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QUERY: YA Fantasy


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#21 ThatDan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:01 AM

 

Version 6:

 

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 feel the two parts in red conflict. Everyone is accusing the man, but only Cecily is accusing him?

 

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. His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the remnants of the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an oblivious Cecily for years. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own powerful, though unstable, Watcher Skills, earning her a spot in their ranks, second to only the old Queen’s son himself. ​<not sure who the queen.is, or who her son is, or why they matter here

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s 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 will push​es Cecily over the edge, and the mistakes she makes along the way for​on her search for justice will accidentally turn her into the universe’s most-wanted. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen,​<still not sure who he is Cecily will face​s the fight for her life if she is to find out the ​as she investigates 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.

 

​Only a few issues stood out, otherwise its improved a bunch, and is looking great.

One issue is the change of tense towards the end.

The other is I think somewhere in the editing, you've lost the connection between the main story and who the queen/son are.

 

 

 


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

My query >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#22 TheBest

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

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 enraged/furious to find she’s the only one screaming “murder.” (This is great, but you could beef it up with more details. I never usually say that, I know, but in your case a few more specifics or imagery would make this solid hook even better.)

 

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. (Love it.) His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the remnants of the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an oblivious Cecily for years. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own powerful, though unstable, Watcher Skills, earning her a spot in their ranks, second to only the old Queen’s son himself. 

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s 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 along the way for​on her search for justice will accidentally (wrong word.) turn her into the universe’s most-wanted. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen, Cecily will face the fight for her life if she is to find out the ​as she searches for the truth about her sister’s death. (Too many wills. Go through, read it aloud, and make sure everything flows well. Spice up your diction.)

 

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. (Your comps are awesome)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Mindy M. 

 

I like your query, but I do think its diction needs a little work. The flow can feel off at times, and some of the words just don't seem to fit. While I love your hook, it wouldn't hurt to throw in a little more into the body of the query, expanding on stakes. Other than that, you could probably exaggerate the little language, and make everything a little more dramatic. Your world building is just perfect - not too much, not too little. You also keep everything understandable, limiting proper nouns and jargon, which works really well too. My advice is to go through, fix the language so everything fits, then go back again and make the language a little more intense. Good luck!


#23 darsenault

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:41 AM

 

 

Version 6:

 

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. His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the remnants of the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an oblivious Cecily for years. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own powerful, though unstable, Watcher Skills, earning her a spot in their ranks second to only the old Queen’s son himself.

 

 

"Absolute", "beloved", "self-proclaimed", "tenuous", "super-powered", "oblivious", "powerful", "unstable." You've got a flood of adjectives here, and most of them don't do your query any good. Adjectives make writing floral, but you need clear and specific first. I'd remove each of these adjectives and if you can read the sentence clearly without the adjective, leave it out.

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s 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 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. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen, Cecily will face the fight for her life if she is to find out the truth about her sister’s death.  

 

Right now, Mr. Universal seems like the main character in the story. Cecily screams murder, and then faces a fight, and those are the only two things that Cecily does in the entire query. Meanwhile, the Watchers are coaching, Universal is believing, her grief is activating powers, universal is planning, new information is pushing.

The whole universe is doing something while Cecily looks on. Either you're wrong about your protagonist, or your query is focusing on the wrong things. It doesn't help that almost all of those subject-verb configurations I listed above are vague. Give me the events, the action! You've got your protagonist, your antagonist, and your mentors all on page, but those are all setting. Your query needs to have a clear conflict for the protagonist, a choice to make about the conflict, and stakes for each option of that choice that relates directly to Cecily.

 

like your setting. Now make me like the way Cecily acts within it.
 

 

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.

 

 

I don't know what #ownvoices is, and if you aren't specifically querying agents who do, leave that out. Also, is she really Asian Indian/Caucasian in a universe with FIVE GALAXIES? I would have thought we'd gotten past classifying people by country around the point we have a few planets colonized. If that isn't important to the story, leave it out. 

