Query - YEEOD

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
Nessa
Posts: 26
Joined: December 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm
Contact:

Query - YEEOD

Post by Nessa » May 17th, 2010, 9:31 am

REVISION IS DOWN! PLEASE CRITIQUE! :)Hey guys. I know I haven't been on this forum for a while but I promise I will start posting more and critiquing as I can. But anyways I have been working on this novel for three damn years and would love for you to have a go at the query.

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born powerless in a world where magicians rule and the powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps.

When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. But after Nayla’s father was murdered by the Magicry and her mother left her for who she is, Nayla is determined to prove the government that Yeeods can fight for their rights. Barely escaping the confinement of death Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the Magicry. With only weapons at hand Nayla surrenders her soul to fight for the Yeeods in the uprising against magic. Her plan falls apart when she discovers that her fellow rebel leader Damio is really part of a Magicry conspiracy to revenge his father, the president. Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops that fight for justice, not for vengeance.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. I appreciate your consideration and will be looking forward to your reply.
Last edited by Nessa on May 17th, 2010, 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
FK7
Posts: 190
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by FK7 » May 17th, 2010, 2:39 pm

Nessa wrote:Hey guys. I know I haven't been on this forum for a while but I promise I will start posting more and critiquing as I can. But anyways I have been working on this novel for three damn years and would love for you to have a go at the query.

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born powerless in a world where magicians rule and the powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps. What are Yeeods? I suspect people without powers, but just a small hint as to what they are might help with the context! Also, powerless mentioned twice so close to each other is awkward!

When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. But after Nayla’s father was murdered by the Magicry and her mother left her for who she is because of what she is?, Nayla is determined to prove the government that Yeeods can fight for their rights. After barely escaping the confinement of death, Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the Magicry. With only weapons at hand this is not clear, I'm not sure what you mean. Nayla surrenders her soul what for? for powers?to fight for the Yeeods in the uprising against magic. Her plan falls apart when she discovers that her fellow rebel leader Damio is really part of a Magicry conspiracy to aavenge his father, the president. Was would someone covertly working for the Magicry be part of a conspiracy to avenge Nayla's father? If he's working for them, wouldn't he be happy the dad is dead? Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops that fight for justice, not for vengeance. This sentence could be made a lot stronger, fighting for "justice" and not vengeance is a cliché, and it's too general to have an impact. Since it's the last sentence, it needs to BANG! ;)

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. I appreciate your consideration and will be looking forward to your reply.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
The plot is clear to me... a young girl born without powers wants to avenge her father, who was murdered by the Magicry. It has a serious Harry Potter vibe (Ministry of Magic, Muggle born,
the dead father, etc...) so you'll have to kill it with something fresh and original.

I think what you need to work on is a voice... if Nayla were authoritative for example, it might inject a lot of life to a plot that's been done before!

Good luck with your project Nessa :)

Nessa
Posts: 26
Joined: December 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by Nessa » May 17th, 2010, 3:07 pm

Thanks FK7! I have read all the HP books and it's ot like them. More like an urban fantasy where magic is there. Thanks so much and here is a revision which hopefully better outlines the story.

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born a deviation in a world where magicians rule and powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps.

When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Along with her friend Achillious Nayla is determined to change fate and prove the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights. After barely escaping the confinement of death and losing Achillious along the way Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the government. Surrendering her soul to fit in with the rebels Nayla falls in love with the leader of the rebellion, tattooed and mysterious Daimo. Together they unite to form an uprising against the leading council and against the use of magic and witchcraft, but her plan falls apart when she discovers that Damio was never a yeeod and he has been reporting to his father, the president all along. Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops, but fighting against the one her heart aches for proves more difficult than she expected.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.



Nessa

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by wilderness » May 17th, 2010, 7:01 pm

Nessa wrote:
Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born a deviation in a world where magicians rule and powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps. Your word choices lack clarity. "Deviation" doesn't really mean much, deviation from what? "Powerless" could mean helpless instead of without magic, as I think you intend it. I would go with something simpler, such as "In a world where magicians rule, Nayla is different because she is born without powers." Then explain about the concentration camps.

