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Krenuo's Children -- CLOSED

Fantasy Young Adult

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#61 Bkrasnik

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 04:42 PM

 

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. Good hook.  

 

His sudden arrival in Heaven with his parents makes him suspicious (I would add a little bit more context by telling me who who finds it suspicious and why), 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 (I feel like you need to add a word here, because this sentence feels like you cut it off a word too short.). His search for her leads him straight to Hell (I am finding it hard to visualize this search because I don't know anything about what heaven & hell looks like in your world.), where all his memories return, including that of his death. 

 

Cara had them all murdered. Good. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth (This doesn't sound right to me although I understand the message you are trying to convey. I would say "became colder and __distant/or maybe another word that will help describe her__ back on earth.), but how could it have escalated to murder? (I would reword this somehow into a statement.) 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 (Pacifist or not, of course Sam would like to stop her. Any normal human being would.), 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. Very good last sentence, but I am wondering how Cara can invade heaven if she is a murderer. Right now, this looks like a plot-hole in your book, and this might be enough reason for an agent to reject this query. 

 

 

This is a lot better than the last version I reviewed, but more work still needs to be done. In addition to the comments above, I think you need to reveal or at least hint at Cara's motivations or the reason why she has become more cold. It is important for the agent to see this, to make sure your character has emotional truth. I.e. there is a good reason for this transformation.


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#62 W.P.

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 06:18 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone! I'll be critiquing back soon. :)

 

((Newest version))

 

 

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

 

In fact, he can’t remember most of his life. Neither can his parents, when they all arrived suddenly in Heaven. Here, all negative memories are erased to ensure their bliss. Then, why is Sam the only one who can remember his sister, Cara? 

 

He searches for her, but, through some strange circumstances, falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return and he discovers Cara had them all murdered. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth. But he still can’t see how it could’ve 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.  

  

As a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but 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 her. But soon violence and hatred corrupt him. His motivation wavers: is he fighting to protect his family or to avenge their deaths? Does he want to stop Cara or to hurt her? 

 

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



#63 TeaTime

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:46 PM

 

Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone! I'll be critiquing back soon. :)

 

((Newest version))

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft is dead but can’t remember ever dying. (Really cool opening)

 

In fact, he can’t remember most of his life. Neither can his parents, when they all arrived suddenly (I don't know if the word "suddenly" is needed) in Heaven. (Okay, this makes the opening line make sense) Here, all negative memories are erased to ensure their bliss. Then, why is Sam the only one who can remember his sister, Cara? 

 

He searches for her, but, through some strange circumstances, falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return and he discovers Cara had them all murdered. (Good twist)

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth. But he still can’t see how it could’ve escalated to murder. Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. (This is possible?) Her target?   

  

Their parents. (How can she hurt them? Is there a further spiritual attack/harm she can do to them after having had them murdered?)

  

As a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but 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 her. But soon violence and hatred corrupt him. (I feel like the action in the query should maybe end at this part: "... ruthless as her." And then give the ending stakes. As it is right now, the action feels like it keeps going after it's already given cues that it's wrapping up.) His motivation wavers: is he fighting to protect his family or to avenge their deaths? Does he want to stop Cara or to hurt her? 

 

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

 

This query seems like it's in pretty good shape to me. Just a few little questions above, & I would like to see a little bit more about who Sam is, as we mostly just get that he's a pacifist (& I suppose that he's curious why he can remember his sister). But overall, really interesting. Good job  :smile: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#64 Bkrasnik

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 01:27 PM

(Most recent version)  

 

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

 

In fact, he can’t remember most of his life. Neither can his parents, when they all arrived suddenly (since their arrival to) in Heaven. Here, all negative memories are erased to ensure their bliss and _______tell me another thing about this heaven place_________. Then, why (Include a better transition here) is Sam is the only one who can remember his sister, Cara?  (It works better as a statement and not a question)

 

(As) He searches for her, but, through some strange circumstances, (he) falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return and he discovers Cara had them all murdered. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth. But he still can’t see how it could’ve escalated to murder. Whatever her motivations, she isn't done, as Sam discovers she's on her way to invade Heaven. (How can Cara invade heaven if she is a murderer?) Her target?   

  

Their parents.  

