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The Fate of the Fallen


Best Answer PureZhar3 , 19 February 2018 - 08:03 PM

I agree with Inloft. Also: if you're going to use the phrase "the truth Book of Revelations" or "the key to the Apocalypse" or that kind of thing, you'll have to be clear what that is. An agent may not be familiar with those terms or the Biblical references(heck, I've read through the whole Bible, and I'm not even totally sure what you're trying to say by it)

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#1 riseofdarkness

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 04:31 AM

Hi AgentQuery-ers,

 

This is my third version of my query - yet I am still not sure whether it is Literary Agent ready yet. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks

 

Kess Grayson finds herself embroiled in a world she barely knew existed, where Angels and Demons not only exist but will kill her (or torture her) for her forbidden ChroniclerAngel bloodline.

 

Determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing which appeared one morning covering her body, Kess seeks the aid of a Scribe of Heaven. However, her hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the ARC, the true Book of Revelations.

The emergence of the ARC breaks the first seal releasing WAR, a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and with him, a massive Demonic army.

 

When the Guardian forces gather to contain the Demons, Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving her warrior friends.

 

But if she has misunderstood the Scribe's cryptic prophecy, she might be serving the darkness instead of the light.



#2 1cezman

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 06:22 AM

Hey. Hope you're doing well.

 

So I've never really critiqued a query letter before nor am I an expert on writing one(hence my presence on this forum) but I'm a reader so take my words more as the guy that picks up your book, reads the synopsis and either puts it back or keeps reading.

 

 

That said, onto the work.

 

 

 

Kess Grayson finds herself embroiled in a world she barely knew existed, where Angels and Demons not only exist but will kill her (or torture her) for her forbidden ChroniclerAngel bloodline.

 

 

 

Okay, so if I find this on the back of a novel, chances are, I'm putting it down. This is not to say the premise is bad but rather, it sounds like it's been done before. I mean, certainly, most stories have been told a million times over and all we do is add our own twists to it but that's exactly while I'd put this down. I'm sure you have your own take on the subject and it could be one of the most interesting takes ever but the second I see the mention of Angels and Demons,  I immediately think "been there done that". What I'm saying is, maybe don't give the whole picture away so soon.

 

 

 

Determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing which appeared one morning covering her body, Kess seeks the aid of a Scribe of Heaven. 

 

This is perfect. I reckon it'd do much better as a hook. Maybe you start with this and put more of the focus on the idea of writing suddenly appearing on Kess. This would have any reader intrigued to find out what is going on--after all literary agents are readers too right? Hook them in and leave them wanting to know more, I always say.

 

 

I hope my words are of some help...little as they may be.

Good luck and keep writing. :)


Would really appreciate a little feedback on my first 250 words: http://agentquerycon...ya-sci-fantasy/


#3 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:28 AM

Writing query letters is hard work, for sure! :) Let's see what crit I can offer...

 

Hi AgentQuery-ers,

 

This is my third version of my query - yet I am still not sure whether it is Literary Agent ready yet. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks


 

Kess Grayson finds herself embroiled in a world she barely knew existed, where Angels and Demons not only exist but will kill her (or torture her) for her forbidden ChroniclerAngel bloodline. [The word "exist" is used twice, so I think you need to find a replacement for one of them. Perhaps use "thrive" or "dwell" instead of "exist" in the second instance?]

[Second point: this isn't really a great "hook" sentence. It doesn't pique my curiosity or grab me emotionally. Maybe you could tell us a bit about Kess? Something like: "Kess's painful awareness of always being different, of never fitting in with those around her, suddenly makes sense when she learns that she isn't fully human after all."]

 

 

Determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing which appeared one morning covering her body [I think you can leave out the "one morning" and just say "which appeared suddenly and covered her whole body"], Kess seeks the aid of a Scribe of Heaven. However, her hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the ARC, the true Book of Revelations. [ARC? I would stop reading here. You need to spell this out for the reader. :)]

The emergence of the ARC breaks the first seal releasing WAR, a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and with him, a massive Demonic army. [Since this is in smaller text, I'm not sure if it's actually included in the query or is just a note which will NOT appear in the query. If it's meant for the query, I think it needs to be rephrased a bit: "The emergence of the ARC will break the first seal releasing War (not all in caps)..."]

