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Query: Saxon Matthews & the Dragon's Curse

Fiction Fantasy Adventure Romance

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#1 ARDavis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:24 AM

Hello,

Here is my query letter. I'm a bit frustrated with it because I know it's missing SOMETHING, I'm just not sure what yet. If anybody wants to see the first chapter please let me know. Any criticisms at all are of course helpful and appreciated. 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm, she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads.

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons.

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.



#2 TheBest

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:46 AM

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm (Too vague. Don't just say event. Give us at least some details.), she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads. (You repeat find and man too many times in this sentence.)

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons. (This is great!! Really drew me in.)

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author. (You don't need to give them your name. The favorite author part is great though, but it may come off as unprofessional for some agents.)

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

This is a good start. If I had to pinpoint what it was missing, I'd say flow. It's a little clunky, but I think all the plot elements are there to make it really sing. Go through it out loud, and make sure nothing is awkward or strange. I know it sounds odd, but this will make a big difference. Plus, some things are too vague. Give us more details on past, and never just describe something as an event. I love your concept, and wish you all the best. Good luck!



#3 jaustail

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:00 AM

Strong suggestion:

Remove first chapter from the thread. This isn't password protected. Not sure you want your chapter to be on google.



#4 ARDavis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:33 AM

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm (Too vague. Don't just say event. Give us at least some details.), she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads. (You repeat find and man too many times in this sentence.)

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons. (This is great!! Really drew me in.)

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author. (You don't need to give them your name. The favorite author part is great though, but it may come off as unprofessional for some agents.)

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

This is a good start. If I had to pinpoint what it was missing, I'd say flow. It's a little clunky, but I think all the plot elements are there to make it really sing. Go through it out loud, and make sure nothing is awkward or strange. I know it sounds odd, but this will make a big difference. Plus, some things are too vague. Give us more details on past, and never just describe something as an event. I love your concept, and wish you all the best. Good luck!

Thank you! I'm going to let it marinade for a bit and see if anybody else responds before posting an edit =) 


Strong suggestion:

Remove first chapter from the thread. This isn't password protected. Not sure you want your chapter to be on google.

OK. I will do that. Thank you! 



#5 jaustail

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:42 AM

JMO:

 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event(mention the event) that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm, she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads.

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons.

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse(use capital letters) (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

 

It's a clear and simple query. A little too simple. I get a hint of the story but am not much interested. mention some of the fantasy elements. Add some detail. Why does Saxon help Caroline? Why has Griswald ruined Caroline's life?



#6 Springfield

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:46 AM

Hello,

Here is my query letter. I'm a bit frustrated with it because I know it's missing SOMETHING, I'm just not sure what yet. If anybody wants to see the first chapter please let me know. Any criticisms at all are of course helpful and appreciated. 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm, She fell in a carnivorous toilet? What? she’s out for revenge. Why? The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads. This opening, with the coy and bits of reveal, is super irritating. Just say what happens. 

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. This is all very drawn-out for just, she meets someone else who also wants the guy. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way. Is this a romance? If not, I don't know why you're spending so much time on this guy's presumed qualities, or why she so needs to be rescued by a man. 

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons. I have no idea what happens, or even what genre this is, nevermind stakes. Your MC left someplace, met a guy and they go off. Also dragons. It's just a pile of tropes with nothing to distinguish them or hold them together,

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted. The title sounds like a kid's book, and your wc is basically novella territory; it's not really long enough for a novel. Also pick a genre. However, none of that matters, as I just found this is already published -- you need to tell agents that, as many of them will have no interest in previously published works. 

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.



#7 ARDavis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:28 PM

 

Hello,

Here is my query letter. I'm a bit frustrated with it because I know it's missing SOMETHING, I'm just not sure what yet. If anybody wants to see the first chapter please let me know. Any criticisms at all are of course helpful and appreciated. 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm, She fell in a carnivorous toilet? What? she’s out for revenge. Why? The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads. This opening, with the coy and bits of reveal, is super irritating. Just say what happens. 

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. This is all very drawn-out for just, she meets someone else who also wants the guy. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way. Is this a romance? If not, I don't know why you're spending so much time on this guy's presumed qualities, or why she so needs to be rescued by a man. 

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons. I have no idea what happens, or even what genre this is, nevermind stakes. Your MC left someplace, met a guy and they go off. Also dragons. It's just a pile of tropes with nothing to distinguish them or hold them together,

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted. The title sounds like a kid's book, and your wc is basically novella territory; it's not really long enough for a novel. Also pick a genre. However, none of that matters, as I just found this is already published -- you need to tell agents that, as many of them will have no interest in previously published works. 

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Thank you so much for your feedback. I kind of started off self published and then decided I'd rather do traditional instead. Do you have any advice in regards to that moving forward? Should I delete the book off of Amazon? Thanks again! 



#8 Springfield

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:57 PM

Thank you so much for your feedback. I kind of started off self published and then decided I'd rather do traditional instead. Do you have any advice in regards to that moving forward? Should I delete the book off of Amazon? Thanks again! 

You can but it's still been published, so that won't change anything. 

 

You can try to find someone who might be interested, but, again, not so many agents are interested in previously-published works (because most publishing houses aren't). The other issue is that this isn't a novel-length work. Either one of those makes it harder, so together you've got a tough sell. It's not impossible, but it is definitely more of a longshot. You might want to consider just thinking of this one as out there and moving on to your next work to try to find an agent when that's ready.



#9 ARDavis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:15 PM

JMO:

 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event(mention the event) that caused her to lose her dignity and her left arm, she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads.

 

After stopping at an inn, Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews. Coincidentally, Saxon is also looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. Though Caroline is reluctant to trust him, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon, so she agrees to play nice with him – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives, one that involves a secret ancient history, abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons.

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse(use capital letters) (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

 

It's a clear and simple query. A little too simple. I get a hint of the story but am not much interested. mention some of the fantasy elements. Add some detail. Why does Saxon help Caroline? Why has Griswald ruined Caroline's life?

Ugh forgot to thank you so sorry about that! Yeah I knew the query seemed too simple and was missing a hook. I'll try to add more of the fantasy elements and try being less vague. Thanks so much for the feedback. I greatly appreciate it. 



#10 wanna_husky_pupper

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:46 AM

Hi Alice,

 

Hope some of the comments below are helpful!

 

Hello,

Here is my query letter. I'm a bit frustrated with it because I know it's missing SOMETHING, I'm just not sure what yet I know that feeling. If anybody wants to see the first chapter please let me know. Any criticisms at all are of course helpful and appreciated. 

 

When Caroline Montgomery is cast out of her home after an embarrassing event that causes Lord Griswald strips her to lose of her dignity and her left arm [I'm not immediately seeing the reason she's been kicked out of her home...is there a family dynamic that needs to be mentioned or info that might flesh this out? I also think some sense of Caroline's age might be useful], she’s out for revenge. The man who ruined her life, Lord Griswald, isn’t an easy man to find, however, and Caroline quickly finds herself with little resources and very little leads few leads and even fewer resources.

 

After stopping at an inn [To me this seems slightly random - perhaps it might work better to refer more generally to her being in pursuit of Griswald], Caroline encounters a strange man named Saxon Matthews . Coincidentally, Saxon who is  also happens to be looking for Lord Griswald, and happens to be a great source of information for seems suspiciously willing to share what he knows about his whereabouts with Caroline. Saxon claims to be a genuine man, always willing to help those in need for little to no compensation. AlThough Caroline is reluctant to trust Saxon, she knows she won’t get far without partnering up with Saxon him, so she agrees to play nice with him pool resources [?] – so long as he doesn’t get in her way.

 

Throughout their journey, Saxon and Caroline will uncover the mystery of Lord Griswald’s true motives [For what? Taking Caroline's arm?], one that involves a secret ancient history [society?], abandoned underground lairs, and – of all things – dragons.

 

Saxon Matthews & the Dragon’s Curse (52,714) is a fantasy adventure/romance story reminiscent of A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is part of a planned trilogy, with book 2 already being drafted.

 

My name is Alice Davis. I have a BFA in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina – Wilmington. One day, I hope to be labeled as someone’s favorite author.

 

The sample pages are pasted below. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

For what it's worth, the query does make me want to know more about what's going on, but if I'm honest, I felt a little blindsided by the shift from what seems a 'solid' world to a fantastical one. Also, I wonder if it's a problem that you describe the genre as part-romance but don't allude to any sort of romantic relationship in your query.

 

Good luck!



#11 ARDavis

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:07 PM

Hi Alice,

 

Hope some of the comments below are helpful!

 

For what it's worth, the query does make me want to know more about what's going on, but if I'm honest, I felt a little blindsided by the shift from what seems a 'solid' world to a fantastical one. Also, I wonder if it's a problem that you describe the genre as part-romance but don't allude to any sort of romantic relationship in your query.

 

Good luck!

Thank you so much! =) 







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