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"Beyond The Horizon" YA Fantasy


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#1 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 05:02 PM

I've lost count of how many versions of this query I've gone through. For this edit, I tried to make it as tight and concise as possible. But I'm now wondering if it's too tight? Do you think I have enough detail in here to be interesting, or did I take too much out?

 

Thank you all in advanced - this website has been invaluable.   

 

EDIT: My above question still stands, but I did end up editing it again to add a few more details back in there.

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death. All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements. And when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed. 

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. 

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Emery never knew a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death. 

 

All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people live on, hidden from the world because the king and his soldiers kill anyone with such gifts. But when a soldier lands on Orabel's shores - the first to find them in over a century - everything changes. 

 
Instead of bringing death, the soldier gives Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. To do so, she must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#2 smithgirl

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 05:49 PM

Dear agent:

 

 

x-year-old Emery never knew a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death.  This sounds nice but it's not very "hooky." All it tells us is what things are like right now; it tells us nothing about what will happen (in your story). Your hook needs to give some idea of what will happen in the story, something that will make us curious to read more, it should introduce some conflict.

 

All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people live on, hidden from the world because the king and his soldiers kill anyone with such gifts. What gifts? Be more specific. And why do they kill them?  But when a soldier lands on Orabel's shores -- the first to find them in over a century -- everything changes. But I thought the king and his soldiers already know about them? After all, they're on the lookout for people with gifts.

 
Instead of bringing death, the soldier gives Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. Good. To do so, she must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. This also sounds lovely, but it's too vague, and not really a statement of the stakes.

 

Set in a Caribbean-inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA If it's YA you need to state Emery's age. That's very important. fantasy novel completed at 110,000 FYI 110K words is very long for YA, in fact it's long for any genre (but especially for YA). Most agents will likely reject you just on the word count. words with series potential. and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. There are examples of racial diversity You should try to show this diversity in your query. in my manuscript, as I believe diversity in literature is essential.

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Your query is indeed nice and concise. It's also very nicely written; unfortunately, it's still too vague. It's really essential to make your query very specific. I marked some things that I thought were too vague or somehow unclear. Still, this is a really good start for your query, so good job! Can you please look at my own query when you get a chance? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...-query-post-42/



#3 Heliagrey

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:16 PM

 

I've lost count of how many versions of this query I've gone through. For this edit, I tried to make it as tight and concise as possible. But I'm now wondering if it's too tight? Do you think I have enough detail in here to be interesting, or did I take too much out?

 

Thank you all in advanced - this website has been invaluable.   

 

EDIT: My above question still stands, but I did end up editing it again to add a few more details back in there.

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death.  (I'm not sure how the  latter half of the sentence connects to the first- are the elemists the bad guys, or are they her people? I'm leaning towards that before they were hunted, they did these things. I'd phrase it more like, 17 yr old Emery never knew the time when her people sculpted flames and wove winds without the fear of being hunted. , etc. ALSO- when I read this, I thought "Ellimist Chronicles- it's a somewhat similar name to Elemist.) All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements. And when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed. (Eh? That escalated quickly. Do you mean she worries for...?)

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. (I like this sentence.) And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. (The grammar on this sentence pulls me out of it a little. Read it alone and see if it makes any sense to you outside of its context.)

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself (don't you mean to? Or do you actually mean she's a weapon/dangerous) as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words (I feel like I'm always the harbinger of word death here- but 110 is the upper limit of what agents will usually accept for a YA fantasy first book. I know cutting out words is crazy hard, but you'd have better luck getting an agent if you can get it under 100k.) and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To answer your question, I don't think you took too many words out- it should be nice and concise- but some of the things you say are nonspecific. I'm not entirely sure why leaving the island may kill everyone, or why they're so afraid of being caught out- or why this stranger comes to get her help specifically- and for what, exactly. It's a really difficult, fine line to walk, but I'm not entirely sure of what's happening or her motivations. Keep going- I know it doesn't feel that way... but you're almost there!



#4 punitrastogi

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 02:31 AM

 

I've lost count of how many versions of this query I've gone through. For this edit, I tried to make it as tight and concise as possible. But I'm now wondering if it's too tight? Do you think I have enough detail in here to be interesting, or did I take too much out?

 

Thank you all in advanced - this website has been invaluable.   

 

EDIT: My above question still stands, but I did end up editing it again to add a few more details back in there.

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists like her sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death. All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements. (This needs to be written better) And when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows fears that everyone she loves is doomed. 

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn freedom for her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador (between who? the king and the elemists? or are their other races/characters as play?). But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, across the seas where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. If I were her, I would say - "No, thank you. Because even if we are afraid, at least we are alive and happy." (Unless there is something that is not mentioned in the query)

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. (The risks are too high with not a lot to gain. Even if she succeeds, based on the current info, it would still mean that Orabel is exposed to the non-elemist world.) Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Ok, I get a lot of Wonder Woman meets Pirates of the Caribbean feeling here.

 

But thats not a bad thing.

Like Diana had a motivation of defeating Ares, you need to specify why does she want to follow the outsider.

 

Because if she doesnt have that motivation, it is difficult to understand her intent to do so.

 

Hope it helps.



#5 sri.1209

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death (I agree with the above post here that the hook is supposed to reveal what will happen later on and can get the readers excited).  All she knows is Orabel(This is an awkward start to a sentence, I think) the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements. And  (However), when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed (this needs to be written better also).

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom freedom for her people. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. (More detail here--peace between whom) But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. And it means exposing Orabel itself, (I don't believe the grammar here is correct?) the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. 

