Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

The Guild of Eliria (High Fantasy)

Fantasy

  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#1 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:52 AM

Hello everyone!

This is my first attempt at writing a query. Thank you in advance for all the reviews! I will help as much as I can, but be warned to take my advice with a pinch of salt.

The title will definitely change, since I'm not confident about it.

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic.

Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group.

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. While he and his friends make great efforts to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials, a contest meant to put every group to the test, a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.)

 

Tormented by his poor performance, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle. Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#2 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:22 AM

Hi Ervos, 

 

I've just gone through this process with my own high fantasy MS. This is a good start, but as outlined below, there's a few areas that need revisions. 

Hello everyone!

This is my first attempt at writing a query. Thank you in advance for all the reviews! I will help as much as I can, but be warned to take my advice with a pinch of salt.

The title will definitely change, since I'm not confident about it.

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic. Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group. (this isn't really a hook) I suggest starting with your character introduction. This is how I came up with mine - it may help get you started with yours: outline the character, main conflict of your story, and what they must overcome (the conflict) to complete their goal. This shouldn't be scrapped totally, however, there are some good bits of information you will want to include in your hook. 

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. While he and his friends make great efforts to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials, a contest meant to put every group to the test, (This can be significantly tightened in my opinion)a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead (this is interesting,) but we don't know that there is even a mystery to his past, so this feels thrown in. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.)

 

Tormented by his poor performance, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle. Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. this seems like a lot of different ideas. poor performance (we're just finding out about at the end here, I feel like this needs to be brought up in the paragraph before), trial at hand. chaos. he has to stand and protect. I would use this as a template for most of your query as this feels like it best explains most of the plot points. 

 

(they already know this) I am currently seeking representation for my (audience - is this MG, YA, NA, A?) high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list. I suggest looking at a few of the successful queries for closing suggestions. 

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

 

I hope this helps start you on this process. It's grueling, but worth it. 



#3 danipie

danipie

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 89 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:06 PM

Hello everyone!

This is my first attempt at writing a query. Thank you in advance for all the reviews! I will help as much as I can, but be warned to take my advice with a pinch of salt.

The title will definitely change, since I'm not confident about it.

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic.I'm a little confused by the connection between the first two sentences.

Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group.

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. While he and his friends make great efforts to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials,if he is a simple boy with no magic, why is he training? why/how did he grow up in the guilt to begin with a contest meant to put every group to the test, a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.)I would. just saying 'scheming men' is very vague and not telling enough.

 

Tormented by his poor performance, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle.is this battle connected to those scheming men? Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

 

my query can be found at http://agentquerycon...on-in-44/page-3



#4 npstanford

npstanford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic.

Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group. // echoing the above comments that this really isn't a hook. Think of a hook you're presenting as a lit stick of dynamite. You should write something so that the reader is immediately thinking of all of the things that can go wrong. For your novel, maybe this is whatever Will's secret past is? 

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. While he and his friends make great efforts to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials, a contest meant to put every group to the test, a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.)

 

Tormented by his poor performance, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle. Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. //what part of the book is this? It sounds like it is toward the end. You really just want to use this section to set up the main conflict of the novel and the stakes. If that is what this is, I'd suggest rewording it with hints of what the rest of the book will be (e.g. but protecting the walls is just the the first step). The problem is that it sounds like this is the final triumphant battle.

 

I am currently seeking representation for my high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Not a bad first attempt! Keep at it! I spent over 40 hours on mine before it was even half decent.



#5 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:54 AM

I have to say I wasn't expecting critiques so fast! I can't thank you enough. I will try my best to return the favor.

 

I agree the part about his past seems a bit thrown in...however I'm trying to walk a thin line among not revealing too much, and not being too vague. (Being a series potential novel doesn't really help either.)

Scheming men is too vauge, I agree. I will try and rephrase. The attack is connected indeed, however not in the way you probably imagine.

