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Dark Core (newest on post 197)


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#1 Ashlyn

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

I've got 2 different versions that I've been working on. I've been told it's too vague but I have no idea how to de-vague it.


When seventeen year old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

Hunted by nightmarish demons, Saekina has settled into a life of solitude, determined not to let anyone close to her, for fear of their lives. It’s only a matter of time till the authorities connect her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

And then she meets Admos, a fifteen year-old shape shifter being hunted by the same demons. Not being alone anymore spurs them into a search for the demons’ masters. During their search, they find others like them.

Saekina and her new friends soon discover a power that has kept them alive. A power that, they come to realize, that also puts the demons’ on their scents. And is connected to the gods.


or


When seventeen year-old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

For as long as she could remember, seventeen year old Saekina has been hunted by monsters. Everyone close to her has abandoned her or died. Strangely, Saekina comes out of the attacks alive. Because of this, the authorities have connected her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

On the run from the law, Saekina is forced to change homes and identities. She meets a shape shifting boy, Admos, who is hunted by the same demons that she has been. For the first time in years, she is not alone against these monsters and they refuse to stop being victims. On their search for answers, they find others like them.

Saekina and her new friends discover that they are each in possession of a power that has protected them from the monsters all their lives. They soon come to realize that their powers are somehow connected to the gods, and that the gods have a connection to the monsters. With more questions than answers, Saekina and her friends search for answers while trying to stay alive.


Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#2 Ashlyn

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

When Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

Being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames at the monsters that have stalked her since childhood, seventeen year-old Saekina has had to learn to defend herself with blades. Saekina has resigned herself to a life of solitude, convinced that anyone who gets close to her will leave her or die.

And then she meets Admos, a young Werewolf. At first, Saekina tries to fight the pull she feels toward him, but his cheerful personality soon pushes past her walls. And then he confesses that he’s being stalked by monsters. Realizing that the same monsters are after them spurs them on a quest for answers. Someone must have sent the monsters after them.

Their search only leads to more questions, when Saekina and Admos find two others with the same problem, and a man that seems to know more than he lets on. And then Saekina is captured by one of their world’s Gods.

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#3 Caleb A. Mertz

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:00 PM

hmm... Sounds like Saekina has some issues. I see information in both of your posts that might help this guy out a little bit. First and foremost though I feel the "...again" is beginning to be overused. Just the other day while perusing "best sellers" this was used on four different books. Though a great cliff hanger see if YOU can be the one that creates the same anticipation of information the eager reader wants to feel without using that. Then we come to Saekina. She sounds wikedly awesome! If she's running around throwing blades at demons while holding back the fireballs she could be "hurling" at them; then this girl has action all around her. Here's my try at a query for this:

Saekina has woken covered in something's blood, for the third time.
Cautiously stalking through the shadows to avoid getting close to anyone isn't just for fun; she has a ghastly crowd of demons following her every move waiting for the next opportune time to cash in on her weakness. Brandishing knives and the ability to hurl fireballs at anything countering her, makes a time of weakness few and far between so they watch intently.
Though the shadows are lonely, there are others like Admos, a young shapeshifter (I like the sound of that more) who has been batteling his own demons; literally. Finding common grounds it's difficult for Saekina to avoid his kind and cheerful draw, all the while embarking upon a quest to answer who has been sending the monsters. Relying on small tidbits of information they begin to piece together a picture that is as gruesome as a demon's face; the power they have, linking them to the gods, is also the power that delivers the demons to their every move. Now more than ever they must rely on their friendship to battle what may have been good, to overcome that which is evil.

#4 PSMartinez

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:23 PM

You have some great points in each one. I think the third one is the most messy though. Kind of feels like info is just being thrown at me. ;)
For the hook maybe you could word it something like this...

Waking up covered in blood is something seventeen-year-old Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl.

Or something similar.

I would take some of the important points below and CUT and COMBINE them into a more snappy/concise synopsis.
here is an example, HOPE IT HELPS YOU :+)

Waking up covered in blood is something seventeen-year-old Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl.