  

As a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but 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 her. But soon violence and hatred corrupt him. His motivation wavers: is he fighting to protect his family or to avenge their deaths? Does he want to stop Cara or to hurt her? (These questions aren't really that important because all his feelings are justified. It is completely human for him to want to protect his family AND avenge their deaths. Also perfectly normal for him to want to stop Cara AND hurt her after what she has done. These are not stakes. You need to tell us what he has to lose or risk if he tries to protect his family and stop Cara. There needs to be a real threat getting in his way.) 

 

Sam can’t succumb to the darkness within him or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. (Yet Cara can travel to heaven even though she has succumbed to darkness?)

 

 

I think you need to answer the question on why Cara wants to kill everyone. Growing cold on earth is not enough of a justification for this behavior because lots of people are cold, but it doesn't mean they turn into murderers. I also feel like in your first paragraph you jump into background information before giving us the hook, which I recommend you do first. You sort of answer the 3 main questions of: what does the mc want, what keeps him from getting it, and why he wants it, but I think you need to make it clear in the first few sentences of your query. I also feel like this still doesn't fully read as a query. Your sentence style doesn't align with the correct format, so I recommend you keep reading through queries, and try to do a rewrite while incorporating the 3 main questions I mentioned above in the beginning of the query. 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#65 W.P.

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 04:22 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback!

 

And I hear you, Bkrasnik. I agree that I still haven't grasped the query style. I have read so many successful queries, and the Query shark whole files at least twice, and I still can't do it. xD Outrageously sad.

 

As for Cara's motives, I really can't reveal them. They are the big revelation at the end, they are what the whole book is about. It's the main mystery. Though I'll definitely try to find a way to hint that the motives are there and hidden for a reason. I don't want it to sound like a hole in the story. 



#66 W.P.

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 04:27 PM

I wrote a new version of the query. Which do you prefer?

 

(new)

 

Sam Croft is sixteen and dead. 

 

When he and his parents come to Heaven, not all memories come with them. Their deaths are erased and Sam’s sister, Cara, is remembered only by him. Determined to locate her, he crosses heaven and beyond—to find her in Hell. Where she was sent to for his and his parents’ murder. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t understand what turned her distant and violent. Whatever her secret motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her eyes set on her parents. 

 

His words can’t tame her; only a brutal fight can stop her and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But Sam can’t succumb to the darkness growing inside him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. 

 

 

(previous)

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

 

In fact, he can’t remember most of his life. Neither can his parents, when they all arrived suddenly in Heaven. Here, all negative memories are erased to ensure their bliss. Then, why is Sam the only one who can remember his sister, Cara? 

 

He searches for her, but, through some strange circumstances, falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return and he discovers Cara had them all murdered. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth. But he still can’t see how it could’ve 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.  

  

As a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but 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 her. But soon violence and hatred corrupt him. His motivation wavers: is he fighting to protect his family or to avenge their deaths? Does he want to stop Cara or to hurt her? 

 

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



#67 Caligulas

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 05:33 PM

 

I wrote a new version of the query. Which do you prefer?

 

(new)

 

Sam Croft is sixteen and dead.  (Not hookiest hook. Not BAD but, it simply makes me think he's a zombie which isn't particularly unique. And perhaps not accurate. So something more unique to your story is best)

 

When he and his parents come to Heaven (See not zombies, if I was sold on zombies, now I'd be let down. Maybe your hook should have something specific about being in heaven?), not all memories come with them. Their deaths are erased and Sam’s sister, Cara, is remembered only by him. (Odd wording. Maybe cut from and and put "but Sam remembers his sister, Cara) Determined to locate her, he crosses heaven and beyond—to find her in Hell. Where she was sent to for his and his parents’ murder.  (This is interesting, but the writing needs a lot more finesse. It lacks cadence and reads a little disjointed. Don't be so eager to show off new writing. Let it rest, take your time, this isn't something that can be rushed. After not looking at this for a little bit it'll be more obvious what's not working)

 

Hurt and betrayed(Kind of obvious he'd feel that way, right?) Sam can’t understand what turned her distant and violent (Hurt, betrayed, distant, violent...telling. Be more specific and give some contrast. In example, "Sam can't understand why his choir singing sister suddenly took an axe to their entire family"). Whatever her secret motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her eyes set on her parents. (Woahhhh, head hopping in the query? How does Sam know her brilliant plan and that she's set on her parents?)

