Query Letter AMEIR: Apotheosis (MG Science fantasy)

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

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Does this sound like a interesting concept?

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  1. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    MG isn't JUST a length and a character age, it's a style of writing. It's generally simpler than YA, certainly has less mature themes, etc.

    Do you really think a 13-year-old would be all that independent? Or that you couldn't just gloss over the character age, given that "years" won't mean the same where your story is set?

    ETA: If you're going to try to write MG (or YA) you really need to read some of what's already out there, just to get an idea of what the market expects.
     
  2. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    I did do situationals but teens are notorious for being moody and at that age of 'I don't wanna be seen getting dropped off with you anymore'. Like they wanna be independent (they can't ultimately but want it) and his older brother was at that faze when he disappeared (wanting independence). I am probably going to make him 12 and the problem with glazing over the age is the fact his brother disappeared and he has been gone for 3 years so it puts time in there.
    I did heavily debate on the fact that he could be older and I stress (it's not the fact of it being originally a series) him being an older teen already makes him 'grown up' but I want to show why he's like it. And I know comparing to famous is bad but I wrote this before it was out.
    Example kylo Ren. We get to see him as a growing villain and the decision-making he is doing vs darth Vader who we were introduced as being an established villain. Yes I know the prequels but I mean before those. I want to build Aidan and Ameir to see why brothers fight and give it real tension instead of filling a book with back story (which I have written off to the side to remind me why Aidan despises him).

    I have been writing this book /series for 8 years ish and originally he was in his 20s. But I thought, looked around and came to the current 11 or 12
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Honestly, if you're sure you need to give a precise age, and you're already willing to have him be twelve, why not just add one more damn year and get him into the age group that works for the book as you wrote it?
     
  4. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    And 8 years wasn't me cooped up.
    4 military
    4 high-school
    I'm only 22 Haha
     
  5. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    I didn't include age or genre! I looked over some query shark yes's and some didn't include genre's. So let me know what you think?

    I really hope this sounds better and yes it's slot jam packed into a query but let me know what you think?


    Is it bad that Ameir Henson cares more about choosing between rescuing his mother and trying to redeem his older brother; rather than focusing on the billions of lives that are at stake.

    When a powerful masked warlord commands to have Ameir and his mother abducted, two super-powered men swiftly rescue Ameir, however Jean isn't as fortunate. Ameir's rescuers agree to help Ameir retrieve his mother, but before they can even start their quest, Ameir and the group have a brief unheralded encounter with an embittered (word like burdened but more influenced) Aidan, except it's far from the glamorous reunion that Ameir's always fantasized about for the last 3 years. Before Ameir and the group can gain anymore ground on finding Jean, they quickly find themselves being framed for murder by the warlord, in efforts to divert attention away from his scheme to destroy the core planets, killing billions.

    Now a galactic terrorist, Ameir must make a drastic decision: confront the warlord and possibly save billions, continue to pursue rescuing his mother, redeem his older brother, or flee the Henderbock solar system to save his friends.

    AMEIR: ABSOLUTION reports in complete at just a hair above 80,000 words. I thank you for your time and consideration!

    Vr Vernal Rodriguez
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The tone of MG stories is different from YA. Unless you've accidentally written it in an MG tone (unlikely) you're going to pretty much have to rewrite the whole thing.

    Why not go with Bay's suggestion and don't mention his age?
     
  7. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    How about this last post? How does that sound?
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My posts on MG/YA relate more to your novel than the query; sorry, off topic!

    You must include a genre, and that includes whether it's MG/YA/adult (and it has to be one of the three only). I'd be surprised if the agent behind Query Shark didn't pull people up on not mentioning a genre.

    Don't start with a question! This really annoys many agents, because it's so overdone. Plus, this is grammatically incorrect with the semi-colon and lack of question mark.

    Even if you rephrased this so it wasn't a question, I'm not sure how much impact it would have. I think most of us wouldn't find it all that surprising for a kid to choose his family over a load of strangers.

    So many questions.

    Why does the warlord want Ameir and his mum abducted?
    Who's Jean [I can work this out but make it easier for me please :D]?
    Who are Ameir's rescuers and why do they rescue him?
    Who on earth is Aidan [I know this from your previous queries but agents are only going to see ONE query]?
    A search for one murderer is going to distract people from the massacre of billions of people? Huh?
    Why on earth would a kid confront someone capable of destroying planets? Why is this even a choice?
    Who are his friends?

    A few questions are a good thing. This many? Not a good thing.

    Obviously I don't know your book, but this is what I've come up with as a beginning:

    Ameir's finally found his runaway big brother after three years growing up without him, but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasised about. Instead, Ameir suspects Aiden is working for the vicious warlord who's kidnapped their mother and wants Ameir as well [because reasons].

    I can't really carry on because I don't know what happens in your book or enough about the core conflict.
     
  9. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Just wow. I feel like shitake mushrooms. I can tell a story but can't write a query...
    Well I recorded yours so it flows better. Aka I gave the warlord a background and I got a email this morning with feedback so I rewrote another one. I really like yours lol its simple but I'm sure someone would be like, "Well who's the warlord blah blah" Haha so I have a brief reasoning. Let me know and thank you for the time of day! You deserve to be writing completely!!!

    Ameir Henson cares about the fate of his mother Jean and older brother Aidan, more than the billions of innocent lives that are at stake.

    Ameir finally encounters his runaway big brother after three years growing up without him, but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasised about. Instead, Ameir suspects Aiden is working for the vicious warlord who's kidnapped their mother and wants Ameir as well. The warlord knows Ameir poses a dormant arcane power that could easily rival his own one day. However if the warlord can control Ameir now, using his mother as leverage, he'll be unstoppable in his plans to destroy the core planets.

    Now Ameir must make a drastic decision: confront the warlord and possibly save billions, or give in to the warlord to save his beloved family.

    AMEIR:ABSOLUTION is a YA fantasy and YA ADVENTURE novel at 80,000 words. I thank you for your time and consideration!

    And my own though yours is really simple!! My gosh that's crazy!

    Billions of lives are at stake, but Ameir Henson cares more about the fate of his mother Jean and older brother Aidan.

    Ameir Henson cares about the fate of his mother Jean and older brother Aidan, more than the billions of innocent lives that are at stake.

    A formidable masked warlord named Abrasion sets his sites on conquering the Henderbock solar system and they are utterly terrified. Abrasion commands his men to abduct Ameir and his mother, knowing Ameir has a dormant arcane power that could easily rival his own. But if Abrasion can control Ameir now, using his mother as leverage, he'll be unstoppable. Fortunately two super-powered men swiftly rescue Ameir. However, Jean isn't as fortunate. Ameir's rescuers agree to help Ameir retrieve his mother, but before they can even start their quest, Ameir and the group have a brief encounter with an embittered Aidan. It's far from the glamorous reunion that Ameir's been fantasizing about for the past 3 years. Before Ameir and the group can gain anymore ground on rescuing Jean, they quickly find themselves being framed for murder by Abrasion, in efforts to divert attention away from his scheme to destroy the core planets, killing billions.

    Now a galactic terrorist, Ameir must make a drastic decision: confront Abrasion and possibly save billions, or give in to Abrasion to save his beloved family.

    AMEIR:ABSOLUTION is a YA fantasy and YA ADVENTURE novel at 80,000 words. I thank you for your time and consideration!

    Hopefully these sound good? I know yours does. My mind is blown how easy you did that. I've looked at query shark, writers digest, Google, YouTube, past ya books from good reads and my query was poop compared to what you whipped up in minutes if not seconds!
     
  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ha, you should see the blood sweat and tears I cried over writing MY query! Distance makes it easy, and no author has distance from their work. Really, there should be some system where we swap novels and write them for each other...

    Anyway, I think both of these versions are much better and only need small tweaks rather than complete rewrites. But it's not the genre I read, so I don't know which one is more intriguing to your audience. Maybe post them both in the fantasy section of general writing (on this forum) and ask for opinions? Then when you've decided we (forum) can help perfect them.
     
  11. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Yeah we need to start that!! That's a great idea!
    I'm down but I will post it and cannot thank you enough!
     
  12. Sapphire at Dawn
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    Sapphire at Dawn Member

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    Weighing in on the whole age thing... I can buy an 11 year old protagonist in a YA novel. After all, Lyra in the His Dark Materials series is 11 at the beginning of the book, and I'd say it's a YA book. I remember reading it aged 12 or 13, and so did a lot of my friends. It also has adult appeal and is definitely not MG material. Granted, I don't know the industry hugely well so my observation might not count for much, but it has been done before.
     
  13. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    Thank you lol I get character age but my novel isn't 1st person. It jumps from a few different characters and he is rarely alone. It's almost like (forgive the quoting of famous movies and a bad one lol) star wars episode 1 with anakin. He was the star focus of the series but it jumped to adult topics and he was with someone. Though Ameir appears more often than that. It has a lot of material that isn't middle grade... Kinda isn't, ex. Gangs, drugs kinda, prison, some cussing (mostly prison), but no sex scene's...not even a kiss haha
    Thank you for understanding. If I change it to middle grade I would have to cut it in half
     
  14. Sapphire at Dawn
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    Sapphire at Dawn Member

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    Not sure what first person has to do with things, His Dark Materials isn't written in first person either.

    I think you're seeing things too black and white. Not all teens are emotional and mean and not all teens are moody buggers. Your attitude reminds me of the (I think) Kevin and Perry sketch where 12 year-old Kevin is quite childlike and polite, excited for his 13th birthday, but them BAM he turns into the stereotypical moody teen right then and there. It doesn't happen like that. I don't see a reason why you couldn't make your character 13 years old and have him not moody and emotional and mean. Some children develop at slower rates than others, and some actively fight the urge to grow up, hence I had a friend who at 13/14 still determinedly played with toys.
     
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  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Sapphire at Dawn Lyra was 12 at the beginning of the trilogy, not 11. If she had been 11 the publishers probably would have asked Pullman to age her up.

    Harry Potter was 11 for most of book 1 (10 for the first few chapters) and that was marketed as MG.
     
  16. Sapphire at Dawn
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    Sapphire at Dawn Member

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    Huh, I always thought she was 11. I put those books up in the loft the other day so I can't check, but you're probably right. Oops.

    Yes, the first few Harry Potter books are definitely aimed at an MG audience.
     
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  17. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It seems kinda silly to me too because I read a mix of MG, YA and adult books from a young age, but the age of the protagonist is pretty much the defining factor of those genres.
     
  18. Vernalire
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    Vernalire Member

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    OK I apologize! I was really late on this reply. I lost my account info! Plus I went and did some searching / writing. I did change it to mid-grade. I have run into some bumps about it being defined as mid-grade...

    My MC is 12, but my support MCs are in their 20s and up. Since this novel is the first, my MC is learning from the support MC... Now it sounds weird yes but imagine it as a star wars episode 1/2 with anakin. He didn't touch a light Saber in the first movie. But by the second he's slinging lead /death. It's like that for me. But my MC is vital to what happens and age is a factor.... What do you think?


    Oh and I think I perfected the critique? Please let me know what you think now??

    Ameir Henson finally encounters his runaway big brother Aidan, after three long years of growing up without him, but it's not the joyful reunion he's fantasized about.

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

    Abrasion 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 innocent lives.

    AMEIR: Apotheosis, is a complete MG science fantasy novel which checks in at just a shade above 60,000 words. Thank you for your consideration!

    Again I mean it to everyone of you! Thank you for your time and help fixing this hot mess of a novel. Seriously! I mean it. I'm extremely happy with the teardown because it makes me actually look at why it's like that. I actually had to write a whole additional novel to figure out for myself why a character is doing what they're doing... It took me a day because it practically explained itself but nonetheless. I really appreciate the feedback!!!
     
  19. EnginEsq
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    EnginEsq Senior Member

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    If I was reading these queries, I'd reject them regardless of the concept they describe.

    Why? My impressions is that queries must examplify the very best writing you can do. Your queries are full of poor word choices, verbosity, purplish prose, sentences that should be broken in two, and other issues. If they are representative of your best writing, your works are going to be unsalable.

    Concepts are easy. Execution into an enjoyable read is hard. That's why it's the latter that sells, from what I've read, anyway.
     

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