Saekina is used to being alone and on the run, it's the only way to avoid questioning by the authorities. But when she meets Admos, a fifteen-year-old shapeshifting boy who is being tracked by the same demons that have been stalking her, they join forces to find some answers.

It isn't long before they are joined by others who are just like them. Others who are being hunted, who have powers that not only protect them, but also mark them for the demons, and connect them to the gods.

obviously this is just an example...you'll need to end it with a catchy scentence and all that.
These are just my opinions <3




When seventeen year old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

Hunted by nightmarish demons, Saekina has settled into a life of solitude, determined not to let anyone close to her, for fear of their lives. It’s only a matter of time till the authorities connect her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

And then she meets Admos, a fifteen year-old shape shifter being hunted by the same demons. Not being alone anymore spurs them into a search for the demons’ masters. During their search, they find others like them.

Saekina and her new friends soon discover a power that has kept them alive. A power that, they come to realize, that also puts the demons’ on their scents. And is connected to the gods.
or

When seventeen year-old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

For as long as she could remember, seventeen year old Saekina has been hunted by monsters. Everyone close to her has abandoned her or died. Strangely, Saekina comes out of the attacks alive. Because of this, the authorities have connected her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

On the run from the law, Saekina is forced to change homes and identities. She meets a shape shifting boy, Admos, who is hunted by the same demons that she has been. For the first time in years, she is not alone against these monsters and they refuse to stop being victims. On their search for answers, they find others like them.

Saekina and her new friends discover that they are each in possession of a power that has protected them from the monsters all their lives. They soon come to realize that their powers are somehow connected to the gods, and that the gods have a connection to the monsters. With more questions than answers, Saekina and her friends search for answers while trying to stay alive.



#5 candeoludere

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:00 AM

I like the second one more than the first, personally, so I'm going to focus on that one and give my opinion about where it could be "de-vagued" =) I don't think there needs to be full answers to the questions that I ask, because obviously that would give a way a lot of the book, but I think there's a lot of explanations that could be filled in a little. GL!

When seventeen year-old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again. (I like Caleb's suggestion of giving a specific amount of times this has happened)

For as long as she could remember, seventeen year old Saekina has been hunted by monsters. Everyone close to her has abandoned her or died and Strangely, Saekina comes out of the attacks alive. (I feel like this sentence is self-evident) Because of this, the authorities have connected her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

On the run from the law, Saekina is forced to change homes and identities. She meets a shape shifting boy, Admos, who is hunted by the same demons that she has been. For the first time in years, she is not alone against these monsters and they refuse to stop being victims (I am confused by this statement... do you mean they refuse to be victims any longer?). On their search for answers, they find others like them (Like them in what way? Hunted by demons? Shape shifters?).

Saekina and her new friends discover that they are each in possession of a power (Does everyone have the same power or do they each have different powers? Any hint to the power and why it might be protecting them but not the other people in their lives? How do they discover it?) that has protected them from the monsters all their lives. They soon come to realize that their powers are somehow connected to the gods (is this pantheon of gods one that is recognizable - like the Hindu gods - or one that is completely fictional? I want to know more about the gods), and that the gods have a connection to the monsters. With more questions than answers, Saekina and her friends search for answers while trying to stay alive (Since the powers protect them, why are they having trouble staying alive? Or are the powers no longer protecting them? Or is something other than the demons threatening their lives?).



#6 jdpittman6

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

I have to agree with PS on this one, there's a good story here, but your pitch need to catch attention quickly. Make them want to open the book, avoid past tense like it's one of the demons Saekina is hunted by.

#7 Ashlyn

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

When Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

Being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames at the monsters that have stalked her since childhood, seventeen year-old Saekina has had to learn to defend herself with blades. Saekina has resigned herself to a life of solitude, convinced that anyone who gets close to her will leave her or die. Her prayers to the gods go unanswered.

When Saekina meets others who have the same problem, she is sure the gods have answered her prayers. She's no longer alone. Together, she and her new friends can become the hunters instead of the hunted. Relying on small tidbits of information they begin to piece together a picture that is as gruesome as a demon's face; the power they have, linking them to the gods, is also the power that delivers the demons to their every move.