 

His words can’t tame her; only a brutal fight can stop her and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win (What does this mean? Specifics). But Sam can’t succumb to the darkness growing inside him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. (I sort of understand the stakes, but they're a little weak and slightly confusing. If they're already dead, what's the huge threat Cara poses? Double dead? And answering that might tell me why Sam is interested in stopping his sister. But I'm also left with the technical question why does SAM have to stop her? He can't just tell the Heaven police? Then once I know these things, I need the whole darkness inside stuff to be clearer. If he has a darkness inside how does he even get to Heaven? Then what's the huge stake of being locked out Heaven? Basically, Sam needs to be left between a rock and a hard place at the end of the query, he wants to do this, but that bad thing might happen, yet if he avoids doing this, some other bad thing might happen)

 

(I gave this critique without reading the previous query. I just read it, and while it still needs work, I think it's better than this one by a lot. You've parred this one down so much it leaves too many questions. Like I mentioned, I feel like you're rushing this which will only leave you with a dry, lifeless, but maybe technically okay written query. I think you should work more with the previous query keeping in mind what I said about the stakes, but also, your MC in both versions doesn't seem to do much of anything other than walk to hell and weakly talk to his sister. You need to imply more what he'll actually be doing in the story and why HE, and no one else, is the hero of this story. Lastly, don't phrase so many sentences in question format, lol. I hope this helps. I know this is hard. I've been working on my query for three months. It can be harder than writing the book. :) )

 

(OH! And on revealing too much, I once didn't want to reveal my story had an alternate reality version of my MC which is basically the selling point of the story. Not saying you HAVE to reveal anything, but maybe consider if you're trying to keep it mysterious or if you're giving too much story away. If you're doing the former, you might be selling your story short. Another tip I recently heard is to make the query detail where the stakes are the HIGHEST. Just think of many movie trailers. They don't only show you the opening of the movie, they sometimes spoil certain scenes, but it's usually okay because you get invested in wanting to see how the story plays out to those points. Okay I'm done now lol)



#68 kat8

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 08:02 PM

 

I wrote a new version of the query. Which do you prefer?

 

(new)

 

Sam Croft is sixteen and dead. 

 

When he and his parents come to Heaven, not all memories come with them. Their deaths are erased and Sam’s sister, Cara, is remembered only by him. Determined to locate her, he crosses heaven and beyond—to find her in Hell. Where she was sent to for his and his parents’ murder. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t understand what turned her distant and violent. Whatever her secret motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her eyes set on her parents. 

 

His words can’t tame her; only a brutal fight can stop her and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But Sam can’t succumb to the darkness growing inside him, or he’ll be locked out of Heaven forever. (I'm a little confused by the stakes; is it that Sam must be evil like her to win, but he can't because if he were that evil, he would not be allowed in heaven? or is it that Sam's anger is growing, and he must remain clear-headed or else? It sounds like the first one, and if it is, then I think you should state that a lot more clearly and that will make the stakes much more interesting :) )

 

 

 

(previous)

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

 

In fact, he can’t remember most of his life. Neither can his parents, when they all arrived suddenly in Heaven. Here, all negative memories are erased to ensure their bliss. Then, why is Sam the only one who can remember his sister, Cara? 

 

He searches for her, but, through some strange circumstances, falls straight into Hell. Here, all his memories return and he discovers Cara had them all murdered. 

 

Hurt and betrayed, Sam can’t deny Cara had grown cold back on Earth. But he still can’t see how it could’ve 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.  

  

As a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but 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 her. But soon violence and hatred corrupt him. His motivation wavers: is he fighting to protect his family or to avenge their deaths? Does he want to stop Cara or to hurt her? 

 

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

 

 

 

I definitely like the new one better. Also, I love the idea behind your story! It sounds really interesting and fresh!


My query: 27 Club


#69 W.P.

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

NEWEST VERSION  Because neither of the previous versions was really working, I tried to give Sam a bit more character and an "active" role in the query.

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a vet, travelling and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like him. 

