Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #3

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
User avatar
wordranger
Posts: 115
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 9:51 pm
Contact:

Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #3

Post by wordranger » October 28th, 2010, 10:10 pm

10-18-10 There is a brand new revision way down this list. If I knew how to hyperlink there, I'd do it. (But I don't.. sorry) It is the first one in the string marked "Revision 3" Please let me know what you think! Thanks!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you everyone for some really great feedback. Funny, when you are writing something like this, your think "Wow! I've finally got this!" but then, what you really need to is a fresh set of eyes to give new perspective. What I was trying to do was give a complete synopsis, which really isn't what I guess was needed. This is a COMPLETE REVAMP, and a complete change in tone. I think this is a little more fun. I broke some rules, (including going up to 350 words) but I think this is written a bit more in the tone my target audience would appreciate. I am leaving my original query highlighted in red at the bottom.

Thanks for any help and feedback,
and if you think I am off my rocker and going in the wrong direction, please let me know!

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Agent:

Castillia is a goddess with a strange sense of humor.

She’s only manifested herself twice in history. The first time was in a king. The second time was in a prince. These guys made sense. They were respected leaders. Did she choose a king this time? No. A prince? Nope.
This time, she chose Magellan Talbot.

A Talbot? Yes, a Talbot. Leave it to a goddess to choose the son of the guy everyone hates… the governor who’s trying to free the planetary moons.

Freedom is not a bad thing, right? Well, it is if you are one of the kings of the 27 planets who like ruling their moons.
What should the High King that rules over all these planets do, when he stumbles across Magellan, and realizes what he is?

He certainly can’t tell anyone. If the people find out Castillia has a vessel, and can manifest herself at any time, there might be a galaxy-wide panic. Should he take the risk of leaving Magellan with his misguided father, or should he just kill the boy to protect the galaxy from what he might become?

Would you kill your goddess’s vessel? Not a good idea.

So what does the High King do? He does what any other goddess-fearing king would do. He takes the child away from his family, and hides him in plain sight, raising him with his own children.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? The royal residences are a lot nicer than the mines where Magellan was born. There is one problem, though. The Miners love the Talbots. The nobles at court? Well, they hate them, and Magellan is, after all, a Talbot.

Does Castillia help Magellan? Only if he really, really needs it, like if someone is trying to kill him… again. Otherwise, he is on his own, among hundreds of people who can’t stand him.

Yes, Castillia has a strange sense of humor, and Magellan needs to find some friends… fast.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.




Here is my first stab at a query for the novel I am really close to sending out. Thanks in advance for any insight!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Agent:

Magellan’s life is turned upside down when the King rips him from his family and takes him to the royal residences. Confused and alone, Magellan is thrust into a world of nobles that want nothing to do with the son of the most hated man in the galaxy.

Only the King knows the truth, that Magellan has a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy’s Perfect Peace. He raises the boy as his own, under the disapproving eyes of his son, Steven.

The outraged prince waits for Magellan to leave the safety of the King’s house, and then triggers a trap to kill his unwanted houseguest. He misses his target, though, and eighty of the boy’s classmates die as a result.

Magellan and a handful of other survivors are left with no memory of what happened. None of them, not even Magellan, knows the truth: that they were saved by the very power the king was trying to suppress.

Magellan, the son of a hated political idealist; Tomé, the insecure bookworm; Matt, the over-zealous natural leader; and Harris, the arrogant self-indulgent prince are among the survivors and become roommates as a result. They do their best to live together as they struggle to deal with their personal differences, and the class lines that separate them.

Magellan becomes the optimistic negotiator, trying his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other… All the while not knowing who he really is, or what he is capable of, and unaware that Prince Steven is waiting for his next chance to find him unprotected.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA Fantasy novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by wordranger on November 18th, 2010, 11:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

sgf
Posts: 39
Joined: September 13th, 2010, 10:15 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Fantasy

Post by sgf » October 28th, 2010, 10:48 pm

Hi WordRanger,

I know you've helped me out with one of my posts, and I'm not sure if I ever returned the favor, so here goes!


Magellan’s life is turned upside down when the King rips him from his family and takes him to the royal residences.When I read this, I couldn't help but think that "the royal residences" didn't sound so bad. Is there any way to convey what kind of place this is? Confused and alone, Magellan is thrust into a world of nobles that want nothing to do with the son of the most hated man in the galaxy.I think you need to establish who his father is. Is it the king? Also using the galaxy makes this sound more scifi than fantasy, but that could just be me.

Only the King knows the truth, that Magellan has a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy’s Perfect Peace.Consider adding a bit describing the Perfect Peace, since it's in caps. He raises the boy as his own, under the disapproving eyes of his son, Steven.So far, this sounds like a great story! I like the added twist of the jealous prince.

The outraged prince waits for Magellan to leave the safety of the King’s house, and then triggers a trap to kill his unwanted houseguest.Consider describing the nature of the trap. When I first read it I was thinking a subtle assassination attempt or maybe poison. Clearly it was something much more destructive. He misses his target, though, and eighty of the boy’s classmates die as a result.

Magellan and a handful of other survivors are left with no memory of what happened. None of them, not even Magellan, knows the truth: that they were saved by the very power the king was trying to suppress.I really like the story so far. But, in the previous graf you mention that the trap misses the target. Here, you're saying Magellan's suppressed power saved him from the trap. While the power could have saved him by having the trap miss him somehow, I think it could be clearer.

Magellan, the son of a hated political idealist; Tomé, the insecure bookworm; Matt, the over-zealous natural leader; and Harris, the arrogant self-indulgent prince are among the survivors and become roommates as a result. They do their best to live together as they struggle to deal with their personal differences, and the class lines that separate them. I like this idea of the 4 survivors, each one different, brought together like this. And you did a nice job of depicting each of them. But the last sentence made me wonder what the story was about. Do they have to accomplish anything together, more than just living together? If so, I think it should be stated here.

Magellan becomes the optimistic negotiator, trying his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other… All the while not knowing who he really is, or what he is capable of, and unaware that Prince Steven is waiting for his next chance to find him unprotected. I think this last part could be tightened. Example: Magellan tries his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other, as Prince Steven waits for his next chance to find him unprotected.

All in all it sounds like a great story. Hope some of this helps!

User avatar
wordranger
Posts: 115
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Post by wordranger » October 29th, 2010, 9:17 pm

Thanks, sgf

On the Genre... I guess, technically, it really is Sci-Fi being that there is an occasional ride on a spaceship from planet to planet. The story is not about the spaceships, though. It is about the interpersonal dynamics of these kids trying to grow up together, and how they influence each other. I really didn't want to box myself into this category... bet yeah, I thought about that too. I'll probably change it to Sci-Fi or just call it a YA novel.

Funny, all the stuff you mentioned as questions were in the first draft of my query. The problem is, I spent a lot of time on Query Shark and other sites, and really struggled to get this down to 250 words (It's actually 268, I think, in this format)

The main plotline is Magellan, who is a commoner, growing up with all these nobles who hate him. Part of that plotline is the scheming prince that wants him dead. This plotline throws the roommates together. The roommates don't actually have to "do anything". (That happens in the next book) In this book their story is one of friendship despite class differences... especially with Prince Harris who is struggling with being the jerk everyone expects him to be, and wanting to be nice, like his roommates. The Harris struggle between good and bad is actually a sub-plot in itself. The last section of the book is the kids spending two weeks at home, and how their families change them... some good, some bad (really bad), and of course, the big bang at the end when Steven makes his final move after the King officially adopts Magellan.

Whew! How the HECK do you put all that into 250 words coherently?

I'm not really sure how much detail is too much detail. I think the query part may be harder than writing the story!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

fishfood
Posts: 63
Joined: September 22nd, 2010, 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Fantasy

Post by fishfood » October 29th, 2010, 9:19 pm

wordranger wrote:Here is my first stab at a query for the novel I am really close to sending out. Thanks in advance for any insight!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Agent:

Magellan’s life is turned upside down when the King rips him from his family and takes him to the royal residences Any way you can make this more jarring? Like locks him up in the palace? Confused (I think terrified might be a stronger word to use)and alone, Magellan is thrust into a world of nobles that want nothing to do with the son of the most hated man in the galaxy. Can you explain the bit about being "the son of the most hated man in the galaxy" more? Otherwise, I'd leave it out. Maybe just cut it and lead right away to the next sentence. Terrified and alone, Magellan has no idea why he was kidnapped. But the King knows something Magellan has yet to discover--a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy's Perfect Peace. Which has me curious as to how the King would know about Magellan's power. If it has something to do with Magellan's dad, then maybe you should find a sentence or two to explain it.

Only the King knows the truth, that Magellan has a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy’s Perfect Peace. He raises the boy as his own to protect the galaxy?, under the disapproving "disapproving" reads to mature, I'd say "jealous" eyes of his son, Steven.

The outraged prince waits for Magellan to leave the safety of the King’s house, and then triggers a trap to kill his unwanted houseguest (I thought he was being raised as a son, not a guest). Why does he want him dead? Did Magellan take over Steven's right to the throne? He misses his target, though, and eighty of the boy’s classmates die as a result. What? Where did the classmates suddenly come into play?? You're also shifting pov's here. Try as much as possible to stick with Magellan. If he doesn't know what his special power is, then maybe you can tweak the query to read how Magellan's life isn't so bad being raised by the King. It's better than living as a hated son of a political idealist. He gets to go to school and meet Tome...Matt...and Harris...But then there's Steven, the prince who wants him dead.

Magellan and a handful of other survivors are left with no memory of what happened. None of them, not even Magellan, knows the truth (you repeat this from earlier in the query: Only the King knows the truth): that they were saved by the very power the king was trying to suppress.

Magellan, the son of a hated political idealist (Now you're switching to an omniscient pov and re-introducing the protagonist); Tomé, the insecure bookworm; Matt, the over-zealous natural leader; and Harris, the arrogant self-indulgent prince (I thought Steven was the prince?) are among the survivors and become roommates as a result. They do their best to live together as they struggle to deal with their personal differences, and the class lines that separate them. This paragraph doesn't do a whole lot to spur the story on.

Magellan becomes the optimistic negotiator, trying tries his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other… All the while not knowing who he really is, or what he is capable of, and unaware that Prince Steven is waiting for his next chance to find him unprotected. I felt like you had an overarching save/destroy the galaxy feel which was exciting, but then your query sort of sputters out with this paragraph for some reason. Ending with this makes it seem as if Magellan's biggest problem is Prince Steven. I think we should have some motive as to why Prince Steven wants him killed and motive as to why the King wants him alive and this should tie in with Magellan discovering he may have the power to save/destroy the Kingdom...It sort of fits with the YA theme of a young person finding his/her place in the world and embracing his/her identity.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA Fantasy novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I think you have a great story here and I get what's going on from the query which is a good thing. But I think it could be re-written to tighten some things up. I hope I was of some help and not all over the place! And it's always sooo much easier for us to "write" other people's queries than our own. ;)

Edit: just saw your qualms with the 250 word count. Generally try to aim for no more than 350 for the ENTIRE query. That means if you can stand to cut out some of your bio and "kissing up to the agent," you can get away with more explaining. Trust me, I'm struggling with this too!!

User avatar
wordranger
Posts: 115
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Post by wordranger » October 29th, 2010, 9:53 pm

Fishfood: Thanks. You made some good points.

Actually, other than taunting from the other kids that don't like him, Steven is Magellan's biggest problem, but Magellan isn't even aware he's a problem since Steven works on the sly.

My first draft of the query stayed closer to the "Steven wants Magellan dead" plot line, but I decided to add the roommates, since the Prince Harris plotline, and the friendship between Matt and Magellan is so important moving forward. (Harris is a different prince, by the way. I could have made that clearer. The King in the Query is the "High King" and Steven is a "High Prince” The Kings of the lesser worlds all bow to the High King... who rules all the other planets)

Maybe I'll look the more general query over again and give that one another whirl.

There actually isn't any "saving the world" in this novel. Eventually, yes, there will be... this is actually the first book in a series, although I didn't mention it in the query because I hear pros and cons about doing that. This story is about Magellan's odd rise from being the son of a political idealist that all the galactic kings HATE, to being adopted by the king.

There are four parts to this novel:
1: Being bought to the residences at 6 and living there until 10
2: Moving to the Academy for schooling and the first attempt on his life
3: Being forced to live with a prince who is struggling with who he is
4: Return home for vacation, where each of the roommates has a life-changing event, including the climax of the Steven wants Magellan Dead part of the story.

This is all just really hard to summarize, although thinking it through and replying to you guys I think is helping me sort it out. Thanks.
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

priya g.
Posts: 109
Joined: September 26th, 2010, 2:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Post by priya g. » October 30th, 2010, 2:53 am

wordranger wrote:
Dear Agent:

Magellan SURNAME?’s life is turned upside down when the King rips him from his family and takes him to the royal residences. Confused and alone, Magellan is thrust into a world of nobles that want nothing to do with the son of the most hated man in the galaxy. THE FIRST PARAGRAPH IS GOOD BUT IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT MAGELLAN'S DAD. HOW ABOUT YOU BRING WHY HE IS THE MOST HATED MAN AS A THIRD SENTENCE?

Only the King knows the truth, that Magellan has a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy’s Perfect Peace. He raises the boy as his own, under the disapproving eyes of his son, Steven. BY THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH, ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS, FOR CLARITY'S SAKE: IS MAGELLAN FOLLOWING HIS DAD'S FOOTSTEPS (IN POWERS)? WHAT ARE THE POWERS? DOES MAGELLAN HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT THIS? WHO HAS INFORMED THE KING ABOUT HIM? ARE THERE ANY TESTS THAT PROVED HIM POWERFUL?

The outraged prince waits for Magellan to leave the safety of the King’s house, and then triggers a trap to kill his unwanted houseguest WHY DOES THE PRINCE WANT TO KILL HIM? DOES HE HATE HIM FOR THE SAME REASONS AS THE KING? DOES HE HAVE A BIGGER GOAL. He misses his target, though, and eighty of the boy’s classmates die as a result. WHERE WAS THIS TRAP SET?

Magellan and a handful of other survivors are left with no memory of what happened. None of them, not even Magellan, knows the truth: that they were saved by the very power the king was trying to suppress. AGAIN- WE DONT KNOW OF THE POWERS YET.

Magellan, the son of a hated political idealist; Tomé, the insecure bookworm; Matt, the over-zealous natural leader; and Harris, the arrogant self-indulgent prince are among the survivors and become roommates as a result. They do their best to live together as they struggle to deal with their personal differences, and the class lines that separate them. TOO MUCH INFORMATION: CUT IT DOWN. WE DONT NEED TO KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT THE SUPPORTING, SO TO SPEAK, CHARACTERS.

Magellan becomes the optimistic negotiator, trying his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other… All the while not knowing who he really is, or what he is capable of, and unaware that Prince Steven is waiting for his next chance to find him unprotected. GOOD PARAGRAPH TO END WITH YET VAGUE.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA Fantasy novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
all in all, I think your query is a bit skeletal. put more flesh on it- give it more touches of make up.
Waiting for the next draft!

fishfood
Posts: 63
Joined: September 22nd, 2010, 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Post by fishfood » October 30th, 2010, 2:04 pm

wordranger wrote:Fishfood: Thanks. You made some good points.

Actually, other than taunting from the other kids that don't like him, Steven is Magellan's biggest problem, but Magellan isn't even aware he's a problem since Steven works on the sly.

My first draft of the query stayed closer to the "Steven wants Magellan dead" plot line, but I decided to add the roommates, since the Prince Harris plotline, and the friendship between Matt and Magellan is so important moving forward. (Harris is a different prince, by the way. I could have made that clearer. The King in the Query is the "High King" and Steven is a "High Prince” The Kings of the lesser worlds all bow to the High King... who rules all the other planets)

Maybe I'll look the more general query over again and give that one another whirl.

