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#21 sereneew

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:24 PM

REVISION #9 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A  tall, brunette, and nerdy girl, who shouldn't play with fire. She shouldn’t know how to slice a Megafauna in half with laser beams and make it look like a lightning strike. Or kill an entire S.W.A.T team of supervillains with just fire and a stick. Or kill a seven foot beast by using a flaming dart.

 

Evidently, things are not always as they appear.

 

Norvina lives in New York city and they have one law: all humans with superpowers must die. When she’s tasered in a back alley by muggers,  the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming power over fire.  She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death's superpredators. They try to kill her, but she fights them off with the help of Vulcan, Black Death’s rebellious son.

 

Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father the Ruler Ultimate,  tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers. Norvina still can’t trust Vulcan because of his father, but his hatred for him convinces her to strike a deal. He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power-- light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  

 

It’s a fair price – or so it seems. But with law enforcement and supervillains striking down on her at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  As she uncovers the horrifying facts, between Black Death and the government, they discover it threatens millions of lives, including theirs. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain, in an already villainous city and allying with Vulcan to save millions of innocent lives,  even if the journey means certain death.


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


#22 EmperorOfTheNorth

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 11:16 PM

REVISION #9 
 
Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A  tall, brunette, and nerdy girl (A tall, nerdy brunette?),

who shouldn't play with fire. She shouldn’t know how to slice a Megafauna in half with laser beams and make it look like a lightning strike. Or kill an entire S.W.A.T team of supervillains with just fire and a stick. Or kill a seven foot beast by using a flaming dart.[/size]


Why not? Do you mean perhaps that one would not expect her to have such abilities?
 
Evidently, things are not always as they appear.[/size]
 
Norvina lives in New York city and they have one law: all humans with superpowers must die. When she’s tasered in a back alley by muggers,  the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming power over fire.  She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death's superpredators. They try to kill her, but she fights them off with the help of Vulcan, Black Death’s rebellious son.[/size]

Ummm who is Vulcan? Who is Black Death?
 
Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father the Ruler Ultimate,  tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers. Norvina still can’t trust Vulcan because of his father, but his hatred for him convinces her to strike a deal. He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power-- light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  [/size]

Aha! This might need to be worked in sooner.
 
It’s a fair price – or so it seems. But with law enforcement and supervillains striking down on her at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  As she uncovers the horrifying facts, between Black Death and the government, they discover it threatens millions of lives, including theirs. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain, in an already villainous city and allying with Vulcan to save millions of innocent lives,  even if the journey means certain death. [/size]



Far from a genre which I am familiar, and being as I am a novice, I like this. Some of it confuses me as noted. But you seem to have some basics here.

PS thank you for your critique on mine for Che Cazzo.
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#23 kevinluvsyou

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 12:57 PM

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A tall, brunette, and nerdy girl, who shouldn't play with fire. She shouldn’t know how to slice a Megafauna in half with laser beams and make it look like a lightning strike. Or Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill an entire S.W.A.T team of supervillains with just fire and a stick. Or kill a seven foot beast by using a flaming dart. Might be a little too long for the hook. I'd parse it down to something quicker and snappier!

 

Evidently, things are not always as they appear. Cliches are usually a red flag for agents, so I'd steer a bit clear of this one.

 

Norvina lives in New York city and where they have one law: all humans with superpowers must die. When she’s tasered in a back alley by muggers,  the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming power over fire.  She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death's (Not sure who Black Death is. Are they part of the government you just mentioned or government contractors sent to hunt down superpowered humans? Give us a super brief aside that explains what they are -- something like "attracts the attention of the Black Death, a private organization hellbent on suppressing superpowers across the globe") superpredators. They try to kill her, but she fights them off with the help of Vulcan, Black Death’s rebellious son. (Give this last sentence more style! "They try to kill her, but she fights them off" is pretty vanilla and doesn't create much tension. Try something like "Cornered by the Black Death's bloodthirsty superpredators and with her powers waning, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan, the Black Death's rebellious son." or something along those lines. Give us a snapshot of the scene, a picture of the moment Vulcan jumps in to the rescue!)

