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YA fantasy - Oceans Deep - Which would you pick?

Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 rhwashere

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:17 PM

New pitches on post 12. Thanks for the feedback!

This is my first shot at doing something like this, but it's a great exercise to prepare for #PitMad! Mine clocks in at a lean 127 characters. Let me know what you think! Here goes...

An underwater princess who lost both her legs must face traitors, saboteurs, and her own demons to rise up and save her kingdom

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


#2 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:53 AM

An underwater princess who lost both her legs in battle must face traitors, saboteurs, and her own demons to rise up and save her kingdom

 

I don't know if 'in battle' is an improvement or not (in my opinion it is, but my opinion isn't law), but I read the hook in your query and it really grabbed my interest. It also lets you learn more about her in few characters.

 

As for 'traitors, saboteurs...', can you better use that space to tell us exactly who her villains are? It's interested that she's an underwater princess\amputee, but the rest is something everyone's seen many times. I think this is a good pitch that can be stronger with an added, striking detail about her antagonists (and inner demons).

 

Good luck!



#3 Ajax

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:11 AM

An underwater princess who lost both her legs (Isn't she already a mermaid?) must face traitors, saboteurs, and her own demons to rise up and save her kingdom (Doesn't sound like something that stands out. I've seen this before numerous times.) 
 

If this is purely for #PitMad, you can: 

1. Add comp titles (TV, movies, books...) 
2. Talk about her key motive. 

3. Show her personality. 

4. Write the hook in her voice (I don't mean first person pov.) 

 

You can implement one or all of the above. Just make sure that it sounds fresh. 



#4 rhwashere

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:48 PM

Ok, fair enough. How about this one? It's exactly 140 characters.

 

 

An underwater princess who lost the ability to swim must expose a traitor before she’s falsely accused of murder and cast into exile #PitMad


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


#5 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:47 PM

Definitely better! Can you include a comp title? I miss the amputation bit, though, because that was interesting. What about an amputee underwater princess or something close to that? (I know some people consider the word 'amputee' offensive, so please use wording that is most comfortable for you.)

 

But you can also usually tweet more than one pitch, so you can try both mentioning the amputation and not. Also what about this? (I'm just messing around with possibilities here:)

 

An underwater princess who lost the ability to swim must expose a traitor before she’s falsely accused of murder #PitMad

 

Has more of a bang in my opinion, and maybe an agent will think exile isn't a high enough stake? 



#6 rhwashere

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:23 PM

So, which of these three (if any) would you go with for PitMad, and why? (Or, why not?) Thanks for your feedback in advance!

 

 

The only girl in an underwater kingdom who can’t swim must cross a dark wasteland to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

18yo Ondine rides manta rays, fights eels and sharks, and matches wits with a giant, telepathic squid to save her home #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

2 exiles meet on the ocean floor; one a princess who wants to clear her name, the other a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy


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


#7 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:45 PM

The only girl in an underwater kingdom who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a dark wasteland to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy

 


This has promise! The bit in red is a necessary grammatical change (the original phrasing means that she is the only female in an underwater kingdom, and the kingdom itself can't swim). The bit in bold I felt could maybe be made stronger - especially 'cross,' because I sort of just envision her crossing the wasteland like she's crossing a street, ha. It should definitely feel more dramatic than that. I feel like overall it's not quite specific enough.
 

 

18yo Ondine rides manta rays, fights eels and sharks, and matches wits with a giant, telepathic squid to save her home  #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

I like this one a lot more, and it also strikes a very different tone. This builds a rich setting and feels fun and fresh. The words I crossed out were just places where I thought *maybe* you could use the extra characters to work in that she's an underwater princess with an amputation, but it might be too much to squeeze in. But if you could give her a quality more distinctive than just '18 years-old' I think that'd make this memorable (sassy, timid, daring, clever, determined? Something zippy and not cliche. If you had to describe Ondine in just what word, what word comes to mind?). Also: maybe you can say 'kingdom' instead of home, making it clear she lives in the ocean and not, say, Orlando, Florida.

