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Untitled YA Contemporary Fantasy UPDATE #4


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#1 JP1994

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:14 PM

Hi, guys. Need some help with a query. Already gotten some critiques on it, but I'd like your input if you have any to offer. I'm willing to return the favour to those who ask.

 

NEWEST VERSION #4

 

Without further ado:

 

Dear Agent,

 

[PERSONALIZATION]

 

After a psycho kills his brother, a recession threatens his family, and a bully ruins his adolescence, it’s no surprise seventeen-year-old David Morrison thinks that the world is unfair. What does surprise him is the supernatural being who offers him the power to change it.

 

During one chance encounter outside London, a homeless man gives David a powerful ability: to control people’s minds by shaking their hands. David plans to send his bully to a far-away country, but when he possesses the guy’s parents and accidentally kills them, he realises that this gift is not to be toyed with, and that if he wants to create a world free of injustices, he must focus on the strongest of them. One happens to be Britain’s crooked government. With the ability to make puppets out of anyone, infiltrating and peeling the system open from the inside should be child’s play.

 

But a supernatural handshake doesn’t make David bulletproof. Not against someone who sends him weird e-mails, claiming to know about his secret power. As David exposes the secrets of Britain’s elites and instigates a middle-class revolution, the stalker throws armed thugs and traps in his direction, disrupting David’s every move. No matter how hard he tries, David can't track this guy down, nor figure out why the hell he's doing it. Not even when the scumbag targets his family.

 

Caught in a line of fire he can’t see nor find, David learns that even with the power of kings in his hand, creating a perfect world may require more blood than he’s willing to spill.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, If I Were King is a contemporary-fantasy novel for young adult readers with sequel potential

 

<script> </script>


Edited by JP1994, 15 February 2018 - 05:08 PM.


#2 SnowFox23

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:09 AM

Dear Agent,

 

[PERSONALIZATION]

I think agents said they prefer the personalisation stuff to go at the end.

 

After a psycho kills his brother, a recession threatens his family, and a bully ruins his adolescence, it’s no surprise seventeen-year-old David Morrison thinks that the world is unfair. What does surprise him is the supernatural being who offers him the power to change it.

That's not a bad opening, actually.

 

During one chance encounter outside London, a homeless man gives David a powerful ability: to control people’s minds by shaking their hands. David plans to send his bully to a far-away country, Screw the bully, if a psycho had killed my brother I would be using my kick-ass new skill to track the mofo down. But each to their own.

 

but when he possesses the guy’s parents and accidentally kills them, he realises that this gift is not to be toyed with, and that if he wants to create a world free of injustices, he must focus on the strongest of them. I don't quite get what you mean by 'focus on the strongest of them'. I know you mean rid the world of injustice, but you might need to use a different word than strongest. It's coming off a bit clumsy.

 

One happens to be Britain’s crooked government. With the ability to make puppets out of anyone, infiltrating and peeling the system open from the inside should be child’s play.

 

But a supernatural handshake doesn’t make David bulletproof. Not against someone who sends him weird e-mails, claiming to know about his secret power. As David exposes the secrets of Britain’s elites and instigates a middle-class revolution, the stalker throws armed thugs and traps in his direction, disrupting David’s every move. No matter how hard he tries, David can't track this guy down, nor figure out why the hell he's doing it. Not even when the scumbag targets his family.

 

Caught in a line of fire he can’t see nor find, David learns that even with the power of kings in his hand, creating a perfect world may require more blood than he’s willing to spill.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, If I Were King is a contemporary-fantasy novel for young adult readers with sequel potential

 

Okay. Firstly, well done because I get the most important stuff: Who is the MC, what are the stakes, etc. One thing however is missing. What does he want? I vaguely get that he wants to rid the world of injustice because he has faced a lot of it in his life already. Maybe tell us that though. It helps us sympathise with him. At the moment it is a bit disjointed. It's like all this terrible stuff happened to him, but HOW DOES HE FEEL ABOUT IT? I would imagine he is f##### enraged. There is the emotion. He wants to rid the world of injustice because he has gone through a #### tonne of things, and he doesn't want to see any more suffering. And he is mega pissed that this new moron has come along to stop his quest.

 

The query is too polite. Because right now it's like, David has gone through a lot. David has a new supernatural ability. David exposes the government. Someone is trying to stop David. The End.

 

Show me the voice of David. Use your expressive language to make me care about him about his journey.



#3 smithgirl

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:11 PM

Dear Agent,

 

[PERSONALIZATION] Yes, usually personalization goes at the end. Although to be fair some people like to keep it at the beginning anyway.

 

After a psycho kills his brother, a recession threatens his family, and a bully ruins his adolescence, it’s no surprise seventeen-year-old David Morrison thinks that the world is unfair. What does surprise him is the supernatural being who offers him the power to change it. Good hook!

 

One day During a one chance encounter outside London, a homeless man gives David a powerful ability: to control people’s minds by with a hand shake. shaking their hands. When I first read this, I thought he controls their minds by making their hands start shaking. David plans to send his bully to a far-away country, but when he possesses the guy’s parents and accidentally kills them, he realises that this his gift is not to be toyed with., and that if he He decides if he wants to create a world free of injustices, he must focus on the strongest of them. I broke this into two sentences because before the "they" was unclear. It's a bit awkward now, but be sure that "they" refers to injustices. One happens to be Britain’s crooked government. With the ability to make puppets out of anyone, infiltrating and peeling the system open from the inside should be child’s play.

 

But a supernatural handshake doesn’t make David bulletproof. Not against someone who sends him weird e-mails, claiming to know about his secret power. As David exposes the secrets of Britain’s elites and instigates a middle-class revolution, the stalker throws armed thugs and traps in his direction, disrupting David’s every move. No matter how hard he tries, David can't track this guy down, nor figure out why the hell he's doing it. Not even when the scumbag targets his family.

 

Caught in a line of fire he can’t see nor find, David learns that even with the power of kings in his hand, creating a perfect world may require more blood than he’s willing to spill. Your stakes are too vague. We need this part to be very specific.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, IF I WERE A KING (all caps) is a contemporary YA fantasy novel for young adult readers with sequel potential.

 

Overall, I think your query is really good. I made some comments that I think clarify some issues.

 

I agree with SnowFox that although your query is well written, it sounds polite and we're not feeling David at all. We need some more emotion. We need this to be personal. Go back and try to make David someone we care about.

 

Aside from that, your biggest problem is the stakes.. They are too vague. Your stakes need to be very specific.

 

Query writing is hard but this is a really good start. Good luck!



#4 JP1994

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 03:02 PM

Thanks, guys. Glad to hear it's not too bad. I've made some slight alterations without bloating the word count. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After a psycho kills his brother, a recession threatens his family, and a bully ruins his adolescence, it’s no surprise seventeen-year-old David Morrison thinks that the world is unfair. What does surprise him is the supernatural being who offers him the power to change it.

 

During one chance encounter outside London, a homeless man gives David a powerful ability: to control people’s minds with a handshake. Hungry for revenge, David plans to send his bully to a far-away country, but when he possesses the guy’s parents and accidentally kills them, he realises that this gift is no toy, that if he wants to create a just world, he must focus on the greatest injustices. One happens to be Britain’s crooked government. With the ability to make puppets out of anyone, infiltrating and peeling the system open from the inside should be child’s play.

 

But a supernatural handshake doesn’t make David bulletproof. Not against someone who sends him weird e-mails, claiming to know about his secret power. As David exposes the secrets of Britain’s elites and instigates a middle-class revolution, the stalker throws armed thugs and traps in his direction, disrupting David’s every move. No matter how hard he tries, David can't track this guy down, nor figure out why the hell he's doing it. Not even when the scumbag targets the family David’s doing it all for.

 

Caught in a line of fire he can’t see nor find, David learns that even with the power of kings in his hand, creating a just world may require more sacrifices than he’s willing to make.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, [INSERT NAME] is a contemporary YA fantasy novel with sequel potential.

 

EDIT: Removed personalization.


Edited by JP1994, 15 February 2018 - 05:07 PM.


#5 PureZhar3

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:15 PM

NVM, I did the older version.

​You should note that the newer version is posted below, or you'll end up with a host of people critiquing the wrong query.


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


#6 PureZhar3

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

PERSONALIZATION]

 

After a psycho kills his brother, a recession threatens his family, and a bully ruins his adolescence, it’s no surprise seventeen-year-old David Morrison thinks that the world is unfair. ​I was a bit thrown at first by the unclarified pronouns What does surprise him is the supernatural being who offers him the power to change it. ​not a bad hook, but I'm not head over heels for it, either

 

During one chance encounter outside London ​this phrase reads awkwardly to me. Also, what is "outside London"? On the outskirts? Literally anywhere near but not in London? I'm not sure, a homeless man gives David a powerful ​this adj could be better - we'll figure out the ability is powerful as soon as we read what it is. can you come up with a more interesting adj? ability: to control people’s minds with a handshake. Hungry for revenge, David plans to send his bully to a far-away country, but when he possesses the guy’s parents and accidentally kills them, he realises that this gift is no toy, that ​If he wants to create a just world, he must focus on the greatest injustices ​It feels repetitive to use two different forms of "just" in the same sentence. One happens to be Britain’s crooked government ​this phrase sounds a bit odd. It "happens to be"? That makes it sound as if by chance. But clearly there would be a very definite reason Britain's government would be crooked. Also, can you be more specific than crooked?. With the ability to make puppets out of anyone, infiltrating and peeling the system open from the inside should be child’s play.

 

But a supernatural handshake doesn’t make David bulletproof. Not against someone who sends him weird e-mails, claiming to know about his secret power ​use full sentences. As David exposes the secrets of Britain’s elites and instigates a middle-class revolution, the stalker throws armed thugs and traps ​what traps? in his direction, disrupting David’s every move ​what are his moves? what exactly is disrupted?. No matter how hard he tries, David can't track this guy down, nor figure out why the hell he's doing it. Not even when the scumbag targets the family David’s doing it all for. ​use full sentences

 

Caught in a line of fire he can’t see nor find ​"or" should be here, not "nor", David learns that even with the power of kings in his hand, creating a just world may require more sacrifices than he’s willing to make. ​I don't like that this got more vague.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, [INSERT NAME] is a contemporary YA fantasy novel with sequel potential.

 

​This is good! My biggest issue with it is that it could be more specific. There were a couple times I questioned word choice/phrasing, too. Otherwise, nice work!


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





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