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved (this sounds a bit generic and is not very compelling the way its written)Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

 

You have a very intriguing story. However, I think the query sounds a bit rushed. You should really go into further detail with the aspects underlined above and let some of the characters shine through.

 

Hope this way helpful! If you get the chance, please re-edit my revised query. Thanks!

 

http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/



#6 conundrum

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 02:54 PM

Thank you Kjcloutier19 for critiquing my query. I appreciate your comments.

 

I like your story idea, and decided that it would be best to let you consider the other comments for now. It can be overwhelming when you have so many different points of view to contend with all at once. I hope you understand. I just don't want to further vex you, when you're probably thinking about your new revision. I'll keep checking back! :)



#7 SnowFox23

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:29 AM

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death. Cool, but could definitely be a bit 'hookier,' All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements. cool. And when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed.  cool. But how does she know for sure that they are doomerd Maybe change the word 'outsider' to something that shows his intentions. (A traitor, a spy, etc)

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. peace ambassador for whom? But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. very cool. And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. 

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. very cool.

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

dude, this sounds super cool! Love it. I don't have a lot of suggestions because I think it is quite concise and enticing already.

I wish you the best with it. It sounds awesome.

Let us know how you go with querying it!



#8 W.P.

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 02:23 AM

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death. ((interesting first line. I think it'd have more impact if it were more concise. I think if the first sentence ended with "were not hunted" the impact would be bigger. The rest of the sentence could be a sentence of its own. Meaning the first part would be the hook and the second part the "set up" for the story)))All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements((elemists?? I suggest making it shorter and to the point. that way your writing has more impact))) . And((I suggest "but" since it indicates conflict is about to happen and makes the reader go "oh what's going to happen??" whereas "and" is just adding info but doesn't add the dramatic "tone"))) when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed. 

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas.((really love this line. adds conflict and paints an awesome picture of your setting!)) And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. 

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. ((I like how you state the stakes at the very end, adding drama and making me curious about the story. But I'm left with two questions: why did the outsider choose Emery? And did she or did she not decide to be a peacemaker? Her goals and decisions are never mentioned. You don't need to mention her decision, but if you don't you should at least hint that she's trying to choose between the two possibilities. Right now it's hinting that she will go. But I'm still wondering why she would. For one hundred heres they've been in that island--seemingly without an issue. Why ruin it all? Why risk it? Of course it'd be better to not have been banished and be considered equal and not have to worry about being caught. But if they were good like that.... why change? Humans don't typically change things unless they have a very good reason or are driven to that point.)))

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

I'm now wondering if it's too tight? Do you think I have enough detail in here to be interesting, or did I take too much out?

 

 

 

 

Yes, you definitely have enough detail. And your query is very interesting for sure! I enjoyed it actually. My comments were mostly nitpicks really. The query does work. But it could be tweaked to be improved. :)

 

Anyway, I hope this has helped. Your feedback definitely helped me with my query. Thanks so much!



#9 cmmg

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:18 PM

 

I've lost count of how many versions of this query I've gone through. For this edit, I tried to make it as tight and concise as possible. But I'm now wondering if it's too tight? Do you think I have enough detail in here to be interesting, or did I take too much out?

 

Thank you all in advanced - this website has been invaluable.   

 

EDIT: My above question still stands, but I did end up editing it again to add a few more details back in there.

 

maybe?

 

Dear agent,

 

Seventeen year old Emery has never known a time when her people were not hunted, when elemists sculpted flames and wove wind without the fear of death (These two clauses are completely unrelated and that really through me. You want to say she also hasn't know a time when elemists don't sculpt flames but that's not clear. I thought the second clause referred more about her people being hunted and it didn't. And I'm not sure what that clause means, are you saying now when they weave flame they fear death?)All she knows is Orabel, the tiny island her people have secretly lived on ever since the king banished those able to wield the elements(This makes sense from the first clause of sentence one, but not the second. If they're already banished, whey would they either fear death or not fear death? Essentially, they're already hidden, so they've already found their suffering). And when an outsider lands on their shores for the first time in over a century, she knows everyone she loves is doomed.  (The different sized fonts were really distracting and I think this is the weakest part of your query. I'm not 100% sure on what the world state is, and how much I need to know.)

 

But instead of bringing death, the outsider grants Emery one chance to earn her people their freedom. All she has to do is act as a peace ambassador. But to do soshe must sail far from the safety of Orabel, where monsters wait in the waters, storms shatter ships, and rogue elemists wreak havoc across the seas. And it means exposing Orabel itself, the only reason her people have managed to stay alive for so long. 

 

If she fails, it could mean the end of everyone and everything she's ever loved. Yet the greatest danger may be Emery herself as she struggles to control her awakening abilities – and her growing feelings for a man who stands against everything she's fighting for. 

 

Set in a Caribbean inspired world, BEYOND THE HORIZON is a YA fantasy novel completed at 110,000 words and is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GRISHA TRILOGY and Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN. 

 

Per your guidelines, I have pasted the _____ below.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 


 

 

I think that you're right that this query feels tight, and I think that works well for you in a lot of ways. But the question is, are you leaving out information necessary for people to understand you're novel? ONly you can know.

 

Also, you're hook isn't very hooky, a people being hunted is almost generic and there's nothing very catchy about it. The plot seems new comparatively and I think that's definitely stronger.


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synopsis


#10 Danelle Chase

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:35 PM

I'm pretty new at querying, but I thought this was great! In a few short sentences, you've set up the world nicely, showed the stakes, and caught just enough interest that an agent would read your first five pages. It's those fives pages that's gotta sell them on reading more! I wish you luck!


Query - The Windwalker YA Fantasy





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