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WINTER'S QUEEN - (YA fantasy)


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#1 Ireth

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:22 PM

Revision #40 in post #370

 

Hi! I'm brand new here, and this is my first post. Feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Agent:

 

All sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wants is a fun Halloween with her friends. Instead she gets a one-way trip from England to Faerie, and a betrothal to her kidnapper, Prince Fiachra of the Winter Court. For Ariel, raised on her dad's tales of the Fair Folk, it's not a dream come true but a nightmare. If she doesn't escape before the wedding on Midwinter Eve, she'll lose everything: her family and friends, her home, and her very humanity.

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. And no way is Ariel going to sit around waiting for a rescue. Fiachra tempts her with enchanted feasts and dreamlike dances, but she throws his plans off-kilter at every chance. Escaping the castle itself, on the other hand, is much harder. More than just walls of ice stand in her way. The first friend Ariel makes can only help her from afar; the rest all want her to marry Fiachra.

 

As she hones her wits and courage against Fiachra's waning patience, Ariel clings to a wavering hope. If she can't save herself, maybe her dad will rescue her--if he can even get into Faerie. She doesn't dare doubt it, even as the stakes rise high and fast. Her life isn't the only one that ends up on the line.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN, my first novel, is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#2 Merriam

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:47 PM

Hi! I'm brand new here, and this is my first post. Feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Agent:

 

All sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wants is a fun Halloween with her friends.I would suggest reconsidering this opening. Is this really all your MC wants at all? It is rather generic and not all that interesting of a want. Instead she gets a one-way trip from England to Faerie,Also consider getting more specific here. How does a foiled Halloween become a kidnapping to Faerie? and a betrothal to her kidnapper, Prince Fiachra of the Winter Court. For Ariel, raised on her dad's tales of the Fair Folk, it's not a dream come true but a nightmare. If she doesn't escape before the wedding on Midwinter Eve, she'll lose everything: her family and friends, her home, and her very humanity. I'm guessing that if Dad had Fair Folk tales, her connection to Faerie is more than coincidental. Why her? If you can get a little more specific, I think it will help.  Although technically your paragraph is well written and clear, it is not necessarily memorable and standing out from the numerous other similar stories of "transportation to another realm with no way to get back" that an agent will see.

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. And no way is Ariel going to sit around waiting for a rescue. great, glad to see she's feisty. Fiachra tempts her with enchanted feasts and dreamlike dances, but she throws his plans off-kilter at every chanceHow? Again, give me something specific. Escaping the castle itself, on the other hand, is much harder. More than just walls of ice stand in her way. The first friend Ariel makes can only help her from afaragain, too vague. How?; the rest all want her to marry Fiachra.

 

As she hones her wits and courage example? against Fiachra's waning patience, Ariel clings to a wavering hope. If she can't save herself, maybe her dad will rescue her--if he can even get into Faerie Is there a way you could explain why she thinks a)Dad knows where she is and b)He could save her?. She doesn't dare doubt it, even as the stakes rise high and fast. Her life isn't the only one that ends up on the line.You lost me with the last two sentences. She doesn't doubt Dad can get in? Who else's life is on the line? Too vague.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN, my first novel,I'd take this out, others may disagree. If you were already published, you wouldn't likely be querying, so you wouldn't need to say it. Or, you'd say what you'd already published. is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

It's a lot of red -sorry for that!  I think the structure of your query is spot on, but bringing more specifics into it about why your particular story is so much more interesting that any other Faerie story will be important.

Best wishes!



#3 Ireth

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the prompt reply, Merriam! To address your concerns:

 

I would suggest reconsidering this opening. Is this really all your MC wants at all? It is rather generic and not all that interesting of a want. For the immediate present, it is all she wants. Given all she knows of the Fair Folk, and her family's past experience with them, the chance to go out on Halloween and have fun with her friends without the danger of being kidnapped by a Fae is something she craves. Her future goals like graduating high school, college, etc. are irrelevant to the story.

