Query - The Coming

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shadow
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Query - The Coming

Post by shadow » February 2nd, 2011, 8:47 am

While I am revising my MS for a publisher, I thought I'd tweak my query and send it out (just to see if I can get another fish on my hook :) I did and thus far I have 3 partial requests out of six queries. Not bad...I am psyched. Actually, much better than with my previous query so yay! But ignore the requests and let me know what you guys think, because its important and I value all opinions here...(The WhipSlip, Wilderness, Emily, Lachrymel...Everyone..Thanks for all your previous help.) Be harsh!!!

Dear Agent,

Vitiosus asks his father, the king of Lassertia, “What if I don’t want to become the devil? What if I don’t want to turn into you?”

Vitiosus is the prince of Lassertia, a kingdom of humans who think themselves a higher race—a perfect creation. Vitiosus is everything but perfect. He clashes swords for his race, he kills and he saves, but he is broken, shattered like glass. He
let Death’s fingers wrap around the girl he loved. The Lassertian girl whose lips he first kissed as they turned stone cold.

When a crescent moon necklace that was stolen from him as a baby reappears, it glints with hope of justice. It is the key to his father’s hate, Vitiosus’ humanity and Lassertia. It matches the drawing on a human woman’s grave that says the power of the moon and the sun will prevail, but the other half of the necklace is missing. The sun lies in the hands of Vitiosus’ worst enemy. The enemy his father ordered dead. His brother. And the secrets of Lassertia come with a price.

His humanity…

His love...

His choice…

THE COMING is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 89,000 words.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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Mary-Catharine
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by Mary-Catharine » February 2nd, 2011, 3:30 pm

(I don't like being harsh, but I'll try to be as honest as I possibly can without being critical. I just want to level with you, and letting you know that I'm not talking down to you-- I'm in the same boat you are, looking for an agent. I mean, if I didn't need help getting an agent, I wouldn't be on here looking for advice. I'm just going to give you a few pointers, and you can take them with the grain of salt. Letting you know in ahead, I like your story idea.)

Dear Agent,

Vitiosus asks his father, the king of Lassertia, “What if I don’t want to become the devil? What if I don’t want to turn into you?” (I don't know if you should begin with quotations from the book. However, I think you should begin with the same premis with your main character--who I cannot pronounce the name of-- not wanting to become the devil. Very cool. It definitely grabbed me.)

Vitiosus is the prince of Lassertia, a kingdom of humans who think themselves a higher race—a perfect creation. Vitiosus is everything but perfect. He clashes swords for his race, he kills and he saves, but he is broken, shattered like glass.

(This sentence failed to prove why Vitiosus is imperfect. The next line tells more about him than this one does. I also want to know more about this girl whom he let die, what was her name? Also, this section here seems to tell a whole lot of nothing really. Why did he let her die? Especially the second sentence about the Lassertian girl, so far the lead character is unsympathetic-- even though he could be with the not-wanting-to-be-the-devil angle.)

He let Death’s fingers wrap around the girl he loved. The Lassertian girl whose lips he first kissed as they turned stone cold.

When a crescent moon necklace that (I think you need to take out the 'that') was stolen from him as a baby reappears, it glints with hope of justice. It is the key to his father’s hate, Vitiosus’ humanity and Lassertia.(I'm kind of confused by the previous sentence.) It matches the drawing on a human woman’s grave that says the power of the moon and the sun will prevail, but the other half of the necklace is missing. The sun lies in the hands of Vitiosus’ worst enemy. The enemy his father ordered dead. His brother. And the secrets of Lassertia come with a price.

(This tells more about the story than the first two paragraphs do. It doesn't ever mention him not wanting to be the devil like his father, which is something I think needs to be explained further. Even though I think all this are tossed and vague, I still think you could work all these ideas (as you've listed below): his humanity, his love, and his choice. And that is exactly what I need to know that I'm not getting.
I want to know how he is the next devil.
Who is this girl of Lasserita that he loved and let die. I feel like it needs more. I'm hungry for this story and I'm really excited about it. I want to know more! Really, good job.
Writing a query, you need to ask yourself the four simple rules:
1. Who is your main character?
2. What does your main character want?
3. What is keeping he/she from getting it?
4. What really bad thing will happen if he doesn't get it?

Overall, great story idea. I really do like it!)
His humanity…

His love...

His choice…

THE COMING is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 89,000 words.

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Falls Apart
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by Falls Apart » February 2nd, 2011, 10:17 pm

Wow. Sounds interesting, and full of conflict, but after reading it, I feel more than a little overwhelmed. Maybe focus on the main plotline of the book, and not so much on subplots/backstories? But that's just me. Best of luck! :)

Emily J
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by Emily J » February 4th, 2011, 8:20 pm

shadow wrote:While I am revising my MS for a publisher, I thought I'd tweak my query and send it out (just to see if I can get another fish on my hook :) I did and thus far I have 3 partial requests out of six queries. Not bad...I am psyched. Actually, much better than with my previous query so yay! But ignore the requests and let me know what you guys think, because its important and I value all opinions here...(The WhipSlip, Wilderness, Emily, Lachrymel...Everyone..Thanks for all your previous help.) Be harsh!!!

Dear Agent,

Vitiosus asks his father, the king of Lassertia, “What if I don’t want to become the devil? What if I don’t want to turn into you?” conventional wisdom is generally not to start with a quote, that being said this does work for me

Vitiosus is the prince of Lassertia, a kingdom of humans who think themselves a higher race—a perfect creation. Vitiosus is everything but perfect. He clashes swords for his race, he kills and he saves, but he is broken, shattered like glass. He
let Death’s fingers wrap around the girl he loved. already feeling there might just be too much figurative language The Lassertian girl whose lips he first kissed as they turned stone cold. <-- sentence fragment

When a crescent moon necklace that was stolen from him as a baby reappears, it glints with hope of justice. <-- figurative and a bit vague It is the key to his father’s hate, Vitiosus’ humanity serial comma here and Lassertia. It matches the drawing on a human woman’s grave that says the power of the moon and the sun will prevail, but the other half of the necklace is missing. The sun lies in the hands of Vitiosus’ worst enemy. The enemy his father ordered dead. His brother. these are sentence fragments but used to good effect I think And the secrets of Lassertia come with a price.

His humanity…

His love...

His choice…

THE COMING is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 89,000 words.
It sounds like you are garnering a lot of attention with your queries so I hesitate to say too much as someone who hasn't queried much. So with that grain of salt, I would say there seems to be a bit too much figurative language and hyperbole. There is a lot of talk of intangibles, hate, love, humanity, etc. etc. I would like to see this grounded a bit more and really understand what is at stake literally and not just figuratively. But hey, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! If this is getting you attention from agents or publishers I would be hesitant to change it too much.

D.T.Roberts
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by D.T.Roberts » February 5th, 2011, 1:42 pm

If your query has in fact resulted in 3 requests out of 6, you're batting .500 If it's that effective, who are we to offer ways to improve it?
It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say.

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shadow
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by shadow » February 24th, 2011, 10:49 pm

Thanks guys, but I've also recently got rejections based on it and am wanting to move it up a notch. What do you guys think of this?

Dear Agent,

Vitiosus asks his father, the king of Lassertia, “What if I don’t want to become the devil? What if I don’t want to turn into you?”

Vitiosus is the prince of Lassertia, a kingdom of humans who think themselves a higher race—a perfect creation. Vitiosus is everything but perfect. Impure blood races his veins. In Lassertia, impure beings are banished to darkness — death. Nobody other than his father knows his secret, except for Annata. Then, she betrays him.

His father wants his mistake erased from the face of the earth, no matter the consequence. Annata weaves him in her seductive lures. He doesn’t give in. He fights to bring the tyranny of Lassertia to its end. He fights a battle of justice for humanity that is evoked by his love to a human prisoner. He only knows of his brother as his enemy. He is a threat to all of Lassertia. A rebel who must be eradicated.

Thank you.

Shadow
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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littlebird
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Re: Query - The Coming

Post by littlebird » February 25th, 2011, 2:16 pm

I'm totally NOT a professional at this, but I've read a lot of querying articles, follow query shark, have done NBs query mad lib, and this query breaks ALL the rules. But sometimes a good query does just that. If I was rewriting this query by the rules, I'd do it as follows:


Dear Agent,

Vitiosus asks his father, the king of Lassertia, “What if I don’t want to become the devil? What if I don’t want to turn into you?”
Vitiosus is the prince of Lassertia, a kingdom of humans who think themselves a higher race—a perfect creation. So this is your MC. It's a good introduction, but why does sword fighting, killing and saving make him imperfect? Maybe go without that cliches?Vitiosus is everything but perfect. He disobeys his father the king, kills XYZ, and let the only person he's ever loved die. He clashes swords for his race, he kills and he saves, but he is broken, shattered like glass. He
let Death’s fingers wrap around the girl he loved. The Lassertian girl whose lips he first kissed as they turned stone cold.


When a crescent moon necklace that was stolen from him as a baby reappears, it glints with hope of justiceFor what? For the girl's death? This sentence is unclear.. It is the key to his father’s hate, Vitiosus’ humanity and Lassertia. It matches the drawing on a human woman’s grave that says the power of the moon and the sun will prevail, but the other half of the necklace is missing. The sun lies in the hands of Vitiosus’ worst enemy. The enemy his father ordered dead. His brother. And the secrets of Lassertia come with a price.Maybe you just go with someone simpler. Vitiosus must find the necklace stolen from him at birth, so that he can bring his save his love and protect his kingdom. Then put in the part about his brother having it.

His humanity…

His love...

His choice…I like those three little blurbs, but I'm not sure how the connect with the rest of the query

THE COMING is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 89,000 words.[/quote]

I'm sure you've probably heard this before, but a query does four things: 1) intros MC, 2) states conflict 3) states stakes 4) states what happens if MC fails. I'm NOT saying your query is bad, it just doesn't do those things clearly. If agents/publishers like it, then by all means screw the formula!

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