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QUERY: YA Fantasy


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#1 mindy24601

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:41 AM

You guys think it's ready?

 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

Version 8:

 

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when her sister’s so-called suicide leaves all fingers pointing at one man, she’s frustrated to find she’s the only one screaming “murder.”

 

Initially, she’s hesitant to take matters into her own hands, but the man in question is Mister Universal, the beloved, self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies -- and little-known murderer of the rightful Queen. His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an oblivious Cecily for years. After her sister’s death, Cecily unknowingly activates her own powerful, though unstable, Watcher Skills, earning her a spot in their ranks second only to the old Queen’s son himself -- as well as catching the unwelcome attention of Mister Universal.

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s latest plan to regain Watcher obedience involves Cecily’s death -- through a very public, painful execution.But, before the execution can occur, new information about her sister’s death pushes Cecily over the edge, and the mistakes she makes during her search for justice accidentally turn her into the universe’s most-wanted. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen, Cecily faces the fight for her life as she tries to find out the truth about her sister’s death.  

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is an #ownvoices YA fantasy featuring a biracial (Asian Indian + Caucasian) protagonist complete at 82,000 words. It is THE GODFATHER meets RED QUEEN, written in the voice of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Mindy M.



#2 ThatDan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:58 PM

Guess I'll give this a stab. Any suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

 

You've got a really cool premise here. Love the world you've built. My suggestions follow,

Dear X :

 

When her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley is easy prey for the opportunists of our world.

 

And the opportunists not of our world.

 

Her grief leaves her wide open to the manipulative mind games of a mysterious, murderous madman named Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies. But the king’s reign is precarious, threatened by his tenuous hold over the Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers from extreme pain-based rituals.​< why is it threatened if he has a hold over the Watchers? Thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet, Cecily finds herself a pawn ​in a cast with a number of ​unique characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen​<literally just a pair of floating eyes? that's what I'm picturing! (I like it, but not sure if that's what you meant). Caught in a struggle with her own grief, Cecily journeys ​maybe mention how she ends up journeying through an unseen world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally becomes the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems.

3 main points: Why is she wanted now? What is the conflict with mister universe she faces? What are the stakes for winning/losing against the main conflict?

​I think you need to add more at the end here to build up the main plot of the story.

 

 

Betrayal, mortality, and the definition of “reality” are a few of the themes which define Reboot of the Century, an 82,000-word young adult fantasy novel for which I am currently seeking representation. With its unnerving psychological warfare, comedic reinvention of pop culture, and head-on tackling of heavy teen issues such as mental health and suicide, Reboot of the Century offers a relatable biracial protagonist (#ownvoices) who will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds. Based on stories of abuse and mistreatment of healthcare students and junior trainees, Reboot of the Century harnesses a gritty realism backed against a whimsical frame to recount a story recognisable to any person who has ever been touched by prejudice or bullying.

​This is not typical for a query. Up to you how you want to present it, but check some other queries to see the standard for the last paragraph of a query.

 

As per your submission guidelines, I have copied X below.

 

I appreciate your consideration. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy

 

​Hope my advice helps! Feel free to give feedback on my query. I'm still looking for a few more opinions before I do a final edit of my MS.


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

No active query atm.


#3 Nessa

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:32 PM



Guess I'll give this a stab. Any suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

 

 

Dear X :

 

When her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley becomes is easy prey for the opportunists of our world.

 

And the opportunists not of our world. ​Catchy, but I worry that this layout adds unnecessarily to your word count. Consider combining the sentences and cutting out repeats, or rewording to get rid of the second sentence. 

 

Her grief leaves her wide open to the manipulative mind games of a the mysterious, murderous ​[I suggest cutting out "mysterious" or "murderous." Keep one.] madman named Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies. But the king’s reign is precarious, threatened by his tenuous hold over the Watchers, an ancient society that who derives its their powers from extreme pain-based ​["pain-based" isn't strong enough to strike intrigue. It's a bit bland.] rituals. Thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet, Cecily finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters ​[We're missing a lot here. Why is she a pawn? What got her in that situation?], including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen ​[I like the colorful characters, but "pair of the most beautiful eyes" makes me think she's accompanied by floating eyes.]. Caught in a struggle with her own grief, Cecily journeys through an unseen world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally becomes the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems. ​[I love a good book w/ a villain protagonist, or a good guy who goes bad, but you need to connect the dots b/n Cecily and her plot. At this point, I only know that she's grieving over her dead sister and hears voices in her head. I don't know what she wants, what's driving her, or what's supposed to come out of her being a pawn. Why does Mister Universal use her? What do her voices help him achieve?] 

 

​REBOOT OF THE CENTURY, an #ownvoices YA fantasy with a biracial protagonist, is complete at 82,000 words. ​It is x meets y./It will appeal to fans of x and y./It is in the veins of x and y./etc.

 

​[Most of the below is fluff. I suggest cutting it all out and using the above template. If you want to mention a specific issue, I recommend tying it to a comp title. Ex: It combines the comedic pop culture references of X with the psychological warfare of Y. Show agents that you know where your book fits in the market, and how it compares to recent publications. (Comps should be published within the past 3 years. 1-2 years is preferable.)]

 

Betrayal, mortality, and the definition of “reality” are a few of the themes which define Reboot of the Century, an 82,000-word young adult fantasy novel for which I am currently seeking representation. With its unnerving psychological warfare, comedic reinvention of pop culture, and head-on tackling of heavy teen issues such as mental health and suicide, Reboot of the Century offers a relatable biracial protagonist (#ownvoices) who will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds. Based on stories of abuse and mistreatment of healthcare students and junior trainees, Reboot of the Century harnesses a gritty realism backed against a whimsical frame to recount a story recognisable to any person who has ever been touched by prejudice or bullying.

 

As pPer your submission guidelines, I have copied X below.

 

I appreciate your consideration. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy


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#4 mindy24601

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:11 PM

Thank you both! That's super helpful. I'll definitely add more substance to it. 

And ThatDan, I'll take a look at your query for sure. 



#5 ThatDan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:03 PM

Thanks for the feedback on my query. There were some really good additions. Also, please ignore my comment about Mr U's threatened hold over the watchers. Somehow i completely missed the word "tenuous".


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

No active query atm.


#6 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:55 PM

Guess I'll give this a stab. Any suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

​Hello mindy

 

Dear X :

 

When her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley is easy prey for the opportunists of our world. ​is there a specific antagonist you can mention? i'm not grasping a good picture of the general term. Ok, I see, yeah maybe mention Mister Universal. The opportunists tells us nothing, really. Too general.

 

And the opportunists not of our world.

 

Her grief leaves her wide open to the manipulative mind games of a mysterious, murderous madman named Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies. ​(we don't need to hear his reign is precarious. Don't waste lines. Think of a query like a dichotomy,  show exactly how Mister affects Cecily. Compare and contrast and show us! I understand this is difficult, but all you're doing is listing names and generalities. Narrow your focus and storyline down to Cecily and Mister. Who is she? what does she want? Why is Mister preventing her from getting it? What must she sacrifice? These are key components of a query But the king’s reign is precarious, threatened by his tenuous hold over the Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers from extreme pain-based rituals. Thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet, Cecily finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen. Caught in a struggle with her own grief, Cecily journeys through an unseen world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally becomes the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems.​ ​The paragraph is very general and tells to much. Tell us who she loves, what magic she does, how is Mister prejudice against her? Use specifics. I can tell it's a cool story, but show us! :) 

 

​Hope this helps Mindy,

 

Please reciprocate at http://agentquerycon...-eden/?p=349766

 

Betrayal, mortality, and the definition of “reality” are a few of the themes which define Reboot of the Century, an 82,000-word young adult fantasy novel for which I am currently seeking representation. With its unnerving psychological warfare, comedic reinvention of pop culture, and head-on tackling of heavy teen issues such as mental health and suicide, Reboot of the Century offers a relatable biracial protagonist (#ownvoices) who will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds. Based on stories of abuse and mistreatment of healthcare students and junior trainees, Reboot of the Century harnesses a gritty realism backed against a whimsical frame to recount a story recognisable to any person who has ever been touched by prejudice or bullying.

