Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

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SariBelle
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Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

Post by SariBelle » February 19th, 2011, 12:47 am

ETA: Thanks to those who have recently revived this thread. I've actually rewritten this query (almost) from scratch, and because it was so different I started a new thread. Please click here to see the most recent version. Thanks!

Hi All,

This is my first query attemp. Please feel free to be brutal. I know it can be a lot better but I'm struggling to step back from the query and see how to improve it.

Thanks for taking the time to have a look :).

Sari

~

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest wish is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. All she can do is keep her emotions in check and try to ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town. Others’ fear of the unknown has forever kept her on the outside.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew existed, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin, who has wanted her dead since the day she was born. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall, but whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another question.

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail and her only guide in her native world is in the form of a talking dog with an attitude, and far too many secrets. He too wants something from Dani; he wants to be healed. What he means by that he won’t tell.

In order to save her family and new found friends, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors. Belonging comes with a price and it could end up being her life. She’s not sure she’s ready pay it.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy novel of approximately 84,000 words. It can stand alone or as the first in a two book series. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by SariBelle on April 25th, 2011, 2:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

bkloss
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by bkloss » February 19th, 2011, 11:54 am

I'll see what I can do...you were so helpful to me that I hope I can do the same! And, again, personal opinions here ;)


Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest wish is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. I like this opening, but what about saying her deepest 'desire' is to belong? Sort of eludes more to a longing--which I think is what you're going for.She bears a legacy What kind of legacy? maybe just a word or so to specifyshe knows nothing about and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. All she can do is keep her emotions in check and try to ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town. Others’ fear of the unknown has forever kept her on the outside. Why are they staring at her? Is it because of how she looks--or why are they afraid of her? Maybe a little more specific.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew existed, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy.I'm thinking this may be a little redundant. You dont' really know someone exists until you meet them. So maybe just say she meets her family because it took me reading further down to realize that it was her family. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin, who has wanted her dead since the day she was born. How does she find this parallel world? Seems like that's a pretty cool plot point of your story.Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall, but whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another question.

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail and her only guide in her native world is in the form ofa talking dog with an attitude, I love dogs!-especially ones with attitude ;) and far too many secrets.Is this the trail to get her to the world? Why are they leaving her a trail? He too wants something from Dani; he wants to be healed. What he means by that he won’t tell.I read this a couple times...got hung up on the wording. Maybe say something like: "From what, he won't say."

In order to save her family and new found friends,ARe there other friends in addition to the dog? Save her family from what? Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors. What expectations? The legacy above? Maybe make a little clearerBelonging comes with a price and it could end up being her life. trying to fix the flow:maybe something along the lines of "Belonging comes with a price; that price could be her life" She’s not sure she’s ready pay it.I want a bigger statement here. I'm not sure what though. A more powerful ending. Show she has to make a decision, rather than she's simply 'unsure'.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy novel (redundant to say "fantasy novel")of approximately 84,000 words.reverse order: say 84,000 word YA fantasy It can stand alone or as the first in a two book series.It is a complete tale but has strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Sounds exciting! I love strong female characters that fight ;)

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by Joel Q » February 19th, 2011, 12:52 pm

Nice strong start for a query.
I think you can tighten it up a bit.
And as much as I can appreciate bkloss' desire for more details, this is query not a synopsis.
You have the basic plot, character, motive, choice. Good job.
JQ

SariBelle wrote: Dani Strider’s deepest wish is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. All she can do is keep her emotions in check (I assume this is connected to her powers?, you might clarify that is so) and try to ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town. Others’ fear of the unknown has forever kept her on the outside. Not needed.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew existed, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin, who has wanted her dead since the day she was born. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall, but whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another question. (I'd split at least one -if not both- of these sentences into two sentences.)

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail and her only guide in her native world is in the form of a talking dog with an attitude, and far too many secrets. He too wants something from Dani; he wants to be healed. What he means by that he won’t tell. I think you can delete this, it's subplot, and doesn't make the query any strong. If it's the dog's condition for helping her, you might rework it and keep it in.

