysterious?)

 

Instead of interrogating him, she visits him every night after fighting the Plague. (Why?) The more she talks to him, the more she feels as if he’s hiding something, and the more she feels drawn to him (these are two very conflicting reactions. She's falling for someone whilst simultaneously mistrusting them? That can happen, but you need to show us in a less jarring way. Right now, I am clueless as to why she's falling for this guy). The thought keeps itching at the back of her mind - Jonathan could know something about Caleb, but she has no idea how he could be connected to the Plague. She must make the choice to demand answers from him and risk losing him forever, or let him stay shrouded in secrets as the possibility of Caleb being alive gets further away from her.

 

If she's considering giving up on her search for Caleb because she's worried about upsetting her love interest with some questions, I'm really not feeling that sympathetic. It makes her come across as immature and silly.

 

Her being a Nephilim also seems to be completely irrelevant. If her motivation for fighting the Plague is somehow connected to her being a Nephilim, you need to to tell us. Otherwise we don't even need to know this about Madeleine. 

 

Set in present-day Ellensburg, Washington, and told through multiple perspectives, THE REAPING is a 95,000-word young adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#97 HeatherBlue

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:31 PM

I don't need any critiques on this right now. I have a new version that I am not posting, but thank you for all the critiques.






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