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Shades of Darkness, YA fantasy


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#21 Denisa

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 02:51 AM

OLD VERSION. NEW ONE IN #26

 

Thank you everyone for your feedback! I added (again) the para about Jason's brother to explain why Carla wants/needs to save Jason, and hinted at the conflict between their kinds. I'm really torn abut it because each time I added this para I received advise to take it out, but once out, I received questions about Carla's motivation to save Jason. So, at this point I have no idea which is better, the para with Jason's brother included or removed?

 

  

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey’s life 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.

 

When Carla falls in love with Jason’s brother, her soulless-killer of a father condemns her to death for betraying her kind, the Shadows, and falling in love with a Luminary, their sworn enemies. The only reason Carla—her ungrateful Shadow self included—still kicks is because Jason’s brother gives his life to save her.

 

Between the two of her, Carla’s humans side has the tougher mission: repay her debt. She’s up against the assassins her father sends to drop Jason. 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. Take down her sniveling human side, seize control, reunite with daddy dearest. Standing in her way is Jason D’Cartey. So when daddy's assassins finally find Jason, all she has to do is get her pitiful human side to screw up, and let the killers do the rest.

 

May her best self win.



#22 Denisa

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 05:21 AM

God, I hope this is better, because the thought of revising this query one more time makes me wanna cry.



#23 cmmg

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:27 AM

Revisions are a constant in everything, unfortunately.

 

I don't think you need all the second paragraph, that's the issue. You only need a little bit. Saying "The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey’s life--she owes him a debt after all-- and silence her..." is really about as much explanation as you need.

 

In terms of the plot, I see where you tried to fix it up more at the end, but I'm not sure if that's enough. The query is on the medium side because of the second paragraph, but if you can get that information in elsewhere, you can expand on the final paragraph again and flesh that out, you'd have a good length query.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#24 TheBest

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 04:50 PM

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey’s life 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.  (I like this opener a lot, but I think it might help if we knew a tad more about Jason D'Cartey. Just a word about her relationship to him.)

 

When Carla falls in love with Jason’s brother, her soulless-killer of a father condemns her to death for betraying her kind, the Shadows, and falling in love with a Luminary, their sworn enemies. (The Luminary bit is interesting, but you could just make it 'outsider' or 'sworn enemy.' If you're looking to cut things down, consider cutting this piece of world building.) The only reason Carla—her ungrateful Shadow self included (Don't like this.)—still kicks is because Jason’s brother gives his life to save her. 

 

Between the two of her, Carla’s humans side has the tougher mission: repay her debt. She’s up against the assassins her father sends to drop Jason. (Love the voice here!) 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 voice. Again!)

 

Her Shadow’s mission: piece of cake. (Still love this.) Take down her sniveling human side, seize control, reunite with daddy dearest. Standing in her way is Jason D’Cartey. So when daddy's assassins finally find Jason, all she has to do is get her pitiful human side to screw up, and let the killers do the rest. 

 

May her best self win. (I suggest adding one last final sentence of stakes, followed by 'May her best self win.' Like a recap of her Shadow side and human side.)

 

Great work! The voice is even stronger in this version of the query. I do think you have a bit too much world building going on with the Luminaries. Either keep it an expand on it later, or cut it entirely. I also suggest adding traditional 'Choice' or 'Must' stakes to the end of your query, before may her best self win. Your first sentence is still really punchy, but it might help to tell us a tiny bit about Jason. It's really only the second paragraph that needs tweaking though, the rest is very clear. All in all, great query. The voice alone would make me request more.



#25 RegE

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 08:05 PM

Thank you everyone for your feedback! I added (again) the para about Jason's brother to explain why Carla wants/needs to save Jason, and hinted at the conflict between their kinds. I'm really torn abut it because each time I added this para I received advise to take it out, but once out, I received questions about Carla's motivation to save Jason. So, at this point I have no idea which is better, the para with Jason's brother included or removed?

 

  

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants two things: save Jason D’Cartey’s life 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. I like the Jekyl and Hyde, split personalities idea, but it reads a bit awkwardly.  I think you don't need to say 'two things'. Just say - The human side wants to save Jason and silence her evil shadow side forever. The Shadow wants to kill Jason and get rid of her human side for good. 

 

When Carla falls in love with Jason’s brother, her soulless-killer of a  brutal Father condemns her to death for betraying her kind, the Shadows, and falling in love with a Luminary, their sworn enemies (These two supernatural entities need explaining. What are they? Why are they enemies?). The only reason Carla—her ungrateful Shadow self included—still kicks is because Jason’s brother gives his life to save her < This doesn't really make sense. .

 

Between the two of her, Carla’s humans side has the tougher mission: repay her debt. She’s up against the assassins her Father sends to drop Jason. She’s up against Jason’s mistrust and her freaking feelings < Not a great turn of phrase 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 is a piece of cake. Take down her sniveling human side, seize control, reunite with daddy dearest. Standing in her way is Jason D’Cartey. So when daddy's assassins finally find Jason, all she has to do is get her pitiful human side to screw up, and let the killers do the rest.

 

May her best self win. < cool!

 

I like your concept. Because you're writing from the perspective of two personalities in the same query, at times it is confusing. I think if you clean it up and give personalities have a distinct voice, this could be really good. Saying that, I think you overdo the voice in parts like using odd phrases like  'freaking feelings'. Other instances of 'voice' I love. Like 'take down her sniveling human side' really works.  Def think you need to work on the opening hook. Right now, it;s a bit of a mess. Hope my comments help :)



#26 Denisa

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 08:01 AM

NEW VERSION :

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants to save her dead lover’s brother, Jason D’Cartey, and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her wants to off the bastard and shut her human side up for good.

 

Carla’s humans side has the tougher mission. Take down the assassins her despicable-killer of a father sends to drop Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Bit of a problem there since she’s just a big ol phony without her Shadow’s powers. Overcome Jason’s mistrust, their kinds, the Shadows and the Luminaries, being at war and all. Deal with her feelings for him—yep, that freaking happened. And dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head, working against her every step of the way.

 

Her Shadow’s mission is cake. Take down her sniveling human side and reunite with daddy dearest—the only one who truly appreciates her killer talents. Standing in her way is golden boy Jason D’Cartey, Carla’s last hold on her humanity. So when daddy’s assassins finally find Jason, all she has to do is get her pitiful human side to screw up, and let the killers do the rest.

 

If Carla’s human side flops, she’s done for, and so is Jason. Because this is how it works, though Carla can live with her Shadow locked in the trunk, if her Shadow ever takes the wheel, she will be kicked out of the car, full speed, permanently. But not before her Shadow will give her the front row to Jason’s brutal execution.

 

May her best self win.



#27 Denisa

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 05:13 AM

Thank you for all your wonderful feedback. I've let the query sit for a while, and gave it another try, adding a bit more detail. new version above.



#28 yawriter

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 10:10 AM

NEW VERSION :

 

The human side of Carla Dubrov wants to save her dead lover’s brother, Jason D’Cartey, You do not need the comma... "and silence her Shadow self forever" cannot stand on it's own there is no subject. and silence her Shadow self forever. The Shadow within her wants to off the bastard and shut her human side up for good. Us readers don't know what a shadow side is. Perhaps some sort of quick explanation. the shadow is it a demon? is it a mental health issue? is it a supernatural thing?

 

Carla’s humans side has the tougher mission. You've already made the separation of her two sides clear, this seems like a redundant start to me. Perhaps just get right into it.... Taking down the assassins...Take down the assassins her despicable-killer of a father sends to drop Jason, son of his sworn enemy. Bit of a problem there since she’s just a big old phony without her Shadow’s powers. what do you mean about her shadow being a phony? You explained above that she wasn't... confused right now :( Overcome Jason’s mistrust, their kinds, the Shadows and the Luminaries, being at war and all. Deal with her feelings for him—yep, that freaking happened. And, dear Lord … her Shadow’s constant yammering inside her head (No comma) is working against her every step of the way. Neat concept! 

 

Her Shadow’s mission is cake. Take down her sniveling human side and reunite with daddy dearest—the only one who truly appreciates her killer I  don't see the italics as being necessary in a query. I see that you're trying to put voice into the query, but I think there's a better way to do it. talents. Standing in her way is golden boy Jason D’Cartey, Carla’s last hold on her humanity. So when daddy’s assassins finally find Jason, all she has to do is get her pitiful human side to screw up, and let the killers do the rest. I am quite confused by the plot at this point. Not to discourage you of course. So I think I'm going to stop here so I'm unbiased for the last paragraph in your new version. Let me know when it's up! Great job! Keep hacking away. 

 

If Carla’s human side flops, she’s done for, and so is Jason. Because this is how it works, though Carla can live with her Shadow locked in the trunk, if her Shadow ever takes the wheel, she will be kicked out of the car, full speed, permanently. But not before her Shadow will give her the front row to Jason’s brutal execution.

 

May her best self win.

 

Keep in mind the whole query from dear agent to thanks should be about 250 words...this seems a bit long...especially with 4 paragraphs.. ALL of these are personal opinions! I hope this helped :) I'd appreciate it if you could check out my query. Thanks!



#29 sarahja

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:58 PM

Hey, I like how different this seems! And I really love that closing line.

 

I do like the two voices you're using in the query, but I think you could maybe structure it slightly differently so it doesn't look confusing. I think right now it takes a little repeat reading to like wrap your head around the way this shadow thing works. Maybe if you put a snappy hook on the front, something like "Carla Dubrov is her own worst enemy, literally." or "Carla Dubrov's shadow is her own worst enemy. If only she could put up more of a fight" Something that draws us in without our brain doing too much work. You do say the info in that first paragraph later on so I don't think you need that much, if that makes sense. I would maybe flip the next to paragraphs, so the shadow and its goals come first. Then come back with Carla's stakes. I think that might work better, especially since Carla is the one we'll really root for/she has bigger hurdles. I also think you make the fact that she despises her father v clear and lose a bit of the conflict which could come from a parent being an enemy, if that makes sense?

 

If you're open to a more traditional structure, I think that might be easier? I read the version before this and I think it was really promising. I think maybe

 

HOOKY ZINGER LINE

PARA 1 Carla falls in love with a luminary, the sworn enemy of her people, he dies saving her. so when killers take out a contract on his brother, she is determined to repay the debt, even if he doesn't want her help.

PARA 2 reveal her father is behind it, reveal her shadow self/powerful alter ego(show us what a shadow is) is against her. and if they can take over and kill the boy she is gradually falling for, they'll be in perma control. maybe keep the front row seat bit, if you can :)

END HOOK

that way you're ending with the stakes being upped to super mega levels, if that makes sense.

 

Hope this helps! I really like this idea. Is it told in dual POV or with the shadow chiming in?

 

Best of luck!


If you have the time, please take a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...can-ya-fantasy/





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