The Mask of Neoesis (newest query on post one.) ???

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Juls Duncan
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The Mask of Neoesis (newest query on post one.) ???

Post by Juls Duncan » December 13th, 2010, 6:15 pm

Not sure how I did this, but this is the newest version of my query… Thanks for all the help you have given me…Juls


(Agents name)
Address

Date

Dear, Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs (Name of agent):


Shy eleven-year-old Morgan Koda’s world is drastically altered when her Christmas letter ends up in the hands of the people who are searching for her.

Morgan has known only a miserable indentured servant kind of life with her horrible foster family,

But that all changes when she delivers her Christmas letter to the local mall’s Santa Claus, Morgan never dreamed this peculiar man would be her ticket to Edenwiess magic school. In this enchanted place, she makes friends with humans, talking animals, elves, and where she walks through rainbows, and experiences magic around every turn.

Yet, she also finds that things are not as they seem. In the shadows prowls an eccentric classmate who wants her dead, and a horrifying sorcerer who wants her alive.

A very powerful evil sorcerer The Dark Emir is hunting for the one with the power wield the Mask of Noesis, an ancient and powerful relic that could be used to siphon any person’s magic. When The Dark Emir learns that Morgan is the only witch in over two hundred years with the power to control the mask, he will stop at nothing to capture her and use her to dominate this mysterious world.

In order for her to save her friends and the world she has come to love, Morgan must travel through time, unearth the mask, and survive encounters with an eccentric classmate, creatures that are part lion/boar, and stay one step ahead of the Dark Emir.

I would like to submit my middle grade fantasy novel, THE MASK OF NOESIS, for your review. The completed manuscript is 68,000 words. I have included a query, (synopsis, and sample chapters,) as per your guidelines.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely:
Last edited by Juls Duncan on December 28th, 2010, 10:32 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Netti » December 13th, 2010, 7:42 pm

Juls Duncan wrote:Hi, I am just starting out, and have finished my first novel. If anyone is willing to read my query, and let me know how it sounds. I would be grateful. Thanks for taking the time from your own writing. Juls

Agent
Address
QueryShark advises against this (actually she rants about it). You should include your info but only at the bottom of the letter.

Date
Dear Agent,
A simple English class assignment turns thirteen-year-old Morgan Koda world upside down when the Christmas letter ends up in the hands of Aidan Dae, the Dean of Edenwiess School of Magic.

In the Mask of Noesis: Orphan Morgan Koda has never had a friend in her short life, written a letter to Santa Claus, nor has she ever walked through a rainbow, or gone to a school of magic. All Morgan Koda has known in her thirteen years is a miserable life with her horrible foster mother, Maybelle Owens, and her appalling twin grandsons, Steven and Mathew.

However, all that is about to change when Morgan’s substitute English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter. When she slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall, Morgan’s world is turned upside down when she discovers that she belongs to a world of magic. (You just jumped from sending a letter to being in a magic school. You need a transition about how that happens.) There she will find friends, walk through rainbows, and find magic around every corner. Where she will also find a great future that has been awaiting her, However, she also finds that she is the only witch with the power to wield the Mask of Noesis, and that makes her a target for the Dark Emir. Morgan must face her destiny and locate the Mask of Noesis before the evil sorcerer The Dark Emir. In order for her to fulfill her destiny, she must survive the encounter with a wizard that will stop at nothing to control their magical world. (What's the Maks of Noesis? You should include a short description and by short I mean a sentence or just a couple words tacked on to a sentence.)
I have a B.S in Anthropology, and I live in Montana on a cattle ranch with my family. QueryShark (and other agents) say not to include this kind of personal info unless it directly relates to your genre.( For example, if you're a cop and wrote a crime novel.)

I would like to submit my young adult, fantasy novel,THE MASK OF NOESIS for your review. The completed manuscript is 66,900 words. The Mask of Noesis takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic (I'm not sure if you should include this sentence). I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank youfor taking the time to review my query The Mask of Noesis, I look forward to hearing from you. Please note that The Mask of Noesis is a multiple submission.

Sincerely:

Juls Duncan
Sounds interesting but I think your query needs more focus. If you haven't visited QueryShark you should.
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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by lyndoncr » December 14th, 2010, 2:16 am

This reads EXACTLY like Harry Potter.

