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FINDING THE VOID - Ninja action/sci-fi novel - Will return favor for critique!

Fiction Adventure Science Fiction Military/Espionage

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#1 RMLucas

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

LATEST update on link below:

http://agentquerycon...tique/?p=350675


When his adoptive father, Takeo, is brutally murdered and Kadan is left for dead, he must choose how far he will allow his desire for vengeance change him. Near death, Kadan is found by the mysterious Nyx and her associates. But his salvation and revenge comes at a price. Kadan must side with one of two rival ninja clans that have been locked in a battle spanning thirty years.

His search for Takeo’s killer will unravel the dark secrets behind his birth, Takeo’s past, and the new uncanny abilities that began to develop soon after meeting Nyx. Orphaned and regarded as an outsider, Kadan must learn the art of ninjutsu in order to complete the training only a select few have completed. With a spy at the heart of the organization threatening his trust in the clan, and a growing attraction with the mysterious Nyx, he will hope that neither will result in Kadan’s downfall. With the Shadow Clan, and the military after him, he will learn that FINDING THE VOID will be the only thing standing between life and death.

FINDING THE VOID is a fast-paced, approximately 120,000 word, mainstream novel set in modern New England, where the bitter hatred of one man, the morals of genetic engineering and the corruption of a government set in motion events that will reverberate for decades to come. The novel integrates cutting-edge science fiction, traditional Japanese mythology, fast-paced action and a dash of romance. The novel is about a young man coming to grip with loss, nearing the brink of losing himself in vengeance, and finding his own place in a world where death and killing is callously handed out.

This is my first novel. I have written freelance in the Gordon College Newspaper, Majored in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. I believe this novel will appeal to the fans of the Night Angel Trilogy and Sigma Force Series.

Any help would be very appreciated. Please let me know if you need your own revision of your query and I would love to return any advice favor!


#2 lnloft

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:01 PM

When his adoptive father, Takeo, is brutally murdered and Kadan is left for dead I'd rearrange this or just introduce Takeo's name later, because as is, his is the first name that we read, but Kadan is the character we're following. Make it super clear from the very start that Kadan is our main character, he must choose how far he will allow his desire for vengeance change him This latter part is too vague. What specifically does he need to do to achieve vengeance, and how might it change him?. Near death, Kadan is found by the mysterious Nyx and her associates. But his salvation and revenge comes at a price You start this sentence with a "but", but it has nothing to do with the previous sentence. Plus, it's really a different way of saying what you already have. Kadan must side with one of two rival ninja clans that have been locked in a battle spanning thirty years. Why must he do this? What does this have to do with his revenge, and with Nyx? I'd look at simplifying this paragraph. You've got a lot of different things strung together that don't necessarily connect for us. Remember, you know all the context of how these things make sense, but we don't, so you have to show us. So think simple here: Kadan witnesses his adoptive father be killed, is left for dead, and swears revenge. That's the action we need for the hook. The stuff about Nyx and ninja clans can follow in a moment. But what you should show us in this hook is something about what makes this unique. Were ninjas responsible for Takeo's death? Was there something supernatural to it? Were Takeo and Kadan doing something that made them targets? Show us something about the world while you're at it, so that we get three things: Kadan is our MC, he's out for vengeance, and ninjas are going to be a big factor here.

His search for Takeo’s killer will unravel the dark secrets behind his birth, Takeo’s past, and the new uncanny abilities that began to develop soon after meeting Nyx The tense of this sentence is awkward. The first part is future tense and the second is past. Furthermore, this is the first we've heard about his new abilities. What kind of abilities are they? Furthermore, I know Nyx is mysterious, but we need something more about her. Is she a member of one of these ninja clans, too? . Orphaned and regarded as an outsider, Kadan must learn the art of ninjutsu in order to complete the training only a select few have completed "Complete" and "completed". Mix up your word choice. With a spy at the heart of the organization I'm confused about the structure of things here. We've got two rival ninja clans. Has Kadan actually joined one? As I noted above, is Nyx a member of one? When you say "organization" right here, is that the same as one of the clans? threatening his trust in the clan, and a growing attraction with the mysterious Nyx, he will hope that neither will result in Kadan’s downfall What? This sentence is so awkwardly written that I'm sure what you're trying to say. With the Shadow Clan Who's the Shadow Clan? The rival clan? Don't drop something like this on us at the very end., and the military after him Wait, now the military is after him, too? Why?, he will learn that FINDING THE VOID will be the only thing standing between life and death.

