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Soul Hosts (fantasy) (will return crits, just point me the right direction)

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#21 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:09 AM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago.

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif and he’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother Mavik tied onto his winged wolf’s back.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue Mavik and eventually, overcoming his prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind, in fact several of them, and has been blacking out. One of his wizard’s possesses a mysterious magic known as soul stealing, an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious soul-hosting situation.

 

Dead people have been turning up everywhere Rif goes and the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so he must confront dangerous suspects, some of them within Rif’s own mind.



#22 epercak

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:40 PM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago.

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif and he’s,  a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother Mavik tied onto his winged wolf’s back. This all is a little wordy and could use a rewrite.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue Mavik and eventually, overcoming his prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. (Awkward phrasing) But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind, in fact several of them, and has been blacking out. One of his wizard’s (wizards) possesses a mysterious magic known as soul stealing, — an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious (mysterious used twice in this sentence) soul-hosting situation.

 

Dead people have been turning up everywhere Rif goes and the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so he must confront dangerous suspects (vague and weak), some of them within Rif’s own mind.

 

 

Not a bad outline, but it could use some tidying up. It's too wordy and awkwardly phrased. I'm also not sure what tone you're going for. At times it reads as somewhat comic "(much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one)" but other times it seems straightforward and serious. The key details of the plot could also be clarified as I'm not even sure who the main character is — Rif of Wayden?

 

My query if you have the time. Thanks!



#23 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:20 PM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago.

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother Mavik tied onto the back of his winged wolf.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue Mavik and eventually, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind, several of them in fact, and has been blacking out lately. One of his wizard’s possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious soul-hosting situation.

 

Dead people have been turning up everywhere Rif goes and the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so he must confront dangerous suspects, a girl who hosts a wraith, a man who hangs out in alleys practicing soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal. Wayden meets enemies and allies, and it’s often hard to tell who is who, especially when some of them are within their own mind.



#24 Bibliophyl

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:26 PM

Hope I can offer some help!

 

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not to. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago. [this paragraph is a little confusing because it's in past tense, which is at odds with the rest of the query in present tense. I get that you're talking about events in the relative past, but I think it could be reframed in present tense because the switch is jarring. Another thing that's a little confusing is how it seems to go backward in time, from being confronted with the small boy, to finding out he's hosting a wizard, to his birth...I wonder if you rearrange the sequence of ideas if it might flow better. I think being a host for a wizard is the most interesting part of this, so starting off with it might be a better hook]

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother Mavik tied onto the back of his winged wolf.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue Mavik and eventually, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. [can you clarify why he thinks Rif might be helpful?] But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind, several of them in fact, and has been blacking out lately. One of his wizards possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious soul-hosting situation. 

 

Dead people have been turning up everywhere Rif goes and the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. [having no idea who/what the Red Killer is, this falls flat to me] Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so he must confront dangerous suspects, a girl who hosts a wraith, a man who hangs out in alleys practicing soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal. [I've heard that you should avoid lists in queries] Wayden meets enemies and allies, and it’s often hard to tell who is who, especially when some of them are within his own mind. I think you could use some specificity here at the end. I feel like this last statement--not knowing whom to trust--applies to so many stories, fantasy or otherwise. What exactly does he have to do, and what does he stand to gain/lose as a result of his actions?

 

Mainly I think this would benefit from a little more focus. You have a lot going on here. It might be good to take a step back and isolate your character, the problem/conflict he has to solve, and what the stakes are. If you get down to the bare bones, you can then build up the detail around it in relevant places.

 

For example, I think the wizard mind-sharing is super cool but with the way the story is presented here, it doesn't seem to have much bearing on the plot. The way it's reading to me, the core elements are: Wayden wants to rescue his brother and enlists Rif's help [because...?]. But Rif is mistaken [how/why?] for an infamous killer. In order to continue the search for his brother, Wayden has to prove Rif's innocence by finding the real killer. If he fails, he'll never see his brother again.

 

Everything else feels extraneous unless it can tie into those core elements in some way. 

 

I hope this was helpful! Good luck! 



#25 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:44 PM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago.

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother Mavik tied onto the back of his winged wolf.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue Mavik and eventually, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind, several of them in fact, and has been blacking out lately. One of his wizard’s possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious soul-hosting situation.

 

Dead people have been turning up everywhere Rif goes and the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so he must confront dangerous suspects, a girl who hosts a wraith, a man who practices soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal. Wayden meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who. It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within the mind.