 

When the Guardian forces gather to contain the Demons [we need this expanded a bit -- who are the Guardians in relation to Kess? could they be mentioned in relation to the Scribe earlier?], Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving her warrior friends. [Need a bit of emotional content to grab the reader. HOW is Kess sacrificing herself? Boldly? Desperately? Sorrowfully? Eagerly? Fanatically?]

 

But if she has misunderstood the Scribe's cryptic prophecy, she might be serving the darkness instead of the light. [Again, I'd love to see a bit of expansion on this. HOW will this serve the darkness? What are the consequences? Will her death break open another seal? What's at stake?]

 

Hope that helps. :) I look forward to seeing your next version! I think you have an interesting premise here (although with it's heavy Christian themes it's not a book I would read myself), you just need to punch up your query to sell it in the best possible light.



#4 Springfield

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 11:25 AM

Isn't there already a thread for this?



#5 PureZhar3

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 12:14 PM

For future note, you are not supposed to create a new topic for the same query - you should post the edited version within the old topic.

Hi AgentQuery-ers,

 

This is my third version of my query - yet I am still not sure whether it is Literary Agent ready yet. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks

 

Kess Grayson finds herself embroiled in a world she barely knew existed, where Angels and Demons not only exist but will kill her (or torture her) ​generally, don't do parentheses (too informal), particularly not in the hook for her forbidden ChroniclerAngel bloodline. ​This doesn't hook me. It sounds like a ton of paranormal books that already exist

 

Determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing which appeared one morning covering her body, ​see, now, this is interesting. Why don't you put this as the hook? Kess seeks the aid of a Scribe of Heaven ​I don't know what this is. Tell me. However, her hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the ARC, the true Book of Revelations. ​so, she's a book? And the markings are words? Give me more information here.

The emergence of the ARC breaks the first seal releasing WAR, a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and with him, a massive Demonic army. ​Why is so much capitalized?

 

When the Guardian forces gather to contain the Demons, Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving her warrior friends. ​How does she sacrifice herself? Killing herself? Does it work? I had no idea she was a warrior prior to the markings until now. Tell me more. I have no sense of who Kess is

 

But if she has misunderstood the Scribe's cryptic prophecy ​what prophecy? I thought he told her that she was the ARC. seems pretty straightforward to me, she might be serving the darkness instead of the light. ​this is too intangible to have major tension

​This is too vague to have real power and tension. I need some kind of clear idea of the world and the stakes. Right now, I'm just getting Angels vs. Demons, which is pretty much most paranormals. Also, there's a ton of book lingo that I don't understand - Scribe of Heaven? Chronicler? true Book of Revelations? What?

​Also, a lot is capitalized that I am not convinced should be capitalized. 

 

All that to say - no, I do not think this is Literary Agent ready yet


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


#6 Temeraire

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 12:22 PM

Kess Grayson finds herself embroiled in a world she barely knew existed She barely knew? That implies she knew it existed a little, where Angels and Demons not only exist but will kill her (or torture her) I'd pick one phrase to sum up the stakes, not use brackets and two options for her forbidden ChroniclerAngel bloodline. If I'm completely honest, this is where you'd lose me because it doesn't sound like the most original of set-ups. But I could be wrong, and I am biased by not really liking paranormal

 

Determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing which appeared one morning covering her body I would go with this as your opening - normal girl wakes up one morning covered in weird writing. That's a cool opening, Kess seeks the aid of a Scribe of Heaven How does she know where to find one? Is it a feature of this world that everyone knows where Scribes hang out?. However, her hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the ARC, the true Book of Revelations.

The emergence of the ARC breaks the first seal releasing WAR, a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and with him, a massive Demonic army.

 

When the Guardian forces What Guardians? Who are they? Are they helping Kess or against her? gather to contain the Demons, Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving her warrior friends. This sounds like the ending. If it is the ending I'd take it out. 

 

But if she has misunderstood the Scribe's cryptic prophecy, she might be serving the darkness instead of the light. 

 

I'm a bit muddled about what the story is really about. I really like the cool image of Kess waking up covered in cryptic writing, but I want to get a feel for her and her voice, how she reacts to that, what sort of emotional journey she's goes through during the story. Like her warrior friends - who are they? Are they new friends she makes after meeting the Scribe? Are they old friends she has who have become warriors? Who are the Guardians? Does it matter if Kess ends up serving the darkness? 


If I've helped you with your query, I'd love if you would take a look at mine! 

 

UNICORN (gothic fantasy) 

Query letter 


#7 riseofdarkness

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:48 AM

Thanks to everyone who commented. There is another post (as a newbie to AgentQuery, I wasn't sure how to finalise a post or delete it. Thus a new post with the change of direction of my series.

 

With the help of the above comments I have revised. Love to know if this is any better. 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body, which nobody seems to be able to understand.

 

Kess is a Chronicler, or was, until she broke erudite tradition and asked the Guardian warriors to train her. Now she doesn’t know who she is.

 

Thrain Storgaard, former Guardian Commander of Athenaeum, believes all Chroniclers are all craven fools, yet somehow Kess has skirted his animosity and gained his respect.

 

Despite her Guardians scepticism, Kess and her companions leave their Haven travelling to Rome in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question.

 

Kess’s hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns that she is the true Book of Revelations, a guide to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell.

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

Knowing the final battle is approaching the warriors, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid of their Guardians. Yet while the leaders of Bandar and Asile pledge their allegiance, things are not as they seem in Weichen where Kess is struck insensate by the Haven’s protective Obiex stone and the Guardian leader is being controlled by an outsider.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving their outnumbered army and her companions.

 

 

But if Kess has misunderstood the translation of the writing covering her, she might be serving the darkness instead of light and breaking another seal releasing more of hells horrors upon the world.



#8 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:59 AM

Overall this is a stronger effort than your first query attempt. :) It still needs some fine-tuning, though. Don't be discouraged -- I've been through fifteen iterations of my own query letter... it's a long-term project, in most cases!

 


Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body, which nobody seems to be able to understand. (Now THAT is a hook, in my opinion!)

 

Kess is a Chronicler (using "Kess is" in two adjacent paragarphs is a bit repetitive, perhaps try to rephrase this? how about "Kess loved being a Chronicler, or did, until..." which also adds some emotional stakes to the pot.), or was, until she broke erudite (too fancy a word, use something simpler) tradition and asked the Guardian warriors to train her. Now she doesn’t know who she is.

 

Thrain Storgaard, former Guardian Commander of Athenaeum, believes all Chroniclers are all (remove one of the "all"s) craven fools, yet somehow (too vague. HOW did she do it?) Kess has skirted his animosity and gained his respect.

 

Despite her Guardians (possessive, either "Guardian's" or "Guardians'") scepticism, Kess and her companions leave their Haven (add comma) travelling to Rome (wait, this is in a version of the Real World? this should be mentioned earlier in some way) in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question.

 

Kess’s hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns that she is the true Book of Revelations, a guide to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell. (This is much clearer than your first attempt, and MUCH more interesting. Hurray! But shouldn't it be Heaven AND Hell?)

 

(add double space)

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

Knowing the final battle is approaching (add comma) the warriors (which warriors? Kess's party?), led by Thrain (explain who he is), approach the other Havens seeking aid of (should be "from") their Guardians. Yet while the leaders of Bandar and Asile pledge their allegiance, things are not as they seem in Weichen where Kess is struck insensate by the Haven’s protective Obiex stone (add comma) and the Guardian leader is being controlled by an outsider. (This is a long sentence containing too much information. Maybe break it up?)

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess sacrifices herself in the hopes of saving their outnumbered army and her companions.

(remove a space)

 

But if Kess has misunderstood the translation of the writing covering her (add "body" or "skin"), she might be serving the darkness instead of light and breaking another seal releasing more of hells (capitalize and add a possessive comma, "Hell's") horrors upon the world.

 

As noted, overall this is a LOT stronger, and I like it a lot better. Good second effort! I look forward to your next kick at the can. :)



#9 Temeraire

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:15 PM

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body, which nobody seems to be able to understand. This is a better opening, but it sounds like her problem is that no one understands the writing, not that she woke up one day with it all over her. 

 

Kess is a Chronicler, or was, until she broke erudite tradition and asked the Guardian warriors to train her. Can you give a hint about what Chroniclers and Guardians do and are? Now she doesn’t know who she is. She asked, breaking tradition, but does that mean she succeeded? "she doesn't know who she is" is interesting but also vague. Does this mean she doesn't see a future for herself, or she's wondering what future path to take, or what? 

 

Thrain Storgaard, former Guardian Commander of Athenaeum this title doesn't really mean anything at this point, and just adds in more words to be explained, believes all Chroniclers are all craven fools why?, yet somehow Kess has skirted his animosity and gained his respect. how? 

 

Despite her Guardians So she has a Guardian of her own? scepticism, Kess and her companions Who are her companions? Just something like "her best friend Bob" would help leave their Haven what? travelling to Rome in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question. What prompts this move? 

 

Kess’s hopes that the markings will vanish are dashed when she learns that she is I wouldn't italicise this the true Book of Revelations, a guide to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell. Does this mean she, as a whole person, is the Book, or that she is now the Book because of the writing? Is the writing the Book? If the writing went away, would she still be the Book? What if she wrote down everything on her skin, would that change anything, now that there are two copies of the Book? 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities what emergence? breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

Knowing the final battle is approaching, the warriors what warriors?, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid of their Guardians. Yet while the leaders of Bandar and Asile pledge their allegiance, things are not as they seem in Weichen at this point, these names don't mean anything where Kess is struck insensate by the Haven’s protective Obiex stone and the Guardian leader is being controlled by an outsider. There's so many fantasy words in this sentence, and it's too long.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess sacrifices herself like she dies? in the hopes of saving their outnumbered army and her companions.

 

 

But if Kess has misunderstood the translation of the writing covering her, she might be serving the darkness instead of light and breaking another seal releasing more of hells horrors upon the world. Spelling this out so directly implies that yes, this is what happens. 

 

 

This is better than the first draft, but it's difficult to see a solid structure or where the plot's going. I don't think you need to mention Thrain - he doesn't appear to have much impact on the main story, and if he does then we need to see his connection to Kess more clearly. Are they lovers? Friends? Does he go with her to see the Augur? The previous draft made it sound like Kess was an ordinary normal human, but this draft makes it sound like she's already in the fantasy world, in her position as a Chronicler. What is the inciting incident that kicks off all the action? Is it the writing appearing on Kess' body or her breaking tradition and going with the Guardians? I'd start with that inciting incident and build from that and its consequences. 


If I've helped you with your query, I'd love if you would take a look at mine! 

 

UNICORN (gothic fantasy) 

Query letter 


#10 riseofdarkness

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:32 AM

Thank you again to everyone who has commented on my post, I really ​appreciate all of your help. 

Fries and light - your unicorn sounds interesting and your query has made good progress.

Her is version 5 now. Hopefully this has covered some of the very valid point made. Hopefully I have given the query purpose and a story point now.  :smile: 

 

 

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body.

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians. Then her life changed forever; demon attacks, discovering an ability to bond angels and the appearance of the writing tattooing her.

 

Thrain Storgaard is a Guardian, a warrior responsible for the protection of the Haven, which lies hidden within the modern–day world. Thrain believes – through a lifetime of experience – that all Chroniclers are spineless cravens, yet through her dedication to training Kess has slowly, grudgingly, if not gained his respect then lessened his antipathy.

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, and more importantly if they will go away, Kess, Thrain and the three other warriors who have become her protectors, leave the Haven. Despite the Guardians scepticism they travel to Rome, following clues in a sketchy old book, in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question.

 

Yet Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell.

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

Knowing the final battle is approaching, Kess’s warriors, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid from their Guardians against the gathering demon army. But with demonic supporters entrenched in the Havens, Kess and her companions don’t know who they can trust.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess must weigh her belief in the fates of the writing – sacrificing herself to War – against the consequences of disbelief – the defeat of their outnumbered army and the loss of her companions.



#11 JP1994

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body. (Yawn. Not an eye-catching hook)

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians. Then her life changed forever; demon attacks, discovering an ability to bond angels and the appearance of the writing tattooing her. (Last sentence is awkwardly written. I don't get what you mean by 'bond angels' and the final clause looks weird. Better off with something like, 'and the sudden appearance of weird inscriptions along her body.')

