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TRINITY: DEATH AND ALL HIS SOLDIERS


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#1 Soreen Laythyn

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 07:42 PM

Dear_______,

 

Seventeen-year-old Wrench Gale can communicate with the dead, a secret he keeps closely guarded. Branded a social outcast amongst his classmates and targeted by a bully, Wrench dreams of a normal life where people accept him.

 

And his ‘ability’ is a thing of the past.

 

But then he meets a dead man who isn’t as friendly as the others he’s encountered before.

 

Within minutes of their meeting, Wrench is attacked and left for dead in his own home. Upon waking, he realizes he’s not alone. Reapers—half-living, half-dead humans who can communicate and fight the dead—have arrested Wrench in connection with the attack in his home.

 

Both the Reapers and Wrench want to figure out what happened, but trust is a two-way street. And with Wrench finding out that more than just the dead roam the streets of New York, he doesn’t have a choice but to trust the Reapers. Especially when he comes to realize that not only is his best friend a Reaper, but his bully as well.

 

In a city filled with the dead, sorcerers, shapeshifters and other supernatural nightmares, TRINITY: DEATH AND ALL HIS SOLDERS follows Wrench through a gauntlet of trouble in a New York he’s never known, leading to a final climactic revelation that may lead to his own unraveling.

 

TRINITY, a 96,000-word manuscript, is in the same vein as Cassandra Clare’s THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, with a supernatural touch à la Stephanie Meyer.

 



#2 Koechophe

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 10:40 AM

Heya soreen, welcome to the site! I haven't seen you around before, so it's nice to meet you. Please enjoy the following wall of critique!

 

Since there's no genre listed, I'm going to assume that this is YA fiction and write my critiques as such. 

 

Seventeen-year-old Wrench Gale can communicate This is such a vague, uninteresting word. Talk, speak, email, facebook, instagram, just something other than "communicate". (By the way, a book about a kid who can instagram dead people would actually be super awesome) with the dead a secret he keeps closely guarded. Branded a social outcast amongst his classmates and targeted by a bully, Wrench dreams of a normal life where people accept him.  Yeah, kid with weird ability wants to be normal. We've seen it a thousand times. I'm sure it's fine in the book, but you can easily cut it from the query.

 

And his ‘ability’ is a thing of the past.

 

But then he meets a dead man who isn’t as friendly as the others he’s encountered before. See, this is a better hook than the one you've got going at the moment. We can add a bit more to this and sprinkle some ideas from the next paragraph to make it your first sentence: "Seventeen-year-old Wrench Gale is used to talking to friendly dead people... not ones who break into his home and leave him for dead."

 

Within minutes of their meeting, Wrench is attacked and left for dead in his own home. Upon waking, he realizes he’s not alone. Reapers—half-living, half-dead humans this is already implied by saying "half living". who can communicate and fight the unquiet? Restless? Something to imply that they're not just beating up corpses heredead—have arrested Wrench in connection with the attack in his home.

 

Both the Reapers and Wrench want to figure out what happened, but trust is a two-way street. And with Wrench finding out that Since more than just the dead roam the streets of New York, Wrench he doesn’t have a choice but to trust the Reapers. Especially when he comes to realize that not only is his best friend a Reaper, but his bully is (you really need to add this, it took me a second since when I first read this sentence, I thought his best friend was his bully too, and I got really confused) as well.

 

In a city filled with the dead, sorcerers wait, what?, shapeshifters Wait, really what? and other supernatural nightmares, TRINITY: DEATH AND ALL HIS SOLDERS follows Wrench it detracts from the query to throw the title in here right now. Queries are much like stories, they try to immerse you, and when you throw in the title, it immediately kills that. Kind of like breaking the fourth wall. through a gauntlet of trouble in a New York he’s never known, leading to a final climactic revelation that may lead to his own unraveling. This is so vague that it becomes extremely anticlimactic. Gauntlet of trouble, climactic revelation... that actually turns me off as a reader because you're telling me "Hey, this is going to be awesome!" which makes me think it isn't. You need to show specific stakes here, even if you can't tell us the real, final conflict, hint at it with what we do know. 

 

P.S. Ten bucks says the "climactic revelation" is that Wrench is dead, half-dead, or a dead relative is the antagonist. 

 

TRINITY, a novel of 96,000-words is in the same vein as Cassandra Clare’s THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, with a supernatural touch à la Stephanie Meyer. I'm not sure if agents will feel the same, but getting the comp to Twilight really turns me off, because it's been so overdone. I'd consider rethinking that.

 

 

So here's a few end notes. There's lots of fluff here, if you cut it, then you've got a lot more room to establish some things that are missing.

1) Wrench's motivation. We get that he wants to learn why he got attacked, but that's the only motivation established here. I definitely think you need to cut the first portions that I outlined above, as it directly clashes with the rest of your query. "Wrench wants to be normal, but he's going to spend the rest of the book steeped in supernatural stuff." We don't need the first part. We do need to know what motivates him to keep going in this weird world, other than just curiosity. 

2) We don't really get much of an idea of the antagonist; who it is, if it's an organization, etc. It's something that you should definitely hint at, even if you just say something like" as they work to uncover who is raising the dead," or even "Why the dead are coming back to life." Something to that effect.

3) You need to directly state the genre in the query, right after the word count.

 

I think this is an idea that won't be too hard to pitch (96k words is definitely on the long side for YA fiction, see if you can't trim a bit) but the query itself needs a bit of work, as outlined above. Good luck and happy writing

 

-I critique because I care.



#3 Aightball

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 09:02 PM

Dear_______,

 

Seventeen-year-old Wrench Gale can communicate with the dead, a secret he keeps closely guarded. Branded a social outcast amongst his classmates and targeted by a bully, Wrench dreams of a normal life where people accept him.

 

And his ‘ability’ is a thing of the past.

 

But then he meets a dead man who isn’t as friendly as the others he’s encountered before.

 

Within minutes of their meeting, Wrench is attacked and left for dead in his own home. Upon waking, he realizes he’s not alone. Reapers—half-living, half-dead humans who can communicate and fight the dead—have arrested Wrench in connection with the attack in his home.

 

Both the Reapers and Wrench want to figure out what happened, but trust is a two-way street. And with Wrench finding out that more than just the dead roam the streets of New York, he doesn’t have a choice but to trust the Reapers. Especially when he comes to realize that not only is his best friend a Reaper, but his bully as well.  See if you can make this a more solid paragraph.  This is where you really need to make your book stand out and right now, while it sounds interesting, I don't know if it's enough to attract an agent.  What's unique about your novel?  Wraiths and Reapers and all that has been done before, but there is always something that's different about yours: bring that to the forefront in this section of the query letter.

 

In a city filled with the dead, sorcerers, shapeshifters and other supernatural nightmares, TRINITY: DEATH AND ALL HIS SOLDERS follows Wrench through a gauntlet of trouble in a New York he’s never known, leading to a final climactic revelation that may lead to his own unraveling.  This is where you tell us your stakes.  Your character must do X to prevent Y.  What's at stake in this book for your MC?

 

TRINITY: DEATH AND ALL HIS SOLDIERS is [age category, genre]. complete at 96,000-words manuscript, is in the same vein as. Readers of Cassandra Clare’s THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS will enjoy or recognize the themes of [whatever's similar with your book],  with a supernatural touch à la Stephanie Meyer.

 

Overall, not bad!  Queries are tough to write, so this is a good start.  I made quite a few suggestions but they're all ways you can make this even better.  I'm eager to see what you do with your revisions!


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