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Krenuo's Children -- CLOSED

Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 W.P.

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 04:02 AM

TOPIC CLOSED 

 

Thanks so much to all people who've helped me polish my query. :) 

 



#2 punitrastogi

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:11 AM

I had been quite happy with my query letter until I started sending it out. Started in mid March and out of the 20 queries sent I have received 6 rejections and no requests. I know I should wait a little longer since its only been a month or so, but it just doesnt seem like a good sign xD
So I’m here to make sure the query really is the best it can be

—————

Dear Ms/Mr (last name),

I am currently seeking representation for my YA Dark Fantasy novel, KRENUO’S CHILDREN, complete at 75 000 words. Given your interest in (Customize it by checking agents’ preferences), I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

Sam Croft always thought dying death would be like falling into an eternal sleep., bBut now he’s certain. Because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

Sam arrives in heaven with few memories and, with no idea how he died, struggles to accept his fate. But aAs he starts to adjust, even enjoy, to his new home, he regains memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been which were wiped from his mind (do dead entities have minds? do you want to replace it with something else?). He searches heaven for her, until a god convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. So Sam jumps, and falls straight into hell.

Cara could not disagree more with the gods. She doesn’t deserve damnation, even if she did have her family murdered. Determined to get a better fate than the one she was given, she concocts a plan that requires a fallen angel, a mercenary, and the endangerment of whole dimensions.

In hell, all of Sam’s memories come back and he struggles to understand why did the god told want him to find the monster who had him murdered. Stuck in hell, he’ll have to fight demons, ghastly monsters, and, when he discovers her plans, Cara herself(why does he need to fight anyone? what is his goal? if now he hates Cara because of his memories, why do anything?) . But the hardest fight will be against the darkness within him which Cara brings out. Sam can’t let her break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever. (If the reason for the fights is to get out of hell, mention that in the beginning of this para before the part about the things he need to fight)

KRENUO'S (Who is Krenuo? Why isnt he/she/it mentioned in the query?) CHILDREN is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure fantasy novel with a strong, eerie atmosphere and a unique magic system based on murder weapons. (no idea what the underlined part means)

 

Hope it helps. :)



#3 W.P.

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:51 PM

Thank you so much! Great feedback. :) will be revising

Krenuo means hell in the story, but I had a hard time trying to add that explanation without sounding like dull info dump. I wanted to keep the query as short and snappy as possible and so I removed the explanation. Thinking it wouldn’t be that relevant in the query

#4 vita_zeta

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 03:18 PM


(Edited version #1)

Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare (he's certain of what? Because eternal sleep sounds peaceful, absolute nightmare definitely not).

Sam arrives in heaven with few memories and no idea how he died. Frustrated that he can’t control his own memories, which were taken without his consent (are you implying here that he memories were intentionally taken or is amnesia just a consequence of dying?), he struggles to adjust to this strange new home. So, when he starts regaining memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been wiped from his mind (Don't think you need this since you already establish he can't remember much, and this way it has more punch), he searches heaven for her (maybe try to say this with more flair? If this is his primary motivation, there should me more drama around it). On his journey, he encounters a god who convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. Despite not knowing what is at the bottom, Sam jumps. He falls straight into hell.

Cara could not disagree more with the gods. She doesn’t deserve damnation, even if she did have her family murdered. Determined to get a better fate than the one she was given, she concocts a plan that requires a fallen angel, a mercenary, and the endangerment of whole dimensions. (This paragraph feels very out of place because of the change in perspective.)

In hell, all of Sam’s memories come back and he struggles to understand why god wanted him to find the monster who had him murdered (since you reveal here that Cara is responsible for his and his family's deaths, you probably don't need the head-hoppy last paragraph. Instead beef up the revelation that Cara is his enemy, not someone he wants to find). Stuck in hell, he’ll face ghastly monsters, find unexpected comrades, and soon discover Cara’s terrifying plans (tell us what her plans are, that way you'll establish more concrete stakes). Despite hating to face her again, he can’t let her succeed. He will have to stop her, but Cara brings out the darkness within him. Sam can’t let her break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.

