1. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    Heroes of Terrestia Query

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Jak of Hearts, Feb 26, 2014.

    [Edit: A revised and entire query letter has been posted below]

    Hey, everyone. So I am in the revision processes of my first novel and I am hoping to get some feedback to fix the synopsis of my query letter. I like how part of it comes off but some of it just doesn't feel right. I thought the views of more experienced writers may give me some guidance. I would appreciate any help you all could be in fine tuning it.

    ****

    In a post-apocalyptic landscape of androids and sorcerers, five people searching for their place stumble upon a world-saving adventure that will drag them through love, pain, and self discovery. Heroes of Terrestia is a completed fantasy adventure novel of 83,000 words.


    The once-fantastic world of Terrestia was filled with magic, technology, and natural wonders. A rift between dimensions filled the world with hoards of demons that destroyed nearly everything except a few remaining cities. The apocylyptic wasteland of Terrestia has enough problems, but another is on the rise. Everything short of destiny finds five people coming together: an adventurist gunslinging mage, a drunken dark elf thief, an orc ronin samurai, an android who seeks to unlock the power of ancient monks, and a runway tribal princess who shares a direct link to the deity of the undead. As these heroes fall together, they quickly become entangled with The Disciples of the After who seek to capture the tribal princess. Together, they fight a barbarian assassin, evade pirates, and outrun the cultists. What will the five go through to prove they have what it takes to save the world of Terrestia?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  2. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    Let me start by saying that this sounds like a fun story.

    That being said... from what I've learned, there are at least two things in here to avoid:

    1. Don't provide a grocery list of characters,
    2. Don't end (or start) with a question.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    You know, I've always heard to never include a question in there but for some reason it slipped my mind and I did it anyway. And I'm sure I can removed the character list without much harm. I appreciate the advice.
     
  4. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    In a post-apocalyptic landscape of androids and sorcerers, five people searching for their place No context for "their place" stumble upon a world-saving adventure that will drag them through love, pain, and self discovery. Heroes of Terrestia is a completed fantasy adventure novel of 83,000 words.


    The once-fantastic world of Terrestia was once filled with magic, technology, and natural wonders. Tells the reader nothing. What in the hell is a natural wonder, and how does it disappear? You're at too high a level here. A rift between dimensions filled the world with hoards of demons that destroyed nearly everything except a few remaining cities. This is okay, but raises the question of why they're not still there and doing it. The apocylyptic wasteland of Terrestia has enough problems, but another is on the rise. Says nothing useful. Talk about the problem. Everything short of destiny Huh? finds five people coming together: an adventurist gunslinging mage, a drunken dark elf thief, an orc ronin samurai, an android who seeks to unlock the power of ancient monks, and a runway tribal princess who shares a direct link to the deity of the undead. This is wasted because we don't know what the problem is or why it needs to be solved. As these heroes fall together, they quickly become entangled with The Disciples of the After Meaningless to the reader who still has no clue of what the problem is.

    In general, I think you need to dig into the subject of queries more deeply.

    Sorry.
     
  5. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    I have decided to place the entire query here now with a revised synopsis. I would appreciate critiques as I am hoping to send this out after my final revision.


    Dear ...,

    I have decided to seek representation with you because of the note on your website that you are looking for fantasy and science fiction, specifically those that break out of the standard tropes. I believe that my novel may be what you are wanting.

    In a post-apocalyptic landscape of androids and sorcerers, five people searching for their place stumble upon a world-saving adventure that will drag them through love, pain, and self discovery. Heroes of Terrestia is a completed fantasy adventure novel of 83,000 words.

    Grand civilizations of magic and technology once filled the world of Terrestia. From a rift between dimensions, hordes of demons flooded in, leaving only the shadow of civilization in the walls of the few remaining cities. Outside the safety of the cities, five wanderers come together - among them a tribal heiress with a direct link to the deity of the undead. As these adventurers fall together, they quickly become entangled with The Disciples of the After, a religious cult on a crusade to raise every dead and eliminate the threat of death. As allies, the five will fight a barbarian assassin, evade pirates, and outrun the cultists, proving they have what it takes to save the word of Terrestia.

    I am seeking representation for my first completed work Heroes of Terrestia. I currently have not yet had anything published, however I do have a Bachelor's Degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing.

    I appreciate your consideration in my novel. Thank you.
     
  6. eleutheria
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    eleutheria Member

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    I think you're repeating yourself a bit, and losing needed space to go into more detail. You have 'five come together' twice in your query, and I still don't really feel that I know who these five people are or why I should care about their fate. I mean, out of the five I only know about one, but the summary implies it's about all five. Is the tribal heiress the main character? What about the other four? How is she actually connected to the cult? The entire thing feels like a very distant summary. There are five characters! Important things happen! It's all very general. What kind of love and pain and self-discovery? What are they actually going after? You say 'they'll fight a, b, and c' but I have no idea how or even why. What's their stake? Why are they doing this?

    Also, I really don't think it's a good idea to say this is your first completed work. It's both irrelevant and more likely to make the agent skeptical. Ditto with 'I have not been published'. Focus on the positive. You need to write more about your characters and what makes your world unique. I like the mix of androids and sorcerers because that seems so nonsensical, but that's honestly the only thing I liked. Wish I could have better news. :p

    [eta] I only read your last query, so if these things were answered earlier, then you lost some important info.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm just starting to learn about queries so this is more gut reactions than a knowledgeable critique.
    You stumble into, not upon in that sentence. Upon is more like finding something. Into is drawn in, getting involved in.

    "Completed"? Do people send out queries before their work is completed? I better get going on this then.


    I don't know what "everything short of destiny" means.

    "Nearly everything" and "filled the world with" are filter words as you've used them here.

    You might want to mention the motive for wanting to capture the princess.

    This is not my genre so I'll leave it to others to comment on your characters' descriptions. For my taste it's one too many characteristic crammed in, but maybe that's how the genre is.

    I like the last sentence.


    Hmmm, guess I should look ahead in threads for revisions. Perhaps you can still learn from my critique of your original. Looks like you already made some of these corrections.
     
  8. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    You don't have to listen to my opinions and I only write, eg. such and such as examples to better explain myself. I don't suggest you rewrite it according to my wording at all. Just my opinions :)
     
  9. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    So I was told not to use a laundry list of characters. But I am also told to tell about the characters and why you should care about them. Because there are five characters I feel that I sort of have to make it a laundry list. I wrote this out real quick and was wondering if this fits into the synopsis better.

    "Jak desperately wants to fill the shoes of his father, the great adventurer. Goron seeks peace after a mistake that cost the life of his charge. Oak, the android, wants nothing more than to understand the world the way humans do. Delcia doesn't seek anything, especially company and friendship. Terralilly, a runaway heiress followed by an assassin, more than anything just wants freedom and peace."

    I'm working on some other things too and may post another revision soon. I really appreciate the critiques so far because I want this to be good. I've heard how important a query letter can be.
     
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  10. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    So if his advice is to be taken you will want to drop the names and just refer to them as gang or group.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  11. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    Alright, I'm trying to follow some of your advice. The description, as hard as it is, I tried to make more descriptive and less "movie trailer". Sorry if it seems like I'm just posting revision after revision but I want to get this as right as I can.


    Dear ...,

    I have decided to seek representation with you because of the note on your website that you are looking for fantasy and science fiction, specifically those that break out of the standard tropes. My novel, Heroes of Terrestia, is a story of five central characters who band together in a magical, future-tech wasteland to protect the world from a new threat. Heroes of Terrestia is a completed fantasy adventure novel of 83,000 words.

    The world of Terrestia is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, ravaged by hoards of demons. Outside the safety of the cities, a group of wanderers come together - each of them seeking their own form of peace. Among them is a tribal heiress with a direct link to the deity of the undead. A religious cult on a crusade to bridge the gap between life and death tracks her down, needing her to complete their ritual. The allies travel across the land to protect her from the cult as well as a relentless barbarian assassin.

    Last year I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I currently reside in Kansas with my family, am an enthusiast of all things fantasy/sci-fi, and have been an aspiring writer since I was old enough to type.

    I appreciate your consideration in my novel. Thank you.
     
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  12. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I think it's coming along fine. You're very good at accepting criticism, which is great considering an agent might dismiss your query for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with your talents. It's really tricky getting your foot in the door, but you have a great attitude :)
     
  13. eleutheria
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    eleutheria Member

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    This version is SO much better. I think I would want to read this novel. :D Now I know why your characters are doing this, what your characters are after, and what stands in their way. I think the only criticism I have is, what happens if they fail? I think that might finish it off with a note of tension, so the reader really wants to read it to find out how they avoid whatever horrible fate.
     
  14. Alix465
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    Alix465 Banned

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    A letter to the editor is a written way of talking to a newspaper, magazine, or other regularly printed publication. Letters to the editor are generally found in the first section of the newspaper, or towards the beginning of a magazine, or in the editorial page. They can take a position for or against an issue, or simply inform, or both. They can convince readers by using emotions, or facts, or emotions and facts combined. Letters to the editor are usually short and tight, rarely longer than 300 words.
     

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