Author Topic: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy  (Read 116 times)

Offline rachaelthewriter

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UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« on: January 31, 2020, 06:33:13 PM »
AUTHOR'S NOTE

Please go to reply #4 for the updated version of this query.

Below is the query for my currently untitled Ya Contemporary Fantasy. It's a very, very, very, rough query, but I tried to get all my ideas out, so it might be longer than a normal query. Please do not hesitate to tear it apart.


Thank you

****

Dear INSERT AGENT NAME HERE,

18-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley has gotten used to her alarm clock being the sounds of explosions after all her mother is an Egyptian magician. However, because Shaimaa was born without magic, her younger sister Ife must follow their mother’s footsteps. But Ife is still just a kid and wants to act like one, and so one night she sneaks out to a party with friends.

When Shaimaa receives a call from a terrified Ife the following morning, she is horrified to discover a video that reveals what happened at the terrible party. Her sister was raped by an upperclassman from their school. As the video begins to spread everyone expects Shaimaa and her family turns on her. Unable to bear the constant bullying, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.

Now in possession of a magic Shaimaa neither wanted nor can control, she is forced to choose between two paths. Let the upperclassman get away with he did to Ife, or put her new powers to good use. Shaimaa chooses the latter. Refusing to be silent, Shaimaa steps into the spotlight to fight for her sister and justice, no matter the personal cost.

CURRENTLY UNTITLED  is a #OwnVoices YA contemporary fantasy novel complete at 85,000-words that will appeal to fans of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and readers of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith.

For almost four years I have worked as a senior ambassador for the online writing platform known as Wattpad, as well the lead of their Young Adult and Teen Fiction profiles.

Please note there is a trigger warning to the contents of this book. It deals with the matter of, but does not go into detail, the delicate matters of rape and suicide. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
INSERT NAME AND CONTACT INFO HERE
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 02:27:31 PM by rachaelthewriter »

Offline TigerAsh

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 07:07:47 PM »
AUTHOR'S NOTE

Below is the query for my currently untitled Ya Contemporary Fantasy. It's a very, very, very, rough query, but I tried to get all my ideas out, so it might be longer than a normal query. Please do not hesitate to tear it apart.


Thank you

****

Dear INSERT AGENT NAME HERE,

18Eighteen-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley has gotten used to her alarm clock being the sounds of explosions after all her mother is an Egyptian magician. [I like the exploding alarm clock opening; but this is a run on sentence, so try to reword/rearrange it.] However, because Shaimaa was born without magic, her younger sister Ife must follow in their mother’s footsteps. But [I would try to avoid starting this sentence with "But" since you just started the previous sentence with "However"; it ruins the flow.] Ife is still just a kid and wants to act like one, and so one night she sneaks out to a party with friends.

When Shaimaa receives a call from a terrified Ife the following morning, she is horrified to discover a video that reveals what happened at the terrible party. Her sister was raped by an upperclassman from their school. As the video begins to spread, everyone expects Shaimaa and her family turns on her. [Why? Is this the usual reaction wherever this story takes place? I know you said her mother is an Egyptian magician, but I would clarify that this story takes place in Egypt (if that's the case); otherwise, some may assume the family are immigrants (and thus have the same questions as me).] Unable to bear the constant bullying, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.

Now in possession of a magic Shaimaa neither wanted nor can control, she is forced to choose between two paths. Let the upperclassman get away with he did to Ife, or put her new powers to good use. Shaimaa chooses the latter. [This is repetitive of the next sentence.] Refusing to be silent, Shaimaa steps into the spotlight to fight for her sister and justice, no matter the personal cost.

CURRENTLY UNTITLED  is a #OwnVoices YA contemporary fantasy novel complete at 85,000-words that will appeal to fans of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina [You should try to use book comps.] and readers of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith.

For almost four years I have worked as a senior ambassador for the online writing platform known as Wattpad, as well the lead of their Young Adult and Teen Fiction profiles.

Please note there is a trigger warning to the contents of this book. It deals with the matter of, but does not go into detail, the delicate matters of rape and suicide. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
INSERT NAME AND CONTACT INFO HERE


I really enjoyed reading this query! The story sounds really interesting, and it comes through in the query.

My biggest critique is to watch your wording and sentence arrangement in some places. Also, be careful of comma use (or lack thereof). I know you said this is a very rough draft, but the more polished it is, the more we can help you make your query the best it can be.

Hope this helps! Good luck! :)

Offline ryan1

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2020, 09:58:40 AM »
After reading this and your first five pages, I think you need to spend time doing some editing. Lots of basic mistakes.  A few can be missed, but I almost get the feeling you haven't spent a lot of time in revisions yet. Make sure you do.

Anyhow, this has potential.  I think I would drop the first sentence entirely, and then...edit!

Offline London

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2020, 02:48:39 PM »
18spell out-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley has gotten used to her alarm clock being the sounds of explosions Comma here after all her mother is an Egyptian magician. However, because Shaimaa was born without magic, her younger sister Ife must follow their mother’s footsteps. But Ife is still just a kid and wants to act like one, and so one night she sneaks out to a party with friends. This last sentence isn't landing for me. It doesn't tell me about Ife's relationship to magic and her responsibilities, and I think I want that if this is going to be the pivot into the next paragraph. If not, perhaps cut it and go right to the call.

When Shaimaa receives a call from a terrified Ife the following morning, she is horrified What she learns is terrifying and horrifying, but I'd cut oneto discover I'd restructure this so it isn't passive: "to discover" to "Ife tells her" or soemthinga video that reveals what happened at the terrible party. Her sister was raped by an upperclassman from their school. As the video begins to spread everyone expects Shaimaa and her family turns on her. Unable to bear the constant bullying, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.I think I'd restructure this so you get to the rape and aftermath without the call. The call doesn't matter, what happened did.

Now in possession of a magic Shaimaa neither wanted nor can control, she is forced to choose between two paths. Let the upperclassman get away with he did to Ife, or put her new powers to good use.Less vague: what does good use mean here? Killing him, putting him in jail, getting him expelled? Shaimaa chooses the latter. Refusing to be silent, Shaimaa steps into the spotlight to fight for her sister and justice, no matter the personal cost.
I don't see the conflict between her paths. If this is going to not be axiomatic, the choice of not acting has to be tempting. If not acting isn't in some way compelling (e.g, much safer, allows her to get something of value, prevents a bad thing from happening), then I'd restructure this around why it will be difficult for her to use her magic to (get revenge/bring the rapist to justice). Also, clarify if she's out for revenge or justice

CURRENTLY UNTITLED  is a #OwnVoices YA contemporary fantasy novel complete at 85,000-words that will appeal to fans of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and readers of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith.

For almost four years I have worked as a senior ambassador for the online writing platform known as Wattpad, as well the lead of their Young Adult and Teen Fiction profiles.

Please note there is a trigger warning to the contents of this book. It deals with the matter of, but does not go into detail, the delicate matters of rape and suicide. Since both are mentioned in the query copy, I suspect you can leave this out Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
INSERT NAME AND CONTACT INFO HERE

Not a bad start.

Offline rachaelthewriter

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 02:27:07 PM »
Revise: #1

Dear INSERT AGENT NAME HERE,

Eighteen-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley is the black sheep in a family of magicians. Instead of learning how to banish demons or summon interdimensional portals with her younger sister Ife, Shaimaa is much more content in doing homework or going out with her girlfriend.
One night, at a party, Ife is raped by an upperclassman. When a video and pictures hit the internet, Shaimaa is powerless to prevent the online harassment aimed at her sister. Unable to bear the constant mental and emotional abuse, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.

Now possessing magic she never wanted, Shaimaa must balance her grief and hunger for vengeance. This new world has rules, rules preventing her from making the upperclassmen spontaneously combust. But as a teenager, Shaimaa knows how to find loopholes in the rules to get what she wants. Guided by her Familiar and teachings of Ma'at, Shaimaa refuses to be silent and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

CURRENTLY UNTITLED is a #OwnVoices YA contemporary fantasy novel complete at 85,000-words that will appeal to readers of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova.

For almost four years, I have worked as a senior ambassador for the online writing platform known as Wattpad, as well as the lead of their Young Adult and Teen Fiction profiles.

Please note there is a trigger warning to the contents of this book.

Sincerely,
INSERT NAME HERE

Offline rivergirl

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 08:43:18 PM »
Eighteen-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley is the black sheep in a family of magicians. Instead of learning how to banish demons or summon interdimensional portals with her younger sister Ife, Shaimaa is much more content in doing homework or going out with her girlfriend.
One night, at a party, Ife is raped by an upperclassman. When a video and pictures hit the internet, Shaimaa is powerless to prevent the online harassment aimed at her sister. Unable to bear the constant mental and emotional abuse, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.

Now possessing magic she never wanted, Shaimaa must balance her grief and hunger for vengeance. This new world has rules, rules preventing her from making the upperclassmen spontaneously combust. But as a teenager, Shaimaa knows how to find loopholes in the rules to get what she wants. Guided by her Familiar and teachings of Ma'at, Shaimaa refuses to be silent and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.
 
You were doing so well until you told the reader she gets her vindication, now I don't need to read it because I know the ending! You could have probably left it with: Shaimaa knows how to find loopholes in the rules to get what she wants. This suggests some sneaky stuff but doesn't promise a happy ending.

Offline ryan1

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 06:56:36 AM »
I agree with rivergirl, but for a slightly different reason...despite the fact that the rapist should face consequences, I'm not sure I want to read a story about unbridled revenge...at least not without some sense of what it does to who Shaimaa becomes in the process.  No matter how awful someone is, a spirit of vindication can corrupt a person into doing/being something they aren't.  Does that happen?  Or is this really just a story where Shaimaa has to figure out how to exact revenge?

Overall, though, I feel you have a pretty strong query.

Offline TigerAsh

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Re: UNTITLED AT THE MOMENT - YA Contemporary Fantasy
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2020, 12:20:18 AM »
Revise: #1

Dear INSERT AGENT NAME HERE,

Eighteen-year-old Shaimaa Kingsley is the black sheep in a family of magicians. Instead of learning how to banish demons or summon interdimensional portals with her younger sister Ife, Shaimaa is much more content in doing homework or going out with her girlfriend.
[Space between paragraphs, for consistency.]
One night, at a party, Ife is raped by an upperclassman. When a video and pictures hit the internet, Shaimaa is powerless to prevent the online harassment aimed at her sister. Unable to bear the constant mental and emotional abuse, Ife commits suicide, but not before transferring her magic to Shaimaa.

Now possessing magic she never wanted, Shaimaa must balance her grief and hunger for vengeance. This new world has rules, rules preventing her from making the upperclassmen spontaneously combust. But as a teenager, Shaimaa knows how to find loopholes in the rules to get what she wants. Guided by her Familiar and teachings of Ma'at, Shaimaa refuses to be silent and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. [I agree with others that the query letter is great until we get to the last two lines. See if you can rework the ending so it leaves the reader in suspense, and wondering either Shaimaa will break the rules, get revenge, find loopholes, get caught, etc. That will make the agent want to read more.]

CURRENTLY UNTITLED is a #OwnVoices YA contemporary fantasy novel complete at 85,000-words that will appeal to readers of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova.

For almost four years, I have worked as a senior ambassador for the online writing platform known as Wattpad, as well as the lead of their Young Adult and Teen Fiction profiles.

Please note there is a trigger warning to the contents of this book.

Sincerely,
INSERT NAME HERE



This is still really strong! As others have said, I think if you tweak the ending, it'll be ready to go!

Hope this helps! Good luck! :)