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Fyreheart - YA Fantasy Query

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#41 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 09:31 AM

REVAMP #10

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements with diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Magicians.

 

For most girls, the worst thing that can happen in your senior year of high school is getting a pimple before prom. For Rhianaye Humphrey, things are a bit more complicated than that.

 

After failing to stop the murder of her best friend Sara by a mysterious cult in ritualistic sacrifice, Rhianaye accidentally unleashes her dormant magic by summoning a dragon in her distress—a feat believed to be impossible for mere humans. Needing answers, she’s discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson with his eccentric, yet humorous, Familiar in the form of a talking bear; who offers the girl protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery. To save herself from the Dark Cult and avenge her friend, Rhi accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent creature believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil. Rhi finds herself forced to decide what she desires most: vengeance for her loved ones, or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness; even then the cost just might be her humanity.

 

Below are the 10 pages of the manuscript and my contact information. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

XXXX



#42 PureZhar3

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 09:42 AM

 

REVAMP #10

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements with diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Magicians.

 

For most girls, the worst thing that can happen in your senior year of high school is getting a pimple before prom. For Rhianaye Humphrey, things are a bit more complicated than that. 

 

After failing to stop the murder of her best friend Sara by a mysterious cult in ritualistic sacrifice ​that clause is a mouthful! maybe try saying "after failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend Sara by a mysterious cult" or something..., Rhianaye accidentally unleashes her dormant magic by summoning a dragon in her distress—a feat believed to be impossible for mere humans. Needing answers ​who is needing answers?, she’s discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson with his eccentric, yet humorous, Familiar in the form of a talking bear; who offers the girl protection in the only place he believes she will be safe ​again, this is all a mouthful. Cut it into at least two if not three sentences.: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery. To save herself from the Dark Cult ​uhh the mysterious cult? and avenge her friend, Rhi ​continue to call her the same thing throughout the whole query accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent creature believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil. ​Whaaaaa? So much is going on, this is complicated. Rhi finds herself forced to decide what she desires most: vengeance for her loved ones, or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness; even then the cost just might be her humanity​well that sucks

 

Below are the 10 pages of the manuscript and my contact information. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

XXXX

 

​A few thoughts:

​1) be careful about the length and complexity of your sentences. You're phrasing so much currently that it's hard to tell what you mean. Don't get me wrong, long and complex is good (it's my style too). That said, "complex" still has to  be clear. And it works best when balanced by short, clear sentences

​2) be careful about the amount of story jargon you throw in. Some is good, and the reader can usually figure out what you're referencing. But after a while I got tired of guessing what all those different words meant precisely

​3) Introing the darkness threw me over the edge in terms of understanding. Too much was going on. Cut that down, though of course you still need to keep it in for the stakes (though if you can give us stakes without mentioning it, that would be good)


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


#43 TheBest

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 11:11 AM

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements (Might pay to be a little more specific about the magic, but all in all nice personalization) with diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Magicians

 

For most girls, the worst thing that can happen in your senior year of high school is getting a pimple before prom. For Rhianaye Humphrey, things are a bit more complicated than that. (Too vague in the second sentence. Spell it out. Include murder up here.)

 

After failing to stop the murder of her best friend Sara by a mysterious (Don't use mysterious or vague. Give a concrete adjective, and the reader will still think they're mysterious on his or her own.) cult in ritualistic sacrifice, Rhianaye accidentally unleashes her dormant magic by summoning a dragon in her distress—a feat believed to be impossible for mere humans. Needing answers, she’s discovered (Don't see how this is connected. Maybe "She discovers?") by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson with his eccentric, yet humorous, Familiar in the form of a talking bear; who offers the girl protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery. To save herself from the Dark Cult and avenge her friend, Rhi accepts. (This is all interesting, but you give a few too many details. I don't think we need to know about the talking bear.)

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent creature believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil. Rhi finds herself forced to decide what she desires most: choose between vengeance for her loved ones, or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness; even then the cost just might be her humanity.

 

Below are the 10 pages of the manuscript and my contact information. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

XXXX

 

Good query! You've got a really interesting concept, and intriguing characters. However, I think this query could use more connection. It needs to tell a story rather than presenting us with facts and events. I'd suggest cutting some details, and making sure you transition from one event to another, with a reason behind each transition. Also, you're either too heavy handed with details, or don't give enough. No character should be described as vague and mysterious, but at the same time, no one should have too many details, especially if he or she isn't the protagonist. I love all the details you present, but some of them don't seem critical to the query -- for instance, the dragon doesn't come up again, nor the talking bear. My advice would be to only keep the absolutely essential details to convey your primary arc, with a sprinkle of information on secondary characters.

 

I'm a sucker for contemporary fantasy, and this definitely peaked my interest. Looking forward to seeing where it goes. Good luck!

 

You can find my query here. I'd love your opinion!

http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=355110



#44 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 06:43 PM

REVAMP #11

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Magicians.

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend Sara by a bloodthirsty Cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is unintentionally introduced to the world of magic when she unexpectantly summons a dragon in her distress—a feat believed impossible for mere humans. Discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson and his eccentric yet humorous Familiar, a talking bear named Ragnar; Sigmund reveals the dragon that Rhianaye summoned is her own Familiar, the physical extension of her soul. He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, where she can also learn to master her gifts. To save herself from the Cult who are just as interested in her as Sigmund is and avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent being believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil; the magical barrier preventing dark creatures from crossing into our world, and it’s close to shattering. Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness. Even then, the cost just might be her humanity.

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE



#45 galian84

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:08 PM

 

REVAMP #11

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Magicians.

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend Sara (no need to mention her name. She doesn't appear again later on) by a bloodthirsty Cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is unintentionally introduced (this makes her sound very passive) to the world of magic when she unexpectantly summons a dragon in her distress—a feat believed impossible for mere humans. (This is a long sentence with a *lot* to take in. Maybe shorten it to something like 'After failing to save her best friend from a cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey accidentally summons a dragon in her distress, which introduces her the world of magic". Not exactly like that, but along those lines) Discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson (How does he discover her?)  and his eccentric yet humorous Familiar, a talking bear named Ragnar; (You already have three names so far, no need to talk about his talking bear, since Ragnar doesn't appear again in your query) Sigmund reveals the dragon that Rhianaye summoned (already assumed that this is the same dragon that she summoned, from earlier) is her own Familiar, the physical extension of her soul (very cool. Reminds me of the old-school RPG games I used to play). He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery (I don't think you need to mention the name of the uni. Also, is Sigmund a student at this university? A professor? You could say something like "the magical university in which he's a professor/student", etc...), where she can also learn to master her gifts (What other gifts does she have, outside of summoning her dragon?). To save herself from the Cult who are just as interested in her as Sigmund is (Why is the cult interested in her? What did she do?) and avenge her friend (I'm not following here, how does she plan to avenge her friend by attending this school?), Rhianaye accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: (eh? How so?) The Darkness, a benevolent being believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil; the magical barrier preventing dark creatures from crossing into our world, and it’s close to shattering. (Woah, this came out of nowhere. If this is the main antagonist/conflict, you need to mention this earlier. The way this is written, it sounds like The Darkness is the one running around murdering people) Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness. (No need for the last sentence. You've made the stakes pretty clear already at this point) Even then, the cost just might be her humanity.

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE

 

Hi Rachael! Fresh eyes here. I haven't read your previous versions, but it seems like you're getting a lot of help here, so far. I'm just going to focus my crit on your most current revision. I think the problem is that you're trying to cram too much into your query, and at times, makes it hard to follow. While the story sounds interesting, I came out of it with too many questions. Specifics are your friend here. What is the major conflict? Try to focus and build on that.

 

Keep plugging away! Believe me, I know how tough it is to get a query letter just right. I've gone through dozens of revisions with mine, and I'm still not 100% there yet. I hope this helps. Good luck!



#46 Oldborne

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 04:36 AM

Fresh eyes. 
 