In order to save her family and new found friends Delete, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors. Belonging comes with a price and it could end up being her life. She’s not sure she’s ready pay it. A bit cliche, but might work if you're comfortable with it.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy novel of approximately 84,000 words. It can stand alone or as the first in a two book series. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by bkloss » February 19th, 2011, 1:25 pm

Well, shoot. Take it as a good sign that I wanted more details ;)

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy *Revised

Post by SariBelle » February 20th, 2011, 3:00 am

Thanks JQ and Barbara. Your comments were so helpful. I hope I've done them justice in this revision.

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. Allowing herself the human right of emotion causes destruction in the world around her so she must try to remain numb, and ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew she had, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin. He has wanted her dead since the day she was born. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another matter.

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail, and her only guide in her native world is a talking dog with an attitude and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors, but it could end up costing her life. She’s not sure if she’s ready to fight a war that was never hers to claim her place in the world.

DRAGON BORN is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy *Revised

Post by wilderness » February 20th, 2011, 2:02 pm

SariBelle wrote: Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. Allowing herself the human right of emotion causes destruction in the world around her so she must try to remain numb, and ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town. This is all vague. We don't know what her powers are. We don't know how she is different. We don't know how "the human right of emotion causes destruction". This is also all telling, not showing. If you're confused about what that means, check out this blog: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/09 ... lling.html . In other words, tell us specifics. What happened out in the real world to make it obvious she doesn't belong?

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew she had, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived. Again - so vague! How did she meet her family? Did she meet one person or three? Her parents, her siblings? How did they disappear? In a poof! in front of her eyes?

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin. He has wanted her dead since the day she was born. Why? Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Why is she special? Instrument of fate is vague.Whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another matter. You don't choose a predestined path. Just sayin'.

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail, and her only guide in her native world is a talking dog with an attitude and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors, but it could end up costing her life. She’s not sure if she’s ready to fight a war that was never hers to claim her place in the world.

DRAGON BORN is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. I like the title, but you haven't explained anything about dragons to us. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
I think the structure here is not bad, but everything is blurry and vague. You need to sharpen the focus; create a clearer picture.

Figure out what makes your story different from other "chosen one with special powers in a parallel universe." You can do this by being specific. Check out this post by Nathan: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03 ... eries.html

Good luck!

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy *Revised

Post by Quill » February 20th, 2011, 2:39 pm

SariBelle wrote:Thanks JQ and Barbara. Your comments were so helpful. I hope I've done them justice in this revision.

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. Allowing herself the human right of emotion causes destruction in the world around her so she must try to remain numb, and ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew she had, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin. He has wanted her dead since the day she was born. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another matter.

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail, and her only guide in her native world is a talking dog with an attitude and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors, but it could end up costing her life. She’s not sure if she’s ready to fight a war that was never hers to claim her place in the world.

DRAGON BORN is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Aside from your query, there is a certain sameness in the names here, I don't know if you noticed or made intentional. "Dragon", "Dani", Dereshan, all begin with "D" and they all, as well as "Vaddrin", share the short "a" (ah) as their emphasis vowel. It is usually a good idea to vary the look and sound in your main elements, for the reader's sake, for clarity and variety. Unless there is good reason.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy *Revised

Post by GaoYuQing » February 20th, 2011, 10:39 pm

Forgive me in advance for some re-writes. Sometime the best way I know how to explain a problem is by writing it in a way that doesn't bother me.
SariBelle wrote:Thanks JQ and Barbara. Your comments were so helpful. I hope I've done them justice in this revision.

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control. Allowing herself the human right this last bit bothers me for some reason. there has to be a different way to say this here. perhaps "Allowing herself the luxury of human emotion only causes"?of emotion causes destruction in the world around her so she must try to remain numb, and ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town.

