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The Windwalker - YA Fantasy - Revision #3

Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 Danelle Chase

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 06:43 PM

LATEST REVISION on #14

 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. Now, her tribe is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni, hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina. Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. With her people broken and homeless, the ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit.

 

Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture him, but Zephyrus won’t go easily. He attacks the Zuni, forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than what he seems. She leaves her tribe in search of answers, accompanied by her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swamps that swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are scouring the world in search of him.

 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 

 

REVISION BELOW.


Query - The Windwalker YA Fantasy


#2 sereneew

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 11:16 PM

 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. (This should be a really catchy hook, and the format for queries are typically 3  paragraphs. I would suggest including Kali's age; example 17 yo Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus a secret, ever since she ( I'm not sure what exactly she did bc wisped isn't a good word choice for this. Maybe look for a different word? ) through her bedroom window twenty years ago. ) 

 

( Start a new paragraph with this ) Now, her tribe is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni    mercenaries, hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina. Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. With her people broken and homeless, the ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit. ( Why do they want him? maybe make it a little clear as to what makes him special.) Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture Zephyrus, but he won't give up/concede without a fight.  him, but Zephyrus won’t go easily. He attacks the Zuni, forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than just a wind spirit. what he seems

 

(You can start your new paragraph with this) Kali leaves her tribe in search of answers, ( what answers is she looking for?)  accompanied by her brother and friends. ( it seems to be a lot of names, only introduce MC ) her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swamps that swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are is scouring the world in search of him ( in search of who Zephyrus? You have to make it clear in the end who they are searching).

 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

This is a good first draft! I'm no query expert but I made some suggestions, you are welcomed to incorporate them. I'll look out for you revised version (:

 I'd love a review of my recent query: 

 

http://agentquerycon...uls-ya-fantasy/


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


#3 Springfield

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 11:51 PM

 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. How is this YA? Now, her tribe Her tribe? I've no idea what, when, where, anything.  is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni,What? You... really shouldn't do that. hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina. Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. With her people broken and homeless, the ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit. Without any grounding in anything, this is all fairly meaningless and cliche.

 

Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture himbut Zephyrus won’t go easily. He attacks the Zuni, forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than what he seems. She leaves her tribe in search of answers, accompanied by her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swamps that swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are scouring the world in search of him.

 

This doesn't seem to have anything much to do with Kali -- she's nearly entirely passive and vague things just happen around her. I've no idea of the plot, save a generic elementals/quest thing, and you tagged this as YA, but it's not, and I'm just kind of confused by the whole deal. I think this is a scrap and redo. Specifics, character, problem, stakes, also proper genre, wordcount, etc.

 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 



#4 Ajax

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 03:29 AM


 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. Now, her tribe is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni, hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina. (Why?) Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. (Again, why?) With her people broken and homeless, the ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit. (So there was all this chaos for the spirit? This seems like an easy choice for Kali. Shouldn't she have given them this spirit before things went south? Overall, this hook isn't working for me. There's no interesting question raised that would draw my interest.) 

 

Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture him, but Zephyrus won’t go easily. (Why? Does Zephyrus fear Seraphina? Give me a solid reason.) He attacks the Zuni, forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than what he seems. She leaves her tribe in search of answers, accompanied by her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. (This is beginning to read like a synopsis.) Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swamps that swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. (Grocery list of events is a massive NO in queries. It's akin to instances where fantasy authors collect all the worldbuilding in one paragraph.)  Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are scouring the world in search of him. (You've been telling a lot throughout this paragraph. Show instead. Also, this is the second vague grocery list in your query.

 

Insert the book title, genre, age category, and word count right here. 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

There are a lot of named characters. Minimise them so that they are easy to keep track of. Usually, only your protagonist and antagonist should be named in the query. At the maximum, three characters get to show their names. 

 

Your second paragraph has a lacklustre narration of events. There are a lot of things that happen which makes everything convoluted. I fear you might be revealing too much. Just focus on the main plot. I don't know what's at stake here. 

 

The query needs a large dose of voice. I don't know who the protagonist is as a person. Their personality must shine. 

 

Good luck. 



#5 Danelle Chase

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:46 PM

Thank you very much for your suggestions! I am currently working on a complete re-do and I hope it will be stronger. I hope you'll return after I repost it! Thanks again!


Query - The Windwalker YA Fantasy


#6 RMLucas

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:27 PM

 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. Now, her tribe is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni, hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina (Why are they being attacked? Does he know about the spirit before or after the attack?). Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. With her people broken and homeless, the mercenaries ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit.

 

Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture him, but Zephyrus won’t go easily. He attacks the mercenaries Zuni (who attacks the zuni, try to keep this more about the MC), forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than what he seems (I would rework this sentence with the MC as the main subject.). She leaves her tribe in search of answers, accompanied by her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. (Try to keep the query down to 2-3 proper names or it'll get confusing.) Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swampsthat swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are is scouring the world in search of him.

 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

Just a few comments, but don't get discouraged. Try to keep the query simple. Keep it about the MC. We don't need to know the side character's name unless it truly impacts the hook and the query. Otherwise it just get's confusing. The hook could use a little work, I was kind of confused where the story was going. Nothing you can't fix though! Would love your opinion on my own!

 

http://agentquerycon...tique/?p=349850



#7 Kelz1990

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:18 PM

 

Dear Agent, 

 

Kali has kept her wind spirit, Zephyrus, a secret since he wisped through her bedroom window twenty years earlier. (If this is YA, you should make Kali about 14-17, but if she's really supposed to be about 20, then this should be adult... or New Adult). Now, her tribe is under attack by mercenaries called the Zuni, hired by the neighboring ruler, Seraphina. Just before Kali can execute her offensive attack, the Zuni burn her city to the ground. With her people broken and homeless, the ruthless group demand one thing to make the attack stop: Kali’s wind spirit.

 

Seraphina is willing to let the whole world burn to capture him, but Zephyrus won’t go easily. He attacks the Zuni, forcing them to run, and reveals to Kali that he is more than what he seems. She leaves her tribe in search of answers, accompanied by her brother, Chardon, his betrothed, Talia, and her best friend, Mayhem. (If you're going to include more than one character, use semicolons to separate, but overall, this reminds me of my original query letter for my manuscript - too many characters. Keep Kali and Zephyrus since they're the protagonists, and also Seraphina since she's the antagonist). Her journey will take her far beyond her forests, into swamps that swallow warriors whole, and to cities that touch the clouds. Along the way, Kali will learn the history of her world, who her invisible friend is, and why Seraphina and her sisters are scouring the world in search of him. ("Him" is too vague - just say it's Zephyrus).

 

Here's what's missing: genre, word count, your bio, comp titles (those are optional in my opinion), and if it's part of a series, say that it's a "standalone with series potential." And since I don't know anything about your manuscript, make sure it DOES in fact standalone. Even if it's part of a planned series, the first book should act as a standalone. 

 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

 

 

I want to say more because I'm working on a manuscript based on the elements of life as well, but it's hard for me to put into words what still needs a lot of work. One final note, though, I don't think Elementals is a good title for this book, especially if it's part of a series. This is because the title's already been used for Bridgid Kemmerer's own series of books. Think of another title that's relevant to the overall story, regardless of whether this is the first book in a series or if it's a true stand alone novel. Hope this helps, and good luck!



#8 Danelle Chase

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:23 AM

Thank you to everyone who gave such amazing suggestions on my query before. I've been working on my major revisions to the novel itself due to the suggestions here, because it lacked some motivation. I appreciate you looking at this rough draft!

 

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

 

Kalra is one of the last of her people to have a wind spirit.  With that, she had been regarded with greater responsibility than the average teenager. Newly appointed as Lead Commander, she must train future Jynigh warriors, protect her tribe, and oversee all passing rites with help of Zephyr, the last of his kind.

 

 

In a routine scouting mission, Kalra and her people are attacked by a strange new creature in their forests: The Gaxnu. But everyone knows that if the Gaxnu are here, they were sent by the ruler Lady Seraphina. They burn her city to the ground and demand that Kalra and her wind spirit come before Seraphina. She flees, with a handful of friends, to save her tribe further destruction, guided by Zephyr to Ravenswood, where she’ll discover he is more than what he seems and she has a greater responsibility than she realized.

 

FINAL PARAGRAPH genre, wordcount, etc

 

REVISION BELOW


Query - The Windwalker YA Fantasy


#9 ajvan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:52 AM

Hi Danelle! First time i've seen your query, so maybe fresh eyes will help. 

Thank you to everyone who gave such amazing suggestions on my query before. I've been working on my major revisions to the novel itself due to the suggestions here, because it lacked some motivation. I appreciate you looking at this rough draft!

 

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

 

Kalra is one of the last of her people to have a wind spirit.  With that, she had been regarded with greater responsibility than the average teenager. Newly appointed as Lead Commander, she must train future Jynigh warriors, protect her tribe, and oversee all passing rites with help of Zephyr, the last of his kind.

 

I think your vital info is here, but right now, this doesn't read like a query. Try to write something along the lines of...

 

"Fifteen-year-old Kalra (I'm guessing) has slightly more responsibility than the average teenager. She's possessed by a wind spirit (Or possesses one? not sure what this means, so I'm spitballing), and is the Lead Commander of her tribe..." 

 

In your next paragraph, you can give us a little more info--maybe something about training warriors? Introduce Zephyr? (What is he, by the way?) But most important, lead us to the inciting incident where she's scouting the forest. I'm thinking that's what really sets the story in motion. 

 

In a routine scouting mission, Kalra and her people are attacked by a strange new creature in their forests: The Gaxnu. But everyone knows that if the Gaxnu are here, they were sent by the ruler Lady Seraphina. They burn her city to the ground and demand that Kalra and her wind spirit come before Seraphina. She flees, with a handful of friends, to save her tribe further destruction, guided by Zephyr to Ravenswood, where she’ll discover he is more than what he seems and she has a greater responsibility than she realized. I suspect you're telling us more than we need to know here. Remember, a query isn't a plot summary, more of a teaser with broad brush strokes. So for the closer, try something along the lines of: The Gaxnu attack...Kalra must find the [lost magical city of?] Ravenswood in order to [...save her people? defeat the Gaxnu?] But that will be hard because [...There's a traitor among her friends? Her wind spirit has its own plans?]. Hope that makes sense. Keep after it! 

 

FINAL PARAGRAPH genre, wordcount, etc



#10 yawriter

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:42 PM

Thank you to everyone who gave such amazing suggestions on my query before. I've been working on my major revisions to the novel itself due to the suggestions here, because it lacked some motivation. I appreciate you looking at this rough draft!

 

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

 

Kalra Perhaps provide a last name? I feel like it makes the character more realistic.  is one of the last of her people to have a wind spirit. (But what is wind spirit?) With that, she had been regarded with greater responsibility than the average teenager. Newly appointed as Lead Commander, she must train future Jynigh warriors, protect her tribe, and oversee all passing rites with help of Zephyr, the last of his kind.

 

 

In a routine scouting mission, Kalra and her people are attacked by a strange new creature in their forests: The Gaxnu. But everyone knows that if the Gaxnu are here, they were sent by the ruler Lady Seraphina. They burn her city to the ground and demand that Kalra and her wind spirit come before Seraphina. She flees, with a handful of friends, to save her tribe further destruction, guided by Zephyr to Ravenswood, where she’ll discover he is more than what he seems and she has a greater responsibility than she realized. This last sentence is REALLY long.. can you condense somehow?  I love the story line! Actually interested in reading!! Great job!

 

FINAL PARAGRAPH genre, wordcount, etc


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#11 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:33 AM

Here's my take on your revised query. :)

 


INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

 

Kalra is one of the last of her people to have a wind spirit.  With that, she had been regarded with greater responsibility [a better word choice needed: "rewarded with" or "burdened with" would make more sense to me] than the average teenager. Newly appointed as Lead Commander [need emotional stakes here: do people object? does she have enemies as a result?] , she must train future Jynigh warriors, protect her tribe, and oversee all passing rites with help of Zephyr, the last of his kind.

[remove extra return]

 

In [On?] a routine scouting mission, Kalra and her people are attacked by a strange new creature in their forests: The Gaxnu. But everyone knows that if the Gaxnu are here, they were sent by the ruler Lady Seraphina. They burn her [specify which woman you are talking about, since this is confusing] city to the ground and demand that Kalra and her wind spirit come [appear?] before Seraphina [or what? will they burn more cities, for example?]. She flees, with a handful of friends, to save her tribe further destruction, guided by Zephyr to Ravenswood, where she’ll discover he is more than what he seems and she has a greater responsibility than she realized. [This is too long a sentence, it does need to be broken up.]

 

FINAL PARAGRAPH genre, wordcount, etc

 

You're missing two big things here, in my opinion: a strong "hook" sentence" to grab the reader's attention and pull the reader in (make them curious), and a sense of the emotional life of the characters and the emotional stakes in the action. Prose which conveys how the characters FEEL and what they fear or love or desire is key to an engaging query letter.

 

You have a good concept, your query letter just needs some punching up and tweaking. Best of luck to you! I look forward to seeing your next iteration of the letter. :)



#12 rhwashere

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:00 PM

Please don’t take this personally, but I think you need to scrap this query and start over. I don’t think I understood a single sentence. There are way too many world-specific names and concepts here that I have no context for. And I have no clue what your MC wants, what’s standing in her way, and what she stands to lose.

Just when it sounded like you were getting to the real meat and potatoes of your story, the query ended. That’s not good.

My recommendation: study more queries. QueryShark and Writers Digest are my two favorite resources for seeing how to write successful queries. It’s going to take lots of effort, time, patience, frustration, despair, etc. before it all starts to sink in. But I believe that anyone can write a good query if they put in the effort.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#13 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:53 PM

Please don’t take this personally, but I think you need to scrap this query and start over. I don’t think I understood a single sentence. There are way too many world-specific names and concepts here that I have no context for. And I have no clue what your MC wants, what’s standing in her way, and what she stands to lose.

Just when it sounded like you were getting to the real meat and potatoes of your story, the query ended. That’s not good.

My recommendation: study more queries. QueryShark and Writers Digest are my two favorite resources for seeing how to write successful queries. It’s going to take lots of effort, time, patience, frustration, despair, etc. before it all starts to sink in. But I believe that anyone can write a good query if they put in the effort.

 

​I'm going to echo Rh. I think what you have is decent in telling me what happens, but it doesn't do anything in the way of making me interested in reading more, which is - after all - the whole point. You're not the first this has happened to, and it seems that you have a cool story. But this query doesn't showcase that.

Best of luck!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#14 Danelle Chase

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:52 PM

I so appreciate everyone who gave me suggestions last time! I'm hoping that my next attempt is better. As always, I will exchange a critique for a critique!

 

 

Kalra is the last of her people to possess a wind spirit. Her constant companion Zephyr has supported her through the death of her parents, the raising of her brother, and the constant supervision of the elders, who expect Kalra to one day lead their tribe. Newly appointed to Lead Commander, Kalra faces her first battle with invaders to her forest, the Gaxnu. Sent by the tyrannical ruler Priestess Seraphina, she demands Kalra’s capture. The Gaxnu destroy her city, but before they can take more lives, Zephyr protects the tribe with a display of power that Kalra has never witnessed before. 

 

To discover why Seraphina wants her, Zephyr tells Kalra to seek the Corvus tribe, but they have been dead for years. With her brother and a handful of friends, Kalra follows her best friend, hoping he knows more than he lets on…only to discover that he isn’t at all who he says he is.

 

THE WINDWALKER is a YA sci-fi novel at 81,600 words. (INSERT CREDENTIALS AND COMPARISONS)


Query - The Windwalker YA Fantasy


#15 punitrastogi

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:30 AM

I so appreciate everyone who gave me suggestions last time! I'm hoping that my next attempt is better. As always, I will exchange a critique for a critique!

 

 

Kalra is the last of her people to possess a wind spirit. Her constant companion Zephyr has supported her through the death of her parents, the raising of her brother, and the constant supervision of the elders(The first two points of her life were struggles, but this isnt. It's not bad, but it breaks the flow for me, so maybe cut the underlined part), who expect Kalra to one day lead their tribe. Newly her appointed appointment as the to Lead Commander,, Kalra faces her first battle with invaders to her forest, the Gaxnu. They are Sent by the tyrannical ruler Priestess Seraphina, she who demands Kalra’s capture. The Gaxnu destroy her city, but before they can take more lives, Zephyr protects the tribe with a display of power that Kalra has never witnessed before. 

 

To discover why Seraphina wants her(This part falls flat after the excellent build up in the last para. Seraphina's motivation should not even be on Kalra's mind when her best friend for ages has turned out to be something completely different. I know because my protagonist is also going through the same thing :D ), Zephyr tells Kalra to seek the Corvus tribe, but they have been dead for years. With her brother and a handful of friends, Kalra follows her best friend, hoping he knows more than he lets on…only to discover that he isn’t at all who he says he is. (Again, this part seems rushed as there are no answers except that a tribe is to be discovered. Also, is she on her way to attack Seraphina or will she be happy to learn about her motivation?)

 

THE WINDWALKER is a YA sci-fi novel at 81,600 words. (INSERT CREDENTIALS AND COMPARISONS)

 

When you put Zephyr right at the beginning of the query with your protagonist, they become equally important.

So even if you dont want the reader to know a lot of spoilers, you would have to at least console them the way Zephyr did - Come with me and I will tell you everything.

And like I said in the end, is the adventure only related to finding answers or defeating Seraphina? This would add character to Kalra as a defensive or aggressive person.

 

Hope it helps :)



#16 cmmg

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:45 AM

I so appreciate everyone who gave me suggestions last time! I'm hoping that my next attempt is better. As always, I will exchange a critique for a critique!

 

 

Kalra is the last of her people to possess a wind spirit. Her constant companion Zephyr has supported her through the death of her parents, the raising of her brother, and the constant supervision of the elders, who expect Kalra to one day lead their tribe. Newly appointed to Lead Commander, Kalra faces her first battle with invaders to her forest, the Gaxnu(I don't care about Kalra or anyone here to care that her forest is invaded. What is the significance of her possessing the last wind spirit? Why does it matter that she has a companion that supports her? You've communicated a lot of information but none of it makes me care abotu Kalra or understand her motivation.). Sent by the tyrannical ruler Priestess Seraphina(There are too many places and made up names that are too close together. Can't you just say rival Priestess?), she demands Kalra’s capture. The Gaxnu destroy her city, but before they can take more lives, Zephyr protects the tribe with a display of power that Kalra has never witnessed before. 

 

To discover why Seraphina wants her(why is it important why she wants her instead of like, why she's invading and killing a bunch of people?), Zephyr tells Kalra to seek the Corvus tribe (WHy would he even know? And what's the significance of him having to tell her vs her just seeking it), but they have been dead for years. With her brother and a handful of friends, Kalra follows her best friend, hoping he knows more than he lets on…only to discover that he isn’t at all who he says he is.

 

THE WINDWALKER is a YA sci-fi novel at 82,000 words. (INSERT CREDENTIALS AND COMPARISONS)

 

This reads more like a synopsis than a query. For one thing, it's a list. This happens and that happens, but it doesn't feel connect or punched up. It's lacking voice. I don't understand Kalra's goals and motivations, or wants or personality. Does she embrace being the leader?

 

What is the significance of these people invading her forest, is her land a place where this happens a lot? Or it NEVER happens? This just feels like there's a lot of emptiness behind it. And since Kalra escapes, what's actually at stake for her? I don't know.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fantasy, Young Adult

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