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The Warrior's Crown (YA Fantasy)


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#1 Paulsvault

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 03:53 PM

Update Post #36

 

I know this still needs some work, but I'm curious to see how it sits with fresh eyes looking at it:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, and she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince on the day he was to be crowned king. Through a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, she learns of the Dark Lord and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power she hopes can destroy their dark foe. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth.

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so.

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.


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

 


#2 CarterT

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 03:17 PM

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, and she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. - You can do something stronger than using 'and' to lead into the second sentence. While vowing to do whatever it takes....?Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel. - I like this sentence, but powerful force just isn't specific enough. An entity? A religion? A train? An ancient evil? Give us something a little more.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince on the day he was to be crowned king. Through a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, she learns of the Dark Lord and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power - A special power sounds...weak. Far too vague.  she hopes can destroy their dark foe. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth. - I think you're making the same mistake I did with my queries (and still do), and are getting stuck putting in plot threads. We don't need a walkthrough of what she's going to do (that would be in the synopsis if the agent asks for one), we need to know what's driving her forward. Some of the best advice I got was to pick one plot thread, and focus on it. Sure you can tie other things in with it, as long as you make that thread the primary focus of the query. From your hook, it would likely be vengeance for her father (or maybe the possession).

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom - That easy to take over an army of barbarians?, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so.

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

I think you've got a good concept, and have a plotline planned out quite well. However, it feels like this query takes me right to the end of the book, and covers all of the plot points on the way. It doesn't leave me wanting more, because you already spelled out exactly everything that is going to happen. I did the same thing a couple of times in my queries without even realizing it.

 

Focus less on the play by play of the story, and keep the readers attention on Adira. Make us want to know what happens to her by making us care about why she is involved. We don't have to know so much about the stuff she is involved in. For example, take the thread of vengeance (if that's the way you want to go with it) and use that to tie it all together.

 

Easier said than done, eh?



#3 eric balson

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:28 AM

I know this still needs some work, but I'm curious to see how it sits with fresh eyes looking at it:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, and she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince on the day he was to be crowned king. Through a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, she learns of the Dark Lord and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power she hopes can destroy their dark foe Too much usage of the word 'dark' makes this come off as a genetic fantasy. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth.

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so. Your character's choice is hidden somewhere inside here. Clarify it. I guess it would be something like: "she has to choose between allowing that powerful being to possess her(which I assume is a bad thing) to help her fight the Dark Lord or not harness that power." Something along those lines

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

This is a tad confusing. For starters you open up with the murder of her father, and then you do not bring it up again. Also, it has the feel of a synopsis, especially in the second paragraph.

Please take a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-2



#4 Paulsvault

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 12:51 PM

Thanks for the replies! Both of you hit on my greatest struggle with queries, making them sound too much like a synopsis. I'll pick through your constructive advice and work on some improvements.


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

 


#5 Bananas

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:59 PM

I know this still needs some work, but I'm curious to see how it sits with fresh eyes looking at it:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, wordyand she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince there's a school of thought that says that a query should focus on what happens in the first 50 pages of your manuscript.  I suspect that this one sentence covers what happens in those first 50 pages.  The rest of this query goes too deep into the larger plot.  I'd suggest you focus on how it is that Adira discovered the truth and then show us the decision she needs to make regarding her discovery.  Finish it off with a sense of the larger stakes - what will happen if she fails.  on the day he was to be crowned king. wordyThrough a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, she learns of the Dark Lord and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power she hopes can destroy their dark foe. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth.

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so.

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.



#6 newb

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:55 AM

I know this still needs some work, but I'm curious to see how it sits with fresh eyes looking at it:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, so she doesn't live in the village? the village is just nearby? Or can it be the outskirts of a village? and she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince on the day he was to be crowned king of his coronation?. Through a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, she learns of the Dark Lord and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power she hopes can destroy their dark foe. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth.

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so. I feel like there's too much of a play-by-play in these last two paragraphs and not enough of what's really important. 

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price. what price? what does she stand to gain and lose in all this?

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.



#7 Erevos

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:06 AM

I believe the others did a fine job, but let me give this a try.

 

I know this still needs some work, but I'm curious to see how it sits with fresh eyes looking at it:

 

Dear Agent,

 

After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira is forced to flee her small home on the outskirts of a nearby village, and she vows to do whatever it takes to destroy the one responsible. Even if it means allowing a powerful force to use her body as a vessel.  After the murder of her father, twenty-year old Adira vows to do whatever it takes to destroy/kill the one responsible - even allowing a powerful force( a better word for it?) to use her body as a vessel.

