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A Burial for Ghosts - YA Historical Fiction


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#21 PureZhar3

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 03:25 PM

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories. I like this opening

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Ophelia, a meek girl who often feels more ghost than human, stumbles upon a knife in her family’s wood. She endeavors to push it out of thought This might be me, but the phrase "out of thought" seems a bit strange, even with visions of her late grandmother’s past haunting her every waking moment. Again, might be me, but the "even" connecting these two sentences is drawing a connection that doesn't quite make sense to me. It sounds as if her visions of her late grandmother's past are preventing her from forgetting the knife, but later it's revealed that she didn't think the knife was a big deal.

 

Ophelia’s young life is thrown asunder when Mrs. Gallaway, a cruel shadow of the kind-hearted mother Ophelia once loved Upon first read, I was briefly thought Mrs. Gallaway was a stepmother or nanny or even a ghost of her mother, rather than her real mother who has changed. I think it's the word shadow, which my mind is drawing into connection with the ghost aspect of your story, arranges a courtship between Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. It’s a poor match, so the newspapers say. But Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother—even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

Soon after, a long-buried history comes surging back in ways most puzzling: unearthed letters, clandestine conversation, and a series of ominous visions. But these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—her grandparents committed suicide. The knife she discovered is no longer simply a knife. It’s a suicide weapon.

 

Though still uncertain, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. In a stroke of good fortune, it seems, I would cut this out - we find out pretty quick that it might not actually be good fortune she and Silas grow closer. And she wants nothing more—that is, until she discovers the answers to their linked past: that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be, that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ suicides…and her own impending death. The linking of this sentence could be handled better... you could take probably take out "that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be", because it's pretty general and common, and the second 'that he...' is so much more intriguing

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical fiction novel, is complete at approximately 97,000 words.

I’m an alumna of the National English Honor Society and am currently pursuing an English degree. I was born and raised in Florida, where I escaped the doldrums of suburbia Great phrase! through my passion for writing and reading Super minor, but the phrase flows slightly better as "reading and writing", I think. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about me, you can find me at [insert url for my website here].

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I really like this; I get a sense of the world and characters quite well. It's a strong letter and the book sounds as if it has a lot of great twists and subplots. Best of luck to you.


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


#22 Artsnerd

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

Hey, all! Thanks for your help so far! :-) Here's my current draft:

 

Dear  ______,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. A spark of hope. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

________


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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#23 Artsnerd

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:52 AM

Btw, if I haven't reciprocated a critique of your query yet, please let me know! :) I've honestly lost track and I'd feel terrible if I didn't get to pay back the favor!


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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#24 MICRONESIA

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:24 AM

Hey, all! Thanks for your help so far! :-) Here's my current draft:

 

Dear  ______,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger. A quick sentence describing these would REALLY help. Are they quick, random flashes? Or dream sequences? Does she understand what's happening in them? Or do they operate under dream-logic? You've got to ground us a bit more. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges "Urges" still sounds weird. "Initiates?" a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman, Other people have stumbled over this. Is there NO other phrase to make the motivation more urgent than "this might cheer up Mom?" even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide. The chronology is slightly confusing here. Is the suicide info stuff she JUST learned, or did she know about it before?

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself Vague. Prove herself in what way? Could you instead say something like "clear the family name?" to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. A spark of hope. Not feeling this fragment. It doesn't add much. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends. There would be more conflict here is she's, like, falling for him. But she seems to hate him from the outset.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

________

 

I dig the plot and style. Again, I think the biggest issue is the vagueness in some parts. You're close.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#25 bijou

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:35 PM

Wow! This has progressed a lot! Great revision. I've added a few notes.

 

Dear  ______,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger.[This previous sentence is great. It does a lot.] She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step. [Nice move naming the estate. You've given this specificity so it all feels more grounded.]

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. [This turn of phrase gave me pause. I'm not sure how a bloodline runs with ridicule. Maybe be more direct here, less poetic.] In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman, even if it means being courted by a stranger. [This is so much clearer than the previous version.]

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide. [this goes pow. great.]

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades.[I agree with the previous commentor - "prove herself" is still a little vague.] As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. A spark of hope. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

________

 

I think you did a really admirable job revising this, and you're really close (whatever my opinion is worth!). Nice work!


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my historical novel query.


#26 PureZhar3

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 10:04 PM

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman, even if it means being courted by a stranger. This sentence makes sense to me, but I fear that it's because I'm familiar with the query. I think if I had never read this before, this sentence would confuse me.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of hope and understanding in him. A spark of hope. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. I don't know if I like this sentence. Maybe it's because it feels so final, so complete: "well, she discovered the secrets. Mystery over. Tension gone." As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

This is so good! Even being picky, I still couldn't find much to critique. I think you're almost there :D

 

As a side note, I've updated my query quite a bit since the last time you checked it out, so I would appreciate if you would stop by again (link in my signature).


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


#27 alibi174

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 11:02 AM

Dear  ______,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.<I really love you're opening! I'm hooked :) >

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman <I assume the loveless woman is her mother, although it is slightly unclear because you are talking about both Ophelia and her mother in this clause>, even if it means being courted by a stranger.<Is there anything else about him, besides him being a stranger, that would make his courtship more of a sacrifice?>

 

But soon <This transition feels a little clunky to me>, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself <"prove herself" sounds vague...what exactly is she trying to prove? Is she trying to reinstate her family's reputation? Do something for herself?> to a society that has banished <what do you mean the name has been banished? I thought they had a bad reputation, but do they refuse to acknowledge them altogether?> the Gallaway name for decades. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. A spark of hope. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately <this is implied> 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,


If you have a few moments, I'd appreciate your feedback on my query for BISECTER (YA Fantasy).


#28 VSChapman

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 02:35 PM

Hey, all! Thanks for your help so far! :-) Here's my current draft:

 

Dear  ______,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories. (good opening)

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden fits that have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step. (nice hook)

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother urges (I know someone else didn't like this word but I really think it fits here.) a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother, and bring love back to a loveless woman, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide. (if this wasn't know prior I'm wondering how they thought they died. It's really not that important right now though if you think it'll blog this down.)

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. A spark of hope. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas is not all he seems to be, and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

________

I like it! I think it's pretty clean and concise. Your hook is good. I really don't have any other questions, you've done a great job!



#29 Artsnerd

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:43 PM

I'm still working on this and trying to sort out the fourth paragraph. But in any case, thank you all for your help so far! :)

 

 

Dear ____,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone, and have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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#30 PureZhar3

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 04:14 PM

I'm still working on this and trying to sort out the fourth paragraph. But in any case, thank you all for your help so far! :)

 

 

Dear ____,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone Is she haunted by just her grandmother's past, or other pasts as well?, and have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Good! I think this is pretty solid and I'm not sure I have much advice left for you.

 

My query has been updated yet again... would you mind checking it out again when you get the chance?


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


#31 Sataris

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:41 PM

 

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts is she haunted by multiple pasts? Or just her grandmothers? that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone, and have made a strange girl even stranger. love this line She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule this trips me up a little each time i read it. maybe a tiny bit too abstract . In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again much improved, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though increasingly haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever determined to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers this reads as one of the classic red flags to me: it's trying to get us interested by withholding information. If the secret doesn't blow the rest of the plot up, I think you'd be better off telling us what it is to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do this would hit harder if it was worded differently - it doesn't seem like a groundbreaking discovery that he MAY have had someone to do with their deaths with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I think I'd drop the tacked on adjectives in red - both mawkish and reticent seem a bit too elevated for YA in my opinion. You're also showing us that she's shy by telling us she spends all of her time wandering her estate, so im not sure that needs to be mentioned either. I do like the improvements you've made!


No current query.


