Query: Double Star Revised

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Query: Double Star Revised

Post by masonblack » November 26th, 2011, 11:16 am

Revised based on the amazing feedback I received. Here I go again! Would appreciate any comments and criticisms. And, as always, thanks!

What if our world does not exist alone? Double Star is the story of a girl whose idea of home becomes lost to the stars, her struggle to cope with the changes around her and the strangers she’s befriended ... all while trying to stay a step ahead of the one who drew her into this strange place and those who will stop at nothing to take what she possesses.

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to stilettos, Mozart over metal and one good friend to being Miss Popular. The unexpected death of her father brings tough times for her and her mom. Ally needs to get this violin scholarship or she can kiss attending the University of Arizona goodbye. But, on her way to her audition, her GPS leads her to an isolated mountain overlook and her recurring nightmare becomes reality when she falls off the cliff and wakes up lost ... and alone.

She’s found by the cute but strange Liam Cheveyo and his equally peculiar friends. It’s more than just their clothes or the odd way they talk. They’ve never heard of cars, electricity or phones! But after witnessing their transformations, into their freaky animal counterparts, Ally realizes that simply buying a bus ticket won’t get her the hell out of here. She’s entered a world where the magic of ancient gods still exists and there's only one way out. She sets out with Liam friends to find the passageway that will lead home and along the way, experiences a transformation of her own. She discovers magic within herself and a bond between her and Liam. She's become the person she’s always wanted to be. Will she be able to walk away from the place she finally fits in and the boy of her dreams to return to the insanity of her world, where her mom is alone and waiting?

Cepheus, a dark and powerful god, banished from the heavens, doesn’t intend to allow her to do either. He’s waited centuries for the key to be brought to his world, the one that will allow him to travel a unique passageway and wreak havoc upon the two worlds it connects. That key is around the unsuspecting Ally’s neck. What he doesn’t know is that he’s delivered an angel to this world.

An angel who wears combat boots.

(Bio info)

glj
Posts: 109
Joined: September 29th, 2010, 11:23 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by glj » November 28th, 2011, 1:16 pm

What if our world does not exist alone? Double Star is the story of a girl whose idea of home becomes lost to the stars, her struggle to cope with the changes around her and the strangers she’s befriended ... all while trying to stay a step ahead of the one who drew her into this strange place and those who will stop at nothing to take what she possesses. This is all very vague and tells us almost nothing about the story. This is you the author telling the reader how they should view the book. I would recommend you drop ALL of this, as it does nothing to intrigue the reader, in my opinion.

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to stilettos, Mozart over metal, and one good friend to being Miss Popular. Now this tells us something. But starting the query by telling us how Ally dresses, what music she likes, and that she isn't concerned with high school popularity doesn't really grip me, either. Maybe work it in without dumping it in a big lump. The unexpected "unexpected" isn't needed. If it were "expected", then I'd want to know, but death is generally unexpected. death of her father brings tough times for her and her mom. Again, this is implied, and telling the reader that her father's death is difficult for the protagonist will be understood by the reader. Ally needs to get this violin scholarship or she can kiss attending the University of Arizona goodbye. At last, information that may relate to the main conflict! But, on her way to her audition, her GPS leads her to an isolated mountain overlook and her recurring nightmare becomes reality when she falls off the cliff and wakes up lost ... and alone.

She’s found by the cute but strange Liam Cheveyo and his equally peculiar friends. It’s more than just their clothes or the odd way they talk. They’ve never heard of cars, electricity or phones! But after witnessing their transformations, into their freaky animal counterparts, Ally realizes that simply buying a bus ticket won’t get her the hell out of here. These first sentences are merely placing her in the setting for the main conflict. They don't seem necessary. She’s entered a world where the magic of ancient gods still exists and there's only one way out. Yay, another sentence that relates to the main conflict! She sets out with Liam and? friends to find the passageway that will lead home and along the way, experiences a transformation of her own. The "experiences a transformation" is unnecessary, as the next sentence tells us what the transformation is. Word count is critical. Don't use a sentence to tell us what the next sentence is going to tell us. She discovers magic within herself and a bond between her and Liam. The "bond" is so predictable it doesn't really need to be said. She's become the person she’s always wanted to be. So what is this person she's always wanted to be? Too vague to be helpful or informative or intriguing. Will she be able to walk away from the place she finally fits in and the boy of her dreams to return to the insanity of her world, where her mom is alone and waiting? As is, this doesn't seem to be that much of a conflict. Yes, she has a choice of staying in this strange, alternate world and having magical powers, but the other choice is going home to keep Mom company? Not enough tension to grip me.

