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VERITY (YA Fantasy)


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#21 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:31 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Since running away from home a year ago, Feidhelm More has burned—literally. He performs “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire (to earn money) and pretends not to give a damn about his alienation from his family (to stay sane).

 

Businessman John Kostelecky is the first to see through the deception. He appears at a show armed with the whereabouts of Feidhelm’s estranged father and a name for his talents: Pyrokinesis, an ability linked to the Kinetics, an elite group of people who can control natural aspects of the world: the Kinetics. Kostelecky proposes a business deal: retrieve the Verity Archive, a book he can use to stop a shadow eater from destroying the world, and he’ll introduce Feidhelm to his father. Why does Feidhelm want to meet his father? Make this last line here more dramatic - maybe switch up the delivery. "He'll introduce Feildhem is his estranges father, if he does something for him - retrieve the Verity Archive.

 

What is the Verity Archive? A legend? Something he's heard about before? Is is dreaded? Mysterious? Feared? Is it his world's equivalent of the holy grail?

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, which is located at the end of the universe, and receive the information he needs, Feidhelm teams up with a dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets—all of whom are also Kinetics. There is a lot going on in this sentence, structurally speaking. Trim it into two neater ones to ease the clutter. In the end of the universe, they face Defenders hell-bent on keeping the book where it is and the Contagion, a disease to which they’re supposedly immune. As it becomes apparent Kostelecky kept one big secret for himself, Feidhelm tries to forget one thing:

 

Verity can be more dangerous than any lie. What lie? I feel like this is supposed to be dramatic, but it doesn't pack that dramatic punch that it should.

 

VERITY, a YA urban fantasy complete at 98,000 words, is told from four different points of view. It will appeal to those who enjoyed the fast-paced heist in Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and the large cast of characters in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

 
Good - I'd like to know more about the stakes. What happens if he doesn't get the book? What happens if he does? Why risk going to the end of the universe for a stranger? Why team up with these people? Why him? Why now? 


#22 morgan.spraker

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:54 PM

Big thanks to everyone who critiqued! Latest version:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Since running away from home a year ago, 18 year-old Feidhelm Moore has burned—literally. He performs “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire and pretends not to give a damn about his lack of family.

 

Businessman John Kostelecky is the first to see through the deception. He appears at a show armed with the whereabouts of Feidhelm’s estranged father an a name for his talents: Pyrokinesis, an ability linked to the Kinetics, an elite group of people who can control natural aspects of the world. Kostelecky promises to introduce Feidhelm to his absent father if he uses his pyrokinesis to steal the Verity Archive—a book of truths he can use to stop an ancient monster from destroying the world. Feidhelm, tired of lying to himself about not being lonely, agrees to the deal.

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, Feidhelm teams up with a group of Kinetics: an anxious dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets and avoids using her kinesis. At the end of the universe, they face three Defenders, who are hell-bent on keeping the book where it is, and people infected with the Contagion, a disease accidentally produced by scientists attempting to stop the universe’s decay to which Kinetics are immune. As one in the group falls ill and the group learns more about the book they must steal, Feidhelm realizes Kostelecky kept secrets for himself and that he may have ventured across centuries for a lie.

 

VERITY, a YA urban fantasy complete at 98,000 words, it told from four different points of view. It will appeal to those who enjoyed the fast-paced heist in Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS and the diverse cast of characters in Marissa Meyer’s THE LUNAR CHRONICLES.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#23 Patrick Bohan

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:21 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Since running away from home a year ago, 18 year-old Feidhelm Moore has burned—literally. He performs “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire and pretends not to give a damn about his lack of family. (This is a great way to establish character, but there's no hook or stakes establish yet. You may want to keep this, then add in a more tradition, "When ____ happens to ____, ____ must do ____ or ____" type of hook.)

