Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

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chocofudges
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Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by chocofudges » January 3rd, 2012, 7:27 pm

Dear Agent,
Most people would kill for the power to shoot stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands, to melt metal just by touching it, to set fire to something without so much as a match.

Eighteen year old Chase Gray, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with channeling. For a teenager living in a world containing mythical creatures and channelers, he was living a surprisingly normal life, a completely non-mythical, channeler free life. Of course, this was before his encounter with a cold, manipulative girl named Z, a belligerent, three-headed giant, and a powerful old channeler, all of which would completely upset his plans for the future and irreversibly alter his life forever. Struggling with broken dreams while trying to solve the mystery behind his new, secretive classmate Z and a three hundred year old man, Chase and his friends uncover a horrifying plan that threatens to destroy their entire world.

I am seeking representation for my completed manuscript of The Broken Key, a fantasy novel measuring at approximately 110,000 words. The Broken Key is the first book in a series of five that follows Chase Gray and his friends as they struggle to prevent the scheme, which would shatter the peace of their world, from unfolding while also dealing with the stresses of school life, broken families, treacherous allies, and hidden truths. All the books have been plotted, but only the first has been written.

Thank you for taking the time to read this query. An SASE is enclosed for your convenience for replying, and the full manuscript is available upon request.

guichizango
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Re: Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by guichizango » January 4th, 2012, 12:16 pm

"Most people would kill for the power to shoot stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands, to melt metal just by touching it, to set fire to something without so much as a match." I don't know if I would say most people, it sounds like a generalization to me, which makes me cringe, just a bit, I might change it to most people in whatever world your characters live in.

Eighteen year old Chase Gray, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with channeling. For a teenager living in a world containing mythical creatures and channelers, he was living a surprisingly normal life, ( I'm not fantastic at punctuation, but I think you need some kind of break or at least a ;)a completely non-mythical, channeler free life. Of course, this was before his encounter with a cold, manipulative girl named Z, a belligerent, three-headed giant, and a powerful old channeler, all of which would completely upset his plans for the future and irreversibly alter his life forever. Struggling with broken dreams while trying to solve the mystery behind his new, secretive classmate Z and a three hundred year old man, Chase and his friends uncover a horrifying plan that threatens to destroy their entire world.
This last sentence confused me. I think you're trying to fit too much into one sentence. Is the secretive classmate and three hundred year old man the mystery? Or the new? Are they his friends? I would break it up and give a little more explanation.

skinguk
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Re: Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by skinguk » January 5th, 2012, 11:33 am

I am new at critiquing, so please bear with me! ;)

Most people would kill for the power to shoot stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands, to melt metal just by touching it, to set fire to something without so much as a match.

Eighteen year old Chase Gray, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with channeling. For a teenager living in a world containing mythical creatures and channelers, he was living a surprisingly normal life, a completely non-mythical, channeler free life. [This confuses me a little. How is he living a surprisingly normal life if it is a word of mythical creatures and channelers? Seems like he would be living a life that is not considered normal there. Or is it a world like our own where the majority of people/things are not mythical creatures and channelers? Maybe clarify this a bit if appropriate.] Of course, this was before his encounter with a cold, manipulative girl named Z, a belligerent, three-headed giant, and a powerful old channeler, all of which would completely upset his plans for the future and irreversibly alter his life forever. Struggling with broken dreams while trying to solve the mystery behind his new, secretive classmate Z and a three hundred year old man, Chase and his friends uncover a horrifying plan that threatens to destroy their entire world. [Sorry. Again, I am a little confused. Is Z one of the friends or a protagonist or something else? Or both? Maybe a little clarity as Z is mentioned before with the other group, which are the "and his friends" that follows, but also you mention Z and the three hundred year old man. To me it just feels a bit confusing.]

I am seeking representation for my completed manuscript of The Broken Key, a fantasy novel measuring at approximately 110,000 words. The Broken Key is the first book in a series of five that follows Chase Gray and his friends as they struggle to prevent the scheme, which would shatter the peace of their world, from unfolding while also dealing with the stresses of school life, broken families, treacherous allies, and hidden truths. All the books have been plotted, but only the first has been written. [I agree this sentence needs to be broken up a bit. I have read that you really shouldn't mention it is a series unless the agent specifically requests that you identify a series; but I may be wrong on this. If it does make sense to mention, perhaps break it up a bit. "The Broken Key is the first book in a series of five that follow Chase Gray and his friends as they struggle to prevent the destruction of their world while dealing with their own lives." Or something to that affect. To me there is too much detail regarding the series.]

Thank you for taking the time to read this query. An SASE is enclosed for your convenience for replying, and the full manuscript is available upon request.

Hope this helps and good luck!

chocofudges
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Re: Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by chocofudges » January 5th, 2012, 1:16 pm

Thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate your insight.

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theWallflower
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Re: Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by theWallflower » January 19th, 2012, 1:53 pm

Most people would kill for the power to shoot stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands, to melt metal just by touching it, to set fire to something without so much as a match.
"stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands" is wordy. Rays are already implied to be energy. The important idea here is that you can shoot energy rays, melt metal by touch, and set fire to something with a thought. I don't know if most people would kill for that power. It sounds like more trouble than its worth.
Eighteen year old Chase Gray, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with channeling. For a teenager living in a world containing mythical creatures and channelers, he was living a surprisingly normal life, a completely non-mythical, channeler free life. Of course, this was before his encounter with a cold, manipulative girl named Z, a belligerent, three-headed giant, and a powerful old channeler, all of which would completely upset his plans for the future and irreversibly alter his life forever. Struggling with broken dreams while trying to solve the mystery behind his new, secretive classmate Z and a three hundred year old man, Chase and his friends uncover a horrifying plan that threatens to destroy their entire world.
-There's a lot of adjectives in this paragraph. Many nouns have two. I think you need to use more descriptive nouns and verbs than piling on adjectives. It also makes the sentences longer, and I can barely read them as is. I can't suss out the central idea because it's character soup.
-"irreversibly alter his life forever" once again, you've got multiple words that mean the same thing.
-"Struggling with broken dreams" dreams of what?
-"while trying to solve the mystery behind his new, secretive classmate Z" what mystery? You haven't given any plot, just characters.
-"a horrifying plan" what is that plan? What are the stakes?
I am seeking representation for my completed manuscript of The Broken Key, a fantasy novel measuring at approximately 110,000 words. The Broken Key is the first book in a series of five that follows Chase Gray and his friends as they struggle to prevent the scheme, which would shatter the peace of their world, from unfolding while also dealing with the stresses of school life, broken families, treacherous allies, and hidden truths. All the books have been plotted, but only the first has been written.
-This paragraph needs to go. The second sentence is all summarizing things in such a generic way that it tells nothing about the book.
-Plus the agent knows you're seeking representation, otherwise you wouldn't have sent a query.
-Also, don't mention it's a series. Each book sells by itself, and the prospect of having to sell five books doesn't sweeten the pot.
-All you need to say here is "THE BROKEN KEY is a fantasy novel at 110,000 words." And where else you have been published (if any).
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Jaligard
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Re: Fantasy Novel: The Broken Key

Post by Jaligard » January 26th, 2012, 6:59 pm

chocofudges wrote:Most people would kill for the power to shoot stone shattering rays of energy out of their hands, to melt metal just by touching it, to set fire to something without so much as a match.
This has some of the same problems as starting with a rhetorical question: it only works if it you hit it spot-on, dread-to-rights, millimeter precise on the head. And even then, you're basically using a gimmick to engage the reader (agent) rather than using narrative to engage them.

Most people wouldn't kill for this. Maybe in your novel they would, but I'm not in your novel yet. You need to bring me into your novel first.

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