Cepheus, a dark and powerful god, banished from the heavens, doesn’t intend to allow her to do either. Whoa, whoa, why wait until this point in the query to bring in the dark god? And if he's a god, there is no need to say "powerful". He’s waited centuries for the key to be brought to his world, the one that will allow him to travel a unique passageway and wreak havoc upon the two worlds it connects. That key is around the unsuspecting Ally’s neck. Of course she is unsuspecting. Isn't the protagonist always unaware of danger until essentially the climax? What he doesn’t know is that he’s delivered an angel to this world. This may be just my opinion, but if Ally is going to be an "angel" that counters this dark god, I think you need to bring this in much sooner, AND provide some hint as to how Ally might be an angel. Do angels in this world differ from our common stereotypes? I WANT the story to be different, to be a different take on old themes/characters, so contrasting Ally with typical "angel" characteristics could serve as one way to create interest. And the band of lost hipsters could add color, too. But, as is, they don't seem to add to your query letter.

An angel who wears combat boots. Nice image. But I suspect it could have more impact if you create this image sooner. It will be interesting to see what other commenters say.

(Bio info)

Now, at the end, I feel that her needing a violin scholarship, and the death of her father, add nothing to the query. It is as if you feel that you must "introduce" the character in some way, that you cannot just dive into the plot of the main conflict. But you CAN.

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

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by priya g. » November 28th, 2011, 5:18 pm

hi! i am not a pro at this, but my comments are added down there, for what they are worth! hope i dont come off too harsh
masonblack wrote:Revised based on the amazing feedback I received. Here I go again! Would appreciate any comments and criticisms. And, as always, thanks!

What if our world does not exist alone? NEVER BEGIN WITH RHETORICAL QUESTIONS. AGENTS USUALLY DON'T TAKE THAT WELL. Double Star is the story of a girl whose idea of home becomes lost to the stars, her struggle to cope with the changes around her and the strangers she’s befriended ... all while trying to stay a step ahead of the one who drew her into this strange place and those who will stop at nothing to take what she possesses. THIS IS MORE LIKE THE BLURB OF THE STORY, BUT IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT THE STORY.

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to stilettos, Mozart over metal and one good friend to being Miss Popular. The unexpected death of her father brings tough times for her and her mom. THE FIRST AND SECOND SENTENCE DON'T CONNECT- IN THE FIRST ONE YOU TELL ABOUT HER PERSONALITY AND IN THE SECOND YOU BRING IN THE FINANCIAL PROBLEM. LINK THEM. Ally needs to get this violin scholarship or she can kissattendingthe University of Arizona goodbye. But, on her way to her audition, her GPS leads her to an isolated mountain overlook and her recurring nightmare becomes reality when she falls off the cliff and wakes up lost ... and alone. THIS DOESN'T REALLY MAKE SENSE- WAS THE MOUNTAIN PROGRAMMED WRONGLY? DID IT MAKE A MISTAKE? DID IT MALFUNCTION? DID SOMEONE PURPOSELY LEAD HER THERE?

She’s found by the cute but strange Liam Cheveyo and his equally peculiar friends. It’s more than just their clothes or the odd way they talk. They’ve never heard of cars, electricity or phones! But after witnessing their transformations, into their freaky animal counterparts WHICH ANIMALS?, Ally realizes that simply buying a bus ticket won’t get her the hell out of here. She’s entered a world where the magic of ancient gods WHICH KIND OF GODS? WHAT KIND OF MAGIC? still exists and there's only one way out. She sets out with Liam friends to find the passageway that will lead home and along the way WHY WOULD THEY HELP HER FIND THE PASSAGEWAY?, experiences a transformation of her own. She discovers magic within herself and a bond between her and Liam. THIS IS VAGUE. WHAT KIND OF MAGIC? SPECIAL POWERS? She's become the person she’s always wanted to be. AGAIN, THIS IS VAGUE. Will she be able to walk away from the place she finally fits in and the boy of her dreams to return to the insanity of her world, where her mom is alone and waiting?

Cepheus, a dark and powerful god, banished from the heavens, doesn’t intend to allow her to do either. He’s waited centuries for the key to be brought to his world, the one that will allow him to travel a unique passageway and wreak havoc upon the two worlds it connects. That key is around the unsuspecting Ally’s neck. What he doesn’t know is that he’s delivered an angel to this world. THIS PARAGRAPH DOESNT SEEM TO FIT. YOU NEED TO PICK WHICH CONFLICT TO SHOW- ALLY'S OR CEPHEUS. YOU HAVENT SAID MUCH ABOUT THE GODS SO THIS INCLUSION IS OUT OF PLACE.

An angel who wears combat boots.

(Bio info)
i love the idea- but your query needs a bit more polishing- a bit more linking and you need to see what the major conflict is, and from which angle you will tackle it. both of the options seem great- but you have to see which one will flow more in the query.

All the best! look forward to the revision!

masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised Yet Again!!

Post by masonblack » December 2nd, 2011, 9:11 am

Hope I'm getting closer. This process has really been more painful that actually writing the book. I can't thank you enough for helping me with this. Here goes....

Seventeen year old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to stilettos, Mozart over metal and prides herself on taking control of her own destiny but when she finds herself lost in another world, she has no clue she’s wearing the key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war.

But this is no freak accident. She’s been forced here by Cepheus, a dark god whose intent is to simply take the key but it’s going to be more difficult than he imagined. The winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest Gilgamesh … the only place where he’s powerless, for now.

Ally’s rescued and befriended by the cute yet strange Liam Cheveyo and his equally peculiar friends. They were born with the mark of Ascencia, a small four pointed star beneath their ear and possess the magic of the Shanyo, their traits of strength,courage and determination are revealed through a unique animal counterpart. Liam’s star, however, has not changed but Ally’s emergence into his world sets into motion the transformation he desperately desires. When his marks morphs into the sword, a symbol rarely seen, and Ally discovers she’s able to keep Death away, they know there’s more at stake than just finding her a way home. They’ve been brought together for a reason but they need to stay one step ahead of the creepy spider boy following them and defeat Death’s half-brothers who’ve been sent to retrieve her.

What Cepheus doesn’t know is he’s delivered an angel into his world - an angel who wears combat boots and Ally’s not going down without a fight … their lives and the survival of both worlds depends on it.

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

Re: Query: Double Star Revised Yet Again!!

Post by Quill » December 2nd, 2011, 7:06 pm

masonblack wrote:
Seventeen year old Ally Ashworth
Seventeen-year-old
prefers combat boots to stilettos,
Do most other seventeen-year-olds prefer stilettos? Seems an odd comparison for the age group.
Mozart over metal and prides herself on taking control of her own destiny
What does that mean, "prides herself on taking control of her own destiny"? Seems vague and cryptic. I honestly could use some clarification.
but when she finds herself lost in another world, she has no clue she’s wearing the key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war.
It is not immediately clear what you mean by "another world". Is it metaphoric? Is it another planet? Another dimension? We don't know what sore of book this is, at this point, so the term could mean a lot of things.

The two phrases do not quite fit together. When she finds herself lost, she doesn't know she could ignite a war. Do you see the non-correspondence there?
But this is no freak accident.
It is not clear what you mean by "this". It appears to be that she's wearing the key (which is what it follows), but I'm pretty sure you mean that she's lost in another world. As it stands, it feels a little vague; we haven't been told that her finding herself there had the earmarks of an accident.
She’s been forced here by Cepheus, a dark god whose intent is to simply take the key but it’s going to be more difficult than he imagined. The winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest Gilgamesh … the only place where he’s powerless, for now.
Okay.
Ally’s rescued and befriended by the cute yet strange Liam Cheveyo and his equally peculiar friends. They were born with the mark of Ascencia, a small four pointed star beneath their ear and possess the magic of the Shanyo, their traits of strength,courage and determination are revealed through a unique animal counterpart. Liam’s star, however, has not changed but Ally’s emergence into his world sets into motion the transformation he desperately desires. When his marks morphs into the sword, a symbol rarely seen, and Ally discovers she’s able to keep Death away, they know there’s more at stake than just finding her a way home. They’ve been brought together for a reason but they need to stay one step ahead of the creepy spider boy following them and defeat Death’s half-brothers who’ve been sent to retrieve her.
This all feels rather peripheral and contains too much detail not salient to the main storyline. We seem to have left the key and the dark god, and that's disconcerting.
What Cepheus doesn’t know is he’s delivered an angel into his world - an angel who wears combat boots and Ally’s not going down without a fight … their lives and the survival of both worlds depends on it.
It's fine to say this, but we haven't gotten any indication that Ally's got the grit necessary for the task. We really don't know much about her, let alone her real obstacles and challenge(s). I'd mine the central storyline for these important points and lay them in there instead of the "cute but strange" creatures and their attributes.

masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by masonblack » December 3rd, 2011, 5:06 pm

Okay. Please keep the criticisms coming...and, as always, thanks!

When seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth is forced through a passage and winds up in another world, she has no idea she’s delivering a key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war.

She’s been brought by here Cepheus, a dark god whose intent is to simply take what she carries but the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest Gilgamesh … the only place where he’s powerless, for now.

She’s befriended by Liam Cheveyo and his Shayeen friends ... boys born under the star of the legendary goddess, Ascencia. They have the ability to change into the animal counterpart that corresponds with their unique strengths. Ally’s only hope of finding the one passageway that leads home lies with these strangers. They learn such a portal may exist outside the forest and, sympathetic to her plight, they begin a journey that could change the course of history. Along the way, she and Liam discover feelings for each other and she’s becomes stronger than she ever imagined. In fact, she possesses some magic of her own, able to protect those around her. After she gets caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy, Caleb and meets Death’s half-brothers sent by Cepheus to retrieve her, she realizes returning home isn’t a choice that’s hers to make. What Cepheus is unaware of is that he’s delivered an angel into this world and she, along her Shayeen friends can unite to form the Power of the Eight ... a magical covenant that will be strong enough to defeat him, if Liam can get to her in time.

But they have to. The survival of both worlds depends on it.

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

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by Quill » December 3rd, 2011, 5:39 pm

Much improved first half! Second half still suffers from TMI (too much info). A query must be pointed like a spear, carrying the salient movement of the book as a whole to its target -- namely the agent of your dreams. Streamline, streamline, and use only the most important details to highlight the book's central premise and dilemma. All else is like so much frou-frou decoration, and will help in no way to speed its flight.

masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by masonblack » December 4th, 2011, 10:37 am

Thanks for the feedback. Revised, yet again.

When seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth is forced through a passage and winds up in another world, she has no idea she’s delivering a key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war.

She’s been brought by here Cepheus, a dark god whose intent is to simply take what she carries but the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest Gilgamesh … the only place where he’s powerless, for now.

Ally’s fallen into a world where ancient gods are more than just a myth. Discovered by Liam Cheveyo and his Shayeen friends, boys born with the ability to shape shift into their freaky, humanimal counterpart, she’s determined to find her way home. But she discovers love between she and Liam and some magic of her own. In this world, she’s stronger, better. She’s able to protect those around her and keep Death away. After she gets caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy, Caleb, whose been stalking her and meets Death’s half-brothers sent by Cepheus to retrieve her, she realizes returning home isn’t a choice that’s hers to make. If she hopes to do that, she needs to become a soldier.

What Cepheus is unaware of is that he’s delivered an angel into this world and she, along her Shayeen friends are the pieces that form the whole. They are The Eight, a magical covenant who, together, are strong enough to defeat him ... if Liam can get to Ally in time.

But he has to. The survival of both their worlds depend on it.

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

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by Quill » December 4th, 2011, 3:50 pm

masonblack wrote:

When seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth is forced through a passage and winds up in another world, she has no idea she’s delivering a key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war.

She’s been brought by here Cepheus, a dark god whose intent is to simply take what she carries but the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest Gilgamesh … the only place where he’s powerless, for now.
This works well. I would combine these two sentences into one paragraph, though, and replace the ellipses with an em-dash (after Gilgamesh).
Ally’s fallen into a world where ancient gods are more than just a myth.
I'd delete this sentence as you've already relayed this info earlier.
Discovered by Liam Cheveyo and his Shayeen friends, boys born with the ability to shape shift into their freaky, humanimal counterpart, she’s determined to find her way home.
Good info, but the clauses don't correspond: Discovered by Liam and friends, she's determined to get home. (Why would being discovered specifically make her determined to leave?)
But she discovers love between she and Liam and some magic of her own.
Good info, but the sentence suffers from a repeat of the word "discover". Can you replace or reword?
In this world, she’s stronger, better. She’s able to protect those around her and keep Death away.
I like this.
After she gets caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy, Caleb, whose been stalking her and meets Death’s half-brothers sent by Cepheus to retrieve her, she realizes returning home isn’t a choice that’s hers to make. If she hopes to do that, she needs to become a soldier.
This is starting to feel muddled. You're introducing two more characters (threatening the query with becoming "word-soup"), and it also feels both unclear what the main dilemma is; you first say that her goal is not a choice she can make -- sure death to any tension you may have created -- and then alluding to the opposite (that she can indeed return home, maybe). This confuses me. And then you say what she needs to do -- become a soldier -- and it isn't clear what this means (in terms of the plot, and in fact -- is it metaphorical? Do you mean an actual army person?)
What Cepheus is unaware of is that he’s delivered an angel into this world and she, along her Shayeen friends are the pieces that form the whole. They are The Eight, a magical covenant who, together, are strong enough to defeat him ... if Liam can get to Ally in time.

But he has to. The survival of both their worlds depend on it.
This is good info, but I'd rewrite it. I'd eliminate the switch to Cepheus' point of view and continue from the pov of the main character. I know you want to work it for the line "he's delivered an angel" but frankly, I don't find the phrase all that strong. It does sound like you have a strong plot, mind you, and I feel for your having to condense into a couple paragraphs.

Another thing, not sure what you mean by Liam having to get to Ally in time (where were they separated?), and anyway, it seems you might best focus on what Ally needs to do rather that what Liam needs to do (or, again, what Cepheus is unaware of or aware of).

To continue my analogy of my previous post, your crux (of the query as well as book) is where the spear must land with a thunk!

masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by masonblack » December 6th, 2011, 7:14 pm

Here we go again. One more time (I hope!)

Dear Agent:

When seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth is forced through a passage and winds up in another world, she has no idea she’s delivering a key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war. She’s been brought here by Cepheus, a dark god whose intent was to simply take what she carries but the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest of Gilgamesh - the only place where he’s powerless.

Lost, alone and afraid, Ally's only focus is to return home. She's befriended by Liam Cheveyo and his Shayeen friends and, after seeing them shape-shift into their freaky, humanimal counterparts, she smacks hard into two realizations - she’s in a place where the ancient gods are more than just a myth and this isn’t where she belongs. She also discovers a growing romance with Liam, and some magic of her own. Here, she’s stronger,better ... able to protect those around her and keep Death away. But, when she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy sent by Cepheus to retrieve her, she needs a miracle.

In this world, she’s become an angel and she, along with Liam and the others, are the pieces that form the whole, a magical covenant who are strong enough to defeat Cepheus ... if Liam can rescue her in time.

But he has to. The survival of both their worlds depend on it.

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by wilderness » December 7th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Hi Mason,
I think this sounds like a cool adventure, but the query feels a little dry to me. Try to insert some of that ever-elusive voice in there to give it some spunk! I asked some questions about the plot below but I'm not sure they really need to be answered in the query; they are just things I was wondering/curious about. Mostly, I would try to break down the long sentences and work on the voice. Good luck!
masonblack wrote: Dear Agent:

When seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth is forced through a passage and winds up in another world, she has no idea she’s delivering a key that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war. In our world or the new world? She’s been brought here by Cepheus, a dark god whose intent was to simply take what she carries but the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest of Gilgamesh - the only place where he’s powerless. This is a really long sentence. I would break it down into more manageable pieces.

Lost, alone and afraid, Ally's only focus is to return home. She's befriended by Liam Cheveyo and his Shayeen friends and, after seeing them shape-shift into their freaky, humanimal counterparts, she smacks hard into two realizations - she’s in a place where the ancient gods are more than just a myth and this isn’t where she belongs. Another long sentence full of many clauses. It took me a few reads to understand it all. She also discovers a growing romance with Liam, and some magic of her own. I think the phrase "discovers a growing romance" is strange. At first I thought she meant she discovered he had a romance with someone else. I think you should using something more conventional like she realizes she's falling in love with Liam. Here, she’s stronger,better ... able to protect those around her and keep Death away. But, when she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy sent by Cepheus to retrieve her, she needs a miracle. What's the trap? Is it a phsyical trap? I only think that because he's a spider-boy so I envision a web or something...

In this world, she’s become an angel and she, along with Liam and the others, are the pieces that form the whole, a magical covenant who are strong enough to defeat Cepheus ... if Liam can rescue her in time.

But he has to. The survival of both their worlds depend on it. What does it have to with her world?

masonblack
Posts: 12
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by masonblack » December 9th, 2011, 7:31 am

Tried to add a bit of color and sharpen the main plot.

Dear Agent:

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to heels, Mozart over metal and one friend to being Miss Popular. She’s definitely not Society’s Bitch but being an outsider is about to take on a whole new meaning.

When pushed off an isolated overlook, Ally has no idea she’s falling into another world to deliver a key ... one that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war. She’s been brought here by Cepheus, a dark god, whose intent was to simply take it. But the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest of Gilgamesh.

