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The Guild of Eliria (High Fantasy)

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#21 Erevos

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:22 AM

Hello everyone and thank you for your help.

 

I've thought of all your suggestions and concluded that the way my story unfolds makes it hard for me to use the typical : What your MC wants->What's the obstacle->What he needs to do to overcome it.

Also,I saw some agents suggest that your query must come out of the first 50/80/ or so pages. For some reason many don't like it when the query steps deep into the story.

 

Now this next draft is still a bit crude, but I followed this tip and wrote it based on the first 80 or so pages.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Draft #4 (I think)

 

Fifteen-year-old Will has no idea how it feels to have been blessed by the gods with a magic fire inside, to be capable of amazing feats. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, however, it has always been his dream to receive training and become part of an adventuring group, a new family.

 

Will’s dream becomes reality as new students flood the gates to begin their one year training. Determined to prove himself as an equal, Will works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts.

 

But when a message arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues that relate Will’s late mother to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. But his search also sparks unwanted interest. Two cutthroats are sent after his findings and they're not afraid of murder to reach their goal. After failing to acquire them, however, their eyes quickly fall upon the guild and Will.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Let me know if you want me to look your new draft! I was kind of absent the past few days.


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


#22 Temeraire

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:32 PM

Fifteen-year-old Will has no idea how it feels to have been blessed by the gods with a magic fire inside, to be capable of amazing feats. This is such a specific thing to NOT have an idea about... no one typically has an idea of how that feels so it's redundant to open like this Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection,from whom? however, Wording doesn't make very good sense here. Reword so avoid the "however" as it messes up the structure it has always been his dream to receive training and become part of an adventuring group, a new family.

 

Will’s dream becomes reality when? how? what was stopping him from reaching his dream earlier? as new students flood the gates to begin their one year training. Determined to prove himself as an equal, Will works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts. So it's the Guild who teaches sword fighting? That wasn't clear earlier

 

But when a message arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues that relate Will’s late mother to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. But his search has also sparks sparked unwanted interest. Two cutthroats are sent after his findings and they're not afraid of murder to reach their goal. After failing to acquire them, however, their eyes quickly fall upon the guild and Will.  

 

This feels incomplete. I'd suggest cutting or trimming all of this down into your opening paragraph. Maybe something like: "Fifteen year old orphan Will has no idea where he came from or who he is. Rescued at birth and raised by the Guild of Eliria, an organisation of X who do Y, his ambition is to become a master swordsman; his hope is to find his own place in the world. But when a message arrives at the Guild, Will's past reemerges..." Pretty much all your current paragraphs are unnecessary set-up; focus more on the stakes and Will's journey.  

 

I'd be super grateful if you could cast your eye over my query here. Thanky! 


If I've helped you with your query/other, I'd love it if you would take a look at mine! 

 

A MEMORY OF TWISTED THINGS (contemporary fantasy)

Query letter

 

THE NEVER KING (wild west arthurian retelling)

Query letter

 


#23 Erevos

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 12:26 PM

Thank you Temeraire for your comments. I liked the "find his own place in the world" because it's actually one of the struggles Will faces.

For now I feel like using those things you mention as unnecessary because they describe Will better. Will try and give a shot later with your format.

I'm trying to find a way now to include the stakes without introducing my 2nd POV character into the query or stepping too far into the story. Perhaps that's impossible though. Mentioning him will also answer your question "From whom?".

 

Effort Numero #5.

 

Fifteen-year-old Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother's death. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world.

 

New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train alongside them. Will, however, is a simple boy amidst men blessed by the gods with magic. To prove his worth, he must not only work diligently but also rise above the spiteful remarks of some of the other students.

 

But when a message arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues that relate Will’s mother to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His search, however, sparks unwanted interest and two cutthroats are sent after his findings. With the relationships between the noble families and also the guild already fraying, the guild (Perhaps name here) traces the murder of the scholar to someone with enough gold and power. But the assassins aren't done with their mission, and their eyes fall quickly fall upon the Guild and Will.

 

 

 

(I was thinking of " But the assassins aren't done with their mission, and the Guild horns suddenly call for battle." The problem is that this battle comes a bit too far into the story.)


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


#24 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:34 AM

YAY for fantasy queries! Here are my thoughts. I think my main issues are with your hook and stakes. The last paragraph seems very reactive to me. What does WILL have to do? What are his obstacles? Maybe my comments can spark some thoughts.

