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A Relic for Roland (Upper MG Fantasy)

Fiction Middle Grade Fantasy

Best Answer JChristian , 15 July 2017 - 12:15 PM

I think this will be the last version, as I don't want to polish it to death. I really think its 95% there at this point, and I am happier with how it reads. Everyone's advice has been much appreciated.

Edit #8

 

Dear [Agent's name],

Before chopping down an enchanted forest to build a village, check to make sure it is not a prison for a dragon’s ghost!

 

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors learn this the hard way when their actions release a potent curse, resulting in their transformation into animals. Now a fire fox, Roland blames himself for this disaster. He sets out to reclaim his lost humanity and save the forest from the resurrected spirit of Golthag the Dragon. 

 

Roland hunts up and down the middle kingdoms to find a missing relic: the horn of a unicorn which can restore his friends. Along the way, he must learn the ways of magic if he hopes to use the horn’s mystical power to lock Golthag away forever. A devotee of science, Roland struggles to become even a passable magician. With his village under siege by the dragon’s minions, the race is on to recover the relic before time runs out. Should it fall into the wrong hands, there would be nothing to stop the dragon’s triumphant return, and the destruction of everything Roland holds dear. 

 

But, if he fails to embrace his magic destiny, the wrong hands could very well be his own. Wielded improperly, the horn would pour out its apocalyptic spells, and the spark of the dragon which the fire fox helped to unleash just might become a holocaust.

A RELIC FOR ROLAND is a fantasy standalone with series potential, complete at 98,000 words. The themes are based around my life-long struggle to overcome Autism, a dragon which so many kids today have to face. It is inspired by books like Redwall and the Narnia Chronicles, which helped me break out of my private world, and into writing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

J. Christian

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#1 JChristian

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:38 PM

Edit #8 (Final) most current

Dear (Agent's name),

When the curse of a dragon’s ghost transforms Roland Hobbs into a red panda, he undertakes the quest to reclaim his humanity, and establish a forest guardian for the trees which once formed the bars of the dragon’s prison. 

 

Roland journeys to the kingdoms of the south to find the horn of a legendary unicorn, which is the key to locking the dragon away forever—and has the power to make Roland human again. With the help of an enchanted tuning fork, he learns the ways of magic to defeat the dragon's thralls, and return the relic to safety in the forest sanctuary.

 

Powerful enemies seek the horn as well, and Roland will have to fight against them to earn the trust of the relic’s keeper. With his quest complete, he must face and overcome the temptation to put the relic to selfish use, or risk unleashing the destructive power which the unicorn’s horn can provide to the wicked.

Complete at 90,000 words, A Relic for Roland is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles. I am a military linguist, and father of four boys who love stories about animals and magic.

Thank you for you time and consideration,

J.C. Wood



#2 DV77

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:34 PM

Dear (Agent's name),

When the curse of a dragon’s ghost transforms Roland Hobbs (How old is he?) into a red panda, he undertakes the quest to reclaim his humanity, and establish a forest guardian for the trees which once formed the bars of the dragon’s prison. I'm not quite following this. What do you mean by establishing a forest guardian? Why has he been cursed? Did he do something to cause it? 

 

Roland journeys to the kingdoms of the south to find the horn of a legendary unicorn, which is the key to locking the dragon away forever—and has the power to make Roland human again. With the help of an enchanted tuning fork (This fork has a personality or something? It makes it sound like a character here), he learns the ways of magic to defeat the dragon's thralls, and return the relic to safety in the forest sanctuary. The grammar on this last part of the sentence is off. He learns he has to return it there? So far I'm not feeling this. There isn't anything mentioned about Roland that gives us a sense of his personality. At the moment it reads like a checklist ie he has to go from A to B to C etc.