#26 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 01:56 AM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind advised him not too. (This first line has improved a lot. I'm hooked.) He didn't even know hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard, much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious (I wouldn't use such "big" words per say. Just simple words to describe him that anyone would use.) one. until recently When the three moons began to converged, an event happened that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago. (I'd be more specific about the event. This also seems more random than anything, like it doesn't fit with the paragraph so far.) The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother, Mavik  (There's so many new names and concepts already that I'd just call him "his brother") tied onto its winged wolf's back of his winged wolf.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue his brother and eventually, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. (Why ask Rif for help?) But Rif faces problems of his own. He too has a wizard in his mind - several of them in fact - and has been blacking out lately. One of his wizards possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that may lie at the heart of their mysterious soul-hosting situation. (I like that we have more information about this.)

 

Dead people have been turned up everywhere Rif goes and he the Tulkarian is accused of being the infamous Red Killer. (I don't even know what the Red Killer is, so I'd say just "being a killer".) Wayden is determined to prove Rif’s innocence, but to do so, he must confront dangerous suspects, a girl who hosts a wraith (wraith? huh?), a man who practices soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal. (This is too much info dump. I'd say something like: "but to do so, he has a lot of complicated situations to deal with first" or so. Something more vague because right now, it's an info dump. It'd be different if you just mentioned one thing, but it's like you also gave away too much of the novel.) Wayden meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who. It’s often hard to tell who is an enemy or ally, especially when some of the enemies are within the mind.

 

Overall, there is SO much more improvement! Great job! This was much easier to read and get a good understanding of. Of everything, I'd take out that one vague sentence in the first paragraph, call "Mavik" "his brother" and just fix up the last few sentences. Besides that, it seems to be coming together nicely!

 

 

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



#27 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 07:45 AM

Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind sagely advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago.

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother tied onto the back of his winged wolf.

 

Rif has a lot in common with Wayden. They both are inhabitants of the Dracon’s Home for Unadoptable Orphans, have wizards in their minds, feel a strange, magical connection to each other, and were born on Three Moons Night. The same date their wizards were murdered.

 

Wayden is determined to rescue his brother and, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. But Rif faces problems of his own. He’s been blacking out lately. One of the wizard’s he hosts (he hosts three of them) possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that lies at the heart of their soul-hosting predicament.

 

Corpses have been turning up everywhere that Rif goes and he is accused of being a murderer. Wayden, determined to prove Rif’s innocence, confronts dangerous suspects including a young woman who hosts a wraith, a man who practices soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, and a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal.

 

Wayden meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within.



#28 London C

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:08 PM



Wayden would have shoved the small, stuttering new boy down the stairs, but the wizard in his mind sagely advised him not too. He hadn’t even known he hosted a wizard (much less an annoying, pontificating, sanctimonious one) until recently when the three moons began to converge, an event that hadn’t transpired since his birth almost sixteen years ago. [I wonder if two long sentences is the right way to start. This is clear and compelling, but makes me wonder if your novel has more long sentences than ideal for YA.] 

 

The small, stuttering boy in question is named Rif. He’s a Tulkarian, the same race as the sky raider who put an arrow into Wayden’s mother before flying away with Wayden’s brother tied onto the back of his winged wolf.

 

Rif has a lot in common with Wayden. They both are inhabitants of the Dracon’s Home for Unadoptable Orphans, have wizards in their minds, feel a strange, magical connection to each other, and were born on Three Moons Night. The same date their wizards were murdered. 

 

Wayden is determined to rescue his brother and, overcoming prejudice, enlists Rif’s help. But Rif faces problems of his own. He’s been blacking out lately. One of the wizard’s he hosts (he hosts three of them) possesses a forbidden magic known as soul stealing, an art that lies at the heart of their [unclear  antecedant] soul-hosting predicament.[Very strong start]

 

Corpses have been turning up everywhere that Rif goes and he is accused of being a murderer. Wayden, determined to prove Rif’s innocence, confronts dangerous suspects including a young woman who hosts a wraith, a man who practices soul stealing magic as a form of drug dealing, and a girl who hosts the soul of a murderous immortal.

 

Wayden meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within. [This last section makes the plot sound episodic and unfocused. I think you could delete it. As I understand the plot, it's Wayden and Rif trying to find Wayden's brother while proving Rif is innocent. That very last line, though, I think is important. You hint at it before, but you might tease it out just a bit more, especially if the plot is closely tied to finding out how to get rid of the soul-hosting.