FINDING THE VOID is a fast-paced, approximately 120,000-word, mainstream novel set in modern New England, where the bitter hatred of one man, the morals of genetic engineering and the corruption of a government set in motion events that will reverberate for decades to come. The novel integrates cutting-edge science fiction, traditional Japanese mythology, fast-paced action and a dash of romance. From your query, the only things of any of these I got any hint of were sort of the last three. Where did genetic engineering, government corruption, and sci-fi come from? You need to show us, don't just tell us. Also, what is the genre? You're better off being more specific than just "mainstream".The novel is about a young man coming to grip with loss, nearing the brink of losing himself in vengeance, and finding his own place in a world where death and killing is callously handed out. This is my first novel. I have written freelance in the Gordon College Newspaper, Majored in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. I believe this novel will appeal to the fans of the Night Angel Trilogy and Sigma Force Series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Any help would be very appreciated. Please let me know if you need your own revision of your query and I would love to return any advice favor!

There's a lot of missing information in there. I noted above, but I'll say it again, because it's an important piece of advice that I had to quickly learn when writing my own query and that I pass out a lot, but: you know all the context of why things are important. We don't. So you need to show it all to us.

 

Very important: I have no clue who the villain is right now. Maybe Kadan doesn't know exactly who's behind things, but then mention that: a mysterious person has been blah blah blah. Give us the villain, and give us the stakes. I don't know why Kadan and Takeo were attacked. I don't know why Kadan must learn ninjutsu. I don't know why the clans are fighting, and I don't know why the military is after Kadan. Depending on how your story plays out, then you don't necessarily have to answer all of these things, and maybe one or two can be dropped for the purposes of the query (probably the military subplot), but we need elaboration on some, even if sometimes that is, "Kadan has no clue why he and Takeo were attacked." That context is critical for our understanding and caring.

 

I'm also going to note that Nyx is actually pretty useless in this query. Right now she could just as easily be replaced by a generic, "heroic ninja clan", or whatever is correct. So what makes her special? Please don't make it just that, "well, Kadan has feelings for her." What attracts him to her? What badass or morally dubious things does she do? Make her pop.

 

So, yes, some work still required, but we all start here. Got to just keep plugging at it. Good luck.



#3 Nessa

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:39 PM

When his ​[Open with the MC.]adoptive father, Takeo, is brutally murdered and Kadan is left for dead, he must choose how far he will allow his desire for vengeance change him ​[Too vague.]. Near death, Kadan is found by the mysterious Nyx and her associates. But his salvation and revenge comes at a price. Kadan must side with one of two rival ninja clans that have been locked in a battle spanning thirty years. ​[We're missing the foundation of the story. What is Kadan's place in this ninja society? Is his father the former head of a clan?]

His search for Takeo’s killer will unravel the dark secrets behind his birth, Takeo’s past, and the new uncanny abilities that began to develop soon after meeting Nyx.​[You're giving us the shell of the story, not the yolk. More concrete details. More showing.] Orphaned and regarded as an outsider, Kadan must learn the art of ninjutsu in order to complete the training only a select few have completed ​[This ninjutsu background should be introduced sooner.]. With a spy at the heart of the organization threatening his trust in the clan, and a growing attraction with the mysterious Nyx, he will hope that neither will result in Kadan’s downfall.​[I think your underlying issue is the vagueness. It might help to think of a query as a super short synopsis that only covers the first half of the main plot. Chronological order.] With the Shadow Clan, and the military ​[Why the military?] after him, he will learn that FINDING THE VOID ​[I get that this is a title drop, but it's vague and the reader doesn't know what this means. It's definitely going to be meaningful, but at this point, it's not necessary.] will be the only thing standing between life and death.