Netti made most of the cuts I would have, it's very repetitive between the first two paragraphs and had a grammatical error in the first line.
I think it's worth starting this one fresh. What's actually special about Morgan? Why is she "chosen"? What choice does she have? Is the Dark wizard just pure evil? What is the mask? Why wouldn't I just read Harry Potter which from the outline does this very story perfectly?

I'm guessing the line at the end was added because you know it will read as if it's very Harry Potter-esque. Trouble is, you're telling there and not showing.

I don't see any problem with setting something in a wizard school, but having the same setup and the chosen one and the dark wizard after our protag seems too much.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Juls Duncan » December 14th, 2010, 9:54 am

reworked query post #4

I reworked some of the query. Let me know what you think.

Date
Dear Agent,

All Morgan Koda has known in her thirteen years is a miserable life with her horrible foster mother, Maybelle Owens, and her appalling twin grandsons, Steven and Mathew.

But all that’s about to change when Morgan’s substitute English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter; after Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall. Her world is suddenly turned upside down when he reveals that he’s actually the dean of a magic school, and that she belongs to a world of magic. In this magical world, she will find friends, walk through rainbows, and find magic around every corner.

However, she also discovers that she is the only one in over two hundred years to have the power to wield the Mask of Noesis, and it makes her a target for the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to control their magical world. Morgan must face her destiny and locate the ancient artefact before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter.

THE MASK OF NOESIS is 66,900 words. The Mask of Noesis takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank you. Please note that The Mask of Noesis is a multiple submission.

Sincerely:

Juls

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Nicole R » December 14th, 2010, 1:50 pm

Juls, first of all, congrats on reaching this stage in your writing!

Like some of the earlier comments, I'm concerned about the similarity with Harry Potter. Perhaps your hook is that Santa Claus is actually a dean of a magic school. That's kind of a fun idea and - assuming it plays a key role in the rest of your book - might help differentiate your world.

I'm also a little worried about your MC's age vs. the tone conveyed in your query. Morgan is supposed to be 13, but many of her adventures read like a middle grade novel - meeting Santa, walking through rainbows, etc. Although I can understand her enchantment with those things based on your description of her upbringing, I'm not sure your targeted readers would find much interest in them.

Another option for your query is to focus on the danger elements. What specific challenges does she face, what decisions must she make and what's at stake if she doesn't act? Phrases like "face her destiny" and "survive the encounter" are pretty vague, and I bet your story has some great elements you could use instead.

Good luck!

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Joel Q » December 14th, 2010, 5:33 pm

I think the story is working, but this needs to be cleaned up.
I'm not going to mark a lot now, just these two points.
There are a lot of cliches in here.
I think an agent will read this and think the manuscript will be full of cliches. Time to get creative and rewrite.
And several echo words in the first paragraph.

JQ
Juls Duncan wrote: All Morgan Koda has known in her thirteen years is a miserable life with her horrible foster mother, Maybelle Owens, and her appalling twin grandsons, Steven and Mathew.

But all that’s about to change when Morgan’s substitute English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter; after Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall. Her world is suddenly turned upside down when he reveals that he’s actually the dean of a magic school, and that she belongs to a world of magic. In this magical world, she will find friends, walk through rainbows, and find magic around every corner.

However, she also discovers that she is the only one in over two hundred years to have the power to wield the Mask of Noesis, and it makes her a target for the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to control their magical world. Morgan must face her destiny and locate the ancient artefact before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter.

THE MASK OF NOESIS is 66,900 words. The Mask of Noesis takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank you. Please note that The Mask of Noesis is a multiple submission.

Sincerely:

Juls

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by lyndoncr » December 14th, 2010, 8:50 pm

Juls Duncan wrote:reworked query post #4

Date
Dear Agent,

All Morgan Koda has known in her thirteen years is a miserable life with her horrible foster mother,Maybelle Owens, and her appalling twin grandsons, Steven and Mathew.

ButAll that’s about to change when Morgan’s substitute(is this important?) English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter;after Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall. (These two sentences don't go together, the second should be with this next one so get rid of the ;) Her world is suddenlyturned upside down when he (who? is this why substitute is important and it's the teacher who's magic? or is it Santa, it's not clear.) reveals that he’s actually the dean of a magic school, and that she belongs to a world of magic there. In this magical new world, she will find friends, walk through rainbows, and find magic around every corner. (Joel is right about too many uses of magic)

However, She also discovers that she is the only one in over two hundred years to have the power to wield the Mask of Noesis, and it makes her a target for the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to control their magical world (is it really their magical world? Morgan only just got there). Morgan must face her destiny and locate the ancient artefact before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter. (Cliche and doesn't show us anything, we get no real sense of threat or what needs to be done.)

THE MASK OF NOESIS is 66,900 words. The Mask of Noesis It takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic (This reads like I said above, that you know exactly what it looks like and are telling us it's different without showing.). I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank you. Please note that The Mask of Noesis is a multiple submission.

Sincerely:

Juls
EDIT: Ok, just realised that first line could read like Morgan has two grandsons ... should be reworded.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Juls Duncan » December 16th, 2010, 8:57 am

Query reworked Post #7

I left this alone for two day, saddled my horse, and chased some heifers around a couple of pastures. Really, we were gathering for preg. Checking.

I can back to the query this morning, and this is what I came up with… By the way, I received three hits for partials on the four queries I sent out, haven’t heard on the fourth yet… Any way, back to the query,


Date
Dear Agent,

A simple English class assignment turns thirteen-year-old MORGAN KODA world upside down, when the letter ends up in the hands of the people who have been hunting for her.

After the death of her parents Morgan Koda was placed in Montana, far away, from where she was born. All she has known in her thirteen years is a miserable life with her horrible foster family.

However, that’s all about to change when Morgan’s English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter; after Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to the only one she could think of. At the local mall, her world is turned upside down when Santa Claus reveals that he’s actually the Dean of Edenwiess of a magic school, and that she belongs to his miraculous world. In this enchanted place, she will achieve friends with humans and talking animals, walk through rainbows, and travel through time. Yet, she also finds that things are not as serene as they seem.

For over two hundred years an ancient artefact has been sought after by both the good and the dark sides of magic. Morgan discovers that she’s the one who can have to save her world, since she’s the only individual with the power to wield this relic, THE MASK OF NOESIS, and that causes her to become a target of the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to reign over her world. Morgan’s must confront her destiny, and unearth the mask before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter.

THE MASK OF NOESIS is 67,900 words. The Mask of Noesis takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank you.

Sincerely:

Juls Duncan

I want to thank you all again for your help... Juls

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Guardian » December 16th, 2010, 12:43 pm

The Mask of Noesis takes place in a magical world similar to the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that my characters also attend a school of magic.
Take this line out. Never compare your novel to other novels as your novel must stand on it's own.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by lyndoncr » December 16th, 2010, 9:31 pm

Far too many commas and a number of grammar issues. I think this new version is actually a little worse. Read it out loud a bunch of times and you'll find the mistakes.

I'm not trying to be harsh, it just seems like you didn't spend a whole lot of time with this version. The simple mistakes wont give a great impression of your full's potential.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Lil Tailor » December 17th, 2010, 10:30 am

I like the first one better. I didn't feel like she was comparing to Harry Potter, merely saying it will be a similar world, which seems okay to me.

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Juls Duncan » December 17th, 2010, 4:23 pm

Query revised post # 12

Thank you for the advice. I see what you mean, went back over it... This is what I came up with... Please let me know what you think... I changed the genre to middle grade, instead of young adult... Juls

Date
Dear Agent,

A simple class assignment turns eleven-year-old MORGAN KODA world upside down when her letter falls into in the hands of the people who were pursuing her.

After the death of her parents Morgan was placed in a foster home in Montana, far away from where she was born. All she has known in her ten years is a miserable life with her horrible foster family.

However, that’s all about to change when Morgan’s English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter. Once Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall, her world is altered after he reveals that he’s actually the Dean of Edenwiess of a magic school. And that she belongs to his miraculous world. In this enchanted place, she makes friends with humans, talking animals, and elves. Yet, she also finds that things are not as serene as they seem.

For over two hundred years an ancient artefact has been sought after by both the good and the dark sides of magic. Morgan discovers that she’s the only individual with the power to wield this relic, THE MASK OF NOESIS, and that causes her to become a target of the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to reign over this mysterious world. Morgan must confront her destiny, travel through time, and unearth the mask before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter.

The Mask of Noesis is a middle grade, fantasy, at 68,000 words. Morgan’s story takes place in a magical world similar to that of the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that she and her friends also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

Thank you.

Sincerely:

Juls Duncan

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Nicole R » December 17th, 2010, 5:52 pm

Juls Duncan wrote:Dear Agent,

A simple class assignment turns eleven-year-old MORGAN KODA's world upside down when her letter falls into in the hands of the people who were pursuing her. When you say "people who were pursuing her," do you mean the Dean or the Dark Emir? The way it reads here sounds ominous, but the letter actually leads her to the "miraculous world," so I don't think Morgan would view that as a bad thing.

After the death of her parents Morgan was placed in a foster home in Montana, far away from where she was born. All she has known in her ten years is a miserable life with her horrible foster family.

I think you can tighten this idea to give it more punch. Something along the lines of: Since her parents' death, Morgan has spent ten miserable years stuck in a far-away home with a horrible foster family.

Also, a few little inconsistencies and questions you'll want to clear up. In the first paragraph, you say Morgan's 11 - here, you say she's 10. I'm guessing you actually mean that she was 1 when her parents died and that all she's known in the last 10 years is the foster family. But if Morgan was only 1 when she was placed in foster care, why would it matter that this home is far from where she was born - she probably wouldn't have any memories of it anyway.


However, that’s all about to change when Morgan’s English teacher instructs them to write a Christmas letter. Once Morgan slips away from home to deliver her letter to Santa Claus at the local mall, her world is altered after he reveals that he’s actually the Dean of Edenwiess of a magic school. And that she belongs to his miraculous world. In this enchanted place, she makes friends with humans, talking animals, and elves. Yet, she also finds that things are not as serene as they seem.


The last line is too vague to pull me in. You might want to tighten your opening to something like: When 11-year-old Morgan Koda delivers a class assignment to the local Santa Claus, she never dreams it will be her ticket to Edenweiss magic school.

Then you can go into details about: New friends, talking animals and elves are a far cry from the horrible foster home she's known since her parents died 10 years ago.


For over two hundred years an ancient artefact has been sought after by both the good and the dark sides of magic. Morgan discovers that she’s the only individual with the power to wield this relic, THE MASK OF NOESIS, and that causes her to become a target of the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to reign over this mysterious world. Morgan must confront her destiny, travel through time, and unearth the mask before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive the encounter.

Again, we need more specifics to make it interesting. "To defeat the Dark Emir who's pursuing her because she's the only one who can wield the ancient and powerful Mask of Noesis, Morgan must X, Y and Z."

That's too simplified, but hopefully it gives you a starting point. Also, I think we need to know more about the Mask - what exactly does it do, how will it help Morgan and why does the Dark Emir want it so bad.

Add details about the stakes. "If Morgan can't stop the Dark Emir, it means X, Y and Z."


The Mask of Noesis is a middle grade, fantasy, at 68,000 words. Morgan’s story takes place in a magical world similar to that of the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that she and her friends also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.
You are getting closer. Be patient and keep at it!

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Juls Duncan » December 19th, 2010, 11:56 am

Thank you for the advice... I will work on another revising and post it within a day or so... You have been a great help... Juls

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Re: Query; The Mask of Noesis, young adult fantasy

Post by Juls Duncan » December 19th, 2010, 1:20 pm

Revised Query # 4

Thanks for all your help. I think I have everything in the query that I need, but having a hard time getting it to read smooth. Let me know what you think of this…


Because of a simple class assignment MORGAN KODA travels through time to uncover a hidden relic. She must face a monstrous evil if she is to save her world.

Since her parents' death, Morgan has spent ten miserable years stuck in a far-away home with a horrible foster family.

When 11-year-old Morgan Koda delivers a class assignment to the local Santa Claus, she never dreams it will be her ticket to Edenwiess magic school. In this enchanted place, she makes friends with humans, talking animals, and elves. Yet, she also finds that things are not as serene as they seem.

Morgan discovers that she is the only one who can wield Mask of Noesis, an ancient and powerful object that can be used to siphon any person’s magic. The mask is also sought after by the Dark Emir, an evil sorcerer who will stop at nothing to capture Morgan, and use her to dominate this mysterious world. Morgan must travel through time, and unearth the mask, before the Dark Emir. But, In order for her to fulfil her destiny, she must survive to either use the mask, to siphon the Dark Emir’s magic, or destroy a priceless artefact.

The Mask of Noesis is a middle grade, fantasy, at 68,000 words. Morgan’s story takes place in a magical world similar to that of the Harry Potter Series, the Worst Witch, and Halloweentown, only in the fact that she and her friends also attend a school of magic. I have included a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.

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