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PURE SEA, GREY WAVES (YA Fantasy)


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#1 SC_Author

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

Query on post 250, also down here. 

 

 

 I'm starting the second rewrite of this MS (after getting a flash of inspiration) and I wrote up a new query. Thank you guys! And tear away!

 

Dear Agent,

  

“Finding Nemo” got it wrong. The underwater world is no paradise. It’s a downright nightmare.

 

Alphi, a white-scaled Pure, shouldn’t care about the Greys, for coral’s sake. But living in a caged village is death for a claustrophobic teen, especially since her species tyrannizes the darker-scaled one. Desperate for an escape—as the slits on her wrist can attest to—Alphi flees her village, only one thing keeping her fins pumping: the legend of a city ruled by Capit, her uncle. A city of freedom.

 

But when she arrives to the city, the torture of an innocent Grey draws Capit’s and the citizens' applause. This place is no escape. Tear-stained and desperate, she longs to escape, until Zac, a Grey love-struck by Alphi’s compassion for his kind, invites her into a rebel group. It’s a fight against the city—and her own family. She joins.

 

But secrets lie in her past: secrets of her sister’s suicide and her mother’s desperation. The scars on Alphi’s wrist begin to itch again and it won’t be long until they bleed with the guilt of joining the rebels.

 

Alphi yearns to escape it all but one cannot simply swim away from loved ones. The scales have been set, and unless Alphi acts either for herself or for her family, she will sink so deep that no one will be left to save her. 

 

Imagine a white Pocahontas in a Little Mermaid setting, all with the flavor of John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA, and you’ll have PURE SEA, GREY WAVES a YA Fantasy complete at ____ words.  

 

Sincerely, 

Me


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#2 RC Lewis

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:37 PM

Welcome to the site, SC. :smile: It looks like you have a nice story, but I have a few thoughts on your query. Take what works, ignore what doesn't.

* * * * *

Alphi McClure is the daughter of the most respected leader in her underwater village. The Grey villagers worship the ground that any Pure steps on, and Alphi is the Purest of the Pures. They want her dead. (You don't really have a hook here. Instead, there are two sort of dry declarations of who the MC is and world-building, followed by a statement that doesn't make sense--the villagers worship the ground she walks on and they want her dead?)

Her ideas of equality and advancement throw the village in an uproar, and before long, the villagers attack. Desperate to be free, Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city of Archumber, thinking it is a paradise. It is anything but. When her king-like uncles torture a Grey for public amusement, Alphi starts to drown in the same bigotry she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them. (This paragraph feels too synopsis-y. Very "this happens, then that happens." It doesn't quite draw me forward into the rest of the query.)

It is a fight between morals and how far loyalty should go. (A little too "telling" rather than "showing.") But when Alphi realizes she is the prophesized one –with the ability to control all magic– her allegiance and ethics are thrown for a spin. (You already said it's a fight between morals and loyalty ... this says it better, but while I get the allegiance part, I'm not sure about how the ethics fit in.) She is the Purest of the Pures. How could she support the Greys? Shouldn’t she be supporting her family? (Questions are rarely effective in queries. They invite snarky internal answers as agents read.) The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and when Alphi’s family turns against her, the fight will only end in death. (Not quite an effective "sinker" either.)

VIS DECOR: ALPHI is the first novel of two (I hope the first can stand on its own, and you'll want to avoid making it sound like it *depends* on the second to complete it), complete at 127,000 words. As underwater worlds are rarely explored in fantasy (there have been a LOT of mermaid stories lately--not sure that's what this is, but just sayin' ... you don't want to sound like you don't know the market), I believe my novel will fit well in this niche market. Also, this book would appeal to fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and HARRY POTTER, (Eek! If you must compare, do *not* compare to biggies. Personally, I just don't do comparisons unless I have to.) due to its strong female voice and fantasy world.

Two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. (It probably won't be "soon," so this phrase just takes up space.)

* * * * *

In general, I'd say what you need is a compelling hook, then a query body that entices, builds tension and curiosity right to the end. Less about these bullet-point events, more about Alphi--clarity in what she wants, what stands in her way, and what the stakes are.

It's possible I'm not making sense, so feel free to ask for clarification. :blush:

It really does look like a fun story, so I look forward to your continued efforts. Keep at it!
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#3 SC_Author

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:06 PM

RC Lewis, thank you SO much! Your critique has been incredibly helpful, I am not exaggerating! Thank you so much for your time and careful evaluation, you have helped me so much! I have a revised query, with almost entirely rewritten first and second paragraphs. Again, thank you so much for all your help! Also, feel free to bash on my hook!

Dear Mr. Agent:

All a crying daughter wants is to run to her mother’s arms. But Alphi McClure can’t even have that.

Her ideas of equality between Greys and Pures draw angry glares from her family and her villagers. When Alphi flees to the magical city of Archumber –ruled by her uncles– she finds it even more suffocating than her village. Her king-like uncles torture a Grey for public amusement, and Alphi starts to drown in the same bigotry she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But when Alphi realizes she is the prophesized one –with the ability to control all magic– her allegiance is thrown for a spin. She is the Purest of the Pures. She can’t support the Greys, she should be supporting her family, not the Underground…. But when her own family declares war on the Underground, she is forced to decide who to use her incredible power against: her family, or her friends. And maybe even herself.

VIS DECOR: ALPHI is complete at 127,000 words. Also, this book would appeal to fans of THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL, due to its fantasy world and magical powers.

Two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me
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and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#4 RC Lewis

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:24 PM

Much improved! I have a much clearer picture now. :smile:

A few things...

Yeah, I don't love the hook. :blush: Most of the query paints Alphi as a strong girl, but the hook feels a little more like, "When a girl is upset, she wants to cry to her mama." It doesn't quite fit.

This pair of sentences also doesn't quite work for me: Her refuge comes when Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them. It feels like there are too many unanswered questions in-between. You don't want to bog down in details, but I feel like there's a blank in here. Just a small hint of what draws her to the rebels, why she joins them in the midst of an attack.

The idea of a "chosen one" is seen as a little overdone by some agents (I've heard/read), so you might just simplify it to Alphi discovering she has the rare/unique ability to control all magic. And maybe just a touch more support for why this discovery makes her question the fact that she abandoned her family to side with the Underground.

One thing I overlooked on the original as well: Make sure you state the genre clearly with the title/word count, especially including that it's YA.

I suggest letting this version stand until some other AQCers chime in. They often notice things and offer suggestions that I don't think of. :happy:
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#5 SC_Author

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:44 PM

New hook?

A mother’s arms are supposed to be inviting. But not for Alphi McClure.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!! I've been getting critiques all over the place and almost wanted to tear my hair out, but yours has DEFINATELY been the most helpful and consice! Thank you for all your help and time you've spent helping me! I cannot express this enough, thank you! :biggrin:
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I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#6 RC Lewis

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:51 PM

Well, stick around this place, because everything I know about queries, I learned from AQCers. :cool:

New hook is better. I'd combine with a comma and make it one sentence. And perhaps find a way to tie in the hook somewhere in the body of the query. You mention her family in general, but only her uncles in particular. Does it come to a point where her mother would just as soon kill her? That, or rework the hook to play off of what a *family* is supposed to be, as opposed to the specificity of a mother.

Queries are tough, and I think hooks are often the trickiest of all the tricky parts.
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#7 SC_Author

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:03 AM

I changed the hook to once sentence like you said, and included this in the third paragraph. Is this better, or is it loose?

Alphi is the Purest of the Pures. She can’t support the Greys, she should be supporting her family, not the Underground…. But when Alphi’s mother tells her she is the prophesized one –with the ability to control all magic– her allegiance is thrown for a spin. The impending war between the Underground and the Pures force her to decide whom to use her incredible power against, and Alphi’s Pure mother is more than willing to kill if she makes the wrong choice.

(funny thing is, Alphi's mother is willing to kill, just like you said in your above post :smile: )
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and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#8 SC_Author

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

Newest query, after some feedback!Please, comment on it! I don't mind if it's onlt a sentence, I just want to know if this is working.

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Heretic, her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city, desperate to escape her village’s bigotry. But when her uncles brutally torture a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same prejudice she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make. The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. This novel is separate from others in that it is set in an underwater world without stereotyped creatures, such as mermaids. It is an original concept. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
SC_Author on Twitter

and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#9 SC_Author

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:43 PM

This is (hopefully) the last completely rewritten query I do! I've worked on it a lot, but feel free to tear it apart :biggrin:

Dear Mr. Agent:

Mother. Home. Only a broken child would not associate those words with compassion and security, and Alphi McClure is one of them. Her mother and her village are so old and traditional she knows her modern ideas cannot fit here. Therefore, she leaves for her uncles’ magical city, thinking she is going to a better place. But her uncles and the city are even more biased than her village, and Alphi yearns to escape. She finds her sanctuary when the Underground rebels attacks her own family. She joins.

But what is at stake is more than Alphi could have imagined. Her decision to support the Underground will decide the upcoming war, and soon, Alphi realizes that her decision will result in certain death for the opposing side. Her heart still rests with her family, but her soul belongs to the Underground. No matter whom she supports, one person will surely be shattered: herself.

VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 120,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL, due to its fantasy world and magical powers.

Two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me
SC_Author on Twitter

and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#10 Navvs

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 05:55 PM

Dear Mr. Agent:

Mother. Home. Only a broken child would not associate those words with compassion and security, and Alphi McClure is one of them. Her mother and her village are so old and traditional she knows her modern ideas cannot fit here. Therefore, she leaves for her uncles’ magical city, thinking she is going to a better place. But her uncles and the city are even more biased than her village, and Alphi yearns to escape. She finds her sanctuary when the Underground rebels attacks her own family. She joins.

But what is at stake is more than Alphi could have imagined. Her decision to support the Underground will decide the upcoming war, and soon, Alphi realizes that her decision will result in certain death for the opposing side. Her heart still rests with her family, but her soul belongs to the Underground. No matter whom she supports, one person will surely be shattered: herself.

VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 120,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL. due to its fantasy world and magical powers.

Two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me



This query falls at a little over 150 words, and that’s a little short IMO. I don't include the salutations, details about the books length, etc. Just the synopsis.


Here are some things I find unclear:

- What’s the setting? Does it take place in an alternate world? Where exactly is her mother's village and uncle's magical city?
- You mention that Underground rebels attack her family? Do you mean her mother’s village, or the uncle’s magical city?

I know this doesn’t really help your query, but it might be good idea to clarify a bit more information.

#11 SC_Author

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:08 PM

Thank you so much! Here's a rewritten query, and it is longer. Is it interesting enough to get an agent's attention? Does it grab your attention? Thank you for all your help!

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Heretic, her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city, desperate to escape her village’s bigotry. But when her uncles brutally torture a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same prejudice she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make. The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. This novel is separate from others in that it is set in an underwater world without stereotyped creatures, such as mermaids. It is an original concept.

Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me
SC_Author on Twitter

and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#12 Navvs

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:21 PM

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys – a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. She’s declared a heretic and traitor by her people, and flees to her uncles’ magical city. desperate to escape her village’s bigotry. But when her uncles brutally tortures a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same prejudice she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. This novel is separate from others in that it is set in an underwater world without stereotyped creatures, such as mermaids. It is an original concept. Two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me



This is much better. Although, I wouldn't mention that it's an "original story without stereotyped creatures".

#13 SC_Author

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

Thank you, so so much Navvs! I took almost all of your great suggestions, and I am so happy about how my query reads now! Thank you so so much for your input, it helped a lot!! :biggrin: This is the newest query, and feel free to bash on it :smile:

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Heretic, her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city. But when her uncles brutally torture a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same bigotry she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me
SC_Author on Twitter

and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#14 Navvs

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:50 PM

That's pretty good! I'm glad I helped even in the slightest. Say, SC_Author, would you mind critiquing my query? I'd really appreciate it. :blush:

#15 SC_Author

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:05 PM

Oh yea, sure, I'm on my way right now :smile:
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Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#16 beccaclark

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:25 AM

Here are my thoughts...

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Heretic, her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city. But when her uncles brutally torture a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same bigotry she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them. Alphi's uncle's are Pures? The Underground rebels are Grey's? I'm not seeing a one line hook that helps to understand what this paragraph is talking about.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death. This paragraph is good.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me


Your story sounds very interesting...something I would totally read! I would say work on a one line hook and then start with your first paragraph. I was a little confused at first but then I got it in the third paragraph...agents probably won't read after the first. IMO! The part about being a hero and a traitor...I would use that in a hook somehow...

#17 Ilovesoup

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:02 AM

Hi, SC_author! Here are my thoughts on this query:

Thank you, so so much Navvs! I took almost all of your great suggestions, and I am so happy about how my query reads now! Thank you so so much for your input, it helped a lot!! :biggrin: This is the newest query, and feel free to bash on it :smile:

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Personally, I don't like this opening line. It doesn't really say much, doesn't entice me, and it's "telling". Also, does she die when she gets stoned? She's still alive, but apparently not. You might want to clear that up.

Heretic I'm not sure what this means. Put in a word everyone knows for a hook , her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. <---this would be a perfect hook right here. Let's start the query from here.

Now, incooperate line one down here:

Alphy McClure stands for the equality of Pures and Greys-a stand that almost gets her stoned. She flees to her uncle's magical city?????, but when she witnesses the brutal torture of a defenseless Grey, she finds herself drowning in the same bigotry I don't know what this word means she thought she had escaped. Okay, you need to explain WHY she went to go see her uncle. "She flees to her uncle's city where both races are treated fairly, but when she witnesses..."

Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels Who are the underground rebels? Greys? Pures? Neither? Both? attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic Okay, this made me go "What?" Honeslty, I don't think that's needed here. You never mention magic, so don't mention it now. Stay true to the plotline which is her joining the Rebels and having to kill her family.; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make Read this out loud to yourself. Is this the rhyme you want?. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death. Okay. This isn't bad. But you HAVE to make clear what her uncle's "city" is and how it's different from the village she escaped. Here you're saying she has to kill her uncle when that was supposedly the "city" she went to for refuge from discrimination. That is not clear to me.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me


You've got something here and I think with a nice, thorough revision you can get there. You have fleshed out the plotline, but added some extraneous detail that isn't needed. You also need to clear up some things--the stoning, the "magical city", who the bad guys are (in other words, make it clear that she went to her uncle's city for refuge but found nothing but the same discrimination in the village), and most importantly, tell us a little bit about the Pures and Greys if you are going to mention them. Who are they? Where did they come from? It makes me wonder why they hate each other so much. Find a way to incooperate that into the query without being too overwhelming (yeah, I know, hard :tongue: ) but you can do it!

Great job though! Keep at it!

#18 albrock

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:11 AM

Dear Mr. Agent:

Alphi McClure stands against inequality between Pures and Greys –a stand that gets her stoned by the very people she tries to help. Heretic, her Pure mother whispered. Traitor, her village said. Alphi flees to her uncles’ magical city. But when her uncles brutally torture a defenseless Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same bigotry she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them. (I would tighten this up to one or two lines that either describe the story in a nutshell or describe an exciting event. Introduce the world-specific terminology in the second paragraph. The thing about her finding salvation when her family is attacked really caught my interest, but here it's buried at the end.)

But her support is more valuable to the rebels than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising between the Underground and her family, and (you established that above) due to her birth, Alphi has the ability to control all magic; her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death. (This sentence is really confusing, I think because you're trying not to be wordy. That's good, obviously, but I don't understand what about her birth gives her the ability to control all magic; if she's known this all her life or is just realizing it; and if she has known all her life, why she didn't use it previously. Seems like a cool power to have!)

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Her knees start to shake as she agonizes over the decision she must make. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war within herself, and both will only end in death. (This paragraph is good. It's succinct but makes the stakes, which are very high even if you're not familiar with the world, clear.)

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me


Very interesting story idea, and in my personal opinion if the entire query was like the 3rd paragraph you'd get a lot of interest. Hope you find something helpful here!

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#19 SC_Author

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:13 PM

Beccaclark, Ilovesoup, and ALBrock, THANK YOU! I am simply overjoyed that you took the time to critique my query! Yesterday, I was on the verge of giving up and stopping my search for an agent! Your feedback makes me happier and more excited than before, I can't tell you guys how much this means to me! Thank you, all of you! For everything!

I edited my query again (this time, with less frustration than before, thanks to you guys :smile: ) Tell me what you think! Tear it apart, I don't feel like giving up anymore :smile:

Dear Mr. Agent:

Heretic, her mother whispered. Traitor. Alphi McClure’s stand for equality between the Pures and the Greys gets her attacked by the ones she tries to help. She flees to her uncles’ city; the city has magic, so it must be better than her village. But when her uncles brutally torture a Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same racism she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Grey Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising, and when Alphi finds out she has the ability to control all magic, she is far from overjoyed. Her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Me

(I had to include the magic part because that is what makes Alphi so valuable in the war. But I did try to tone it down a bit, so it wouldn't be so glaring. I added a hint of magic before in the first paragraph too. Is it still distracting? Does it not make sense?) Thank you for everything guys, I can't tell you how much this means to me! All of you guys, you are amazing! Please, tell me if you have any queries you want critiqued! I'd be more than happy to do it!
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I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#20 beccaclark

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:38 PM

Beccaclark, Ilovesoup, and ALBrock, THANK YOU! I am simply overjoyed that you took the time to critique my query! Yesterday, I was on the verge of giving up and stopping my search for an agent! Your feedback makes me happier and more excited than before, I can't tell you guys how much this means to me! Thank you, all of you! For everything!

I edited my query again (this time, with less frustration than before, thanks to you guys :smile: ) Tell me what you think! Tear it apart, I don't feel like giving up anymore :smile:

Dear Mr. Agent:

Heretic, her mother whispered. Traitor, the villagers said. Alphi McClure’s stand for equality between the Pures and the Greys gets her attacked by the ones she tries to help. She flees to her uncles’ city; the city has magic, so it must be better than her village. But when her uncles brutally torture a Grey, Alphi finds herself drowning in the same racism she thought she had escaped. Her refuge comes when the Grey Underground rebels attack her own family. She joins them. Does she join the underground rebels? This is still unclear to me.

But her support is more valuable than Alphi could have imagined. War is rising, and when Alphi finds out she has the ability to control all magic, she is far from overjoyed. Her decision to aid the Underground will result in her family’s death. War is nearing. Although Alphi has the ability to control magic, if used to aid the Underground Rebels, her family will die. Maybe something like that?! Just a thought.

The rebels expect her to kill her mother, and her family expects her to destroy her friends. Peace is out of the question. The war with the Underground is nothing compared to the war with herself, and both will only end in death.

Set in an underwater world on the planet Vis Decor, VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a YA epic fantasy complete at 125,000 words. This book would appeal to fans of Michael Scott, due to its fantasy world and magical powers. Also, two of my poems were published in two separate editions of A Celebration of Poets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely,

Me

(I had to include the magic part because that is what makes Alphi so valuable in the war. But I did try to tone it down a bit, so it wouldn't be so glaring. I added a hint of magic before in the first paragraph too. Is it still distracting? Does it not make sense?) Thank you for everything guys, I can't tell you how much this means to me! All of you guys, you are amazing! Please, tell me if you have any queries you want critiqued! I'd be more than happy to do it!


Better I think!! Keep tweaking and DON'T give up! I've posted a revised copy as well...if you can please take a look!




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