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  1. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Ameir:Apotheosis. Book 1

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Vernalire, Feb 17, 2017.

    So I think I've gotten to a solid layout, minimizing on the unnecessary. Let me know what you think and please be harsh!

    This is a 2 part first novel unfortunately, but I like where it's headed. Be brutally honest here!!

    I have a different one I'm working on as a few friends told me to split the query and a few Saud keep 1 query for submitting the story, then mention the 2 part after and that each half has a story arc.


    Let me know what you think!.

    Twelve-year-old Ameir Brian Henson finally encounters his big brother Aidan, after he vanished three long years ago, but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasized about.

    Instead, Ameir discovers Aidan is working for an infamous warlord who has abducted there mother and is now after Ameir. The warlord knows that Ameir possess an arcane power that can rival his own and stop his grand scheme of destroying the core planet's of the solar system.

    The warlord intends to use Ameir's mother and his brother, as leverage, to force him to surrender. Now with the entire solar system at stake; Ameir must make a dreadful choice: save his family or save billions of strangers.

    Ameir: Apothesis part 1, is a mid grade science fantasy story about Ameir, a creative boy with an incredible arcane power, who must make the dreadful choice between salvaging his beloved family or saving billions of strangers. Complete at a shade above 66,000 words, I believe Ameir will appeal to fans of both Marvel comics and star trek. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    I'm the worst query writer in the universe, but you might want to capitalize "star trek" and use the correct spelling of "their" in the line "who has abducted there mother." There's also a misused semi-colon in "Now with the entire solar system at stake; Ameir must make a dreadful choice: save his family or save billions of strangers." That should be a comma.
     
  3. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Thank you. I absolutely passed on the there. I decided to write on my phone and it automatically corrected!


    I really appreciate it!
    Revised

    Twelve-year-old Ameir Brian Henson finally encounters his big brother Aidan, after he vanished three long years ago, but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasized about.

    Instead, Ameir discovers Aidan is working for an infamous warlord who has abducted their mother and is now after Ameir. The warlord knows that Ameir possess an arcane power that can rival his own and stop his grand scheme of destroying the core planet's of the solar system.

    The warlord intends to use Ameir's mother and his brother, as leverage, to force him to surrender. Now with the entire solar system at stake, Ameir must make a dreadful choice: save his family or save billions of strangers.

    Ameir: Apothesis part 1, is a mid grade science fantasy story about Ameir, a creative boy with an incredible arcane power, who must make the dreadful choice between salvaging his beloved family or saving billions of strangers. Complete at a shade above 66,000 words, I believe Ameir will appeal to fans of both Marvel comics and Star Trek. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
     
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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  5. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    You tore it apart perfectly!
    Wow I need to work on my grammar and punctuation... Funny enough I'm in school aka college but after seeing this I believe my English classes were useless. Thank you and I will delete that last part with Marvel and star trek!

    I put salvage because his brother is with the warlord and his mother isn't. I was going for the second definition

    retrieve or preserve (something) from potential loss or adverse circumstances.

    Since his brother is at ends with his mother so he is trying to salvage the situation as he also has innocent lives on the line... Kind of a no winner situation with a huge twist.

    I couldn't find a better word as his family is Dysfunctional and you really learn how shady and dysfunctional inside the novel. Would you have a better word? I did a lot of searching and hunting to find how to portrait it.

    Again I sincerely appreciate the feedback and excuse my illiterateness (I know not a real word!)

    Vr Paul Pete
     
  6. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Oh and I spelled it differently for a reason! It's one of those novels that's a mind twist and a way different kind of story. I also put the middle name because I just see every other author write out the full name so I thought why not? But I can stick with Ameir Henson.
     
  7. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Without being horrible here, I do hope your novel isn't ridden with SPAG errors like this query. If it is, you've got a LOT of work to do before any agent will consider it.

    My advice? Ditch the spell-checker. (Maybe you can't remove it on a debatably 'smart' phone, but you can on a wordprocessor.) I mean TURN IT OFF. Don't turn it back on. Learn to find spelling errors yourself. The main reason for this advice is that errors like 'there' instead of 'their' and 'star trek' instead of 'Star Trek,' or 'planet's' when you mean the plural 'planets' will not get caught—because the misused or non-capped words ARE actually words, and the spell checker will miss them. The spell checker doesn't consider the errors in context.

