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The Nestbuilders (Middle Grade Fantasy)

Fiction Adventure Middle Grade

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#1 CWheaton

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:52 PM

Hello everyone! Queries drive me slightly insane. I would very much appreciate feedback. I've tried sending out queries before for other projects and, while I've learned a lot the last few years, this part never seems to get any easier. 

 

At the age of 12, Rebecca is the only human to have ever found her way into Entte—a world full of the birds she loves.

 

Learning to fly is amazing, but can she ever go home again? The portals are closing one by one. To make matters worse, shadowy creatures the birds hoped were gone forever start whispering to Rebecca from the forest depths.

 

As she explores Entte, Rebecca is drawn to the rainbow road that seems to lead into the dangerous center of the world. The shadows want her to follow it and they aren’t the only ones: she begins to have dreams about a city frozen in a moment of time and a magical boy who begs for her help.

 

What is really waiting for her in the center? Why did she end up in Entte at all? And how much is Rebecca willing to risk to discover the truth?

 

The Nestbuilders is an upper middle-grade fantasy adventure informed by both my Biology degree and my work as a naturalist with birds of prey.  I have four subsequent books planned in this series. While this would be my first novel, I’m already hard at work on my next one. 



#2 lnloft

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 11:02 AM

Don't worry, I doubt there's anyone left on this board who's entirely sane.

Hello everyone! Queries drive me slightly insane. I would very much appreciate feedback. I've tried sending out queries before for other projects and, while I've learned a lot the last few years, this part never seems to get any easier. 

 

At the age of 12, Rebecca is the only human to have ever found her way into Entte—a world full of the birds she loves. I wouldn't mind something stronger for this latter clause. It doesn't necessarily give me a good grasp of the world (I'm literally just picturing a world where you can't see more than two feet because there's just a cloud of birds flying everywhere, and I have a feeling that's not quite accurate).

 

Learning to fly is amazing, but can she ever go home again? Rhetorical questions are generally considered a no-no in queries. Also, I didn't get an indication that Rebecca would somehow be able to fly just because she enters Birdland.The portals are closing one by one. This is where more details would help. If there are portals, then how is it that Rebecca is the only person to ever find this place? One would think at least a few other people would have stumbled their way in. To make matters worse, shadowy creatures the birds hoped were gone forever start whispering to Rebecca from the forest depths. This in turn is a little vague. (Aside note: As I was typing, I started to write "tern" instead of "turn". Can't imagine why I have birds on the mind.)

 

As she explores Entte, Rebecca is drawn to the rainbow road that seems to lead into the dangerous center of the world. The shadows want her to follow it and they aren’t the only ones: she begins to have dreams about a city frozen in a moment of time and a magical boy who begs for her help.

 

What is really waiting for her in the center? Why did she end up in Entte at all? And how much is Rebecca willing to risk to discover the truth? Again, generally want to avoid rhetorical questions.

 

The Nestbuilders (word count?) is an upper middle-grade fantasy adventure informed by both my Biology degree and my work as a naturalist with birds of prey Not relevant to the query, but high-five on having similar backgrounds.  I have four subsequent books planned in this series. While this would be my first novel, I’m already hard at work on my next one. 

I guess on of the biggest problems I see is that a lot is presented here in vague terms. I don't have a good sense of the world Entte or what the stakes truly are. And the birds right now feel more like a backdrop than an integral part of the story. My advice is to buckle down on some concrete details for the second draft.

 

Good luck.



#3 smoskale

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 01:20 PM

At the age of 12, Rebecca is the only human to have ever found her way into Entte—a world full of the birds she lovesThis falls flat for me. Either find a way to make Entte sound so phenomenal anyone would wish they have found their way there, or start your query at the sentence below --->

 

Learning to fly is amazing, but can she ever go home again? The portals are closing one by one. To make matters worse, shadowy creatures the birds hoped were gone forever start whispering to Rebecca from the forest depths. This is nice with the time pressure and the ominous whispers! I'm enticed!

 

As she explores Entte, Rebecca is drawn to the rainbow road that seems to leads into the dangerous center of the world. The shadows want her to follow it, and they aren’t the only ones: she Rebecca begins to have dreams about a city frozen in a moment of time and a magical boy who begs for her help. Oooo exciting!

 

What is really waiting for her in the center? Why did she end up in Entte at all? And how much is Rebecca willing to risk to discover the truth?

Oh no! Not the rhetorical questions! Here should go the stakes. What are the risks? What bad thing will happen if she goes? What worse thing happens if she does not? 

 

The Nestbuilders is an upper middle-grade fantasy adventure informed by both my Biology degree and my work as a naturalist with birds of prey.  I have four subsequent books planned in this series. While this would be my first novel, I’m already hard at work on my next one. 

 

It sounds like an interesting story. You need word count. The novel's name should be capitalized, not italicized. Another general note: try to avoid starting sentences with clauses. It clutters writing and slows down the story-telling. Shorter, punchier sentences are better. 

 

I would be grateful for your help on my query:

http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/

 



#4 NGrzesik

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:52 PM

At the age of 12, Rebecca is the only human to have ever found her way into Entte—a world full of the birds she loves. This feels weak for a "hook". I think something stronger would be better. 

 

 

Learning to fly is amazing, but can she ever go home again? The portals home are closing one by one. To make matters worse, shadowy creatures the birds hoped were gone forever start whispering to Rebecca from the forest depths. What are the shadows whispering? Do they want her to stay?

 

As she explores Entte, Rebecca is drawn to the rainbow road that seems to lead into the dangerous center of the world What exactly makes it dangerous?. The shadows want her to follow it and they aren’t the only ones: she begins to have dreams about a city frozen in a moment of time and a magical boy who begs for her help. This is extremely vague. What does the city look like? Is there a reason Rebecca can tell why the magical boy is begging for help?

 

What is really waiting for her in the center? Why did she end up in Entte at all? And how much is Rebecca willing to risk to discover the truth? If I were you, I wouldn't end your query with all these questions at the end. It would spark an agent's interest more if there's a cliff-hanger.

 

The Nestbuilders is an upper middle-grade fantasy adventure informed by both my Biology degree and my work as a naturalist with birds of prey.  I have four subsequent books planned in this series. While this would be my first novel, I’m already hard at work on my next one. 

 

I'm not super experienced in middle grade, so I don't know if you'd benefit from touching on the stakes. You don't mention any, and therefore I don't feel a sense of urgency. But, again, this is middle grade so I'm not 100% sure. Anyways, I hope I was at least a little help to you and good luck on your querying!


If you found my suggestions to be helpful, I'd appreciate if you took a look at my query for Ruptured Sky. Thanks. 






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