Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

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clara_w
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Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by clara_w » August 19th, 2010, 2:40 pm

Hi guys!

FIFTH version, thanks so much for your help! I`m sending this baby out by mid September, so I really need your help.
Could you please let me know what you think? I'm having continuous jitters here!

Fifth, possibly final version

Dear Agent X,

When Jade witnesses non-tamers brutally murder her father, she enters a catatonic state and creates a monstrous hurricane. Not something every element tamer can do, especially a child.

Six years later, her unrestrained Godlike powers start emerging again, and she embarks on a harsh training to control them before it’s too late.
Luckily, she isn’t alone: Her friend Lian`s parents were also murdered by non-tamers. Not only that, but Lian has extraordinary powers, just like her.

Things take a turn for the worse when the Shadow Man gathers an army to sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth. He was the one who planned their parent’s murders to incite hatred towards non-tamers in the girl’s hearts.
Unaware of that, Jade and Lian will flirt with what’s morally wrong as they choose to either join him in his genocidal hatred or fight him with all they’ve got.
Going through epic battles and life threatening dangers, they will try control their anger, save an entire nation and most importantly, stop Jade’s hurricane.

“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 90,000 words.


What do you think?

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Desperate Clara


***

Old Version

Dear Mr. Agent,

Humans who can’t control the elements brutally murdered Jade’s father. All in front of her.

Shocked, she enters a catatonic state and creates the biggest hurricane of all history. Not something every element tamer can do; especially a child.
Six years later, a prediction says the hurricane will return and claim for Jade’s life along with an entire nation’s. She has no choice but to embark on a harsh training to control her powers.

On her journey, she meets Lian, a girl with same abilities and a similar tragic past: Non-tamers shot her parents dead. They bond immediately, and although Lian helps Jade control her powers, it’s Jade who has to help the girl control her anger.
Sadly, things can always get worse.
The Shadow Man is after them, his mission: Sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth. Choosing sides isn’t easy as he plays with the girls’ desire for revenge.

Unaware that he planned the murders of their parents, Jade and Lian flirt with what’s morally wrong and face life threatening dangers as they try to stop him along with Jade’s hurricane.


“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 88,000 words.
***

I'm with this HUGE doubt: Non tamers are called Masha in my story, and tamers are known as Meiki. Should I somehow put that in the query? I've really tried, but it never sounded really good. Any sugestions?
Last edited by clara_w on August 22nd, 2010, 5:19 am, edited 6 times in total.

Preacher
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by Preacher » August 19th, 2010, 2:47 pm

The first paragraph has me asking some questions: is Jade human? The first sentence also presumes that some humans can control elements, while other can't. The "All in front of her" sentence or clause doesn't work. That word "all" is a bad word there, i think. If Jade's parent was in fact killed by a human with control of the elements tell us how the parent was killed.

When the two characters flirt with "What's morally wrong" you need to show what that is, because that would seem to be the conflict for the story.

I think there is more elements you would find in a plot outline then are necessary for a query.

Tame the facts down, tell us the main character, her problem and what she has to do to solve it, yada, yada, yada.

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by elfspirit » August 19th, 2010, 5:06 pm

clara_w wrote:Hi guys!

So, it's been a while, and I changed my query a lot. I tried to give it more voice.

What do you think?

Thank you so much!

***

Dear Mr. Agent,

Humans who can’t control the elements brutally murdered Jade’s father. All in front of her.

Shocked, she enters a catatonic state and creates the biggest hurricane of all history. Not something every element tamer can do; especially a child.
Six years later, a prediction says the hurricane will return and claim for Jade’s life along with an entire nation’s. She has no choice but to embark on a harsh training to control her powers.

On her journey, she meets Lian, a girl with same abilities and a similar tragic past: Non-tamers shot her parents dead. They bond immediately, and although Lian helps Jade control her powers, it’s Jade who has to help the girl control her anger.
Sadly, things can always get worse.
The Shadow Man is after them, his mission: Sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth. Choosing sides isn’t easy as he plays with the girls’ desire for revenge.

Unaware that he planned the murders of their parents, Jade and Lian flirt with what’s morally wrong and face life threatening dangers as they try to stop him along with Jade’s hurricane.


“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 88,000 words.
***

I'm with this HUGE doubt: Non tamers are called Masha in my story, and tamers are known as Meiki. Should I somehow put that in the query? I've really tried, but it never sounded really good. Any sugestions?
I found myself confused by this. (I haven't read any other versions.) Technically, tense changes and incomplete sentences give it a choppy feeling. More important, more questions are raised than are answered. Did Jade's father get killed because he could control the elements? Why is this not desirable? What does the Shadow Man want Jade and Lian to do? If they don't know he planned their parents' murder, why do they want to stop them?

I'm thinking it might help you to rearrange this query into an outline. Then you could say whether the query deviates widely from the arc of the story.

clara_w
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by clara_w » August 20th, 2010, 10:28 am

Thanks guys, will work on that!

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by Hyaline » August 20th, 2010, 11:27 am

Interesting concept--but I agree with some of the other comments, I found myself a tad confused. I've made points inline that I hope help with seeing how at least one reader missed the point :)
clara_w wrote:Hi guys!

So, it's been a while, and I changed my query a lot. I tried to give it more voice.

What do you think?

Thank you so much!

***

Dear Mr. Agent,

Humans who can’t control the elements brutally murdered Jade’s father. All in front of her. This confused me right out of the gate--unless you say otherwise, I would assume that we're talking about people who are human and can't control weather--that's normal for me :) So I'm unsure what the significance is. You know, this is a complete sidenote, but I've noticed a lot of queries with snappy one-liners as an out-front hook. When it works, it's awesome. But if it isn't working, I think you're better off not forcing it and just sticking with short paragraphs.

Shocked, she enters a catatonic state and creates the biggest hurricane of all history. Not something every element tamer can do; grammar note--you would use a comma here, not a semi-colon, as "especially a child" isn't a complete sentence on its own. especially a child.
Six years later, a prediction says the hurricane will return and claim for Jade’s life along with an entire nation’s. This is where I really lost it--I get the earlier phrases, that Jade's father was killed (though I don't quite get why or what it has to do with the bigger plotline at this point--does it fit in with the Shadow Man's goal as stated below?) and she accidentally wreaks havoc with a huge hurricane. But this didn't follow for me--what happened before was a direct result of Jade, but this prediction is about something different? She has no choice but to embark on a harsh training to control her powers.

On her journey, she meets Lian, a girl with same abilities and a similar tragic past: Non-tamers shot her parents dead. They bond immediately, and although Lian helps Jade control her powers, it’s Jade who has to help the girl is Lian the girl? control her anger.
Sadly, things can always get worse. Hmmm, this feels half-baked--and I can definitely see this from the next para. I think you can do away with it :)
The Shadow Man is after them, his mission: Sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth. Choosing sides isn’t easy as he plays with the girls’ desire for revenge.This sounds like the heart of the conflict--maybe bring this into more relief and condense some of the background info--I think you've done a good job not including too much backstory--I feel like we do need to know most of this.

Unaware that he planned the murders of their parents, Jade and Lian flirt with what’s morally wrong flirt with what's morally wrong--don't get what this means.and face life threatening dangers as they try to stop him along with Jade’s hurricane.I still don't get if the hurricanes are caused by Jade or not...I'm sorry, I'm really dense :(


“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 88,000 words.
***

I'm with this HUGE doubt: Non tamers are called Masha in my story, and tamers are known as Meiki. Should I somehow put that in the query? I've really tried, but it never sounded really good. Any sugestions?
I wouldn't--it keeps things cleaner to skip definitions unless you can be really suave about them :) And even then it can get confusing.

Sounds like you've got a great start--good luck as you revise!

clara_w
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by clara_w » August 20th, 2010, 12:18 pm

Wow Hyaline it was so good to hear that! I had actually a pretty goo start for the query, but then I saw all these queries with one pitch sentences and I was like "Fuuuc***".

I tried to apply this to my query buut it didn't work, as you could see. Thank you so much for the advice, I've posted a new version of the query! I hope it catches more interest and is easier to understand!

You got the right idea: non tamers are humans who dont control the elements...should I use the first (non tamers) or the second (humans who can'...?) Arghhh! I realy need a lot of help!

Cheers!

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by Joel Q » August 20th, 2010, 1:16 pm

Some thoughts after reading the second version...

1. I think you have too many people in the query, non-tamers, Jade, her dad, her master, Lian and the Shadow Man.
I am guessing you could leave out, Lian, and possibly the master.

2. The first half of the query I think Jade is going to stop a hurricane. But the second half is about the Shadow Man.
What is the main danger/plot of the story? Leave the other out.

3. The query is a lot of "telling, not showing."

4. You ask questions in the query, which is not a good style.

clara_w
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by clara_w » August 20th, 2010, 4:00 pm

Thanks so much Joel!

I think I covered points 1 and 4 for sure on the third version I just did, 3 not so sure and 2 I really don't agree with.

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by wilderness » August 20th, 2010, 7:17 pm

clara_w wrote:Hi guys!

Ok third new version!

Dear Agent X,

When Jade witnesses non-tamers brutally murder her father, she enters a catatonic state and creates a monstrous hurricane. Not something every element tamer can do, especially a child.

Six years later, a prediction says the hurricane will return and destroy her along with an entire nation’s. She has no choice but to embark on a harsh training to control her powers. "embark on a harsh training" is inelegant phrasing. Can you think of a better way to say this?
Luckily, she isn’t alone. Lian has the same abilities and a similar tragic past, and they bond immediately. Although Lian helps Jade control her powers, it’s Jade who has to help the girl control her anger. Not sure this makes sense. I mean I thought Jade also created a hurricane because of an emotional reaction to her father's murder.

But the Shadow Man is watching. He created tense change an initiative to sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth, and manipulates the girls like chess pieces, diverting their hate from the assassins to all people who can’t tame. Vague. How does he manipulate the girls?
Unaware that he planned the murders in the first place, Jade and Lian flirt with what’s morally wrong and face life threatening dangers as they try to stop him, or themselves, along with Jade’s hurricane. More vagueness. What do they do that's morally wrong? What life threatening dangers do they face? Also, you haven't really provided a motivation for Shadowman. And the last part is awkward: "they try to stop him, or themselves, along with Jade's hurricane".


“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 88,000 words.
Interesting premise. Check out Nathan's article on specificity to help you with the parts I said were vague. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03 ... eries.html

clara_w
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2

Post by clara_w » August 21st, 2010, 5:20 am

That was a very good tip wilderness! I checked it and now I have the fourth version. I hope it's specific....oh lord, I'll be sending this baby to agents soon, it has to be perfect!!! I'm loosing my mind!

Thanks for helping!

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by Erica75 » August 21st, 2010, 12:29 pm

Your first and second paragraphs still aren't flowing smoothly. In the first, you say she's catatonic. In the second, she's on a journey. You don't want to get too wordy, but you do need to indicate that she's now awake and maybe how. Also, I'm a little confused why this hurricane will be worse than the first (but that might not be important).

I still think the last sentence of the second paragraph is vague - "...it’s not so easy when it comes to her emotions." The emotions could be anything from supernatural powers to anger to love. You should another sentence to explain where this is going or I'd assume we're still talking about starting a hurricane. This is a pretty short query, you can slip a few more plot points in there to make us like/understand Jade. Good luck. (I just reread this and realized when I cut-and-pasted, part of it didn't make sense anymore. Edited now, hoping it makes sense!)
Last edited by Erica75 on August 22nd, 2010, 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by J. T. SHEA » August 21st, 2010, 3:53 pm

Why does Jade have no choice regarding her harsh training? Much of any novel concerns the protagonist's choices. A protagonist with no choice over an important course of action is less interesting than she might be.

I think you need a comma after '...and destroy her...' and a space before the sentence 'Luckily, she isn't alone.'

'...the Shadow Man creates an initiative...' sounds oddly dry and more appropriate to a political science treatise than a YA fantasy. And the next sentence is long and unwieldy.

I know a query cannot answer all questions, but where does all this take place? Agents and others will probably assume present day USA unless told otherwise. Is that the 'entire nation'?

You might also hint at how a single hurricane, created by one person, can destroy a whole nation, even one not as big as the USA. It defies people's sense of proportion, even for a fantasy. Likewise the Shadow Man's ability to kill most of the human race. 'Godlike' indeed, but a little more detail might be helpful.

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by wilderness » August 21st, 2010, 4:11 pm

Hi Clara,
Glad you liked the post about specificity. I think your new version could still benefit from more of it, though. Particularly:
clara_w wrote: They will flirt with what’s morally wrong and face life threatening dangers
Also, I would really reconsider the phrasing "a harsh training". But it's up to you. Best of luck!

clara_w
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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by clara_w » August 22nd, 2010, 5:16 am

Thanks everyone!

Erica, I get what you say, but I can`t find a word to substitute "In shock." She is in shock, not quite literally catatonic. Any sugestions?

J.T. You`ve touched some very important points there, I altered them into the fifth version.

Wilderness: I know, but I have absolutely no idea of a proper substitute for harsh trainning, should I just say training? Or a strict trainning? English isn`t my mother tongue so it gets complicated sometimes... Ok I`m trying a susbtitution can you tell me if it works?

I also worked on the moral issue thing, hope its better to understand now!

Thank you all so much!!!

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Re: Jade's Hurricane, Take 2: Will send to Agents

Post by thewhipslip » August 24th, 2010, 8:49 am

clara_w wrote:Hi guys!


Fifth, possibly final version

Dear Agent X,

When Jade witnesses non-tamers brutally murder her father, she enters a catatonic state and creates a monstrous hurricane I'm not pulled by this hook, mostly because 1) I don't know what "non-tamers" mean, and 2) I don't know how Jade is able to create a hurricane.. Not something every element tamer can do, especially a child Here you explain it..

Six years later, her unrestrained Godlike powers start emerging again Big time-jump here. Why six years later? And why are they emerging again? When did they submerge before?, and she embarks on a harsh training to control them before it’s too late Too late for what? I'm not getting a sense of your character in this; where her choices are coming from..
Luckily, she isn’t alone: Her friend Lian`s parents were also murdered by non-tamers So the training has something to do with their orphan status?. Not only that, but Lian has extraordinary powers, just like her But I still don't know what those powers are....

Things take a turn for the worse when the Shadow Man gathers an army to sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth Why?. He was the one who planned their parent’s murders to incite hatred towards non-tamers in the girl’s hearts. Why?
Unaware of that, Jade and Lian will flirt with what’s morally wrong as they choose to either join him in his genocidal hatred Why would they do this if he murdered their parents?or fight him with all they’ve got Why wouldn't they? Doesn't he want to kill them?.
Going through epic battles and life threatening dangers, they will try control their anger, save an entire nation and most importantly, stop Jade’s hurricane The hurricane is still happening?.

“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 90,000 words.
I liked your original version much better. It explained a lot more. I would scrap this one. The first thing you should do: 1) Tell us who Jade is and what she can do, such as: Jade's an element tamer, which means she can alter the weather with her emotions. The problem is, if she gets angry, she can start a hurricane. (very, very rough, but it gives us an idea of the powers we're dealing with.)

2) Tell us what the story is about. Sounds like the catalyst is the murder of her parents, but where and what Jade does from there is still unclear. She trains her powers...but why? If they're out of control, be explicit. And why is it six years later? Because she's in a coma? Why is she in a coma?

3) Tell us who the antagonist is and what he wants. Yeah, he wants to kill them, but why? Are they dangerous?

And there's your query. Hope this helps!


What do you think?

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Desperate Clara


***

Old Version

Dear Mr. Agent,

Humans who can’t control the elements brutally murdered Jade’s father. All in front of her.

Shocked, she enters a catatonic state and creates the biggest hurricane of all history. Not something every element tamer can do; especially a child.
Six years later, a prediction says the hurricane will return and claim for Jade’s life along with an entire nation’s. She has no choice but to embark on a harsh training to control her powers.

On her journey, she meets Lian, a girl with same abilities and a similar tragic past: Non-tamers shot her parents dead. They bond immediately, and although Lian helps Jade control her powers, it’s Jade who has to help the girl control her anger.
Sadly, things can always get worse.
The Shadow Man is after them, his mission: Sweep all non-tamers from the face of the earth. Choosing sides isn’t easy as he plays with the girls’ desire for revenge.

Unaware that he planned the murders of their parents, Jade and Lian flirt with what’s morally wrong and face life threatening dangers as they try to stop him along with Jade’s hurricane.


“JADE´S HURRICANE” is a YA Fantasy finished at 88,000 words.
***
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