If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Sunday, September 9, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Polish Blog Hop...REVISED based on feedback.

Okay. So, I feel like I have this query all over the place online, but I suppose that's a good thing. Since I didn't get chosen in Pitch Madness, I chose to take place in the Pitch Polish Blog Hop (Thanks for hosting Deanna!)

This has been through the wringer, but here's my latest try. Oh, and for anyone reading my query who recognizes it from somewhere else and gets confused at the change of names, I'm in the top five kissing scenes at LUV YA. (PRETTY PLEASE GO VOTE!!!)  I'm not allowed to "pimp" my own entry, since the contest is based strictly on the writing and all entries are anonymous. Since my MC's names are used in both entries, for the purpose of my query over here, I'm temporarily changing them. That way, nobody who goes from my website to LUV YA could recognize the names and know which entry is mine. I would hate to inadvertently cheat. :)

I also changed the title of the book. I'm trying on a few different titles to see which one gets the best response.

Against the Falling Moons


Fen's sixth birthday is marked by tragedy when his best friend, Seria, falls through a rip in the fabric of Trillua and disappears into a parallel world--Earth. But Fen soon discovers that the strange bond he always shared with Seria survived. Over the next ten years he watches through his dreams as she grows into a beautiful sixteen year old girl who doesn't trust anyone.

When the leaders of Trillua open a Portal to travel to Earth, Fen risks banishment from the home he loves to hijack a spot on their mission and rescue Seria. But the fall has wiped Seria's mind of all that came before it. Fen has just one month to convince her she belongs with him before the Portal back home closes.

As the clock ticks down, Fen realizes that his proximity to Seria has somehow made him faster, stronger and almost invulnerable to pain or injury. He knows his unheard of powers seem like magic, something punishable by death on his world. Unlike his dreams of Seria, his new abilities are impossible to hide. When the leaders learn the truth, they demand he take the Portal home to be examined as a potential danger to Trillua. If he fails to immediately return, his family will be banished into the treacherous Outerlands.

Now Fen must choose. Abandon the girl he was born to love, or save the family who's depending on him for their survival.


First 150 (But not really--fair warning, I'm cheating on my wordcount. This is the first 200, but only because I made some changes based on feedback and wanted to see if they worked, but that necessitated making it longer. Sorry!)



 Outside the window, the ThriceMoon is slowly replaced by the glare of the rising sun. Deep in a daydream about kissing Seria, it takes me a few seconds to understand what's happening.  I blink in confusion.  The sun? Cursing, I bolt upright from the hard floor. The low rumble of Sin’s snores fills the room. I scramble to my feet and punch him in his arm. “Sin! Blast it. Sin! Wake up!” I wave my hand, as if I can physically brush away the ashy black emotion-trails surrounding me.
On his bed, Sin jerks as his eyes fly open. “I wasn’t with that girl.”
This earns him another punch. “I’m not one of your girls, dolt. It’s Fen!  We lost track of the hour. Look!” I point out the window that takes up the whole west wall of Sin’s bedroom. Beyond it, the blue sweep of valley is brightening as the sun peeks over the horizon.
Sin’s eyes widen so fast it would be amusing under other circumstances. “It’s daybreak? But your…”
“Test is today. I know. Emelina will banish me if she realizes I stayed out all night.”
Sin’s voice takes on a lilt. “You must be well-rested for your Test, Fen. I cannot convey the importance of a good night’s sleep.” He does a disturbingly good imitation of Emelina. 


51 comments:

  1. Hello :)

    First of all, I'd lke to say THANK YOU for stopping by my Pitch Polish not-entry post. It means so much that you took the time to, as you said it, "take my whole query apart." Your dissection is very apreciated. Now I'll try to do the same for yours, if you don't mind. But as you could probably see from my disastrous first pitch, this isn't my cup of cake yet. What I have a a few questions, more than suggestions. Maybe they'll help you more than anything I could suggest.

    I like the concept. In the first paragraph you say "he's still connected." Does that mean they were connected before? Wouldn't that fall into the whole "punishable by death" category? Or maybe this connection was what prompted her falling through the rip? It was a bit unclear to me.