 

As per your submission guidelines, I have copied X below.

 

I appreciate your consideration. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#7 RMLucas

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:39 AM

Guess I'll give this a stab. Any suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

 

 

Dear X :

 

When her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley is easy prey for the opportunists of our world.

 

And the opportunists not of our world.

 

Her grief leaves her wide open to the manipulative mind games of a mysterious, murderous madman named Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies (Maybe mention this earlier to get a picture of your baddie). But the king’s reign is precarious, threatened by his tenuous hold over the Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers from extreme pain-based rituals. Thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet (How does she get there? Why is she thousands of light-years away?), Cecily finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen (blue eye reference a little vague?). Caught in a struggle with her own grief, Cecily journeys through an unseen world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally becomes the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems. (Seems a little confusing, the transition between the first half and the second half of the sentence seems like to separate thoughts.)

 

Betrayal, mortality, and the definition of “reality” are a few of the themes which define Reboot of the Century, an 82,000-word young adult fantasy novel for which I am currently seeking representation. With its unnerving psychological warfare, comedic reinvention of pop culture, and head-on tackling of heavy teen issues such as mental health and suicide, Reboot of the Century offers a relatable biracial protagonist (#ownvoices) who will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds. Based on stories of abuse and mistreatment of healthcare students and junior trainees, Reboot of the Century harnesses a gritty realism backed against a whimsical frame to recount a story recognisable to any person who has ever been touched by prejudice or bullying. (I'd try to trim this section to keep your word count low, but it is very well written otherwise.)

 

As pPer your submission guidelines, I have copied X below.

 

I appreciate your consideration. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy

 

 

Very well written query. I hope my final one comes close to yours! There were only a few areas where I had some questions. Not sure where your word count is at, but may need a little trimming. Im having the same issue right now. I hope this helps a little!

If you can, I would love your own opinion on mine

 

http://agentquerycon...r-for-critique/



#8 smithgirl

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:07 PM

Dear X :

 

When her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley is easy prey for the opportunists of the our world. Whose world is OUR world? 

 

 

This sounds very catchy, but I don't see the connection between hearing voices and becoming easy prey for opportunists. So it starts catchy, but then becomes very unclear.

 

And the opportunists not of our world.

 

 

This sounds catchy, too, but it suffers from the same ambiguity -- what is our world vs. not our world? Also, you don't usually have a single sentence set apart like this in a query letter.

 

Cecily's grief  Why does she have grief? leaves her wide open to the manipulative mind games of a mysterious, murderous madman Maybe cut back on the alliteration. named Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies. But the king’s reign is precarious, threatened by his tenuous hold over the Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers from extreme pain-based rituals. Interesting, and I wanted to hear how this relates to your story, but never clarified.

 

This first part is pretty good. Then it gets vague and confusing.

 

Thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet, Cecily finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen. Avoid lists like this in a query; focus on one storyline. Caught in a struggle with her own grief, Cecily journeys through an unseen world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally becomes the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems. This is all too vague.

 

Betrayal, mortality, and the definition of “reality” are a few of the themes which define Reboot of the Century, an 82,000-word young adult fantasy novel for which I am currently seeking representation. With its unnerving psychological warfare, comedic reinvention of pop culture, and head-on tackling of heavy teen issues such as mental health and suicide, Reboot of the Century offers a relatable biracial protagonist (#ownvoices) who will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds. Based on stories of abuse and mistreatment of healthcare students and junior trainees, Reboot of the Century harnesses a gritty realism backed against a whimsical frame to recount a story recognisable to any person who has ever been touched by prejudice or bullying. You can cut almost everything from this last paragraph. Just include title, word count, genre, then some comp titles if you have them.

