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Shades of Darkness, YA fantasy


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#1 Denisa

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:51 AM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

New version here (post #26) http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=357485

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her also wants two things: drop the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her monster of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes keeping his ungrateful, perfect butt alive difficult. Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power. In that order.  

 

The only reason Carla—all of her—still breathes is because of Jason’s brother’s sacrifice. Had he not given his life to save hers two hundred years ago, Carla’s father would have killed her—both of her—for falling in love with a Luminary, and thus betraying her kind.

 

If her human side fails, welcome death, her’s, Jason’s. If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.

 

So may her best self win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old version:

 

This story isn’t about Vlad Tepes, we all heard that story before. This story is about his closest and most trustful adviser, the leader of the Shadows. Well, okay, okay … not about him either. It’s about his daughter, Carla Dubrov. And God forbid, it’s not about vampires. It’s about the real predators. The ones that crawl their way inside your head, suck you dry of free will, and make you do their biding, kill yourself or others—or in Vlad Tepes’s case: impale people to the stake. Meet the Shadows.

 

But Shadows are only half the story. The other half belongs to the Luminaries, the balance keepers. Because as far as they’re concern, it’s okay to kill/impale one’s ass (literally) as long as it’s not an innocent’s ass. The whole necessary evil crap (not literally crap).  

 

So Shadows and Luminaries have always had a fight going, but when Carla falls in love with Anthony, the son of the Luminary leader, the smoldering feuded kabooms into a full-blown war. Romeo and Julieta style, only on steroids. When their love is discovered, Carla is sentenced to death for betraying her own kind, but Anthony gives his life to save hers.

 

Two hundred years later, the war is still raging. So when Anthony’s brother, Jason, draws a big fat bullseye on his butt while searching for revenge, Carla has no choice but to come out of hiding. Saving Jason is her only chance at repaying Anthony’s sacrifice. But out in the open she is game once more.

 

And who better to serve Carla her sentence than the Shadow she was betrothed to but betrayed and left for Anthony two centuries ago.

 

SHADES OF DARKNESS is a young adult urban fantasy novel, complete at 77,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#2 MICRONESIA

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:23 AM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

 

 This story isn’t about Vlad Tepes; we've all heard that story before. This story is about his closest and most trustful adviser, the leader of the Shadows. Well, okay, okay … not about him either. It’s about his daughter, Carla Dubrov. And God forbid, it’s not about vampires. It’s about the real predators. The ones that crawl their way inside your head, suck you dry of free will, and make you do their biding, kill yourself or others—or in Vlad Tepes’s case: impale people to the stake. Meet the Shadows. Agents HATE when you simply tell us what the story is about. Get right to the story -- SHOW us these things!

 

But Shadows are only half the story. The other half belongs to the Luminaries, the balance keepers. Because as far as they’re concerned, it’s okay to kill/impale one’s ass (literally) No. Just... no. I know you're trying to be funny, but this doesn't belong here. as long as it’s not an innocent’s ass. The whole necessary evil crap (not literally crap). We're halfway through and I still don't know what this story is about. Who are the characters? What is the conflict?

 

So Shadows and Luminaries have always had a fight going, but when Carla falls in love with Anthony, the son of the Luminary leader, the smoldering feuded kabooms Too much. into a full-blown war. Romeo and Julieta style, only on steroids. When their love is discovered, Carla is sentenced to death for betraying her own kind, but Anthony gives his life to save hers. TELL THIS STORY -- don't just talk "about" it! It feels like we're hanging out, and you're telling me about your book after a few drinks, haha. The conversational approach does NOT work for a query, though. Look at some examples of successful queries and notice the difference.

 

Two hundred years later, the war is still raging. So we're JUST NOW caught up to present time? So Again, too conversational. when Anthony’s brother, Jason, I'm lost in names. I don't know anything about these people other than their general actions. draws a big fat bullseye on his butt while searching for revenge, Carla has no choice but to come out of hiding. Saving Jason is her only chance at repaying Anthony’s sacrifice. But out in the open she is game once more.

 

And who better to serve Carla her sentence than the Shadow she was betrothed to but betrayed and left for Anthony two centuries ago. Completely lost.

 

SHADES OF DARKNESS is a young adult urban fantasy novel, complete at 77,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

There's a lot of good voice here, but this whole thing isn't done correctly yet.

 

Research, revise, re-post.