She’s found by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. And, after seeing them shape-shift into their freaky, humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into two realizations - she’s in a place where the ancient gods are more than just a myth and this isn’t where she belongs. And, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. She also discovers she’s falling for Liam and that, in this world, she possesses some magic of her own. Here, she’s stronger, better ... able to protect those around her and keep Death away. But when she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy sent to retrieve her, Ally needs to trust the universe.

She, Liam and the others, are the pieces that form the whole, a magical covenant who, together, are strong enough to defeat Cepheus. Liam just needs to save her in time.

The survival of both worlds depends on it.

User avatar
wilderness
Posts: 541
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by wilderness » December 14th, 2011, 2:14 pm

masonblack wrote:Tried to add a bit of color and sharpen the main plot.

Dear Agent:

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to heels, Mozart over metal and one friend to being Miss Popular. Good voice but I'm confused why Mozart over metal if she likes combat boots? She’s definitely not Society’s Bitch but being an outsider is about to take on a whole new meaning. Not sure about the phrase Society's Bitch (why the caps). What does this imply?

When pushed off an isolated overlook, Ally has no idea she’s falling into another world to deliver a key ... one that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war. She’s been brought here by Cepheus, a dark god, whose intent was to simply take it. But the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest of Gilgamesh.

She’s found by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. And, after seeing them shape-shift into their freaky, humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into two realizations - she’s in a place where the ancient gods are more than just a myth and this isn’t where she belongs. And, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. She also discovers she’s falling for Liam and that, in this world, she possesses some magic of her own. Here, she’s stronger, better ... able to protect those around her and keep Death away. But when she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy sent to retrieve her, Ally needs to trust the universe. I think this is a lot clearer, and has good voice.

She, Liam and the others,(no comma here) are the pieces that form the whole, a magical covenant who, together, are strong enough to defeat Cepheus. Liam just needs to save her in time. Not sure about the last line; it is very passive for Ally...

The survival of both worlds depends on it.
I think this is definitely getting there, but I would rethink the first paragraph. It has good voice but I don't get a clear picture of what her personality is like. Also, that would be a good place to introduce a flaw she must overcome.

User avatar
theWallflower
Posts: 81
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Query: Double Star Revised

Post by theWallflower » December 15th, 2011, 2:34 pm

Seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth prefers combat boots to heels, Mozart over metal and one friend to being Miss Popular. She’s definitely not Society’s Bitch but being an outsider is about to take on a whole new meaning.
I'm a big proponent of the Oxford comma, so it should be "combat boots to heels, Mozart over metal, and one friend to being Miss Popular", especially for a list of phrases instead of single words.
When pushed off an isolated overlook, Ally has no idea she’s falling into another world to deliver a key ... one that could unleash a demon and ignite the next world war. She’s been brought here by Cepheus, a dark god, whose intent was to simply take it. But the winds have blown her out of his reach and into the forest of Gilgamesh.
I think this is the opening paragraph, not the first one. The first one is simply characterization. Put that characterization into what she does when she's met with the obstacles below. Plus her combat boots, mozart, and "one friend" never show up contextually in the below content.
"She’s been brought here by Cepheus" - this is passive voice, something you want to avoid desperately in a query letter.
She’s found by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. And, after seeing them shape-shift into their freaky, humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into two realizations - she’s in a place where the ancient gods are more than just a myth and this isn’t where she belongs. And, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. She also discovers she’s falling for Liam and that, in this world, she possesses some magic of her own. Here, she’s stronger, better ... able to protect those around her and keep Death away. But when she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider- boy sent to retrieve her, Ally needs to trust the universe.
"She’s found by Liam Cheveyo" - again, passive voice.
"this isn’t where she belongs" - I think that's obvious and unnecessary, by the whole being swooped up into another world.
"spider-boy" should be one world.
I have no idea what "trust the universe" means. Events should flow logically from one to the other. What do her and Liam do together that make them fall in love. What does the spider-boy have to do with anything -- does he work for Cepheus?
-"Smacks hard into two realizations" sounds like purple prose to me
She, Liam and the others, are the pieces that form the whole, a magical covenant who, together, are strong enough to defeat Cepheus. Liam just needs to save her in time.
Who declares this is a magical covenant? How are they stronger together? And who says they can defeat anyone?
The survival of both worlds depends on it.
Waterworld meets The Little Mermaid
Image
MERM-8: Now available from Musa Publishing

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests