Bron To Die - Last Take

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Nessa
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Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Nessa » June 9th, 2010, 7:16 am

REVISION DOWN BELOW!!Thank you guys so much for your help on here! Tell me what you think. I have already queried 10 queries but changed it up a bit so that I can go on...


Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and is sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. Everybody at the camps thinks Nayla is dead and she has the choice to start a new secret life under a new name, and a new slate but Nayla stands higher than that and she has the will to fight for her rights.

Uncovering an underground rebel city who are preparing for war, Nayla joins the clan. She earns respect in the rebel society mostly filled with men when she presents a plan of liberation that has odds of crumbling President Greniham. With stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic Nayla and the rebels declare war on what they used to call their home. Nayla knows their odds don’t stand high but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, she earns herself a reputation of a freedom fighter, that even the magicians start to fear.

‘Born to Die’ is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Last edited by Nessa on June 9th, 2010, 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Krista G.
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Krista G. » June 9th, 2010, 3:01 pm

Nessa wrote:Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and is sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. Everybody at the camps thinks Nayla is dead and she has the choice to start a new secret life under a new name, and a new slate but Nayla stands higher than that and she has the will to fight for her rights. The last sentence here is a bit awkward. You might try something like, "Presumed dead, Nayla has the choice to run - or turn back and bite the hand that hit her."

Uncovering an underground rebel city who are preparing for war (The phrase "who are" doesn't work here. A city isn't human, so "that is" would make more sense. Or you could just ax the phrase entirely and not lose any meaning), Nayla joins the clan. She earns respect in the rebel society mostly filled with men when she presents a plan of liberation that has odds of crumbling President Greniham. The phrase "that has odds of crumbling President Greniham" is awkward. You might try something like, "that will likely topple the magicians' regime as well." With (I'd change this word to "Pitting") stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic (Insert a comma here) Nayla and the rebels declare war on what they used to call their home. Nayla knows their odds don’t stand high but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, she earns herself a reputation of a freedom fighter, that even the magicians start to fear. This is another awkward sentence. If you keep it, you should add a comma after the phrase "Nayla knows their odds don't stand high" and eliminate the one after "she earns herself a reputation of a freedom fighter." But you might try something like, "Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits - and rouses the sympathy - of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear." That's still kind of rough, but you get the idea.

‘Born to Die’ is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
I think the combination of magic and modern warfare is intriguing, but just make sure you put your best foot forward in the query. And I know it'd be a lot of work, but you might want to go through the whole manuscript with the same attention to detail. Because you can have the best query in the world, but if your manuscript needs work, you're still not going to get anywhere.

Best of luck.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

capaloha
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by capaloha » June 9th, 2010, 3:15 pm

Wow - wow - what an idea...ok, I'm intrigued, and hope to help you chase down words that detract from your strong story. Here goes...basically any words in bold are suggestions for deletion....I was looking for multiple prepositional phrases to take out. Sometimes they weaken your central premise. I don't know if this helps or not, but I wish you the best and love the concept. May Nayla strike fear in the hearts of the Yeeod! :)

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and is sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death. (Question : why is she sent at age sixteen? what triggers her misfortune?)

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned (etched??) into her scalp. Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines, she escapes. Everybody at the camps thinks Nayla is dead and she has the choice to starts a new secret life under a new name, and a new slate but Nayla stands higher than that and she has the will to fight for her rights. (Question : new sentence, something about becoming a leader?)

Uncovering an underground rebel city who are preparing for war, Nayla joins the clan(Restructure this line : What about : Nyla joins the <insert name here>l clan as an underground rebel city prepares for war.). She earns respect in the rebel society mostly filled with men when she presents a plan of liberation that has odds of crumbling President Greniham. With stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic Nayla and the rebels declare war on what they used to call their home. Nayla knows their odds don’t stand high but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, she earns herself a reputation of a freedom fighter, that even the magicians start to fear. (Question : What happens next? This last sentence made me yearn for one more.)

‘Born to Die’ is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

Nessa
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Nessa » June 9th, 2010, 4:13 pm

Krista: Thanks so much for your critique! The manuscript has had many beta's so I think its in good shape :P

Capaloha: Thanks so much :)

Guys, here is my newest revision with both your advice in mind. Tell me what you think!

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and is sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines, she escapes before she completley loses grip on her past and her sanity. Presumed dead, Nayla has the choice to run - or turn back and bite the hand that hit her.

Choosing the tougher path, Nayla joins the Liberators, an underground society preparing for war. She earns respect in the rebel society mostly filled with men, when she presents a plan that will likely topple the magicians' regime. Pitting stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic, Nayla and the rebels declare war on what they used to call their home. Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear the uprising that will change the course history has been following.

‘Born to Die’ is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

GeeGee55
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by GeeGee55 » June 9th, 2010, 5:07 pm

Nessa:

I think you give a pretty good idea what the book is about in this query. Send it out and see what sort of response you get. It has to be as good as you can make it, but it doesn't have to be perfect. I just have a few suggestions about sentence structure.

Guys, here is my newest revision with both your advice in mind. Tell me what you think!

Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, Might put a period here or I might add the phrase, and as a result, the bad guys send her and is sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. - this sentence is passive, the action is being taken on the hair, not the hair taking the action, that makes it passive. Here's an opportunity to name the bad guys, maybe try..The bad guys shave her hair off and burn the brand of the powerless into her scalp. Drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines, she escapes before she completley loses grip on her past and her sanity. Presumed dead, Nayla has the choice to run - or turn back and bite the hand that hit her. - this is pretty good, another option could be - Presumed dead by her captors, Nayla has a choice: run or turn back and bite the hand that hit her. - I like that turn of phrase by the way
Choosing the tougher path - I don't know if you need this clause, Nayla joins the Liberators, an underground society preparing for war - for war, or for an uprising against the bad guys?. She earns respect in the male-dominated? rebel society mostly filled with men, when she presents a plan , they believeinstead of that that will likely topple the magicians' regime. Pitting stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic, Nayla and the rebels declare war on what the place they used to call their home. Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear the uprising that will change the course history I think just say change the course of history has been following.

‘Born to Die’ is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.[/quote]

These are just suggestions, based on sentence structure and word choice. You have to do what seems right to you. Good luck with your query trials.

Joel Q
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Joel Q » June 9th, 2010, 6:49 pm

I agree with GeeGee55's critique.
The only thing I'd add is I didn't like the "bite the hand that hit her" line.
Seemed a bit cliche to me.
I like the idea of the modern weapons vs magic.
I think you have an interesting story line going here.

JQ

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 10th, 2010, 11:30 am

Hi Nessa,

I'm not going to dissect your query, since others have that covered. I just wanted to throw in my two cents about the subject matter. I like the idea of escaping the concentration camp, but the battle of guns vs. magic that takes up the rest of the query doesn't intrigue me. Probably because it sounds like a video game and I'm too old to get into those. Sigh. Anyhoo, if this query doesn't get you where you want, think about focussing more on the mc's transition/transformation from prisoner to fighter. That's the sweet spot for me--a place to make the character come alive and explore the emergence of this mystical figure. Did any of the things she learned in the concentration camp come back to help her become a kickass fighter? Plus any hot romance aspect would be a big plus!

Good luck,

Ghost

Nessa
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Nessa » June 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm

Ghost in the Machine wrote:Hi Nessa,

I'm not going to dissect your query, since others have that covered. I just wanted to throw in my two cents about the subject matter. I like the idea of escaping the concentration camp, but the battle of guns vs. magic that takes up the rest of the query doesn't intrigue me. Probably because it sounds like a video game and I'm too old to get into those. Sigh. Anyhoo, if this query doesn't get you where you want, think about focussing more on the mc's transition/transformation from prisoner to fighter. That's the sweet spot for me--a place to make the character come alive and explore the emergence of this mystical figure. Did any of the things she learned in the concentration camp come back to help her become a kickass fighter? Plus any hot romance aspect would be a big plus!

Good luck,

Ghost

I see what you mean ghost! There is a really sizzling romance between Nayla and Daimo the leader of the rebels who she later discovers in the president's son...I had that in the query before but critters told me it was irrelevent so I took it out. Do you think I should add that?

Krista G.
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Krista G. » June 10th, 2010, 3:33 pm

Nessa wrote:I see what you mean ghost! There is a really sizzling romance between Nayla and Daimo the leader of the rebels who she later discovers in the president's son...I had that in the query before but critters told me it was irrelevent so I took it out. Do you think I should add that?
I'm not Ghost, but I do think you have the room to add a few more details, if you want. And this seems like a good detail to mention, as it adds a personal conflict between the magicians and the rebels (since the leaders are family). That really ups the stakes.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Bron To Die - Last Take

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 10th, 2010, 9:24 pm

Hi Nessa,

Contradictory advice? We critters can be annoying that way. What to do, what to do . . . Well, here’s a thought. You have a book with some classic story elements. The young outsider destined to escape their horrible situation and become a leader in the battle against the oppressors. We’ve seen this in LOTR, Mulan, Harry Potter, the Matrix, and others.

So here's your main job: pluck out the things that make your story unique and powerful. What is your golden ring, my precious? The concentration camp for non-magicals is good, but do you have more? I love the detail that the leader of the rebels is the magician king’s son. That’s choice. Anything else?

Once you parse these nuggets out, consider a three paragraph approach. Number one: how Nayla ends up in the concentration camp and her escape.

Note: Her motivation for joining the Liberators is glossed over a bit. Did someone she love, like a sibling or good friend, die horribly in the camps? Does she see the king’s son in the rebel camp right off the bat and lose her heart?

Number two: A paragraph on her transformation from escaped prisoner to warrior. The love interest is important, but you might want to hold his connection to the magician king for the third paragraph. You could also hint at the budding attraction instead of saying they get together explicitly. Because the beginning, when you think the other person is attracted but you’re not entirely sure, is often the best part.

Number three: The battle. Mention the guns and the rebel leader’s relation to the magician king. End strong.

This isn’t a call for a brand new query by any means. You’ve done most of the work. Just assemble the pieces. Yeah right, Ghost, ‘just’. What a ridiculous word!

Good luck,

Boo-ger

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