Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

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lunerunit
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Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by lunerunit » April 28th, 2010, 8:52 pm

Okay, I probably should have started here before submitting to Mr. Bransford, but what the hell. Here's my rejected Query... Feed back appreciated. Note: I have modified my character's name and description ( I don't want to give any ideas away).

Dear Agent,

I have chosen to submit to you because I enjoy your writing style and have found your website an excellent resource for a new novelist.

First there’s Griffin Tutela and he does a bad thing, a very bad thing. Unwittingly, he sets loose a terrible evil into the Aureus Wood, the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect. Intending to make things right, he and his sister Lark enter the forest, but they’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Things in there hate him and want him dead, or worse.

And then there's Brine, a wicked tempered space creature with a vendetta against tyranny. Last of her kind, she finds herself as High Guardian of the Aureus Wood, eradicating creatures of darkness, the force she blames for her race’s extinction. For over two centuries, Brine has kept this place free from evil. That is, until a foolish human child changes everything.

To save his own skin, his family and the Aureus Wood, Griffin must find Brine. But if the space creature does not control her anger and look to the stars for answers to her mysterious past, she will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin.

Brine is a 113,000 word YA Fantasy spiced with classic Norse Mythology and a hint of Metaphysical Fantasy. It will appeal to both YA and Adult readers and might be found on the shelf between Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven.

I have a poem published in A Collection of Oregon’s Young Poets and have written scripts for television commercials for over seven years. Recently I have taken courses in Novel Writing at Flathead Community College and belong to the Authors of the Flathead in Montana.

Thank you for time and I look forward to hearing from you. Full manuscript available upon request.

Sincerely,
Me

ceiser
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by ceiser » April 28th, 2010, 10:55 pm

Hi. Please don't take anything I say as gospel - I'm new here, but here are my two cents.
lunerunit wrote: I have chosen to submit to you because I enjoy your writing style and have found your website an excellent resource for a new novelist. this should probably go at the end of your query

First there’sGriffin Tutela and he does a bad thing, a very bad thing. unwittingly, hesets loose a terrible evil into the Aureus Wood, the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect. Intending to make things right, he and his sister, Lark, you need commas here enter the forest, but they’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Things in there hate him and want him dead, or worse. Can you be more specific? And why? His family is supposed to be protecting this place, what do the denizens have against their protectors?

And then there's Brine, a wicked-tempered you need a hyphen for compound adjectives space creature with a vendetta against tyranny. So she's wickedly tempered, but has a vendetta against tyranny? I guess that could work... Last of her kind, she finds herself as High Guardian of the Aureus Wood, eradicating creatures of darkness, the force she blames for her race’s extinction. For over two centuries, Brine has kept this place free from evil. That is, until a foolish human child changes everything. I thought Griffin's family protected the Wood. Are they partners with Brine? The way it comes off here they don't seem to be aware of each other. Is Griffin the foolish human child?

To save his own skin, his family and the Aureus Wood, Griffin must find Brine. But if the space creature does not control her anger and look to the stars for answers to her mysterious past, she will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin.

Brine the title should be in all caps is a 113,000-word hyphen YA Fantasy spiced with classic Norse Mythology mythology shouldn't be capitalized and a hint of Metaphysical Fantasy neither should metaphysical fantasy. It will appeal to both YA and Adult and adult should be lowercase as well readers and might be found on the shelf between Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven.

I have a poem published in A Collection of Oregon’s Young Poets and have written scripts for television commercials for over seven years. Recently I have taken courses in Novel Writing at Flathead Community College and belong to the Authors of the Flathead in Montana. No offense, but not sure if any of this is really relevant or helpful.

Thank you for time and I look forward to hearing from you. Full manuscript available upon request.

Sincerely,
Me
Yeah, I wish I'd found this forum before submitting to Nathan (and getting the rejection). Hope the above is useful to you. If you're interested, you'll have a chance to tear me apart in the near future.

