Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

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trirae
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Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by trirae » September 30th, 2010, 1:33 pm

Hi everyone. I'm Tricia, and I've been reading for a while, but I have just started posting. I'm hoping for some feedback as I get ready to begin the query process.

Thanks in advance for your time and perspective.

Thanks for your reaction. I decided to do an edit last night because you made some points I was too close to it to see. The story is told from both Audrey's and George's POV, but I honed in on one for the query. So, here is a second attempt.

Here is draft #3. Thank you so much for your help so far. You've been amazing.

George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He wipes a tear away. He holds her hand. He even dances with her. That wouldn’t mean much, except imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be real.
According to ‘The Council,’ the leaders who assigned him to Audrey, imaginary friends should move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans.

Then George unexpectedly becomes human, and it’s harder than he’d anticipated. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best because just as their relationship blossoms, a new threat emerges.

The ‘Council’ will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey to punish him. When they attack her, George and Audrey are forced to leave Homecoming and P.E. behind in exchange for ‘Central,’ a place where their biggest challenge is figuring out which obstacles are real. He’ll risk everything to get her home safely for the same reason he stayed all those years: her loves her.

FIGMENT , a young adult fantasy/romance novel, emphasizes the power of belief. Complete at 79,000 words, it is my debut.



George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He also wipes a tear away. He even dances with her. That wouldn’t mean much, except George isn’t real, or he shouldn’t be. Imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human.

According to ‘The Council,’ the leaders who assigned him to Audrey, imaginary friends are supposed to move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans.

When he unexpectedly becomes human, it isn’t all George hoped for. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best. Just as their friendship blossoms, a new threat emerges.

The ‘Council’ is not happy about his change, and they will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey to punish him for his wrongdoings. They are forced to exchange Homecoming and P.E. for overcoming incredible obstacles in ‘Central,’ the place where imaginary friends are controlled. No matter his fate, George vows to get Audrey home safely. How can he not? He loves her.

Complete at 79,000 words, FIGMENT is a young adult fantasy/romance novel emphasizing the power of belief.



Dear Agent:

George pushed Audrey Parker. He also wiped a tear away. That wouldn't mean much, except George is her imaginary friend, and he's not supposed to be with her anymore, let alone touch her.

He's at odds with ‘The Council,’ leaders who appoint imaginary friends to humans, because he won't move to a new assignment. He can't. Audrey needs him too much, though she has no idea he's still there. Believing George abandoned her six years ago, Audrey avoids relationships leaving her depressed and lonely.

At the beginning of her senior year of high school, George does something unbelievable. He becomes human.

As George navigates the human world with no identity, Audrey juggles new friendships, a popular boy’s interest, and ultimately, newcomer who feels strangely familiar.

George believes his greatest challenges are finding food and shelter while trying to get Audrey to realize who he is, but his biggest problem still resides in the imaginary world. The ‘Council’ is not happy about his change, and they will do anything to get him back, including using Audrey to punish him for his wrongdoings. He vows to protect her even if it means losing the woman he loves.

Audrey’s journey involves regaining her confidence, her imagination, and her best friend, George. Though Audrey finds managing bullies and multiple love interests is hard, it’s nothing compared to the obstacles she faces in ‘Central,’ the place where imaginary friends are controlled, assigned, and ultimately retired.

Complete at 79,000 words, FIGMENT, is a young adult fantasy/romance novel emphasizing the power of belief.

(agent personalization and contact to follow)
Last edited by trirae on October 3rd, 2010, 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

Tangynt
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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy

Post by Tangynt » September 30th, 2010, 9:46 pm

Hi Tricia! Just gonna jump right in.

I'm not sure what the initial conflict is after reading the first few lines. Is it because he's interacting with her--which is what an imaginary friend does I thought--or is it because he won't move on. Also, when he pushes her and wipes away a tear, how old is she? Because that would have a huge affect on how the "offense" comes across.

After reading the letter in its entirety, I'm curious as to who the book is about; George or Audrey. I'm also confused, because it starts out reading as if George is the MC but by the end of it Audrey is vying for my attention as a potential protagonist. Which one of them is the one we'll be following about for the duration of the story.

With George, it starts out that Audrey is his concern. He becomes human and has human problems (The phrasing concerning food and shelter reads a bit awkwardly, like it's an afterthought thrown in and not a focal point so maybe should be avoided altogether), and then The Council rears its ugly head. But then this sentence throws me off completely. "He vows to protect her even if it means losing the woman he loves." Is Audrey not the one he loves? If not, this woman needs to be mentioned earlier on.

The last sentence is completely about Audrey and puts the brakes on building concern for George. If the story is from his POV the last bit can be removed entirely.