 

Businessman John Kostelecky is the first to see through the deception. He appears at a show armed with the whereabouts of Feidhelm’s estranged father an a name for his talents: Pyrokinesis, an ability linked to the Kinetics, an elite group of people who can control natural aspects of the world. Kostelecky promises to introduce Feidhelm to his absent father if he uses his pyrokinesis to steal the Verity Archive—a book of truths he can use to stop an ancient monster from destroying the world. Feidhelm, tired of lying to himself about not being lonely, agrees to the deal. (This is great! I'm thoroughly hooked. Nice!)

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, Feidhelm teams up with a group of Kinetics: an anxious dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets and avoids using her kinesis. At the end of the universe, they face three Defenders, who are hell-bent on keeping the book where it is, and people infected with the Contagion, a disease accidentally produced by scientists attempting to stop the universe’s decay to which Kinetics are immune. As one in the group falls ill and the group learns more about the book they must steal, Feidhelm realizes Kostelecky kept secrets for himself and that he may have ventured across centuries for a lie.  (Too many details all at once. Keep it very simple and straightforward, and don't add in so much world building. Focus on essential characters and stakes.)

 

VERITY, a YA urban fantasy complete at 98,000 words, it told from four different points of view. It will appeal to those who enjoyed the fast-paced heist in Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS and the diverse cast of characters in Marissa Meyer’s THE LUNAR CHRONICLES.

(Amazing comps!!)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

This is great, but you could open with a hook that establishes stakes, and cut details from the second-to-last paragraph. Other than that, I'm fascinated - I'd definitely read this!!



#24 kmscott19

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:26 PM

My opinion only:

 

Since running away from home a year ago, 18-year-old Feidhelm Moore has burned—literally. He performs “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire and pretending not to give a damn about his lack of family.

 

Businessman John Kostelecky is the first to see through the deception. He appears at a magic show Feidhelm performs in armed with the whereabouts of Feidhelm’s estranged father and a name for his talents: Pyrokinesis, an ability linked to the Kinetics, an elite group of people who can control natural aspects of the world. Kostelecky promises to introduce Feidhelm to his absent father if he uses his pyrokinesis to steal the Verity Archive—a book of truths he can use to stop an ancient monster from destroying the world. Feidhelm, tired of lying to himself about not being lonely, agrees to the deal.

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, Feidhelm and a team of Kinetics, kids like him with their own branch of gifts, must cross the universe to find it. But teams up with a group of Kinetics: an anxious dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets and avoids using her kinesis. At the end of the universe, they face three Defenders, who are hell-bent on keeping the book where it is, and people infected with the Contagion, a disease accidentally produced by scientists attempting to stop the universe’s decay (something needs to be here. These people with the Contagion need to be stopping Feidhelm from getting the book or in someway causing a problem… but your story so I don’t know where they come into play or how) to which Kinetics are immune. As they one in the group falls ill and the group learns more about the Verity Archive book they must steal, Feidhelm they realizes Kostelecky has kept secrets for himself and that he may have ventured across centuries for a lie.

 

I think it's a great query. Just needs a bit of tweaking.

 

On a side note: You say it's an urban fantasy, but your sentence 'at the end of the universe' makes it sound more like a science fiction. That one line throws me for the genre and it would be a bummer if agents thought that too. Maybe a different sentence or something??

 

Hope this helps :)



#25 bkarperien

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:29 PM

Big thanks to everyone who critiqued! Latest version:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Since he ran away from home running away from home a year ago, 18 year-old Feidhelm Moore has burned—literally. He's survived (I added this because the sentence doesn't flow without something connecting these two ideas) by performing “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire and pretending not to give a damn about his lack of family. ​Until businessman John Kostelecky sees through the deception and offers him a deal: if Feidhelm uses his pyrokinesis to steal the Verity Archive, an artifact Kostelecky intends to use to stop an ancient monster from destroying the world, Kostelecky will introduce him to his estranged father.  (I agree with TheBest here, would recommend developing this hook, the sentence above is basically what I would add to this. Good start, though!)  Feidhelm, tired of lying to himself about not being lonely, agrees to the deal.