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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by Emily J » April 29th, 2010, 12:02 am

lunerunit wrote:Okay, I probably should have started here before submitting to Mr. Bransford, but what the hell. Here's my rejected Query... Feed back appreciated. Note: I have modified my character's name and description ( I don't want to give any ideas away).

Dear Agent,

I have chosen to submit to you because I enjoy your writing style and have found your website an excellent resource for a new novelist.

First there’s Griffin Tutela and he does a bad thing, a very bad thing. This opening sentence doesn't work for me. It doesn't tell me anything about Griffin, boy, girl age, anything, and a bad thing is sooo vague Unwittingly, he sets loose a terrible evil into the Aureus Wood, the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect. still vague! what evil? how does he unleash it? Intending to make things right, he and his sister Lark enter the forest, but they’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Things things? what things? ferns? ash trees? David the gnome? in there hate him why? and want him dead, or worse. what's worse?

And then there's Brine, a wicked tempered space creature space? why is she in a forest then and not well, space? with a vendetta against tyranny. who has a vendetta against tyranny? a vendetta seems like a personal specific grudge, against a particular tyrant perhaps? Last of her kind, space creature kind? she finds herself as High Guardian of the Aureus Wood, eradicating creatures of darkness, the force she blames for her race’s extinction. how could shadows in a forest destroy space creatures? missing something For over two centuries, Brine has kept this place free from evil. That is, until a foolish human child changes everything.

To save his own skin, his family serial comma here and the Aureus Wood, Griffin must find Brine. But if the space creature does not control her anger and look to the stars for answers to her mysterious past, what is mysterious about her past? why doesn't anyone have a non-mysterious past these days she will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin.

Brine is a 113,000 word eeek this is a really lengthy sell for YA YA Fantasy spiced with classic Norse Mythology and a hint of Metaphysical Fantasy. have NO idea what this means It will appeal to both YA and Adult readers and might be found on the shelf between Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven. underline or italicize other author's titles

I have a poem published in A Collection of Oregon’s Young Poets and have written scripts for television commercials for over seven years. Recently I have taken courses in Novel Writing at Flathead Community College not sure if you should include this and belong to the Authors of the Flathead haha flathead is a funny name but i think you SHOULD include this part in Montana.

Thank you for time and I look forward to hearing from you. may come across as pushy to agents, maybe Full manuscript the full manuscript? available upon request.

Sincerely,
Me
Please please add some specificity to this! Far too many pivotal plot points seem reduced to almost meaningless generalities. What Brine is, why and HOW she serves as Guardian of the woods would help me understand something of the plot. Aside from some vague mention of darkness I am really missing an antagonist here and the setting is limited to a place name. So please add some more details so the story catches the imagination!

Mel
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by Mel » April 29th, 2010, 11:16 am

lunerunit wrote:Okay, I probably should have started here before submitting to Mr. Bransford, but what the hell. Here's my rejected Query... Feed back appreciated. Note: I have modified my character's name and description ( I don't want to give any ideas away).

Dear Agent,

I have chosen to submit to you because I enjoy your writing style and have found your website an excellent resource for a new novelist.

First there’s Griffin Tutela and he does a bad thing, a very bad thing. Unwittingly, he sets loose a terrible evil into the Aureus Wood, the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect. Intending to make things right, he and his sister Lark enter the forest, but they’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Things in there hate him and want him dead, or worse.I agree with the other posts, the first sentence doesn't work. Maybe something like---Fourteen year old (or whatever his age is) Griffin Tutela unwittingly sets loose something evil (be specific as to what it is) in the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect.
Now he must find Brine, the High Guardian who has the power to eradicate the evil thing. Finding her in a forest where everyone hates him or wants him dead won't be easy and then there is her anger management issues. I know this isn't perfect, but it's hard not knowing the plot. It's more to give you an idea of how to be concise and compact.


And then there's Brine, a wicked tempered space creature with a vendetta against tyranny. Last of her kind, she finds herself as High Guardian of the Aureus Wood, eradicating creatures of darkness, the force she blames for her race’s extinction. For over two centuries, Brine has kept this place free from evil. That is, until a foolish human child changes everything.