 

Very compelling. I think the end could use a bit of work, but not a lot. 


——————

My latest query is here. I appreciate reciprocal critiques


#29 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:37 PM

When Wayden runs into someone invisible on the stairwell of the orphanage, while on his way to care for the crazed old woman who lives in the attic, he’s given some sage advice by a wizard who has mysteriously taken up residence in his mind. “There’s no such thing as invisibility magic. It’s probably just a wraith.”

 

The wraith in question belongs to Verica, a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden. And both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds and need information from the said crazed old woman, a prophetess named Night, who likes to dance on the outside ledge of the orphanage tower and throw chamber pots at people.

 

Night witnessed an event that happened almost sixteen years ago, on the same date that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered and his soul sucked out of his body by dark magic. The wizard’s soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden. Verica’s friend Princess Jazlyn also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing Immortal who has murdered thousands. And someone is setting things in motion so this despotic, mass-murdering immortal will emerge on the next oncoming Three Moons Night if Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn can’t stop it.

 

Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within.



#30 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:22 PM

I agree. Queries are a nightmare. ^^' 
 
When Wayden runs into someone an invisible person on the orphanage's stairwell of the orphanage, while on his way to care for the crazed old woman who lives in the attic  (Don't think you need this info. It also makes the first sentence a bit long and harder to read.), he’s given some sage advice by a wizard who has mysteriously taken up residence in his mind. (I'd debate putting a ":" instead of a period just to make it known that the next sentence is what the wizard says.) “There’s no such thing as invisibility magic. It’s probably just a wraith.” 
 
The wraith (I had to look up what that is...) in question belongs to Verica, a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden. And Both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds (Why?) and need information from the said crazed old woman (Why?), a prophetess named Night, (who likes to dance on the outside ledge of the orphanage tower and throw chamber pots at people.  - not sure we need this part. I'd rather know more about Verica and Wayden.) (Also, did you change a character's name? Or just using other characters. I'm curious.)
 
Night (I'd change the subject from "night" to something else cause "night" feels awkward here.) witnessed an event that happened almost sixteen years ago, on the same day that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered and his soul sucked out of his body by dark magic. The wizard’s soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden (Why? Did the soul like choose Wayden or so? I also like the more info on this.). Verica’s friend Princess Jazlyn also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing immortal who has murdered thousands. (You're introducing almost too many people now. I'd keep it just to Wayden and Verica if you can. Also, didn't Verica have one too?) And 
 
Someone is setting things in motion (Can you be more descriptive?) so this despotic, mass-murdering immortal will emerge on the next oncoming Three Moons Night if Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn can’t stop it. They Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? (Maybe: "meets enemies and allies but they don't know which is which".) It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within. (Cool ending.)
 
 
I feel like there's more explanation here like more of an understanding of the plot. Good job!


#31 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 09:00 AM

When Wayden collides into an invisible being on the orphanage’s stairwell while on an errand to care for the crazed old woman residing in the attic, he’s reassured by the wizard who has mysteriously taken up residence in his mind. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. It’s probably just a wraith.”

 

The wraith in question belongs to Verica, a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden. And both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds and need information from the said crazed old woman, a prophetess named Night, who likes to dance on the outside ledge of the orphanage tower and chuck chamber pots at people.

 

Mistress Night witnessed an event that happened almost sixteen years ago on the same date that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered and his soul sucked out of his body. The exiled soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden. Verica’s friend, Jazlyn, also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing Immortal who has murdered thousands.

 

Jazlyn wants to find out what happened to her mother, Wayden wants to leave the orphanage and rescue his enslaved brother, and Verica wants to find and eat some delicious lemon biscuits. But it turns out Jazlyn, Verica, and Wayden’s stories are all interrelated, except for the lemon biscuits, which are just plain delicious, but how, and why, and does it have to do with the impending doom that is rapidly approaching on the next oncoming Three Moons Night? Will Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn be able to stop it?

 

Wayden, Verica, and Jazlyn meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within.



#32 G A Johnson

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:30 AM

Joesph,

 

You've done well parsing down to the essentials. I'd recommend switching to more active voice to build tension and excitement. This would look something more like this:

 

While heading up stairs to care for the crazed old woman in his attic, Wayden runs into an invisible being. "There's no such thing as ghosts," the wizard reassures him, "It's probaly just a wraith." Guidance in strange moments like these is the benefit of having a wizard take up residence in your mind...