FINDING THE VOID is a fast-paced, approximately 120,000 word ​[Your word count is worrisome. SFF works require more world building than contemporary works, but anything 100,000+ for a debut is troubling. There are always exceptions, but it's safer to be the rule.], mainstream ​[How about "sci-fi" or "action"?] novel set in modern New England, where the bitter hatred of one man, the morals of genetic engineering and the corruption of a government set in motion events that will reverberate for decades to come. The novel integrates cutting-edge science fiction, traditional Japanese mythology, fast-paced action and a dash of romance. The novel is about a young man coming to grip with loss, nearing the brink of losing himself in vengeance, and finding his own place in a world where death and killing is callously handed out.​ It will appeal to the fans of the Night Angel Ttrilogy and Sigma Force Sseries.

This is my first novel.
I have written for freelance in the Gordon College Newspaper., I graduated with a bachelor's/master's/PhD Majored in Biology, and I currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. I believe this novel will appeal to the fans of the Night Angel Trilogy and Sigma Force Series. ​[I disagree with Inloft about the bio. Sure, the most important part of the query is the story, but so is showing the agent who you are. Having a martial arts background also shows that you have knowledge and experience applicable to the story.]

Any help would be very appreciated. Please let me know if you need your own revision of your query and I would love to return any advice favor!


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#4 RMLucas

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:10 PM

Thank you Nessa and Inloft. This is more than I could have imagined. I love the advice and will take them to heart. I will post the revised version as soon as I get back from work. Thank you again.

Is there anything I can critique for you in exchange for both your advice?

#5 Nessa

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:46 PM

Thank you Nessa and Inloft. His is more than I could have imagined. I love the advice and will take them to heart. I will post the revised version as soon as I get back from work. So for the query, besides questions within the query, what are other pitfalls to avoid? Also, I kept it vague because I wasn’t aware you were supposed to be so specific. So is it ok to disclose specific plot details and diverge as much information about the book as possible? It shouldn’t be a complete mystery? Thank you again.

 

​Other pitfalls... Try not to get too far from the main plot. I know there's a lot in your story, and it sounds very exciting (there aren't enough martial arts novels out there), but for the query, stick to the MC, the main conflict, the stakes, and the hook. The hook can be infused with the query. It's just what makes your story unique.

 

Your ultimate goal is to make the agent want to continue reading. Don't spoil the ending, but tell what happens if the MC doesn't succeed (stakes).

 

​As for details, I'll give a rough example from your query that is probably totally off base. "After a brutal house robbery leaves Kadan fatherless and half-dead, Kadan is saved by a mysterious martial artist who demands payment for killing the robbers...." Super rough, but do you see what I mean? I suggest you take a look at the successful queries forum for more examples.


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#6 RMLucas

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 03:45 AM

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#7 RMLucas

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 12:51 PM

REVISION #1
Sorry this is raw, but took your recommendations and tried to implement them. Feels long to me though. And once I started writing, more wanted to come out.

Kadan’s secluded life is shattered when he is attacked by ninjas and left for dead. He arrives to his cottage to find that his adoptive father, Takeo, has been brutally murdered in a ritual called the Zaiaku Punishment – a ritual reserved for criminals and traitors.

 

Near death, Kadan is rescued by Nyx, the mysterious leader of the Yokai, an elite group of cutthroat ninjas from the Kage clan equipped with state-of-the-art suits and weaponry. He discovers that Takeo was the son of the Kage clan’s founder, Tanaka Ryuu. Thirty years ago, the American government proposes a mutual corroboration in a genetic engineering human experiment that splits the clan in two. After years of failure, the project is terminated, and Takeo is sent to destroy all evidence. When a disillusioned Takeo discovers that Kadan is the only successful product of the experiment, he saves his life, knowing that they will be chased for the rest of their lives by his younger brother, Torlan. It is revealed to Kadan that Torlan is the current leader of the American-sanctioned ninja clan – the Shadow clan – and Takeo’s killer. When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. After a disastrous meeting with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan, he realizes that Takeo’s pacifist ideals after he left the Shadow clan has limited his training. While he’s an expert in the teachings of the Core, Kadan must learn the darker aspects of ninjutsu and become an expert in the Void. Kadan soon finds that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of the Kage clan, a rivalry among the Yokai that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. Despite having enhanced senses, superior strength, and the ability of invisibility, Kadan fears it may not be enough to defeat Torlan. He will have to survive as he masters the Void without losing himself to its darker nature.