To save his own skin, his family and the Aureus Wood, Griffin must find Brine. But if the space creature does not control her anger and look to the stars for answers to her mysterious past, she will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin.

Brine is a 113,000 word YA Fantasy spiced with classic Norse Mythology and a hint of Metaphysical Fantasy. It will appeal to both YA and Adult readers and might be found on the shelf between Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven. BRINE is a 113,000 word YA fantasy spiced with norse mythology. It will appeal to fans of Artemis Fowl and Fablehaven.

I have a poem published in A Collection of Oregon’s Young Poets and have written scripts for television commercials for over seven years.I am published in A Collection of Oregon's Young Poets and have written scripts for commercials. Cut the rest, it isn't relevent. Recently I have taken courses in Novel Writing at Flathead Community College and belong to the Authors of the Flathead in Montana.

Thank you for time and I look forward to hearing from you. Full manuscript available upon request.

Sincerely,
Me

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wilderness
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by wilderness » April 29th, 2010, 5:21 pm

lunerunit wrote:Okay, I probably should have started here before submitting to Mr. Bransford, but what the hell. Here's my rejected Query... Feed back appreciated. Note: I have modified my character's name and description ( I don't want to give any ideas away).

Dear Agent,

I have chosen to submit to you because I enjoy your writing style and have found your website an excellent resource for a new novelist.

First there’s Griffin Tutela and he does a bad thing, a very bad thing. Not sure about this sentence, but perhaps it is part of the voice. Unwittingly, he sets loose a terrible evil into the Aureus Wood, the enchanted forest his family has sworn to protect. Intending to make things right, he and his sister Lark enter the forest, but they’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Things in there hate him and want him dead, or worse. Be more specific. What things? Why do they hate him?

And then there's Brine, a wicked tempered space creature with a vendetta against tyranny. What is a space creature? Is it different from an alien? Also why does she have a vendetta against tyranny. This is an example of "show" not "tell". Give us one or two details so we can picture her better. Last of her kind, she finds herself as High Guardian of the Aureus Wood, eradicating creatures of darkness, the force she blames for her race’s extinction. Creatures = force? For over two centuries, Brine has kept this place free from evil. That is, until a foolish human child changes everything.

To save his own skin, his family and the Aureus Wood, Griffin must find Brine. But if the space creature does not control her anger and look to the stars for answers to her mysterious past, she will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin. How does Brine's mysterious past relate to the terrible evil that Griffin set loose?

Brine is a 113,000 word YA Fantasy spiced with classic Norse mythology and a hint of metaphysical fantasy. It will appeal to both YA and adult readers and might be found on the shelf between Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven.

I have a poem published in A Collection of Oregon’s Young Poets and have written scripts for television commercials for over seven years. Recently I have taken courses in Novel Writing at Flathead Community College and belong to the Authors of the Flathead in Montana.

Thank you for time and I look forward to hearing from you. Full manuscript available upon request.

Sincerely,
Me
Good luck!

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lunerunit
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by lunerunit » April 29th, 2010, 6:41 pm

Thanks everyone for your poignant feedback. I knew it needed work, too bad I was too rash and sent it in before I knew what I was doing. Moving on... I have a couple of revisions here and first I will post just the pitch of the query, none of the other stuff.

Version 1: I didn't include all of this in my original because I thought it was too long. But I know no other way to describe the plot of my story.

Last of her kind, the space creature, Brine, finds herself on Earth as High Guardian of the sacred Aureus Wood, an enchanted forest hidden from the human race. Though unable to remember her dark past, she continues to feel the loss of her race’s extinction. Her only solace is sending creatures of shadow, that dare infiltrate her realm, back to the void.

The fallen God, Dolosus, desires the light of Brine’s soul. He knows what she truly is and has been waiting an eternity to claim her. Now is his chance. His biggest obstacle is the guardian clan, Tutela. With an extraordinary lineage from another planet, they have been left on Earth to protect the gateway to the Aureus Wood, where Brine is hidden. Always clever, Dolosus discovers a weakness in the line of Tutela, a thirteen year-old boy named Griffin.

