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Sipho and the Star shaped pearl (Supernatural Adventure)


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#1 laura

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 02:59 AM

Good morning,

REVISED QUERY POSTED - SEE ENTRY NO 20

REVISED QUERY POSTED - SEE ENTRY NO 17


REVISED QUERY POSTED - SEE ENTRY NO 10


MY REVISED QUERY AGAIN = SEE ENTRY NO 8

REVISED QUERY POSTED - SEE ENTRY NO 6




I am a new member and must say I find this site very informative and useful. Wonderful work.

This is my query letter for my first full novel and I am sure the comments received will be a great help for future work.




A hideous slimy demon moving closer to them and grunting it elevates itself on to its legs and ‎rises awkwardly into the air above them as they try to flee this odious place. The half-human ‎children, Sipho and Emma filled with fear and suffocating reaches the opening only to find it ‎closed.‎
SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL is a supernatural adventure story about celestial beings ‎and their search for the perfect human child needed to enter Hades and retrieve a special star, ‎stolen by Satan. The story spans over a hundred years and when they complete building their ‎establishment under the Valley of a Thousand hills, in Africa, a small peaceful Zulu village ‎becomes their focal point. The interaction between these celestial beings and the Zulu kings, ‎their trials and tribulations and murder continue until Sipho, the chosen child is born. ‎
Lindiwe flees from the brutal king of the village with her sister's baby and heads for ‎Cotswold, England where her life changes drastically. She encounters pain and humiliation, ‎while trying to cope with her new life. Her nephew Bheka falls in love with the daughter of ‎her employer. Accused of rape, he runs away. Her life changes drastically with the birth of ‎the twins and their alcoholic mother. ‎
Sipho sent to England for a decent education meets the twins and guided by the aliens return ‎to Africa. During their time spent with these friendly aliens. They discover fun, laughter, new ‎games, and awesome friends but not without a few minor problems. ‎
After receiving special training, they journey onto Cotswold, London and Jerusalem and ‎encounter demons, danger, and discover enchanting places along their expedition. Finally, the ‎last request received from the aliens, seems almost impossible, will Sipho the chosen child ‎consent?‎


I believe this novel is suitable for young adults.

Regards
Laura

#2 Pete Morin

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:42 PM

Hi Laura, welcome.

Er, it would appear that you went right to posting without reading the three pinned articles at the top of the list of topics - one of which, HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER, will be of great help to you.
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#3 Bugsy

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:11 PM

I concur Pete. Please read it. The hook needs to be ONE sentence creatively stating the protagonist, plot, and conflict. Make the reader STOP and want to read your writing.

#4 LiseRob

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:33 PM

Sounds like it could be an interesting book, but I agree that you definitely need to read up on how to write a query letter. Good luck! I look forward to seeing an updated letter.

#5 Cat Woods

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:21 AM

Laura,

The title is intriguing in itself. Your premise sounds interesting. Your query needs a bit of work. As Peter stated, there are pinned topics that can help, as well as articles in the library.

When I started writing, I read like crazy to get as much info as possible on the industry. While this does not translate into an innate ability to craft an awesome query letter, the practice definitely gives you a leg up on how to get started.

Writing is a tough business and AQ is a great resource.

I wish you the best and look forward to reading your revised query.

~cat

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#6 laura

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 11:55 PM

Good day all,

Here is my revised query.

When the governor of Anglur, the sister planet to earth, is commissioned to eliminate the evil ‎on earth, he initiates a mission to find an extraordinary child needed to enter the depths of ‎Hell. ‎
SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL, an epic adventure story spanning over a hundred ‎years begins with the celestial beings finding a Zulu village in Africa, the perfect place to ‎begin their mission. Tribal fighting, coupled with jealousy that leads to murder, and their ‎prosperity continues. Lindiwe escapes from the tribe and settles in England, with her sister's ‎son. Protected by a prominent family, she soon learns to cope with their alcoholic daughter ‎and her pregnancy. She watches the children who become friends, the child's pregnancy and ‎the horror of rape. The twins start school and meet Sipho. Guided by the spiritual beings they ‎return to Africa and their lives change dramatically whilst they remain hidden away from the ‎world. During their time spent with these friendly aliens, they discover fun, laughter, new ‎games, and awesome friends, but not without a few minor problems. After receiving special ‎training, they journey into the depths of hell and onto London and Jerusalem in an attempt to ‎complete their mission. They encounter demons, danger, and discover enchanting places along ‎their expedition. Upon returning to Africa, the final request from the aliens seems almost ‎impossible. ‎

#7 Rfn T Leurs

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 05:34 AM

Hello, nice to see a fellow African on the path of writing. After reading your first and now the second query, I can see a vast improvement, however I believe in the body of this query you're trying to tell to much of the story, maybe cut some of it down and emphasize some of the meatier points of the story.
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#8 laura

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:21 AM

Good day all,

Firstly a big thank you for all your valued replies.
This is my revised query and if you find the time to comment, I will honestly appreciate all your comments.
********************************************************************************************************************

When the governor of Anglur, the sister planet to earth, is commissioned to eliminate ‎the evil on earth, he initiates a mission to find an extraordinary child needed to enter the ‎depths of Hell.

SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL, an epic adventure story spanning over a hundred ‎years and delves into the history of the Anglurian Planet, their arrival on earth and the ‎magical establishment built. They discover a small peaceful Zulu village and this becomes ‎their focal point for the special child they desperately need. Continuing their interaction with ‎this small tribe, the story tells of tribal fighting, jealousy, and their disobedience where the ‎wrath of the Governor is experienced. A villager Lindiwe escapes from the tribe and settles in ‎England, with her sister's son. Protected by a prominent family, her life changes drastically as ‎a freak accident cause their death. She remains at the manor and raises the children. Accused ‎of rape, her nephew runs away. He returns to Africa and murders his twin brother. The twins ‎start school and meet Sipho. As they prepare for their first year of study, the children violate ‎the school rules and undertake disciplinary punishment. Guided by the spiritual beings they ‎return to Africa and their lives change radically whilst they remain hidden away from the ‎world. During their time spent with these friendly aliens, they discover fun, laughter, new ‎games, and awesome friends, but not without a few minor problems. After receiving special ‎training, Sipho discovers the aliens are responsible for his protection, journeys into the depths ‎of hell. The encounter of terror and evil creatures in the terrifying underworld frighten him ‎and he fights for his survival. Danger and demons escaping from an opening of Hades in ‎London triggers added trouble as they attempt to complete the mission. The plot concludes ‎with an important prophecy concerning Sipho is revealed.‎

#9 3MagicWords

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:07 PM

I certainly like the succinct, one sentence hook. I even like the first sentence of what the book is about including the fact that it spans 100 years. I am beginning to feel the book. HOwever, the remaining paragraph is too long for me. I clearly understand the difficulty in condensing a novel to one succint paragraph but it seems to be paramount and of utmost importance with query letters. Keep at it.

#10 laura

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:38 PM

Thank you again for your valued comments.

This is the revised version again.

When the governor of Anglur, the sister planet to earth, is commissioned to eliminate the evil ‎on earth, he initiates a mission to find an extraordinary child needed to enter the depths of ‎Hell. ‎

SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL, an epic adventure story spanning over a hundred ‎years and delves into the history of the Anglurian Planet, their arrival on earth and a magical ‎establishment built. A small Zulu village, their interaction with this tribe and continues with a ‎villager escaping the village to settle in England. Their return to Africa and the radical change ‎to their lives, as they remain hidden away from the world. After receiving special training, ‎Sipho journeys into the depths of hell. The encounter of terror and evil creatures in the ‎terrifying underworld frighten him and he fights for his survival. Danger and demons ‎escaping from an opening of Hades in London triggers added trouble as they attempt to ‎complete the mission. The plot concludes with an important prophecy concerning Sipho is ‎revealed.‎

#11 Caleb A. Mertz

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:48 PM

I have always found it a good practice to read what I wrote out loud. I found that it helps me hear any flaws in flow that might be appearing in my writing. Unfortunately some of your sentences seem off. A sentence should form a complete thought, and two in the second paragraph truly don't. This would get you an immediate form rejection. It makes you look like a confused school child submitting their first book report.

Interesting idea though. I love demons and Hades and all of that fun stuff, and the sister planet is an interesting twist.

#12 Terry

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:11 AM

Laura,
Your style of writing seems to include very long sentences. Try cutting them down in length to get just a single concept in each sentence. Also, think about your story in terms of PROBLEM, POSSIBLE RESOLUTION, and COMPLICATION. Consider constructing your query in this form.
  • State the problem that your main character faces
  • Give us the character's resolution to the problem
  • Give us a complication to the character's resolution in the form of a hook to make us want to read more
As others have said, queries are very difficult to write.
Good luck,
Terry

#13 TJ Robinson

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:28 PM

Caleb's idea of reading what you have written aloud is a great idea. Like he said, some of the sentences in the second paragraph need editing. With that said, it sounds like you have a very intriguing idea. Best of luck.

#14 gaius

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:35 PM

Your MS should be read aloud before submitting. That's how your reader will hear it.

Gaius

#15 Brendacarre

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 01:57 AM

In SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL, Sipho, a young Zulu boy journeys into the depths of hell where he fights for survival against demons intent on escaping through a magical opening into modern day London....

#16 Cat Woods

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 09:02 AM

Yes, CandyCane.

Make Sipho the center of your query. The way your revision is written, we don't even hear about the Titled MC until the end. Put him up front so we have someone to root for. Let us know what trouble he faces and how that impacts his life (ie the stakes).

Once you capture our attention (like CC did) then add a paragraph to flesh out your story a bit.

Queries can be terribly hard to write, but a well-written query is a gem. Don't get frustrated by the process.

Hugs~

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#17 laura

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 12:23 AM

Good Morning everybody.

Again, thank you for all your comments. I do value them. Writing a great query, I must admit ‎is very difficult and I will continue to try to get this right. With the help of all the members ‎who are assisting, I am sure I will succeed. Thanks again.

Here is the revised query.

‎When the governor of Anglur, the sister planet to earth, is commissioned to eliminate the evil ‎on earth, he initiates a mission to find an extraordinary child needed to enter the depths of ‎Hell. ‎
SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL is a story about Sipho, a young Zulu boy united ‎under mysterious circumstances with English twins Emma and Erma. Together a new ‎adventure starts as they journey into the depths of hell and fight for their survival against ‎terrifying demons.‎
The story spanning over a hundred years and delves into the history of the Anglurian ‎Planet, their arrival on earth and a magical establishment built. A small Zulu village, their ‎interaction with this tribe and continues with a villager escaping the village to settle in ‎England. Their return to Africa and the radical change to their lives, as they remain hidden ‎away from the world. The plot concludes with an important prophecy concerning Sipho is ‎revealed.‎

#18 Brendacarre

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 03:47 AM


The story spanning over a hundred years and delves into the history of the Anglurian ‎Planet, their arrival on earth and a magical establishment built. A small Zulu village, their ‎interaction with this tribe and continues with a villager escaping the village to settle in ‎England. Their return to Africa and the radical change to their lives, as they remain hidden ‎away from the world. The plot concludes with an important prophecy concerning Sipho is ‎revealed.‎


This part still needs a lot of tightening. You are making great improvements but I don't get how all of this information pertains to your main story. You need more action here and more related to Sipho's fulfillment of the prophecy. The fact that the story spans one hundred years seems to me less important than Sipho and the twins' struggle to keep the village hidden away.
Hang in there, you'll get it.

#19 Rfn T Leurs

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:12 PM

I think the problem arises from the time-line clashing with the plot of Sipho, because on one hand you have the century long story and on the other you have Sipho, which I doubt doesnt enter the story at day 1 (Im just guessing here). Maybe re-evaluate what you think is the actual plot of the story and what is just the plots history, and focus on the plot, and if they are dual plots, maybe focus on what connects the two halves together?

Again, vastly improving with every attempt, keep up the great effort, you will get there before long.
Pride is the greatest value a man may possess, until it becomes his burden.

#20 laura

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:14 PM

Hi Everybody,

Thanks again for your valued comments and suggestions. Much appreciated.

Here is my revised query for your perusal.

When the governor of Anglur, the sister planet to earth, is commissioned to eliminate the evil ‎on earth, he initiates a mission to find an extraordinary child needed to enter the depths of ‎Hell. ‎
SIPHO AND THE STAR PEARL is a story about the colorful lives of a Zulu clan ‎and their history, the mystery, superstition and interaction with the aliens until the birth of ‎Sipho.‎
Sipho, a young Zulu boy united under mysterious circumstances with English twins Emma ‎and Erma. These children guided by the aliens begin an adventure, discovering unusual ‎powers in their quest to find the star pearls stolen by Satan. They journey into the depths of ‎hell and fight for their survival against terrifying demons. With more daring adventures ‎following until the quest to eliminate the evil on earth is completed.‎




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