There actually isn't any "saving the world" in this novel. Eventually, yes, there will be... this is actually the first book in a series, although I didn't mention it in the query because I hear pros and cons about doing that. This story is about Magellan's odd rise from being the son of a political idealist that all the galactic kings HATE, to being adopted by the king.

There are four parts to this novel:
1: Being bought to the residences at 6 and living there until 10
2: Moving to the Academy for schooling and the first attempt on his life
3: Being forced to live with a prince who is struggling with who he is
4: Return home for vacation, where each of the roommates has a life-changing event, including the climax of the Steven wants Magellan Dead part of the story.

This is all just really hard to summarize, although thinking it through and replying to you guys I think is helping me sort it out. Thanks.
I think the best query advice I got was to focus on one protagonist and the biggest conflict. Of course in our novels there are a number of extremely important characters, multiple povs and major subplots. But these things don't belong in a query. The only aim is to get the agent's attention to want to read on. You may even have to "lie" somewhat in the query just to keep it exciting and moving forward. I ended up doing that in my query simply because I was putting things in the query that didn't make sense and required too much explaining--hence going over the word count and looking too much like a synopsis. I think from what you've shared, the most exciting parts of the book are the kidnapping of Magellan, raising him in the Academy (to learn what exactly?), how the attempt on his life forges unlikely friendships with surviving students (I wouldn't even mention their names in the query. At the most you only want to actually name 3 characters, if that.) And how he comes to discover his own power while trying to stay alive. Try experimenting with writing the query from different character povs. Maybe it could be written from Steven's pov.

Hope that helps and feel free to keeping posting your different versions so we can help you out!

notw
Posts: 79
Joined: January 7th, 2010, 4:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Post by notw » October 31st, 2010, 12:15 am

Wordranger,

Your story sounds interesting. I think the main thing I was struggling with when reading your query, was I felt like I was reading more of a synopsis. I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to write my own query and found this blog post really helpful http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2007/10/bl ... art-i.html. Good luck on your next draft!

Jaligard
Posts: 57
Joined: August 11th, 2010, 1:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Post by Jaligard » October 31st, 2010, 11:32 pm

wordranger wrote:The main plotline is Magellan, who is a commoner, growing up with all these nobles who hate him. Part of that plotline is the scheming prince that wants him dead. This plotline throws the roommates together. The roommates don't actually have to "do anything". (That happens in the next book) In this book their story is one of friendship despite class differences... especially with Prince Harris who is struggling with being the jerk everyone expects him to be, and wanting to be nice, like his roommates. The Harris struggle between good and bad is actually a sub-plot in itself. The last section of the book is the kids spending two weeks at home, and how their families change them... some good, some bad (really bad), and of course, the big bang at the end when Steven makes his final move after the King officially adopts Magellan.

Whew! How the HECK do you put all that into 250 words coherently?
Don't look down, but you just put everything into only 147 words.

It can be done.

What you've got now is a proto-query letter. It's not ready for prime time, but tweaking it may get you into a better position to rewrite it. I'm mostly confused by the nature of Magellan's power. Mostly because you don't ever tell us anything about it. It's important enough for the King to upset his family life. And it doesn't seem to have much to do with the plot of the book, which I can't quite figure out.

Good start, but you're going to need to reorganize, I think. Maybe start with the explosion. (Maybe not, what do I know?) Or maybe end with the explosion, but it's awkward in the middle because the book is either about that conflict before or its about the conflict after.

User avatar
D.Bond
Posts: 10
Joined: October 27th, 2010, 6:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Post by D.Bond » November 1st, 2010, 11:06 pm

Magellan’s life is turned upside down when the King rips him from his family and takes him to the royal residences. Confused and alone, Magellan is thrust into a world of nobles that want nothing to do with the son of the most hated man in the galaxy. :( This isn't a very exciting opening. I don't get an immediate sense of what the stakes are.

Only the King knows the truth, that Magellan has a power growing inside him that could be a threat to the galaxy’s Perfect Peace. He raises the boy as his own, under the disapproving eyes of his son, Steven. This is more interesting. Maybe if you moved this line to the beginning. It sets up the stakes a bit more.

The outraged prince waits for Magellan to leave the safety of the King’s house, and then triggers a trap to kill his unwanted houseguest. He misses his target, though, and eighty of the boy’s classmates die as a result. Is this the main plot or a subplot?

Magellan and a handful of other survivors are left with no memory of what happened. None of them, not even Magellan, knows the truth: that they were saved by the very power the king was trying to suppress. You could probably combine this with the sentences above.

Magellan, the son of a hated political idealist; Tomé, the insecure bookworm; Matt, the over-zealous natural leader; and Harris, the arrogant self-indulgent prince are among the survivors and become roommates as a result. They do their best to live together as they struggle to deal with their personal differences, and the class lines that separate them. This really isn't needed. You could add the parts about the characters as you introduce them. And the last sentence sounds like a conclusion but then you continue on... :/

Magellan becomes the optimistic negotiator, trying his best to keep his three very different roommates from killing each other… All the while not knowing who he really is, or what he is capable of, and unaware that Prince Steven is waiting for his next chance to find him unprotected. Okay so we have a Prince Steven and a Prince Harris, that's a bit confusing. :( What are the real stakes here? Is this just about Magellan finding out his potential and all that or is there some major conflict we don't know about happening too?

All in all, I'm sure this is a very interesting story, but I don't get that from your query. :( You've got a great start though! Keep at it :)

User avatar
wordranger
Posts: 115
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #1

Post by wordranger » November 3rd, 2010, 8:10 pm

NOTW:

You know what? You're right. This is too much of a synopsis. I think I am going at this from the wrong angle.

New Rewrite!

Thanks so much!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Jaligard
Posts: 57
Joined: August 11th, 2010, 1:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #1

Post by Jaligard » November 4th, 2010, 12:46 pm

wordranger wrote:Dear Agent:

Castillia is a goddess with a strange sense of humor.

She’s only manifested herself twice in history. The first time was in a king. The second time was in a prince. These guys made sense. They were respected leaders. Did she choose a king this time? No. A prince? Nope.
This time, she chose Magellan Talbot.

A Talbot? Yes, a Talbot. Leave it to a goddess to choose the son of the guy everyone hates… the governor who’s trying to free the planetary moons.

Freedom is not a bad thing, right? Well, it is if you are one of the kings of the 27 planets who like ruling their moons.
What should the High King that rules over all these planets do, when he stumbles across Magellan, and realizes what he is?

He certainly can’t tell anyone. If the people find out Castillia has a vessel, and can manifest herself at any time, there might be a galaxy-wide panic. Should he take the risk of leaving Magellan with his misguided father, or should he just kill the boy to protect the galaxy from what he might become?

Would you kill your goddess’s vessel? Not a good idea.

So what does the High King do? He does what any other goddess-fearing king would do. He takes the child away from his family, and hides him in plain sight, raising him with his own children.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? The royal residences are a lot nicer than the mines where Magellan was born. There is one problem, though. The Miners love the Talbots. The nobles at court? Well, they hate them, and Magellan is, after all, a Talbot.

Does Castillia help Magellan? Only if he really, really needs it, like if someone is trying to kill him… again. Otherwise, he is on his own, among hundreds of people who can’t stand him.

Yes, Castillia has a strange sense of humor, and Magellan needs to find some friends… fast.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I think parts of this revision are going to make it into the final letter. There's some very good language here and you're getting closer in some ways.

I still have no idea what the book is about. This is 90% back-story that doesn't leave us with much information about your MC as a person. We know about the goddess, the king, we even know a little about his family. We don't know him and we don't know what he has to do.

We don't know the conflict that will propel this novel forward and that is something we absolutely need to know.

notw
Posts: 79
Joined: January 7th, 2010, 4:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #1

Post by notw » November 5th, 2010, 12:56 am

wordranger wrote:NOTW:

You know what? You're right. This is too much of a synopsis. I think I am going at this from the wrong angle.

New Rewrite!

Thanks so much!
You're welcome. :) I am looking forward to reading the next draft!

fishfood
Posts: 63
Joined: September 22nd, 2010, 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #1

Post by fishfood » November 5th, 2010, 8:22 pm

Dear Agent:

Castillia is a goddess with a strange sense of humor.

She’s only manifested herself twice in history. The first time was in a king. The second time was in a prince. These guys made sense. They were respected leaders. Did she choose a king this time? No. A prince? Nope.
This time, she chose Magellan Talbot.

A Talbot? Yes, a Talbot. Leave it to a goddess to choose the son of the guy everyone hates… the governor who’s trying to free the planetary moons.

Freedom is not a bad thing, right? Well, it is if you are one of the kings of the 27 planets who like ruling their moons.
What should the High King that rules over all these planets do, when he stumbles across Magellan, and realizes what he is?

He certainly can’t tell anyone. If the people find out Castillia has a vessel, and can manifest herself at any time, there might be a galaxy-wide panic. Should he take the risk of leaving Magellan with his misguided father, or should he just kill the boy to protect the galaxy from what he might become?

Would you kill your goddess’s vessel? Not a good idea.

So what does the High King do? He does what any other goddess-fearing king would do. He takes the child away from his family, and hides him in plain sight, raising him with his own children.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? The royal residences are a lot nicer than the mines where Magellan was born. There is one problem, though. The Miners love the Talbots. The nobles at court? Well, they hate them, and Magellan is, after all, a Talbot.

Does Castillia help Magellan? Only if he really, really needs it, like if someone is trying to kill him… again. Otherwise, he is on his own, among hundreds of people who can’t stand him.

Yes, Castillia has a strange sense of humor, and Magellan needs to find some friends… fast.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a YA novel complete at 67,000 words. The first five pages are attached for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I actually enjoyed this version, it was creative and fun to read. Except...I don't think it makes for a great query letter necessarily. I do like that you are trying a compeletely different avenue instead of hacking away at the old one. I noticed you posed 8 questions. I've read a few agent blogs (including Nathan's) that aren't big fans anymore of questions used in queries becauase they tend to backfire. As someone else point out, it makes for a lot of backstory and not a lot of character, conflict, choice.

User avatar
wordranger
Posts: 115
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT - New Revision - Revision #3

Post by wordranger » November 18th, 2010, 11:05 pm



This is probably the tenth or so revision. I tried to keep with the more fun tone, but I drew it all together on just one part of the plotline. This again, is a COMPLETE revise. Let me know what you think! I appreciate any feedback!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Agent:

Magellan Talbot is having a chat with a goddess, and she’s not happy with him.

Magellan is Castillia’s vessel, her primary link to the world of men. Magellan’s not so crazy about the idea, though. After all, he’s just a kid. He doesn't want to be anyone's vessel, but apparently he has no choice in the matter.

Magellan just wants to go home, but Castillia tells him he must gather his weapons, and avoid the gaze of the beast. Beast? What beast? What weapons? Of course, she doesn’t tell him. Goddesses are vague like that.

Castillia needs him to do a few simple things for her: save his brother, avert civil war, secure the rapier, stop the protean cataclysm, and keep darkness from the throne.

What? He’s just a kid!

Well, he doesn’t have to do it all right now. He’s going to have his hands full gathering his weapons and not looking at the beast… whatever that means. The problem is that he needs to do both in time to save his brother, and he doesn't even know where to start!

That’s a lot for a kid to take in. In fact, Magellan doesn’t want to believe it. He wants to forget so bad that he convinces himself it’s all just a dream, and when he wakes up, he forgets the conversation entirely. That makes it a little hard to do all the things you’re supposed to do.

But memory or no memory, his brother still needs him. He was born to do what needs to be done. It’s just going to be a little harder since he thinks he’s a normal kid, and has no idea what's going on.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy complete at 67,000 words. The first 5 pages are attached for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests