Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

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GeeGee55
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by GeeGee55 » May 23rd, 2010, 1:19 am

Does anyone have a sense of humour I could buy? It seems I need one.
Kirril wrote:How does "humanity" work for you guys as opposed to "everyone"? Better, but maybe more - the day all of humanity
Should I put the first sentence in present tense: The day humanity dies sucks for Lucy? I think yes, since the rest of the query is in present
Is it clearer now that this is taking place in the afterlife? Yes, better
Did I manage to clarify without sending the voice to the afterlife?
Kirril wrote:start vaporizing the artifacts of human civilization
- this is not really clear, but your voice is good, very strong

I'm getting better using quotes - thanks for the lesson. Good luck with your quest for an agent.

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 2nd, 2010, 11:28 am

How does "humanity" work for you guys as opposed to "everyone"?
Like it.
Should I put the first sentence in present tense: The day humanity dies sucks for Lucy?
Yes.
Is it clearer now that this is taking place in the afterlife?
Yes.
Did I manage to clarify without sending the voice to the afterlife?
Yes.

Hey Kirril, it’s been a while. This query is solid and clarified the things I found confusing in version one. Excellent work.

I just have one little problem with your set up: the ghosts start vanishing when their corpses do. Does this mean, aliens aside, that the afterlife is not eternal in your construct? Because, dust to dust, corpses don’t last long out in the open. I’m sure these souls could traipse off to another dimension, but wouldn’t Lucy’s, and everyone else’s, new found ghost-life be pretty short if they vanish with their corpse?

My title for you: Living Your Best Life—Dead.

And no, I don’t sit on the couch eating bon-bons and watching Oprah in the afternoon, despite what my spouse thinks.

Ghost in the Machine

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Kirril
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by Kirril » June 2nd, 2010, 12:17 pm

Thanks, GiTM!

My universe follows different laws as do most paranormal/urban fantasy books, so "ghosts" in this sense are different than the classical definition. They're not bound to haunt the place of their death or anything like that and in fact are finding just as many mysteries in the afterlife as they did in life.

As to why their ghosts are vanishing when the aliens' cleanup crew gets to them, they find that out in due course in addition to what's happening to the ghosts who do vanish.

Most of that can't really be crammed into the query, but I think most people who read this genre are well aware that authors bend and reshape the classical definitions of mythical creatures all the time to keep things fresh.

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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by bcomet » June 2nd, 2010, 1:06 pm

I LOVE this concept! Too much fun!

My favorite part -beside the premise- was:

I'm querying you because I heard you were abducted by aliens as a child and could, like totally, identify with the main character.
What agent would be able to resist that?

Re: hook, etc:

The day humanity Lucy died suckedfor Lucy. It was also the day everyone else died too. Death happens. (or something like that. The word "humanity" in the opening seems to distract and distance me. I would reword this. It's witty and can still be, but I prefer more basic wording.)

So now she's living in a ghost world. (or something like that-to the point.) No high school graduation, no prom, and forget law school. (If law school is not pertinent to the immediate plot, I'd change it to college, i.e. no future period.) But Lucy's never taken anything lying down even if, technically, her dead body is slumped over her parents' kitchen table. (Seems like something connected to her law school aspirations might be good here or how she stands up and adapts to ghosthoodness.)She reconnects with her friends and family in the afterlife and starts When she hooks up again with dating the guy she's had a crush on since her freshman year, Lucy figures being dead isn't so bad after all. (or something like that that ties the boyfriend into the not so bad after all.)

Just when life as a ghost seems pretty cool, aliens arrive on Earth (why? to colonize it?) and start vaporizing the dead bodies artifacts of human civilization. That wouldn't be such a big deal except ghosts start vanishing when their corpses do get zapped, the ghosts vanish too and Lucy's not in the mood to let aliens mess with her hot date boyfriend thing (or something like that). (Add line with complicating incident about how it's going to mess with her new life or hot boyfriend, i.e. up the stakes, don't solve them. This is the hook.)But Lucy finds hope in a young Indian boy who's figured out how to possess living creatures. The only problem: mess up and your ghost might vanish forever. Figuring out how to be human was already hard enough while alive. Now Lucy has to put herself in an alien's shoes while dead.Oh well, nobody ever said death or dating was going to be easy.
See how basic language and getting to the point tighten up your really cool premise. Hope this is helpful. Use what is, throw out what isn't. Best of luck with this cool sounding story finding an agent!

PS I love the title!

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Kirril
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by Kirril » August 16th, 2010, 3:46 pm

HERE ARE THE LATEST VERSIONS

Welp, it's been a little while, but I'm back. Real Life (tm) has a way of disrupting my writing life.

I've come up with some new titles and thought I'd toss 'em out to see what you guys think. The original, of course, is GHOSTS vs ALIENS which hasn't received too many favorable votes, so here are a few others.

