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A City of Salt & Secrets (YA Fantasy)


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#1 NoraP

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:17 PM

Just another project of mine I'm considering querying =) I'd appreciate any tips, as this is a very rough draft!

 

 

 

 

Dear [AGENT'S NAME],

 

 

In the city of Port Desmund, there is no word more deadly than "heretic".

 

16-year-old Anika Lundmark has known this ever since the night her mother's boat disappeared into the fog, leaving her family with the word trailing after them like a ghost. Now the woman of the house, Anika does everything she can to show that the house of Lundmark is devout, and prays to the kings of old they do not take anyone else from her.

 

18-year-old Allycia Bjort has been staring down the barrel of a pistol for months. Her uncle, the king, has defied Kingslaw, and declared an end to the centuries-old crusade issued by his ancestors. Allycia has watched the war devour everyone she held dear, and she would give anything to have it end. But though peace is something many have dreamed of for years, there are those who would die before seeing it come to pass... and those who would kill.

 

When Anika's brother turns up dead while seeking out information for Allycia, the two girls find themselves in pursuit of a common goal: to find the killer. But as their search leads them through the darkest parts of their city, a plot much bigger than one man's death begins to unravel--one that could destroy any hope for a treaty, and plunge the country into a bloodbath it would never recover from.

 

With the clock ticking ever closer to success or doom, they will have to race against the heavens themselves to stop the war.

 
 
Complete at 90,000 words, A CITY OF SALT & SECRETS combines elements of fantasy with steampunk and mythology from Scandinavian countries such as Finland and Iceland, as well as mythology from Africa and India. I believe fans of Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS and Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE will enjoy this adventure novel, which I hope to turn into a series. 
 
[PERSONAL INFORMATION]
 
Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you!
 
Sincerely,
Nora

 



#2 Niambi

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:07 AM

I would focus on one Main Character (MC) and leave the second one out. I am sure both have solid arcs and stories, but pick the strongest one, or the one who's arc fits the story best and focus on her.

Leave out unnecessary plot points. For instance, you mention Allycia staring down the barrel of a gun, her uncle, and a war, then don't mention them again for the rest of the query. You do this before addressing some of the questions anyone would have with Anika, such as how she's a heretic because her mother disappeared, and what her goal really is.

Her mother disappears, then her brother ends up dead (while looking for information regarding Allycia), she's trying not to become labeled as a heretic, but the common goal is to find the person who killed her brother.

There are a lot of questions a reader could ask which need to be answered in the query.

#3 tsnyder

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:57 PM

In the city of Port Desmund, there is no word more deadly than "heretic".‚ÄčWouldn't the period go inside the quotations?

 

16-year-old Anika Lundmark has known this ever since the night her mother's boat disappeared into the fog, leaving her family with the word trailing I like how you want to tie this thought into the word "heretic"...wondering if there could be a tighter connection?after them like a ghost. Now the woman of the house, Anika does everything she can to show that the house of Lundmark is devout, and prays to the kings of oldt that they do not take anyone else from her.

 

18-year-old Allycia Bjort has been staring down the barrel of a pistol for months. Her uncle, the king, has defied Kingslaw, and declared an end to the centuries-old crusade issued by his ancestors. Allycia has watched the war devour everyone she held dear, and she would give anything to have it end. But though peace is something many have dreamed of for years, there are those who would die before seeing it come to pass... and those who would kill.

 

When Anika's brother turns up dead while seeking out information for Allycia,Is there a better way to tie these two girls together? the two girls find themselves in pursuit of a common goal: to find the killer. But as their search leads them through the darkest parts of their city,perhaps mention one of the riveting moments from their journey...share a piece that will have me on the edge of my seat. a plot much bigger than one man's death begins to unravel--one that could destroy any hope for a treaty, and plunge the country into a bloodbath it would never recover from.

 

With the clock ticking ever closer to success or doom, they will have to race against the heavens themselves to stop the war.

 

This does sound interesting.  

 

 

 



#4 Sataris

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:29 PM

 

Just another project of mine I'm considering querying =) I'd appreciate any tips, as this is a very rough draft!

 

 

 

 

Dear [AGENT'S NAME],

 

 

In the city of Port Desmund, there is no word more deadly than "heretic".