 

2 exiles meet on the ocean floor; one a princess who wants to clear her name, the other a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

This one has a nice rhythm to it. I think I'm leaning toward the second one out of the three because it packs in more details (a rich setting). But this one might make an agent feel you're a good writer and get bites for that reason.

 

Also, maybe you can say 'disabled' if 'amputee' doesn't feel right, because that might stir interest. It's definitely not your average YA mermaid book.

 

So I rank them in this order: 2, 3, 1. I hope this helps! I wouldn't be surprised if you got bites on these, especially the last two.



#8 lnloft

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:09 PM

I like pigeononthemoon's feedback above, and I agree that #2 gives us a nice view of the setting. Taking those tweaks in mind, what about: "A disabled princess rides manta rays, fights sharks, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom".


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#9 rhwashere

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:04 AM

Thanks again for the suggestions!

How about this for a revision of the first one:

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home”

My intention is to raise eyebrows with the contrast of underwater and desert.

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


#10 AmberA

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:11 PM

Thanks again for the suggestions!

How about this for a revision of the first one:

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home”

My intention is to raise eyebrows with the contrast of underwater and desert.

 

This one gives me little mermaid vibes and you don't want that. I like the other 2 tbh you have. I also really like the alternative @inloft had. 


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=352035


#11 AmberA

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:14 PM

18yo Ondine rides manta rays, fights eels and sharks, and matches wits with a giant, telepathic squid to save her home #PitMad #YAFantasy ( This would be short and to the point. No need to include sharks and eels. ) 


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=352035


#12 rhwashere

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 11:00 PM

Latest versions:

“A disabled princess rides manta rays, fights Nereids, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom #PitMad #YAFantasy”

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy”

“Two exiles meet on the ocean floor: a princess who wants to clear her name, and a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy”

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


#13 Nessa

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:28 PM

Latest versions:

 

“A disabled princess rides manta rays, fights Nereids, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom #PitMad #YAFantasy” ​It might help to specific her disability. I don't know what Nereids are, but I love "telepathic squid" and the overall concept.

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy” ​I don't know how the logistics of an underwater kingdom works. Are they mermaids? Humans in a massive air bubble? I like the contrast between water and desert.

“Two exiles meet on the ocean floor: a princess who wants to clear her name, and a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy” ​Too vague. I don't know if they're meeting in a submarine or if they're mermaids (my mind always goes to mermaids).

 

​I think the 1st is the strongest.


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#14 mkuriel

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 09:48 PM

Latest versions:

“A disabled princess rides manta rays, fights Nereids invaders, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom #PitMad #YAFantasy”

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy”

“Two exiles meet on the ocean floor: a princess who wants to clear her name, and a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy”

 

Like the top one most, but have no idea what Nereids are. Suggested "invaders" because it ties to the kingdom concept, but the google tells me you could also use "Sea Nymphs." You could try "legless" instead of "disabled" since she certainly doesn't sound disabled.

 

That would read: A legless princess rides manta rays, fights sea Nymphs, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom. 



#15 ajaponte4

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

So, which of these three (if any) would you go with for PitMad, and why? (Or, why not?) Thanks for your feedback in advance!

 

 

The only girl in an underwater kingdom who can’t swim must cross a dark wasteland to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

18yo Ondine rides manta rays, fights eels and sharks, and matches wits with a giant, telepathic squid to save her home #PitMad #YAFantasy

 

2 exiles meet on the ocean floor; one a princess who wants to clear her name, the other a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy   I loved this one.  However, I would just add that its a mermaid princess



#16 cmmg

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:54 PM

Latest versions:
/
“A disabled princess rides manta rays, fights Nereids, and matches wits with a telepathic squid to save her kingdom #PitMad #YAFantasy” (I feel like this is a little "so what" ish. It's cool, but where are the stakes?"

“The only girl who can’t swim in an underwater kingdom must cross a desert to prevent the destruction of her home #PitMad #YAFantasy” (I feel like this one is confusing, becuase I don't understand why she can't swim, why there's a desert, and how that prevents any destruction)

“Two exiles meet on the ocean floor: a princess who wants to clear her name, and a merchant seeking to betray her #PitMad #YAFantasy” (I like this one. It has stakes. And it still hints at some worldbuilding with the ocean floor)


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