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Marsh's Banquet


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#21 anah+theshadowaccomplice

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 02:21 PM

Okay, I'm back again with another revision. There are some parts in here that I think could use some work. Any opinions? I'm all ears.

---

Dear (Editor's name),

 

I am submitting my 37,000-word dark fantasy novella, MARSH’S BANQUET for your consideration. Because (publishing company here) publishes books with dark plots, I feel that my story would be right at home with your other titles, and will appeal to readers of high fantasy.

 

While visiting a secluded village in the neighboring country, eighteen-year-old water sprite Kae never expected to encounter a god that consumes people good hook.

 

Kae and his friend Marsh find that their arrival in Waking Falls coincides with the annual festival of the local deity, Nove. However, things are far from normal there; the villagers have imprisoned the god to ensure it doesn’t leave and “abandon” them, and they’ve labeled Marsh the “host”—a person who is possessed by Nove during the festival, so that it can devour a certain number of the locals—because of the god’s preference for merpeople.I think that last sentence there can be broken up just a tiny bit. It was quite a mouthful. Kae is horrified, and ready to leave, but this will prove to be an arduous task, because the village is now sealed off from the rest of the world, and escape is impossible and I'd assume if Marsh is labeled as the host, the villagers wouldn't be too keen on letting them go anyway?.

 

He isn’t one to give up, but Kae’s plans of escape are put on hold when Marsh is possessed, only, there’s something odd about the possession; with Nove imprisoned this one caught me up for a moment. Is there a way to solidify that Nove is actually imprisoned before hand?, that can only mean something else is impersonating the god. Something that has even the villagers fooled later on you say that it has itself fooled too. It might be beneficial to move that up here.

 

God or not, Kae refuses to allow it to inhabit so he's already possessed. Does this mean he refuses to let it stay? Marsh, especially when he learns that the “host” always dies once the festival ends. If he can drive it out ah. previous question answered, he can save the life of his best friend. He just has to deal with the villagers, who are actually other wording than actually? the living dead, and whose only hope of dying permanently rests in Nove as its feasts upon them once a yearooohh... interesting—but they won’t give its “host” up so easily. Neither will the impersonator, which genuinely believes itself to be Nove.

 

Armed with only his wits, and his water sprite abilities, Kae has no choice but to face his mountain of problems I think we can assume he has no choice but to face his problems down, and hope that he can make it out alive. The key to expelling the imposter and escaping lies in a single item that must be found, but it doesn’t have a tangible form This sentence doesn't really feel like a good place to end off, maybe you should move it in front of the sentence before it and end with the stakes.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best regards,

You say it will appeal to readers of high fantasy... well I'd assume that to be true because that is my genre and I really want to read it now! If you need beta readers shoot me a message.

I think that there are only a few things that might aid the clarity of your query but other than that, as far as I'm concerned, you caught me. That's what a QL is for I suppose!

Good luck!


My Query Letter: Killing Crow

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#22 Keledron

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:35 AM

Okay, I'm back again with another revision. There are some parts in here that I think could use some work. Any opinions? I'm all ears.

---

Dear (Editor's name),

 

I am submitting my 37,000-word dark fantasy novella, MARSH’S BANQUET for your consideration. Because (publishing company here) publishes books with dark plots, I feel that my story would be right at home with your other titles, and will appeal to readers of high fantasy.

 

While visiting a secluded village in the neighboring country, eighteen-year-old water sprite Kae never expected to encounter a god that consumes people. (Good hook, good start, you've got my attention)

 

Kae and his friend Marsh find that their arrival in Waking Falls coincides with the annual festival of the local deity, Nove. However, things are far from normal there; the villagers have imprisoned the god to ensure it doesn’t leave and “abandon” them, and they’ve labeled Marsh the “host”—a person who is possessed by Nove during the festival, so that it can devour a certain number of the locals—because of the god’s preference for merpeople (This sentence doesn't quite work. how about following festival with "to feast on some delectable local, sustainable merpeople sacrifices...Maybe take the silly out there, but it's a bit more of an active, punchy sentence) Kae is horrified, and ready to leave, but this will prove to be an arduous task, because the village is now sealed off from the rest of the world, and escape is impossible.

 

He isn’t one to give up, but Kae’s plans of escape are put on hold when Marsh is possessed, only, there’s something odd about the possession; with Nove imprisoned, that can only mean something else is impersonating the god. Something that has even the villagers fooled. (While this may be a key plot point for your novel, it doesn't work and isn't really needed here. The crisis is Marsh's possession. The other stuff can be a surprise in the read. You do a good enough job of setting this up in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. Not to mention you have a great sort of "cliff hanger" to end the query on and grab the agent's attention for the first few pages.)

 

God or not, Kae refuses to allow it to inhabit Marsh, especially when he learns that the “host” always dies once the festival ends. If he can drive it out, he can save the life of his best friend. He just has to deal with the villagers, who are actually the living dead, and whose only hope of dying permanently rests in Nove as its feasts upon them once a year—but they won’t give its “host” up so easily. Neither will the impersonator, which genuinely believes itself to be Nove. (Same as above, the first sentence is great to further the tension. You don't need to world build anymore in your Query.)

 

Armed with only his wits, and his water sprite abilities, Kae has no choice but to face his mountain of problems, and hope that he can make it out alive. The key to expelling the imposter and escaping lies in a single item that must be found, but it doesn’t have a tangible form.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best regards,

 

You have a good start here. Keep in mind that your Query is not your synopsis. Because you're trying to sell a novella, you don't want to put it all on the table here. They're usually tough sells unless you find an anthology looking for new writers. Based on Kae's age, this sounds like a Young Adult High Fantasy (and a darker toned one, which is great!) But most Agents and Publishers will see your word cound and say, "Alright! You're halfway there! Keep going!" (most YA's are 65,000 words+).

 

And that's what I'd ask you to consider here if you plan on going the traditional publishing route. It sounds like you have great characters and a great story to tell. You might want to consider seeing if there is more you can explore with them to bring this to novel length. I'm only suggesting because again, Novellas are a very, very tough sell, double so for a new writer.

 

You have a good query letter, and a great plot. I think you could definitely turn this into a novel, but that's just my opinion :) I wish you the best of luck and hope you find my input helpful!


Any critiques on my current query for A Wizard Deceived would be highly appreciated, and I would gladly critique yours in return!

 

http://agentquerycon...rd-deceived-uf/

 

Synopsis critiques would be SO APPRECIATED!!

 

http://agentquerycon...izard-deceived/

 

Follow Merlin's journey to publication!

 

http://scribblersepic.livejournal.com/

 

 

 


#23 Jinsune

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 05:01 PM

I decided to put this query aside for a while and now I'm back to try again. I revised the novella as well. I've been told that since it's now over 40k, this would officially count as a novel (a short one). Does anyone know if this is true? Anyways, thanks guys for your help, it really means a lot. ^_^

@ Keledron: I'm sending it to a small press and aiming it at New Adults.

 

------

 

Dear (Editor's name),

 

I am submitting my 45,000-word dark fantasy novella, MARSH’S BANQUET for your consideration. Because (publishing company here) publishes books with dark plots, I feel that my story would be right at home with your other titles, and will appeal to readers of high fantasy.

 

While visiting a secluded village in the neighboring country, eighteen-year-old water sprite Kae never expected to encounter a god that consumes people.

 

Kae and his friend Marsh find that their arrival in Waking Falls coincides with the annual festival of the local deity, Nove. However, things are far from normal there; the villagers have imprisoned the god to ensure it doesn’t leave and “abandon” them. They’ve also labeled Marsh the “host”—a person who is possessed by Nove during the festival in order to devour a certain number of the locals. Kae is horrified, and ready to leave, but this will prove to be an arduous task, because the village is now sealed off from the rest of the world, and escape is impossible.

 

His plans of fleeing are put on hold when Marsh is possessed, only, there’s something odd about the possession; with Nove imprisoned, that can only mean something is impersonating the god. Something that has even the villagers fooled. God or not, Kae refuses to allow it to inhabit Marsh, especially when he learns that the “host” always dies once the festival ends. He just has to deal with the villagers—but they won’t give its “host” up so easily. Neither will the impersonator.

 

Armed with only his wits, and his water sprite abilities, Kae has no choice but to face his mountain of problems, and hope that he can make it out alive.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best regards,



#24 JamesDoe

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 11:08 PM

Dear (Editor's name),

 

I am submitting my 45,000-word dark fantasy novella, MARSH’S BANQUET for your consideration. Because (publishing company here) publishes books with dark plots, I feel that my story would be right at home with your other titles, and will appeal to readers of high fantasy.

 

I think the information here could be moved to the bottom of the query. (Though people debate about where this should be. )

 

While visiting a secluded village in the neighboring country, eighteen-year-old water sprite Kae never expected to encounter a god that consumes people.

 

Kae and his friend Marsh find that their arrival in Waking Falls coincides with the annual festival of the local deity, Nove. However, things are far from normal there; the villagers have imprisoned the god to ensure it doesn’t leave and “abandon” them. They’ve also labeled Marsh the “host”—a person who is possessed by Nove during the festival in order to devour a certain number of the locals. Kae is horrified, and ready to leave, but this will prove to be an arduous task, because the village is now sealed off from the rest of the world, and escape is impossible.

 

 

I think showing how the village is cut off from the rest of the world would be needed. Is there a road block? Or a toll bridge? :) 

 

Also is Marsh a human? Or a water sprite?

 

His plans of fleeing are put on hold when Marsh is possessed, only, there’s something odd about the possession; with Nove imprisoned, that can only mean something is impersonating the god. Something that has even the villagers fooled. God or not, Kae refuses to allow it to inhabit Marsh, especially when he learns that the “host” always dies once the festival ends. He just has to deal with the villagers—but they won’t give its “host” up so easily. Neither will the impersonator.

 

I thought escaping was impossible not because Marsh in possessed but because the village was sealed off.

 

Also, how does our hero know that there is someone/something impersonating the god? (How does Nove being imprisoned reveal this?)

 

I think "Always "dies" once the..." is a little weak. how about consumed? Since it was mentioned at the start of the query that he/she eats people.

 

"He just has to deal with the villagers" seems incorrect since his friend is possessed and whoever is inside will need to be dragged out.

 

 

Armed with only his wits, and his water sprite abilities, Kae has no choice but to face his mountain of problems, and hope that he can make it out alive.

 

I am a little conflicted about asking this, but I think it might be worth describing what a water sprite can do. (Since there isn't a clear idea on its powers.)  Though it shouldn't be too long.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best regards,

 

I think the query needs just a little minor fixes. :) Good luck with your revisions! (Also take everything I say with a bucket of salt.) 



#25 sarai.schu

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:35 AM

Hi Jinsune! Thanks for the review. I'm fairly new here but I'd like to offer some suggestions if I can. Hope this is helpful. :) I also didn't read any of the other versions of the query, so I hope to give a fresh perspective. 

 

Dear (Editor's name),

 

I am submitting my 45,000-word dark fantasy novella, MARSH’S BANQUET for your consideration. Because (publishing company here) publishes books with dark plots, I feel that my story would be right at home with your other titles, and will appeal to readers of high fantasy.

 

While visiting a secluded village in the neighboring country, eighteen-year-old water sprite Kae never expected to encounter a god that consumes people.

 

Kae and his friend Marsh find that their arrival arrive in Waking Falls coincides with at the start of the annual festival of the local deity, for their deity Nove, hoping to [what did they come here for? Are they traders, restocking for a journey, just traveling around?]. However, things are far from normal there; the villagers have imprisoned the god to ensure it doesn’t leave and “abandon” them. Knowing nothing of their traditions, Kae and Marsh are honored when Marsh is chosen as the deity's host body - until they discover that the "host" is possessed by a spirit that devours villagers, and will eventually be devoured by the god as the finale of the festival. They’ve also labeled Marsh the “host”—a person who is possessed by Nove during the festival in order to devour a certain number of the locals. Kae and Marsh try to leave, but is horrified, and ready to leave, but this will prove to be an arduous task, because the village is now sealed off from the rest of the world by [what?], and escape is impossible. (I feel like some of this wording could be tightened up, and make it more intense. For example, "arrive in Waking Falls" is more action-y than "find that their arrival". Also, is Kae going to leave without Marsh?)

 

Forced to stay, Kae starts looking around for a possible solution that won't turn his friend into the final meal. There's something  His plans of fleeing are put on hold when Marsh is possessed, only, there’s something odd about the possession; with Since Nove is imprisoned, that can only mean Kae thinks that something is impersonating the god. Something that has even the villagers fooled. God or not, Kae refuses to allow it to inhabit Marsh, (What does he do about it? How does he try to evict the impersonator?) especially when he learns that the “host” always dies once the festival ends. He just has to deal with the villagers—but they won’t give its “host” up so easily. Neither will the impersonator.

 

Armed with only his wits, and his water sprite abilities, Kae has no choice but to face his mountain of problems, and hope that he can make it out alive. (I actually had a very similar phrase in one of my earlier query drafts - I discovered that using a cliche phrase "armed with only..." isn't a great way of getting the information across. You want to use new and original phrases, if possible. I would try and rework this whole sentence - make it show the stakes a little more - is the imposter an even more destructive god that will kill everyone?)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best regards,

 

I like the concept behind the story, and I feel like you're almost there with the query. It sounds like an interesting read. Good luck! :)






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