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To Sail the Stars

Fantasy Historical Fiction Young Adult Fiction

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#1 lionspaws

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:28 PM

Latest version on page 3

 

Wendy Edavene has spent sixteen years chafing to flex the wings her Father attempts to keep tightly bound. So when he announces, on the eve of her societal debut, that the Edavenes are leaving eighteenth-century London in disgrace to start a new life in the colonies, she watches her hopes dash like ocean spray on rocks.

 

The sea voyage is even wilder than the stories Wendy weaves for her brothers when Father isn’t listening. Taken as ransom by pirates then inexplicably marooned on a peculiar island, Wendy can finally use her wit and intelligence to keep her family intact--and alive.

 

But this island holds more secrets than it has flecks of sparkling micah, and Wendy soon discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest. The Island is rumored across the High Seas to shelter that mythical, lusted-after prize: the Fountain of Youth.

 

Pirates aren’t the only ones who will be ruthless in order to possess the Fountain. As tales of the Island reach the King of England, Wendy realizes that what she has always desired are just within reach: freedom, and purpose. And with the British Navy setting sail for the Island’s shores, both of those could be destroyed unless she finds a way to protect the Island, with its priceless and impossible treasures.

 

But to succeed she must win over help from the boy who heart beats in tune with the Island, the boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

The boy they call Peter.


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#2 Aightball

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:00 PM

On the eve of 16-year-old Wendy Edavene's societal debut, her father announces that the Edavenes are leaving eighteenth-century London in disgrace. They're going to start a new life in the in the colonies and her hopes for freedom sink. Sounds like a YA historical?  I would try to start with your second sentence.  I've made a suggested change in the text.

 

The sea voyage is even wilder than the stories Wendy weaves for her brothers when Father isn’t listening. Taken as ransom by pirates then inexplicably marooned on a peculiar island, Wendy can finally use her wit and intelligence to keep her family intact--and alive. But this island holds more secrets than it has flecks of sparkling micah, and Wendy soon discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the Island is rumored across the High Seas to shelter that mythical, lusted-after prize: the Fountain of Youth.

 

Pirates aren’t the only ones who will be ruthless in order to possess the Fountain. As tales of the Island reach the King of England, Wendy realizes that what she has always desired are  isjust within reach: freedom and purpose. And with the British Navy setting sail for the Island’s shores, both of those could be destroyed unless she finds a way to protect the Island, with its priceless and impossible treasures.  Interesting.  But how is your book different on this subject?  You want your stakes to make it obvious how your book is different. 

 

But to succeed she must win over help from the boy who heart beats in tune with the Island, the boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

The boy they call Peter.

 

I think you're off to a good start here.  I'd drop the part at the end as it doesn't flow well with the rest of the query.  Or, if it's important, work it in a little sooner and see if you can make it flow.  It sounds like an interesting book, I think you can tighten the query a little and you'll be ready.


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Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

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Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

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#3 lionspaws

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:03 PM

Thank you Deathbat! I appreciate it. Peter is pretty important so I'll work on that :) 

 

"Wendy Edavene has spent sixteen years chafing to flex the wings her Father attempts to keep tightly bound. So when he announces, on the eve of her societal debut, that the Edavenes are leaving eighteenth-century London in disgrace to start a new life in the colonies, she watches her hopes dash like ocean spray on rocks.

 

The sea voyage is even wilder than the stories Wendy weaves for her brothers when Father isn’t listening. Taken as ransom by pirates and marooned on a peculiar island, Wendy finally has a chance to use her wit and intelligence, in keeping her family intact--and alive.

 

But this island conceals more secrets than it has flecks of sparkling mica, such as its inhabitants who never age. Wendy soon discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the Island is rumored across the High Seas to shelter the mythical, lusted-after Fountain of Youth.

 

Pirates aren’t the only ones who will cut throats to possess the Fountain. As tales of the Fountain reach the King of England, Wendy realizes that the freedom and purpose she has always desired are just within reach. And with the British Navy setting sail for the Island’s shores, she could lose it all unless she finds a way to protect the Island, with its priceless and impossible treasures.

 

But to succeed she will need the assistance of a proud native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, the boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes, whose past is the Island’s most guarded secret of all.

 

The boy they call Peter."


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#4 Paulsvault

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

I read this a few times looking for a solid critique, but I must say it is very well written. Any agent should know from these few paragraphs that you have the knack. My only drawback, and it may just be me personally, is the number of sentences starting with a conjunction. It may be an eye-roller and feel free to ignore it if so. It's just something my eyes caught. I don't believe it takes anything away from the query, but an agent may not feel the same (or they might, what do I know!) Anyway, well done and you are definitely on the right track


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

 

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#5 lionspaws

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:50 PM

Thank you! I had the same conjunction concern myself. I'll work on that


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#6 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:41 PM

Hey! Thanks for taking the time to look at mine. Here are my thoughts on yours.

 

 

Thank you Deathbat! I appreciate it. Peter is pretty important so I'll work on that :) 

 

"Wendy Edavene has spent sixteen years chafing to flex the wings her Father attempts to keep tightly bound. I'm not sure I like chafing. My brain goes first to the more common uses (becoming sore when stuff rubs together). Maybe anxious? So wWhen he announces, on the eve of her societal debut, that the Edavenes are leaving eighteenth-century London in disgrace to start a new life in the colonies, she watches her hopes dash like ocean spray on rocks. You're trying to shove a lot in this sentence. I also don't know why moving/leaving might not actually allow her to "flex her wings" more easily. One other thing...Maybe I've just been reading a lot of time traveler novels lately, but for a moment I thought they were going back in time or something! You might not even need to say 18th century if you start the query by saying historical novel, for example.

 

The sea voyage is even wilder than the stories Wendy weaves for her brothers when Father isn’t listening. Taken as ransom by pirates and marooned on a peculiar island, Wendy finally has a chance to use her wit and intelligence, in keeping her family intact--and alive. 

 

 

But thise island conceals more secrets than it has flecks of sparkling mica, such as its inhabitants who never age. Wendy soon discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the Island across the High Seas is rumored across the High Seas to shelter the mythical, lusted-after Fountain of Youth. The lusted after seems a bit wordy. I'm curious; they maroon her on the island? Leave her there? Why leave her there? I think my biggest critique with this and the prior sentence is that it begs a lot of questions. How does she use her wit and intelligence? Who do the pirates demand randsom of?

 

Pirates aren’t the only ones who will cut throats to possess the Fountain. As tales of the Fountain reach the King of England, Wendy realizes that the freedom and purpose she has always desired are just within reach. Why is that? And with the British Navy setting sail for the Island’s shores, she could lose it all [What will she possibly lose?] unless she finds a way to protect the Island, with its priceless and impossible treasures.

 

But to succeed she will need the assistance of a proud native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, the boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes, whose past is the Island’s most guarded secret of all. This is a really long sentence. Might want to break it up a bit.

 

The boy they call Peter.

 

As I said inline, I think I'm just having trouble with the whys. My biggest question is who is she with on the island? Her family? Father? If so, who is there to demand a ransom of in England? Do the pirates know her? Does she have people/family back in England? You mention her using her wit and intelligence, but it's rather vague as to how she does that.


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


#7 trailerbride

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:25 AM

It sounds like a most excellent story and I think your query is very well written, but it leaves me with questions.

 

For example, if the pirates want the Fountain of Youth, why maroon Wendy there--and presumably sail away--instead of staying to search for the fountain?

 

And, if her family are leaving London in disgrace, who is going to pay the ransom?

 

And, most importantly of all, if this is a Peter Pan reboot/reworking/reimagining, you should probably say so.

 

Oh, and with the wings reference, are you saying Wendy can actually fly because you begin by dangling that possibility in front of the reader and never return to it. If you're just being metaphorical, I'd suggest rewriting it in a rather more prosaic way to avoid confusing the agent.



#8 Vio Liddell

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:04 PM

Thank you Deathbat! I appreciate it. Peter is pretty important so I'll work on that :) 

 

"Wendy Edavene has spent sixteen years chafing (though I get the metaphor, the verb sounds odd to me in this form and context.. but I'm not a native English speaker) to flex the wings her Father attempts to keep tightly bound. So when he announces, on the eve of her societal debut, that the Edavenes are leaving eighteenth-century London in disgrace (what kind of disgrace?) to start a new life in the colonies, she watches her hopes dash like ocean spray on rocks (what kind of hopes? Freedom? Social success?)This sentence is very long.. Consider breaking it up.

 

The sea voyage is even wilder than the stories Wendy weaves for her brothers when Father isn’t listening. Taken as ransom by pirates (so Wendy's father is a well-known aristocrat?) and marooned on a peculiar island, Wendy finally has a chance to use her wit and intelligence, in keeping her family intact--and alive (her family? Is she with her brothers on the island?).