 

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed them. Many of their memories are locked away. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond--to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder. 

 

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student, turn to kidnap and murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Her parents. 

 

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But soon violence and hatred begin to corrupt him, turning him into someone who deserves Hell. 

 

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

 


#70 TeaTime

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:49 PM

 

NEWEST VERSION  Because neither of the previous versions was really working, I tried to give Sam a bit more character and an "active" role in the query.

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a vet (First thing that popped into my mind is "vet" as in "veteran," even knowing that you mean veterinarian.), travelling and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like him.

 

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed them(I might combine these two sentences) Many of their memories are locked away. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond--(Format this into an em dash) to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.

 

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student (Straight A student is a "good" thing, but I don't necessarily directly equate that with morality. Were there any other previous aspects of her that seemed to imply that she was at least morally average?), turn to kidnap and murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan ("Dangerous, yet brilliant plan" is fine, but maybe a little cliche) to invade Heaven. Her target? Her parents.

 

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But soon violence and hatred (Maybe insert "quickly" here?) begin to corrupt him, turning him into someone who deserves Hell.

 

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

 

 

It's good that this version has a bit more about Sam (& Cara), though I'm not sure how I feel about the last two paragraphs (starting with "But soon..."). The stakes are fine for me, it's just the wording that seems unusual. But I'm sure you'll whip it into good shape. Keep up the good work  :cool: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#71 Joysworld

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:05 PM


 

 

 

NEWEST VERSION  Because neither of the previous versions was really working, I tried to give Sam a bit more character and an "active" role in the query.

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a vet, travelling and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like him. I really like this hook.

 

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed them. Many of their memories are locked away. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond--to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder. 

 

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student, turn to kidnap and murder.I would mention moral qualities here because that compares to moral depravities. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. It doesn't seem like he suspects so much as he knows she's not done since he knows about her plan. Her target? Her parents. 

 

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But soon violence and hatred begin to corrupt him, turning him into someone who deserves Hell. 

 

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

 

 



#72 gigigriffis

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:00 AM


Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a vet, travelling and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like him. [Oh wow, unexpected and interesting hook!]


 


In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed them. Many of their memories are locked away. [Killed all three of them or just killed his parents? Do we know why the memories are locked away? What's the context here? Did they show up in heaven confused or did someone at the pearly gates explain that memories are lost to keep you happy here or something? I don't think you need full details here, but I got a little lost in this idea and a little more context might help.] But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond--to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder. [Super interesting!]


 


Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student, [I mean, but does straight As have anything to do with it? Smart people murder.] turn to kidnap and murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Her parents. 


 


Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But soon violence and hatred begin to corrupt him, turning him into someone who deserves Hell. [You are kind of losing me here...Sam doesn't seem like the kind of person to get brutal...I think I need more context about why he'd choose to become violent?]


 


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

 

So, I usually ask myself Janet Reid (Query Shark)'s five questions when I evaluate a query:

 

1. Who is the protagonist? Sam - got it!

 

2. What do they want? This part is a little jumbled because there are a couple things he might want and I'm not sure which is his primary goal as it relates to the query/hook for the book. Is his primary goal to solve his family's murder? Is his primary goal to track down his sister (is he worried about her since she's not there?)? Or do you want to focus on his later primary goal of stopping his sister from somehow re-murdering his parents in heaven? Or figuring out why she wants to?

 

3. What's standing in their way? This depends on which goal Sam is after. 

 

4. What choice does he have to make? This will depend on the primary goal as well. Is it the choice between staying in heaven and going down to hell to find his lost sister? Is it the choice to go against his nature and fight his sister or watch as she destroys their parents? 

 

5. What bad thing happens if he chooses A and what bad thing happens if he chooses B? In other words, once we know his choice, what's he risking with each option. Could he get stuck in hell if he leaves his parents? Could his sister be lost forever if he doesn't? 

 

I think the key here is identifying the main conflict of your story and focusing on that. Right now we might have a little too much and it creates questions.


Will you take a peek at my query?

 

Sincerely,

 

Gigi Griffis

Copywriter, Content Strategist, & Travel Guide Author

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#73 W.P.

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:54 AM

Thank you so much for the feedback, everyone! I truly appreciate it. I feel like I'm getting closer. :)

 

 

NEWEST VERSION

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like him.   

   

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed him and his family. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.   

   

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer, turn to murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown. 

   

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven.  



#74 yawriter

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:26 PM

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling and scuba diving, This confused me the way it's written. It's written like a list but it doesn't work to say " becoming a traveling" and "becoming a scuba diving" does that make sense? Maybe a fix is "becoming a vaeterinarian, traveling the word, and scuba diving...it's missing something... but now all his dreams are dead—just like him.  Just like who? I feel like if there was a connection here to how Sam is related to this guy it would be more impactful...just like her dad? just like her mate? 

  

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed them. OH just like him...sam. Okay, I see it now, but I got confused, so not sure if anyone else will read it that way.  Since many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss Not a completsentence... since blah blah blah, then blah blah blah. . But, Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. How does Sam know she's dead too? Did she die a long time ago? Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.  

  

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer, turn into kidnap and murderer. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Her parents.  

  

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But, when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven. 

 

 

Great! I remember this from a while back. Much more concise and much more clear than the first time I read it. Just some grammar mistakes to weed out here and you're on your way :) Keep hacking away at it :) Thank you for the wonderful feedback on my query. Really brought my spirits up :D



#75 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for taking a look at mine! I hope you find my feedback helpful.

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself I love this opening line. Wouldn't change a word of it.

  

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed his family themThis sentence got a little confusing in the sense that I wasn't sure if "them" included Sam's parents or Sam too. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.  Very nice twist. I like.

  

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer, turn to kidnap (kidnap? This seemed to come out of left field. Does it need to be included?) and murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Her parents. To do what with them? Killing doesn't seem like an option since they're already dead. 

  

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, This felt like a big tonal and plot shift from the earlier paragraphs. Before I thought this was more of a mystery and now it's turned into a fantasy battle story. Plus, I'm a bit confused as to how Sam, a random ghost, became powerful enough to be a general in a large-scale war. I don't necessarily need all the details in a query letter, so instead it might be better to omit this part and stick just to the mystery element, and the line at the end where fighting might cost him his place in Heaven. he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven. This is a great ending line and brings me back to being intrigued by the story.

 

This story sounds super-interesting and I'd love to read it! Good luck!



#76 Tyokunbo

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 01:41 PM

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself. (I love this line)

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed him and his family. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder. (Earlier, you wrote that Croft didn't know what killed him and his parents, now you say his sister was sent to hell for murdering them. It appears like there's a contradiction here).

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer, turn to murder. (If Croft remembers his sister committed murder, should he also remember why?) Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown.

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing (Confusing word. Could you find a less confusing one? )  him, and sacrificing the innocent (Who is the innocent one? Sam or his sister?) becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting (How is the fight corrupting him? Have they fought?)) him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs (Protect them from what? Aren't they dead?), but it just might cost him his place in Heaven. (What is the law in heaven as related to fighting? There is no mention of any law concerning this earlier in the query).

 

 

Good query. Thanks for your comments about mine.



#77 gigigriffis

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 01:28 PM

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself.   

   

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed him and his family. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.   So much better! Much clearer in this version.

   

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight-A student and a community service volunteer, turn to murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. [How does he know she's making a plan? And if he knows, doesn't he know she's not done vs. suspecting?] Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown. 

   

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven.  [Why must he protect his parents at all costs? Because we don't get into his sister's motives here, it's hard for me to understand why he stops trying to talk it out and has to fight with her - why he can't stop her without violence?]


Will you take a peek at my query?

 

Sincerely,

 

Gigi Griffis

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#78 kat8

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 02:46 PM

 

Thank you so much for the feedback, everyone! I truly appreciate it. I feel like I'm getting closer. :)

 

 

NEWEST VERSION

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself.   

   

In Heaven with his parents (wording is a little awkward), Sam doesn’t know what (or is it who? Later it says they were murdered)killed him and his family. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss.(I love this sentence! Definitely clearer and punchier than in past versions.) But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up (a little awkward) in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder (Personally I don't love that this is a sentence fragment; I don't know how you would change it, but it might read a little better as a complete sentence).   

   

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer (this sounds like a college application, not a character description! That really turned me off), turn to murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown (bleh. I think this is implied by the previous sentences; stating it outright sort of kills the drama for me). 

   

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing (awkward word choice) him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven.  

 

 

I definitely think this is the best version of your query so far! It sounds like a compelling story :)


My query: 27 Club


#79 Caligulas

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 03:36 PM

 

Thank you so much for the feedback, everyone! I truly appreciate it. I feel like I'm getting closer. :)

 

 

NEWEST VERSION

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself.   

   

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed him and his family. (Clunky, try something like, "Sam's in Heaven with his parents, and they have no idea how they got there". I know you use the word killed, but if he initially doesn't remember what happened then he also wouldn't know he was killed) Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. (This sentence doesn't do anything for the query other than gum up flow from don't remember to remember) But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder. (This is all good)

   

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and (This made it through several edits and I don't know why. Being smart or good at school is in no way exclusive from murderers, either real orfictional. I mean, you know Hannibal Lector, right? I suggested this juxtaposition before, but it has to be powerful. Murder comes from a deep-seated place, to balance that you have to equally show a contrast that makes sense for your MC to be surprised. Only if it exists in the story. If MC simply wasn't aware or not that close to his sister, state that instead. It just has to make sense and be true to the story. As is often said, sometimes the query shows holes in the story, not saying that's happening, but to look deeper at what you're trying to convey with what exists) a community service volunteer, turn to murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown. (How does he not know her goal but knows her plan? Did he see it on her Master Plan whiteboard where it only showed drawings of getting from Hell to Heaven and had parents circled?)

   

Being a pacifist, Sam tries talking her out of it (Out of what? You just said he doesn't know what she plans to do), but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her (This doesn't make sense still. I don't see how this is the only option. A real pacifist would find EVERY available option before getting here and still likely end up doing nothing because this is a moral position. Which makes it seem like you're only calling him a pacifist to make sense of him being inactive for a large part of the story. Putting him in a moral dilemma makes sense for stakes, but he's not in one. He doesn't know what she even plans to do and what is there to lose? They're already dead), and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs (As I asked before, from what?), but it just might cost him his place in Heaven. (This ending doubles down on the "pacifism" not being real pacifism and more of a plot, or lack of plot, point. Furthermore, who cares if he gets kicked out of Heaven? This is all made up by you so you have to illustrate why that's a super awful thing. Right now I don't even know what that means. He goes to Hell? Doesn't seem so bad in this query, his sister is thriving enough to battle her way to Heaven. Do you just stop existing? The main problem to answer in a story about fighting is what's at stake when everyone is dead? None of your queries have answered that so far)

 



#80 Bibliophyl

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 08:12 AM

Thanks for stopping by my query!

 

Sixteen-year-old Sam Croft used to dream of becoming a veterinarian, travelling the world and scuba diving, but now all his dreams are dead—just like himself. [minor--should it be just like himself or just like him? the latter sounds more natural to me but I'm honestly not sure]

   

In Heaven with his parents, Sam doesn’t know what killed him and his family. Many of their memories are locked away to ensure their bliss. But Sam remembers something his parents don't: his sister, Cara. Determined to find her, he searches Heaven and beyond—to end up in Hell. Where she was sent for his and his parents’ murder.   

   

Sam can’t understand what made his sister, a straight A student and a community service volunteer, turn to murder. Whatever her motivations, he suspects she isn’t done as she concocts a dangerous, yet brilliant plan to invade Heaven. Her target? Their parents. Her goal is unknown. [Just a thought, but I think it would be more powerful to hint at her goal/motivation. An antagonist with a great motivation will really hook the reader]

   

Being a pacifist, [does he need to be a pacifist to not want his sister to do harm to their parents? though I don't quite understand what she can actually do to them if they're already dead/in heaven--maybe clarify that to heighten the stakes] Sam tries talking her out of it, but words can’t hold her. Only a brutal fight will stop her, and Sam must be as ruthless as her to win. But when violence stops phasing him, and sacrificing the innocent becomes a valid option, he realizes the fight is corrupting him. Sam must protect his parents at all costs, but it just might cost him his place in Heaven.  

 

 

I can see that you've revised this a lot and I think it's really close! Good luck :)







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