REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy LAST POST

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AllieS
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REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy LAST POST

Post by AllieS » April 12th, 2011, 7:11 pm

Hey guys. So I decided to look at everything you've said about my query drafts, and wrote a new one based on my memory of what I'd liked about my previous queries, and all the awesome, helpful comments you've left. The result is that I've shortened it, and I think it might possibly be the final draft...? Maybe? Well, that's what I have you all for. Thanks for any help, as always!

FINAL DRAFT ON SECOND PAGE


Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

Then again, she never expected to find Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, injured far off the paths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve. After Sophie helps him, he admits that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer . . . but Hugh’s powers turn out to be slightly more limited than he let on. Instead of the black-and-white answer Sophie was looking for, a bizarre connection forms between Hugh and Sophie—something Hugh’s father Jonathan, one of the most powerful reddos in the world, can’t even explain.

As Sophie accepts that obtaining her answer won't be so simple, she finds herself getting pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world when she knows she should stay away. A man Jonathan denied answers to is hunting the Kedoas—a man powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. His answers would’ve endangered everyone. Outsiders are supposed to be ignorant of the reddos’ world, so when Hugh is taken as bait for Jonathan, Sophie needs to decide where she stands. Lose the only people who can help her find her question, and retreat back into safety—or be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to save them: her normal world, her answers . . . her life?

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 99,000 words, and ....yada yada yada, etc.
Last edited by AllieS on June 7th, 2011, 7:46 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by fishfood » April 13th, 2011, 1:19 am

AllieS wrote:Hey guys. So I decided to look at everything you've said about my query drafts, and wrote a new one based on my memory of what I'd liked about my previous queries, and all the awesome, helpful comments you've left. The result is that I've shortened it, and I think it might possibly be the final draft...? Maybe? Well, that's what I have you all for. Thanks for any help, as always!

Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. (I'd put Sophie's age in here). She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one. I don't know how much this opening grabs me...makes me kinda view Sophie as flighty and shallow unfortunately. Even though I know girls are always dreaming of their prince charming and it's a very YA thing to do, it's just not a characteristic I'd highlight since it seems these days, YA females are all about being kick-butt and sassy.

Maybe try something like: Sophie Rowan believes she has a true love out there. And then she meets Hugh Kedoa. He's not her true love, but he posesses infinite knowledge to tell her if she has one.

Then maybe you can go onto explain how they meet...


Then again, she never expected to find Hugh Kedoa, (this doesn't follow the prior sentence in a logical way if you're going to keep it) the new boy at school, injured far off the paths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve. After Sophie helps him, he admits that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him (this sounds too much like a genie. Can you just say, in return for her act of kindness, Hugh is obligated to give her five answers). Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer . . . but Hugh’s powers turn out to be slightly more limited than he let on. Instead of the black-and-white answer Sophie was looking for, a bizarre connection forms between Hugh and Sophie—something Hugh’s father Jonathan, one of the most powerful reddos in the world, can’t even explain. I can't remember if you had this in your previous queries, but in this version, it really is too vague to make this statement.

As Sophie accepts that obtaining her answer won't be so simple, she finds herself getting pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world when she knows she should stay away. Why? A man Jonathan denied answers to is hunting the Kedoas—a man powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. His answers would’ve endangered everyone. I feel like this could be worded better. Like: A powerful dictator knows about the Kedoas and wants their infinite knowledge. When Jonathan refuses to give him the answers, Hugh is kidnapped as ransom. Outsiders are supposed to be ignorant of the reddos’ world, so when Hugh is taken as bait for Jonathan, Sophie needs to decide where she stands. Lose the only people who can help her find her question, and retreat back into safety—or be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to save them: her normal world, her answers . . . her life? Just keep the conflict simple. Sophie is drawn into the Kedoa's forbidden world and develops a bond with Hugh and his family, but she has to keep their existence a secret to keep them safe from greedy humans, but when Hugh is kidnapped, the only way she can help is to expose the existence of the Kedoa's to the outside world (which will cause the demise of the Kedoas?)
REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 99,000 words, and ....yada yada yada, etc.
So I feel like you did do a really good job at cleaning this up and I felt even more horrible that I seemed to make comments that will probably having you feeling like you're back a square one, but you're not!! It's getting there!

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by AllieS » April 14th, 2011, 1:57 am

No! Don't feel bad, keeping critiquing the heck out of it. I'll try to incorporate your ideas in the next draft, but I just hope that in all this time I have made some progress. It's that last paragraph that keeps stumping me. I feel as though I'm going in circles...but no matter. I shall revise, and revise, and revise...

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by AllieS » April 16th, 2011, 8:29 pm

Okay fishfood, I decided to try out your idea for a new beginning, and I like it! Unfortunately, I can't really change the part about what reddos can do, but trust me, they're not like genies. Reddos can only give answers, they can't grant wishes. Again, thank you to everyone who comments! I'll be sure to return the favor.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, says he can tell her if she has one.

When Sophie finds Hugh injured far off the paths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, he reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer: does she have a true love?

But Hugh can’t answer her question. Instead, an intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh, leaving her to wonder why she’s the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule.

Reddos are supposed to have the answers to everything.

As Sophie accepts that finding her answer won't be so simple, she gets pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world—and learns the dangerous secrets they’ve been keeping. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger everyone.

When Hugh is attacked, Sophie realizes the balance she’s created between both worlds is about to break. Now she’ll have to make a choice that could reveal her involvement in the reddos’ world to the most dangerous person of all . . . or lose the only people who can help her find her first answer.

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by SariBelle » April 23rd, 2011, 12:10 am

Hi Allie, this sounds like a really interesting story. I'd definitely want to read more.
AllieS wrote: Eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, says he can tell her if she has one. I think this first line is lacking the tension of this situation. The next para reveals this info when his life is threatened, but in this line it feels like he just mentions it in passing at school. I think you could almost cut this line and start with the next para.

When Sophie finds Hugh injured far off the paths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, he reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer: does she have a true love?

But Hugh can’t answer her question. Instead, an intangible I'd cut 'intangible'. Unless they're holding hands all the time the connection will be intangible. Maybe use another, more telling word. Like, is it a romantic connection, or a compelling connection, etc. connection forms between Sophie and Hugh, leaving her to wonder why she’s the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule.

Reddos are supposed to have the answers to everything.

As Sophie accepts that finding her answer won't be so simple, she gets pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world—and learns the dangerous secrets they’ve been keeping. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. How does the preserve protect them? Wasn't Hugh attacked there? He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger everyone. I think with a little more specific detail here you could up the tension. Simply saying 'could endanger everyone' isn't telling us much. How could it endanger everyone?

When Hugh is attacked, Is he attacked a second time? Sophie realizes the balance she’s created between both worlds is about to break. Not sure what is meant by this. Why has she had to create a balance? Now she’ll have to make a choice that could reveal her involvement in the reddos’ world to the most dangerous person of all . . . or lose the only people who can help her find her first answer.

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by AllieS » April 26th, 2011, 5:35 am

Thanks SariBelle! That last paragraph is causing me lots of trouble, so I redid it here.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

While working at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, Sophie finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle. After she helps him, she learns a surprising secret. Hugh is a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer: does she have a true love?

But Hugh can’t answer her question. Instead, a strange connection forms between them, leaving Sophie to wonder why she’s the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule.

Reddos are supposed to have the answers to everything.

As Sophie accepts that finding her answer won't be so simple, she gets pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world—and learns the dangerous secrets they’ve been keeping. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world.

When the Kedoas’ lives are jeopardized, Sophie discovers the price for being involved in their world. Her knowledge could save them—or it could destroy everything they've striven to keep secret.
Last edited by AllieS on May 3rd, 2011, 1:53 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy

Post by Meredith » April 26th, 2011, 3:03 pm

AllieS wrote:Thanks SariBelle! That last paragraph is causing me lots of trouble, so I redid it here.

Newest Draft!

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always hoped she had a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

When Sophie finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, injured far off the paths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she learns a surprising secret. I might break this sentence down into two. It feels like it's trying to do too many things at once, if that makes sense. Hugh is a reddo: a human who possesses infinite Infinite? Really? What's he doing in school, then? Must be a straight A student. How'd he get injured? Wouldn't he have been able to predict the accident and avoid it? I know I'm being a little to literal here, but I think precision is important. knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Sophie’s known her dearest question for years, and jumps at the offer: does she have a true love?

But Hugh can’t answer her question. Instead, a strange connection forms between them, leaving Sophie to wonder why she’s the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule. This seems inconsistent with the paragraph above. If he truly possesses infinite knowledge, why can't he answer the question? I mean, that seems to be a simple yes or no question. Now, if she'd asked who her true love is . . .

Reddos are supposed to have the answers to everything.

As Sophie accepts that finding her answer won't be so simple, she gets pulled deeper into the Kedoas’ forbidden world—and learns the dangerous secrets they’ve been keeping. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world.

When the Kedoas’ lives are jeopardized, Sophie realizes that secrecy isn’t so important anymore. Whose secrecy? It's theirs not hers, right? I think I'd just cut that sentence.Now she’ll have to make a choice that could reveal her involvement in the reddos’ world to the most dangerous person of all . . . or she’ll lose the only people who can help her find her first answer. The danger to the reddos is potentially significant stakes, play that up. Losing the only people who can answer a question everybody else has to answer by trial and error isn't really much in the way of stakes. Unless Sophie has started to have more personal on particular reddo, of course.
Interesting premise. Good luck with this.
MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 4/26

Post by AllieS » April 26th, 2011, 6:55 pm

Thanks Meredith! I left the stuff about infinite knowledge, because that's a major problem in the story: reddos do know everything, but Hugh still couldn't answer Sophie's question.

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 4/27

Post by AllieS » May 3rd, 2011, 1:53 am

Four things come to mind when eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan thinks about the Kedoas.

First, her life would be a lot simpler if she hadn’t found Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in Ellery Wildlife Preserve. Then she wouldn’t have learned that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him.

Second, for some unknown reason, Hugh couldn’t answer her most important question of whether or not she has a true love. Instead, she’s left with a strange connection to him, and stitches in her head from where she was blasted into a tree. When a reddo’s powers break, they don’t break gently.

Third, the Kedoas’ forbidden world is entrancing—and dangerous. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world.

And fourth, maybe they’d be better off if she’d never gotten so wrapped up in their lives. Her knowledge of their world could save them when they need her most—or destroy everything they’ve striven to keep secret.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 99,000 words, and yadda yadda yadda...
Last edited by AllieS on May 24th, 2011, 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 5/3

Post by glj » May 6th, 2011, 10:43 am

I think this is much improved. It is very concise. The conflict is given, but briefly.

The "First ... Second ... Third ... Fourth ..." structure bothers me. It seems quite formal, as in a scientific journal, ticking off points to be made. The intro paragraph could say "Four things come to mind ..." but then you could leave off the labels, as you have four paragraphs (see below).


Four things come to mind when eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan thinks about the Kedoas.

Her life would be a lot simpler if she hadn’t found Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in Ellery Wildlife Preserve. Then she wouldn’t have learned that he’s a reddo: A colon is unnecessary. A comma will do. a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him.

For some unknown reason, Hugh couldn’t answer her most important question of whether or not she has a true love. Instead, she’s left with a strange connection to him, and stitches in her head from where she was blasted I don't know if the stitches are needed? Does Hugh blast her into the tree? Oh, she gets blasted into the tree when his powers break. This could be clearer. into a tree. When a reddo’s powers break, they don’t break gently.

The Kedoas’ forbidden world is entrancing—and dangerous. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world.

Maybe they’d be better off if she’d never gotten so wrapped up in their lives. Her knowledge of their world could save them when they need her most—or destroy everything they’ve striven to keep secret. The only thing this query leaves me wondering is what will happen to Sophie if the mystery man finds the Kedoas? There doesn't seem to be any danger to her, just to the Reddos.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 99,000 words, and yadda yadda yadda...

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Re: REDDO: New format for YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 4/27

Post by Joel Q » May 13th, 2011, 4:35 pm

AllieS wrote:
I like the new version
I'm not sure about the "four things" angle in the query. But it just might work for the the right agent.
JQ


Four things come to mind when eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan thinks about the Kedoas.

First, her life would be a lot simpler if she hadn’t found Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in Ellery Wildlife Preserve. Then she wouldn’t have learned that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him.

Second, for some unknown reason, Hugh couldn’t answer her most important question of whether or not she has a true love. Instead, she’s left with a strange connection to him, and stitches in her head from where she was blasted into a tree. When a reddo’s powers break, they don’t break gently.

Third, the Kedoas’ forbidden world is entrancing—and dangerous. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world. (That's a really good plot point.)

And fourth, maybe they’d be better off if she’d never gotten so wrapped up in their lives. Her knowledge of their world could save them when they need her most—or destroy everything they’ve striven to keep secret.(I'd really like a better connect between this paragraph and the man hunting them. Granted, it's kind of a given, but stronger writing might give us a greater sense of urgency.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 99,000 words, and yadda yadda yadda...

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Re: REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 5/3

Post by AllieS » May 24th, 2011, 6:32 pm

Thanks Joel and glj! I've tried to make the last paragraph more specific.

Four things come to mind when eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan thinks about the Kedoas.

Her life would be a lot simpler if she hadn’t found Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in Ellery Wildlife Preserve. Then she wouldn’t have learned he’s a reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him.

For some unknown reason, Hugh couldn’t answer her most important question of whether or not she has a true love. Instead, she’s left with a strange connection to him, and stitches in her head from where she was blasted into a tree. When a reddo’s powers break, they don’t break gently.

The Kedoas’ forbidden world is captivating—and dangerous. A man is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world.

Maybe they’d be better off if Sophie had never gotten so wrapped up in their lives. She might be able to save them when they need her most by sacrificing her answers. But once she makes that decision, there’s no guarantee it’ll work . . . and no way to get her answers back for herself.
Last edited by AllieS on June 4th, 2011, 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 5/25

Post by Anna Geletka » May 29th, 2011, 4:22 pm

I'm just going to be honest - I don't like the word Reddo. I'm not trying to be mean, but I am wondering if there is a reason why you chose this term - does it mean something in traditional mythology that I'm not familiar with? Is it ODDER spelled backward? Clearly this is a really important word - it's the title! - but when I read it, I don't think of a type of person, paranormal or not. It looks like the world redo.

My husband once told me that he hated my main character's name, so I am well aware of how a comment like this can be painful. But in the spirit of trying to be helpful, I just have to say that I dislike Reddo.

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Re: REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 5/25

Post by AllieS » May 29th, 2011, 7:20 pm

That's a fine question. Reddo means "answer" in Latin, that's why I chose it.

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Re: REDDO, YA Urban Fantasy EDITED 5/25

Post by bighockeyhair » June 1st, 2011, 11:53 pm

Note: 3 things...Thanks so much for posting 'Newest Draft' it made finding this very easy. 2) I haven't looked at earlier versions 3) I'm a newb so take it with a gain.

Four things come to mind when eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan thinks about the Kedoas. Maybe I'm just slow, but I don't see those four things? Are they supposed to be your other paragraphs? Hmm, if so I'm not sure that works well as a hook. But then again that's just one newbs opinion...

Her life would be a lot simpler if she hadn’t found Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in Ellery Wildlife Preserve. Then she wouldn’t have learned he’s a reddo, a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five four things...five answers...lots of numbers here...answers to those who help him.

For some unknown reason, delete that (sry couldn't find the strike out tool) Hugh couldn’t answer her most important question of whether or not she has a true love. Instead, she’s left with a strange connection to him, and stitches in her head from where she was blasted into a tree. When a reddo’s powers break, break? how, is this connected to his ankle? they don’t break gently.

The Kedoas’ forbidden world is captivating—and dangerous. <--telling A man <--vague is hunting the Kedoas, one who’s powerful enough to have driven them into the sanctuary of the wildlife preserve. He wants answers Hugh’s father denied him, answers that would endanger the secrecy of the reddos’ world. But what are the stakes? I know the Reddo's will be wiped, but then what? No more questions answered for anyone else? People will have to get answers the old fashioned way?

Maybe they’d be better off if Sophie had never gotten so wrapped up in their lives. She might be able to save them when they need her most by sacrificing her answers. But once she makes that decision, there’s no guarantee it’ll work . . . and no way to get her answers back for herself. I'm still not clear what's so important about these questions and answers. What kind of things are they asking? Since this is so central, it may require some earlier explanation and set-up. There's definitely something very good in here, so I'm anxious to see your next draft
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