    Why does Fen risks banishment for going with the leaders? And why does Seria doesn't remember her own world? Is that important or am I just rambling? Why are the leaders of Trillua going to Earth? Who is Luc? Is he Fen with the other name you mentioned, or is it another character? I love the time frame thing. It gives me a sense of urgency that always makes for more interesting reading.

    And as for your first words... I like Fen's voice. Writing from a boy's POV has to be 100 times more difficult than writing from a girl's, so more power to you. His reaction to jolting awake in the situation he was in is very believable. I liked it a lot.

    Again, thank you. I hope I helped you as much as you helped me.

    XOXO,

    Johana.

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    1. thanks so much, Johana. I'm always afraid that I'm going to offend people if I make too many suggestions to change stuff, so it's nice when that isn't the case.

      So, the first thing I wanted to say is the Luc thing was an accident. Oops.

      Fen risks banishment because he's only a kid, sixteen--not allowed on the leaders mission. In the book he actually knocks one of them unconscious and takes his spot. haha. I don't know how I'd put that though, so I might just leave that part.

      I do agree that I have to put why Auri doesn't remember, so I changed that too.

      As far as writing from a boy's POV, this is my second book and, in both cases, they are told in dual POV. I actually seem to have a much easier time writing my guys than my girls. Go figure. haha. Thanks for the help!

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  2. I think this sounds great! I love the premise, seems unique to me, and we clearly get what's at stake. Well done!
    The only thing I thought was a bit confusing was having that first line (paragraph even, maybe) in present tense. This happened before your story starts. (What age was he, by the way?)
    Now, I don't know what the anser here would be. To me it feels like a natural transition to have that paragraph in past tense and the next one in present, but maybe that's the wrong thing to do!

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    1. Thanks Rachel,

      I heard that queries had to be written in present tense, so I left it like that. I did, however, finally figure out a way to get in how old Fen was when Seria fell and how old he is now, so that's good!! Thanks for looking at it. :)

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  3. Hi Tamara and congrats on entering the blogosphere with your own blog! You'll love it here! Thanks for your words of wisdom regarding my pitch, there seem to be only a few who know anything about PBs.
    On your pitch- I LOVE the last line. Just thought I'd say that.
    I believe a pitch should show, rather than tell- just like a story does. Something that makes the reader want to read more. That said, I'm thinking that you could create more action. Something to the effect of: (Keep the first line) While Fen's dreams reveal Seria growing into a beautiful sixteen year old girl, her world is fraught with distrust of everyone in her life. Accidentally thrown into a parallel world at the age of six, Fen's rescue seems impossible except for his almost magical abilities. That magic, considered punishable by death, creates a struggle for Fen between saving the girl of his dreams or the family depending on him to survive. (Or something to that effect- I'm obviously no expert)
    The third paragraph- the information here is good because it explains that Fen has more to deal with beyond just saving Seria, but it's lacking in background and relevance- how did the leaders find out about the portal? Why is the portal important? Does it pose a threat to their world? Why should the leaders care is Fen goes to Earth?
    I hope you will find this helpful. :) Good luck!

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    1. Thanks very much, Tracy. I appreciate you taking a look at it!

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  4. Hi Tamara!

    Thanks for popping by my site and leaving query feedback. :)

    Your premise intrigues me enough to want to read the manuscript. I have a few query questions though. First, could Fen always see Seria in dreams? I ask because that would clarify their bond right away. Could she see him (before she was zapped away)? That would heighten the tension of what was lost, especially with her memory loss. Why don't the leaders go after him sooner? By the time you mention his supposed "magic" I think it should be mentioned, by him, first. Maybe he realizes all those new gifts and is glad no one from home can see him. But they can, and the leaders aren't pleased.

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    2. Hi Tricia,
      You've given me some really interesting things to think about. Thanks for coming by!! Quick question--nobody has mentioned the first 150 yet. I take it they're fine? Also, I revised some stuff based on your suggestions. Possible you could take another quick look? Pretty please? haha. Thanks...

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  5. Hi Tamara and thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I have not created many queries so I don't feel confident in offering feedback other than to say I like the premise of your story. Besides children's picture books and middle grade boy adventure books, I also am in the the middle of a young adult mystery and a young adult fantasy. Good luck...sounds like a fun book!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donnalmartin.com
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks very much, Donna. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Hey, I saw this at QQQE! The query is much improved, bravo.

    As for the first 150: Should ThriceMoon be Thricemoon or Thrice Moon? And if it's capitalized, should it be preceded with the word "the"? You could lose the word "being" in the sentence and not lose any meaning, only strengthening it.

    It's confusing to have him daydreaming while the sun is rising. It seems like he should be dreaming, because people tend to sleep at night.

    I know it's a very short space of time to introduce everything, but before the barrage of names I'd like to know where I am, at least a little. All I know now is it's a room, with Sin on a bed, and a window. Give me a little color and style to set the tone, and it'll really shine.

    Thanks again for your comments on mine!

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    1. Hi Lauren,

      Yeah, I'm really happy with the new one. GUTGAA has been immeasurably helpful. Right now my brain is a little fried on the query/first 150, but I'll go back in a few days and see if I can get some description in there.

      Thanks for your help and good luck with yours!

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  7. I'm always leery of asking for too many answers in a query. They always raise questions that can't be answered in that small a space. In a sense, that's what they're supposed to do--make you want to read the story.

    I think the query is solid. The only small thing you might add is the purpose of the Trilluian mission to Earth. Invasion? Scientific inquiry? What is it they're after? And, maybe, does that hinder Fen's efforst with Seria at all?

    As for the first 150, I agree with the comment above to give perhaps a little more description of Fen's surroundings, especially since this is an alternate world. Although, that doesn't necessarily have to come in this small sample. Maybe you've already got that in the next page or so.

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    1. Yeah...its really hard to fit description into such a small word count, especially when I'm trying to establish the importance of Fen's Test/the characters right away. It does have more description as you read on though.

      As far as what the mission to Earth is for--impossible to fit in the query. haha. That's why I left it.I actually started to try to explain it here (just to answer your question) and it got over three sentences--at which point I realize I was going to bore the crap out of you with this long explanation. haha. So I erased it.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and looking at this. Good luck with GUTGAA!! I hope you do well with it and get some agents interested.

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  9. Woohoo for parallel world stories :) Yours sounds so awesome! Oh, and thanks for hopping over to my blog and critquing my practice query! It meant a lot!

    Some great stuff has been said about your query, so I'll touch on the first 150 words. I think it sounds great (and "Sin" is hilarious already!), but I thought about a few things as I read through it.

    Should there be an exclamation point at the end of Sin's sentence? If he's jerking awake and his eyes are flying open, he might be a bit more excited when he says "I wasn't with that girl." Other than that, solid intro for that character, I totally get who he is :)

    The only other part that I would think on is this piece of dialogue - "We lost track of the hour. Emelina will banish me if she realizes I stayed out all night. She warned me a million times to be rested for my Test today.”

    I think this can be worked into a conversation a little more naturally. Like maybe:

    Fen:I'm not one of your girls, you dolt! It's Fen!
    Sin: Oh, is that the sun? But that means -
    Fen: Today's my Test. Emelina will banish me if she realized I stayed out all night!
    Sin: She *is* always warning you to be ready for it...

    Or something like that (but better, obviously, because they're your characters!). Plus, if they're friends (which I'm assuming they are, if they stayed out all night together), I figure'd Sin would already know about Fen's Test.

    I ran into that problem a lot too when I was writing my first story (and am only slightly better about it now haha) :) Like I said before, I would totally read your book, because it sounds amazing!

    **I deleted the first one 'cause I found a few typos haha**

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    1. Hi Alex,
      You're welcome for the critique. What you said about my 150 was actually REALLY helpful. I've switched around the dialogue in that part a million times, but it never managed to sound totally natural. In every other part of the book it's fine (I mean, it's not a problem I usually have) but I rewrote the first chapter so many times that I think my brain just froze up and refused to work for me. haha. Anyway, I thought your suggestions were awesome and I changed it around a bit. Anyway you could take one more look at it? Oh, and I left the exclamation point off after what Sin said because someone else pointed out that there were a lot of exclamations already.

      Let me know what you think of this if you get a chance. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

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    2. Yes yes yes! That's totally what I meant :) I seriously just went "YEAH!" really loudly in my office (good thing I'm the only one here haha).

      My *only * other thing is that the sun seems to be rising in the west. I think you might be doing this intentionally, since it's in a parallel world, but I just figured I'd point it out in case you *actually* wanted it to rise in the east.

      But what you've got is solid! I would totally read on!

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    3. YAY!! Thanks, Alex. And yeah, the sun rising in the west is intentional. :)

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    4. Just making sure :) I know how tired brains work haha

      Glad I could help you out!

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  10. I don't really have many additional comments for the query. My only thing is this.

    "disappears into a parallel world--our world" This sort of stopped me. By adding the 'our world', it's as if the query is written in first person by somebody else. But the query is written in 3rd person with Fen as the main character. I understand what you're trying to do, but I'd drop the our world and just say Earth.

    Good luck.

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    1. You know, nobody else pointed that out, but you're completely right. I never thought of it that way, but it does read oddly. Thanks for the heads up!! I appreciate you taking a look at it. :)

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  11. I think this query is so much better than what you had before. It's much more concise & doesn't get as bogged down in the details. :)

    I do wonder if there's a way you could combine the second and third paragraphs. Maybe kill a few details that aren't particularly necessary to know up front, ie. he hijacked his way onto a mission, he can't hide the truth about his powers (which is obvious since the leaders know about the powers), he has only one month to convince Seria to return (the time limit, although it isn't specific, is clearly urgent at the end of the query when he needs to make a choic).

    That way you could get to the most important parts, which seem to be 1) he's got these powers the leaders are interested in, and 2) he must make a decision between the girl and his family.

    You could do something like (and this not that great - I just threw something together): "When Fen travels to Earth through the Portal, he discovers that Seria has no memory of her past. Even stranger, Fen develops special powers when he's near Seria - powers that seem like magic, something punishable by death on his world. The leaders of Trullia demand he take the Portal home to be examined. If he fails to immediately return, his family will be banished into the treacherous Outerlands. But Fen still hasn't convince Seria to return with him." Not exactly like this, of course - I'm sure you can write something better than I did. :)

    I haven't had time to read the other comments (I'm sneaking this in at work;), so I might just be restating what others have already said. If so, then ignore me! haha!

    I think my query/pitch got posted today in the Pitch Polish on Deana Barnhart's blog.

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    1. Thanks so much gail!! For right now, I'm leaving the query alone because my brain is too fried on it to even see what works/what doesn't. I plan on shelving it for a few days and then coming back and looking at it with fresh eyes. I really appreciate the comments though and yours have been pretty spot on with other stuff, so I'm sure they'll be really helpful.

      I'll be sure to get over to Pitch Polish and check out yours. Congrats on getting into that. :)

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  12. Thanks a MILLION for the comments on my query. One thing I am happy with is my story. My query is my evil enemy and I am determined to get it right.

    When I say I'm not qualified to offer advice on a query. I'm very serious.

    But I will say I LOVE. your stakes (the last line). Brilliant! My current WIP as very similar stakes.

    I would love to answer some of the questions you asked in a private email. My address is inkinthebook@gmail.com. If interested, please let me know!
    Thanks,
    Talynn

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  13. Still not many comments. This is it.

    With this sentence, I stumbled a bit and had to reread it. "...Fen risks banishment from the home he loves to hijack a spot on their mission and rescue Seria." I think I would add a comma between home he loves, and to hijack. I don't know if it's gramatically correct, but I just feel we need a pause there. Just wanted to mention.

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    1. Crap. Someone else already mentioned that and I thought I'd fixed it. Thanks for the heads up!! :)

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  14. Your query sounds interesting.

    I was a little confused in the first sentence because you throw us into a new world with all these creative names. If you had a sentence at the beginning with just one character in it at a time or just introducing the world, it would be easier to differentiate between names and places. It was a lot at once.

    That being said, I am immediately interested in the girl falling into another dimension and that it is from the guy's perspective. I was curious about Fen's social status in his world. Why is it so dangerous for him to sneak onto this mission? Is he barred from it because he's not an elite member of society or because he is?

