I'm A Nobody, newest on page four

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
WilliamMJones
Posts: 82
Joined: May 21st, 2010, 10:10 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by WilliamMJones » July 12th, 2010, 1:42 pm

I guess I need to be more specific, Dominic wants to find the Source so it can't be used to destroy the Fey. Oh, and the humans started the war. He isn't really on one side or the other, but if the source of magic is destroyed, he would die too, being half Fey. Here's another shot. Does this make those things clear?

Dear (Agent name):

Dominic Taylor is able to do strange things, such as opening locked doors and passing by security cameras undetected. He’s never been able to explain his powers. When he discovers that one of his classmates, Jennifer, has these powers too, he follows her, hoping to find some answers. She leads him through a gate to a new world.

The Fey, the powerful inhabitants of this world, hate the humans of Earth. They believe the humans are a disease, destroying the world they were given. When HEROS, a human organization against magic, develops technology that allows them to pass between worlds, they attack the Fey and start a war.The Fey lock the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. While working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent this tragedy, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of questionable HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY, is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.

EvelynEhrlich
Posts: 79
Joined: February 13th, 2010, 12:41 am
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by EvelynEhrlich » July 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm

William,
The query has gotten even more interesting! I'm glad you clarified the bit about the Source and how Dominic could die, since he's half-Fey. Only suggestion to make it clearer, still, is to add a sentence explaining that the humans want to get their hands on/destroy the Source (which you explained in your post, but I don't think is entirely clear in the query). Bravo!

katbrauer
Posts: 32
Joined: December 15th, 2009, 4:42 am
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by katbrauer » July 12th, 2010, 7:22 pm

WilliamMJones wrote: Dominic Taylor is able to do strange things, such as opening locked doors and passing by security cameras undetected. He’s never been able to explain his powers. When he discovers that one of his classmates, Jennifer, has these powers too, he follows her, hoping to find some answers. She leads him through a gate to a new world.

The Fey, the powerful inhabitants of this world, hate the humans of Earth. They believe the that humans are a disease, destroying the world they were given (this is okay, but I think you could make it stronger. Is it because we believe we can control nature? Perhaps use a comparison to illustrate how we destroy the world.). When HEROS, a human organization against magic, develops technology that allows them to pass between worlds, they attack the Fey and start a war. The Fey lock the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. While working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent this tragedy, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of questionable (I still maintain that questionable seems odd here--unless you're trying to question their status as scientists.) HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY, is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
This is much better, and you didn't even change that much! The stakes seem much higher, and Dominic more involved. Great changes, good job!
:) Kat
365/三百六十五 Photo Blog
I'm hungry! Somebody make me a sammich!

WilliamMJones
Posts: 82
Joined: May 21st, 2010, 10:10 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by WilliamMJones » July 23rd, 2010, 3:55 pm

Newest Draft

My main question now is: does this query give some clue to the unique elements of the story? Is there still anything that seems cliche or overdone?


Dear (Agent name):

Dominic Taylor is able to do strange things, such as opening locked doors and passing by security cameras undetected. He’s never been able to explain his powers. When he discovers that one of his classmates, Jennifer, has these powers too, he follows her, hoping to find some answers. She leads him through a gate to a new world.

The Fey, the powerful inhabitants of this world, hate the humans of Earth. They believe that humans are a disease, polluting the world they were given. When HEROS, a human organization against magic, develops technology that allows them to pass between worlds, they attack the Fey and start a war. The Fey lock the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. Working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent HEROS from destroying it, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY, is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.

thewhipslip
Posts: 179
Joined: July 15th, 2010, 2:18 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by thewhipslip » July 23rd, 2010, 4:41 pm

WilliamMJones wrote:Newest Draft

You've got all the basic elements here. I want more "oomph" to it.

Dear (Agent name):

Dominic Taylor is able to do strange things, such as opening locked doors and passing by security cameras undetected A lot of people can open locked doors. It doesn't scream "I have magical powers". The security camera thing is cool. What else can he do? Really hook us.. He’s never been able to explain his powers. When he discovers that one of his classmates, Jennifer, has these powers too, he follows her, hoping to find some answers. She leads him through a gate to a new world. Tell us their age. That's always a must.

The Fey, the powerful inhabitants of this world, hate the humans of Earth. They believe that humans are a disease, polluting the world they were given. When HEROS, a human organization against magic, develops technology that allows them to pass between worlds, they attack the Fey and start a war. This seems kind of distant from Dominic's story. Personalize this to him, such as: Dominic soon realizes that he's not welcome in the Fey world, but when the kingdom is suddenly attacked and the gateway locked, Dominic's stuck there (that's very rough, but keep us with Dominic) The Fey lock the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. Working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent HEROS from destroying it, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world. I'm not seeing the link between the new human technology that was developed and this Source. Are the HEROS looking for the Source too? And where's Dominic's father? Dead? What's the purpose of the war - to find the Source? Why do they want to kill the Fey so bad? Humans hate magic? Give HEROS a real motive.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY, is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
Overall, I like it. Nice job.


"life can be ordinary. blogs don't have to be."
check it out: elenasolodow.blogspot.com
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (2nd draft on page 2)

Post by Quill » July 23rd, 2010, 8:53 pm

WilliamMJones wrote:Newest Draft

My main question now is: does this query give some clue to the unique elements of the story? Is there still anything that seems cliche or overdone?


Dear (Agent name):

Dominic Taylor is able to do strange things, such as opening locked doors and passing by security cameras undetected. He’s never been able to explain his powers. When he discovers that one of his classmates, Jennifer, has these powers too, he follows her, hoping to find some answers. She leads him through a gate to a new world.
Good opening.

I think I'd change "He’s never been able to explain his powers" to something simpler, like, "He doesn't know why." This also reduces the use of the word "powers" to once in the paragraph.
The Fey, the powerful inhabitants of this world, hate the humans of Earth. They believe that humans are a disease, polluting the world they were given. When HEROS, a human organization against magic, develops technology that allows them to pass between worlds, they attack the Fey and start a war. The Fey lock the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.
Good.

Two words stick out for me: "hate", which seems a little strong and sets up the Fey as bad when it seems you want the humans to be bad (polluting the world), and "enemy" which, again, sets up the Fey as bad. Both words create confusion as to who is the bad guy and who is the good guy (are they both bad)? (I know bad and good is too simplistic.)
As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. Working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent HEROS from destroying it, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.
Good.

I think it might be more dramatic to change "which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included" to something along the lines of "which could be used to wipe out the Fey in a single strike. And the half-Fey, which means Dominic." [and Jennifer?]
My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY, is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
Good.

A good solid query that could be tweaked up a notch but seems otherwise good to go.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (New draft and a question)

Post by Quill » July 23rd, 2010, 8:57 pm

Question: Do you think "I'm a Nobody" is a good title? I know the publisher will ultimately choose the title but I wouldn't want you to cast a pall on the project subconsciously, at the query stage.

WilliamMJones
Posts: 82
Joined: May 21st, 2010, 10:10 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (New draft and a question)

Post by WilliamMJones » July 23rd, 2010, 9:32 pm

I can't really judge the title from an unbiased viewpoint because I really like it. In the book one of the half Fey characters quotes Emily Dickinson's poem: I'm Nobody. She likes the poem because her name is also Emily, and because she considers Half Fey to be Nobodies. The humans (She calls them Somebodies) have a place to belong, and the Fey (Others) have their own world. The half Fey don't fit in with either group, hence the title. I checked to make sure the poem is in the public domain, so no trouble there.

Do you really think a title like that could harm my chances? And do you know if the publisher ever keeps the Authors title?

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (New draft and a question)

Post by Quill » July 23rd, 2010, 9:52 pm

Publishers sometimes do keep the authors title.

The title carries a self-negative cast that may or may not hurt your chances. It's kind of like calling yourself a nobody in real life; self-deprecation can set up a negative vibe with others and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Put yourself in an agent's shoes; would an agent be comfortable sending around a hot new book about a nothing, a nobody? Who would want to read about a nobody?

I do understand your reasoning. Just sayin'.

mfreivald
Posts: 55
Joined: June 18th, 2010, 11:59 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (New draft and a question)

Post by mfreivald » July 25th, 2010, 1:45 pm

I personally think you should present the primary danger earlier for rising tension. I also think that the mention of the father doesn't improve the query because it doesn't relate to anything else or imply any added difficulty in their situation. Also, getting trapped is a lesser problem, and it's unclear how it relates to the bigger problem. I'd drop it, or at least find a way to use it to increase the tension of the primary problem.

With all this in mind, here's what I came up with:
Dominic Taylor is astonished to discover a classmate, Jennifer, has the power to open locked doors and pass by security cameras undetected like he does. He follows her through a gate to a new world inhabited by the Fey, who believe humans are a disease.

But it is the humans of an anti-magic organization, HEROS, who threaten the Fey’s world by seeking the source of magic that would destroy it. Dominic and Jennifer team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short-tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists to find the source and prevent HEROS from destroying it. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.


It needs a deep massage, but for what it's worth, it makes me want to read it more. The only other thing I might mention is that something specific about the source could help.

WilliamMJones
Posts: 82
Joined: May 21st, 2010, 10:10 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, YA Fantasy (New draft and a question)

Post by WilliamMJones » September 16th, 2010, 7:18 pm

I've gotten six rejections, with no hint of interest, so I went back and looked at my query. I figure the problem is the length, so I cut it down to two paragraphs of summary. Did this improve it, or make it worse.

Dear Agent:

Dominic Taylor can open locked doors with a touch, and pass by cameras without being seen. When he meets Jennifer, a classmate with similar powers, he follows her through a door to another world. He is caught in a war between the powerful Fey and HEROS, the human organization against magic. When HEROS attacks, the Fey close the gates between worlds, and Dominic finds himself trapped in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitor. Working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic included. To find the Source and prevent HEROS from destroying it, Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

This is my first novel. Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, Revised shorter version after rejections

Post by Quill » September 16th, 2010, 7:29 pm

That's a pretty good query letter!

A few nitpicks:

1. "When he meet, he follows" is a bit awkward.

2. "Enemy territory" seems like a phrase transplanted from a query for a World War II story. How about "Fey Land" or some such?

Anyway, enemy territory doesn't seem clear enough. Who are his enemies? The Fey? HEROS? Whose territory is it?

3. Not sure telling them it's your first book is a good idea. I've heard it isn't.

JadePhoenix
Posts: 71
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 1:26 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, Revised shorter version after rejections

Post by JadePhoenix » September 16th, 2010, 8:39 pm

This is a good query, but I think you run a bit into the problem of knowing your own book to well. There were a few things thrown in that I'm sure you have reasons/connections for but, reading it as an outsider, I couldn't see them. Aside from those, however, I liked this and the idea is definitely cool. :)
WilliamMJones wrote:I've gotten six rejections, with no hint of interest, so I went back and looked at my query. I figure the problem is the length, so I cut it down to two paragraphs of summary. Did this improve it, or make it worse.

Dear Agent:

Dominic Taylor can open locked doors with a touch, and pass by cameras without being seen. When he meets Jennifer, a classmate with similar powers, he follows her through a door to another world. He is caught in a war between the powerful FeyWhat are the Fey? Are they fairies? You could throw in a comma, write a tiny snippet on what they are and close it off, if you wanted. and HEROSIf HEROS is an acronym, which I'm assuming it is since you capped it all, it should be H.E.R.O.S., the human organization against magicFrom reading further I know that Dominic is apparently a Fey or a half-fey but you never actually tell us that. It's he has powers and he meets these creatures called Fey but you never connect them - you just have later where it comes across almost as "well of course he's a Fey.". When HEROSH.E.R.O.S. attacks, the Fey close the gates between worldswhy hadn't they done that before?, and Dominic finds himself trapped in enemy territorywho's the enemy whose territory he finds himself trapped in and why are they an enemy? Also, what happened to Jennifer?.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns that his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that he was a traitorHow did his father get to another world or, how did Dominic get to another world? Also, how does anyone know Dominic?. Working for HEROSH.E.R.O.S., his father researched the Source of Magic, which could be used to wipe out the Fey and half Fey in a single strike, Dominic includedSo instead of having powers he's actually doing magic? Also, if this is the Source of Magic and he's doing magic how could it hurt him? Finally, here's where you kind of stick in the idea that Dominic is, I'm assuming, a Fey or half-Fey but, again, you never state it, it's just kind of "oh this thing could kill him so I guess that means he must be one?". To find the Source and prevent HEROSH.E.R.O.S. from destroying it, Dominic and JenniferWe haven't seen her since the beginning but now she pops back up, kind of makes her seem unimportant. must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal GuardRoyal Guardsman, otherwise it sounds like he's hooking up with the entire Guard, as in a LOT of people, unless he is doing that in which case it's fine. :), and a pair of suspicious HEROSH.E.R.O.S. - Doesn't really make sense, are they turncoat scientists or just being lied to about the fact that Dominic is one of the guys they're trying to kill? Also, what does the organization have against magic anyway? scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire worldYou've gone from it being the death of the Fey to the death of the entire world?.

My young adult fantasy novel, I’M A NOBODY is complete at 60,000 words. I chose to submit it for your consideration because (Insert personalized reason)

This is my first novelI would leave this out. If you don't include any "credentials" they're going to know it's your first book, you don't have to state it.. Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
As I said, I liked it. Only major thing is I really would like to know what the Fey are, how Dominic ties in with them and how he ties into the world he finds himself in (his father was there but Dominic wasn't and apparently didn't know about). Anyway, good job and good luck! :)

ABFTomioka
Posts: 32
Joined: August 30th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, Revised shorter version after rejections

Post by ABFTomioka » September 16th, 2010, 10:54 pm

Hello! This sounds like a great book, with a fun, fast-paced story. I hope you get some interest soon!!

Dominic Taylor can open locked doors with a touch, (if you're gonna use "and," I'd like to see a third awesome skill listed)and pass by cameras without being seen. You might mention here whether or not he always thought he was alone, or what inspired him to follow Jennifer. When he meets Jennifer, a classmate with similar powers, he follows her through a door to another world. He is caught in a war between the powerful Fey and HEROS, the human organization against magic. When HEROS attacks, the Fey close the gates between worlds, trapping Dominic in enemy territory.

As he searches for a way home, Dominic learns his deceased father was one of the Fey, and that a traitor. Working for HEROS, his father researched the Source of Magic, which could wipe out the Fey in a single strike. Being half-Fey, Dominic is equally susceptible....(or some phrase to say he'd bite it too) To find the Source and prevent HEROS from destroying it (them?), Dominic and Jennifer must team up with a hyperactive Fey princess, a short tempered Royal Guard, and a pair of suspicious HEROS scientists. If they fail, it will be the death of an entire world.

Best of luck!!

geistwrite
Posts: 11
Joined: September 24th, 2010, 9:43 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm A Nobody, Revised shorter version after rejections

Post by geistwrite » September 25th, 2010, 12:16 am

Wow, I really like this! It seems very original and like it would be a fun read.
I have very few comments, but I would say that off the bat I would like to know what the acronym HEROS stands for, and maybe what happens to the classmate he follows (is that the only purpose she served? or, boy and girl... is there any romance there?)
There are a few things that I would say differently, but that's because it's not my writing, it's yours. The way you have stated everything is logical and conveys your voice.
I'm actually surprised that this hasn't been snatched up already.

Nathan.... take this one!

As far as the name goes, it made me curious enough to want to read it, that's a good thing, right? If you were looking for something less negative I might suggest, Following A Nobody or The Nobodies... but your title conveys more humor.

I don't know how many agents you have tried, but based on your letter, this might be a case of finding the right fit, really (not just in the form rejection way, but really.)

Wishing you the best!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests