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HIDDEN (YA Urban Fantasy)


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#1 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:49 AM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours.

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab. Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears again, this time to ask for her soul to be freed.

As Layla tries to piece together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
Twitter: @writercherie

#2 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:50 PM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Hi Cherie! Good to see you again!

This is a good version to work with. It lays out the story and the conflict in a nice presentation. The only thing I see (besides a couple of questions) is that it needs polishing. There's some unnecessary stuff you can get rid of and/or condense. I'm revising as if it were mine. Use anything you like and ignore the rest.

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

As a child, she almost drowned on seeing a blue face in the river. The resulting hallucinations plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours.

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab. Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she sees monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears; she wants Layla to free her soul.

Piecing together the blue lady’s history, Layla discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection ????? due to their control over??? due to their rapport??? with the creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad. Despite his dangerous reputation, James never questions Layla’s sanity. But while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure he's that person. ??? does he share some bond with her? with the creatures? with the blue lady??? does he lead Layla into the forest world? This seems kind of a weak link, as if it's just thrown into the query.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world hidden beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Just my opinion. Hope it's of some help.

#3 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:57 PM

Thanks, Cheryl!! Much appreciated. :smile: James has a connection to the hidden creatures in the woods, and the shadow-witch herself, though he doesn't know it in the beginning. Ive been struggling with his part in the query. Also, the shadow witch wants to kill the Cadwells for revenge, but I took it out in this version because mentioning revenge prompts an explanation of why she wants revenge in the first place, and well, it makes the query too long and too cluttered. So I'll have to think of a way to present this without getting too much unnecessary verbiage in there. :happy:
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
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#4 elphabasister

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:30 PM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again. Nice hook

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch (how is a shadow-witch different from a normal witch?), that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours. (you don't really need this last sentence since you talk about it later)

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab (does she actually go to a rehab or does she just go to a different town? ). Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods. And the blue water lady reappears again, this time to ask for her soul to be freed.

As Layla tries to piece together the blue lady’s (might want to give the blue Lady a name) history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not. (Might want to bring James up earlier since he sounds like he might be important, plus people always like some romance)

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration. (Nice closing)


I like the plot a lot. I think you spend a little too much time on the crazy part though. Give the psych ward/rehab one-two sentences then show more of this Hidden world. Good luck!

#5 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

Thanks, elphabasister! :biggrin:
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
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#6 Caterina

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again. Fantastic hook! Love it!

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours.

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab. Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears again, this time to ask for her soul to be freed.

As Layla tries to piece together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


I have nothing to critique. I thought it sounded really good!

#7 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:10 PM

Yay!! Thanks, Caterina! :biggrin:
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
Twitter: @writercherie

#8 mac66

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours.

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy (great verb) Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab. Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears again, this time to ask for her soul to be freed.

As Layla tries to piece together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


I couldn't find a thing wrong with this. Its fantastic. You make it look effortless. I'll admit to being jealous. Great job. I wish I could give you more than a pat on the back, but its all I got. Good luck.

#9 Mindi F.

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

Hi AQers! It's been a long time since my active, procrastinating days on AQC. But I'm back, and I need your brilliant eyes to help me with my query. I promise to return the favor. Thanks a million! :smile: (This is 291 words, btw, so I'm sure there are places needing some karate chops. LOL!)

*****


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again. Like!

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours. fragment - perhaps join last two sentences

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. The shrink calls it rehab. Layla calls it a new nightmare. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears again(redundant- appears again or reappears), this time to ask for her soul to be freed. (Does she have some sort of special power to do this?)

As Layla tries to piece together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


I really get a good sense of your story and voice

#10 Cat Woods

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

Hey, Cherie. I'm going to agree with Cheryl's tongue in cheek version. I think short and sweet is the best way to go. You have so much going on that you open the door for more questions than your query can answer.

If this were mine, I'd fudge just a teensy-weensy bit. I'd combine some storylines to intrigue, yet tighten. But that's just me and I'm a known rule breaker. And while it looks like the blue lady attacked this query, don't believe for a second that I don't love your writing style and premise.

That said, take what you will and throw the rest in the woods with the monstrous beasts.


Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again. Love it!

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations hallucinations or visions? You say visions later and I wonder if your use of this word here is calculated to (mis)lead the reader into thinking that maybe Layla is crazy. that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla gets dragged to the psych ward. Because there’s no such thing as monsters, see. Or a blue water lady who haunts her dreams and waking hours. You already said this at the end of the first sentence. Not to mention the phrasing is cliched.

After too many kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. Time out! Isn't she in a psych ward medicated all the way up to her pretty little neck? If so, then I'm confused as to Mom's de-crazifying Layla. Unless, of course, Mom is also a bit over the edge--which I assume to be true. Regardless, the flow of this feels off even though I can't quite put my finger on it. As if I missed an important step. Maybe the order needs to be flipped or something.

The shrink calls it rehab. Alcohol rehab? Layla calls it a new nightmare.Clever. Despite the relocation and the meds, she begins to see monstrous beasts prowling the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears again, this time to ask for her soul to be freed. I think you could tighten the wording and really make this sing.

As Layla tries to pieces together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the truth of her father’s death and the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to their connection with the hidden creatures enchanting the woods. My Cherie, what long sentences you have! So much good stuff, but it's literally stuffed into one sentence. Likewise for the following sentence. I'm intrigued more by the following than I am by the constant reminder of the blue lady. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Love it. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. And here's where I think those story lines could be combined. Is there any way you could weave them together throughout the body of your query rather than dumping this tasty morsel at the very end? I know it may not exactly follow the flow of your storyline, but you do have a bit of artistic license when creating a query. Just a thought...because, personally, this stuff is juicy and good and really grabs hold of me more than figuring out dad's death and the blue lady's history for a few paragraphs. Because she feels crazy and the only one who doesn't see her as crazy makes his ex girlfriends go insane. Are you kidding me? This stuff rocks. It's what teens want to read. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best luck~

Cat Woods
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#11 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

Awesomesauce!! :biggrin: Thank you so much for the feedback, mac66, Mindi F., and the lovely Cat Woods! Yes, the long sentences happened when I got feedback from another forum. Ha!

