YA Urban Fantasy Query

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AllieS
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YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by AllieS » March 3rd, 2011, 3:32 am

Hi everyone! I've been lurking around on this site for a while, and finally decided to register today because I love reading the comments you guys give. So if any of you want to have a go at my query, I'd be grateful! Be brutal, because I've been querying for a while and it hasn't been getting me much of anything. Thanks a ton!

-Allie

LATEST REVISION IN NEW POST!

Dear Agent,

Hopeless romantic, eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always believed she had a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

When Sophie finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in the depths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she discovers something remarkable. Hugh is a reddo: an advanced being that possesses infinite knowledge and willingly offers five answers to those who help him or her. After Sophie frees Hugh from the root his ankle is caught in, he gives her the unbelievable offer—and she knows exactly what question to ask first. Does she have a true love?

But something goes terribly wrong. Hugh can’t answer Sophie’s question. When Hugh is unable to answer, an intangible, strong connection forms between them, and Sophie and Hugh find themselves caught up in something no one—not even Hugh’s father, Jonathan, one of the most powerful reddos alive—can understand.

As Sophie adjusts to her blossoming friendship with Connor, Hugh’s powerless cousin, and Hugh’s stark resistance to have anything to do with her, she is also entrusted with a secret: a secret that explains why the Kedoas moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in a hidden cabin in Ellery’s depths, and why a single man whom Jonathan gave answers to is a threat to everyone’s safety . . . especially Sophie’s.

REDDO is complete at 119,000 words, and has the potential to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time.
Last edited by AllieS on April 12th, 2011, 7:14 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by glj » March 3rd, 2011, 11:39 am

Hi Allie.

Not bad, but I didn't get what the ultimate conflict will be. It obviously has to do with Hugh not be able to answer the question, but could build far more suspense. Is it because Sophie has no future? Or is she more special than Hugh, and he can only see into the future of ordinary humans? How will her lack of a boyfriend threaten to bring about the end of the world? Will she ever stop to rescue a trapped animal again?

Dear Agent,

Hopeless romantic, eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan always believed she had a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one. Nice punchy intro that caught my interest, but the first sentence is a bit awkward. The combination of "Hopeless romantic" and "eighteen-year-old" just doesn't read well to me. And the comma, well, I don't know what to do with the comma. Maybe change it around, as in "Though only eighteen, Sophie Rowan considers herself a hopeless romantic and is sure that she will find her true love.

When Sophie finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle in the depths of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she discovers something remarkable. She discovers a long, awkward, and overloaded sentence. Hugh is a reddo:, an advanced Redundant. If he has infinite knowledge, then by definition he is advanced. And saying "advanced" is telling, which is far inferior to the showing that is done by the rest of the sentence. being that possesses infinite knowledge and willingly Avoid unnecessary descriptors. offers five answers to those who help him or her. Ah, so he's like a leprechaun for nerds? After Sophie frees Hugh from the root his ankle is caught in, Caught up by a root? Seems terribly cliche. And if he possesses infinite knowledge, why couldn't he free himself? he gives her the unbelievable offer No, no, don't TELL us it is an unbelievable offer. This ruins the effect, like stopping a magic trick midway to show the audience how it is done. —and she knows exactly what question to ask first. Does she have a true love?

There is no need to say "she knows exactly what question to ask first." You have a limited number of words in which to convey the essence of your story and show that it is unique and interesting. Don't waste time telling us that "she decides to ask a question". Of course she does. Trust the reader to get that. Here is a summary of this paragraph: She helps him when in trouble, he reveals what he is and offers her five answers as a reward, and so she asks if she has a true love (she doesn't ask WHO is her true love instead?).

The above paragraph would have far more impact if you make the reader participate. This is more of a dry telling of what happened, after the fact. Specifically, the phrases "When Sophie finds", "After Sophie frees", and "being that ... offers five answers". The last phrase is so distant, it is like reading a schoolbook describing an extinct animal or a mythical Greek god.

So, here is an example of what I mean. This is just off the top of my head, and is only an example of how the wording could be more in the present, more of words describing the events as they happen.

Hiking in the wildlife preserve, Sophie finds Hugh Kedoa in trouble. He is the new boy at school and has _ (jumped out of a tall tree?), breaking his ankle. After she comes to his aid, he promises to answer five questions and reveals that he is a reddo, a (mythical?) being with nearly unlimited knowledge. Sophie has no hesitation in coming up with a first question-does she have a true love?


I like Hugh's power, a bit different and the reader may not know what to expect next. As a reader, I like to be surprised (and hate it when I can anticipate every twist and turn in a story, as if the author is following a common plot trope).

But something goes terribly wrong. Of course something goes horribly wrong. If nothing went wrong, there would be no story, would there? Hugh can’t answer Sophie’s question. The problem with saying that Hugh "possesses infinite knowledge" is that it is contradicted here. So be careful with absolutes. I'd suggest wording that implies great knowledge ("reputed to be able to answer any question about a person's future"). Then show us Hugh's surprise and confusion, as it is implied that "this has never happened to me before!" When Hugh is unable to answer, an intangible, strong connection forms between them, Huh? I'm not trying to be thick, but I don't get why Hugh's failure to perform, so to speak, would result in some manner of psychic/emotional bond. and Sophie and Hugh find themselves caught up in something no one—not even Hugh’s father, Jonathan, one of the most powerful reddos alive—can understand. Overly dramatic words that try to portend some dark and scary conflict. But yet tells us nothing. Again, we know there is going to be a conflict. No need to tell us that. Instead, give us a taste of what the conflict will be.

As Sophie adjusts to her blossoming friendship with Connor, Hugh’s powerless cousin, she may adjust to a blossoming friendship, but does she really "adjust" to Hugh's cousin? and Hugh’s stark resistance It may just be me, but "stark" is usually used as a visual descriptor. to have anything to do with her, she is also entrusted with a secret: You are making this too dramatic and complicated. Why not "Then she learns the secret of why the Kedoa family moved to Sophie's town. And why they live in a hidden cabin in the wildlife preserve." a secret that explains why the Kedoas moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in a hidden cabin in Ellery’s depths, You stated in the second paragraph that "Ellery" is a wildlife preserve, but still, I can't help reading "Ellery's depths" as applying to a person, and so "Ellery's depths" comes across to me as a humiliating bodily invasion. and why a single man whom Jonathan gave answers to is a threat to everyone’s safety . . . especially Sophie’s. Again, so vague that it tells me nothing.

REDDO is genre? complete at 119,000 words, and has the potential to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by AllieS » March 3rd, 2011, 4:15 pm

Wow, thanks a ton! I'll definitely get to work on my query.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by AllieS » March 4th, 2011, 2:22 am

Okay, here's my revision after reading your comments:

At only eighteen years old, Sophie Rowan is a hopeless romantic who’s always believed she has a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

But while working at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she hears a scream and goes to investigate. Instead of finding a wounded animal in a trap, she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle. Expecting just a “thanks” for coming to his aid, instead he reveals to her his secret: he is a reddo, a being that possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him or her.

Sophie has no hesitation in asking her dearest question—does she have a true love? But when she asks, that boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than Hugh let on.

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Hugh and Sophie. According to Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, it’s never happened before, making Sophie feel like even more of an oddball than before.

As Sophie is taken deeper into Hugh’s world, she learns why the Kedoas moved to her obscure town in the first place, why they are living deep in the wildlife preserve . . . and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took answers away from, is hunting them. As Steele comes closer and closer to finding the Kedoas, Sophie realizes her forbidden link to their world will expose her to him.

The only thing he wants more than revenge is questions—something Sophie has, and something Steele is willing to do anything to get back.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 119,000 words, and has the potential to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by hannah_dreamergirl_3 » March 7th, 2011, 1:19 pm

I think this is really good!
I read on a website that a good thing to add is why you wrote the book. You could add your inspiration, favourite writers, where your ideas come from. The only thing I feel this query is missing is a bit about yourself, perhaps adding a final paragraph about this would perfect your query?

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by androidblues » March 7th, 2011, 2:39 pm

At only eighteen years old, Sophie Rowan is a hopeless romantic who’s always believed she has a true love. She just never expected to meet someone who could tell her straight-out if she had one.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan has always believed she has a true love--but she never expected to meet someone who could tell her who he was.

I'm compressing this to make it sound catchier. This isn't grabbing me as much as it should. I think you should play with it to make it short, sweet, and simple. Also, if she's always known that she had one, why would it come as a surprise that someone would tell her that she had one? Do you mean that they would tell her who her true love is?

But while working at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she hears a scream and goes to investigate. Instead of finding a wounded animal in a trap, she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, with a broken ankle. Expecting just a “thanks” for coming to his aid, instead he reveals to her his secret: he is a reddo, a being that possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him or her.

This is better, but I'm liking what glj did with it even more. I'm unsure what to do with this paragraph because it isn't sounding dynamic to me. Rather, it's kind of like one of those coincidental meetings in a rom-com. Also, is there a big difference between the reddo and leprechaun/faeries? If so, I'd elaborate on them because I have no idea what makes a reddo any different.

Sophie has no hesitation in asking her dearest question—does she have a true love? But when she asks, that boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than Hugh let on.

Why can't he answer? Isn't he an all knowing being? And if that's the case, how did he injury his ankle?

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Hugh and Sophie.

Why?

According to Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, it’s never happened before, making Sophie feel like even more of an oddball than before.

This is going into sue territory if it isn't handled the right way. So being a reddo is genetic? Or are they aliens?

As Sophie is taken deeper into Hugh’s world, she learns why the Kedoas moved to her obscure town in the first place, why they are living deep in the wildlife preserve . . . and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took answers away from, is hunting them. As Steele comes closer and closer to finding the Kedoas, Sophie realizes her forbidden link to their world will expose her to him.

To me, this sounds very unrelated. It's kind of rushed, and detracts from the overall theme of the query.

The only thing he wants more than revenge is questions—something Sophie has, and something Steele is willing to do anything to get back.

Why should I care? So far, you've given me no reason to side with anyone except for Robert Steele. What does Sophie have? Why is he evil?

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 119,000 words, and has the potential to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I'd say this is leaning more towards Sci-Fi than anything else. Nothing indicated that these beings were aliens, or that they were fantasy beings. Also, I'd drop the bit about the series.
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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by AllieS » March 7th, 2011, 9:07 pm

Thanks for the help, everyone! I want to answer a lot of the questions you asked, but if I did that in my query it would be something like 500 words. I hope that in trying to keep in short, I'm not leaving any dire questions unanswered, so here is the question: does the lack of answers make or break the query for you? Or is it enough that they will be answered in the novel? I want to make sure the conflict is apparent, and that the different elements I mention seem connected. I completely redid the query, but if the old one is better I can always go back to it. Thanks again!

When hopeless romantic Sophie Rowan finds the new boy at school off the trails of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she figures he’s just one more visitor who broke the rules. It doesn’t matter that his ankle is broken, or that he acts as if she’s the last person he wants to come to his aid.

When Sophie sees his broken ankle heal itself, she realizes Hugh Kedoa isn’t quite as normal as he seems.

Hugh reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?

But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of getting an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule—or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

But he has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in Ellery, and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took questions away from, is hunting them. Using her obscurity to her advantage, Sophie does everything she can to keep an eye out for the Kedoas.

She knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when Steele finally arrives in Sophie’s town, she realizes what he is really after puts her in more danger than anyone else.

Being normal isn’t so safe anymore.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 119,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Another question: is the first line too long?

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query

Post by Joel Q » March 8th, 2011, 1:50 pm

AllieS wrote: When hopeless romantic Sophie Rowan finds the new boy at school off the trails of Ellery Wildlife Preserve, she figures he’s just one more visitor who broke the rules. (I don't think this part of the line helps the query/story.cut it.) It doesn’t matter that his ankle is broken, or that he acts as if she’s the last person he wants to come to his aid.(I don't like that line.)

When Sophie sees his broken ankle heal itself, she realizes Hugh Kedoa isn’t quite as normal as he seems. That's kind of obvious. Cut and rework this sentence. Use your limited words wisely.)

Hugh reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?

But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of getting an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule—or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

But he (the father?) has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in Ellery,(what's the difference between Sophie's town and Ellery? If they are the same cut and rework it.) and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took questions away from, (Not sure what that means?) is hunting them. Using her obscurity to her advantage, Sophie does everything she can to keep an eye out for(that's telling, not showing. Can you give an example?) the Kedoas.

She knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when Steele finally arrives in Sophie’s town(echo, cut, rework), she realizes what he is really after puts her in more danger than anyone else.

Being normal isn’t so safe anymore.

REDDO is my debut YA urban fantasy complete at 119,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I like the story idea.
But I think you need to tighten up your writing.
Cut some of the unneeded story details and give us some more 'why' in the character actions.
Can you give us a glimpse of what Steele is wanting?
JQ

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by AllieS » March 10th, 2011, 11:56 pm

All right, I changed the beginning up a bit.

As an “enforcer” at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, hopeless romantic Sophie Rowan is never surprised to catch people sneaking off the trails. But when she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, deep in the woods with a broken ankle, she’s startled to discover he doesn’t want her help.

When Sophie sees Hugh’s broken ankle heal itself, she realizes why he didn’t want anyone to find him.

Hugh eventually reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?

But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule—or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

Jonathan has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in the preserve . . . and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took answers away from, is hunting them. Sophie knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when Steele finally arrives in town, she realizes what he is after could put her in more danger than anyone else.

Being normal isn’t so safe anymore.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by maggie » March 11th, 2011, 12:38 pm

First of all, the story sounds really cool! I think you're definitely working toward a good query too. These last 2 are much more clear...
As an “enforcer” at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, hopeless romantic Sophie Rowan is never surprised to catch people sneaking off the trails. But when she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, deep in the woods with a broken ankle, she’s startled to discover he doesn’t want her help.

The "enforcer" thing is strange to me. I don't see what it has to do with anything else. Also, I'd take out "hopeless romantic" from here and replace it with her age, then add back in hopeless romantic when she's asking about her true love.

When Sophie sees Hugh’s broken ankle heal itself, she realizes why he didn’t want anyone to find him.

I like that.

Hugh eventually reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, hopeless romantic Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?

I like this...but then I feel like it gets lost. What does her being a hopeless romantic and having or not having a true love have to do with the rest of it? When I first read your query, I assumed that maybe Hugh couldn't tell her because HE is her true love? Or something? But in the query, it seems to go off into a mystery and forget about this early part, where it sounds like it's going to be a romance.

But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule—or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

Jonathan has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are living in the preserve . . . and why Robert Steele, the man whom Jonathan took answers away from I am confused by what this means, is hunting them. Sophie knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when Steele finally arrives in town, she realizes what he is after could put her in more danger than anyone else.

This does seem like the main conflict, but I don't see what it has to do with the true love and with Sophie being the exception to the rule. Does Steele have to do with these things at all? Might want to tie that in.

Being normal isn’t so safe anymore.
Good luck!

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by Joel Q » March 11th, 2011, 1:48 pm

I like the changes you made.
But, I'm sorry to say it brings up more questions.
Here are some thoughts.

~ "hopeless romantic": but nothing in the query really mentions a love story. And how old is she? she has job with a tough sounding name, can she handle that if she's still a girl?
~ healing broken ankle: interesting image, but it doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the query. How is that connected to the infinite knowledge the have. It's a good show, (not tell) but is lost without a connection.
~ The setting is a bit confusing: Living in a preserve because they want to, yet, it seems it is for people who are not supposed to be able to leave, hence the "enforcer" and sneaking off.
~ I think your set up doesn't fit with the dark moment. Meaning the query doesn't flow, too much background that doesn't connect. You have some good details in here but they leave me asking more questions instead of seeing your story.
~ The "normal" line, I'm not sure what that means?

Good Luck
JQ

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by littlebird » March 11th, 2011, 4:28 pm

I agree with Joel. You don't need "hopeless romantic" at all. And yes, the enforcer part throws me off a bit too. Maybe just stick with employee.

Leave out Robert Steele's name. You don't need it. Just knowing that a man is hunting them is good enough, and that Sophie's knowledge of the Kedoas puts her in the same danger.

If you can cut back on those little things, I think you'll be in great shape! Sounds like an awesome story!

