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#21 dizzywriter

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:17 PM

I'm confused. Which is the most recent version?



#22 ThatDan

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:43 PM

Version 5, but it's very rough IMO, so I've left the older 4A and 4B versions up there for those who have been following the evolution/devolution of the query.

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#23 ThatDan

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 12:54 AM

Updated OP with the latest version (slightly different take on things). Going around in circles with it, so rather than waste time tweaking it, thought I'd try and get some feedback to see if I'm on the right track yet.


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#24 Ajax

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 11:38 PM

​Version 6: Differenty

 

 

Very few people notice Callie. Those who do, soon forget, for erasing memories is what she does best. (This hook could be stronger if you answer its 'why' in the very next sentence.) 

 

With no friends, no family, and almost eighteen years of social isolation, (Why is she alone?) Callie has learned to cherish the solitude of a life on the streets. (Just say she's homeless.) But when her innate ability to be imperceptible fails against a mugger, her true power emerges and erases the attacker’s entire mind. (How is this relevant?) As her abilities grow, a world of psychological prowess is unveiled, (How is it unveiled? Seems like a pretty big revelation. Like, Diagon Alley level of revelation.) where sixth senses expose thoughts and emotions, eye-contact can corrupt memories, and strong personalities develop into all-manner of mind-bending powers.

 

Upon awakening her potential as a Reaper (How? If this is about the mugger, connect the idea right away. Don't scatter the information across paragraphs.) a person who can manipulate memories--Callie attracts the attention of a dysfunctional team of empowered rebels.(How?) They help hone her power(At what cost?) and warn of a mysterious empire which has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead and powerless. Determined to help her new friends, Callie infiltrates the empire, (I need a stronger reason for her to risk her life or brain like this. Callie sounds reckless. Callie is a yes-woman.) hoping to find a weakness. Instead, she discovers that the empire is not the great evil she was led to believe (How? Also, this is a cliched twist.)-- it's comprised of once-lonely Reapers just like her, who found purpose in protecting the innocent from the empowered. When offered a place among them, Callie begins to question not only her loyalty, but also her morality. (Why?) If she fights the oppression, she'll strengthen her friendships, but betray her own kind. If she sides with the empire, she'll lose her friends, but gain a family. (But aren't her "friends" wrong about the "oppressors"? Why can't Callie correct the misunderstading? Why can't she help her "friends" understand that "the empire is not the great evil she was led to believe"? These are not your stakes.) 

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words.

 

 

I'm not sure if this is a YA Fantasy. There are a lot of psychological themes and concepts that make it sound like a Sci-Fi. There aren't any fantastical elements in my view. 

 

I don't know anything about the protagonist's personality. The query could use more voice. 

 

Good luck. 



#25 RMLucas

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:33 AM

​Version 6: Differenty

 

 

Very few people notice Callie. Those who do, soon forget, for erasing memories is what she does best.

 

With no friends, no family, and almost eighteen years of social isolation, Callie has learned to cherish the solitude of a life on the streets. But when her innate ability to be imperceptible fails against a mugger, her true power emerges and erases the attacker’s entire mind. As her abilities grow, a world of psychological prowess is unveiled, where sixth senses expose thoughts and emotions, eye-contact can corrupt memories, and strong personalities develop into all-manner of mind-bending powers.

 

Upon awakening her potential as a Reaper—a person who can manipulate memories--Callie attracts the attention of a dysfunctional team of empowered rebels. They help hone her power, and warn of an mysterious empire which has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead and powerless. Determined to help her new friends, Callie infiltrates the empire, hoping to find a weakness. Instead, she discovers that the empire it (you had empire three times in the last two sentences) is not the great evil she was led to believe-- it's comprised of once-lonely Reapers just like her, who found purpose in protecting the innocent from the empowered (I almost want a word after empowered. citizen, aristocrat, etc.) When offered a place among them, Callie begins to question not only her loyalty, but also her morality. If she fights the oppression, she'll strengthen her friendships, but betray her own kind. If she sides with the empire, she'll lose her friends, but gain a family.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words.

Great query. I see you've done a lot of work. There's really not much I see that I would change. It really tells me who the MC is, what her conflict is and whats at stake. I didn't feel like I got lost while reading it. It drew me in and made me feel like I wanted to read more. I'm just starting to work on my own query, so maybe someone has another opinion, but I thought its well written one! 



