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Post by KimErickson » October 9th, 2013, 4:13 pm

This is my first day on the forums, so I'd like to say hi:)

So here is my query for STRINGS OF FATe. Any ideas would be useful:D

Dear (Agent Name Here):

Lila Marbles is a Grecian Fate who just wants to bake cookies.

Unfortunately for snarky eighteen-year-old Lila, that doesn’t seem like it’s in her future. The Gods are breathing down her neck to make sure she has a vision of who the new hero is. She has no love life because she ticked off Aphrodite. Not to mention that her bakery is failing. When she has the vision of the hero, it reveals a sinister plot by a mystery God to cause the apocalypse.

At the epicenter of this vision are she and a sexy young man named Damon, the hero awoken by Zeus to help her stop the apocalypse. After tracking him down and convincing him to aid her on her quest, Lila starts to have feelings for the quirky boy. When she gets closer to Damon, he reveals that he has leukemia, and not very long to live.

When Damon dies, it’s up to Lila to brave the Underworld and rescue his soul before the vision can come true. If she doesn’t, then humanity is doomed.

STRINGS OF FATE is a YA Urban Fantasy completed at 79,000 words. I chose to query you based on (fill in said information here).

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kimberly Erickson

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Re: STRINGS OF FATE-Any advice?

Post by ddegreeff » October 25th, 2013, 2:00 pm

Hi Kim, welcome to the forums!
Looks like this query might be in its first couple of drafts, so good idea getting it posted up here -- a better group of helpers you'll never find!
The story sounds like a fun one, but the query could use a little clarification. Here are a couple points that will hopefully at least help you get started on a road to perfection:
-First, an annoying grammar note -- there's no need to capitalize god in 'mystery God'. If you're referring to a specific entity named God, such as in the Judeo/Christian way, then that's what you need, but in a story filled with a number of gods, it's a label, not a noun.
-Why do the gods need Lila to have the hero vision? What makes her unique?
-Is it weird for a fate to want to bake cookies? What do most fates do? Are there many fates, or is she the only one?
-So Damon is a mortal, then? Why would Zeus pick a mortal whose mortality is near-approaching?
-Why is Lila going on a quest, which I assume is to stop this mystery god? Did she choose to go on her own, or did the gods make her, and if so, couldn't they have chosen someone a bit more fitting that a fate who wants to bake all day?
-Does Lila take a break from her quest to save Damon from the Underworld? Wouldn't it make sense to save the world first, and then go chasing after him, maybe with the help of some gods who would be indebted to her?
-And finally, try to really nail down the voice, which is a huge part of selling YA. Granted it's necessary for any type of writing, but if you go to Query Shark or read some of Chuck Sambuchino's successful queries, you'll see that the YA ones that really work are just soaked through with the main character's voice, and that's what ends up setting them apart. You say right away that Lila is snarky, but that doesn't really come through. It ain't easy, but if you have a unique character that you love, it should be doable with a little work.

I hope some of that helps, and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here. Good luck!

Davy DeGreeff

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Re: STRINGS OF FATE-Any advice?

Post by Mark.W.Carson » November 5th, 2013, 1:28 pm

Long time away, but I thought I'd chime in here and be a helpful little badger.

Please, take anything I say in the best possible light :)

First and foremost, I think this might work against you.

It may not be what you want to hear, but don't tell me that she's snarky, give me an example.

Eighteen-year-old Lila Marbles is a Grecian fate who'd rather be knee deep in flour baking cookies than snapping to every time a god wants to know what's what. After ticking off Aphrodite, she can count her love life among the damned of Tartarus.

She's supposed to be hard at work figuring out who the next big Greek hero is going to be, but how can she keep her mind on that when her bakery is floundering? And, worse yet, when she finally DOES have the vision all the god's have been after it's full of plots about one of their own trying to undo the world...

Go catchy. Grab attention. Work out what the most important details are without bogging things down with too much. Make them want to read the book and try not to be a synopsis :).

I hope that helps.

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Re: STRINGS OF FATE-Any advice?

Post by KimErickson » November 17th, 2013, 9:20 pm

That was so helpful! Thank you both!!

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