 

16-year-old Anika Lundmark has known this ever since the night her mother's boat disappeared into the fog, leaving her family with the word trailing after them like a ghost nice. Now the woman of the house, Anika does everything she can to show that the house of Lundmark is devout, and prays to the kings of old that they do not take anyone else from her.

 

18-year-old Allycia Bjort has been staring down the barrel of a pistol for months I like this, too, but I think we need a little more elaboration on it since the rest of the paragraph doesn't detail how/why. Her uncle, the king, has defied Kingslaw, and declared an end to the centuries-old crusade issued by his ancestors. Allycia has watched the war devour everyone she held dear, and she would give anything to have it end. But though peace is something many have dreamed of for years, there are those who would die before seeing it come to pass... and those who would kill.

 

When Anika's brother turns up dead while seeking out information for Allycia, the two girls find themselves in pursuit of a common goal: to find the killer. But as their search leads them through the darkest parts of their city, a plot much bigger plot than one man's death begins to unravel--one that could destroy any hope for a treaty the first paragraph reads as if the king has declared peace, and then here we're hoping for a treaty; could you maybe just say "the king has made his desire for peace known" or something along those lines?, and plunge the country into a bloodbath it would never recover from.

 

With the clock ticking ever closer to success or doom, Time is running out, and they will have to race against the heavens not sure what the heavens have to do with this; to this point, there hasn't been anything supernatural in the query themselves to stop the war.

 
 
Complete at 90,000 words, A CITY OF SALT & SECRETS combines elements of fantasy with steampunk and mythology from Scandinavian countries such as Finland and Iceland, as well as mythology from Africa and India. I believe fans of Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS and Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE will enjoy this adventure novel, which I hope to turn into a series. Is it the first part of a series? or does it function as a standalone with series potential? in other words, does it end?
 
[PERSONAL INFORMATION]
 
Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you!
 
Sincerely,
Nora

 

Overall I think the stakes are quite clear here, and you've done a good job of not getting bogged down in the details. I would like to know a little more about the first girl's story; maybe try to build a little bit more tension with the fact that she could be declared a heretic at any point? is she afraid of people barging in on her and hauling her off? On a similar note, I'd like to know why the second girl's life is at stake. Is it because of her father's declaration? Hope that was helpful!



#5 daddude7

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:00 PM

Dear [AGENT'S NAME],

 

 

In the city of Port Desmund, there is no word is more deadly than "heretic".

 

16-year-old Anika Lundmark has known this ever since the night her mother's boat disappeared into the fog, leaving her family with the word trailing after them like a ghost. Now the woman of the house, Anika does everything she can to show that the house of Lundmark's piety is devout, and prays to the kings of old they do not to take anyone else from her.

 

18-year-old Allycia Bjort has been staring down the barrel of a pistol for months. (Do they have pistols? Even if they do, it does sound anachronistic in the query.) Her uncle, the king, has defied Kingslaw, and declared an end to the centuries-old crusade issued by his ancestors. Allycia has watched the war devour everyone she held dear, and she would give anything to have it end. But though peace is something many have dreamed of for years, there are those who would die before seeing it come to pass... and those who would kill.

 

When Anika's brother turns up dead while seeking out information for Allycia, the two girls young women find themselves in pursuit of a common goal: to find the killer. But as their search leads them through the darkest parts of their city, a plot much bigger than one man's death begins to unravel--one that could destroy any hope for a treaty, and plunge the country into a bloodbath from which it would never recover from.

 

With the clock ticking ever closer to success or doom, they will have to race against the heavens themselves to stop the war.

 
 
Complete at 90,000 words, A CITY OF SALT & SECRETS combines elements of fantasy with steampunk and Scandinavian, African and Hindu mythology from Scandinavian countries such as Finland and Iceland, as well as mythology from Africa and India. I believe fans of Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS and Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE will enjoy this adventure novel, which I hope to turn into a series. 
 
[PERSONAL INFORMATION]
 
Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you!
 
Sincerely,
Nora
 
******
 
It sounds interesting. It might help to give it more detail when you describe the stakes, but it might be fine the way it is now.
 
My query is in my signature line. Thanks in advance!





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