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Does this sound like a interesting concept?

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  1. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Query Letter AMEIR: Apotheosis (MG Science fantasy)

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Vernalire, Jul 23, 2016.

    So let me know what you think? I feel like it catches some of the essence of the whole work but a lot is left out. This is literally a no plot abridged compared to the entire novel series. Written 6(unpublished) and this is just in the first but I hope you all enjoy and be as brutal as you'd like!! Ps. I know my grammar isn't the best but I'm progressing! Just out of the military and they don't teach grammar, just abbreviations.

    Greetings Mr Smith,

    In a universe that is no stranger to super-powered individuals, non-human aliens, and devastating interplanetary wars; a formidable masked warlord, with unimaginably honed genetically enhanced abilities, has arisen. His impeccable prowess remains unmeasured and his true name a mystery, but whispers have dubbed him Abrasion. Abrasion's military numbers remain in obscurity, but his malicious intentions couldn't be more apparent; he wants to conquer the Henderbock solar system and they are utterly terrified. Abrasion commands one thing from his top commander's, bring him Ameir Brian Henson.

    11-year-old Ameir Henson is as far from interesting as anyone could possibly get. Ameir is the typical 11-year-old, free thinking boy. Ameir lives with his widowed mother, Jean, on the contemporary planet Gosus. He attends a prestigious grade school during the week and some weekends, he's an extremely inquisitive child, and he enjoys seeing how objects work.

    One day when Ameir is almost forcibly abducted from school by a group of mysterious soldiers, Ameir is swiftly rescued by two men with genetically enhanced abilities. His rescuers try to take Ameir off the planet for his safety, but Ameir refuses to leave after he discovers his mother Jean might have been taken abducted. Ameir's rescuers agree to help him get her back, but it's not long before their journey leads them to a horrific crime scene at a government officials office. The group quickly finds themselves in military custody, being falsely charged for capital murder and branded as terrorists by the Henderbock government.

    Fortunately, Ameir's reclusive uncle Dulape re-emerges from his seclusion and he saves Ameir and his friends from incarceration. In the process of springing Ameir, Dulape reveals that Ameir might indeed have abilities that could one day rival Abrasion. Dulape informs Ameir and his companions that the infamous, masked warlord Abrasion has used them as scapegoats, in an effort to divert attention from his own mischievous plans; to overthrow the Henderbock government and claim billions of lives.

    Now Ameir must make a drastic decision: confront the warlord and possibly save billions of lives, or flee the Henderbock solar system to save his own.

    AMEIR: ABSOLUTION the first novel of the AMEIR series, is a YA sci-fi novel at 90,000 words.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration!

    Vr Vernal Rodriguez
     
  2. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Congrats on finishing your novel. Most people never make it to this point. I am going to be blunt because, well, that's the best way to learn. Bluntness is kindness.

    There is no story here.

    Main Character needs to have a single burning goal.
    There needs to be stakes: what happens if he achieves the goal? What happens if he does not?

    Right now this is a jumble of characters and setting and events.

    Delete the first two paragraphs. Start with your main character. Explain his problem, explain what he wants, explain what is keeping him from getting it, explain what will happen if he doesnt get it, explain what happens if he does.
     
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  3. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    I apologize for the lack of story! Their are a lot of aspects to the novel. And I appreciate the bluntness!! I rewrote it and kept some aspects buy his journey gets derailed because his focuses keep shifting. As he's 11 it's overwhelming but his uncle shows up and directs his focus at what he considers the important problem. I'm trying to contemplate how to write it into a query still lol its hard!! But thank you for taking the time to provide feedback! Let me know what you think of this new one!


    AMEIR BRIAN HENSON is a 11-year-old boy who lives with his beloved widowed mother, Jean, and attends a prestigious grade school on the contemporary planet of Gosus. After his older brother Aidan was abducted 5-years ago, Ameir now has big dreams of one day traveling with his mother to foreign galaxies, uncharted space, and new alien worlds.

    But Ameir never expected that he'd get a Jumpstart to the adventures he's dreamed of. When a evil super-powered warlord by the alias of ABRASION, officially declares war on the Henderbock galaxy, he commands his troops to retrieve Ameir.

    When Ameir is almost forcibly abducted from school by a group of mysterious soldiers, Ameir is swiftly rescued by two men with superpowers. When they discover that Jean was abducted, Ameir's rescuers point out that the warlord may have taken her and agree to help retrieve her, but it's not long before their quest is halted when they end up at a horrific crime scene at a government officials office. They quickly find themselves in military custody, being falsely charged of capital murder, espionage and a list full of charges that make them public terrorists.

    Fortunately, Ameir's reclusive uncle Dulape re-emerges from his seclusion and he saves Ameir and his friends from incarceration. Dulape informs them that they were used as patsies, by the warlord Abrasion, to divert attention away from his own mischievous plan to overthrow the Henderbock government by killing and destroying the core planets. Dulape shows Ameir that lying dormant inside of him, is an arcane ability that can possibly defeat Abrasion.

    Now Ameir must make a choice: confront the warlord, potentially saving his abducted mother and save billions of lives in the process, or run to save his own.
     
  4. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I'm starting to see the outline of a story, but it is still hidden inside too much backstory, too many characters, and too many irrelevant details.

    It's good that you put a choice here. I sort of feel like the choice is pretty obvious. Ameir would be a pretty big tool if he decided to save himself over his own mother, not to mention billions of other people. Is there something deeper at stake? Maybe he has to choose between his mother and billions of people? Now THAT would be a good dilemma.

    This is better than before, but it is still very rough and unfocused. You need to focus on the core story. From what I gather, Ameir has to tap mystical powers in himself and try to use them to save his mother and stop the warlord Abrasion from destroying the government. Try to focus on the core of the story and then highlight what makes it interesting.

    Keep trying. Writing a good query is good writing practice in general.

    A fantastic reference is queryshark.com. You will notice that my critique echoes this blog. I feel like it is good advice for writing queries in particular and some of the advice applies to storytelling in general.
     
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  5. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I want to add one more thing. Many published authors recommend once you are finished with your first book you should set it aside and start your second. I don't completely agree. The goal of being published forced me to work harder on my first novel. I learned a lot of lessons (am still learning them). BUT, I recognize the chances of my first book being represented, let alone published, are slim. Not lottery slim, but probably close.

    I recommend you work your rear off to get this thing as perfect as it can be, but don't hang all your hopes on it. At some point, you will have to let it go and start your next project.

    This was supposed to be encouraging, but as I reread, it's sort of a downer. My point is, don't gauge your future as a writer by the success of your first book. Published authors are persistent authors.

    Best of luck.
     
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  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This sounds like the opening of a book, not a full book. I understand that you plan for this to be a series, but to sell your first book, it's going to have to be a complete story. I'm not saying that there has never, ever been an exception, but the odds of being that exception are wildly low.

    You need a self-contained story. If the world that that story is set in supports a series, so be it, but you need that self-contained story in the first book.
     
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  7. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    I can't thank you enough. I mean honestly I appreciate it!! I will go back through again! I guess the story revolves around Ameir's powers but he doesn't realize he has them. Abrasion realizes, as does his uncle. But Dulape doesn't tell him because of a past mistake (which is explained). The driving force is finding his mother originally, then (spoiler I'm not worried about) his brother isn't dead, which swings his focus some. His brother is different (basically evil). Then when they're framed and his uncle gets him. His uncle keeps things quiet from Ameir but let's the adults know what is happening while trying to keep Ameir away from the action (knowing Abrasion wants him captured). It's about his abilities but he is overwhelmed by all that's happening!

    This is kind of my first book. I have already written 7 in reactions to this one. I admit I'm fascinated with this book. It's my favorite and has the scale of a star wars, mixed with some Marvel, but varies drastically. As for other projects I have written some more complex ones that are written but they will need to be rewritten because of lack of detail. But they are a different category of fiction. I will definitely take this to heart to remember! I will be changing his options though. I'll be brainstorming as to how!? I do like that concept of the better evil so to speak.

    Again I really respect and am grateful for your opinion! Thank you!
     
  8. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    Also, I fear I must suggest that the story isn't actually YA.

    YA protagonists are roughly 13-17 years old

    Since your character is 11, the story could be considered middle grade (MG) but based on your plot, it wouldn't fit there either.

    To me it sounds like Star Wars crossed with Ender's Game. And Ender's Game also begins with a young protagonist (I think he is 11 or 12). It's classified as Millitary Science Fiction because the themes and tone are far too old for a middle grade audience.

    I'd go with that.
     
  9. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Hopefully this gives story! I snazzed it up by leaving out some stuff, but left the essentials. I didn't know how to include the fact that he has power's so I left it out. (not important in this book! Plus his uncle doesn't actually tell him).
    I did think about it but he has nothing to do with the military? It seems like it but the military is more of another obstacle if anything? With the story itself, their's space adventure, fantasy (ancient beings (later on), enhanced abilities (superpowers)), and it had some science fiction ie expanded universe. Mid grade would work but as you said what's happening is above that realm. I did conflict making him older, but he's 'always with an adult' and he's still learning throughout. I felt like it's appropriate for its category, plus it's not to adult with the language, or to mooshy in the kid words. The plot has a lot of twist but it's all revealed at /near the end. Plus it answers questions, while setting up for the next one.

    I did originally write this a s one long book (dictionary sized, but cut it up into segments that make around 8. But I chunked and abridged a lot to squeeze with 6 books, and a Origin which flips everything written before to give a deeper meaning. But it's absolutely self contained! I had that problem originally, but I changed the story and it added the military presence.


    Billions of lives are at stake, but 11-year-old Ameir's primary concern is the safe return of is mother Jean.

    When a powerful warlord attempts to have Ameir and his mother abducted, two super-powered men swiftly rescue Ameir, but Jean isn't as fortunate. The two men agree to help Ameir rescue his mother, however their quest is haulted when they stumble upon a horrific crime scene at the office of a military general. They quickly find themselves incarcerated, falsely charged with murder, and branded as galactic terrorists.

    Incarcerated, and unable to make any progress towards finding his mother, Ameir looses hope. Fortunately, Ameir's reclusive uncle Dulape re-emerges from his seclusion and breaks out Ameir and his friends. Dulape discloses to the group that the warlords grand scheme is to actually destroy the core planet's, killing billions. Conversely to that, if they all rush in, chances are they'll be further implicated as terrorists, and could be killed in the process.

    Now Ameir and his friends must make a choice: confront the warlord, potentially saving Ameir's abducted mother and saving billions of lives, or run to save their own.

    I thank each one of you for taking the time to break my heart! Just kidding, but I honestly thank you for critiquing my work. I ask my friends but they are as illiterate as me and say the concept sounds awesome. It's a finished book, I just need to learn the query /synopsis side. I truly appreciate the feedback and let me know what you think of this one. I did look at query shark as well (brutal!).
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused about what you mean here. None of the plot summaries that you've given have been self-contained.
     
  11. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Now I'm confused. Lol when you say self contained you mean like the book stands alone as a single. Like this book can be a single book without needing another to come to a resolution?
    This book has an ending that can explains the plot twist but it has an ending that can be made into more. The story doesn't require other books, but they are already their playing off the first. I'm not 100% but could you clarify?
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Correct. The book needs to stand alone, so that if no other book in the series is ever published, the book is perfectly satisfactory and doesn't have a sense of incompletion.
     
  13. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Ah I admit that it does kinda leave it open! But it doesn't present a happy ending so I feel like it leaves it open because it. It's similar to a star wars ending where it's possible for something else but it resolves the immediate story.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see how it resolves any part of the story. Can you explain?

    And, I believe that Star Wars was created by an already-famous George Lucas. We're talking about the first book by a new author.
     
  15. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Lol to explain it I'd have to explain the story. I've been told repeatedly that's only in synopsis to give the ending?
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    So is the "Ameir must decide..." thing just the beginning of the book? Your query suggests that it's the end.
     
  17. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    No its the query. I tried to add on to the end but I get corrected saying it's more plot details revealed. Plus I got positive feedback saying it's a phrase that leaves people wanting more
     
  18. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Would you have any suggestions? I'm absolutely willing to alter?
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    What I'm asking is, how much of the book comes after the "Ameir must decide..." moment? Is that near the beginning of the first book? Near the middle? Near the end? At the end?
     
  20. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    It's about mid end. A little before it.
    Like
    beginning
    Mid beginning
    Middle
    (about here)
    Mid end
    End
     
  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    And what happens after it, that resolves the plot? Because that "Ameir must decide" sounds like the BEGINNING of the main plot--like it should be at "mid beginning", at the latest.
     
  22. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    They make the decision and as hero things go, they choose to fight. It's not the end of the story. I admit it does sound like it's left open.

    "Either way Ameir and his group will be even further implicated by either choice they make. With all their individual reputations, their freedom, and the countless innocent lives at stake; Ameir and his friends he's with all feel morally obligated to pursue the path of most resistance by choosing to stay and fight. But in the end, Abrasion has been anticipating their every move and not even Dulape could have possibly planned for what happens."
    This was the original end of query but I was advised to change
     
  23. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with @ChickenFreak that your query shouldn't cover so much of the book. Perhaps leave it when the two men are captured, and Ameir needs to come up with a new plan to save Jean. That will give you more words to spend on Ameir's character and his relationship with Jean... i.e. making us care about the stakes.
     
  24. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Ah I see what ChickenFreak was talking about! Cover less story. Okay. See I do like that idea, I'll draw it up but I've been told before I was too vague with the plot? I will change it up!

    Tenderiser explained it. I thought you were saying the story was incomplete. Lol
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, actually, I was saying that the story is incomplete. It doesn't seem to be a complete story.

    If you imagine Star Wars ending as Luke first enters Han's ship, or Hunger Games ending as the kids approach the entrance to the Hunger Games arena, that's not a complete story, it's mostly setup for the story. And this first book feels like mostly setup for its story.

    Also, most of the action described seems to have the main character as a passive target--people try to kidnap him, other people rescue him, people imprison him, other people rescue him...there's very little plot-driving action on his part. That "decision" that he makes feels like almost the first plot-driving action. Being the passive target of others' actions can be OK for part of the setup of a novel--I think--but it's generally not OK for the majority of the novel.

    Yes, this is about the novel, not about the query, so maybe it's inappropriate for this thread.
     

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