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Krenuo's Children -- CLOSED

Fantasy Young Adult

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#41 W.P.

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:28 AM

((most recent version))   ((struggling to make it "query-like" and "punchy". Which sentences are weak?))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying. 

 

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. However, one day, Sam regains memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. He searches Heaven for her, unsuccessfully, that is until God appears. He claims Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and Sam must find her. Gullible and kind, Sam jumps …  

 

And falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered. 

 

Stuck in Hell, Sam discovers Cara’s plans, which could start a war between dimensions, a war Heaven is bound to lose. He realizes why God led him here: to stop her. But Cara is determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a fight. Violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him or he'll be locked out of Heaven forever.  



#42 MICRONESIA

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:45 AM

 

((most recent version))   ((struggling to make it "query-like" and "punchy". Which sentences are weak?))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying. 

 

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Neat idea. I'm with you so far. So... no one knows how they died? That's pretty messed up! However, one day, Not a fan of "one day." Sam regains memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. He searches Heaven for her, unsuccessfully, that is until God appears. He claims Can God really just... "claim" something. I figured you'd take God's word as... the word of God. Cara is at the bottom of a cliff and Sam must find her. Gullible and kind, Sam jumps … Wait. So God is an asshole. Again, I don't think "gullible" is the right word to use when obeying the Supreme Being. "Did you hear about that idiot Sam, listening to what the Supreme Being said? What an idiot!"

 

And falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered. So God tricked Sam into Hell. People are definitely gonna have problems with this. It's gonna take a ballsy agent to pick up something this irreligious. The whole of Christianity would be wiped out, from a marketing standpoint. Remember, someone eventually has to sell these things. 

 

Stuck in Hell, Sam discovers Cara’s plans, which could start a war between dimensions, a war Heaven is bound to lose. Choppy sentence. Lacks voice. He realizes why God led him here: to stop her. Why didn't God just say that? Still a dick move. I probably would have stopped reading both the book and the query back at that part... and I'm not even remotely religious. But Cara is determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a fight. You're saying the same thing three times. Violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him or he'll be locked out of Heaven forever. Everything speeds up here, and we have no clue why Sam would flip like this. We don't know much about Sam at all, as a character, nor Cara.

 

This is quite the unique premise -- though I pointed out a likely source of wariness above.



#43 W.P.

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

Thanks for the feedback Micronesia. I decided to remove God's involvement since I couldn't explain it without spoiling the story. It's explained in the synopsis and novel itself. :)

 

 

 

((Most recent version. struggling with "query style writing" and finding the "weak" and "clunky" sentences to be improved))

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. However, one day, Sam regains memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Angry and shocked, he doesn't understand his sister's actions. Much less when he discovers her plans in Hell, which could start a war between dimensions. A war Heaven is bound to lose. To protect his family in Heaven, Sam will do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. Soon, violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. But Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him or he'll be locked out of Heaven forever.   



#44 lnloft

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:49 PM

Coming in with fresh eyes.

 

Thanks for the feedback Micronesia. I decided to remove God's involvement since I couldn't explain it without spoiling the story. It's explained in the synopsis and novel itself. :)

 

 

 

((Most recent version. struggling with "query style writing" and finding the "weak" and "clunky" sentences to be improved))

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  Good.

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. Man, and here I am just thinking, "Car accident" and moving on. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. However, one day, Sam regains memories of his sister, Cara How does he get these? Seems very abrupt.—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  Damn, Cara. That's cold.

  

Angry and shocked, he doesn't understand his sister's actions. This just feels too bland of a sentence for finding out your sister is Hell after murdering your family. Much less when he discovers her plans in Hell, which could start a war between dimensions. A war Heaven is bound to lose. To protect his family in Heaven, Sam will do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. Soon, violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. But Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him or he'll be locked out of Heaven forever.   Why does Cara want this? I also feel like the stakes could be laid out better. Basically, Sam can either keep the moral high ground, stay in Heaven, and probably end up losing the war. Or he can become a "he-who-fights-monsters", which would end up with him locked away in Hell, but maybe save his family and the rest of Heaven? Do I have that right? Because if so, those are good stakes, but you can make them clearer.

 

I think this needs a little more pep. You've got a good concept, but some things could be phrased a little better, and some things, particularly surrounding Cara (actually, almost everything about Cara, now that I look at it), could be clearer. How does he remember her, why did she murder them, why is she gunning for a dimensional war? Understanding more about her, especially because there is such a close personal connection with Sam, would help strengthen the stakes, I think. Good luck.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#45 AsperBlurry

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:59 AM

 

Thanks for the feedback Micronesia. I decided to remove God's involvement since I couldn't explain it without spoiling the story. It's explained in the synopsis and novel itself. :)

 

 

 

((Most recent version. struggling with "query style writing" and finding the "weak" and "clunky" sentences to be improved))

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. However, one day, Sam regains memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Angry and shocked, he doesn't understand his sister's actions. Try to change this sentence so that it has more impact. It just seems too bland considering the fact that he just learned she killed them. Much less when he discovers her plans in Hell, which could start a war between dimensions. A war Heaven is bound to lose. To protect his family in Heaven, Sam will do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. I feel like her motivations are a secret and you don;t want to spoil it, but give us at least a glimpse :) Soon, violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. But Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him or he'll be locked out of Heaven forever.   I'd work on the last sentence to highlight the stakes. 

 

This is the best version I've read so far, you made a lot of progress! I think you're almost there, just a bit of rephrasing and drama behind Cara's motivation :)

 

Your feedback on my query has been very helpful, thank you! Here's the new version:  http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356167 

 



#46 W.P.

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 07:25 AM

Thanks so much for the help! I truly appreciate it :)

 

((most recent version)) 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. If he doesn't, Heaven and his parents are in danger. But letting himself be corrupted by violence and hatred means being locked out of Heaven forever. 



#47 Tanja

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 07:42 AM

 

Thanks so much for the help! I truly appreciate it :)

 

((most recent version)) 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  Great line

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds.Since you already write that he regains memory, you don't need to mention this Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Sam never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he didn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. If he doesn't, Heaven and his parents are in danger. But letting himself be corrupted means being locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

 

The only lack I see is how his parents are in danger or what Cara could do to them. But that's the only negative I have. Besides that, it's great, it's clear, it's engaging. I think it's the best version so far.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#48 Tree

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:10 PM

 

Thanks so much for the help! I truly appreciate it :)

 

((most recent version)) 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  Cool. I think you could take out the passive voice. Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can't remember dying.

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. I find this phrasing awkward. Also the first question that springs to mind is why - what's suspicious about it? My first assumption would be that they were all in an accident together. Tragic for parents and a kid to die together but not stop-the-presses weird. Is there something else other than the timing that raises his suspicions?  RE the phrasing, what about something like: Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents. But their deaths happening so close together makes Sam suspicious.   But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Cool concept. Strangely, Show us it's strange don't tell us it is ... as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her, but his search leads him straight into Hell.  Look at your cadence here. I think the discovery that Sam chases his sister to Hell could be more impactful. 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  Wouldn't she be a kid? Murder for hire is pretty expensive. And if she's in hell did she die too? How did that happen, did someone have her murdered too?

  

Sam never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he didn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. If he doesn't, Heaven and his parents are in danger. But letting himself be corrupted means being locked out of Heaven forever.  I think this needs some work. Tenses are off. Sam has never felt; he doesn't see. Don't tell us the consequences are dire, show us. Also, why would Heaven exclude the person who saved it? What form will this corruption take? If his motivations remain pure, does that count for nothing?  I think you are raising skeptical questions instead of what-happens-next questions, at least for me.  Sounds like you have a cool story there. I'm sure you'll find a way to show it off.

 

Good luck!

 



#49 W.P.

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 01:25 PM

((most recent version))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her. But his search leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

 

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. If he doesn't, Cara will succeed. But if violence and hatred corrupt him beyond return, he might just be locked out of Heaven forever. 



#50 Heliagrey

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 06:07 PM

 

((most recent version))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.   (Is told feels passive to me. Maybe- they told 16 yr old Sam Croft he's dead... etc.)