#3 Heliagrey

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 10:02 AM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

 

 This story isn’t about Vlad Tepes, we all heard that story before. This story is about his closest and most trustful adviser, the leader of the Shadows. Well, okay, okay … not about him either.  It’s about his daughter, Carla Dubrov. And God forbid, it’s not about vampires. It’s about the real predators. The ones that crawl their way inside your head, suck you dry of free will, and make you do their biding bidding, kill yourself or others—or in Vlad Tepes’s case: impale people to the stake. Meet the Shadows. This is too much for a hook. And you might find an agent who likes the 'we've all heard that story before' way to get them interested, but I think you'd be better served by a clean, concise hook. This has too conversational a tone- the 'well okay, okay" really doesn't have a place here. 

 

But Shadows are only half the story. You've spent a long time now demurring on what the story is- it's about this thing, buuuut not really, and kind of about this daughter, but really it's this... and that's only half the story. The other half belongs to the Luminaries, the balance keepers. Because as far as they’re concern, it’s okay to kill/impale one’s ass (literally) as long as it’s not an innocent’s ass. The whole necessary evil crap (not literally crap).  (You've shifted tone here a little abruptly with the sudden cursing and more humorous/sarcastic feel- okay if that's the tone of the story, but don't just spring it on the agent here. Personally I don't think it's necessary, but I don't know the tone of your text.)

 

So Shadows and Luminaries have always had a fight going (your tone here feels too casual for a query- I'd tighten it up), but when Carla falls in love with Anthony, the son of the Luminary leader, the smoldering feuded kabooms (smoldering fueled kabooms is a cool phrase- flows off the tongue, but I have absolutely 0 percent idea what you're talking about here.) into a full-blown war. Romeo and Julieta style, only on steroids. When their love is discovered, Carla is sentenced to death for betraying her own kind, but Anthony gives his life to save hers.

 

Two hundred years later, the war is still raging. So when Anthony’s brother, Jason, draws a big fat bullseye on his butt while searching for revenge, Carla has no choice but to come out of hiding. Saving Jason is her only chance at repaying Anthony’s sacrifice. But out in the open she is game once more.(I feel like you've shifted tone again here. This feels like three different queries- parts of them, at least.)

 

And who better to serve Carla her sentence than the Shadow she was betrothed to but betrayed and left for Anthony two centuries ago. (Try not to do hypothetical questions.)

 

SHADES OF DARKNESS is a young adult urban fantasy novel, complete at 77,000 words. (That's a lot of ass, crap, and butts for a YA novel. And if it's urban- try and work that in earlier- I didn't get that feeling from the query.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 Revise, revise- there's good here, but the format's not there yet. :)

 

(No need to reciprocate- my query's on lock down right now. Lol.



#4 cmmg

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 10:10 AM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

 

 This story isn’t about Vlad Tepes, we all heard that story before. This story is about his closest and most trustful adviser, the leader of the Shadows. Well, okay, okay … not about him either. It’s about his daughter, Carla Dubrov. And God forbid, it’s not about vampires. It’s about the real predators. The ones that crawl their way inside your head, suck you dry of free will, and make you do their biding, kill yourself or others—or in Vlad Tepes’s case: impale people to the stake. Meet the Shadows. (I don't think the use of "wes" and "yous" are working for you. Also, I don't know what the Shadows actually are. There's too much time saying "this story is, this story isn't" you could probably get away with one "this story isn't." The voice is good, but it's not tight. This would work for a prologue, not a query)

 

But Shadows are only half the story. The other half belongs to the Luminaries, the balance keepers. Because as far as they’re concern, it’s okay to kill/impale one’s ass (literally) as long as it’s not an innocent’s ass. The whole necessary evil crap (not literally crap).  (I have no idea what the Shadows are, and thus, no idea what the Luminaries are. What are they? Get that in there.)

 

So Shadows and Luminaries have always had a fight going, but when Carla falls in love with Anthony, the son of the Luminary leader, the smoldering feuded kabooms into a full-blown war. Romeo and Julieta style, only on steroids. When their love is discovered, Carla is sentenced to death for betraying her own kind, but Anthony gives his life to save hers. (each of these sentences says the exact same thing. You need one tops. "but they need to know that Anthony dies" okay then cut the whole rest of the query and start with this paragraph. Because you need to cut somewhere if that makes sense)

 

Two hundred years later (if the rest was prologue, start cutting. If the main focus is on what Carla's doing with her brother, that needs to be earlier. Like WAY earlier and not last second if that is the actual story), the war is still raging. So when Anthony’s brother, Jason, draws a big fat bullseye on his butt while searching for revenge, Carla has no choice but to come out of hiding. Saving Jason is her only chance at repaying Anthony’s sacrifice. But out in the open she is game once more.

 

And who better to serve Carla her sentence than the Shadow she was betrothed to but betrayed and left for Anthony two centuries ago.

 

SHADES OF DARKNESS is a young adult urban fantasy novel, complete at 77,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

The tone doesn't bother me but nothing really happens here. The action and plot and stakes need to be sooner. What is the conflict? As soon as possible. Is mentioning Vlad Tepes really necessary? There's a lot added for flavour in a space where you need to cut that down. For a writing peice, fine but for a query, this information isn't central enough.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#5 Denisa

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:00 PM

Thank you for your input. Tried a different approach. Let me know if I'm going in the right direction.   



#6 Heliagrey

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:52 PM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

New version:

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her also wants two things: drop the bastard and shut her human side up for good. (Ooh, doesn't even sound like the same query! Nice. I'd put commas after D'Cartey and "bastard" but I don't think you need it- I just think it helps pacing.)

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-ruthless-killer (I'd take one of those descriptors out. A soulless-ruthless-killer all in hyphens is a bit to chew on) of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Up against Jason’s mistrust(up against mistrust- doesn't quite sound right. I'd rephrase)—they were born to be enemies, their fathers made sure of that—, which makes keeping his ungrateful, perfect butt alive difficult. (This sentence is choppy- read aloud and see if it makes sense to you.) Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened—, which makes all of the above and life itself, well … pretty darn impossible. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way.  (Okay, you started really strong, and it's kind of losing steam here. I'm not following as clearly any more. The asides are a style choice, but you have at least one too many.)

 

Her Shadow’s mission, piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. (You're kind of overlapping here- it sounds like the same thing, just slightly different. I'd pick one- either screw with her head or seize control.) Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.  

 

The only reason Carla—all of her—still breathes is because of Jason’s brother’s sacrifice. Had he not given his life to save hers two hundred years ago, Carla’s father would have killed her—both of her—for falling in love with a Luminary, for betraying her kind.

 

If her human side fails, welcome death, her’s, Jason’s. If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.

 

So may her best self win. (OOOOH. Don't let anyone convince you to change this last line. I love it. If you must, move it to a hook, but jeez, I like this. It's a tagline.)

 

I'd kill some of the asides. They're cutting away from the great voice you have here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old version:

 

This story isn’t about Vlad Tepes, we all heard that story before. This story is about his closest and most trustful adviser, the leader of the Shadows. Well, okay, okay … not about him either. It’s about his daughter, Carla Dubrov. And God forbid, it’s not about vampires. It’s about the real predators. The ones that crawl their way inside your head, suck you dry of free will, and make you do their biding, kill yourself or others—or in Vlad Tepes’s case: impale people to the stake. Meet the Shadows.

 

But Shadows are only half the story. The other half belongs to the Luminaries, the balance keepers. Because as far as they’re concern, it’s okay to kill/impale one’s ass (literally) as long as it’s not an innocent’s ass. The whole necessary evil crap (not literally crap).  

 

So Shadows and Luminaries have always had a fight going, but when Carla falls in love with Anthony, the son of the Luminary leader, the smoldering feuded kabooms into a full-blown war. Romeo and Julieta style, only on steroids. When their love is discovered, Carla is sentenced to death for betraying her own kind, but Anthony gives his life to save hers.

 

Two hundred years later, the war is still raging. So when Anthony’s brother, Jason, draws a big fat bullseye on his butt while searching for revenge, Carla has no choice but to come out of hiding. Saving Jason is her only chance at repaying Anthony’s sacrifice. But out in the open she is game once more.

 

And who better to serve Carla her sentence than the Shadow she was betrothed to but betrayed and left for Anthony two centuries ago.

 

SHADES OF DARKNESS is a young adult urban fantasy novel, complete at 77,000 words.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#7 punitrastogi

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:27 PM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

New version:

 

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her also wants two things: drop the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her monster of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes keeping his ungrateful, perfect butt alive difficult. Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way. 

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power. In that order.  

So far, your query is fantastic, assuming that the voice you have written it in, is in-line with the audience and the tone of your book.

If the book turns out to be a grim literature, the agent would be really disappointed.

The only reason Carla—all of her—still breathes is because of Jason’s brother’s sacrifice. Had he not given his life to save hers two hundred years ago (this is where my problem begins. This is a sudden change from the tone and the approach of the rest of the query. I understand that since your book is a Fantasy, these factors were bound to come in. But this, and the "luminary" that comes in later, bombard the reader with two concepts that were not even remotely mentioned above. It took a couple of minutes to wrap my head around it, and that destroyed the momentum built by the excellent writing above.), Carla’s father would have killed her—both of her—for falling in love with a Luminary, and thus betraying her kind. (If you could mention these points above in some way, it would be a brilliant and unique approach.)

 

If her human side fails, welcome deathher’s, Jason’s. If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.(Don't the underlined things mean the same thing?)

 

So may her best self win.



#8 lnloft

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:41 PM

Hi, everyone!

 

Would love to get some feedback on my query, and, of course, I'll happily return the favor. 

 

New version:

 

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: to save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her also wants two things: to drop the bastard and shut her human side up for good. Personal preference, I think it sounds better with the infinitive, but you don't have to take that one if you don't like it. Otherwise, solid start.

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her monster of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes keeping his ungrateful, perfect butt alive difficult I like this, because it says something about both the characters, but it doesn't flow very well. Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … up against the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head Since you just used "head", maybe a different word here, like "mind" or "psyche". Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get Get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power. In that order. I don't think the "in that order" works, because there's so many things listed that is just feels tacked on at the end. 

 

The only reason Carla—all of her—still breathes is because of Jason’s brother’s sacrifice. Had he not given his life to save hers two hundred years ago, Carla’s father would have killed her—both of her—for falling in love with a Luminary, and thus betraying her kind. This is where things get a little vague. I don't know what a Luminary is (although I assume Jason is one).  I don't know what Carla's "kind" is. These things don't mean enough to me to give any weight.

 

If her human side fails, welcome death, her’s, Jason’s. I see what you are trying to do, but this sentence just reads weirdly. If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.

 

So m May her best self win. Again, personal preference, but I like it better without the "so".

You've got awesome voice in this. That being said, your title lists it as YA and nothing here suggests to me that this is YA. The voice doesn't sound YA, and the character is apparently 200 years old. I'm assuming she doesn't look like a 200-year-old crone, but the impression I get is that she looks like a woman in her 20s or 30s. An adult. Is there a reason you're advertising as YA? Because from what I'm seeing here, everything seems fine as adult. But, yeah, this is racing in the right direction. Good luck.


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


#9 Denisa

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:52 PM

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

The only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother gave his life for hers. Carla’s a-hole of a father would’ve killed her—all of her—for falling in love with the son of his sworn enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids.

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her father sends to eliminate Jason. Up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes it darn difficult to keep his ungrateful, perfect butt alive. Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

If her human side fails, welcome death, her’s and Jason’s. If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.

 

May her best self win.



#10 Heliagrey

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 05:41 PM

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow (Hmm... I'm torn whether or not you should say 'self' here again... or cut out the 'self' in the last sentence to make it consistent and very clear you're talking about the same thing) within her also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

The only reason Carla—both of her—cute is still kicking is because Jason’s brother gave his life for hers. Carla’s a-hole of a father would’ve killed her—all of her—for falling in love with the son of his sworn enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids. I like this- but I don't know why Jason's bro dying saved her life. It's not very clear. In fact, I don't know how much of this paragraph is needed- and your next sentence directly ties into the hook, so you might want to start there- and then roll some of this great info into THAT para.)

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her father sends to eliminate Jason. Up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes it darn difficult to keep his ungrateful, perfect butt alive.(I still don't like this sentence. There's no verb. I see you're trying to do a "up against" kind of list- but I had to read it twice to get taht. I don't know if an agent would give you the re-read. Can you make it clearer it's a list?) Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way. The shadow self? That voice?

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control (you've said control a lot) you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. (Nice w/ the killer talents.) Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

If her human side fails, welcome death, her’s and Jason’s. (Mm, I'd rephrase, or at least reformat the sentence- 'both hers and Jasons') If her Shadow side succeeds, farewell redemption.

 

May her best self win. Still LOVE this.

I'd read this! You're definitely moving in the right direction.  When you have a chance, please pop over to mine- I'm in desperate need of some help w/ my ending. 

 

http://agentquerycon...-the-guardians/



#11 Denisa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 06:28 AM

This is an old version. new one in #26

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

If her human side fails, farewell redemption. Because the only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother died to save her. Carla’s father would’ve killed her—all of her—for betraying her own and falling in love with the enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids.

 

May her best self win.



#12 Heliagrey

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:46 AM

New version:

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow self within her also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good. (I'd still make sure the two shadows in the two lines are clearly the same thing. If you want to make it known that it's inside her, I'd keep 'within' and add self, but personally I'd just add self and axe the within.) 

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her a-hole of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes it darn difficult to keep his ungrateful, perfect butt alive. (Still not a huge fan of this sentence, but it's clearly a stylistic choice, and it does make more sense with re-reading and your revisions.) Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way. Wait- question- is the shadow self real or not? Up to this point, I had kind of taken it for a given that there's fantasy involved and she's got this dual nature. Here's the first time I'm wondering if it's real or not?

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. (I'd still get rid of some of the 'control's, but again, clearly it's something you feel passionate about!) Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

If her human side fails, farewell redemption. Because the only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother gave his life for hers. (I still don't get this, or know if it's necessary in the query.) Carla’s father would’ve killed her—all of her—for betraying her own and falling in love with the enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids.

 

If her Shadow side succeeds, everyone’s screwed. Carla and Jason in primis. (This feels a little esoteric.)

 

May her best self win. (Still such a great sentence.)



#13 Denisa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:55 AM

 

New version:

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow self within her also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good. (I'd still make sure the two shadows in the two lines are clearly the same thing. If you want to make it known that it's inside her, I'd keep 'within' and add self, but personally I'd just add self and axe the within.) 

 

Between the two, Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her a-hole of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust, which makes it darn difficult to keep his ungrateful, perfect butt alive. (Still not a huge fan of this sentence, but it's clearly a stylistic choice, and it does make more sense with re-reading and your revisions.) Against her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … the voice in her head that won’t stop yammering, making her doubt her sanity every step of the way. Wait- question- is the shadow self real or not? Up to this point, I had kind of taken it for a given that there's fantasy involved and she's got this dual nature. Here's the first time I'm wondering if it's real or not?

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in, you’re in control, and once in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. (I'd still get rid of some of the 'control's, but again, clearly it's something you feel passionate about!) Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under once and for all. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

If her human side fails, farewell redemption. Because the only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother gave his life for hers. (I still don't get this, or know if it's necessary in the query.) Carla’s father would’ve killed her—all of her—for betraying her own and falling in love with the enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids.

 

If her Shadow side succeeds, everyone’s screwed. Carla and Jason in primis. (This feels a little esoteric.)

 

May her best self win. (Still such a great sentence.)

 

Thanks so much! Do you think I'd be better off cutting the whole Jason's brother died to save her part?



#14 Heliagrey

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 08:12 AM

Thanks so much! Do you think I'd be better off cutting the whole Jason's brother died to save her part?

For the query, absolutely. Unless I'm missing something big, I don't think it's necessary to the stakes. 



#15 lnloft

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 08:19 AM

Seconded. Right now he's just kind of there, mentioned once. Either cut him out, or else expand on him, as something like "Jason resents Carla because his brother died for her," and make that part of the struggle. But with everything else that's going on, I don't think you need that to tangle everything else up.


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


#16 Denisa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 08:23 AM

For the query, absolutely. Unless I'm missing something big, I don't think it's necessary to the stakes. 

I tried to squeeze that in there because it's the reason Carla want's to save Jason, but maybe it's not important to the query after all. And it would be a lot to explain since that part happened two hundred years before the actual story begins... UH. I think I'll just remove that whole para. 



#17 Denisa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 08:26 AM

Old version. new one in #26

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

May her best self win.



#18 AsperBlurry

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 08:41 AM

Thank you, Denisa, for your feedback, I'm returning the favor :) 

New version:

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good. This is so cool!

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.  It's TMI for me and I got lost. I think you should try to simplify it, focus on 1, top 2 things which her Shadow wants. 

 

If her human side fails, farewell redemption. Because the only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother died to save her. (TMI) Carla’s father would’ve killed her—all of her—for betraying her own and falling in love with the enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids. (this is funny!)

 

May her best self win. (Great ending, yes, may the force be with us :D)

 

I like your style, it's funny and refreshing. I feel like you have an interesting story. I'd suggest to cut off too many info and focus on those most important. Good job :)



#19 TheBest

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save (relationship?) Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good. (Great intro, establishes stakes right away. You ought to say more about Jason though.)

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way. (Great transition. The connection is very clear. I would recommend adding a little piece about how she met Jason, or how the feelings developed.)

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. (HA!!) Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power. 

 

May her best self win. (Amazing ending.)

 
You query has so much going for it. Fantastic voice, clear stakes, and amazing characters. My biggest recommendation is to give us just a fe more details about Jason. You've got room for a few adjectives, or description of their meeting. Also, it might not hurt to hint at why Carla has a shadow side -- if her father's evil, you could probably kill two birds with one stone by saying she inherited it, or it's related to him in someway. That would strengthen connection and clear up some confusion. All in all, great job and great work! This one of the stronger queries i've read on this site. I'd definitely read this.
 
You can find my query here: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/


#20 cmmg

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:51 PM

old version. New one in port #17 WHOOPS I DID THE OLD ONE!!!!! I'll leave this here anyway, because the new one is basically the old one minus one paragraph and most of these comments on this one. Sorry for the confusion.

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way. (but why does she want to save him? What's in it for her? You got her goal and obstacle down, but you need to get across I think a short and sweet version of why she wants to save him. Even though I know it has to do with his brother, maybe mentioning that she's indebted to him, or that he's innocent, so sense that makes the reader care about Jason's life beyond just that she wants him alive.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s (I'd say it's not immediately clear that this is Carla)  head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head and seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed (You're construction is is a not working for you. You have a the shadow wants: Cake. Eating things. Pie. but the further you go and develop ideas it looses it's connection to the orginal sentence saying what the Shadows mission is. )—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under (This makes it sound like the Shadow wants her dead, but then it would die too. ). Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power. (The issues here is I feel like there's too many things. The construction/connect could be improved. There's good voice here, but I'm still confused as to exactly what the Shadow is in relation to Carla. I'd trim this to basically hit 1) the shadow needs to break, to gain contol (in one quick sentence)2) the best way to break her is kill Jason, and reunite her with her killer of a father. I don't think mentioning "kill everyone in the path to absolute power helps you here. ALSO even though I get these sort of opposing side, I don't have a good sense of the plot or the turns, other than there are two sides. What's the inciting incident?)

 

If her human side fails, farewell redemption. Because the only reason Carla—both of her—is still kicking is because Jason’s brother died to save her (I'd maybe mention this earlier). Carla’s father would’ve killed her—all of her— (repeating that bit here doesn't help, I feel like we got it before, not it feels overplayed) for betraying her own and falling in love with the enemy. Romeo and Julieta style, loaded on steroids.(this is a fun phrase but because you have this as a throw away, elaborating doesn't work)

 

May her best self win.

You still have good voice, and I think you're starting in the right place, but I also think that you start to lose a sense of what the plot is. I've been reading a lot of ten queries/why agents reject queries and I've been super critical of plot, and I feel like here you lose the plot. You have some vague idea that her father wants Jason beat, and plans to kill him, but there's no plot complication. For instance you could say like "Her Shadow's mission: a piece of cake. All it needs to do it break her, and seize control. And the best way to do that, her Shadow self decides is to get Jason killed. (or whatever) So when her father does PLOT POINT X, the Shadow self TAKES THIS ACTION" or something. You have the Shadow's plans but not what's happening, which means there's sort of hints of what's to come/what the conflict is, but I feel like that could be a lot clearer.

 

 

 

NEW

 

 

 

Thanks so much everyone! I'll give it one more try:

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey and silence her Shadow self forever. Her Shadow self also wants two things: off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Carla’s human side has the tougher mission. She’s up against the assassins her soulless-killer of a father sends to eliminate Jason, son of his sworn enemy. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings for him—yep, that happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. Screw with the bitch’s head—because that’s what a Shadow does, gets inside a pitiful human’s head. Seize control—because once you’re in control you can get the sniveling little thing do whatever the hell you want. Help get lover boy killed—because that’s what it’ll take to rip her human side to shreds and put her six feet under. Reunite with beloved father—because he’s the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Kill everyone in their path to absolute power.

 

May her best self win.

 

This has all the same problems as before, so never mind!


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