YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

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clara_w
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YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by clara_w » November 18th, 2011, 3:07 am

Hi folks,

I'm back from rejection-land...aaagain. :D

I tried to re-do my query and this is the latest version. As always, any feedback is extremely appreciated. Thanks for the help guys!!

Cheerios!

Dear Agent,

Fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average Wind-Rider: She can’t control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements, the Masha. Those gun carrying fools.
When she joins a group of Element-Riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Dusk- a maniac with the riding abilities of a god. She uncovers his plot to start a war between Element-Riders and Masha, and if his plan works, ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it. Worst of all, Jade is the only one who can stop him.
But why should Jade fight for peace? Dusk might have planned it, but Masha killed her father. In the end, genocide might not be such a bad idea after all.

“WHERE HURRICANES SLEEP” is a Fantasy Young Adult novel, complete at 95,000 words.

My short story ‘BlahBlah’ was published in the ‘BlihBlih’ anthology by BluhBluh publisher.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Last edited by clara_w on November 30th, 2011, 4:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.

clara_w
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by clara_w » November 22nd, 2011, 4:16 pm

Help?

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wilderness
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by wilderness » November 22nd, 2011, 4:56 pm

clara_w wrote:
Dear Agent,
No Masha can control the elements, which is why they (who?) treat Element-Riders like pariahs. But fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average Wind-Rider:(not sure about the hyphenation in Wind-Rider) Not (should not be capitalized because this is not a new sentence) only can’t she control her city-razing hurricanes, but her father was brutally murdered by Masha. Her father being murdered seems better introduced later. Also, I'm confused about the meaning of Masha. Initially I thought it meant Element-Rider, but now it seems like they are enemies?

When she joins a group of experienced Riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Mason- a sick maniac with the riding abilities of a god. She uncovers his plot to start a war between humanity’s two factions, and ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it. A little confusing since we don't know your world; what are the two factions? I assume Masha and Element-Rider but be explicit. And if Mason is Masha, why would he plot for Masha genocide? If he is not Masha, then it contradicts your first paragraph. But preventing a war could be easier if Jade weren’t falling for Mason’s only son, Timas.

Now peace may cost Jade not only her life, her family or her nation, but Timas himself. Timas is introduced so late in the query that he seems to be an after-thought, and therefore not strong enough to end with. This is also on the vague side. What specifically can Jade do to stop the war?

“WHERE HURRICANES SLEEP” is a Fantasy Young Adult novel, complete at 95,000 words.

My short story ‘BlahBlah’ was published in the ‘BlihBlih’ anthology by BluhBluh publisher.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Hi Clara, I think you should get more detailed here. What separates your mythos from other fantasy books? What makes Jade unique (besides her powers). What is her personality? I don't think your query is bad, but I'm wondering if you are getting rejections simply because you're not making the concept stand out enough compared to similar fantasy. Good luck!

clara_w
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by clara_w » November 23rd, 2011, 3:04 pm

Thanks Wilderness! : D I tried to add a bit more on the boys, and I corrected the small mistakes... Hoping it worked. : )

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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by thewhipslip » November 28th, 2011, 11:07 am

Dear Agent,

Fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average wind-rider: not only can’t I don't like the "can't" here, it's a weird double negative with the "not only" added in. I would start with a new sentence, so: She can't control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered.she control her city-razing hurricanes, but her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements (Masha).It's not clear what the Masha are, and you've got a repeat of the "can't", which is a bit confusing to read. I'm also not sure about the light-hearted tone when discussing a brutal murder. It pulls me out of the query.
When she joins a group of element-riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Dusk- a maniac with the riding abilities of a god. She uncovers his plot to start a war between element-riders and Masha, and if his plan works, ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it I also found the tone to be too light here, considering the topic is genocide. Also want to know more about how she uncovers this plan. There's not enough detail on that.. Worst of all; no semi-colonJade is the only one who can stop him.But wait a second.Why should Jade fight for peace? Mason who's Mason? might have planned it, but Masha killed her father getting name confusion here. Too many "M" names.. In the end, genocide might not be such a bad idea after all.I can't get on board with genocide ever being a good idea. Sorry.

“WHERE HURRICANES SLEEP” is a Fantasy Young Adult novel, complete at 95,000 words.

My short story ‘BlahBlah’ was published in the ‘BlihBlih’ anthology by BluhBluh publisher.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
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cassiemcook
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by cassiemcook » December 5th, 2011, 4:32 pm

Fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average Wind-Rider:I'm not sure I like the : here. Maybe just go with a period? This is of course, just nitpicky thing She can’t control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements, the Masha. Those gun carrying fools.This makes me pause. I'm thinking it's the way it's phrased. Maybe try flipping things around. The Masha, those gun carrying fools brutally murder her father. I realize this tense may be off, but you can play around with it.
When she joins a group of Element-Riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Dusk- a maniac with the riding abilities of a god. She uncovers his plot to start a war between Element-Riders and Masha, and if his plan works, ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it. Worst of all, Jade is the only one who can stop him.Why is she the only one who can stop him? Does she have a unique ability? Or is she the only one who knows? Maybe not so vague here.
But why should Jade fight for peace? Dusk might have planned it, but Masha killed her father. In the end, genocide might not be such a bad idea after all.Overall I think the story sounds interesting, but this query is vague and leaves me wondering. What does controlling the elements have to do with anything? Why did Dusk order her father to be killed, and why did the Masha listen to an Element Rider? Who is her father? Did he have some bigger role? Or was he just a casualty? Perhaps keep these things in mind.

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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by theWallflower » December 15th, 2011, 5:16 pm

Fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average Wind-Rider: She can’t control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements, the Masha. Those gun carrying fools.
-I'm not a big fan of that last line. It sounds out of place. It sounds like something a redneck would say. Or someone British. Or a British redneck. Why not just say the gun-carrying Masha.
-Also, before you talk about Wind-Riders and city razing hurricanes, I might need a little more context. What is Jade supposed to be doing? What does a Wind-Rider do with their wind riding abilities?
-I think you can remove "brutally"
When she joins a group of Element-Riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Dusk- a maniac with the riding abilities of a god. She uncovers his plot to start a war between Element-Riders and Masha, and if his plan works, ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it. Worst of all, Jade is the only one who can stop him.
-Before you get into this paragraph, I might need more context on what "riding" is. Does it simply mean controlling? Do you literally have to ride something? Do you ride a rock?
-What would riding abilities of a god look like? I don't even know what a normal rider si supposed to do.
-This paragraph feels a bit like tangled spaghetti. One element leads to the other, but they seem disconnected. I know what Jade wants, and who she is, but I'm not clear on what she does to get it. I know she joins some element-riders, but I'm not sure what she does there. I'm sure finding out about her father's murder is somewhat secondary that becomes primary. I wouldn't mention anything about a mystery until halfway through the query.
-I don't like this sentence: "‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it". First, what is "it" in this context. Second, is it truly genocidal if it's a war? They're not mutually inclusive.
-How about one paragraph about what she does to tame her wind riding, and one about what she does to uncover her father's murder.
But why should Jade fight for peace? Dusk might have planned it, but Masha killed her father. In the end, genocide might not be such a bad idea after all.
-I like this: you included the choice that Jade has to make and it's a good one. Keep this line by all means.
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chocofudges
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by chocofudges » January 3rd, 2012, 6:46 pm

Hi!
This seems interesting, but some of the sentence structure/phrasing sounds a bit off to me.

"She can’t control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements, the Masha. Those gun carrying fools."

I'm not getting the connection here between the fact that she can't control her hurricanes and her father's death. By using the conjunction 'and', you're trying to make some sort of connection, but as it stands it the two independent clauses aren't being related. The Masha killing her father with guns and her not controlling her powers are separate ideas and so should be completely different sentences. I'm not seeing the purpose of using 'and'.

And it may be just me, but "I look forward to hearing from you" sounds a bit obnoxious even if you aren't (and I doubt you are :D). It sounds like you expect them to be blown away by your query and respond favorably to your request, as if writing the query is just a formality leading up to their inevitable acceptance of your work.

Good idea, but like I said, some phrasings and word usage give off confusing or wrong ideas.

skinguk
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Re: YA Fantasy: Where Hurricanes Sleep

Post by skinguk » January 5th, 2012, 11:51 am

Okay...new to critiquing, but here goes. Bear with me!

Fifteen-year-old Jade Kadeem has it worse than your average Wind-Rider: She can’t control her city-razing hurricanes, and her father was brutally murdered by those who can’t control the elements, the Masha. Those gun carrying fools. [I would actually change the hook here. I find it a bit disjointed and confusing (for me, mind you). Maybe you can say something like, "Fifteen-year old Jade Kadeem can't control her city-razing hurricanes. But unlike most Wind-Rider's her age, Jade also has to deal with the brutal murder of her father by the Masha - gun carrying fools who can't control the elements." (or something like that).

When she joins a group of Element-Riders to learn how to tame her powers, Jade discovers her father’s murder was planned by Dusk- a maniac with the riding abilities of a god. [Maybe add some information here on who Dusk is and how she learned of the plan? Assuming he is also a Wind-Rider but maybe add a bit more about him. Is he a leader? Seen as a renegade? Will others follow him? Etc.] She uncovers his plot to start a war between Element-Riders and Masha, and if his plan works, ‘Masha genocide’ won't even begin to cover it. Worst of all, Jade is the only one who can stop him. [I would add a bit more about the plot here. You have a novel at 95,000 words so there must be some more about the crisis she faces/conflicts that happen you can put in here. What about the Masha? Is something going on with them simultaneously, aside from the killing of her father, that is making the decision hard not only for her but for the rest of the Wind-Riders? Why would the other Wind-Riders be okay with a slaughter of all Masha?]

But why should Jade fight for peace? Dusk might have planned it, but Masha killed her father. In the end, genocide might not be such a bad idea after all.

“WHERE HURRICANES SLEEP” is a Fantasy Young Adult novel, complete at 95,000 words.

My short story ‘BlahBlah’ was published in the ‘BlihBlih’ anthology by BluhBluh publisher.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

[Good luck and keep at it! Sounds like you have an interesting story.]

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