 

Powerful enemies Who? Some specifics to make them more intriguing. seek the horn as well, and Roland will have to fight against them to earn the trust of the relic’s keeper. With his quest complete, he must face and overcome the temptation to put the relic to selfish use, or risk unleashing the destructive power which the unicorn’s horn can provide to the wicked. So he beats the bad guys? At the moment that's what it reads like and kinda kills the threat because now we already know Roland will win and the tension is gone. I also don't understand what the downside is to him using this thing. What is going to be destroyed if he uses it?

Complete at 90,000 words, A Relic for Roland (Use caps) is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles. I am a military linguist, and father of four boys who love stories about animals and magic. I appreciate this is important to you but I'm not so sure how much it will interest agents)

Thank you for your time and consideration,

J.C. Wood

 

On the whole it feels like it's missing some things that will make us care about Roland and is a little vague. I think some specifics about why this curse happened to him, how it's affected him (apart from the obvious being turned into a panda) and upping the stakes a bit more would go a long way for this query.



#3 JChristian

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 04:39 PM

Edit #2

Dear (Agent),

When enchanted trees are cut down to clear the way for his village, Roland Hobbs and his neighbors find themselves transformed into woodland animals by the potent curse of a dragon’s ghost. Feeling responsible for the disaster, Roland undertakes the quest to 
reclaim his lost humanity by saving the forest and his friends from the umbrage of the dragon Golthag.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of the legendary unicorn Arthex, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock the dragon away forever before returning the relic to the protection of its sanctuary, and by doing so, find redemption for destroying the guardian which once watched over Golthag’s grave.

The Bonebriars pursue Roland at all times, powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to resurrect the dragon and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness.

 

With the trust of the relic’s new guardians finally won, Roland must overcome the temptation to use the unicorn’s horn rashly in the attempt to restore himself and his friends. If not, he just might unleash the apocalyptic power that Arthex’s horn can provide to the wicked.

Complete at 98,000 words, A RELIC FOR ROLAND  is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles.



#4 Kimseal

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 06:06 PM

When enchanted trees are cut down to clear the way for his village, Roland Hobbs and his neighbors find themselves transformed into woodland animals by the potent curse of a dragon’s ghost. I'm not sure I follow the ghost dragon's logic here. Why does it do this? Did they know it would happen? Feeling responsible for the disaster was he reponsible?, Roland undertakes the quest to save the forest and his friends from the umbrage of the dragon Golthag from the dragon's curse, and along the way, reclaim his lost humanity.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of the legendary unicorn Arthex, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock the dragon away forever before returning the relic to the protection of its sanctuary, and by doing so, perhaps find redemption for destroying the guardian which once watched over Golthag’s grave. This is a very long sentence. Also who is the guardian? The ghost of the dragon? Is the ghost of the dragon not the same as Golthag? Are there two dragons here?

Powerful thralls, the Bonebriars, pursue him at all times, seeking to gain find the horn before he can first. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who seek to resurrect the dragon and use his thralls to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness. This is another very long sentence.

 

With the trust of the relic’s new guardians finally won, Roland must overcome the temptation to use the unicorn’s horn solely to restore himself and his friends but I thought that was why they wanted the horn in the first place?. If not, he just might unleash the apocalyptic power that Arthex’s horn can provide to the wicked.

Complete at 98,000 words, A RELIC FOR ROLAND  is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles.


 

​There's some great details here but I'm not sure this is clicking as well as it could be yet. I'm getting confused about the dragons in particular.



#5 JChristian

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for your feedback. I will try to be more clear about who/what/where.


Edit #3

 

Dear (Agent),

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals by a potent curse when the enchanted trees which hold a dragon's ghost prisoner are cut down to build their village. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim his lost humanity by saving the forest and his friends from the rising power of Golthag the dragon.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of the legendary unicorn Arthex, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before returning the relic to the protection of its sanctuary. By doing so, he can find redemption for destroying the guardian which once watched over the dragon's grave.

The Bonebriars pursue Roland at all times, powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to resurrect the dragon and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness.

 

With the trust of the relic’s new guardians finally won, Roland must overcome the temptation to use the unicorn’s horn rashly in the attempt to restore himself and his friends. If used incorrectly, he just might unleash the apocalyptic power that Arthex’s horn can provide to the wicked.

Complete at 98,000 words, A RELIC FOR ROLAND  is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles.



#6 Sataris

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 08:19 PM

Thank you for your feedback. I will try to be more clear about who/what/where.


Edit #3

 

Dear (Agent),

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals by a potent curse when the enchanted trees which hold a dragon's ghost prisoner are cut down to build their village. There's a lot going on in this sentence; could you break it down into parts? ie 1. Roland cut down a tree 2. was turned into a fox 3. unwittingly freed a trapped dragon. I don't know that it needs to be three, but we definitely need more than one Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim his lost humanity by saving the forest and his friends from the rising power of Golthag the dragon.

 

Roland must journey south to seek the horn of the a legendary unicorn Arthex, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learning magic along the way the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before returning the relic to the protection of its sanctuary. this bit cuts the tension because if he's returning it after, we already know he's succeeded By doing so, he can find redemption for destroying the guardian which once watched over the dragon's grave. I'm not sure who the guardian is here, but I don't think we need the line on redemption, since we know he's acting because he was at fault in the first place.

The Bonebriars - powerful thralls who pursue Roland at all times - powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to resurrect the dragon I assumed he was already alive since he's been freed and his power is rising, though you did say he was a ghost and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms world in an age of darkness.

 

With the trust of the relic’s new guardians finally won, Roland must overcome the temptation to use the unicorn’s horn rashly in the attempt to restore himself and his friends. If used incorrectly, he just might unleash the apocalyptic power that Arthex’s horn can provide to the wicked.

 

 this seems like it's jumping really far ahead of the rest of the query

Complete at 98,000 words, A RELIC FOR ROLAND  is an Upper Middle Grade fantasy standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Brian Jaques' Redwall or C.S. Lewis' Narnia chronicles. shouldn't this be the Chronicles of Narnia? 

 

 

I know I cut a ton out of that, but I think it's actually pretty good. Basically:

1. Roland unwittingly frees a dragon and must atone for his mistake

2. Must seek a powerful artifact

3. Things are complicated when an army rises up against him

4. Roland must beat the army to the item or the world will be destroyed

 

is there anything bad that might happen even if Roland succeeds? is he leaving anyone behind, or does he risk his own life? i know you were getting at that a bit with the "he must avoid using its power" himself bit, but I feel like jumping all the way to the point where he's already succeeded at his quest might be a bit much to get some extra conflict in there, and it takes away from the tension in your letter by resolving the plot right away. You could maybe hint at something like ...but even if roland succeeds, the horn has a way of twisting those who come to possess it, or something along those lines. the general rule is that you only want to reveal what happens in the first act of your story.

 

I think we also need a bit more clarity on the dragon; I know you said its his ghost that was free, but the rising power line made me think that he still had power as a ghost. is he weak without being resurrected? 

 

I hope that was helpful. And thank you for the critique! 


You can find my current query here.


#7 JChristian

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 09:05 PM

It seems like no matter how I rework it, folks seem to hate on the dragon. I'm a bit at a loss as to how to resolve that, since he is central antagonist of the plot. I will try to re-clarify his place in the story. Long sentences seem to be an issue as well, so I will try to shorten them while keeping the main points. I will also cut the ends off concerning word count and dear agent, for the sake of brevity.

Thanks for your feedback.

Edit #4

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals when they mistakenly cut down the enchanted trees holding a dragon's ghost prisoner. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim his lost humanity, and save the forest and his friends from the re-awakening power of Golthag the dragon.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of a legendary unicorn, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before he can return the relic to the protection of its sanctuary.

 

The Bonebriars pursuing Roland are powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to fully resurrect the dragon, and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness.

 

Even if he can defeat the Bonebriars, and win the trust of the relic’s new guardians, Roland will still have to overcome his failings as a novice magician in order to safely wield the power of the unicorn’s horn. If used rashly, he might summon the apocalyptic power that the relic holds, and magnify the terror he helped to unleash.



#8 Sataris

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 09:36 PM

this is looking much better. I think all that's required to fix the dragon thing is stating somewhere that though his ghost is powerful (if he is, which he seems to be) his resurrected form would be far more powerful


You can find my current query here.


#9 jaustail

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 03:46 AM

JMO:

 

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals when they mistakenly cut down the enchanted trees holding a dragon's ghost prisoner. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox(maybe comma) sets out to reclaim his lost humanity, and save the forest and his friends from the re-awakening power of Golthag the dragon.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of a legendary unicorn, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before he can return the relic to the protection of its sanctuary.

 

The Bonebriars(write from Roland's pov? Does he know they are Bonebriars?) pursuing Roland are powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to fully resurrect the dragon, and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness.

 

Even if he can defeat the Bonebriars, and win the trust of the relic’s new guardians, Roland will still have to overcome his failings as a novice magician in order to safely wield the power of the unicorn’s horn. If used rashly, he might summon the apocalyptic power that the relic holds, and magnify the terror he helped to unleash.

 

 

 

Honestly it didn't appeal to me. I think it lacked focus. I read of an exercise to write the query from first person pov to get a simplified version.


JUPITER'S AMBITION

Revised on Post#70

Link


#10 Joni

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:33 AM

It seems like no matter how I rework it, folks seem to hate on the dragon. I'm a bit at a loss as to how to resolve that, since he is central antagonist of the plot. I will try to re-clarify his place in the story. Long sentences seem to be an issue as well, so I will try to shorten them while keeping the main points. I will also cut the ends off concerning word count and dear agent, for the sake of brevity.

Thanks for your feedback.

Edit #4

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals when they mistakenly cut down the enchanted trees holding a
Golthag the dragon's ghost prisoner. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim his lost humanity, and save the forest and his friends from Golthag's the re-awakening power of Golthag the dragon.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of a legendary unicorn, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before he can return the relic to the protection of its sanctuary.

 

The Bonebriars pursuing Roland are powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to fully resurrect the dragon, and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness.

 

Even if he can defeat the Bonebriars, and win the trust of the relic’s new guardians, Roland will still have to overcome his failings as a novice magician in order to safely wield the power of the unicorn’s horn. If used rashly, he might summon the apocalyptic power that the relic holds, and magnify the terror he helped to unleash.

 

I think this is really good and has come a long way from version #1.  Well done. 



#11 Daisy

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:57 AM

It seems like no matter how I rework it, folks seem to hate on the dragon. I'm a bit at a loss as to how to resolve that, since he is central antagonist of the plot. I will try to re-clarify his place in the story. Long sentences seem to be an issue as well, so I will try to shorten them while keeping the main points. I will also cut the ends off concerning word count and dear agent, for the sake of brevity.

Thanks for your feedback.

Edit #4

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are

Starting your query off this way is too passive. 

Try and avoid starting sentences with:

They were, They are, She is, He was...etc.

Rearrange the words and it will be much stronger. 

 

For example, off the top of my head:

 

After cutting down a forest of cursed trees, X-year-old, Roland Hobbs...

 

Also, voice is one of the most important elements in middle grade. 

You have to wow with your voice.  Don't worry about it too much while you're

still in the drafting stages of your query and trying to get all the info down, but

when you're in the polishing stage, make sure it comes through. :smile:

 

 

transformed into woodland animals when they mistakenly cut down the enchanted trees holding a dragon's ghost prisoner. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim his lost humanity, and save the forest and his friends from the re-awakening power of Golthag the dragon. 

1. Kill your adverbs, unless it changes the meaning of your sentence.  He was dead vs He was nearly dead.

Nine times out of ten, if you're using an adverb it's because you need a stronger verb.

My editors only allow me two or three in an entire manuscript. 

2. You need to tighten this up and get rid of unnecessary words. This is reading like a summary and you don't want that.  You need to grab me with an awesome MG voice and not let go. 

3. Think short and snappy.

 

Roland journeys south to seek the horn of a legendary unicorn, the key to restoring his people to human form. Roland must learn the ways of magic to safely lock Golthag away forever before he can return the relic to the protection of its sanctuary.

 

Be careful of too many clichés.  So far this doesn't stand out.  You have a hero's journey, the search for a relic, and some legendary creature.  That's fine if you have them in your story, but don't play up all these clichés in your query because they make your m/s sound like a gazillion others. 

Find what makes yours unique and focus on that. 

I'd say the fact that Roland is now a red panda is more where you want us to look.

 

The Bonebriars pursuing Roland are powerful thralls who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to fully resurrect the dragon, and use the Bonebriars to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness. There are too many unnecessary words. This is not reading like a middle grade voice.  It sounds like a summary. Short and snappy.  Lure me in. 

 

Even if he can defeat the Bonebriars, and win the trust of the relic’s new guardians, Roland will still have to overcome his failings as a novice magician in order to safely wield the power of the unicorn’s horn. If used rashly, he might summon the apocalyptic power that the relic holds, and magnify the terror he helped to unleash.

 

Hope these tips help.  :wub:

 

Tighten up your wording. Don't focus on all the clichés and remember your middle grade voice.

Good luck!  You've got this.  :smile:



#12 Dave1

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:49 AM

I second Daisy's comments, there is a lot of good advice in there.  Also, I do like the concept, sounds really interesting!

 

As I read through revision 4 I had some similar thoughts that this reads like a summary with too many details.  I think it might be enough to just grab the agent's attention by focusing on just a few key points: 1) the main characters are transformed into animals and are plunged into a world of magic and wonder, 2) they need to embark on a wild adventure to become human again and finally, 3) they are perused by an ancient menace who's minions will stop at nothing to catch them.

 

I don't think we need to know about the Bonebriars, the unicorn horn, or relic's new guardians in the query.

 

So yes, in a way, kill the dragon or just elude to his presence!

 

Good luck! 



#13 Sreid

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 01:47 PM

Hi JChristian,

 

I'm commenting on this as I read it for the first time so you get my frist impressions.

 

Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals when they mistakenly cut down the enchanted trees holding a dragon's ghost prisoner. ​All right, that gets my attention as a hook, even if it uses a passive verb ('are transformed' doesn't tell me who transformed them). I immediately wonder if Roland and his neighbors live in some suburban neighborhood and if they're using bulldozers and chainsaws. I take it they know nothing about the dragon before they're all turned to deer, squirrels and badgers. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland the fire fox ​Oops! I immediately got the image of Firefox, the webbrowser. sets out to reclaim his lost humanity, and save the forest and his friends from the re-awakening power of Golthag the dragon. ​As I understand it, Golthag is still a ghost. I guess if the ghost has enough power to change the neighbors into woodland creatures, the dragon, when it regains physical form, will be a danger to a lot more than Roland's forest.

 

Roland journeys south ​That's pretty vague, both in distance and location. What is his southern goal called and how far or how long does it take to get there? to seek the horn of a legendary unicorn, the key to restoring his people to human form. Mentioning a unicorn makes me now think the setting might not be suburban upstate New York :wink: . Does Roland already know of this unicorn horn before he's turned into a woodland creature or did he learn about it from someone afterwards? Roland must learn the ways of magic Roland is still a fox here, right? How can foxes perform magic in your world? Does it require incantations or wielding something (either of which I see as difficult or impossible for a fox)? Is Roland a talking fox? to safely lock Golthag away forever before he can return the relic to the protection of its sanctuary "Its sanctuary" sounds like another vague description that could be more specific.

 

The Bonebriars pursuing Roland are powerful thralls ​It feels like these Bonebriars come out of 'leftfield' and their introduction is passive (are). You might consider easing us in to this by starting off saying they're Golthag's thralls, and give a couple of words of description so I can get a mental picture of them. Are they dwarves, goblins, do they have three heads and eight arms, or perhaps they're just a secret cult of humans who worship and serve the dragon in exchange for long life? who seek to obtain the horn before he can. Roland and his companions must find the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies, who hope to fully resurrect the dragon, and use the Bonebriars ​That tells me the Bonefriars aren't the allies, and I'd suggest you either skip them or make them more specific. to cover the four middle kingdoms in an age of darkness. "The four kingdoms" tells me this is definitely not earth. Up until this point I wondered.

 

Even if he can defeat the Bonebriars, and win the trust of the relic’s new guardians ​What happened to the old guardians?, Roland will still have to overcome his failings as a novice magician If Roland is a novice magician, that means he's learning, presumably from an older wiser magician or from some book of magic. Either way, that's a pretty vital link you seem to be missing here. in order to safely wield the power of the unicorn’s horn ​How does a fox wield anything? It has paws, not hands. Does it grab it in its mouth?. If used rashly, he might summon the apocalyptic power that the relic holds ​That horn must have come from one bad-ass unicorn., and magnify the terror he helped to unleash.

 

 

I liked your hook, but you lost me after that. The pictures it created in my mind were vague and didn't engage my emotions. I've struggled with the same things writing my query, so I can empathize. I don't feel I have enough grasp of the specifics of your story to give any meaningful suggestions. I hope my first impressions help you.



#14 JChristian

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

Personally I wouldn't want to read a fantasy book without a hero's journey, a dragon, or magic. I find anything with werewolves, vampires, or zombies to be cliched, but there are plenty of m/s out there with them.  :smile: 

I think it comes down to personal preference and genre.


Edit #5

 

When the enchanted trees which imprison Golthag the dragon are cut down, Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals by a potent curse. Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland sets out to reclaim their lost humanity, and save the forest from the re-awakened threat this ancient evil.

 

Roland mission is to find a mighty relic: the horn of a unicorn which might restore him and his friends. Along the way, he must study the ways of magic to wield the relic’s power and lock Golthag away forever.

 

With powerful thralls pursuing him, Roland and his friends race to recover the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies. Should it fall into evil hands, it could cover the world in a second age of darkness.

 

But even if he can defeat the thralls of the dragon, Roland failings as a novice magician increase the dangers the relic poses to those who handle it. If used unwisely, it could pour out the apocalyptic magic that it holds, and magnify the unholy terror that Roland already helped to unleash.



#15 jaustail

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:56 AM

When the enchanted trees which imprison Golthag the dragon are cut down, Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals by a potent curse.(maybe put this in active voice to make it look like Roland has cut the trees)(which animal has Roland turned to?)

 

 

Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland sets out to reclaim their lost humanity, and save the forest from the re-awakened threat this ancient evil.(I didn't understand this.)

 

Roland(Roland's) mission is to find a mighty relic: the horn of a unicorn which might restore him and his friends. Along the way, he must study the ways of magic to wield the relic’s power and lock Golthag away forever.

 

With powerful thralls pursuing him, Roland and his friends race to recover the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies(who will deliver to Golthag's allies?). Should it fall into evil hands, it could cover the world in a second age of darkness.

 

But even if he can defeat the thralls of the dragon, Roland(Roland's) failings as a novice magician increase the dangers the relic poses to those who handle it. If used unwisely, it could pour out the apocalyptic magic that it holds, and magnify the unholy terror that Roland already helped to unleash.

 

 

 

It's well written in terms of variation in sentences. But I didn't get much idea of the enemy here.


JUPITER'S AMBITION

Revised on Post#70

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#16 janeald

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:19 AM

Personally I wouldn't want to read a fantasy book without a hero's journey, a dragon, or magic. I find anything with werewolves, vampires, or zombies to be cliched, but there are plenty of m/s out there with them.  :smile: 

I think it comes down to personal preference and genre.


Edit #5

 

When the enchanted trees which imprison Golthag the dragon are cut down, Roland Hobbs and his neighbors are transformed into woodland animals by a potent curse. Interesting! Partly to blame for the disaster, Roland sets out to reclaim their lost humanity (I really like this phrase), and save the forest from the re-awakened threat of an this ancient evil.

 

Roland's mission is to find a mighty relic: the horn of a unicorn which might restore him and his friends. Along the way, he must study the ways of magic to wield the relic’s power and lock Golthag away forever.

 

With powerful thralls pursuing him, Roland and his friends race to recover the relic before it can be delivered to Golthag’s allies. Should it fall into evil (maybe use a different word for evil this time so it doesn't seem cliche.) hands, it could cover the world in a second age of darkness.

 

This sentence is a bit of a run on. Maybe break it up: But even if he can defeat the thralls of the dragon, Roland's failings as a novice magician increase the dangers the relic poses to those who handle it. If used unwisely, it could pour out the apocalyptic magic that it holds, and magnify the unholy terror that Roland already helped to unleash.  I think this last sentence can be cut. You've already said it wouldn't be good if it landed in the wrong hands so it is a little repetitive. 

 

Interesting plot! I hope my suggestions can help you and thank you again for critiquing my query!



#17 JChristian

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 02:16 PM

Its interesting to note that I have posted this query to several different forums, and found wide-ranging reaction to it. Like most books, some love it, and some hate it. I think I have narrowed down the query as far as I am able at this point, though I am considering self-publishing since so many angry, dejected authors are telling me that no 'vanilla hero's journey with a magic macguffin' will sell in today's market.

They may be right, and they may be wrong, but I appreciate everyone's feedback. Thanks to all.



#18 Sreid

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 03:14 PM

I hope the query gets you agents asking to read more. I liked your latest version best. I think you have an interesting story and hope you find an agent who can see beyond the vanilla hero and the magic macguffin.



#19 Korina-Maya

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:02 PM

Its interesting to note that I have posted this query to several different forums, and found wide-ranging reaction to it. Like most books, some love it, and some hate it. I think I have narrowed down the query as far as I am able at this point, though I am considering self-publishing since so many angry, dejected authors are telling me that no 'vanilla hero's journey with a magic macguffin' will sell in today's market.
Heyyy I would say think positive and dont give up! 
You never know what are the differences between your story and other authors stories! 
You should try...and try and try...
My own book is translated from Greek to English but I wont find peace till I find an agent...
Oh come on your query is great...your story is interesting and there are so many agents around...I am sure you will find the right person!!! 


They may be right, and they may be wrong, but I appreciate everyone's feedback. Thanks to all.



#20 JChristian

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

I thought I would give this one last shot. 

Edit #6

Dear [Agent's name],

When you chop down an enchanted forest to build your village, check first to make sure it is not a prison for a dragon’s ghost. Roland Hobbs and his neighbors learn this the hard way when their actions release a potent spell, resulting in their magical transformation into animals. Blaming himself for this disaster, Roland the fire fox sets out to reclaim everyone’s lost humanity, and save the forest from the resurrected power of Golthag the Dragon.

 

Roland hunts up and down the middle kingdoms to find a missing relic: the horn of a unicorn which might restore him and his friends. Along the way, he uncovers the hidden truths of magic so that he may safely wield the relic and lock Golthag away forever. But, as a man of science, Roland struggles to become even a passable magician.

 

With his village under siege by the dragon’s thralls, Roland races to recover the relic before time runs out. Should it fall into the hands of Golthag’s allies, there would be nothing to stop the dragon’s triumphant return, and the destruction of everything Roland holds dear.

 

Even if Roland can defeat the dragon, his hesitance to embrace magic increases the dangers the relic poses to its handler. If used unwisely, it could pour out the apocalyptic magic that it contains, and magnify the unholy terror which Roland already helped to unleash.

A RELIC FOR ROLAND is a fantasy standalone with series potential, complete at 98,000 words. This novel is based on my life-long struggle to overcome Autism, which so many kids today can relate to. It is inspired by books like Redwall and the Narnia Chronicles, which helped me break out of my private world, and into writing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

J. Christian







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