Children of the Lost

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thought_at_work
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Children of the Lost

Post by thought_at_work » September 30th, 2010, 9:07 am

Dear Sir/Madam,
d I am submitting my project “Children of the Lost” to your agency as it has experience in the genres and types of fiction that interest me and that I write, particulary young adult fiction. Also I am a first time author and saw on your website materials that you enjoy reading the work of first time authors.

Nero Alexander is a young teen living out his days peacefully in his hometown of Viridus. It is the dawn of a new industrial age in the New Empire, the successor of the Roman Empire which disappeared in the year 1608 and Nero is eager to be part of the world. Or so he thinks until the world comes calling. His parents stolen from him, Nero is thrown into the tumult of an industrializing city, Albus. Here he survives thanks to some new found friends and allies, street children and those on the edges of a cold indifferent society obsessed with wealth. Yet this peace is fleeting and when one, Rosa, is kidnapped Nero starts down a road that will take him across the Empire and beyond. Pursued by gangsters, bounty hunters and mysterious soldiers Nero and his friends, Luca, Shanti, Rosa and Simon are swept up in the battle for a new age, one where to gain tomorrow they must conquer their pasts and come to realize what it truly means to be a child of the lost.

Children of the Lost is a fast paced mainstream young adult novel of 120,000 words, set in a world where the Roman Empire lasted until 1608 before mysteriously disappearing. Now in 2010 a new industrial age is dawning and with it a struggle that will effect every man, woman and child on the planet, one for the soul of a world, between freedom and tyranny with all the benefits and curses both bring.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Last edited by thought_at_work on October 25th, 2011, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thewhipslip
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Re: Children of the Lost

Post by thewhipslip » September 30th, 2010, 9:19 am

Hi Justin!

This should be the start of your query, with some alterations:set in a world where the Roman Empire lasted until 1608 before mysteriously disappearing What do you mean by disappearing? The whole segment of land up and disappeared? All the people disappeared? What happened exactly? But the premise sounds great, very intrigued. Now in 2010 a new industrial age is dawning Describe this a bit more. What kind of industrial age?and with it a struggle that will effect every man, woman and child on the planet, one for the soul of a world How does the world have a soul?, between freedom and tyranny with all the benefits and curses both bring This last sentence tells us next-to-nothing about the book. I would cut it..


Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Justin Killeen and I am submitting my project “Children of the Lost” to your agency as it has experience in the genres and types of fiction that interest me and that I write, particulary young adult fiction. Also I am a first time author and saw on your website materials that you enjoy reading the work of first time authors.

Nero Alexander is a young teen living out his days peacefully in his hometown of Viridus. It is the dawn of a new industrial age in the New Empire, the successor of the Roman Empire which disappeared in the year 1608 and Nero is eager to be part of the world. Or so he thinks until the world comes calling. His parents stolen from him, Nero is thrown into the tumult of an industrializing city, Albus. Here he survives thanks to some new found friends and allies, street children and those on the edges of a cold indifferent society obsessed with wealth. Yet this peace is fleeting and when one, Rosa, is kidnapped Nero starts down a road that will take him across the Empire and beyond. Pursued by gangsters, bounty hunters and mysterious soldiers Nero and his friends, Luca, Shanti, Rosa and Simon are swept up in the battle for a new age, one where to gain tomorrow they must conquer their pasts and come to realize what it truly means to be a child of the lost. This entire paragraph needs to be infused with specifics. What we need to know: your main character and where's he at in his life: Nero lives his days peacefully in Viridus, then the catalyst: (not sure what it is, but the event that sets the plot forward - something to do with Roas being kidnapped, perhaps?, and then we need to know the antagonist - what Nero is up against, and then the conflict (what choices Nero has to make). Obviously you have something with the Child of Lost, but explain what that is and why it's important.

Children of the Lost is a fast paced mainstream young adult novel of 120,000 words, set in a world where the Roman Empire lasted until 1608 before mysteriously disappearing. Now in 2010 a new industrial age is dawning and with it a struggle that will effect every man, woman and child on the planet, one for the soul of a world, between freedom and tyranny with all the benefits and curses both bring.

As for myself I am currently living in Ireland am studying International Human Rights. At secondary school I studied classics where I achieved the highest grade in the country, a fact I contribute to Nero's personality: the final part of the exam was to imagine a conversation with a Roman teenager.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Justin Killeen,

I know that I havent contributed much to the site so far, long time reader first time submitter, but any feedback that the community can give me will be greatly appreciated. Oh and I promise to be an active particpant from now on.

Thanks in advance for any and all help,
Justin[/quote]


Good start here, just the wrong format for a query. Hope this helps!
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

trirae
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Re: Children of the Lost

Post by trirae » September 30th, 2010, 9:52 am

Hi there! I'm also new to this, but thanks for sharing your work. I am not an expert, just reacting base don what I've read.
thought_at_work wrote:
Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Justin Killeen and I am submitting my project “Children of the Lost” to your agency as it has experience in the genres and types of fiction that interest me and that I write, particulary young adult fiction. Also I am a first time author and saw on your website materials that you enjoy reading the work of first time authors.Most people say to move this to the bottom

Nero Alexander is a young teen living out his days peacefully in his hometown of Viridus.this gives information, but I'm not sure it draws me into the conflic right away It is the dawn of a new industrial age in the New Empire, separate these sentencesthe successor of the Roman Empire which disappeared in the year 1608 and Nero is eager to be part of the world.what does he mean by part of the world? Or so he thinks until the world comes calling. His parents stolen from him, Nero is thrown into the tumult of an industrializing city, Albus.maybe a bit more specific Here he survives thanks to some new found friends and allies, street children and those on the edges of a cold indifferent society obsessed with wealth.I like the idea here; it's moer specific. I think the sentence can be re-worded to be more active. Yet this peace is fleeting and when one, Rosa, is kidnapped Nero starts down a road that will take him across the Empire and beyond. Pursued by gangsters, bounty hunters and mysterious soldiers Nero and his friends, Luca, Shanti, Rosa and Simon are swept up in the battle for a new age, one where to gain tomorrow they must conquer their pasts and come to realize what it truly means to be a child of the lost. This was my favorite sentence and it's a good way to bring me in, I think.

Children of the Lost is a fast paced mainstream young adult novel of 120,000 words, set in a world where the Roman Empire lasted until 1608 before mysteriously disappearing. Now in 2010 a new industrial age is dawning and with it a struggle that will effect every man, woman and child on the planet, one for the soul of a world, between freedom and tyranny with all the benefits and curses both bring.

As for myself I am currently living in Ireland am studying International Human Rights. At secondary school I studied classics where I achieved the highest grade in the country, a fact I contribute to Nero's personality: the final part of the exam was to imagine a conversation with a Roman teenager. I'm sure this is a personal call, but it may be unnecessary at this point. Perhaps use your limited time to focus on the conflict of the book, particularly since it's a long one, and you to give the agent a reason to invest in it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Justin Killeen,

I know that I havent contributed much to the site so far, long time reader first time submitter, but any feedback that the community can give me will be greatly appreciated. Oh and I promise to be an active particpant from now on.

Thanks in advance for any and all help,
Justin

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Quill
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Re: Children of the Lost

Post by Quill » September 30th, 2010, 9:52 am

thought_at_work wrote: My name is Justin Killeen and I am submitting my project “Children of the Lost” to your agency as it has experience in the genres and types of fiction that interest me and that I write, particulary young adult fiction. Also I am a first time author and saw on your website materials that you enjoy reading the work of first time authors.
Move this to the bottom. Also, usually best to omit saying you are a first time author. This is assumed if you do not list other writing credits.
Nero Alexander is a young teen
Give his age.
living out his days peacefully in his hometown of Viridus.
We do not need the name of the town. "Living" does not require "out his days".
It is the dawn of a new industrial age in the New Empire,
Omit "new" from "new industrial" as redundant to "dawn" and "New Empire".
the successor of the Roman Empire which disappeared in the year 1608
Do Empires disappear? Is this book about Empires which magically vanish?
and Nero is eager to be part of the world.
Comma before "and".

Is it necessary to state that Nero is, essentially, eager to live?
Or so he thinks until the world comes calling.
Doesn't the "world come calling" every day, for each of us? What sounds philosophical actually comes across in the language as somewhat vague, and cliche. Could you replace "world comes calling" with something more specific?
His parents stolen from him, Nero is thrown
The sentence structure seems awkward here. You were doing well with simple declarative sentences, and then this shift in tense and the loaded leading clause... How about "When his parents..."

Also, are people stolen? Makes his parents sound like they are his property.

Also, an odd juxtapose of verbs: when they are stolen, he is thrown. How does stealing cause throwing?
into the tumult of an industrializing city, Albus.
Omit "Albus". It isn't needed, and bogs down the query with new names.

Perhaps explain or distinguish his hometown from this city. Is it near his hometown? Does he travel far to it? Why does he leave his hometown for this "tumult". What "throws" him into it?
Here he survives thanks
Comma after "survives" lest we think he is surviving the thanks.

Instead of the colloquialism "thanks" how about "with the help of"
to some new found friends and allies, street children and those on the edges of a cold indifferent society obsessed with wealth.
Omit "found" as redundant to "new".

Suggest em dash after "allies" lest we think that in addition to friends and allies, he also knows street children and those on the edges.

Suggest omitting at least two of the four following: friends, allies, children, those.

Comma after "cold"
Yet this peace is fleeting and when
Omit as unneeded. Also, "peace" strikes me as at odds with "survives" and "tumult" as well as "cold, indifferent".

one, Rosa, is kidnapped Nero starts down a road that will take him across the Empire and beyond.
I'd omit "and beyond" as anticlimactic to "across the Empire", which is enough to suggest a vast journey, for purposes of this query.

Pursued by gangsters, bounty hunters and mysterious soldiers Nero and his friends,
I'd omit "gangsters" unless they play a role more prominent than the hunters or soldiers. "Gangsters" sounds too modern, and also clutters the sentence. You only need two antagonists to make it effective here, in my opinion.
Luca, Shanti, Rosa and Simon
Omit these names as they clutter and add nothing here.
are swept up in the battle for a new age, one where to gain tomorrow they must conquer their pasts and come to realize what it truly means to be a child of the lost.
This is the crux of your query and needs to be clarified. Please explain "battle for a new age", "conquer their pasts", and "child of the lost". Agent response or non-response will probably depend on it. This part of the query is not a place to be vague or poetic.
Children of the Lost is a fast paced mainstream young adult novel of 120,000 words,
Omit "fast paced" as editorializing about your book. This should be evident by your description.
set in a world where the Roman Empire lasted until 1608 before mysteriously disappearing. Now in 2010 a new industrial age is dawning and with it a struggle that will effect every man, woman and child on the planet, one for the soul of a world, between freedom and tyranny with all the benefits and curses both bring.
Omit all of this. First, you have already included some of this info. Second, it is usually far better to show above (in your story description) than to tell below (here).
As for myself I am currently living in Ireland am studying International Human Rights. At secondary school I studied classics where I achieved the highest grade in the country, a fact I contribute to Nero's personality: the final part of the exam was to imagine a conversation with a Roman teenager.
Omit as irrelevant to the selling of this story. Use the space to flesh out the crux of your story. What makes this story different from other orphan and quest stories?

Good luck!

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androidblues
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Re: Children of the Lost

Post by androidblues » September 30th, 2010, 6:52 pm

I like the premise but the query has to much irrelevant information regarding yourself and can be condensed into two nice paragraphs. You shouldn't mention so many characters either, unless they are crucial to the plot. I'd definitely give it a test read though because the title was intriguing.
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thought_at_work
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Re: Children of the Lost

Post by thought_at_work » October 1st, 2010, 5:02 am

Dear All,
Thank you all so very much for the feedback it has been very enlightening! Reading your comments I can see the faults with my query, very happy now I submitted it here before sending it off! I am going to take a few days now to do a second draft and then post it, hopefully some of you wont mind giving the second draft a going over. Anyways thanks again for all the feedback and if any of you need help, advise or feedback I will only be too happy to help (my first draft query letter mightnt of been the best but I can assure you that I have some skill at this writing lark).

Thanks again,
Justin

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