#26 sereneew

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 05:32 PM

Very few people notice Callie. Those who do, soon forget, for erasing memories is what she does best. ( Maybe add that she has memory manipulation powers? It would make for a stronger hook.) 

 

With no friends, no family, and almost eighteen years of social isolation, Callie has learned to cherish the solitude of a life on the streets. But when her innate ability to be imperceptible fails against a mugger, her true power emerges and erases the attacker’s entire mind. As her abilities grow, a world of psychological prowess is unveiled, where sixth senses expose thoughts and emotions, eye-contact can corrupt memories, and strong personalities develop into all-manner of mind-bending powers. 

 

Upon awakening her potential as a Reaper ( Maybe you can include a scenario that awakens the Reaper...  during an attack or etc..) —a person who can manipulate memories--Callie attracts the attention of a dysfunctional team of empowered rebels. They help hone her power, and warn her of a mysterious empire which has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead and powerless. Determined to help her new friends, Callie infiltrates the empire, hoping to find a weakness. Instead, she discovers that the empire it's not the great evil she was led to believe-- it's comprised of once-lonely Reapers just like her, who found purpose in protecting the innocent from the empowered (I agree with RMLucas, maybe add what kind of empowered people? ) When offered a place among them, Callie begins to question not only her loyalty, but also her morality. If she fights the oppression, she'll strengthen her friendships, but betray her own kind. If she sides with the empire, she'll lose her friends, but gain a family. ( I like how she has to make a choice at the end, good ending ) 

 

 

I think the revision is a great start, there may be some areas where that brings up questions as I noted. I am no expert at queries myself so I hope my comment were useful. I would however love your feedback with my query if you have the time at http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38246-burning-souls-ya-fantasy/


If I helped please leave a feedback on my YA FANTASY QUERY http://agentquerycon...st-50/?p=350935


#27 ThatDan

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for more feedback! I've done a fresh new query in the first post (with some borrowed lines from the original).

 

Tried to make it more concise and cut things that created unnecessary questions. Not sure if I succeeded, or just made it worse! Let me know.


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#28 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:17 PM

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. (I like this at the beginning. It's enticing, but not super revealing. It makes me want to read more to know why/how and what happens.)

 

For the better part of eighteen years, Callie has done everything she can to be ignored. But her socially isolated life comes to an abrupt end when a relentless mugger refuses to overlook her. In a moment of confusion, Callie accidentally erases his entire mind, which attracts the attention of a nearby group of people with similar psychic powers. In exchange for her loyalty, the group offer to enlighten Callie about the world she’s barely scratched the surface of—a preternatural world of psychological prowess, where sixth senses expose thoughts and emotions, eye-contact can corrupt memories, and strong personalities develop into all-manner of mind-bending powers. Under their guidance, Callie’s power strengthens just as much as her new friendships.

 

This first chunk has a lot of information - why does she want to be ignored? Why does this mugger come across as relentless? Is this not an ordinary mugger? I assume she erases his mind in self-defense. I suggest splitting this into two paragraphs, one detailing the mugging than sends her into contact with the new group - paragraph cut for dramatic effect - and then give a short detailing of who these people are and what they mean for the story. My only concern comes with having too much info about these people - highlighted in red - comes across to me as a bit of an info-dump. 

 

Yet upon awakening her true potential as a Reaper—one who can harvest memories to become invisible, How does harvesting memories make her invisible? I mean, when I stop and think about it, she can erase herself from peoples' minds, but again - why? Callie learns about A mysterious empire which has been purging people, leaving them brain-dead and powerless. Knowing that her friends are targeted rebels, Callie uses her power to infiltrate the empire. But instead of finding a weakness, she discovers something else—her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire protects the innocent from manipulative rebels. They invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice for the empowered citizens. Uncertain where her loyalty lies, Callie struggles to choose a side. Joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends. Yet siding with the rebels could wipe out her own kind. And returning to a solitary, invisible life will leave millions in the crossfire of an imminent war.

 

Oh snap - that's a awesome cliffhanger to end the query on. I agree - when you get this published, shout it here. I want it on my To-Read list. The second paragraph also packs a lot of info. It jumps from her discovering that she is a Reaper to the empire - I suggest adding a little something-something before to soften the transition, maybe about her new friends and how they become such and why she decides that being invisible isn't all that great - her friends make her want to be visible.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words.

 

On a whole, sure the query could use work, but the concept is awesome! One thing I noticed, there's not really a world defined here in this query. It's fantasy, but that could mean it's anywhere. It's not a thing that really bothered me, but it's a little thing. Hope I was helpful!



#29 morgan.spraker

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:32 PM

​Version 7: A different approach. Tried to simplify things a bit (yet made it longer!). Not sure if I'll stick with this version, but thought I'd give a fresh re-write a go.

 

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. I love it!

 

For the better part of eighteen years, Callie has done everything she can to be ignored. I almost don't think you need this because you state this basically in the hook, but up to you But her socially isolated life comes to an abrupt end when a relentless mugger refuses to overlook her. In a moment of confusion, Callie accidentally erases his entire mind, which attracts the attention of a nearby group of people with similar psychic powers. In exchange for her loyalty, the group offer to enlighten Callie about the world she’s barely scratched the surface of—a preternatural world could you use another word besides "world" since you used it so close to here of psychological prowess, where sixth senses expose thoughts and emotions, eye-contact can corrupt memories, and strong personalities develop into all-manner of mind-bending powers. Under their guidance, Callie’s power strengthens just as much as her new friendships. This is a very well-organized and logical paragraph -- I think you have a good grip on your story so far

 

Yet upon awakening her true potential as a Reaper—one who can harvest memories to become invisible, Callie learns about a mysterious empire which has been purging people, leaving them brain-dead and powerless. Knowing that her friends are targeted rebels, Callie uses her power to infiltrate the empire. But just a note -- you start a lot of sentences with "and," "but," or "yet." I would either use some semi-colons or just drop those words instead of finding a weakness, she discovers something else—her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire protects the innocent from manipulative rebels. They invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice for the empowered citizens. Uncertain where her loyalty lies, Callie struggles to choose a side. Joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends. Yet siding with the rebels could wipe out her own kind. And returning to a solitary, invisible life will leave millions in the crossfire of an imminent war. 

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words. Since you aren't adding a biography or anything else, I would add some comps

 

So I REALLY like this!! All my comments were nitpicky, so I think you're doing just fine. If you drop some of the "and" "but" and "yet" sentence starters you'll be golden. If you wouldn't mind, would you take a look at my query? http://agentquerycon...-fantasy/page-2



#30 ThatDan

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 02:58 AM

Thanks for the recent feedback guys. Much appreciated, and some very good points were raised. I've updated the first post with the latest version.

 

Mainly just clarified or removed some aspects that were raising questions for a number of critiquers. Worked on improving sentence structure or flow, but still needs a little bit more tweaking imo.

 

Also, please let me know if I've forgotten to leave feedback on your query, or if you'd like me to have a look at an updated version.


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

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#31 bkarperien

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:43 AM

Version 8: Tidying up. Previous version seemed well-received. Made some changes and clarified a few things..

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. (Nice hook. Brings up the question: why does she want to be invisible?)

For the better part of seventeen years, people have abandoned Callie, forcing her to embrace the solitude of a life on the streets (wait, first you say she wants to be invisible, then you say that people have abandoned her and forced her to be invisible? Not that it can't be both, just I think it could be clearer. Is she a people-hater? Or just making the best of a bad situation? Or does she have social anxiety? It'd help me understand her character to know, I think).

. However, her social isolation comes to an abrupt end when a misinformed debt-collector (I don't know, this set off a billion questions that I don't think are important to this query. Maybe simplify?) threatens her life. In a moment of uncontrolled self-defence, she accidentally erases the man's entire mind. Her feat captivates a group of onlookers, who offer to teach her about a secret world of psychological power--one she’s barely scratched the surface of. Under their guidance, she awakens her preternatural potential, and learns that she's a Reaper-- a being with the ability to manipulate people's focus and memory.

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she learns that her empowered companions are actually rebels, opposing a mysterious empire that has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. Determined to help end the oppression, Callie uses her power to infiltrate the empire, and is shocked to uncover not an adversary, but her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire secretly protects the innocent from manipulative rebels, and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos--joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends, siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude will leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war. (Wow, nicely done! Those are some heavy stakes!)

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy (No comma) complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

 

Very nice, I think you're pretty close. This is a solid query. I only saw a few things. Sounds likes a great story.

Thanks for your advice on my query. I've posted a new draft if you feel inclined to take a look :)


Check out my query!


#32 taylorhale

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:20 PM

Version 8: Tidying up. Previous version seemed well-received. Made some changes and clarified a few things..

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. (Great hook!)

For the better part of seventeen years, people have abandoned Callie, forcing her to embrace the solitude of a life on the streets. However, her social isolation comes to an abrupt end when a misinformed debt-collector threatens her life. In a moment of uncontrolled self-defence, she accidentally erases the man's entire mind. Her feat captivates a group of onlookers, who offer to teach her about a secret world of psychological power--one she’s barely scratched the surface of. Under their guidance, she awakens her preternatural potential, and learns that she's a Reaper-- a being able to turn invisible by manipulating people's focus and memory. (This is all pretty great so far! My only suggestion - and this may sound strange - is to use her name where I highlighted instead of her/she. Her/she becomes very repetitive and a common trend I see in both queries in summaries is to use names more often than not)

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she learns that her empowered companions are actually rebels. (Power is used, then empowered - repetitive, maybe a different word for one. Tenacious companions? Something to describe them other than "empowered" would be more vivid) They oppose a mysterious empire which(minor suggestion: say "that" instead of "which") has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. Determined to help end the oppression, Callie uses her power(Power echo again. Abilities?) to infiltrate the empire, and is shocked to uncover not an adversary, but her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire secretly protects the innocent from manipulative rebels, and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos--joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends, siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude will leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war. (I really like this!)

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

 

 

Really good overall, I'd say you're getting very close to being ready! :-)



#33 mindy24601

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:22 PM

Version 8: Tidying up. Previous version seemed well-received. Made some changes and clarified a few things..

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. good hook. 

For the better part of seventeen years, people have abandoned Callie, forcing her to embrace the solitude of a life on the streets. However, her social isolation comes to an abrupt end when a misinformed debt-collector threatens her life. good, but i wonder if there is a better way to show an abrupt end than "threatening her life"...sounds like a piece is missing In a moment of uncontrolled self-defence is there a better way to word this? i see what you're saying, but maybe 'overreaction' or 'accident' or something might be better, she accidentally erases the man's entire mind. Her feat captivates a group of onlookers, who offer to teach her about a secret world of psychological power--one she’s barely scratched the surface of. ooh, this sounds strange: you erased a man's mind, let us teach you how to do more? unless that's the view of these people Under their guidance, she awakens her preternatural potential, and learns that she's a Reaper-- a being able to turn invisible by manipulating people's focus and memory.

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she learns that her empowered companions are actually rebels. They oppose a mysterious empire which has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. sounds like what she was doing... Determined to help end the oppression, Callie uses her power to infiltrate the empire, and is shocked to uncover not an adversary, but her own kind. like i said Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire secretly protects the innocent from manipulative rebels, and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos--joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends, siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude will leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

 

nicely done! some some minor notes about syntax, etc., but i think this is fantastic! 

 

please consider donating your thoughts: http://agentquerycon...ry-ya-fantasy/ 

 

 

 

 

qps@clubs.queensu.ca



#34 ThatDan

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Some great points raised about issues that have arisen due to cutting and editing. I will make some changes and return critiques as soon as I finish work.

I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

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#35 ThatDan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:01 PM

Okay, made some changes to the original post based on the great feedback. Some major issues I've tried to resolve:

 

1. Tried to make Callie's initial position clearer. Essentially she wants to be alone/invisible because it's the easier option. Rather than desperately seek attention and validation, she finds it effortless and peaceful to be left alone. (not to imply that she doesn't still secretly desire inclusion).

2. The debt-collector becomes a mugger again. This guy always seems to raise questions, when all he is is a catalyst to make Callie's power jump out. His identity, his motives, etc, are not essential to the story at this stage. I'd rather exclude him entirely, but his confrontation is the stepping-stone between Callie using her power passively, and the rebels discovering her to teach her to use it actively.

3. Distanced Callie's attack on the mugger from what the empire do. Difference is that Callie's attack was less severe, and not fully intended. Yes, it is similar, but I don't want readers to feel that Callie is already empire-ey from the very start. (As pointed out, why would the rebels approach her if they though she was the enemy?)

 

Some other minor adjustments too, mainly to trim the word count.

 

Let me know if you still need a return critique on your own query.


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#36 bkarperien

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:34 PM

Version 9: Clarifying. Newest version, tries to address some unclear issues. Thanks all for the feedback so far..

 

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is. (I'm a little confused now. Callie wipes peoples memories, right? That's why she's almost invisible, that's why she's been ignored by society. But how does she not know that? Also, it's not really clear exactly what is going on. In your hook, it seems like she is intentionally erasing memories, because she wants to be invisible, but then the next paragraph seems to claim that she had no idea she was doing that. So I'm a little confused.)

For the better part of seventeen years, people have ignored Callie, causing her to reciprocate. A life on the streets may be lonely, but she's learnt to embrace the simplicity and solitude. However, her social isolation ends when she reflexively fends of a mugger by wiping his entire memory with a single touch (or however she does it). As confused as he is, Callie is consoled by a group of onlookers who claim that she might be a Reaper—a being capable of manipulating people's focus and memory. The group helps Callie to harness her preternatural potential, and teaches her about their veiled world of psychological power.

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she wonders why she ever wanted to be alone in the first place. Soon learning that her companions are rebels, Callie joins them in opposing a mysterious empire that has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. On an infiltration mission, she is shocked to uncover not an adversary, but her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire secretly protects the innocent from the manipulative rebels, and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos—joining the empire would mean betraying her only friends, siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude (why would she do that when she was just wondering why she ever wanted to be alone in the first place?would leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

Pretty good, this is definitely getting there. I just had a couple comments. Thanks for your feedback on my query!


Check out my query!


#37 darsenault

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:03 AM

Version 9: Clarifying. Newest version, tries to address some unclear issues. Thanks all for the feedback so far..

 

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is.

For the better part of seventeen years, people have ignored Callie, causing her to reciprocate. A life on the streets may be lonely, but she's learnt to embrace the simplicity and solitude. However, her social isolation ends when she subconsciously deters a mugger, leaving him with no clue who he is. As confused as him, Callie is consoled by a group of onlookers who claim that she might be a Reaper—a being capable of manipulating people's focus and memory. The group helps Callie to harness her preternatural potential, and teaches her about their veiled world of psychological power.

 

"subconsciously deters" is vague. You might try: "...ends when a mugger stops in place right in front of her, his memory wiped blank." Specific actions/events provide both clarity and liveliness to your writing.

"a group of onlookers" also begs more questions than it answers. This sentence makes it sound like random people are telling her that she's a Reaper which- if Reapers are common knowledge, why doesn't she know already? I suspect the onlookers are also Reapers, so try to make that clear. 
 

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she wonders why she ever wanted to be alone in the first place. Soon learning that her companions are rebels, Callie joins them in opposing a mysterious empire that has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. On an infiltration mission, she is shocked to uncover not an adversary, but her own kind. Comprised of Reapers just like her, the empire secretly protects the innocent from manipulative rebels, and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos—joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends, siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude will leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war.

 

"As Callie's new friendships..." this sentence doesn't tell me anything about the story. It doesn't reveal anything new about Callie, it doesn't inform the conflicts she's facing, or the stakes around the decisions she needs to make. I recommend cutting it and jumping straight to: "Learning that her companions..."

 

"catalyst for chaos" is also vague. Do buildings begin to explode? Are her old friends poisoned? The more specific you are, the more interested I'll be.

 

Cut the clause "With connections to both sides." You start too many sentences with dependent clauses. Either embed that information into the sentence, or remove the clauses entirely if they aren't essential. Your clarity will be much stronger with concise sentences and fewer clauses.

 

"decimate" means "to remove a tenth." I don't think she's worried for 1/10 of the Reapers, but all of them. Lean towards specifics with your words.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

 

You have the makings of an excellent query here, and I think that stems from an interesting story. Like my notes above- be specific, and be concise. If that means cutting out dependent clauses and cutting sentences into two parts, I think your query will be better for it.

 

I especially like the flow of your final clause. It shows you understand the stakes of the decisions she can make.

 

The one question I don't understand is why Callie would ever join with the empire. They seem clearly evil, but if she's tempted to join them against her own friends, they must have some redeeming qualities, right? What benefits does she see in joining them?

 

Good luck!



#38 darsenault

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:07 AM

Okay, made some changes to the original post based on the great feedback. Some major issues I've tried to resolve:

 

1. Tried to make Callie's initial position clearer. Essentially she wants to be alone/invisible because it's the easier option. Rather than desperately seek attention and validation, she finds it effortless and peaceful to be left alone. (not to imply that she doesn't still secretly desire inclusion).

2. The debt-collector becomes a mugger again. This guy always seems to raise questions, when all he is is a catalyst to make Callie's power jump out. His identity, his motives, etc, are not essential to the story at this stage. I'd rather exclude him entirely, but his confrontation is the stepping-stone between Callie using her power passively, and the rebels discovering her to teach her to use it actively.

3. Distanced Callie's attack on the mugger from what the empire do. Difference is that Callie's attack was less severe, and not fully intended. Yes, it is similar, but I don't want readers to feel that Callie is already empire-ey from the very start. (As pointed out, why would the rebels approach her if they though she was the enemy?)

 

Some other minor adjustments too, mainly to trim the word count.

 

Let me know if you still need a return critique on your own query.

 

 

Your second point worries me the most. If he can easily swap between a mugger, a debt-collector, or whatever else, and he's a repeated issue in all of your queries, then there might be an underlying issue here that needs to be addressed. 

Assuming he's only in the story for a page or two, maybe not, but consider if your story might be better if he isn't simply a throwaway character to bring out Callie's power. Is there a better trigger for her abilities which would set up her first stakes in the empire/rebel dilemma? 



#39 RMLucas

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:24 PM

Version 9: Clarifying. Newest version, tries to address some unclear issues. Thanks all for the feedback so far..

 

 

Callie wants to be invisible. And thanks to her ability to erase memories, she almost is.

For the better part of seventeen years, people have ignored Callie, causing her to reciprocate. A Life on the streets may be is lonely, but she's learnt to embrace the simplicity and solitude. However, her social isolation ends when she subconsciously (may want to add something that says she cant actually control it?) deters a mugger, leaving him with no clue who he is accidentally erasing all of his memories. As confused as him, Callie is consoled by a group of onlookers who claim that she might be a Reaper—a being capable of manipulating people's focus and memory (Interesting!!). The group helps Callie to harness her preternatural potential, and teaches her about their veiled world of psychological power (this sentences is a little vague).

 

As Callie’s new friendships strengthen just as much as her power, she wonders why she ever wanted to be alone in the first place. Soon After learning that her companions are rebels, Callie joins them in opposing a mysterious empire that has been purging people's minds, leaving them brain-dead. On an infiltration mission, she is shocked to uncover the empire is not an adversary, but her own kind. Ccomprised of Reapers just like her. the empire They secretly protects (no s, protect) the innocent from manipulative rebels (Maybe add their goal that makes them manipulative?), and they invite Callie to join them as an invisible hand of justice. With connections to both sides, Callie's ambivalent loyalty becomes a catalyst for chaos—joining the empire will mean betraying her only friends (Seems out of left field that her and the other reapers are actually friends. I thought she was friends with the rebels?), siding with the rebels could decimate her kin, and retreating to her solitude will leave an entire city in the crossfire of an imminent war.

 

18FORGOTTEN is a YA fantasy complete at 95,000 words. Comps, bio, etc.

 

 

Thank you for all of your feedback on my own query. Above are just my suggestions on how to clarify some sentences, particularly that last paragraph. There seems to be a lot of information but you lose me in that last paragraph where the Reapers may actually be bad guys and they are actually Callie's friends. I'd love to find out why they aren't bad guys but actually good. But of course this is a query and can't put too much details on it. So please feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt. You've done great work though. You've made a lot of progress from your first query and i feel like its almost there. The concept of the Reaper is fascinating!



#40 ThatDan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:08 PM

Great feedback once again. I see a few more things I need to clarify. I will edit and return queries tonight.

I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.





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