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Author Topic: Luckless -- 76000 YA urban fantasy  (Read 202 times)
night
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« on: November 30, 2017, 09:33:01 PM »

Hi everyone. It's been a while since my last query. My last query for my first novel never panned out. I'd realized it was the novel itself, and have spent the last 4 years working on a new novel.
Here's the query. I've spent the past month editing it to death. I really need a fresh pair of eyes. I want to thank everyone in advance, and I will be grateful for any feedback.


Sixteen-year-old Jayce has the worst of luck. Things around him tend to break, he can't ever hand in homework without something happening to it, and people around him have this habit of tripping and falling. He just wants his problem to go away.

When he meets a girl one day, he discovers she has the same problem he does, but she can control it. She tells him they are bad luckers, people born with unnaturally bad luck, whose purpose is to make bad things happen to people who deserve it. There aren't many of them left.

They immediately become friends, and she offers to teach him to control his bad luck by making a charm. A charm contains a person's bad luck and allows that person to use their bad luck when they want. He jumps at the opportunity to learn.

For once in his life, things are actually going his way. But creating the charm has also attracted the attention of good luckers -- those born with good luck, whose purpose is to destroy bad luck charms. If his charm is destroyed, he will be cursed by bad luck again. It is not possible to make another. He is not about to let that happen.

He takes the fight to them, which is something bad luckers never do. Good luckers have always been the hunters, and bad luckers have always been the hunted. Instead of losing just his charm, he may be paying a price far greater than having bad luck again -- his life.

LUCKLESS is a 76,000 word YA urban fantasy with series potential. As per your submission guidelines, enclosed are the XXX sample pages of LUCKLESS for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 10:42:50 PM by night » Logged
gckatz
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 12:22:40 AM »

The structure here is solid, although it could stand to be condensed a good bit by getting rid of those short sentences that don't add any new information (my suggested cuts are below).

But (oh god, you know I'm about to say something SUPER obnoxious, don't you) my bigger issue here is that while this is fine, nothing about it jumps out at me. As written, this is a super basic plot that could belong to any urban fantasy: He's got a power, he discovers that he's part of a group of special magic people, there's another group of magic people who are hunting them, he must risk his life to fight them. Why should a reader pick up this book instead of any other urban fantasy?

Quote
Sixteen-year-old Jayce has the worst of luck. Things around him tend to break, he can't ever hand in homework without something happening to it, and people around him have this habit of tripping and falling. He just wants his problem to go away.

When he meets a girl one day, he discovers she who has the same problem he does, but she can control it. S she tells him they are bad luckers, people born with unnaturally bad luck, whose purpose is to make bad things happen to people who deserve it. There aren't many of them left. They immediately become friends, and sShe offers to teach him to control his bad luck by making a charm. A charm contains a person's bad luck and allows that person to use their bad luck when they want. He jumps at the opportunity to learn.

For once in his life, things are actually going his way. But creating the charm has also attracted the attention of good luckers -- those born with good luck, whose purpose is to destroy bad luck charms. If his charm is destroyed, he will be cursed by bad luck again. It is not possible to make another. He is not about to let that happen.

He takes the fight to them, which is something bad luckers never do. Good luckers have always been the hunters, and bad luckers have always been the hunted. Instead of losing just his charm, he may be paying a price far greater than having bad luck again -- his life.

LUCKLESS is a 76,000 word YA urban fantasy with series potential. As per your submission guidelines, enclosed are the XXX sample pages of LUCKLESS for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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mgmystery
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 08:09:20 AM »

Okay, I obviously know nothing about urban fantasy since gckatz (whose comments always seem spot-on, and I agree about the condensing) calls this a super-basic plot. I really like the bad luck aspect here, especially for a teen. I'd like to see some specific and incredibly embarrassing ways this makes his life miserable  Grin

But I have a question--If there are good luckers with the purpose of destroying them, how is Jayce so clueless about his condition to begin with? And is there a way to portray these good luckers as really bad people since they seem to be the antagonists?
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night
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 08:52:10 AM »

Thank you gckatz and mgmystery for the critique. I really appreciate it. I've been banging my head on the walls for a long time because of this query. I think I have to start from scratch again. You both are right that the query is just a super basic plot. I couldn't see that until you guys showed me. I'm going to be rewriting it from scratch.

I thought the bad luck/good luck aspect would be enough to entice a reader, but it's not coming out clear in the query.

I've had several beta readers read the manuscript. One of them said my writing has improved a lot since my last attempt at a novel. All my readers have laughed out loud and giggled reading it. I think my next step is try to include the voice of Jayce in query, and as you pointed out mgmyster, to portray these good luckers as really bad people. They are the antagonists.

(There's a lot of specific incredibly embarrassing things/ways that makes his life miserable, but I won't spoil it)

Stay tuned for next query (will need some time as my brain thinks how abouts to do and create this)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 04:21:47 PM by night » Logged
night
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 04:27:30 PM »

Originally I had posted a 2nd version of the query here, but I still see problems in it. Please ignore for now. TY.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 10:42:39 PM by night » Logged
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