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#1 callalilly

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:36 PM

Thanks :wink:



#2 VickyRosly

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:53 AM

So, not a great query. The hook needs help, as well as the rest (and yes I know the title could be better –it is not of my concern right now). I’ve revised multiple times, but the words need fresh eyes from you fellow writers. Thank you in advance.

 

Selfish people will always be happy, or at least that’s what Saige’s parents say right before abandoning her as a child. It's not clear how that is relevant to the fact Saige is being abandoned by her parents. It for sure does not justify it and while the selfish people will always be happy ​sentence somewhat hooked me, it feels separate from the rest of the query.  Maybe try something like "The only thing her parents told Saige before abandoning her as a child was -insert a sentence that makes sense with the plot-"

 

Eight years later and the clan still pities poor 17-year-old Saige. ​It was never indicated Saige was pitied in the past, so that fact her clan still pities her is bit confusing. Though piteous stares follow her everywhere, ( No need to mention pity a second time.) Despite that, Saige is glad her parents left; it taught her an important lesson about caring only for her own needs. So When foreign soldiers suddenly invade her clan that lesson comes in handy, reminding her of her  that self-preservation is above anyone else’s. Chaos ensues as the clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting every healthy adult to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. I quite like this sentence but you give us nothing about the war again. This leaves me with many why's as a reader.

 

Following in her parents footsteps, Like her own parents did in the past, Saige packs quickly, feeling no guilt over abandoning her clan. Most likely, She would have been safely far away hadn't her sister delayed her by refusing to follow along.  She digs her heels down, Unwilling to go unless Saige takes the remaining clan with them, her sister's adamance convinces her to guide them all to the safe haven of the winter village. But with a dozen young children to look out for while traveling across a barren land that is likely to kill them from cold or hunger, Saige doubts the likelihood that she’ll be able to save anyone, least of all herself.

 

The Bare Snow is...(will complete last sentence separately)

 

Of course this just to kindle your own mind into changing some bits that need flow.

 

Let me know that you think.

 

xx 

Vicky


VP

#3 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 11:33 AM

So, not a great query. The hook needs help, as well as the rest (and yes I know the title could be better –it is not of my concern right now). I’ve revised multiple times, but the words need fresh eyes from you fellow writers. Thank you in advance.

 

Selfish people will always be happy, or at least that’s what Saige’s parents say right before abandoning her as a child. I've always been told that you should start your query with your main character but this sentence is more about her parents. I think it could be tweaked a little bit to put the focus on Saige.

 

Eight years later and the clan (I'm not sure who the clan is or how it relates to Saige) still pities poor 17-year-old Saige. Though piteous stares follow her everywhere, Saige is glad her parents left; it taught her an important lesson about caring only for her own needs. So when foreign soldiers suddenly invade her clan, of course the lesson is still heavily ingrained in her, reminding her of her self-preservation above everyone else’s. Chaos ensues as the clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting every healthy adult to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. (I think this paragraph and the query in general could be helped with a little more information on the setting and the time period.)

 

Following in her parents footsteps, Saige packs quickly, feeling no guilt over abandoning the clan. Most likely, she would have been safely far away if her sister (I think if you're going to mention a sister it needs to be done sooner) hadn’t delayed her by refusing to leave with her. She digs her heels down, unwilling to go unless Saige takes the remaining clan with them to the safe haven of the winter village. But with a dozen young children to look out for while traveling across a barren land that is likely to kill them from cold or hunger, Saige doubts the likelihood that she’ll be able to save anyone, least of all herself. (I think this could be reframed because right now it sounds like Saige's sister is the protagonist making all the decisions when really I'm guessing it is Saige who should be.)

 

The Bare Snow is...(will complete last sentence separately)

Just a few thoughts and suggestions. Sounds like a fascinating story!


Any help with my query would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#4 callalilly

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 01:40 AM

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#5 brandonyoung

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 06:15 AM

Still a work in progress. 1 thing I want to ask input on besides the query itself, specifically: people have asked for more info on the war part, but it's such a small part of my character's conflict that I don't include much info in the query on it. What do you think?

