Query: Swayed

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Tangynt
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Query: Swayed

Post by Tangynt » September 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

This is just the basic core, left off the personable chunks. Any and all feedback in much appreciated and will be reciprocated at the very least. ^_^

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Dear,

A secret society wants seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly dead. Here he’s been minding his own business for all his life, when a brotherhood called Libra decides to destroy a nightclub with him inside. Burn it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens die, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up.

A five-foot-three helping of red hair and attitude he dubs Scarlet “rescues” him—at gunpoint—and spirits him away. She tells Caleb that he is one of the Seven Sources, vessels of ancient power that are supposed to bring about the apocalypse. Libra has been hunting and killing Sources for centuries, to prevent another war between heaven and hell, and Caleb is next. Scarlet claims she can protect him, but only if he does exactly as she says. He agrees, but soon there’s more than his life on the line.

It doesn’t take long for Libra to track down Caleb’s family and friends. He will have to make a choice, sacrifice the ones he loves, or watch humanity fall. Somehow, the authorities get involved, and downtown Kansas City is turned into a mystical war zone. Forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has, Caleb will do anything to save those closest to him, the rest of the world be damned.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 80,000-word tale of the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the humor and otherworldly passion of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the of paranormality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays with Novel Clique and YA Lit Chat.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

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Again, thank you.

ABFTomioka
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by ABFTomioka » October 1st, 2010, 1:05 am

Hello! I really like this query, and your story sounds fast-paced and exciting. Nice work! I only have a few suggestions of how it may read better:

A secret society wants seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly dead. Here he’s been minding his own business for all his life, when a brotherhood called Libra decides to destroy a nightclub with him inside. Burn it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens die, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up. Maybe rearranging this paragraph would give it more action.....and I think you might try starting with Caleb. For example: Seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly has always minded his own business, but a secret society wants him dead. A brotherhood called Libra destroys the nightclub where Caleb hangs out, burning it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens are killed, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up.

Scarlet, a five-foot-three helping of red hair and attitude, “rescues” him at gunpoint. She tells Caleb he is one of the Seven Sources, vessels of ancient power that are supposed to bring about the Biblical apocalypse. Libra has been hunting and killing Sources for centuries in an attempt to prevent another war between heaven and hell, and Caleb is next. Scarlet claims she can protect him, but only if he does exactly as she says. He agrees, but more than just his life is on the line.

It doesn’t take long for Libra to track down Caleb’s family and friends. He must make an agonizing choice: sacrifice the ones he loves, or watch humanity fall. When the earthly authorities get involved downtown Kansas City is turned into a mystical war zone. Forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has, Caleb will do anything to save those closest to him.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 80,000-word tale of the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the humor and otherworldly passion of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the of paranormality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

thewhipslip
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by thewhipslip » October 1st, 2010, 9:20 am

I think ABFTomioka's revisions are on the money.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

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Remmik
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by Remmik » October 1st, 2010, 2:09 pm

Dear,

A secret society wants seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly dead. Here he’s been minding his own business for all his life, when a brotherhood called Libra decides to destroy a nightclub with him inside. Burn it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens die, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up. I agree with the previous poster: rearrange this a bit to give it more oomph.

A five-foot-three helping of red hair and attitude he dubs Scarlet “rescues” him—at gunpoint—and spirits him away. She tells Caleb that he is one of the Seven Sources, vessels of ancient power that are supposed to bring about the apocalypse. Libra has been hunting and killing Sources for centuries, to prevent another war between heaven and hell, and Caleb is next. Scarlet claims she can protect him, but only if he does exactly as she says. He agrees, but soon there’s more than his life on the line.If Libra is trying to prevent the apocalypse, why would someone work against that?

It doesn’t take long for Libra to track down Caleb’s family and friends I assume that if they found him in a nightclub, they already know where he lives and who he hangs out with. He will have to make a choice, sacrifice the ones he loves, or watch humanity fall Isn't it more like he'd have to sacrifice himself or let humanity fall?. Somehow Too vague, the authorities get involved, and downtown Kansas City is turned into a mystical war zone This sounds pretty cool. Forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has I'm not sure what power he has - he's basically been described as a container. Can he wield the power within him?, Caleb will do anything to save those closest to him, the rest of the world be damned.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 80,000-word tale of the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the humor and otherworldly passion of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the of paranormality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays with Novel Clique and YA Lit Chat.

I thank you for your time and consideration.


Other than his interest in nightclubs (and obviously being one of the Seven Sources), I really don't know what makes Caleb unique. Make him a girl, and the story as presented doesn't change. Make him a 30 year old, and he's still going to want to save his friends and family. What is it about the story that makes it specifically YA, and even more importantly, what makes Caleb's quest to stop the apocalypse different than any other fictional character's desire to do the same?

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wilderness
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by wilderness » October 2nd, 2010, 2:04 pm

Tangynt wrote: Dear,

A secret society wants seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly dead. Here he’s been minding his own business for all his life, when a brotherhood called Libra decides to destroy a nightclub with him inside. Burn it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens die, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up.

A five-foot-three helping of red hair and attitude (love this description!) he dubs Scarlet “rescues” him—at gunpoint—and spirits him away. She tells Caleb that he is one of the Seven Sources, vessels of ancient power that are supposed to bring about the apocalypse. Libra has been hunting and killing Sources for centuries, to prevent another war between heaven and hell, and Caleb is next. Scarlet claims she can protect him, but only if he does exactly as she says. This last line has been kind of overdone -- there are so many movies that use it. He agrees, but soon there’s more than his life on the line. This transition is unnecessary, you can just go straight to what else is at stake.

It doesn’t take long for Libra to track down Caleb’s family and friends. He will have to make a choice, sacrifice the ones he loves, or watch humanity fall. Somehow, the authorities get involved, and downtown Kansas City is turned into a mystical war zone. What do the authorities have to do with it becoming a mystical war zone? Also, you've never mentioned the setting before and it seems kind of late in the query to mention it now. Forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has, Caleb will do anything to save those closest to him, the rest of the world be damned. I really like "the rest of the world be damned" as an ending. But I'm not sure that the choice makes sense --- if the whole world is destroyed, won't his loved ones be also?


I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 80,000-word tale of the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the humor and otherworldly passion of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the of paranormality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Comparisons are very tricky so I advise you to stay away. Or at least, check the agent's blog to see if they like or dislike comparisons. Also, The Mortal Instruments has paranormal stuff, so it doesn't quite make sense as stated.

I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays with Novel Clique and YA Lit Chat.

I thank you for your time and consideration.
Sounds like a fun, fast-paced story! The query could be tightened up a bit, some bits could be clarified, but I like the voice a lot. Don't lose that in your revisions! :)

pollymilton
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by pollymilton » October 2nd, 2010, 2:26 pm

A secret society wants seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly dead. Here he’s been minding his own business for all his life, when a brotherhood called Libra decides to destroy a nightclub with him inside. Burn it to the ground with blood runes and black fire. Dozens die, but he manages to escape. Then she shows up.
Can you structure this as Caleb/then Libra? What do we know about Caleb? Is there anything cool about him that will appeal to the reader? I also feel like the rhythm of "here he's been minding his own business for all his life" is off.


A five-foot-three helping of red hair and attitude he dubs Scarlet “rescues” him—at gunpoint—and spirits him away. She tells Caleb that he is one of the Seven Sources, vessels of ancient power that are supposed to bring about the apocalypse. Libra has been hunting and killing Sources for centuries, to prevent another war between heaven and hell, and Caleb is next. Scarlet claims she can protect him, but only if he does exactly as she says. He agrees, but soon there’s more than his life on the line.
"Five foot three with a big helping of attitude" I think it will be fun for the reader so see him name her in the book. Can you clean up the first two sentences a bit? They seem convoluted.

It doesn’t take long for Libra to track down Caleb’s family and friends. He will have to make a choice, sacrifice the ones he loves, or watch humanity fall. Somehow, the authorities get involved, and downtown Kansas City is turned into a mystical war zone. Forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has, Caleb will do anything to save those closest to him, the rest of the world be damned.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 80,000-word tale of the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the humor and otherworldly passion of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the of paranormality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Do we need paranormal and paranormality?
I think you've got a very nice start.
Polly



I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays with Novel Clique and YA Lit Chat.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

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Again, thank you.Tangynt

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androidblues
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Re: Query: Swayed

Post by androidblues » October 2nd, 2010, 7:55 pm

I agree with all stated above. Especially the part about getting to know Caleb. I think that is the most important thing you need to focus on because right now I don't have a single clue about his personality. Is he like Harry Potter, Bella Swan, Eragon, Frodo? I don't know so I can't really judge on if I wanted to read the book regardless of how cool Scarlett sounds. But then again I often read books because of kick butt tsundere's. If that is what she is. Maybe throw in a couple of adjectives about him so I get a feel for him. Is he flirtatious, childlike, cowardly, brave, cool, funny, tough, kickass or naive?
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