Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Hazel Flint Is Dying - YA Contemporary Fantasy (Will critique back)

Fiction Young Adult Fantasy

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 IMB

IMB

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 26 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationSouth America
  • Publishing Experience:None yet

Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:41 AM

Hello!

 

I've been working hard on this new WIP, and though there is still a lot more editing to do, I thought I should get ahead of things and work on the query! I've been tinkering with this one for a while, and I think it's as good as I can get it without any feedback.

 

I will critique back too, just make sure to point me in the right direction!

 


 
Dear (Agent Name),
 
Daisy Flint couldn’t prevent her twin sister’s death; not the first time, not the second time, nor the dozen times after that. Hazel Flint is dying, over and over again. Daisy is stuck in a time-loop, forced to repeat the day her sister dies. But she’s not worrying about how she’ll get to the next day; not before she finds a way to save her sister’s life.
 
After countless attempts at changing Hazel’s path, Daisy is running out of things to try. She’s memorized the day, and everyone’s routine, but no matter how much she tweaks it, Hazel always meets the same end, dead in the schoolyard by sundown.
 
But as another one of Daisy’s plan fails, she notices something that isn’t on the script. Someone is in a different position; a boy is moving outside the boundaries of the time-loop, like her, and he might be the answer she’s been waiting for.
 
The boy is Miles Novak, Hazel’s secret friend. He claims the time-loop was his doing, a forbidden spell cast in desperation with the hope he could change Hazel’s fate. He opens Daisy’s eyes to a world of different rules, a world of magic; a world Hazel is involved in.
 
With secret friends, and a strange cult masking as a school chess club, Hazel’s lies come to light. The revelations are like a knife in the gut to Daisy, who’s always shared every secret with her twin, but even though it hurts, it might just be the twist she needs to put an end to this nightmare.
 
HAZEL FLINT IS DYING is a YA Contemporary Fantasy novel completed at 98,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood, and Karen M. McManus’s One Of Us Is Lying.
 
(Personalization)
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
IMB.



Thanks in advance!
 

Current Query (YA Contemporary Fantasy): http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Any feedback is appreciated :)


#2 queryseal

queryseal

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:47 PM

 

Hello!

 

I've been working hard on this new WIP, and though there is still a lot more editing to do, I thought I should get ahead of things and work on the query! I've been tinkering with this one for a while, and I think it's as good as I can get it without any feedback.

 

I will critique back too, just make sure to point me in the right direction!

 


 
Dear (Agent Name),
 
Daisy Flint couldn’t prevent her twin sister’s death; not the first time, not the second time, nor the dozen times after that. Hazel Flint is dying, over and over again. Daisy is stuck in a time-loop, forced to repeat the day her sister dies. But she’s not worrying about how she’ll get to the next day; not before she finds a way to save her sister’s life. I like this opener. I think condensing it down will really give it the punch.
 
After countless attempts at changing Hazel’s path, Daisy is running out of things to try. She’s memorized the day, and everyone’s routine, but no matter how much she tweaks it, Hazel always meets the same end, dead in the schoolyard by sundown.
 
But as another one of Daisy’s plan fails, she notices something that isn’t on the script (script feels like a weird word choice). Someone is in a different position; a boy is moving outside the boundaries of the time-loop, like her, and he might be the answer she’s been waiting for. I'd try to condense this paragraph down. The length of it now is slowing the action down. 
 
The boy is Miles Novak, Hazel’s secret friend. He claims the time-loop was his doing, a forbidden spell cast in desperation with the hope he could change Hazel’s fate (her death, you mean? Or was Hazel going to end with a different fate?). He opens Daisy’s eyes to a world of different rules, a world of magic (I'd list the world of magic first so we know this is magic she's dealing with); a world Hazel is involved in.
 
With secret friends, and a strange cult masking as a school chess club, Hazel’s lies come to light (this sentence feels vague. What are these lies? The secret friends and cult don't really make up who Hazel really is and what her secrets are). The revelations are like a knife in the gut (cliche phrase) to Daisy, who’s always shared every secret with her twin, but even though it hurts, it might just be the twist she needs to put an end to this nightmare. I feel there's information missing here. What is at stake? What will happen if Daisy fails? Can she get out of the loop if she can't save her sister? What's at stake for her?
 
HAZEL FLINT IS DYING is a YA Contemporary Fantasy novel completed at 98,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood, and Karen M. McManus’s One Of Us Is Lying.
 
(Personalization)
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
IMB.



Thanks in advance!

 

 

Thank you for critiquing my query. Your feedback was really helpful. I really like the premise of your story, and I think you're at the right start. I think some things just need some clarifying, especially the stakes, and some clean up in the earlier paragraphs. I hope this helps.



#3 dmsimone

dmsimone

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 288 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest
  • Publishing Experience:Technical journals, patents.

Posted 15 September 2019 - 02:50 AM

Hi there, my suggestions are below...

One of the biggest issues for me was the dependency on "is ----" verb constructs. I made them red so you can see their prevalence...

I hope this helps!

 

 

Dear (Agent Name),
 
Daisy Flint couldn’t prevent her twin sister’s death; not the first time, not the second time, nor the dozen times after that. Hazel Flint is dying, over and over again. Daisy is stuck in a time-loop, forced to repeat the day her sister dies. But she’s not worrying about how she’ll get to the next day; not before she finds a way to save her sister’s life.
Okay your opening sentence is seriously cool. The issue for me is your use of verb tenses. The first sentence is past tense, which throws me for the rest of the paragraph, which is present tense. And this might just be a style preference, but the -ing verb usage feel passive. I would have said "Hazel Flint dies over and over again....But she doesn't worry about how..." The last sentence confuses me a little. Daisy does not worry about how she'll get to the next day....must she first save her sister's life before she can move on?
 
After countless attempts at changing Hazel’s path (fate?), Daisy is running out of things to try. She’s memorized the day, and everyone’s routine, but no matter how much she tweaks it, Hazel always meets the same end, dead in the schoolyard by sundown.
Again, your preference to use -ing verbs feels passive/unpolished to me. For example, I would have said: After countless failed attempts to change Hazel's fate, Daisy has run out of things to try. The last sentence is the show of your telling first sentence. This entire bit can be condensed to: No matter how Daisy tweaks everyone's routine throughout Hazel's day, her sister is always dead in the schoolyard by sundown. Actually, this should be combined with the first paragraph for one solid intro:
 
Daisy Flint could not prevent her sister's death, not the first time, not the second time, nor the dozen times after that. Hazel Flint dies over and over again while Daisy is stuck in a time-loop forced to relive her sister's death. No matter how Daisy tweaks everyone's routine throughout Hazel's day, her sister is always dead in the schoolyard by sundown. Though Daisy is caught and powerless, she does not worry about how she'll get to the next day. Not before she saves her sister's life.
 
Okay, this is not polished, but you get my meaning :)
 
But as another one of Daisy’s plan fails, she notices something that isn’t on the script. Someone is in a different position; a boy is moving outside the boundaries of the time-loop, like her, and he might be the answer she’s been waiting for.
"Daisy's plan fails" should be "Daisy's plans fails." While grammatically correct, it reads unpolished, and I would recommend to revise it completely. Like, After another failure, Daisy notices something...
"Someone in a different position" is telling which "a boy is moving outside the boundaries" is showing. Suggestion to just say something like, "After another failure, Daisy notices a boy move beyond the boundaries of the time-loop..." - Note I also got rid of the is -ing verb.
 
The boy is Miles Novak, Hazel’s secret friend. He claims the time-loop was his doing, a forbidden spell cast in desperation with the hope he could  to change Hazel’s fate. He opens Daisy’s eyes to a world of different rules, a world of magic; a world Hazel is involved (trapped?) in.
Why is he a "secret" friend?
"He claims the time-loop was his doing" sounds unpolished, and I'd recommend something simple like, "He created the time-loop."
"Opens Daisy's eyes" is a little cliche.
 
With secret friends, and a strange cult masking as a school chess club, Hazel’s lies come to light. The revelations are like a knife in the gut to Daisy, who’s always shared every secret who shares everything with her twin, but  and even though it hurts, it might just be the twist she needs to put an end to this nightmare.
The chess club reference feels random, and I don't know how it connects to anything prior. Recommend removing it. 
"A knife in the gut" also sounds cliche...not sure.
 
 
HAZEL FLINT IS DYING is a YA Contemporary Fantasy novel completed at 98,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood, and Karen M. McManus’s One Of Us Is Lying.
 
(Personalization)
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
IMB.



Thanks in advance!

 


My QL is here: http://agentquerycon...ght-ya-fantasy/

My synopsis is here: http://agentquerycon...ght-ya-fantasy/

I am happy to reciprocate with a critique.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users