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The Fyreheart - YA Fantasy Query (New Edits)

Adventure Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:58 PM

[Note: Go to post #35 for most current revamp. I will do a critique for a critique as payment for helping me in this journey :) ]
 
Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential. 
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years on this earth. After watching her family be massacred before her eyes when she was only 5-years-old, Rebekah was locked St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital, blamed for the crime. Forced to spend the next 13-years of her life in this enclosed space, the only that prevented Rebekah from falling into madness was Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she could see.
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, and barely escaping with her own life, Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced. Her saving grace comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark, offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills.
 
Wanting to know more about her past, and desiring vengeance against her murdered family Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs, and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer. All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies.
 
For the past two years I have been a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and reach the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence.
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a planned 6-book series, in which the second and third books are already planned out. Below, you will find that I have pasted the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as my contact information.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.


#2 bkarperien

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

 

Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential. 
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years on this earth. After seeing her family massacred at only 5-years-old, Rebekah was blamed for the crime and locked in St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital (Wondering how on earth a five-year-old could have supposedly accomplished this? Does she have some kind of powers or something?). The only that has since prevented Rebekah from falling into madness is Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she can see. (Nice, this definitely sets a unique tone for the novel)
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, and barely escaping with her own life,  (This confused me because I thought you meant she escaped the hospital at first. It's fine without, anyway)Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced. Her saving grace(I don't think this is the phrase you're looking for) comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark (Which is?), offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills.
 
Wanting to know more about her past, and desiring vengeance against her murdered family, Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs (don't know what that means), and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer (Don't know what that means, either. Why is he forbidden?). All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies. (Missing stakes)
 
For the past two years I have been a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times (I'd put an actual number, otherwise, it doesn't really mean anything to agents. Not that it isn't awesome!) .. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and reaching the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence. (I wouldn't include this, either. While it is really freaking awesome, I don't think agents are interested in knowing about contests that you didn't win)
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a planned 6-book series, in which the second and third books are already planned out (Save that for the agent phone call). Below, you will find that I have pasted the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as my contact information.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
[Note: I will do a critique for a critique as payment for helping me in this journey]

 

This is a good start, and you've clearly got an interesting story, but there are a few things that need work. First of all, two critical things need shoring up: the protagonist's goal, and the stakes. Rebekah's goal should be the driving force of the entire query, but in almost all of the query, she takes a passive role. I can see that she has a goal--finding out about her family's murder--but basically none of the events in the query are related to her pursuing it. I'd take it back to the basics, and focus on the action Rebekah will take to pursue her goal, as well as the stakes--what happens if she fails.

I hope that helped some!

If you get a chance, please check out my query!


Check out my query!


#3 VSChapman

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:56 PM

 

Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential (I would also cut this) Personally, I would put this at the bottom with your other info. It feels kinda broken up when you talk about the book at the beginning and at the end. 
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years on this earth. After watching her family be massacred before her eyes when she was only 5-years-old, Rebekah was locked St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital, blamed for the crime. Forced to spend the next 13-years of her life in this enclosed space, the only that prevented Rebekah from falling into madness was Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she could see. (I liked how bkarperien already re-structured this above. It cleans it up a bit. I also wondered how a five year old was accused of murder but I do think it's a good hook overall)
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, and barely escaping with her own life, (this sounds like she escaped the hospital) Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced. Her saving grace comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, (How did he get into the mental hospital?) who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark, offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills.
 
Wanting to know more about her past, and desiring vengeance against her murdered family Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs, and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer. All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies.
 
For the past two years I have been a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and reach the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence.
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a planned 6-book series, in which the second and third books are already planned out. Below, you will find that I have pasted the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as my contact information.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
[Note: I will do a critique for a critique as payment for helping me in this journey]

 

I agree with what bkarperien said above. It sounds like an interesting story but it needs cleaning up a bit. 