#32 galian84

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:18 PM

I'm still working on this and trying to sort out the fourth paragraph. But in any case, thank you all for your help so far! :)

 

 

Dear ____,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone, and have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step. (I agree with the previous critters that this shows her shyness. Also agree that "mawkish" might be a little too much for YA. I had to go look up the meaning of the term)

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. (Sounds vague...why is this? Does Ophelia have other family members with her same ability?) In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent (no need for this, it's already established that she's shy) Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide. (Intriguing)

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions (How does she uncover these secrets?). As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends. 

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love this concept. A big fan of ghost stories, even if not really a fan of YA, in general. But I do like where you're going with this. My two cents above, and it's more nitpicky than not, since this version is improved from your previous ones! I think a little more clarification and detail is needed in some parts, but otherwise pretty solid, IMO.



#33 Wayfarer

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 02:21 PM

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone, and have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And These mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. as she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

This has gotten far, far better. Love how you explain the visions in the first paragraph.

All my adjustments are small, save the final which is just something I found redundant and broke the flow of the writing for me.

Overall it's looking great!



#34 Verna116

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:33 PM

Hi! Great job and very interesting book! I love visions and ghosts and especially long buried secrets. I'd request pages!!!

 

Dear ____,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions and sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone. and have made a strange girl even stranger. She spends her days wandering about  in Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, where she can't escape her visions. thoughts.  with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again, even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history  secret comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and  is unearthed, along with a series of ominous visions,  And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret confession—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, Ophelia becomes  is more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#35 Artsnerd

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 02:30 PM

Thank you all so much for your help so far! I plan on returning query critiques in the near future. :-)


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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#36 ajvan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:17 PM

Hi Artsnerd! I'm late to the party, but I glanced at your first sentence and wanted to keep reading. 

 

I'm still working on this and trying to sort out the fourth paragraph. But in any case, thank you all for your help so far! :)

 

 

Dear ____,

 

Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories. Great first line.

 

It’s the summer of 1910. Since birth, shy, mawkish (not sure if you want to stack adjectives here, as it slows things) Ophelia has been haunted by pasts that aren’t her own. They come in the form of visions, sudden glimpses into the minds of those long-gone, and have made a strange girl even stranger. Excellent. Reading this makes me think you could cut "shy, mawkish" without losing those details, although "mawkish" is a great word. She spends her days wandering about Burgess, her family’s secluded estate, with visions shadowing her every step.

 

For years, her bloodline has run dark with rumors and ridicule. In a vain attempt to raise the Gallaways above society’s contempt, (Or more succinctly: escape the contempt of society) her mother arranges a courtship between the reticent Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. Though an odd match, Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother and make the woman smile again (I think you get the same idea across with this nice descriptive phrase), even if it means being courted by a stranger.

 

But soon, a long-buried history comes surging back through unearthed letters, clandestine conversations, and a series of ominous visions. And these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—Ophelia’s grandparents committed suicide. Good job slowly ratcheting up the tension.

 

Though haunted by fragments of her grandmother’s life, (Or, more briefly: Haunted by her grandmother) Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to clear her family’s name and salvage her mother’s love. As Silas and Ophelia grow closer, she discovers a spark of understanding in him. But then she uncovers the horrifying answers to a past she’s known only in visions. As she pieces together the secrets of her grandparents’ deaths, she discovers that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be...and that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ dark ends.

 

A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical novel, is complete at approximately 95,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Great query! I like the mood it evokes, ghostly and full of intrigue. I think you can tighten up that last paragraph. Try and cut any words you don't absolutely need. Aim for shorter sentences, since you've already introduced the relevant themes and characters. That will give us a sense of rising mystery, action, and possibly, disaster. Really good job. Oh, and if you're up for it, I have a query posted as well. 



#37 Artsnerd

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:05 AM

Thanks, all--I'm working on paying forward query critiques! :)


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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#38 Artsnerd

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:16 AM

I should be caught up on all the query critiques! Let me know if I've somehow skipped over you, though! :)


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

The query for my current WIP can be found here.

 

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