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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > YA fantasy synopsis

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message 1: by Cary (new)

Cary Kreitzer | 14 comments Do you believe in evil spirits? Are they tangible? Visible? What if all they wanted was a body? A body to control and rule over all humankind with? It sounds easier to believe when it's not about you. But what if you were the body they wanted?

“Jazz...Jezebel...hey Jazz!” Jazz, a senior in her tiny kentucky high school, is prone to daydreaming. She is unaware however that they are more than just dreams.
Jezebel was born beautiful. It was a fact she grew to hate. Running away to college, to colorado where the mountains seemed to speak to her, at first appeared to have solved her problems. She was, however, unaware of who and what followed her there. Abaddon, a destroying angel bored with the mundaneness of his ancient tasks, wasn’t ready to fall in love during his current mission to watch and kill Jazz. As soon as she showed signs of being full of the evil Jezebel spirit that seeked to possess her, he would complete orders in the swift almost robotic way he was trained to do. As Jazz relies on what her parents taught her, to combat what she can’t control, what was born within her, the age old question of nature versus nurture is put to the ultimate test. Fighting against nature she feels her identity slipping away. Abaddon is as old as the earth and his mission to destroy this unique Jezebel is causing inner turmoil. Now they are both fighting internal battles. His with the desire to trust something his ancient instinct has trained him not to, and hers to fight off nature and an evil spirit. Losing her battle would mean losing her life and more importantly the destroyer she's growing to love.

Reflection is a YA fantasy about hope and temptation, about sorting out the differences between love and lust. It is a story about choice, about legends, about duty and trust, and ultimately about taking whatever life hands you, no matter how bizarre, and choosing to be the person you want to be instead of the one the world tells you to be.

message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Buchanan (msbananananner) | 17 comments I think you're best off just starting off at "Jazz, a senior in her tiny..." There are a lot of people who say you should start out with a hook, but personally I don't think they're that necessary. Specifically, I find the rhetorical question approach to be counter-productive, as anytime I read them my automatic response is to immediately reply "NO" before I've even finished the sentence. (I am a delightfully stubborn person) I think it's because the format always makes me think of commercials where they start out with "Are you someone who *thing that every human being does*? Do you wish you had *thing every human wants*?" Just because of the fact they are selling me something, I will automatically disagree with them just on principle--even if the question applies to me.

I'm assuming that Jazz is the shortened nickname of Jezebel. In which case, Your best bet is going to be to pick one and use it all the way throughout. It became quite confusing, as it almost feels like it is referring to two different people, but my brain tells me they are one and the same.

And please, break up the poor paragraph! Nothing is worse to read than a big ol' blob of endless text. Your synopsis wants to be an astronaut. Give it some space.

Final paragraph:
Rather than telling us what the book is about, show us. Does your summary reflect all those themes you listed? If not, then rework it until it does. the only thing you need to "tell" us about your book is the title (in all caps), genre, and word count. (If you're using this as a query, that is)

Hopefully this helps in some way or another!

message 3: by Cary (new)

Cary Kreitzer | 14 comments This gets so confusing. Articles I've read about query letters say there's a strict one page only rule. That agents only want 3 paragraphs 4 max. 1why you picked this agent 2hook 3 synopsis and 4 your experience. And that you want to fit as much in that small little paragraph allotment as possible. Is this not true anymore! A lot of the letters I've read had a run on paragraph synopsis and a run on sentence full of commas for their hook.i also read that the showing is for the book the telling is for the query letter.

message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Buchanan (msbananananner) | 17 comments As I understand it, the number of paragraphs thing is more of a "only cover these topics" sort of thing rather than literal paragraph breaks. I've seen so many agents harp of "white space, white space!" that breaking it up seems like a better option.

By all means though, if your agents gives specific guidelines, such as using a hook, then go for it. (But you'll be submitting to countless agents, so of course tailor it to each one)

The absolute best resource I've found regarding query letters is the Query Shark blog, written by a real agent! I don't remember the exact post name, but she covers the length of letters/paragraphs somewhere, as well at the showing vs telling.

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