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Author Topic: Under A Tree Called Hope: YA Fantasy  (Read 770 times)
Thewriterscoop
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2017, 02:38:05 PM »

After a few more revisions, this is what I've come up with. Any help will be appreciated. Not sure about opening with second person and switching to third.


For eighteen-year-old Lucca de Moretti, being sold out by your people sucks, but what’s worse is when you’re sold out to a fate worse than death.

Three hundred years ago he killed a Shaman’s son during a surprise raid attack from a local war party. Claiming self-defense, the war party demanded his village hand over the person responsible for killing the shaman’s son or they would return the following evening and burn the rest of their village to the ground.

It didn’t take much of a debate, Lucca was handed over without a second thought. He only wished the war party would have killed him that day, ended his suffering then. But obviously, the Shaman had set aside craftier plans for his punishment. A curse that would bind him forever to this world while the love of his life died over and over again, so as a way to make Lucca feel the loss he had caused the Shaman. Retribution made physical

So every century Lucca’s love returns to him with a new name, a new family, and a new life. Completely unaware of the curse they’re trapped in. Joanna aka ‘Jo Choate’, his true loves latest incarnation thinks he’s just another teenage boy with a chip on his shoulder who has a bad habit of following her around.

She has no clue that the clock is ticking, that all her dreams are memories, and that the more she remembers the closer to death she becomes. That her memories are working like a disease. A virus meant to destroy her system from the inward out. She always dies three days shy of her eighteenth birthday when she finally remembers everything, all of the lives she’s ever lived and all the people she’s ever been.

But Lucca’s had enough. He no longer cares about breaking the curse or even saving himself. All he cares about is stealing away her memories and making the pain stop. However, Jo’s been keeping secrets. Secrets he’s been unaware of for over three centuries. Secrets that threatened to ruin his plan of saving Jo’s life entirely, and how is he supposed to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Under a Tree Called Hope is a diverse 64,000-word YA fantasy...
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mgmystery
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2017, 08:10:00 AM »

I really like this premise! This version gives a much better description of your plot. My big worry (and I'm not exactly sure if this is a real problem) -- Is your first 3 paragraphs completely backstory? I've added some suggestions below to help you get to the present part of the story faster. Hopefully someone else will weigh in about the backstory issue. I can't really figure out a better way to word this query. I like it, though! Especially the ending  Smiley

For eighteen-year-old Lucca de Moretti, being sold out by your people sucks, but what’s worse is when you’re sold out to a and his fate is worse than death.

Three hundred years ago Lucca he killed a Shaman’s son during a surprise raid attack from a local war party. Claiming self-defense, the war party demanded his village hand over the person responsible for killing the shaman’s son or they would return the following evening and burn the rest of their village to the ground.

It didn’t take much of a debate, Lucca was handed over without a second thought. He only wished the war party would have killed him that day, ended his suffering then. But obviously, the Shaman crafted had set aside craftier plans for his punishment. A curse that would bind Lucca him forever to this world (comma)while the love of his life died over and over again, so as a way to make Lucca feel the loss he had caused the Shaman. Retribution made physical

So every century Lucca’s love returns to him with a new name, a new family, and a new life. Completely unaware of the curse they’re trapped in. Joanna aka ‘Jo Choate’, his true loves latest incarnation (comma) thinks he’s just another teenage boy with a chip on his shoulder who has a bad habit of following her around.

She has no clue that the clock is ticking, that all her dreams are memories, and that the more she remembers the closer to death she becomes. That her memories are working like a disease. A virus meant to destroy her system from the inward out. She always dies three days shy of her eighteenth birthday when she finally remembers everything, all of the lives she’s ever lived and all the people she’s ever been.

But Lucca’s had enough. He no longer cares about breaking the curse or even saving himself. All he cares about is stealing away her memories and making the pain stop. However, Jo’s been keeping secrets. Secrets he’s been unaware of for over three centuries. Secrets that threatened to ruin his plan of saving Jo’s life entirely, and how is he supposed to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?
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Thewriterscoop
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 10:40:12 AM »

Thank you so much! Smiley

I've been really on the fence about the backstory being too much, but I also feel like its partially necessary to understanding how Lucca presently ended up in a curse, and why he's doing what he's doing. But your suggestions do help a lot. Thanks again.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 11:38:43 AM by Thewriterscoop » Logged
Gobbo
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2017, 01:49:43 PM »

For eighteen-year-old (It's a small thing, but he's really not eighteen any more) Lucca de Moretti, being sold out by your people sucks, but what’s worse is when you’re sold out to a fate worse than death. (I see what you're going for here, but I'm not crazy about the wording. Also, the last phrase is a cliché. Also, I suggest you put the paragraphs together - no space break)

Three hundred years ago (comma) he killed a Shaman’s (shaman's - no caps) son during in a surprise raid attack from a local war party. Claiming self-defense, the war party tribe demanded his village hand over the person responsible for killing the shaman’s son(comma) or they would return the following evening and burn the rest of their the murderer's village to the ground.