 

npstanford, you are absolutely right that the battle is toward the end. The battle comes unforeseen, so there are no real stages like protecting the walls etc. It's focused more on the MC. Overcome his self-doubts, fight for the life of his friends, decide how far he is willing to go for them...It eventually unveils some more details and leads to the conclusion.

 

Thank you again for everything! Will go back to revise and post again!


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#6 CarterT

CarterT

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 79 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:18 PM

It's a very thin line, but one thing I had to keep reminding myself is that this isn't a back-book cover. Yes, you're going to use some of the same techniques, but the agent is a bit different than the reader. They need to know enough about your book/story that they are willing to invest their time and possibly fight for you. Bit different than getting somebody to spend $10 on a book.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic.

Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group. - I see what you're trying to do here. I think the others are right in that you should change the hook up a bit. However, if you feel like using this idea later, I would advise against starting the sentences with 'Words'. That confused the heck outta me. I'd start the second sentence with 'These were the words fifteen-year-old...'

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. - Forming a party, eh? While he and his friends make great efforts - 'Great efforts' is very clumsy sounding when I read it out loud. You could use simple 1-word verbs to do it - Drive, work, struggle, push themselves (okay, so this one isn't one word) to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials, a contest meant to put every group to the test, - Groups? Individuals? a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.) - I'm totally fine with the bit about the magic and the king. The part about the scheming men seems out of place here. Maybe that will come together as your incorporate the advice of npstanford and CM-Fick though. By the way, they both offer great advice, so it's certainly worth considering their input.

 

Tormented by his poor performance - No magic and poor performance? Poor guy. Seriously though, is this connected to his lack of magic, or something else?, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle. Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. - I'm not going to comment on this, because I think the others summed it up really well. I'll wait to see what you do with it.

 

I am currently seeking representation for my high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

 

What age group are you targeting? It's high fantasy, yes, but with a main character at the age of 15, is it Young Adult? Some of your word choices suggest that (quirky, scheming, etc) so it could easily work.

 

It seems to me that growth and overcoming obstacles is a big theme in your book (like many YA) and it would be good to see that fleshed out a tad in your query. You touched on the things holding him back, so it's not a big stretch.

 

Great start though!



#7 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 26 March 2017 - 06:56 AM

Hello and thank you for the great input!

I'll take everything into consideration and try again!

 

Many things are explained inside the book, but it was not possible to inlude them in the query. However, I am going to try and be more specific rather than add things that will confuse the reader.

 

As for the target group? Honestly, I was going for Adult.

The novel is told (mainly) by two POV. One is a 15 y.o. boy, and the other is a 65 y.o. old man. I just decided to write my query based on the boy, since he is the glue that connects all.

I have to thank you for asking that! You got me thinking now.


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#8 dancingnishiki

dancingnishiki

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:47 PM

Hello everyone!

This is my first attempt at writing a query. Thank you in advance for all the reviews! I will help as much as I can, but be warned to take my advice with a pinch of salt.

The title will definitely change, since I'm not confident about it.

 

Dear Agent,

 

There is no place for a simple boy in a guild of men blessed with magic.

Words fifteen-year-old Will half expected to hear on his first day of training. If you plan on using this part you have to change how the sentence begins, I had to read it multiple times to understand it and an agent isn't going to do that. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, however, it has always been Will’s dream to join an adventuring group. I also suggest to change the hook. Nothing grabs me here. I always start it describing my protagonist. This may be the place to mention something about Will's past. 

 

Despite his many doubts, Will quickly befriends five other students. While he and his friends make great efforts try to hone their skills for the upcoming Guild Trials, a contest meant to put every group to the test, a letter arrives at the guild. A quirky scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s past, clues that relate him to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, not only beget more questions, but they rouse a group of scheming men back to action. (Not sure if I should mention their goal here.) Be more specific about the men. Are they going after Will or just reeking havoc elsewhere?