FINDING THE VOID is an approximately 120,000 word, action novel set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I have written for the Gordon College Newspaper. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#8 RMLucas

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:09 PM

REVISION #2

After reading the websites “How to Write a Query Letter” and through your advice I found I truly didn’t know what it took to write a query. Below is my second attempt keeping to the guidelines and word count of 350. Please help with the content? Thank you! :

Kadan is gripped by the unquenchable thirst for vengeance when the Shadow clan ninjas - long believed extinct- attack him, leaving him for dead, as they look for retribution against his adoptive father, Takeo, who betrayed them nearly twenty years ago.

Kadan’s near death, Takeo is dead by Zaiaku Punishment, and all seems lost when he is rescued by Nyx, the mysterious leader of the Yokai, an elite group of cutthroat ninjas from the Kage clan equipped with state-of-the-art suits. Kadan discovers Takeo used to lead the Shadow clan along with his father, Ryuu, and brother Torlan, until he sequestered Kadan away from a human engineering experiment sanctioned by the American government twenty years ago, the cause for the strife between the Kage and Shadow clan.

When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. After a disastrous meeting with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan, he realizes that Takeo’s pacifist ideals has limited his training. While he’s an expert in the teachings of the Core, Kadan must learn the darker aspects of ninjutsu and become an expert in the Void. Kadan soon finds that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of the Kage clan, a rivalry among the Yokai that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. Despite having enhanced senses, superior strength, and the ability of invisibility, Kadan fears it may not be enough to defeat Torlan. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

FINDING THE VOID is an approximately 120,000 word, action novel set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I have written for the Gordon College Newspaper. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. Thank you for your time and consideration



#9 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:28 PM

REVISION #2

 

​Hello Lucas,

After reading the websites “How to Write a Query Letter” and through your advice I found I truly didn’t know what it took to write a query. Below is my second attempt keeping to the guidelines and word count of 350. Please help with the content? Thank you! :

Kadan is gripped by the unquenchable thirst for vengeance when the Shadow clan ninjas - long believed extinct- attack him, leaving him for dead, as they look for retribution against his adoptive father, Takeo, who betrayed them nearly twenty years ago.

Kadan’s near death​(his near death experience? not sure what you meant), Takeo is dead by Zaiaku Punishment, and all seems lost when he is rescued by Nyx, the mysterious leader of the Yokai, an elite group of cutthroat ninjas from the Kage clan equipped with state-of-the-art suits. Kadan discovers Takeo used to lead the Shadow clan along with his father, Ryuu, and brother Torlan, until he sequestered Kadan away from a human engineering experiment sanctioned by the American government twenty years ago, the cause for the strife between the Kage and Shadow clan. ​This paragraph is written well above, but there are like 5 names, so it gets confusing. Try to focus on a protagonist and antagonist. Also, don't focus so much on the clans, because there's not much space. Focus on your protagonist's wants and desire, and what's preventing him from getting it. Agents want to hear about protagonists more than the world they live in. 

When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. After a disastrous meeting with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan, he realizes that Takeo’s pacifist ideals has limited his training. While he’s an expert in the teachings of the Core, Kadan must learn the darker aspects of ninjutsu and become an expert in the Void​(what's the void?). Kadan soon finds that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of the Kage clan, a rivalry among the Yokai that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. Despite having enhanced senses, superior strength, and the ability of invisibility, Kadan fears it may not be enough to defeat Torlan. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void. 

Hey, good job man! I can tell you got a cool story here. But limit your characters and focus less on clans,but on your protagonist. Weave the clan details into 1 sentence, maybe 2, not like 5 sentences. I would rewrite considering the protagonist, focus on him, his wants, who's preventing him from getting that, what must he sacrifice. Then shorten it a bit, and I think your query will be stronger.

 

Hope that helps,

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

 

FINDING THE VOID is an approximately 120,000 word, action novel set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I have written for the Gordon College Newspaper. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. Thank you for your time and consideration


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Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#10 RMLucas

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:23 AM

Thanks Preston! Its been difficulty putting detail into my query without overloading my paragraphs with tons of information and names or making my query too long. Thank you for taking the time to reviewing my query! I'll implement some of your thoughts on my next draft :)



#11 Sataris

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:40 PM

Kadan is gripped by the unquenchable thirst for vengeance when the Shadow clan ninjas - long believed extinct- attack him, leaving him for dead, as they look for retribution against his adoptive father, Takeo, who betrayed them nearly twenty years ago. this is a bit too much info for a first line - I'd lead with something like "when a clan of ninjas assassinate Kadan's father and mark him as a traitor, Kadan swears revenge." That's not snappy enough to be a lead sentence, but it'll get the tone of the story across right away

Kadan’s near death, Takeo is dead by Zaiaku Punishment I don't think this is worth mentioning unless it's more directly linked with betrayal; not sure what it is, and all seems lost when he is rescued by Nyx, the mysterious leader of the Yokai, an elite group of cutthroat ninjas from the Kage clan equipped with state-of-the-art suits. Kadan discovers Takeo used to lead the Shadow clan along with his father, Ryuu, and brother Torlan, until he sequestered Kadan away from a human engineering experiment sanctioned by the American government twenty years ago, the cause for the strife between the Kage and Shadow clan. What exactly is the cause? that Kadan was sent away? Or that they underwent the experiment?

When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. After a disastrous meeting with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan, he realizes that Takeo’s pacifist ideals has limited his training. While he’s an expert in the teachings of the Core, Kadan must learn the darker aspects of ninjutsu and become an expert in the Void. Kadan soon finds that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of the Kage clan, a rivalry among the Yokai that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction these are all a bit too vague. Despite having enhanced senses, superior strength, and the ability of invisibility, Kadan fears it may not be enough to defeat Torlan. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

FINDING THE VOID is an approximately 120,000 word, Fantasy? action novel set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy brent weeks is the man and Sigma Force series. I have written for the Gordon College Newspaper. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. Thank you for your time and consideration

I think this is a much better attempt than your previous query. 350 is still pretty long, but it's not unreasonable.

 

You've already noticed the biggest issue accord to your above post - all of the proper names. You've got ten of them, eight in the first two paragraphs, which makes the paragraph drag a bit. Ryuu you can cut for sure - he's only mentioned as being Takeo's father. I think you can actually cut Takeo too, and just refer to him as Kadan's father, which will prevent us from getting him confused with Torlan (who definitely needs to remain a named character.

 

As for the Clan names, could you just refer to them as rival clans? I'm not sure how well that would work, but we don't really get anything out of Shadow and Kage, and the Yokai subclan. Nyx seems like they could go too- they're only mentioned as the leader of a clan, which we can do without. I think the core and the void stuff can probably go too - the names themselves don't really tell us anything.

 

All that said, I think a simple version of the query could read like this:

 

Ninjas attack, leaving Kadan's father dead and Kadan badly wounded

Kadan is rescued by a clan of ninjas at war with another clan

But Kadan finds out that his new friends were his father's enemies - and that he's the cause of the strife between them

Kadan will have to decide where his loyalties lie - and just how much he's willing to give up for vengeance

 

You'd have to work the experiment in above and the "willing to give up" is pretty vague, but hopefully that illustrates how you could get the core of your story across in a super concise way (and you'll really, really want to do that if your story is clocking in at 120,000 words, because the agent is going to be looking at your query for signs that the manuscript is going to need to be cut down as well too, as 120k is very long for a debut) 

 

Hope that was helpful! and thank you for the feedback!


No current query.


#12 smithgirl

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:49 PM

After reading the websites “How to Write a Query Letter” and through your advice I found I truly didn’t know what it took to write a query. Below is my second attempt keeping to the guidelines and word count of 350. Please help with the content? Thank you! :

Kadan is gripped by the unquenchable thirst for vengeance after when the Shadow clan ninjas -- long believed extinct-- attack him, leaving him for dead, as they look for retribution against his adoptive father, Takeo, who betrayed them nearly twenty years ago.

 

This hook has too much going on. Your hook needs to be snappy and easy to understand.