#4 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:40 PM

Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel, that will appeal to fans of Lev Grossman's The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the  Philip Pullamn's His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both The book contains racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential[Be wary of naming two mega-bestsellers as your comp titles. Try to go with something smaller and more niche for at least once of them - especially since Pullman and Grossman's books are so different from each other. Alternatively choose just one comp title.]
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years on this earth.  After watching saw her family be massacred before her eyes [if she saw it, then it was before her eyes. :) ] when she was only 5-years-old., Rebekah She was locked St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital, blamed for the crime [why, if she was only five? Try to squeeze in the reasoning behind her being accused without being too wordy.]. Forced to spend Imprisoned/confined the next 13-years of her life in this enclosed space, the only that prevented Rebekah was saved/helped by/found solace in/was befriended by Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she could see. [Notice how many words I'm cutting. Be as economical as possible in a query, to show a writer you can be careful with words.]
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, After witnessing the murder of a hospital patient and barely escaping with her own life, Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced [what does this phrase mean? Be direct. People want to kill her? Who? The antagonist is missing, and I'm noticing that gap.]. Her saving grace comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark, offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills. What skills? Mention this sooner. The talking dragon? What happened the that dragon, by the way? Also this is a false choice, because obviously she's going to go to San Francisco. Try to only pose choices that will make the agent really wonder about what will happen next. [I'm not going to rewrite the letter, but from now on I'll just cross out what I think is unnecessary\too wordy.]
 
Wanting to know more about her past [What does San Francisco have to do with her past OR vengeance? Vengeance against whom, by the way? Who was the killer?], and desiring vengeance against her murdered family Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs, and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer. All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies. [can you squeeze some more precise details into this list? Because agent's have read about secrets, allies, and enemies five million times. What makes your book unique?]
 
For the past two years I have been I am a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad and have a loyal following [if you can provide concrete, impressive numbers, do so here]. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and  I reached the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence. 
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a potential planned 6-book series [agents care about this book, not our dreams for our series, sadly. Saying this as a former agent's assistant], in which the second and third books are already planned out. Below, you will find that I have pasted are the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as  and my contact information.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
 
I hope you don' t feel I've torn this to shreds to much, because lying underneath is what sounds like a great story. Make it shine! Cut, cut, cut! Time for the next draft. I worked as an agent's assistant for a year and have experience on the other side of the slush pile. Show that you can write and write well. Be economical. As someone else said somewhere online, "imagine every word costs $10." I also suggest reading the Query Shark page.
 
Good luck!!


#5 darsenault

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:35 AM

 

Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel, that will appeal to fans of Lev Grossman's The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the  Philip Pullamn's His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both The book contains racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential[Be wary of naming two mega-bestsellers as your comp titles. Try to go with something smaller and more niche for at least once of them - especially since Pullman and Grossman's books are so different from each other. Alternatively choose just one comp title.]
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years on this earth.  After watching saw her family be massacred before her eyes [if she saw it, then it was before her eyes. :) ] when she was only 5-years-old., Rebekah She was locked St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital, blamed for the crime [why, if she was only five? Try to squeeze in the reasoning behind her being accused without being too wordy.]. Forced to spend Imprisoned/confined the next 13-years of her life in this enclosed space, the only that prevented Rebekah was saved/helped by/found solace in/was befriended by Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she could see. [Notice how many words I'm cutting. Be as economical as possible in a query, to show a writer you can be careful with words.]
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, After witnessing the murder of a hospital patient and barely escaping with her own life, Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced [what does this phrase mean? Be direct. People want to kill her? Who? The antagonist is missing, and I'm noticing that gap.]. Her saving grace comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark, offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills. What skills? Mention this sooner. The talking dragon? What happened the that dragon, by the way? Also this is a false choice, because obviously she's going to go to San Francisco. Try to only pose choices that will make the agent really wonder about what will happen next. [I'm not going to rewrite the letter, but from now on I'll just cross out what I think is unnecessary\too wordy.]
 
Wanting to know more about her past [What does San Francisco have to do with her past OR vengeance? Vengeance against whom, by the way? Who was the killer?], and desiring vengeance against her murdered family Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs, and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer. All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies. [can you squeeze some more precise details into this list? Because agent's have read about secrets, allies, and enemies five million times. What makes your book unique?]
 
For the past two years I have been I am a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad and have a loyal following [if you can provide concrete, impressive numbers, do so here]. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and  I reached the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence. 
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a potential planned 6-book series [agents care about this book, not our dreams for our series, sadly. Saying this as a former agent's assistant], in which the second and third books are already planned out. Below, you will find that I have pasted are the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as  and my contact information.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
 
I hope you don' t feel I've torn this to shreds to much, because lying underneath is what sounds like a great story. Make it shine! Cut, cut, cut! Time for the next draft. I worked as an agent's assistant for a year and have experience on the other side of the slush pile. Show that you can write and write well. Be economical. As someone else said somewhere online, "imagine every word costs $10." I also suggest reading the Query Shark page.
 
Good luck!!

 

I'm here to second the above editors statement of, "Cut, cut, cut!" Your voice is really good, and your story sounds interesting, but this is far too long and not specific enough. Specifically:

I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential. " 

And 

"
For the past two years I have been a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and reach the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence."

Should be completely removed. Your book isn't going to be noticed because you say its like another best-seller, it's going to be noticed because it's well-written and engaging. Likewise, unless you've got actual publication credits, there's no need to include your experience writing. You don't need credentials to write a book.

 

And let me also second the suggestion to check out the Query Shark. She's fantastic.

 

Good luck! I'm looking forward to editing the next draft for you.



#6 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:49 AM

 

Dear Agent,
 
I noticed on your Manuscript Wishlist page that you represent quite a few young adult books with magical elements. Because of this, I am submitting for your consideration THE SOURCE OF MAGIC, an 80,000-word YA Fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman These are odd comps -- one is too old, one is too young. You should use comps that match your category and genre. . Featured heavily in the novel are themes of both racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, as I believe diversity in literature is essential. 
 
 
Rebekah McArthur has seen plenty of death in her short, eighteen-years no comma and why's that hyphenated? on this earth. Unless there are several...vAfter watching her family be massacred before her eyes when she was only 5-years-old, You should probably look up some punctuation rules, and check your manuscript too, Rebekah was locked St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital, blamed for the crime. What? That's not a thing. Forced to spend the next 13-years of her life in this enclosed space, the only that prevented Rebekah from falling into madness was Ranarae; a talking dragon that only she could see. Seems pretty mad to me, also, this doesn't make sense in the real world -- if this is set in a fantasy world, you have to make it clear, lest an agent think you're talking about the world as we know it. In addition, you've got a missing word and punctuation issues again.
 
After bearing witness to the horrifying murder of one of the hospital patients, and barely escaping with her own life, Rebekah finds herself marked to be silenced. By? Her saving grace comes in the form of a man named Christoffer, who, after recognizing that Rebekah has the Spark, offers her a choice. Stay in the mental hospital and wilt away, or travel with him to San Francisco and enroll into the Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery to perfect her skills. That's not really a choice, and what happened to the whole dragon thing? This seems disconnected from the previous paragraph, and it's all sounding very synopsis-like.
 
Wanting to know more about her past, and desiring vengeance against her murdered family What? Rebekah accepts. Once there, Rebekah must learn to balance her studies, fight Black Dogs, What? and not fall for the forbidden Christoffer. All the while uncovering secrets, secrets that threatens to unravel the established order; earning her both powerful allies, and terrible enemies.This is way too vague.
 
For the past two years I have been a part of the online writing community known as Wattpad. Within that brief time, I have both gained a loyal following that grows daily, and had my work featured on the site several times. My proudest achievement was being able to both participate, and reach the final judging round, of their critically acclaimed online writing competition known as The Watty’s. While I did not win a final prize, it gave me a boost of confidence. If this is already published, you need to disclose that clearly.
 
THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is the first book in a planned 6-book series, in which the second and third books are already planned out. Below, you will find that I have pasted the first ten pages of the manuscript as required, as well as my contact information.Does this stand alone?
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
[Note: I will do a critique for a critique as payment for helping me in this journey]

 

 

This is quite long, and reads like a synopsis more than a query -- it's also confusing. You've tagged it fantasy, but nothing in the query indicates that. It reads more magical realism or something.



#7 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:57 AM

[NOTE: REVAMP ATTEMPT #1]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loved the flickering colors, it’s warmth in her palms, and how it never burned her. When an unexplained fire ingulfs her home and the bodies of her family were found among the ashes, everyone assumed that it was Rebekah’s fault. Though she swore her innocence the 5-year-old is declared insane by the state, and locked within the St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital. Imprisoned behind those stone walls for the next 13 years, Rebekah finds solace in Ranarae; a talking dragon only she could see.

 

After witnessing to the murder of a hospital patient, Rebekah accidently releases a power she didn’t know she even possessed, to escape those who wish her silenced. When a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer comes to the hospital, he reveals to Rebekah that she has the Spark, the ability to harness the raw, magical energy, and bend it to her will. Explaining that she isn’t safe here, Christoffer offers her a choice: wilt away in the hospital, or travel with him to a school he knows she can perfect her abilities.

 

Entering an extraordinary world that she never knew, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of school, she must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer.

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a YA Fantasy novel though it has series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a mature, and developing world such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy.

 

Currently, I am a part of the online community Wattpad, and have a loyal following of over 9,000. Last year, I reached the final judging round of their critically acclaimed, world-wide online writing competition known as The Watty’s.

Below, are the first ten pages of the manuscript, and my contact information.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#8 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:41 PM

[NOTE: REVAMP ATTEMPT #1]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loved the flickering colors, it’s warmth in her palms, and how it never burned her. When an unexplained fire ingulfs sp her home and the bodies of her family were found among the ashes, everyone assumed that it was Rebekah’s fault. You keep changing tenses. Though she swore her innocence the 5-year-old is declared insane by the state, I say again... and locked within the St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital. Imprisoned behind those stone walls for the next 13 years, Rebekah finds solace in Ranarae; a talking dragon only she could see. This switches tenses kind of endlessly; it's very distracting. Queries are generally present. I really think you have to establish that this is not a real-world situation, if you're going to have a five-year-old "declared insane by the state" whatever that means, and locked in a psych hospital. Set up the kind of world you have -- is it a future dystopian world? Is it an alternate reality? Whatever it is, I think you have to make it clear.

 

After witnessing to the murder of a hospital patient, Rebekah accidently releases a power she didn’t know she even possessed, to escape those who wish her silenced. I don't know who those are. There are punctuation issues too. When a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer comes to the hospital, he reveals to Rebekah that she has the Spark, the ability to harness the raw, magical energy, Which raw, magical energy? This is stuff that can be put into the worldbuilding -- you only need a sentence or two, but you do need it, imo. and bend it to her will. Explaining that she isn’t safe here, Christoffer offers her a choice: wilt away in the hospital, or travel with him to a school he knows she can perfect her abilities. Again, false choice.

 

Entering an extraordinary world that she never knew, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of school, she must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer. I think this is where your query actually STARTS; the rest reads like backstory, but I don't know what happens in the actual book -- what is her problem, what are the stakes?

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a YA Fantasy novel though it has series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a mature, and developing world such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy. Bad comps. 

 

Currently, I am a part of the online community Wattpad, and have a loyal following of over 9,000. Last year, I reached the final judging round of their critically acclaimed, world-wide online writing competition known as The Watty’s. Is it published or not? If it is, disclose, if not, I'd leave this out entirely.

Below, are the first ten pages of the manuscript, and my contact information.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#9 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:37 PM

Revamp #2

 

[NOTE: I took all of the critiques and changed my query up a bit. I decided to leave my personal information out, as it doesn't seem to be relevant and several people are telling me to do so. Also, I seem to be having a having a problem finding good comp titles for the series. To be honest, as I write it, it is turning out a Buffy meets The Magician's, but a couple of people are saying that they are bad. Any help in finding good comp titles will be much appreciated.]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loved the flickering colors, it’s warmth in her palms, and how it never burned her. When an unexplained fire engulfs her home and the bodies of her family are found among the ashes, everyone assumes that it is Rebekah’s fault. Though she swears her innocence, the 10-year-old is locked behind the stone walls of St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital in Manhattan, New York for the next 8 years.

 

After Rebekah accidently releases a power she didn’t even she possessed, a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer arrives at the hospital, claiming he has answers. Revealing to Rebekah that he believes she has the ability to harness the raw, magical energy in the world, and bend it to her will; he offers to take her a college of magic, where she can receive a rigorous education and perfect her gift.

 

Entering an extraordinary new world, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, Rebekah must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer.

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a YA Fantasy novel though it has series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a realistic, and mature setting such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy.

 

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



#10 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:42 PM

 

Revamp #2

 

[NOTE: I took all of the critiques and changed my query up a bit. I decided to leave my personal information out, as it doesn't seem to be relevant and several people are telling me to do so. Also, I seem to be having a having a problem finding good comp titles for the series. To be honest, as I write it, it is turning out a Buffy meets The Magician's, but a couple of people are saying that they are bad. Any help in finding good comp titles will be much appreciated.]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loved the flickering colors, it’s warmth in her palms, and how it never burned her. When an unexplained fire engulfs her home and the bodies of her family are found among the ashes, everyone assumes that it is Rebekah’s fault. Though she swears her innocence, the 10-year-old is locked behind the stone walls of St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital in Manhattan, New York for the next 8 years.

 

After Rebekah accidently releases a power she didn’t even she possessed, a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer arrives at the hospital, claiming he has answers. Revealing to Rebekah that he believes she has the ability to harness the raw, magical energy in the world, and bend it to her will; he offers to take her a college of magic, where she can receive a rigorous education and perfect her gift.

 

Entering an extraordinary new world, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, Rebekah must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer.

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a YA Fantasy novel though it has series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a realistic, and mature setting such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy.

 

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

 

I'm confused -- you have 10 in the first paragraph now, so she's 23? All my comments from the previous version still apply. 

 

Still also confused as to whether this is already published.



#11 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:51 PM

I'm confused -- you have 10 in the first paragraph now, so she's 23? All my comments from the previous version still apply. 

 

Still also confused as to whether this is already published.

 No. She is not 23. Since she's 10 years old, and has been locked away for 8 years, then she's 18 years old.

 

No, this is not published. Wattpad is a online, writing community where you can write stories, enter contests, and gain a following (like twitter and having a blog). On the site I currently have a following of over 9k. On wattpad, a lot of people have been discovered and signed with big-name publishers. Think of it like learning how to enter the big leagues.



#12 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:56 PM

 No. She is not 23. Since she's 10 years old, and has been locked away for 8 years, then she's 18 years old.

 

No, this is not published. Wattpad is a online, writing community where you can write stories, enter contests, and gain a following (like twitter and having a blog). On the site I currently have a following of over 9k. On wattpad, a lot of people have been discovered and signed with big-name publishers. Think of it like learning how to enter the big leagues.

 

She was 5 in the previous version and locked away for 13 years, hence my confusion. 

 

 I know what Wattpad is -- if you have posted this on Wattpad, it's published, and you need to disclose that, because you've burned first rights.



#13 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:00 PM

She was 5 in the previous version and locked away for 13 years, hence my confusion.

I know what Wattpad is -- if you have posted this on Wattpad, it's published, and you need to disclose that, because you've burned first rights.


I understand your confusion. After thinking it over, I realized that her being 5, was way too young. So, I aged her up a bit.

And as for Wattpad, I didn't think it mattered; as so many people were crossing it out. It was up there, but was a very, very rough edit of it.

#14 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:07 PM

I understand your confusion. After thinking it over, I realized that her being 5, was way too young. So, I aged her up a bit.

And as for Wattpad, I didn't think it mattered; as so many people were crossing it out. It was up there, but was a very, very rough edit of it.

 

It matters if it's fundamentally the same book.

 

I still feel you need to explain your world whereby you've got children in psych hospitals for I'm not sure what exactly, forever... in Manhattan? Like I said, what kind of world, government, etc. The way it's written it sounds like you're talking about the real world but then you've got that. Also still feels like the query starts where it ends.



#15 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

It matters if it's fundamentally the same book.

I still feel you need to explain your world whereby you've got children in psych hospitals for I'm not sure what exactly, forever... in Manhattan? Like I said, what kind of world, government, etc. The way it's written it sounds like you're talking about the real world but then you've got that. Also still feels like the query starts where it ends.

It does take place in current times (2017 to be honest as it's when I began writing the book). In some states, you can be thrown in jail but under an insanity plea, you can go to mental hospital instead of actually going to jail for that allowed period of time.

And back to Wattpad, how would I explain that the book was originally there? Also, does my following and already made fan base/platforms not matter?

#16 Springfield

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:50 PM

It does take place in current times (2017 to be honest as it's when I began writing the book). In some states, you can be thrown in jail but under an insanity plea, you can go to mental hospital instead of actually going to jail for that allowed period of time.

And back to Wattpad, how would I explain that the book was originally there? Also, does my following and already made fan base/platforms not matter?

 

 

Ok, I only know what's in the query, but from what I can tell from that, you've got kind of a mess.

 

First, that's not how insanity works; you don't go to a mental hospital for an allowed period of time, you generally are remanded (in a true insanity adjucation, which depends on the state, the standard, etc.), you're remanded, period. You could be released tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year, never. It's open-ended, because you're not guilty of any crime. You're not being held for  committing any crime.

 

There are states that do guilty-but, some of which do have specific sentencing I believe, though NY isn't one of them, however, here we get to second: no one who claims they're innocent is judged insane -- insanity is an affirmative defense.

 

Third, in NY, no one 10 years old (or, god knows, five), is charged with murder or anything close.

 

As to the Wattpad, as I said, you have to disclose it, I'd just say it flat out, like 'this book was/is available for download on Wattpad and garnered X reads' or whatever. Unless your follower numbers are super spectacular (and the way Wattpad does it, where people break stuff up so they can claim millions of reads [which is inane, as everyone knows exactly what they're doing, thus it's meaningless]), like in the high hundreds of thousands, I wouldn't bother mentioning.  You're in that odd in-between space -- if someone posts their thing on their own site and then takes it right down, sometimes it's ok not to mention, because it's so unlikely anyone ever saw it. If someone has Andy Weir-like self-pub numbers, shout them from the rooftops. The in between, where it's published but the numbers aren't stellar, is harder, because it's out there, an agent will find it, so you have to disclose that it's already been published, but the numbers aren't either stupendous or showing that no one even had the opportunity to know it existed.



#17 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:05 PM

Ok, I only know what's in the query, but from what I can tell from that, you've got kind of a mess.

First, that's not how insanity works; you don't go to a mental hospital for an allowed period of time, you generally are remanded (in a true insanity adjucation, which depends on the state, the standard, etc.), you're remanded, period. You could be released tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year, never. It's open-ended, because you're not guilty of any crime. You're not being held for committing any crime.

There are states that do guilty-but, some of which do have specific sentencing I believe, though NY isn't one of them, however, here we get to second: no one who claims they're innocent is judged insane -- insanity is an affirmative defense.

Third, in NY, no one 10 years old (or, god knows, five), is charged with murder or anything close.

As to the Wattpad, as I said, you have to disclose it, I'd just say it flat out, like 'this book was/is available for download on Wattpad and garnered X reads' or whatever. Unless your follower numbers are super spectacular (and the way Wattpad does it, where people break stuff up so they can claim millions of reads [which is inane, as everyone knows exactly what they're doing, thus it's meaningless]), like in the high hundreds of thousands, I wouldn't bother mentioning. You're in that odd in-between space -- if someone posts their thing on their own site and then takes it right down, sometimes it's ok not to mention, because it's so unlikely anyone ever saw it. If someone has Andy Weir-like self-pub numbers, shout them from the rooftops. The in between, where it's published but the numbers aren't stellar, is harder, because it's out there, an agent will find it, so you have to disclose that it's already been published, but the numbers aren't either stupendous or showing that no one even had the opportunity to know it existed.


Then maybe I should have her accused but not convicted of the crime. I also should include why she is locked in a mental hospital in the first place. In the book, she saw Black Dogs around her house before the fire started and believed they were the cause.

On Wattpad though people liked the book, it has like 10k reads. I have one book that had almost 400k once, but it's been taken down to be edited.

And yeah, it's sucks that I'm stuck in the in between.

#18 mindy24601

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:52 PM

 

Revamp #2

 

[NOTE: I took all of the critiques and changed my query up a bit. I decided to leave my personal information out, as it doesn't seem to be relevant and several people are telling me to do so. Also, I seem to be having a having a problem finding good comp titles for the series. To be honest, as I write it, it is turning out a Buffy meets The Magician's, but a couple of people are saying that they are bad. Any help in finding good comp titles will be much appreciated.]

 

Dear Agent, i know you've been getting some big feedback to consider, but i'll throw in my two sense

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loved has loved denotes a present tense, so this should be loves the flickering colors, it’s its warmth in her palms, and how it never burned her in terms of laundry list balance, you have a noun, a noun with a prepositional phrase, and a "how" phrase. unbalanced. . When an unexplained fire engulfs her home and the bodies of her family are found among the ashes so she's a pyromaniac? should have mentioned that sooner, everyone assumes that it is Rebekah’s fault. Though she swears her innocence hard thing for a ten-year-old to do. reword, the 10-year-old is locked behind the stone walls of St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital in Manhattan, New York for the next 8 years.i agree. unless this is a historical fic, this is not realistic. you might consider making your story a fantasy with this being typical in that world (dystopian, etc.). or make it historical, if this is integral to your plot. 

 

After Rebekah accidently no spelling mistakes allowed releases a power she didn’t even she possessed so you mean, beyond the terrible terrifying pyrokinesis?, a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer arrives at the hospital, claiming he has answers.to what? her powers? Revealing to Rebekah that he believes she has the ability to harness the raw, magical energy in the world, this has a mary-sue scent to it? and bend it to her will AIRBENDERS; he offers to take her a college of magic, where she can receive a rigorous education and perfect her gift.hogwarty hogwarts. Also if this is YA, high school is an easier sell than college. 

 

Entering an extraordinary new world, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, Rebekah must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer.

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a YA Fantasy novel standalone novel with series potential is the term though it has series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a realistic, and mature setting such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy.

 

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

 

right, so, reading the above, i think your best bet is a long, hard, good rewrite. think about 50 shades, started off as a twilight fanfic but was published. you just have to change it up enough. edit, rework through things. two pivotal points in your query automatically need to be changed. if you like the mental hospital approach, make this either historical or different world. also rework the university idea. 

i know it's a lot of work, but hopefully it will pay off for you. 

 

shameless plug for readers: http://agentquerycon...ry-ya-fantasy/ 

 



#19 rachaelwthewriter

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:41 PM

[NOTE: REVAMP #3]

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loves the flickering colors, its warmth in her palms, and its sense of being alive. When an unexplained fire engulfs her home and her family’s bodies are discovered among the ashes, everyone assumes that it is Rebekah’s fault. The 10-year-old swears she is innocent, and instead claims that ‘Black Dogs’, huge dogs made of shadows, are the guilty ones. Without any living relatives and believed to be insane, and the girl is locked away in the St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital; in which her only way of achieving freedom is reaching her 18th birthday.

 

After Rebekah accidentally releases a power she didn’t even she possessed, a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer arrives at the hospital, claiming he has answers to all her questions. Revealing to Rebekah that he believes she can harness the raw, magical energy in the world, and bend it to her will; he offers to take her a college of magic, where she can receive a rigorous education and perfect her gift.

Entering an extraordinary new world, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, Rebekah must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer.

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a NA Fantasy standalone novel with series potential. It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a realistic, and mature setting such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy. Originally posted on online community Wattpad, it currently has almost 10,000 reads.[Considering leaving this last sentence out, as it doesn't have like millions upon millions of reads.... On the site I have almost 9k followers... so should I add that or leave it out?]

 

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



#20 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:17 PM

 

Dear Agent,

 

Rebekah has always loved fire. She loves the flickering colors, its warmth in her palms, and its sense of being alive. When pyromaniac Rebekah's family is engulfed in a fire, the police blame her. [Don't say 'everyone.' Who? The police? I know the sequence of events - her family was killed, then the house was burned - is important to the story, but it's unneeded in this query. Also, my words are suggestions; use your own writing, of course. Finally: The opening is wayyy to wordy. Here's a tweet from my dream agent explaining why.] an unexplained fire engulfs her home and her family’s bodies are discovered among the ashes, everyone assumes it's the fault of that it is Rebekah’s fault. The 10-year-old swears she is innocent, and instead claims that ‘Black Dogs’,  claiming huge dogs made of shadows, are the guilty ones (when to use a comma). Without any living relatives and Believed to be insane, and the girl she is locked away in the St. Helene’s Psychiatric Hospital; in which her only way of achieving freedom is reaching her 18th birthday.

 

[Notice that the above is ALL backstory that can be summed up by 'As a child Rebekah was falsely accused of killing her family and locked away in St. Helene's Psychiatric Hospital.' But of course use your own wording. But the backstory does not need a full paragraph.]

 

After Rebekah accidentally releases a power she didn’t even she possessed, a mysterious man by the name of Christoffer arrives at the hospital, claiming he has answers to all her questions. [This feels like the real beginning of your query. Don't get the reader invested in a story that's 8 years-old when the book begins.] Revealing to Rebekah that he believes she can harness the raw, magical energy in the world, and bend it to her will; he offers to take her a college of magic, where she can receive a rigorous education and perfect her gift.

Entering an extraordinary new world, Rebekah is surprised to find herself feeling more at ease and apart of it; rather than the mundane world she grew up in. On the grounds of Avalon University for Advanced Sorcery, Rebekah must balance her studies, uncover the dark shadows of her past; and fight to prevent herself from falling for the forbidden Christoffer. [Ahhh you lost your stakes. It sounds like she has a grand time. What is she fighting against? If you must mention the romance subplot, then why is falling for him bad? If you focus less on the backstory you can get us closer to the heart of the thing!]

 

Complete at 80,000 words, THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a NA Fantasy standalone novel with series potential. (You don't need comp titles, and the following sentence is grammatically tangled. I also don't think the titles will help any agent to sell your work, so I wouldn't use them. Comp titles are used by agents to help them know which publishers to approached, so definitely don't mention a TV show. I'd say skip the comp titles.) It will appeal to fans who favor strong, yet morally complex heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers; but set in a realistic, and mature setting such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians TrilogyOriginally posted on online community Wattpad, it currently has almost 10,000 reads.

 

Below, are the first ten pages of the manuscript, and my contact information. [no commas]Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I know I made a lot of comments, but this draft is thoroughly a step in the right direction. You're getting there!







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