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Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War - YA Fantasy - Revision #8


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#21 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:00 AM

Revision #5

Thanks for all of your help! I feel like I'm getting closer!

 

Dear Agent,

 

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, hostile pulse has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries to ignore it while living in isolation in the Redwood Forest until an otherworldly boy with giant black wings falls from the sky. Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family and accidentally burns down her shelter trying to impress him. You could omit this, it's unnecessary info for the query, and just begin the next line with "The two find refuge..." 

 

With nowhere else to go, the two find refuge with a small group of survivors. There is an inexplicable bond between them that tugs at the pulse within Iris and drives her to protect them at all costs. She will be forced to face the power within her when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth’s mantle. How does she know this? Or does she not? How do they find out more about Krux? I think he needs more fleshing out here.

 

To save her new family, she may have to embrace the evil power that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world will succumb to the entity of darkness and all she has come to love will be destroyed again. Again, I feel like this needs more detail.  I'm sorry I can't give you an exact thing to do, since I don't know you're novel.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith

 

You're getting there! I think the first paragraph is great, but the last two need some oomph.  There's nothing wrong with them, they just need to be a bit more plumped up and dramatic.



#22 ALNoelle

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 11:18 AM

Revision #5

Thanks for all of your help! I feel like I'm getting closer!

 

Dear Agent,

 

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, hostile pulse has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries to ignore it ​ignoring it (I'm not a fan of "tries to" or "goes to" or "anything to". Switching to "ignoring" makes the sentence more active while living in isolation in the Redwood Forest until an otherworldly boy with giant black wings falls from the sky. Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family and accidentally burns down her shelter trying to impress him.  ​I agree this isn't necessary. But, I want to know ​why ​she opens her heart. Was it random? Was it something this boy did? What would compel her to open her heart after such loss?

 

With nowhere else to go, the two find refuge with a small group of survivors. ​The only thing I know about this boy is that he fell from the sky and she opens her heart. I'm curious as to why he needs refuge? I think I need to know more about him. There is an inexplicable bond between them that tugs at the pulse within Iris and drives her to protect them at all costs. She will be forced ​This is passive. Rework to make it active to face the power within her when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth’s mantle. ​What does opening up the Earth's mantle mean to her, him and the world?

 

To save her new family, she may have to ​passive embrace the evil power that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world will succumb to the entity of darkness and all she has come to love will be destroyed again.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith

 

Cool premise! My notes are subjective, but i think with some reworking, this will be really cool. Good Luck!



#23 mkuriel

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:54 PM

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, hostile pulse has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries to ignore it while living in isolation in the Redwood Forest until an otherworldly boy with giant black wings falls from the sky. Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family and accidentally burns down her shelter trying to impress him.

 

Suggest condensing the first paragraph into a hook along the lines of: Before a boy with giant black wings tamed her heart, seventeen-year-old Iris was on the brink of becoming worse than the monsters that ravaged her world.

 

Rational: the hook should introduce the genre (implied by age of MC), main character (Iris), the stakes (on the brink), and give an idea of the plot (saved by love). Shorter is generally better because a well written hook makes the reader demand, "Tell me more!" Right now, your opening paragraph doesn't hook because there's too many vague ideas in it muddling up the essential elements.

 

I'm going to turn the vague terms red, just realize that they're vague because they can mean many different things. Note, most of the trouble is with the first sentence; I only highlighted 'mythological' because there are lots of different myths and (though context should clear this up) could be interpreted to mean 'imaginary.' That's why context is important; without establishing a post-apocalyptic setting caused my monsters straight out of mythology, you have a crazy girl in the woods battling the butterflies that she sees as hydras.

 

I'm going to stop here because, until you finish your hook, the 'meat' paragraph can't really come together. Why?

 

The hook delivers the essence of the plot; the following paragraph explains the key bits (i.e. character motivation, pivotal events, and stakes). Right now, I think this is a love story, but it might also be a 'stop the big bad from completing the apocalypse' story. Or both, like the 5th Element.