It didn’t take much of a debate,
It wasn't a question. They handed Lucca overLucca was handed over without a second thought. He only wished the war party would have wishes they killed him that day, ended his suffering then. But obviously, the Shaman had set aside craftier plans for his punishment. A But instead, the curse that would bind bound him forever to this a world while where the love of his life died dies repeatedly over and over again, so as a way to make Lucca feel the loss he had caused the Shaman. Retribution made physical (missing punctuation)
So And every century (comma) Lucca’s love returns to him with a new name, a new family, and a new life. (This could actually be your query's hook . . . it's that intriguing) Completely unaware of the curse they’re trapped in (comma). Joanna aka ‘Jo Choate’, his true love(missing punctuation)s latest incarnation thinks he’s Lucca is just another teenage boy with a chip on his shoulder who has with a bad habit of following her around.

She has no clue that But the clock is ticking, that (Period)all her dreams are memories, (period) and that the more she remembers(comma) the closer to death she becomes. That her memories are working like a disease. A virus meant to destroy her system from the inward out. She always dies three days shy of her eighteenth birthday when she finally remembers everything, all of the lives she’s ever lived and all the people she’s ever been.

But And Lucca’s had enough. He no longer cares about breaking the curse or even saving himself. All he cares about is stealing away her memories and making the pain stop. However, Jo’s been keeping secrets. Secrets he’s been unaware of for over three centuries But there's something he doesn't know.. Secrets Something that threatened threatens to ruin his plan of saving Jo’s life entirely everything, and how is he supposed to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved? because sometimes the one you love doesn't want to be saved.

Under a Tree Called Hope UNDER A TREE CALLED HOPE is a diverse 64,000-word YA fantasy

Thank you for your time and consideration.

A lot of indirect repetition. Almost everything I lined out is repetition or unnecessary fluff or puffing. It's interesting, but you need to hone your editing eye. Below is how the query looks without commentary or editing remarks. I've also made some further editing changes. Total word count is 212, so you still have 38 words to play with as far as bio or personalization. Remember, the sweet spot for a query is 250 words:


Time isn't running out for Lucca de Moretti. For him, it never ends. Three hundred years ago, he killed a shaman's son during a raid. The tribe demanded the person responsible, or they would burn the murderer's village to the ground. It wasn't a question. Lucca's people handed him over. He only wishes they killed him. Instead, the curse bound him forever to a world where the love of his life dies repeatedly — the shaman's retribution made physical. And to make it worse, every century, Lucca’s love returns to him with a new name, a new family, and a new life. Unaware of the curse they’re trapped in, his love's latest incarnation thinks Lucca's just another boy with a bad habit of following her around.

But the clock is ticking again. All her dreams are memories. And the more she remembers, the closer to death she becomes. And Lucca's had enough. He no longer cares about breaking the curse. All he cares about is making the pain stop. But there's something he doesn't know. Something that threatens everything. Something he never expected.

The love of his life doesn't want to be saved.

UNDER A TREE CALLED HOPE is a diverse 64,000-word YA fantasy.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



I think you have everything in place except for the consequences of failure. Also, I'm not really reading 'diversity'. You may need to drop that, and let the story speak for itself, or bring it out more in your query. I recommend dropping it and letting the story show the diversity as is. Otherwise, and overall, I think you're good to go.

Hope this helped.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 11:11:45 PM by Gobbo » Logged

"Maybe you should just get the hell out of here." (3/15/17)
Thewriterscoop
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 02:19:19 AM »

Oh wow, thanks Gobo for all the help.  Joanna is supposed to be Lakota, but I'm not quite sure how to get this across, especially since the query has been shortened exponentially.

Also, thanks for the heads up. I'm going to contemplate how or if I can move "Every century, Lucca’s love returns to him with a new name, a new family, and a new life," to the beginning and work my way backward.

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:23:32 AM by Thewriterscoop » Logged
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