    Final comment is that though the query is from Fen's perspective, your first 200 words are about Luc and Sin (who is awesome and funny already). It might be frustrating to the agent that we're not with your MC right away, or it seems like we're not. Maybe "Luc" is the name Fen is using now? If we're with Luc or you're using the name Luc instead of Fen, you should use that name in your query, or explain why he's using a psuedonym.

    Hope this is helpful :)

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    2. Hey Lauren,
      I posted new versions of this so many times my brain got fried. I meant to change Luc's name to Fen and accidentally left it as Luc in the first 150. I'm glad you caught that, I'm sure it was confusing. thanks for the other advice too! I appreciate the help. :)

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  15. Hi, I'm a fellow GUTGAA bloghopper. I like the title, query and first 150! I guess the only thing that threw me off was him thinking about kissing another girl when we know he's going to risk his life for this other one. You probably explain that in the book, though. Nice job and good luck!

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    1. Thanks Alexia,
      That was actually a typo. I don't know if you read the beginning of the post, but I explained I had to change the names. I screwed up on that one and left the old name. haha. thanks for catching it!

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  16. Hi Tamara! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my pitch. Here's my two cents on yours. :-)

    I think it's pretty good already. I have to disagree with the second comma you have in "When the leaders of Trillua open a Portal to travel to Earth, Fen risks banishment from the home he loves, to hijack a spot on their mission and rescue Seria." You have to set off the the When clause in the beginning (I don't always know the correct grammatical terms haha) with a comma, but the rest of the sentence is one unit. If it feels too clunky, you could always cut it after "hijack a spot on their mission" and have a separate sentences along the lines of "He's determined to rescue Seria."

    The other thing I wanted to mention is the part about his enhanced abilities seeming like magic, which he can't hide. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like it needs to be made more obvious that he's been *actively* hiding the dream connection he's had with Seria his whole life, since that would seem like magic too. Maybe something like "He knows his unheard of powers seem like magic, something punishable by death on his world, but he can't hide his physical abilities the way he's hidden the truth about his dreams for so long." Except, you know... better. :-)

    I liked the first 150 words a lot. Sin seems like he's going to be a lot of fun. He definitely made me chuckle. Good luck with this!

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  17. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I also think this is really good. I have noted a few minor places where you could cut or change things. I hope this helps.

    Against the Falling Moons [I love the title]

    Fen's sixth birthday is [you could replace "marked by tragedy" with something the MC would say] when his best friend, Seria, falls through a rip in the fabric of Trillua and disappears into a parallel world--Earth. But Fen soon discovers that the strange bond he always shared with Seria survived. Over the next ten years he watches through his dreams as she grows into a beautiful sixteen year old girl who doesn't trust anyone.

    When the leaders of Trillua open a Portal to travel to Earth, Fen risks banishment [delete “from the home he loves”], to hijack a spot on their mission and rescue Seria. But the fall has wiped Seria's mind of all that came before it. Fen has just one month to convince her she belongs with him before the Portal back home closes.

    As the clock ticks down, Fen realizes that his proximity to Seria has somehow made him faster, stronger and almost invulnerable to pain or injury. He knows his unheard of powers seem like magic, something punishable by death [delete on his world, but the leaders are watching too closely for him to]. BUT HE CAN’T hide the truth. [delete They] THE LEADERS OF HIS WORLD demand he [delete take the Portal] COME home to be examined as a potential danger to Trillua. If he fails to immediately return, his family will be banished into the treacherous Outerlands.

    Now Fen must choose. Abandon the girl he was born to love, or save the family who's depending on him for their survival.

    This is really good. I would like to know why Seria needs to be saved in the first place, and then I would like the feeling of the romance between them to be emphasized. Because right now I know he is going to bring a friend back, but if his friend will do just fine on earth, wouldn’t he go back to save his family?


    First 150

    Outside the window, the ThriceMoon is slowly replaced by the glare of the rising sun. Deep in a daydream about kissing Auri, it takes me a few seconds to understand what's happening. [you can delete “I blink in confusion.”] The sun? Cursing, I bolt upright from the hard floor [here I want to know if it’s normal for him to sleep on the floor, if so, he wouldn’t think it was hard, if not, he might also try to rub the pain away from his hip which stuck into the hard floor all night, and grumble about it. Maybe. Or some detail like that would help.]. The low rumble of Sin’s snores fills the room. I scramble to my feet and punch him in his arm. “Sin! Blast it. Sin! Wake up!” I wave my hand, as if I can physically brush away the ashy black emotion-trails surrounding me. [what are emotion-trails?]
    On his bed, Sin jerks as his eyes fly open. “I wasn’t with that girl.”
    This earns him another punch. [love that!] “I’m not one of your girls, dolt. It’s Luc! We lost track of the hour. Look!” I point out the window that takes up the whole west wall of Sin’s bedroom. Beyond it, the blue sweep of valley is brightening as the sun peeks over the horizon.
    Sin’s eyes widen so fast it would be amusing under other circumstances. “It’s daybreak? But your…”
    “Test is today. I know. Emelina will banish me if she realizes I stayed out all night.”
    Sin’s voice takes on a lilt. “You must be well-rested for your Test, Luc. I cannot convey the importance of a good night’s sleep.” He does a disturbingly good imitation of Emelina.

    Love it. This sounds like it will be a fun read!

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  18. Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I think the romance aspect would've been clearer if I hadn't screwed up the names in this version. The original names of the characters were changed, but then I left the old names in my first 150. Oops. So, the first thing you read about Fen is that he's daydreaming about kissing Seria.

    I appreciate the rest of your suggestions too! Thanks so much for checking this out for me. :)

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  19. This sucked me in right away, even with new words like Trillua -- hey, I like new words. Premise is cool, and the stakes are high, what everyone wants. I think you did a great job. Love the first 200 words. I think what I really love is it's in the hero's point of view.

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  20. I am impressed with your ability to create a new world. I loved your first words!

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    1. Thanks so much Terri. It took me awhile to get them right. I rewrote about ten times. haha. But I think I finally got it. I appreciate you stopping by!

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  21. The query is awesome. I liked it a lot. The sample words are good, there are just a few places where I was confused. When you first mention his daydream of kissing the girl, I have no idea who she is or how to take that thought. Is she the fair daughter of a king unobtainable to a commoner? Is she the sort-of chubby and homely neighbor girl that he wouldn't admit he liked? Each paints a different picture in the readers head but with no details, there is no picture.
    there are a lot of S names here, but it wasn't that confusing, just a note to think about.
    I was confused about where they were. At home? out? It seemed like they were asleep and realized they'd slept in but then he mentions that he should have gotten sleep.
    I wasn't sure what Sin was thinking when he was talking about the girl either.
    But you did make the first 200 words hooky because it does make the reader want to find out what happens next and I love how Sin mimicked the girl's voice.

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    1. Thanks Jessica. I originally had a description of Seria (which isn't her real name btw, just the name I put on this query--I explain why at the top of the post) but a lot of people took it like Fen was dreaming of her, instead of daydreaming. That kind of played into the whole big NO about starting a book with a dream. Apparently that's a huge cliche and an agent could put it down without reading any further. Still, maybe I could get some description in there somewhere else.

      They're at Sin's house--Sin is Fen's best friend. I wanted to make it sound like Fen was kind of half-asleep/half-awake--which wouldn't exactly make him well-rested for his big Test. haha

      Oh, and Sin talking about the girl was just because Sin has a million girlfriends so, his first reaction upon waking, was to think it was one of them and assure her he wasn't cheating. ;)

      Thanks for giving me some things to think about. Very appreciated. :) And I'm glad you liked the part about Sin mimicking Emelina. I actually just added that today, so it's nice to have some positive feedback on it.

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  22. Against the Falling Moons


    Fen's sixth birthday is marked by tragedy when his best friend, Seria, falls through a rip in the fabric of Trillua and disappears into a parallel world--Earth. But Fen soon discovers that the strange bond he always shared with Seria survived. Over the next ten years he watches through his dreams as she grows into a beautiful sixteen year old girl who doesn't trust anyone.

    When the leaders of Trillua open a Portal to travel to Earth, Fen risks banishment from the home he loves to hijack a spot on their mission and rescue Seria. But the fall has wiped Seria's mind of all that came before it. Fen has just one month to convince her she belongs with him before the Portal back home closes.