 

Also consider getting more specific here. How does a foiled Halloween become a kidnapping to Faerie? Good point there. The kidnapping is the thing that foils the Halloween fun (though that's probably just an issue of semantics or sentence structure). I guess I shouldn't count on agents being intrigued by the question of "how does that happen?"

 

I'm guessing that if Dad had Fair Folk tales, her connection to Faerie is more than coincidental. Why her? If you can get a little more specific, I think it will help. The trouble here is that getting more specific about her connection to Faerie would require going into a lot of backstory that's only tangentially relevant to the plot. As far as the villain's specific motivation goes, he wants her because a) he thinks she's pretty, and b) she believes in the Fae when practically nobody else does. It's the reason behind her belief that's the troublesome bit. I don't think it's necessary to go too much into detail. What's important is that she believes, not so much the reason why.

 

Is there a way you could explain why she thinks a)Dad knows where she is and b)He could save her? I could try to include something about that in the initial paragraph. Her dad has fought the Fae before (which is the reason he and Ariel believe), so she's confident he can save her, as long as he can get into Faerie. He knows she's in danger because she called him for help while fleeing from Fiachra, and he ran to the rescue, but got there too late.

 

She doesn't doubt Dad can get in? No, she doesn't dare doubt. As in, she does her best not to doubt, hard though it is. If she gives in to doubt and loses hope, Fiachra wins. That is a Bad Thing.

 

Who else's life is on the line? Too vague. Good point. I'm afraid of spoiling the ending, though. The other life on the line is a big reveal that only comes about at the climax, and Ariel's life doesn't end up on the line until then as well.

 

Thanks for your help!


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#4 megcmeg

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:47 AM

Dear Agent:

 

All sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wants is a fun Halloween with her friends. This hook isn't immediately arresting - maybe find an opening sentence that gives us an idea of the potential stakes and conflict. Instead she gets a one-way trip from England to Faerie, and a betrothal to her kidnapper, Prince Fiachra of the Winter Court. For Ariel, raised on her dad's tales of the Fair Folk, it's not a dream come true but a nightmare. This sentence is a little awkward. If she doesn't escape before the wedding on Midwinter Eve, she'll lose everything: her family and friends, her home, and her very humanity.

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. And no way is Ariel going to sit around waiting for a rescue. Fiachra tempts her with enchanted feasts and dreamlike dances, but she throws his plans off-kilter at every chance. How? Escaping the castle itself, on the other hand, is much harder. More than just walls of ice stand in her way. The first friend Ariel makes can only help her from afar; the rest all want her to marry Fiachra. It took me a little while to make sense of this sentence.

 

As she hones (word choice?) her wits and courage against Fiachra's waning patience, Ariel clings to a wavering hope. If she can't save herself, maybe her dad will rescue her--if he can even get into Faerie. She doesn't dare doubt it, even as the stakes rise high and fast. Her life isn't the only one that ends up on the line.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN, my first novel, is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

The structure and storyline sound good to me - it's got a lot of potential. The only problem I see is a bit of awkward phrasing, which is easily fixed. Hope that helped!



#5 RosieSkye

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:34 AM

Hi! I'm brand new here, and this is my first post. Feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Agent:

 

All sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wants is a fun Halloween with her friends.  (I'd go for a more compelling opening sentence.)  Instead she gets a one-way trip from England to Faerie, and a betrothal to her kidnapper, Prince Fiachra of the Winter Court. For Ariel, raised on her dad's tales of the Fair Folk, it's not a dream come true but a nightmare. If she doesn't escape before the wedding on Midwinter Eve, she'll lose everything: her family and friends, her home, and her very humanity.

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. And no way is Ariel going to sit around waiting for a rescue. Fiachra tempts her with enchanted feasts and dreamlike dances, but she throws his plans off-kilter at every chance.  (This sounds fun - more details?) Escaping the castle itself, on the other hand, is much harder. More than just walls of ice stand in her way. The first friend Ariel makes can only help her from afar (I'd either add more details about the friend or cut this); the rest ("everyone else?"  They're not really her friends, right?) all want her to marry Fiachra.

 

As she hones her wits and courage against Fiachra's waning patience, Ariel clings to a wavering hope. If she can't save herself, maybe her dad will rescue her--if he can even get into Faerie.  (Because there's even a glimmer of hope that her dad can rescue her, I think you should mention it earlier.  She is, after all, just a teenager who's been transported to another world.  There's no shame in wanting her dad's help.  I understand that you want her to come across as kick-ass, but doing so at the expense of common sense makes it look like you're trying too hard to have a Kick-ass MC Who Can Rescue Herself.  Does that make sense?  You don't have to wallow in the idea of dad coming to save her, but something like, "There's a chance her dad might be able to get into Faerie to help, but until that happens, Ariel isn't going to sit around and wait for rescue."  Obviously that's bad, but something to that extent.) She doesn't dare doubt it, even as the stakes rise high and fast.  (This sentence reads oddly to me.) Her life isn't the only one that ends up on the line. (This makes me think it's her dad, because we haven't been given anyone else to care about.  If it's him, it doesn't hurt to say so.  If not, I'm left wondering who else is important to the story.)

 

WINTER'S QUEEN, my first novel, is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

There's a deceptive amount of red ink here.  Your query is actually quite good - I just think you need a few more details.  Good luck.



#6 Ireth

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:51 AM

Thanks, Meg and Rosie! :D I'm working on a revision right now, so most of these points are being addressed, but I'm still unsure about some of them. But hey, that's what this place is for. :D


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#7 Ireth

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:33 AM

Dear Agent:

 

Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, and wishes she didn't. It might have saved her from Prince Fiachra. He's the second Fae to try to kidnap her, and the first to succeed. (The other learned his lesson years ago.) Now Ariel's stuck in Faerie with King Madoc's approval, Fiachra's ring on her hand, and a wedding to come on Midwinter Eve. If she doesn't escape before then, she'll lose her family and friends, her home, and even her humanity.

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. Ariel's dad might be able to save her, but she can't sit around waiting for him. She's got her hands full dodging Fiachra's tricks and traps. When he tempts her with an enchanted feast, she cuts her hand so she won't have to eat. Later, she uses that pain to stay grounded in reality during a dreamlike dance.

 

Though Ariel makes friends quickly, only one -- Fiachra's sister, Princess Méabh -- sees her side of things and wants to help.(1) She can only do so from afar, by searching through Faerie for Ariel's dad. But they're not even sure he can find his way there in the first place.

 

Still, Ariel can't afford to lose hope. As time grows shorter, so does Fiachra's patience. And when she finds out why he really wanted her, the stakes go through the roof. Soon her life is on the line -- and so is King Madoc's.(2)

 

WINTER'S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

- - -

 

Notes:

 

(1): I hope this clears up the issue meg brought up about Ariel's friends. They really are friends, but they just don't see eye-to-eye with Ariel about her prolems with marrying Fiachra. (Spoiler alert: they do eventually, and this turns the tide of the story for Ariel.)

 

(2): I'm still a little iffy about this sentence, since it essentially gives away the climax of the novel. Any ideas on how to work around this? Should I just not include the lives on the line at all?


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#8 RosieSkye

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:16 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, and but wishes she didn't; (semicolon) ("then she might've escaped the notice of ) it might have saved her from Prince Fiachra. He's the second Fae to try to kidnap her, and the first to succeed. (The other learned his lesson years ago.)  (I'd delete this backstory - it raises more questions than it answers.) Now Ariel's stuck in Faerie with King Madoc's approval (different word here - "approval" sounds a little passive.  Is he actively instrumental in Ariel's abduction?), Fiachra's ring on her hand, and a wedding to come on Midwinter (Midwinter's?) Eve. If she doesn't escape before then, she'll lose her family and friends, her home, and even her humanity.  (This is all good but I'm left wondering, why her?  Maybe tie in WHY they tried to abduct her before.)

 

Luckily, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. Ariel's dad might be able to save her (Why? How?  I think something as simple as, "Ariel's dad, who has his own history with the Fae, might be able to save her" MAY be enough), but she can't sit around waiting for him. She's got her hands full dodging Fiachra's tricks and traps. When he tempts her with an enchanted feast, she cuts her hand so she won't have to eat. Later, she uses that pain to stay grounded in reality during a dreamlike dance.  (Good examples - I'd just reword them to sound less like a list - "She's too busy causing self-inflicted pain to get out of enchanted feasts and dancing.")

 

Though Ariel makes friends quickly, only one -- Fiachra's sister, Princess Méabh -- sees her side of things and wants to help.(1) She can only do so from afar, by searching through Faerie for Ariel's dad. But they're not even sure he can find his way there in the first place.  (Right now I don't think this paragraph does anything for you.  You've got a friend who's far away, trying to help but not sounding very successful - and she's a friend you don't mention again.  Plus, saying that Ariel makes a lot of friends lowers the stakes and sense of danger.)

 

Still, Ariel can't afford to lose hope. As time grows shorter, so does Fiachra's patience. And when she finds out why he really wanted her, the stakes go through the roof (this is telling, not showing). Soon her life is on the line -- and so is King Madoc's.(2)  (I'd leave it with Ariel's life on the line - she's the MC.  Right now I couldn't care less about King Madoc - in fact, it seems like the fewer Fae royals around, the better.)

 

WINTER'S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

- - -

 

Notes:

 

(1): I hope this clears up the issue meg brought up about Ariel's friends. They really are friends, but they just don't see eye-to-eye with Ariel about her prolems with marrying Fiachra. (Spoiler alert: they do eventually, and this turns the tide of the story for Ariel.)

 

(2): I'm still a little iffy about this sentence, since it essentially gives away the climax of the novel. Any ideas on how to work around this? Should I just not include the lives on the line at all?

 

What happened to her dad?  Does he ever show up?  Make sure you're focusing on the characters who really matter, and explain why they matter.  Does Meabh play any more important role?  Does Madoc?  Right now I don't have a good sense of who the antagonist is, besides Fiachra.  Keep at it!



#9 Ireth

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:56 PM

Thanks again, Rosie!

 

I like your suggestions for the opening like. How about a compromise on word choice and punctuation? "Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, but wishes she didn't; it might have spared her from the notice of Prince Fiachra."

 

(I'd delete this backstory - it raises more questions than it answers.) Agreed. Done. :)

 

approval (different word here - "approval" sounds a little passive.  Is he actively instrumental in Ariel's abduction?) He isn't. The passive word choice is intentional. I think I'll cut him out of the query entirely, to keep the focus on Ariel, her dad, and Fiachra.

 

(Midwinter's?) Midwinter reads fine to me. IMO, it's like "Christmas Eve", which doesn't need an apostrophe.

 

(This is all good but I'm left wondering, why her?) Ariel's aforementioned belief in the Fae is the deciding factor here. Secondary to that is the fact that he thinks she's beautiful. Why a human, you may ask? Because he's such a douchebag no Fae woman will have him.

 

(Why? How?  I think something as simple as, "Ariel's dad, who has his own history with the Fae, might be able to save her" MAY be enough) I'll edit that in.

 

(Good examples - I'd just reword them to sound less like a list - "She's too busy causing self-inflicted pain to get out of enchanted feasts and dancing.") I like that. Much more succinct. ^^

 

(Right now I don't think this paragraph does anything for you.  You've got a friend who's far away, trying to help but not sounding very successful - and she's a friend you don't mention again.  Plus, saying that Ariel makes a lot of friends there lowers the stakes and sense of danger.) Agreed. *wields scissors* Out it goes.

 

(this is telling, not showing) Yeah, I figured it was kinda cliché.

 

(I'd leave it with Ariel's life on the line - she's the MC.  Right now I couldn't care less about King Madoc - in fact, it seems like the fewer Fae royals around, the better chance Ariel has of escape.) Heheh, pretty much. I'll trim those two sentences and merge them. "And when she finds out why Fiachra really wanted her, her life ends up on the line."

 

What happened to her dad?1  Does he ever show up?2  Make sure you're focusing on the characters who really matter, and explain why they matter.  Does Meabh play any more important role?3  Does Madoc?4  Right now I don't have a good sense of who the antagonist is, besides Fiachra.5

 

1 - His side of the story forms the subplot, as he teams up with his brother to brave Faerie's dangers in search of Ariel. I've been thinking about adding a paragraph about that to the query, but I'm not sure if it's advisable.

 

2 - See 1.

 

3 - Yes, she eventually finds Ariel's dad and uncle, and takes them to the castle where Ariel is held.

 

4 - He's quite important to the climax, but I'm not sure I want to spoil that in the query.

 

5 - Fiachra is the primary antagonist; everyone else who would seem to act against Ariel, like her friends who want her to marry Fiachra, is more of an anti-villain at best. Madoc might seem to be a villain, but he's secondary to Fiachra. Other antagonistic Fae show up in the subplot, but they're not really related to Fiachra's plot.

 

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's back to work I go. :D


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#10 RosieSkye

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:30 PM

he's such a douchebag no Fae woman will have him.

 

LOL!



#11 Ireth

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:36 PM

LOL!

 

Glad you liked that. XD Any thoughts on the issues I brought up, especially including Ariel's dad's POV in the query?


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#12 RosieSkye

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:14 AM

I think it depends on how instrumental Dad is to the final outcome.  If he's a big help to Ariel, I'd include that he shows up to help.  Father-daughter fighting teams aren't something you see that much in YA, so it would add a unique twist to your story.  OR if he shows up and is in danger and Ariel saves him, that's another big plus for her.  But if he's not a key player in the ultimate stakes, I might cut him from the query altogether.  Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with your story to say more than that.  I think the most important thing is that you keep the story streamlined - main plot and most important characters that contribute to that plot.

 

As for Madoc, if he's important to the climax, you might want to mention him again in the query besides the fact that he's simply there with Ariel shows up.  What does he do in between?  You don't have to give away a ton, but if you establish him as a force in the story, then you can include him in the ultimate stakes.  That being said, I think the query stands fine just focusing on Ariel.



#13 Ireth

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:51 AM

I think it depends on how instrumental Dad is to the final outcome.  If he's a big help to Ariel, I'd include that he shows up to help.  Father-daughter fighting teams aren't something you see that much in YA, so it would add a unique twist to your story.  OR if he shows up and is in danger and Ariel saves him, that's another big plus for her.  But if he's not a key player in the ultimate stakes, I might cut him from the query altogether.  Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with your story to say more than that.  I think the most important thing is that you keep the story streamlined - main plot and most important characters that contribute to that plot.

 

Good points. They don't actually fight together during the climax, nor is the dad the one in danger. By the time their plotlines merge, the fighting is done, and the tension comes from words exchanged with King Madoc, as they try to convince him to let Ariel go home. They do end up acting together to turn things around when King Madoc is in danger, though.

 

As for Madoc, if he's important to the climax, you might want to mention him again in the query besides the fact that he's simply there with Ariel shows up.  What does he do in between?  You don't have to give away a ton, but if you establish him as a force in the story, then you can include him in the ultimate stakes.  That being said, I think the query stands fine just focusing on Ariel.

 

That's the tricky part. He is a rather passive character, and doesn't actually do much until the climax. Even when he's in danger, it's Fiachra's fault, not his. You're right, he can stand to be left out of the query.

 

Revision #2 to come, hopefully soon. ^^


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#14 Ireth

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:52 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, but wishes she didn't; it might have kept her out of Prince Fiachra's notice. He's the second Fae to try to kidnap her, and the first to succeed. Now she's trapped in an icy castle deep in Faerie, with his ring on her finger and his promise they'll marry on Midwinter Eve. If she doesn't escape before then, she'll lose her family and friends, her home, and her humanity.

 

Luckily for Ariel, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. Her dad might be able to save her like he did last time, but she won't sit around waiting for him. She's too busy dodging enchanted feasts and dances, mainly by self-inflicted injury -- a necessary evil, in her opinion. Fleeing the castle gets her thrown into a dungeon, but its walls and bars won't hold her in for long.

 

Ariel can't afford to give up or lose hope. Every setback she encounters is another chance to try. But time grows short, and so does Fiachra's patience. Ariel's stubbornness turns to desperation as the stakes climb higher and higher. If her dad's going to save her, it had better be soon, before there's just a corpse left to bring home.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#15 jadah

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:26 PM

I have a soft spot for all Faerie books. 

 

 

Dear Agent:

 

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, but wishes she didn't; it might have kept her out of Prince Fiachra's notice. While this tells us some important information, it doesn't do its job...which is hooking me.

 

He's the second Fae to try to kidnap her, and the first to succeed. Now she's trapped in an icy castle deep in Faerie, with his ring on her finger and his promise they'll marry on Midwinter Eve. If she doesn't escape before then, she'll lose her family and friends, her home, and her humanity.

 

Luckily for Ariel, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. Her dad might be able to save her like he did last time, but she won't sit around waiting for him. She's too busy dodging enchanted feasts and dances, mainly by self-inflicted injury -- a necessary evil, in her opinion. Fleeing the castle gets her thrown into a dungeon, but its walls and bars won't hold her in for long. So far this reads a bit like backstory.

 

Ariel can't afford to give up or lose hope. Every setback she encounters is another chance to try. But time grows short, and so does Fiachra's patience. Ariel's stubbornness turns to desperation as the stakes climb higher and higher. This is telling instead of showing. If the stakes are getting higher and higher, I want to feel some tension as if they actually are. What are the stakes? What is Ariel going to lose? I suggest using the last sentence of the second paragraph here. If her dad's going to save her, it had better be soon, before there's just a corpse left to bring home. Why would she die? It seems like the only thing she's in danger of is killing herself. Doesn't seem like the prince wants her dead. I feel like there's something important about the first time she was kidnapped, like you're being vague on purpose. Be careful with that.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

What worries me is that the way this query is set up makes me believe Ariel is kidnapped and the whole book is just her waiting for her dad to rescue her. This is Ariel's story. What does Ariel do?


Find ARTIFICIAL on Goodreads and Amazon!

 

 

 


#16 Ireth

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the comments, Jadah!

 

While this tells us some important information, it doesn't do its job...which is hooking me. Looks like I'll have to rework it, then. The first half is supposed to be the real hook: the dichotomy between what Ariel believes and what she wishes she did. That her belief results in her kidnapping is the proverbial icing on the cake.

 

So far this reads a bit like backstory. Not good, since it's the meat of the story! The kidnapping happens in chapter one. The only backstory in this query is the mention of the first kidnapping attempt, which failed, but resulted in Ariel and her family believing in the Fae.

 

Why would she die? It seems like the only thing she's in danger of is killing herself. No, she's not stupid. The worst injury she gives herself is a cut on the hand, not like a slit wrist or anything. I don't like the self-injury detail myself, but it's what happens, so I'm not sure how to work around it without being even more vague.

 

Doesn't seem like the prince wants her dead. That's exactly what happens, actually. Though it doesn't come to light until the climax, when Ariel's escape attempts have led Fiachra to think "screw this, you're more trouble than you're worth. I'll find someone else."

 

I feel like there's something important about the first time she was kidnapped, like you're being vague on purpose. Be careful with that. The failed would-be kidnapper is a part of the story, though none of the characters know it until the climax, and it doesn't really bear on the plot as a whole. The most important thing is that it sparked the Hawk family's belief in the Fae, which is most of the reason Fiachra chose Ariel.

 

What worries me is that the way this query is set up makes me believe Ariel is kidnapped and the whole book is just her waiting for her dad to rescue her.  - Heck no. Her escape attempts, which you said read as "backstory", are the meat of the story.

 

This is Ariel's story. What does Ariel do? - See above. The query explicitly says "She won't sit around waiting for [her dad]." That's the whole point.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#17 LauraPalmer

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:43 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk believes in the Fae, but wishes she didn't; I think this reads awkwardly, which is bad for a first sentence.

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wishes she didn't believe in the Fae; it might have kept her out of Prince Fiachra's notice. He's the second Fae to try to kidnap her, and the first to succeed. Now she's trapped in an icy castle deep in Faerie, with his ring on her finger and his promise they'll marry on Midwinter Eve. 'his and his' read awkwardly to me - perhaps and a wedding date on Midwinter Eve?

If she doesn't escape before then, she'll lose her family and friends, her home, and her humanity. Why her humanity? This makes me read on. Overall, I think this is a good first paragraph.

 

Luckily for Ariel, Midwinter Eve is still seven weeks off. Her dad might be able to save her like he did last time, but she won't sit around waiting for him. She's too busy dodging enchanted feasts and dances, mainly by self-inflicted injury -- a necessary evil, in her opinion. I'm not sure what this means. I had to reread it until I settled on the idea that she is hurting herself to avoid going to dances. Is this really a good character-defining detail? She pretends to break her own ankle to stay in her room? What is she hoping to achieve by that? Is she simply being obstinate or is there a danger to her in hanging out with the Fae? If she's just obstinate, self-inflicted injuries might not be the best way of reinforcing that trait.

 

Fleeing the castle gets her thrown into a dungeon, but its walls and bars won't hold her in for long.

 

Ariel can't afford to give up or lose hope. Every setback she encounters is another chance to try. This seems like an empty sentence. It doesn't tell us anything about your story. But time grows short, and so does Fiachra's patience. Ariel's stubbornness turns to desperation as the stakes climb higher and higher Are the stakes really changing over time?. If her dad's going to save her, it had better be soon, before there's just a corpse left to bring home. This last sentence is pithy, but not in line with the rest of the query, IMO. First, it implies she's given up saving herself and is waiting on her dad, which is a reversal of the character you built up. Second, she might be dead - that's sudden! Will Fiachra kill her before marrying her? Or do you mean she might kill herself to avoid marrying him? If Fiachra's plan suddenly changes, mention that.

 

WINTER'S QUEEN is a YA fantasy of 80,000 words. It will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie and Garry Kilworth's Knights of Liöfwende. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I read this query before reading previous versions. I think you need to mention she is from England or the real-world as you did in the original. I see how the self-injury bit came in because of the enchanted feast. I think what you want to convey is that Fiachra is trying to trick her into X via Y, and she cleverly evades him even if it means blood is spilled. I would consider this detail carefully because it could bring self-harm to mind. It's a bit jarring because we go from a light-weight marriage plot (it's the second time she's been kidnapped! Oops! It sounded fun and humorous) to violence and pain. I'm not sure what the tone of the book is. It seems to get progressively darker.

 

In the last paragraph, you need to tell us that Fiachra doesn't want to marry her, but kill her (or whatever it is), if that's what raises the stakes at the end. You don't have to tell us why necessarily, but the agent needs to understand why tension level has changed from unwanted marriage to death. There's also the loose end about losing her humanity in paragraph 1.



#18 jadah

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:48 PM

I see.

 

To build a bridge between the prince and Ariel's would-be corpse, maybe you should hint that not all is as it seems in this faerie tale marriage. Otherwise, it seems to come out of nowhere.

 

It reads as though there's not much conflict - I mean, sure, she's kidnapped and trying to escape, and I realize that in itself is a conflict. What I mean is, she's kidnapped in chapter one and then she just...dodges balls and feasts until pops shows up to rescue her? As a reader, this is all I know from your query. If there is political intrigue and a bad guy behind the curtain, give us a little taste of that. Otherwise it falls flat.

 

Hope that helps.


Find ARTIFICIAL on Goodreads and Amazon!

 

 

 


#19 jadah

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:51 PM

Well said, Laura. I agree.


Find ARTIFICIAL on Goodreads and Amazon!

 

 

 


#20 Ireth

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:08 PM

Much appreciated, Laura!

 

I think this reads awkwardly, which is bad for a first sentence. Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hawk wishes she didn't believe in the Fae; I like that. I'll work with it. :)

 

Why her humanity? This makes me read on. Overall, I think this is a good first paragraph. Glad you like it. The detail about losing her humanity is one I wasn't sure about including, but it's at stake as much as anything else in that list. If she marries Fiachra and stays in Faerie, she'll become part-Fae herself. I'm just not sure how to get that across in the query, since it doesn't actually happen.

 

I'm not sure what this means. I had to reread it until I settled on the idea that she is hurting herself to avoid going to dances. Is this really a good character-defining detail? She pretends to break her own ankle to stay in her room? What is she hoping to achieve by that? Is she simply being obstinate or is there a danger to her in hanging out with the Fae? If she's just obstinate, self-inflicted injuries might not be the best way of reinforcing that trait.  Wholeheartedly agree. But, going for detail instead of vagueness is "a necessary evil", and the injury is unfortunately a part of the plot. How else would you suggest I explain that?

 

Are the stakes really changing over time? Yes, and quite suddenly.

 

This last sentence is pithy, but not in line with the rest of the query, IMO. First, it implies she's given up saving herself and is waiting on her dad, which is a reversal of the character you built up. Hey, everyone has their own Despair Event Horizon. Learning Fiachra wants to kill her rather than marry her sends her over the edge.

 

Second, she might be dead - that's sudden! Will Fiachra kill her before marrying her? Or do you mean she might kill herself to avoid marrying him? If Fiachra's plan suddenly changes, mention that. It's the first one, as I said to Jadah above. Again, I'm not sure how to do that without giving away the climax. I'm not sure that's advisable in a query. The point is to keep the agent wondering, isnt it?

 

I read this query before reading previous versions. I think you need to mention she is from England or the real-world as you did in the original. I see how the self-injury bit came in because of the enchanted feast. I think what you want to convey is that Fiachra is trying to trick her into X via Y, and she cleverly evades him even if it means blood is spilled. Indeed. I would consider this detail carefully because it could bring self-harm to mind. Exactly my problem with it. It's a bit jarring because we go from a light-weight marriage plot (it's the second time she's been kidnapped! (well, second time someone's TRIED.) Oops! It sounded fun and humorous) to violence and pain. I'm not sure what the tone of the book is. It seems to get progressively darker. You're right, it does.

 

In the last paragraph, you need to tell us that Fiachra doesn't want to marry her, but kill her (or whatever it is), if that's what raises the stakes at the end. You don't have to tell us why necessarily, but the agent needs to understand why tension level has changed from unwanted marriage to death. There's also the loose end about losing her humanity in paragraph 1. Good points. I'll see what I can do about that.

 


I see.

 

To build a bridge between the prince and Ariel's would-be corpse, maybe you should hint that not all is as it seems in this faerie tale marriage. Otherwise, it seems to come out of nowhere. Agreed.

 

It reads as though there's not much conflict - I mean, sure, she's kidnapped and trying to escape, and I realize that in itself is a conflict. What I mean is, she's kidnapped in chapter one and then she just...dodges balls and feasts until pops shows up to rescue her? As a reader, this is all I know from your query. The escape attempts get progressively harder for Ariel, and therein lies the conflict. It's not all fancy shoes and fine dining. The banquets and balls are only the beginning. If there is political intrigue and a bad guy behind the curtain, give us a little taste of that. Otherwise it falls flat. The trouble there is getting that across without bloating my query.

 

Hope that helps.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/





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