Kadan’s near death, Takeo is dead by Zaiaku Punishment, Was is Zaiaku Punishment? and all seems lost when he is rescued by Nyx, the mysterious leader of the Yokai, an elite group of cutthroat ninjas from the Kage clan equipped with state-of-the-art suits. Too many names and new terms. Kadan discovers Takeo used to lead the Shadow clan along with his biological? father, Ryuu, and brother Torlan, until he sequestered Kadan away from a human engineering experiment sanctioned by the American government twenty years ago, the cause for the strife between the Kage and Shadow clan. Oh, this is very complicated with more names!

When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long-dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. After a disastrous meeting with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan, he realizes that Takeo’s pacifist ideals What pacifist ideals? This is the first time we hear of them. have limited his training. While he’s an expert in the teachings of the Core, The Core?  Kadan must learn the darker aspects of ninjutsu What is ninjutsu? and become an expert in the Void. What is the Void? Kadan soon finds that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of the Kage clan, a rivalry among the Yokai that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. Despite having enhanced senses, superior strength, and the ability of invisibility, Kadan fears it may not be enough to defeat Torlan. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

FINDING THE VOID is an approximately 120,000-word (they know this is an approximation) action novel set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. Italicize other titles. I have written for the Gordon College Newspaper. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and I hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan. What is a 9th Kyu in Buijinkan? Thank you for your time and consideration

 

The biggest problem with your query is that is has too many names, terms, complexity. Your query needs to be simple; you should have a maximum of 3 named characters. You need to minimize the use of specialized terms. 

 

You should rewrite your query focusing on these questions:

1. Who is your MC?

2. What does he want/need?

3. What obstacles prevent him from getting what he wants/needs?

4. What will happen if he fails?

 

Make your query very simple, cut out all the extraneous information. Another point is that 120K words is very long -- you will get a lot of auto-rejections just from the length. I would recommend you try to cut down the final count if you can.

 

But in the meantime, because your book is so long, it is especially important to make your query short and concise -- you need to convince the agents that your book is also concise, and you do that by giving them a very concise query. Query writing is super hard, especially when you're used to writing books. Don't be discouraged, just keep working at it. Good luck!



#13 RMLucas

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:07 PM

REVISION #3

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my query process. Ive taken a lot of your suggestions and looked at some successful queries and made some changes. I can't say enough about the impact it has had on it! Here's my third work over. Still uncertain about single question in it, have seen it in other queries so I hope it doesn't take away from the rest. Thanks for your help.

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude when Torlan, leader of a clan of ninjas attack him, leaving him for dead. Unbeknown to Kadan, the assault is retribution against his father for a betrayal committed against them nearly twenty years ago. The betrayal? The sequestering of Kadan from a genetic modifying experiment and robbing them of the key to a new generation of superior warriors.

Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s rescued by Nyx, the self-driven and mysterious leader of a rival ninja clan. When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance Kadan decides to join Nyx's clan. After a disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan again, he realizes that his father’s training is incomplete. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability.

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of Nyx’s clan, a rivalry with a fellow clan member that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, a growing attraction for Nyx despite her closely held secrets, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, action novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#14 Timejockey

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 06:47 PM

REVISION #3

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my query process. Ive taken a lot of your suggestions and looked at some successful queries and made some changes. I can't say enough about the impact it has had on it! Here's my third work over. Still uncertain about single question in it, have seen it in other queries so I hope it doesn't take away from the rest. Thanks for your help.

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude when Torlan, the leader of a clan of ninjas attack him, leaving him for dead. Unbeknown to Kadan, the assault is retribution against his father for a betrayal committed against them nearly twenty years ago. The betrayal? The sequestering of Kadan from a genetic modifying experiment and robbing them of the key to a new generation of superior warriors.

Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s rescued by Nyx, the self-driven and mysterious leader of a rival ninja clan. When Torlan discovers Kadan is alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on him. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance Kadan decides to join Nyx's clan and after a disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills Kadan again, he realizes that his father’s training is incomplete. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability.