 

Hey Mindy,

 

You need to rewrite your query so that it uses standard query format:

 

Hook

Body paragraph 1

Body paragraph 2

​Body paragraph 3 (ends with stakes)

​[Short!] closing paragraph with genre, word count, title, some comp titles.

 

You also need to rewrite your query to really clarify the specifics of your story. Right now, it's just Cecily becoming a pawn and some stuff happening. Your query needs to be very specific. Rewrite focusing on these questions:

 

1. Who is your MC?

2. What does she want/need?

3. What obstacles prevent her from getting what she wants/needs?

4. What will happen if she fails? These are the stakes.

 

Query writing is really hard so don't be discouraged. Good luck!



#9 mindy24601

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 08:15 PM

Thank you for all of the suggestions so far! Second version is up. Hopefully it's a little improved...? 



#10 sereneew

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 02:11 AM

Guess I'll give this a stab. Any suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

Version 2: 

 

Dear X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley never set out wanted to be a villain, but when her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head ( who are the other peoples voices or is she just hallucinating? ) , she becomes an easy prey to the manipulative mind games of a murderous madman known as  ​( I would just have the dash here) --- Mister Universal. The self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies, Mister Universal believes Cecily is the key to regaining his grip on the renegade Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers through extreme, though ambiguous, pain-based rituals.

 

The catch? The whole universe is clamouring for Cecily’s execution. She's caught in a struggle with her own grief over her sister’s death, Cecily and seeks refuge thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet on an abandoned Watcher base, where betrayal lurks behind every corner and nothing is quite as it seems.

 

Here Now, she finds herself in a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen ( Confused? A man with blue eyes or ? ) . Trapped in a battle between the voices inside and outside her head, Cecily struggles in a world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally become the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems. ( I would reword this. I thought she was in a battle with Mister Universal, but now she's in a battle with herself? ) 

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY, an #ownvoices YA fantasy with a biracial protagonist, is complete at 82,000 words. It combines the mysticism and poetic nature of Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes with the cynicism of Julie Dao’s anti-hero in A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, in the vein of Go Set a Watchman for the young, modern-day reader, with elements of fantasy.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy M.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your feedback. Returning the favor. Hope my recommendations help. Good luck (: 


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


#11 robertguitar

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 05:54 AM

Dear X: 

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley never set out to be a villain, but when her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, she becomes easy prey to the manipulative mind games of a murderous madman known as Mister Universal. The self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies, Mister Universal believes Cecily is the key to regaining his grip on the renegade Watchers, an ancient society who derive their powers through extreme, though ambiguous, pain-based rituals. It is not clear to me why Cecily would be so valuable to Mr. Universal. Is it because she has so many voices in her head? If so, I still don't get the connection. I like the "pain-based rituals" thing because it's clear that this group is misguided.

 

The catch? The whole universe is clamouring for Cecily’s execution. I understand that you want to show huge stakes here, but if it doesn't make sense to the reader why the Universe is so concerned with her, we don't really appreciate the stakes.

 

Caught in a struggle with her own grief over her sister’s death, Cecily seeks refuge thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet on an abandoned Watcher base, where betrayal lurks behind every corner, and nothing is quite as it seems. Here, she finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen. Trapped in a battle between the voices inside and outside her head, Cecily struggles in a world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally become the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems.

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY, an #ownvoices YA fantasy with a biracial protagonist, is complete at 82,000 words. It combines the mysticism and poetic nature of Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes with the cynicism of Julie Dao’s anti-hero in A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, in the vein of Go Set a Watchman for the young, modern-day reader, with elements of fantasy. We never really find out what Cecily wants. I don't think it's enough for her to be a "pawn." She's got to have a quest of her own. 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy M.

 

If you'd like to check out my query, here is the link: http://agentquerycon...48-clown-shoes/



#12 Ajax

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:15 PM

Version 2: 

 

Dear X: 

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily Dartley never set out to be a villain(This makes an interesting hook, but then the paragraph goes downhill.) but when her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, (How is this vital to the main plot?) she becomes easy prey to the manipulative mind games (How exactly does this happen? What do you even mean here? Show it.) of a murderous madman known as Mister Universal. The self-proclaimed king of the five major galaxies, Mister Universal believes Cecily is the key to regaining his grip on the renegade Watchers,(Why?) an ancient society who derive their powers (What kind of powers?) through extreme, though ambiguous, pain-based rituals. 