 

Also, it would improve your flow to employ the economy of words. Instead of the wraith in question, which sounds like professorial speech, try The wraith is Verica's. Verica and Wayden have much in common: youth, eavesdropping, and supernatural beings dwelling inside their minds. They both need information from the crazy old woman, a prophetess named Night. Mistress Night is often found dancing on the ledge of the orphanage... 

 

That's just an example, I'm sure you can do even better. 

 

Keep striving! You're getting close, I'm sure. 



#33 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 03:50 PM

When Wayden collides into an invisible being while undertaking an errand to care for the crazed, old woman residing in the orphanage’s attic, he’s reassured by the wizard who’s mysteriously taken up residence in his mind. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. It’s probably just a wraith.”

 

The wraith belongs to Verica, a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden. Both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds and they both need information possessed by the attic-dwelling woman, an old prophetess named Night.

 

Mistress Night witnessed an event sixteen-years ago, on the last convergence of the three moons, the exact same day and month that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered and his soul sucked out of his body. The exiled soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden. Verica’s friend, Jazlyn, also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing. genocidal Immortal.

 

Jazlyn wants to find out what happened to her mother and why she has the Immortal in her mind. Wayden wants to leave the orphanage and rescue his enslaved brother. Verica wants to find and eat some delicious lemon biscuits. But it turns out Jazlyn, Verica, and Wayden’s stories are all interrelated (except for the lemon biscuits, which are just plain delicious) and it all has to do with the oncoming convergence of the three moons.

 

With impending doom rapidly approaching Wayden, Jazlyn, and Verica meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within.



#34 London C

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 04:45 PM

I thought I'd replied to the updated query when you first posted it, but apparently I didn't. The thing that strikes me about the new query is it doesn't sound like the same book. Did you restructure the book and write Rif and Wayden's brother out of it?

 

—————

The wraith belongs to Verica, a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden. Both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds and they both need information possessed by the attic-dwelling woman, an old prophetess named Night.

 

Mistress Night witnessed an event sixteen-years ago, on the last convergence of the three moons, the exact same day and month that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered and his soul sucked out of his body. [whose soul was sucked out which body?] The exiled soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden. Verica’s friend, Jazlyn, also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing. genocidal Immortal.[You now have four named characters in this query. Do you need all of these names? This paragraph as a whole is kind of messy. There's a lot of information coming all at once. I'd simplify this  down to something like "sixteen years ago, on the last convergence of the three moons, murdered souls entered the bodies fo Wayden and Jazlyn." Then have a sentence that ties Verica to them. Or maybe explain that Wayden, Verica and Jazlyn have souls trapped in them, and give their characteristics?]

 

Jazlyn wants to find out what happened to her mother and why she has the Immortal in her mind. Wayden wants to leave the orphanage and rescue his enslaved brother. Verica wants to find and eat some delicious lemon biscuits[this makes me wonder why she's in the query]. But it turns out Jazlyn, Verica, and Wayden’s stories are all interrelated (except for the lemon biscuits, which are just plain delicious[this is one of these too clever lines—it's not clear why you're mentioning it]) and it all has to do with the oncoming convergence of the three moons.

 

With impending doom rapidly approaching Wayden, Jazlyn, and Verica meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within. [As per your previous query with Rif, this ending line sounds episodic]

————

I think you have too much going on here. I can't tell if this is a multi-POV story, or if, as suggested in your prior query, it's told from Wayden's perspective. As horribly frustrating it is to turn a complex plot into a single line,  I'd try to create one through line that unifies all three MCs and use that as the skeleton. And as yummy as they might be, leave the lemon biscuits in your kitchen :)


——————

My latest query is here. I appreciate reciprocal critiques


#35 Faltho

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 11:24 AM

When Wayden(Last name?) collides into an invisible being while undertaking an errand to care for the crazed, old woman residing in the orphanage’s attic, he’s reassured by the wizard who’s mysteriously taken up residence in his mind(This sentence is a lot to take it at once. That makes it feel a bit awkward and overwhelming. Perhaps break this up into a couple of sentences for pacing). “There’s no such thing as ghosts. It’s probably just a wraith.”

 

The wraith belongs to Verica(Last names for main characters are common in queries), a young woman, who likes to eavesdrop almost as much as Wayden(Do we know he likes to eavesdrop?). Both Verica and Wayden have annoying, pontificating beings that dwell inside their minds and they both need information possessed by the attic-dwelling woman, an old prophetess named Night (This seems information which we don't really need).

 

Mistress Night(Be careful, you don't want to overwhelm the reader with names, so perhaps stick to her being the old lady in the attic) witnessed an event sixteen-years ago, on the last convergence of the three moons, the exact same day and month that the wizard in Wayden’s mind was murdered (mind murder?) and his soul sucked out of his body. The exiled soul entered the mouth of a newborn Wayden. Verica’s friend, Jazlyn(Another name, and another spirit, this may be better in a different format), also received a spirit on that exact same evening, but hers was the soul of a bone-tearing. genocidal Immortal.

 

Jazlyn wants to find out what happened to her mother and why she has the Immortal in her mind. Wayden wants to leave the orphanage and rescue his enslaved brother. Verica wants to find and eat some delicious lemon biscuits. But it turns out Jazlyn, Verica, and Wayden’s stories are all interrelated (except for the lemon biscuits, which are just plain delicious) and it all has to do with the oncoming convergence of the three moons.

 

With impending doom rapidly approaching Wayden, Jazlyn, and Verica meets enemies and allies, but which is which, and who is who? It’s often hard to tell, especially when some of the enemies are within.

 

Basic book info goes here, word count, genre, etc.

 

 

 

Like a lot of first draft queries this is a little bit messy. There is a lot of names, a lot of ideas, a lot of fantastic concepts, and a plot hidden deep somewhere inside. The problem is a query should give an agent a quick and concise idea of the basic plot, and entice them to read more (this is very common in successful queries on this site). Remember, they've never read your book, and chances are they've not even read your first page yet when they see this query. So, I would think about starting again fresh, though I know this is already a monumental task. Focus on the plot. Who is important, what are the stakes, what can you tell me about your world to bring me in without bogging me down? Most importantly, write this for someone who is a blank slate to everything in your world.



#36 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 05:02 PM

If one is to have a wizard appear mysteriously inside your mind and giving unsolicited advice, one would at least like the wizard to be useful. At least so thinks almost sixteen-year old, burn marked Wayden, an orphan at the Dracon’s Home for Unadoptables. But the wizard Wayden hosts is scarcely useful, despite his being the Grandmaster of Beast Tongue. He isn’t even able to control any stray dogs or birds to deter the gray-skinned, sword wielding hulk who is chasing Wayden through the streets.

 

The gray-skinned man does not reveal to Wayden why he chases him, but stalks Wayden to the orphanage and promptly takes up a job there without salary. Wayden likes spying but so does Verica, the daughter of a Healer who often visits the orphanage to take care of the crazed old woman named Night who lives in the attic.

 

Verica also has a being living inside her mind, and needs information from Night, who Wayden cares for mostly by ducking projectile chamber pots she likes to chuck or trying to talk her down from the ledges she likes to go star-gazing on.

 

 Both Verica and Wayden’s quest intertwine with other soul hosts, young men and women near their own age, who too have unwanted voices inside their minds.The soul hosts must unite as an oncoming Three Moons Night is approaching and the ritual that placed the murdered wizards in their mind is going to be attempted again, but this time with an even larger number of victims. Unfortunately, Wayden, Verica, and the other soul hosts face obstacles and enemies who are in front of them, behind them, to their sides, and even within.



#37 Derrick

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 05:14 PM

If one is to have a wizard appear mysteriously inside your mind and giving unsolicited advice, one would at least like the wizard to be useful. At least so thinks almost sixteen-year old, burn marked Wayden, an orphan at the Dracon’s Home for Unadoptables. But the wizard Wayden hosts is scarcely useful, despite his being the Grandmaster of Beast Tongue. He isn’t even able to control any stray dogs or birds to deter the gray-skinned, sword wielding hulk who is chasing Wayden through the streets. I'd get rid of the first bit. You want to get to your character. I think it slows it down and could be said better. You could even just say it like:

 

"If sixteen-year-old Wayden is going to have a wizard living inside his head and giving unsolicited advice, the least the wizard could do is be of some use. But the wizard Wayden hosts..."

 

Then bake in the other details if important to understanding your story into the body below.

 

The gray-skinned man does not reveal to Wayden why he chases him, but stalks Wayden to the orphanage and promptly takes up a job there without salary. Wayden likes spying but so does Verica, the daughter of a Healer who often visits the orphanage to take care of the crazed old woman named Night who lives in the attic.

