Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
TheOnlyFigment
Posts: 1
Joined: September 1st, 2010, 10:08 am
Contact:

Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by TheOnlyFigment » September 1st, 2010, 10:12 am

Dear Bransforumers,

The first time Krista meets Leander is the day her father dies, but his world seems far too real for a dream. Her heart skips beats and she can’t help being mesmerized by his large pale blue eyes and lengthy white hair. But dreams end, and Krista’s dream ends bad.

She pushes on with her day knowing that Leander’s nation is under attack, his forests are burning and her heart is still fluttering. But it is just a dream, and Leander is just a figment of her imagination. Not until she starts seeing him so often in her dreams that she can’t tell what’s real from what’s not, and her mother is worried about her sanity.

Krista hates life now, all she wants is Leander, his magic and his kisses together but his world is a blood bath and Krista has no way of staying with him, or knowing that he is alive without opening her eyes.

FIGMENTS is a 60,000 YA Urban Fantasy novel based on the imaginary truths that our dreams envision us with. I have spent years studying dreams and the way they affect the human mind, and FIGMENTS is a reflection of my studies and passion for the topic. Thank you and I look forward to your reply.

THE ONLY FIGMENT

User avatar
TigerGray
Posts: 74
Joined: August 24th, 2010, 5:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by TigerGray » September 1st, 2010, 2:55 pm

I am..confused.

You almost had me with the whole the day her father died is the day thing, but since I have no insider knowledge of your book the name drop is meaningless to me, as is Leander as a character, if you don't flesh him out. I find myself wishing for some connective tissue tying the first paragraph in to the second. Nowhere in the set up do I get the idea that she has actually been transported to another world entirely, so the talk of burning and forests and so forth reads as very sudden and almost nonsensical.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

http://tigergray.blogspot.com/

lachrymal
Posts: 70
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 7:35 am
Contact:

Re: Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by lachrymal » September 1st, 2010, 8:14 pm

Interesting idea, but your query is pretty confusing. I think you need to take a step back and try to read it like someone who does not know your story would. It's nearly impossible to make sense of this. I suggest you rewrite it from the ground up--who is the main character, what's the conflict, and what choices must she make? I have a feeling this query is not doing the story justice. I included my thoughts below as I read, and I hope it's helpful.
The first time Krista meets Leander is the day her father dies, but his world [whose? her father's, or Leander's?] seems far too real for a dream.
Because you don't say she's meeting Leander in a dream (someone who doesn't know your story would assume you mean she meets Leander in person], the very first sentence of your query left me confused.
Her heart skips beats [comma here, but also, hearts skipping beats is a cliche you could do without in a query] and she can’t help being mesmerized by his large pale blue [too many adjectives here] eyes and lengthy white [and also here] hair. But dreams end, and Krista’s dream ends bad.
I still don't understand what you mean. I guess I'd assume that she starts dreaming about this guy, Leander, and it happens to be the day her dad dies, though that doesn't seem relevant at this point. The "dreams end, and Krista's ends bad" could be interesting, but the punch is obscured because I'm confused.
She pushes on with her day knowing that Leander’s nation is under attack,
And here, all I can think is--didn't this girl's dad just die? It seems callous to think about a guy like this after her dad has just died.
his forests are burning and her heart is still fluttering [another cliche].
Putting burning forests and fluttering hearts together makes Krista seem like she might have her priorities confused. But also, I'm still not sure what you are talking about.
But it is just a dream, and Leander is just a figment of her imagination. Not until she starts seeing him so often in her dreams that she can’t tell what’s real from what’s not, and her mother is worried about her sanity.
He's a figment, but he's not a figment until she starts seeing him so often in her dreams? That's what you're saying. Also, I'm thinking she must be sleeping a heck of a lot.
Krista hates life now, all she wants is Leander, his magic and his kisses together but his world is a blood bath and Krista has no way of staying with him, or knowing that he is alive without opening her eyes.
This is a run-on sentence. You'd need to break it up into about three sentences, but I think you probably should rewrite first.

FIGMENTS is a 60,000 YA Urban Fantasy novel based on the imaginary truths that our dreams envision us with. I have spent years studying dreams and the way they affect the human mind, and FIGMENTS is a reflection of my studies and passion for the topic. [I strongly suggest you cut this whole part. First, because "the imaginary truths our dreams envision us with" is awkward and doesn't make sense on a number of levels--"imaginary truths" seems like an oxymoron, and dreams are not sentient creatures, and therefore do not envision anything. Also, although it's great that you've studied this, an agent probably won't care that much. I guess if you're some sort of professional, like a neuroscientist, then you could mention that, but again, the agent's only going to care about the story--use all the words you're allowed in the query (250-350)describe that]. Thank you and I look forward to your reply.

Best of luck with this. I know it's hard to get critiques, but it can be so helpful to understand where you lose people, so you can write a query that really showcases your story and entices the agent to want to read more. I look forward to reading a revision!

User avatar
oldhousejunkie
Posts: 250
Joined: March 16th, 2010, 10:15 am
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by oldhousejunkie » September 1st, 2010, 10:07 pm

Ok, I can't make sa line by line edit because I'm stuck on my Blackberry. But I am going to echo the sentiments of the other posters.

First, I didn't get a sense of Krista. Just that she dreams a lot. Like the other poster mentioned, how did you go from talking about her father dying to her drooling over her dream boy (literally)?
So...who is she?

Second, I also agree with the other poster--who is Leander and what's he about? I know it's diffcult to do, espoecially through another character's POV.

Third, what's going on with Leander's world? Is this the conflict of the story and why should we care?

And finally, once again, cut the bottom portion. Unless you are a professional, the agents don't care how you arrived at the story or if you were passionate about researching.
Cruel, but true. :-(

It's a good shot, but keep plowing through. I sense that there is a solid story, but you just glossed over it too much.

Best of luck!

Krista G.
Posts: 192
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 4:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by Krista G. » September 2nd, 2010, 11:03 pm

Well, I have to comment now, seeing as how the MC's name is my favorite name in the whole world. You even spelled it right:)
TheOnlyFigment wrote:Dear Bransforumers,

The first time Krista meets Leander is the day her father dies, but his world seems far too real for a dream. You can be more direct here, something along the lines of "The day her father dies, Krista sleeps to escape the real world, but the world she finds in her dreams is just as complicated." Then introduce Leander. Her heart skips beats and she can’t help being mesmerized by his large pale blue eyes and lengthy white hair. "Her heart skips beats" is cliche, "large pale blue eyes" features (at least) one too many adjectives, and "lengthy white hair" just made me snicker. But dreams end, and Krista’s dream ends bad. We jump from the dream ending badly to finding out that Leander's nation is under attack. It would have been nice to know that's how the dream ends.

She pushes on with her day knowing that Leander’s nation is under attack, his forests are burning and her heart is still fluttering. But it is just a dream, and Leander is just a figment of her imagination. Not until she starts seeing him so often in her dreams that she can’t tell what’s real from what’s not (This clause isn't a complete sentence. If you meant to do that, it comes across as a bit clunky. If not, well, maybe you should turn it into one), and her mother is worried about her sanity.

Krista hates life now, all she wants is Leander, his magic and his kisses together but his world is a blood bath and Krista has no way of staying with him, or knowing that he is alive without opening her eyes. Run-on sentence.

FIGMENTS is a 60,000 YA Urban Fantasy novel based on the imaginary truths that our dreams envision us with. I have spent years studying dreams and the way they affect the human mind, and FIGMENTS is a reflection of my studies and passion for the topic. I eliminated the "based on the imaginary truths that our dreams envision us with" because it's a bit clunky and only tells what your query has already shown. I eliminated the rest because you're stretching for credentials here, and you don't have to. The great thing about fiction is that anybody can write it. Thank you and I look forward to your reply for your time and consideration. (Because the sad truth is, more and more agents are going with that no-response-means-no policy.)
I, too, think the concept has potential, but I, too, think the way you've presented it here could use a pretty serious makeover. You might just start with a clean piece of paper. If you're anything like me, you'll like your next draft even better than this one, anyway, but even if you don't, you'll still have this one to fall back on. No harm in trying something new.

Best of luck. And did I mention how much I like your MC's name? :)
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

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Figments - YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by wilderness » September 4th, 2010, 1:05 pm

TheOnlyFigment wrote:Dear Bransforumers,

The first time Krista meets Leander is the day her father dies, but his world seems far too real for a dream. Her heart skips beats and she can’t help being mesmerized by his large pale blue eyes and lengthy white hair. But dreams end, and Krista’s dream ends bad.

She pushes on with her day knowing that Leander’s nation is under attack, his forests are burning and her heart is still fluttering. But it is just a dream, and Leander is just a figment of her imagination. Not until she starts seeing him so often in her dreams that she can’t tell what’s real from what’s not, and her mother is worried about her sanity. This sentence is awkward, ungrammatical.

Krista hates life now, all she wants is Leander, his magic and his kisses together but his world is a blood bath and Krista has no way of staying with him, or knowing that he is alive without opening her eyes. Break this up into smaller sentences. Also, I'm not sure what the last clause in blue means.

FIGMENTS is a 60,000 YA Urban Fantasy novelbased on the imaginary truths that our dreams envision us with. I have spent years studying dreams and the way they affect the human mind, and FIGMENTS is a reflection of my studies and passion for the topic. Thank you and I look forward to your reply.I wouldn't include the extra info. Also, some agents think "I look forward to your reply" is too presumptuous given that sometimes there is a no reply means no policy. Picky, I know.

THE ONLY FIGMENT
I like the concept and the query is a good start. Be careful with run on sentences, though. Also, flesh out the characters just a tad more. What makes Leander so great? How is Krista dealing with her father's death? Why is Leander being attacked? What are the stakes? I think we want something more for the conflict than whether or not the whole thing is a dream. Hope that helps.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest