YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

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Chazemataz
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YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

Post by Chazemataz » December 6th, 2011, 10:05 pm

I've been sending out queries for the past month or so with no success. Any pointers? Tips? Advice? Thanks in advance.

Some say Lewis and his family are among the lucky ones. After all, they survived the Demon hordes of World War III with their mansion and wealth intact. Sixteen-year-old Lewis, however, doesn't consider himself to be lucky. The demon-fighting Warriors who stalk the streets of this new, frightening Boston may keep evil at bay, but they can't protect Lewis from his own mind. Haunted by horrific visions of the restless dead, Lewis turns to his warrior friend Tristan for solace and to his writing for an escape from a world that has branded him an outcast.

When an active serial killer begins to target the youth of New Boston, Lewis can't blend into the shadows anymore -- he is the one who keeps stumbling upon the mangled bodies of his classmates. As if seeing dead people wasn’t bad enough, now Lewis must deal with being at the center of a body count.

For the first time in his life, Lewis must confront the dead in order to save the living. But the answers that Lewis finds may not be the ones he wants to hear.

BAD KIDS is a 94,000-word YA post-apocalyptic mystery.

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wilderness
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Re: YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

Post by wilderness » December 7th, 2011, 3:01 pm

Chazemataz wrote:
Some say Lewis and his family are among the lucky ones. After all, they survived the Demon hordes of World War III with their mansion and wealth intact. Sixteen-year-old Lewis, however, doesn't consider himself to be lucky. The demon-fighting Warriors who stalk the streets of this new, frightening Boston may keep evil at bay, but they can't protect Lewis from his own mind. Haunted by horrific visions of the restless dead, (what kind of visions? visions of the future or of the past?) Lewis turns to his warrior friend Tristan for solace and to his writing for an escape from a world that has branded him an outcast. Not sure that his friend or writing are necessary to the query since they don't come in elsewhere.

When an active serial killer begins to target the youth of New Boston, Lewis can't blend into the shadows anymore -- he is the one who keeps stumbling upon the mangled bodies of his classmates. As if seeing dead people wasn’t bad enough, now Lewis must deal with being at the center of a body count. I'm not sure what you mean when you say he is at the center of the body count? If people he knows are the only ones dying, then it doesn't seem the serial killer is targeting the general youth of New Boston. Do people suspect Lewis is the killer? Also how does this serial killer tie in with the demon hordes and demon-fighting warriors? It seems like two separate stories and I think you need to bring them together.

For the first time in his life, Lewis must confront the dead in order to save the living. But the answers that Lewis finds may not be the ones he wants to hear. This is too vague for me to get much out of it. Why does he need to confront the dead? And can he do that? Is it related to his visions?

BAD KIDS is a 94,000-word YA post-apocalyptic mystery.
This seems like a compelling premise! I think you need to clarify a few things though. Good luck!

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Re: YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

Post by thewhipslip » December 8th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Chazemataz wrote:I've been sending out queries for the past month or so with no success. Any pointers? Tips? Advice? Thanks in advance.

Some say Lewis and his family are among the lucky ones. After all, they survived the Demon hordes of World War III with their mansion and wealth intact This may be a personal thing, but I'm immediately turned off by the rich family who gets to keep their wealth while others are suffering. It comes off as selfish, and doesn't seem like a great way to start the query. Sixteen-year-old Lewis,however, doesn't consider himself to be lucky. The demon-fighting Warriors who stalk the streets of this new, frightening Boston may keep evil at bay, but they can't protect Lewis from his own mind. Haunted by horrific visions of the restless dead When you say visions, I imagine visions of the future. if he's just seeing ghosts, then say that directly., Lewis turns to his warrior friend Tristan for solace and to his writing for an escape from a world that has branded him an outcast. how is he an outcast? what kind of world do they currently live in? is it the same kind of world except with demons? be more specific about that

When an active serial killer begins to target the youth of New Boston, Lewis can't blend into the shadows anymore -- he is the one who keeps stumbling upon the mangled bodies of his classmates. that sounds a little awkward, like the bodies are being thrown at him or something. might want to provide more details on how he's finding these bodies - are the dead people telling him where to find them? or is the serial killer targeting him somehow? and I agree with wilderness that you need to be clear on whether people suspect he's the killer or not... As if seeing dead people wasn’t bad enough, now Lewis must deal with being at the center of a body count.don't really understanding the phrasing here, how someone can be at the center of a body count.

For the first time in his life, Lewis must confront the dead in order to save the living so has he seen the dead his whole life? not clear on how him seeing the dead and World War III connect. did the demons give him this power? did his power stem from the war, or is it a separate thing? and who are these demons? what do they do, why did they invade, where did they come from? need more details to give the world more clarity. But the answers that Lewis finds may not be the ones he wants to hear. the answers from where? this last sentence is a bit too cliched for my taste.

BAD KIDS is a 94,000-word YA post-apocalyptic mystery.
I think you can get a really solid query together from this, but work on 1) your world-building, be specific about what the demons are doing, what they want on Earth, where they come from, etc. and 2) give more details on Lewis' power, where it came from, how long he's had it, and 3) I want more info on the serial killer, since he/she drops out of the end of the query - do people suspect Lewis is killing people? is the serial killer supposed to be a demon? and how do these Warriors fit into the whole thing? cause they drop out of the query too...
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theWallflower
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Re: YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

Post by theWallflower » December 15th, 2011, 3:04 pm

Some say Lewis and his family are among the lucky ones. After all, they survived the Demon hordes of World War III with their mansion and wealth intact. Sixteen-year-old Lewis, however, doesn't consider himself to be lucky. The demon-fighting Warriors who stalk the streets of this new, frightening Boston may keep evil at bay, but they can't protect Lewis from his own mind. Haunted by horrific visions of the restless dead, Lewis turns to his warrior friend Tristan for solace and to his writing for an escape from a world that has branded him an outcast.
-"mansion and wealth intact", I think just wealth is necessary here.
-"Sixteen-year-old" this belongs where you first mention Lewis
-That last sentence is HUGE. Break it up.
-I would combine parts of the last two sentences. For example, "but they can't protect Lewis from his horrific visions of the restless dead" BTW why does this matter? What are the dead doing that make them so dreadful? They could be having a tea party for all I know
-What kind of solace does Tristan provide? Does he give a mean back-rub? You might be better off with "advice"
When an active serial killer begins to target the youth of New Boston, Lewis can't blend into the shadows anymore -- he is the one who keeps stumbling upon the mangled bodies of his classmates. As if seeing dead people wasn’t bad enough, now Lewis must deal with being at the center of a body count.
-This seems to be the start of the story. Maybe this is qhere the query letter should begin.
-Why was Lewis blending into the shadows in the first place? Is he shy?
-I would say "he keeps stumbling upon..." rather than being wordy.
For the first time in his life, Lewis must confront the dead in order to save the living. But the answers that Lewis finds may not be the ones he wants to hear.
-This sentence is meaningless. I think you need to focus more on who the main character is, what he wants (to stop the visions? To stop the killer?), and what he will do to get that done (which I don't know from this query). I assume Tristan comes into play during this at some point.
BAD KIDS is a 94,000-word YA post-apocalyptic mystery.
That seems pretty lengthy for a YA.
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Kate_WritesYA
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Re: YA Post-Apocalyptic: Bad Kids

Post by Kate_WritesYA » December 16th, 2011, 3:35 pm

I've got a strong suspicion that Lewis is the serial killer. If that's the case, it's too obvious from this query.

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