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SWAY (YA Paranormal)


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#21 Mia K Rose

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left it to her [replace with 'the English estate for her]. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. Chills? Anticipation? [Cull the questions] And she’ll be there in fourteen hours.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives at the English estate, she leaves her parents to their arguments, pulled [maybe drawn?] like a fish on a line into the ancient forest that surrounds [surrounding] the place like a blue-green fog.

From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, eyelashes ending in tiny oak leaves, golden spider silk running from his broad shoulders to the gnarled ridges of the tree [This is almost description overload]. Immediately, Lil notices the change in her vision. It's like she's wearing a pair of those yellow-lensed sunglasses kids buy at the drug store. Her heartbeat thunders through her feet, her hands, the leafy ground under her shoes. The boy, Miach, tells Lil that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. [Overall I think this entire paragraph needs some trimming, to get to point a lot faster]

Wide-eyed, his vowels all curled in on themselves, Miach tells her that, to save his tribe from the Romans, he gave himself as a sacrifice to the woodland god, Cerunnos. Hung on that very oak, he is now spiritually connected to the god through the tree. Amazed at his story, his innocent enjoyment of her modern music, and his insatiable lust for life, Lil is crushed when he tells her what is coming. In ten days, Cerunnos will destroy what is left of his humanity, raise him as Oak King, and use his brutal strength to uproot the cities of Britain. [This is your high stakes but it is getting weighed down by the description and set-up before it. Again look at trimming the sentences before this one.]

Unless Lil can stop him. Turns out, there is a reason Her aunt left the manor and its forest to her for a reason. Liliana has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood gives her the ability to break bonds, to fight for Free Will.

Miach believes she can free him before he is forced to murder and destroy. Now she must figure out how to live up to Miach’s faith, battle a god, and save her parents who won't believe that this myth that has come to life. Liliana is determined to create a happy ending for everyone, but she will soon learn that the only thing she can truly control is herself.

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school [I am not seeing the relevance between kickboxing and a paranormal romance story]. In addition to the time I spend obsessing over English history, I am an active member of YALitChat, AgentQueryConnect, Historical Fiction Online, and my local writing group.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance (or hey does someone have a suggestion as to a better label???) [if romance is your focal point I don't see that in the query] complete at 76,000 words.


I think with some trimming this could become a nice tight query that really emphasise the high stakes your MC is facing.
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#22 mac66

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:29 AM

*REVISED YET AGAIN. IT WON'T BE THE LAST! I KNOW IT IS STILL TOO LONG. I TOOK OUT ALL THE VISION AND SWAY STUFF AND STUCK MORE TO THE SET UP. LET ME HAVE IT, FOLKS! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!


Dear Agent,

A 17 year old American who is way more into kickboxing than tea time, Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left an the English estate to her. Just the name of that place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling.

But the forest lures Liliana into its blue-green fog, and she meets Miach, eyelashes ending in tiny oak leaves, golden spider silk running from his broad shoulders to the branches of a hulking oak. I think it needs to be two sentences. Just doesn't sound right this way.

Lil learns that, (no comma - btw, you can't strike out a comma - I just tried) to save his tribe from the Romans, Miach sacrificed himself to the woodland god, Cerunnos. He remains spiritually connected to the god through the tree. Awed by Miach’s fierce courage and his insatiable lust for life, Lil is ready to kick some ass (via the kickboxing - ahh, I see now) when she hears Cerunnos’ terrible plan. (Not sure about tense of next sentences - maybe .. "hears what Cerunnos intends. To destroy what is left of Miach’s humanity and raise him as the Oak King. And to use... " Maybe? ) Destroy what is left of Miach’s humanity. Raise the boy as Oak King. And use him to uproot the cities of Britain. All in just ten days.

But Miach believes Lil can free him.

