YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

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Quill
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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by Quill » May 3rd, 2010, 10:20 pm

shadow wrote:OVERCAST SHADOW’S is a fast paced 89,000 word YA fantasy novel.
Have you really changed your title to indicate the possessive?

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lunerunit
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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by lunerunit » May 8th, 2010, 1:28 pm

Getting better. A few more suggestions:
Agent,

Raised by his father to hate humans, I have a problem with this statement: you say he was raised to hate humans and then in the next sentence say he sympathizes with them. Maybe try something like: Raised by a tyrant Father who hates humans,Vitiosus is the Lassertian prince feared by all. Yet he secretly sympathizes with humans, and rescues a girl that he is ordered to kill, only to see her murdered and him brutally punished for dishonouring his nation. Vitiosus’ attempts at rebelling his tyrant father’s ruling cease when he learns of his human mother, and that his impure blood could cost him his ambitions, and his life. I agree with ceiser here. It seems like after learning he is half human he might want to rebel more. Maybe try something like: After learning of his human mother, and that his impure blood could cost him his ambitions, and his life, Vitiosus wants to rebel but must be careful. (Okay,that last part is really bad, but I hope you see what I'm getting at.)

Being the prince won’t help VitiosusWhen he falls in love with Tiya, an imprisoned human girl, a group of rebels take her hostage to lure him in and form a war between the Lassertas and the humans. Now Vitiosus has no way out except to surrender to the rebels. On his way he meets his long time adversary, Gabriel, a warrior on a mission to bring Vitiosus to the human, queen dead or alive. During the ensuing battle, he discovers that Gabriel is his human brother. He must decide to unite with Gabriel and his mento save Tiya and the kingdom from the growing rebellion, or to continue to trust his own kind. But asVitiosus, Gabriel and Tiyatheyare soon captured by Lassertian warriors, and Vitiosus is to be executed in the public square for opposing his own kind, when the Lassertian people stand up against the government in a brutal uprising to save Vitiosus -their future king.

OVERCAST SHADOW’S is a fast paced 89,000 word YA fantasy novel. I believe you’d be a great fit to represent my book because you work with fantasy, science fiction and YA and enjoy an action packed and intriguing narrative. Thank you for your consideration and time.
I agree with Quill, the title is a little odd.

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shadow
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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by shadow » May 21st, 2010, 10:15 pm

Thanks guys for all your great critique! I took a while off if you have not noticed. OFF WRITING Completley!! Crazy eh? lol. But anyways I think it really refreshed my mind and I am quite happy with my newer version of my query. Tell me if its bad though! I have thick skin! I personally think that this really shows more of his character, but who am I to judge...Can't wait for your guys'/girls' thoughts on this one! Thanks in advanced advances! Oh and about the title I think I sort of had a typo, and its a working title...I focused more on making it like a blurb.

Dear Agent,

When Vitiosus is turned down by his father, shunned by his own kind and sent to be executed, he is forced to fight back, and this time not for victory, but for life.

Vitiosus is half human; half Lasserta-a human nation that evolved from weakness and mutated to ultimate power, shameful of their ancestors. He is trapped, the ones that were his allies are now his enemies and his sworn nemesis is really his half-brother. But when Vitiosus falls in love with a human girl the stakes grow even higher, for she is the one key to unlocking his heart and leading him to his grave. This is his war, his rebellion and his revolution. The battle for justice has begun.

‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ revolves around Vitiosus, a young half blood warrior and prince that is searching for truth, justice and vengeance. It will appeal to fans of ‘blah and ‘blah’. I think that you would be the perfect match for ‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ because you are looking for….Thank you for taking the time to review my query. My 89,000 YA Fantasy manuscript is available for your consideration.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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shadow
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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by shadow » May 22nd, 2010, 7:42 am

Any takers?
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 22nd, 2010, 5:40 pm

shadow wrote:Thanks guys for all your great critique! I took a while off if you have not noticed. OFF WRITING Completley!! Crazy eh? lol. But anyways I think it really refreshed my mind and I am quite happy with my newer version of my query. Tell me if its bad though! I have thick skin! I personally think that this really shows more of his character, but who am I to judge...Can't wait for your guys'/girls' thoughts on this one! Thanks in advanced advances! Oh and about the title I think I sort of had a typo, and its a working title...I focused more on making it like a blurb.

I apologize in advance. This might sting a little bit. I'm going to be really blunt, though, because... I don't think sugar-coating it will help much.

Dear Agent,

When Vitiosus is turned down by his father, shunned by his own kind and sent to be executed, he is forced to fight back, and this time not for victory, but for life. (Firstly, we don't know about his past victories. So that part sounds a little clumsy here. Also, if he's sent to be executed, the image in my head is he's being chained, and guarded. "Fighting for his life" seems vague here, and confusing. Doesn't he need to escape first?)

Vitiosus is half human; half Lasserta-a human nation that evolved from weakness and mutated to ultimate power, shameful of their ancestors. (Half Lasserta - a human nation... okay, two things. Firstly, given the sentence construction here, you said he's half human, half nation. Secondly, Lasserta is a human nation. Doesn't that mean all Lasserta/Lassertans are half human, then? Or even more so, since they're evolved from humans? So why is Vitiosus being half human relevant at all? Also, in general, saying they "evolved from weakness" is kind of redundant. Evolution usually means improvement. Also, the phrase "to ultimate power" is incredibly vague. Are they physically stronger? Do they possess magical powers? Superhero powers?) He is trapped, the ones that were his allies are now his enemies and his sworn nemesis is really his half-brother. (This is insanely vague. "The ones that were his allies are now his enemies" says nothing to me, and makes me feel nothing at all, either. It doesn't tell much about the character, or the specific conflict. His sworn nemesis being his half-brother has the same problem. Who cares who his nemesis is at this point? Why is he his nemesis? What does his nemesis want? What does Vitiosus even want?) But when Vitiosus falls in love with a human girl the stakes grow even higher, for she is the one key to unlocking his heart and leading him to his grave. (Don't tell us "the stakes grow even higher." Firstly, the stakes don't feel that high at all as it is. Secondly, I strongly advise showing the stakes, rather then telling us they're high. As for the second highlighted portion, the metaphor of the girl being the key falls flat after you say "leading him to his grave." Keys don't generally lead people to their graves. So probably cut that metaphor out. Basically, him loving this girl is the catalyst. It's what gets him into all this trouble, right? Your story right now seems to only be putting the life of this guy at risk. The world doesn't seem to be in danger. What does that mean for your query? It means you need to make us really care about the life of this guy. I don't care at all about him right now, because there's nothing showing me he's worth caring for. You're telling me he's someone I should care about because he's fighting for good things like truth and justice, but I'd rather see for myself why he's worth saving. To do that, you might also want to tell us about this human girl. And why is she worth dying for?) This is his war, his rebellion and his revolution. The battle for justice has begun. (Justice? Whose justice? The query insinuates he's fighting for this girl. The girl isn't justice, really. If you're talking about the metaphor against interracial dating (which is sort of what this sounds like) and how unfair that is, that's something, but I'm still not sure justice is the right word for that. Nor is "truth.")

‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ revolves around Vitiosus, a young half blood warrior and prince that is searching for truth, justice and vengeance. (Don't put quote marks around the title of the book. Also, this is generally a waste of space. The synopsis before this should have explained everything we needed to know about the work.) It will appeal to fans of ‘blah and ‘blah’. I think that you would be the perfect match for ‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ because you are looking for….Thank you for taking the time to review my query. My 89,000 YA Fantasy manuscript is available for your consideration.

Thank you for your time.
Basically, it's like this:

Guy's life is in danger. Over a girl. He's fighting so he can be with her. If he doesn't win, he dies.

We need to care about that guy. And we should probably also see that that girl is worth dying for. Otherwise, not many people will be intrigued. The stakes are personal. That means we should see some personality to this guy. We should see this girl in sort of the way he sees her: worth dying for. We should almost want to fight for him, cheering him on. None of this query reaches that point, though. It's much too vague and distant.

How do you fix this? I recommend instilling a couple of character details into this. I don't mean telling us the guy has long flowing black hair, or how hot he is or anything. But, showing a complex personality. Showing... passion of some sort, probably towards this girl. Right now, you're telling us about his mission, and how noble it is, but it'd be much stronger if you showed us specifically and let us decide that for ourselves.

Also, there isn't a strong distinction between this and many other stories. If there's something that sets your story apart from others about a guy fighting for a girl like this, you should consider alluding to that as well.

It's too vague. It sets up a conflict, but it's not presented strong enough yet. We really need to see these characters as whole people, or at least interesting people, in this short space to want to read more. Just telling us how noble his mission is isn't going to cut it. Specifics!

Good luck with this.

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lunerunit
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Re: YA Fantasy Query - I wish this will be the last!

Post by lunerunit » May 22nd, 2010, 5:54 pm

Hmm, Shadow, I'm not sure I like this new version better. I think if you could somehow combine some of the details of the last version with this one, it would be stronger. I will try to be more specific:
Dear Agent,

When Vitiosus is turned downWhat do you mean by turned down? Be more specific. by his father, shunned by his own kind and sent to be executed, he is forced to fight back, and this time Was there another time he fought back? maybe take out "this time" not for victory, but for life. To be honest, I do not get anything from this hook. I actually liked your last version better.

Vitiosus is half human; half Lasserta-a human nation that evolved from weakness and mutated to ultimate power, shameful of their ancestors.I am confused here. If Lasserta is a human nation, wouldn't Vitiosus be entirely human? But I think your on the right track. I think it is important to define exactly what Lasserta is, but keep it simple. This may give clarity to the struggle that Vitiosus has. He is trapped, the ones that were his allies are now his enemies and his sworn nemesis is really his half-brother. But when Vitiosus falls in love with a human girl the stakes grow even higher, for she is the one key to unlocking his heart and leading him to his grave. "Unlocking his heart" does not seem strong enough for a guy to risk his life for a girl. Something like: He will do anything for and can't live without her, yet she may lead him to his grave. This is his war, his rebellion and his revolution. The battle for justice has begun. Again, on the right track, but you must be more specific. This pitch does not clearly tell me what his war is. I think I understand this story's plot from your previous posts.

‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ revolves around Vitiosus, a young half blood warrior and prince that is searching for truth, justice and vengeance. It will appeal to fans of ‘blah and ‘blah’. I think that you would be the perfect match for ‘OVERCAST SHADOWS’ because you are looking for….Thank you for taking the time to review my query. My 89,000 YA Fantasy manuscript is available for your consideration.
So let me lay this out how I understand things:

Vitiosus is a half blood prince (he his half human and half Lasserta - I'm not sure what that is), being used by his tyrant Father, who abuses and dominates humans. When Vitiosus falls in love with an imprisioned human, Tiya, he helps her escape and joins a rebellion against his Father's rule. After learning that his half brother leads the rebellion, and his Mother is the Queen (of what nation I do not know), he finds that he is not alone in his hate of the Lassertan Rule. Uniting the growing rebellion, Vitiosus has the opportunity to become king of the human nation, and defeat his Father.

Do I have it correct, in a nutshell? This info I think is missing from the new version and I think is vital to understand the plot. I hope I have been helpful.

I know how it is writing these, it sometimes feels like your going around in circles. I am taking a break from my query as well. I have decided to re-write and cut my word count. It has been daunting, but man it's worth it.

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