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Friday, April 30, 2010

Want to take a stab at my query?

Well, I posted my query over critique forums and got pretty good feedback but I thought it wouldn't hurt to see what you guys think. Is it at all gripping? Does it suck? Do you hate the idea? Be honest, I won't block you lol. I will appreciate the honesty because in the long run its help :)

Dear Agent,

Raised by his father to hate humans, Vitiosus is a dark Lassertian warrior feared by all. He secretly rescues humans from torture being inflicted upon them by his father’s army, only to see them murdered. His search for peace halts when he learns of his human mother, and that his impure blood could cost him his ambitions, his life, and the hopes of his nation.

Being the prince won’t help Vitiosus when he falls in love with Tiya, an imprisoned human girl. A group of rebels who threaten to attack the Lassertian kingdom see Vitiosus’ love for Tiya and take her hostage. Now Vitiosus has no way out except to surrender to the rebels, but on his way he meets with his long time adversary, Gabriel, a warrior on a mission to bring the Lassertian Prince to his queen dead or alive. During the ensuing battle, he discovers that Gabriel is his human brother. Now he must decide… to trust Gabriel and create a connection between their warring people to save Tiya and the kingdom, or to trust his own kind, that has been helping him all along. Battling for the rights of his people and humans, Vitiosus finds himself venturing a journey that leads him to discover the truth about himself, his people and his kingdom. He only has to keep his life, despite the fact that skulls appear everywhere he goes, warning him of the worst, his death.

OVERCAST SHADOW’S is a fast paced 89,000 word YA fantasy novel. I believe you’d be a great fit to represent my book because you work with fantasy, science fiction and YA and enjoy an action packed and intriguing narrative. Thank you for your consideration and time.



So what did you think?


  1. This is a pretty intriguing query, and I remember reading this over at the forum and liking it. I think you should nix the first sentence though, and start it with: Raised by his father to hate humans, Vitiosus is a dark warrior feared by all.

    Because the first sentence is just kind of info dump and not exciting like the second one. Good luck with the queries!

  2. Thanks Cheyanne! The only reason I had the first sentence was to explain who the hell he is and why they hate humans but I guess maybe I should remove it! :)

  3. First of all I think your premise sounds AWESOME. The query is good but could use some work to focus it and make it a little tighter.

    I won't go into too much detail because it is much easier to make note's in a forum where you can quote the query.

    I will just say this:

    I think you need a better pitch/hook. You only have seconds to catch an agent's interest and your first sentence should be your best. More voice, more zip. I struggle with this myself so don't feel bad. Your current opening is pretty darn good, but you want it to be great.

    I think your query might be a little too long. The story sounds awesome and I think the plot sounds like a great mix of fantasy and YA. Try to trim a little to hone the query to the key plot points and keep in mind the two key things are: What happens and what is the main conflict.

    Other than that a little more voice would help but otherwise you've got a strong query I think.

    Also this is all just my opinion and only a suggestion. Make sure you wait to hear if others feel the same way before changing anything.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Matthew, Thanks soo much! I actually got the comment about the beginning/hook before but I wasn't sure if it makes it confusing of what they are and the fact that they are not human. I revamped it now :) REALLY hoping its getting there lol. Good luck with yours too, querying is tough, eh?

  5. Just letting you know there's a blog award waiting for you. ;D On the query- what the others said, it just struck me as long at a glance. Mine was about a paragraph shorter, and it's about average length of the one's I've seen. Good luck!

  6. I think this is a great story & you certainly have sold me - I want to read it. But the query needs more work to sell it to an agent, I think. First of all, it's not clear that this a YA novel. How old is the main guy, Vitiosus? YA main characters have to be teens and he seems older. Second, he's been raised to hate humans, and discovers he's half human, but it's never clear what is other half is! Alien? Elf? (hopefully something more interesting/less cliched than that).

    The two things that particularly intrigued me were his love for Tiya and discovering his enemy is actually his half brother. If you can figure out some way to keep this query from getting any longer, but at the same time making your characters stand out more, you'll be on the right track. But that, of course, is the hard part - how to make your story stand OUT, come alive, in 250 words or less. (I haven't figured it out yet, either). I think it equates somehow to showing, not telling. You've told me a short synopsis of your story. Now you've got to SHOW the agent what's special about it.

    Also, I think the last two sentences in the middle paragraph can be cut. They are the kind of sentence that are too general to be really interesting (except the skull part maybe, but I think you can work that in another way)

    I'd love to read it again if you make changes.

  7. He saves humans. He sounds cool. I'd read it, but compress the second paragraph. Also, please specify on what his race is like. Are they demons or elves or what? He sounds like an older teen though.