 

If it's such a small part, you don't need it. Full stop. But if people are asking about it, then it's probably because you haven't made it clear that it's not an important part. Which is something I struggle with a bit. I'm not exactly sure what the fix is... or perhaps it's just a product of the Agent Query critique process. I think people here generally inquire and nitpick a lot more than any agent would. So who knows.

 

At 17-years-old Saige is practically self-sufficient, a rather negative trait in her clan as they see it as being selfish. She’s unruly, far too independent for her own good –and is exactly who her clan needs if they are to survive being wiped out. (Good hook, but it can be cleaned up a bit. Saige is self-sufficient, unruly, and far too independent for her own good. Her clan hates her for it. Unfortunately, she's their only hope for survival. Something like that.)

 

It’s the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. Saige however was taught something a little different after her parents abandoned her and her siblings; the lesson there being: it’s risky to rely on others. So when foreign soldiers invade her clan, Saige knows the only person that can save her is herself. (Tell us why the foreign soldiers are invading and I think that should clear up any war questions. I think all-round the writing could be a little punchier. Hit us HARD. Her clan believes depending on others is the key to survival. But Saige has learned that that's not true. Abandoned by her parents... Did anything else happen? Why was being abandoned so terrible? Can you make it HURT?)

 

Chaos ensues as the clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting every healthy adult to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige packs quickly, feeling perfectly justified in abandoning her clan, or at least she does until her sister refuses to escape with her. Saige unwillingly agrees to lead the remaining clan to the safe haven of the winter village in exchange for her sister’s cooperation. But getting a dozen young children across a barren land that is likely to kill them from cold or hunger, leaves Saige doubting whether she’ll be able to save anyone, least of all herself. (So this is the core? Saige must lead her clan from Point A to Point B -- is it a quest story? -- while withstanding the brutal winter.)

 

I'm not too sure about the query as a whole. Seems a little unfocused. I'm not attached to Saige, and her sister pops up out of nowhere with zero motivation -- why does she refuse to escape with her? Also, it seems as though Saige is stuck with the children, not the adults who despised her. So, the hook becomes irrelevant. Unless the children hate her too? I don't know, the quest doesn't seem compelling enough to me. Can you find a way to make it more compelling? If not, then you need to sell us on something else. I.e. the characters.

 


If you have time, I'd love your feedback on my query...

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/39047-this-cosmic-graveyard-space-fantasy/

 

...or my synopsis:

 

COMING SOON


#6 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 01:13 PM

At 17-years-old, Saige is practically self-sufficient, which is a rather negative trait in her clan since they see it as being selfish. She’s unruly, far too independent for her own good, and is exactly who her clan needs if they are to survive being wiped out. (The other two items in the list don't have a verb, but the last one does. Is there a way to reword that for parallel structure?)

 

It’s the They live in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. Saige however was taught something a little different after her parents abandoned her and her siblings; the lesson there being: it’s risky to rely on others. So When foreign soldiers invade her clan, Saige knows the only person who can save her is herself.

 

Chaos ensues as tThe clan adults ("clan adults" sounds awkward to me.) are rounded up like cattle. Soldiers abducting every healthy adult to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige packs quickly, feeling perfectly justified in abandoning her clan, or at least she does until her sister refuses to escape with her. (She seemed to dead set, but changes her mind based on her sister so quickly? Why?) Saige unwillingly agrees to lead the remaining clan to the safe haven in a of the winter village in exchange for her sister’s cooperation (Cooperation to escape still? And go where? What does Saige have in mind to do?). But getting a dozen young children across a barren land that is likely to kill them. (I thought they were just going to take the adults for a bit because that's all you talked about. I didn't know if there was kids there or not.) from cold or hunger, leaves Saige doubts whether she’ll be able to save anyone, least of all herself. (Why doesn't she think she will make it across? Why does she doubt everyone will live too? Doesn't she have faith that other adults can make it across? Or is something else going on.)

 

Overall, I think it's a good query. I'd like to know more info and have more clarification though.



#7 callalilly

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 05:44 PM

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#8 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:38 PM

17-year-old Saige is resourceful as a 17 year-old, or as her clan often calls it: selfish. (I like this beginning better. I wouldn't list her age before her name though. I've always found that un-smooth in a query, but rather just shoving that information in.) She’s frustratingly unruly and too independent for her own good. But she is exactly who her clan needs if they are to survive being wiped out. (Why would they be wiped out?)

