Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

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Awriter
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Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by Awriter » September 24th, 2010, 2:22 pm

This is my first post here, also the first query I've posted anywhere. And the first one I have ever written so feedback your be amazing! And I'll give you feedback on your query (not sure if I'm totally qualified to, but at least I can tell you is something doesn't make sense right?) Anyways, so here is my first query. Critisism is welcome, just nothing that is meant to be mean or insulting to me. Thanks! Here ya go!

First Draft


Dear [Agent],

After the death of her mother Ceili’s seemingly normal life is thrown through the shredder. As secrets about the paranormal start to surface Ceili begins to understand why her mother kept her in the dark. One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about, a world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales. Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind and she falls more and more often into the dark place full of horrible and vivid images of what has happened and what is to come. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length, about a teenage girl who is ignorant of her family history, her birthright, and the world beyond the glamour. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,

[all of my info]]\

Second Draft!!!

Dear [Agent]

One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind, voices who hiss and purr to her calling her The Forsaken, and warning her of danger as she walks head first toward it. She falls more and more often into the dark place the realm of the Forbidden, full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals and an angel who looks just like her crush wielding a weapon in her direction. Of a woman who looks suspiciously like her, and comes to her rescue right before the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[all of my info]]


Draft Three!!!

Dear, Agent

A survivor of a dead race of Immortals the race who started it all; Ceili Lark is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that belong in the nightmares of children, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind. Voices of the Forbidden who hiss and purr to her calling her “The Forsaken,” and warning her of danger as she walks blindly toward it.

Ceili falls more and more often into the dark place, the realm of the Forbidden. Full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals. An angel who looks just like her crush, wielding a weapon in her direction ready to deliver the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first [#] pages of the manuscript.

If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[insert my info here]
Last edited by Awriter on September 30th, 2010, 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

notw
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by notw » September 24th, 2010, 4:01 pm

Awriter wrote:This is my first post here, also the first query I've posted anywhere. And the first one I have ever written so feedback your be amazing! And I'll give you feedback on your query (not sure if I'm totally qualified to, but at least I can tell you is something doesn't make sense right?) Anyways, so here is my first query. Critisism is welcome, just nothing that is meant to be mean or insulting to me. Thanks! Here ya go!

Dear [Agent],

After the death of her mother Ceili’s seemingly normal life is thrown through the shredder. As secrets about the paranormal start to surface Ceili begins to understand why her mother kept her in the dark.Why would these secrets star to surface now? Might be helpful to add something in explaining :) One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about, a world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales. Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind and she falls more and more often into the dark place full of horrible and vivid images of what has happened and what is to come. The "dark place" is that her dreams? Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life. Why does she fear her friends? What brings about this change?

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length, about a teenage girl who is ignorant of her family history, her birthright, and the world beyond the glamour. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,

[all of my info]]
I am not an expert but I left a couple of comments and hopefully something I said is helpful. :) Good luck on your next draft!

fishfood
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by fishfood » September 24th, 2010, 5:04 pm

First of all, congrats on finishing your novel and reaching the query stage!
Unfortunately this query commits many errors that are very common. A great place for studying these errors is queryshark.blogspot. Really take the time to read through the posts and you’ll recognize a lot of the mistakes.
I’d say the main one that jumps out is all vague telling and no showing. I have no idea what your novel is really about. I bet it’s awesome, but the query doesn’t show me any of this! :(


After the death of her mother Ceili’s seemingly normal life is thrown through the shredder. Nathan actually just posted a blog about dead parents. Unfortunately they DO make for interesting, broken characters! There’s just nothing unique about losing a parent and suddenly discovering a “secret” anymore that would make this story stand out to an agent who reads 500 queries a week. As secrets about the paranormal (what secrets?) start to surface Ceili begins to understand why her mother kept her in the dark. I would say this is where your query should start. -->One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about, a world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales. (describe, describe. It doesn’t have to be long, but again, this is too vague to be interesting to an agent). Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind (what do they say? What is it about the voices?) and she falls more and more often into the dark place full of horrible and vivid images (what dark place—literally, figuratively? What horrible and vivid images?) of what has happened (what happened?) and what is to come (what is to come?). Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life (Why? How?)

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length, about a teenage girl who is ignorant of her family history, her birthright, and the world beyond the glamour. You probably want to cut out the summarizing.

Again, you probably have an awesome novel here, so show us! I'm always jealous of people that can write fantasy/paranormal. I'm so not that creative!

Awriter
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by Awriter » September 24th, 2010, 5:24 pm

Thank you notw and Fishfood for your advice :) And letting me know that its really really vague. I'll work on it right away :)

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arbraun
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by arbraun » September 25th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Awriter wrote:This is my first post here, also the first query I've posted anywhere. And the first one I have ever written so feedback your be amazing! And I'll give you feedback on your query (not sure if I'm totally qualified to, but at least I can tell you is something doesn't make sense right?) Anyways, so here is my first query. Critisism is welcome, just nothing that is meant to be mean or insulting to me. Thanks! Here ya go!

First Draft


Dear [Agent],

After the death of her mother Ceili’s seemingly normal life is thrown through the shredder. Too vague. I'd be specific about what's happening in her life. As secrets about the paranormal start to surface Ceili begins to understand why her mother kept her in the dark. Again, too vague. What kind of paranormal? Ghosts? One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about, a world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales. Repetition of "world." "Death race" is cliche. Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind and she falls more and more often into the dark place full of horrible and vivid images of what has happened and what is to come. Again, "dark place" is too vague and cliche. I'd be specific. I like the bit about hearing voices though. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life. How?

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length, about a teenage girl who is ignorant of her family history, her birthright, and the world beyond the glamour. This is more specific than the paragraph above. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,

[all of my info]]\

Second Draft!!!

Dear [Agent]

One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. "Dead race" reads awkwardly to me. I'd also be more specific. A world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world. Good specifity in the last part of the sentence, but "bump in the night" is cliche. I'd rephrase, making up a phrase of your own.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind, voices who hiss and purr to her calling her The Forsaken, and warning her of danger as she walks head first toward it. Better specifity, but who purrs to her, a cat ghost? This is unclear. "Head first" is a bit cliche. She falls more and more often into the dark place the realm of the Forbidden, full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals and an angel who looks just like her crush wielding a weapon in her direction. I'd insert a comma before "weilding." Of a woman who looks suspiciously like her, and comes to her rescue right before the killing blow. Fragment. I'd revise. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[all of my info]]
Looks better than the first post. More specific.

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jzweig
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by jzweig » September 25th, 2010, 7:07 pm

Second Draft
One of four survivors of a dead race, Ceili is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that go bump in the night, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world.
You had me with the first sentience, then I feel like the genre was changed. I think it's the word usage. When I read glamour, I thought she was trusted into the fashion industry, which for some reasons caught my interest. (an alternate spelling of this word I found, Glamorhttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glamor, may be what you're looking for)

For the info on the dead Race, it reads awkward to me, and there's too much info here oddly enough. What's important is that she's apart of a dead race (that I can assume is human) but being four of them doesn't matter here.
Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind
Why is this happening?
, voices who hiss and purr to her calling her The Forsaken, and warning her of danger as she walks head first toward it.
Are they helping or hindering Ceili?
She falls more and more often into the dark place the realm of the Forbidden, full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals and an angel who looks just like her crush wielding a weapon in her direction.
This is a run-on sentience.
Of a woman who looks suspiciously like her, and comes to her rescue right before the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.
Too much information that raises a lot more questions that I want to handle with a query. Too much detail about several other characters in the story. I would suggest making smaller paragraphs and try to wheedle down the number of characters you're introducing to either the most important to the plot or the most intriguing if they are merely window dressing to the overarching story.
And I don' really sense conflict. Is she trying to figure out what these voiced are? How is she going about doing that? Some sense that she's working toward some kind of revolution needs to be in here.
Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first few pages of the manuscript.
If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The request for pages varies, so make sure to keep that in mind before you submit to someone. More just a heads up rather than a critique.

Overall. I got overloaded with information from the start. I'm given a lot of details about different characters but no sense of a moving plot. There's could be some interesting stuff but single out what's important. Try to hone in on these issues: (1)Characters, (2)Conflict, (3)Distinction, (4)Setting, (5)Action. And try to do all that in less than 250 words in the voice of the novel (this version is 247). You have one or two that I can see in this draft.

I hope this doesn't overly harsh. Can't wait to see your next draft!
"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - Mohammad Ali

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priya g.
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Paranormal novel

Post by priya g. » September 26th, 2010, 2:40 pm

The second draft had me hooked. The simple re arrangement of sentences made all the difference.
Just a few pointers, though:
1. Chunky sentences, e.g She falls more and more often into the dark place the realm of the Forbidden, full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals and an angel who looks just like her crush wielding a weapon in her direction. maybe separating what is happening to her and what she finds out about her mother from the angel can make the sentence a bit clear.
2. Usage of the word FORBIDDEN: Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence I might be off the mark here but I think the word is powerful enough when used once.

That's about it, though.

Awriter
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Draft Three

Post by Awriter » September 30th, 2010, 2:09 pm

Dear, Agent

A survivor of a dead race of Immortals the race who started it all; Ceili Lark is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that belong in the nightmares of children, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind. Voices of the Forbidden who hiss and purr to her calling her “The Forsaken,” and warning her of danger as she walks blindly toward it.

Ceili falls more and more often into the dark place, the realm of the Forbidden. Full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals. An angel who looks just like her crush, wielding a weapon in her direction ready to deliver the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first [#] pages of the manuscript.

If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[insert my info here]

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arbraun
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Draft Three

Post by arbraun » September 30th, 2010, 3:33 pm

Awriter wrote:Dear, Agent

A survivor of a dead race of Immortals the race who started it all; I'd insert a comma after "immortals" and replace the semicolon with a comma. A good way to remember is that, to use the semicolon, the description on both sides should be complete thoughts. Ceili Lark is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that belong in the nightmares of children, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world. This is a much better opening paragraph.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind. Voices of the Forbidden who hiss and purr to her calling her “The Forsaken,” and warning her of danger as she walks blindly toward it. I'd insert a comma after "her."

Ceili falls more and more often into the dark place, the realm of the Forbidden. Full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals. An angel who looks just like her crush, wielding a weapon in her direction ready to deliver the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first [#] pages of the manuscript.

If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[insert my info here]

Netti
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Draft Three

Post by Netti » September 30th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Awriter wrote:Dear, Agent

A survivor of a dead race of Immortals the race who started it all; Ceili Lark is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour(I think you need to rethink some of this punctuation. It's kinda clunky and doesn't flow well.). A world full of creatures that belong in the nightmares of children, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world(This is a fragment. And is "Forbidden keepers of the balance of the world" the full title? If not you need a comma in there somewhere.).

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili to question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind. Voices of the Forbidden who hiss and purr to her calling her “The Forsaken,” and warning her of danger as she walks blindly toward it.

Ceili falls more and more often into the dark place, the realm of the Forbidden. Full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mother's two previous lives with the Immortals. An angel who looks just like her crush, wielding a weapon in her direction ready to deliver the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence.(You basically just summarized your first two sentences in the last one. There's a significant lack of detail here that you could really use to make things clearer.)

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first [#] pages of the manuscript.

If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[insert my info here]
Definitely better than before. I think the biggest issue I have right now is the lack of detail. I'm confused about who the Forbidden are (good or bad?) and exactly what her role is in it (especially if her crush wants to kill her).
"It's kind of shocking to hear Toby called a babe; sort of like calling God a studmuffin."
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priya g.
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Re: Forsaken Ones Query-Draft Three

Post by priya g. » October 16th, 2010, 10:18 am

Awriter wrote:Dear, Agent

A survivor of a dead race of Immortals the race who started it all; Ceili Lark is thrust upon a world she knows nothing about; the world behind the glamour. A world full of creatures that belong in the nightmares of children, and things that should only be in fairy tales: Pixies, Immortals, Centaurs, Angels, and the infamous Forbidden keepers of the Balance of the world THE PARAGRAPH IS NOT CATCHY ENOUGH TO START WITH, I NOTICED THAT YOU MENTIONED CENTAURS, AND THAT CREATURE HAS COME UP AFTER A LONG TIME, TRY TO USE THAT AS AN ATTENTION 'GETTER'.

Things only get stranger and cause to Ceili question her sanity when voices start to infiltrate her mind. Voices of the Forbidden who hiss and purr to her calling her “The Forsaken,” and warning her of danger as she walks blindly toward it. I AM LOST HERE- FIRSTLY, WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS SHE IN? WAIT, BEFORE THAT, WHO IS SHE? IS SHE HUMAN?

Ceili falls more and more often into the dark place, the realm of the Forbidden. Full of horrible and vivid images of death and the truth about her mothers two previous lives with the Immortals. An angel who looks just like her crush, wielding a weapon in her direction ready to deliver the killing blow. Her guardians and best friend become people she fears and even the handsome guy she’s crushing on becomes a threat to her own life under the Forbidden's influence. INFORMATION OVERFLOW. AT THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH, I STILL DON'T KNOW WHO THE FORBIDDEN IS AND WHY HE HAS THIS INFLUENCE. KEEP THE CHARACTERS TO A MINIMUM- FROM WHAT I SEE, YOU CAN MENTION JUST HER MOTHER AND GUARDIANS

Forsaken Ones is a young adult paranormal novel about 65 000 words in length. As per your request I have included the first [#] pages of the manuscript.

If you would like to see the manuscript, I can send it via e-mail at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[[insert my info here]
this version is a bit vague, I guess you should consider retaining some elements of your previous drafts.
Hope I helped.

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