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 1 
 on: Today at 05:15:07 PM 
Started by HWainer - Last post by HWainer
With some more edits -----

Dear amazing agent person,     

Tava’s magic does not work like everyone else’s. Each failed spell zaps the seventeen-year-old orphan’s self-worth, further isolating from the other women at Atornum Castle. Her dream of becoming a full Lady, and serving the realm, seems impossible due to her inability to master basic magical skills.

When sorcerers from the north destroy Atornum, Tava escapes with two other apprentices, Rani, a brilliant librarian who cannot understand the emotions or social cues, and Jaeka, a snooty, noble-born healer. Homeless, with their way of life destroyed, the girls are hunted by ruthless sorcerers who view any woman with power as a threat, and any country ruled by a woman as an abomination.

The only hope of stopping the sorcerers’ atrocities and saving countless lives is for the Queen to wield the legendary Stave of Mythras, said to vanquish evil from the realm. Except, centuries before, the Stave’s pieces were hidden by a corrupt Queen to prevent its use.

With only a book of poetry, snippets of prophecy, and a handsome young forester named Jerrol to guide them, the team must reassemble the Stave and get it to the Queen before sorcerers kill her and sever the Queen’s mystic connection to the land, sickening the realm. To succeed, Tava must recognize that while her magic is different, she possesses unique and powerful skills. 

Complete at 79,000 words, Seeking Mythras is a young adult fantasy novel with romantic elements and is written for all my students who require atypical strategies to learn. It will appeal to readers who enjoy Sharon Shinn or Maria V. Snyder.

 2 
 on: Today at 04:18:45 PM 
Started by brendan_hodge - Last post by brendan_hodge
Okay.  Here's my revision.  In addition to the rewrite, I finally settled on a renaming to deal with the concern I've received both here and from several beta readers that the names Katie and Kristy are too similar and thus confusing.  So, goodbye Kristy, hello Jen.

Only issue, this is kind of long, clocking in at 330 words. 

Jen Nilsson has an MBA, a Bay Area condo, and a great job as a product manager at a tech company.  She thrives on bringing order out of chaos.  And if her big product launch goes well next month, she may finally land the marketing director job she’s been gunning for.  But then her younger sister Katie, fresh off a fight with their parents back home, blows through the front door, dumping cardboard boxes of possessions onto Jen’s couch and a lifetime of personal drama into her lap.

Family is family, so Jen agrees to let her sister stay, even though impulsive Katie, with a newly minted liberal arts degree and no plan for her life other than not to let their mother tell her what to do, sums up everything that frustrates Jen.  Somehow she’ll turn her sister into a model adult.  But then Jen’s product launch is canceled and she’s laid off.

Jen feels like the floor has dropped out of her world.  Katie tries to step forward and support her sister, but her wages at Starbucks are less than the mortgage and her attempts at cooking and home maintenance tend to spiral into catastrophe.

Jen’s got to find a new job, not just to pay the bills but to rebuild her shattered pride.  At last she seems to have found the perfect lead, but with each interview she becomes more sure the company’s dysfunctional from top to bottom.  When she’s finally offered the job, her instincts tell her to turn it down.  But how can she turn down the job she so desperately needs?

She takes the job, but within days her fears are confirmed by an email from her new boss.  She’d better dust off her passport.  She’s got to be in China next week.

IF YOU CAN GET IT is women’s fiction set in the business world of SILICON VALLEY and OFFICE SPACE but finds its heart in the deepening relationship between two sisters. It’s complete at 68,000 words.

 3 
 on: Today at 04:03:30 PM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Silverdragon
***OFFICIAL Query attempt 4*****

After several suggestions, here are two different versions. Which one sounds better? ( AND thank you THANK YOU for the help! I didn't realize how intense query letters are....now I see how they can be difficult and I am very sorry about the present tense issues. Thank you for your patience!)

Example one:

Dear Agent:

Sakura has wondered since she was a pup why she is the only one with green eyes and, why her fur glows under the light of the moon. Her family has kept a tight leash on her and her younger brother, never allowed to leave the boundaries of the forest. Deep inside, she knows that she’s meant for more than the comforting shelter of her secluded forest.

When the Blackhearts invade her village, beloved members of the pack are taken away. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. The Blackheart's king is desperately wanting the Wolves Amulet, a powerful sacred item of the wolves that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison of hundreds of years and he instructs the Blackhearts to find it. Sakura and her younger brother Latius, escape the claws of capture but, now set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.

Sakura learns that she is a pure descendant from a mighty wolf and the only one who can control the power of the amulet. When the Blackheart’s king discovers that Sakura possesses the amulet, he forces Sakura to face her fears of challenging him to a death match or risk losing everything that she loves.

Example two: Leaving out the details about what the bad dragons are called.

Dear Agent:

Sakura has wondered since she was a pup why she is the only one with green eyes and, why her fur glows under the light of the moon. Her family has kept a tight leash on her and her younger brother, never allowed to leave the boundaries of the forest. Deep inside, she knows that she’s meant for more than the comforting shelter of her secluded forest.

Her belief is put to the test when a group of ruthless, powerful dragons known as Blackhearts (I want to at least mention the name of these dragons once) invade her village and kidnap members of her pack. The dragon’s greedy king desperately wants to find the Wolves Amulet, a sacred item that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison. After escaping the claws of capture, Sakura and her brother set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.

Sakura learns that she is a pure descendant from a mighty wolf and the only one who can control the power of the amulet. When the dragon’s king discovers that Sakura possesses the amulet, he forces Sakura to face her fears of challenging him to a death match or risk losing everything that she loves.

NOTE: the last paragraph I am debating about whether to mention that the dragon king gets out of prison and attacks Sakura (but everyone is wondering how...) OR just leaving that part out like I did above. Kind of leaving it simple. Ideas?


 4 
 on: Today at 03:16:58 PM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Silverdragon
Ok, how about this then. I wonder if I should end it like this (changed up para. 3). I appreciate everyone's help on this!!  Grin Grin Grin

Dear Agent:

Sakura has wondered since she was a pup why she is the only one with green eyes, and, why her fur glows under the light of the moon. Her family has kept a tight leash on her and her younger brother, to never allowed to leave the boundaries of the forest. Deep inside, she knew knows that she's was meant for more than the comforting shelter of her secluded forest.
[I like this paragraph now. I just tweaked it so it's in present tense.]


When the Blackhearts invade her village, beloved members of the pack are taken away. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. The Blackheart's king is desperately wanting the Wolves Amulet, a powerful sacred item of the wolves that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison of hundreds of years and he instructs the Blackhearts to find it. Sakura and her younger brother Latius, escape the claws of capture but, now set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.

[I had a lot of tweaks for the above paragraph, so I just rewrote it with all my suggested edits:]
Her belief is put to the test when a group of ruthless, powerful dragons invade her village and kidnap members of her pack. The dragons' greedy king desperately wants to find the Wolves Amulet, a sacred item that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison. After escaping the claws of capture, Sakura and her brother set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.


Sakura learns that she is a pure descendant from a might mighty wolf and the only one to be able to who can control the power of the amulet. When the Blackheart's dragons' king discovers that Sakura possesses the amulet, his determination allows him to break free of his prison but, by doing so, Sakura must face her fears or risk losing everyone that she loves. [This sounds weird. Why would he need to track down the amulet if he can just escape with "determination"? I would leave that out, and have an ending that focuses on the fact that Sakura has two choices: (1) Defeat the King, open the door to a greater power, and risk losing her family; or (2) Let the King break out of prison and reek havoc (but again, I don't think "determination" is enough of a reason for the King to escape after being locked away for centuries).]





This is definitely better than your first attempt! Smiley

Hi TigerAsh!

I'm struggling between how to phrase what triggers the dragon king to fight Sakura (and vis versa). So, if you look at my other attempts, you can see how I am trying to describe this event, without giving too much detail...but enough detail to make sense LOL!!
Thank you for your input!  Grin

 5 
 on: Today at 03:01:52 PM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by TigerAsh
Ok, how about this then. I wonder if I should end it like this (changed up para. 3). I appreciate everyone's help on this!!  Grin Grin Grin

Dear Agent:

Sakura has wondered since she was a pup why she is the only one with green eyes, and, why her fur glows under the light of the moon. Her family has kept a tight leash on her and her younger brother, to never allowed to leave the boundaries of the forest. Deep inside, she knew knows that she's was meant for more than the comforting shelter of her secluded forest.
[I like this paragraph now. I just tweaked it so it's in present tense.]


When the Blackhearts invade her village, beloved members of the pack are taken away. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. The Blackheart's king is desperately wanting the Wolves Amulet, a powerful sacred item of the wolves that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison of hundreds of years and he instructs the Blackhearts to find it. Sakura and her younger brother Latius, escape the claws of capture but, now set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.

[I had a lot of tweaks for the above paragraph, so I just rewrote it with all my suggested edits:]
Her belief is put to the test when a group of ruthless, powerful dragons invade her village and kidnap members of her pack. The dragons' greedy king desperately wants to find the Wolves Amulet, a sacred item that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison. After escaping the claws of capture, Sakura and her brother set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.


Sakura learns that she is a pure descendant from a might mighty wolf and the only one to be able to who can control the power of the amulet. When the Blackheart's dragons' king discovers that Sakura possesses the amulet, his determination allows him to break free of his prison but, by doing so, Sakura must face her fears or risk losing everyone that she loves. [This sounds weird. Why would he need to track down the amulet if he can just escape with "determination"? I would leave that out, and have an ending that focuses on the fact that Sakura has two choices: (1) Defeat the King, open the door to a greater power, and risk losing her family; or (2) Let the King break out of prison and reek havoc (but again, I don't think "determination" is enough of a reason for the King to escape after being locked away for centuries).]





This is definitely better than your first attempt! Smiley

 6 
 on: Today at 11:50:13 AM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Silverdragon
Ok, how about this then. I wonder if I should end it like this (changed up para. 3). I appreciate everyone's help on this!!  Grin Grin Grin

Dear Agent:

Sakura has wondered since she was a pup why she is the only one with green eyes and, why her fur glows under the light of the moon. Her family kept a tight leash on her and her brother, to never leave the boundaries of the forest. Deep inside, she knew that she was meant for more than the comforting shelter of her secluded forest.

When the Blackhearts invade her village, beloved members of the pack are taken away. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. The Blackheart's king is desperately wanting the Wolves Amulet, a powerful sacred item of the wolves that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison of hundreds of years and he instructs the Blackhearts to find it. Sakura and her younger brother Latius, escape the claws of capture but, now set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.

Sakura learns that she is a pure descendant from a mighty wolf and the only one to be able to control the power of the amulet. When the Blackheart's king discovers that Sakura possesses the amulet, his determination allows him to break free of his prison but, by doing so, Sakura must face her fears or risk losing everyone that she loves.

 7 
 on: Today at 11:35:58 AM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Silverdragon
I'm not sure. Definately don't use 'Her life changes' as that is one of those terms that is overused and obvious. Do use present tense ie; invaded should be 'invades'.

I get the impression the Blackhearts only invade the village once? I got confused and thought it was twice. The other thing that will be trick is explaining what the Blackhearts actually are in way that is timely to the query. Ie; as soon as you say Blackhearts, you need to explain what they are, preferably. So it is pretty hard to get right.

Haha, yes the Blackheart only invade once and the other thing about their king- later on in the book the reader finds out that the reason he can use his army is because the seal on his prison is slightly broken (as to how...another thing the reader finds out further in the book). But this flaw gives the king the control he has over the Blackhearts to try and locate the amulet. Not until later on does he actually escape the prison and there is an epic fight scene. I'm trying to figure out the wording so that it's not giving too much but, just enough to flow out what is going on for the plot description.   Smiley Smiley

 8 
 on: Today at 11:26:43 AM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Pineapplejuice
I'm not sure. Definately don't use 'Her life changes' as that is one of those terms that is overused and obvious. Do use present tense ie; invaded should be 'invades'.

I get the impression the Blackhearts only invade the village once? I got confused and thought it was twice. The other thing that will be trick is explaining what the Blackhearts actually are in way that is timely to the query. Ie; as soon as you say Blackhearts, you need to explain what they are, preferably. So it is pretty hard to get right.

 9 
 on: Today at 11:17:43 AM 
Started by brendan_hodge - Last post by Pineapplejuice
I just want to say my ideas and personal preferences are pretty ...personal tastey. The good thing about the query that got the partial is it really gets to the point pretty quickly and your wording is freshly you, if you follow me. Like, 'attacks her sanity' ...nothing wrong with that really. And it's probably best you use your own wording anyway. But if going over the query alleviates anxiety , go for it lol. All your queries are good, for the genre...you don't need to worry as much as you are. Thumbs Up

 10 
 on: Today at 11:16:44 AM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Silverdragon


Maybe something like this for para 2:
When the Blackhearts invade her village, beloved members of the pack are taken away. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. He is desperately wanting the Wolves Amulet, a power source that he believes will grant him freedom from his gated prison of hundreds of years and he's instructed the Blackhearts to find it. Only the wolves know the exact location of this sacred item, so the king demands the Blackhearts capture Sakura’s kin. Sakhura and her younger brother Latius, escape capture, but now set out on a treacherous search for their family, abandoning the familiar boundaries of home for the first time.


Or do you like this: (for paragraph two)

Her life changes when the Blackhearts invaded her village, capturing Sakura’s kin, leaving her and her younger brother Latius to set out and search for them alone, beyond the safe boundaries of home and into unfamiliar and treacherous territories. The Blackhearts are ruthless, powerful dragons, controlled by a greedy king that wants to take over the world. He desperately searches for the Wolves Amulet, a power source that he believes will grant him freedom from the gate he has been imprisoned behind for hundreds of years, leaving him with only the ability to send his troops out into the world. 

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