A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version, Page 4*

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Heather B
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by Heather B » July 15th, 2010, 6:22 am

You guys make me laugh.

And Margo, I'm watching you. I've read all about your plans for world domination.
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by Margo » July 15th, 2010, 1:32 pm

Heather B wrote:And Margo, I'm watching you. I've read all about your plans for world domination.
Taking over the world. One lawn at a time. >:]
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *Updated*

Post by thewhipslip » July 15th, 2010, 2:35 pm

Heather B wrote:Alright, so main question is: do I need the first paragraph? Also is this version clearer than the others?
Any comments regarding structure are greatly appreciated as well.



Control will be theirs; it’s time for the humans to be back on top. Deathling’s hold inconceivable power that has diseased the human mind with paranoia. *So I want more specifics here on what the paranoia manifests as - paranoia of what? flying monkeys? tinfoil? Let us know how the Deathlings are ruining the world. These magical creatures have to be reigned in and managed – it’s irrelevant they were human once, because every man knows deathlings are dangerous. Again - here's where you can be specific. WHY do they have to be stopped? Make me scared too. Make me paint a sign saying "Put Deathlings to Death!" and run out in the street with it.[/b]

Corvette O’Connor is outspoken, admired and extremely pro-human. But on her seventeenth birthday she wakes a banshee and her world shatters as quickly as glass when she screams. Suddenly Corvette is one of the despised, rejected by her family and friends. Only her best friend Liz, despite the bigotry against deathlings, is excited about the change. I know there were comments earlier about familiarity with Banshees. The problem: these are your banshees, so you've got to explain them. Give me the context. I have no clue what "waking a banshee" means in Corvette's world, so I don't really care. Why is she rejected now? And is the relation to the Deathlings?[/b]

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. It’s not until she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, that she realises sometimes it’s better to be inconspicuous. So what are the Deathlings? I have no context on that. All I know is that they were once human...what are they now?[/b]Deathlings are being murdered, and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. Corvette is close to finding the person behind the attacks when she uncovers a plan to turn Life into Death. It’s then that Liz and Blaine disappear and Corvette is faced with an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul.

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed, 85,000 word young adult fantasy novel. It will appeal to fans of Richelle Mead’s strong, female protagonists and just about any fantasy reader that has, at some point, felt the crushing pressure of social rejection.



To be honest: I'm not really sure what the book is about. Here's the structure I think you need:

- Tell us what the Gravelings and why the humans want to stop them. (first paragraph)
- Tell us how Corvette has been affected - how she's been ostracized and WHY (second paragraph)
- Talk about how Corvette settles into her new life, meets Blaine - and then the attacks. But why does she need to stop them? Is she being targeted? Her family? Why is she involved in it? What makes her passionate about stopping the killings? (third paragraph)

Hope this helps.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Heather B
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by Heather B » July 19th, 2010, 2:01 am

Once again, a big thanks to everyone who has helped me thus far. Here is my newest update. With this one, I have tried to omit things that caused confusion in previous queries and explain the others.
As you can see, this one is a fair bit slimmer.



Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. The day all humans dread.

Turning into a deathling is pretty much the last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death – the barren wasteland of the afterlife – is just creepy. Their close link with Death and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realises sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous. Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. Corvette is hell bent on unearthing the person behind these attacks when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette must make an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul.

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed 85,000-word young adult fantasy novel.
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

http://heathermbryant.blogspot.com.au/

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version, Page 4*

Post by RebeccaB » July 19th, 2010, 2:15 am

Hi Heather,

I think this is your best so far.


Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. The day all humans dread. This is a great opening line, it grabs you instantly.

Turning into a deathling is pretty much the last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death – the barren wasteland of the afterlife – is just creepy. Love this! Their close link with Death and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realises sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous. Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. Corvette is hell bent on unearthing the person behind these attacks, but when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette faces an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul.

I really enjoyed reading this, and I can't wait to read more about the life of Corvette O'Connor.

Happy Inking
RebeccaB

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by suesan0814 » July 19th, 2010, 5:33 pm

Heather B wrote:Once again, a big thanks to everyone who has helped me thus far. Here is my newest update. With this one, I have tried to omit things that caused confusion in previous queries and explain the others.
As you can see, this one is a fair bit slimmer.

Suggestions: (add) [ddelete]***comments

Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. [The day all humans dread.]Okay, this says all humans dread this birthday, but you don't say why. And below it seems no all humans are turned. If you add a bit like: The day humans dread - because it is the birthday that can change everything.

Turning into a deathling is pretty much the last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death – the barren wasteland of the afterlife – is just creepy. Their close link with Death and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realises sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous. Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. Corvette is hell bent on unearthing the person behind these attacks when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette must make an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul.

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed 85,000-word young adult fantasy novel.

The rest looks great! I wish you luck, Heather

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version, Page 4*

Post by sarramaria » July 19th, 2010, 10:39 pm

Wow, I think this is very clear. You have such a great hook and this query really showcases the big choice Corvette will have to make. I like this version because you explain a little more about what deathlings are and why people dread becoming one of them. The only part for me that is still muddy is whether ALL humans turn to deathlings at seventeen or if there is just a chance of it happening and no one knows the result until the day of their bday. Clear that one thing up, and I think you have a great query that reads smooth and sets forth your characters and conflict really well. Good job!

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version, Page 4*

Post by Heather B » July 19th, 2010, 11:32 pm

Thank you so very much, RebeccaB, sarramaria and suesan0814. It's such a relief to finally be close. I guess this means I get to take the plunge into the querying circuit huh? Wow...
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by Emily J » July 20th, 2010, 11:10 am

Heather B wrote:Once again, a big thanks to everyone who has helped me thus far. Here is my newest update. With this one, I have tried to omit things that caused confusion in previous queries and explain the others.
As you can see, this one is a fair bit slimmer.



Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; actually feel like this semi-colon should be a dash. the second part doesn't feel like a complete sentence awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. The day all humans dread. hmm? how come? is this like a deathling bat mitzah?

Turning into a deathling is pretty much you can safely cut pretty much the last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures comma here but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death should life and death be capitalized? – the barren wasteland of the afterlife – and the barren wasteland of the afterlife? or is this modifying death, hmm is just creepy. Their close link with Death again should death be capitalized? and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realisesis this a british spelling? i think it should be realizes sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous. not quite sure i follow the logic of this sentence, the part about it being better to remain inconspicuous makes more sense with the next sentence Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. this could be explained a bit more, what spirit? the spirit of the deathlings? also could be more causality here, humans kill deathlings to become immortal? Corvette is hell bent ooh pun, i like on unearthing the person behind these attacks when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette must make an impossible choice; i think this should be a colon not a semi-colon, a semi-colon (as far as I know) is used to separate complete but related sentences, the second half of this is not a complete sentence save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul. i like this juxtaposition, blaine's life or liz's soul

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed 85,000-word young adult fantasy novel.
Actually this is quite good. My only really suggestions are in the third paragraph. I think the part about remaining inconspicuous doesn't follow logically and I would explain more about the spirits and humans becoming immortal. Other than that, and a few minor edits, I think this reads well. You have an interesting story and a strong voice. You also did a good job of condensing the story.

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by thewhipslip » July 20th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Heather B wrote:
Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. The day all humans dread.

Turning into a deathling is pretty much the last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death – the barren wasteland of the afterlife – is just creepy. Their close link with Death and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid I want more specifics on the powers. What Corvette goes through in the rest of the novel is slightly lost on me if I don't get specifics here.. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. I agree with the other comments - is Corvette the only one to change? From the first paragraph, it sounds like every human changes when they're seventeen. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realises sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous. Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal I dont' get this. What does "every spirit found" mean? And how are humans becoming immortal because of it?. Corvette is hell bent on unearthing the person behind these attacks when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette must make an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul Maybe this is asking for too much info, but why does she have to choose between one or the other?.

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed 85,000-word young adult fantasy novel.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version*

Post by Penang » July 22nd, 2010, 12:56 pm

Heather B wrote:
Corvette O’Connor has the perfect life; awesome friends, great family and pretty much anything a teen could want. The only problem: her seventeenth birthday. The day all humans dread.**Why?

Turning into a deathling is pretty much **cut this since you use the exact same phrasing in the opening sentencethe last thing on Corvette’s wish list. Deathlings may be magical creatures but the fact they can move freely between Life and Death **no capitals– the barren wasteland of the afterlife – is just creepy. Their close link with Death and the powers they possess have the humans’ paranoid. When Corvette turns, the bigotry against deathlings is so strong her friends and family ditch her. Only her best friend Liz is bizarre enough to be excited by the change.

All Corvette wants is to be the center of attention again. But when she meets Blaine, a dangerous and sexy deathling, she realises sometimes it’s better to remain inconspicuous.**Does Blaine make her want to be inconspicuous? Or is it the death of the Deathlings? If it's the Deathlings then I'd say rework these two sentences. Deathlings are being murdered and with every spirit found, another human becomes immortal. Corvette is hell bent on unearthing the person behind these attacks when Liz and Blaine disappear. Now, Corvette must make an impossible choice; save Blaine’s life or save Liz’s soul.

A LIFE IN DEATH is my completed 85,000-word young adult fantasy novel.

This is a really good query. I'd pick up this book in a store. I think that you just need a few little tweaks, but overall this is much clearer than the one I read back on page one and even with using fewer words you still manage to have voice and get Corvette's character to come through.

:) Ang

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Heather B
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Re: A life in Death - YA Fantasy *New Version, Page 4*

Post by Heather B » July 23rd, 2010, 4:03 am

Wow guys, thank you so much. I'm going to rework those couple of sentences that seem to bring the questions and then *gulp* start querying...

I just think it's funny that I really don't like this query at all. I have reworked it so many times that if I read it through one more time I might have to poke put my eyes lol

Anyways I'll keep you guys updated on the progress. Who knows? One day I may actually have an agent...
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