 

Another potential hook: Seventeen-year-old Iris was about to give into her burning desire to eat the chimera's black heart when a boy fell out of the sky. His love is all that stands between her and the darkness consuming her world, and her soul. [this introduces both the love plot and the Krux complication]

 

Hope that helps!



#24 Wayfarer

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 02:15 AM

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, evil (Don't say hostile, it's ambiguous, and you say it's evil later, so say it first now to give relevance to saying it later) pulse has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries to ignore it while living in isolation, in the Redwood Forest until an otherworldly boy with giant black blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with the boy, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family. and accidentally burns down her shelter trying to impress him.

 

Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time. Driven by the ancient pulse, Iris seeks to protect her world and the one she loves by defeating Krux.

 

With nowhere else to go, the two find refuge with a small group of survivors. There is an inexplicable bond between them that tugs at the pulse within Iris and drives her to protect them at all costs. She will be forced to face the power within her when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth’s mantle.

 

To save her new family, Iris will have to embrace the evil pulse that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world will succumb to the entity of darkness and all she has come to love will be destroyed again.



#25 rhwashere

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:27 AM

This “evil pulse” thing isn’t working for me. First of all, a pulse can’t be evil. Evil implies intention, which a pulse doesn’t have. Second, the way you’ve written your query, the only thing I see the pulse do is drive Iris to save the world. Doesn’t sound too evil to me.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#26 JDSmith

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 11:27 PM

Hey all!

 

Thank you so much for the feedback, it's helping a lot. However, I've noticed confusion about the boy with wings. Yes, he's a love interest for Iris, but it's more of a side plot. It's not at the center of the story. What's really at the center of the story is the idea of family. He falls out of the sky and Iris finds him with his wings injured and decides to help him. He's the first person she's seen since the world ended, so she's understandably a bit jittery. She doesn't want to be alone again so she tries to show off to impress him and accidentally burns down her shelter. Afterward, they're forced to find a new shelter and come across a group of teens and decide to join them. And it is because Iris has joined this group that she finds the feeling of having a family again. She also learns about Krux through them and therefore wants to stop him at all costs.

 

Basically, Iris wouldn't be in the situation she finds herself in if it wasn't for the boy falling from the sky. So that's essentially the "call to adventure". Is it important that I mention the wing boy? How can I make it come across less that the story is all about their relationship?

 

Also, about the "evil pulse"...  I don't want to spoil it in the query, but I need help to convey this somehow... Iris is the "spawn" of the Horseman of War. To make it really simple, she's kind of like his reincarnation. The other three Horsemen, Death, Famine, and Conquest, have spawns as well, and they just so happen to make up Iris's new group of friends, (The Horsemen drew them together, basically).  Now, unlike the other three, War has a strange parental bond with Iris (for reasons explained in the book) and he wants to keep her safe from Krux. He convinces his siblings to inform all of the spawns of the upcoming danger. Because he doesn't wish to lose the respect of his siblings, War doesn't help Iris directly but rather guides her without her knowing of his existence through "pulses" that echo within her. It's only when Krux recognizes that there's something different about the four teenagers that War reveals who he is in an attempt to speed up the process of Iris accepting that she is the Spawn of War.

 

The Horsemen are a huge part of the story but only reveal themselves in the second half of the book. I'm afraid of giving away too much by mentioning them. Am I overthinking this? Should I include them in the query?


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#27 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:31 AM

Hey all!

 

Thank you so much for the feedback, it's helping a lot. However, I've noticed confusion about the boy with wings. Yes, he's a love interest for Iris, but it's more of a side plot. It's not at the center of the story. What's really at the center of the story is the idea of family. He falls out of the sky and Iris finds him with his wings injured and decides to help him. He's the first person she's seen since the world ended, so she's understandably a bit jittery. She doesn't want to be alone again so she tries to show off to impress him and accidentally burns down her shelter. Afterward, they're forced to find a new shelter and come across a group of teens and decide to join them. And it is because Iris has joined this group that she finds the feeling of having a family again. She also learns about Krux through them and therefore wants to stop him at all costs. I think you definetly need to make the "family" thing a bit more clear in the query.  I got that she is bonded to her new group of survivours, but I didn't get the "family" vibe you so speak of.   

 

Basically, Iris wouldn't be in the situation she finds herself in if it wasn't for the boy falling from the sky. So that's essentially the "call to adventure". Is it important that I mention the wing boy? How can I make it come across less that the story is all about their relationship? ​Definitely keep him.  The biggest problem I had was saying in the query that she burned down the shelter trying to impress him... save what little words you have to showcase the meat of your story, not little details like that.  You don't even have to mention the romantic element between them if you don't want, you could just say she helps heal him or something like that.

 

Also, about the "evil pulse"...  I don't want to spoil it in the query, but I need help to convey this somehow... Iris is the "spawn" of the Horseman of War. To make it really simple, she's kind of like his reincarnation. The other three Horsemen, Death, Famine, and Conquest, have spawns as well, and they just so happen to make up Iris's new group of friends, (The Horsemen drew them together, basically).  Now, unlike the other three, War has a strange parental bond with Iris (for reasons explained in the book) and he wants to keep her safe from Krux. He convinces his siblings to inform all of the spawns of the upcoming danger. Because he doesn't wish to lose the respect of his siblings, War doesn't help Iris directly but rather guides her without her knowing of his existence through "pulses" that echo within her. It's only when Krux recognizes that there's something different about the four teenagers that War reveals who he is in an attempt to speed up the process of Iris accepting that she is the Spawn of War. Hmmm... I personally don't have a problem with the phrase "evil pulse" but I use a lot of language like that in my writing as well.

 

The Horsemen are a huge part of the story but only reveal themselves in the second half of the book. I'm afraid of giving away too much by mentioning them. Am I overthinking this? Should I include them in the query? You could attempt to draft a query focusing more on the Horsemen, and see if it works better, or if there are parts of it you could then splice into the query you have now.  Generally a query is the first act of the book, so the Horsemen wouldn't be necessary, although it is a very cool idea that may get an agent's attention.  I say, draft a query with them, and a query without them, and see which one you like better.



#28 JDSmith

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:33 PM

REVISION #6

(Holy cow! It's been forever since I've been on here! I need to get back to work! LOL. Anyway, I tried incorporating the horsemen into the query, but it just didn't fit. I mainly just refined the previous version in an attempt to make it sound better.)

 

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries ignoring it while living in isolation until an otherworldly boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family.

 

The two find refuge with a small group of survivors who quickly become their surrogate family. Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time. Driven by the ancient presence, Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.

 

To save her new family, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed again.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#29 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:51 PM

REVISION #6

(Holy cow! It's been forever since I've been on here! I need to get back to work! LOL. Anyway, I tried incorporating the horsemen into the query, but it just didn't fit. I mainly just refined the previous version in an attempt to make it sound better.)

 

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. You could put this next bit as a seperate paragraph so it packs more punch. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries ignoring it while living in isolation until an otherworldly boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family.

 

The two find refuge with a small group of survivors who quickly become their surrogate family. Small wording thing, but because Iris is the MC, and you want the query to be all about her, maybe you could reword this so instead of it saying "Their surrogate family" it says "her surrogate family."  but that's just me being picky. Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening "threatening" is used twice here in close proximity. to destroy the world a second time. Driven by the ancient presence for a second, I thought "ancient presence" meant Krux.  Perhaps put "inside of her" or a variation thereof, Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.

 

To save her new family, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed again. You already used a variation of this in the previous paragraph, so I would change the wording up there, so this resonates better.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith



#30 yawriter

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:24 PM

REVISION #6

(Holy cow! It's been forever since I've been on here! I need to get back to work! LOL. Anyway, I tried incorporating the horsemen into the query, but it just didn't fit. I mainly just refined the previous version in an attempt to make it sound better.)

 

Since the beginning of the end, an ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. hmmm I like it, but it's a bit wordy and I had to go back a few times. We have no concept of what "the beginning of the end" is in reference to your book so I'm not sure that is a good way to hook us in.. Perhaps "An ancient evil has merged into seventeen-year-old Iris's soul. " Just an opinion to make it flow a little better

 

 It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. This kind of reminds me of Arrow...idk if you watch that show, but it's similar concept. If you are resurrected, you have to kill in order to stay alive kind of thing and get stronger. She tries ignoring it while living in isolation until an otherworldly boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after losing her family. OO I love romance :) 

 

The two find refuge with a small group of survivors who quickly become their surrogate ​I don't think surrogate is the word you're looking for here.  family. Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time. Driven by the ancient presence, Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.

 

To save her new family, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux.How can she save them if she becomes worse than the thing she saves them from...I suggest just leaving it open ended here.  Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed again.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#31 JDSmith

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:53 PM

Disgruntled: Thanks for pointing out "threaten". I totally overlooked it. I'm still iffy on if I want to use "ancient presence" where it is. I think there's a better phrase to put there and can't think of it. As always, I value your critiques!

 

yawriter: I'll definitely try your suggestion for the beginning. I'm trying to imply that the world ended because it was overtaken by mythological monsters. And yeah, "surrogate" is definitely not the word I wanted, just can't figure it out right now. Thank you for your critiques!


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#32 MICRONESIA

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:46 PM

 

Since the beginning of the end, Cliche. an ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. Something about the tense is off here. It needs to be active, present. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. Past tense? She tries ignoring it I'm already lost. She's ignoring... an evil presence... that grows stronger... when she kills bad guys that once destroyed her world? while living in isolation until an otherworldly boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in the months after losing her family. Months? Boo-hoo, I say!

 

The two find refuge From what? with a small group of survivors who quickly become their surrogate family. Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity The same as the "ancient, evil presence?" You should really wipe out all the cliches. named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time. Just for the hell of it? Driven by the ancient presence, The vague one from paragraph #1? I'm so lost right now. Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.

 

To save her new family, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, This needs a lot more specifics behind it. even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. We know nothing about him, other than a) he's evil and b) he does things twice because he's just so damn thorough. Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed again. What happened to wing-boy?

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith

 

Nordic mythology? I see none of it in the query. I have a feeling previous queries were probably better than this. This has the feel of a once-pretty woman disfigured by too many plastic surgeries.



#33 punitrastogi

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:10 AM

REVISION #6

(Holy cow! It's been forever since I've been on here! I need to get back to work! LOL. Anyway, I tried incorporating the horsemen into the query, but it just didn't fit. I mainly just refined the previous version in an attempt to make it sound better.)

 

Since the beginning of the end (As a reader, I know nothing about the end and I am waiting for you to take me to the world your story is set in. When you start with something like this, I dont have a clue what timeline am I looking at), an ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old (Your first line talks a lot about time and ages "beginning of end", "ancient", "seventeen year old", but still no reference point for context) Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythological monsters that ravaged her world. She tries ignoring it while living in isolation until an otherworldly boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after since losing her family.

 

The two find refuge with a small group of survivors (If she was living in isolation, why did she/they look for refuge?) who quickly become their surrogate family. Yet their bond world is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time (I read a few earlier comments on this query of yours and had some idea that you are talking about cyclic/multiple iterations of Earth's destruction. But I think you should introduce Krux in the beginning, if he/it was the reason for the first 'end'. Something like "A dark entity named Krux is coming again to destroy Earth, again. And ever since the time of his arrival was known, an evil presence has emerged in seventeen...". I know its not punchy enough, but something like this would give us some quantification of what kind of world are we looking at.) . Driven by the ancient presence, Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.

 

To save her new family, But to defeat Krux, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed comma again.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith

 

Good intriguing story with a well drawn query.

 

Hope my points help.

 

Please have a look at my query too :)



#34 Charlie98501

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:39 AM

Here you go... More comments below...

 

 

Since the beginning of the end, a dark n ancient, evil presence has emerged in seventeen-year-old Iris’s soul. It grows stronger every time she slays one of the mythic beasts mythological monsters that have ravaged her world. She tries to ignoreignoring it while living in isolation until an otherworldly  boy with blackened wings falls from the sky. Enamored with him, Iris opens her heart again for the first time in months after since losing her family.   Take or leave any of these suggestions. But, I will say that opening one’s heart for the “first time in months” isn’t very dramatic. Many people I know close their hearts for at least a few months after a run-of-the-mill break-up.

 

The two find refuge with a small group of survivors who quickly become their surrogate family. Yet their bond is threatened when a dark entity named Krux begins to open up the Earth's mantle, threatening to destroy the world a second time. Driven by the ancient presence, Iris seeks to protect her world and the ones she loves by defeating Krux.  (1) “a dark entity named Krux” doesn’t sound ominous enough. Maybe leave it/him unnamed? And maybe call it/him “evil” – or something besides “dark?” Having an “evil” presence in Iris’ soul makes her seem like a bigger problem than Krux – although, maybe that is part of the story.  (2) “begins to open up the Earth’s mantle” Is there a darker, more ominous way to phrase this? “open up” seems a bit workaday – and doesn’t do the rest of the query justice, tone-wise.

 

To save her new family, she will have to embrace the evil that rages inside her, even if it means becoming something worse than Krux. Because if she doesn’t, the world she has come to embrace will be destroyed again. OK – I see that maybe Iris does need “evil” in her soul.  So, don’t let any of my comments undermine this. But, I do wonder, if she becomes worse than Krux, wouldn’t the world be even worse off?  What’s worse than cracking open the earth’s mantle and destroying the world a second time? You could suggest that she is sacrificing herself for the world, or maybe she can avoid an evil fate if she wins the struggle - something that points towards a possibility of a positive outcome.  

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 92,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential. I would strike “apocalyptic,” as you have already made this clear in the body.  Plus, they say that you don’t want to restrict your genre classification any more than you have to.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I like what you have revealed so far about the story/plot.  It sounds original, interesting and sophisticated. I reviewed other reviewers' comments, and mostly agree with them.  Someone mentioned some vagueness as to what destroyed the world the first time around and I agree with that. I am guessing that you don't want to reveal this out of the gate, but maybe a sentence or two with some sense of what happened the first time around.  Was Krux involved? Has the world since rebuilt itself or otherwise overcome the first destruction?  I read your input about the Horsemen and Iris connection.  I think it is great! But, maybe play around some more with how you express that dynamic in the query, without revealing anything you don't want to. Maybe even play around with referencing the horsemen some way? In any case, your explanation of the Horsemen situation was really intriguing - it probably caught my attention the most - along with the boy from the sky (I really like how you finessed him into the story - without revealing the nature of the relationship with Iris.)  Anyway, it sounds like you have a cool story here - one that takes a lot of finesse in the query.  Keep at it! 



#35 JDSmith

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 03:02 PM

REVISION #7

(so I've been reworking my entire novel to give it more drive, so the query has changed a lot and I think for the better. War comes into play a lot earlier in the story and I chose to reflect that in the query. I chose to exclude the boy with wings and her surrogate family because i felt like it muddled the query. It feels a lot more simple and concise now and a lot more representative of what happens in the book. Lemme know what you think)

 

Dear Agent,

 

In a world overrun by mythological monsters, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir struggles to survive amidst the remnants of human civilization. Having lost track of her parents when the apocalypse unleashed, she lives in isolation with only her Maltese dog to keep her company.

 

Still, Iris manages to find solace in crafting weapons to defend herself from the outside world. She fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers, to giant arachnids. However, one night a Griffin gets the drop on her. Just as everything is at its bleakest, a metallic warrior rides a bolt of lightning down onto the beast, killing it instantly. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who has a proposition for her: do his bidding in return for her parents’ safety.

 

There’s a dark being threatening the charred remains of the world and War needs her help to defeat it. All she has to do is Save the Guardian, Protect the Key, and Unite the Spawn. Only then will she learn who she really is and how she can save the world.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 96,000 word, young adult, fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

J.D. Smith


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#36 Dollophead

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 07:25 PM

In a world overrun by mythological monsters, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir struggles to survive amidst the remnants of human civilization. Having lost track of her parents when the apocalypse unleashed, she lives in isolation with only her Maltese dog to keep her company. I think giving Iris a more clear overarching story goal would strengthen your opening paragraph. Maybe for Iris it could be "she longs to break from isolation" or something. 

 

Still, Iris manages to find solace in crafting weapons to defend herself from the outside world. She fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers, to giant arachnids. I think you can blend these 2 first sentences. However, one night a Griffin gets the drop on her. Just as everything is at its bleakest, a metallic warrior rides a bolt of lightning down onto the beast, killing it instantly. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who has a proposition for her: do his bidding in return for her parents’ safety. Seems like you can do without the griffin fight scene and still keep the deal between Iris and the Horseman compelling. 

 

There’s is a dark being threatening the charred remains of the world and War needs her help to defeat it. All she has to do is Save the Guardian, Protect the Key, and Unite the Spawn. ...What? These guys just came out of nowhere. Only then will she learn who she really is and how she can save the world. Maybe leave out the sentence with the guardian, key, and spawn and try to integrate the sentences about War needing her help with protecting the world.

 

Cool query :D with some work I think it could be very strong!



#37 HarlequinWriter

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 06:46 PM

Dear Agent,

 

In a world It's a cliche phrase but not the worst. Maybe name the world? overrun by mythological monsters, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir struggles to survive amidst the remnants of human civilization. Having lost track of her parents when the apocalypse unleashed, she lives in isolation with only her Maltese dog to keep her company.

 

Still, Iris manages to find solace in crafting weapons to defend herself from the outside world. She fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers, to giant arachnids. However, one night a Griffin gets the drop on her. Just as everything is at its bleakest A little vague. Was she bleeding out, did more Griffins drop by, is she on the edge of a cliff? It'll help show why she's so indebted to War, a metallic warrior rides a bolt of lightning down onto the beast, killing it instantly. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who has a proposition for her: do his bidding in return for her parents’ safety.

 

There’s a dark being threatening the charred remains of the world and War needs her help to defeat it. You can raise the stakes by describing him beyond "dark being." They sound pretty important All she has to do is Save the Guardian Who? Why is he important?, Protect the Key What does the Key do?, and Unite the Spawn. Why? And why can't War just do this himself? How come he choose her? How does doing any of this defeat the dark being? Only then will she learn who she really is Now she has identity issues? and how she can save the world.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 96,000 word, young adult, fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

J.D. Smith

 

Haha, fantasy sure is hard to write queries for, isn't it? You don't have to answer all of these questions, just the ones that seem most important to the plot. Thanks for checking out mine!



#38 Koechophe

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:40 PM

In a world overrun by mythological monsters, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir struggles to survive amidst the remnants of human civilization. Having lost track of her parents when the apocalypse unleashed, she lives in isolation with only her Maltese dog to keep her company.

 

This is a bit verbose and a bit too passive tense to really function effectively as a hook. I got dinged for using "in a world" in my query too, and after reading back on it, it was a lot better when I took it out. To make it a bit more grabby, try something like this:

"With mythological creatures rampaging throughout the land and humanity on the verge of extinction, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir sets off alone to find her parents".

Or one with a stronger bang sentance at first(which would probably work better)

"Dragons, griffons and bassilisks (or insert 3 relavent animals here) were only a legend... until they broke free and slaughtered humanity to the brink of extinction. Threatened by mythological creatures and the tattered remnants of humanity, seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir faces the world alone, searching for her missing parents."

 

Still, Iris can take care of herself. She manages to find solace in craftings weapons to defend herself from the outside world. She and fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers, to giant arachnids. However, one night But when a Griffin gets the drop on her. Just as everything is at its bleakest, , she's helpless until a metallic  warrior  slaughters the beast by riding a bolt of lightning bolt down onto it the beast, killing it instantly. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who has a proposition for her: He gives her a proposition; do his bidding, and he'll save her parents in return for her parents’ safety..

 

A bit of trimming helps clarify and drop a lot of words. Most of this makes okay sense, except for the fact that this warrior guy wants Iris. Why is she special? We've established that she's competant, certainly, but nothing to compare to the guy riding a lightning bolt. This needs to be addressed in some way. 

 

There’s a dark being threatening the charred remains of the world and War needs her help to defeat it. All she has to do is Save the Guardian, Protect the Key, and Unite the Spawn. Only then will she learn who she really is and how she can save the world.

 

This is where you lose the reader entirely. Nothing in this paragraph means anything to me at all. It's too vague to be impactful. We need more explanation and less proper names. This needs to be re-written carefully with more clear explanation and more charactarization (more show, less tell). 

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR (generally if we can't logically understand the title, it means something important is left unexplained in the query. The title seems to suggest that there's something special about Iris's heritage, if that's the case we need to see it here.) is a 96,000 word, young adult, fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

J.D. Smith



#39 JDSmith

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:29 PM

Revision #8

Koechophe, Thank you so much for your notes. I took a lot of it into account in this version of the query. I tried to implement more of Iris' voice in this draft. Harlequin, I reworked the ending of the query to answer these questions. I took out the "three tasks" and just left it at "do his bidding". I framed the horsemen more as the antagonists in this version because for the majority of the book they are in the eyes of the main characters. Then I hinted toward a "coming war" instead of saying "an evil being". He's not as important in this book. Does this work better?

 

Dragons, Hydras, and Nightmares were only legends until one of them landed on seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir’s house. As the world became overrun by mythological creatures, humanity was brought to the brink of extinction. With only her Maltese dog by her side, Iris faces the world alone, searching for her missing parents.

Iris can take care of herself. She crafts weapons and fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers to giant arachnids. But when a Griffin gets the drop on her, she’s helpless until a metallic warrior slaughters the beast by riding a lightning bolt onto it. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who acts a lot more like a disgruntled father than the master of all things evil. Turns out it’s for good reason; Iris has his blood running through her veins.

But War isn’t convinced. He gives her a proposition; do his bidding to prove her heritage and he might rescue her parents. Luckily, Iris won’t be alone. She’s got the help of the other three “Spawns” of the Apocalypse; a boy with blackened wings who fell out of the sky, a girl at odds with her own mind, and a long lost friend turned grim reaper.

There’s a war brewing in the near future and the Horsemen need soldiers. If Iris and her new friends succeed in proving their heritage, they will be perfect candidates for their army. But, if they fail, Iris’ family will be left for dead, and there will be no one to defend the world against the coming onslaught that not even the Horsemen of the Apocalypse can face alone.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 96,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#40 Dollophead

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 10:51 PM

Dragons, Hydras, and Nightmares were only legends until one of them landed on seventeen-year-old Iris Mjolnir’s house. Ooh I love your hook do mine As the world became overrun by mythological creatures, humanity was brought to the brink of extinction. With only her Maltese dog by her side, Iris faces the world alone, searching for her missing parents.

 

Iris can take care of herself. She crafts weapons and fights monsters ranging from bug-eyed Screechers to giant arachnids. But when a Griffin gets the drop on her, she’s helpless until a metallic warrior slaughters the beast by riding a lightning bolt onto it. Iris finds herself at the mercy of the Horseman of War who acts a lot more like a disgruntled father than the master of all things evil. Turns out it’s for good reason; Iris has his blood running through her veins. I like this A LOT. But since the plot is about Iris proving her heritage, consider rephrasing the last sentence to, "Iris might have his blood running through her veins."

 

But War isn’t convinced. He gives her a proposition; do his bidding to prove her heritage and he might rescue her parents. Luckily, Iris won’t be alone. She’s got the  has help of from the other three “Spawns” of the Apocalypse; a boy with blackened wings who fell out of the sky, a girl at odds with her own mind, and a long lost friend turned grim reaper. I was going to say these three characters might not matter until I read the next paragraph. Consider describing them to match characteristics of their ancestral Horsemen, like you did with Iris (the weapon-crafting-monster-slayer).

 

There’s a A war is brewing in the near future and the Horsemen need soldiers. If Iris and her new friends succeed in proving their heritage, they will be perfect candidates for their army. But, if they fail, Iris’ family will be left for dead, and there will be no one to defend the world against the coming onslaught that not even the Horsemen of the Apocalypse can face alone.

 

IRIS MJOLNIR SPAWN OF WAR is a 96,000 word, young adult, apocalyptic fantasy novel. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

J.D. Smith

 

This is so great. Much better than the last version that I read. You have a really strong query here. I am utterly dying to read this book. 

Congratulations!!!!!






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