(Perhaps you should remove the details and focus on how Cecily has become a villain.)

 

The catch? The whole universe is clamouring for Cecily’s execution. (Why?)

 

Caught in a struggle with her own grief over her sister’s death, Cecily seeks refuge (Again, why?) thousands of light-years from her home colony-planet on an abandoned Watcher base, where betrayal lurks behind every corner, and nothing is quite as it seems. (This is quite a cliched and vague thing to say in the YA fiction.) Here, she finds herself a pawn cast with a number of characters, including a torture-loving priest, a punk-rock-singing doctor, and a pair of the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen. (Agents are typically not a fan of grocery list of characters or events. Consider focusing on just one side character that's vital to the main plot.) Trapped in a battle between the voices inside and outside her head, (Repetition. You have said this before.) Cecily struggles in a world of prejudice, magic, and love to accidentally become the most-wanted villain in the five major galaxy systems. (This is all vague. Where are the stakes?) 

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY, an #ownvoices YA fantasy with a biracial protagonist, is complete at 82,000 words. It combines the mysticism and poetic nature of Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes with the cynicism of Julie Dao’s anti-hero in A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, in the vein of Go Set a Watchman for the young, modern-day reader, with elements of fantasy. (Your companion titles seem too different from your project. Companion titles are more about where the book stands in the market in relation to other books than the craft elements. I cannot picture your book alongside A Star-Touched Queen series or A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns duology.)

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mindy M.

 

 

I'm not sure how this is a YA Fantasy. At best, it sounds like a Sci-Fi Fantasy. You can either reword the query to highlight the Fantasy aspect or change the genre label to Sci-Fi. 

 

The query could use voice. I don't know anything about the protagonist's personality. If you are setting her up as a "villain", it's vital to show some of her villainy otherwise there's no impact. 

 

There's not a lot of plot here. The protagonist is being chased by a monarch, and she takes refuge at a base. I cannot find proper reasons or motivations for any of these actions. 

 

Good luck. 



#13 mindy24601

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:49 PM

Thank you for all of the valuable feedback! I've tried to make things more specific, but, alas, I think I've lost the nice Paragraph 1, 2, 3 flow. Also still not sure about that last paragraph. If I only have regional/unrelated publishing credits (i.e. stories in city newspapers, minor literary journals), are those worth mentioning?



#14 sereneew

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:54 PM

Thank you for all of the valuable feedback! I'm trying to make it more specific while not sounding too much like an "info dump". 

 

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

Version 3: 

 

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when her dead sister’s voice joins the others in her head, she realises she might not be as crazy as everyone thinks. This is just me rewording stuff.. You can ignore it, just giving you ideas. I wonder if you could rephrase it. Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when an evil King has plans to kill her, she has to do everything in her power to stay alive, including ...   )

 

Too bad “everyone” is trying to kill her. ( Still unsure why everyone is trying to kill her? Is it because they think she's a villain or why? I would recommend removing it altogether and start with your third paragraph. ) 

 

 

Spearheading ( I wonder if you can introduce Mister Universal with a better word choice.)  the efforts is Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed King of the Universe, whose reign is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the Watchers, a society of super-powered guardians who derive their skills from activating an extra area of their brains through extreme pain-based rituals. ( Hmm. I wonder if you can reword this? Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s sudden suicide has already activated that extra portion of her brain, making her a perfect pawn to bring down the Watchers ( Is Cecily a watcher too? I thought watchers only activate the extra portion of their brains? If she's not a watcher then what does that make her? or When Cecily activates the extra portion of her brain, does she become like one of the watchers?). Unfortunately, his plan involves Cecily’s death -- through a very public and very painful execution. ( Ohh. I like this! )

 

 

 

