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YA-Fantasy Crown of Ash and Stars


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#21 A. Wass

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 05:35 PM

Thank you Sataris! The last paragraph still didn't have the oomph I wanted so I let it sit for a few days and then I reworked. What do you all think?

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Except his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul. The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him. That is, until he meets Eloiny.

 

Having visions of the future is the most envied of all the gifts, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in being a Seer if she has no effect on the outcome. As much as she tries to prevent it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from The Veil, a barren wasteland no one ever returns from. Willing to do anything to bring him back, she discovers The Veil for what it really is: a prison. And Eloiny opened the cage.

 

After centuries of imprisonment, the Shade, the shadow of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic, wreaks havoc across the kingdoms. He siphons the magic from the lands, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of time. When Deacon proposes to Eloiny, she has no choice but to accept. She doesn’t want to let go of the boy she risked everything to save, but she isn’t strong enough to kill the Shade on her own. Only by uniting their kingdoms and powers will Deacon and Eloiny have enough strength to defeat an evil as powerful and ancient as the stars.

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.



#22 Queen of my backyard

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 07:22 PM

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Except his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul.(This is going to sound really nit-picky cuz it is- but since agents are notorious nit-pickaholics, "except" is an awkward word choice given you don't state that having a queen is a prerequisite to becoming or being the ruler of the kingdom. Therefore, it has no connection to the preceding sentence. Unless you mean something more to the effect of: The only problem/issue/challenge Deacon has is his parents won't stop...) The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him. That is, until he meets Eloiny.

 

Having visions of the future is the most envied of all the gifts, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in being a Seer if she has no effect on the outcome. As much as she tries to prevent it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from The Veil, a barren wasteland no one ever returns from. Willing to do anything to bring him back, Eloiny crosses the wall and she discovers The Veil for what it really is: a prison. And Eloiny opened opens the cage. (Don't prisons usually have cells, not cages? The use of the word "cage" is confusing. So is the jump to past tense here. Also, I added "Eloiny crosses the wall" because I assume that's what she does and think I read that in a previous version AND given she's opening a cage she must be there, but the sentence as written is a little choppy and unclear IMO. I actually think the sentence would be stronger if you started with the subject: Eloiny will stop at nothing to bring him back and crosses the wall, only to discover The Veil for what it truly is: a prison. But then that begs the question- if no one ever returns from The Veil, how does Eloiny? I swear I'm not trying to be a bitch... I actually love your concept. I'm just trying to think of what plot/story issues agents might spot with their eagle eyes)

 

After centuries of imprisonment, the Shade, the shadow (THE Shade, THE shadow back to back feels clunky to me) of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic, wreaks havoc across the kingdoms.(Was the Shade what was in the cage? That's a bit unclear. If so, her responsibility in releasing him gives you a great opportunity to show her personal stakes in defeating him. You could add that to the final paragraph. Presuming he was in the cage, how about something like this: That cage held the shadow of a power-hungry king twisted by dark magic, known as a Shade. Released after centuries of imprisonment, he wrecks havoc across the kingdoms- siphoning magic from the lands and threatening to tear apart the fabric of time.) He siphons the magic from the lands, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of time.

 

When Deacon proposes to Eloiny, she has no choice but to accept. She doesn’t want to let go of the boy she risked everything to save, but she isn’t strong enough to kill the Shade on her own. Only by uniting their kingdoms and powers will Deacon and Eloiny have enough strength to defeat an evil as powerful and ancient as the stars.

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.

 
As a lot of other posters have already said, you've clearly got an amazing concept and I'm not even a tiny bit surprised you're already a successfully published author. My only fear (in terms of what I've learned about/read agents are looking for in a query) is that this seems to lay out most of the story arc. I'm sure the veterans on here can speak to this with much more authority than I can, but I thought you were supposed to delve about 1/3 of the way in max, and end leaving the agent wanting to know what happens, what choice the MC or MCs will make. In this circumstance, we already know they are joining together to battle the shade and save their kingdoms. I know you've reworked the last section a lot already, but I think you might be able to reword it in terms of choices and consequences that allow for more suspense. Will Deacon do A or B, resulting in C or D? Will Eloiny... Any way you shake it, I look forward to reading it once it's on the shelves. :)

 


If you found my comments helpful, please consider critiquing my query at http://agentquerycon...fantasyrevised/


#23 KET Writes

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:13 PM

Thank you Sataris! The last paragraph still didn't have the oomph I wanted so I let it sit for a few days and then I reworked. What do you all think?

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Except his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul. The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him. That is, until he meets Eloiny. ​Overall, this intro definitely has me intrigued, but I find it doesn't capture the conflict that is described below. Is the biggest conflict Deacon not wanting to marry, but then he meets Eloiny? Or is the  primary conflict about the two of them taking down the Shade? If it's the first, I would say keep the hook, but thread in more of their relationship below. If it's the second, I would recommend threading more about the Shade into your hook.

 

Having visions of the future is the most envied of all the gifts, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in being a Seer if she has no effect on the outcome. As much as she tries to prevent it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from The Veil, a barren wasteland no one ever returns from. Willing to do anything to bring him back, she discovers The Veil for what it really is: a prison. And Eloiny opened opens the cage.

 

After centuries of imprisonment, the Shade, the shadow of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic, wreaks havoc across the kingdoms. Something about this line pulls me out of the flow. I'm wondering if it is necessary to name the Shade. Your description of it is very clear. He siphons the magic from the lands, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of time. I wonder how these two phrases are connected--does the fabric of time depend on the magic? When Deacon proposes to Eloiny, she has no choice but to accept. She doesn’t want to let go of the boy she risked everything to save, but she isn’t strong enough to kill the Shade on her own.  Only by uniting their kingdoms and powers will Deacon and Eloiny have enough strength to defeat an evil as powerful and ancient as the stars.

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.

 

 

Hope that was helpful! It is definitely something I'd be interested in reading!

 

Schedule


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my YA Urban Fantasy Query !

 


#24 A. Wass

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 02:45 PM

Okay so your points were very well put. My query still needed some rearranging. I think I might like this new version the best so far. Is this better than some of my previous versions??

 

Being a Seer is the most envied of all the abilities, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in having visions of the future if she can’t prevent some of them from happening. As much as she tries to stop it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from a barren wasteland. No one has ever ventured beyond the wall and returned to tell the tale, but that doesn’t stop her from going after him.

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. The only problem is his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul. The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him. That is, until he meets Eloiny. So when she embarks on a suicidal rescue mission, he goes along to keep her safe. He isn’t going to let her get herself killed, even if she’s in love with someone else.

 

Traveling beyond the border reveals the wall for what it really is: a prison. Returning opens the door and releases a Shade, the spirit of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic. After centuries of imprisonment, the Shade brings death and darkness to the lands. He’s hell-bent on getting revenge on the descendants of those who imprisoned him and resuming his rule of terror over the kingdom. Together, Deacon and Eloiny must find a way to stop the Shade before he gains enough power to destroy everything, and everyone, they’ve ever loved.

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.



#25 Queen of my backyard

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:11 PM

Ok, I want to read this book, like NOW! I think this version is spectacular IMO. I LOVE that you started with Eloiny, I can't put my finger on why exactly, but it improves the flow somehow to great effect. The added line about Deacon following her across the wall is awesome (and it also makes him a lot more endearing)! It all just makes so much more sense now, particularly the interplay between the two of them. And I think they way you leave the ending more open is just the right amount of suspense. Woot Woot!!!!!!!


If you found my comments helpful, please consider critiquing my query at http://agentquerycon...fantasyrevised/


#26 Sataris

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

Okay so your points were very well put. My query still needed some rearranging. I think I might like this new version the best so far. Is this better than some of my previous versions??

 

Being a Seer is the most envied of all the abilities, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in witnessing the future if it's impossible to change it. having visions of the future if she can’t prevent some of them from happening. As much as she tries to stop it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from a barren wasteland. No one has ever ventured beyond the wall and returned to tell the tale, but that doesn’t stop her from going after him.

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. The only problem is his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul. The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him i like how much more specific this is. That is, until he meets Eloiny. So when she embarks on a suicidal rescue mission, he goes along to keep her safe. He isn’t going to let her get herself killed, even if she’s in love with someone else. nice

 

Traveling beyond the border reveals I'm not sure reveals is the right word here, but I can't think of a better one. exposes maybe? the wall for what it really is: a prison. seems like a big jump between these two lines - they make it into the barrens then immediately return, and we're not sure what happened in between Returning opens the door and releases a the Shade, the spirit of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic. After centuries of imprisonment, the Shade brings death and darkness to the lands instead of death and darkness, could you say he spreads the plague or whatever he does and blots out the sun, etc? Some specific examples might help sneak some worldbuilding in here. He’s hell-bent on getting revenge on the descendants of those who imprisoned him if this refers to your MCs we probably should know that here and resuming his rule reign of terror over the kingdom. Together, Deacon and Eloiny must find a way to stop the Shade before he gains enough power to destroy everything, and everyone, they’ve ever loved. I think this is better than before, but it's still not as punchy as it could be because the destruction of everything isn't personal enough, and we don't know any of the people they actually love. I also really loved the conflict you had in the earlier version with eloiny not wanting to get together with Deacon - could you maybe work that back in here to be the final stakes?

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.

Hope that was helpful!


No current query.


#27 A. Wass

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 06:58 PM

Some minor tweaks from the last one.

 

 

 

Being a Seer is the most envied of all the abilities, but Eloiny doesn’t see the point in having visions of the future if most of it is impossible to change. As much as she tries to stop it, the boy she loves accidentally crosses the forbidden wall of magic that separates her kingdom from a barren wasteland. No one has ever ventured beyond the wall and returned to tell the tale, but that doesn’t stop her from going after him.

 

Deacon was born to rule a kingdom of magic and splendor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. The only problem is his parents won’t stop hounding him to choose a queen in a land where getting married means an irreversible connection of mind, body, and soul. The idea of sharing a consciousness repulses him. That is, until he meets Eloiny. So when she embarks on a suicidal rescue mission, he goes along to keep her safe. He isn’t going to let her get herself killed, even if she’s in love with someone else.

 

They manage to make it back, but with no memory of the last three days. Returning exposes the wall for what it really is, a prison, and they've opened the door. After centuries of being locked in a cage, the Shade, the spirit of a power hungry king twisted by dark magic, is free at last. He’s hell-bent on resuming his reign of terror over the kingdom and getting revenge on the descendants of those who imprisoned him: Deacon's family. Together, Eloiny and Deacon must correct their mistake and find a way to stop the Shade before he gains enough power to bring death and destruction to everything, and everyone, they love.

 

CROWN OF ASH AND STARS is a dual POV YA Fantasy complete at 80,000 words.



#28 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

 

I'm going to be honest and say I much prefer the last draft I read (starting with Deacon's POV). It had me on the edge of my seat, while this feels more like a burdened play-by-play of events.

 

Perhaps these are two drafts for two kinds of agents, to be tweaked depending on your target audience.



#29 VSChapman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:16 PM

I think I liked the other version better where you started with Deacon. I think it gave it more of a punch. But I also think it's better than the previous one I read. It's a lot clearer and you've cleaned out all the names. 






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