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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query Help - YA Fantasy

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message 1: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments I would like some input on my query. I've gone over it almost too much I think and things are getting all twisted around. TIA!

Dear (Agent),

I believe my novel might be a good fit for you. DEATH’S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 60,000 words.

She’s never had a name, and is meant to do nothing but kill. That is, until the day she says “no more.” She decides to take the Death Drink—a beverage that kills anyone who isn't destined to be royalty. Problem is, she drinks it and lives.

Instead of being an assassin, she's the queen of the nation of Valcora. But now, someone else wants her dead. Determined to live now that she has a purpose in watching over her countrymen, she sets out to find out who is sending these assassins. She must use all her training from her previous life to thwart the attacks on her life or else she'll die and never be able to take care of her people.

Since 2013 I’ve self-published ten books across three series, including the Amazon best seller, YOU ARE MINE. As my writing career grows, I’d like a business partner to help me expand into new distribution outlets and seek out new opportunities.

Thank you for your time,

message 2: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (kelsey_simon) | 103 comments Generally, although you can put the word count at the beginning, i think the general idea now is to put it at the end. Also use the wording, Is complete at 60,000 words. not the way you have it.

You last time, the I'd like a business partner, is really strange. I'd take away this completely. I have never seen nor heard suggestions to add such a line in a query anywhere.

To the meat:
Does your MC really not have a name? She likely has something other people call her, and to be honest, the over use of she in the query in really off putting, and I worry that might also be the cause in your novel. Edit out as many she's as possible. You can do some of this by combining sentences. "Until the day she says "no more" and decides to take the Death Drink--etc. Otherwise I am okay with the first part.

The second part JUMPS. Man does it jump! Suddenly she was an assassin presented with this problem of possibly being royalty, and likely not understanding how that's possible. Then she is a queen???

You've jumped into book two before even laying out book one. One agent once said that with fantasy it is best to only right a query based on the conflict present in the first 50 pages. Scrape the entire second paragraph and focus on the conflict you presented in the first. Now, present the stakes of that conflict in the second paragraph. WHY is it a problem that she is royality? How did she get caught up in that. What happened there? What are the stakes of her taking this drink and not being able to die versus being forced to live, and likely not the life she wants.

You have what feels like two queries for two books in a series, smushed together into one.

message 3: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments Thank you for the feedback!

message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Thyssen (rachelthijssen) | 121 comments I think you should just rephrase some things. And I disagree that this sounds like two books. If you just make it more clear that the fact that she survives means she's royalty and she then finds out she is supposed to be queen... well, that would work. So just rephrase.
And tbh, 60.000 seems a little short for a YA fantasy. They are usually around 70-80K, nowadays even past 100K. But no worries, maybe that's just the length your story needs!
It does sound really interesting and intriguing!

message 5: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments Thanks for the feedback, Rachel! Definitely good to know.

And yes, I'm a little worried about word count. I've been trying to add words to it, but having a hard time deciding what they should be. Hopefully I can figure it out soon :) Thanks again!

Roughseasinthemed | 263 comments Don't add words for the sake of it! Ugh.
Most books could do with less words never mind adding verbose padding. I've read YA books of 60K words.
But, there's no suspense in your query. So it needs reworking to focus on problems/challenges, rather than being a summary of what happens which is where it's at now.

message 7: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments Thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely not just adding padding. There's parts that need fleshed out and expounded upon. :)

And summary, hmm. So you don't think someone wanting her dead is a problem/challenge? That's the basis for the novel - mostly.

message 8: by Roughseasinthemed (last edited Oct 19, 2016 11:51PM) (new)

Roughseasinthemed | 263 comments It's how you word it. Right now it's a bit like she has a cup of tea. Someone, whoever? wants her dead needs to be up front. Big. Why? It's almost in passing.

message 9: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments Okay, I can get that. The problem is, she doesn't know who wants her dead. But I can make it more of an up front thing.

Roughseasinthemed | 263 comments Janeal wrote: "Okay, I can get that. The problem is, she doesn't know who wants her dead. But I can make it more of an up front thing."

Doesn't matter that she doesn't know. Surely in itself that is a big thing. WHO wants her dead? WHY? Sorry for shouting but these are the biggies you should be pushing surely?

message 11: by Janeal (new)

Janeal Falor | 85 comments Yeah, who wants her dead and why is exactly what she's trying to find out. I'll try to figure out how to bring that more to the forefront.

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