 

I try to season my criticism with all of the things I liked about what I read, and I worry that I failed to do that here. That is not because your query isn't good- I like your voice, I was immediately interested in your story, and your writing is good- but there are very important pieces missing here, and I think you're skilled enough to do those justice.

 

Good luck!



#24 bkarperien

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:26 AM

Thank you for all of the valuable feedback! I think it's almost ready to see the light of day. (**fingers crossed**)

 

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!! 

 

82K YA Fantasy novel query letter. 

 

Version 6:

 

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.” (Nice! Unique, clear and concise!)

 

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. His absolute power is threatened only by his tenuous hold on the remnants of the super-powered Watchers, whose voices have coached an oblivious Cecily for years. Mister Universal believes Cecily’s grief over her sister’s death has activated her own powerful, though unstable, Watcher Skills, earning her a spot in their ranks second to only the old Queen’s son (I don't know what this means. Is that Mister Universal? What Queen? Is there a more concise way to introduce this character?)

himself. (I feel like this paragraph focuses too much on world building and not enough on Cecily. This all feels very passive. Why does she join the Watchers? It feels unrelated to her sister's murder.)

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s 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 will push Cecily over the edge (how so? And what edge? To me, it sounds like you're saying she's going insane, which doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the query), and the mistakes she makes along the way for her search for justice will accidentally turn her into the universe’s most-wanted. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen (I still don't get him), Cecily will face the fight for her life if she is 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.

 

This is looking much cleaner. I just had a few small comments, and the thing about the second paragraph. Sounds like a great story, though :)

Good luck to you!
If you get a chance, please check out my query!


Check out my query!


#25 mindy24601

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:35 PM

Version 7 is up! I appreciate all of the feedback. 

I think it's almost there!  :laugh:  :biggrin:



#26 Wayfarer

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:12 PM

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 if she wants to find out the truth about her sister’s death. 

 

 

The only thing I would change is the closing sentence.

 

"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 uncover the truth about her sister’s death."

 

To me, saying "if she wants" implies that she may not want to, which contradicts the plot of the story. Rephrasing it to be a definitive goal of hers keeps in better sense. This is of course assuming that the dichotomy of her deciding between saving her or not isn't a part of the plot.

 

In its entirety this is a wonderful query. It maintained my interest, and provided me with enough information to understand the plot of your story.

 

Thank you again for your help on mine.



#27 AmberA

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:07 PM

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.” ( Snappy 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 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 ( I would suggest, 'powerful' perhaps.) 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 ( This is confusing. Not sure what you means by ranks second. ) -- 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 turns her into the universe’s most-wanted. Caught between an angry, misled public and the betrayed son of the old Queen( I don't think this is necessary. The last sentence would flow  better without it) , 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.

 

 

 

Heyy! So you have a really good plot and your revisions are much better from your previous edits. I really like this new revision. I suggested a few things. Other than those minor issues, you're set to go. You can end this baby out  :wink:  Wish you the best !


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#28 Katie S

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 02:45 AM

Hoping I have the latest draft here:

 

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.” (Great hook, but this sentence is a little confusing to me. It reads like everyone is pointing fingers at a man responsible for the sister's death, so technically they're all screaming murder. To me, it would read better if it said something like: "but when everyone writes off her sister's untimely death as a suicide, Cecily is frustrated to find she's the only one screaming murder." Just an idea!

 

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. (Again, I think you have an interesting world here, but I'm confused as to what, or who, the Watchers are. I've been having a similar issue in my query where I know what my terms mean, but readers won't. So maybe try to be a little more clear as to whether the Watchers are a group of people, or are voices in Cecily's head.)

 

Unfortunately, Mister Universal’s latest plan to regain Watcher obedience (Same note as above. I'm not sure what a Watcher is, so I don't know why Mr. Universal needs to regain their 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 (This plot line seems thrown in to me. You mention the Queen's son above, but there's no hint that he's been betrayed somehow. It may be too much to try to add in anything about him, since you have a pretty complicated plot already.) , 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.

 

I really think you have the bones of a great query! I'm definitely interested in your story, just a little confused by the Watchers. Excited to read more! 






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