 

But this island conceals more secrets than it has flecks of sparkling mica, such as its inhabitants who never age. Nice! Wendy soon discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the Island is rumored across the High Seas to shelter the mythical, lusted-after Fountain of Youth. What prevents the pirates from searching the island themselves for the Fountain, instead of demanding a ransom and marooning Wendy on it? Didn't they know that the island they marooned Wendy on was the one they were seeking?)

 

Pirates aren’t the only ones who will cut throats to possess the Fountain. As tales of the Fountain reach the King of England, Wendy realizes that the freedom and purpose she has always desired are just within reach. How does she know that? And with the British Navy setting sail for the Island’s shores, she could lose it all unless she finds a way to protect the Island, with its priceless and impossible treasures.

 

But to succeed she will need the assistance of a proud native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, the boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes, whose past is the Island’s most guarded secret of all.

 

The boy they call Peter."

 

Hey, this sounds like a nice YA historical fantasy  :wink: It's well-written, very poetic. It efficiently sets the tone of your story. You just need to clarify some points and split your sentences so that the query flows better. Oh, and I agree with Trailerbride: if this is a Peter Pan retelling, mention it.

 

Good luck!



#9 lionspaws

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:43 PM

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that seamlessly melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex her wings, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. She only lets her imagination out after dark, when the lights are turned down and Father can’t hear the fairy tales she weaves for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their voyage goes awry and they are stranded on an island guarded by pirates, Wendy’s wit and intelligence become the anchor keeping her family alive. This island has more secrets than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and their adored, enigmatic Guardian. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to protect the island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, the island’s priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. A boy whose past is the Island’s most carefully guarded secret.

 

They call him Guardian. Wendy calls him Peter.”

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel. I named my younger brother after Peter Pan.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#10 Sataris

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:45 PM

First off, great title!

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that seamlessly attempts to meld the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the realistic historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS. Otherwise it sounds like you're telling the agent your work comes off as seamless and realistic - which it very well might - but it might rub some the wrong way.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex her wings, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. She only lets her imagination out after dark, when the lights are turned down and Father can’t hear the fairy tales she weaves for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

I actually like this whole paragraph. It plays to the classic image of wendy telling her brothers stories in the dark.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their voyage goes awry and they are stranded on an island guarded by pirates, Wendy’s wit and intelligence become the anchor not sure anchor is the right word here, though i like the maritime theme. Maybe the anchor could keep her family together? keeping her family alive. This island has more secrets than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and their adored, enigmatic Guardian after reading the rest of the query, it's clear that this is actually a name, but I thought this was an error at first. I think you could maybe cut the whole last sentence too, since you largely restate it later on in the "wendy will need help from..." sentence Soon, however, Wendy discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to protect the island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, the island’s priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes pretty!. A boy whose past is the Island’s most carefully guarded secret.

 

They call him Guardian. Wendy calls him Peter. I think I'd end on your previous line - just about everyone is familiar with Peter Pan, and this line is only punchy if someone's failed to realize that the Guardian is Peter prior to this point.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel. I named my younger brother after Peter Pan. 

 

Very cool detail, but I think your passion for Peter Pan is already coming through the writing, so you could probably cut this as the general rule is to only include info that specifically relates to writing your story. Your line about being an elementary school with a degree in history is an excellent example of that.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Hope that was helpful! If you've got a chance, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a look at my query here: http://agentquerycon...poc-ya-revised/


No current query!


#11 trailerbride

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:38 PM

Really liking this approach. I think you're close to done.

 

The previous comments were mostly spot on so I'll try not to repeat them unless I have a different perspective.

 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that seamlessly melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS.

 

I think 'seamlessly' veers too close to arrogance, but the 'attempts to meld' from the previous comment goes too far the other way. Deleting the one word strikes the right balance, I think.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex her wings, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. She only lets her imagination out after dark, when the lights are turned down and Father can’t hear the fairy tales she weaves for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their voyage goes awry and they are stranded on an island guarded by pirates, Wendy’s wit and intelligence become the anchor keeping her family alive.

 

I agree that anchor doesn't work. Maybe go for something more straightforward.  When ... pirates, Wendy's father falls apart and she steps in, keeping her family safe with wit and intelligence.

 

This island has more secrets than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and their adored, enigmatic Guardian.

 

I think you can do without the previous sentence. I find it difficult reading--not least because I had no idea what mica was--and given that you've already referenced Peter Pan, you can assume a certain shared common knowledge. Also, you say The Island a lot. Maybe give it a name? Also also, I'm not sure that the Guardian thing works in the query.

