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Magica Americana - Modern Fantasy

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#1 darsenault

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:23 AM

Jack Kenning’s talent may be the key to bringing magic back to North America. He can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. The curse which sealed magic away has several powerful defenses which target Jack for the one simple spell he has.

 

When he learns too much about magic, his memory is taken from him. An old companion he no longer trusts recruits him back into the quest to defeat the curse, and hunters immediately track him across the country hoping to end his life. As he survives and gathers his allies, his own talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze.

 

Jack is confronted with the devastation that his only talent can cause, and discovers it was the last generation of magicians who worked so hard to prevent magic from returning. Jack must decide whether his goal of restoring his memories and the power of his birthright is worth the consequences of unleashing that chaotic power back into the world.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration

 

.

 
Phew, this is probably at least my tenth draft of this query, and the first one I'm offering up for the slaughter. It's hardly a third the length of my first draft, and I stripped it of every character other than Jack to keep it focused on what the story is really about. 

No need to be kind; rip into it with everything you've got!
 
And, in case someone is interested, I'm going to post two of my earlier drafts in quotes below so you can see how it developed. 
 
Thanks for all your help! 


#2 darsenault

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:26 AM

These are not my current workable drafts. These are just in case someone wanted to see an example of the editing I've already done:

 

 

Dear Agent:


Jack Kenning believes he suffers from the same mental illness that took his mother’s life. He’s almost entirely forgotten the three years that he knew his friend Anna, and any attempts to remember just leave him wracked with pain. Convinced that an adventure is better for his mental health than another year of pre-law, Jack steals his father’s convertible prepared to rely on his natural talent for persuasion to cross the country.


Then a vagabond named Roach appears in Jack’s passenger seat with an outlandish claim: Anna sent him to recruit Jack into a quest to bring magic back into the world. He insists that Jack’s ability to convince anyone of anything with a few sentences is actually a powerful Talent; a remnant of the magic which once flowed freely, and one of the keys to restoring it.


Roach lights a cigarette, vanishes, and appears several feet away holding Jack’s keys and wallet, proving that Talents exist. Jack’s headaches return with force, convincing him that his memory loss and magic are somehow connected. As Jack begins to realize his companions are also ignorant of the secrets behind their Talents, they’re discovered and pursued by hunters willing to kill them on sight for their abilities.


Worse, as the Talented gather, the suppressed magic left in the world becomes unpredictable. When Jack uses his Talent to pretend to be homeland security in order to get out of a speeding ticket, the homes and businesses of the nearby town actually begin to burst into flame, proving his claims of terrorism true. Confronted with the gravity of these unexplained powers, Jack must tackle the question of what the world will become if his group succeeds in bringing magic back, and whether the answers he seeks are worth that danger.


Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a new adult fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

See, way too much detail. Most of it is distracting, and not very focused on what matters to the story.

 

But then look at this draft:
 

 

Jack Kenning is recruited to bring magic back into the modern world by his old best friend, Anna. She’s the only person who knows about his talent; the ability to convince anyone of anything. However, any request of hers is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he had a talent at all.


Per Anna’s direction, Jack crosses the United States gathering allies, but none of them will come clean about what is waiting at the end of the quest. The more he learns about magic on the way, the more his head aches. Jack questions whether Anna is keeping him ignorant to protect him from the curse which he believes stripped his memories, or from her ulterior motives.


The limited magic Jack and his allies can employ is their only defense against the hunters, a group willing to kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. These talents become increasingly dangerous and unpredictable as their group grows until even a small lie is powerful enough to set an innocent town ablaze.


Confronted with the side-effects of these talents, Jack must envision what the world will become if the talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences.

 

I edited the very soul out of it! Reading that version bored me to tears, and I knew I had to start from scratch in order to bring the life back into the query. Fingers crossed you all like my official draft best!

 

These were examples. These are not workable drafts.



#3 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:31 AM

 

Jack Kenning’s talent may be the key to bringing magic back to North America. He can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. The curse which that sealed magic away has several powerful defenses which that target Jack for the one simple spell he has [the difference between that and which][The second sentence doesn't make sense to me. How can a curse target someone? Or a curse's defenses? What are curse defenses? Jack has a spell - like spells are objects you possess? Every part is confusing to a reader who knows nothing about your story.]