Aunt Vic left her more than just a piece of property. Lil’s blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability touch and voice the power to break sacrificial bonds. With Miach’s time fading, Lil must figure out how to use her ability (oh, I just used this word in last sentence - whoops - I liked it in last sentence though. Maybe find another word here...or there) , battle a god, and save her parents who don’t know jack (are they nonbelievers or just ignorant - subtle diff) about the situation. Liliana is determined to create a happy ending for everyone, but she will soon learn that happiness isn’t something that can be forced. It must be found in the small triumphs of every day. (OK, part of me really like this sentence, part of me thought it sounded a little preachy. I can be pretty cynical sometimes, so I'll say the better part of me liked it. See what other people think though)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance (or hey does someone have a suggestion as to a better label???) ( I like that label. You could use Paranormal YA romance or Young Paranormal Adult Romance as well (JK). OK, I'll just shut up and drink my beer now.) complete at 76,000 words.


I really liked your last attempt, but I get why you're toying with this. I'm going to do the same with mine. This is really good too, but a few things didn't sound just right. Keep plugging away at it. And remember, this is just one opinion. This one may be the real deal. Good luck!

#23 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:46 AM

I have no idea which revision I'm looking at and don't want to take time to figure it out. Better to post a new revision at the end of the comments so we can see how it's progressing.

One question. Since it's a romance, is the ms told from both Lil and Miach's POVs? Or strictly from Lil's?

#24 Mindi F.

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

Ditto of above- worried I'm looking at the wrong draft.

#25 AMK

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:13 PM

Sorry for the confusion! I'll do it right this time.Thanks again everyone for your awesome help. I hope I followed most of the suggestions.

Here's revision number 4:


Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.

#26 AngelaQ

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments,[is this part necessary? remember, you're not doing a synopsis, just a quick rundown of Who it's about, the circumstances she's in, her main conflict, and the hook] drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Lines like golden spider silk connect him to the tree[love these descriptions] Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for kickboxing, get herself to fight him.[is he attacking her? otherwise why is she wanting to fight him?]

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway.[oh, hmm, I think this comes a little late. As it is, her wanting to fight seems unmotivated at first] Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?) [I've heard some agents say to just concentrate on the events that bring the reader to the Act One turning point. You don't want to give away the ending. Hmm, on second reread are you saying a way to tie up this query? if so, that's a tough one. What is the main conflict? Find some way to spell it out as a dilemma maybe?]

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sounds like an awesome story, good luck!
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#27 AMK

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:57 PM

Thanks, Angela! Great points. I didn't even realize that I took out a line about why she'd be pissed at the guy. Good thing I have you around!

#28 Mia K Rose

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:44 PM

Here's revision number 4:

Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours. [Nice. This opening works.]

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. [Nice to see you kept what parts of the description are important without bogging it down] Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden. [This paragraph works.]

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should. [Again nothing I can really see that is wrong with this paragraph]

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?) [If your MC is a control freak you need to wind this into the query somewhere. Maybe when Micah tells her what to do she could resent that, due to lose of free will? As to how to close, maybe emphasise the consequence if she fails?. So if Micah isn't freed can she stop this impending doom or?]

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Definitely making good progress with your query. :)
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#29 cherie

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:38 PM

Okay, first off, how cool is it that you teach kickboxing and self-defense?!? And secondly, thanks for critiquing my query, too! :biggrin: Your query is looking good, so I'll do my best to be super nitpicky. Heh. :wink:

Sorry for the confusion! I'll do it right this time.Thanks again everyone for your awesome help. I hope I followed most of the suggestions.

Here's revision number 4:


Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours. So you know, you have two "just" in this para. I was also thinking/brainstorming about your first hook-y line. It might be more impressive if you were to say: Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left an entire English estate to her. Just to show the enormity of this strange inheritance. But that's just my opinion, and it's not a wholly significant one at that. So it's up to you.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she's leaves her parents to their arguments, I'm still not crazy about the parents' thing here. It seems like a tangent taking away interest from the event to follow. drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight. Much better! And the descriptions actually add to the tone of the query, not detract from it. Plus it's lovely writing. :smile:

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. I love these two short sentences, so I was thinking, to keep the cadence from breaking, we shortened the whole "he isn't going to hurt her, but only wants her help" to: And he needs her help. Again, just a personal style preference. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to will destroy what is left of the boy’s Miach's humanity, raise Miach him as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating to create a new Eden. I like saying the god WILL destroy than PLANS TO, because "will" implies he's really going to do it, as opposed to just planning to do it, which sorta sounds passive to me. He's a god, so he must be aggresive. I think. :laugh:

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.
I crossed out the parents' thing again just because I had them crossed out earlier on. If you want to really streamline the query so that it's only focusing on Miach and Lil, then this is the way to go. If you really, really want to keep the parents in the query, then ignore this. :biggrin:

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


GOOD LUCK! I really do like your story, and I think it's so unique.
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#30 elphabasister

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:57 AM

Sorry for the confusion! I'll do it right this time.Thanks again everyone for your awesome help. I hope I followed most of the suggestions.

Here's revision number 4:


Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours. (Much better. I'm way more intrigued by this opening)

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, (parents aren't that important in a query) she is immediately drawn to the forest that surrounds the place (might sounds better if you said Greneley Wood instead of place) like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway: Under the influence captivating power of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. (if he wants her help then we know he won't hurt her) In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, (You don't need the parents-- I know they are important in the book but they don't do anything for the query) figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.



I like it! Hope my suggestions help--most of it was nit picky and just improving the flow. For the ending line maybe you can try:

With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to figure out her freakish ability, free Miach, and save London.

#31 AMK

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:43 AM

Thanks ladies!

MiaKRose-thanks for the sinker thoughts

Cherie-great streamlining suggestions

elphabasister-totally agree about the parents thing

Thanks!!!

#32 mac66

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:26 AM

Sorry for the confusion! I'll do it right this time.Thanks again everyone for your awesome help. I hope I followed most of the suggestions.

Here's revision number 4:


Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves (you fit that in nicely now). Head down, he stalks toward her, (I picture frankenstein - "head down, he stalks toward". Yuck. I see him striding confidently, or something like that. Stalk has lots of negative connotations in my mind. Plus, it doesn't work with toward.) lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, (this clause seems misplaced - not terrible, but I had to read the sentence twice) despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, intends plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as the Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden. (doesn't sound like paradise to me!)

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her bloodline, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that shackles (?) holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should. (Last sentence doesn't read well. Too long. I get lost in the whole parent clause. Grammatically awkward as well.)

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?) If you want to put something about control, you'll have to introduce the concept in the previous paragraphs somewhere. Seems like you have room, and it might be only a single sentence, maybe two. Probably more important than whole parent thing. I remember you having a sinker I liked before, but it might have sounded a little corny just because it came out of nowhere. If it related to something you introduced earlier in the query, it might work. Otherwise, you can just steal mine. "When Yoda finds out that Frodo is really his son...." Maybe not.

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Ok - just my opinion, for whatever its worth. Good luck!

#33 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:51 AM

Sorry for the confusion! I'll do it right this time.Thanks again everyone for your awesome help. I hope I followed most of the suggestions.

Here's revision number 4:


Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours.

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Okay, this is a query. Remember that. Every word must mean something. Every unnecessary word/phrase should be omitted. A query should be concise, telling the kind of story and laying out the conflict in a way that will entice an agt/ed into reading pages.

On to contents: Hook is okay except for echoes of 'just' which is a word better avoided.

Sec para takes way too long to say: Lil goes into the forest and meets a boy who wields some strange power over her.

Now: is the ms written from both Miach's and Lil's POV? Or just Lil's? I'd like to know that before advising on focus.

Next, words like 'tells' and 'assures' and 'plans' and 'learns' - all are telling words and best avoided, in mss and esp in queries. This is a craft thing, and a reputable agt/ed will look at them like padding and figure you for a newbie whose writing isn't quite there.

If you don't have it, get Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. It'll help not only with the ms but with the query, too.

This sounds like a neat story, but the query still needs work.

Just my opinion, naturally.

#34 AMK

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:59 PM

mac66-thanks again. I'll keep shining and repost.

CherylD-I'm listening. I'm trying. I'll read what you suggested. Oops on the just. Just didn't see it. *snort* The ms is written only from Lil's POV. Thanks so much for your help!

#35 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:26 PM

mac66-thanks again. I'll keep shining and repost.

CherylD-I'm listening. I'm trying. I'll read what you suggested. Oops on the just. Just didn't see it. *snort* The ms is written only from Lil's POV. Thanks so much for your help!


Okay, then continue focusing on her. The third para goes off but you can redo it so she remains the prime focus. Something like:

Miach is a Green Man. And Lil is under his sway. She believes him when he says he won't hurt her. Especially since he wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of Miach's humanity, raise him as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain.

Or something like that. You can do it better because it's your story. But keep the focus on her. We're in her POV so when you say "Miach is a Green Man," we know it because she knows it.

As for the ending, yes, it's weak but you already saw that. I'm sure you can come up with something stronger.

And as always, this is just my opinion. Others may very well differ.

#36 Mindi F.

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:57 PM

This is getting better and better!

Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours. (The hook needs something- can't put my finger on it- maybe its the last sentence, I think maybe it steals some momentum from the previous two)

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she leaves her parents to their arguments, is drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight.

The boy, Miach, tells her (confesses maybe?)that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man (it explains but the sentence itself is a fragment perhaps...that she is under his sway- the influence of a green man. saves a few words too) . But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants needs her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should. (I agree w/ comments above about taking parents out completely)

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)
Not having read your story this is difficult, but what is grabbing me is the story with her feelings for this boy- I'm imagining that her motivation is not to save Britain's cities, but this boy. What will it be like for her personally if she fails? Likes this boy? or has she fallen hard? It seems she is his savior, but is there something he is offering her- redemption, companionship, friendship, is there something about this power she has that leaves them connected, entangled or intertwined?) Just thinking and rambling.

#37 Sakura Eries

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:11 PM

others have commented on taking out the parent thing, and i ditto that.

Dear Agent,

Lil has no idea why Aunt Vic left the English estate to her. Just the name of the place, Greneley Wood, gives her a weird feeling. And she’ll be there in just fourteen hours. This last line could be punchier. maybe make some refs to her Great Hand tie ?

When 17 year old Liliana arrives, she's leaves her parents to their arguments, drawn to the forest that surrounds the place like a blue-green fog. From the hollow of a hulking oak, a boy appears, his eyelashes ending in tiny leaves. Head down, he stalks toward her, lines like golden spider silk connecting him to the tree. Lil’s heart thunders through her limbs as she wonders why the hell she can’t, despite her penchant for running and kickboxing, get herself to either flee or fight. These lines are very lyrical, but try to condense it to get to the main conflict quicker. u might want to consider combining this para with the next one.

The boy, Miach, tells her that she is under his sway. Under the influence of a Green Man. But he assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her. He wants her help. In ten days, the woodland god, Cerunnos, plans to destroy what is left of the boy’s humanity, raise Miach as Oak King, and use him to uproot the cities of Britain, creating a new Eden.is this nessarily a bad thing? i'm not familiar with British myth, but i think i need more a feeling of why Cerunnos is the bad guy. (Eden doesn't sound too bad) it would also be nice to know why Miach got picked (is he C's bastard son? opened the wrong portal? just random?)

Lil soon learns that she has inherited more than just a piece of property. Her blood, blessed by The Great Hand generations ago, gives her the ability to break sacrificial bonds like the one that holds Miach. With the ten days dwindling, Lil is desperate to get her parents to safety, preferably without having to explain a myth that isn’t so mythical, figure out her freakish ability, and free this boy she likes way more than she should.

(Okay, I really need an ending, but I’m having trouble. I don’t want to be cheesy, but the story does involve her being a control freak and learning to be happy in spite of losing that control. Does that make sense? Any sinker ideas out there?)

Using my Master’s Degree in Education in a way I never could have predicted, I teach kickboxing and self-defense to teens at our family’s martial arts school.

SWAY is a YA paranormal romance complete at 76,000 words. I have included…

Thank you for your time and consideration.


hope this helps somewhat...

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#38 AMK

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:14 PM

Okay, everyone. I'm back and ready to dive into this again. What do you think of this new version. I soaked it in my MC's voice.

Dear Agent,

(insert pertinent info here) Inspired by English Green Man folklore, SWAY is a Young Adult Paranormal complete at 79,000 words.

When 17-year-old Liliana inherits Greneley Wood, her aunt’s English estate, she meets Miach, a boy who would be seriously dateable if he wasn’t attached to a tree.

About nine hundred something years ago, Miach sacrificed himself to the woodland god, Cerunnos, hoping the god would save his people from the invading Romans. It didn’t go down too well, and ever since then, the poor guy has been spiritually tied to the god's sacred oak and physically incapable of leaving.

Lil overcomes her fear of Miach and immediately attempts to free him when she learns that she was born to do just that. The Great Hand, basically Cerunnos' bossman, blessed her ancestors' blood, giving her the power to break Miach's bonds.

Nothing makes sense though. She doesn't know what to say or do to free him, and Cerunnos makes it pretty clear that he isn't going to let her screw with his very nasty plan.

The woodland god is sick of humans. In ten days, he will destroy everything Lil loves about Miach, turn him into a soulless monster called The Oak King, and force Miach to uproot the cities of Britain, killing Lil, her family, and most likely everyone on the continent.

But Lil believes in happy endings. She knows she'll figure everything out. She never loses.

Liliana is about to learn that happiness and loss don't have to cancel each other out.

***Okay, I don't know about this last chunk here especially...help!



(insert pertinent info here) Thank you for your time and attention.

#39 SC_Author

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:09 PM

Okay, everyone. I'm back and ready to dive into this again. What do you think of this new version. I soaked it in my MC's voice.

Dear Agent,

(insert pertinent info here) Inspired by English Green Man folklore, SWAY is a Young Adult Paranormal complete at 79,000 words.

Greneley Woods. Lil shivers, the name of the place feeling heavy, like a church after-hours.
I don't think you need this

When 17-year-old Liliana West, a 17-year-old Nashvillian, inherits Greneley, her aunt’s English estate, she meets Miach, a boy who would be seriously dateable if he wasn’t attached to a tree. (Just to make it more punchy, and less detailed-filled)

About nine hundred something years ago, Miach, the bravest guy Lil’s ever encountered, sacrificed himself to the woodland god, Cerunnos, hoping the god would save his people from the invading Romans. It didn’t go down too well, and ever since then, Miach has been stuck in Greneley Woods why? how? who did this? Explain a bit--why can't he leave?, dreading the day when Cerunnos would get sick of humans.

Because Cerunnos doesn’t like to do his own dirty work.

The time has come. In ten days, the god will destroy everything Lil loves about Miach, turn him into a soulless monster called The Oak King, and force Miach to uproot the cities of Britain, killing Lil, her family, and most likely everyone on the continent.

Unless Lil can free him.

As the only White Shine (we don't know what this means, so are there any obvious roles that she plays, that explains this? Like daughter of god, or something) on Earth, she holds the power to break sacrificial bonds like Miach’s bonds. She just has to figure out exactly how. Trouble is, Cerunnos isn’t too keen on her attempts to rescue her tree-inhabiting boyfriend.

And gods can be pretty nasty when they want to be. Good thing Lil’s no quitter.

(insert pertinent info here) Thank you for your time and attention.


I think if you can flesh out Lil a bit more, it would be good. We get little info about Lil and more about Miach (and Lil is the main character). What is Lil's and Miach's relationship together (like how they interact, not their literal relationship). Make this about Lil. Hope I helped, I love this story :) I love Roman gods, they are amazing!
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#40 AMK

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:18 PM

Thanks, SC. I edited the above. Let me know what you think!




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