Just when Saekina’s beginning to have hope, one of the Gods captures her. Unless Saekina's friends can rescue her. Or unless she can rescue herself. But that will mean killing a god.


///


Waking up covered in blood is something seventeen-year-old Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl.

Ungifted in the magical arts, Saekina trained in the use of blades and has made a living as a bounty hunter. The lifestyle allows her to live in solitude, protecting the people around her from the threat that hunts her. Since she was young, nightmarish monsters have been trying to kill her Every time they catch up with her though, she blacks out. In their most recent attack, Saekina awakens to find herself soaked in the blood of her most recent clients. With the authorities believing her to be a murderer, she is forced to abandon her home, and her identity.

Under her new name, Saekina meets with fifteen year old Admos. Almost immediately she finds herself connecting with him, even though she had spent years separating herself from the need with human contact. As they grow closer, she finds that he is hunted by the same monsters that have haunted her nightmares.


After another attack, the two finally learn how it is that they are able to protect themselves from the attacks. An unearthly light emanates from their bodies, marking them as much as it protects them. As they learn more, they find themselves meeting others like them. Despite her misgivings, Saekina finds herself growing closer to them, the family she always wanted. Just as they are finally growing hopeful, Saekina is captured by one of the Gods. Unless Saekina's friends can rescue her. Or unless she can rescue herself. But that will mean killing a god.

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#8 Al N

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

Hi EndlessD



Dark Core appears to be a compelling story with the obligatory twists and turns. However, all of your attempts are confusing – readers (i.e. agents) don’t request additional material to relieve confusion.



The agent query presentation on query letters says ‘write the query for your main character – what she need to do, what is keeping her from doing it, the consequences of failure, etc.



Somewhere put in what the story is about – what is shows. For example in EARTH’S PROTECTOR I use *** adventure that portrays the insidious corruption of greed and accompanying wanton disregard of other beings.


You probably have an intriguing story you are hiding with an attempt to write a ‘cute query’. Keep it simple, keep it direct, this is not the place to go for double and triple plays on words. Avoid confusion. You will attract agents who understand your query.



Check out the main agent query website -- http://agentquery.com/

And query shark -- http://queryshark.blogspot.com/





Good skill – it isn’t luck.




Al N

#9 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:40 AM

I'm assumin

When Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

Being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames at the monsters that have stalked her since childhood, seventeen year-old Saekina has had to learn to defend herself with blades. Saekina has resigned herself to a life of solitude, convinced that anyone who gets close to her will leave her or die.

And then she meets Admos, a young Werewolf. At first, Saekina tries to fight the pull she feels toward him, but his cheerful personality soon pushes past her walls. And then he confesses that he’s being stalked by monsters. Realizing that the same monsters are after them spurs them on a quest for answers. Someone must have sent the monsters after them.

Their search only leads to more questions, when Saekina and Admos find two others with the same problem, and a man that seems to know more than he lets on. And then Saekina is captured by one of their world’s Gods.


I'm assuming this is YA. Is it also a romance? If so, using Admos' name is okay; if not, simply refer to him as the shapeshifter or whatever. and focus on Saekina.

The big problem is the one I see in most new writers' queries: too much padding. Hone in on what you want to say and say it as simply as possible.

The story itself is intriguing, and I like the hook. But as written, I don't think any reputable agt/ed will want to read more because they can see you aren't quite at the level they prefer. And for the umpteenth time, the book that helped me understand padding more than anything is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. After years of writing, it laid out precisely how I needed to edit my work. I think you're at a point where it might help you, too.

But this is only my opinion for what it's worth. Hope it's of some help.

#10 mcorse01

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:04 AM

Hi, Endless D -

Sounds like you've got an interesting premise here. However, I would have to agree with other posters who feel that the hook seems a little trite. I'm thinking something along these lines:

Seventeen-year-old Saekina isn't surprised to awake and find herself covered in blood. It's been happening ever since the demons started hunting her (sorry that this is a little rough - but I think it can be refined into something arresting).

The third query letter seems to bury a lot of the themes and characterization you're trying to get across. I think a combination of the first two would accomplish a balance of conveying the core of your story while still leaving the agent wanting to read more. In particular, make sure what you write is logical and makes sense. When you mention the "demons" and the "gods," I have a difficult time discerning what these figures are, and how they factor into the story. Also, when you introduce them into the query, it sort of seems that there's a backstory missing that would bring the entire thing come together.

Good luck!

#11 Ashlyn

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:56 PM

*hopes that this one is a little better*


Waking up covered in blood is something Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl.

Seventeen year-old Saekina has prayed to each of the twelve gods for help. Her only response is silence. She is on her own against the undead monsters that have stalked her since childhood and being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames she’s had to learn to defend herself with blades.

When Saekina meets others who have the same problem, she is sure the gods have answered her prayers. She's no longer alone. Together, she and her new friends can become the hunters instead of the hunted. Saekina still prays, but she's not asking for magic, and she's not kneeling.

And then one of the gods answers her. Essreyler, known for being a benevolent god, captures her. He’s known all along about the undead monsters that have been sent after her. He’s married to the Goddess that created them and he’s eager to turn Saekina over to Serasina, Saekina’s patron Goddess. Unless Saekina's friends can rescue her. Or unless she can rescue herself. But that would mean killing a god.

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#12 robiiehood

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:36 PM

Hey Endless J

I love the title of your book! I do prefer your second query because I think you make things a little clearer.


When seventeen year-old Saekina wakes, she’s covered in blood. Again.

For as long as she could remember, seventeen year old Saekina has been hunted by monsters. Everyone close to her has [either] abandoned her or died. Strangely, Saekina [always (?)] comes out of the attacks alive. Because of this, the authorities have connected her to the demons’ most recent massacre.

On the run from the law, Saekina is forced to change homes and identities. She meets a shape shifting boy, Admos, who is hunted by the same demons that she has been [hunting her]. For the first time in years, she is not alone against these monsters and they refuse to stop being victims (this sentence confuses me. Are you trying to say that they refuse to be victims any longer? Sorry if I'm having a dumb dumb moment) On their search for answers, they find others like them.

Saekina and her new friends discover that they are each in possession of a power that has protected them from the monsters all their lives. They soon come to realize that their powers are somehow connected to the gods, and that the gods have a connection to the monsters. With more questions than answers, Saekina and her friends search for answers (repeating the word answers makes the sentences sound a little redundant. Maybe you can say search for the truth instead?) while trying to stay alive.


I hope this helps. You’re off to a good start ;)

#13 robiiehood

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:45 PM

Sorry Endless! Disregard that first post!

Waking up covered in blood is something Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl. (Much better!)

Seventeen year-old Saekina has prayed to each of the twelve gods for help. Her only response is silence. She is on her own against the undead monsters that have stalked her since childhood and being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames she’s had to learn to defend herself with blades.

When Saekina meets others who have the same problem, she is sure the gods have answered her prayers. She's no longer alone. Together, she and her new friends can become the hunters instead of the hunted. Saekina still prays, but she's not asking for magic, and she's not kneeling.

And then one of the gods answers her. Essreyler, known for being a benevolent god, captures her. He’s known all along about the undead monsters that have been sent after her. He’s married to the Goddess that created them and he’s eager to turn Saekina over to Serasina (maybe instead of inserting her name she can’t still be called “his wife” As in “He’s married to the Goddess that created them and he’s eager to turn Saekina over to his wife, Saekina’s patron Goddess.” I may be wrong in mentioning that, but I stumbled over the similar names and I don’t mind not knowing his wife’s name yet) Unless Saekina's friends can rescue her. Or unless she can rescue herself. But that would mean killing a god. (These three sentences separately feel a little stiff to me when I read them. Maybe if you combined the first two they would read easier.)

I hope this helps. This last attempt of yours is a HUGE improvement :biggrin: Keep up the good work!

#14 Ashlyn

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:57 PM

Waking up covered in blood is something Saekina is getting used to. Being hunted by demons will do that to a girl.

Seventeen year-old Saekina has prayed to each of the twelve gods for help. Her only response is silence. She is on her own against the undead monsters that have stalked her since childhood and being magically ungifted has made surviving the brutal attacks on her life difficult. Instead of hurling flames she’s had to learn to defend herself with blades.

When Saekina meets others who have the same problem, she is sure the gods have answered her prayers. She's no longer alone. Together, she and her new friends can become the hunters instead of the hunted. Saekina still prays, but she's not asking for magic, and she's not kneeling.

And then one of the gods answers her. Essreyler, known for being a benevolent god, captures her. He’s known all along about the undead monsters that have been sent after her. He’s married to the Goddess that created them and he’s eager to turn Saekina over to his wife. Saekina’s death is certain unless her friends can save her. But that would mean killing a God.

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#15 robiiehood

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:50 PM

Much better!

#16 JoeB

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

The title grabbed me. You'll go through a lot of changes in the query and everyone has their own opinion so I won't bother with giving my version. Of the first 2 you wrote, the second one appealed to me. Good luck.
Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated!!!
http://joebiancardi.weebly.com
http://journeysofintent.weebly.com

#17 Ashlyn

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:38 AM

What do I need to do to improve the latest version?

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#18 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:24 AM

Getting there but still that craft problem. If I were editing this as if it were mine, it'd read something like this:


Seventeen-year-old Saekina's used to waking up covered in blood. Being hunted by demons deadens a girl to stuff like that.

When she prays to each of the twelve gods for help against the undead monsters that stalk her from childhood, none responds. She learns to defend herself with blades instead of hurling flames like the other magically gifted around her.

Then the gods answer her prayers by sending her others who also lack magical gifts. No longer alone, she and her new friends vow to become hunters instead of hunted.

Saekina still prays, but she no longer asks for magic. And she won't kneel ever again.

But a normally benevolent god captures her. Married to the goddess who created the undead monsters after Saekina, he turns her over to his wife (who is out to punish Saekina; who wants Saekina's skills; whatever reason she wants Saekina). Only Saekina’s friends can save her. But that means killing a god. Without magic.


Okay, this isn't how you wrote it. But you see where I've tried to do away with the passive sounding 'is' and 'has' and 'have' and the 'ing' words. Also lost some of the padding, or stuff that isn't necessary to the meaning. That's what you need to do. Make it concise. Make each word count.

This sounds like a good story but right now the query isn't quite there.

But that's just my opinion.

#19 Ashlyn

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:20 AM

The plot doesn't revolve around the characters not having magic.


Seventeen-year-old Saekina's used to waking up covered in blood. Being hunted by demons deadens a girl to stuff like that.

When she prays to each of the twelve gods for help against the undead monsters that stalk her from childhood, none respond. She learned to defend herself with blades instead of hurling flames like the magically gifted around her.

Then it looks like the gods have answered her prayers by sending her others who are also stalked by the monsters. No longer alone, she and her new friends vow to find the monsters’ masters. Saekina still prays, but she no longer asks for someone to save her. And she won't kneel ever again.

But a normally benevolent god captures her. Married to the goddess who created the undead monsters after Saekina, he turns her over to his wife, who’s power can only be undone by Saekina and her friends. Only Saekina’s friends can save her. But that means killing a god.

Queries and such:

 

YA fantasy: ALL IS DARK

 

Query: http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/36542-all-is-dark-newest-on-post-17

 

YA Contemporary Fantasy: BENEATH THE MADDENING MOON

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...addening-moon/


#20 Cheryl B. Dale

Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:09 PM

The plot doesn't revolve around the characters not having magic.


Then make it clear what the plot does revolve around. The point I'm trying to make is that your query needs to be clear, concise, free of padding/passivity/passive flavors. If things like this show up in the query, a reputable agt/ed will assume the ms is written the same way.

Don't get discouraged. Craft evolves over time, so long as you're willing to keep reading and learning about it. The hard thing is making sure the conflict is strong enough to carry a novel and then laying it out in a query in the most compelling way. And there, too, practice helps a lot.




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