 

Soon, however, Wendy discovers the reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to protect the island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, the island’s priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. A boy whose past is the Island’s most carefully guarded secret. Peter Pan.

 

They call him Guardian. Wendy calls him Peter.”

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel. I named my younger brother after Peter Pan.

 

Thank you for your consideration,



#12 lionspaws

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:15 PM

Hi Trailerbride, huh! Maybe mica is just a northern thing! It's little glittery things that make rocks shine :) 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.  

 

The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#13 Sataris

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:50 PM

Hi Trailerbride, huh! Maybe mica is just a northern thing! It's little glittery things that make rocks shine :) 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.  

 

The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

this latest version seems like it's about done; it's maybe a tiny bit on the long side at 320 words + your personalized info, but I don't think that'll be a deal-breaker. If you did want to try to trim it down, it seems like you might be able to cut the bit about the island's mysteries and the list that comes after it, but I don't feel strongly either way. the line about wendy depending on her wit and intelligence could possibly go too, but same deal. Nicely done!

 

edit: one other very minor thing; have you considered wit v wits? they're both fairly similar, but if you don't mean wit as in the humor side of things, wits might actually be clearer (although perhaps a tad redundant next to intelligence


No current query!


#14 Paulsvault

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:57 PM

Hi Trailerbride, huh! Maybe mica is just a northern thing! It's little glittery things that make rocks shine :) 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one. This sounds good

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.

When their sea voyage goes terribly awry they are left stranded on a nameless island guarded by pirates. There Wendy is left to depend on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together --and alive. I only make this suggestion to break up a rather long sentence. This may just be nit-picky on my part and easily ignored if you like.

 

*The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

*The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. I like the description and stakes here. Well done.

*Maybe WAY to nit-picky, but two paragraphs starting with the same two words. Something that would bother me, but maybe I'm just crazy (good possibility of that by the way). Once again, feel free to laugh and ignore.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel. Just a thought. If you found a way to combine your introduction at the top with this paragraph you may be able to cut back on the word-count (if interested). If you want to leave it as is, it probably will be fine too.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

You've definitely turned the screws and tightened it up. You are well on your way and I wish you the best of luck.

Give mine a whirl if you get the time. I would appreciate it  :smile:


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

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#15 trailerbride

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:00 AM

I think this is pretty much done. Just a couple of possible tweaks.

 

Hi Trailerbride, huh! Maybe mica is just a northern thing! It's little glittery things that make rocks shine :) 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.  

 

The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British  Royal Navy is on its way with cannons blazing.

 

The British Navy is called the Royal Navy. I also think you can do better than "is on its way", and although "cannons blazing" is descriptive, it's not actually accurate unless they're already there and attacking the island. Is it?

Maybe The Royal Navy is coming, under full sail. Or The Royal Navy is coming, running before the wind.

 

 

If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,



#16 loopygoose

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:23 AM

Dear XXX, 

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS. 

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one. 

 

After a failed investment, Father drags ​This doesn't seem to be the right word here, unless he's literally dragging them... Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.  

 

The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British  Royal Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. 

 

The British Navy is called the Royal Navy. I also think you can do better than "is on its way", and although "cannons blazing" is descriptive, it's not actually accurate unless they're already there and attacking the island. Is it?

Maybe The Royal Navy is coming, under full sail. Or The Royal Navy is coming, running before the wind. I agree with this post. 

 

 

If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. 

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. 

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel. 

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

This is an excellent attempt at a query. Just a few things to sort out here. I guess my only question is why someone would read this rather than the original? Is it the viewpoint? The YA content? Perhaps a tiny tweak to make clear why this re-visiting is so compelling. 



#17 NoraP

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:09 PM

Hi Trailerbride, huh! Maybe mica is just a northern thing! It's little glittery things that make rocks shine :) 

 

Dear XXX,

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting history of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers, and mother <-- this should be either her mother or Mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes terribly awry and they are stranded on an nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy depends on her wit and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive.  

 

The Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age, and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

The Island offers the freedom Wendy desires, why? What about it is more freeing than London? Maybe 'adventures' would be a better word? but rumors of the Fountain have reached England and the British Navy is on its way with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island,--a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. <-- I feel like the combination of those two is a bit overdone, and sticking with one of them could help the sentence flow better, but it's just a suggestion.

 

I personally liked when you ended it with 'The boy they call Peter' though I understand why people might say it's not a good hook.