 

I think I'd still like to see a clearer idea of what Sam's primary desire is. To have a peaceful afterlife in heaven? To seek justice against his sister? I think what's you focus in on that you'll have a more focused query. Hope that helped!



#5 W.P.

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 02:31 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback! :) Now that you mention it, the query does seem to be unfocused. Almost stitched together with plot elements. It does need to be clearer about Sam’s goal so that whoever reads it has a better understanding of him as a character and his story.
Because “family” is such a huge theme in the manuscript, I’m revising the query with that focus. Hopefully it’ll be clearer. :)
Thank you so much again. :D

#6 BrookeJS

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 10:25 PM

(Rewrote query entirely, still thinking of a better hook)


To sixteen-year-old Sam Croft, his family is his everything, his greatest blessing and his greatest curse. ​This isn't a hook. This would likely go in your first paragraph. 

When Sam and his parents arrive in heaven with few memories and no idea how they died, they struggle to adjust to their new home. Hating to see their parents grieving their unexplained deaths, Sam tries to bring their old happiness into their new existences. But when memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been wiped from their minds, begin to come back to Sam, he searches heaven for her. He encounters a god who convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. Despite not knowing where the bottom leads, and being terrified of falling, he jumps after Cara. ​Too much info not enough Sam. "When Sam is surprised to wake up in Heaven he is even more surprised when a god tells him he needs to go find his sister. Turns out she's in hell." (just an example, not the greatest one but it gives you an idea of how you should be wording this and where you have too much information).

And falls straight into hell. ​I like this. Try messing around with this to act as your hook. Your eternal sleep one was good but you'd have to reword it because saying an "eternal sleep" (which sounds peaceful) is full of nightmares feels off.

In hell, all of Sam’s memories come back, including that of ​remembers his death: Cara had her whole family murdered ​him and his parents. Angry at leaving his parents’ side in heaven to come after the psychopath who caused their deaths, he resent the god who wanted Sam to find her. Sam doesn’t know the god’s reasons, but he knows he doesn’t ever want to see or think of Cara. But when strange rumors about her kidnapping a fallen angel and allying with a mercenary reach him, Sam realizes she has a plan ​(All of this can be summarized). A goal that endangers whole dimensions, including heaven, where his family lives at peace. To protect them, Sam goes after his sister ​(he's dead why does he care? does he get a second chance at life?), but Cara will not stop without a fight. But she brings out the worst in him, seeds his anger and kills the kindness and integrity that once got him into heaven ​too wordy. Sam cannot let Cara break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever. ​Not really getting a feel for the stakes, they're kinda falling flat for me.


—————

(Edited version #1)

Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

Sam arrives in heaven with few memories and no idea how he died. Frustrated that he can’t control his own memories, which were taken without his consent, he struggles to adjust to this strange new home. So, when he starts regaining memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been wiped from his mind, he searches heaven for her. On his journey, he encounters a god who convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. Despite not knowing what is at the bottom, Sam jumps. He falls straight into hell.

Cara could not disagree more with the gods. She doesn’t deserve damnation, even if she did have her family murdered. Determined to get a better fate than the one she was given, she concocts a plan that requires a fallen angel, a mercenary, and the endangerment of whole dimensions.

In hell, all of Sam’s memories come back and he struggles to understand why god wanted him to find the monster who had him murdered. Stuck in hell, he’ll face ghastly monsters, find unexpected comrades, and soon discover Cara’s terrifying plans. Despite hating to face her again, he can’t let her succeed. He will have to stop her, but Cara brings out the darkness within him. Sam can’t let her break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.

———
(Original version)


Sam Croft always thought dying would be like falling into an eternal sleep, but now he’s certain. Because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

Sam arrives in heaven with few memories and, with no idea how he died, struggles to accept his fate. But as he starts to adjust, even enjoy, his new home, he regains memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been wiped from his mind. He searches heaven for her, until a god convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. So Sam jumps, and falls straight into hell.

Cara could not disagree more with the gods. She doesn’t deserve damnation, even if she did have her family murdered. Determined to get a better fate than the one she was given, she concocts a plan that requires a fallen angel, a mercenary, and the endangerment of whole dimensions.

In hell, all Sam’s memories come back and he struggles to understand why god told him to find the monster who had him murdered. Stuck in hell, he’ll have to fight demons, ghastly monsters, and, when he discovers her plans, Cara herself. But the hardest fight will be against the darkness within him which Cara brings out. Sam can’t let her break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.

KRENUO'S CHILDREN is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure fantasy novel with a strong, eerie atmosphere and a unique magic system based on murder weapons.

 

Hi W.P.

 

So my thoughts are this is reading too much like a synopsis. Think of the themes of your book. When Sam does this. X happens. If Sam doesn't do X. XX happens. Right now you're providing pretty much a step by step of what happens in your book. I hope my comments help! Good luck!


If you have time I would love feedback on my query: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356112

If you could spare a moment I would really appreciate critiques on my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=355669

 


#7 W.P.

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 02:01 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback, BrookeJS! Very insightful. I definitely agree. I think the query needs less step by step and more theme and emotion and characterization. Will be revising soon. :)
Thanks again!

#8 W.P.

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:03 AM

(Recent update)

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

When Sam arrives in heaven with his parents and no idea how he died, he struggles to accept his death, but heaven is a place of dreams, and soon he begins adjusting to his new home. Because Sam is kind and values family above all else, he doesn’t think twice when a god tells him he needs to find his sister, Cara. With the god’s directions, Sam searches for Cara …

And falls straight into hell. A place of nightmares, plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. The memory of his death returns: Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered.

In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god had wanted Sam to find her, not to save her, but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he’ll go after Cara but she won’t stop without a fight. However, the hardest fight will be against himself as Cara and hell are slowly corrupting him. Sam cannot succumb to the growing darkness within him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.



#9 punitrastogi

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

Lots of grammatical issues here

(Recent update)

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

When Sam arrives in heaven with his parents and having no idea how he died, he struggles to accept his death., b But heaven is a place of dreams, and soon he begins adjusting to his new home. Because Since Sam is kind and values family above all else, he doesn’t think twice when a god tells him that he needs to find his sister, Cara. With the god’s directions, Sam searches for Cara …

And falls straight into hell (em dash) a place of nightmares plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. The memory of his death returns(The fact that his memory was manipulated was not mentioned before. Try and mention that the God reminded him of Cara and his entry into hell unlocked all of his memories.): Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered.

In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans in hell and realizes that the god had wanted Sam to find her, not to save her, but to save others heaven from her (Too many "her" in the sentence. Needs rephrasing). If not stopped, she could be starting a the war she can start between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose.
To protect his home and his family in heaven, he’ll goes after Cara but she won’t stop without a fight. She and hell kill starts losing the qualities that once got Sam into heaven, and turning him into someone who belongs in hell. Sam cannot succumb to the growing darkness within him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.

 

If you are not confident of your grammar, try posting your query into online grammar editing tools like "Grammarly".

They can point out the most obvious issues.

 

And this community will help you with the rest.

 

Hope my points help. :)



#10 W.P.

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 02:03 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I actually only spotted a few errors (such as forgetting "to" in "not save her"), the rest was a matter of preference I guess. :)

 

You said "the fact that his memory was manipulated was not mentioned before" but the second sentence says that they have "no idea how he died." So I'm wondering if the way I wrote it isn't clear enough. Is it because there is too much info to take in all at once? Or is it the way it is phrased that makes it sound like the information provided isn't supposed to be remembered? Either way, I am revising it so that it's clearer to the reader that that piece of information is relevant so it stays in their minds.

 

Thank you so much once again! Your feedback is invaluable. :)



#11 W.P.

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 02:06 PM

(Most recent version)

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare. 

 

When Sam and his parents arrive in heaven, they have no memory of their deaths. Heaven being a place of dreams, Sam and his parents soon adjust and find happiness in their afterlife. Sam could spend the rest of eternity just like this, but when a god tells him he needs to go find his sister, Cara, he worries about her safety and searches for her … 
 
And falls straight into hell. A place of nightmares, plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. The memory of his death returns: Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. 
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god wanted Sam to find her, not to save her, but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven was bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. 

 

 

Is it clear? Compelling or falls flat? How can I improve it? Thanks for reading!



#12 conundrum

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:34 PM

 

(Most recent version)

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always thought (knew) death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain (of it), because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare. 

 

When Sam and his parents arrive in heaven (this gets a bit confusing for me because it seems your separating death, the afterlife and heaven as three different experiences - is that the case?), they have no memory of their deaths. (are they in shock because their death was traumatic?) Heaven being a place of dreams, Sam and his parents soon adjust and find happiness in their afterlife (here you describe the family happy in heaven/the afterlife, but the 1st sentence says it's a nightmare?). Sam could spend the rest of eternity just like this, but when a god (God/unless your story has multiple gods in heaven) tells him he needs to go find his sister, Cara, he worries about her safety and searches for her … 
 
And falls straight into hell (how does his search bring him to hell). A place of nightmares, plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. The memory of his death returns (how does the memory return?): Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. 
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god (to me capitalizing God would give more authority) wanted Sam to find her, not to save her, but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven was is bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. (I like the stakes, which leads me to ask several questions: will his sister corrupt him, does he end up liking hell because of beastly desire, and is that part of his personal darkness? :)

 

 

Is it clear? Compelling or falls flat? How can I improve it? Thanks for reading!

 

I like your Sam Croft character and like where you're going with your story. I think it's good for people to think about death in creative ways, as opposed to not thinking about death at all. I'm mean, we're all going to die eventually...and what does the afterlife look like?

 

I hope you don't mind my comments, your my first query critique, and I don't want to interfere with your process.



#13 cmmg

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 08:32 AM

 

(Most recent version)

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always thought death would be like eternal sleep, but now he’s certain, because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare. (I don't know what this means? After reading it a few times I think the "nightmare" is a play on it being like "Sleep" but that's not really apparent, and sleep isn't really bad necessarily, so the construction is confusing. I like the sentence up until the "absolute nightmare" part)

 

When Sam and his parents arrive in heaven, they have no memory of their deaths. Heaven being a place of dreams, Sam and his parents soon adjust and find happiness in their afterlife. Sam could spend the rest of eternity just like this, but when a god tells him he needs to go find his sister, Cara, he worries about her safety  (So they remember their life, not just their death? And if they remembered their life, they remembered her and the fact that she wasn't with them? I"m also not sure about having a life implying that "Everything is great") and searches for her … (I'm not sure the ellipse works for you)
 
And falls straight into hell. A place of nightmares, plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. The memory of his death returns: Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. (Yikes)
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god wanted Sam to find her, not to save her, but to stop her. (This could be worded clearer and shorter even  "realizes that god didn't want Sam to save her, but to stop her") If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven was IS bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. 

 

 

Is it clear? Compelling or falls flat? How can I improve it? Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

I think you have some good development here! The beginning is a little confusing, but I think once he gets into Hell, it's clearer what the obstacles and complications are.

 

The only thing is: the beginning is confusing, and it obscures both the protagonists motivations and the stakes. I guess there's implied stakes/motivation in wanting to find his sister, but that comes really late. I think you could tighten up the beginning to be more clear, and to better indicate Cara is missing. Even just saying they realize she's missing earlier could help?

 

 

ALSO: the fact that he doesn't remember his death doesn't mean his memory was altered necessarily. It could just be that no one who dies remember their deaths etc.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#14 DinaK

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 08:48 AM

Your tagline was very confusing for me and I had to reread your entire query a few times to understand what you were trying to say. I think your trying to say:

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft always believed death would be like an eternal sleep with hell being never ending nightmares plagued with demons, beasts and suffering. He never imagined being in heaven could also be a nightmare.

 

Also, I think it should be believed not thought or knew.



#15 W.P.

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:32 PM

Conundrum, cmmg, and DinaK, 

 

Thank you so much for the beedfack! :D I agree that the beginning needs to be clearer and tightened up. I'm actually considering removing the hook because it confuses more than it hooks. xD ahahah In my head it makes total sense, but if it doesn't to others, then it has to go. 

Will be revising soon! Thanks so much again for the feedback!



#16 W.P.

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 02:24 PM

(most recent version)

 

When sixteen-year-old Sam Croft arrives at a meadow under a magenta sky, and is welcomed there by his late grandmother, he is bewildered to say the least. She tells him he's in heaven, but denial hits him hard, especially when his parents arrive moments after him. Sam and his parents struggle to accept their deaths, especially when they have no memory of it. In heaven, negative memories are removed from the inhabitants' minds. But just as Sam is adjusting to his new home, memories he shouldn't remember return to him. Memories of his sister, Cara, whose existence had been wiped from all of their minds. Worried about what might've happened to her, Sam searches heaven for her, and when he reaches a cliff, he thinks it a dead end. But the god of heaven appears to coax Sam into jumping off the cliff to find Cara. Gullible and kind, Sam jumps … 

 

And falls straight into hell. Here, all his memories return, including that of his death. Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. 
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god didn't want Sam to save her but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. 

 

 

 

Really struggling with the beginning. Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for reading!



#17 DinaK

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:31 AM

(most recent version)

 

When sixteen-year-old Sam Croft arrives at a meadow under a magenta sky, and he is welcomed there by his late grandmother., h He is bewildered to say the least. She tells him he's in heaven, but denial hits him hard, especially when his parents arrive moments after him. Sam and his parents struggle to accept their deaths, especially (try a different word here. you used it in the prior sentence) when they have no memory of it. In heaven, negative memories are removed from the inhabitants' minds. But just as Sam is adjusting to his new home, memories he shouldn't remember return to him. Memories of his sister, Cara, whose existence had been wiped from all of their minds. Worried about what might've happened to her, Sam searches heaven for her, and when he reaches a cliff, he thinks it a dead end. But the god of heaven appears to coaxs Sam into jumping off the cliff to find Cara. Gullible and kind, Sam jumps … 

 

And falls straight into hell. (I think there would be a better way to say this. Look at what you had for you original opening and what you have now. WOW! :smile: The rest of your query falls of little short of your new opening. Try to review your entire query and see if you can have the same impact on the rest. It will time well spent. Remember, the query reflects your book and your writing style. Any problems and it will end up in the reject pile.) Here, all his memories return, including that of his death. Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. 
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god didn't want Sam to save her but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. 

 

 

 

Really struggling with the beginning. Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

 

What an amazing difference in your opening. It catches my attention and holds it most of the way. There are still some little problems with the rhythm and I think you can do much better. You are on the right track. Keep up the great work.



#18 smithgirl

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:12 AM

When sixteen-year-old Sam Croft arrives at a meadow under a magenta sky, and is welcomed there by his late grandmother, he is bewildered to say the least. She tells him he's in heaven, but denial hits him hard, especially when his parents arrive moments later. after him. Sam and his parents struggle to accept their deaths, especially when they have no memory of them it. (deaths = plural, so not it)

 

I think that, in this context, Heaven and Hell are capitalized, since they are being used to refer to those specific places, thus becoming proper nouns. Maybe you could check on that.

 

I would start a new paragraph below.

 

In heaven, negative memories are removed from the inhabitants' minds. But just as Sam is adjusting to his new home, memories he shouldn't have remember return to him. Like memories of his sister, Cara, who'd se existence had been wiped from all of their minds. Repetitive word. Worried about what might've happened to her, Sam searches heaven for her, , and When he reaches a cliff, he thinks it's a dead end. But the God of heaven Isn't the god of heaven just God? appears to coax Sam into jumping off the cliff to find Cara. Gullible and kind, So Sam jumps … 

 

 

And falls straight into hell. Here, all his memories return, including that of his death. Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. Oh that's bad!
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that God the god didn't want Sam to save her but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose. But the only way to stop Cara is for Sam to do evil, to kill her. Sam can save his family in Heaven by killing his sister, but if he does that he will spend eternity in Hell and never again see the family he saved. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, What do you mean corrupts him?  even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. I'm confused by this last sentence: What is Sam's darkness? Isn't he just trying to keep his sister from destroying Heaven? It also sounds like you're telling us the ending, because you state that Sam is willing to be locked in Heaven to see his family. You need to keep what will happen as a mystery.

