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THE CITY OF GOLD AND FIRE (Adult Fantasy)

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#1 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 01:34 PM

MOST RECENT UPDATE.

 

 

 

Thanks! If you want me to critique yours, please comment. I'm having trouble with the messenger (old computer). 

 

 

MADE UPDATE; SEE BELOW AT #14:

 

 

Hi there! First posting here. :smile:

 

I struggle with brevity in this query. It's a really complicated story, and I've left so much out, but I hope this makes sense. Does it flow well? Sound good? Are there things that don't make sense to somebody who hasn't been working on this project for three years? Thanks for any advice you might provide. I'll return the favor!

 

 

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse.

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood.

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences.

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost.

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic, Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world.

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#2 Testome

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 01:56 PM

Hi there! First posting here. :smile:

 

I struggle with brevity in this query. It's a really complicated story, and I've left so much out, but I hope this makes sense. Does it flow well? Sound good? Are there things that don't make sense to somebody who hasn't been working on this project for three years? Thanks for any advice you might provide. I'll return the favor!

 

 

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse. The ending is vague, and I don't really see your unique spin.  I might go with the conflict that your mc faces instead of setup for a hook.

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. I'm more intrigued here than by your first paragraph.

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences. The end of this sentence is vague. At this point it's almost three paragraphs of setup. I would codense the last three paragraphsand get the next line quicker.  Your hook is hidden somewhere in this line or last paragraph.

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost. This seems like too much telling. Might be better to show how those groups affect your mcs more. You might have also shown us too much of your story at this point.

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic seems like too much info since you just tacked this on at the end., Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. This is vague.Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? I would avoid questions.After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Was has it done to them exactly? You mention Astara was thrown in prison but do nothing with it.Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world. Again, too vague.  I think this entire last paragraph needs to go or be rewritten.

 

OF GOLD AND FIRE You might get to much of a comparison to Game of Thrones with that title or it might just be me that sees the comparison. is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!



#3 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:03 PM


 

 

OF GOLD AND FIRE You might get to much of a comparison to Game of Thrones with that title or it might just be me that sees the comparison. is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

Interesting on the GOT comparison. I've never heard that before!


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#4 scooper09

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 03:01 PM

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse.(The hook needs a little more development. Get into the main characters here and how the magic is curse or blessing for them.)

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood.(This can be a part of your hook in the first paragraph.)

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences.(Combine first three paragraphs into first paragraph and develop the hook.)

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost.

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic, Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world.

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

Overall I think the query is reading more like a synopsis. I don't think you need event by event account, but more of an overview of the challenges the MCs are confronted with. Just my two cents. Good luck!



#5 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:01 PM

Thanks so much! 


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#6 Nonicks

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:07 PM

Hi there! First posting here. :smile:

 

I struggle with brevity in this query. It's a really complicated story, and I've left so much out, but I hope this makes sense. Does it flow well? Sound good? Are there things that don't make sense to somebody who hasn't been working on this project for three years? Thanks for any advice you might provide. I'll return the favor!

 

 

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse.

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. (Interesting!)

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences.

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. (Here you lose  me. It's to follow the head hopping. You started with Astara and it was interesting, but then you jump to Dahlia - this is interesting, too, but I'm still thinking about Astara...)Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost. (I'd try to write it without inserting another conflict. Your initial conflict was that of the Branded against the Pures. But then you have here civil was as well, and this is another conflict while I'm still thinking about the previous one.)

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic, ​(I erased this because it was confusing)Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world.(The stakes are not so high.)

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Overall I think you have an interesting story there. I think the most important thing that you should work on is the ending.

 

Hope I was able to help. If you can, please take a look at my query: link



#7 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for your review! I'll check yours out. Part of the problem or challenge is that this is a multi-POV story. It's hard to make a query. Any other suggestions on that? Has anybody made a good dual POV or can you point me to one?


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#8 hermitage

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:33 AM

Hi there! First posting here. :smile:

 

I struggle with brevity in this query. It's a really complicated story, {I have the same problem!} and I've left so much out, but I hope this makes sense. Does it flow well? {Mostly yes IMO, but I think you can keep tinkering with it.} Sound good? Are there things that don't make sense to somebody who hasn't been working on this project for three years? Thanks for any advice you might provide. I'll return the favor! {Thanks! You might actually kind of like mine, as the two are probably close to being in the same genre. LINK!}

 

 

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse. {This sounds pretty cool. It sounds like the opposite of the usual order -- i.e. in this story the strong are ruled by the weak. No? A good, basic premise which pretty quickly contrasts it with a lot of other stuff. Of course there are drawbacks of starting with your world-premise rather than your characters and/or some sort of direct event, as others will surely tell you.}

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. {I think you maybe want to join these paragraphs and the sentences on either side of the current break. Dive in and describe Dahlia in one fell swoop. Also, do we need to know last names?} But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences. {This sounds pretty fun. A little shoehorned in maybe, but I can totally see why.}

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, {Keep working on making this more fluid. Want a clean natural flow from Astara being abducted, to Astara meeting Dhalia -- and becoming friends, you might want to say something about that -- to Astara wanting to rescue Dhalia when she gets captured.} and

 

{Maybe I'd rather have the paragraph break here? Not sure, but different paragraph and sentence breaks are definitely worth thinking about in general.} Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which who will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost.

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic, Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the Their answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world. {actually you might want to cut this whole last sentence.}

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE {Are you totally married to this title? As someone else already said, it's awfully close to "A Song of Ice and Fire".} is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series {people will probably advise you not to say this}, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words {People will say this is too long but of course they might be wrong -- certainly many successful books are at least this long.}.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!



#9 Nonicks

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 06:18 AM

Thanks for your review! I'll check yours out. Part of the problem or challenge is that this is a multi-POV story. It's hard to make a query. Any other suggestions on that? Has anybody made a good dual POV or can you point me to one?

 

I don't have dual POV but if I had, I would write one paragraph for MC1 and another for MC2, then back again to 1. Does it make sense?



#10 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 11:51 AM

I don't have dual POV but if I had, I would write one paragraph for MC1 and another for MC2, then back again to 1. Does it make sense?

 

Yes! That does make sense. This isn't the first version of this query, so maybe I'll try to go back to it. I have some other ideas too, possibly to start with both.


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#11 danipie

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 07:45 PM

Hi there! First posting here. :smile:

 

I struggle with brevity in this query. It's a really complicated story, and I've left so much out, but I hope this makes sense. Does it flow well? Sound good? Are there things that don't make sense to somebody who hasn't been working on this project for three years? Thanks for any advice you might provide. I'll return the favor!

 

 

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse.

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood.

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organizationwhat kind of secret organization?, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences.

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison who is murdered?, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost.

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world from where they draw their magic, Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world.

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

this is very good, just a couple places where it is a little too wordy or lacks a detail or two :) you can find my query here http://agentquerycon...revision-in-34/



#12 JonBurgess

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:01 AM

Dear [AGENT NAME],

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills, but for the Branded, magic is no blessing—it’s a curse. (This hook isn't bad, but could use some streamlining, I think. Maybe along the lines of "...citizen Pures, and their Branded slaves, who are infused with the curse of magic...")

After slavers abduct Astara DiRel from her primitive village and force magic upon her, she’s sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia Vessa, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood.

 

But Dahlia is not exactly who she seems—she’s also a spy for a secret organization, and her infatuation with her handsome handler may lead to dangerous consequences.

 

Then Dahlia is accused of murder and thrown in an impenetrable prison, and Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of Rykonian society. Soon both women are caught in the middle of the underground war between two secret organizations: the Circle, which seeks to free the Branded and avoid civil war, and the Revenants, which will stop at nothing to exterminate the Pures—no matter the cost. (I feel like we've missed the bond between Dahlia and Astara. Why are they working together?)

 

Bound to each other by their connection to the mysterious, parallel world they draw their magic, Astara and Dahlia hover on the brink of divergent pathshope and revenge. Should they save the city or aid in its destruction? After all it has done to them, does Rykon truly deserve redemption? Whatever the answer, it will irrevocably change them, and ultimately, the world. (This last sentence seems unnecessary)

 

[OF GOLD AND FIRE is an accessible, epic fantasy adventure. Character-driven, the story features two powerful female protagonists as they struggle to survive in a volatile world. It is the first in a series, has been professionally edited, and is complete at 128,000 words.

 

In seeing your interest in X/Y/Z genre or In seeing works like X and Y on your book list, we felt OF GOLD AND FIRE would be a great fit for your genre specialization/interests. (This and the preceding paragraph would be moved around and tailored depending on agent research.)]

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

I think paragraphs 2 and 3 could be wedded together, which is also a chance for you to build on the relationship or bond between the two characters. Also, is Dahlia a spy for the Circle or the Reventants? It isn't quite clear.

 

Anyway. I hope this helps! If you feel like it, my own query can be found here.



#13 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:00 AM

I think paragraphs 2 and 3 could be wedded together, which is also a chance for you to build on the relationship or bond between the two characters. Also, is Dahlia a spy for the Circle or the Reventants? It isn't quite clear.

 

Anyway. I hope this helps! If you feel like it, my own query can be found here.

 

 

Jon,

Thanks for taking the time! I actually did your query yesterday—unless you  had some revisions I didn't see? 


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#14 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 11:42 AM

MADE SOME UPDATES...tell me what you all think of this one.

 

Here's the meat of it:

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse.

 

Astara has been abducted from her primitive village, branded, and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization. While she helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains soon find their magical powers intensifying when they are together, bordering on uncontrollable.

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order throws her in an impenetrable prison to study her—after all, she’s a dancer, not a killer. Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society to seek out others who can help her rescue her.

 

However, within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization, which vows to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes.


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#15 Nonicks

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:29 PM

MADE SOME UPDATES...tell me what you all think of this one.

 

Here's the meat of it:

 

There are two types of people live in the city of Rykon:(or you can come up with another way to say it..) the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse.

 

Astara has been abducted from her primitive village, branded, and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization. While she helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains(like that!) soon find their magical powers intensifying when they are together, bordering on uncontrollable.

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order throws her in an impenetrable prison to study her—after all, she’s a dancer, not a killer​(just feels unnecessary here). Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society (I don't think you need this sentence "that leads her to the fringes of society" because I asked myself "what kind of people she meets along the way? It's a fantasy world so fringes of society can be anything)to seek out others who can help her rescue her.

 

However, within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization, which vows to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes.(stakes are really high and clear now)

 

I think this revision is much better! I erased some sentences because I thought it will sounds better this way, but overall it's a great revision!

 

if you can, I'll be happy if you take a look at my query - link



#16 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:41 PM

I think this revision is much better! I erased some sentences because I thought it will sounds better this way, but overall it's a great revision!

 

if you can, I'll be happy if you take a look at my query - link

 

Thanks for taking the time to relook! Most appreciated. I'm glad it's better. You know one thing about the fringes comment you made...I like that you thought that and wondered about it, because that's basically what happens. I have to ponder on that one. Give it some time to ferment on how I want to handle that. Thanks again!


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#17 ViviMont

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 03:48 PM

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon (Honestly, I think you can skip naming the city. Since you're already introducing us to the Pures and the Branded and this new societal order-- the less we're clouded by names the more we can focus on what's going on, plot-wise.): the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused (This sounds like someone implants magic into them. Is that right? I guess since they are the 'branded' it makes sense.) with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse (So it's not something they're born with, right?).

 

Astara has been abducted from her primitive village, branded (magically infused? lol), and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization.(very cool!) While she helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains soon find their magical powers intensifying when they are together, bordering on uncontrollable. (I'd like to know what this magic entails. Like telekinetic, or controlling the elements?)

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order throws her in an impenetrable prison (for study or for dissection? Ew, no. Don't use that.) to study her—after all, she’s a dancer, not a killer. Astara sets out (escapes her enslavement?) on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society to seek(ing) out others who can help her rescue her (friend).

 

However, within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization, which vows to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes. (Great stakes! Sounds really cool! Hope my comments are helpful. :)


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#18 greyhound1211

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 01:08 PM

Hey-O. I haven't done this in a pretty long time. I'm a bit surprised to find myself here. So, anyways, this is generally how I try to look at stuff. If it's in red, it's a correction, or a suggested correct. If it's in blue, it's just my thought, which doesn't mean much, it's just a thought. Fair disclosure, I haven't done anything beyond this, have only a week ago sent out my first queries and haven't gotten any responses, so take my advice and opinion as you will. And, as always, these are my thoughts, and my thoughts only.

 

 

MADE SOME UPDATES...tell me what you all think of this one.

 

Here's the meat of it:

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse.

Honestly, this above is what brought me here. (I won't lie, there's a lot of really bad stuff on here, so yours stands out as immediately interesting, not as godawful cliched, and well thought out) It's interesting and immediately brings the reader up to speed. Your hook should be like that. So, kudos.

 

Astara has been was abducted from her primitive <- Necessary? village, branded, and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization. <- I like this, but this sentence just comes across awkward. Like, it feels too blunt. Also, would it be possible to put a name instead of generic secret organization? While/As she helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains <- Once again, I feel like this phrase is awkward. soon find their magical powers intensifying when the more they are together, bordering on uncontrollable. quickly becoming uncontrollable. <- This is because in the next paragraph, it is.

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order throws buries her in an impenetrable prison to study her for examination—after all, she’s a dancer, not a killer Just a thought, but, would it be possible to rewrite this bit. It reads a bit odd and stands out where I don't think it should. Maybe it could sound like 'without realizing that beneath her dancer's mask, lie the skills of an assassin' Just a thought.. Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society to seek out others who can help her rescue her. to join her cause.

 

However, Meanwhile within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization the resistance - just a suggestion, because it feels weird repeating the same phrase/word,  which vows intends to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic <- This phrase just strike me as awkward. Is there a way you could say this differently, as well as saving yourself a few words?, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes. <- I feel like this could sound better if you ride on the flow from the previous sentence. Something like, 'If she rebuffs the offer of an untrustworthy man, she may be condemning herself, her only friend, and possibly countless innocents, to death.' Similarly, just a thought.

 

 

Ok, I think you've got pretty much everything down. As I'm sure you know, there are really only three parts of a query letter - excluding facts and ending stuff and whatnot - and they are: the hook - which you have down pat - an introduction of your characters desires and wishes, and what they're risking. I'm assuming it's third person limited, so that might make it a bit easier. It should pretty much sound like 'This is person, they've always wanted xyz, but in order to obtain xyz they're risking the love/desire of person b, but if they don't they've done nothing with their existence. You have all the parts, and, to be honest, they're in the right place. You just have to work on your sentence structure, word choice and other normal window dressing.

 

I'm assuming you have your fact information at the bottom - which I always do, as it feels weird to lead with, 'I'm A and I want you to sell my book.' Well, yeah, obviously. Other than that, there are only a few solid rules. 300 words, max, generally three body paragraphs, and including name, genre, title, word count, and thanks for their time in the final, fourth paragraph.

 

I hope this all made sense and can be of some use to you.

 

Thanks for your time! - Greyhound1211



#19 samlat77

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:15 PM

MADE SOME UPDATES...tell me what you all think of this one.

 

Here's the meat of it:

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse.

 

Astara has been abducted from her primitive village, branded, and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization. While she helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains soon find their magical powers intensifying when they are together, bordering on uncontrollable.

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order throws her in an impenetrable prison to study her—after all, she’s a dancer, not a killer. Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society to seek out others who can help her rescue her.

 

However, within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization, which vows to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes.

So I really like most of this and don't think too much  needs to be changed, except for what I've marked out. But this sounds super good!! Good luck!



#20 Jackington R.R. Character

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:35 PM

Here's the meat of it: If this is a framing device, it seems to get left behind -maybe refer back to it here*  ... to close the loop, so to speak.

 

There are two types of people in the city of Rykon: the free citizen Pures, and the enslaved Branded, who are infused with magical energy and forced to toil at the whims of their Pure masters. Magic bestows great skills upon the Branded, yet comes at a terrible cost to body and mind. For all slaves, magic is a curse.

 

* framing device again

 

At 16 years of age (or whatever), Astara is abducted from her primitive village, branded, and sold as a bodyguard to a noble Rykonian house on the brink of ruin. There she meets the celebrated dancer, Dahlia, an imaginative young woman enslaved since childhood. But Dahlia is not simply a dancer; she’s a spy for a secret organization. While Dahlia helps Astara adjust to a brutal new reality, the two sisters-in-chains soon find their magical powers intensifying when they are together, bordering on uncontrollable. Cool!

 

But when Dahlia’s magic kills a Pure noble, the Ministry of Arcane Order imprisons her—she’s supposed to be? dancer, not a killer. Astara sets out on a rescue mission that leads her to the fringes of society to seek out others who can help her rescue her. Very intriguing. 

 

However, within the prison’s walls, the charismatic leader of another secret organization (do these organizations have names?), which vows to exterminate those lacking the curse of magic, strikes a deal with Dahlia: help his group and he’ll help her escape. Astara must save her friend before Dahlia’s convinced to join them in their genocidal crusade, or worse, she’s put to death for her crimes. Quite the dilemma!

 

Sounds like a fascinating story! I really liked the query, tried to make a few comments/edits I thought might be useful, overall well done!

 

Good luck with future editing/querying! I'd love to hear what you think of my queary too - its somewhat similar in tone I think!

 

My query is at:

http://agentquerycon...a-dark-fantasy/

 

 

 

 

 

 







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