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, Feidhelm teams up with a group of Kinetics: an anxious dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets and avoids using her kinesis. At the end of the universe, they face three Defenders, who are hell-bent on keeping the book where it is, and people infected with the Contagion, a disease accidentally produced by scientists attempting to stop the universe’s decay to which Kinetics are immune. As one in the group falls ill and the group learns more about the book they must steal, Feidhelm realizes Kostelecky kept secrets for himself and that he may have ventured across centuries for a lie.

(Okay, but: who are the Kinetics? Are they like, a formal superhero club or something? And I don't understand about the end of the universe? Or who the Defenders are? Or what the Contagion has to do with anything. And ventured across centuries totally throws me for a loop. 

So, I'd just pare this down, stick to the basic conflict and the stakes. Because you mentioned at the beginning that there was supposedly a monster trying to destroy the earth, and that's making me nervous, but you never actually bring it up again. Like, eh, no big deal, this happens all the time. And what about the stakes for Feihelm, personally? Why does it matter to him if he fails? What does he stand to lose?

 

Also, with the whole "end of the universe" and "ventured across centuries", this does kind of have a sci-fi sound to it, but I don't know. 

 

Anyway, I'm sorry if I just shredded your query, but this sounds like a really freaking awesome story. 

 

 

 

VERITY, a YA urban fantasy complete at 98,000 words, it  is told from four different points of view. It will appeal to those who enjoyed the fast-paced heist in Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS and the diverse cast of characters in Marissa Meyer’s THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. (Comp titles should be italicized, not all-caps :) )

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

UMMMM

Your novel sounds so cool

Can I read it right now please

Also if you get a chance, please check out my query :) 


Check out my query!


#26 Macintot

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:59 PM

I really like the premise of this book, and you're query's definitely coming along. My notes are in red, and the parts of your query they pertain to are in  blue .

 

 

 


Dear Agent,

 

Since running away from home a year ago, 18 year-old (You need a hyphen between 18 and year.) Feidhelm Moore has burned—literally. He performs “magic” shows using his supernatural powers over fire (This seems wordy to me. Maybe try "fire magic" or something along those lines?) and pretends not to give a damn about his lack of family.

 

Businessman John Kostelecky is the first to see through the deception. He appears at a show (What show? The reader may not have connected the dots.) armed with the whereabouts of Feidhelm’s estranged father an a name for his talents: Pyrokinesis, an ability linked to the Kinetics, an elite group of people who can control natural aspects of the world. Kostelecky promises to introduce Feidhelm to his absent father if he uses his pyrokinesis to steal the Verity Archive—a book of truths he can use to stop an ancient monster from destroying the world (Again, this seems wordy. That could just be me, though.). Feidhelm, tired of lying to himself about not being lonely, agrees to the deal.

 

To retrieve the Verity Archive, Feidhelm teams up with a group of Kinetics: an anxious dreamer who can’t move past a graveyard, a 1960’s schoolgirl with synesthesia, and a boxer who fights to defend her secrets and avoids using her kinesis. At the end of the universe, they face three Defenders, (Who are these Defenders, and how much do they feature in the story? If it's not much, I would cut them out, and maybe just allude to the characters facing numerous obstacles/enemies.) who are hell-bent on keeping the book where it is, and people infected with the Contagion, a disease accidentally produced by scientists attempting to stop the universe’s decay to which Kinetics are immune. (You might want a comma or two in this. Are Kinetics immune to the Contaigon or the decay of the universe?) As one in the group falls ill and the group learns more about the book they must steal, Feidhelm realizes Kostelecky kept secrets for himself and that he may have ventured across centuries (I agree with bkarperien that this came a little out of nowhere. Is time travel a thing here? Or does Feidhelm's quest take several hundred years to complete?)

for a lie.

 

VERITY, a YA urban fantasy complete at 98,000 words, it told from four different points of view. It will appeal to those who enjoyed the fast-paced heist in Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS and the diverse cast of characters in Marissa Meyer’s THE LUNAR CHRONICLES.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 






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