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THE NEVER KING (adult Wild West King Arthur/historical fantasy)


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#1 Temeraire

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

Dear Agent: 

 

All her life, Dara has been followed by the Woman In Grey, a mysterious figure whose presence Dara sees in her prophetic visions. But she still manages to leave a quiet life on the Montana homestead with her family—a fact which is beginning to chafe Dara’s restless spirit. Torn between her hunger for new horizons, and her love for her two mothers, matters come to a head when the Woman in Grey finally corners Dara and announces they have a job to do—not to save the world, of course, don’t be so arrogant—but still vital in keeping the world in order.

 

It’s not a very grand sounding destiny, but with the choice before her, Dara grasps the nettle and follows the Woman to Camp Leon, where a troupe of vigilantes attempt to bring safety and order to a wild lawless town. Dara’s prophetic visions will be invaluable in tracking down a gang of road agents, led by a murdering psychopath who binds his men to him with cold violence and blood magic.

 

Dara is keen to taste adventure and bring down the gang, particularly after witnessing their brutality first-hand. But camp life is very different from farm life, and while she struggles with homesickness and wondering if this really is the escape she wanted, there are others who will do whatever it takes to use her magic for their own ends. Dara has always managed to take care of herself, but when her own spirit and power betray her, it seems impossible she’ll manage to even keep herself safe, never mind fulfil a destiny she’s lost all faith in. 

 

THE NEVER KING is an adult Wild West retelling of the Arthurian legends, and is complete at xxxx words. [personalised agent stuff] 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. 

 


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

 


#2 bekapass

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:50 PM

Dear Agent: 

 

All her life, Dara has been followed by the Woman In Grey, a mysterious figure whose presence Dara sees in her prophetic visions. But she still manages to leave live a quiet life on the Montana homestead with her family—a fact which is beginning to chafe Dara’s restless spirit. Torn between her hunger for new horizons, and her love for her two mothers, matters come to a head when the Woman in Grey finally corners Dara and announces they have a job to do—not to save the world, of course, don’t be so arrogant—but still vital in keeping the world in order. I'm a little confused by the woman "cornering" her when she's only seen her presence in visions. Does she manifest as real, or is she really a live person? 

 

It’s not a very grand sounding destiny, but with the choice before her, Dara grasps the nettle and follows the Woman to Camp Leon, where a troupe of vigilantes attempt to bring safety and order to a wild lawless town. I've read via the Query Shark to try and keep sentences succinct and this one runs pretty long. Also, I feel like I should know the destiny since you keep vaguely referring to it. Dara’s prophetic visions will be invaluable in tracking down a gang of road agents, led by a murdering psychopath who binds his men to him with cold violence and blood magic. Oh here it is. Why is this not grand? Or does she not know this is the destiny? Seems like its pretty important to me. 

 

Dara is keen to taste adventure and bring down the gang, particularly after witnessing their brutality first-hand. But camp life is very I'd use a different word choice since very is a bit of a no no. different from farm life, and while she struggles with homesickness and wondering if this really is the escape she wanted, there are others who will do whatever it takes to use her magic for their own ends. Dara has always managed to take care of herself, but when her own spirit and power betray her, it seems impossible she’ll manage to even keep herself safe, never mind fulfil a destiny she’s lost all faith in. 

 

THE NEVER KING is an adult Wild West retelling of the Arthurian legends, and is complete at xxxx words. [personalised agent stuff] 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Overall pretty interesting, but seems to have several typos which you'll wanna make sure to clean up. Also maybe try and shorten some of the sentences because you use a lot of long ones, and short one can help break that up and add more of a punch. Interested to see the next draft! 


Feel free to check out my query letter.  


#3 Jatsuki

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:08 AM

Dear Agent: 

 

All her life, Dara has been followed by the Woman In Grey, a mysterious figure whose presence Dara sees in her prophetic visions. What kind of prophetic visions? More detail would be good. But she still manages to leave lead? a quiet life on the Montana homestead with her family—a fact which is beginning to chafe Dara’s restless spirit. Torn between her hunger for new horizons, and her love for her two mothers, matters come to a head when the Woman in Grey finally corners Dara I'm confused here, before it sounded like the lady was only in her visions. Maybe mention how she gets cornered as it's a bit vague and announces they have a job to do—not to save the world, of course, don’t be so arrogant—but still vital in keeping the world in order.

 

It’s not a very grand sounding destiny, but with the choice before her, Dara grasps the nettle and follows the Woman to Camp Leon, where a troupe of vigilantes attempt to bring safety and order to a wild lawless town. Dara’s prophetic visions will be invaluable in tracking down a gang of road agents, led by a murdering psychopath who binds his men to him with cold violence and blood magic.

 

Dara is keen to taste adventure and bring down the gang, particularly after witnessing their brutality first-hand. But camp life is very different from farm life, how? and while she struggles with homesickness and wondering if this really is the escape she wanted, there are others who will do whatever it takes to use her magic for their own ends. Dara has always managed to take care of herself, but when her own spirit and power betray her, vague it seems impossible she’ll manage to even keep herself safe, never mind fulfil a destiny she’s lost all faith in. This turn seems a bit quick here. She just started as a member of the group but is already losing faith in her new role? I don't know your timeline but I feel that a lot of story has been skipped over to lead to this point. Perhaps focus on what lead up to her losing faith or what brutality she has experienced first hand.

 

THE NEVER KING is an adult Wild West retelling of the Arthurian legends, and is complete at xxxx words. [personalised agent stuff] 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Hope that helps!



#4 inkandcocoa

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:23 AM



Dear Agent: 

 

All her life, Dara has been followed by the Woman In Grey, a mysterious figure whose presence Dara sees in her prophetic visions. But she still manages to leave live a quiet life on the Montana homestead with her family—a fact which is beginning to chafe at Dara’s restless spirit. Torn between her hunger for new horizons, and her love for her two mothers [this is abnormal for a historical fiction (as far as I'm aware) any particular reason you included them?], matters come to a head when the Woman in Grey finally corners Dara and announces they have a job to do—not to save the world, of course, don’t be so arrogant [Please don't break the fourth wall here]—but still vital in keeping the world in order [This is vague and makes me want to stop reading. Maybe insert the bit about the lawless town to save here, and remove it from your next paragraph. So we know it's not saving the world, but it's saving a town].

 

It’s not a very grand sounding destiny, but with the choice before her, Dara grasps the nettle and follows the Woman to Camp Leon, where a troupe of vigilantes attempt to bring safety and order to a wild lawless town. Dara’s prophetic visions will be become invaluable in tracking down a gang of road agents, led by a murdering psychopath who binds his men to him with cold violence and blood magic.

 

Dara is keen to taste adventure and bring down the gang, particularly after witnessing their brutality first-hand [how? Is she captured and tortured herself? When does this happen?]. But camp life is very different from farm life, and while she struggles with homesickness and wondering wonders if this really is the escape she wanted, as she learns there are others who will do whatever it takes to use her magic for their own ends. Dara has always managed to take care of herself, but And when her own spirit and power betray her, it seems impossible she’ll manage to even keep herself safe, never mind fulfil a destiny she’s lost all faith in. [This paragraph seems to have three points of conflict to them competing to each be the center conflict of the book (her capture and plan to stop the gang, her homesickness and the fact that others are after her, and then her power going sideways). I think you need to pick one to really emphasize because at the moment I leave this feeling like I have no clue where this book is headed, and I'd at least like an inkling as to which conflict is the most important for Dara to overcome. I did my best to help you trim and compound these three conflicts.]

 

THE NEVER KING is an adult Wild West retelling of the Arthurian legends, and is complete at xxxx [I WANNA KNOW HOW LONG THIS IS IT SOUNDS COOL] words. [personalised agent stuff] 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Hi Temeraire,

 

I've left my thoughts above. Comments in bold brackets, actual changes simply in red. I'm intrigued by your retelling of the Arthurian legend but only get glimpses of the Wild West feel, not a strong sense that it's rooted in that timeframe so that might be something to concentrate on--like how does she reach Camp Leon? Does she walk? Steal the family horse and ride off? Just curious. And does she have to learn how to shoot and things or does she take a gun with her, little notes like that -- even if they don't end up in your actual letter-- are good to keep in mind with the next draft. 

 

My biggest concern is some of the wordiness and simply making sure that one conflict outshines the others in your last paragraph to give your reader a vague sense of where the book is headed past that point of critical decision for Dara. You've got a really interesting concept and a cool start to the letter, though. Keep it up!

 

- Hannah


If you've got the time, check out my query for a Sci-Fi Western, BEAST.

I'm also looking for a couple beta readers for conceptual edits on the project (DM me if interested).





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