Chasing Miracles - Fantasy [Last Post - Updated] Try Nth! XD

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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 29th, 2010, 6:58 pm

I'm going to give it a break for now. I just went through three chapters of betaing and editing while babysitting my three-year-old niece and I think my brain is thoroughly fried.

So much so that I went through and edited that line to make sure I had hypens in three-year-old and that I spelled thoroughly correctly because those are some of my common errors I tend to miss. Good Lord save me.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by TigerGray » August 29th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Sometimes we all need a break away. Writing and revising makes us weird after awhile! I like to watch bad t.v. at those times.

:P
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by Write2Me » August 29th, 2010, 7:03 pm

http://www.agentquery.com/format_tips.aspx (link from which i got this info)


Word Count for first time novelist:
Adult fiction: 80,000-100,000 words.
Young Adult fiction: 40,000-60,000 words


Erotica novellas/short story collections: 40,000-60,000 words
Cozy mysteries only: 50,000-70,000 words
Most romance novels: 50,000-70,000 words
Short Story Collections: 40,000-75,000 words
Historical Fiction: 80,000-140,000 words
Adult Fantasy: 90,000-140,000 words
(FYI: a 140,000 word debut novel is about as scary as Joan Rivers' face. So if you're shopping a 140K chubby moon-glop monster, you might want to consider NOT advertising this fact in your query letter).


if this is an adult fantasy, you are correct in saying that 100k is ok. If its ya fantasy, then definitely not.

p.s. i gave up on editing my own book. I went to http://www.firstediting.com/ and paid an outside person to do the 'partial' which is considered the first 50 pages of my book. I figured it someone wanted all of it, i'd deal with that bridge when I got to it lol. They do everything including beta testing, queries, etc. Only limit is your wallet. I wish I had the dough for some of the premo services but I got what I needed and it was good.

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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by TigerGray » August 29th, 2010, 7:06 pm

Well, her query says it's fantasy, not YA. I don't write YA myself so I don't know if the age of the character automatically makes it YA, but I suspect not.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 29th, 2010, 7:12 pm

First off, I don't see my book as YA. YA is usually written in first person and follows one character's growth. Mine is third person and follows many characters.

Secondly...some links:

http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... ength.html

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/02 ... count.html

So really, it wouldn't matter if my book is that long and I'm a new author. If it's meant to be, if my pitch catches them, and if the subject matter is interesting (which according to the people who've read it, is) then it will be published. Of this I am certain.

But the darn query letter is a fence. A massive fence of such height that I, a 5'0" female, cannot scale it alone. I need rope and a considerable amount of skill to reach its thorny peaks.

And I happen to be afraid of heights.

I'm also very sleepy.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 29th, 2010, 7:15 pm

TigerGray wrote:Sometimes we all need a break away. Writing and revising makes us weird after awhile! I like to watch bad t.v. at those times.

:P
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 29th, 2010, 10:39 pm

I went shopping at Wally-World. I had snacks. I cuddled cute things. I played on Query Shark. I got a better idea for it, but it still needs work.

It has more of a voice though. It's not so short and dry. And yes, the thing about my book is it goes from OMG dark to funny sometimes in a drop of a hat. Serenius (Angel of Joy and Serenity) is my comic relief. He is also something else... XD

This, I think, is the last attempt of the day, and then cuddly time in the bed. I have on pjams. :3

---

[Addresses]

[Dear Agent,]

[Paragraph tailored to fit agent\publisher. Such as where I found them and so on.] (QueryShark says to put it at the bottom? Almost everything else says the top?)

A genius at clockwork animation, Carmine Caudatus can bring to life a variety of mechanical creations with just a single breath from his lips. He was blessed with the Power of the Rose, an ancient gift passed down to those in his mother's line and, unfortunately, a marker for madness.

Madness that began at the age of six. Always the jealous sort, and never one to give up his toys, he made sure no one touched his best friend Lyssa.

She still rests in the forest.

No one is allowed to touch Thomas either, his best friend and servant, who Carmine reanimated at the age of eight with clockworks and his father's organs.

Carmine figured he owed the bastard some use after the week of hell that had been gifted to him.