When a beautiful spirit appears to Griffin, offering him a gift for entry into the forest, he cannot resist. Under the spirit’s spell, Griffin lets her in through the gateway, as well as Dolosus, spreading darkness in his wake. After learning that he has been deceived, Griffin with his sister, Lark, enter the forest intending to battle Dolosus, to save his home, and his family.

To achieve this, he will have to find a silver creature, like an enormous dragonfly, called Brine. But if she does not control her anger and look back to the stars from which she came, Brine will find she is no different than the darkness she despises, and all will come to ruin. Dolosus is betting on that.
Last edited by lunerunit on April 29th, 2010, 6:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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lunerunit
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by lunerunit » April 29th, 2010, 6:46 pm

Just a note: Space Creature is just a fake title I have thrown in because I don't want to use her actual title. Myabe I'm the only one that thinks her character is interesting and unique, but I don't want to take the chance at giving away an idea.

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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by lunerunit » April 29th, 2010, 6:56 pm

Here's a totally different approach and the writing style is what I use within the novel. The thing is, I call it YA fantasy because it involves a 13 year old kid and has a sort of a hansel and gretal fairytale feel. So far, when I pitch it it comes of as adult fantasy and my feeble attempt at adding voice didn't work. So here's the start of number two, but I'm not sure where to go from here without making the thing a synopsis. Short and sweet, right?


Though The Book of Tutela contains accurate documentation of the beasts and spirits that reside within the dark corridors the Aureus Wood, there dwells a creature that has not been recorded within its pages. She remains a secret. The Space Creature, Brine, has been instructed to avoid the human race. Not even the clan Tutela, the guardians of the forest’s gateway, can know about her. For there is one that would have her soul, and although she does not remember him, he will never forget her.

I know this really gives us nothing about the plot, but I just thought of it and I'm working on it. Ahh! So daunting!

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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by rainbowsheeps » April 30th, 2010, 12:10 pm

lunerunit wrote:Just a note: Space Creature is just a fake title I have thrown in because I don't want to use her actual title. Myabe I'm the only one that thinks her character is interesting and unique, but I don't want to take the chance at giving away an idea.
Forgive me, but I'm going to be very blunt. No one wants to steal your story.

If there was some lurker here that wanted to steal your ideas, all they would get anyway is your query. They wouldn't have the story that goes with it. They would have to write the novel for it. Think about that, though. If someone needs to steal ideas from other people because they have none of their own, do you really think they'd be able to write a better story than the person who came up with the interesting thought in the first place?

Think about your stance on this. People on this forum are trying to help you. They can't do that effectively if you don't trust them with even a simple description of your characters. And if you can't trust people enough with your words, you probably shouldn't be trying to publish them for all the world to see, anyway.

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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by kenpochick » April 30th, 2010, 4:45 pm

I agree. It will be very difficult to get help if you don't post what your query actually is. We haven't read the story so we can't help you describe what happens, and if you're covering things up in the query then everything is vague. If you want help, you should post what you would send to an agent. The query as it stands is very hard to follow but now I'm not sure if that's because you're hiding things or if it's how you've written it.

Trust me, we all have our own ideas that we are in love with. We won't steal yours. :-)

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lunerunit
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Re: Seeking feedback on my Rejected Query

Post by lunerunit » May 1st, 2010, 11:27 am

I appreciate your bluntness. I suspected that perhaps I was being a bit of a goof about this. As you can probably tell, I am oh so new to the game and have been told to protect my ideas. So, thanks and as I loosen my tie and swallow the cold turd I've been served, I shall proceed without such needless caution. I had considered that I was probably the only one interested in my idea and I do realize it would be very difficult to steal an idea and then go get it published. (I'm blushing now at my naivete).

That being said, thanks for the critique. I am working on a new query and will post it without being cryptic about it. Sadly enough, I umm, wasn't actually hiding all that much, just her title and full name, so I have a lot of work to do. Yikes, you guys really tore me apart, but I do appreciate it if I want a chance out there. Thanks again!

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