YA Paranormal: GRIM

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geogstacey
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YA Paranormal: GRIM

Post by geogstacey » August 17th, 2012, 11:37 am

Dear Ninja Agent,

Beer funnels and field parties are a distant memory when sixteen-year-old high school quarterback, Derek Weber, awakens handcuffed to a hospital bed and a reaper at his side.

The reaper gives him two options: death or an immortal gig as a reaper. He agrees to the terms and travels to the reaper world where he tackles rigorous training to master collecting the souls of the sick, learning to heal, and invisibility.

On his first official assignment to the underworld, two rogue reapers attack Derek and hijack his shipment of souls. Heaven’s gatekeeper threatens war against the reaper world if the souls aren’t returned. He must prove his innocence to the reaper council and the only way he can is to travel to the underworld to find the culprits. Despite flesh-eating giants, psychotic merpeople and amnesia inducing rivers he must deliver the souls back to Heaven before all Hell breaks loose.

Complete at 60,000 words GRIM is YA Paranormal. I am a member of SCBWI and a contributing author to the literary blog Our Pages Aren’t Numbered.

Thank you for your time.

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Shipple
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Re: YA Paranormal: GRIM

Post by Shipple » August 18th, 2012, 10:59 am

Honestly, I don't see much I would improve about this. It's short, got a good punch, and it sounds like a very active & engaging story.

I guess one thing I might like to see more of is the voice of Jeff and what he thinks about all of this. Maybe just a little more of your individual voice as an author b/c this is very concise, so you don't have much space to get your tone across. Although, since it is so concise, I'm not actually sure that's a good idea since it would make it longer. (Sorry that's not very decisive, but that's something that could go either way.)

Also, for some reason I'd really prefer "with a reaper at his side" rather than "and a reaper at his side".

Not terribly helpful, but I liked it.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
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LurkingVirologist
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Re: YA Paranormal: GRIM

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 19th, 2012, 2:21 am

Red is suggested delete, blue is linked to [a comment]

"Beer funnels and field parties are a distant memory when sixteen-year-old high school quarterback, Derek Weber, awakens handcuffed to a hospital bed and[with] a reaper at his side.

The reaper gives him two options: death or an immortal gig as a reaper. He agrees to the terms and travels to the reaper world where he tackles rigorous training to master collecting the souls of the sick, learning to heal, and invisibility. [this sounds a bit like an RPG skill list - also, I thought he was reaping not saving, or does his job involve both?]

On his first official assignment to the underworld, two rogue reapers attack Derek and hijack his shipment of souls. Heaven’s gatekeeper threatens war against the reaper world if the souls aren’t returned. He must prove his innocence to the reaper council and the only way he can is to [by] travel[ing] to the underworld to find [and capturing] the culprits. Despite [awkward word choice, can you re-work this sentence to sound more active?] flesh-eating giants, psychotic merpeople and amnesia inducing rivers he must deliver the souls back to Heaven before all Hell breaks loose."

Sounds like you've got an interesting story. A couple things that weren't clear from the query are:
1. Why was he handcuffed to the bed? It sounds like he's in police custody.
2. He sounds like he's going along with the Reaper business pretty compliantly, why is that? It seems like his 'recruitment' is pretty darn coercive, unless he was already about to die and the reaper just gave him a second chance. Moreover, since you have a heaven/hell set-up in your book, which was Derek bound for? If he was going north, so to speak, why take the reaper gig?
3. Why did the rogue reapers steal the souls, and what are they going to do with them? Dastardly evil plan? Poker night? At first it sounds like they are hostages, but then they get treated more like a McGuffin than people. By clarifying this, I think you can raise the personal stakes.

As Shipple said, I think you've got enough spare words to get a bit more of your voice and your MCs voice into the query without the risk of seeming long-winded.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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