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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query Letter critique for YA fantasy

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message 1: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Boyd | 5 comments Looking for any and all constructive feedback on the below query letter! Thanks!

Adolescence is tough when you're the new kid at school, but it's really tough for the bullied wiz-boy Zachary Jones, who has discovered that the safe, logical world within his science classroom has been shattered--magic exists it seems, and it's out to kill him.

Zack knew something was wrong the day he entered school--and found himself in a bizarre land full of terrifying things. An owl's blink returns him to his locker, wondering if it was a hallucination caused by too many breakfast burritos. Things swiftly go south of the border on him and his labs produce strange results--talking clouds of smoke, shadow monsters, and students turning into human gas bags are just the tip of the iceberg. He doesn't realize it, but magic has entered his young life. Kind of complicates things when his mentor has plans for him--it seems a secret society of intellects out to rule the world with amazing technology want Zack.

Well, that's the least of Zack's worries. He's good to no one dead and something wicked this way comes--intent on ending him and enslaving the world with dark magic. Outwitting mythical beasts, escaping man-made black holes, and fleeing from something called the "Bastard's Horde" leaves him little time for much else. Magic and science is about to collide. Zack must embrace what he refuses to believe if he is to survive what's coming . . . unfortunately, he just may undo the universe along the way.

THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF A SCIENCE GEEK is a young adult fantasy series, and the first book is complete at 85,000 words. Fans of J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER series will enjoy the strong teen characters caught up in similar magical adventure exploits fraught with danger and twists.

Thanks again,
Gregory Boyd


message 2: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (kelsey_simon) | 103 comments Hey Gregory, This group is amazing for connecting with Beta readers, but it isn't really the best place to get query letter feedback. Sites like Query Tracker forums, and Agent Query Connect have really created niches for that type of thing.

Agent Query Connect is great and its what I use, but you have to be prepared to reciprocate critiques (its okay if you don't know what your doing, you learn by reading others)

Check it out:

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.ph...

This is a direct link to the query critique forum.


message 3: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Boyd | 5 comments Thanks, I will give Agent Query Connect a try! I do have 3 chapters I'd love to have some feedback on. Where would I post that?


message 4: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (kelsey_simon) | 103 comments That's harder. You might just want to post asking for someone here in this group, for a beta reader for your first three chapters. There is also a looking for critique partners forum on Agent Query you could try. Good luck.


message 5: by Lena (new)

Lena | 172 comments Mod
I'd also try www.Absolutewrite.com/forums.

You will have to participate a little before you can post (maybe 50 posts) but there are so many threads it's not hard to do. You can post both queries (QUERY LETTER HELL) and excerpts of your writing for critique. The writers there are very experienced and can offer more feedback.

Good luck.


message 6: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Boyd | 5 comments Ah, that explains some things! Thanks, I will start to post some here first. I'll check out Absolutewrite.com too, thanks for the tip!


message 7: by Kelsey (last edited Aug 19, 2015 01:34PM) (new)

Kelsey (kelsey_simon) | 103 comments Beware, I didn't suggest absolutewrite because my own experiences there have been horrifying. It might not be the case for others, and you might have an okay experience, but I even had Mod's on absolutewrite bully me as a new poster.

Good luck.


message 8: by Wmba (new)

Wmba Dams | 49 comments Kelsey wrote: "Beware, I didn't suggest absolutewrite because my own experiences there have been horrifying. It might not be the case for others, and you might have an okay experience, but I even had Mod's on abs..."

+10E99


message 9: by Leah (new)

Leah Turner (12signholders) | 43 comments Hi Gregory,

Of course you can put your query letter on here for feedback. The topic of the discussion is Covers, Blurbs, 1st line, "Query". The other links are great sites as well, but don't be discouraged to put it on Goodreads.

I'm going to put my comments in caps so it will be easier for you to read.

Adolescence is tough when you're the new kid at school, but it's really tough for the bullied wiz-boy Zachary Jones, who has discovered that the safe, logical world within his science classroom has been shattered--magic exists it seems, and it's out to kill him. [THIS IS A GOOD OPENING, BUT I THINK THE SENTENCE MAYBE TOO LONG. ALSO WIZ-BOY? DOES THAT MEAN HE'S SMART? OR A WIZARD?]

