Query up for critique

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jhoward
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Query up for critique

Post by jhoward » January 21st, 2011, 2:33 am

Here is the body only of my work in progress. I welcome any and all feedback.

A boy pulls Sydney off a cliff and she knows they are both dead. But she can’t resist the urge to attack her murderer. Then she recognizes his birthmark. Has her brother really returned from the dead to take her life?

When they end up in Barathio, the dimension of their birth (and not a mangled pile), sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart discovers her family has been protected by secrets. Secrets like each family member is alive, living quietly in a different dimension. And that each has a coveted ability, like her brother who can navigate interdimensionally.

Hoping to reunite their family, the siblings follow a trail of guarded clues concealed in their family’s history. Only they can locate the clues. And only if they stay together. But they learn that being together has deadly consequences. It allows The Hunter, who thirsts for their abilities, to track them. It also dilutes the charm protecting their family, and all of Barathio for that matter, from the oppressive reign of Ze’el who commands an army of dragons.

Sydney now faces the same dilemma her parents did over a decade ago. If she honors her parent’s sacrifice by returning to earth, her family and Barathio will be safe. But the possibility, no matter how slim, of uniting her family is just too tempting.

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Mary-Catharine
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Re: Query up for critique

Post by Mary-Catharine » January 21st, 2011, 12:41 pm

('m sure you just probably left this stuff out. But, incase you didn't know, you're suppose to lead a query with: your name, personal information, agency information, and 'dear, agent's name.')

Here is the body only of my work in progress. I welcome any and all feedback. ( I really hope you do.)

A boy pulls Sydney off a cliff and she knows they are both dead. But she can’t resist the urge to attack her murderer. Then she recognizes his birthmark. Has her brother really returned from the dead to take her life?

(I'm sure when you meant 'pull' you mean 'push.')

When they end up in Barathio, the dimension of their birth (and not a mangled pile), sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart discovers her family has been protected by secrets. Secrets like each family member is alive, living quietly in a different dimension. And that each has a coveted ability, like her brother who can navigate interdimensionally.

Hoping to reunite their family, the siblings follow a trail of guarded clues concealed in their family’s history. Only they can locate the clues. And only if they stay together. But they learn that being together has deadly consequences. It allows The Hunter, who thirsts for their abilities, to track them. It also dilutes the charm protecting their family, and all of Barathio for that matter, from the oppressive reign of Ze’el who commands an army of dragons.

Sydney now faces the same dilemma her parents did over a decade ago. If she honors her parent’s sacrifice by returning to earth, her family and Barathio will be safe. But the possibility, no matter how slim, of uniting her family is just too tempting.

(Very interesting concept. I liked the idea of a dead brother coming back to kill his sister. I'm very confused on what you're book is really about. You need to really focus on one thing. You go from a ghost brother's vendetta to an army of dragons. What has really helped me, because I'm not at all savvy on writing queries, are the four questions:
1. Who is your main character?-- who I think is sydney
2. What does he/she want?
3. What is keeping from he/she getting it?
4. What really bad thing will happen if they don't?
If you can't answer these questions, then we have a real problem on our hands. A query is a glimpse at our writing skills, and I just don't feel this query is strong enough to represent your book and you. I know it's so difficult to prove that in 250 words, which is why I'm still learning. I hope you know that I'm only trying to be helpful and not critical. You have a really great idea, it's just important to know how to make others think so as well.)

ajcattapan
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Re: Query up for critique

Post by ajcattapan » January 21st, 2011, 7:36 pm

I've loved stories with multiple dimensions ever since I read A Wrinkle in Time as a kid. Unfortunately, your query has me a little lost. I'll highlight a few parts where some clarification might help.
jhoward wrote:Here is the body only of my work in progress. I welcome any and all feedback.

A boy Who? pulls Sydney Who? off a cliff and she knows they Sydney and the random boy? are both dead. But she can’t resist the urge to attack her murderer. Then she recognizes his birthmark. Has her brother really returned from the dead to take her life?

When they end up in Barathio, the dimension of their birth (and not a mangled pile) This part is confusing. Barathio is in another dimension, but is it a planet? a city? And I'm not getting the "mangled pile" part. , sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart discovers her family has been protected by secrets. Secrets like each family member is alive, living quietly in a different dimension. And that each has a coveted ability, like her brother who can navigate interdimensionally.

Hoping to reunite their family, the siblings follow a trail of guarded clues concealed in their family’s history.that only they can locate. AndThis will work only if they stay together. But they learn that being together has deadly consequences. It allows The Hunter, who thirsts for their abilities, to track them. It also dilutes the charm protecting their family, and all of Barathio for that matter, from the oppressive reign of Ze’el who commands an army of dragons.

Sydney now faces the same dilemma her parents did over a decade ago. If she honors her parent’s sacrifice by returning to earth, her family and Barathio will be safe. But the possibility, no matter how slim, of reuniting her family is just too tempting.
I like that you made it clear what choice Sydney needs to make (whether to reunite her family or save Barathio by returning alone to Earth) and that you made it clear what's at stake (her family's life and the safety of her birthplace). I hope my comments help some! Best wishes with your query!

clara_w
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Re: Query up for critique

Post by clara_w » January 22nd, 2011, 10:42 am

A boy Id say the name of the boy here. Or just a "strange boy" then.pulls Sydney off a cliff and she knows they are both dead. But she can’t resist the urge to attack her murderer.And by then, they are already dead. They are still falling from the cliff? How high was this thing?Id change this second sentence to something more elightening: "As they fall, she recognizes his birthmark. Has... Then she recognizes his birthmark. Has her brother really returned from the dead to take her life?

When they end up in Barathio, the dimension of their birth (and not a mangled pile), sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart discovers her family has been protected by secrets. Secrets like each family member is alive, living quietly in a different dimension.We didnt know they were separated. We didnt know she was an 'oprhan'. You should put that on the beginning. And that each has a coveted ability, like her brother who can navigate interdimensionally.

Hoping to reunite their family, the siblings follow a trail of guarded clues concealed in their family’s history. Only they can locate the clues. And only if they stay together. But they learn that being together has deadly consequences. It allows The Hunter, who thirsts for their abilities, to track them. It also dilutes the charm protecting their family, and all of BarathioId say the worl of Barathio, or the country of Barathio. for that matter, from the oppressive reign of Ze’el who commands an army of dragons.

Sydney now faces the same dilemma her parents did over a decade ago. If she honors her parent’s sacrifice by returning to earth, her family and Barathio will be safe. But the possibility, no matter how slim, of uniting her family is just too tempting.

Good query, good luck!

kevinott777
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Re: Query up for critique

Post by kevinott777 » January 27th, 2011, 2:48 pm

I'm intrigued by the story. I love fantasy, and I would be interested in a story that contains a familial drama like this one. I would read your novel. I agreed with the other commenters in general; I just need more plainly presented information so I can keep track of who is who. Other than that, great story idea!

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