 

 

Hi W.P. I'm very clear on the main events of your story, so good job there! I think your query tends to get wordy, and you also have a habit of repeating words and phrases (memories, to her, mind). Especially in such a short writing sample, these repetitions are very obvious. You should try to rephrase them bit, to make things less repetitive.

 

I made some recommendations to tighten it up a bit, and also for the ending. You're stealing your own thunder in the sense that you seem to give away Sam's decision: He will do whatever it takes to save his family, including having to stay in Hell. Wanting to know his decision makes us want to request your book. Don't give the answer away. Keep us intrigued.

 

I think you're close to a final version here, just some small changes.

 

Can you please look at my query when you can? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...ate-in-post-13/



#19 punitrastogi

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:24 AM

New angles and new aspects to story.

 

Nice :)

(Most recent version)

 

When sixteen-year-old Sam Croft arrives in a meadow under a magenta sky and is welcomed there by his late grandmother, he is bewildered to say the least(Possible hook ending 1) She tells him he's in heaven, but denial hits him hard, especially when his parents arrive moments after him. (Possible hook ending 2) Sam and his parents struggle to accept their deaths, especially when they have no memory of it. In heaven, negative memories are removed from the inhabitants' minds. But just as Sam is adjusting to his new home, memories he shouldn't remember return to him. Memories of his sister, Cara, whose existence had been wiped from all of their minds(I am not sure if this part added any value as you had already pointed out that negative memories are removed from the inhabitants' minds. But I might be wrong.)

 

Worried about what might've happened to her, Sam searches heaven for her, and when he reaches a cliff, he thinks it's a dead end. But the god of heaven appears to coax Sam into jumping off the cliff to find Cara. Gullible and kind, Sam jumps … 

 

And falls straight into hell. Here, all his memories return, including that of his death. Cara was the one who had him and his family murdered. (I feel like there might be a more dramatic way of writing it. This is a shocker and needs to have a bigger impact than it currently has.)
 
In hell, Sam learns of his sister’s plans and realizes that the god didn't want Sam to save her but to stop her. If he doesn't, she could be starting a war between dimensions, a war that heaven is bound to lose. To protect his home and his family in heaven, he'll do anything to stop Cara. Even if it corrupts him, even if he becomes someone who belongs in hell. But if Sam succumbs to the darkness within him, he will be locked out of heaven forever. (This part is redundant as well, since you have already mentioned hi turning into someone who belongs in hell.)

———
(Original version)


Sam Croft always thought dying would be like falling into an eternal sleep, but now he’s certain. Because his afterlife is an absolute nightmare.

Sam arrives in heaven with few memories and, with no idea how he died, struggles to accept his fate. But as he starts to adjust, even enjoy, his new home, he regains memories of his sister Cara, whose existence had been wiped from his mind. He searches heaven for her, until a god convinces him Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and that Sam needs to find her. So Sam jumps, and falls straight into hell.

Cara could not disagree more with the gods. She doesn’t deserve damnation, even if she did have her family murdered. Determined to get a better fate than the one she was given, she concocts a plan that requires a fallen angel, a mercenary, and the endangerment of whole dimensions.

In hell, all Sam’s memories come back and he struggles to understand why god told him to find the monster who had him murdered. Stuck in hell, he’ll have to fight demons, ghastly monsters, and, when he discovers her plans, Cara herself. But the hardest fight will be against the darkness within him which Cara brings out. Sam can’t let her break him or he’ll be locked out of heaven forever.

 

Excellent upgrade.

I think you are almost there.

 

Please have a look at my query when you have the time. :)



#20 W.P.

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 02:27 PM

Thank you so much, Dinak, smithgirl and punitrastogi! Super helpful feedback! Will be revising soon. :)







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