Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

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AllieS
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by AllieS » March 3rd, 2011, 4:05 am

Dear [Agent],

Dani Strider’s deepest wish is to belong, but the blood in her veins won't allow it. A good strong start, but I have to wonder: where else would her blood be? 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. What exactly has kept her on the outside, though? What has she done to deserve such hateful stares? I mean, they can't all hate her, can they? Or at least why?

On her eighteenth birthday, Dani meets the family she never knew existed, and for the first time ever she feels truly happy. Is family something she always wanted? Has she never had any?Until they disappear as suddenly as they arrived. Ouch, rotten luck.

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. Woah, that's a lot of info. For starters, how the heck does she trace them to another world? I'd love just a little mention of how one manages that, mostly because it sounds really cool. Dani’s two toned eyes mark her as an instrument of fate That's a little vague, and the bringer of Vaddrin’s downfall, but whether she chooses to accept her predestined path is another question. Also vague. What are the consequences for either of her choices?

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. After reading through the whole thing, I'm not sure this paragraph is needed. It seems a little random compared to the essentials of the other paragraphs, and at this point I just want to know about her family and her fate.

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. Again, I'd love some specifics.

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.


This sounds interesting!

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androidblues
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by androidblues » March 3rd, 2011, 2:17 pm

I think this is reading more like an outline than a query. I don't really have a good feel for Dani or what she wants. Does this story take place in our world or another world?

I'm also wondering how she traces her family into the alternate world and why the villain wants her dead. What special powers does she have? I understand the stakes, but I don't understand what makes Dani special or her goal. I assume it's to get her family back, and if that's the case is that what the story is about? Is she a mythical creature?

It can stand alone or as the first in a two book series. This is my first novel.


Also, I think you can delete these lines.

Your prose isn't bad, but like a previous poster suggested, you might want to cut down on the descriptions because at times it sounds a bit purple.
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SariBelle
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REVISED Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by SariBelle » March 12th, 2011, 9:13 am

Revised queries

Thanks everyone, for your comments and advice! I really appreciate you all taking the time to read and comment. I haven't forgotten about you, I've just been rewriting chapter one so the query has been on the backburner.

I've tried cutting bits & rewriting the previous version of the query. In trying to make some sections more specific I've actually made it longer! I've got two versions now, both too long (obviously one of my weak points), so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Query Version 1 (340 words)

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.

When Dani wakes to strangers in her home the last thing she expects is to meet the family she thought were dead. Her joy at the discovery is ripped away when they disappear, 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, and is soon to find the Dragons’ Histories, a weapon that will give him dominion over not just Dereshan, but all its parallel worlds, including Earth. According to an ancient prophecy, Dani’s the only one who can stop him, and he wants her dead.

In order to save her family from Vaddrin’s cruelty, Dani must join the war against him. If she is to risk her life in the fight though, Dani wants it to be by her own choice, and not because of a preordained plan. If she continues to fight fate she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: friendship, companionship, belonging.

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.


Query Version 2 (352 words)

Dear [Agent],

The people of Dereshan have waited centuries for their saviour, a child with two-toned eyes and the heir of the last dragon queen. But for Dani Strider, ignorant of her heritage after growing up on earth, the uncontrolled magic coursing through her is a curse. All it’s ever gotten her is loneliness.

When Dani wakes to strangers in her home the last thing she expects is to meet the family she thought were dead. Her joy at the discovery is ripped away when they vanish, fading into the woods behind her house. The only evidence of their visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani’s anger at the loss unleashes her magic and wreaks destruction on her surroundings. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, and an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to 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 refuses to tell.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic, and is soon to find the Dragons’ Histories, a weapon that will give him dominion over not just Dereshan, but all its parallel worlds, including Earth. According to an ancient prophecy, Dani’s the only one who can stop him, and he wants her dead.

Dani discovers her ancestors are the founding members of a society called the Kaardrivaal, the only opposing force against Vaddrin. If Dani bends to fate she will join the war against Vaddrin, and it will likely cost her life. But she is determined to choose her own path, and 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.

AllieS
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

Post by AllieS » March 13th, 2011, 7:00 am

Good changes. I'll comment on the second one since that's the version I think works best.

The people of Dereshan have waited centuries for their saviour, a child with two-toned eyes and the heir of the last dragon queen. But for Dani Strider, ignorant of her heritage after growing up on earth You're talking about the planet, so the word Earth should be capitalized., the uncontrolled magic coursing through her is a curse. All it’s ever gotten her is loneliness. I think this is a much more interesting beginning.

When Dani wakes to strangers in her homea comma could go here just to help the flow the last thing she expects is to meet the family she thought were dead.the family she thought was dead sounds as though it could be rearranged to be more effective. Her joy at the discovery is ripped away when they vanish, fading into the woods behind her house.The first time I read this I thought you were using a figure of speech. When I read farther, I realized you weren't. Maybe you could switch up the wording to make this clearer? The only evidence of their visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.

Dani’s anger at the loss unleashes her magic and wreaks destruction on her surroundings. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, and an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to 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 refuses to tell.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic, and is soon to find the Dragons’ Histories, a weapon that will give him dominion over not just Dereshan, but all its parallel worlds, including Earth. According to an ancient prophecy, Dani’s the only one who can stop him, and he wants her dead.

Dani discovers her ancestors are the founding members of a society called the Kaardrivaal, the only opposing force against Vaddrin. If Dani bends to fate she will join the war against Vaddrin, and it will likely cost her life. But she is determined to choose her own path, and by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.


Once I get to these two paragraphs, I want to stop reading. Not because what you're saying isn't interesting, but because they're so long. Is the paragraph about Vaddrin essential? It's a lot of information, and so is the next paragraph. The first few paragraphs are better paced, and draw you in more. These last two are kind of like walking through a bog. If you can weed out what isn't necessary (you're the one who knows what is) then this will be good.

brandileigh2003
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

Post by brandileigh2003 » March 14th, 2011, 6:15 pm

I think the first sentence needs to be in there, I like it, but not as the hook. Maybe use your second sentence.

JessePrice
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Re: REVISED Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy

Post by JessePrice » April 23rd, 2011, 1:56 am

SariBelle wrote:Revised queries


Query Version 2 (352 words)

Dear [Agent],

The people of Dereshan have waited centuries for their saviour, a child with two-toned eyes and the heir of the last dragon queen. But for Dani Strider, ignorant of her heritage after growing up on earth, the uncontrolled magic coursing through her is a curse. All it’s ever gotten her is loneliness.
I like the first sentence, but the word "gotten" in the third is weak. Also the contraction "it's" (for 'it has') is incorrect. "Caused" would be stronger than "gotten," but restructuring the sentence to use an active verb might work better.

When Dani wakes to strangers in her home the last thing she expects is to meet the family she thought
"was" is correct here as "family" is singular since you haven't stated "family members"
were dead. Her joy at the discovery is ripped away when they vanish, fading into the woods behind her house. The only evidence of their visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow.
This is great information, but you've used three passive sentences where stronger, active verbs might punch this up a bit. Use italics with "the cryptic message If he comes, you must follow.

Dani’s anger at the loss unleashes her magic and wreaks destruction on her surroundings. She
"awakens" is better
wakes in a blast crater,
with
a giant gray dog at her side
that has an expression... You need to be sure the expression is modifying the dog and not Dani when she awakens
, and an expression all too human in his eyes.

Dani follows the dog to Dereshan, only to discover he has a voice, an attitude, and far too many secrets. His help doesn’t come free
The semicolon is not incorrect, but if you omit it the line will read cleaner. Just use a period.
; he wants to be healed and Dani
use "Dani is"
’s the only one who can do it. What he means by that he refuses to tell.
Wondering if this reticence is relevant or if you're just trying to create mystery here.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic, and is soon to find the Dragons’ Histories, a weapon that will give him dominion over not just Dereshan, but all its parallel worlds, including Earth. According to an ancient prophecy, Dani
omit the contraction
’s the only one who can stop him,
omit the comma
and he wants her dead.

Dani discovers her ancestors are the founding members of a society called the Kaardrivaal, the only opposing force against Vaddrin. If Dani bends to fate she will join the war against Vaddrin, and it will likely cost her life. But she is determined to choose her own path, and by doing so she may lose the one thing she’s always wanted: her chance to claim her place in the world.
I think there is too much information in this last graf. I'd omit the first sentence as it just adds complexity. Also, restructure your last sentence to omit the colon.
Good luck with this novel! It sounds exciting.

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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Severus Lawliet
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Re: Query: Blood Legacy - YA Fantasy REVISED

Post by Severus Lawliet » April 24th, 2011, 6:53 pm

Dear [Agent],

The people of Dereshan have waited centuries for their saviour, a child with two-toned eyes and the heir of the last dragon queen. But for Dani Strider, ignorant of her heritage after growing up on earth, the uncontrolled magic coursing through her is a curse. All it’s ever gotten her is loneliness. I do like this as a first paragraph. It's not whiny, but it does show me that Dani isn't exactly jumping up and down at her magical powers. It's sort of subtle.

When Dani wakes to strangers in her home the last thing she expects is to meet the family she thought were dead. Her joy at the discovery is ripped away when they vanish, fading into the woods behind her house. The only evidence of their visit is a cryptic message: if he comes, you must follow. The message, I don't think it should be described as cryptic. Sure it's appropriate, but it doesn't really fit there for me.

Dani’s anger at the loss unleashes her magic and wreaks destruction on her surroundings. She wakes in a blast crater, a giant gray dog at her side, and an expression all too human in his eyes. Loss of what? I hardly imagine someone who lost their family so eager to accept that they magically came back to stay. I imagine some skeptical thoughts at that.

Dani follows the dog to 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 refuses to tell. The magical dog that leads you to something, is a trope I don't really like. Also, why on earth would she be around this dog if it was annoying, had an attitude, and demanded to be healed? And won't even tell you why he needs to be healed or why you're the only one that can do it? Personally I'd walk away from this dog.

The long-lived tyrant Vaddrin controls the world of Dereshan using fear and dark magic, and is soon to find the Dragons’ Histories, a weapon that will give him dominion over not just Dereshan, but all its parallel worlds, including Earth. According to an ancient prophecy, Dani’s the only one who can stop him, and he wants her dead. We should introduce this sooner, I think.

Dani discovers her ancestors are the founding members of a society called the Kaardrivaal, the only opposing force against Vaddrin. If Dani bends to fate she will join the war against Vaddrin, and it will likely cost her life. But she is determined to choose her own path, and 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 I don't know what you mean by this. Of course it's complete. Why wouldn't it be? with strong series potential . You should show them this, not tell them. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Over all, I really like the premise. Mainly I think it's the wording that's bothering me. Just my opinion and all.
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