    Do. Not. Depend. On. A. Spell. Checker.

    If you are a serious writer looking to get published, you really need to pull your socks up when it comes to getting rid of SPAG errors. Words, sentences and paragraphs are your tools. You need to learn to use them well, without leaning on crutches.

    If this only applies to what happened on your phone, fair enough. But you should have noticed these mistakes before putting it up for critique. This is what makes me wonder how prepared you are for the submission process. Your plot, characters and story arc are probably fine, but if the MS is error-ridden like this query, nobody is going to give it a chance.
     
    Catrin Lewis and 123456789 like this.
  8. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This may very well be just me, but I'm not really sure I find the central conflict very compelling. Save his brother and mother or save billions of lives? Seems kind of obvious to me.
     
  9. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    I'm having the chapters reread through by my friend who does grammatical I wrote those in Microsoft Word and ran through a bunch of times. Those, for the most part are solid!

    And it's not the entire story. I honestly don't know how to write a query for the story? It's one of those ones when you get to the end, you reread it and you have those wow moments.

    I promise it doesn't end how you think it ends. I've tested a few people having them read the query and asked what they think happens. I didn't tell them but they were in "left field"

    And I've heard different. I've gotten positive feedback on the conflict on agentqueryconnect.com where they liked the conflict. Especially since it's MG, they depend on parents and siblings if they have them, so if they have to choose between parents and strangers it makes for a good conflict and a weird turn out.

    Any suggestions from that?
     
  10. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    I forgot to ask when you say obvious, what do you mean? Care to elaborate? Like cliche?

    And compelling as well? Just a slight elaboration on what is it that may lack that?
     
  11. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My criticism isn't about your story, it's about your highlighted conflict.

    As an adult, it would be hard for me to connect with a character who would even consider sacrificing billions of lives just to save his own family. That character would have to be immature, even selfish for that to work, in which case the real central conflict is, can the world rely on a selfish hero to do the right thing and save them?

    Maybe this situation is less black and white for children.
     
  12. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Lol I like that thought!
    I should reword it to that.

    I made the decision like that, because there are repercussions, especially in this. For kids, how are they going to give up there mom or brother to save strangers? I mean an adult will understand that sacrifice, but a kid on the other hand? He's 12 so the decision becomes rough.
    He's with his uncle in this and his uncle tricks him into pursuing the warlord rather than pursuing Aidan and his mother, which he wants to.

    The end of the first part solves the problem most immediate, which is Aidan, and the second part "solves" the mother issue and the warlord issue.

    I'm sorry for talking your eyes off here! It's hard for me to write this as it doesn't mention his uncle, or any other (to me) interesting details.

    Thank you for pointing that out?

    What would you find compelling? Like maybe choice between brother and mother? Or uncle and brother?
     
  13. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That you keep emphasising "save his family or billions of strangers", esp the use of the word "billion", makes the choice almost comical. I'm sure that wasn't your intended effect. Rephrase your conflict in a manner that makes it sound suspenseful and difficult.

    I'm lacking any idea of whether this is a social drama, fantasy, or some kind of sci-fi. There's no context or background and I don't see what's at stake. Ok he has to save his family and the world is about to be destroyed - that doesn't make your book stand out because that's pretty much the stakes in most novels. What makes your story unique?

    My honest opinion is: you are not ready. I don't mean the query. If your SPAG is as bad as it is in your query, I dread to think of reading 66,000 words at this level of grammatical quality. Your particular choice of words re the billions of strangers also gives me the impression that your language lack nuance. This is a very quick first impression - I could be totally wrong and you could be the next George Lucas - but a query is all I, and all the agents you submit to, has to go on, so...
     
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  14. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    That's the criticism I need!! Now being sarcastic as if everyone is nice, no progress is made.

    The first time I wrote this I had background, and I was corrected to leave out unnecessary detail from the plot. What makes the story unique is the outcome, but I can reveal it because that's a query no-no. Also what makes it unique is the unpredictable events of the story.
    I'm honestly dissatisfied with this query as it does leave a lot out!!

    How woukd you recommend going with more background? Any elaboration? Just so I can make a different copy of the query.

    How would you reword billions? I had innocent lives before (this is MG so I'm making it where a 8 year old can understand so yes some cliché) but I was corrected because 2 people count as "innocent lives" 2 dogs (not in this universe) count as innocent lives. Group of fleas =innocent lives.
    I'm genuinely curious how woukd I reword this?