In the details about Figment, maybe mention a book or two similar to it that would give a parallel to something readers already enjoy.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by thewhipslip » October 1st, 2010, 9:50 am

George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He also wipes a tear away. He even dances with her. That wouldn’t mean much Really? It sounds kinda nice..., except George isn’t real, or he shouldn’t be I don't like the uncertain tone in the last part. The sentence has more of a punch if you say he's not real.. Imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human I would cutt his. It's reiterated in the next paragraph.

According to ‘The Council,’ the leaders who assigned him to Audrey cut this middle part - don't need it, imaginary friends are supposed to move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans This is good. Sets up the conflict.

When he unexpectedly becomes human, it isn’t all George hoped for This sentence might be more direct as: Then George unexpectedly becomes human. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best. Just as their friendship blossoms, a new threat emerges. This is all good. I love your plot!

The ‘Council’ Why is Council in quotes - are they imaginary too?is not happy about his change, and they will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey to punish him for his wrongdoings. They are forced to exchange Homecoming and P.E. for overcoming incredible obstacles in ‘Central,’ who's forced - George and Audrey? the place where imaginary friends are controlled. No matter his fate, George vows to get Audrey home safely. How can he not? He loves her. Last too sentences don't really grab me. I think you need more of an emotional tug. How does Audrey feel about all this? And be more specific about the obstacles - the Council puts them in imaginary land and makes them do...what?

Complete at 79,000 words, FIGMENT is a young adult fantasy/romance novel emphasizing the power of belief.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by androidblues » October 1st, 2010, 11:26 am

This sounds pretty interesting, but I agree you need to explain why the Council is so important. I need something to make me feel why George has to protect Audrey so much. Like in the Hunger Games it was survive or die. What threat does the council pose and why should I care?
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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by priya g. » October 1st, 2010, 12:02 pm

Your new query letter is definitely eye-catching. i like the plot, i LOVE the characters. just a few tips:

1. Since George is imaginary, when he does turn human, doesnt he get a bit blown away about the practicality of life? for instance, the mention of him having no food and shelter is good, but maybe a bit more into how he is kind of lost would make his plight come out more.
2. Is Audrey different now (habits etc) that she has grown up? apart from her not recognizing George, is there a distinct difference between the Audrey that played with her imaginary friend and the teenager now? does George see the difference? but does he still love her?

Hope this helps!

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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by sgf » October 1st, 2010, 7:22 pm

Hi Trirae,

Here are my thoughts on your 2nd draft:


George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He also wipes a tear away. He even dances with her. That wouldn’t mean much, except George isn’t real, or he shouldn’t be. Imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human.I liked this beginning-- the idea that an imaginary friend is helping and protecting someone in real life is cool! But, the way this is written seems too contradictory and I think the idea you want to get across could be more clearly written. The contradictory part is: "George isn’t real, or he shouldn’t be. Imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human." How about just: Imaginary friends aren't supposed to be real"?

According to ‘The Council,’ the leaders who assigned him to Audrey, imaginary friends are supposed to move on when their humans grow up. This is good as far explaining the plot, but I also felt it sounded too much like some of the lines in the previous paragraph (imaginary friends are supposed to )

They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans.Thought this was a great line!

When he unexpectedly becomes human, it isn’t all George hoped for. Liked this line. But maybe clarify how he becomes human? I'm not sure how many agents are sticklers for ending sentences with prepositions, but you might want to revise the sentence to avoid it here.

He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. This is great. Short and to the point.

Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him,

and that may be for the best. Just as their friendship blossoms, a new threat emerges. Not sure why it was for the best that she doesn't recognize her and though I can come up with a lot of reasons, consider stating it here, especially if it has something to do with the emerging threat. I also thought the emerging threat should be more specific. Give the reader a stronger sense of the conflict.

The ‘Council’ is not happy about his change, and they will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey to punish him for his wrongdoings. Oh, is this the threat? If so, why not use this above?

They are forced to exchange Homecoming and P.E. for overcoming incredible obstacles in ‘Central,’ I wasn't sure what this part meant. Does "they" refer to Audrey and George, or the Council? Maybe include a line about what the Central is like? Is it an imaginary land?

the place where imaginary friends are controlled. No matter his fate, George vows to get Audrey home safely. How can he not? He loves her. I liked this last line.

Complete at 79,000 words, FIGMENT is a young adult fantasy/romance novel emphasizing the power of belief.

Hope some of this helps!

trirae
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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by trirae » October 3rd, 2010, 8:45 am

Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help so far. I've posted another revision in the OP. If you have a moment to weigh in, I'd be grateful.

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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by Anobile1 » October 4th, 2010, 5:21 am

George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He wipes a tear away. He holds her hand. He even dances with her. That wouldn’t mean much, -maybe not to a kid, but it would to a seventeen year old except imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be real.