In one of my earlier versions, I had:

"...the start of hallucinations--so says her shrink--that would plague her life..." To imply that they're not really hallucinations, but bona fide visions. But someone told me to scratch it.

"One year later, and after too many kumbaya-inducing meds..." To imply that it's been a while since her stint in the psych ward, and Mom's de-crazifying (weird special diets, phone monitors, Mom going through Layla's diary and things, etc.) is Mom being controlling because she doesn't know what else to do. So, yeah, I can see the disconnect you're talking about. :wink:

Okay, I'm tweaking it right now. Will post as soon as I get it done. THANKS!!
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
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#12 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

Ok, how about this:


Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla lands a stint in the psych ward.

After a year of kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. Despite the relocation and the meds, monstrous beasts prowl the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears, asking Layla to free her soul.

As Layla pieces together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to an age-old feud with her family. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. And there’s the unsettling phenomenon of his eyes changing color, something only Layla can see. Definitely inhuman. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
Twitter: @writercherie

#13 Taylor Napolsky

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:20 PM

I think this latest version is excellent. It's clear, short and compelling.

#14 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

I think this latest version is excellent. It's clear, short and compelling.


A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
Twitter: @writercherie

#15 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

Oh, whoops! I meant to add: Thanks, Taylor! But the laptop went funky, and posted without my consent. Silly laptop! :tongue:
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
Twitter: @writercherie

#16 elphabasister

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:36 PM

Great job! you fixed all the little nit picky things and i think it looks great. I love that you included the extra bits about James.

#17 cherie

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:59 PM

Thank you so much for all of your awesome feedback! AQC rocks! :cool:
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

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#18 SC_Author

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:46 PM

Ok, how about this:


Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again.

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla lands a stint in the psych ward.
Oh my, I had a heart tremor right here. I feel so bad for her right now. Amazing, amazing job, really.

After a year of kumbaya-inducing meds, I'd watch the italics, I think you can get rid of both italics words. the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. Sentence got a big muddled here. Try clariying a bit, and change up the structure of the sentence away from subject verb object --the basic sentence. Get some variety. Despite the relocation and the meds, monstrous beasts prowl the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears, asking Layla to free her soul.

As Layla pieces together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to an age-old feud with her family. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. And there’s the unsettling phenomenon of his eyes changing color, something only Layla can see. Definitely inhuman. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, read this non-stop till here. Great job! Really compelling, you have a great query here! I'll tell you why I stopped below she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not.
This last phrase falls realllyyy flat. I don't know why. I think you have to take the first sentence of the bottom paragraph and put it up there, after the "trust him or not". Also, I don't think James is as crucial to the conflict as the witch, right? I may be wrong. If the witch is important, your 'sinker' (hook at end of query) should be about the conflict to make it punch in the throat good.

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Wow, this is really good! I loovee the concept, and I feel so bad for Layla. Such as sad story :( (so far, I mean). This is really well written, just a bit of work left! Amazing job! Thanks for critiquing my query, by the way!
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#19 Mia K Rose

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell is losing her mind. Again. [Nice]

As a child, she almost drowned when she saw a blue face in the river, marking the start of hallucinations [not crazy about italics, maybe consider use of '' to emphasise if that is your goal]that would plague her life. But it’s not until her father dies in her arms, murdered by a soul-sucking shadow-witch, that Layla lands a stint in the psych ward.

After a year of kumbaya-inducing meds, the memory of her father’s death becomes fuzzy. Her mother attempts to de-crazy Layla by escaping their troubled past and heading to a distant town for the summer. Despite the relocation and the meds, monstrous beasts prowl the surrounding woods, and the blue water lady reappears, asking Layla to free her soul. [Question, if someone had bad experiences with water, why would they re-approach water?]

As Layla pieces together the blue lady’s history, she discovers the identity of the shadow-witch, who’s determined to wipe out the Cadwell bloodline due to an age-old feud with her family. But digging up old skeletons has a way of exposing new ones—like town hottie James and his murky past. Rumor has it his ex-girlfriends went mad after dating him. And there’s the unsettling phenomenon of his eyes changing color, something only Layla can see. Definitely inhuman. Despite his dangerous reputation, James has never questioned Layla’s sanity, and while she’s desperate for someone to believe in her, she’s not sure whether she can trust him or not. [All of this detracts from high stakes of the shadow-witch. Almost like Layla got googly eyes and forgot her imminent death if she doesn't stop evil witch situation. Potentially look at reducing explanation of James such as his ex-gfs, and eyes, and perhaps say something about her unsuspecting his human state she wants to trust him for sake of her sanity. To be honest I'm not sure how to get a work around]

As the witch closes in, Layla must trust her visions [as in seeing what other humans cannot?] to survive the world HIDDEN beyond her own. A YA Urban Fantasy, HIDDEN is complete at 76,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.


It is pretty solid, and just needs a little tweaking to make it cross the line to awesome I think.
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#20 Justin Holley

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:39 AM

Cherie, I like the way your opening volley, your hook, ties into the third para so tightly. Ah...now we understand why she's going crazy...again. I think that you have a solid query here, and it's so easy to overthink things. I'd kick the tires, send out a few, see what kind of response you get. If it goes south on ya, you can always tweak it. But, my personal opinion, you're gonna get some interest.
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