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The Graveyard Festival (YA Fantasy) - Latest in #5


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#1 distanthearts

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:29 AM

The newest revision is in post #5! Thank you so much to all those who have replied thus far, you were all very helpful!

 

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. In the travelling city known as the Graveyard Festival, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. 
 
But when her dreams turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must find out how, and why, her dreams are murdering the Festival’s visitors. 
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deep into the Festival’s dark and twisting streets, where secrets can be bought and sold and throats are slit to the bone, and a band of dangerous outcasts serves as her only hope of survival. But as her powers spiral out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 


#2 NerdWitch

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:38 AM

 

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. Love this hook, I'm already interested. In the travelling city known as the Graveyard Festival, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. 
 
But when her dreams turn to nightmares that come to life (what sort of nightmares?), Jyn must find out how, and why, her dreams are murdering the Festival’s visitors. 
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deep into the Festival’s dark and twisting streets, where secrets can be bought and sold and throats are slit to the bone. and a  A band of dangerous outcasts serves as her only hope of survival (who are they and how do they meet her). But as her powers spiral out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 

 

 

I like the premise of the story but there needs to be a bit more information. Tell us more about Jyn, what her stakes are and who the villain is? What is she fighting for. As a reader, I'd like to know more about the world and what Jyn fights for, what her journey is. 


Here's my latest query :) http://agentquerycon...turn-critique/ 

 

 


#3 callalilly

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 02:43 PM

Hi distanhearts. Below are a few thoughts for you to consider or delete depending on what you think works.

 

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. In the traveling city known as the Graveyard Festival, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. (Cool hook. I think a touch more info in another paragraph would be helpful. For example, I want to know a bit on the traveling city -sounds like she's maybe part of a gypsy family? or a circus family? If so, maybe a bit more on it -that could be some cool info to expand on since it has its place in your story and query. I would also put in who is affects by Jyn's dreams? Is she affected by her own dream and how? If her family affected by them or is it people who come to visit the Graveyard Festival?)
 
But when her dreams turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must find out how, and why, her dreams are murdering the Festival’s visitors. (In what way? Is she dreaming of monsters that then come alive and kill them?)
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deep into the Festival’s dark and twisting streets, where secrets can be bought and sold, where throats are slit to the bone, and a band of dangerous outcasts serves as her only hope of survival(Love the detail in the sentence, but am unsure about how many times "and" is used, so I crossed out one of them so it reads more like a list.) But as her powers spiral out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 

 

 

I think it sounds like a great tale! I think more info would make it more understandable, but overall nice job. Hope this aids your query. Good luck.



#4 A Fatalist Dawn

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:43 PM

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. I agree with what others said about this being a great hook.
 
In the travelling city known as the Graveyard Festival, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires of whom?. I'm a bit confused at what you mean by travelling city. I assume you mean traveling circus, but a lot of context is missing. Does she belong to a family of circus performers? There's also a lot of vagueness. I'm guessing Jyn has the power to create dreams, but what does that mean in the context of the larger story? Is she making the Festival's visitors' dreams come to life?
 
But when her dreams turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must find out how, and why, her dreams are murdering the Festival’s visitors. 
 
The inciting incident comes across as a bit flat to me. Maybe it's just the way it's worded, after you've hooked me with Jyn's voice. There's no build-up or a sense of  what this all means for her. Jyn's voice kind of disappears. It just feels too matter-of-fact when you say "her dreams are murdering people."
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deep into the Festival’s dark and twisting streets, where secrets can be bought and sold and throats are slit to the bone, and a band of dangerous outcasts serves as her only hope of survival.
 
The exposition is nice, but why not add at the beginning of the query, when you've introduced the Graveyard Festival? The last part is interesting, but again there's no context. How exactly are these dangerous outcasts her only hope of survival? What is their relationship to Jyn?
 
But as her powers spiral out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
I'm loving the mysterious, surrealistic tone of the query. If it matches the MS, it sounds like something I would be interested in reading.
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 
 

Check out my poetry book, The Groundwork of Realization (2018).
 

#5 distanthearts

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 12:48 AM

Thank you to all those who have given such great advice! Truly appreciate it. I've revised the query according to some of your tips:

 

 

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. 
 
In the travelling carnival-city known as the Graveyard Festival, there exists people who can alter memories and summon storms, who may bend shadows and bones. It is where dark bargains may be struck at darker prices, and where the ruthless owners of its prime casinos may allow you to win more than just coin. Here, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. 
 
But when the dreams she crafts turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must find out just how her creations are capable of ripping people to pieces.
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deeper into the Festival than she’s ever been, where secrets can be bought and throats are slit to the bone, and where a criminal prodigy and his band of dangerous outcasts, tasked to seek the same answers, serves as her only hope of survival. As her powers grows increasingly out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 


#6 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:52 PM

Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones (Just saying: "city of bones" makes me think of the Mortal Instruments.) and crafts dreams (What does that mean?) for a living. 
 
In the traveling carnival-city (Like a city that is just a carnival?) known as the Graveyard Festival (Is it a carnival of like...skeletons?), there exists people who can alter memories, and summon storms, and who may bend shadows and bones (Not sure what the last one implies.). It is where dark bargains may be struck at darker (I wouldn't use dark in a sentence twice.) prices, and where the ruthless owners of its prime casinos owners may allow you to win more than just coin (Why would that be ruthless?). Here, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. (In what ways?) Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. (Sounds interesting, but I want to know more. Still seems a bit vague to me.)
 
But when the dreams she crafts turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must finds out just how that her creations can are capable of ripping people to pieces. (I'd turn it more into what is happening to keep the suspense.)
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deeper into the Festival than she’s ever been (Like deeper into a city? Hasn't she been all around the festival before?), where secrets can be bought and throats are slit to the bone, and where a criminal prodigy and his band of dangerous outcasts, tasked to seek the same answers, serves as her only hope of survival. (That structure worked the first time, but it doesn't work as much here. I want it more concrete rather than trying to tell me casually...if that makes sense.) As her powers grows increasingly out of control (Why? Like...does it get worse the deeper she is into the festival?), Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival (What secrets? How does she know?)—before her creations devour her. (Why are they after her? I thought other people's nightmares came to life.)
 
This story sounds super interesting. I just think there needs to be more information told and explained. Good job!
 
If you can, please return the favor: http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/


#7 A Fatalist Dawn

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 05:54 PM

Dear Agent,

 
Sixteen-year-old Jyn sleeps in a city of bones and crafts dreams for a living. 
 
In the travelling carnival-city known as the Graveyard Festival, there exists people who can alter memories and summon storms, who may bend shadows and bones. It is where dark bargains may be struck at darker prices, and where the ruthless owners of its prime casinos may allow you to win more than just coin. Here, Jyn’s dreams are like drugs. Her powers do what the Festival does best: catering to the strangest of pleasures and desires. 
 
Okay, I see what you're trying to do in the first paragraph, but it feels a little jumbled. I'd start by describing what the Graveyard Festival is first, before explaining what goes on there and who lives there. I think people reading your query still aren't 100% certain what you mean when you say it's a traveling carnival-city. Also, it seems Jyn is not the only person with special abilities, which is not the impression I got from the first version of the query. 
 
Let me just add that I love the imagery here even though I'm still a bit clueless as to what the Graveyard Festival actually is. It makes me want to read your book to find out, so I suppose that's a good thing.
 
But when the dreams she crafts turn to nightmares that come to life, Jyn must find out just how her creations are capable of ripping people to pieces.
 
This version has more voice than the previous one, but I'm still wanting more on the stakes. What happens if Jyn doesn't find out how these dreams are coming to life? I get a sense of this at the end of your query, when you say "before her creations devour her," but I feel you should be up front with it. Something along the lines of: When [xx] happens, Jyn must do [xx] before [xx] happens.
 
Jyn’s search for answers sends her deeper into the Festival than she’s ever been, where secrets can be bought and throats are slit to the bone, and where a criminal prodigy and his band of dangerous outcasts, tasked to seek the same answers, serves as her only hope of survival. As her powers grows increasingly out of control, Jyn must root out the deadly secrets that lay hidden in the depths of the Graveyard Festival—before her creations devour her. 
 
I like that you made the connection here between the Festival's outcasts and Jyn. There are still parts that need to be cleared up, though. Why are the outcasts her only hope of survival, and what are they trying to survive? What are the deadly secrets Jyn is looking for answers to? You don't have to be overly technical/specific, but context is always important when it relates to your MC. Give us a sense of Jyn's world.
 
THE GRAVEYARD FESTIVAL is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. I believe that it will appeal to lovers of Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS and Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS. Thank you for your consideration. 
 
As I mentioned before, there are a lot of vague parts in the query, but I was immediately hooked by the tone. From this bizarre, carnival city with its dark underbelly to the idea of dreams being like drugs, the story sounds so fantastical. Usually comp titles don't sway me much, but this time was different. I loved "Six of Crows," so chances are I'm going to love "The Graveyard Festival" too.

Check out my poetry book, The Groundwork of Realization (2018).
 




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