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Syche: The Dark Element -- YA, Fantasy Adventure


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#1 Stephen G. Bria

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:25 AM

Dear Agent,

     Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. He will never be called on a whirlwind quest to save the world, he will never inherit awesome super powers, and as much as he may day dream otherwise, his life will never be anything other than what he makes it.

     But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them, the Syches, lie just beyond society’s view, Joshua is plunging into adventure with his fire controlling brother Kael and face a world he has always wished he was a part of.

     It’s a treasure hunt! If Joshua and Kael can face down the league of assassins known as the Dark Element that hounds their path and brave the perils of a world long forgotten, Joshua just may find the legendary Book of Light and become the hero he tells himself he is.

     Syche: The Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.

 

 

Additionally, would there be a better way to phrase the last sentence, if the genre leans a bit towards young adult? It's pretty close to straddling that line, and I was wondering how obvious I need to make that.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

 



#2 kotafjones

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:37 PM

Dear Agent,

     Seventeen-year-old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. We're getting some voice here which I like. He will never be called on a whirlwind quest to save the world, he will never inherit awesome super powers, and as much as he may day dream otherwise, his life will never be anything other than what he makes it. Okay, so I get that he isn't super-duper, but I think we need a hook here. Not just a description of the character. This second line doesn't feel neccesary to me.

     But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them, the Syches, lie just beyond society’s view, Joshua is plunging into adventure with his fire controlling brother Kael and to face a world he has always wished he was a part of. I would go ahead and move this up to the first paragraph. Maybe "Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them......." That is more of a hook and punch. The second paragraph should descuss what this adventure is and why they must go on it.

     It’s a treasure hunt! If Joshua and Kael can face down the league of assassins known as the Dark Element that hounds their path and brave the perils of a world long forgotten, Joshua just may find the legendary Book of Light and become the hero he tells himself he is. I'm a little lost here atm. What is the Book of Light? Maybe you can expand on this a little more if it's important to the plot. Why do they need it and what will happen if they don't succeed?

     Syche: The Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.

 

I hope this helps some. I like that this is short and concise but I feel like there are a lot of hidden elements to your story that you need to pull out. (Just the important stuff anyways. Who, What, and Why. I need to understand what's at stake here because I couldn't really find anything so far. Good work, keep going!



#3 kathleenq

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 07:22 PM

Dear Agent,

     Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. He will never be called on a whirlwind quest to save the world, he will never inherit awesome super powers, and as much as he may day dream otherwise, his life will never be anything other than what he makes it.

     But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them, the Syches, lie just beyond society’s view, Joshua is plunging into adventure with his fire controlling brother Kael and face a world he has always wished he was a part of.

     It’s a treasure hunt! If Joshua and Kael can face down the league of assassins known as the Dark Element that hounds their path and brave the perils of a world long forgotten, Joshua just may find the legendary Book of Light and become the hero he tells himself he is.

     Syche: The Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.

 

 

Additionally, would there be a better way to phrase the last sentence, if the genre leans a bit towards young adult? It's pretty close to straddling that line, and I was wondering how obvious I need to make that.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

I think the way you did the genre is fine, but there's really not much of a query here. I'm not sure why I should care about the characters, and there's really not even enough for me to figure out if I know what's going on or not. You need some more plot and a point. Why are they going on the hunt? How is it important? What happens if they fail and conversely, why do they need to succeed?


Query: Glass Domes


#4 Stephen G. Bria

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 01:12 AM

Thanks for the feedback; it definitely was non-descript. Here's the best I got trying to be a little more descriptive:

 

Dear Agent,

  Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them, the Syches, lie just beyond society’s view, Joshua is plunging into adventure with his fire controlling brother Kael and face a world he has always wished he was a part of.

  With a cadre of dangerous assassins called the Dark Element at their back, Joshua and Kael will face any danger to find the powerful artifact known as the Book of Light to bring back their dead mother from the grave. By the seat of his pants and on the strength of his wit, Joshua may come to realize that saving the girl and winning the day may be too much for someone more special, and let alone for an ordinary guy out of his element.

  Syche, the Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.

 

 

Now it may be a bit of a pipe dream,  but I was hoping to write a query that was the anti-thesis of your standard query. My manuscript is essential a complete reversal for what you'd typically find in the genre, and I have no idea how to evenly remotely demonstrate that (I'm really bad at queries). If anyone has any ideas how to really shake things up, that'd be great. Otherwise thanks for any input at all.



#5 callalilly

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:47 PM

Hi Stephen G. Bria. I'm hoping the below will help you, and if not please ignore :)

 

Thanks for the feedback; it definitely was non-descript. Here's the best I got trying to be a little more descriptive:

 

Dear Agent,

  Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal (Please don't hate me for saying this, but I feel I must say this if in the long run it aids you: Be careful in query writing when labeling a character as being normal. I understand completely the idea of establishing your character as a run-of-the-mill guy, but I've read many articles where agents get so tired of reading queries that state characters as being normal and than X, Y, and Z happens that changes them into the extraordinary. (Other readers may disagree with this -so follow your gut). Of course establish your character, but I advise care in describing them as normal). But in a world where powerful elements and those who control them, the Syches, lie just beyond society’s view, Joshua is plunging into adventure with his fire controlling brother Kael to face a world he has always wished to be a part of.

 

  With a cadre of dangerous assassins called the Dark Element (Unneeded info in a query perhaps? Key in your book though) at their back, Joshua and Kael will face any danger to find the powerful artifact known as the Book of Light to bring back their dead mother from the grave. By the seat of his pants and on the strength of his wit, Joshua may come to realize that saving the girl and winning the day may be too much for someone more special, and let alone for an ordinary guy out of his element. (This reads like a book flap, which I like since it reveals the main plot of the book. As a query, I kind of want more information though -I see from the below that you're going for a different feel than the standard query and wish I could offer more sustenance in your hope to accomplish your query. I can only hope what I have offered has some good points (and again, if not, please pay no mind) and wish you luck!

 

  Syche, the Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.

 

 

Now it may be a bit of a pipe dream,  but I was hoping to write a query that was the anti-thesis of your standard query. My manuscript is essential a complete reversal for what you'd typically find in the genre, and I have no idea how to evenly remotely demonstrate that (I'm really bad at queries). If anyone has any ideas how to really shake things up, that'd be great. Otherwise thanks for any input at all.



#6 Stephen G. Bria

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:22 AM

Thanks for the feedback. If you look at my very first entry and the first paragraph, how do you feel about that in regards to your take on the "normal part". I was originally trying to drive home the idea that it was the opposite of your standard, hero's quest story/ query that you are referencing and that the main character isn't going to undergo a change that makes them special.

 

Should I go back and try to emphasize that a bit more?

 

 As well, you are saying you want a bit more. Can you tell me what it is you'd like? Information, more character in the way it's written?



#7 Stephen G. Bria

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:36 AM

Okay so I came up with this in the meantime. I was going for as much personality as possible with some subverting of expectations compared to the dull queries you normally see about "normal" people. 

 

Dear Agent,

  Seventeen year old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. That’s it. What? You were expecting the part where we find out how special he’s about to become. Sure, he isn’t you’re average kid --traveling the world, looking for treasure, surviving by his wit and snarky attitude, but he can’t do anything that any other person can’t. Not unlike his fire wielding brother and travel companion Kael.

  With a cadre of dangerous assassins hounding their steps, Joshua will use his wit and penchant for absurdism to overcome the dangers even his super-powered brother can’t defeat to find the powerful artifact known as the Book of Light and bring back their dead mother from the grave. Joshua is determined to save the girl and win the day, even if he’s out of his element.

  Syche, the Dark Element is Y.A. Fantasy Adventure novel complete at 100,000 words.



#8 kathleenq

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 06:36 PM

I think the main issue with your query isn't the description of Joshua, it's actually quite good. It's that this reads like a book jacket, not a query. There's no plot. What's Joshua doing on his adventure? How is the girl involved? Was she kidnapped and now he has to go save her? Why are assassins trying to kill Kael and a totally normal guy? The end goal, apparently, is that he's bringing his dead mother back to life. Or is it to get the girl? Choose one! Etc


Query: Glass Domes


#9 callalilly

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:44 PM

Thanks for the feedback. If you look at my very first entry and the first paragraph, how do you feel about that in regards to your take on the "normal part". I like that your revised version was cut down from the original, but regardless of which way you decide to use, I still suggest caution -agents are tired of the "normal" angle of queries from what I've read. BUT this is just what I've seen -do what you feel is a good fit.

 

I was originally trying to drive home the idea that it was the opposite of your standard, hero's quest story/ query that you are referencing and that the main character isn't going to undergo a change that makes them special. (I get what you're saying, but don't know if it was read that way -perhaps get some other individuals opinions; they may disagree with me.)

 

Should I go back and try to emphasize that a bit more? (Again -see what others say, I'm just one person with this view of it.)
 

 

 As well, you are saying you want a bit more. Can you tell me what it is you'd like? Information, more character in the way it's written? (I suggest looking at Kathleenq's thoughts, maybe her questions will give you some ideas of where to go. Also, I see she maybe had the same confusion I did -the girl mentioned, is this Joshua's mom or another girl?)

 

Hope that helps, write again if you need clarification with what I suggested. Good luck!






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