 

Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. (This sounds like another beginning of a query instead of the beginning of a second paragraph. Make sure your paragraphs are smooth. Like since you mentioned being wiped out in the last sentence, this one should continue that thought.) Abandoned by their parents years before however, Saige and her siblings learned that the real risk is in relying on others. It’s a lesson she remembers right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan. (Is this the wiped out thing?)

 

The adults of the clan adults are rounded up like cattle. Soldiers abducting them to fight in an irrelevant war, hundreds of miles away. With the adults gone, Saige is the oldest and most capable person (to do what? Something bigger than "help the children." I know there's bigger stakes.) to help the children –a truth that Saige’s sister knows as she proceeds to beg, plead, and guilt Saige into helping (Helping with what?). It’s likely a fool’s errand, but by the end of the day, Saige agrees to lead the newly orphaned children to a safe haven of the winter village. It won’t be an easy task though; barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with cold (frozen? I'd upgrade that word.), hunger, and dangerous beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. Her home lost, and the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders,   (That is already known.) Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.

 

So, my only major thing would be that you seem to have two beginnings. I'd either smooth it out or just keep one of them. Honestly, I like the first beginning better, but the second one fits with your query more. Good luck! 

 

If you can, please return the favor: http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/



#9 W.P.

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:53 AM

I'm here to return the favor. :)

 

 

17-year-old Saige is resourceful, or as her clan often calls it;: selfish. She’s frustratingly unruly, too independent for her own good, and is exactly who her clan needs if they are to survive being wiped out. ((Although I like this hook, I feel like it could be shorter.))

 

Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by their parents years before however, Saige and her siblings learned that the real risk is in relying on others. It’s a lesson she remembers right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan. ((great paragraph. In fact, I like this so much I'm not even sure you need that hook. This paragraph is what truly got my attention.))

 

 

The adults of the clan are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in an irrelevant war hundreds of miles away. With the adults gone, Saige is the oldest and most capable person to help the children a truth that Saige’s sister knows as she proceeds to beg, plead, and guilt Saige into helping. It’s likely a fool’s errand, but by the end of the day, Saige agrees to and lead the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village. It won’t be an easy task though; barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with cold, hunger, and dangerous beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. Her home lost, and the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.  (I love this paragraph. it has a lot of tension and high stakes. Everything is super clear as well. I suggest removing that one sentence simply because it reads like a synopsis, not a query. We don't need those details. What matters us what Saige does. And although there are things that could be "trimmed" I don't think they should be since it comes off as "voice." No need to fix what is good.))

 

 

Honestly, I love this query. It is concise, engaging and has a voice. I'd love to read your novel just from reading your query. Although not everything is explained, I'm okay with that since what matters is Saige and she is all over that query, from beginning to end. I feel like I know her. But of course, if you could hint at what the war is about, it'd only make the query all the more powerful, since it'd feel a bit more concrete.



#10 callalilly

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 04:18 PM

Thank you all for your continued time. I've cut some stuff here, including the first paragraph (hoping it reads less cluttered) but left what W.P. generously labeled as "voice". I've tried a few times to include more on the war portion, but I can't seem to justify it -it's a aspect that starts the action yes, but it is outside of the main character's business that I can't seem to get myself to add more on a point that doesn't seem to need more information in my query than a small reference.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by her parents years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on others. It’s a lesson she remembers right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in an irrelevant war hundreds of miles away. With the adults gone, Saige is the oldest and most capable person of surviving in the emaciated clan. The same can’t be said of the children though and the impossible task of getting the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village falls on Saige. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. Her home lost, and the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.



#11 JDSmith

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 04:45 PM

Thank you all for your continued time. I've cut some stuff here, including the first paragraph (hoping it reads less cluttered) but left what W.P. generously labeled as "voice". I've tried a few times to include more on the war portion, but I can't seem to justify it -it's a aspect that starts the action yes, but it is outside of the main character's business that I can't seem to get myself to add more on a point that doesn't seem to need more information in my query than a small reference.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by her parents years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on others. It’s a lesson she remembers right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in an irrelevant war hundreds of miles away. With the adults gone, Saige is the oldest and most capable person of surviving in the emaciated clan. The same can’t be said for the children though and the impossible task of getting them to the safe haven of the winter village falls on Saige. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. with Her home lost, and the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.  These sentences feel clunky. They can be refined. other than that I'm really digging this query. Great job!