 

When he learns too much about magic, his memory is taken from him [by whom? why?]. An old companion he no longer trusts recruits him back into the quest to defeat the curse [old companion, quest, curse...all of these are vague, everyone has read about them a million times, and they don't tell us what makes your story different], and hunters immediately track him across the country hoping to end his life. ['hoping to end his life' is a weird phrase. I hope my crockpot chicken is done soon; I don't hope to end someone's life. Be direct. 'Hunters want to kill him.' But who are the hunters? Assassins? Who hired them? And why??] As he survives and gathers his allies, his own talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. [This is very interesting. Focus on this. Right now I'm interested in his lying power and nothing else previously mentioned.]

 

Jack is confronted with the devastation that his only talent can cause, and discovers it was the last generation of magicians who worked so hard to prevent magic from returning. [The first and second parts of these sentences don't seem to be related.] Jack must decide whether his goal of restoring his memories and the power of his birthright [birthright???] is worth the consequences of unleashing that chaotic power back into the world.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel [modern fantasy is not a genre. Maybe urban fantasy? You can just say 'fantasy.' What is the word count?]. Thank you for your time and consideration

 

 

This sounds like the kind of story that has a really interesting premise, but too much detail is included and I got confused. If there's a concrete villain, flesh him/her/it out more. If the main problem is Jack's power, focus on that, because I was super interested in it and its potential for chaos.

 

Also, my query is here if you'd like to crit back.

 

Good luck!



#4 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:33 AM

These are not my current workable drafts. These are just in case someone wanted to see an example of the editing I've already done:

 

See, way too much detail. Most of it is distracting, and not very focused on what matters to the story.

 

But then look at this draft:
 

 

I edited the very soul out of it! Reading that version bored me to tears, and I knew I had to start from scratch in order to bring the life back into the query. Fingers crossed you all like my official draft best!

 

These were examples. These are not workable drafts.

I actually think your second example sets up a much clearer image of your book's world than the draft you asked to be edited. I would cut a lot of the second paragraph and focus on Jack, his power, and maybe Anna? Just my thoughts, though; you know your story much better than I do.



#5 darsenault

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:10 AM

Version Two:

 

Jack Kenning’s talent may be the key to reversing the curse which stole magic from the modern world. He can convince anyone of almost anything, but even this power is not enough to ensure he can trust the people he must rely on. The curse ensures that nobody can speak freely about magic without fearing that their memories will be taken from them.

 

Jack discovers this defense the hard way, losing three years of his memory. When an old companion he no longer trusts recruits him back into the quest to defeat the curse, he’s shocked to learn he has a talent at all. This talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill him to ensure magic never returns. But while he gathers his allies, his own talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze.

 

As Jack learns the last generation of magicians was determined to prevent magic’s return, he begins to fear the destructive potential of his growing talent. Jack must decide whether his goals of restoring his memories and the power of his birthright are worth the consequences of unleashing magic back into the world.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I think this clarifies a lot of the issues you pointed out, pigeononthemoon. I'd be really interested if you still think the second example is stronger. 



#6 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:29 AM

 

Jack can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. [I vote for this to be your opening sentence. It's killer! Don't lengthen it or bury it, denying it of its full power!] Jack can convince anyone of almost anything, but even this power is not enough to ensure he can trust the people he must rely on. Jack Kenning’s talent may be the key to reversing the curse which stole magic from the modern world. The A curse ensures that nobody can speak freely about magic without fearing that their memories will be taken from them. [Don't say modern world. Give a U.S. city, a place, a real setting. Because "a modern world" could mean anything from 1950s Germany to 1988 Japan to 2017 America. Especially since your book title is at the end.)

 

Jack discovers this defense the hard way when he loses all of his memories of Anna., losing three years of his memory. [three years is less important than WHAT he loses] When an old companion he no longer trusts recruits him When a girl/woman/Anna invites him back into [back into? so he was in it before?] the quest to defeat the curse [again, I don't think the letter should say "the quest to defeat the curse." One more thing: if this is modern day, why is he going on a quest? Makes me think it's an Arthurian tale. It might work within the manuscript itself, but not in this query.], he’s shocked to learn he has a talent at all. This talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill him to ensure magic never returns. [<<This is much stronger than before.] But while he gathers his allies, his own talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. [Nice.]

 

As Jack learns the last generation of magicians was determined to prevent magic’s return, he begins to fear the destructive potential of his growing talent. Jack must decide whether his goals of restoring his memories and the power of his birthright are worth the consequences of unleashing magic back into the world. [This paragraph feels blah to me. It's a lot of new information when you're actually trying to wrap up the query, and it's not information you need to include. I'd spend more time focusing on the information in paragraphs one and two - especially the relationship with Anna. You should mention a maximum of three characters in a query (as a general rule of thumb). I think one is too few in this case - Jack is floating in an anchorless world with no apparent relationships to other people. Expand on Anna a bit, in my opinion!)

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) [title should be in all caps] is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

My cutting made things choppy. I didn't rewrite it, I just suggested a different order for things. It seems like you need to establish that Jack: 1) has a power 2) the power can be dangerous 3) there's a curse 4) it takes people's memories 5) mysterious old friend is back! 6) he can't remember her??? Think about how to best explain these components, and whether any of them can be taken out (although they do all seem essential). The first two sentences seem unrelated to each other right now. How can everything be connected? (I don't have answers, just trying to set off a potential light bulb). As always - good luck!



#7 darsenault

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:35 AM



 

 

Jack can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. [I vote for this to be your opening sentence. It's killer! Don't lengthen it or bury it, denying it of its full power!] Jack can convince anyone of almost anything, but even this power is not enough to ensure he can trust the people he must rely on. Jack Kenning’s talent may be the key to reversing the curse which stole magic from the modern world. The A curse ensures that nobody can speak freely about magic without fearing that their memories will be taken from them. [Don't say modern world. Give a U.S. city, a place, a real setting. Because "a modern world" could mean anything from 1950s Germany to 1988 Japan to 2017 America. Especially since your book title is at the end.)

 

Jack discovers this defense the hard way when he loses all of his memories of Anna., losing three years of his memory. [three years is less important than WHAT he loses] When an old companion he no longer trusts recruits him When a girl/woman/Anna invites him back into [back into? so he was in it before?] the quest to defeat the curse [again, I don't think the letter should say "the quest to defeat the curse." One more thing: if this is modern day, why is he going on a quest? Makes me think it's an Arthurian tale. It might work within the manuscript itself, but not in this query.], he’s shocked to learn he has a talent at all. This talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill him to ensure magic never returns. [<<This is much stronger than before.] But while he gathers his allies, his own talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. [Nice.]

 

As Jack learns the last generation of magicians was determined to prevent magic’s return, he begins to fear the destructive potential of his growing talent. Jack must decide whether his goals of restoring his memories and the power of his birthright are worth the consequences of unleashing magic back into the world. [This paragraph feels blah to me. It's a lot of new information when you're actually trying to wrap up the query, and it's not information you need to include. I'd spend more time focusing on the information in paragraphs one and two - especially the relationship with Anna. You should mention a maximum of three characters in a query (as a general rule of thumb). I think one is too few in this case - Jack is floating in an anchorless world with no apparent relationships to other people. Expand on Anna a bit, in my opinion!)

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) [title should be in all caps] is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

My cutting made things choppy. I didn't rewrite it, I just suggested a different order for things. It seems like you need to establish that Jack: 1) has a power 2) the power can be dangerous 3) there's a curse 4) it takes people's memories 5) mysterious old friend is back! 6) he can't remember her??? Think about how to best explain these components, and whether any of them can be taken out (although they do all seem essential). The first two sentences seem unrelated to each other right now. How can everything be connected? (I don't have answers, just trying to set off a potential light bulb). As always - good luck!

 

All of this criticism makes perfect sense. Rather than beat my head against the wall, I'm going to absorb what you said for the night and put up another draft tomorrow. Thank you!



#8 taylorhale

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:55 PM

All of this criticism makes perfect sense. Rather than beat my head against the wall, I'm going to absorb what you said for the night and put up another draft tomorrow. Thank you!

@darsenault I'll come back and critique your next draft then! feel free to nudge me on my post when it's ready, but I will also look out for it.



#9 darsenault

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:47 AM

Alright, I tried to focus much more heavily on Jack's power, at the exclusion of everything else. Also brought Anna back by name. Hopefully this draft is an improvement!

 

Although, the more I read over it, I'm starting to wonder if my second example up at the top might not be my best draft yet. I'll let my lovely critics decide!

 

 

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he had a talent at all.


Jack’s talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies his talent grows dangerously unpredictable until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna is keeping him ignorant to protect him from the curse which he believes stripped his memories, or from her ulterior motives.


As he experiences the danger of using even his simple talent, Jack must envision what the world will become if the talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.


#10 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:11 AM

 

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he hashad a talent at all. [Wow. I am FLOORED by how much better this is. So much information is conveyed but no words are wasted. It's clear, it's concise, and I'm interested.]
 

Jack’s talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies, [comma - again stopping to say this is so much better WOW] his talent grows dangerously unpredictable, [comma needed every time the subject changes] until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna is keeping him ignorant to protect him from the curse that which he believes stripped his memories, or from her ulterior motives. [This last sentence confuses me, I think primarily for grammatical reasons. But also...how would keeping him ignorant protect him from the curse? What might her ulterior motives be? I like Anna being a possibly sinister figure, but tell us more about her. What would she want that Jack doesn't?]

 

As he experiences the danger of using even his simple talent, Jack must envision what the world will become if the talented succeed ['the talented success' is a phrase that didn't read smoothly to me. Could be solved if you're willing to capitalize Talented, because otherwise I think you should use 'wizard,' 'magician,' 'magically gifted,' or something else.] in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

This is 5000% your best draft. I honestly think with just a bit of tweaking it will be ready to send out. Ahhh! I'm excited for you!



#11 darsenault

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:52 AM

Your praise means a great deal to me, Pigeon! If a few more people think this version nails the query, I might let it sit while I go back to editing the novel itself.

 

This new version includes answers to most of the changes Pigeon recommended above. The one line I'm still uncertain about is "or from her ulterior motives." I'm struggling to come up with a concise explanation of what those might be, especially since Jack doesn't quite know what he suspects himself until the very end.

 

 

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he has a Talent at all.


Jack’s Talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies, Jack’s Talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna keeps him ignorant to prevent the curse from stripping his memories of magic once more, or whether she's hiding ulterior motives.


As he experiences the danger of using even his simple Talent, Jack must envision what the world will become if the Talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences.



#12 ThatDan

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:49 AM

​Thanks for your feedback on my query. Returning the favor:

 

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth.​<for me personally, this doesn't quite seem to make sense. i feel it needs to be either  "can convince anyone of almost anything, except the truth" or "can convince anyone to do almost anything, except tell the truth" [in the former, Jack performs the actions. in the latter, the affected person performs the actions. the way you've worded it feels like it mixes the two. maybe just me though] This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he has a Talent at all.suggest: "forgotten his own Talent."

 

Jack’s Talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies,<"his" implies to me that he already has old allies, and he's gathering them up again (but I don't think that's what you're trying to say) Jack’s Talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until​and a simple lie isbecomes powerful enough to set a small town ablaze.​<using "until" implies that his Talent grows dangerous, but only until it sets the town ablaze, at which point it's not dangerous anymore Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success.​<this feels a little vague to me Jack questions whether Anna keeps him ignorant to prevent the curse from stripping his memories of magic once more,​<not sure if Jack can "question Anna keeping him ignorant to prevent the curse stripping him memories /again/", since he supposedly doesn't remember losing them the first time, right? or whether she's hiding ulterior motives.

 

As he experiences the danger of using even his simple Talent, Jack must envision what the world will become if the Talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks is worth those consequences. ​<I think you can cut "answers". imo sentence feels stronger without that added weight.

 

​Great work so far. There are just a few minor things that I knew what you meant, but the way it was worded felt a bit off. Only major thing I would mention is that things start to feel slightly vague towards the end. I never really get an idea how the curse holds back the magic, or how they're meant to undo it. This makes it harder to visualize what exactly they're trying to accomplish.

 

P.S. I didn't read any of the earlier versions, mainly so I could give you a fresh-eyes perspective on the current version. Keep at it, and if you're like me, you'll find that editing the story will help the query, and editing the query will help the story! (I think I edited my story 3 times whilst working on the query, each time making it better (I hope!).)


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

My query >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#13 darsenault

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:34 AM

 

 

​Great work so far. There are just a few minor things that I knew what you meant, but the way it was worded felt a bit off. Only major thing I would mention is that things start to feel slightly vague towards the end. I never really get an idea how the curse holds back the magic, or how they're meant to undo it. This makes it harder to visualize what exactly they're trying to accomplish.

 

P.S. I didn't read any of the earlier versions, mainly so I could give you a fresh-eyes perspective on the current version. Keep at it, and if you're like me, you'll find that editing the story will help the query, and editing the query will help the story! (I think I edited my story 3 times whilst working on the query, each time making it better (I hope!).)

Thanks a ton! I agreed with almost all of these suggestions, and you've given me some ideas to toy with for the next draft. 

I struggle with the balance of over-explaining vs. being too vague. Every new element seems to merit a wealth of questions and answers to match.



#14 ThatDan

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:49 PM

I'm facing the same problem with my query. So far the solution has been to simplify (even lie about) certain aspects in order to fit them into the query concisely, and focus more on the MC.

For example, in my query: the preternatural powers, the lore behind them, the way they exist hidden in plain sight, how they arise from personality traits, etc--all stuff that took too long to explain, and raised questions if I didn't explain then well enough. The solution that most critiquers seem to like so far: just call them psychic powers (technically not true) and move on.

Perhaps you have some elements that you can simplify for the sake of getting a clearer message across?

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

My query >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#15 taylorhale

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:43 PM

Hi there! Thank you so much for your comments on my query :-) here's what I think of yours so far. I hope this is the right draft to edit - I don't mind looking at another later as well.

 

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. (Ooh I like this) This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a the curse which that stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he has a Talent at all. ("Jack is intrigued" seems telly for a query, in my opinion. Or at least a little too simple. Maybe something like "Anna's request catches Jack's attention, but he can't help but be suspicious: he's lost his memory..." On that note I'm a little confused, to be honest! Prior to this sentence, does Jack know he has an ability? If he forgot, then he can't know prior to this sentence, it breaks the POV)

 

Jack’s Talent ("Talent" being capitalized is distracting - I get that it's the name for their power/ability, but it feels very weird to me) for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies, Jack’s Talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna keeps him ignorant to prevent the curse from stripping his memories of magic once more, or whether she's hiding ulterior motives. (There is some strong writing in this paragraph but I feel like it doesn't flow with the previous paragraph. I think that the previous paragraph is the problem, not this one. Perhaps you can combine them.)

 

As he experiences the danger of using even his simple Talent, Jack must envision what the world will become if the Talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences. (When did he start seeking a power? It seemed like Jack's powers became more of a burden to him, but now he is seeking more power? His motivations feel unclear and vague)

 

 

You have some excellent writing in here and I do see your plot, BUT I think that it's being worded in a bit of a confusing way, at least to me. You can ignore my comment on the capitalization of Talent - that was just a thought I had. Though I do feel a different word for their abilities would have more bite and be more unique than the word "talent", you know? I can't help but think that something stronger would help your MS stand out more.

 

I'll come back and look at your next revision! :-)



#16 AmberA

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:11 PM

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he has a Talent at all ( This reads awkward. I like your opening overall, but I would work on this last sentence. We don't know what Talent so maybe just leave it on the second para. where you describe it a little more. That way you wouldn't be confusing anyone) .


Jack’s Talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But While he gathers his allies, Jack’s Talent grows dangerously unpredictable, until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze.  Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the cost for success costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna keeps him ignorant to prevent the curse from stripping his memories of magic once more, or whether she's hiding ulterior motives( This is vague... Not sure what you mean by this. What other motives does she have?).


As he experiences the danger of using even his simple Talent( What is his simple talent? ), Jack must envision what the world will become if the Talented( Now I'm confused. There's a group of Talented people? You never mentioned that before. You should elaborate on this a little more )  succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks are worth those consequences( This is vague.) .

 

 

Hey! So overall you have a good plot. Ive read over your previous revisions and this is by far getting better within each draft. I recommended a few changes. Some of your sentences are either vague or confusing and you don't want any sort of confusion on your query. Maybe by even adding one word can make your vague and unclear sentences better. I hope this help. Ill be looking out for your next revision (: So keep at it! Good luck  :wink: 


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#17 darsenault

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:40 PM

Thanks to everyone for the latest rounds of feedback! It's great seeing what one person thinks is clear, and another... not so much. I've got word-count to spare in my latest drafts, so I might try fleshing a few things out before my next revision.

 

Thanks!



#18 Kelz1990

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:59 PM

Jack Kenning can convince anyone of almost anything, except to tell the truth. This ability earns him an invitation from his old friend, Anna, to cross the United States and attempt to reverse a curse which that stole magic from the world. Jack is intrigued, but any request of Anna’s is suspicious: (no colon is needed, you can just end this sentence with a period). Jack has lost most of his memory of the three years they spent together, and even that he had a talent at all including his talent for persuasion.

 

Jack’s talent for persuasion is his primary defense against the hunters who would kill to prevent the resurgence of magic. But while he gathers his allies his talent grows dangerously unpredictable until a simple lie is powerful enough to set a small town ablaze. Magic must be restored so that Jack can control his power, but nobody will tell him the costs of success. Jack questions whether Anna is keeping him ignorant to protect him from the curse which he believes stripped him of his memories, or from her ulterior motives.

 

As he experiences the danger of using even his simple talent, Jack must envision what the world will would become if the talented succeed in bringing magic back, and whether the answers and power he seeks (add comma here), are worth those consequences.

 

Magica Americana (XXX,XXX words) is a modern fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.







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

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