Aug 29, 2010

QUERY - The Crystor

Dear Agent:

Seventeen-year-old Kira Edwards can deal with her friend, Lydia, being from another world, but when she finds out Lydia’s brother has the heart of a wild cat and wants to eat her, well, that’s just not acceptable.

When a photo shoot in the mountains turns into a night of terror, Kira is forced to decide between returning to her life of seclusion or saving Lydia’s life. If she returns, Lydia will die and Kira will forget her friend ever existed. But if she chooses to accept the Crystor, a magical healing charm, she’ll be bound to her friend forever and be thrust into a world where an ancient curse turns a Royal into a ferocious beast.

Lydia’s brother, Octavion, is just such a creature and if he can’t control his primal instincts, Kira will be his next victim. It’s a good thing this spicy little red head has a plan. If Kira can find a way to tame the beast raging inside him, he just might let her into his heart—which is where she wants to be. If she can’t, she’ll pay the ultimate price with her life.

THE CRYSTOR, a YA paranormal romance complete at 103,000 words, features a strong female protagonist who develops into a kick-butt warrior. This novel has the potential to crossover into the New Adult market and will appeal to the same audience as Shiver and Graceling.

The complete manuscript is available for your review.


Christine (C.K.) Bryant


Anonymous said...

This query is pretty good hook-wise. In fact you had me up until "It’s a good thing this spicy little red head has a plan." That's where you lost me.

Assuming the SLRH is Kira, not Octavian (and it's not clear), that's a character description I'd expect to see in a letter to Penthouse rather than a YA. And there's no need to describe your character's physical appearance at all, unless it has to do with the plot (eg she has three heads).

The odd spelling of Octavian is a bit distracting.

Justin W. Parente said...

I'm going to go by line with comments on the query:

1) What world is Lydia from? I'm sure a name wouldn't blog it down all too much. I don't know anything paranormal about this, and even saying she's from another world leaves me asking the same question in the next paragraph.

2) Why is Royal capitalized as a proper noun? Significance?

3)Last sentence of 2nd paragraph is super long. Try trimming it apart.

4) So if Octavion is one such beast, she's known about this problem and is re-introduced to it when the night of terror and the Crystor is mentioned? Confused a bit there.

5) I agree with the comment above on the mention of red hair. Don't do it.

6) Last sentence of 3rd paragraph screams cliche closer. I would really end it right at the sentence before it. Leaves me with a sense of wanting and mystery.

7) Below your full name, you write:

Writing as [insert pseudonym here]

C. K. Bryant said...

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. All really good points.

Zee Lemke said...

I love your first paragraph. I think unfortunately it promises a bit more than the rest of the query delivers. It shows (rather than telling--cut that bit from the last paragraph) that Kira is a strong protag, willing to put her foot down when it comes to getting eaten.

I'd like to know more about the night of terror. I don't have a good idea of why Octavion wants to eat Kira or how she feels about it, and that seems kind of key. Set up their attraction (is it mutual?) much earlier on--he seemed like a secondary character just about until she wanted to seduce him. If he's more important than Lydia, he should get more face time in the query. Telling us he has "the heart of a wild cat" actually doesn't say ANYTHING, because it is neither literally true (pretty sure that transplant would reject) nor metaphorically true (the way you'd say it of a martial artist). You never elaborate on what it means, although I'm glad to learn it's a curse.

The transition from P2 to P3 is awkward as hell. You can do better. Most of this query is not as awkward as the third paragraph.

I'm worried that Shiver might be a bit too big of a comparison title, but it's not my area so I'll let someone else decide.

Mesmerix said...

First paragraph's hook is great. Good leadup, exciting premise, some humor. I like it.

Then I lose it.

1) Is "heart of a wild cat" a metaphor? I read it thinking you meant the guy was like a were-cougar or something. Can you clarify this?

2) I really don't understand how a night of terror in a mountain photo shoot leads to making a mystical choice. I'm sure it's clear in the book, but in the query, my suggestion is that you cut it. Go straight for the conflict/choice. "Kira must decide between..." You don't really have to tell me why. Finding out why is the reason I will read your book.

3) Royal is capitalized, so it must be important, but makes no sense to me. Rephrase so that I don't need to read the book to understand what a Royal is.

4) Was Octavion given the alternate spelling on purpose? It stands out to me.

5) "this spicy little red head" follows a line about both Kira and Octavion, so I do not know who it's referring to. Honestly, I would find a better way to characterize whomever you're referring to, especially if it's Kira. A female protag as a "spicy little red head" sounds a bit, I don't know, cliche? womanzing? You want a powerful character, that's what you've described and I LOVE, then you downplay her to some spicy redhead. There has to be a better way to describ her.

6) Octavion is the major player, not Lydia, so Octavion should get more face time. Also, it's romance, so the romance plot should be your mainstay. Focus on their relationship.

7) Show, don't tell. You've already shown me how awesome Kira is, so you don't need to tell me who it's starting. Cut the line and go straight from (103,000 words with potential crossover...)

8) Cut the last line about the MS being complete and available. Of course it is, or you shouldn't be querying.

All in all, I think this is a great premise. With a quick revision, you'll be well on your way to query-dom. I'm very interested to find out about this beast/curse stuff. Sounds different than the normal werewolf trope, which is good.

Best of luck!

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