 

TO SAIL THE STARS is a YA historical fantasy and fairytale retelling, complete at XXX words. I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. This is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

Your story sounds amazing and I would love to read it! Your query is pretty much there too, just needs a tiny brush-up. Feel free to disregard my suggestions =) Best of luck!



#18 lionspaws

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:43 PM

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling, complete at XXX words, that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes awry and they are stranded on a nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy can finally use her wits and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive. This Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

As Wendy realizes that the Island can give her the freedom she desires, rumors of the Fountain reach England and the navy arrives with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes.

 

I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. TO SAIL THE STARS is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,


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#19 enveniya

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:26 AM

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling, complete at XXX words, that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS.

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one.

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes awry and they are stranded on a nameless island guarded by pirates (this sentence takes the focus away of the pirates guarding the island when they should have a more prominent role, especially when they are so crucial to the query. Maybe something like "when their sea voyage goes awry and pirates guard the nameless island they land upon"?), Wendy can finally use her wits and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive. This Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical Fountain of Youth.

 

As Wendy realizes that the Island can give her the freedom she desires (the beginning of this query gives the impression that Wendy yearns to create exciting stories from her limited environment. The physical freedom that she seeks here seems to be a separate want, and no indication of her wanting freedom was revealed prior to this point. Are the two traits supposed to be one and the same, in that Wendy wants adventure? If that's the case, I would agree with the previous critiques to change the word "freedom" into "adventure"), rumors of the Fountain reach England and the navy arrives with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island; (changed the comma into a semicolon. You could use a dash too) a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. (love this bit. It brings it all back to your Peter Pan retelling in the first sentence.)

 

I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. TO SAIL THE STARS is my debut novel.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Thank you for the critique! This query was really well polished and I actually had trouble finding problems with it.



#20 distanthearts

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:39 AM

TO SAIL THE STARS is a young adult Peter Pan retelling, complete at XXX words, that melds the magic of THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE with the riveting historical fiction of BLACKHEARTS. ('m quite certain that most people puts this at the end of the query, but if you prefer this, should be alright :)

 

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Edavene aches to flex the wings of her imagination, but eighteenth-century London has little to offer the daughter of a bankrupt would-be aristocrat. Only after dark, when the candles are snuffed and Father isn’t listening, can she weave fairy tales for her brothers. Little does she know her life is about to become one. Personally I feel this paragraph is stronger without this line. Like it builds a sense of anticipation. I do have a question though: does she literally weave fairy tales (I'm asking this with my own query in mind because suddenly things seem very ambiguous when my story takes a lot of things literally HAHA)

 

After a failed investment, Father drags Wendy, her brothers and mother (would Mother be more correct?) towards a new life in the colonies. When their sea voyage goes awry and they are stranded on a nameless island guarded by pirates, Wendy can finally use her wits and intelligence to keep her family together--and alive. This Island has more mysteries than it has flecks of glittering mica: mystical creatures, natives who never age and a boy whose past is the Island’s closest guarded secret. (this sentence sounds wonderful!) Soon, however, Wendy discovers the real reason for the pirates’ interest: the mythical (mythical suggests that it's just a piece of legend. Maybe another word that brings across the idea that the Fountain of Youth is very real) Fountain of Youth.

 

As Wendy realizes that the Island can give her the freedom she desires (not sure if you want to include this into the query, but my biggest question is how? I would think that this sentence is linked to "Wendy can finally use her wits...", so maybe you might want to reorder your sentences to make it smoother! :)), rumors of the Fountain reach England and the navy arrives with cannons blazing. If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she’ll have a home forever...  if not, its priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke.

 

To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. (In all truth and honesty, I feel that your query would end stronger with the gunpowder and smoke line. Yet, I love the way you wrote "a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes". What if you changed it to: If Wendy can find a way to defend the Island, she'll have a home forever. To succeed, she will need the help of a fierce native princess, a one-handed pirate, and a boy whose heart beats in tune with the Island, a boy with wind in his hair and stars in his eyes. 

 

But she fails, the Island's priceless treasures, her freedom, and everyone she has come to care about will be devoured in a cloud of gunpowder and smoke. Not sure if this is better but just a thought on my part :))

 

I am an elementary school teacher with a degree in Early American History. TO SAIL THE STARS is my debut novel. 

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

 

Would really like to thank you for your comments on my query, so here to return a favour! I think you have a brilliant story going and an awesome query at hand already. All your ingredients are already here--it's just a matter of finding the perfect phrasing and order. Good luck! :)







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