 

Adira finds herself being hunted by evil men and dark forces (Too vague, I'm afraid. Give us something more detailed.) when she unknowingly discovers who murdered the prince on the day he was to be crowned king. Through a friendship with an ageless and powerful elder called the Seer, (I assume they became friends later?) she learns of the Dark Lord (I hate to say this, but maybe give him a name? LOTR, I think, was the first novel that had a Dark Lord, and after that we see it in every book and movie out there. I think it will be better if u describe him more, or give him a different name. Dark Lord works against you. - Got it?  :biggrin: ) and his efforts to destroy the kingdom. What kingdom? Who is the prince? Was the Dark Lord's plan invisible to the rest? All of these feel a bit thrown inside. Adira and the Seer travel to the kingdom’s capital where she receives a special power (either call it magic, or give it a proper description. Special force feels.....meh.) she hopes can destroy their dark foe. After a brief council with the queen, Adira learns that the queen and her nobles have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell and wish to hand the kingdom over to him in return for power and wealth. Hmm.. doesn't quite work for me. Too much info here. I feel like I'm reading a synopsis.

 

A narrow escape from the kingdom leads Adira and the Seer to a small army of barbarians to the south, already decimated by the Dark Lord’s powerful army. Leading their new army back into the kingdom, they begin the long march to the capital and into the teeth of the Dark Lord’s nearly impenetrable forces along the way. Before she reaches the capital, Adira awakens a powerful being that promises to destroy the Dark Lord, but it must possess her body to do so. Wait, wait. She is being possessed at the very end? I think you could rework this. Maybe something like: Adira, the Sheer, and a small army of barbarians under their command, prepare to march against the "Dark Lord". But the dark forces are too mighty, and Adira is presented with a choice - Allow herself to be possessed by powerful being or face a terrible doom.

 

With a small company of friends at her side, she leaves the army and sneaks into the capital to face the Dark Lord, where they find the cost of victory always comes at a price. This doesn't add anything.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words and may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

So, I can safely assume that the Dark Lord was responsible for the death of her father...right? We never found out the reason though. Or was the father simply another victim?



#8 Paulsvault

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 02:07 PM

Here is attempt #2. I took everyone's advice, and tried to make it feel less like a synopsis and use the '50 page rule'.

To Erevos: I have been considering giving the Dark Lord a name, but while I work on that he will remain the Dark Lord  :smile:

 

Dear Agent, 

 

After a chance encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her life forever. When her adoptive father is killed by men hunting her for knowing too much she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her life.

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When the Seer, an ageless and powerful elder, arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier that twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today. The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have her son assassinated after her husband died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands.

 

The Seer believes Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance, and that Adira is the key to stopping the Dark Lord from destroying them all. With the kingdom slowly descending into chaos, Adira realizes that her only chance to eliminate the enemy and get her revenge may be by sacrificing her own life.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.


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

 


#9 trailerbride

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 02:52 PM

Here is attempt #2. I took everyone's advice, and tried to make it feel less like a synopsis and use the '50 page rule'.

To Erevos: I have been considering giving the Dark Lord a name, but while I work on that he will remain the Dark Lord  :smile:   Let's call him Voldermort for now?

 

I'm not sure why you are burying the secret. Best, I think, to push it to the front of the query.

 

After   a chance encounter with a A dying soldier tells twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes everything her life forever. After the death of the King, the Queen of Meerovia conspired with the Dark Lord Voldemort to murder her own son and seize the kingdom.

 

Then I suggest you explain how the hunters know she knows the secret. Something perhaps like: Learning Adira was with the soldier when he died, the murderous Queen sends her killers in pursuit. Adira's adoptive father dies protecting her and she flees, vowing revenge at any cost. 

 

Hope this helps at least a little.



#10 ddcash80

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:26 PM

Here is attempt #2. I took everyone's advice, and tried to make it feel less like a synopsis and use the '50 page rule'.

To Erevos: I have been considering giving the Dark Lord a name, but while I work on that he will remain the Dark Lord  :smile:

 

Dear Agent, 

 

After a chance encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her life forever. When her adoptive father is killed by men hunting her for knowing too much she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her life. I don't like how these two sentences dont connect in thought. its not really clear if "knowing too much" means  the secret? maybe try to connect the sentences better. such as for the second sentence: Because she holds the critical knowledge, she is hunted, but her adoptive father is killed instead, forcing her to flee her .... (something along those lines so its clear)

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When the Seer, an ageless and powerful elder, arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier that twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today. The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have her son assassinated after her husband died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands. the pronouns weren't clear since your MC is female (correct?). maybe replace "her son" with "prince"? and husband with "king"?

 

The Seer believes Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance, and that Adira is the key to stopping the Dark Lord from destroying them all. With the kingdom slowly descending into chaos (this chaos is vague since you haven't really described what the turmoil in the story. is it a war? what are the sides? why is there a war?), Adira realizes that her only chance to eliminate the enemy and get her revenge may be by sacrificing her own life. this doesn't give enough punch at the end because we have no idea what sacrificing her life will do. Maybe describe what the sacrifice is for? or hint at it?

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.



#11 Paulsvault

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:09 PM

ddcash80: Ironically, the things you pointed out were all issues I had with the query. Rather than stare blankly at the screen until my eyes fell out I had hopes that someone could push me in the right direction, as you have done. I will incorporate those changes into the entire query and see how it reads to others. Thanks!!


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

 


#12 Paulsvault

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:42 PM

This is my next attempt based on the (hopefully) simple fixes brought forth by the wonderful ddcash80

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her forever, and this critical knowledge puts her life in danger. When her adoptive father is tortured and killed by the men hunting her, she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her own life

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When the Seer, an ageless and powerful elder, arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier that twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today. The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have the prince assassinated after the king died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands.

 

The Seer believes that Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance. Adira may be the key to stopping the Dark Lord from finally getting his revenge against the kingdom after a long dead king cast him out of the realm ages ago. When the Dark Lord’s plan to use his evil army to destroy the kingdom becomes clear, Adira realizes that sacrificing her own life may be the only option. An ancient entity must possess her body to finally destroy the Dark Lord for good and end his reign of terror.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.


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

 


#13 CM_Fick

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 12:35 AM

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her forever, and this critical knowledge puts her life in danger. When her adoptive father is tortured and killed by the men hunting her, she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her own life 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her forever (full stop) This critical knowledge puts her life in danger, forcing her to flee from home for knowing too much. But when those hunting her kill her adoptive father, she vows revenge -- even if it means risking her own life.

(My suggestion above is to show how you could distribute the information in the underlined sentence -- it's a lot to digest in such few words. At least in my opinion. To elaborate: adoptive father tortured// men hunting her// forced to flee from home// vows revenge. I also think that the "knowing too much" explains the why does this info put her life in danger question, but some may disagree and feel that this is already implied.) 

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When an ageless and powerful the Seer, elder, arrives, (I suggested moving the ageless part and deleting the elder to help with flow. Not that what you had was hard to read, but the commas slow the reading down -- which is not what you want to do in a query.)  Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier that twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today(I assumed that her life was turned upside down with the fleeing / hunting bit, so this feels repetitive.)  The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have the prince assassinated after the king died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands. (Is this the secret? This feels very dropped in here, so if this is what she was told by the soldier, then it needs to be stated plainly. I suggest something along these lines: His confession that the Queen and the Dark Lord plan to assassinate the prince (I'm assuming here that the king is already dead and the prince is yet to be crowned) before his coronation,  leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands.)

 

The Seer believes that Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance. Adira may be the key to stopping the Dark Lord from finally getting his revenge against the kingdom after a long dead king cast him out of the realm ages ago. When the Dark Lord’s plan to use his evil army to destroy the kingdom becomes clear, Adira realizes that sacrificing her own life may be the only option. An ancient entity must possess her body to finally destroy the Dark Lord for good and end his reign of terror. (cliche)

(Overall, I like what elements you bring into this closing, but it feels like a lot again. I suggest reviewing what information will make this stand out. The idea that she is a vessel is something I feel should be explored a little more as it will lead to motivation and the choice she will have to make.)

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

Hi Paulsvault, 

 

I'm going to hog a little space here now  :wink:

It may look like a lot of red, but I try to explain my suggestions as I go, so you can see my logic and take what you want from it. 

 

Your story sounds interesting, and I think that you are on the right tract with the motivation and plot, but there are some info-intensive places that could use some clarifying. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

 



#14 Quincy Lee

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 11:43 AM

This is my next attempt based on the (hopefully) simple fixes brought forth by the wonderful ddcash80

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret [maybe "learns of a dark conspiracy"? "secret" is more abstract and also makes me feel, as a reader, as if something is being kept from me. "conspiracy" has more political implications] that changes her forever, and this critical knowledge puts her life in danger. When her adoptive father is tortured and killed by the men hunting her, she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her own life

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When the Seer, an ageless and powerful elder, arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier that twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today. The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have the prince assassinated after the king died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands.

 

The Seer believes that Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance. Adira may be the key to stopping the Dark Lord from finally getting his revenge against the kingdom after a long dead king cast him out of the realm ages ago. When the Dark Lord’s plan to use his evil army to destroy the kingdom becomes clear, Adira realizes that sacrificing her own life may be the only option. An ancient entity must possess her body to finally destroy the Dark Lord for good and end his reign of terror. [This last bit feels synopsis-y. Is this the ending of the book? I wouldn't give it away in the query...]

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

 

I think CM_Fick gave you some very good advice that I agree with. It feels as if you are packing a lot of info into this, especially the final paragraph. There are also a lot of characters mentioned in this query--Adira, the Seer, the queen, the dark lord, the men hunting her, the long dead king, the prince. Would it be possible to trim some of the detail away and give more of a big picture view? Maybe focus more on the conspiracy by the queen, and less on the particulars? 

 

Also, the Dark Lord and Seer are fantasy tropes that are common enough that I think you really, really have to make your query stand out. Your book is unique and original and only you could have written it! The trick in the query, of course, is to show that, otherwise you risk an agent thinking, "oh, another high fantasy story with a dark lord." I mean, plenty of books have that, and are fantastic! But you still need to show how yours is different. 

 

It sounds like you have a great story and MC. Keep at the query! It's worth it to give your manuscript a chance to shine. :-)



#15 SirFox

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 12:42 PM

This is my next attempt based on the (hopefully) simple fixes brought forth by the wonderful ddcash80

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark secret that changes her forever. This critical knowledge puts her life in danger. When her adoptive father is tortured and killed by the men hunting her, she is forced to flee her home, but vows to get revenge – even if it means risking her own life

When the men hunting her kill and torture her adoptive father, Adira is forced to flee her home. She vows to get revenge-even if it means risking her own life.

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When the Seer, an ageless and powerful elder, arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned from the dying soldier and twisted her simple life into the turmoil that it is today. The queen’s plot with the Dark Lord to have the prince assassinated after the king died, leaving sole possession of the kingdom in her treacherous hands.

After the king's death, the queen is plotting with the dark lord to have the prince assassinated. (This feels like it's popping out of nowhere, maybe you could consider integrating it in the first paragraph.)

 

The Seer believes that Adira’s meeting with the soldier may have been more than mere chance. Adira may be the key to stopping the Dark Lord from finally getting his revenge against the kingdom after a long dead king cast him out of the realm ages ago. When the Dark Lord’s plan to use his evil army to destroy the kingdom becomes clear, Adira realizes that sacrificing her own life may be the only option. An ancient entity must possess her body to finally destroy the Dark Lord for good and end his reign of terror.
This feels like too much info for a closing. Maybe eliminate the part about the long dead king casting out the dark lord and focus on Adira being possesed.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

Hope this is helpful!



#16 Paulsvault

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Thanks for the great advice SirFox, Fick and Quincy. I'll get to work on addressing those issues ASAP. I am still working on another name for the Dark Lord, but right now that may only get in the way of my focus on the query. (I've realized he needed a name about halfway through the MS, but didn't want to stop for that  :laugh: ).

 

My main problem with the last sentence is that it takes place much later and I'm not sure if I should even enter it into the query at all. I may drop it for something different, but I'm still not sure.


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

 


#17 Paulsvault

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 04:25 PM

Another try. I installed and tweaked the much appreciated help from everyone. I'm not totally sold on the last paragraph yet, but we shall see. Thanks again to everyone who has been so helpful!

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark conspiracy that changes her life forever. This critical knowledge puts her life in danger, forcing her to flee her home after her adoptive father is killed, but she vows revenge – even if it means risking her life.

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use these new skills against her enemy. When an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned. That the recently widowed Queen plotted with the Dark Lord to assassinate the prince before his coronation, leaving possession of the kingdom in her destructive hands.

 

The Seer believes that the meeting with the soldier was more than mere chance, and that Adira might be the key to stopping the kingdom’s collapse. The discovery of an ancient entity filled with unimaginable power may be Adira’s only hope for saving the kingdom, and getting her revenge, but allowing it to possess her body could cost her life.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.


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

 


#18 CarterT

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 02:03 PM

One general thing I'd like to mention before I get into specifics. I think you're using 'the kingdom' far too often in the query. By the third or fourth time I saw the phrase, my mind was bored of it (the words, not the query). That being said, at that point, it also became distracting. 

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark conspiracy that changes her life forever - I think this is overly dramatic and unneeded. We aren't really worried about her 'forever' life, because it won't be covered in this book. . This critical knowledge puts her life in danger, forcing her to flee her home after her adoptive father is killed, but she vows revenge – even if it means risking her life. - Maybe you can change this sentence to something like 'After this knowledge gets her adoptive father murdered, Adira is forced to flee...' But i'd be careful, as you almost seem to be trying to squeeze too much into this hook. Maybe focus the hook on buffing up your first sentence, and then use this second sentence to start your next paragraph?

 

Adira finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use these new skills against her enemy. When an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned. That the recently widowed Queen plotted with the Dark Lord to assassinate the prince before his coronation, leaving possession of the kingdom in her destructive hands. - This is my least favorite paragraph of the query. It really feels like a synopsis, and it's far too complicated. Too many new characters (4!) and plot threads. Can you simplify it and leave it as 'a plot that threatens the kingdom' or something similar? We don't really need to know what the plot is, or who is behind it, so early on .

 

The Seer believes that the meeting with the soldier was more than mere chance, and that Adira might be the key to stopping the kingdom’s collapse. The discovery of an ancient entity filled with unimaginable power may be Adira’s only hope for saving the kingdom, and getting her revenge, but allowing it to possess her body could cost her life. - I think you're on the right track with this paragraph, but it could use some tightening up. One thing you could do is remove some of the 'unsureness' from the sentence. The 'might be', 'may be', and 'could' work in each individual sentence. But when you put them all together, it weakens the paragraph as a whole. 

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

 

You've made a big step forward since your first version, and you've found which plot thread you want to focus on, which is great. That being said, I think you're still getting into too much detail (I make the same mistake all the time). You don't have to explain everything, just enough for us to follow, to not have any major questions, and to keep us interested. Simply put, too much happens in this query.

 

I'm looking forward to your next version! 



#19 Paulsvault

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 04:53 PM

After another tweak, here is my next try. I'm not 100% sold on the hook yet, but hopefully it's heading in the right direction.

 

Dear agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark conspiracy that changes her life. Bedrog, an evil being thought to have been banished long ago, has suddenly resurfaced, threatening death and destruction for all. Adira, now the only person aware of Bedrog’s existence, finds herself hunted by sinister creatures and ominous forces who want her dead.

 

When this knowledge leads to the murder of her adoptive father, Adira is forced to flee her home, but she vows revenge – even if it means risking her life. She finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned.

 

The Seer believes the meeting with the soldier was more than mere chance, and that Adira is the key to stopping this evil from spreading across the land. The discovery of an ancient entity filled with unimaginable power becomes Adira’s only hope to defeat Bedrog, and get her revenge, but allowing it to possess her body could cost her life.

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.


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

 


#20 emhop

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:29 PM

After another tweak, here is my next try. I'm not 100% sold on the hook yet, but hopefully it's heading in the right direction.

 

Dear agent,

 

After an encounter with a dying soldier, twenty-year old Adira learns a dark conspiracy that changes her life. (Maybe it's just me. But who is Adira? Is she a nurse? The daughter of a general? How does she come to encounter a dying soldier? The reader knows nothing about her at this point, except that she's been told a secret. I also would add something like 'she learns a conspiracy that sets her on a path paved with minefields' to beef up your hook. Changes her life doesn't really reel you in.) Bedrog, an evil being (demon? ghost? orc?) thought to have been banished long ago, has suddenly resurfaced, threatening death and destruction for all. Adira, now the only person aware of Bedrog’s existence, finds herself hunted by sinister creatures and ominous forces who want her dead.

 

When this knowledge leads to the murder of her adoptive father, Adira is forced to flee her home, but she vows revenge – even if it means risking her life. (I would drop 'even if it means risking her life'.) She finds shelter at an outpost on the farthest edge of the kingdom of Meerovia where she learns to fight like a soldier, and becomes eager to use her new skills against the enemy. When (I would probably not use 'when' again as you have it in the last line) an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira recounts the startling information she learned.

 

The Seer believes the meeting with the soldier was more than mere chance (if it's a chance encounter, you should clear this up in your hook), and that Adira is the key to stopping this evil from spreading across the land. The discovery of an ancient entity filled with unimaginable power becomes Adira’s only hope to defeat Bedrog, and get her revenge, but allowing it to possess her body could cost her life. (Does she have to make a decision? 

 

WARRIOR FOR THE CROWN is a New Adult Fantasy complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

I really enjoyed your query! The concept sounds super cool and I would read this were it already on shelves. Good luck to you!






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