 

Verica also has a being living inside her mind,delete this comma and needs information from Night, who Wayden cares for mostly by ducking projectile chamber pots she likes to chuck or trying to talk her down from the ledges she likes to go star-gazing on.

 

 Both Verica and Wayden’s quest intertwine with other soul hosts, young men and women near their own age,I think you could probably delete this comma too who too have unwanted voices inside their minds.The soul hosts must unite as an oncoming Three Moons Night is approaching and the ritual that placed the murdered wizards in their mind is going to be attempted again, but this time with an even larger number of victims. Unfortunately, Wayden, Verica, and the other soul hosts face obstacles and enemies who are in front of them, behind them, to their sides, and even within. This last sentence is pretty vague. And it really doesn't do anything for me.

I think there's just a lot of detail here that I don't need OR if I do need, I need it to come into play in the query:

 

1. Why the burn marks? Is it necessary to understand the story?

 

2. What happened to the gray-skinned man? Is he one of the "obstacles"?


Would you do me the kindness of critiquing my query?


#38 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 05:44 PM

If sixteen-year-old Wayden is to have a wizard appear mysteriously inside his mind, giving unsolicited advice, he’d at least like the wizard to be useful.

But the wizard Wayden hosts is scarcely useful, despite his being the Grandmaster of Beast Tongue. He isn’t even able to control any stray dogs or birds to deter the gray-skinned, sword wielding hulk who is chasing Wayden through the streets.

 

The gray-skinned man does not reveal to Wayden why he chases him, but stalks Wayden to the orphanage and promptly takes up a job there without salary. Wayden likes spying on him, and others, but so does Verica. She is the daughter of a Healer who often visits the orphanage to take care of the crazed old woman named Night who lives in the attic.

 

Verica also has a being living inside her mind and needs information from Night, who Wayden cares for mostly by ducking projectile chamber pots she likes to chuck or trying to talk her down from the ledges she likes to go star-gazing on.

 

 Both Verica and Wayden’s quest intertwine with other soul hosts, young men and women near their own age, who too have unwanted voices inside their minds.

 

The soul hosts must unite as an oncoming Three Moons Night is approaching and the ritual that placed the murdered wizards in their mind is going to be attempted again, but this time with an even larger number of victims. Unfortunately, Wayden, Verica, and the other soul hosts face obstacles and enemies, some of whom are even in their own ranks, or even within their minds.



#39 Derrick

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:29 AM

The hook is better, but I just keep coming back to same thing: what is the deal with the gray-skinned man?

 

If he's an obstacle referenced in the last paragraph, bring him back up then.

 

If he's an ally, I guess mention that, so it's resolved.

 

If he's merely an impetus for Wayden to meet up with Verica, then don't even mention him.

 

As it stands now, I feel like you could cut him from the query, which gives you more real estate or more white space. Both are better than the mini-thread of the gray-skinned man at the moment.


Would you do me the kindness of critiquing my query?


#40 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 11:19 AM

If sixteen-year-old Wayden is to have a wizard mysteriously inhabiting his mind, he could at least be considerate enough to be useful.

 

But the wizard Wayden hosts is nearly powerless, despite being the Grandmaster of Beast Tongue, he isn’t even able to control any stray dogs or birds to deter the gray-skinned, sword wielding hulk who is chasing Wayden through the streets.

 

The gray-skinned man does not reveal to Wayden why he chases him, but stalks Wayden to the orphanage and promptly takes up a job there. Wayden likes to spy on him, and others, in hopes of gaining information about his peculiar sorcerer hosting situation, but so does Verica. She is the daughter of a Healer who often visits the orphanage to take care of the crazed old woman named Night who lives in the attic.

 

Verica also has a being living inside her mind and needs information from Mistress Night who Wayden cares for mostly by bringing her drugged stew, cleaning up the chamber pots she likes to chuck at people, or talking her down from the ledges she likes to use for star-gazing. But by questioning and spying on Night, the gray-skinned man, and others, Wayden and Verica obtain important information about an oncoming massacre.

 

Another Three Moons Night is coming soon, the first one since the murderer of all the Grandmasters nearly sixteen years ago. People Verica and Wayden love will be sacrificed if they don’t stop this ritual, which means travelling north, facing winged-wolf riding slavers, an ornery dragon, and a trio of armies.

 

Unfortunately, Wayden, Verica, and the other soul hosts face obstacles and enemies, some of whom are even in their own ranks.

Even within their own minds.







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