Query (Writer's Block YA Fantasy)

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Lunetta22
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Query (Writer's Block YA Fantasy)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 19th, 2010, 10:45 pm

I'm not very good at writing queries, so please help as much as you can. :)

Dear Agent,

No one knows what happens to characters when their author finishes the book. Nicholas Tremain isn’t ready to find out. He gives his author, Anne, writer’s block and enters a realm of fiction where characters live while their authors are unable to write. Nicholas learns from his roommate Scott that it is possible to enter reality and become real.

Nicholas’ time to become real is limited. At any moment Anne could begin writing again, which would instantly send him back to the book. Also, he is not the only fictional character in Reality. Fictional characters have roamed Reality for centuries, seeking their authors in order to become Real. Real people call them “supernatural”, and they are drawn to Nicholas.

Nicholas decides that the best way to distract Anne from writing is to date her. Even in reality Anne controls his thoughts and feelings. Whatever she says about him instantly becomes true. When she plays a game of “he loves me, he loves me not,” he falls in love with her.

Before Nicholas can tell Anne that he loves her, (and potentially ruin their relationship because real people don’t fall in love in three days time) the fictional villain from the book, the Baron Thomas Farent enters reality and attacks Nicholas in his apartment. Nicholas is forced to use his magic to protect Anne, but in the midst of the duel he becomes real and loses all of his power. The Baron drags both Nicholas and Anne into fiction. Nicholas manages to distract the Baron long enough for Anne to escape, but he is imprisoned in the heart of the Beastlands.

Now, trapped in fiction, it is up to Anne to rescue Nicholas. Unfortunately Anne hasn’t quite figured out how to defeat her own villain. And because Nicholas is real, she will have to do it without her perfectly crafted hero and the failsafe aid of prophecy.

Writer’s Block is complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Me.

***

(I'm a sucker for fish out of water stories, so half this book takes place in reality with Nicholas learning how to adjust, and half in fiction, where Anne has to. Tis quite fun. ;)) (And these sentences aren't part of the query.)

Link to first chapter: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=854
Last edited by Lunetta22 on February 21st, 2010, 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

jordynface
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by jordynface » February 19th, 2010, 11:02 pm

Some thoughts/suggestions.

1. Looove the premise. Reminds me a bit of The Great Good Thing actually, though that is an MG fairy tale.
2. I got a little confused with the Reality bits... wasn't sure if Reality actually equaled reality where us real people live, or if since it was capslocked it was some in-between place.
3. How he becomes real to start dating Anne might need some explaining... I'm assuming he's "real" for a limited time, yes? And he's working against the clock somehow?
4. Also a bit lost about who the villain is... the villain is from the MC's book, right?

Overall, it's a bit confusing/muddy, but not at all bad. I'm betting that if you can clear up some of the confusion it would be a pretty solid query.

Hope I've helped.

Lunetta22
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 19th, 2010, 11:15 pm

Thank you Jordynface! I never know how much information to include in a query, I first mentioned how he can become real, and I've been told to remove it. Nicholas isn't real when he enters reality. He's basically a supernatural creature. But he is still completely controlled by Anne, who has no idea she's doing it. The way a fictional character becomes real is they learn act against their author's words. (Because Anne says that he loves her, if he can decide that he does not, he becomes real. He can't remain her character if he can think entirely for himself.) But it can only be done in Reality. (Characters can only become real in reality, and real people can only turn fiction in fiction.) (And yes, there are instances of real people turning fiction. ;)) The only clock Nicholas is running against is Anne. The more time she spends with him, the more she is inspired to write. He just reminds her of her character so much...

Yes the villain is from Nicholas' book. He isn't developed well, and can't do anything but focus on revenge against Nicholas. (In Writers Block they call villains like him "literaturely insane" and usually keep them locked up. He escapes when Nicholas leaves.)

jordynface
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by jordynface » February 19th, 2010, 11:25 pm

Well, I maybe wouldn't go into a TON of detail on how he can become real, but mentioning it would go a long way towards clearing things up. Leave some intrigue, but if an agent can't understand your plot I doubt they'd ask for a partial or full. :)

Lunetta22
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 19th, 2010, 11:27 pm

jordynface wrote:Well, I maybe wouldn't go into a TON of detail on how he can become real, but mentioning it would go a long way towards clearing things up. Leave some intrigue, but if an agent can't understand your plot I doubt they'd ask for a partial or full. :)
Haha, good point! I'll definitely try to rework it in. Thank you for your help! :)

GeeGee55
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by GeeGee55 » February 20th, 2010, 12:04 am

Rather than offer a critique as such, I just played with your sentences/words a bit to get a better flow for the first two para, you could do the same for the rest of it: Using the terms real and Reality just doesn't work here, they are too similar and you must think of some other term in my opinion. It reminds me a bit of the only serious movie Will Farrell ever did which I cannot recall the name of right now. And the word author appears too frequently, must fix that. This is all, of course, my opinion, and I have not written a successful query. But the writing must be strong. Hope this helps.

Nicholas Tremain isn’t ready to find out what happens to a character when his or her author finishes the book. He gives his author, Anne, writer’s block and enters a realm of fiction where heros live only while their authors are unable to write. At the urging of his roommate, Scott, he leaves the world of fiction and joins other fictional characters who have roamed Reality for centuries,seeking their authors in order to become Real.

Nicholas’ time is limited. At any moment Anne could begin writing again, instantly sending him back to the book. He decides that the best way to distract Anne from writing is to date her. Even in reality Anne controls his thoughts and feelings. Whatever she says about him instantly becomes true. When she plays a game of “he loves me, he loves me not,” he falls in love with her. But, he can't tell her.

