Query: The Guardian's Code

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lunerunit
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Query: The Guardian's Code

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

I've spent some time reworking my novel and have changed many things including my title. Here is my latest Query. I did not include dear agent or anything as I will be entering this into a contest that does not require that information. I'm thinking it is a little wordy. Any suggestions?

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says his family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are Guardians of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready, the forest is too dangerous, and she will not take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect.

When an alluring spirit appears to him, offering a blade that can cut through anything in exchange for entry through the gateway, Griffin wonders if his grandma’s tales are true. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit convinces Griffin to let her pass. But she brings her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, and as the sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, Griffin knows he made a mistake.

Intending to destroy Dolosus with his new weapon, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use the blade against the soul collector who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and want the boy dead. To save his own skin, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy where a sceptical teenager learns to trust his heart and in the process uncovers secrets older than time.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by glj » January 21st, 2011, 8:50 pm

Overall, this is concise and gives me a good sense of the plot. I would guess it is not your first draft. Comments below.


Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says his Seems like "their family" would be more appropriate? She is his grandma, after all. family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are Guardians Since this not a title, probably shouldn't capitalize "guardians". of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready, the forest is too dangerous, and she will not take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect. This last sentence is good, but seems a bit long. How about 'But she will not take him past a point she calls the gateway, saying he is not ready to go farther." Just a suggestion.

When an alluring spirit appears to him, offering offers a blade that can cut through anything in exchange for entry through the gateway, Griffin wonders if his grandma’s tales of danger? are true. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, Hmm. Almost comes across as sexual. Is the beginning phrase needed? the spirit convinces Griffin to let her pass. But she brings her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, and as. As the sky darkens, and the vibrant colors of the wood fade, Griffin knows he made a mistake.

Intending to destroy Dolosus with his new weapon, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use the blade against the soul collector who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and want the boy dead. Could you use something stronger than "want the boy dead"? This implies that they are upset, but doesn't imply a threat to Griffin. To save his own skin, Probably just personal preference, but "his own skin" sounded strange. How about "himself"? his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy where a sceptical teenager learns to trust his heart and in the process uncovers secrets older than time. I would suggest you cut this last bit and use the word count for describing the plot. This is nice, but doesn't add anything and doesn't increase the "must read" factor.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by clara_w » January 22nd, 2011, 10:37 am

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her (I'd write their house, I was confused with 'his' and 'her' here) house. He rolls his eyes when she says his family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are Guardians of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready, the forest is too dangerous, and she will not take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect.

The rest is very interesting, and I liked it very much. I'm quite hooked. Good luck!!

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by ajcattapan » January 22nd, 2011, 2:48 pm

I think this is really good. You've kept the number of characters low, and the plot line is easy to follow. I have only a couple minor suggestions.
lunerunit wrote:
Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says his family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are Guardians of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready, the forest is too dangerous, and she will not take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect.

When an alluring spirit appears to him, offering a blade that can cut through anything in exchange for entry through the gateway, Griffin wonders if his grandma’s tales are true. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit convinces Griffin to let her pass. So Griffin can let people in, even though his grandma has yet to take him past the gateway? But she brings her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, and as the sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade,Griffin knows he made a mistake. alerting Griffin to his mistake. (You've got a run-on sentence here. There are numerous other ways to fix it. For example, you could just change the comma after fade to a period.)

Intending to destroy Dolosus with his new weapon, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use the blade against the soul collector who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and want the boy dead. To save his own skin, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after. Nice ending here.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy where a skeptical teenager learns to trust his heart and in the process uncovers secrets older than time. Actually, I think you could end with a period after fantasy. The rest of this sentence isn't all that enlightening, so if you are looking to cut word count, cut off the end of this last sentence.
Hope that helps! Your story sounds great!

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by lunerunit » January 22nd, 2011, 7:40 pm

Thanks for al the feedback. I have been working on this a lot. I actually started back in the summer with the help of this thread. Everything all of you have mentioned is exactly what I've been toiling with. I'll play with it and see what I come up with. Thanks again. The feedback is sooo helpful.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by lunerunit » January 23rd, 2011, 1:04 pm

Okay, so I think I addressed all of your points without compromising what I feel is neccessary. One of the biggest things I struggle with is showing how the spirit is seductive instead of telling. That is why I liked "Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words." So I hope how I modified that paragragh still shows how she persuaded a young, skeptical teenage boy with a fancy knife and her temptress charm.

Also, I have no idea what to put after young adult fantasy. I feel like just putting a period there feels wrong, like I need more. That has been the single most difficult part of this pitch. Ah! Any suggestions?