 

 

Thank you Temeraire for your comments. I liked the "find his own place in the world" because it's actually one of the struggles Will faces.

For now I feel like using those things you mention as unnecessary because they describe Will better. Will try and give a shot later with your format.

I'm trying to find a way now to include the stakes without introducing my 2nd POV character into the query or stepping too far into the story. Perhaps that's impossible though. Mentioning him will also answer your question "From whom?".

 

Effort Numero #5.

 

Fifteen-year-old Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother's death. To me, this is clunky. I'm not sure its enough to hook me either. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world.

 

New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train alongside them. When I read this, I was like wait, students? Did they go to school? But the guild is the school, right? Maybe kind of just lead with that so the connection isn't lost. Will, however, is a simple boy amidst men blessed by the gods with magic. When I read simple, my mind said stupid... To prove his worth, he must not only work diligently but also rise above the spiteful remarks of some of the other students. Why are they spiteful? Is the Guild a place for those with magic to train, and he has none?

 

But when a message arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues that relate Will’s mother to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. His search [the scholar's search? What's Will doing at this point?], however, sparks unwanted interest and two cutthroats are sent after his findings. With the relationships between the noble families and also the guild already fraying, the guild (Perhaps name here The guild is probably enough) traces the murder of the scholar to someone with enough gold and power. But the assassins aren't done with their mission, and their eyes fall quickly fall upon the Guild and Will. Not sure these are stakes. It seems more reactive on the part of Will. Think about what will has to do. A lot of this paragraph doesn't seem to be about Will. 

 

 

 

(I was thinking of " But the assassins aren't done with their mission, and the Guild horns suddenly call for battle." The problem is that this battle comes a bit too far into the story.)


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


#25 Erevos

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:50 AM

Thank you for your thoughts!

I know that the last part comes with Will doing nothing, but as I said before the story goes like that. There are 2 POV. One is Will who knows nothing of his past, the scholar etc, and the second is an old man -part of the guild and the one who found Will- who travels to meet the scholar, learns of the asssination the following day etc etc.

 

So basically writing the stakes from Will's perspective is...impossible? Will finds out about everything at the very end, after the big battle and all.

I could always write the query for the old man, but then I wouldn't be able to justify the YA. Perhaps I should find a way and include them both. That would give me some freedom with the stakes.


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


#26 enveniya

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:08 PM

Fifteen-year-old Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother's death. Not necessary, and it's not a strong hook. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world.

 

New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train alongside them. Will, however, is a simple boy amidst men blessed by the gods with magic. <This should be your first line. It shows who Will is, and the uphill struggle an ordinary boy has to face against naturally gifted people in the Guild. To accommodate this, you'll probably have to change the "Will dreams of nothing more..." line into something like "Will thought he could discover his own place in the world here, but faces an uphill battle when [insert specific scene where the students actively stop his progress] To prove his worth, he must not only work diligently but also rise above the spiteful remarks of some of the other students. The reason why I suggested to insert a specific scene instead of using this "spiteful remarks" line was that the stakes didn't feel important enough here for Will to prove himself. It felt like he gets called a few mean names, but if you have an example where the students bar him from attending a class, or trip him over in the cafeteria or something to that extent, the bullying will become more visceral.

 

But when a message arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges. A scholar claims to have found clues that relate Will’s mother to forbidden magic and a king long-thought dead. This sentence could be rephrased more succinctly. "A scholar discovers a link between Will's mother and forbidden magic." The long dead king doesn't seem too relevant to the query, as what this sentence here implies is that Will is not as ordinary as he seems to be, given that his mother is hinted as practicing magic. The mention of the king isn't necessary to show Will's hidden specialness. His search, however, sparks unwanted interest and two cutthroats assassins (repeat who the antagonists are instead of using different names. Cutthroats sound like unskilled mercenaries, while assassins sound trained and know what they're doing. My preference, but pick one) are sent after his findings murder him ("are sent after his findings" implies that they are going to kill him. In the next sentence the scholar is already dead. I got confused and thought the dead scholar was a third character that already died) . With the relationships between the noble families and also the guild already fraying, the guild (Perhaps name here) traces the murder of the scholar to someone with enough gold and power. Bring the struggle back to Will - maybe something like "While Will tries to solve the murder of his [mentor? friend? I assume they have some sort of relationship], but the assassins aren't done with their mission. and Their eyes fall quickly fall upon the Guild and Will, and he is running out of time (or something similar to convey the urgency of the situation).

 

(I was thinking of " But the assassins aren't done with their mission, and the Guild horns suddenly call for battle." The problem is that this battle comes a bit too far into the story.)

 

Since the novel has two POVs, a concluding sentence like "THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives." would solve your problem.

 

Thank you for the critique on my query! Hope this helps, and good luck.



#27 Erevos

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:30 AM

Thank you enveniya! Your comments are very helpful!

I decided to throw in my second POV and see how that works. It's the only way I can have some stakes. (See my previous comment for the reason.)

 

 

#6

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy amidst men blessed by the gods with magic. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to  train. Proving himself as an equal, however, is not going to be easy as many believe that Will does not belong there.

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the guild, Will’s past reemerges. Ed (kind of a random name for now) , the man who saved Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers, only to discover a link between Will's mother and forbidden magic (I kind want to include "and a king long-thought dead", since he is of importance, but maybe enveniya is right...in the query he means nothing.) The scholar is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for him on the way back. After a narrow escape, Ed takes it upon himself to connect the threads that weave Will's past before a loose end points at Will.

 

(I am also looking for an alternative here. In the book it is implied that whoever pulls the strings searches for the baby, but doesn't know that is Will)

 

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

 

 

Thank you everyone again. Let me know if you want me to look at your query.


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


#28 loopygoose

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 01:16 PM

Fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy amidst (this is an odd word to use, amidst being an old English term which is generally used in a more distribute sense than amid - you may be using it because it has particular resonance for what you're trying to convey otherwise I'd change it e.g. amid, among, surrounded by) men blessed by the gods with magic. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Protection from what? Will dreams of nothing more than This undersells his desire, surely he's desperate to do this, no? joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train. Proving himself as an equal, however, is not going to be easy as many believe that Will does not belong there.  I like the first line and I like this set up too. It just needs polishing.

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the Guild, Will’s past reemerges. Ed , the man who saved Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers, only to discover and discovers a link between Will's mother and forbidden magic (I kind want to include "and a king long-thought dead", since he is of importance, but maybe enveniya is right...in the query he means nothing.) I quite like the king long thought dead. The scholar is found murdered the following day, great! and the same assassins lurk for him who Ed? on the way back. After a narrow escape, Ed takes it upon himself to connect the threads that weave Will's past before a loose end points at Will.​ I'm completely confused by this last line.  You got me all excited at the rise in stakes only to be dropped. You need to give us something about how Ed has to fend off the assassins while he searches for answers to protect Will. I'm also wondering why Ed cares and is so involved. 

 

(I am also looking for an alternative here. In the book it is implied that whoever pulls the strings searches for the baby, but doesn't know that is Will)

 

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

 

I do hope this helps. I loved your critique of mine!  I've created a new version. Happy to rinse and repeat. http://agentquerycon...n-return/page-2



#29 kmanz

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 09:27 PM

Shoot... I just looked at your first post which said that the most recent draft was 2... Not sure if this will be helpful now. Thanks for your feedback on my query. I focused on draft 2 for reasons stated above. Good luck

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 who was he rescued by?  from certain death at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria, now fifteen-year-old Will (the wording of "now fifteen-year old Will" is a little odd. I thinkeven if you just took out the "now" that would be ok) is a simple boy with great dream - to join an adventuring group of men blessed with magic.I feel like the description of the group/just generally stating they are magical is a bit vague, especially for the hook. is there anything unique about their magic or adventures that you could incorporate?
 
Will has no idea of the mysterious events surrounding his mother’s death The truth was kept a secret for his protection. (I think you could combine these two sentences maybe to something like-->  The truth of his mother's death has been withheld from Will, supposedly for his own protection.)   With the arrival of the new students, Will is finally allowed to join a group and train alongside them for a year. (I feel like the jump from the previous sentence about his mother's death to the sentence about new students is too sudden. I feel like you need some more information or transition to clarify this. also why was he not allowed to train before?) Driven by his wish to prove himself as an equal, he works diligently at honing his sword-skills while overcoming his self-doubts (I think this is too vague. Can you elaborate somehow?) .
 
But when a bird arrives at the guild, Will’s past reemerges ( This doesn't make a lot of sense without the context. I don't understand why the bird is significant..). A scholar claims to have found clues about the boy’s mother - clues that relate (I don't think "relate" is the best word here, I'm not exactly sure what this whole sentence means exaclty) 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. (This last sentence is interesting, however I don't exactly understand where the scholar came from. Did he tell Will about the clues or someone else?)
 

Racked by his poor performance during training, Will finally learns the truth and begins to question the life he wished for.(It doesn't seem like "racked by his poor performance" and "Will finally learns the truth" really fit together the way you have them. Unless his poor performance helped him learn the truth.)  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 important thing: the bonds he managed to create. (Is that the central conflict? It isn't exactly clear)

I think that you have some of the general parts you need, but they are vague and often lack transitions/connections. To you it might make sense but to a reader who isn't familiar with the entirety of the material it is hard to follow. When I wrote the first draft of my query I got some comments about it being too vague and nothing special, so hopefully my comments here encourage you to make your query even better like my comments did for me! Good luck!



#30 Cengel

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:43 PM

Thank you enveniya! Your comments are very helpful!

I decided to throw in my second POV and see how that works. It's the only way I can have some stakes. (See my previous comment for the reason.)

 

 

#6

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a simple boy amidst men blessed by the gods with magic. Rescued at birth and brought to the Guild of Eliria for protection, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to  train. Proving himself as an equal, however, is not going to be easy, ( 99% sure you need another comma here for this to be grammatically correct) as many believe that Will does not belong there. With the number of commas needed, this sentence ends up a bit choppy. Maybe consider moving the placement of however. If you change it to "Proving himself as an equal is not going to be easy, however, as many believe that Will does not belong." then you only have to use two commas instead of three. It's a small change, but it might help the flow/readability. 

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the guild, Will’s past reemerges. Ed (kind of a random name for now) , the man who saved Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers, answers to what? Something in the message? The last couple sentences are really vague only to discover a link between Will's mother and forbidden magic (I kind want to include "and a king long-thought dead", since he is of importance, but maybe enveniya is right...in the query he means nothing.) I think you can include a king long-thought dead The scholar is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for him I would put Ed instead of him. Him is an ambiguous pronoun - as it's used here, we can't really tell who you are referring to on the way back. After a narrow escape, Ed then you can use "he" here instead takes it upon himself to connect the threads that weave Will's past before a loose end points at Will. I agree with loopygoose - this sentence needs work

 

(I am also looking for an alternative here. In the book it is implied that whoever pulls the strings searches for the baby, but doesn't know that is Will)

 

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

 

 

Thank you everyone again. Let me know if you want me to look at your query.

 

I'm definitely partial to fantasy, but I feel like your story sounds really interesting! I think you could potentially benefit by adding some more specific details in order to make your world stand out and to help the reader understand the stakes.

 

I would love it if you would look at my query in return!


Please take a look at my query.


#31 Erevos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 12:26 PM

Thank you everyone for your help!! Let me know if you want me to take another look at your queries. I always check the site, but sometimes an updated draft hides in plain sight.

 

This is a bit of a quick rewrite based on your comments.

 

#7

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a common boy among men blessed by the gods with magic. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train. Proving himself as an equal is not going to be easy, however, as many believe that Will doesn't belong there.

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the Guild, Will’s past reemerges. Ed, the man who raised Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers about the boy's odd/strange/mysterious(a bit cliche, I know) past, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for Ed on the way back. Ed narrowly escapes, but with the assassins still out there, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

____________

 

I know the last line is a bit sloppy and..."simple", but I guess if I can't find a proper way to convey the danger something like that will have to do. I'm about 1/3 of the book in.


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


#32 jaustail

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:17 PM

JMO:

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a common boy among men blessed by the gods with magic. Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria(can you maybe say like; Growing up in a palace/school above the skies/heavens. the less new information the better), Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission (who permits him?)to train. Proving himself as an equal is not going to be easy, however, as many believe that Will doesn't belong there.(why? is Will not from magician family? reason)

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the Guild, Will’s past reemerges(maybe use hyphen: re-emerges. is easier to read). Ed, the man who raised Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers about the boy's odd/strange/mysterious(remove all. just past is fine) past, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead. The scholar(Ed/King?) is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for Ed on the way back. Ed narrowly escapes, but with the assassins still out there, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.

 

 

I guess the two paragraphs don't connect. First was about Will and then it's about Ed. Maybe put the second paragraph from Will's pov.


JUPITER'S AMBITION

Revised on Post#70

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#33 lyncfs

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 10:08 PM

Thank you everyone for your help!! Let me know if you want me to take another look at your queries. I always check the site, but sometimes an updated draft hides in plain sight.

 

This is a bit of a quick rewrite based on your comments.

 

#7

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a common boy among men blessed by the gods with magic ​(I had to read your hook a few times as my eyes went straight to the last part of the sentence about gods with magic. I think you can play up the emotion here about being different and the kind of magic people have. Something like: In a world where magic is commonplace, fifteen year old Will yearns for etc... ). Growing up inside the Guild of Eliria, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world ​(Why? what or who stops him from doing this?). New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train. Proving himself as an equal is not going to be easy, however, as many believe that Will doesn't belong there. ​(Who specifically doesn't want him there? It would be good to give the villain more color)

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the Guild, Will’s past reemerges. Ed, the man who raised Will, travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers about the boy's odd/strange/mysterious(a bit cliche, I know) past, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for Ed on the way back. Ed narrowly escapes, but with the assassins still out there, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will. ​I know you mentioned in my query critique you had two POVs. However, now I am in the camp of telling the query from one POV, whoever is the most interesting. I feel like I barely knew anything about Will and then we jumped to Ed.

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

____________

 

I know the last line is a bit sloppy and..."simple", but I guess if I can't find a proper way to convey the danger something like that will have to do. I'm about 1/3 of the book in. ​Woah, if you haven't finished the manuscript, I wouldn't worry about the query just now. Work on completing the manuscript and then you will have a better idea of where the query needs to go.

 

And thanks again for your comments on my query, they were very helpful. 


THE IMMORTAL GUARD. Link to my query. Please critique, if I have reviewed yours.

#34 bkarperien

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:59 AM

Thank you everyone for your help!! Let me know if you want me to take another look at your queries. I always check the site, but sometimes an updated draft hides in plain sight.

 

This is a bit of a quick rewrite based on your comments.

 

#7

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Will is a common boy among men blessed by the gods with magic. Having grown up safe but stifled inside the Guild of Eliria, Will dreams of nothing more than joining an adventuring group and discovering his own place in the world. New students soon arrive for their one-year training, and Will finally gets permission to train.  When he is finally given the chance to train with the other students in order to earn his place in such a group, he is ecstatic. Proving himself as an equal is not going to be easy, however, as many believe that Will doesn't belong there.

 

But when a scholar sends a message to the Guild, secrets about Will’s past emerge. Ed, the man who raised Will, travels in search of answers about the boy's past, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead.(Nice, this is concise and intriguing) . A link that someone is willing to kill for to cover up. The scholar who uncovered it is found murdered, and Ed narrowly escapes the same assassins. 

 

Okay, so there's a big issue here. You give us Ed's stakes, his goal, but not Will's, and I know you explained that's because Will isn't aware of things at this point, but you're only cheating yourself if you limit yourself to some arbitrary point in the manuscript. I get that you're trying to follow the rules, but in this case, you have to do what's best for your novel. It's more important to have strong stakes than the limit your query to the first third of the book. Otherwise, the query falls flat, we wonder why you bothered making the beginning part about Will when Ed is the only one who actually DOES anything, and overall, feel kind of cheated. Which is a shame, because this sounds like a great story, and I can tell that there are high stakes involved for both Ed AND Will. 

 

 

The scholar is found murdered the following day, and the same assassins lurk for Ed on the way back. Ed narrowly escapes, but with the assassins still out there, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.

 

THE GUILD OF ELIRIA is a x-word high fantasy novel told from two perspectives, Will's and Ed's.

 

____________

 

I know the last line is a bit sloppy and..."simple", but I guess if I can't find a proper way to convey the danger something like that will have to do. I'm about 1/3 of the book in.

The query's looking pretty good, just clean up the stakes at the end and it'll be great :) Best of luck with revisions!


Check out my query :)

Or, if you're really awesome, check out my synopsis.

 


#35 Erevos

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:10 AM

Thank you everyone for the critiques.

 

Lyncfs sorry for the confusion. My book is complete. What I meant is that the query covers the first 1/3 of my book. Also, to answer your question...it's quite the opposite.most people are commoners, while some are "blessed by the gods."

Edit: bkarperien I only saw your comment later. Thank you for you amazing comments and for taking the time to read why I had to include both of them inside the query.

 

I decided to make an effort and write a query from the perspective of Ed. It's the only way to convey the danger and not cheat myself like bkarperien said. Take another look please in #31 and let me know what works best.

A question though: If the query is from the old man, can I say it's YA? I will of course mention that it's written from two POV at the very end.

 

So... quick attempt #8

Forgive me for any mistakes.

_____________

 

When Ed saved baby Will from certain death, he could never have imagined that he (I mean Will. Hope it's clear) was linked to forbidden magic and a vile king long-thought dead. (After all, Will is only a commoner.) <-Not sure about the one inside parenthesis. 

 

For fifteen years the Guild of Eliria has been home to them both. Will has always dreamt of joining an adventuring group, however a simple boy cannot hope to prove himself against students blessed with magic. Yet, despite his misgivings, Ed finally gives in and grants his permission.

 
But when a scholar sends a message to the guild, secrets about Will's past emerge. Ed travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers about the boy's past, but the link he discovers only begets more questions. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and Ed narrowly escapes the same assassins. Back at the guild, Ed follows a thread / trail of treason to a noble family, knowning he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.
_____________

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


#36 bkarperien

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for your feedback on my 250, it was great! 

 

Thank you everyone for the critiques.

 

Lyncfs sorry for the confusion. My book is complete. What I meant is that the query covers the first 1/3 of my book. Also, to answer your question...it's quite the opposite.most people are commoners, while some are "blessed by the gods."

Edit: bkarperien I only saw your comment later. Thank you for you amazing comments and for taking the time to read why I had to include both of them inside the query.

 

I decided to make an effort and write a query from the perspective of Ed. It's the only way to convey the danger and not cheat myself like bkarperien said. Take another look please in #31 and let me know what works best.

A question though: If the query is from the old man, can I say it's YA? I will of course mention that it's written from two POV at the very end.

 

So... quick attempt #8

Forgive me for any mistakes.

_____________

 

When Ed saved baby Will from certain death, he could never have imagined that he (I mean Will. Hope it's clear) was linked to forbidden magic and a vile king long-thought dead. (After all, Will is only a commoner.) <-Not sure about the one inside parenthesis. 

 

For fifteen years the Guild of Eliria has been home to them both. Will has always dreamt of joining an adventuring group, however a simple boy cannot hope to prove himself against students blessed with magic. Yet, despite his misgivings, Ed finally gives in and grants his permission.

 
But when a scholar sends a message to the guild, secrets about Will's past emerge. Ed travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers about the boy's past, but the link he discovers only begets more questions. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and Ed narrowly escapes the same assassins. Back at the guild, Ed follows a thread / trail of treason to a noble family, knowning he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.
__________
I think I actually like your previous version better. This one doesn't convey your storyworld as well, and it lacks heart. I don't get a sense of the connection between Ed and Will, and I don't get any real sense of conflict for Ed until the last paragraph. The part about Will joining the students is irrelevant. It seems to me that Will is really the character at the heart of your story. He's the one who's growing and changing. Ed seems more like a character who facilitates that. 
What I would recommend is that you keep the version you had before, but add a paragraph introducing Ed, and in the third paragraph, tie their conflicts together and show what's at stake for each of them. What forces Will into action? What impossible choice does he face? You've already got Ed's story established, now we need to know Will's.
I hope that's helpful, I wish it were easier. 
The good news is, you have the foundations of your query down, and it's already enough to hook me into your story and make me invested in your characters. Just develop the stakes a little more, and you'll be golden.
 

Check out my query :)

Or, if you're really awesome, check out my synopsis.

 


#37 Erevos

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 10:53 AM

bkarperien I love how fast you are!

 

Thank you again. I kind of like the previous draft better too, but it feels impossible to give stakes on behalf of Will.

The thing is that Ed hides all from Will - including his past and what happened with the scholar-, wavering on when it's the best time for Will to learn the truth. Only he and the guildmaster know it all, and together they are trying to see who and why are after Will, like they were after his mother in the past.

 

So you see Will growing up, trying to prove himself, facing some Trials and blablabla.... then the attack against the Guild comes unexpectedly, even for Ed.

There, Will has to set aside his doubts and fight alongside his friends for their lives. He only learns the whole story afterward. The decision that gnaws at him -whether to go after his dream or his past- comes too late for the query, I'm afraid.

 

Hell, if I knew that I had to write stakes for Will, I'd write the book differently....

 

I need to sleep on this, but I think that in the end I may have to go with Ed stakes only.

 

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.


#38 Erevos

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:53 AM

I am giving this another try, again from Ed's perspective.

If you have some time, please take look at post #35 and #31 and let me know what works best. Perhaps combing some things may end up in a better result.

 

As always, let me know if you want me to check on your Query!

 

 

Attempt #9

________

 

Having grown up inside the Guild of Eliria, fifteen-year old Will dreams of nothing more than training alongside the other students. For Ed, however, the man who fostered Will, this dream is his biggest fear. After all, a commoner like Will can never be on par with people blessed with magic.

 

As new students arrive, Ed decides to give in and grants his permission to Will. But then a scholar sends a message to the Guild and Will's forgotten past emerges.

 

Ed travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and Ed narrowly escapes the same assassins. Back at the guild, Ed follows a thread / trail of treason to a noble family. But with the assassins still on the hunt, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.

________


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


#39 JChristian

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:52 PM

Having grown up inside the Guild of Eliria, fifteen-year old Will dreams of nothing more than training alongside the other students.Students of what? For Ed, however, the man who fostered Will, this dream is his biggest fear. Confusing. Why? After all, a commoner like Will can never be on par with people blessed with magic. Good.

 

As new students arrive, 'As' means similtaneously. Change to 'when'. Ed decides to give in and grants his permission to Will. What is Ed's resolution here? But then Needs a better transitional statement. a scholar sends a message to the Guild and Will's forgotten past emerges.

 

Ed travels to the northern city of [city name] in search of answers, only to discover a link between Will's late mother, forbidden magic, and a king long-thought dead. 'A king long-thought dead' is sticky, raw exposition. Needs rewrite. The scholar is found murdered the following day, and Ed narrowly Adverb. Consider cutting. escapes the same assassins. Back at the guild, Ed follows a thread / trail of treason to a noble family. But with the assassins still on the hunt, he knows he has little time to find those responsible before they trace the scholar's findings back to Will.
 

I liked this version much better than the first, but there are still some issues remaining.

1) You have a working status quo: mundane boy seeks to become magic boy
2) Rising action: A scholar sends a message? 'Will's forgotten past'? We need more here.

3) Falling action: Exposition. Forbidden magic leads to assassins, leads to murder, leads to escape.
4) Resolution: Find the killers before they find him? How does this relate back to the status quo: mundane boy seeks to become magic boy?

The resolution needs to return to the status quo in some way: If will can escape the killers, the forbidden magic within his mundane blood just might save the kingdom from the disaster looming over Eliria. Something along those lines.

You have the basics, just keep building on them. Keep up the good work.

J.



#40 Erevos

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:37 PM

JChristian thank you for the comments.

 

1. This made me laugh, but it's not exactly a mundane boy seeking to become magic boy - more like trying to prove himself as an equal. Now, if he has hidden magic inside, that is something to be discovered later...

2. I did some tweaking here and there. Hope it reads better! I'm not sure I want to include more about Will's past, I think it's fine as it is. However, I followed your advise in this draft.

3. About the king long-thought dead...Some liked it, others not. It is exposition, but I think it's a bit better than simply saying forbidden magic, which is already a bit cliche. Anyway, I rephrased it and removed the king.

4. You have a point about the resolution....but I don't intend on delving too much into the story. Furthermore, the novel is a "stand alone with series potential", but in truth it's more of a "series potential." You can understand what that means.

 

Anyway!

Attempt #10

If possible take a look at post #38 and let me know what works best? Thank you! I will return all critiques of course!

________

 

 

Having grown up inside the Guild of Eliria, fifteen-year old Will dreams of nothing more than training alongside the other students. For Ed, however, the man who fostered Will, this dream is his biggest fear. After all, a commoner like Will can never be on par with people blessed with magic.

 

New students arrive in the Guild and Ed finally allows Will to join them. But when a scholar sends a message to Guild, Will's forgotten past emerges. The scholar asks for a trusted member to meet him, claiming he has found clues about the mark found upon the body of Will's late mother.

 

Ed travels north in search of answers, only to discover a link between the mark and forbidden magic not performed in hundreds of yearsThe scholar is found murdered the following day, and Ed follows a trail of treason to a noble family. Before those responsible track the scholar's findings back to Will, Ed has to prepare him for the future and uncover the secrets of his past, even if it means turning against the whole kingdom.


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






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