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. (For flow/clarity, I'd rephrase. "their deaths being so close together" reads a little choppy. Do you mean, he questions if they all died in the same accident, or ... why would he be suspicious?) But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her. But his search (you were talking mind stuff last sentence, now this sounds like an actual physical search- so there's a bit of confusion there. Does he search his mind and find these things, or physically leave Heaven?) leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. (Okay, I'd rephrase/shorten this a little- like, When Sam arrives in Heaven shortly after his parents arrive, he questions the causes of their deaths, but all negative memories are erased in heaven, etc.) 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

 

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven (Ok, so here you've lost me- I don't know if Cara is in hell, or if she's still on earth, but I don't know how she can endanger all of Heaven, no matter what she does. There's not enough here to explain. I also don't think you need the part about Sam feeling betrayed in the beginning) —especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. (The ending of this sentence is kind of a repeat of the 'determined and ruthless' part,.) To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. (Why? How? I don't understand.) If he doesn't, Cara will succeed. But if violence and hatred corrupt him beyond return, he might just be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

 I think you need to give yourself room to talk about the mechanics- because here I'm not getting enough of a sense of the book. You do a lot of lead up to 'reveal' Cara's the murderer, but I'd give that away. I'd say Sam is dead and in Heaven with his also newly-arrived parents, tell the reader that all negativity is erased in Heaven, but even so, dark memories of his sister, Cara, creep in, and reveal her as his murderer. Then he.. (what? physically travels to Hell? o_O Goes to find Cara, and ends UP in hell?) That first part should all be part of the first paragraph. Then you have a lot more room for the actual elements of the stakes that will get the story picked up. 



#51 AsperBlurry

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 08:20 AM

 

((most recent version))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is told he’s dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her But his search  which leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

 

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Good, you added drama  like I wanted :) Whatever her motivations,(but here you kind of reduce the impact of the previous sentence. Maybe try somthing like "he confronts her but she doesn't want to tell him the truth") Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect themhe'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s determined, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. (maybe add this sentence when he confronts her as I suggested)To win, Sam will have to give up what holds him back: his morals. If he doesn't, Cara will succeed. But if violence and hatred corrupt him beyond return, he might just be locked out of Heaven forever. (maybe use this sentence from last version: Soon, violence and hatred begin to corrupt Sam, slowly turning him into someone who belongs in Hell. and then something like that: if he gives in he might just be locked out of Heaven forever) i'm thinking about the stakes in the end. how about his parrents? like, if he gives in, his parents will be in danger and he might never see them? which is more powerful to you? or, in your book, do you focus on his internal conflict or protecting his parents? 

 

I like it, only the last paragraph bugs me. Focus on what's more important for Sam. And I'd really like to see him confronting his sister.

To me, you're almost there!

 

I revised my query as you suggested, whenever you're free :) http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356167

 



#52 W.P.

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 02:27 AM

((most recent version))

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her across Heaven, but his search leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect them, he'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s cunning, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam must give up what holds him back: his morals. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his motivations turn murky. Is he fighting to protect or to avenge? Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 



#53 RegE

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 03:34 AM

 

((most recent version))

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he looks for her across Heaven, but his search leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown cold and distant back on Earth, he doesn't see how that could've led to murder. Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. To protect them, he'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s cunning, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight. To win, Sam must give up what holds him back: his morals. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his motivations turn murky. Is he fighting to protect or to avenge? Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

 

I agree that you're struggling with the query writing style. To me this doesn't really feel like a query, but more of a mini synopsis. A query should be snappy and to the point. Even the style of the paragraphs looks odd. Two big paragraphs with one little line between. Did you already check out Query Shark and soak up the examples?

 

In my opinion, writing about heaven and hell is the biggest cliche going. If you want to stand out with a story on this subject, then you absolutely have to dazzle in the query. 

 

I'm sorry if I haven't been much help. As an agnostic, a story about heaven and hell pretty much turns me off right away. I might read a story where they feature, but oonly if it was blow your mind amazing. I like your title, Krenuo's Children. Before I knew what your story was about, it gave me a creepy vibe. Krenuo is a word for hell right? Can you avoid calling heaven 'heaven' and hell 'hell' completely??



#54 Quillaby

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 04:06 AM

Well done on all your revisions! Let me start by saying I love the premise of your book. Despite the setting, the query suggests the story is more mystery/thriller than fantasy, which is really neat.

 

Onto my feedback:

 

 

((most recent version))

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

  

When Sam arrives in Heaven with his parents, their deaths being so close together makes Sam suspicious. 

 

This isn't clear. Might be best to just say what's happening here plainly. Rough suggestion: Sam Croft and his parents arrive in Heaven together, but Sam can't remember any of them dying. Since negative memories are erased here, their deaths remain a mystery.

 

But as all negative memories are erased in Heaven, their deaths remain a mystery. Strangely, as time passes, Then Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Worried, he Sam looks for her Cara across Heaven, but his search leads him into a whole other dimension. One filled with monsters, nightmares and despair. Sam has entered Hell. 

 

I love the twist of Sam finding answers in Hell, but its cool factor is diminished by the melodramatic lead up. I would pare it down to its bare bones and add only enough meat for rhythm and voice. E.g.:

 

Then Sam starts regaining memories of his sister, Cara—whose existence had been wiped from their minds. Sam looks for Cara across Heaven, but his search leads him to Hell.

 

 

Here, all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  

  

Sam has never felt such pain or betrayal. Although Cara had grown was cold and distant (cliche) back on Earth, he Sam doesn't see how that could've led to murder (awkward phrasing)

 

Whatever her motivations, Sam suspects they weren't satiated because he soon discovers her macabre quest in Hell. Its consequences are dire, endangering all of Heaven—especially his parents. 

 

I suspect you're deliberately holding back information because you don't want to spoil things. You have to. This is the catalyst for Sam's conflict, which means we need to know specifics or it's not compelling. All we know is Cara is mysteriously motivated to do something evil. Why is she doing the things she's doing? The why is what makes a villain interesting.

 

To protect them, he'll do anything to stop Cara. But she’s cunning, ruthless, and won’t give up without a terrible fight (telling not showing). To win, Sam must give up what holds him back: his morals. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his motivations turn murky. Is he fighting to protect or to avenge? Sam can't succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

This closing bit lacks voice, but I like the conflict you're trying to paint. You're just not quite there yet. Again, I would bare bones it and then add meat as needed: Cara must be stopped. As Sam pursues Cara, his need to protect his family turns into a desire to avenge their deaths. Heaven has no place for vengeance. Sam might stop Cara, but at the cost of being locked out of Heaven forever.

 



#55 W.P.

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

Thanks so much for help! I tried to keep it short as advised.

 

((most recent version))

 

 

((check later entry))



#56 AsperBlurry

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:33 AM

Sorry for the delay, but here's my feedback!

 

Thanks so much for help! I tried to keep it short as advised.

 

((most recent version))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

 

His sudden arrival in Heaven with his parents makes him suspicious, but he can’t get to the truth as all negative memories are erased in Heaven. However, as time passes, Sam starts remembering his sister, Cara—who, oddly, no one else can. His search for her leads him straight to Hell, where all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  this is better than before, well done!

 

Hurt, betrayed, Sam can’t deny she'd grown cold back on Earth, but he can't understand how could it have escalated to murder. or sth like: but murder comes as a shock. I'm sticking with "no questions in the query" policy, haha. Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. 

 

As a pacifist, Sam tries stopping her, but words (his pleading?) can't hold her, and the sight of him only angers her. Cara won't give up without a terrible fight. A fight Sam can only win by being as ruthless as she is. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his the need to protect his family turns into a desire to hurt and avenge.  (who? Cara?)

 

Sam can’t succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever.

 

I like this version better, it's shorter and more coherent, and I like the ending. I had only few sugesstions. You've come a long way, congrats!

And thank you so much for your help, I've updated my query, whenever you're free :)  http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 



#57 JordanTheNinja

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:32 AM

Thanks so much for commenting on my query! I appreciate your insight, so I'm gonna try my best to reciprocate. You've got an interesting story here. :D

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  I really love this opening line! It packs a punch and give us enough info to want to read more.

 

His sudden arrival in Heaven with his parents makes him suspicious, but he can’t get to the truth as all negative memories are erased in Heaven. However, as time passes, Sam starts remembering his sister, Cara—who, oddly, no one else can. His search for her leads him straight to Hell, where all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  Is there a special reason that Sam can remember Cara but nothing else?  Just wondering, might not be necessary in the query though. And damn, Cara sounds wild! 

 

Hurt, betrayed, Sam can’t deny she'd grown cold back on Earth, but how could it have escalated to murder? Maybe rephrase this; asking questions in a query can kind of come off gimmicky. I'm not saying that's the case here, but an agent may think otherwise. Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. 

 

A pacifist, Sam tries stopping her, but words can't hold her, and the sight of him only angers her. Cara won't give up without a terrible fight. A fight Sam can only win by being as ruthless as she is. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his need to protect his family turns into a desire to hurt and avenge.  This is all interesting, but it sounds a lot like a summary. Perhaps try and find a way to really press the stakes of the story in a way that doesn't come off as just describing it, if that makes sense.

 

Sam can’t succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

You have a very interesting story here! I'm not sure if I missed previous posts, but from what I've read this definitely sounds supernatural. Are Sam and Cara humans? How is it they have the ability to travel dimensions (Heaven, Hell, etc.)? I think with some more in depth detail regarding who Sam and Cara are, as well as really establishing the stakes, you'll be right on the money. This is really good so far! And of course, take whatever advice you feel is right and discard everything else. :D


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#58 TheBest

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 04:00 PM

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  (Strong opener! Very punchy and eye catching.)

 

His abrupt arrival in Heaven and sudden family reunion with his parents makes him suspicious, but he can’t get to the truth as all negative memories are erased in Heaven. However, as time passes, Sam starts remembering his sister, Cara—who, oddly, no one else can. His search for her leads him straight to Hell, where all his memories return, including that of his death: Cara had them all murdered.  (Great intro. Little wordy in some parts, but still gripping.)

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny she'd that Cara had grown cold back on Earth, but how could it have escalated to murder? Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents.  (Great! I'm hooked. There are some pronoun confusions here though -- I recommend just saying Cara.)

 

As a pacifist, Sam tries to reason with Cara, but words can't hold her, and Sam only succeeds in angering her further. Cara won't give up without a terrible fight. A fight Sam can only win by being as ruthless as she is. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his need to protect his family turns into a desire to hurt and avenge. 

 

Sam can’t succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. (Strong stakes and great plot. I'd definitely read this!!)



#59 punitrastogi

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:57 AM

(Most recent version)  
 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  

 

His sudden arrival in Heaven with his parents makes him suspicious, but he can’t get to the truth as all negative memories are erased in Heaven. However, as time passes, Sam starts remembering his sister, Cara—who, oddly, (Not sure if two words-two commas with an m-dash read fluidly) no one else can. His search for her leads him straight to Hell, where all his memories return, including that of his death. 

 

Cara had them all murdered.  

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny (This reads odd. Maybe replace it with "recalls that") Cara had grown cold back on Earth, but how could it have escalated to murder? (This question reads odd too. Maybe replace the HOW with a WHY. That way, the motivation comes in context and flows to the next sentence better.) Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. Her target?  

 

Their parents. 

 

As a pacifist, Sam tries stopping her, but words can't hold her, and the sight of him only angers her. Cara won't give up without a terrible fight. A fight Sam can only win by being as ruthless as she is. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his need to protect his family turns into a desire to hurt Cara and avenge their deaths 

 

But Sam can’t let the darkness take over him (This way, Sam's dual struggle comes out better I think.) succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever.

I understand that you have tried to minimise the words and add a bit more drama than the previous versions.

You have been successful at that, but at the cost of being non-fluid in the reading.

 

Hope it helps :)

 

Please have a look at my query too.



#60 SnowFox23

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:18 AM

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead, but he can’t remember ever dying.  Cool. Intriguing.

 

 

 

His sudden arrival in Heaven with his parents did they recently die too, or did they, like Sam, just arrive? makes him suspicious, but he can’t get to the truth as all negative memories are erased in Heaven. However, as time passes, Sam starts remembering his sister, Cara—who, oddly, no one else can. His search for her leads him straight to Hell, how does he get there? where all his memories return, including that of his death. 

 

Cara had them all murdered.  Would be more impactful if you re-arranged this to: Cara murdered them all.

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth, but how could it have escalated to murder? Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. Her target?  

 

Their parents. Wait, she's going to murder them in heaven?! If negative memories are erased in heaven, how is she going to plot a murder there?

 

As a pacifist, Sam tries stopping her, but words can't hold her, and the sight of him only angers her. Cara won't give up without a terrible fight. A fight Sam can only win by being as ruthless as she is. Soon, violence and hatred begin corrupting him, and his need to protect his family turns into a desire to hurt Cara and avenge their deaths 

 

Sam can’t succumb to the darkness within him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

This is a very original premise. I think the right agent will snap it up regardless of it being a bit sticky.

Thankyou for your comments on my query!







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