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey for vengeance, he must overcome the mistrust of Nyx’s clan, a rivalry with a fellow clan member that will threaten the team, the death of a close friend, a growing attraction for Nyx despite her closely held secrets, and a spy that will bring the clan to the brink of destruction. He will have to decide if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, action novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

In reading this I think the big thing that kept popping out was you have too much information in here. It feels like there is an interesting and action packed story in there, but all the characters and plot details kept it from shining. Feel free to ignore or change anything I have above, because it's all just my personal opinion, but I would let the tension and action shine through and not worry about all the details. Hope this helps!



#15 RMLucas

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 06:01 AM

Thank's everyone. All of your help have been outstanding. Here's what I have so far.

 

REVISION 4:

 

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude when Torlan and his clan of ninjas attack him. Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s saved by a rival ninja clan.

 

After Kadan reads a letter left by his father, his preconceived notions of the man he grew up is shaken. He learns the attack was retribution against his father for sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment performed two decades ago. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, and caught between two ninja clans, Kadan decides to join his rescuers. When the enemy discovers Kadan is still alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him. Only after Kadan has another disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills him again does he admit that his father’s training is incomplete. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability — if he has any hope of survival and achieving his goal.

 

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey, he must overcome the mistrust of a clan of ninjas, and a spy that will bring them to the brink of destruction. He will have to decide if he will have to settle for a life of hiding, or if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

 

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, adventure novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#16 sereneew

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 05:17 PM

 

Thank's everyone. All of your help have been outstanding. Here's what I have so far.

 

REVISION 4:

 

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude when Torlan and his clan of ninjas attack him. Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s rescued by Nyx      the self-driven and mysterious leader of a rival ninja clan. ( I like the hook when you're introducing the clan ) 

 

After When Kadan reads a letter left by his father, his preconceived notions of the man he grew up is shaken. He learns the attack was retribution against his father for sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment performed two decades ago. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for revenge vengeance, and caught between two ninja clans, Kadan decides to join his rescuers. When the enemy discovers Kadan is still alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him. Only after Kadan has another disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills him again does he admit that his father’s training is incomplete.  ( I feel like that's too much information. Maybe start with Kadan learning a skill.) Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability — if he has any hope of survival and achieving his goal.

 

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey, he must overcome the mistrust of a clan of ninjas, and a spy that will bring them to the brink of destruction. He will have to decide if he will have to settle for a life of hiding, or if vengeance revenge is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

 

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, adventure novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

Thank you for your feedback! I'm not a Query expert myself, but I think this revision is better than before, since it has concise details that still makes readers or agents know it's a book filled with REVENGE and ACTION. Hope this helps! 


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


#17 LEEALLAN

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:13 PM

I love the way you've written your bio, and the way the protagonist has to make a decision. Your novel would be an exciting read! Keep at it, your query gets better each time!

 

REVISION 4:

 

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness is restless with at his father’s imposed solitude [where?], until when Torlan and his clan of ninjas attack him. [I feel that there might be some confusion in the reader's mind as to whether the last part of the sentence refers to Kadan or his father.] Left for dead, Kadan is rescued by a rival ninja clan, makes his way to his home and to discovers that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s saved by a rival ninja clan.

 

After Kadan reads a letter left by his father, his preconceived notions of the man he grew up is shaken. He and learns the attack was retribution against his father for sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment performed two decades ago. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for  Wanting vengeance, and caught between two ninja clans, Kadan decides to join his rescuers. When the enemy discovers Kadan is still alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him. Only after Kadan has another disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills him again does he admit that his father’s training is incomplete. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability — if he has any hope of survival and achieving his goal.

 

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey, he must overcome the mistrust of a clan of ninjas, and learns that a spy that will bring them to the brink of destruction. He will have to must decide if he will have to settle for a life of hiding, or if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

 

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, adventure novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#18 RMLucas

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:09 PM

Thanks gtwahab and LeeAllan. I'll work on the next revision and post it in the next day or so. Thank you again for all of your feedback. It is much appreciated. 



#19 robertguitar

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 05:12 AM

REVISION 4:

 

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude (I had to read these first ten words three times to make sense of them. It doesn't readily give the reader a picture of what you're talking about.) when Torlan and his clan of ninjas attack him. Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s saved by a rival ninja clan. What is he saved from? His sadness and depression?