When on her sixteenth year awkward phrasing she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Nice imagery Along with her friend Achillious (needs comma) Nayla is determined to change fate and prove the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights. Achillious is just thrown in there. Break up into two sentences and introduce her friend with a few details. Or remove the reference to her friend if the details are unimportant. After barely escaping the confinement of death and losing Achillious along the way Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the government. Another compound sentence with too much unrelated information thrown in together. Surrendering her soul to fit in with the rebels (insert comma) Nayla falls in love with the leader of the rebellion, tattooed and mysterious Daimo. How did she surrender her soul? Why does she fall for Daimo? Together they unite to form an uprising against the leading council and against the use of magic and witchcraft, but her plan falls apart when she discovers that Damio was never a yeeod and he has been reporting to his father, the president (insert comma) all along. Too much info for one sentence. Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops, but fighting against the one her heart aches for proves more difficult than she expected. Again, way too many clauses stacked on top of each other.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

Nessa
Hi Nessa,

I think you've got a cool premise here. I think the concentration camp for people without powers could be very interesting.

However, you've got a habit of using long sentences with way too many clauses. You're packing in the info so tight that it's hard to take it in. Let the words breathe a little. Try reading the query out loud. Also, be careful with your commas. Finally, I would like to know more about Nayla's personality. You say she is a strong female lead - and that's great - but show us how. Let a hint of her personality shine through in the query.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Emily J
Posts: 250
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 2:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by Emily J » May 18th, 2010, 8:31 pm

Nessa wrote:Thanks FK7! I have read all the HP books and it's ot like them. More like an urban fantasy where magic is there. Thanks so much and here is a revision which hopefully better outlines the story.

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born a deviation awkward construction here, found myself stumbling in a world where magicians rule and powerless Yeeods not clear what a Yeeod is are sent to concentration camps.

When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp.this sentence feels incomplete to me, it feels like too many clauses strung together and what is a Yeeod? I still don't know Along with her friend Achillious you need a comma here Nayla is determined to change fate and prove the government to the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights. After barely escaping the confinement of death what does this mean? confinement of death? also there IS a difference between concentration camp and death camp fyi, which do you mean here?? and losing Achillious along the way you NEED a comma here Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society WAY too many adjectives strung together here who maybe which rather than who for society is preparing a war against the government. Surrendering her soul to fit in with the rebels you NEED a comma here Nayla falls in love with the leader of the rebellion, you need "the" here tattooed and mysterious Daimo. Together they unite to form an uprising against the leading council and against the use of magic and witchcraft, but her her plan? you lost me, shouldn't it be "their?" plan falls apart when she discovers that Damio was never a yeeod and he has been reporting to his father, the president all along. whoa whoa, getting confused, still don't know what a Yeeod is, and is the society supposedly made up of Yeeods?? and who is his father? the president of the government? because i don't even know what type of government it is, drowning in plot right now Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war odd phrase "storming on with the war" with her own small troops, but fighting against the one her heart aches for proves more difficult than she expected.

‘YEEOD’ lose quotation marks around title is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy does fantasy need to be capitalized?? novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. fight for your right? (to party?) seems cliched Thank you for your time and your consideration.



Nessa
Must admit I found this confusing. You have a habit of starting sentences with a subordinate clause and then leaving out the comma so the flow of the sentence is confusing. And you leave out words here and there which hampers the flow of the query. Also, you never explained what a yeeod is, someone marked by the government or are they marked by the government because they are Yeeod? I didn't understand. Do you need to mention Achillious whose name is WAY to similar to Achilles and who does nothing aside from die? I think? What is the underground super secret society? Are they Yeeods? WHY/HOW does Nayla have to surrender her soul to fit in?

And generally, what is the main conflict? Nayla vs. Daimo? Nayla vs. government? I think the pieces are there but I can't connect them to form a pretty picture.

User avatar
theWallflower
Posts: 81
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by theWallflower » May 19th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Nayla Ebriony is born a deviation in a world where magicians rule and powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps.
-This sentence contains 2 ideas. Nayla's a deviation. Yeeods are sent to concentration camps. Separate them.
-Not really an effective way to begin a query. It seems you're trying to create sympathy for both these parties, but we don't know who Nayla is or the Yeeods, so we can't gain an emotional connection to them this early in the query. Instead, start with Nayla's character
-As aforementioned, what are Yeeods? And what is Nayla's deviation?
When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Along with her friend Achillious Nayla is determined to change fate and prove the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights. After barely escaping the confinement of death and losing Achillious along the way Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the government. Surrendering her soul to fit in with the rebels Nayla falls in love with the leader of the rebellion, tattooed and mysterious Daimo. Together they unite to form an uprising against the leading council and against the use of magic and witchcraft, but her plan falls apart when she discovers that Damio was never a yeeod and he has been reporting to his father, the president all along. Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops, but fighting against the one her heart aches for proves more difficult than she expected.
-this paragraph is too long, it needs to be broken off, maybe after "Surrendering her soul"
-comma after Achillious
-shaving of hair and being stamped is not significant to the plot, take it out. Its more important how she suffers. Do any of her friends die?
-Achillious seems to have no role in the plot develiopment
-How does she "surrender her soul"?
-"small troops"? Are they three feet tall? Do you mean a "small number of troops"?
-"fighting against the one her heart aches for" is purple
-sentences are too long, don't use more than 20 words in a sentence
-you did a good job of explaining what the problem is and what the main character's going to do about it, but I don't have a sense of who Nayla is, what her personality is. You must have a likable main character in order to have a sellable story, and Nayla's not being defined here. Focus a little more on the character of Nayla
‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Waterworld meets The Little Mermaid
Image
MERM-8: Now available from Musa Publishing

GeeGee55
Posts: 173
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 11:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by GeeGee55 » May 19th, 2010, 8:52 pm

Hi, Nessa:

I have found the query-writing process to be one of the most difficult things ever. Hope these comments help. I haven't looked at the other comments, so these are my impressions. Good luck.
Nessa wrote:Thanks FK7! I have read all the HP books and it's ot like them. More like an urban fantasy where magic is there. Thanks so much and here is a revision which hopefully better outlines the story.

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is born a deviation in a world where magicians rule and powerless Yeeods are sent to concentration camps. - This first sentence is just not clear - I'm going to suggest something like this: In a world where magicians rule, sixteen-year old Nayla Ebriony is deemed a Yeeod and sent to the camps where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. - This is such a powerful image on so many different levels and really captures my attention, I think it's the place to start.

When on her sixteenth year she is deemed a Yeeod, she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Along with her friend Achillious Nayla is determined to change fate what fate, you didn't mention it and prove the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights. After barely escaping the confinement of death- what is the confinement of death? what does that mean? and losing Achillious along the way everything that comes before this point could be more clear and the sentences condensed, perhaps: She befriends another girl, Achillious, and they..... Nayla locates a secret underground rebel society who which is preparing a war against the government. Surrendering her soul to fit in with the rebels- this clause doesn't really fit with what follows, she surrenders her soul by falling in love? I don't think you really need it Nayla falls in love with the leader of the rebellion, tattooed and mysterious Daimo.- this is good Together- use either together or they unite, don't need both they unite to form an uprising against the leading council and against the use of magic and witchcraft, but her plan falls apart when she discovers that Damio was never a yeeod. and - delete He has been reporting to his father, the president of the magical council, all along. Now the only hope of victory Nayla has is storming on with the war with her own small troops, but fighting against the one her heart aches for proves more difficult than she expected. - this last sentence is awkward - it's the construction. I think it would help if you played with your sentences, different structures and not trying to squeeze so many ideas into one sentence. It's hard but necessary. The writing in your query should be as good as you can make it if you want to catch an agent's attention. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with long sentences as long as they're well-constructed. But, keep in mind that some agents don't like them.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.



Nessa

Nessa
Posts: 26
Joined: December 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by Nessa » May 31st, 2010, 10:53 pm

Thanks so much for all your guys' help! Sorry if I have some grammatical issues, I am getting it..lol. Anyways I have worked out a new revision which I hope is better. Can't wait to see what you think!

Dear Agent,

In a world where magicians rule, Nayla is different because she is born without powers. Those who are unable to perform magic are called Yeeods, sent off to concentration camps where they are worked to death. Their rights are stripped and their identities taken.

