Friday, January 31, 2014

Become an Agent #13 [retracted]



  1. No.

    Incorrect use of a semi-colon in the first sentence. This is my pet peeve. The stakes are vague--rip apart everyone's lives. What exactly does that entail? Also, I think the werewolf/vampire/elf thing would be hard to sell in the current publishing climate. Trends always come back around though.

    First 250: I know that Southerners leave the consonants off of words, but all the left off consonants in the first paragraph was distracting.

  2. I'm having trouble picture a vampire/werewolf hybrid. Once you add in the elves (and a separate order of deadly elves), it's just not my cup of tea. I would say no.

    I felt like the voice was nailed a lot better in the second paragraph than the first. I also have trouble believing that someone with such an informal voice would use whom. Plus, I'm distracted by what feels like a lot of unnecessary commas.

    I might consider opening with the second paragraph - when you start by talking about how bored your MC is, you risk boring the reader, too. Especially because - if she's bored, then the TV wouldn't have her full attention, would it?

  3. No.
    It's a little vague for my taste. Why are they the perfect target for the Elders? Who attacked their homes and why? Who betrays them? I'm also just not feeling the voice of the MC. she seem's older than YA,

  4. Yes. I think you're cramming a bit too much into the hook. I think you should revisit all the hybrid parts. There are too many listed in the hook. A vampire/werewolf hyrbid, I can picture. But a vampire, werewolf, and elf seems too distracting.

  5. I agree with the vague comment. Why would they be targeted because they're hybrids? Without a clear sense of who the bad guys are and what they want, I don't quite know where this will go. You mention war, ambush, betrayal, and ripped apart lives, but I don't really know what that means in terms of what sets this apart from most other stories. ...and you're going to have to be over-the-top unique if your story stars these particular creatures, even if they are mash-ups.

    So my vote is No.

    Best of luck with this!
    Jeannette (#6)

  6. No. I feel like we don't know enough about the Elves of this world to accurately judge why they would hunt down two girls who have never harmed or been a threat to anyone. Also, I know I'm stereotyping with this, but I have a hard time believing that someone would point out someone else being a Christian in the South. I think this is a given, and given the religious climate of the South, your character also has a good chance of being a Christian by upbringing. She might not be, but that's a stereotype of the South.

    1. I respectfully disagree with your Christianity comment. The fact that Mavry is Christian lends to her character development, in my opinion. Yes, states in the Bible Belt predominantly house God-fearing folk...but not every single person is Christian. I was raised in Arkansas and forced to church but I'm not automatically religious. If the main character isn't a Christian or dislikes the religion bc of her lineage, she might point out when someone is Christian.

  7. No,
    Partly because I only have 2 yes's to give. I did have a few things I didn't like. I hate when MC have the same-sounding name. I got confused in LOTR with Sauron and Saruman and I love Tolkien. I also thought the names sounded greek and that threw me.

    The first 250 started slow. I would have liked more of a hook. I though overall the writing was good. Good luck. (complete newb #18)

  8. I will agree with the others that this seems a little vague and like some cramming, but I'm still going to give you a YES! I'm a sucker for stuff like this, because I love vampires and werewolves and this sounds unique, not like a Twilight redo. It actually sounds like an Underworld type of setting, and I love those movies :))

    I will say that the query needs to be tightened up a little and the first 250 are a little slow, but that's only 250 words. I think you did good with only naming your main characters and you showed what is at stake. I like your concept :) I also like that you put a little bit of something personal in there, letting us know that your old occupation can tie into the theme of your novel.


  9. No. I was with you until the end of the third paragraph of your query and then I got lost. Did one of the allies betray? Who ambushes?
    Others have noted punctuation errors and I'll reiterate - it's important to catch those things, especially when they happen in the first sentence. You might double check all your commas.
    The first 250 show promise, but I would be careful with writing the Southern accent. Too much of the dropped-g and it starts to sound shticky rather than authentic.
    Good luck - it's a cool idea, and I think with some polishing you could have a really fun read.

  10. No. I had a hard time with all the paranormal stuff you were throwing at me. That said I thought the letter was pretty tight. And though the stakes are high, I do get a little tired of: it will end in an awful war. I want more personal stakes. Maybe this is a taste thing, but even if the characters are Southern, I would get really tired of the apostrophes on the end of ing words pretty quickly. (#17)

  11. Query:
    Cut the semi-colons. While they are grammatically correct, a lot of people don’t know what they mean, especially young people. I also find they’re not great for creative writing. You could make the first sentence: “C and C are twins separated at birth and the perfect fusion of vampire, werewolf and elf—making them the target….”

    Your third paragraph (which has another semi-colon) doesn’t make any sense to me. We start with being reunited, learning our abilities, hot allies—bam! Betrayal and ambush! What did I miss?

    Why would failing to save Calypso start a war? A war between whom? Why would this rip lives apart? Be more specific.

    Overall, I was very tempted to say no just because you said “vampire”, but this is obviously not paranormal disguised as fantasy. I would almost suggest calling it high or epic fantasy just so no one ever makes that mistake.

    First 250:
    Never mind, this is paranormal. You’re going to have a hard time selling this.

    Your entire first 250 is spent describing the people on the TV program your MC is watching. There’s no action or movement of any kind. That’s not even any dialogue or much thought. Cut back on the random people on the TV who we don’t care about and get to the MC and her adventure.

    Verdict: No.

    Your query piqued my interest, but your first 250 needs a lot of work. I don’t need to know the backstory of random news reporters I’ll never hear of again. Even if I do, I doubt they’ll be a main character.

    Good luck!
    -Tiff (#3)

  12. No--incorrect semicolon usage made me have to reread a few of the sentences, which makes me think the book will be the same way. Also, the irrelevant information in the bio was off-putting.