 

REVAMP #11

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire A Song of Ice and Fire is a very adult series (and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the most comped fantasy title since Game of Thrones started airing), I would hesitate to comp it to a YA and The Magicians.

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend Sara Her name is irrelevant to the query by a bloodthirsty bloodthirsty strikes me as a bit cliché Cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is unintentionally introduced to the world of magic when she unexpectantly  instinctually summons a dragon in her distress. This sentence is too long as your opener and too many 'un-ly' words so I've moved things around A feet believed impossible for mere humans. Consider a new paragraph here Discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson and his eccentric yet humorous Familiar, a talking bear named Ragnar Ah, a little Viking lore nod, I like it ; Sigmund reveals the dragon that Rhianaye summoned is her own Familiar, the physical extension of her soul Interesting concept, and one that will interest agents. Have you read Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman? (Otherwise known as The Golden Compass). It has a similar concept that you might enjoy. Could be a good comp, too. . He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, where she can also learn to master her gifts. To save herself from the Cult who are just as interested in her as Sigmund is and avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts This sentence is confusing Try: To save herself from the Cult, who would harness her gifts for themselves, Rhianaye accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent being believed to had been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil; the magical barrier preventing dark creatures from crossing into our world, and it’s close to shattering. Sorry to say, but I'm completely lost now. Murdering Spree, The Darkness, the Veil. Too much happening at once. Also, benevolent means someone is kind, loving, thoughtful, etc. Did you mean malevolent?   Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness Who is forcing her to choose? Why does she have to choose? . Even then, the cost just might be her humanity Why so?

 

Below are the first ten pages I'm sure this is just a place holder, but just in case be sure to confirm how many pages the agent actually wants sent. of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE

 

 

So there are certainly some good ideas going on here (it almost reminds me of Dragon Age in tone) but there's too much happening at once. There are some concepts here that just work to muddy the waters. You can remove the Veil and the murder spree straight away; they add very little. The Darkness needs to be expanded upon if its your main antagonist. What is it? Why does it want to attack our world? Why is this Rhianaye's problem at all? If she's new to the magic scene surely there's a vast supply of more qualified people to deal with an ancient evil? Are the Cult involved with the The Darkness? Is it personal for Rhianaye? The query raises an awful lot of the wrong sort of questions and you need to minimize them.

 

Dial back on the concepts, simplify the ones essential to the query, and make the plot points connect.

Best of luck with this.       
 


All feedback appreciated: http://agentquerycon...ust-sf-mystery/

 


#47 BadgerFox

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 05:43 AM

Hello! Looking at this with fresh eyes as I haven't seen the entirety of the thread yet. Advance warning: please don't be discouraged by lots of comments! I'm just bad at being concise on the first attempt and I over-explore nitpicky points in too much detail sometimes. Please don't think that my writing a lot means there's necessarily a big problem! :)
 

 

REVAMP #11

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire [are you totally certain about this as a comparison title? The best comparisons, I have recently heard, are ones from the same genre, not more than 5 years old, which are not the most well-known and recently-televised title from the genre. ASoIaF is brilliant but it's definitely not YA, it's not at all recent, and it's the one everybody already knows from the tv show. It MIGHT be the best comparison title regardless, if you truly think so. But you seem likelier to impress an agent with detailed knowledge of your genre if you pick a more recent YA fantasy, if possible. I understand the fear of putting anything too obscure because suppose the agent hasn't heard of it? This fear prevented me from picking less well-known comparison titles for a while too. But then again, if anyone is going to have encyclopedic knowledge of YA fantasy books, it's an agent who does YA fantasy! :) Maybe it's best to risk it?] [Note added after reading on: Would Phillip Pullman's YA Northern Lights trilogy be a potential comp for you? The concept of a Familiar sounds a bit like his concept of Daemons?] and The Magicians.

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend Sara by a bloodthirsty Cult [Are you sure 'Cult' should be capitalised?], eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is unintentionally introduced to the world of magic when she unexpectantly unexpectedly summons a dragon in her distress—a feat believed impossible for mere humans [this sentence will do ok as is, if you're happy with it, but it could be snappier, and it feels like the events aren't sequenced and prioritised exactly right yet. The key happening here seems to be that Rhianaye accidentally summons a dragon. Maybe leading with that concept in one sentence, then using the next sentence to explain why it happened and that it has big consequences because humans can't usually do it would work better?] Discovered by a young man named Sigmund Bjørnsson and his eccentric yet humorous Familiar, a talking bear named Ragnar; Sigmund reveals the dragon that Rhianaye summoned is her own Familiar, the physical extension of her soul. He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe: the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, where she can also learn to master her gifts. To save herself from the Cult who are just as interested in her as Sigmund is and avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as someone is on a murdering spree in her city, and the chaos reveals one thing: The Darkness, a benevolent being believed to had have been locked away thousands of years ago, is scratching against the Veil; the magical barrier preventing dark creatures from crossing into our world, and it’s close to shattering. Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness. Even then, the cost just might be her humanity. [There are unfortunately still some unanswered questions at this point and I'm still not entirely certain why each character is motivated to do what they do, just based on the info given here. There are probably good reasons in your novel for all this, it's just not 100% clear from what's written here. Where did this Cult come from and why are they targeting Rhianaye specifially, and do they have any other goals or functions apart from just generally being a bloodthirsty obstacle for the protagonist? If Rhianaye and Sigmund are from the same world then how was Rhianaye surprised at the concept of a Familiar - surely even if not everyone in her world has one she would still know about them somehow? Why is saving the world Rhianaye's responsibility as opposed to, say, some of the expert teachers at the Avalon University, who presumably have more expertise in magical matters than Rhianaye does? Why would going to university constitute avenging Sara?]

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE

 

I think that there are some good concepts, the query is the right length and you're picking out the key plot elements that are most important, so these are key positive factors...but a bit of tweaking is still needed so there aren't so many unanswered questions left at the end. In some cases this doesn't have to be a massive change, you can add a little description wth just a few well-placed adjectives that clarify.

Keep working on it, queries are crazy tough (I should know...) :)


Spare a little feedback, if you have a moment? :)

My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#48 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 03:32 PM

REVAMP #12

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements with diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of His Dark Materials and The Magicians.

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend by an enigmatic cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is introduced to the world of magic when she unintentionally summons a dragon to prevent herself from being next.

 

Discovered by a young Mage named Sigmund Bjørnsson who is attracted by the ripples of energy she released, he explains that the dragon is her Familiar, the physical extension of her soul. He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe, an exclusive magical university in which he is a student himself and where she can learn to further her knowledge in the magical arts. To save herself from the Cult, who too are interested in the seemingly mundane girl who summoned a dragon, and avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts.

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as children begin to disappear in the same ritualistic pattern as before, but the suspects are well hidden in the shadows. With the chaos threatening to erupt and expose the magical world and the ones in charge too stiff-necked to break their traditions, Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness.

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE



#49 mkuriel

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:47 PM



 

REVAMP #12

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements with and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration The Fyreheart, (the manuscript title is traditionally done in all caps) an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of His Dark Materials and The Magicians. (This is NOT YA... but wiki claims it's new adult which doesn't seem to be a living genre. His Dark Materials is probably also NA...)

 

After failing to stop the ritualistic sacrifice of her best friend by an enigmatic cult, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is introduced to the world of magic when she [the logic doesn't follow; how does summoning a dragon mean an introduction to a hidden world?] unintentionally summons a dragon to prevent herself from being next. (this phrase can be replaced with 'to save herself.') [also, why did she fail to stop it? that doesn't make sense since she's next in line for the knife.]

 

Discovered by a young Mage named Sigmund Bjørnsson who is attracted by the ripples of energy she released, he explains that the dragon is her Familiar, the physical extension of her soul. [isn't the soul's physical aspect your body?] He offers Rhianaye protection in the only place he believes she will be safe, an exclusive magical university in which he is a student himself and where she can learn to further her knowledge in the magical arts. To save herself from the Cult, who too are interested in the seemingly mundane girl who summoned a dragon, and avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts. [I was striking redundancies when I realized that this whole paragraph is excessively expository for a query. We don't need detailed explanations - keep the sentences concrete so you don't have to explain what everything is. Here's all the pertinent details in a single sentence: While fleeing the cult, a young man named Sigmund finds her and offers to take her to a magical university.]

 

However, not even Sigmund can keep her safe, as children begin to (are they only partially disappeared?) disappear in the same ritualistic pattern as before, but the suspects are well hidden in the shadows. [another run-on sentence full logical inconsistencies. Why would a student be able to keep her safe? How could he offer her a place at the school in the first place? What is a ritualistic pattern of disappearances? Are the children's shoes left behind inside a glowing pentagram?] With the chaos threatening to erupt (who is 'the chaos' and why is it threatening to erupt?) and expose the magical world and the ones in charge too stiff-necked to break their traditions, Rhianaye is forced to choose: vengeance for her loved ones or stopping the world from plunging into eternal darkness. [Another long, run-on sentence that makes no sense. Why would the world plunge into darkness?]

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

AUTHOR NAME HERE

 

 

So... I think you're trying to cram too many ideas into too few sentences. When done well, that style of writing is beautiful and thought provoking; when it isn't, it's wordy and confusing. Based on my comments, I think you can see where your query landed for me. With that in mind, here's a shell that hopefully communicates the essential aspects of your query:

 

After a cult ritualistically sacrifices her best friend, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey summons a dragon to save herself.

 

The magnificent creature carries her to where a handsome boy, Sigmund Bjørnsson waits. He explains that magic is real and offers to take her to the magical university he attends. Hoping to escape the cult, and learn the magic needed to avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts.

 

A week later, other university students disappear. Rhianaye appeals to the school administrators for help, but they're too afraid of exposing the magical world to take action. When she learns that the cult's rituals are to black out the sun - and that she's the last sacrifice needed - she must choose between avenging her friend or risk plunging the world into darkness.

 

Hope that helps,



#50 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 08:13 AM

REVAMP #13

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],
 
I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE FYREHEART, an 80,000-word YA fantasy with an African American female protagonist in which humans gifted with the ability to use magic, Magi, have physical extensions of their souls are called Familiars; and will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy. 
 
After a cult ritualistically sacrifices her best friend, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey summons a dragon to save herself​ , only to have the blame of the disappearance placed on her.​Why is she being blamed? Was she there, was she found over her friends body? Found by a young man named Sigmund, he explains to the panicked and confused girl that she is a Mage, the magnificent creature she summoned is her Familiar, and offers to take her to the magical university he attends. Hoping to escape the cult, and learn the magic needed to avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts.  
 
Less than a month later children begin to disappear, both mundane and magical of blood. Though Rhianaye appeals to the school administrators for help, they're too afraid of exposing the magical world to take action and refuse . When she learns that the cult's rituals are to summon their Master to blacken out the sun—and that she's the last sacrifice needed—Rhianaye must choose between avenging her friend or risk plunging the world into darkness. 
 
Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
AUTHOR NAME HERE


#51 BrookeJS

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 12:49 PM

​New Eyes!

 

 

REVAMP #13

NOTE: The part in bold I am on the fence about either leaving in, or taking it out as the query works with it in and with it out. I would like advice on what you think. Should I take it out or leave it in, and if I leave it in should I reword it?

 

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE FYREHEART, an 80,000-word YA fantasy with an African American female protagonist in which humans gifted with the ability to use magic, Magi, have physical extensions of their souls are called Familiars; and will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy​I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet but this really should go at the end of your query. Start with the hook and finish with the word count, author bio, etc. Also, I LOVE the Grisha Trilogy, if your story is similar then you're definitely on the right track with mentioning that. As for your section in bold, I, personally, don't think it's necessary. Unless the main character suffers trials for her diversity then it's not an integral hook for your query and something an agent would probably find tedious (I'm assuming, I've got no real idea lol). We also don't need the explanation of Magi and familiars here, that's something you should be describing in the mini synopsis.

 

After a cult ritualistically sacrifices her best friend, eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey summons a dragon to save herself​ (period). (I think I'd change this up. Maybe say she accidentally summons a dragon! That's something that'd make me say "What how do you accidentally summon a dragon? - Tell me moooore.), only to have the blame of the disappearance placed on her.​Why is she being blamed? Was she there, was she found over her friends body? Found by a young man named Sigmund, he explains to the panicked and confused girl that she is a Mage, the magnificent creature she summoned is her Familiar, and offers to take her to the magical university he attends. Hoping to escape the cult, and learn the magic needed to avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts. ​(I'm assuming this is modern day and Rhia has no clue magic exists so this is an important tidbit of information. Her world just got turned upside down and she's got a pet dragon, this is a big deal, work on really emphasizing that. If Sigmund is her potential love interest than make him a bit more dashing, rope us in with the potential romance.)

 

Less than a month later children begin to disappear, both mundane and magical of blood. Though Rhianaye appeals to the school administrators for help, they're too afraid of exposing the magical world to take action and refuse ​(are they evil why are they refusing to help kids? Seems more like they are but they don't want Rhia involved in order to protect her). When she learns that the cult's rituals are to summon their Master to blacken out the sun—and that she's the last sacrifice needed—Rhianaye must choose between avenging her friend or risk plunging the world into darkness​This part is confusing to me - why would she have to choose? Based on the above they go hand in hand. Stopping the cult would mean avenging her friend the way this is written says she would have to NOT stop the cult in order to avenge her friend? What happens when the world is cast in perpetual darkness? We already know the cult is sacrificing kids (that to me seems like the stakes) and so mentioning their motives may not be very important. I remember in an earlier draft you say that Rhia is the last sacrifice, so maybe bring that back in but explain what makes Rhia so special? Summoning a dragon seems like it's pretty rare so there's a lot of potential there to build on her new talent and what it means to have a dragon and why the cult wants her (if they do).

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

AUTHOR NAME HERE

 

 

So far good job! I'm really intrigued by your story and while I haven't read all of the above critiques and first versions of your query I can see that you're putting in lots of work to get this right! Keep it going because I think you're close (and I'm right there with you in the same boat!). I definitely want to know more about your protagonist and I think hearing a little bit more of her voice in your query will help strengthen it! 


If you have time I would love feedback on my query: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356112

If you could spare a moment I would really appreciate critiques on my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=355669

 


#52 rachaelwthewriter

rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 01:22 PM

REVAMP #14 

NOTE: I really do like this edit, but I kinda want to shave it down even more as the actual query is almost 230 words and I kind of what to stay under 200 max. Thanks for the help guys! I know we are getting close to making this perfect!

 

Dear [INSERT AGENT NAME HERE],

 

I noticed on your Publishers Marketplace page that you represent young adult books with magical elements and diverse characters. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE FYREHEART, an 80,000-word YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy.

 

Eighteen-year-old Rhianaye Humphrey is horrified when a cult ritualistically sacrifices her best friend to a being only known as The Darkness. Before she can become their next victim, she unintentionally summons a dragon to save herself, only for the eyes of the cult turn to her as they wonder how a seemingly mundane girl without any training in magic could achieve such a thing.

 

Found by a young man named Sigmund, he explains to the girl that she is a Mage, and the magnificent creature she summoned is her Familiar—a small portion of her soul manifested into a physical form. Realizing that that she is marked by the cult, he offers to take her to the magical university he attends. Hoping to escape the cult, and learn the magic needed to avenge her friend, Rhianaye accepts. A fish out of water at first, Rhianaye spends her days both struggling to learn magic, and understanding her growing feelings for a distant Sigmund.

 

When children begin to disappear, both mundane and magical of blood, Rhianaye appeals to the school administrators for help, but they're too afraid of exposing the magical world to take action. Learning that the cult's rituals are the first steps in summoning The Darkness—and that she's the last sacrifice needed—Rhianaye realizes that if you want to fight for what’s right, sometimes you must fight dirty.

 

Below are the first ten pages of my manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

AUTHOR NAME HERE







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

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