Mouths - YA Fantasy

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katbrauer
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Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by katbrauer » July 16th, 2010, 5:45 am

THIRD VERSION IN A NEW POST BELOW!

Pretty sure this is waaaaay too wordy. Tear it apart, please. Please please please.

---

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you vibe that emanates from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, unwelcome adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane, sarcastic seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon an emaciated monk in the center of an ancient stone circle. The man smiles, coaxing Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread. Stepping into the circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith—but fact, and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing. Well, at least they can legally drink beer. Or rather, biir.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk merely drags them further from home. Language and cultural barriers, their mutual distrust, and the monk’s lackeys doesn’t make life any easier, either. They could care less about why they were taken to the mirror world—as long as they make it back to Earth without, yanno, dying.

Well, they get answers instead. One might say they get too many.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and some adult language. PERHAPS SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

I currently live in Nagasaki where I teach English to elementary- and middle-school students. During my time abroad, first in China and now in Japan, I’ve gained excellent insight into world-building from two very fascinating Eastern cultures.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

---

Issues:
1. Introducing all three characters without making it too confusing. Especially as Io and Vidar have strange (BUT THEY'RE EARTH NAMES, SWEARS) names;
2. Balancing voice with the serious plotline;
3. Introducing some level of world-building without making it seem like a cliche fantasy world.

Y'all are awesome.
Last edited by katbrauer on July 17th, 2010, 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
:) Kat
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by WilliamMJones » July 16th, 2010, 6:04 am

katbrauer wrote:Pretty sure this is waaaaay too wordy. Tear it apart, please. Please please please.

---

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you vibe that emanates from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, unwelcome adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane, sarcastic seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon an emaciated It might just be me, but I have no idea what this word means monk in the center of an ancient stone circle. The man smiles, coaxing Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto breadThis simile didn't work for me. Stepping into the circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith—but fact, and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing. Well, at least they can legally drink beer. Or rather, biir.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk Maybe a little to much voice here, if that's possible merely drags them further from home. Language and cultural barriers, their mutual distrust, and the monk’s lackeys doesn’t don't make life any easier, either. They could care less about why they were taken to the mirror world—as long as they make it back to Earth without, yanno, dying.

Well, they get answers instead. One might say they get too many.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and some adult language. PERHAPS SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE. Yes, definitely personalize

I currently live in Nagasaki where I teach English to elementary- and middle-school students. During my time abroad, first in China and now in Japan, I’ve gained excellent insight into world-building from two very fascinating Eastern cultures. Unless the world is like Japan and China, I would leave this out. If it is, mention it in your query or leave this out.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

---

Issues:
1. Introducing all three characters without making it too confusing. Especially as Io and Vidar have strange (BUT THEY'RE EARTH NAMES, SWEARS) names; It wasn't too confusing. Short of changing the names to Bob and Jim, you can't help them being strange.
2. Balancing voice with the serious plotline; I couldn't tell that the plot was serious. The voice is good, but detracts from the seriousness.
3. Introducing some level of world-building without making it seem like a cliche fantasy world. This was another thing you did well, but I would leave out the part about drinking Biir. In my oppinion, it threw off the flow.

Y'all are awesome.

Overall, it's a good query. One thing I would like to know is why they are fleeing from the monk and his lackeys. What does he want from them?

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Holly
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by Holly » July 16th, 2010, 7:55 am

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire (I'd never heard of this place and just Googled it) should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you vibe that emanates from primo-jock, Vidar. I would simplify the underlined words. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his (cut earnest, unwelcome) (invades her space and unwelcome mean the same thing) adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane (cut, sarcastic) seventeen-year-old to handle. Too many adjectives. Less is more.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon an emaciated monk in (cut the center of) an ancient stone circle. The man smiles, coaxing Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil no hyphen in olive oil onto bread. Stepping into the circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith, comma here, not a hyphen -- or use a hyphen again on the other side of fact but fact, and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing. Well, at least they can legally drink beer. Or rather, biir. (cut -- reduces the tension)

Fleeing from great nickname Creepy McCreepy-Monk (cut merely) drags them further from home. Language and cultural barriers, their mutual distrust, and the monk’s lackeys doesn’t don't make life any easier (cut, either). They could care less about why they were taken to the mirror world—as long as they make it back to Earth without, yanno, dying.