 

After Kadan reads a letter left by his father, his preconceived notions of the man he grew up who raised him is shaken. He learns the attack was retribution against his father for sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment performed two decades ago. So the father separated Kadan from this experiment? Is that what you mean? Or did the father separate Kadan from the clan and offer him for the experiment? It's not clear to me, and thus, I don't get why Kadan is filled with an "unquenchable thirst for vengeance" which seems a bit purple. Filled with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, and caught between two ninja clans, Kadan decides to join his rescuers. When the enemy discovers Kadan is still alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment okay, so the father volunteered Kadan for the experiment -- that's why he's angry they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him. It's not clear why Only after Kadan has another disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills him again does he admit that his father’s training is incomplete. It's not his father's training which is incomplete. Karan's training at the hands of his father is incomplete. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability — if he has any hope of survival and achieving his goal. I like the Void -- it peaks my interest.

 

Kadan soon realizes that on his journey, he must overcome the mistrust of a clan of ninjas, and a spy that will bring them to the brink of destruction. He will have to decide if he will have to settle for a life of hiding, or if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void. It sounds sort of metaphysical, which I like, but it's not clear what Kadan wants. He must overcome the mistrust of the ninjas to do what?

 

FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, adventure novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja historical facts. It is set in modern New England. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#20 InevitablePlotTwist

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

Kadan regrets his growing restlessness at his father’s imposed solitude when Torlan and his clan of ninjas attack him.
This sentence is very difficult to read.
Left for dead, Kadan makes his way to his home to discover that his father‘s been murdered, and all seems lost — until he’s saved by a rival ninja clan.

After Kadan reads a letter left by his father, his preconceived notions of the man he grew up with is are shaken. He learns the attack was retribution against his father for sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment performed two decades ago.
Cool! But what is this experiment, and what was Kadan's role in it? "Sequestering Kadan from a human genetic experiment" doesn't make sense to me.
Filled with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, and caught between two ninja clans, Kadan decides to join his rescuers. You should make it more clear that he's leaving his own clan. When the enemy discovers Kadan is still alive and is the sole survivor of the long dead experiment, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him. Only after Kadan has another disastrous confrontation with Torlan that nearly kills him again does he admit that his father’s training is incomplete. This makes it sound like his father is the one being trained. Kadan must master the clan’s specialized skill, the Void — a meditative state of mind that allows a person to transcend the limits of human physical ability — if he has any hope of survival and achieving his goal.

 
Kadan soon realizes that on his journey, he must overcome the mistrust of a clan of ninjas, and a spy that will bring them to the brink of destruction. Overcome his mistrust of the spy? He will have to decide if he will have to settle for a life of hiding, or if vengeance is worth losing himself to the darker nature of the Void.

 
FINDING THE VOID is a 120,000 word, I'm afraid most agents are going to reject you based on word count alone adventure novel that incorporates elements from Japanese mythology and Ninja I'm not sure ninja is supposed to be capitalized historical facts. It is set in modern New England. You should mention this sooner. I was thinking it was set in near-future Japan. It will appeal to fans of the Night Angel trilogy and Sigma Force series. I graduated with a bachelor in Biology, and currently hold the rank of 9th Kyu in Bujinkan, a martial arts specializing in ninjutsu, one of the main topics of this novel. This is a fantastic bio for the subject matter.Thank you for your time and consideration.

This looks like a really cool story that I would read in a heartbeat. It sounds like a video game, and I mean that in a good way.

However, I will say that the query has a few issues with clarity. It also could do more to establish the character and setting. I'd like to get a better sense of who Kadan is, and you should definitely emphasize the genetically-engineered ninja angle more, because that's just plain awesome. None of these are big problems, and they should be easy fixes.

What is a big problem is your word count. Most advice I've read says that unless you're writing fantasy, a debut novel shouldn't be much longer than 100K words. 120K isn't ridiculously long, but I have a feeling it's long enough to be a deal-breaker for many agents. Unfortunately, fixing that is a much more difficult thing than tweaking your query. I'd say it's worth the effort, though, because I like what I've seen here.






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