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew she had, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear just as suddenly as they had arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin. He has wanted her dead since the day she was born as Dani's two-toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another matter. Just seemed a bit choppy

Dani’s family leave an elusive trail, and her only guide in her native world is a talking dog with an attitude and far too many secrets. Nor does his help come free-- he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors, but it could end up costing her life. Nor is she confidant that she’s ready to fight a war that was never hers, just to claim her place in the world.

DRAGON BORN is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sounds like an interesting story with an engaging problem to overcome. Good luck to you! :)

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by SariBelle » February 21st, 2011, 2:05 am

Thanks for your input everyone. It is extremely helpful.

I've tried to inject a bit more specificity in this version, hopefully without losing the structure. I think I may have taken it too far the other way though with too many details. And it's a bit on the long side now (344 words).

Wilderness, thanks for your comments. Hopefully this is more 'show' than 'tell' now. I accidentally left the old title on the last version. It should have said Blood Legacy, not Dragon Born.

Quill, I am planning on changing Dani's name, I just haven't come up with something I'm happy with yet. I'll definitely keep your comment in mind when I choose a new name.

GaoYuQing, thanks for your comments :).

Ok, attempt number three:


~

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.

On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduced themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing. In a fit of despair her wild magic breaks its bonds and wrecks destruction on the surrounds. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to the parallel world of Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude, and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Vaddrin has wanted her dead since the day she was born.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by Quill » February 21st, 2011, 11:04 am

SariBelle wrote: Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.

On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduced themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing. In a fit of despair her wild magic breaks its bonds and wrecks destruction on the surrounds. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to the parallel world of Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude, and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Vaddrin has wanted her dead since the day she was born.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
What your main character wants is not clear. You begin by saying she wants "to belong". You end by saying "she may lost the one thing she's always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world". These terms seem vague to me. Belong to what? What is her place in the world?

I would like to see her central dilemma more sharply drawn. What happens if she doesn't get this? She simply feels unhappy and unfulfilled?

Watch the purple prose: "blood in her veins" "bears a legacy" "bringer of downfall"

as well as cliches: "deepest desire" "the one thing she's always wanted"

and typos:
"form" (from)
"surrounds" (surroundings)
"two toned" (two-toned)
"wrecks" (wreaks)
"introduced" (introduce)

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by Collectonian » February 21st, 2011, 3:20 pm

After reading through the thread a bit, I think you're on the right track :-)
SariBelle wrote:Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.If the legacy is a secret from her and she is unaware of her powers, how is it keeping her from belonging now?

On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduced themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.I think I'd actually start here, with Dani's world suddenly meeting her "real"? family. Maybe reword a bit to up the action/tension, like "On Dani's eighteenth birthday, she meets the family she never knew she had..." Does she not have a "family" now?

Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing.Not sure this is necessary...nothing they disappeared, or maybe say vanished, already conveys there would be no trail. In a fit of despair her wildmagic breaks its bondswhat bonds? and wrecks destruction on the surrounds."on the surrounds" sounds awkward. Maybe meant surroundings? I'd almost say just her magic breaks her bonds, and she awakens... She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyesthese reads a bit awkwardly for some reason.

Dani follows the dogwhy and how? a portal? a door? to the parallel world of Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude,what kind of attitude? and far too many secrets.how does she know he has a lot of secrets? His help doesn’t come free;: he wants to be healed from what? and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.I'd combine the last two sentences, "claiming Dani is the only one who can do it, though he won't explain how.

The long-livedis this abnormal in Dereshan? tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate,"instrument of fate"? and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Vaddrin has wanted her dead since the day she was born.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty,did she find them? is he holding them prisoner? Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.How will she lose it by refusing to yield to destiny? Seems to me even if she lives, if she stops the tyrant it would make her important there. What kind of place does she want?

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by Ermo » February 21st, 2011, 11:28 pm

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.
I like the blood reference. It's powerful. This line works if specifics follow.
On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduced themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.
Why do they make her happy - does she not have family now?
Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing. In a fit of despair her wild magic breaks its bonds and wrecks destruction on the surrounds. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyes.
You use a lot of words to get her on the road. Could that be tighter because we still don't have a villian and only a vague idea of what she's seeking.
Dani follows the dog to the parallel world of Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude, and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.
Help her do what?
The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Vaddrin has wanted her dead since the day she was born.
I think this would be better earlier. Some line about "unknownst to Dani, the tyran Vaddrin has wanted her dead...."

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.
BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.
I like the title.

I think you have a good story and a pretty good query but I'd like to see the conflict a little sooner. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by wilderness » February 21st, 2011, 11:54 pm

I think this latest version is a huge improvement. The specifics really help make your story come alive! If you avoid the purple prose that Quill pointed out, you can trim it back down to 300 words. The blue below are phrases that I think can be either cut or reduced.

You're getting there :)
SariBelle wrote: Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.

On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduce themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing. In a fit of despair her wild magic breaks its bonds and wrecks destruction on the surrounds. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to the parallel world of Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude, and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free; he wants to be healed and Dani’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he won’t tell.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall. Vaddrin has wanted her dead since the day she was born.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world. You've been great at specificity till this last paragraph. Keep it going and end with a very specific choice or dilemma.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy of approximately 84,000 words. It is a complete story with strong series potential. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by littlebird » February 25th, 2011, 3:06 pm

Hi SariBelle! This is Becky from whatsyourthoughtonthat.blogspot.com. We've crossed paths a few times, and I'm excited to see your work.

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest wish is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy she knows nothing about and with it comespowerful magic she can’t control. She tries toAll she can do is keep her emotions in check and try to ignore the hateful stares from the people in her small town. Others’ fear of the unknown has forever kept her on the outside. After reading the rest of the query, I'm not sure what 'belonging' has to do with the plot. Is it because she's an orphan?

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew existed, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

Dani traces her family back to the parallel world of Dereshan, a world oppressed by the long-lived tyrant Vaddrin, who wants her deadhas wanted her dead since the day she was born. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall, but whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another question.

Dani’s family leaves an elusive trail and her only guide in her native worldis in the form of a talking dog with an attitude, and far too many secrets. He too wants something from Dani;he wants to be healed. What he means by that he won’t tell.
In order to save her family and new found friends, Dani must live up to the expectations placed on her by her ancestors. Belonging comes with a price and it could end up being her life. She’s not sure she’s ready pay it.

BLOOD LEGACY is a young adult fantasy novel of approximately 84,000 words. It can stand alone or as the first in a two book series. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.[/quote]

good luck!

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maggie
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by maggie » February 26th, 2011, 12:49 am

Hi Sari!

I think this is definitely looking good, but there are a few things I'd mess with.

I think that this whole part could be condensed:
Dani Strider’s deepest desire is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. She bears a legacy kept secret form her, and with it comes powerful magic she can’t control.

On her eighteenth birthday, strangers emerge from the woods behind Dani’s home, an eerie familiarity about their features. When they introduced themselves as her family, Dani learns what real happiness feels like. And then it is ripped away when they disappear as suddenly as they arrived, fading into the shadows under the trees. The only evidence of her family’s visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani searches the woods for a trail but finds nothing. In a fit of despair her wild magic breaks its bonds and wrecks destruction on the surrounds. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, an expression all too human in his eyes.
I don't feel like this is the main dramatic complication, and up until she gets into Dereshan with Jeran, it's mostly setup. I would make the setup into just a couple sentences, then get into the main dramatic complication.

I also think this could be more specific:
In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must enter a war which has never been hers, and it will likely cost her life. She rebels against fate’s pull, determined to prove she can choose her own path, but by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.
This is relatively general language, and I think you could really make it more exciting with specifics about Vaddrin, the war, how she rebels...

All in all, I think it's looking good! :)

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