According to ‘The Council,’ - quotes aren't needed the leaders who assigned him to Audrey, imaginary friends should move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of seventeen year old humans -I hope you don't mind me playing with the wording. Specifying 'their' seventeen year olds, makes it sound like most imaginary friends are assigned to teenagers, when you've just said they aren't and definitely shouldn't be. Wording it this way flows better and doesn't cause confusion.

Then George unexpectedly becomes human, and it’s harder than he’d anticipated. -had he been anticipating becoming human? You've made it sound like he wasn't. Also, you should explain briefly what makes him become human. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best because just as their relationship blossoms, a new threat emerges. -this sentence sounds awkward

The ‘Council’ -quotes not needed will do anything to get him back -insert either a comma or a semi-colon- including hurt Audrey to punish him. -this is already obvious When they attack her, George and Audrey are forced to leave Homecoming and P.E. behind -why is this significant? in exchange for ‘Central,’ -quotes not needed a place where their biggest challenge is figuring out which obstacles are real. -this says nothing. More detail would be good. He’ll risk everything to get her home safely for the same reason he stayed all those years: her loves her. -this sentence sounds awkward

FIGMENT, a young adult fantasy/romance novel, -too many genres here. You've got three, when should probably pick one, and definitely no more than two. emphasizes the power of belief. -this is not needed. Let the agent decide this for themselves by reading the pages ;) Complete at 79,000 words, it is my debut.
I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, because I don't intend it to, and because it's already pretty good. Keep working at it, and good luck! ^_^
My Blog: http://amorenanobile.blogspot.com/ (Most recent post: Inspiration Patterns and an Old Friend)

trirae
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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED AGAIN below

Post by trirae » October 6th, 2010, 2:19 pm

Hi all, I'm attempting another revision. I want to say something about two common questions raised to get an opinion. First, the part where George unexpectedly becomes human. I have intentionally left it out because it's not necessarily all that exciting, but it might take a couple of sentences of detail to set it up. But if it's too shocking as is, I'll keep working on it. Second, the challenges in Central. Most of them come from a walk through a Central Park replica. Out of context, the specific challenges feel a little young and not that daunting. As it happens, there are details that make them more exciting. So, here I've made an attempt to jazz that part up, but I'm not sure if I've made it worse.

The feedback you've given so far as been incredibly valuable. I've probably gone of the mark with this revision, but I'll take whatever advice you've got to spare. Some of the wordings may have been better before. I'm not sure.

George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He also wipes a tear away and holds her hand. He even dances with her. That might be nice for a typical teenager, but it’s astonishing to George. After all, imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human.

According to The Council, the leaders who assigned him to Audrey twelve years ago, imaginary friends should move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans.

When he unexpectedly becomes human, George is overwhelmed. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best because just as their relationship blossoms, a new threat emerges. The Council will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey.

When they attack her, George and Audrey are forced to leave high school behind for Central, a hub where imaginary friends train and eventually retire. It is also the home of the Council. The obstacles George and Audrey face may come from imaginary friends, but they are no less real, especially when the Council traps them inside their own fears. He’ll risk everything to get her home safely. He has to. Her loves her.

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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED

Post by androidblues » October 6th, 2010, 2:31 pm

This is cool, but why does the council want him back? And why does he have to bring Audrey along?
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Re: Query - Figment - YA Fantasy- REVISED AGAIN below

Post by thewhipslip » October 6th, 2010, 2:36 pm

George pushes Audrey Parker out of danger. He also wipes a tear away and holds her hand. He even dances with her. That might be nice for a typical teenager, but it’s astonishing to George. After all, imaginary friends aren’t supposed to be human. I'm just a little lost about why it's astonishing to George. It sounds like he's already turned to a human in the first part, but I don't think that's your intent.

According to The Council, the leaders who assigned him to Audrey twelve years ago, imaginary friends should move on when their humans grow up. They definitely shouldn’t be hanging out in the imaginations of their seventeen year old humans. Love this paragraph.

When he unexpectedly becomes human, George is overwhelmed. He has no money, no house, and no identity. But those are the least of his concerns. Instead of watching Audrey from inside her imagination, he now has a front row seat as she breaks out of her self-imposed solitude, making new friends and going on dates with the most popular guy in her school. She doesn’t recognize him, and that may be for the best because just as their relationship blossoms, a new threat emerges. The Council will do anything to get him back including hurt Audrey.

When they attack her, George and Audrey are forced to leave high school behind for Central, a hub where imaginary friends train and eventually retire What's the motivation for being right under the Council's nose? Doesn't make sense to me. It is also the home of the Council. The obstacles George and Audrey face may come from imaginary friends, but they are no less real, especially when the Council traps them inside their own fears. He’ll risk everything to get her home safely. He has to. Her loves her. Not a fan of the last two sentences. They seem tacked on. Think you can cut them without losing anything [/color][/quote]
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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