Query: The Black Crow (revision)

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Carol-Ann
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Query: The Black Crow (revision)

Post by Carol-Ann » December 31st, 2013, 8:05 am

There is a fine line between destruction and redemption.
Kyle Pain knows exactly what does this phrase means, since he accepts to be the guinea pig for a scientist: he receives a strange green liquid and start to drop feathers and think about “smash!” things. Since he was a kid, he always had a huge fascination with comic book characters – with a special emphasis for the villains –, but he never imagined himself as a part of that world.
Kyle meets Joan, a scientist protected by the Witness Protection Program in the past; a man that never tried to hide his scientific abilities and worked hard for many years on a serum capable of transforming ordinary people in super ones. Looking for some way to prove that his experiment works, Joan finds Kyle living on the streets, and offers him a chance to change his life. Despite being a genius, Joan longed only for power – and he proposed to Kyle, now a super human, that they became “partners in crime”. Kyle tries hard to keep himself on the “good side”, but Joan, assuming the alter ego of the nothing-heroic hero Hurricane, fights to keep Kyle on the “bad side” – even giving him the alter ego Black Crow, the villain. Joan tried, using Kyle as his personal “pet villain”, become the hero of the city, the one who will fight against the Black Crow and keep the world in peace and control everyone.
Despite what he was transformed, Kyle still fighting to save his humanity. And he has all the support of June Delay and Elektra Girl, a beautiful redhead human and a sexy villain – the first trying to constantly keep his mind on good things, teaching things like love and hope; and the second teaching him how to conquer the world together, having a real partner in life.
THE BLACK CROW is a Young Adult Fantasy novel completed at 95,000 words. This query is a multiple submission.
Thank you for your consideration and time,
(My name)
Last edited by Carol-Ann on January 5th, 2014, 2:46 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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klbritt
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Re: Query: The Black Crow

Post by klbritt » December 31st, 2013, 10:50 am

I like your "super humans" storyline here, but your query is a lot of telling and not showing. Query's are like writing your novel all over again, but harder because it has to give the agent a good idea of what your book is about in 3 or so short paragraphs. Below are my suggestions/comments/deletions
Carol-Ann wrote:Dear “Agent”,
I’m seeking for representation for THE BLACK CROW, a Fantasy complete at 95,000 words. {We know you're seeking representation, no need to put this here.}

{Start Here}Twenty-year-old {or however old he is} Kyle Pain, an ordinary man who hates his name {is hating his name really that relevant to the story?}, have had his life turned upset upside down when he discovers a thing about himself: he's no longer human. {Okay, so far your intro has me bored. We've all heard the whole my world was turned upside down bit. Find something exciting to draw the agent in. Maybe keep the fact that he is no longer human - but show us what happened. Did he step in some green ooze and turn into a ninja rat, etc?} Since he was a kid, he always had a huge fascination with comic book characters – with a special emphasis for the villains. But he never – ever – imagined himself as a part of that world. {This last part gives us a little look in to Kyle's life but it leads me to think that he will turn into a villian. If that's what happens great, if not, find a way to show us that he is one of the good guys.}

Kyle’s problems began when he meets Joan, a man protected by the WPP {what in the world is the WPP??} in the past. Joan never tried to hide his scientific abilities and he worked hard for many years on a serum capable of transforming ordinary people in super ordinary ones {try super humans?}; accidentally – or not? {accidently or not leads me to believe even you as the writer might not know...} –, Joan finds Kyle living on the streets, and offers him a chance to change his life. Unfortunately, Joan’s goal wasn’t noble. {Here you are telling us rather than showing us.}Despite being a genius, Joan he longed only longs for power – and proposes to Kyle, now a super human, that they become 'partners in crime'. Joan would become Hurricane, a nothing-heroic superhero; and Kyle would be Black Crow, a heartless villain. {You switch tenses a lot in your query. It's important to keep it all consistent. I believe I've read somewhere that past-tense is preferred in queries - though correct me if I'm wrong. Also, I think if you introduce Joan as Hurricane at the beginning of this paragraph it would flow better. Does Kyle choose the name Black Crow or does Joan give it to him? Why does Joan want Kyle to be a villain? In my mind, I see Kyle trying to be a good super human but with Joan's influence, he's having a hard time distinguishing between right and wrong...if there is this kind of struggle, as a reader, I'd love to see that in the query.}

Despite what has been transformed, Kyle still fighting to save his humanity; and he receives all the support of June Delay and Elektra Girl, a beautiful redhead human and a sexy villain. {Here you are scratching the surface of introducing two new characters. Depending on the role they play in your novel, you can leave them out of the query or show us how big a part they play in Kyle's life. Are they really the key in keeping Kyle on the good side of the 'force'?}

{Here is where you put the name of your book and the word count, etc.} THE BLACK CROW is a young adult {whatever novel type it is} novel completed at 95,000 words. The first X pages of the book are pasted below, and I would certainly be immensely happy to send you the whole manuscript. This query is a multiple submission.

Thank you for your consideration and time.,
Best wishes,
(My name).

... so? it's too awful?
Sorry if it looks like I colored all over your query. Your story, as I have picked it apart, sounds interesting. But to draw in an agent you'll have to give it some more oomph. Give it another go and show us what else you can come up with :)
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

Carol-Ann
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Joined: December 31st, 2013, 7:57 am
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Re: Query: The Black Crow

Post by Carol-Ann » December 31st, 2013, 11:34 am

Thank you, klbritt! Really, really thank you! I used all your suggestions, and they really make the query sounds better. I wrote it again and I'm posting so you can see again and tell me what you think. Thank you again :)

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klbritt
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Re: Query: The Black Crow (revision)

Post by klbritt » January 7th, 2014, 3:29 pm

First things first, I want to know:

- How Kyle was transformed
- What his super human powers are
- What or who he is battling
- How he overcomes his trials
- How he is changed or the how the world is changed

If you can answer these questions, you might have the makings of your query.

Also, be sure to keep your tenses the same: has as opposed to has, etc. (past vs. present tense)

Comments / Additions / Take out
Carol-Ann wrote:There is a fine line between destruction and redemption. {Not sure what this sentence has to do with your query. If you must have it, include it in one of the paragraphs as something Kyle believes.}

{Again, since this is a Young Adult novel, we need to know how old Kyle is. Put it first.}Kyle Pain knows exactly what does this phrase means, since he accepts to be the guinea pig for a scientist: he receives a strange green liquid and start to drop feathers and think about “smash!” things. Since he was a kid, he always had a huge fascination with comic book characters – with a special emphasis for the villains {why? did he like to pick them apart to find out what made them villains?} –, but he never imagined himself as a part of that world.

Here is an example of how I would begin your first paragraph:

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Pain loves comic book villains, but he never imagined he would become one. Then I would tell more about what happened to him, I like the part where he started to drop feathers, though that tells me very little about Kyle's super human qualities.

{Please, put an extra space between your paragraphs - with out it, I'm left feeling lost...}

Kyle meets Joan {I have an Aunt named Joan, so it's very hard for me to relate to a male villain named Joan...is the name changeable?}, a brilliant scientist protected by the Witness Protection Program in the past; a man that never tried to hide his scientific abilities and who worked hard for many years on a serum capable of transforming ordinary people in super oneshumans or beings found his test subject in Kyle. Looking for some way to prove that his experiment works, Joan finds {use past tesnse - found} Kyle living on the streets, and offers {use past tense - offered} him a chance to change his life. Despite being a genius, Joan longed only for power – and he proposed to Kyle, now a super human, that they became {use past tense - become} partners in crime". Kyle tries hard to keep himself on the “good side”, but Joan, assuming the alter ego of the nothing-heroic hero Hurricane, fights to keep Kyle on the “bad side” – even giving him the alter ego Black Crow, the villain. Joan tried, using Kyle as his personal “pet villain”, become the hero of the city, the one who will fight against the Black Crow and keep the world in peace and control everyone. {Does Joan actually suggest to Kyle that Kyle do the villain things so Joan can clean it up becoming the hero, or does Kyle get manipulated into being the villain? This paragraph is a little confusing and part of me wants to break it up into two paragraphs. Though, part of it could also be included in the first paragraph above.}

Despite what he was transformed, Kyle still fighting to save his humanity. And he has all the support of June Delay and Elektra Girl {is June and Elektra Girl the same person or two people????}, a beautiful redhead human and a sexy villain – the first trying to constantly keep his mind on good things, teaching things like love and hope; and the second teaching him how to conquer the world together, having a real partner in life. {This paragraph gives us a sense of Kyle's battle within himself, but with the very small introduction of the two female characters I'm finding myself feeling rushed through the query and wondering how big a part these two new people play in the book. I also am left really confused as to how one of the characters is teaching him good things and the other is teaching him how to conquer the world...how would this benefit Kyle in keeping his humanity?}

THE BLACK CROW is a Young Adult Fantasy novel completed at 95,000 words. This query is a multiple submission.

Thank you for your consideration and time {switch these, say: time and consideration},
(My name)
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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