    How does the aforementioned choosing between brother and mother sound? That's a hard choice for anyone... Seeing they have a sibling?

    And grammar is being checked by eyes other than my grammatically blind ones
     
  15. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    And I've looked for a story like this, and there aren't too many that relate this closely. Maybe star wars -without the light sabers and with the age, it gets a bit darker.
     
  16. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Re innocent lives - there's no need to be as pedantic as those people who gave you critiques on the wording. You need to trust the reader in this sense - trust that the average person will interpret your words the way you intend them to, and few people would think of 2 dogs or a swarm of fleas in the context of "It's the apocalypse and thousands of innocent lives are at stake." Yes, it could mean the dogs and fleas, but exactly who's gonna think that? They would be in the minority. You need to figure out how the general audience will react, and you need to know how certain words are generally taken, what sort of emotional or cultural impact/nuances those words have.

    "billions" is such a large number that is rarely used in daily language, unless you're talking a nation's economics or something, that the use of this word makes it sound exaggerated. You know, like in cartoons when you see a single apple fall on someone's head, and then an entire flood of apples pour down too. "strangers" lack any emotional resonance - the very word implies distance, a lack of personal connection, and thus make these people uninteresting. You want your agent to care about these lives that are at stake - and you ain't gonna do that by telling her, and repeating, no less, that these are just strangers.

    Compare:

    1. and he's given a choice: save his family, and watch the world burn in a nuclear fire, or stop the missile and lose everyone he's ever held dear.

    2. and he's given a choice: save his family, and let complete strangers die, or save these strangers and lose his family.

    Being specific is good - one reason why the first example is better is that you can see the consequence a lot better than in the second example. The stakes are higher - it's not just death, but a torturous death. It's not strangers you don't care about, but everyone and everything that will burn. It's also more specific in terms of just what must be done in the first example, giving a clearer picture.

    As for how to incorporate specifics - I'm afraid I'm not a very good at writing queries myself. Seeing flaws is always easier than proposing a solution :bigoops: You may find Query Shark helpful. It's an agent basically dissecting and ripping to threads queries she's received, and telling you everything wrong with them.
     
  17. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Are yo
    Are you sure you're no good at writing queries!? You wrote a perfect emotional conflict!
    That's a pretty good dissect and your examples are great.
    Not gonna lie, I laughed at the swarm of fleas part.

    I looked at that and I'll give her a try. I see she says chances are low, but I'll rewrite my query to make it more personal.

    I hate/love the query writing as its hard, yet it helps me better organize my story and gives me new ideas and twist.

    My query also fails to mention the power he has takes the place as an alternate personality he isn't aware of?

    I really appreciate your criticism and I truly mean it! I'm going to fix that decision. I should also mention that the stakes are slightly more hidden to the MC as his focus is his mom and brother, but the uncle adds that to the table to sway MC's influence on what's more important to pursue (part of a later scheme)

    I'll definitely give her a submission after I fix these problems. I'll submit it back here in a while after reviewing!

    Thank you for the great feedback! Especially being a Moderator! I appreciate it!!
     
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  18. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    Okay... I added a snippet of information that maybe changes this a little and adds some of its unique flavor. Let me know what you think?

    I really must reiterate that I am grateful for the help up to this point. And yes I know it doesn't seem like much to you just a comment, but it's absolutely being burned in my head and I'm actually going to revise a few dialogues and a chapter to adapt somethings.


    Twelve-year-old Ameir Henson finally encounters his big brother Aidan after he vanished three long years ago but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasized about.

    Ameir discovers Aidan is under the control of an infamous warlord who abducted their mother and apparently Ameir is next and he has no clue why?

    The warlord knows Ameir possesses an arcane power that takes the form of a reckless alternate personality dubbed Nem. The warlord knows Nem can rival his own power, threatening his grand scheme of destroying the core planets of the solar system.

    The warlord intends to use his mother as leverage to draw Ameir out and permanently suppress Nem. With the entire solar system at stake, Ameir is given a choice: save his beloved family, and watch the solar system crumble under the warlords immense powers, or fight him and lose everyone he's ever held dear.
    Ameir: Apothesis part 1 is part of a completed potential mid grade science fantasy series. It is a complete novel at 66,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
     
  19. Vernalire

    Vernalire Member

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    I don't know why but it took the bold letters and italics out?
     

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