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#12 Koechophe

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 07:21 PM

Heya, I haven't touched this one yet, so let's see if I can provide some help! Fair warning, my claws are sharp. 

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when living in a clan and depending on others is essential for survival(This idea is unimportant to the rest of the query. Cut it). Abandoned by her parents years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on others. It’s a lesson she remembers right up to the day ...until foreign soldiers invade her clan.

There's some confusion here for me. It sounds like she's a loner, but then you mention her having a Clan still. Did she grow up in a Clan without parents? 

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in an irrelevant war hundreds of miles away. With the adults gone, Saige is becomes the oldest and most capable person of surviving in the emaciated clan. The same can’t be said of the children though and , and the impossible task of getting the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village falls on her Saige. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. Her home lost, and t With he future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.

 

There's quite a bit of tuning needed here, as there's a lot of phrases that are just unnecessary and/or repeated. I think it reads very well once they're all removed, and it's extremely brief, which agents will love. Hope this helps!

 

Here's what it looks like with all the edits I made.

 

 

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron. Abandoned by her parents years before, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on others... until foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige becomes the oldest and most capable person in the emaciated clan, and the impossible task of getting the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village falls on her. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her new duty is to her clan, but that doesn’t stop the instinct in the back of her mind from screaming at her to run and save herself. With he future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.

 

Good luck and happy writing!

I critique because I care



#13 callalilly

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:58 PM

A few alterations...let's try this:

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by her parents to be raised by others years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on those closest to her. The lesson serves her well right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige is left the oldest and most adept to survive in the emaciated clan, meaning the impossible task of getting the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village falls to her. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her duty is now to her clan, but that doesn’t silence the flight response in her. With the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.



#14 Keeppositive

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 06:46 PM

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by her parents to be raised by others years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on those closest to her. The lesson serves her well right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige is left the oldest and most adept to survive in the emaciated clan. (As such, she must safely transport the newly orphaned children to the winter village haven.) meaning the impossible task of getting the newly orphaned children to the safe haven of the winter village falls to her. Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her duty is now to her clan, but that doesn’t silence the flight response in her. With the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.

 

Callalily, This sounds like an interesting story. You've set the scene for a difficult journey, identifying internal and external conflicts. I tried to shorten the one longer sentence to capture the important task more succinctly. It might be too short, and if you need the information, try to reword into 2 sentences, adding whatever detail is necessary to heighten the tension of this important job she has to do.  Thanks for you assistance in my query, as well.  :smile:  Fingers crossed!



#15 smithgirl

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 12:31 PM

Thanks for stopping by my query!

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Saige lives in the age of iron, a time when depending on others is essential for survival. Abandoned by her parents to be and raised by others years before though, Saige learned that the real risk is in relying on those closest to her. The lesson serves her well right up to the day foreign soldiers invade her clan.

 

This is good, but it feels long. Can you shorten it somewhat? My other question is whether the age of iron refers to the Iron Age here on earth (in that case it would be written, as I have, with caps and not as age of iron), or if it refers to some other world that has a time called the age of iron -- I think in that case it would be capitalized, also. You need to be clear as to the actual setting.

 

The clan adults are rounded up like cattle, soldiers abducting them abducted to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. Saige is left the oldest who remains, imposing upon her  and most adept to survive in the emaciated clan, meaning the seemingly impossible task of leading getting the newly orphaned children to the distant safety at haven of the winter village falls to her. It's not actually impossible, right? [Barren lands stretch before them, threatening them with hypothermia, starvation, and savage beasts. Saige knows her duty is now to her clan, but that doesn’t silence the flight response in her. With the future of her clan precariously set on her shoulders, Saige will have to find the courage to trust others or risk becoming a clan of one.] This last part is very vague. I think you need to make your story more specific. How does Sage find the courage? What is her journey? How does she deal with the flight response? I think it's important to insert more specificity here. Good luck!






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