(What follows is not quite clear) Before Nicholas can tell Anne that he loves her, (and potentially ruin their relationship because real people don’t fall in love in three days time) the fictional villain from the book, the Baron Thomas Farent enters reality and attacks Nicholas in his apartment. Nicholas is forced to use his magic to protect Anne, but in the midst of the duel he becomes real and loses all of his power. The Baron drags both Nicholas and Anne into fiction. Nicholas manages to distract the Baron long enough for Anne to escape, but he is imprisoned in the heart of the Beastlands.

Now, trapped in fiction, it is up to Anne to rescue Nicholas. Unfortunately Anne hasn’t quite figured out how to defeat her own villain. And because Nicholas is real, she will have to do it without her perfectly crafted hero and the failsafe aid of prophecy.

Writer’s Block is complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Me.

***

Lunetta22
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 20th, 2010, 7:15 pm

Thank you for the suggestion GeeGee! You're very good at reworking! I have a question, and I think I may be over thinking things, but...

The story takes place in a small town in Utah. I've been debating if I should change it to a place in Idaho or Colorado because it doesn't have anything to do with the LDS church. I don't want it to be misportrayed as a mormon novel. Am overthinking the setting? What are your thoughts? (I have nothing against the LDS church, I'm actually a member. But I've just been debating... and I am probably phrasing this entirely wrong. Sigh.) I don't mean to stereotype my own state, but settings are easily changed. (Particularly since I made the town up.)

GeeGee55
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by GeeGee55 » February 20th, 2010, 8:08 pm

I am probably the wrong person to ask about this. I hope others have suggestions. I am Canadian so I don't know a lot about the perceptions about the Mormon church in the U.S. But, this is fiction. I had a similar concern about the town I used as a setting in my novel because it is a real town where real people still live and I thought they might not like it if I didn't have the details right. My instructor had this advice for me when I asked him about if I should change the name - just say you made it up, this is a novel with a fictional setting, even though the name is real you can as a writer do whatever you choose. I think knowing the place makes it easier to make it seem like a real place on the page. Unless there is some reason, some symbolic element, that another setting would fit better.
So, this is a muddle, but basically, do what you want to do.

Lunetta22
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 20th, 2010, 10:19 pm

Thank you for your thought Geegee! I think I am just panicking because I plan to submit soon!

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aspiring_x
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Re: Query (Writer's Block)

Post by aspiring_x » February 20th, 2010, 10:50 pm

Ok, I'll give this a shot. My main problem with this query, is that I thought it told a bit too much. It was almost more like a shrunken synopsis. let's try to find the hook, conflict, and quest here... by the way, have you read the inkheart trilogy? i got inkdeath for christmas, but haven't gotten around to it yet, but the other two are amazing. cornelia funke is one of those writers who not only tells a well-spun story, but one who knows all the best words to turn the string into gold...
Lunetta22 wrote:
Dear Agent,

No one knows what happens to characters when their author finishes the book. Nicholas Tremain isn’t ready to find out. Nicholas Tremain lives in the world of Writer's Block, the place where author's characters go while their author's are unable to write. With an unhappy ending looming in his future, a friend tells him the secret to becoming Real. hook? this was more of a rewrite than i meant it to be. my problem with the first sentence was that the agent doesn't know that nicholas is fictional, so it becomes a bit confusing to jump right in. My wording here is not very good, but it might be a good idea to leave scott's name out. I think a lot of names sort of confuse a query. With your's I would stick with Nicholas', Anne's, Writer's Block's, and Reality's... and I would capitalize the places.He gives his author, Anne, writer’s block and enters a realm of fiction where characters live while their authors are unable to write. Nicholas learns from his roommate Scott that it is possible to enter reality and become real.

Nicholas’ time to become real is limited. At any moment Anne could begin writing again, which would instantly send him back to the book. Also, he is not the only fictional character in Reality. Fictional characters have roamed Reality for centuries, seeking their authors in order to become Real. Real people call them “supernatural”, and they are drawn to Nicholas.

Nicholas decides that the best way to distract Anne from writing is to date her. Even in reality Anne controls his thoughts and feelings. Whatever she says about him instantly becomes true. When she plays a game of “he loves me, he loves me not,” he falls in love with her. since you aren't categorizing this as a romance, I would stick with the adventure and the setting. It might help to focus your query a bit. and i think that it's the world building that you did that is the greatest part of this whole thing. That said, here's my thoughts... sentence about him coming to reality, and trying to stop Anne from writing him back into the book. Sentence about how characters have been coming to reality and are the supernatural. then enter the villian. all this in one paragraph.

Before Nicholas can tell Anne that he loves her, (and potentially ruin their relationship because real people don’t fall in love in three days time) the fictional villain from the book, the Baron Thomas Farent enters reality and attacks Nicholas in his apartment.forces Nicholas is forced to use his magic to protect Anne,new sentence but in the midst of the duel he becomes real and loses all of his power. The Baron villain drags both Nicholas and Anne into fictioncapitalize. Nicholas manages to distract the Baron long enough for Anne to escape, but he is imprisoned in the heart of the Beastlands.
Conflict.

Now, trapped in fiction, it is up to Anne to rescue Nicholas. Unfortunately Anne hasn’t quite figured out how to defeat her own villain. And because Nicholas is real, she will have to do it without her perfectly crafted hero and the failsafe aid of prophecy.reword from Nicholas' perspective.

Writer’s Block is complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Me.

]
crap. that's a lot of red. it's really not that bad! but it needs to be better. i need you to get that book published so i can read it!

Lunetta22
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Re: Query (Writer's Block YA Fantasy)

Post by Lunetta22 » February 22nd, 2010, 10:44 pm

Thank you for the crit aspiring! I will definitely rework it and hopefully post a revision soon.

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