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The Outskirts of Fernwood (FANTASY) Revision in #44

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#41 dragoness

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:54 AM

It's still very good  :smile: .

 

Here are my suggestions:

 

After one noble in her village is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, Mable is in more danger than ever before. (Wouldn't is be better to write: "After one witch in her village is hanged, Mable is in more danger than ever before"? Otherwise it sounds like Mable is also a noble, and nobles are hanged though they're not witches. It's not what you try to say.)

Mable often ventures into the nearby kingdom to help fellow healers escape to the village she calls home. Hidden on lands deemed cursed, this village has been a sanctuary to persecuted healers like Mable for over a century. (I think this sentence shouldn't be here. the next paragraph is the natural continue of the hook, and the information in this sentence is not intersting here, and better be put later.)

In the aftermath of the noble’s execution, multiple villagers are killed by emboldened purists. Mable, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them and earned them the label of “witches.” It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels into the nearby kingdom, to help fellow healers escape, altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. A couple powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village, a sanctuary to persecuted healers, safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Good luck!

 

I'd thank you if you'd like to look at my query: http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#42 Linnet_Crawford

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:43 PM

New to this query, and the concept sounds great! The query is clear and lays out the stakes well - although I agree with the previous commenters that the query could use some more urgency and emotional connection to Mable. Who is she? Young? Old? A powerful healer? A leader? The query doesn't really give me a picture of who the MC is and what she's like. 

It's been a while since I've worked on this query!

 

But thanks again for all the feedback. As of right now, I've tried to edit based on all of the suggestions. My biggest problem is how I should tweak the first sentence to be more specific while still evoking interest and I'm having a hard time. I feel like it's missing something.

 

 

 

After one noble is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, Mable is in more danger than ever before. I agree that this lacks 'punch'. I think you should start with Mable "Young healer Mabel knows the dangers of 'witch' prosecution all too well...and when the nearby Kingdom finally becomes fanatic enough to begin hanging its healer nobles for witchcraft, she knows her time is running out." Obviously I'm just making things up here, but you see what I mean. It needs to be specific enough to grab my attention, but not detailed enough to confuse me. Right now I'm not getting enough info. 

Mable often ventures into the nearby kingdom to help fellow healers escape to the village she calls home. Hidden on lands deemed cursed, this village has been a sanctuary to persecuted healers like Mable for over a century.

In the aftermath of the noble’s execution, multiple villagers are killed by emboldened purists. Mable, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them and earned them the label of “witches.” It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. A couple powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy. This is all great and concise, but reads a bit more like a summary than a pitch... I think the same details could be presented in a way that grabs attention more. WHY is Mable the one going on the missions? Is she the only one brave enough? 

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#43 npstanford

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:37 PM

 

After one noble is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, Mable is in more danger than ever before. Mable prefers the term "healer" to "witch", but at least the term witch scares away the purists that'd have her burned at the stake. That is, until the purists realize that Mable and her people no longer have the powerful magic that used to protect them.

 

Mable often ventures into the nearby kingdom to help fellow //persecuted? healers escape to the village she calls home, that has been a hidden sanctuary for healers like her for over a century . //there is an opportunity for valuable characterization here. Is Mable doing this because she has a big heart or because she loves the thrill of the risk. Hidden on lands deemed cursed, this village has been a sanctuary to persecuted healers like Mable for over a century.

 


In the aftermath of the noble’s execution, multiple villagers are killed by emboldened purists. Mable, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them and earned them the label of “witches.” It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely. //to me, this sounds like the hook of your story. I took a shot above at making it a hook. 

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. A couple powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Also, another idea for your hook that might be very attention grabbing: Mable is the Sojourner Truth of the magical world, helping healers escape persecution to a hidden sanctuary. As one of the few healers (not witches, she hates that term) to venture into the wider world, her priority is clear -- keep the location of the sanctuary hidden at all costs.

 


 

 


#44 danipie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:16 PM

There is a problem with the query I’m seeing with people critiquing it… it seems like no matter how detailed or vague I am about the kingdom and the village, it doesn’t seem to come through that this village is separate from the kingdom and I’m not making a mistake by trying to differentiate the two lol. So let me explain, for anybody that might want to help…
The kingdom is called Aberagan, and it is there that one of the nobles is hanged for witchcraft. The village is called Winnia, which is a refugee village on the kingdom’s outskirts, hidden on cursed lands, and only healers live there in hiding from the rest of the kingdom. Mable travels from her village into the heart of the kingdom where it is most unsafe for healers to be.

Anyway, here’s another edit based on everyone’s suggestions. Thanks to all for the great feedback. Will be going through and returning the favor as always!

After one noble in the nearby kingdom is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, Mable is in more danger than ever before. Though her people are healers, not witches.

In the aftermath of this execution, innocent healers in Mable’s village are murdered by emboldened purists anyway. She, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them. It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

Feeling indebted to the village that rescued her from persecution only several years earlier, Mable continues to risk her life doing the same for healers trapped within the kingdom’s walls. She remains hopeful that some highborn with a good heart might realize a kingdom needs their magical healers in order to thrive.

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. Just a few powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 



#45 Erevos

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:46 AM

After one noble in the nearby kingdom is hanged for the crime of witchcraft,  Mable Age? is in more danger than ever before. Though her people are healers, not witches.

In the aftermath of this execution, innocent healers in Mable’s village are murdered by emboldened purists anyway. She, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them. It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

Feeling indebted to the village that rescued her from persecution only several years earlier, Mable continues to risk her life doing the same for healers trapped within the kingdom’s walls. She remains hopeful that some highborn with a good heart might realize a kingdom needs their magical healers in order to thrive. Contrary to previous drafts, I'd say this is clear and concise. It explains the reason she loves to travel outside the village. The last 2 sentences can be combined. Something like "Hopeful that one day a highborn will realize how much the kingdom needs magical healers to thrive, Mable continues to risk her life saving....."

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. Influential friend seems vague. Maybe a detail or two? Just a few powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

 

All in all, I'd say your query is really good. As others mentioned try to convey her feelings to us!



#46 danipie

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

thoughts on including her age?

 

it would read like this:

 

After one noble in the nearby kingdom is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, 20-year-old Mable is in more danger than ever before. Though her people are healers, not witches.



#47 CarterT

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

 

After one noble in the nearby kingdom is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, Mable is in more danger than ever before. Though It doesn't matter that her people are healers, not witches. - The 'though' at the start of the sentence made me expect something after 'witches'. Even with the change I made, it feels like it needs a strong statement to close it off.

In the aftermath of this execution, innocent healers in Mable’s village are murdered by emboldened purists  who don't make the distinction between healer and witch.anyway. She, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them. - Is this powerful magic something that hid/protected the village, or something that each individual possessed?It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely. - An army is still an army. Maybe you can change it up to something like 'It wouldn't take more than a casual push from the nation's army to wipe them out entirely.'

Feeling indebted to the village that rescued her from persecution only several years earlier, - Little lost on the timeline this falls on. Several years before the hook? Could move mention of this rescue up to the first paragraph. '...innocent healers of the village that took Mable in several years earlier are being...' or something? Mable continues to risk her life doing the same for healers trapped within the kingdom’s walls. She remains hopeful that some highborn with a good heart - This sounds very idealistic. Is that the goal? might will realize a kingdom needs their its magical healers in order to thrive.

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. Just a few powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy. - They don't know where the village is? You said up in the first paragraph that '...innocent healers IN Mable's village...' , did you mean 'from Mable's village? I also get the feeling that these last few sentences involve court intrigue and politics? However, the 'find them without revealing her identity...' is just a touch too vague.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
  

I like what you're getting at, and I think there is a lot of potential in the concept.

 

But, I feel like I don't know anything about Mable after reading it. I like the idea behind the story, I'm just not invested in it yet.

 

I think a few small changes relating to Mable and her motivation could really bring it up a notch.



#48 Arcanjoe

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:12 PM

After one noble in the nearby kingdom is hanged for the crime of witchcraft, twenty-year-old healer Mable is in more danger than ever before. Though her people are healers, not witches.

In the aftermath of this execution, innocent healers in Mable’s village are murdered by emboldened purists anyway. Soon they start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them. It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

Feeling indebted to the village that rescued her from persecution only several years earlier, Mable continues to risk her life doing the same for healers trapped within the kingdom’s walls. (I know others have told you this, but village/kingdom difference is unclear.) She remains hopeful that some highborn with a good heart might realize a kingdom needs their magical healers in order to thrive. (This is passive. Waiting for someone else to make a choice is not necessarily something you want to include in the query letter.)

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired to seek out help. (This is very vague. Can you be more specific?) Just a few powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

I'm into the premise, but you need to get us invested. At the moment Mable comes across as passive, and when she is active ("continues to risk her life...") it's too vague for us to root for her. I want to know her character. Show us some of her voice in this query.

 

I'll be back to check your next draft. Hope my comments above help!


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Animality:

http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

 


#49 Phaust

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

New to this thread. I agree with arcanjoe in suggesting you up the agency of the MC.

 

 

After one a noble is hanged for the crime of witchcraft in the nearby kingdom of Abregan, Mable is in more danger than ever before.

Risking capture, Mable often ventures into the nearby kingdom to helps fellow healers escape from Abregan to safety in the village she calls home. Hidden on lands deemed cursed, this village has been a sanctuary to persecuted healers like Mable for over a century. Not even sure you need this paragraph as the crux of the conflict is presented in the paragraph after next. 

In the aftermath of the noble’s execution, multiple villagers are killed by emboldened purists. Mable, and others, start to fear these purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them and earned them the label of “witches.” It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

The village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection; some even advise her to stop her travels altogether. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, she feels inspired decides to seek out help. She only needs to convince a couple powerful, highborn allies would be enough to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Here's my remix.... hope this helps. 

 

After a noble is hanged for the crime of witchcraft in the nearby kingdom of Abregan, Mable is in more danger than ever before.

In the aftermath of the noble’s execution, Mable, and others, fear these the growing ranks of murderous purists will discover their best-kept secret: healers have mostly lost the powerful magic that once protected them and earned them the label of “witches.” It would only take a small army to wipe them out entirely.

Something has to be done. Yet, the village leaders warn Mable not to approach anyone in the kingdom for protection. But after a strange encounter earns her an influential friend, Mabel decides to seek out help. She only needs to convince a couple powerful, highborn allies to keep her village safe. Somehow Mable will have to find them without revealing her identity to the wrong person and getting killed, or worse - leading her enemies to the place they want to destroy.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FERNWOOD is a 113,000 word standalone fantasy novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

By the way, would love to get your take on my own query. Here: Of Eye and Cloud







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