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TENTH REALM (working title) - Epic Fantasy


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#1 Ireth

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 10:10 PM

This is the "doorstopper" I've been talking about in this thread. Writing a query letter was okay -- it's the synopsis I'm really scared of. XDD

 

Revision #15 in post #95

 

Dear Agent:

 

Cadell knows nothing of black-elves until he witnesses a band of them stumble through a rift into Faerie. His best friend falls to their iron weapons despite a human mage's attempt to heal him. When Cadell kidnaps and tortures the mage in grief-driven vengeance, the mage's family and four light-elven allies rescue him.

 

Though the rift between realms is shut, the light-elves fear another may open. More black-elves appearing would endanger mortals, immortals and wildlife alike. Seeing no other option, Cadell surprises himself and suggests the unheard-of: an alliance between Fae and humans (and light-elves by proxy). To everyone's surprise, his queen agrees, and negotiates a temporary truce.

 

The light-elves' fears are soon confirmed. A spy comes through a second rift, and kidnaps Cadell to the black-elves' caverns. When the black-elves torture Cadell, he recognizes and despises both his people's cruelty and his own, and resolves to change his ways. With aid from an unexpected ally, he escapes to tell his queen of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady.

 

As the allies anticipate war, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns his people's stagnant, selfish ways, craving adaptation and a lasting alliance with humans for survival's sake. But not everyone wants Cadell's voice to be heard. His revolution's fire may leave his life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy. For publishing purposes, it may be divided into multiple volumes (subtitles pending). 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 Selene Bell

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:30 AM

Actually, I think this reads a bit more like a synopsis than a query, because of the progression of plot points. So maybe that'll be easier than you think!


Confessions of a Binge Reader -- www.selene-bell.com -- for query tips, book recommendations and other interesting minutia

 

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#3 Ireth

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:33 AM

Actually, I think this reads a bit more like a synopsis than a query, because of the progression of plot points. So maybe that'll be easier than you think!

 

Oooh, I don't know about that. XD The novel is told from multiple POVs, with many interwoven subplots and a ton of important characters. Pretty daunting to condense all of that into a few hundred words. XD


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 Gruchak

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:21 PM

I would agree with Selena. It does read more like a synposis than a query. The first paragraph is not a hook to pull me in and make me want to read more. I'd work on the hook. The final sentence (His revolution's fire may leave his life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.) engages my interest far more than the opening paragraph.



#5 Carrie M

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:38 PM

Have you considered breaking this up into multiple novels? There's so much going on in this query that it's hard to figure out where the main conflict lies. I suspect the problem is that your novel has so many subplots that it's hard to isolate just one. Breaking it up might help make it a bit less convoluted...



#6 Ireth

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:40 PM

Have you considered breaking this up into multiple novels? There's so much going on in this query that it's hard to figure out where the main conflict lies. I suspect the problem is that your novel has so many subplots that it's hard to isolate just one. Breaking it up might help make it a bit less convoluted...

 

I do specify that it can be divided for publication. It's hard to judge exactly where or how until I actually finish it, though.


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 sharpegirl

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:12 PM

I do specify that it can be divided for publication. It's hard to judge exactly where or how until I actually finish it, though.

 

This is not the way you do things. You can't just tell an agent or editor "Split it up!". That's not their job. That's your job as a writer. And it would also mean they'd have to buy two books from you, not one. If it needs to be split, you have to do that yourself, before you query. 



#8 Ireth

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:33 PM

This is not the way you do things. You can't just tell an agent or editor "Split it up!". That's not their job. That's your job as a writer. And it would also mean they'd have to buy two books from you, not one. If it needs to be split, you have to do that yourself, before you query. 

 

I put the word "can" in there for a reason, meaning splitting the book isn't strictly necessary. Some agents might like a bigger book, while some would prefer it to be split into two.


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/


#9 MelissaC

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:49 PM

There's a lot going on in this query! I think your best bet is probably to focus in on the core conflict, stripping out details and twists to make it clear what's centrally at stake for the MC. (Though I see in a comment that you have multiple POVs? My impression from this query was just one, so you may want to make that clear and give some clue who the other POVs are...)

 

I think you probably do need to decide whether this is one book or several before querying. While it's certainly possible that an agent or publisher might have their own ideas and advice on how to break it up, I think that they may get a bad impression if it looks like you haven't decided that yourself. From your hints that the wordcount is pretty epic, it sounds like it might be best to either make it a series, or see if you can whittle it down in editing before you make the final decision? Of course, only you know what will work best.

 

I think I'd love to see more of a clear hook in the first paragraph... I feel almost like I'm arriving in the middle of a synopsis. I'd love to get a sense of who your character is and what his goals and challenges are to start, then how the inciting event changes everything.

 

I also had a lot of trouble following what was going on (and I do read fantasy)... I wasn't clear on what the various factions/races were really like, how they were interacting, who was a part of each faction/race, etc... I'd rather get a visceral feel for what this conflict is like, what's at stake, and what the tensions are than know all the particulars of how it unfolded.

 

I hope that's helpful!



#10 KL Sanchez

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:17 PM

A lot of good points brought up; Sharpe's, Gruchak's, and Melissa's all ringing most true.  That last line might work good as a hook; consider playing with it.

 

Sharpe has the best point about the book's size; you need to decide what it is first.  Is it a quarter million word epic?  Then leave it as it is.  Don't mention splitting it.  The agent and/or publisher will talk to you about that if they think it's appropriate.  Otherwise, decide on the splitting points and the volume titles before you start querying.  You might be best suited querying it first as the full-size epic - both to agents and publishers, per Breyer's suggestion - and if that doesn't work, let it wait a month or two before trying again after splitting it into volumes.  Do one or the other, and leave it to the publisher and/or agent to decide on splitting or combining later.

 

You mention, though, that it's still WIP; careful putting together a query before you've done extensive revisions.  It's not that you're jumping the gun, but you run the risk of omitting scenes added during revision, or referencing ones that are deleted, or whose tenor has changed in editing.

 

Now, to launch my Wall of Text Assault...

 

 

Cadell knows nothing of black-elves until he witnesses a band of them stumble through a rift into Faerie. His best friend falls to their iron weapons despite a human mage's attempt to heal him. When Cadell kidnaps and tortures the mage in grief-driven vengeance, the mage's family and four light-elven allies rescue him.

 

This reads off like a list of facts without much panache to them.  Simply start out that he's attacked by black elves, tortures one, and then... something happens.  I say something because the wording is slightly unclear.  The black elves have light elven allies?  And the grammar of "rescue him" actually can imply that they rescue Cadell from the elf he's torturing.  It would be clearer to state that Cadell tortures the mage, until the sorcerer's family arrives with allies and frees the black elf.  English can be very bad about being very vague if you're not careful.

 

And while this sets up events to unfold, it can be condensed and told more concisely; it isn't the most important part of the story.

 

 

Though the rift between realms is shut, the light-elves fear another may open. More black-elves appearing would endanger mortals, immortals and wildlife alike.

 

There's no mention of how nor why the rift is shut.  The second line is also a bit redundant; it can be implied already that they're a threat, and that more of them pouring through a rift would be a bad thing.  The line adds nothing to the query's purpose, really, which is to state the facts of the book and let the agent see what it's about; it's just an empty flourish.

 

 

Seeing no other option, Cadell surprises himself and suggests the unheard-of: an alliance between Fae and humans (and light-elves by proxy). To everyone's surprise, his queen agrees, and negotiates a temporary truce.

 

This feels like it can be simplified down into one thought, and stated a bit more concisely.  I know you've got a lot to pack in, so it'll have to be summarized to get the story's full plot into focus; state that he only comes up with the option, and the queen goes against the expected norm and agrees.

 

 

The light-elves' fears are soon confirmed. A spy comes through a second rift, and kidnaps Cadell to the black-elves' caverns. When the black-elves torture Cadell, he recognizes and despises both his people's cruelty and his own, and resolves to change his ways. With aid from an unexpected ally, he escapes to tell his queen of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady.

 

This is where the query should be coming to life, but is reading off like a list of events, instead of a flowing series of them.  The first sentence is a bit superfluous and can be combined as a more concise, smooth observation in conjunction with the spy's arrival and Cadell's kidnapping.  We can assume that he's taken back to the black elves' place across the rift, but only if you also state that the spy is a black elf himself; right now he's just "A spy".  The about-face he makes during his torture is a little abrupt as stated; how is he reexamining his life?  Is his torture making him realize the pain he's been dealing out?

 

At any rate, it's sudden and without description; let us see his conflict and the journey he takes to his new lifeview.

 

The unexpected ally is also unnamed; who is he or she?  How important are they to the story?  It might not be necessary to name them, but how unlikely is this ally?  Is it a black elf?  A light elf?  A human?  It could be a houseplant for all we're told (not being cruel, it's just the first thing that came to my tired, twisted mind :tongue: ).

 

It's also a little unclear how important it is that he tell his queen of the other queen's identity.  Other than giving what I presume to be the main heavy a name, it doesn't serve any other purpose.

 

 

As the allies anticipate war, Cadell begins his own battle.

 

Anticipate or prepare for?  "So be it - Threaten no more - To secure peace is - To prepare for war"

 

...Sorry, couldn't help dropping the Metallica line. :happy: Excuse me while I riff for a moment.

 

But there is a difference, grammatically.  Actively arming and recruiting is to prepare for it, while anticipating means that you're either already ready and just need for it to start, or you're going to do nothing and let the opposing army roll over you.  "Arming for" could be another, perhaps more precise term if that's what they're doing.

 

 

He shuns his people's stagnant, selfish ways, craving adaptation and a lasting alliance with humans for survival's sake. But not everyone wants Cadell's voice to be heard.

 

A cryptic line.  I don't think it would hurt the query to state who these factions are that want him silenced and for what reasons; are they opposed to new ways of thinking?  Or are they addicted to the war?  It would likely intensify the stakes of what I think is the primary conflict here: Cadell's war with himself.

 

 

His revolution's fire may leave his life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

This might be best served as a hook, or the basis for a hook.  The previous lines - worded more intensely - could provide a strong way to finish the query off.

 

There's promise here, but as stated, it feels like a lot's missing.  I didn't attack this one as deeply as I could because it's still a work in progress and the manuscript isn't finished.

 

As I recommended for Whik's query, you might actually consider at some point writing out the full synopsis first - a full one, line by line, sitting at a ludicrous number like 3000 words - and then pare it down from there for your actual synopsis.  Then, it could provide you a base from which to work for your query's synopsis.  Although you've got a lot of points of view, it could help focus you and pick out the most important details to the overall development of the plot and most primary character, who looks to be Cadell.  Focus on him and how he affects the story, and the rest should fall into place.  I don't envy the task, but it looks like you've got a strong base from which to start with.


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#11 sharpegirl

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:25 PM

I put the word "can" in there for a reason, meaning splitting the book isn't strictly necessary. Some agents might like a bigger book, while some would prefer it to be split into two.

 Except if you say it can be split up, it sounds like you are unsure about your own work. It also calls attention to its word count. An agent also knows that it's very difficult to split up a book into two successfully stand-alone volumes and might give them the indication that there would be a lot of work involved before they could submit the book, which could turn off the non-editorial ones.

 

You really need to decide how to present the book before you query it. 



#12 Ireth

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:48 PM

This reads off like a list of facts without much panache to them.  Simply start out that he's attacked by black elves, tortures one, and then... something happens. That isn't what happens. He kills the black-elves and tortures a human. I say something because the wording is slightly unclear. Apparently so! My bad. The black elves have light elven allies? No, the HUMANS do. The black-elves and light-elves are enemies. I specified that the mage is human. And the grammar of "rescue him" actually can imply that they rescue Cadell from the elf human he's torturing.  It would be clearer to state that Cadell tortures the mage, until the sorcerer's family arrives with allies and frees the black elf human.  English can be very bad about being very vague if you're not careful.

 

And while this sets up events to unfold, it can be condensed and told more concisely; it isn't the most important part of the story. And here I thought it was pretty condensed already. I can see I've got my work cut out for me!

 

 

There's no mention of how nor why the rift is shut. It closes on its own, as the less stable rifts tend to do. I'll add that in. The second line is also a bit redundant; it can be implied already that they're a threat, and that more of them pouring through a rift would be a bad thing.  The line adds nothing to the query's purpose, really, which is to state the facts of the book and let the agent see what it's about; it's just an empty flourish. Noted.

 

This feels like it can be simplified down into one thought, and stated a bit more concisely.  I know you've got a lot to pack in, so it'll have to be summarized to get the story's full plot into focus; state that he only comes up with the option, and the queen goes against the expected norm and agrees. Consider it done.

 

 

This is where the query should be coming to life, but is reading off like a list of events, instead of a flowing series of them.  The first sentence is a bit superfluous and can be combined as a more concise, smooth observation in conjunction with the spy's arrival and Cadell's kidnapping.  We can assume that he's taken back to the black elves' place across the rift, but only if you also state that the spy is a black elf himself; right now he's just "A spy". He's actually an evil light-elf, but I figured that might be too much detail for the query. The about-face he makes during his torture is a little abrupt as stated; how is he reexamining his life?  Is his torture making him realize the pain he's been dealing out? That's exactly it.

 

At any rate, it's sudden and without description; let us see his conflict and the journey he takes to his new lifeview.

 

The unexpected ally is also unnamed; who is he or she?  How important are they to the story?  It might not be necessary to name them, but how unlikely is this ally?  Is it a black elf? Yes. A light elf?  A human?  It could be a houseplant for all we're told (not being cruel, it's just the first thing that came to my tired, twisted mind :tongue: ). Ha!

 

It's also a little unclear how important it is that he tell his queen of the other queen's identity.  Other than giving what I presume to be the main heavy a name, it doesn't serve any other purpose. Her identity isn't all that important -- in fact, not even her servants know her real name. What's important is that she exists, and she's a threat.

 

 

Anticipate or prepare for?  "So be it - Threaten no more - To secure peace is - To prepare for war"

 

...Sorry, couldn't help dropping the Metallica line. :happy: Excuse me while I riff for a moment.

 

But there is a difference, grammatically.  Actively arming and recruiting is to prepare for it, while anticipating means that you're either already ready and just need for it to start, or you're going to do nothing and let the opposing army roll over you.  "Arming for" could be another, perhaps more precise term if that's what they're doing. Good point. I'll fix that.

 

 

A cryptic line.  I don't think it would hurt the query to state who these factions are that want him silenced and for what reasons; are they opposed to new ways of thinking?  Or are they addicted to the war?  It would likely intensify the stakes of what I think is the primary conflict here: Cadell's war with himself. It's mainly Cadell's own people who want him silenced. They're opposed to new ways of thinking, as you said; their culture has very much stagnated.

 

 

This might be best served as a hook, or the basis for a hook.  The previous lines - worded more intensely - could provide a strong way to finish the query off. Perhaps. I think reworking the beginning might be easier for me. That's what's supposed to draw the agent in, after all.

 

There's promise here, but as stated, it feels like a lot's missing.  I didn't attack this one as deeply as I could because it's still a work in progress and the manuscript isn't finished. I'm sure there's bound to be something missing in any query. Condensing hundreds of pages into less than one isn't an easy task.

 

As I recommended for Whik's query, you might actually consider at some point writing out the full synopsis first - a full one, line by line, sitting at a ludicrous number like 3000 words - and then pare it down from there for your actual synopsis.  Then, it could provide you a base from which to work for your query's synopsis.  Although you've got a lot of points of view, it could help focus you and pick out the most important details to the overall development of the plot and most primary character, who looks to be Cadell.  Focus on him and how he affects the story, and the rest should fall into place.  I don't envy the task, but it looks like you've got a strong base from which to start with.


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/


#13 RC Lewis

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    SPINNING STARLIGHT, Hyperion, 2015

Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:00 PM

The best query-writing advice I know (because it's what helped me the most) is this:

 

Don't think about condensing.

 

Think only about enticing.

 

Once I started focusing on not letting the query go too far into the story, I stopped feeling like it was this impossible task being set before us. My most successful queries only covered events up to page 30-50 in the ms, with a sinker at the end to hint at how that launches into the rest of the story.

 

Something to think about. May or may not be helpful to you, but it was to me. :smile:


_-Snow-Small.jpg           Spin-Small.jpg
   Stitching Snow        Spinning Starlight
     October 2014                October 6, 2015
       Hyperion                        Hyperion


#14 Ireth

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:09 PM

The best query-writing advice I know (because it's what helped me the most) is this:

 

Don't think about condensing.

 

Think only about enticing.

 

Once I started focusing on not letting the query go too far into the story, I stopped feeling like it was this impossible task being set before us. My most successful queries only covered events up to page 30-50 in the ms, with a sinker at the end to hint at how that launches into the rest of the story.

 

Something to think about. May or may not be helpful to you, but it was to me. :smile:

 

That certainly is something to think about! I'll experiment with it and see how it goes. Thanks!


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 KL Sanchez

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:33 PM

This is indeed excellent advice. :smile:

 

Most of my notes, btw, where you stated "yes" and "he is" and such are actually questions that should be answered in a draft.  I write critiques from the perspective of an agent, so I'm pointing out holes where the agent could be left thinking.  It's irrelevant whether we know what's going on or not, what matters is that the agent be able to figure out what's happening without having to ask for an explanation.  You never want the agent to think; they're there to read.  Don't be vague, state all the facts.  The agent needs to know what's actually going on, not what might be going on, or they can't form an opinion on how well the manuscript could be written and whether it's worth their time.

 

I did miss the line about the mage being human.  Like I said, I'm tired.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#16 Ireth

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:37 PM

See the next post for the most recent revision!

 

First go at a revision. I hope the questions people have raised about the first version are answered here. :) Have at it!

 

Dear Agent:

 

Cadell's life is shaken when black-elves -- creatures he's never before seen or heard of -- ravage the woods of Faerie and kill his best friend. When all the black-elves lie dead, Cadell diverts his vengeance to the human mage who tried and failed to heal his friend. The mage's family rescues him, and the humans and their light-elven allies tell Cadell about the black-elves.

 

Though the rift the black-elves came through has closed on its own, the humans and light-elves fear another may open. Fearing for his people's and world's safety, Cadell suggests an alliance between Fae and humans (and light-elves by proxy) for as long as the danger lasts. To everyone's surprise, his queen agrees.

 

A light-elven spy comes through a second rift, and kidnaps Cadell to the black-elves' caverns. Cadell sees his own people's cruelty mirrored in the black-elves' torment of him, and resolves to change his ways. With unexpected aid from a sympathetic black-elf, he escapes back to Faerie with news of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady.

 

As the allies prepare for war, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns his people's stagnant, selfish traditions, craving adaptation and a lasting alliance with the humans for survival's sake. But his fellow Fae refuse to abandon their centuries-old traditions, or their enmity against humans. His revolution's fire may leave Cadell's life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy in multiple points of view. 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/


#17 Ireth

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:28 PM

Dear Agent:

 

When Cadell allies his people, the Fae, with the human settlers they have hated for years, he has no idea how deeply it will affect him and all of Faerie. But he has no choice. Faerie is threatened by black-elves -- creatures from the underground realm of Svartálfheimr, never before seen or heard of by Fae. The humans and their allies, four light-elves of Álfheimr, fear the black-elves will invade Faerie, burn the woods down, and enslave Fae and humans alike. Cadell is quick to believe them, especially when a light-elven spy kidnaps him to Svartálfheimr.

 

After being tortured by the black-elves, Cadell realizes his people's treatment of the humans is no better than the black-elves' treatment of him. He vows to change his ways from that day forth. A sympathetic black-elf helps Cadell escape back to Faerie, where he spreads word of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady, who is mustering an army of black-elves to conquer Faerie.

 

As the allied peoples prepare their defenses, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns the stagnant, selfish ways of his people, desiring adaptation for survival's sake. But his fellow Fae refuse to abandon their centuries-old traditions, or their enmity against humans, so easily. His revolution's fire may leave Cadell's life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy in multiple points of view. 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/


#18 Katarinea

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:52 PM

Dear Agent:

 

When Cadell allies his people, the Fae, with the human settlers they have hated for years, he has no idea how deeply it will affect him and all of Faerie. (This doesn't particularly grab me as a hook. But the next sentence does grab me.) But he has no choice. Faerie is threatened by black-elves -- creatures from the underground realm of Svartálfheimr, never before seen or heard of by Fae. The humans and their allies, four light-elves of Álfheimr, fear the black-elves will invade Faerie, burn the woods down, and enslave Fae and humans alike. (This is a bit run-on. Can it be condensed?) Cadell is quick to believe them, especially when a light-elven spy kidnaps him to Svartálfheimr. (This is rather passive. )

 

After being tortured by the black-elves, Cadell realizes his people's treatment of the humans is no better than the black-elves' treatment of him. (I'd try to put the action at the start of this sentence to make it a little less passive. "Torture makes Cadell realize. . ." or something similar.) He vows to change his ways from that day forth. A sympathetic black-elf helps Cadell escape back to Faerie, where he spreads word of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady, who is mustering an army of black-elves to conquer Faerie. (This is also a bit passive and run-on. Try to tighten it up to convey urgency.)

 

As the allied peoples prepare their defenses, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns the stagnant, selfish ways of his people, desiring adaptation for survival's sake. (I'd use this sentence, and the next, to up the stakes some. They have to change or die -- throw that out there. And if the Fae are entrenched as they seem, they might even prefer death to change.) But his fellow Fae refuse to abandon their centuries-old traditions, or their enmity against humans, so easily. His revolution's fire may leave Cadell's life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy in multiple points of view. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sorry if I come off a bit harsh! Your story does sound very interesting, but it sounds like you have the same problems I do -- both using long sentences, and getting in close and personal with the characters in so few words.


THE WRAITHTOUCHED INHERITANCE (YA Fantasy)

Life was easier before Lina learned she had someone else's memories.

Now she has identity issues and ten thousand people to save.

(Query Thread)

Draft #2 finished. Draft/Edit #3 in progress.

 

 


#19 continuum9

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

Dear Agent:

(Cadell has no choice but to ally his people, the Fae, with the human settlers he has hated for years. He has no idea how deeply it will affect him.) This is how I would tighten up the first few sentences. You can work with them to your liking.

 

When Cadell allies his people, the Fae, with the human settlers they have hated for years, he has no idea how deeply it will affect him and all of Faerie. But he has no choice. Faerie is threatened by black-elves -- creatures from the underground realm of Svartálfheimr, never before seen or heard of by Fae. (Black elves, from the underground realm of Svartalfheimr, threaten.....) The humans and their allies, four light-elves of Álfheimr, fear the black-elves will invade Faerie, burn the woods down, and enslave Fae and humans alike. (Fearing the black elves will invade Faerie in an attempt to enslave Fae and humans alike, four light elves of Alfheimr join in the fight.) Cadell is quick to believe them, especially when a light-elven spy kidnaps him to Svartálfheimr. Did Cadell go willingly? Did he know the elf was a spy? What kind of information does he learn and why is Cadell so quick to believe him?

 

After being tortured by the black-elves, Cadell realizes his people's treatment of the humans is no better than the black-elves' treatment of him. How did his people treat the humans? Why did they treat the humans so badly?That might be worth mentioning. He vows to change his ways from that day forth. A sympathetic black-elf helps Cadell escape back to Faerie, where he spreads word of the black-elves' ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady, who is mustering an army of black-elves to conquer Faerie.

 

As the allied peoples prepare their defenses, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns the stagnant, selfish ways of his people, desiring adaptation for survival's sake. But his fellow Fae refuse to abandon their centuries-old traditions, or their enmity against humans, so easily. His revolution's fire may leave Cadell's life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy in multiple points of view. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I'm terrible at helping people with queries, but hopefully my suggestions/comments help a little. I think this story, as well as your other one, is very interesting.



#20 Ireth

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:20 PM

Dear Agent:

 

A rift between realms brings savage black-elves from Svartálfheimr to Faerie. Left unchecked, they would burn Faerie to the ground and enslave or slaughter its people. Realizing the threat, a Daoine Sidhe(1) named Cadell does what few Fae would even consider: he allies his kind with the humans they've antagonized for years. In return for a reprieve from the Fae's cruelty, the humans promise sanctuary to anyone in need. Their light-elven allies offer vital knowledge of the black-elves and how to fight them.(2)

 

When a light-elven spy kidnaps him to Svartálfheimr, Cadell is tortured by the black-elves, then comes face to face with their ruler: a sorceress known as the Lady.(3) His torment leads Cadell to realize how cruel his people are to humans. He vows to change his ways from that day on. Aided by a sympathetic black-elf, he escapes to Faerie and tells the allies of the Lady's plans for war.

 

As the allies prepare their defenses, Cadell begins his own battle. He shuns the stagnant, selfish ways of his people, saying they must adapt or die. But other Fae refuse to abandon centuries-old customs or enmity, even in the face of destruction. His revolution's fire may leave Cadell's life in ashes, if the Lady and her horde don't kill him first.

 

TENTH REALM is a ##,000-word epic fantasy in multiple points of view. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Notes:

 

1 - I like these details, but are they necessary and/or interesting to anyone but me?

2 - Should I bother mentioning Cadell's specific kith/race, or just call him a Fae?

3 - I feel like this sentence runs a bit long, but I'm not sure how to break it or trim it. Thoughts?


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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