But, However, before the execution can occur, an even worse reveal (secret? what is the secret? Was her sisters death not a suicide after all? maybe elaborate what it is. ) will push Cecily over the edge, turning her into a overnight from book-loving wallflower to conniving murderess. Her actions will then spell ( maybe try using a different word choice ) the end for both Mister Universal and the Watchers ( why does she want to end the watchers? What did they do to her?) . And about twenty million other peaceful, law-abiding worlds. ( All of a sudden she wants to destroy other worlds? Why? ) 

But worse still is the surprisingly public disappointment of a traditional Indian mother whose biggest wish was to see her daughter go college. ( I don't think this is necessary unless it's the main plot.) 

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is an #ownvoices YA fantasy featuring a biracial protagonist complete at 82,000 words. Appealing to readers of Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN series or ( with the voice/humor/twist of ) Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT, REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Mindy M.

 

 

 

 

Sorry. I know I made a lot of marks, but don't be alarmed they're some what minor. Hopefully it can lead you to a phenomenal query!! GOODLUCK! 


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


#15 mindy24601

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:48 PM

Thank you so much for all of the feedback! i think it's really coming together. 

Same question: If I only have regional/unrelated publishing credits (i.e. stories in city newspapers, minor literary journals), are those worth mentioning?



#16 sereneew

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:43 PM

Thank you for all of the valuable feedback! I'm trying to make it more specific while not sounding too much like an "info dump". 

 

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

Version 4:

 

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when her sister’s so-called suicide leaves all fingers pointing at one man, she’s frustrated to find she’s the only one screaming “murder”. ( Better hook ) 

 

​( be sure to space your paragraphs out, so we know where the other paragraphs starts ) 

 

But t The man in question is Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed King of the Universe, whose absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the super-powered Watchers. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own Watcher powers (​ You might want to drop a line about what her powers are ), earning her a spot in their ranks.

(SPACE) 

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s plan to regain Watcher obedience (I thought he wants them dead? )  involves Cecily’s death -- through a very public, yet painful execution. But, before the execution can occur, new information ( How does she get the new information. I'm guessing it's voices in her head. Correct? If so, drop a line stating that " unusual voices in her head, leak new information" or something along those line.)  about her sister’s “death” will push Cecily over the edge, accidentally turning her into the universe’s most-wanted. ( Why is she the universe's most wanted. You need to elaborate on this. What does she do?) ( What I'm not getting is how is she a villain? You stated that she was a Villain in the beginning of the query, but never really elaborated or brushed on the topic. I would suggest dropping a line here, stating how she is a villain, which made her the "universe's most-wanted." Also since Mister Universe killed her sister, I'm assuming, you need to elaborate on that too. You mentioned her dead sister but never really talked about it. I would also include that at the end too. ) 

(SPACE)

 

If only she could figure out how to stop those voices from speaking inside her head. ( What voices? You never really tell us what the voices are and who they are? If it's not relevant don't add it, save it for the synopsis, but if it is very important you need to tell us what they are exactly. You can't assume we know those voices.  Since this is a FANTASY does she have powers to hear the dead? If so, you need to add it. )  

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is an #ownvoices YA fantasy featuring a biracial protagonist complete at 82,000 words. Appealing to readers of Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN series with the elements of THE GODFATHER, REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Mindy M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really like how you deleted all the irrelevant information and condensed your query. GREAT! But you just need to address the few questions ? Your query is getting there, don't give up.

 

As far as credentials, depending on your agent I would mention them. For i.e., if you published work in a major Newspaper, I would include that. I wouldn't really include minor literary journals.  Hope this helps! GOODLUCK  :smile: !


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


#17 InevitablePlotTwist

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 12:45 PM

 

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when her sister’s so-called suicide leaves all fingers pointing at one man, she’s frustrated to find she’s the only one screaming “murder”.
I like the beginning of your opening, but the second part of the sentence doesn't seem to have anything to do with the first. If Cecily is prepared to take the law into her own hands, that should be spelled out.

But the man in question is Mister Universal, the self-proclaimed King of the Universe, whose absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the super-powered Watchers. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own Watcher powers, earning her a spot in their ranks.
Do people think of Mister Universal as a "good guy"? If so, you should definitely mention it, because it's a great hook.

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s plan to regain Watcher obedience involves Cecily’s death -- through a very public, painful execution.
I'm assuming this is a secret plan that Cecily finds out somehow, rather than Mister Universal saying "Greetings, new Watcher - I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill you now!" Again, it's not really spelled out.
But, before the execution can occur, new information about her sister’s “death” Lose the quotes around "death"... unless, of course, her sister isn't actually dead. will push Cecily over the edge, accidentally turning her into the universe’s most-wanted.

If only she could figure out how to stop those voices from speaking inside her head.  
This is kind of out of nowhere, but it's a good tidbit nontheless.
 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is an #ownvoices YA fantasy featuring a biracial protagonist complete at 82,000 words. Appealing to readers of Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN series with the elements of THE GODFATHER, REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Mindy M.

You have a fascinating premise here. I really like the idea of the hero/villain swap it looks like you're doing. I do think you still need to be more specific - this reads a little vague in some areas, and nowhere close to an infodump.

The biggest problem that I see is that Cecily comes across as very passive in this query. When you boil it down, the basic sequence of events is:
--Cecily's sister supposedly commits suicide.
--Mister Universal recruits Cecily as a Watcher.
--Mister Universal plans to kill Cecily.
--New information pushes Cecily over the edge.
--Cecily accidentally becomes the universe's most-wanted.

For most of the query, Cecily is being acted on by external forces, and when she does finally do something (become the universe's most-wanted), it's an accident.

Hopefully this isn't the case in the actual novel, so I would suggest rewriting the query to make Cecily a more active participant in it. Definitely keep the "Cecily becomes a villain" angle, though, because I think that's a good hook.

Good luck, and I hope this helps.


#18 mindy24601

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 05:24 PM

More specific and less passive attempted! Thoughts? 

And thanks for all the feedback so far -- you guys are great!



#19 Nessa

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:41 PM

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

 

Eighteen-year-old Cecily never set out to be a villain, but when her sister’s so-called suicide leaves all fingers pointing at one man, she’s frustrated to find she’s the only one screaming “murder”. ​[Tuck the period inside the quotations. Nice hook.]

 

Initially, she’s hesitant to take matters into her own hands, but the man in question is Mister Universal, the beloved, self-proclaimed King of the Universe.​[I like this, but it's a bit weird to have Mister Universal be described as the King of the Universe. It's almost redundant. Is there another word you can use aside from "universe?" Or another way to phrase this? Otherwise, it's very nice.] His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the remnants of the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an unsuspecting Cecily for years. ​[Nice, but I'm wondering what you mean by "unsuspecting."]Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own unstable Watcher powers, earning her a spot in their ranks.​[I'm wondering why Mister Universal is fixating on Cecily. It sounds like there aren't many Watchers, so would Cecily be a prominent figure? Even with this hiccup, I'm still very interested in your story.]

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s plan to regain Watcher obedience involves Cecily’s death -- through a very public, painful execution.​[Why is Cecily so important?]But, before the execution can occur, new information about her sister’s “death” ​[The quotations feel funky.]will push Cecily over the edge, and the mistakes she makes along the way for her search for justice will accidentally turn her into the universe’s most-wanted. ​[What are the stakes? You're almost there.]

 

REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is an #ownvoices YA fantasy featuring a biracial ​[Up to you, but mentioning the specific races might help you out if an agent is looking for a very specific background.]protagonist complete at 82,000 words. THE GODFATHER meets Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN series in this novel written in the voice of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE​[This is worded strangely. How about "It is THE GODFATHER meets RED QUEEN, with the voice of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE." Your comps are a bit strange, but they might work.]. REBOOT OF THE CENTURY is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

​[You're almost there!]

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Mindy M.


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#20 mindy24601

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 07:50 PM

Thanks so much! Hopefully getting close to the final draft....






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