Well, they get answers instead. One might say they get too many. Cut or tell what happens -- this is an opportunity to spell out a big conflict and the choice/s they have to make.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and some adult language. Two sentences in a row that start with It -- can you rewrite? PERHAPS SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE. Yes, add agent personalization.

I (cut currently) live in Nagasaki where I teach English to elementary (cut hyphen here-) and middle-school students. During my time abroad, first in China and now in Japan, I’ve gained excellent insight into world-building from two (cut very) fascinating Eastern cultures. Does this have something to do with this story, other than an interesting general statement? Does the story have Eastern influence? I understand what you are saying, but if it's a "learning process" kind of statement instead of something that directly ties into the novel, I would cut it.

Thank you for your time and consideration. good, simple, professional closing

You have lots of verbs in the ING form. Your writing would be stronger if you could eliminate the ING form, plus see if you can start some of the sentences without clauses. Your novel sounds really fun! Best of luck to you.

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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by thewhipslip » July 16th, 2010, 12:16 pm

---

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge should have been enjoyable Where is this? Be specific.. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you vibe that emanates from primo-jock, Vidar Scholarly buzz does not make me want to reach for this book. What is that exactly? Sounds like she drinks beer while reading Chaucer...And how is her vibe dissipating? Does she like him? Does he like her? There's no strong hook here.. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, unwelcome adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane, sarcastic seventeen-year-old to handle. I don't get what's happening here. She likes Vidar, but she's got Derek to deal with? I'm more interested in the Stonehenge part, and I have no clear sense of Io's character. Focus on her - not the boys. What's her conflict?

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon an emaciated monk in the center of an ancient stone circle Emaciated monk doesn't work. And how do they "happen" upon him? Where's the rest of the field trip? If he's in the center of the stone circle, doesn't everyone else see him too?. The man smiles, coaxing Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread He smiles...Huh? The olive-oil & bread thing doesn't work for me. It sounds kind of gross. Focus on what he SAYS. That's the part I want to hear about.. Stepping into the circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith—but fact, and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing. Well, at least they can legally drink beer. Or rather, biir. The last two sentences are what you want to lead with. I read those and I thought: Hell, yeah, I want to read this book. Seriously. So I would start with this. You can say something like: On a field trip to America's Stonehenge in [location], an encounter with a monk sends them to a world where....Okay, that's really bad, but that should give you an idea of how to phrase. THEN you want to get into the book's conflict after that - the inciting event.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk merely drags them further from home This doesn't work. State this in a way that makes it sound exciting, such as: "It's hard to settle into a new world - even harder when the Monk's cronies seem to want them dead". Or something like that. And why is the monk chasing them? If he wants them so bad, why didn't he just attack them at Stonehenge? That's confusing.. Language and cultural barriers, their mutual distrust, and the monk’s lackeys doesn’t make life any easier, either Mutual distrust of what? Each other. Not feeling a very strong conflict here. Are they trying to get back to the real world at all?. They could care less about why they were taken to the mirror world—as long as they make it back to Earth without, yanno, dying. You'd think they'd be VERY concerned about why they were taken to the mirror world. That's probably the key to getting them out. And if the Monk's trying to kill them, you'd think they'd want to know WHY.

Well, they get answers instead. One might say they get too many. This doesn't do anything for me. Answers to what? Why they're there. I'm not getting a sense for what the book is about. The monk is chasing them...AND? What's the whole of the book spent on? Them doing research? Give me some sense of what they're doing besides running from thugs.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and some adult language Cut. Doesn't add anything.. PERHAPS SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

I currently live in Nagasaki where I teach English to elementary- and middle-school students. During my time abroad, first in China and now in Japan, I’ve gained excellent insight into world-building from two very fascinating Eastern cultures. I would cut this. Doesn't add anything.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

---
The part where I really felt your voice come through was the last two sentences of the second paragraph. Those work because they're exciting and they showcase who you are as a writer. I would focus on making the rest of the query like those sentences. Add onto those a sense of what they spend the book doing. What's their goal in this new world? If it's getting back home - what are the obstacles they face as they try to do that? That's where the conflict lies. All in all, sounds like you've got a great book here and I'll keep an eye out for it!
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

gilesth
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by gilesth » July 16th, 2010, 4:59 pm

Sounds like an interesting story. The best recommendation that I can add to the other suggestions is to spread out the character introductions. It appears as though Io is the protagonist, so all of the other characters in the first paragraph are confusing, and it feels like an info-dump. If the boys aren't key characters, mention them, but only briefly. You may not even need to name them in the query. Personalities are even less necessary, in my opinion.

I like your unique voice, and it makes me want to read this book! I would just suggest dialing it back a tad so that it's still obvious that you have a great voice, but it's not how you would speak in, say, a job interview.

I hope that helps :)

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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by Ellie G » July 16th, 2010, 5:42 pm

Is Io male or female? (Or genderqueer? Man, I would read THAT book in a heartbeat.)

katbrauer
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by katbrauer » July 16th, 2010, 9:08 pm

THIRD VERSION IN A POST ON THE SECOND PAGE

Some clarifying notes:

1. I've split the POV in this book relatively equally between Derek, Vidar, and Io--so there is no one main character. But I chose to make the query in Io's voice because we learn the most about her character in this book. (The following half is for Vidar and Derek.) Still, I think it's important to introduce all three of them, and I wanted to give some idea of their personalities as well.

2. The "olive oil" metaphor is there because the priest actually speaks to their mind. When he does, it feels like their brains are doused in olive oil. It's supposed to be off-putting. The monk is not a nice dude. His words aren't that interesting (he essentially says, "Come, Vidar"), it's more the power behind the words that I was trying to convey.

It's frustrating that this is still unclear, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, here is an updated version based on the comments above. I'll continue to revise. :)

Thank you SO MUCH to WilliamMJones, Holly, Whip-Slip, and gilesth. You rock my socks off with your well-thought out comments.

---

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you smirk from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his stupid adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread. The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk drags them further from home. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying. If only Io could control the magical inferno blazing beneath her fingertips. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and adult language. SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by katbrauer on July 17th, 2010, 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:) Kat
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by thewhipslip » July 17th, 2010, 1:06 pm

katbrauer wrote:S

---

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable Like the opening.. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz Sorry, but I still don't get what "scholarly buzz" is... dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you smirk from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his stupid adoration The "stupid" part makes me not like Io. I guess because I don't know Derek or what he's doing, it's hard to see him as annoying yet, and it makes Io seem like a bit of a snob.. That alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle Doesn't seem so bad to me. One guy is smirking at her and the other is...what?.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster This seems like hyperbole. Why would it be a disaster? As I said, the first paragraph doesn't make the field trip sound bad. I guess you want to be specific about why Vidar and Derek are being so annoying and/or bothering her so much. Make me find them annoying too.until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread I still don't like the simile. It just doesn't work for me. But that's me.. The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing. The last sentence is good. It's got a lot of voice.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk drags them further from home You might want to say that the Monk is chasing them before they're fleeing from him.. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying. If only Io could control the magical inferno blazing beneath her fingertips Be specific about that magical inferno. What does that entail?. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it. Good. Like that conflict there. But why would they abandon her? Why are the powers bad? Be specific there.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and adult language I would cut this. Doesn't matter - and it might be a turn-off to an agent looking for something wholesome. Someone's version of "adult language" could be very different from yours, so don't turn them off from wanting to read it.. SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by suesan0814 » July 17th, 2010, 4:10 pm

Suggestions: (add) [delete] ***comments

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge should have been enjoyable. Except (L)olanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you vibe that emanates from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades (L)o’s personal space with his earnest, unwelcome adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane, [sarcastic] seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon an emaciated monk in the center of an ancient stone circle. The man smiles, coaxing Vidar, Derek, and (L)o forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread. Stepping into the circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith—but fact, and everyone and their mother believes (L)o is some kind of holy angel…thing(y). Well, at least they can legally drink beer. Or rather, biir.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk merely drags them further from home. Why are they fleeing?Language and cultural barriers, their mutual distrust, and the monk’s lackeys doesn’t make life any easier, either. They could care less about why they were taken (in)to the mirror world—as long as they make it back to Earth without, [ya](Y)nno, dying.

Well, they get answers instead.Instead of what? One might say they get too many.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and some adult language. PERHAPS SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

I currently live in Nagasaki where I teach English [to] elementary- and middle-school students. During my time abroad, first in China and now in Japan, I’ve gained excellent insight into world-building from two very fascinating Eastern cultures.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

---

Issues:
1. Introducing all three characters without making it too confusing. Especially as (L)o and Vidar have strange (BUT THEY'RE EARTH NAMES, SWEARS) names;
2. Balancing voice with the serious plotline;
3. Introducing some level of world-building without making it seem like a cliche fantasy world.

I think this is an excellent query. I do not think it is to long. I wish you luck and I hope I have helped.

Susan Stec
The Grateful Undead: They're So Vein.

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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by Meredith » July 17th, 2010, 4:30 pm

Just a note to the above. Iolanthe (yes that starts with an I not a lower-case L) is the title character of a second-tier Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. (She's actually a fairy.) Not too many people are going to get the reference, but that's not the point.

(Appropos of nothing: By far my favorite character from that operetta is her son, Strephon, who is half-a-fairy. Literally. He's a fairy down to the waist, but his legs are mortal. It takes a mind like W. S. Gilbert's to come up with that. }

Vidar is a Norse god of vengeance.
katbrauer wrote:Some clarifying notes:

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates I have to agree about the scholarly buzz. If Io is a history nerd looking forward to this trip, show it in the first sentence. with every I’m-better-than-you smirk from primo-jock, Vidar. Somewhere, buried in here, I suspect is the germ of the notion that Io kind of likes Vidar and that's why his smirks bother her so much. If so, come out and say that's why.Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his stupid adoration. Be more specific, here. What does Derek do to invade her space.That alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread. The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk drags drags feels wrong. Forces?them further from home. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying. If only Io could control the magical inferno blazing beneath her fingertips. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it.I like this.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. I wouldn't mention the other book, yet. It contains mature themes and adult language. And I agree you probably don't need or want this. The last thing you're trying to do is give anyone a reason to say no. SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Good luck.
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by Quill » July 17th, 2010, 11:36 pm

katbrauer wrote: The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s scholarly buzz dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you smirk from primo-jock, Vidar.
It takes a minute to get what "scholarly buzz" means. I think of buzz not as "frame of mind" but as word of mouth (that movie has a great buzz). Or it could mean being high (she had a whiskey buzz on) in which case it seems awkward paired with "scholarly". Don't know what I'd replace it with, though.
Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his stupid adoration. That alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle.
Do you mean "These" or "These alone" to indicate both potential suitors instead of "That alone," which seems to reference only Derek.
But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive-oil onto bread.
More accurate to say "into bread". Not soaks onto.
The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where magic replaces electricity,
Might be stronger to say "electricity is replaced by magic," ending on the stronger word and giving a bit of a surprise.

God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.
A bit odd of wording, so not sure what you are saying. God isn't a matter of belief but of fact? God is known to be fact? How so? This would be really interesting and seems important to mention since proof of God has been a foremost issue in human philosophical and religious discourse over the centuries.

Fleeing from Creepy McCreepy-Monk drags them further from home.
This is very cute but seems to me their name for him would be more than Creepy if he'd transported them to another land altogether. Might be just me but Creepy would be someone who looks at me funny and maybe follows me home.
As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike,
Be interesting to know what kind of cultural barriers they face. Are they relegated to the back of the bus because they are not purple? Even though everybody thinks she's an angel? Please illuminate!

they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying.
The breaking into New York accent (,yanno,) was a bit disconcerting. For one thing I didn't know what it was at first. I read it as some kind of yogurt that maybe they needed for the trip.
If only Io could control the magical inferno blazing beneath her fingertips.
I had a hard time picturing a full-on inferno under her fingertips. Maybe behind the tips, but not under them. More in her body than in her fingers I could picture an inferno blazing.
If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and adult language. SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
I'd omit the mature themes and language

Just some thoughts for your gristmill. I like the storyline and voice and for all I know it reflects your manuscript perfectly.

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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by katbrauer » July 17th, 2010, 11:39 pm

Meredith wrote:Just a note to the above. Iolanthe (yes that starts with an I not a lower-case L) is the title character of a second-tier Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. (She's actually a fairy.) Not too many people are going to get the reference, but that's not the point.

(Appropos of nothing: By far my favorite character from that operetta is her son, Strephon, who is half-a-fairy. Literally. He's a fairy down to the waist, but his legs are mortal. It takes a mind like W. S. Gilbert's to come up with that. }

Vidar is a Norse god of vengeance.

It contains mature themes and adult language. And I agree you probably don't need or want this. The last thing you're trying to do is give anyone a reason to say no.

Good luck.
First, it really pleases me that someone knew both of the references here. :) I went all symbolism-y with the names, and also I think they sound cool. I've been worrying that they might be too strange, but hopefully it's not that big of a deal. I suppose I could change them if it came down to it.

Secondly, I feel like I should be upfront about the adult language. My characters, usually only when angry, say swear words (shit, fuck) in several scenes throughout the MS. I know the agents reading these are adults and probably swear themselves, but if language isn't something they want to read, then I WOULD want them to say "no." I don't want to be represented by an agent that would make the swearing an issue because I feel it's an important part of Io and Vidar's characters (and also Derek, as he never swears).

Third, I'm mentioning the second book because this really is--and needs to be--a duet. This is not a stand-alone, and I feel like I should be upfront about that, too.

Does this make sense?

In any case, I'm posting another revision. Hopefully this addresses most of the issues.

---

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s excitement dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you comment from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, if super awkward, adoration. These alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive oil. The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where electricity is replaced by magic, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.

But Creepy McCreepy-Monk didn’t yank them into the mirror world to play nice. Fleeing from him forces the three teenagers further from home. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying. If only Io could control the magic sizzling beneath her fingertips. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it. They may tolerate her sarcasm, but accidentally burning down a whole town? Right.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and adult language. SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
:) Kat
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thewhipslip
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by thewhipslip » July 18th, 2010, 1:18 am

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s excitement dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you comment from primo-jock, Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, if super awkward, adoration. These alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle. Fixed all the issues. I like it.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive oil Now I like the olive oil reference. Nice job.. The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where electricity is replaced by magic, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.

But Creepy McCreepy-Monk didn’t yank them into the mirror world to play nice. Fleeing from him forces the three teenagers further from home. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno, dying. If only Io could control the magic sizzling beneath her fingertips. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it. They may tolerate her sarcasm, but accidentally burning down a whole town? Right. Awesome. Love it. When can I buy it?

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It contains mature themes and adult language. Still think this is unnecessary, but that's the last time I"ll say it! I swear! (well, since swearing's the issue here, maybe I won't...)SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.[/quote]
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Holly
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Re: Mouths - YA Fantasy

Post by Holly » July 18th, 2010, 9:31 am

Dear AGENT OF AWESOME,

The field trip to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire (cut ,) should have been enjoyable. Except Iolanthe’s excitement dissipates with every I’m-better-than-you comment from primo-jock (cut ,) Vidar. Then dungeons-and-dragons geek Derek invades Io’s personal space with his earnest, if super awkward, adoration. These alone would have been plenty for any sane seventeen-year-old to handle.

But it’s not a full-fledged disaster until they happen upon a monk in an ancient stone circle. The man coaxes Vidar, Derek, and Io forward with words that soak through their brains like olive oil. I liked the olive oil onto/into bread reference -- it's a religious reference and made more sense to me than just saying olive oil. You're going to get different opinions on here! The circle transports the trio to a mirror world where electricity is replaced by magic, God isn’t a matter of faith, but fact—and everyone and their mother believes Io is some kind of holy angel…thing.

But Creepy McCreepy-Monk good, keep this nickname didn’t yank them into the mirror world to play nice. Fleeing from him forces the three teenagers further from home. As they struggle against cultural barriers and their mutual distrust-bordering-on-dislike you don't need these hyphens, they search for a way back to Earth without, yanno keep this -- it's current slang that goes with the voice of the query, dying. If only Io could control the magic sizzling beneath her fingertips. If only she wasn’t so sure the others would abandon her if they found out about it. They may tolerate her sarcasm, but accidentally burning down a whole town? Right. All good stuff. This really improves the query, IMO.

MOUTHS is a young adult fantasy, complete at 90,000 words. It is the first half of a fully plotted duet similar to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. You start two sentences in a row with IT. I would start the second with The novel.... It contains mature themes and adult language. I don't like this, either -- sorry. It sounds exactly like a movie warning and it is not in the voice of the query. If you are set on saying it, why not say it in the same voice? Something along the lines of, from time to time the characters use language that might make your mom mad. (you can say it in a better way than this.) SOME PERSONALIZATION HERE.

Thank you for your time and consideration.[/quote]

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