 

Thrain Storgaard is a Guardian, (Very sudden jump to a new character) a warrior responsible for the protection of the Haven, which lies hidden within the modern–day world. Thrain believes – through a lifetime of experience – that all Chroniclers are spineless cravens, yet through her dedication to training Kess has slowly, grudgingly, if not gained his respect then lessened his antipathy. (I'd rewrite this whole part from Kess's perspective, how she comes under Thrain's tutelage and proves that, even as a Chronicler, she can be powerful. Best to stick to one perspective for a query, otherwise it gets too complicated)

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, and more importantly if they will go away, Kess, Thrain and the three other warriors who have become her protectors, leave the Haven. Despite the Guardians scepticism they travel to Rome, following clues in a sketchy old book, in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question. (You include details that belong in a synopsis and not a query. You don't need to mention every plot device in a query; just the ones that propel the appeal of the story)

 

Yet Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell. (This is interesting.)

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

Knowing the final battle is approaching, Kess’s warriors, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid from their Guardians against the gathering demon army. But with demonic supporters entrenched in the Havens, Kess and her companions don’t know who they can trust. (This whole part is too convoluted. I'd condense and focus more on Kess's abilities, how they unleash the impending clash between heaven and hell. It's also not a good idea to introduce a third main character to a query. You'll either have to omit Thrain or War, and stick with the character who has the most impact on the story)

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess must weigh her belief in the fates of the writing – sacrificing herself to War (?) – against the consequences of disbelief – the defeat of their outnumbered army and the loss of her companions. (She must choose between sacrificing herself or living on and endangering her friends? These stakes are bit too revealing. Generalise a little bit, make them more romantic-sounding)

 

This query reads too much like a synopsis. A query should be sharp, personal, and succinct. Some bits could do with a rewrite, while others can be cut entirely without hurting the query.

 

Focus on Kess. She sounds like the most interesting character. She's a Chronicler who trains in secret as a Guardian, but these inscriptions appear on her. When they follow a lead to Rome to learn more about it, her hidden powers unleash, starting a war between the Havens and the demons. She must now prove her mettle as a warrior and defeat the hellish army she summoned, at any cost including her life.



#12 galian84

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:39 AM

Thank you again to everyone who has commented on my post, I really ​appreciate all of your help. 

Fries and light - your unicorn sounds interesting and your query has made good progress.

Her is version 5 now. Hopefully this has covered some of the very valid point made. Hopefully I have given the query purpose and a story point now.  :smile:

 

 

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body. (This reads as a little vague with the "is determined to". I like what you're conveying, but it doesn't grab me)

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians. Then her life changed forever; (cliché sentence) demon attacks, discovering an ability to bond angels and the appearance of the writing tattooing her. (unfortunately you lost me with this sentence :/)

 

Thrain Storgaard is a Guardian, a warrior responsible for the protection of the Haven, which lies hidden within the modern–day world. Thrain believes – through a lifetime of experience – that all Chroniclers are spineless cravens, yet through her dedication to training Kess has slowly, grudgingly, if not gained his respect then lessened his antipathy. (Was jarred by the sudden change in POV, try to keep this focused on Kess' POV)

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, and more importantly if they will go away, Kess, Thrain and the three other warriors who have become her protectors (who are these warriors? Where does she find/meet them?), leave the Haven. Despite the Guardians scepticism they travel to Rome, following clues in a sketchy old book, in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question(You don't bring up the Augur again later) 

 

Yet Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell. (This is good, consider mentioning this earlier in the query. *This* is what would grab my attention)

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities (what kind of abilities?) breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army. (Okay, here's the meat of your story...consider starting your query off with this)

Knowing the final battle is approaching, Kess’s warriors, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid from their Guardians against the gathering demon army. But with demonic supporters entrenched in the Havens, Kess and her companions don’t know who they can trust. (How important is Thrain in all this? Sounds like he's just taking up space. I'm sure he has a much more significant role in your MS, but your query should be concise and focused)

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess must weigh her belief in the fates of the writing – sacrificing herself to War – against the consequences of disbelief – the defeat of their outnumbered army and the loss of her companions. (This whole sentence is confusing...I'm gathering that she either needs to sacrifice herself or protect her army? I'm not 100% clear)

Hi, Rise :) Fresh eyes. JP gave some great advice. Just want to say I love your concept, and am a sucker for a well-told Angels vs Demons story! Your story sounds interesting, but your query letter is way too bogged down in too much unnecessary detail, and reads more like a synopsis. Would suggest focusing on Kess, since she seems to be the protagonist, and focusing the query letter through her POV (was a lesson I had to learn when I did my own query letter, too). Unfortunately, you lost me at several points, as to what exactly is going on. My $0.02 above. I'm no expert, so take from this what you will!



#13 riseofdarkness

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:56 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I have taken the advice of the last two posts and removed the first hook line and replaced it and also focused the query more on Kess than other characters. Please let me know if this version is any better. Thanks 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson has an ability that supposedly died out centuries ago. She can form a mind to mind bond with an Angel. But unlike anything previously known there doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of angels – or demons – she can form a bond with. 

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians responsible for protecting the Havens, which lie hidden within the modern-day world.

 

But it’s the writing which suddenly appeared covering Kess’s body that concerns her more.

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, Kess leaves the Haven and travels to Rome with the four warriors who have become her protectors. Following the clues in a sketchy old book they search for an Augur – a mythical being who can answer any question. Yet the answers she is given are not what she expected.

 

 

Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell.

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing a horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demon army, Kess must decide whether she believes the cryptic writing covering her body holds the key to saving her warrior companions.



#14 PureZhar3

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 04:28 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I have taken the advice of the last two posts and removed the first hook line and replaced it and also focused the query more on Kess than other characters. Please let me know if this version is any better. Thanks 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson has an ability that supposedly died out centuries ago. She can form a mind to mind bond with an Angel. But unlike anything previously known there doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of angels – or demons – she can form a bond with. 

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians responsible for protecting the Havens, which lie hidden within the modern-day world.

 

But it’s the writing which suddenly appeared covering Kess’s body that concerns her more.

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, Kess leaves the Haven and travels to Rome with the four warriors who have become her protectors. Following the clues in a sketchy old book they search for an Augur – a mythical being who can answer any question. Yet the answers she is given are not what she expected.

 

 

Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell.

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing a horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demon army, Kess must decide whether she believes the cryptic writing covering her body holds the key to saving her warrior companions.

​This is reading far more like a synopsis than a query. Furthermore, there's still lots of book lingo that I don't understand. The italics don't add anything; I'm not completely sure why you emphasized those words, as they were strange ones to emphasize. Overall, I don't get a sense of who Tess is or what the actual stakes of. Also, start where the story starts. Because I currently am not sure what point that is.


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


#15 riseofdarkness

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:07 AM

I have become totally bogged down in the confusing realm of constructing a query letter, and utterly bewildered as to how to write a good generalisation of the manuscript without providing too much information that it becomes a synopsis, yet having a great hook line..... I have totally reconstructed my query from previous posts. and was wondering if this was any better.....

Is it to short? Does it contain enough information? Is the hook line interesting and unique enough to keep a LA interest? HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson is the true Book of Revelations, the key to the Apocalypse, for Heaven or Hell.

The cryptic writing which suddenly appeared covering her body, have become Kess’s deadliest secret, one that she must do everything in her power to prevent anyone from finding out about.

But when a horseman of the Apocalypse is released and with him a demonic army, Kess must trust in the warriors who have become her closest companions and the Angels who will stop at nothing to protect her, even against their own kind.



#16 lnloft

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:18 AM

I have become totally bogged down in the confusing realm of constructing a query letter, and utterly bewildered as to how to write a good generalisation of the manuscript without providing too much information that it becomes a synopsis, yet having a great hook line..... I have totally reconstructed my query from previous posts. and was wondering if this was any better.....

Is it to short? Does it contain enough information? Is the hook line interesting and unique enough to keep a LA interest? HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson is the true Book of Revelations, the key to the Apocalypse, for Heaven or Hell. I don't know what this means.

The cryptic writing which that suddenly appeared covering her body, have has become Kess’s deadliest secret, one that she must do everything in her power to prevent anyone from finding out about.

But when a horseman of the Apocalypse is released and with him a demonic army, Kess must trust in the warriors who have become her closest companions and the Angels who will stop at nothing to protect her, even against their own kind. Yeah, but who are these warriors and Angels, and when did they start working together? Plus, Kess isn't really doing anything here, she's just letting others take care of it. What must KESS do?

Brevity is a powerful tool, but I think in this case you are too short. However, you are heading in the right direction. I'd start with the writing suddenly appearing across her body as your hook, but give some context about when it's happening. "Kess Grayson is in the middle of biology class when cryptic writing suddenly appears across her body." Of that ilk. Tweak to make it sound good and obviously to fit your story. Then go from there to some details about what she does as a reaction. "Determined to figure out what happened, Kess goes to the library and begins researching." Then just keep showing us what happens, until we get to to the horseman of the Apocalypse. Again, what must Kess do against him, and what happens if she fails? Good luck.


If you found my feedback useful, I'd appreciate yours: Ouroboros


#17 PureZhar3

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:03 PM   Best Answer

I agree with Inloft. Also: if you're going to use the phrase "the truth Book of Revelations" or "the key to the Apocalypse" or that kind of thing, you'll have to be clear what that is. An agent may not be familiar with those terms or the Biblical references(heck, I've read through the whole Bible, and I'm not even totally sure what you're trying to say by it)


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


#18 Emily804

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:20 PM

Thank you again to everyone who has commented on my post, I really ​appreciate all of your help. 

Fries and light - your unicorn sounds interesting and your query has made good progress.

Her is version 5 now. Hopefully this has covered some of the very valid point made. Hopefully I have given the query purpose and a story point now.  :smile:

 

 

Kess Grayson is determined to rid herself of the cryptic writing covering her body.

What about this? "Kess Grayson's body is covered in cryptic writing, and she is determined to rid herself of it."

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians. Then her life changed forever; demon attacks, discovering an ability to bond angels and the appearance of the writing tattooing her.

 

Thrain Storgaard is a Guardian, a warrior responsible for the protection of the Haven, which lies hidden within the modern–day world. Thrain believes – through a lifetime of experience – that all Chroniclers are spineless cravens, yet through her dedication to training Kess has slowly, grudgingly, if not gained his respect then lessened his antipathy.

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, and more importantly if they will go away, Kess, Thrain and the three other warriors who have become her protectors, leave the Haven. Despite the Guardians scepticism they travel to Rome, following clues in a sketchy old book, in search of an Augur, a mythical being able to answer any question.

 

Yet Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell. ​(How can a person be a book? This concept is very confusing. Also, Revelations prophesies the apocalypse, it was things people wrote down, the book itself doesn't physically control it.) 

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing War, a Horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

Knowing the final battle is approaching, Kess’s warriors, led by Thrain, approach the other Havens seeking aid from their Guardians against the gathering demon army. But with demonic supporters entrenched in the Havens, Kess and her companions don’t know who they can trust.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demonic army, Kess must weigh her belief in the fates of the writing – sacrificing herself to War – against the consequences of disbelief – the defeat of their outnumbered army and the loss of her companions.

 

Try using more simple language. I'm actually not sure why this is exactly, but this query is hard to follow. Also, check your word count, are you above 350? 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#19 Emily804

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:28 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I have taken the advice of the last two posts and removed the first hook line and replaced it and also focused the query more on Kess than other characters. Please let me know if this version is any better. Thanks 

 

 

 

Kess Grayson has an ability that supposedly died out centuries ago. She can form a mind to mind bond with an Angel. But unlike anything previously known there doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of angels – or demons – she can form a bond with. 

 

A Chronicler by birth, yet bored by the glorified librarian lifestyle, Kess broke scholarly tradition and trained with the warrior Guardians responsible for protecting the Havens, which lie hidden within the modern-day world.

 

But it’s the writing which suddenly appeared covering Kess’s body that concerns her more.​  Try this: "When writing suddenly appears all over Kess's body, she becomes desperate to find out what the markings mean. Kess leaves the Haven and travels to Rome..."

 

Desperate to find out what the markings mean, Kess leaves the Haven and travels to Rome with the four warriors who have become her protectors. Following the clues in a sketchy old book they search for an Augur – a mythical being who can answer any question. Yet the answers she is given are not what she expected.

 

 

Kess’s hopes that the writing will vanish are dashed when she learns she is the true Book of Revelations, a key to the Apocalypse for Heaven or Hell.

 

The emergence of Kess’s abilities breaks the first seal releasing a horseman of the Apocalypse and with him, a massive demonic army.

 

When the Haven forces gather to contain the demon army, Kess must decide whether she believes the cryptic writing covering her body holds the key to saving her warrior companions.

I feel like you could almost start this query with: "As a librarian, Kess has always loved books, but she never suspected that she herself, was a book. When cryptic writing suddenly appears all over her body, Kess is desperate to find out what it means. She journeys to Rome with four warriors and learns that she may be the key to the Apocalypse. She will determine weather the world becomes Heaven or Hell." 

 

The fact that Kess ​is ​a book is super interesting even if it is confusing. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/





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