Zack knew something was wrong the day he entered school-- (WHY DO YOU HAVE THE -- HERE?) and found himself in a bizarre land full of terrifying things. An owl's blink returns him to his locker, wondering if it was a hallucination caused by too many breakfast burritos. Things swiftly go south of the border on[I THINK YOU CAN TAKE OUT "OF THE BORDER ON HIM" JUST SAY "THINGS SWIFTLY GO SOUTH AND HIS LABS..."] him and his labs produce strange results--talking clouds of smoke, shadow monsters, and students turning into human gas bags are just the tip of the iceberg. He doesn't realize it, but magic has entered his young life. [HE DOESN'T REALIZE MAGIC HAS ENTERED HIS LIFE AT THIS POINT?] Kind of complicates things when his mentor has plans for him--it seems a secret society of intellects out to rule the world with amazing technology want Zack.

Well, that's the least of Zack's worries. He's good to no one dead and something wicked this way comes--intent on ending him and enslaving the world with dark magic. Outwitting mythical beasts, escaping man-made black holes, and fleeing from something called the "Bastard's Horde" leaves him little time for much else. Magic and science is about to collide. [I LIKE THIS LINE "MAGIC AND SCIENCE IS ABOUT TO COLLIDE"] Zack must embrace what he refuses to believe [SO HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN MAGIC?] if he is to survive what's coming . . . unfortunately, he just may undo the universe along the way.

THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF A SCIENCE GEEK is a young adult fantasy series, and the first book is complete at 85,000 words. Fans of J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER series will enjoy the strong teen characters caught up in similar magical adventure exploits fraught with danger and twists.

OVERALL COMMENTS:
WHENEVER YOU ARE WRITING A QUERY, YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THREE MAIN POINTS:
WHO IS YOUR MC (MAIN CHARACTER)?
WHAT DOES YOUR MC WANT?
WHAT IS STANDING IN YOUR MC'S WAY?
RIGHT NOW I KNOW YOUR MC IS ZACK, BUT YOU NEVER ONCE MENTION HIS AGE. THIS IS IMPORTANT WHEN QUERYING ESPECIALLY FOR YA. I'M NOT SURE WHAT ZACK WANTS? WE KNOW HIS WORLD HAS BEEN SHATTERED, BUT DOES HE WANT THINGS TO GO BACK TO NORMAL? DOES HE WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MAGIC? YOU NEVER SAY. I BELIEVE DARK MAGIC IS STANDING IN HIS WAY, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT ZACK IS FIGHTING FOR SO IT'S HARD TO TELL WHY THE DARK MAGIC IS BAD. A GOOD QUERY ALSO PRESENTS A CONFLICT AND I BELIEVE YOU TRY TO DO THIS AT THE END WHEN YOU SAY HE MAY UNDO THE UNIVERSE, BUT HOW? HELP US (THE READERS) GET TO THAT CONCLUSION. ALSO, THIS IS IMPORTANT; WHEN LISTING COMP TITLES STAY AWAY FROM POPULAR BOOKS, ESPECIALLY HARRY POTTER. AGENTS DO NOT LIKE WHEN WRITERS LIST ANYTHING THIS POPULAR. I.E. DIVERGENT, HUNGER GAMES, LORD OF THE RINGS, ETC. YOU NEED TO LIST COMP TITLES THAT HAVE BEEN RELEASED WITHIN THE LAST 3-5 YEARS. AGENTS WANT TO KNOW YOU ARE UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST GENRE.

YOU QUERY IS NOT A BAD START, YOU JUST NEED TO GET IT MORE FOCUSED. RIGHT NOW, IT'S A LITTLE ALL OVER THE MAP. ONCE YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR MC WANTS, I THINK IT WILL BE EASIER FOR YOU TO STRUCTURE YOUR QUERY. AND SOMETHING THAT DOES REALLY HELP, IS FINDING BOOKS AND LOOKING AT THE BACK COVERS. SEE HOW THOSE WRITERS DESCRIBED THEIR STORIES. DO RESEARCH. LOOK UP QUERY LETTERS FROM WRITERS WHO MADE IT.

I HOPE THIS HELPS! REMEMBER NOT TO GIVE UP :) ALSO, I WOULD LOVE IT IF YOU TOOK A LOOK AT MY BLURB (IN THE SAME DISCUSSION THREAD) AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

REGARDS,

LEAH


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