ONE LIFE OVER
ON THE CORNER OF HERE AND AFTER
LIFE AFTER LIFE

I also revamped the query a bit. It's a lot shorter and it keeps the culprits of the big event a secret. But is it too short? Too ambiguous? I have a longer version which is identical except for the last paragraph. Should I go with short but mysterious, or longer? Does the long one give away too much and dissolve the tension?

I'll post both and would super appreciate thoughts about which way might be better. I will reward you with one of the chocolate cupcakes I have in my pocket.

Short Version:

Dear Agent:

The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy’s mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead on a Sunday afternoon and find themselves in the hereafter.

Talk about rotten timing. No high school graduation, no law school, and forget finding out what the heck happens next on Lost. But Lucy refuses to take death lying down even if, technically, her corpse is. She drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the new rules of the afterlife and more importantly, discover what killed everyone and why.

But the culprit is the last thing Lucy could have imagined and the answers she seeks may kill everyone. For good this time.

AWESOME BOOK TITLE, a paranormal YA novel, is complete at 75,000 words.


Long version:

Dear Agent:

The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy’s mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead on a Sunday afternoon and find themselves in the hereafter.

Talk about rotten timing. No high school graduation, no law school, and forget finding out what happens next on Lost. But Lucy refuses to take death lying down even if, technically, her corpse is. She drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife and more importantly, to discover what killed everyone and why.

Just when she’s acclimating to the whole afterlife gig, aliens arrive on Earth and start vaporizing the remnants of human civilization. Even worse, ghosts vanish when the aliens zap their corpses. The aliens already killed Lucy once and she doesn't plan on giving them another go at it. Unfortunately, her chances look grim without laser guns or even a physical body. But death has given Lucy a new outlook on life and a willingness to overcome her worst nightmares. Even if they kill her. Again.

VOTE ON MY BOOK TITLE, a paranormal YA novel, is complete at 75,000 words.

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wilderness
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by wilderness » August 16th, 2010, 6:04 pm

I vote for LIFE AFTER LIFE.

Both versions are pretty good, but I think it's important that you mention the aliens in the query because otherwise it might be too much of a shock when they read the manuscript. Also, I think you should lose the part about what happens next in Lost, given that the series finale has aired. In any case, the book sounds cute. Good luck with it.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by J. T. SHEA » August 16th, 2010, 8:21 pm

GHOSTS VS ALIENS is a brilliant title! Do not change it!

Excellent query. I prefer the longer version, which explains the title.

How about a sequel called CATS AND DOGS VS PREDATORS?

elfspirit
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by elfspirit » August 16th, 2010, 8:27 pm

I like the way you've revised this query. Your authorial voice comes through consistently, and I especially like the premise of the book.

I like Ghosts Vs. Aliens as a title, but I confess to a weakness for On the Corner of Here and After.

Write2Me
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by Write2Me » August 25th, 2010, 1:37 pm

This is a very unique idea and I think the query gives us a good description of the book and course of event. I think maybe trying to help me connect more with the main character, her voice, her emotions would be great. Just a glimpse. I know its tough trying to convey so much in so little words. Good job though and good luck with shopping it around

thewhipslip
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Re: Query: GHOSTS VS ALIENS

Post by thewhipslip » August 27th, 2010, 12:52 pm

ON THE CORNER OF HERE AND AFTER My vote is for this one.

I'm going to crit your long version.


Long version:

Dear Agent:

The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy’s mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead on a Sunday afternoon and find themselves in the hereafter I like this, but from reading the rest of the query, I'm very unclear on what this means. Do they still have their bodies? What is different about their lifes (or deaths, rather)?.

Talk about rotten timing. No high school graduation, no law school, and forget finding out what happens next on Lost Lost is over. I would cut this or it might make your query seem outdated.. But Lucy refuses to take death lying down even if, technically, her corpse is Again, I'm unclear on where Lucy is or what her body is like right now.. She drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife and more importantly, to discover what killed everyone and why More specifics here. Where are they? What have they been doing all this time? Standing around?.

Just when she’s acclimating to the whole afterlife gig, aliens arrive on Earth and start vaporizing the remnants of human civilization What remnants? Their buildings? Why do they care if they're dead?. Even worse, ghosts vanish when the aliens zap their corpses I'm assuming all the humans are now ghosts.... The aliens already killed Lucy once and she doesn't plan on giving them another go at it. Unfortunately, her chances look grim without laser guns or even a physical body Okay, so here you say that she doesn't have a phsyical body, but I still want to know what that means for her. She can't touch stuff? She just floats around doing nothing all day?. But death has given Lucy a new outlook on life and a willingness to overcome her worst nightmares Which are...?. Even if they kill her. Again.

So what's at stake here? If she fights the aliens, does she get her body, or does she stay a ghost? What's the point of life if she's no longer able to live it? Or can she reverse what happened?

VOTE ON MY BOOK TITLE, a paranormal YA novel, is complete at 75,000 words.[/quote]
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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