 

Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father, the Ruler Ultimate,  (wait isn't his father the Black Death? if he's the Ruler Ultimate, what does he rule? the government? the world?) tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers (Woah! So Vulcan is way more than just a rebellious son. He's spurned, hunted, on the run from his own father! Tell us this in the paragraph up above instead of calling him rebellious). Norvina still can’t trust Vulcan because of his father, but his hatred for him convinces her to strike a deal. (Lotta pronouns being thrown around here and it gets a little jumbled. I'd straighten it out a little bit. Something like "Vulcan's hatred for his own father convinces Norvina, though still mistrustful, to strike a deal with the boy.) He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  (So he saved her life, he was almost murdered by his father, and now he's training her to harness her powers in exchange for help killing his father? Sounds pretty trustworthy to me! Not sure why she doesn't consider him an ally at this point, despite his relation to Ruler Ultimate)

 

It’s a fair price – or so it seems. But with law enforcement and supervillains striking down on her (Wouldn't the supervillians be more concerned with the government trying to murder them all to be worried about some girl with fire powers?) at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  As she uncovers the horrifying facts, between Black Death and the government, they she discovers it threatens millions of lives, including theirs her own. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain, in an already villainous city and allying with Vulcan to save millions of innocent lives,  even if the journey means certain death. (I love ending it right there with "even if it means becoming a villain." It's unexpected, it's sudden, and it leaves me WANTING to know more! Why would she become a villain? What purpose is there behind her hurting innocent people? It shows me that you're taking the character into some very complex territory and I'm 100% on board with you! The millions of lives and journey ending in death comes with the territory. I'm wayyyyyy more interested in her possibly turning to the dark side in order to accomplish her task than I am with her journeying on the well-trodden hero's quest.)

 

Sound like you've got a super exciting story on your hands! I think there's some story mixups in there that can be solved with a quick, one sentence explanation related to the world they're all a part of (like explaining what Black Death is and why Black Death is so intent on killing her). Don't be afraid to spoil bits of the story in your query letter, since it's better to get a solid hold of the story than it is to maintain an air of mystery. Now, I'm not saying that you need to turn this into a summary. Just adding tiny details here and there can really help me picture both the world that this action is happening in, as well as the characters that the action is happening to. Other than that, you're well on your way to a finished query! Keep it up!!


I'll do a query review for a query review!

 

Check mine out here!


#24 sereneew

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:59 PM

REVISION #9 ( Thank you for your feedbacks @Emperorofthenorth and @Kevinluvsyou. Took it all in consideration, hope I resolved the issues! ) 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A tall, brunette, and nerdy girl, who shouldn't play with fire. Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill a S.W.A.T team of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


NYC is controlled by the Ruler Ultimate, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one rule: all humans with superpowers that are not super-villains must die. Which is bad for Norvina, because she just got them in a big way.


When Norvina is tasered in an alley by muggers, the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming power over fire. She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death’s superpredators. Cornered by the bloodthirsty superpredators and with her powers waning, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan-- who’s spurned and on the run from his own father. Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father, the Ruler Ultimate, tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers.  His hatred for his own father convinces Norvina, though still mistrustful, to strike a deal with the boy. He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  


It’s a fair price – or so it seems. But with law enforcement and super-villains infiltrating on her at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  As she uncovers the horrifying facts, between Black Death and the government, she discovers it threatens millions of lives, including her own. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain.


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


#25 ThatDan

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:47 PM

Thanks for the feedback on my query. Finally got time to return the favor. (For a fresh view, I'm not reading any of the previous versions. This might help point out flaws that are invisible to those who have been critiquing as it progressed.)

 

REVISION #9 ( Thank you for your feedbacks @Emperorofthenorth and @Kevinluvsyou. Took it all in consideration, hope I resolved the issues! ) 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A tall, brunette, and nerdy girl, who shouldn't play with fire. Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill a S.W.A.T​<calling them SWAT here takes away from the superhuman aspect imo. team of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


NYC is​ has been controlled by the Ruler Ultimate ​<not quite sure what this is. I assume its a title that exists in your lore (akin to mayor or president), Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one rule: all humans with superpowers that are not super-villains must die. Which is bad for Norvina, because she just got them in a big way.


When Norvina is tasered in an alley by muggers, the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming ​<I'd say power over fire is overwhelming enough! power over fire. She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death’s superpredators. Cornered​Overpowered? by the bloodthirsty superpredators​<word used twice in quick succession and with her powers waning<not sure we need this 'waning' part. it raises more questions, and I'd say it'd suffice to just continue on to Vulcan, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan-- who’s spurned and on the run from his own father. Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father​<same repeat use as above, the Ruler Ultimate, tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers.  His hatred for his own father convinces Norvina, though still mistrustful, to strike a deal with the boy. He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  


It’s a fair price – or so it seems.​<these two parts immediately cancel each other out, making the statement redundant. But with law enforcement and super-villains infiltrating on her at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  As she uncovers the horrifying facts, between Black Death and the government, she discovers it threatens millions of lives, including her own. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain. ​<great work up until this last bit. The query ends in rather vague territory with the typical 'big secrets' and 'lives at risk' and 'whatever it takes.' I'm not saying it's bad, but it needs to be fleshed and tailored to your story so that it has a bit more impact.

 

Aside from that, terrific work! I get a decent view of the world (love it), Norvina's dilemma, and the relationship between the two MCs.  


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

No active query atm.


#26 Ireth

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:22 AM

REVISION #9 ( Thank you for your feedbacks @Emperorofthenorth and @Kevinluvsyou. Took it all in consideration, hope I resolved the issues! ) 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. A tall, brunette, and nerdy girl, who shouldn't play with fire. Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill a S.W.A.T team of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


NYC is controlled by the Ruler Ultimate, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one rule: all humans with superpowers that are not super-villains must die. (How does he tell who's a villain and who isn't? Do they wear color-coded outfits like in comics?Which is bad for Norvina, because she just got them in a big way.


When Norvina is tasered in an alley by muggers (I thought tasers were police-issue only? how did the muggers get one?), the electric currents trigger a mutation in her DNA that gives her overwhelming power over fire. She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of Black Death’s superpredators. Cornered by the bloodthirsty superpredators (find a synonym to avoid repetition here) and with her powers waning (why?), Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan-- who’s spurned and on the run from his own father. Vulcan has been in hiding ever since his father, the Ruler Ultimate, tried to kill him, after finding out he has superpowers. (Why kill him?  why not train him to be a supervillain?) His hatred for his own father convinces Norvina, though still mistrustful, to strike a deal with him. He agrees to train her in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if Norvina will help kill his father.  


It’s a fair price – or so it seems. But with law enforcement and super-villains infiltrating (I don't think this is the word you want) on her at every turn, Norvina soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for (this is a cliche'd phrase).  As she uncovers the horrifying facts (what facts?), between Black Death and the government, she discovers it (what is it?) threatens millions of lives, including her own. Now, Norvina will do whatever it takes (vague) to stay alive, even if it means becoming a villain. 


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#27 sereneew

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 01:07 AM

REVISION #10 ( I feel better about this one.... MORE CONFIDENT...  ( lowkey) But thank you @IRETH for your feedback. Took it all in consideration!! ) Any feedback is highly appreciated, Will give you a honest critique as well (: 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill a team of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal.


In NYC super-villains have seniority over citizens. To distinguish themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. The city is controlled by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one rule: all humans with superpowers that are not super-villains must die. Which is bad for Norvina, because she just got them in a big way.

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan    who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to stay alive, though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he has for his father.


With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon understands more about the brutal reality of the world she’s trapped in    she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government. They intend to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city    the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. At this point, Norvina must do the unexpected    she herself will have to become a villain in order to survive.  


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


#28 Erevos

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 07:59 AM

Hello there and thank you for your help on my query!!

I have to say I love your story! Super powers? Villains? Sign me in!

 

 

REVISION #10 ( I feel better about this one.... MORE CONFIDENT...  ( lowkey) But thank you @IRETH for your feedback. Took it all in consideration!! ) Any feedback is highly appreciated, Will give you a honest critique as well (: 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to kill a team of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal. I really like the hook. I read some previous versions, and this one definitely is on the spot.


In NYC super-villains have seniority over citizens. To distinguish themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. What if a citizen or a good guy wears the same suit? Mkay, I'm asking too much I think. It's a query after all. The city is controlled by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one rule: all humans with superpowers that are not super-villains must die. Hm...this sounds a bit weak. Maybe something like "...all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die." Just giving an alternative Which is bad for Norvina, because she just got them in a big way.

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and attracts the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan    who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Nice! Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation, if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to stay alive, though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he has for his father. This is a nice paragr. Nothing bad to say! 


With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon understands more about the brutal reality of the world she’s trapped in    she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They intend to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city    the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Wait a sec. So, one city is controlled by Black Death. He has a plot to take over the whole country, right? And the government supports him. My problem is what do the rest of the people in this country think? or have done so far? Like no one said "Hey, we ought to take back NYC. It's been like 10 years (eg) since Black Death took over. What is the government doing? What about the army?" Get my point? I guess the government wants complete control over the whole country, but still... At this point, Norvina must do the unexpected    she herself will have to become a villain in order to survive.  Hm...become a villain? You mean kill super-villains? Cause I'm sure you become a hero if you do that.

 

The last paragraph is just fine! I'd only change the last sentence to be honest!

Other than that great work!!


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#29 sereneew

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:12 AM

Thank you! @Ereovs For your feedback. 

To answer your question on the last para. Yes, many super-heroes tried to stop him many many years ago, but they were all executed, so no one ever tries anymore. 

 

REVISION #11 ( I feel this is ready to be sent out to agents. Any thoughts? )

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal.

 

In NYC super-villains are respected citizens, but they have seniority. To differentiate themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. The city is governed by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one law: all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die. Which is bad for Norvina because she just got them in a big way.

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and draws the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan—who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to survive, though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he bears for his father.

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon learns more about the harsh truth of the world she’s trapped in—she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city—the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Norvina must do the unexpected—she herself will have to become a villain to survive.


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


#30 LEEALLAN

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:10 PM

Thank you, sereneew, for critiquing the query for my novel, Love, Cats, and Assassins. The latest version of your query looks awesome! My comments below are only a few suggestions about considering the rewording of some sentences, and a few questions.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal.

 

In NYC super-villains are respected citizens, but they have seniority. To differentiate themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. The city is governed by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated almost (Vulcan is a superhero and is still living) all superheroes. He has one law: (I'd put a hypen here rather than a colon) all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die. Which is bad for Norvina because she just got them (or "has just received them"? I think inserting the word "has" would make this sound better) in a big way--and she despises Black Death. (I'm only suggesting this change to emphasize to readers that she is not a super-villain yet.)

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and draws the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second (last minute?) by a young man named Vulcan—who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Vulcan is the last remaining superhero. Ever since Vulcan When he refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He Vulcan agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation if she helps kill his father. Norvina, is desperate to survive, and though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he bears for his father.

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon learns more about the harsh truth of the world she’s trapped in—she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city—the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Norvina must do the unexpected—she herself will have to become a villain to survive.



#31 bijou

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:35 PM

Hi! I'm jumping in here at draft 11, and didn't want to read earlier versions because I wanted to come to it fresh. Also, this is my first critique! 

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal. [I like this hook. It's quick and to the point, and tells me where my sympathies should lie.]

 

In NYC [why not New York City, spelled out? Seems too casual.] super-villains are respected citizens, but they have seniority [I'm not sure "seniority" is the right word, or what it means in this context]. To differentiate themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. [Do you need this detail? It doesn't seem to impact the story, and I feel like it slows things down. The main point is that super-villains are respected citizens, right?] The city is governed by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one law: all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die. Which is bad for Norvina because she just got them in a big way.

[I found jumping to this paragraph a little choppy--I was a little thrown by the leap from Norvina to NYC, but that might be effective because of the brevity. I know agents don't have a lot of time to read queries. So take my comment with a grain of salt. But I will say, you might want to play with the order of your sentences here. It might be more economical to lead with the fact that NYC is governed by Black Death, then go into how super-villains are respected citizens; and then close, as you have, with his one law, which holds all the punch.]

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and draws the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks,[Not sure you need this opening phrase. Try cutting it, and see if it matters.] Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan—who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him. [The wording of the previous sentence bugged me a little. Maybe: "When Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him."] He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire [I don't know what the "art of fire" is. Maybe find a way to clarify it concisely.] with his own power of light manipulation if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to survive, [Nitpick: I'd remove the previous comma because it slows things down.] though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he bears for his father.

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon learns more about the harsh truth ["harsh truth" suggests more of a general state, like "dog eat dog," than a single plot. I've suggested alternate wording in the revision of the graph below.] of the world she’s trapped in—she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city—the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Norvina must do the unexpected—she herself will have to become a villain to survive.

[This paragraph felt a bit overloaded. Here's a whack at a revision. Take it or leave it, as seems appropriate: "With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina learns a terrifying fact: Black Death and the government plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city. Millions of lives hang in the balance. Norvina realizes she must do the unexpected: She will have to become a villain to survive."]

 

I hope this is helpful! I think you have a really strong query--it provides a clear picture of the stakes of your story and the world you've created. My edits are really just suggestions toward polish. Good luck!!!


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


#32 TheBest

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:01 PM

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal. (You could combine these into one sentence, or separate them with an em dash.)

 

In NYC super-villains are respected citizens, but they have seniority. To differentiate themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. The city is governed by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one law: all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die. Which is bad for Norvina because she just got them in a big way. (Although the ideas here are great, this paragraph is awkward and doesn't flow as well as it could. You also repeated seniority too may times, and I'm not sure it fits in this paragrah or in context.)

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and draws the attention of super-predators. (We don't who these are yet, so it would be good to give a few works explaining them.) Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan—who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to survive, though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he bears for his father. (This is a really great stake! Takes a little while to get here though, maybe cut down some of the earlier bits and move this up.)

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon learns more about the harsh truth of the world she’s trapped in—she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city—the potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Norvina must do the unexpected (Not the right word Maybe unthinkable or impossible) —she herself will have to become a villain to survive.

 

I your novel's concept! However, I think your query could use to be cut down a bit, since many details are superfluous and detract from the really great bits of the query. While world building is good, you don't need too much of it in a query, as the letter is meant to focus on characters and stakes. In addition, be sure to include word count, genre, and comps in your letter. Good luck!!!



#33 sereneew

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:58 PM

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and feedback (: I'l take a snip at it later today... Hope the next version will be better !


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


#34 LucidDreamer

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:25 PM

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick at her disposal. (Those last words are not really needed to get the point across)

 

In NYC super-villains are respected citizens, but they have seniority. To differentiate themselves from the citizens, they wear black suits and a red tinted metallic skull mask. The city is governed by the Mayor, Black Death, ever since he annihilated all superheroes. He has one law: all humans with superpowers that don't side with him must die. Which is bad for Norvina because she just got them in a big way. (Hmmm.... this paragraph could be reworded to be a little punchier, I think. We don't really need to know what the super-villains wear, for instance. Too much detail for a query. Also, the paragraph focused more on the backstory & other characters. You need to focus on your protagonist. What does she want? What are her obstacles? Consider something like: In a city governed by a mayor who calls himself Black Death, getting super powers is a plus. Unless you're like Norvina, and want to fight the super-villains that Black Death controls. Then it's pretty much a death sentence. Focus on Norvina and allow her to capture the agent/pub's interest.)

 

When Norvina is attacked in an alley by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA that gives her power over fire. She roasts the muggers and draws the attention of super-predators. Overpowered by the bloodthirsty freaks, Norvina is saved at the last second by a young man named Vulcan—who's ruthless and on the run from his own father, Black Death. Ever since Vulcan refused to be a super-villain, his father placed a hit on him.  He agrees to train Norvina in the art of fire with his own power of light manipulation if she helps kill his father. Norvina, desperate to survive, though still mistrustful of Vulcan, accepts when she sees the hatred he bears for his father. (This reads more like a synopsis than a query. Cut it to bare bones and give it a sense of action. Yes, you should include mention of Vulcan, as he seems to be a main character/possible love interest, but you don't need to go into great detail. When Norvina is attacked by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA. Gifted with power over fire, she roasts the muggers but draws the attention of some bloodthirsty freaks. Only the last minute rescue by a young man named Vulcan saves her from .... <whatever happens if the freaks got her> Then something about Vulcan, but a little more concise. )

 

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every turn, Norvina soon learns more about the harsh truth of the world she’s trapped in—she discovers the plot between Black Death and the government.  They plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city.—the  Their potential army would threaten millions of lives, including her own. Norvina must do the unexpected (or unforgiveable? or something more forceful than unexpected)—she herself will have to become a villain to survive. (This paragraph is pretty good. I think you could tighten it up a bit, but the general wording works).

 

 

Interesting story concept, but this is reading too much like a synopsis right now. A query should read more like the jacket blurb on a book. You don't have to explain the entire plot -- just enough to clearly give a sense of the protagonist and the stakes. Focus more on Norvina and what all this means to HER. What will she lose if she fails? What could she gain if she wins? How does she feel about Black Death? (I mean, not just that he's a bad guy, but how does she feel? Scared? Determined? Angry?) Same for her relationship with Vulcan. Keep it concise, and choose your words carefully to express emotion and action. 

 

Hope this helps!



#35 sereneew

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 06:08 PM

Thank you everyone for the insightful feedback!!! 

 

TAKE REVISION #12 ( I'm low-key excited about this version... I feel like it's getting better each time ) any thoughts ( will critique yours (: )!

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


In a city governed by a mayor who calls himself Black Death, getting super powers is a plus. Unless you're like Norvina and want to fight the super-villains that Black Death controls. Then it's pretty much a death sentence.

 

When Norvina is attacked by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA. Gifted with power over fire, she roasts the muggers but attracts the attention of some bloodthirsty freaks. Only the last minute rescue by a young man named Vulcan saves her from being butchered by the ferocious freaks. Vulcan, Black Death’s ruthless son, wants to destroy his father.  Norvina is hell-bent on staying alive. She knows the execution of super-villains will keep her alive, but the journey will lead to a definite death. But she’s headstrong and possesses a kick-ass persona and ally's with Vulcan.

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every corner, Norvina learns a daunting fact: Black Death and the government plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city. Millions of lives hang in the balance. Norvina realizes she must do the unforgivable: She will have to become a badass villain to survive.


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


#36 LucidDreamer

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 08:51 AM

 

She knows the execution of super-villains will keep her alive, but the journey will lead to a definite death. But she’s headstrong and possesses a kick-ass persona and ally's with Vulcan.   This needs a bit of rearrangement to flow better. Consider starting the paragraph with something like -- Headstrong and possessing a kick-ass attitude, Norvina allies with Vulcan, despite their mutual lack of trust. But with or without his help, Norvina's hell-bent on staying alive, and if she does go down, she's taking an entire league of super-villains with her.

That leads more clearly into the concepts of the next paragraph, where Norvina learns something even more daunting. (Builds up to that better, I think).

 

​This is much improved overall, though!  

 

I assume you have your basic info. added in the actual query -- TITLE is an AGE GROUP/GENRE complete at XXXX words. Then add in comps (if you have them) and all that. Etc. 



#37 bkarperien

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:27 PM

Thank you everyone for the insightful feedback!!! 

 

TAKE REVISION #12 ( I'm low-key excited about this version... I feel like it's getting better each time ) any thoughts ( will critique yours (: )!

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


In a city governed by a mayor who calls himself Black Death, getting super powers is a plus. Unless you're like Norvina and want to fight the super-villains that Black Death controls. Then it's pretty much a death sentence. (This doesn't make sense to me, because it's not really a death sentence. You can get yourself killed fighting super-villains with or without superpowers. But this whole intro didn't really work for me. Why? Because it tells me more about your worldbuilding than it does about Norvina. Here's along the lines of what I'd do for the hook:

Seventeen-year-old (insert noun here. e.g., nerd, bookworm, cowgirl, whatever) Norvina has one goal, to rid her city of super-villains (or whatever her real goal is), but she has one small problem: a complete lack of superpowers. (Then I would include a sentence regarding her motivation. Why does she want to kill super-villains? What'd they ever do to her?). (Then sum up what changes: the attack that triggers the arrival of her powers.)

I don't know if that helps you at all, but you definitely want to cut to the chase, set up Norvina's goal+motives, and the inciting event that pulls her into the story. 

 

When Norvina is attacked by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA. Gifted with power over fire, she roasts the muggers but attracts the attention of some bloodthirsty freaks. Only the last minute rescue by a young man named Vulcan saves her from being butchered by the ferocious freaks. Vulcan, Black Death’s ruthless son, wants to destroy his father.  Norvina is hell-bent on staying alive. She knows the execution of super-villains will keep her alive, but the journey will lead to a definite death. But she’s headstrong and possesses a kick-ass persona and ally's with Vulcan.

 Notice how you don't mention Vulcan in the third paragraph? You might not need him in this query at all. Instead, I'd use this paragraph to set up the Black Death conflict, and how she plans to fight him, etc. 

 

As law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attack her at every corner, Norvina learns that Black Death plans to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city. Millions of lives hang in the balance. Norvina realizes she must do the unforgivable: She will have to become a badass villain to survive. (Nice twist, but this is too vague. Why can't she find another solution? And what is she going to do that'll make her a badass villain? And is she really still only worried about her own survival?)

I'm sorry :( I feel like I just ripped your query apart. It's got a great concept, and I love the twist at the end. I feel like there was just too much worldbuilding and information that I didn't really need overall, and not enough focus on Norvina. I think you've got a good start though :) Best of luck to you!

And if you get a chance to check out my query, I'd appreciate it :) 


Check out my query!


#38 Erevos

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:12 AM

Hello again! This is definitely an improvement!

 

Thank you everyone for the insightful feedback!!! 

 

TAKE REVISION #12 ( I'm low-key excited about this version... I feel like it's getting better each time ) any thoughts ( will critique yours (: )!

 

Seventeen-year-old Norvina doesn’t look dangerous. Definitely not someone you'd expect to slaughter a squad of super-villains with just fire and a stick.


In a city governed by a mayor who calls himself Black Death, getting super powers is a plus. Unless you're like Norvina and want to fight the super-villains that Black Death controls. Then it's pretty much a death sentence.

 

When Norvina is attacked by thieves, her adrenaline triggers a mutation in her DNA. Gifted with power over fire, she roasts the muggers but attracts the attention of some bloodthirsty freaks. Only the last minute rescue by a young man named Vulcan saves her from being butchered by the ferocious freaks. Consider shorterning that. Vulcan, Black Death’s ruthless son, wants to destroy his father.  Norvina is hell-bent on staying alive. She knows the execution of super-villains will keep her alive, but the journey will lead to a definite death. But she’s headstrong and possesses a kick-ass persona and ally's with Vulcan. Hm..this needs some 

 

With law enforcement and flesh-feeding villains attacking her at every corner, Norvina learns a daunting fact: Black Death and the government plan to mobilize an army of super-villains to take over more than just the city. Millions of lives hang in the balance. Norvina realizes she must do the unforgivable: She will have to become a badass villain to survive. Like Bkarp said, is this her only goal? To survive? Or to save the world from Black Death! The first would work if Black Death had only 1 goal. eg To imprison or kill Norvina. But his goals are different! 

You are almost ready! Just take into consideration what the others advised, tighten it up a bit and you will be good to go!


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#39 sereneew

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:12 PM

I'm sorry :( I feel like I just ripped your query apart. It's got a great concept, and I love the twist at the end. I feel like there was just too much worldbuilding and information that I didn't really need overall, and not enough focus on Norvina. I think you've got a good start though :) Best of luck to you!
And if you get a chance to check out my query, I'd appreciate it :) 

I'm sorry :( I feel like I just ripped your query apart. It's got a great concept, and I love the twist at the end. I feel like there was just too much worldbuilding and information that I didn't really need overall, and not enough focus on Norvina. I think you've got a good start though :) Best of luck to you!
And if you get a chance to check out my query, I'd appreciate it :) 


Hi there. I think you have my intro mixed up. My intro talks about Norvina. The paragraph you edit was just a little description of the world she’s in. Also, she does have superpowers, it’s stated on the third paragraph. So I’m not sure where you got the idea she doesn’t. And Vulcan is a main character too which is why I included him in the third paragraph. Hope that makes better sense. Thank you for your comments though!! I will critique yours shortly :)

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


#40 sereneew

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:15 PM

Hello again! This is definitely an improvement!
 

You are almost ready! Just take into consideration what the others advised, tighten it up a bit and you will be good to go!




Thank you for your feedback. Hmm. You left out something on my third paragraph. Not sure what you meant by “ this needs ...” and I completely forgot to mention BlackDeaths scheme will kill Norvina if she doesn’t stop him, on the last paragraph, which is why the stakes didn’t look that great. Also, I’ll critique your query shortly :)

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





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