NEWEST REVISION - Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

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klbritt
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NEWEST REVISION - Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by klbritt » August 18th, 2012, 11:59 pm

*********REVISED QUERY IN THIS POST - in black!!**********

Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met the gorgeous Dane Phillips who's annoying, mysterious, and...naked. Unfortunately, just after she finds him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss. As if meeting this strange boy isn't enough, he helps her to finally meet her recluse father, who, along with Dane, turns out to be human reincarnations of the mythological bird called Phoenix. Ivy learns she is a hybrid, a genetic anomaly that shouldn’t exist.

Nathaniel Williams, a power hungry Phoenix, kidnaps Ivy for an experiment hoping use his results to eradicate the human race. Nathaniel soon discovers Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his people. Using his mind numbing power and her immunity, Nathaniel plans to use Ivy to control the Phoenix. She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to save herself from a life of enslavement to the one man who has the power to break down all her defenses.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is a young adult suburban fantasy novel complete at 81,000 words. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your consideration,


===========
ORIGINAL QUERY
QUERY: The Phoenix: A Gathering

Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met Dane no last name, the boy of her dreams. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it, he was naked when she found him and now he’s commandeered her trusty blue Chevy truck and is holding it hostage for a kiss.

As if meeting this strange boy wasn’t enough, she’s still grieving the loss of her mother and finally meets the father she’s never known who turns out to be part of an ancient race of regenerating humans knows as the Phoenix. Ivy learns that technically speaking, she should not exist because humans and Phoenix are incompatible.

After a failed attempt to change Ivy into a Phoenix, she becomes the target of an extremist member of the Phoenix who has plans to alter the human race. Ivy must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to help save her from a life of genetic experimentation and ultimately, destruction.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is an 85,000-word Young Adult Paranormal novel set in Northern Idaho, a place that is dear to my heart. This is a stand-alone piece, with the possibility of a follow up novel.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kristie
Last edited by klbritt on October 8th, 2012, 11:43 pm, edited 6 times in total.
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Rough (and I mean rough) draft of query

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 19th, 2012, 2:04 am

You know the [drill]

"Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met Dane no last name, the boy of her dreams. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it [I like what you are trying to do here, but it reads awkwardly - no clue how to fix it], he was naked when she found him and now he’s commandeered her trusty blue Chevy truck and is holding it hostage for a kiss [OK, I'm normally a cynical bastard but I thought this one was cute].

As if meeting this strange boy wasn’t enough, she’s still grieving the loss of her mother and finally meets the father she’s never known who turns out to be part of an ancient race of regenerating humans knows as the Phoenix [bit of a horse-choker here, might want to break it up into 2 sentences]. Ivy learns that technically speaking, she should not exist - because humans and Phoenix are incompatible.

After a failed attempt to change Ivy into a Phoenix [by her dad? not clear], she becomes the target of an extremist member of the Phoenix who has plans to alter the human race. Ivy must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to help save her from a life of genetic experimentation and ultimately, destruction.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is an 85,000-word Young Adult Paranormal novel set in Northern Idaho, a place that is dear to my heart. This is a stand-alone piece, with the possibility of a follow up novel."

Overall I like it. Between this and the excerpt you posted I think you've got a nice project going. I'd suggest finding a way to avoid using the word "Phoenix" so many times (4x in last two paragraphs), as it sounds kinda clunky. Also, from just the query, I'm uncertain of Ivy's status: she's a half-phoenix, then there's an unsuccessful attempt to make her into a full phoenix, then she must embrace that part of herself? If you'll pardon the pun, her transformational arc is a little unclear.

One last question - what do you mean by 'alter the human race?' While the stakes are high for Ivy (as in - not wanting to be vivisected), I can't tell what the extremist faction is actually going to do. Since they are the antagonists I'm assuming whatever they are up to is bad, but you don't imply anything in particular.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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klbritt
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Re: Rough (and I mean rough) draft of query

Post by klbritt » August 19th, 2012, 3:03 am

Thanks LurkingVirologist! I'm struggling with that last paragraph too - Ugg - edits are NOT easy
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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Re: **REVISED** Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by klbritt » August 28th, 2012, 3:20 pm

First draft of novel is done!! ((does happy dance)) So here is my revised query!

Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met the gorgeous Dane Phillips who's annoying, mysterious, and naked. Unfortunately, just after she's found him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss.

As if meeting this strange boy wasn't enough, he helps her to finally meets the recluse father she’s never known, who, along with Dane, turns out to be part of an ancient race of regenerating humans. Ivy learns that she is a genetic anomaly being a hybrid and should not exist - humans and Phoenix are incompatible.

William Sherman, an extremist member of the Phoenix kidnaps Ivy in an experimental attempt to eradicate the human race. William soon discovers that Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his race. She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to help save her from a life of experimentation and ultimately, the destruction of the human race.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is a Young Adult Paranormal novel complete at 82,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kristie
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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Re: **REVISED** Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by LurkingVirologist » September 2nd, 2012, 3:52 pm

Pretty good. One quibble - you use some variation of the phrase "human race" or the word "race" at least four times in the last two paragraphs. I think you can change the phrasing slightly to eliminate the repetition without too much trouble.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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klbritt
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Re: **REVISED** Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by klbritt » September 2nd, 2012, 8:38 pm

@LurkingVirologist - it's so funny what you as the writer don't see! Thanks for bringing that to my attention -- apparently I like repetition. Let's try again ;)

Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met the gorgeous Dane Phillips who's annoying, mysterious, and...naked. Unfortunately, just after she finds him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss.

As if meeting this strange boy isn't enough, he helps her to finally meet the recluse father she’s never known, who, along with Dane, turns out to be part of an ancient society of regenerating humans. Ivy learns that she is a genetic anomaly being a hybrid and should not exist - humans and Phoenix are incompatible.

William Sherman, an extremist member of the Phoenix kidnaps Ivy in an experimental attempt to eradicate the human race. William soon discovers that Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his people. She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to help save her from a life of enslavement to the one man that has the power to break down all her defenses.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is a Young Adult Paranormal novel complete at 82,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration,

======

On a side note, are there any "rules" on using italics and the old ... ?

Thank you for your consideration,
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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Re: **REVISED** Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by LurkingVirologist » September 8th, 2012, 3:36 am

One slight re-wording I'd suggest for the middle big. Also, the phrasing "in/for an experimental attempt to eradicate the human race," sounds slightly weird to me, like the attempt is experimental. Can you clarify that the experiment is part of the attempt? Admittedly a bit nit-picky, but everything else seems to be working, so that's all I got ;) .

"Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met the gorgeous Dane Phillips who's annoying, mysterious, and...naked. Unfortunately, just after she finds him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss.

As if meeting this strange boy isn't enough, he helps her to finally meet the recluse father she’s never known, who, along with Dane, turns out to be part of an ancient society of regenerating humans. Ivy learns that she is a genetic anomaly being a hybrid and should not exist - humans and Phoenix are incompatible.

[she is a hybrid, a genetic anomaly that shouldn't exist - humans and Phoenix are incompatible.]

William Sherman, an extremist member of the Phoenix kidnaps Ivy in [for] an experimental attempt to eradicate the human race. William soon discovers that Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his people. She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to help save [herself] from a life of enslavement to the one man that has the power to break down all her defenses."
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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klbritt
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Re: NEWEST REVISION - Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by klbritt » October 8th, 2012, 11:45 pm

Newest revision in the first post - hopefully I'm just about finished!!!
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

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Re: NEWEST REVISION - Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by Tom Mullin » October 9th, 2012, 6:06 pm

Kristie:

Here’s my two cents’ worth of revisions to your query. It’s mostly ‘grammar police’.


Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met meets the gorgeous Dane Phillips who’s annoying, mysterious, and...naked. Unfortunately, just (I have to edit out ‘just’ in my own stuff often. There’s no need to be vague. And that’s two ‘justs’ in two sentences.) after she finds him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss. As if meeting this strange boy isn’t enough, he helps her to finally meet (that’s three ‘meets’ in two sentences - change it up) her recluse father, who, along with Dane, turns out to be human reincarnations of the mythological bird called Phoenix. (What happens with her recluse father after this? Nothing? Why mention it then? Does he give her background on being a hybrid or something important like that?) Ivy learns she is a hybrid, a genetic anomaly that shouldn’t exist.

Nathaniel Williams, a power hungry Phoenix, kidnaps Ivy for an experiment hoping use his results to eradicate the human race. Nathaniel soon discovers Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his people. Using his mind numbing (add hyphen to ‘mind-numbing’) power and her immunity, Nathaniel plans to use (two times for 'use' as a verb in the same sentence) Ivy to control the Phoenix. (I’m confused on how Nathaniel can be a Phoenix but must use Ivy to control the Phoenix.) She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to save herself from a life of enslavement to the one man who has the power to break down all her defenses.

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is a young adult suburban fantasy novel complete at 81,000 words. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your consideration,

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Re: NEWEST REVISION - Query - The Phoenix: A Gathering

Post by Shipple » October 9th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Ok, so the following are actually comments just to think about because I really like this query. You did a great job re-working this.
klbritt wrote:*********REVISED QUERY IN THIS POST - in black!!**********

Dear Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Watson has just met the gorgeous Dane Phillips who's annoying, mysterious, and...naked. This is really fun!Unfortunately, just after she finds him, he commandeers her trusty blue Chevy and holds it hostage for a kiss. Ok, so this is fun also, but I'm wondering whether this piece of fun is really necessary now that you have the introductory sentence written so well. Also, I'm left wondering why he was naked and how she reacted to that.As if meeting this strange boy isn't enough, This phrase is a little blah.he helps her to finally meet her recluse father, who, along with Dane, turns out to be human reincarnations of the mythological bird called Phoenix. Ivy learns she is a hybrid, a genetic anomaly that shouldn’t exist.

Nathaniel Williams, a power hungry Phoenix, kidnaps Ivy for an experiment hoping use his results to eradicate the human race. I do feel like you're burying the lead a bit here. He wants to eradicate the human race!Nathaniel soon discovers Ivy is immune to the effects of his experiment and that she could actually be the destruction of his people. Using his mind numbing power and her immunity, Nathaniel plans to use Ivy to control the Phoenix. She must learn to embrace the part of her that is Phoenix in order to save herself from a life of enslavement to the one man who has the power to break down all her defenses. Just through his experimentation?

THE PHOENIX: A GATHERING is a young adult suburban fantasy novel complete at 81,000 words. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your consideration,
Ok, so I really enjoyed this (I was looking at this as critically as possible and just throwing out possibilities). Despite all of the places I was critical, you definitely succeeded in making me curious about your story and interested in reading more. Certainly the places that I commented upon aren't wrong. They're more something to think about as you polish your query (for, no doubt, the millionth time).
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
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