 

Tormented by his poor performance, and with the last trial at hand, Will suddenly hears the horns call to battle. Hired swords storm over the walls of the guild, and chaos ensues. Now Will has to raise his sword and stand boldly alongside the others to protect the things he love, and make one step closer to discover a past he knew naught about. I agree this sounds like the end and should just be reworked.

 

I am currently seeking representation for my high fantasy novel, The Guild of Eliria, a stand-alone with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words. Given your interest in fantasy, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,



#9 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 04 April 2017 - 12:00 PM

I'm giving this another shot, though I have to say I'm not happy with myself, at all. I have included some OR in there, to provide an alternative.

There are many ideas as Fick said, and I'm trying to cram a lot into the query, but finding that sweet line between too much and too little is hard. (at least for now)

I may remove the sentence about the Guild Trials. It feels more like a burden, though I am not sure.

 

Hopefully the 3rd draft will be much better.

___________________________________

 

Dear Agent,

 
Unaware of his mysterious past (OR of the gruesome / puzzling death of his mother), fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic.
 
On his first day of training in the Guild of Eliria, the only home he ever knew, Will considers himself lucky to befriend five other students. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal member, and with a great competition among the groups, the Guild Trials, close at hand, Will works at honing his sword-skills (and overcoming his self-doubts). His poor performance during the Trials, however, along with the disdainful remarks of many students (OR his inability to be of assistance to his group) leave Will tormented by misgivings.
 
The boy's past reemerges when a bird arrives at the guild. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother, clues that connect Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings beget more questions than answers, and when the scholar is found slayed, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past. (OR his origin / heritage)
 
As hired swords storm over the guild's walls, and the horns call for battle, Will suddenly comes face to face with his dream, his deepest fear, and a choice: cringe behind his friends, or fight alongside them to protect the things he love, even if it means sacrificing himself. (So not happy with this. The stakes are not clear I'm afraid, but I'll try and rephrase it later.)
 
The Guild of Eliria is a stand-alone novel with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words.
 
Thank you for your time.... etc.

My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#10 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:46 PM

___________________________________

 

Dear Agent,

 
Unaware of his mysterious past (vague) (OR of the gruesome / puzzling death of his mother is he aware that his mother's death was mysterious?), fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic. (I think that this is a better opening, although the first part could use some clarification imo.) 
 
On his first day of training in the Guild of Eliria, the only home he ever knew, (is it his home yet if it's his first day of training?) Will considers himself lucky to befriend five other students.  (Oh I remember... I understand what you're trying to convey, but I feel like you should mention that it was his home first and he's just now old enough to begin training. You'll have to tweak this, but I suggest something along the lines of: Despite growing up in the Guild of Eliria, Will considers himself lucky when he befriends five other students on his first day of training.) Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal member, and with a great competition among the groups, the Guild Trials, close at hand, Will diligently works at honing his sword-skills while and overcoming his self-doubts. When he performs poorly His poor performance during the Trials, however, along with the disdainful remarks of many students (OR his inability to be of assistance to his group) leave Will tormented by misgivings. (this is vague -- what misgivings?)
 
I did some shuffling with the previous paragraph, and it was just easier to put my suggestion here, than leave you to decipher the edits: Despite growing up in the Guild of Eliria, Will considers himself lucky when he befriends five other students on his first day of training. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, and with the Guild Trials, close at hand, Will diligently works at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts. When he performs poorly during the Trials, however, his inability to be of assistance to his group, along with the disdainful remarks of many students, leave Will tormented by his failure. 
 
But when a bird arrives at the guild, the boy's past reemerges (something about how this impacts him) (I feel like using but here is a better transition from event to event.) when a bird arrives at the guild. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother -- clues that connect Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings beget more questions than answers, and when the scholar is found slayed, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past. (OR his origin / heritage) (the use of "the boy" confuses me here. Are you talking about Will? because it reads like you are, then like you're talking about someone else at the end. I think this could use some clarification)
 
As hired swords storm over the guild's walls, and the horns call for battle, Will suddenly comes face to face with his dream, his deepest fear, and a choice: cringe behind his friends, or fight alongside them to protect the things he love, even if it means sacrificing himself. (So not happy with this. The stakes are not clear I'm afraid, but I'll try and rephrase it later.)
 
The Guild of Eliria is a stand-alone novel with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words.
 
Thank you for your time.... etc.

 

 

Hi Erevos, 

 

I think that you've succeeded in cleaning up the plot as well as make your character more relatable. Most of the notes I've made above are shuffling the sentences for both clarity and flow. For the most part, I used your words and just filled in the gaps to make what I'm trying to convey make sense. 

 

I think that by correcting the vagueness in the paragraph with the bird, it will help you find a transition into the final paragraph and tie them together with his choice - which I don't think is as simple as be a coward or don't. Maybe there is a choice about forbidden magic, the king and hiding from the invaders? Only you know this one, so I can't really be of too much help there. 

 

Despite all the red, this is a great step in the right direction. 



#11 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:36 AM

Fick, I don't think I can thank you enough! Your input is more than I could ever ask for.

 

To clarify things:

1. is he aware that his mother's death was mysterious? No, the boy, I'm afraid, has no idea of his past. Remember there is a second POV? A 65 year old man? Well, only he and the guild master are aware.They hid the truth for fear that Will may bolt out of the guild and go searching for clues, and protect the boy in general. (Too many ears around) They wanted him to first gain more experience in dealing with the harsh world out there. That is why I can't really mention how he feels in the second paragraph with the bird; he knows nothing.

 

2. Are you talking about Will? Yes, Will. I will make sure to fix that. Sorry!

 

3.which I don't think is as simple as be a coward or don't. Maybe there is a choice about forbidden magic, the king and hiding from the invaders? Actully, it's complicated. You are right to say that the choice isn't that simple. The last paragraph is really weak, I know....sigh... Will only finds out about his past some time after the battle, right before he and his group leave the guild. Together with an event that occured, which I cannot mention in the query since it will be a big spoiler, Will begins to have second thoughts about his dream and the way he sees the world.

 

Thank you for your kind words. I love the way you cleared the query, so thats definitely going in.

 

I definitely need to fix my last paragraph. Something strong enough that will also help me clear up the previous part as well. I think this is the only thing holding me back. I wish the stakes were more clear though, but since I plan this to be a series, I couldn't reveal everything in the first book. - Well that...and I didn't have the freedom of 300k words!  :happy: 


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#12 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 197 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:41 AM

Fick, I don't think I can thank you enough! Your input is more than I could ever ask for.

 

To clarify things:

1. is he aware that his mother's death was mysterious? No, the boy, I'm afraid, has no idea of his past. Remember there is a second POV? A 65 year old man? Well, only he and the guild master are aware.They hid the truth for fear that Will may bolt out of the guild and go searching for clues, and protect the boy in general. (Too many ears around) They wanted him to first gain more experience in dealing with the harsh world out there. That is why I can't really mention how he feels in the second paragraph with the bird; he knows nothing. Right... the old dude. I did forget about that. Perhaps rewording it a little to say, Unaware of the mysterious events surrounding his mothers death... This way may clear up the his knowing as well as set up that there was strange circumstances. Just a thought. 

 

2. Are you talking about Will? Yes, Will. I will make sure to fix that. Sorry!

 

3.which I don't think is as simple as be a coward or don't. Maybe there is a choice about forbidden magic, the king and hiding from the invaders? Actully, it's complicated. You are right to say that the choice isn't that simple. The last paragraph is really weak, I know....sigh... Will only finds out about his past some time after the battle, right before he and his group leave the guild. Together with an event that occured, which I cannot mention in the query since it will be a big spoiler, Will begins to have second thoughts about his dream and the way he sees the world. Well that is in itself a choice. It reveals a revelation that may make Will "Question his lifelong dream of joining the Guild and make him question leaving the only home he's known in order to find out the truth of his past."  (this is really badly worded and without proper punctuation, but if I'm understanding correctly, I think this could be a strong closing.)

 

Thank you for your kind words. I love the way you cleared the query, so thats definitely going in.

 

I definitely need to fix my last paragraph. Something strong enough that will also help me clear up the previous part as well. I think this is the only thing holding me back. I wish the stakes were more clear though, but since I plan this to be a series, I couldn't reveal everything in the first book. - Well that...and I didn't have the freedom of 300k words!  :happy: 

 

I understand the complication of writing a query for a series. I too came across this issue. 

 

I've made a suggestion in #3 where I think you could pull your closing from. It's really rough, but it gives you an idea of his choice and would tie into the bird paragraph as well. OR I'm way off and have confused myself ;)



#13 danipie

danipie

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 89 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:08 PM

 

I'm giving this another shot, though I have to say I'm not happy with myself, at all. I have included some OR in there, to provide an alternative.

There are many ideas as Fick said, and I'm trying to cram a lot into the query, but finding that sweet line between too much and too little is hard. (at least for now)

I may remove the sentence about the Guild Trials. It feels more like a burden, though I am not sure.

 

Hopefully the 3rd draft will be much better.

___________________________________

 

Dear Agent,

 
Unaware of his mysterious past (OR of the gruesome / puzzling death of his mother), I like gruesome death of his mother. the other options are too vague fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic.
 
On his first day of training in the Guild of Eliria, the only home he ever knew, Will considers himself lucky to befriend five other students. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal member,why wouldn't he be? is his magic different? and with a great competition among the groups, the Guild Trials, close at hand, Will works at honing his sword-skills (and overcoming his self-doubts). His poor performance during the Trials, however, along with the disdainful remarks of many students (OR his inability to be of assistance to his group) hm. I think I like disdainful remarks better leave Will tormented by misgivings.
 
The boy's past reemerges when a bird arrives at the guild. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother, clues that connect Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings beget more questions than answers, and when the scholar is found slayed, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past. (OR his origin / heritage)I think the last couple sentences are solid as is.
 
As hired swords storm over the guild's walls, and the horns call for battle, Will suddenly comes face to face with his dream, his deepest fear, and a choice: cringe behind his friends, or fight alongside them to protect the things he love, even if it means sacrificing himself. (So not happy with this. The stakes are not clear I'm afraid, but I'll try and rephrase it later.)The stakes aren't exactly clear, but I can try to help to tell you why I think so... I get that there is a battle/war, but you might want to mention why. It seems to come out of nowhere. Is it because of the scholar? Because of Will? Is it a war that just happens to be an attack from some enemy country at the time all this shit is going on and Will+friends get roped in?  You should connect it to the last paragraph somehow.
 
The Guild of Eliria is a stand-alone novel with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words.
 
Thank you for your time.... etc.

 

 

if you have time for a critique in return :) http://agentquerycon...on-in-50/page-3



#14 Paulsvault

Paulsvault

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 93 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Working on it

Posted 07 April 2017 - 07:03 PM

Thanks for critiquing mine Erevos. I gotta say, Fick is all over this one. Wish I could add more, but he's hogging all the attention  :biggrin:


The Warrior's Crown Query: http://agentquerycon...own-ya-fantasy/

The Warrior's Crown Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...own-ya-fantasy/

The Warrior's Crown First 250: http://agentquerycon...warriors-crown/

The Warrior's Crown Hook: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=337108

 

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. - James Douglas Morrison

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. - Ray Bradbury

 


#15 Veldehar

Veldehar

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 341 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:35 PM

All the usual disclaimers, one man's opinion, this toy doesn't actually fly and shoot lasers... all that good stuff.

 

 

I'm giving this another shot, though I have to say I'm not happy with myself, at all. I have included some OR in there, to provide an alternative.

There are many ideas as Fick said, and I'm trying to cram a lot into the query, but finding that sweet line between too much and too little is hard. (at least for now)

I may remove the sentence about the Guild Trials. It feels more like a burden, though I am not sure.

 

Hopefully the 3rd draft will be much better.

___________________________________

 

Dear Agent,

 
Unaware of his mysterious past (OR of the gruesome / puzzling death of his mother), fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic. Ok, so you've got a single sentence here so clearly you're going for a "hook" but I just don't see it, and more importantly, don't feel it. It is passive. He doesn't really do anything, and whatever has been done to him was in the past, and mysterious, how many of those per day does an agent see?  And wanting to join an adventuring group doesn't really sound like the plot. If you want to hook me, hook me with the plot. A mystery the character doesn't know about does't quite cut it. 
 
On his first day of training in the Guild of Eliria, the only home he ever knew, only home he ever knew, Eliria or the guild? The potential confusion here makes the next line worse than it is... he feels lucky to find 5 friends in a place he's been all his life? Will considers himself lucky to befriend five other students. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal member, and with a great competition among the groups, the Guild Trials, close at hand, Will works at honing his sword-skills (and overcoming his self-doubts). <-- Whole sentence comes off awkward to me, and... So, you're saying that the most exciting thing going on plot-wise so far is his training his sword skills and doing poorly in the trials? Are we really into the plot yet?   His poor performance during the Trials, however, along with the disdainful remarks of many students (OR his inability to be of assistance to his group) leave Will tormented by misgivings.
 
The boy's Let's be clear... Will is the boy, right? past reemerges when a bird A bird? The bird is a scholar? It talks? It carries a message?  arrives at the guild. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s You use the boy way to much, "his" can do wonders to mix things up mother, clues that connect Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings beget more questions than answers, <--old hat, non-action and when the scholar is found slayed, My inner grammarian is tired, but slain? Either way, I'd rather see a word that speaks to the situation... assassinated, murdered, eviscerated... one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past. (OR his origin / heritage) 
 
As hired swords storm over the guild's walls, and the horns call for battle, Will suddenly Suddenly, icky word IMO comes face to face with his dream, his deepest fear, and a choice: cringe behind his friends, or fight alongside them to protect the things he love, even if it means sacrificing himself. (So not happy with this. The stakes are not clear I'm afraid, but I'll try and rephrase it later.) I can see why you're not happy, not is the choice/motivation not coming through forcefully, I'm not even sure what the plot is here. Don't get me wrong, that's easy to do in a query, but it can't be good. 
 
The Guild of Eliria is a stand-alone novel with series potential, complete at about 99,500 words.
 
Thank you for your time.... etc.

 

 

 

If you're going to get my attention, me in my pretend agent hat, I need plot. I don't mind vague and I don't mind not knowing the answers to everything, not knowing is probably what will make me want to read more... except, here, I'm not getting enough of the right questions to make me want to read on. Just my opinion of course, but I would get a hook (or opening para) that introduces the coming conflict. The second paragraph could be summed up quick and easy and lead us into the proper plot. And then, stop being so vague, we've no idea who the antag is and their motivation, and don't really know Will's in respect to whatever growing mystery and threat are confronting him.

 

I don't know the story well enough to make real suggestions, but hopefully any bit of babble I've spewed will be found useful.



#16 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:35 AM

I prepared a new draft based on the previous comments and a 2nd draft with some -interchangeable- differences. Thank you to those who took the time to comment.

Reading a few example queries / pitches of famous books, I decided to focus more on my MC, his dream and the choice he makes. I removed the fight at the guild. Maybe I'm wrong on that..Let me know what you think.

 

Draft #1

Unaware of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic.

 

Despite growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, Will considers himself lucky when he is accepted by five other students on his first day of training. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, and with the Guild Trials close at hand, Will works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts.
 
But when a bird arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother - clues that connect Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, beget more questions, and when the scholar is found assassinated, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past.
 
Racked by his poor performance during the Trials, Will finally learns the truth. With his remaining days in the guild flying by, Will knows that he will soon be called to choose among the life he wished for or a past he knew naught about, even if that means rupturing all the bonds he managed to create.
 
 
Draft #2
Rescued from certain death at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria, now fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic.
 
Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death. The truth was kept a secret for his protection. With the arrival of the new students, Will is finally allowed to join a group and train alongside them for a year. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, he works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts.
 
But when a bird arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother - clues that relate Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, beget more questions, and when the scholar is found assassinated, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past.
 

Racked by his poor performance during training, Will finally learns the truth and begins to question the life he wished for. With his remaining days in the guild flying by, Will realizes that choosing to uncover the veil of his past may deprive him from the most imprortant thing: the bonds he managed to create.


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#17 SRaay

SRaay

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationAustralia/New Zealand
  • Publishing Experience:n/a

Posted 28 April 2017 - 05:31 PM

Rescued from certain death at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria, now fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic. "Great dream" is a bit boring. "High hopes" is a slight improvement, "wild ambition" is better. Give it passion. Everyone dreams, but show me that Will has the motivation to seize his dream. "Men blessed with magic", couldn't that be more simply put as "magicians"? If they aren't your regular wizards, tell me why, in about ten words. The "blessed" part intrigues me (which is good!), since it establishes that is magic an exception rather than a norm in this book.
 
Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death. "Will's mother died in mysterious circumstances", sounds a little better. The fact that Will doesn't know is not so important in this query. The truth was kept a secret for his protection. < Here we have the "Will doesn't know" part, so you don't need it in the first line. With the arrival of the new students, Will is finally allowed to join a group and train alongside them for a year. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, he works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts. < Nice, clear motive, clear goals. The simplicity sets us up for the "but"! Love it.
 
But when a bird (Come on man, what bird? A crow, a raven, a hawk? Also, how big is this bird? A regular bird, or a giant bird? The main thing here is the type of bird. If the bird is giant, tell us) arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges speaking of Will's mother. A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother - clues that relate Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, beget more questions, and when the scholar is found assassinated, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past. < Good paragraph, the stakes are raised, and responsibility thrown on the MC.
 

Racked by his poor performance during training, Will finally learns the truth and begins to question the life he wished for. But he was just told that he has some badass, albeit dark, magic in his blood. And people are willing to kill for it. With his remaining days in the guild flying by, Will realizes that choosing to uncover the veil of his past may deprive him from the most imprortant thing: the bonds he managed to create. "Will has to overcome the doubts within himself and seize responisibility for his power. With time running out (stakes again) he must save the most important thing: the bonds he has forged."
 

 

I like it. My main critique is this: What is the danger? I know he doesn't want to lose the bonds he forged, but the baddies who assassinated the messenger aren't trying to destroy his social life. Put the baddies ultimate goal (world domination, genocide of magicians, eternal war, the need to own all cupcakes in the land) in the last paragraph. The bonds he forged are important, but that is more of a theme than a physical plot point that hooks us (and more specifically, the agent).

Hope this helps! You're improvement in draft 2 is phenomenal, and I can't wait for 3. I can see this being some excellent YA fantasy.

 



#18 Navin

Navin

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 233 posts
  • Literary Status:in-between agents
  • LocationAsia
  • Publishing Experience:Have been in media for two decades and written hundreds of stories.

Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:37 AM

 I'll go with Draft 2

 

Draft #2

 

Rescued from certain death at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria, now fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic. (I agree with SRaay’s suggestion on tweaking `great dreams’. High  hopes has a far better ring to it.).  

 

 

Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death. The truth was kept a secret for his protection. With the arrival of the new students, Will is finally allowed to join a group and train alongside them for a year. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, he works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts.

 

But then strange things begin to happen. A bird arrives at the guild bringing with it the secret of Will’s mother death. ( What sort of Bird? Name it. Be specific. Does it chirps/quacks  about Will’s mother? How does it convey the secret of his mother’s death ?).  Then , Will’s past reemerges. A a scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother - clues that relate Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead  ( you  must drop some hints about the King. Is he the killer of his mother? Does he want the boy dead? In that case you can say an enemy king … etc.)  His findings, however, beget more questions, and when the scholar is found assassinated, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past.

 

Racked by his poor performance during training, Will finally learns the truth and begins to question the life he wished for. With his remaining days in the guild flying by, Will realizes that choosing to uncover the veil of his past may deprive him from the most imprortant important  thing: the bonds he managed to create

 

This para is confusing. A while ago you praised his hard work and skill at training. Now you talk of his poor show. I’m also not clear about the bond he has created. With whom? What sort of bond?

 

The problem here is that your MC has no clear goal. Does he want to join a group of magicians , or is he interested in uncovering  his past?  The stake is defined, but it’s not linked to the MC’s goal. As such the conflict is also not clear.  The story is interesting, but you need to work on the query.

 

Hope it helps. Best of Luck.

 

 

MY query: http://agentquerycon...essenger/page-4



#19 Erevos

Erevos

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 84 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:56 AM

Thank you both for taking the time to comment, and thank you SRaay for your words! You've definitely gave me some hope!

 

A few things:

1. No, they aren't magicians in the way you see in HP. Magic in my world has a lot of ways of expressing itself through a man. That is why a simple boy with a sword can train alongside the others.

2. A talking bird sure sounds awesome, but I merely implied that the bird carried the message of the scholar! Perhaps I need to simple say: "A message arrives at the guild.|

3. Will has no super dark magic inside him or at least he doesnt show them. The connection is made clear in the book, in the query though, that will take too long to explain.

4. As for the stakes, I said before that they aren't clear. I'm afraid I have no Dark Lord that hopes to end all life. It's planned for series, so whoever is behind everything is only implied. Sure the battles are there and all, but any revelations will come later.

 

For the last paragraph I'm thinking something like: As relations between realms fray and the flames of war rekindle, Will's choice to follow his dream or chase after his past will/may/etc and something something...

Still not sure though.

 

Once again, thank you!


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#20 Vio Liddell

Vio Liddell

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 62 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:"Les Agonies de l'Innocence" (Tabou Editions, June 2013). Novellas. Dark erotica/horror.

Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:20 PM

Hi! Returning the favor.

I agree with the other posters: Draft #2 sounds better.

 

 

Draft #2
 
Rescued from certain death at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria, now fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy with a great dream - to join an adventuring (sounds too generic and a bit cliché.. What's the goal/duty/job of those men besides adventure? Try to use a more specific adjective or replace "men" by something more specific) group of men blessed with magic (like SRaay pointed out, "blessed" implies that magic is not commonplace in this world. Hint at how special those men are, especially from Will's POV).
 
[1] Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death. The truth was kept a secret for his protection. [2] With the arrival of the new students, Will is finally allowed to join a group and train alongside them for a year. There's no connection at all between part [1] and part [2].. Also, part [1] sounds too passive. Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, he works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts. Good.
 
But when a message arrives at the guild (you're right there. Better to say "message" if there's no reason for us to focus on the bird), Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues about Will’s mother - clues that relate Will to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His findings, however, beget more questions, and when the scholar is found assassinated, one thing becomes evident: someone is still after the boy or the secrets behind his past.
 
As relations between realms fray and the flames of war rekindle, Will begins to question the life he wished for. He realizes that uncovering the veil of his past may deprive him from the most important thing: the bonds he managed to create (with whom? Like SRaay said, we can't feel the danger enough).

 

Just a suggestion for the last paragraph. I think you just need a few more specifics and you'll be on the right track  :wink:







0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users