Of course, Thomas lives, but only because of the contract.

For without the contract with the Fallen Watcher Bezaliel, Carmine would not have been able to get Thomas' soul. If they do not succeed in fulfilling it, they will lose both of their souls.

Completion would not be so hard if not for the Angel of Regeneration, constantly trying to kill them for being abominations. Or if the Angel of Joy and Serenity could get his head straight on whether or not he was supposed to be protecting them.

Not to mention the demon in reform, the knight who lost his memory, and how could he forget the Watchers on the loose?

If that wasn't enough -of course not- Carmine has a secret, and not even God Himself -the overly loving fruitcake- can help him with that one.

And then there's a war.

Wonderful.

Chasing Miracles is an adult fantasy complete around 111,000 words. I hope you will consider my request and I look forward to working with you.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by a3writer » August 30th, 2010, 1:30 pm

Maybe a different approach is to try and model it. Here is what I have garnered from your past queries.

Dear Agent,

After almost five years, Carmine Caudatus has almost fulfilled the demon contract. Unfortunately, his time is almost up. If he can find the Wheel of Fate before the contract expires, he will save his best friend's life.

The quest would be easier if he wasn't hunted by the Angel of Regeneration for the heresy of reanimating his best friend in a clockwork body. Carmine further uncovers why the thirteen artifacts he's been gathering are important, and that their use by either side, could be catastrophic. Carmine is faced with the choice of completing the quest to save both himself and his best friend, or foil the schemes between heaven and hell.

Chasing Miracles is a complete adult fantasy at 111,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Obviously, this is bare bones because I don't know your entire book, but this is the essence as I understand it. The idea is to make the central conflict the most important thing. More than that, you only begin where the story actually begins. Everything that happened 4 1/2 years before the action in the book takes place is backstory and set up, and should be used only as absolutely necessary. And not much is necessary to understand the story. Absolutely do not do an infodump in your query of all the backstory. I don't need to know the story of George Washignton and the cherry tree to understand how won the Revolutionary War. There's no need to go into all the events that took place to set up the story. Just tell the really, really important bits. I would stick to something basic, very very short, and people here in the forum can tell you where they need to know a little bit more.

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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 30th, 2010, 1:38 pm

a3writer wrote:Maybe a different approach is to try and model it. Here is what I have garnered from your past queries.

Dear Agent,

After almost five years, Carmine Caudatus has almost fulfilled the demon contract. Unfortunately, his time is almost up. If he can find the Wheel of Fate before the contract expires, he will save his best friend's life.

Watchers are not demons. The Watchers are angels in the bible that have fallen from God's grace, but are not yet judged.

The quest would be easier if he wasn't hunted by the Angel of Regeneration for the heresy of reanimating his best friend in a clockwork body. Carmine further uncovers why the thirteen artifacts he's been gathering are important, and that their use by either side, could be catastrophic. Carmine is faced with the choice of completing the quest to save both himself and his best friend, or foil the schemes between heaven and hell.

Chasing Miracles is a complete adult fantasy at 111,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Obviously, this is bare bones because I don't know your entire book, but this is the essence as I understand it. The idea is to make the central conflict the most important thing. More than that, you only begin where the story actually begins. Everything that happened 4 1/2 years before the action in the book takes place is backstory and set up, and should be used only as absolutely necessary. And not much is necessary to understand the story. Absolutely do not do an infodump in your query of all the backstory. I don't need to know the story of George Washignton and the cherry tree to understand how won the Revolutionary War. There's no need to go into all the events that took place to set up the story. Just tell the really, really important bits. I would stick to something basic, very very short, and people here in the forum can tell you where they need to know a little bit more.
Also, this is extremely too short. I have read that the letter needs to be 250-275 words. I kept out the backstory before and I was told "why is he doing that? we need to know. Why is Carmine the only one to reanimate Thomas? Does this happen to everyone in that world?" So I'm extremely confused, again. I never know what to put in this thing because everyone is having a different question on what needs to go in there.

Gah. This thing is frustrating the heck out of me because, depending on where I read and who I talk to, it needs to be longer\shorter, different sections, focused differently, or another genre.

[bangs head]

It's never going to be right, is it?
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by thewhipslip » August 30th, 2010, 2:03 pm

[Addresses]

[Dear Agent,]

[Paragraph tailored to fit agent\publisher. Such as where I found them and so on.] (QueryShark says to put it at the bottom? Almost everything else says the top?)

A genius at clockwork animation, Carmine Caudatus can bring to life a variety of mechanical creations with just a single breath from his lips. He was blessed with the Power of the Rose, an ancient gift passed down to those in his mother's line and, unfortunately, a marker for madness This is a great first paragraph, which sets up the conflict and gives us the details about your MC that we need to know. Nice job..

Madness that began at the age of six. Always the jealous sort, and never one to give up his toys, he made sure no one touched his best friend Lyssa This is okay, but you're backtracking here by going into the past. This paragraph is reserved for the catalyst, what happens in your book that sets your MC on the main plot-line..

She still rests in the forest I don't know what this means.

No one is allowed to touch Thomas either, his best friend and servant, who Carmine reanimated at the age of eight with clockworks and his father's organs All backstory that we don't need to know. What is the major plot of this novel?.

Carmine figured he owed the bastard some use after the week of hell that had been gifted to him Also don't understand what this means.

Of course, Thomas lives, but only because of the contract Okay, now we're getting closer to the plot...

For without the contract with the Fallen Watcher Bezaliel, Carmine would not have been able to get Thomas' soul. If they do not succeed in fulfilling it, they will lose both of their souls Aha! Your plot. Be more specific about this contract. Your second paragraph should read something like: When Carmine's friend & servant dies, to get his soul back Carmine signs a contract with the Fallen Watcher, Bezaliel. If Carmine & Thomas can't [insert what's in the contract that they need to fulfill], they'll lose both their souls.

Completion would not be so hard if not for the Angel of Regeneration, constantly trying to kill them for being abominations Okay, added conflict here. That's good. But explain the "abominations" part. Why are they abominations - because they were resurrected?. Or if the Angel of Joy and Serenity could get his head straight on whether or not he was supposed to be protecting them Also good..

Not to mention the demon in reform, the knight who lost his memory, and how could he forget the Watchers on the loose?

If that wasn't enough -of course not- Carmine has a secret, and not even God Himself -the overly loving fruitcake I don't know if you should call God a fruitcake in your query, just in case you insult the agent...- can help him with that one.

And then there's a war.

Wonderful. Cut. You don't need the added sarcasm.

Chasing Miracles is an adult fantasy complete around 111,000 words. I hope you will consider my request and I look forward to working with you.[/quote]
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Christian Fantasy

Post by sierramcconnell » August 30th, 2010, 4:50 pm

I had a reply but I bit my fingers not to type it because it would have been very naughty. :3

Basically I think I should just remove all of it and take it somewhere else (like QueryShark, once I'm done with the manuscript's final polish). I'm getting nowhere but frustrated and it's not helping me.

The advice I've heard is this:

-Too Long\Too Short
-Too much backstory\Not enough backstory

Which leaves me believing I should just start over with what I had to begin with. It's impossible to write a good query for a multi pov book. It sucks, it's going to suck, and there's nothing I can do about it but pray and hope it goes to the right person. Everything else has worked out, this will, too; despite looking like a moron wrote it.

It is here I take a deep breath and walk away without another barb or fit.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Fantasy [Last Post - Updated]

Post by sierramcconnell » September 3rd, 2010, 12:00 pm

Okay, I tweaked the last one and I have this. I like this. But it's missing something. I'm thinking I know where it is. But I'm not quite sure how else to word it without going into epic overload.

---

[Addresses]

[Dear Agent,]

Carmine Caudatus is not your typical lord.

He holds the power of life in a single breath, and with three turns of a key.

Of course, this is only true when it comes to mechanicals, not to flesh and blood. But it didn't stop him from trying to reanimate his friend Thomas by those same methods.

When he failed, the contract he made with a Fallen did the trick, and he is just one task from completing it. Otherwise, he will lose his soul and that of his friend.

Now if only he could keep the Angel of Regeneration -the one who calls him abomination- at bay, and possibly stop the Watchers from bringing down Heaven, then everything could return to some sense of normalcy.

Chasing Miracles is a fantasy complete around 110,500 words. I hope you consider my request and I thank you for your time.

Jessica Nielsen
[Address Redacted]
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Fantasy [Last Post - Updated]

Post by HillaryJ » September 4th, 2010, 4:57 pm

I've only read this latest draft, and it's really interesting. However, I think it's so entrenched in your world that it's difficult for the reader to actually understand anything you're referring to. It's very difficult to query fantasy because you have plot, characters and world (including world rules) and only about 250 words in which to convey those things.

"Carmine Caudatus is not your typical lord." - A nice, short, catchy phrase. I get the feeling that "lord" in your world might be something more than "lord" in our context, so this is a good place to start showcasing your world without falling into over-explanation.

"He holds the power of life in a single breath, and with three turns of a key." - Poetic, but because I don't understand your world, I don't understand this, except to think that it's pretty spectacular. If we have a little more information within or around that first line, this might make more sense.

"Of course, this is only true when it comes to mechanicals, not to flesh and blood. But it didn't stop him from trying to reanimate his friend Thomas by those same methods." - Nice, steampunkish feel, but because I'm still unclear about the prior sentence, this isn't as solid as it could be.

"When he failed, the contract he made with a Fallen did the trick, and he is just one task from completing it [because I'm not a big fan of internal rhyme, I'd suggest "completing his side of the bargain" over "it"]. Otherwise, he will lose his soul and that of his friend." - This is great. We've got conflict, tension and high stakes in a couple of sentences. Not sure what a Fallen is. I'm presuming this is a Faustian deal. Also, does Carmine have a problem with that last task - is it difficult or morally reprehensible? That would heighten the tension.

"Now if only he could keep the Angel of Regeneration -the one who calls him abomination- at bay, and possibly stop the Watchers from bringing down Heaven, then everything could return to some sense of normalcy." - I think that you have enough conflict through the last paragraph for the query and, if you cut this, you could add a line or two showing Carmine's character and struggle or his relationship with Thomas, something along those lines. And you could perhaps explain Carmine's unique abilities/responsibilities and the Fallen. In this last line you've added a new kind of Angel, the concept of Carmine as abomination, something called the Watchers and a direct line to Heaven - but without explaining any of it. So, when I thought I had a grasp on the world and the characters, I'm now presented with four new, unexplained things. It's an appropriate level of complexity for a novel, but maybe too much information for a query.

Anyway, take my concerns with a grain of salt. They're just opinions and everyone's are different. Do what feels right for your story.

Good luck.
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Fantasy [Last Post - Updated]

Post by sierramcconnell » September 4th, 2010, 9:45 pm

Actually, no, that's perfect. You've explained what I've needed the entire time! Thank you so much! Now I think I can get to working on it to make it understandable!
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Re: Chasing Miracles - Fantasy [Last Post - Updated]

Post by sierramcconnell » September 25th, 2010, 9:21 am

Well, I started over. I'm in a slump and can't write so I thought I might try to work on this.
It needs a lot of work, I think, but it's...different...

As a child, Carmine Caudatus had never given much thought to life or death.

A genius blessed with the Power of the Rose, he could bring his mechanical creations to move with a breath from his lips and a twist of the clockwork key gifted to him by his emotionally distant Mother.

In his eyes, he had nothing to fear of death, and could reverse it, even if it came for his loved ones.

Yet when it came for his servant and friend Thomas, he found himself locked into a contract with the Fallen Watcher Bezaliel. For a body is just an empty vessel without a soul. Now if he cannot complete the contract's requirements before his thirteenth birthday, he will lose not only his soul, but the soul of his friend as well.

Upon searching out the final item that the angel requires, Carmine's world becomes much more complicated when Heaven decides to get involved. With angels and demons on either side of an impending battle, Carmine must decide whether or not to let go of the friend he has fought so desperately to hold onto.

Chasing Miracles is a fantasy complete around 115,000 words. I hope you will consider my request and I look forward to working with you.
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