    As the clock ticks down, Fen realizes that his proximity to Seria has somehow made him faster, stronger and almost invulnerable to pain or injury. He knows his unheard of powers seem like magic, something punishable by death on his world. Unlike his dreams of Seria, his new abilities are impossible to hide. When the leaders learn the truth, they demand he take the Portal home to be examined as a potential danger to Trillua. SMALL NIGGLE HERE: COULD YOU FIND A WAY TO MAKE THE PRECEDING SENTENCE MORE DIRECT? WE'RE DEALING WITH AN IMPORTANT SITUATION. ONE THAT UPS THE STAKES TENFOLD, SO DON'T LESSEN THE IMPACT BY GETTING TO THE POINT IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY. If he fails to immediately return, his family will be banished into the treacherous Outerlands.

    Now Fen must choose. Abandon the girl he was born to love, or save the family who's depending on him for their survival.

    ...OK I'M GOING TO SAY SOMETHING I'VE NEVER SAID UNTIL NOW. EVER. NOT ONCE IN THE MONTHS OF READING PITCHES AND SYNOPSES:


    BLOODY HELL I WISH I WAS YOUR CRIT PARTNER!!!! I'D LOVE TO READ THIS BOOK AND CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I CAN BUY IT. :-(

    First 150 (But not really--fair warning, I'm cheating on my wordcount. This is the first 200, but only because I made some changes based on feedback and wanted to see if they worked, but that necessitated making it longer. Sorry!)



    Outside the window, the ThriceMoon is slowly replaced by the glare of the rising sun. Deep in a daydream about kissing Seria, it takes me a few seconds to understand what's happening. I blink in confusion. The sun? Cursing, I bolt upright from the hard floor. The low rumble of Sin’s snores fills the room. I scramble to my feet and punch him in his arm. “Sin! Blast it. Sin! Wake up!” I wave my hand, as if I can physically brush away the ashy black emotion-trails surrounding me. NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS?
    On his bed, Sin jerks as his eyes fly open. “I wasn’t with that girl.”
    This earns him another punch. “I’m not one of your girls, dolt. It’s Fen! <-- THIS SENTENCE CAN GO. We lost track of the hour. Look!” I point out the window that takes up the whole west wall of Sin’s bedroom. Beyond it, the blue sweep of valley is brightening as the sun peeks over the horizon. BEAUTIFUL IMAGERY.
    Sin’s eyes widen so fast it would be amusing under other circumstances. “It’s daybreak? But your…”
    “Test is today. I know. Emelina will banish me if she realizes I stayed out all night.”
    Sin’s voice takes on a lilt. “You must be well-rested for your Test, Fen. I cannot convey the importance of a good night’s sleep.” He does a disturbingly good imitation of Emelina.

    Love it. Not sure if I can say anything else. Dialog is pretty damn perfect, you put us in the scene... voice is good. :-D

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    1. Wow. That response just totally made my whole day. I've read a few things where I said that to people, but I've never had anyone say it to me.I keep saying I'm one or two days away from querying but I keep managing to put it off. This gave me the guts to go send a few out. Of course, I'll have to do that later, since I'm on my way out the door. haha. But again--thank you SO much!!!! And I'll definitely take a look at that one sentence and see if I can't amp it up a bit. :)

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  23. Hey Tamara! I revised my query a tad bit if you want to take a look-sy! Thanks for the previous comments:)
    Talynn

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    1. Thanks for the new comments, Tamara! I'm going to revise again tomorrow with the last suggestions you gave me:)

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  24. Hi Tamara, thanks so much for stopping by at Beyond The Hourglass Bridge. I'm trying to repay your advice but I love this all over, and can't think of anything to say. My only concern for you is that I'm sure you've heard agents grumble about too many stories starting with the weather or waking up, but this flows very nicely so I'd only change that if you had an aazing idea for an alternative. It's great though - wishing you all the best. :)

    Kat :)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hi Kat,
      Thanks so much!! I revised this SO many times and it's only the last few comments that have consistently been saying it's really good. I'm hoping I can get away with him waking up because he isn't waking up, rolling out of bed and going about a normal day. It goes right into the action. Hopefully that works. I appreciate you stopping by and good luck with your story. :)

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I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for the comment. :)