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CRIMSON CLOUDS (YA fantasy)


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#1 mbal

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 04:45 PM

I feel like it might be missing something. Any help is greatly appreciated and I'll critique back, thank you!

 

Dear ___:

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler, is out for revenge. When sky pirates destroy her home and steal her most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother—she vows to stop at nothing to retrieve it.

 

Ada’s journey takes her through a desert filled with riddle-telling sphinxes, warring Egyptian gods, and booby-trapped temples to the hidden city that hosts the docks of the flying pirate ship, the Stormborn.

 

But her plan to steal back her necklace and set the Stormborn on fire is foiled when she is discovered by the crew and held captive for ransom. The ship’s winsome captain, Hugo Thornton, develops a romantic interest in her, testing Ada’s steadfast vows of revenge. Now, not only must she battle the pirates who have stolen everything from her, but also her traitorous, corrupted heart.

 

[Closing w/ Comps and Bio]



#2 Dollophead

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 03:49 PM

Dear ___:

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler, is out for revenge. This sounds awesome! But being "out for revenge" and "stopping at nothing to retrieve X" are different things, no? I suggest you reword it. When sky pirates destroy her home and steal her late mother's necklace most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother—she vows to [stop at nothing] this is a cliche, try to avoid using them in your queries to retrieve it. 

 

Ada’s journey takes her through a desert filled with riddle-telling sphinxes, warring Egyptian gods, and booby-trapped temples to the hidden city that hosts the docks of the flying pirate ship, the StormbornThis is all plot. I think you can move this to the synopsis and tell us what the stakes are for your story instead. What will happen if Ada doesn't get her necklace? Is she only driven by sentiment or is there something more?

 

But her plan to steal back her necklace and set the Stormborn on fire is [foiled] "plan is foiled" = more cliche. See if you can rework it into a different phrasing when she is discovered by the crew and held captive for ransom.  Who's going to pay for her? The ship’s winsome captain, Hugo Thornton, develops a romantic interest in her, testsing Ada’s steadfast vows of revenge with his winsome charms. Now, not only must she battle battle? she battles them? one woman vs a whole crew? maybe it would work better with a word like "escape" or "eliminate" the pirates who have stolen everything from her, but also her traitorous, corrupted heart.

 

Honestly I can tell this is the kind of story I would love to read. Adventure + romance + sky pirates + mythology is everything I want. Just work on your phrasings and fix that middle paragraph. I'll keep an eye out for your re-edits!!



#3 ScarlettLeigh

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:13 PM

Hi mbal!

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler OMG love this!, is out for revenge. When sky pirates destroy her home and steal her most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother—she vows to stop at nothing to retrieve it. Really fun details here! "Enchanted plant wrangler" definitely has my interest peaked :) Though I'm not quite making the connection between how Ada is out for revenge and stopping it at nothing to retrieve her mother's necklace. Is there a way to smooth over this jump so it feels like one cohesive plot arc?

 

Ada’s journey takes her through a desert filled with riddle-telling sphinxes, warring Egyptian gods, and booby-trapped temples to the hidden city that hosts the docks of the flying pirate ship, the Stormborn.

 

But her plan to steal back her necklace and set the Stormborn  To steal back her necklace, she plans to set the Stormborn on fire, but her effort is foiled when she is discovered by the crew and held captive for ransom. The ship’s winsome captain, Hugo Thornton, develops a romantic interest in her, testing Ada’s steadfast vows of revenge. Now, not only must she battle the pirates who have stolen everything from her, but also her traitorous, corrupted heart.

 

In this last paragraph, you're telling me the plot rather than showing it to me. I don't want to be told that Hugo develops a romantic interest in Ada, I want to feel it through the conflict. The query is on the shorter side so you have room to flush out these details. I'm left wondering how a captain holding Ada for ransom tests her vows for revenge? If anything I imagine that would make her want revenge more. How can she fall in love with a pirate who's stolen everything from her? Without some hint into the how and why, I'm having trouble connecting with Ada's plight.

 

Overall, sky pirates and revenge! Sign me up!



#4 mbal

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 09:17 PM

Okay new version, hopefully this clears up the revenge bit and ties it with the lost necklace. I still need to figure out what to do about the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. I know "develops a romantic interest in her" is super awkward. Thanks all for the help so far

 

Dear ___:

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler, is hunting pirates. When sky pirates destroy her home and steal her most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother—she vows to stop at nothing to retrieve it and exact revenge.

 

Ada’s journey takes her through a desert filled with riddle-telling sphinxes, warring Egyptian gods, and booby-trapped temples to the hidden city that hosts the docks of the flying pirate ship, the Stormborn.

 

But her plan to steal back her necklace and set the Stormborn on fire is foiled when she is discovered by the crew and held captive for ransom. The ship’s winsome captain, Hugo Thornton, develops a romantic interest in her, testing Ada’s steadfast vows of revenge. Now, not only must she battle the pirates who have stolen everything from her, but also her traitorous, corrupted heart.

 

[Closing w/ Comps and Bio]



#5 Dollophead

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 11:33 PM

Is this the only bit you changed?

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler, is hunting pirates. When After a band of sky pirates (not really a critique, but maybe change this to "a band of sky-sailing marauders" destroy her home and steal her most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother's necklace, (I still like this better), she vows to stop at nothing to retrieve it and exact revenge.

 

I hope that helps you clear it up a bit. They say you have to do something 1,000 times to master it. It helps me to keep reading successful queries and studying their techniques, as well as continuing to draft and post here!



#6 yawriter

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 10:44 PM

I feel like it might be missing something. Any help is greatly appreciated and I'll critique back, thank you!

 

Dear ___:

 

Seventeen-year-old Ada, florist and enchanted plant wrangler, is out for revenge. Meh... I don't necessarily see how these two things are related...her plant wrangling skills and revenge...When sky pirates destroy her home and steal her most prized possession—a necklace that belonged to her late mother—she vows to stop at nothing to retrieve it.

 

Ada’s journey takes her through a desert filled with riddle-telling sphinxes, warring Egyptian gods, and booby-trapped temples to the hidden city that hosts the docks of the flying pirate ship, the StormbornI'm getting Indiana Jones vibes here. But nice and clear. 

 

But, her plan to steal back her necklace and set the Stormborn on fire is foiled when she is discovered by the crew and holds her (tense switch here) captive for ransom. The ship’s winsome captain, Hugo Thornton, develops a romantic interest in her, testing Ada’s steadfast vows of revenge. Now, not only must she battle the pirates who have stolen everything from her, but also her traitorous, corrupted heart. Great! I loved the ending here. Kept trying to find something to comment on, but I think the stakes are pretty good here. I would like to know if that second paragraph prepared her in any way to battle these pirates. Did she learn tricks from the sphinxes or anything like that? some character development?

 

[Closing w/ Comps and Bio]

 

Great job! Keep up the good work :)


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 





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