Here's the latest:

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect.

When an alluring spirit appears, offering a blade that can cut through anything in exchange for entry through the gateway, Griffin wonders if his grandma’s tales are true. The spirit reveals that as a guardian, Griffin has the power to let her pass, even though he has never entered the forest. He cannot resist her bewitching charm and lets her in. But she brings her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld. As the sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, Griffin knows he made a mistake.

Intending to destroy Dolosus with his new weapon, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use the blade against the soul collector who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and desire to kill the boy. To save his himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by Quill » January 23rd, 2011, 4:17 pm

lunerunit wrote:
Here's the latest:

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the forest behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the sacred woodland. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway - the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect.
Very good up until "- the entrance his lineage has sworn to protect". Here the point of view seems to shift, being that it is unclear whether Griffin has been told this info, or if it is the author is telling us directly. The rest of the paragraph is of a cloth giving us, if not Griff's perspective, at least info we feel he knows. Maybe say "the entrance his grandma has told him his lineage..." if this is the case (and if in fact we need to know about this swearing at all here).
When an alluring spirit appears, offering a blade that can cut through anything in exchange for entry through the gateway, Griffin wonders if his grandma’s tales are true.
Good info but a bit awkward: "When a spirit appears, offering, Griffin wonders." Would wondering be his first impulse? His most important one? The most dramatic one in this context? I would think that such an apparition would have him thinking quite different thoughts than about his grandma.

Also, "alluring spirit" seems vague. Even "alluring female spirit" would give us a more complete picture.

Also, does she appear and offer at the same time? Does she appear while holding the blade out to him? As written it seems so, and this is a bit odd.

Again, a bit awkward having her appear while offering, and having his reaction be to wonder about his grandma.
The spirit reveals that as a guardian, Griffin has the power to let her pass, even though he has never entered the forest.
Okay, but perhaps more powerful to reverse the clauses: "The spirit reveals that as a guardian, and even though he has never entered the forest, Griffin has the power to let her pass." the biggest punch at the end. Just a thought.
He cannot resist her bewitching charm and lets her in.
A bit weak of a sentence. Not much drama or info (what bewitching charm cannot he resist) (and "lets her in" is sort of a letdown, it feels, verbwise). I thought the candied words and eyelash batting was better.
But she brings her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld.
This could also be punched up, perhaps by making this huge plot point clearer/more dramatic. Maybe small tweaking would do it, like "But she brings in her master, Dolosus, who is a soul collector from the Underworld." Maybe a rewrite along the lines of "But her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her."

As the sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, Griffin knows he made a mistake.
I'm seeing "The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he has made a mistake." Not sure this is better but the "As..." seems to slow it down and remove it from utmost immediacy.
Intending to destroy Dolosus with his new weapon, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use the blade against the soul collector who made it.
I'm seeing "With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest, but finds he cannot use his (new) sword against the one who who made it." Dropping the redundancy of weapon/blade, and also the repeat of "soul collector" seems an improvement.
On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and desire to kill the boy.
Good but a little confusing as written, "...are furious for letting and desire". "Desire" seems to be left hanging after "letting" without the support of "do (do desire)" or "they (they desire)". Does that make sense?
To save his himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.
Good but brings up the question, how big is this forest? I was picturing a few acres, maybe even a hundred. How hard can it be to locate the High Guardian in that size area. And if bigger, can one family guard it? And since upon this seeking (of the Guardian) does your crux seem to rest, it might be good to give a bit more context somewhere in the query, like, why is this wood sacred, why does it need protecting, how big is it, what timeframe are we in (is it a fantasy land? Modern England?), and in general, what is the nature of this place and the mission of the family, High Guardian, Dolosus, and the eyelash-batting entity? This might give it a bit more punch here at the end (how it all fits together and why this or that element of your story, especially the crux, is so important).
THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy.
Good.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by lunerunit » January 24th, 2011, 1:53 am

Here we go again. Thanks Quill. You really know your stuff. I did my best, my brain is now throbbing and everything. My only worry is that the query is even more wordy than before trying to cover all the bases you mentioned. Perhaps there is a more efficient way, and if there is, please let me know.

Revision #3:

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the huge wilderness behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest. She tells him an immense invisible barrier surrounds the woodland, protecting a secret hidden within. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest.

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter the through the gateway, everything he believes changes. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit reveals that as a guardian, Griffin has the power to let her in. Even with her charm Griffin is reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake.

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest with his new weapon, but finds he cannot use the blade against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and they desire to kill the boy. To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by Mary-Catharine » January 24th, 2011, 11:39 am

lunerunit wrote:Here we go again. Thanks Quill. You really know your stuff. I did my best, my brain is now throbbing and everything. My only worry is that the query is even more wordy than before trying to cover all the bases you mentioned. Perhaps there is a more efficient way, and if there is, please let me know.

Revision #3:

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the huge wilderness behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest. She tells him an immense invisible barrier surrounds the woodland, protecting a secret hidden within. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest.

(Um, I'm loven this so far.)

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter the through the gateway, everything he believes changes. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit reveals that as a guardian, Griffin has the power to let her in. Even with her charm Griffin is reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake.

(This second paragraph seems like a whole lot of nothing, revealing nothing about the plot until the very last sentence. I feel like the spirit who allures Griffin is important and vital to the progression of the story, and we should know her name. So, Griffin was cajoled by a knife, letter her and her evil master into the forest! Aw, man! Bummer. However, I'd have to admit: I'm not into the whole spirits-forest-stuff-- but, holy crap, I'd read this. Sounds great.)

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest with his new weapon, but finds he cannot use the blade against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and they desire to kill the boy. To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

(Holy criz-ap. Hell yeah. Sounds like the bees knees. This is great so far. What I need to know is what Griffin wants. At first he was all: Whatever. I don't really care about that stuff. Shut up, grandma.
How'd he get to where he was in the second paragraph, because it looked like he was doing his job that his grandma said he wasn't ready to do in the second. How did he get from point A to point C, and what happened to point B?
What exactly bad thing will happen when Dolosus enters the woods. I know he's evil and he steal souls... but what else?
The bad thing that will happen if Griffin doesn't kill Dolosus, is Griffin's own head and the safety of the forest. Plus, it's Griffin job to protect that freaking forest! And he needs to prove that he can dooz it!!! Sorry, I'm just really into this right now! I'm so excited about this story. Great. Excellent. I love that they're both after the same thing. Great, great, great story.)

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.


(Becareful with that word now!!!! Dare I mention it... young adult. Very competitive market. I'm sure agents cring to the idea of a young adult book. So, be careful. Placing your book into a genre is very important, and I think you could do a little better than just fantasy.I was going to say something about the Pacific Northwest current day thing... but decided not to. I think if your going to mention the location here, you should also mention it with the story section of your query.)

(I hope it wasn't too net-picky. I don't really like giving criticism half the time because I know I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't even know how to write a query. I just really do want to help and not to be hurtful and knock you down in any way. I really hope to see this on the shelf sometime soon. Right next to mine, hommie!!!! Oh yes, I'm with the modern vernacular!)

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by Quill » January 24th, 2011, 12:03 pm

lunerunit wrote:Here we go again. Thanks Quill. You really know your stuff. I did my best, my brain is now throbbing and everything. My only worry is that the query is even more wordy than before trying to cover all the bases you mentioned. Perhaps there is a more efficient way, and if there is, please let me know.

Revision #3:

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe the stories his grandma tells him about the huge wilderness behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest. She tells him an immense invisible barrier surrounds the woodland, protecting a secret hidden within. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest.

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter the through the gateway, everything he believes changes. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit reveals that as a guardian, Griffin has the power to let her in. Even with her charm Griffin is reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake.

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest with his new weapon, but finds he cannot use the blade against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious with Griffin for letting Dolosus in and they desire to kill the boy. To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.
This is very much better. Good work. I may suggest some tweaks to strengthen the language further, but the setting and plot are sufficiently clear now, and the elements of your story seem well weighted and arranged.

The only overt detail that sticks out for me right now is "the spirit reveals that as a guardian". I'd consider removing "as a guardian" and let "Griffin has the power" stand on its own to convey the point: "the spirit reveals that Griffin has the power". We can believe this since his family is guardian.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by lunerunit » January 25th, 2011, 12:32 am

I was a little worried about the word count, and played with it a little more. I removed the line about the invisible barrier just to see what it would sound like, but I think the information about the barrier is pretty vital. I tweaked a couple other areas where I found I could tighten it up without losing anything important. I'm just worried about it being too long, especially when I add in the agent information. Is the pitch itself supposed to be about 250 words long, or the entire query including the agent info?

Mary-Cartharine,
I feel like the spirit who allures Griffin is important and vital to the progression of the story, and we should know her name.
I do not feel that her name is important to the plot. I believe it lends to the creepiness to know she is a spirit, and that should be enough. Her name is Libitina though.
How'd he get to where he was in the second paragraph, because it looked like he was doing his job that his grandma said he wasn't ready to do in the second.
He gets to this point when the spirit appears out of nowhere and freaks him out and does magical stuff like floating thtough the air and making his mind all confused, and oh yeah she's super hot and smells really good and then she brings out this knife that cuts clean through rock! He'll pretty much do whatever she says. How do I put that in a query? I don't know a simpler way than how I have it. Any ideas? And thanks for the compliment. I've been keeping an eye on your query but everyone seems to say what I'm thinking before I can get to it.

Thanks everyone for the awesome feedback. I will try to do my best to return the favor.

Anyways, here's #4

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe his grandma’s stories about the huge wilderness behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest which hides a valuable secret. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest.

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter the through the gateway, everything he believes changes. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit reveals that Griffin has the power to let her in. Griffin is still reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake.

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest wielding his new weapon, but finds it is useless against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious at him for letting Dolosus in and they desire to kill Griffin. To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by Quill » January 25th, 2011, 3:17 am

Up to 350 words is a good rule of thumb, I think. Can run longer if needed, and shorter is often possible. All depends on how it reads.

Your last two versions read well, the latest perhaps the best.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by glj » January 25th, 2011, 10:37 am

I have only a few suggestions.

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe his grandma’s stories about the huge wilderness behind her house. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest, hinting that the forest which hides a valuable secret. When he asks for proof of their powers, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest.

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter the through the gateway, everything he believes changes. Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words, the spirit reveals that Griffin has the power to let her in. Griffin is still reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake.

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest wielding his new weapon, but finds it is useless against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious at him for letting Dolosus in and they desire not "try"? to kill Griffin. To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after.

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by lunerunit » January 25th, 2011, 8:07 pm

Thanks again for the feedback. Sooo helpful. I think I'm gonna let this all stew a couple of days and then take a look at it again later and see if anything jumps out at me.

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Re: Query: The Guardian's Code

Post by shadow » February 1st, 2011, 9:25 am

I know you are going away to think...Like all us writers do, but I will still provide my feedback on your latest. Keep in mind that I didn't read the first and take my comments with a grain of salt. Shadow.

Fifteen-year old Griffin Tutela doesn’t believe his grandma’s stories about the huge wilderness behind her house.I know this is supposed to hook....but I don't get it. He doesn't believe there is a forest behind her house? Why is that? My mom lived in a heavily forested area and I believe her. I think there is something deeper to this and I think that THAT would hook. He rolls his eyes when she says their family can communicate with ancient trees and spirits, and that they are guardians of the forest which hides a valuable secret. So THAT is what he doesn't belive in? The tree communication and spirituality, not literally the forest. I like how he rolls his eyes. Sounds like a skeptic for such a young age. My friends can be like that too. When he asks for proof, his grandma says he’s not ready and refuses to take him past a point she calls the gateway – the only entrance into the forest. Interesting. One thing is that it is a bit confusing. If its just a forest, what keeps anyone from coming in?

When an alluring spirit appears, asking his permission to enter thethrough the gateway, everything he believes changes. Everything he believes changes is very cliche, let us know EXACTLY what cheanges.Batting her eyelashes and speaking candied words You already have the eye rolling, I would keep too many facial expressions out of a query, being that you are telling about the core of the story., the spirit reveals that Griffin has the power to let her in This is the hook. The fact that he is tho one that has power to let spirits in to enchanted forests. That is what you should focus on from what I see. Sometimes agents discard queries at first sentence, so be aware. Love the idea, though.. Griffin is still reluctant, until she offers him a blade that can cut through anything. But as she passes, her master, Dolosus, a soul collector from the Underworld, slips in with her. The sky darkens, the vibrant colors of the wood fade, and Griffin knows he made a mistake. How does he open the forest which I don't even know how was blocked? Forcefield? Also, it feels to me here like the antagonist sort of comes out of nowhere.

With intent to destroy Dolosus, Griffin enters the forest wielding his new weapon, but finds it is useless against the one who made it. On top of that, the inhabitants of the forest are furious at him for letting Dolosus in and they desire to kill Griffin. I think this sentence is a bit dull. You are saying such an exciting thing. Spice it up! To save himself, his family, and the forest, Griffin must find the High Guardian of the wood, Euphonious Brine - the very prize Dolosus is after. Very cool!

THE GUARDIAN’S CODE is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest current day.

Cool and good luck Luner!
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