Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *BETTER UPDATE PG 3*

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RebeccaB
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Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *BETTER UPDATE PG 3*

Post by RebeccaB » August 13th, 2010, 8:16 am

Hi guys, I am finally having a crack at this query thing. So, let rip and give me all you got.


Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of surprises, but waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift was never a remote possibility.

Desmoree never thought she was anything extraordinary, other than the simple fact that she was Desmoree. After being sprung from the morgue she sets out to discover who she really is and why her mother kept it a secret all her life. Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows, especially when your destiny is to defeat the Dazearthro, an evil that can control beasts, and has already taken the life of two she held dear.

With all hope resting on her shoulders, and the new passion to save the life of Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth, Des has one shot to defeat the Dazearthro, but when the moment comes, will her power and passion be enough, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends.

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski
Last edited by RebeccaB on August 20th, 2010, 6:00 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by Quill » August 13th, 2010, 11:13 am

RebeccaB wrote:Hi guys, I am finally having a crack at this query thing. So, let rip and give me all you got.


Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of surprises, but waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift
Excellent start.
was never a remote possibility.
This breaks the rhythm of the sentence and feels like awkward wording besides. Almost like "possibility" does not balance with "surprises", and also "never" and "remote" have a jarring feel.
Desmoree never thought she was anything extraordinary, other than the simple fact that she was Desmoree.
This is also awkward:

1. It repeats "never" from the previous sentence

2. It doesn't seem to say enough.

3. It doesn't feel like it follows what precedes or follows.
After being sprung from the morgue she sets out to discover who she really is
This could be stated more elegantly.

"Sprung" is an odd choice, implying prison more than a morgue.

Hasn't she already left the morgue in the company of the man? Isn't she in a hidden world now?

Why would she "set out to discover who she really is"? Have we skipped a plot point where she suspects she isn't who she thinks she is?
and why her mother kept it a secret all her life. Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows, especially when your destiny is to defeat the Dazearthro, an evil that can control beasts, and has already taken the life of two she held dear.
The last clause does not fit this (very long) sentence. It is saying her destiny has taken the life of two.
With all hope resting on her shoulders,
Clarify. All of whose hope? All of her hope is resting on her own shoulders?
and the new passion to save the life of Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth,
Again, check correspondence between articles of the sentence. You are saying that the passion is resting on her shoulders.
Des has one shot to defeat the Dazearthro, but when the moment comes, will her power and passion be enough, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends.
This should probably be its own sentence.

Sentence seems convoluted. "But when the moment comes" might best come after "will her power and passion..." On second thought "But when the moment comes" can probably be omitted as not saying much. Maybe break up into two sentences. "to defeat the Dazearthro. Will her power and passion..."

Also, "or will" is possibly too melodramatic. How about "Will her power and passion be enough to avoid her meeting the same fate..." or some such?

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by thewhipslip » August 13th, 2010, 2:17 pm

RebeccaB wrote:

Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of surprises, but waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift was never a remote possibility. I love the beginning of the hook, but not the end. "never a remote possibility" doesn't seem to match up with the beginning. Something like: "...was something she never even considered."

Desmoree never thought she was anything extraordinary, other than the simple fact that she was Desmoree This doesn't do anything. I find it too vague. Give us something about her character here, something unique.. After being sprung from the morgue she sets out to discover who she really is and why her mother kept it a secret all her life This also reads vague to me. Tell us what she is, as you do in the next sentence. Lead with that, and then say she wants to find out why her mother never told her.. Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows, especially when your destiny is to defeat the Dazearthro, an evil that can control beasts What beasts? Be specific., and has already taken the life of two she held dear When did this happen? Who are the two people? Again, try for specificity..

With all hope resting on her shoulders, and the new passion to save the life of Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth, Des has one shot to defeat the Dazearthro How so? What are the stakes? Be specific., but when the moment comes, will her power and passion be enough, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends. I'm not a fan of questions in queries, but that's just my opinion. This last sentence doesn't add anything. Tell us the stakes and leave it at that.

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski
Great start here, just work on adding specifics and you'll be all set! 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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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by elfspirit » August 13th, 2010, 8:32 pm

RebeccaB wrote:Hi guys, I am finally having a crack at this query thing. So, let rip and give me all you got.


Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of surprises, but waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift was never a remote possibility. Like others, I like this beginning and not the word "possibility." I also notice that this sentence lacks action verbs.

Desmoree never thought she was anything extraordinary, other than the simple fact that she was Desmoree. And what does this mean? After being sprung from the morgue How does she get sprung? This isn't an ordinary occurrence.she sets out to discover who she really is and why her mother kept it a secret all her life. Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows, especially when your destiny is to defeat the Dazearthro, is this a person, an impersonal force?an evil that can control beasts, and has already taken the life of two she held dear.

With all hope resting on her shoulders, and the new passion to save the life of Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth what is a Tanzieth?, Des has one shot to defeat the Dazearthro, but when the moment comes, will her power and passion be enough, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends.

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski
I commend you for not making the common mistake of an overly-long query letter. This also gives you a chance to fill in a few details. I'm tantalized by the story, but I suspect the query isn't doing it full justice.

This is IMO, but I think it would help if the reader got the connection between the story and the title.


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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by wilderness » August 13th, 2010, 11:06 pm

RebeccaB wrote:

Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of surprises, but waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift was never a remote possibility. The morgue and the new world is intriguing but I think it would be stronger if you used a more straightforward approach to the phrasing. For one, there is some passive voice. Also, the events are not a remote possibility for anyone so it's not really unique to Desmoree. Consider: "Fashion photographer Desmoree Shale wakes up a morgue. The next the she knows, a man who could bench-press a forklift takes her to a hidden world." Besides, the sentence construction, I'm curious, did she wake up wrapped in sheets as if they thought she was dead, or was she just randomly in a morgue? And I'd like to know just a hair more about the muscular man...is he young, old, sinister, friendly? What is his name?

Desmoree never thought she was anything extraordinary, other than the simple fact that she was Desmoree. After being sprung from the morgue she sets out to discover who she really is and why her mother kept it a secret all her life. Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows, especially when your destiny is to defeat the Dazearthro, an evil that can control beasts, and has already taken the life of two she held dear. Again, you're being round about. You never explicitly mentioned that she learns she was a fairy, it comes at you sort of jarringly. How about "The man [or use his name] reveals that Desmoree is actually a fairy. At first, Desmoree is excited but then she learns she must..." Also how does she learn these things? Did the man tell her? Whose lives were taken? Be specific.

With all hope resting on her shoulders, and the new passion to save the life of Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth, Des has one shot to defeat the Dazearthro, but when the moment comes, will her power and passion be enough, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends. You throw Jax in there but we need to be introduced to him first. We don't know who her friends are yet either. Seems like you need to expand the second paragraph, and explain the hidden world and the relevant characters. Also, I'd like to know what makes Des the person who can defeat the Dazearthro. Does she have a special skill or something?

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski
A fairy world sounds fun -- just need to expand on your world and characters.

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy updated

Post by RebeccaB » August 14th, 2010, 5:09 am

Thank you all for your replies, I have taken them all into consideration and i will now post my updated version. Again feel free to give me all you got.

Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement, but it was after waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift that her real dramas began.

Being a farie is not sunlight and rainbows as Des soon learns. She is supposed to be more powerful than any Stalisies farie, and they believe she will save them all from the Dazearthro, an evil force that can control vicious beasts.

Des will do anything to increase her chances of defeating the Dazearthro, even if that anything is facing her estranged father, and traveling to the Outer Reaches, a place where all faries fear to venture. As if the impending battle were not enough, Des faces the loss of two Stalisies she had held dear.

Her connection to Jax, a gorgeous and talented Tanzieth farie opens her heart and her mind, giving her the strength to concoct a plan.

But when the dust clears, will her power and passion see her victorious, or will she find herself meeting the same fate as her friends.

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by RebeccaB » August 14th, 2010, 6:55 am

OK,i have another rewrite after some suggestions from my writer friend HeatherB, Let me know what you like and what doesn't work. I am open to all suggestions. Let rip.

Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement, but it was after waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift that her real dramas began.

Being a Stalisies farie is not sunlight and rainbows as Des soon learns. She is supposed to be more powerful than any other, and all the stalisies believe she will save them from the Dazearthro, an evil force that can control vicious beasts.

Des will do anything to increase her chances of defeating the Dazearthro, even if that anything is facing her estranged father, and traveling to the Outer Reaches, a place where all faries fear to venture.

When the dust clears and Des stands triumphant, a far more terrorizing evil is revealed. Mortimer’s dream may be her only chance; it’s a gamble she will have to make on behalf of all those that fight by her side. But will it bring them victory? Or will it be the beginning of the end?

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by elfspirit » August 14th, 2010, 8:44 pm

RebeccaB wrote:OK,i have another rewrite after some suggestions from my writer friend HeatherB, Let me know what you like and what doesn't work. I am open to all suggestions. Let rip.


Hi, Rebecca,



Overall, this is much better and more active in tone.

Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement, but it was after waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift that her real dramas began.
Consider this possibility: Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement, but after waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift, her real dramas began.

Naming this world would provide transition between paragraphs
Being a Stalisies farie is not sunlight and rainbows as Des soon learns. She is supposed to be more powerful than any other, and all the stalisies believe she will save them from the Dazearthro, an evil force that can control vicious beasts.

Des will do anything to increase her chances of defeating the Dazearthro, even if that anything is facing her estranged father, what role does he play? and traveling to the Outer Reaches, a place where all faries fear to venture.

When the dust clears and Des stands triumphant, a far more terrorizing evil is revealed. Mortimer’s dream what is it? may be her only chance; it’s a gamble she will have to make on behalf of all those that fight by her side. But will it bring them victory? Or will it be the beginning of the end? The last sentence should be powerful. Can you find a replacement that will give a sense of urgency? Will it bring them defeat, enslavement, annihilation?

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *Updated*

Post by adamg73 » August 15th, 2010, 3:32 pm

This query leaves me with a lot of questions that I feel need to be answered.
-The faries want her to fight Dazearthro, but why does she want to? Why will she stop at nothing? What motivates her?
-How does her father play into things? How did he get to this world?
-Why do faries fear the Outer Reaches?
-What's Mortimer's dream? Is it an object or an actual dream? Who fights by her side?

I feell like we just get bit glimpses into your story without any real feel for how things flesh out and tie together.

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy

Post by JustineDell » August 15th, 2010, 8:42 pm

Hello Rebecca! I'll give it my best shot. I didn't read your first query...thought I would shred...er, I mean help with the new one. ;-)
RebeccaB wrote:
Dear (Agent)

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement, but it was after waking up in the morgue and being flown to a hidden world by a man who could bench press a forklift that her real dramas began. <--This is a really long sentence and it's confusing. Can you break it up? Like this:

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement. Wrong. Life thrills and drama started only after waking up in the morgue. Then being flown flown to a secret world by a man who could bench press a forklift. And then come to find out she's a freakin farie. (Okay, that's not the best example, but hopefully you see my point.)


Being a Stalisies farie is not sunlight and rainbows as Des (it took me a minute to figure out this is Desmoree's nickname) soon learns. She is supposed to be more powerful than any other. New sentence here, the last one was long. All the stalisies believe Des will save them from the Dazearthro, an evil force that can control vicious beasts. What are the beast? And what is the purpose of these faries?

Des will do anything to increase her chances of defeating the Dazearthro <--Why? I mean, what does she have to gain? What does she have to lose? , even if that anything is facing her estranged father, and traveling to the Outer Reaches, a place where all faries fear to venture. <--Again, this is one really long sentence.

When the dust clears <--cliche and Des stands triumphant <--cliche, a far more terrorizing evil is revealed <--cliche. Mortimer’s dream may be her only chance; it’s a gamble she will have to make on behalf of all those that fight by her side. But will it bring them victory? Or will it be the beginning of the end? I'm so sorry, but this last paragraph is one big cliche. Plus, I don't even know who Mortimer is, or again, why I should care about his dream. This last paragraph is

Mortimer’s Dream is my young adult fantasy novel complete at 55,000 words.

Insert personalization

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
Rebecca Bosevski
Have you ever seen Nathan's query template? He's got it on his blog, and it's listed somewhere here on the forums. I've got it linked on my blog, too. I think it would help you rework this query. As it stands, I could see this book being several others I've already read. I REALLY like the first sentence, but then you get very cliche through the rest.

What you are missing from your query are the stakes. Why does Des care so much about these faries? Why should we care about Des? What does she feel about being in this hidden world? What kind of a world is this? What's at stake? You've got a lot of small aspects of your story mentioned, but no concrete explanations to them, which leaves me scratching my head.

I wish you the best of luck in your revisions!

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *Updated*

Post by RebeccaB » August 16th, 2010, 4:28 am

Thanks JD, adamg73, and elfspirit,

I have taken all your suggestions and i have also looked at the query template Nathan has on his blog. I was trying to write it without the use of a guide so structured, but i think in order for my query to read well i will have to use it.

So here we go again,

Dear [Agent name],

Desmoree Shale is a feisty fashion photographer living in Belfox. But when she is flown in the arms of Moyeth, a farie, to Sayeesies, the hidden world her mother grew up in, Desmoree must discover why her mother kept it a secret all her life, and uncover her powers – that is if she is to stand any chance of for filling the prophecy of her victory over the Dazearthro, an evil force that is out to destroy them all.

Mortimer’s Dream is a 55,000 word work of young adult fiction set in the fantasy world of faries and magic. It will appeal to fans of MaryJanice Davidson with a strong willed female protagonist and almost anybody who wishes they could escape their life, even for a day.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
[your name]


So, that is it. I hope this one does a better job at following the query letter rules. It is always so hard to determine what to put in and what to leave out, It can't have the whole plot, and if i put in the main characters, places and the villain, I feel like I am ending up with name soup.

Please let me know if this is getting any closer.

I welcome your 'Try this' and 'you could re-word this way' ideas as much as your honest, brutal opinions about sentence structure.

Happy Inking
RebeccaB

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *UPDATE PG 2*

Post by RebeccaB » August 16th, 2010, 7:39 am

OK, this is a new option for the first paragraph, let me know what you think.

Desmoree Shale thought life as a fashion photographer was full of excitement. But waking up in the morgue and being flown by a farie to the hidden world her mother grew up in was where the real excitement began.

Too long? Too awkward? PLEASE HELP!

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *UPDATE PG 2*

Post by RebeccaB » August 16th, 2010, 8:34 am

Ok, I know i am supposed to wait for replies, but i have been working on version 23 of my query letter and i would really appreciate a fresh perspective. Most importantly i would like to know if i am headed in the right direction or if one of the previous attempts were better suited.

Dear Agent

After being stabbed by the Noxuer, Desmoree Shale wakes trapped in the morgue. But that is not the strangest thing to happen to her that night. A farie named Moyeth, releases her and flies her in his arms to Sayeesies, the world her mother grew up in, the world of faries.

There Desmoree is reunited with a family she never knew existed. A family along with all those in Sayeesies believe Desmoree to be the prophesied savior of their kind. The Dazeathro, an evil that has taken control of water beasts is poised to attack the walls of Sayeesies. To protect her family Desmoree must learn all she can about her abilities, even if that means traveling to the Outer Reaches, a dark and dangerous place where evil thrives.

Mortimer’s Dream is a 55,000 word work of young adult fiction set in the fantasy world of faries and magic. It will appeal to fans of MaryJanice Davidson with a strong willed female protagonist and almost anybody who wishes they could escape their life, even for a day.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,
Rebecca Bosevski

Again, I thank you guys for all your help, I reply to others queries and synopsis attempts also, so I know how long it takes to give a good detailed opinion on someones work. I really appreciate all of your time and input.

Happy Inking
RebeccaB

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *UPDATE PG 2*

Post by Quill » August 16th, 2010, 10:47 am

RebeccaB wrote:Ok, I know i am supposed to wait for replies, but i have been working on version 23 of my query letter and i would really appreciate a fresh perspective. Most importantly i would like to know if i am headed in the right direction or if one of the previous attempts were better suited.

Dear Agent

After being stabbed by the Noxuer, Desmoree Shale wakes trapped in the morgue.
Not enough info for a first line. I want to know where we are and what are Noxuer.

Also, how about "...a morgue" instead of "...the morgue." Or do you mean to say there is only one morgue in this world? Again, what world are we in?
But that is not the strangest thing to happen to her that night.
I would not think of a stab wound and entombment as strange. At least not first. First would be horrifying, painful, claustrophobic...
A farie named Moyeth, releases her
Do we need his name?

Omit comma.
and flies her in his arms to Sayeesies, the world her mother grew up in, the world of faries.
I realize there are various spellings for fairy. Is this the one you intend?
There Desmoree is reunited with a family she never knew existed.
Doesn't quite make sense as written. If she is reunited then she must have at one time been originally united, in which case it wouldn't be true that she "never knew" they existed.
A family along with all those in Sayeesies believe Desmoree to be the prophesied savior of their kind.
An awkward sentence also apparently missing the word "who" after "family".
The Dazeathro, an evil that has taken control of water beasts is poised to attack the walls of Sayeesies.
Hard to imagine water beasts attacking walls.

It sounds like you have Sayeesies as a city, whereas you said it is a world. Can a world have walls? Like the great wall of China, only way longer? How big is this world?

Technically, one does not attack walls. One attacks people on the walls, attacks a walled city, and may batter the walls to get in, but does not actually launch an attack upon the walls. Could you just say "assail the walls" or "breach the walls" or omit the walls?
To protect her family Desmoree must learn all she can about her abilities, even if that means traveling to the Outer Reaches,
Unspecific. "All she can" might be next to nothing. Or it might be a lot. How much is enough?
a dark and dangerous place where evil thrives.
Sounds convoluted, almost like you're saying "an evil place where evil thrives."

Also, not quite enough info for your big finish. Why might the Outer Reaches be the key to her success?
Mortimer’s Dream is a 55,000 word work of young adult fiction set in the fantasy world of faries and magic.
Omit "set in the fantasy world of faries and magic" as redundant to all of the above. Why not just say "YA fantasy"?

55,000-word (dash needed).
It will appeal to fans of MaryJanice Davidson with a strong willed female protagonist and almost anybody who wishes they could escape their life, even for a day.
Not sure the "wishes they could escape their life" line works, as it does not seem at all that your protagonist does this. For one you have not described her "life" AT ALL in this query. Secondly, I do not consider being stabbed, entombed, and flown to a land where evil threatens to take over any kind of escape.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The word "soon" sounds ever so slightly pushy.

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Re: Mortimers Dream, YA fantasy *UPDATE PG 2*

Post by RebeccaB » August 17th, 2010, 1:24 am

Thanks Quill,

Your evaluation will really help with my rewrite.

Happy Inking
RebeccaB

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