On Nayla’s sixteenth year test she is sent to the camps, where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Determined to change fate and prove the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights Nayla manages to escape after months of cruelty and injustice. But her freedom isn’t as close as it feels, for the authorities are on her tail and the only place she can hide is the secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the government. Nayla knows that they will all die unless they turn the nation against the government in an uprising, but when Daimo, the leader of the rebels who Nayla fell in love with turns out to be a traitor, Nayla finds herself facing the toughest decision of her life; Daimo or liberation.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

User avatar
rainbowsheeps
Posts: 72
Joined: April 4th, 2010, 8:53 pm
Location: new york.
Contact:

Re: Query - YEEOD

Post by rainbowsheeps » June 3rd, 2010, 5:16 am

Nessa wrote:Thanks so much for all your guys' help! Sorry if I have some grammatical issues, I am getting it..lol. Anyways I have worked out a new revision which I hope is better. Can't wait to see what you think!

Dear Agent,

In a world where magicians rule, ("in a world" is a movie trailer thing. It's also subject to ridicule and parody on a widescale basis for its overuse. That one announcer guy did it for every single voiceover he ever did before he died. Anyway, it kind of works here, though, but that's something to keep in mind) Nayla is different because she is born without powers. Those who are unable to perform magic are called Yeeods, sent off to concentration camps where they are worked to death. Their rights are stripped and their identities taken. (The concept is good. Reading this makes me hope that the story will be using fantasy as a metaphor for the Holocaust. But then again, they're being forced to work, but they don't seem to be tortured to death, so maybe it isn't meant to be an explicit metaphor.)

On Nayla’s sixteenth year test, (Missing comma) she is sent to the camps, (no comma here) where her hair is shaved off and the stamp of the powerless is burned into her scalp. Determined to change her(?) fate and prove to (?) the government that Yeeods will fight for their rights, (Missing comma) Nayla manages to escape after months of cruelty and injustice. But her freedom isn’t as close as it feels, for the authorities are on her tail, and the only place she can hide is the secret underground rebel society who is preparing a war against the government. (The comma I placed there is a little awkward, but I'm doing it for now to point out the clause as you had it was WAY too long and literally impossible to read aloud. This needs to be broken up.) Nayla knows that they will all die unless they turn the nation against the government in (none of this is really necessary. Just say: spark an uprising? An uprising infers that the people are rising up against the government.) an uprising, but when Daimo, the leader of the rebels who Nayla fell in love with turns out to be a traitor, (long and awkward clause) Nayla finds herself facing the toughest decision of her life; (this is supposed to be a colon, not a semicolon) Daimo or liberation.

‘YEEOD’ is a 90,000 word YA Fantasy novel. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for strong female characters that make a difference and fight for their rights, (Missing comma) like Nayla. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
The grammar here is a tremendous problem. It really is. I think agents tend to assume that the paragraph you're writing is typically representative of the manuscript for which you're submitting. If you have a missing comma, for instance, they're likely going to assume that problem might happen a few times in the book itself. Imagine the agent reading these paragraphs, in which there's numerous grammatical errors, and multiplying that by the 300+ pages of your manuscript. You should be anticipating that's what an agent is going to be thinking about when they see these problems, especially in a query letter which is supposed to be proofread and somewhat representative of writing capability.

The easiest way to check grammatical errors is to read this out loud. If you're a native English speaker, you'll likely pause your speech wherever a comma should be. Failing that, you might want to review rules of grammar and punctuation to familiarize yourself with their uses. Honestly, this probably isn't a small problem that can be tweaked away in a query letter - it's probably an issue in the manuscript itself, as well. It's a pain to go back and revise, especially when you feel you're close enough to query, but only fixing the punctuation in the query letter probably won't bode well for your chance of publication if your manuscript is rife with grammatical errors.

On the plus side, the story itself sounds interesting.

Sorry if this is harsh. I don't mean it to be. I personally hope it's just an issue with your query letter, somehow, but if not, I strongly suggest checking the manuscript for these sorts of errors before you send pages out. It sounds like a good story otherwise, and it would be a shame for something like punctuation to ruin its chances.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest