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Saint's Rising (young adult historical fiction) Draft #6 updated 5/26/16


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#1 annallyson

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 08:29 PM

Version #6 (thanks dogsbody and samlat77! This one is entirely different, I think I need to push the YA angle) 

 

Life gets complicated for Jeanne d’Arc when she starts seeing angels. She used to be like all the other girls in Domrémy, France. She did her chores, she said her prayers and she rolled her eyes at the priest when she thought he wasn’t looking. Far from being divinely blessed, Jeanne’s visions make her an outcast. Her friends think she’s mad, her parents think she’s troubled and the priest thinks she’s on the road to eternal damnation.

 

As they do every year, the angels appear to Jeanne on her seventeenth birthday. But this time, their message is dire. For nearly 100 years the French have fought the English, but according to the angels, they won't be fighting much longer. The war is ending, and unless someone intervenes, France will bow to England. 

 

With the threat of her nation’s collapse looming, Jeanne sets her sights on a nearby army garrison. If she can convince the commander that her visions are real, Jeanne may be able to reach the king before France falls. But, even with her new friends, a pair of madcap squires of precisely the ilk her mother warned her about, Jeanne has her work cut out for her. 

 

If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, Jeanne must do the impossible. She needs to make an unerring army commander believe in miracles while evading her parents and keeping her friends out of trouble.

 

This is not what she wanted for her birthday.

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 75,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction. It is a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story with an emphasis on Jeanne as she was at seventeen, rebellious, insecure and courageous.

 

Version #5 (thanks Antwon, Elysezane and VitaCoco!!)

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France will fall.

 

With the threat of her nation’s demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she correctly predicts the outcome of a battle, proving the accuracy of her visions to the commander. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must slip undetected through hostile, war-torn territory. 

 

Disguised as a boy and ensconced in the company of soldiers, Jeanne learns France may not be ready for a visionary. Assisted by two madcap squires, Jeanne must cast aside the rules of society and gender. If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, she doesn’t have time to be genteel. But, Jeanne lives in a time of rules and order. The Clergy alone knows the will of God. Implying otherwise is heresy, even for a girl who speaks to angels. 

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 75,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction. It is a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story with an emphasis on Jeanne as she was at seventeen, rebellious, insecure and courageous. 

 

 

 

Version #4 (thanks Antwon, DaveTheRave, SnowFox23, and Mzbritney12!)

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side.

 

With the threat of her nations demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. 

 

Ensconced in the company of soldiers, Jeanne learns that the world outside her hometown is dangerous. Assisted by two irreverent squires, Jeanne must cast aside the rules of society and gender. If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, she doesn’t have time to play nice. The problem is, hers is a time of rules and order. Women are to be seen and not heard, but Jeanne can’t seem to control her temper. Breaking the rules is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels.

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 75,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction. It is a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story with an emphasis on Jeanne as she was at seventeen, rebellious, insecure and courageous. 

 

Version #3 (thanks elysezane!)

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.
 
They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc, a task for her to complete. She must travel to Chinon, for the French king has need of her. Jeanne doesn’t believe them but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. They tell her, in voices strange and haunting, that she will turn the tide of war. 
 
For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. The angels appear to Jeanne on the day she turns seventeen. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side.
 
With the threat of her country’s demise looming over her, Jeanne flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. Women, holy men say, cannot know the word of God. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. 
 
SAINT’S RISING, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction with series potential.
 

 

Version #2 (thanks crestakaz!)

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc, a task for her to complete. She must travel to Chinon, for the french king has need of her. Jeanne doesn’t believe them but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. They tell her, in voices not meant for human ears, that she will turn the tide of war. 

 

For as long as Jeanne could remember, for as long as anyone could remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, Jeanne begins to wonder how much longer France will wait for her.

 

When Jeanne can ignore the angels no longer, she flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she proves to the commander the truth of her visions and he agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy, and refuse the will of the church. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. 

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. 

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction with series potential. It is my first novel. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

 

 

Version #1 (Original)

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels tell Jeanne d’Arc that she will change the face of France. They say she will turn the tide of a war that has plagued the land for nearly a hundred years. Jeanne doesn’t believe them. But, they return year after year, and their message is always the same, Jeanne must meet the king in Chinon. As the English threat looms ever larger, Jeanne wonders if France has time for her doubts. 

 

When Jeanne can ignore the angels no longer she flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she proves to the commander the truth of her visions and he agrees to escort her to Chinon. Her journey gets only harder as she struggles to traverse hostile territory surrounded by an army of men, some who are her allies and some who wish her ill. 

 

Though Jeanne believes in the truth of her visions, she doesn’t understand them. She doesn’t know why she must reach Chinon, only that it is her destiny. To get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy, and refuse the will of the church. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.

 

Saint’s Rising, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Fiction. 

 

Thank you for your consideration,


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#2 Springfield

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:45 PM

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels tell Jeanne d’Arc that she will change the face of France. They say she will turn the tide of a war that has plagued the land for nearly a hundred years. Jeanne doesn’t believe them. But, they return year after year, and their message is always the same, Jeanne must meet the king in Chinon. As the English threat looms ever larger, Jeanne wonders if France has time for her doubts. 

 

When Jeanne can ignore the angels no longer she flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she proves to the commander the truth of her visions and he agrees to escort her to Chinon. Her journey gets only harder as she struggles to traverse hostile territory surrounded by an army of men, some who are her allies and some who wish her ill. 

 

Though Jeanne believes in the truth of her visions, she doesn’t understand them. She doesn’t know why she must reach Chinon, only that it is her destiny. To get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy, and refuse the will of the church. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.

 

Saint’s Rising, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Fiction. 

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

 

I have questions. 

 

1. How is this YA?

2. How is this fiction?

3. Why? This is SUCH well-trod territory I can't imagine the point without a contract in hand.



#3 annallyson

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:50 PM

To answer your questions:

 

1. Jeanne (Joan) is 16 years old. I've been told that writing about a teenager makes it young adult. Yes, at the time 16 was considered to be an adult, but the themes in the story (finding your way, rebelling from your family) are young adult themes. Plus, it's intended for a young adult audience.

 

2. I would understand if you thought the book was historical fiction (it might be, I've debated that), but certainly not non-fiction. This isn't a biography about Joan of Arc's life, it's a fictional story using real events as inspiration.

 

3. Do you mean that the Joan of Arc story is too overdone? I wondered about that myself, but I've honestly never seen a Joan of Arc story. There are biographies, sure, but I don't think the audience is the same. 

 

Could you expand on question three? I'm not sure I really understand it. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#4 Springfield

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:28 PM

To answer your questions:

 

1. Jeanne (Joan) is 16 years old. I've been told that writing about a teenager makes it young adult. Yes, at the time 16 was considered to be an adult, but the themes in the story (finding your way, rebelling from your family) are young adult themes. Plus, it's intended for a young adult audience.

 

The whole, 'before there was... she was... a girl,' I assumed you were starting younger.

 

2. I would understand if you thought the book was historical fiction (it might be, I've debated that), but certainly not non-fiction. This isn't a biography about Joan of Arc's life, it's a fictional story using real events as inspiration.

 

It has to be historical fiction. I asked that because I didn't know what was fictional about it. I'm not that familiar with the details of her story, but those sounded pretty familiar.

 

3. Do you mean that the Joan of Arc story is too overdone? I wondered about that myself, but I've honestly never seen a Joan of Arc story. There are biographies, sure, but I don't think the audience is the same. 

 

Could you expand on question three? I'm not sure I really understand it. 

 

Yes, I meant it's been done - a lot. I don't know how much h.fic there is - there was a big bio came out last year, another a couple years before, and there are a ton of kids' books. Again though, I assumed this was bio, not h.fic. You need to make that clear, and differentiate between the other stuff and yours.



#5 crestakaz

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:36 PM

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels tell Jeanne d’Arc that she will change the face of France Hmmm. At first, I was going to say that you needed a stronger hook, but surprisingly, this works for me. I think it maybe could be a little stronger from rewording the second sentence a tiny bit to give it a little more oomph. They say she will turn the tide of a war that has plagued the land for nearly a hundred years. Jeanne doesn’t believe them(no comma), but they return year after year, and their message is always the same(colon): Jeanne must meet the king in Chinon This sentence is a little lackluster. You do a good job of building (i.e. "year after year"), but then just meeting the King sounds a little plain. Any way you could give us a bit more plot detail to keep the audience interested?. As the English threat looms ever larger, Jeanne wonders if France has time for her doubts. This sentence feels a little disconnected from the rest of the paragraph. I'd suggest changing it, or just getting rid of it altogether.

 

When Jeanne can ignore the angels no longer(comma) she flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she proves to the commander the truth of her visions and he agrees to escort her to Chinon. Her journey gets only harder as she struggles to traverse hostile territory surrounded by an army of men, some who are her allies and some who wish her ill. This paragraph gets a little too plot detail-y. I'd cut down on the details and try to go with a little bit more with the over-arching plot.

 

Though Jeanne believes in the truth of her visions, she doesn’t understand them. She doesn’t know why she must reach Chinon, only that it is her destiny This part is a little weak too. You kind of already discuss this before, and this is just same points with slightly different wording. To get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy, and refuse the will of the church I think this should be more of your paragraph two. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. Hm. I think the "heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels" works better as a closing sentence than this one. This last sentence you have ("long ago...") sounds more like a hook sentence than an ending one. I'd even move it to the first paragraph.

 

Saint’s Rising this needs to be all-caps, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Fiction. I'd say that this is historical fiction, given that it's based off of historical events and people.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Great start for a first query! I feel like this story has a lot of potential, and I'd like to see more of the uniqueness of your story shine through. On the whole, I think you're sticking a little too much to the details of the plotline rather than showing us more of her character and the aspects that will make your story stand apart. We know about Joanne d'Arc as a girl accused of heresy and who pisses off the church. I would like to see what your story adds to her that we don't know. 

Anyway, good job on the whole. I look forward to seeing more versions of the query! (Your book sounds really interest, tbh. Never read anything like this that I can recall).

Also, just as a tangential response to the points that the previous commenter raised:

1) Joan of Arc died at 19, so it's clear that this is YA, even upon her time of death. I'm assuming from this query that this starts before her time of death, so it definitely falls well within the YA category. The themes also seem to be well within the YA field. Thus, this is YA.

2) This is also clearly fiction; however, I do believe it should be classified as historical fiction. It is not a biography because this clearly fictionalizes parts of her life that can't have been completely known.

3) I agree with annallyson that I haven't seen any popular ficitonalizations of her life--especially in the YA category. I'm sure there have been a couple, but as far as I know, they aren't particularly well-known. I don't see why this is an issue.



#6 annallyson

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 07:38 PM

Thanks crestakaz, that's great advice. I tried to implement those changes in my new version. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#7 elysezane

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 05:42 PM

I think your second version is stronger--bravo!

 

Version #2 (thanks crestakaz!)

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc, Being a Francophile, I immediately recognized her! a task for her to complete. She must travel to Chinon, for the French king has need of her. Jeanne doesn’t believe them but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. They tell her, in voices not meant for human ears, But Jeanne's ears are human that she will turn the tide of war. 

 

For as long as Jeanne can [gives it more immediacy] could remember, for as long as anyone could can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, Jeanne begins to wonder how much longer France will wait for her. ? Stakes are unclear. Maybe "how much longer her country can survive"? Also, why does her birthday change how she feels about the war and the voices? What else happens on that day?

 

When Jeanne can ignore the angels no longer, she flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she proves to the commander the truth of her visions would love some details in the query about how she does this and he agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy, no comma and refuse the will of the Church. How does she refuse the will of the Church? What does it want her to do instead? Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Good

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. Yes! Good! You might want to move this to the beginning as your hook. The rest of your query does a good job of expanding on this idea.

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction with series potential. I'm confused about how this could be a series. The first book must end before Jeanne's death? I'm just not sure how you can get more than one satisfying novel out of her story. It is my first novel. I wouldn't say this. It's like you're announcing: "I'm a amateur!" Let the agent assume you have other "trial novels" under your belt, even if you don't.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Overall, I think this is great! But a few tweaks will make it even better.

 

I'm only familiar with a couple of film versions, but I do think you need be aware of what else has been done with Jeanne's story in fiction, and highlight how yours is different in your query.

 

Pretty please let me know what you think of my query, entitled: THE LIES WE LIVE ON (link should be in my signature below).


If I've helped you--or if you're simply bored--please comment on my query: http://agentquerycon...ction/?p=319871

 


#8 annallyson

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:18 PM

Thanks Elysezane, I tried to implement your changes in version three. To answer your questions:

 

1) The Joan of Arc story is actually really long and complicated. I planned on breaking it into three books. This first book is literally just her rise to fame. Thus the name, Saint's Rising. When I tried to write the whole story in one book is was just too long for the genre. My story is already 73,000 words and young adults books aren't supposed to be too much above 80,000. 

 

2) The reason I said that this is my first book is because I've been told that agents are more interested in representing people who haven't published yet. This means that the agent will potentially get all that writer's books. I've learned that on the Query Shark, I can't be sure if it's true. 

 

Thanks for helping me edit my query! You had great advice. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#9 mzbritney12

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 02:35 PM

Hi annallyson! I hope you're enjoying AQ thus far. I read through your most recent query, and I only have a few comments. 
 
1: What about Jeanne makes her the girl no one believes? I'm curious to know if there is more about her character traits that make her seem this way--like does she cry wolf a lot?--or is this solely due to something else. 
2:  "For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose."  Im not sure if the last half of this sentence is meant to be figurative or literal. I know this sounds like a redundant comment, but in all seriousness, as one who hasn't read any previous versions or your query or your manuscript--this is the same going for an agent--I don't know if the French is purposely losing, and now they're wanting to change it. OR, if the French is losing because they literally are just losing and they are in desperate need of changing their fate. I'd consider re-writing the last half of this sentence, just to clear up some confusion. 
3: And last, at the very end of your query, you don't ever really need to state that this is your first novel. However, it is always important to state any other publishing history you have with any other books you've written. 
 
I hope this helps! Good luck!  

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#10 SnowFox23

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 03:54 AM

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. (I like this opening line. Solid.)
 
They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc:, a task for her to complete. (this is kind of redundant) She must travel to Chinon, for the French king has need of her. At first Jeanne doesn’t believe them but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. (Good.)They tell her, in voices strange and haunting, that she will turn the tide of war. (I like the prose here. Very pretty. I would probably add somewhere in the first verse when the angels first started talking to her, though.)
 
For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. (Nice.) The angels appear to Jeanne on the day she turns seventeen. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side. (Solid.)
 

With the threat of her country’s demise looming over her, Jeanne flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards joins the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. Women, holy men say, cannot know the word of God. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels.

 

I think this is a pretty solid query. Nice work. Your writing style is very elegant. :)



#11 DaveTheRave

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 06:00 AM

Version #3 (thanks elysezane!)

 

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. Good
 
They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth It's hazardous to use a pronoun like 'they' before you've used the noun being referred to and it really isn't working here. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc, a task for her to complete. She must travel to Chinon, for the French king has need of her. Jeanne doesn’t believe them(comma) but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. They tell her, in voices strange and haunting, that she will turn the tide of war. 
 
For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. The angels appear to Jeanne again on the day she turns seventeen. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side. I kind of like the technique you've used here but would still prefer to see you use it in a way that doesn't drag the sentence out as long as it has.
 
With the threat of her country’s nation's demise looming over her, Jeanne flees her childhood home in the middle of the night and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. Women, holy men say, cannot know the word of God. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. 
 
SAINT’S RISING, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction with series potential.

 

Hi there, every query needs to demonstrate: 

1) who the main character is.

2) what the main character wants.

3) what are the obstacles to their goal.

4) what are the consequences of failure.

You've given us the first one, but the other three are only partially explored. You need to compress the first two paragraphs, as they start to drag, and then expand the last one. I'm not intrigued enough to want to read this yet. Also, as a previous commenter pointed out, this comes across as an exact re-telling of the established Joan of Arc tale. Without showing what is new about your story, an agent won't be interested.

 

Please hit me back on mine :)


Feedback is always appreciated on:

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...e&module=usercp

 

Opening 250: http://agentquerycon...iller/?p=317580


#12 Antwon

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 12:00 PM

Hi annallyson ,

This sounds like the classical joan of arc story.  While it is no one place to speak on what you choose to write about, I would suggest drawing attention to the elements that make your story unique in your query.  “We all know the story of JofA, but who is the woman behind the martyr…” or some such intro.  As a standalone query, not taking into account any prior knowledge or history of JofA, which is significant, I think the query works. 

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. ((Good hook))

 

They appear to her, bright and beautiful, obviously not of earth. The angels have a message for Jeanne d’Arc, a task for her to complete. She must travel to Chinon, for the French king has need of her. Jeanne doesn’t believe them but they return year after year, and their message is always the same. They tell her, in voices strange and haunting, that she will turn the tide of war. 

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years, they have fought only to lose. The angels appear to Jeanne on the day she turns seventeen. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side.

 

With the threat of her country’s demise looming over her, Jeanne flees her childhood home in the middle of the night ((Unnecessary))and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. Women, holy men say, cannot know the word of God. Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. 

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 73,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction with series potential.  ((She died...  How can this be a series?  Is there no true ending?  That may be a red flag.  I’d take it out.))


Heart's Darkness Query - http://agentquerycon...s-epic-fantasy/


#13 annallyson

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 02:41 PM

Wow! Thank you all. I did a major rewrite taking your advice into account. I'd love it if you would let me know if you think I'm on the right track.

 

And of course, I'll return the favor on your queries! 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#14 elysezane

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 04:00 PM

Yes!! Your query was great, but now it's outstanding! 

 



Version #4 

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. I like that you moved this up.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side. Great: adds a sense of urgency we didn't get before.

 

With the threat of her nation's [added an apostrophe] demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately predicts the outcome of a battle, yay! glad to have a clearer plot point here proving to the commander that her visions are true. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy and refuse the will of the Church. This still isn't clear--HOW she's refusing the will of the Church. Since this conflict will lead to Jeanne's untimely death, I'd actually move it down to the end of the query.

 

Ensconced in the company of soldiers, Jeanne learns that the world outside her hometown is dangerous. Assisted by two irreverent squires, Jeanne must cast aside the rules of society and gender. If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, she doesn’t have time to place nice. Weak--reword The problem is, hers is But she lives in [I just this this is smoother] a time of rules and order. Women are to be seen and not heard, but Jeanne can’t seem to control her temper. Breaking the rules is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Again, I'd specify HOW it's dangerous and bring the Church in here.

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 75,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction. It is a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story with an emphasis on Jeanne as she was at seventeen, rebellious, insecure and courageous. 

 

Hm...okay, to be perfectly honest, I'm still doubtful that you can get more than one satisfying novel out of Jeanne's story. So it's good that you took the mention of a series out of your query. I will say you want to be certain that other writers (not just friends who will go easy on you) have read your work to make sure it's tight, that you don't have too many unnecessary scenes and words.

 

As for mentioning this is your first novel, I'm not sure how best to word that. This is the first novel for which you're seeking publication, but you don't want the agent to think this is the first time you've ever written ANYTHING. Then again, your style in this query is lovely, so the agent can tell you have talent.


If I've helped you--or if you're simply bored--please comment on my query: http://agentquerycon...ction/?p=319871

 


#15 VitaCoco

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 05:17 PM

I really like the first three paragraphs! By the "will of the church," do you mean the "call of the church"? Or do you mean she goes against the social conduct expected by the church?

As for the last paragraph, it seems like it's repeating information or extending the information for too long. But like I said, I really like the other paragraphs, so I have no doubt of how you can tweak the last paragraph.

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes" (Pooh).


#16 Antwon

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 05:57 PM

I promise I'm not picking on you! And initially I had no intention of re-critiquing...but I did.  You have talent, so I am a bit nit-pickier on you than I would normally be.  Its a compliment! ;) 

 

***

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France won’t be on the winning side.

((You can do better.  France will be overrun—destroyed—will be lost, etc..))

 

With the threat of her nations demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she accurately ((remove)) predicts the outcome of a battle, proving  ((the accuracy of her visions)) to the commander that her visions are true((remove)). He ((The Commander))agrees to escort her to Chinon. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must dress as a boy ((why must she? Won’t the commander protect her?Now, knowing the history I know the answer to why she dresses as a boy, but as a standalone, it needs expanding)) and refuse the will of the Church. 

 

Ensconced in the company of soldiers, Jeanne learns that the world outside her hometown is dangerous. ((You can do better.  This is almost a “duh” and Jeanne is smart enough to know the world is dangerous, especially after 100 years of war.)) Assisted by two irreverent ((Groan.  Cliché.  You know a better descriptor)) squires, Jeanne must cast aside the rules of society and gender. If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, she doesn’t have time to place nice. ((Watch your tone.  These two words almost single-handedly dropped your story to Middle GradeAND you ms “play”…))  The problem is, hers is a time of rules and order. Women are to be seen and not heard, but Jeanne can’t seem to control her temper. Breaking the rules is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels.


Heart's Darkness Query - http://agentquerycon...s-epic-fantasy/


#17 annallyson

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 03:27 PM

Seriously, thank you all! You have such great advice. I just posted version five. Feel free to tell me it's terrible.

 

Do I owe anyone an edit? Any new versions I could look at? I want to pay you all back for the fantastic help if I can. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#18 samlat77

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 04:38 PM

So the latest revision looks fabulous, however, I would stick with "Heresy is dangerous, even for a girl who speaks to angels." I think it has a better ring to it, to be perfectly honest. But other than that, you have done fantastically!!



#19 ya_km

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:25 AM

Thank you for your help. I hope I can return the favor. :)

 

Version #5 (thanks Antwon, Elysezane and VitaCoco!!)

 

Long before Joan of Arc was a saint and a hero, she was Jeanne, the girl nobody believed. Wow. Wowww. I really like this hook.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, Em dash? for as long as anyone can remember, Em dash? there has been war. For almost 100 years, (comma) the French have fought the English, and in recent years, (comma) they have fought only to lose. On the day she Jeanne turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. Wait. I feel like the jump from "fought only to lose" to "On the day" was really big. Could you bridge the gap? They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France will fall.

 

With the threat of her nation’s demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she correctly predicts the outcome of a battle, proving the accuracy of her visions to the commander. He agrees to escort her to Chinon. Is this guy important? Is all of this part important? I feel like the king is the most important goal, and the rest may not belong in the query. But, to get to the king, Jeanne must slip undetected through hostile, war-torn territory. 

 

Disguised as a boy and ensconced in the company of soldiers, Jeanne learns France may not be ready for a visionary. I like this. Assisted by two madcap squires, Jeanne must cast aside the rules of society and gender. If she wants to reach the king in time to fulfill the angel’s prophecy, she doesn’t have time to be genteel. But, Jeanne lives in a time of rules and order. The Clergy alone knows the will of God. Implying otherwise is heresy, even for a girl who speaks to angels. Eeeeee. EEEE. I like this.

 

SAINT’S RISING, complete at 75,000 words, is Young Adult Historical Fiction. It is a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story with an emphasis on Jeanne as she was at seventeen: (colon) rebellious, insecure and courageous. 

 

Hi. Have I said how much I love your hook? Because wow.

Most of what I'm saying is grammatical. But I do feel like some parts need a transition. Still, I'd pick this up for sure.


Please help me out with my first query here: http://agentquerycon...a-contemporary/

 

Thank you,

ya_km :)


#20 Antwon

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 06:13 PM

Read with a smile.  Well done, Anna.

 

 

Only one niggling comment.

 

For as long as Jeanne can remember, for as long as anyone can remember, there has been war. For almost 100 years the French have fought the English, and in recent years they have fought only to lose. On the day she turns seventeen, angels appear to Jeanne. They tell her that the war is coming to an end, and unless someone intervenes, France will fall.

 

((When Angels appear on her seventeenth birthday and tell her that unless she intervenes in the war, France will fall, Jeanne …)) Minor suggestion. The last 2 sentences read a little disjointed.  With this you can potentially add an emotional descriptor or action to help characterize and push into the next body of text.

 

With the threat of her nation’s demise looming, Jeanne flees her childhood home and rides towards the nearest army garrison. There she correctly predicts the outcome of a battle, proving the accuracy of her visions to the commander.


Heart's Darkness Query - http://agentquerycon...s-epic-fantasy/





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