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by AllieS » March 11th, 2011, 6:54 pm

Great advice, guys. You're right that the stuff with Steele is the main conflict, so I tried creating a link between Sophie asking her question and how she becomes involved with the Kedoas' problems in this one. I tried addressing the other problems you brought up, so I hope this makes everything clearer! I didn't tweak it too much though . . .

p.s.- what do you think of the word "enemy" in here? I had to replace Steele's name with something that got the point across.



As an employee at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan is never surprised to catch people sneaking off the trails. But when she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, deep in the woods with a broken ankle, she’s startled to discover he doesn’t want her help.

When Sophie sees Hugh’s broken ankle heal itself, she realizes why he didn’t want anyone to find him.

Body parts that heal on their own is just the beginning. Hugh admits to Sophie that he is a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?

But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rule—or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

Sophie wants her answer more than anything, but her own problems take a back seat when she learns that Jonathan has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are hiding out in the preserve . . . and why a man whom Jonathan refused to give answers to is hunting them. Sophie knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when the enemy finally arrives in town, she realizes what he is after could put her in more danger than anyone else.

Getting her answer suddenly becomes the last thing on her mind.

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by littlebird » March 11th, 2011, 7:30 pm

As an employee at Ellery Wildlife Preserve, eighteen-year-old Sophie Rowan is never surprised to catch people sneaking off the trails. But when she finds Hugh Kedoa, the new boy at school, deep in the woods with a broken ankle, she’s startled to discover he doesn’t want her help. Oh yeah! This is SO much better!

When Sophie sees Hugh’s broken ankle heal itself, she realizes why he didn’t want anyone to find him.

Body parts that heal on their own is just the beginning. Hugh admits to Sophie that he is a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered, Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love? I jusked the other second paragraph better, can't you just leave it at "Hugh eventually reveals that he’s a reddo: a human who possesses infinite knowledge and offers five answers to those who help him. Faced with the chance of having her dearest question answered,Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?"



But when she asks, Hugh’s boundless knowledge turns out to be slightly more limited than he let on.

Instead of receiving an answer, a strange, intangible connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. Suddenly, she finds herself the exception to a supposedly foolproof rulewhich is what, exactly? That they can't give her an answer? —or at least that’s what Jonathan, Hugh’s father and one of the most powerful reddos in the world, says.

Sophie wants her answer more than anything, but her own problems take a back seat when she learns that Jonathan has a secret, too: The too here is confusing me. What if you just cut it off after the connection forms between Sophie and Hugh. But knowledge of the Kedoas' puts her in danger from their enemies? Then you don't have to intro Jonathan at all? Just a thought.one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are hiding out in the preserve . . . and why a man whom Jonathan refused to give answers to is hunting them. Sophie knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when the enemy finally arrives in town, she realizes what he is after could put her in more danger than anyone else.

Getting her answer suddenly becomes the last thing on her mind.[/quote]

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Re: YA Urban Fantasy Query REVISED

Post by Collectonian » March 11th, 2011, 11:29 pm

I'm a bit confused now...in the earlier version its implied she helped him some how. Now it seems like he didn't need any help from her at all as he was able to free himself and heal his ankle alone, so why would he answer any questions for her or do his healing trick in front of her?

I'm also wondering:
Sophie jumps at the offer. Does she have a true love?"
Why does she ask if she has one, rather than "Who is my true love?" which would seem to give her two answers in one?
a strange, intangible connection
this feels redundant...an intangible connection would give the impression it was also unusual
Sophie wants her answer more than anything, but her own problems take a back seat when she learns that Jonathan has a secret, too: one that explains why his family moved to Sophie’s town, why they are hiding out in the preserve . . . and why a man whom Jonathan refused to give answers to is hunting them. Sophie knew being involved in the Kedoas’ forbidden world was risky, but when the enemy finally arrives in town, she realizes what he is after could put her in more danger than anyone else.
I would tighten this whole bit up some more. Mention that they are living in the preserve above, earlier as part of the reveal he is a reddo, then make this briefer. Something like "Sophie learns that a man with a grudge is hunting the Kedoa family to get the answers he was denied, answers which could cost Sophie her life." (obviously guessing a bit there on why he's dangerous).

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