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OCEANS DEEP - YA Fantasy (edits made 5/17/18)

Fantasy Young Adult

Best Answer MICRONESIA , 18 May 2018 - 12:31 PM

I went back through the thread to find what I consider your best query. Hell, I think that third paragraph works best here as well. I will fight to my death for this version.

 

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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#1 rhwashere

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:57 PM

Okay, so I’m looking for feedback on 3 different versions. They are in posts...

 

89 - http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356842

 

94 - http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356873

 

95 - http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935

 

Which do you like better?


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#2 bkarperien

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:41 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim, not since the Nereid nation attacked and she lost her both her legs in battle (Interesting concept, but I think this hook would be tighter if you took out the part about the Nereid nation and just told us that she's an amputee. I love this story concept though!) Despite being weighed down by metal prosthetics, she lives to chase adrenaline--racing manta rays, starting fights--the more danger, the better the distraction from her problems. (A few things I don't understand here. 1. How is she racing manta rays and chasing adrenaline if she can't swim? And why does she have prosthetics if she can't swim, like, why bother? 2. What are her problems? This is too vague. 

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to her father, the king, but none of that matters to her. Not until a border lord is murdered, and she knows who's to blame. She saw with her own eyes the royal spymaster meeting with the Nereid enemy. (I don't understand these two sentences. What does a border lord being murdered have to do with the royal spymaster consorting with the enemy? Also, what does this have to do with her reckless lifestyle?)

But when she tells her father, he doesn't take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome man she met while racing, who agrees to help her expose the spymaster. Before they get far, though, the spymaster himself turns up dead, and some start to think Ondine is to blame. (It seems like you're hinting at a romantic relationship with this Drake dude, but it's a little too subtle. I'd make it clearer.)

 

To clear her name, she must find the real traitor. But in doing so, she will uncover a plot to bring all of Syren under Nereid control. A plot that involves the highest officials in her kingdom, that involves Drake, that even involves her own family. (So what? What does she care? If she just wants to outrun her problems, why should she care if her kingdom gets taken over? Why does this impact her, on a personal level? Does she face some choice? Will uncovering the plot hurt people she cares about? I feel like you're only hinting at the real stakes here. And what happens to Ondine if she fails? What about the people who think Ondine is a murderer? What happens if she doesn't clear her name?)

 

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING (comp titles are italicized, not all-caps). Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Really fantastic story concept, I love everything about it. But I think you query could be a little clearer. 

Best of luck with revisions, and if you get a chance to check out my query, that'd be fantastic :)


Check out my query!


#3 ThatDan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:20 PM

​Very well written. My suggestions follow:

 

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim​<I think this bit alone makes a great hook. then you could go on to explain why. not since the Nereid nation attacked and she lost her both her legs in battle. Despite being weighed down by metal prosthetics, she lives to chase adrenaline--racing manta rays, starting fights--the more danger,​<the use of dashes and commas here makes it a little difficult to read. consider reformatting? the better the distraction from her problems.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to her father, the king, but none of that matters to her. Not until a border lord is murdered, and she knows who's to blame​< we need something linking "not until" to why it matters now. you explain this later (nobody believes her because of her wild nature) but it might be better adding that up here instead.. She saw with her own eyes the royal spymaster meeting with the Nereid enemy.​<if she knows who's to blame, i'd assume she witnessed the murder, not just seen a meeting. But when she tells her father, he doesn't take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome man she met while racing, who agrees to help her expose the spymaster ​as a traitor to Syren? or a murderer?. Before they get far, though, the spymaster himself turns up dead, and some start to think Ondine is to blame. 

 

To clear her name, she must find the real traitor. But in doing so, she will uncover​ uncovers  a plot to bring all of Syren under Nereid control. A plot that involves the highest officials in her kingdom, that involves Drake, that even involves her own family. ​<starts to get a bit vague here at the end. We need to know how she can stop this plot and what risks are associated.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

​Excellent work. Maybe a bit more work establishing Drakes role/relationship, and beef up the ending. Other than that, looks great already imo.


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#4 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:58 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim, not since the Nereid nation attacked and she lost her both her legs in battle. Great hook!!! Despite being weighed down by metal prosthetics, she lives to chase adrenaline--racing manta rays, starting fights--the more danger, the better the distraction from her problems. Use propers em-dashes (—) instead of --, but I would consider not using them at all for smoother reading. Also wondering about the verb "racing" if she can't swim.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to her father, the king, but none of that doesn't matters to her. Not until a border lord is murdered, and she knows who's to blame. She saw with her own eyes the royal spymaster meeting with the Nereid enemy. But When she tells her father, he doesn't take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome man she met while racing, who agrees to help her expose the spymaster. Before they get far, though, the spymaster himself turns up dead, and some start to think Ondine is to blame.

 

To clear her name, she must find the real traitor. But in doing so, she will uncover a plot to bring all of Syren under Nereid control. A plot that involves the highest officials in her kingdom, that involves Drake, that even involves and her own family. 

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

---

This is solid, I just tidied it up a bit! You want to be as concise as possible. Great work!



#5 rhwashere

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:05 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, out-drinks most fish, and competes in illegal manta races, riding her manta ray at breakneck speeds, leaving the best racers in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. She tells her father, but he doesn't take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome manta racer who Ondine trusts. But the spymaster soon turns up dead, with Ondine as the prime suspect.

 

Drake urges her to run away with him before things get worse, but if she does, the real traitor will kill again. And this time, the target may be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#6 sereneew

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:29 PM

Thank you for your feedback!! 

 

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her a mockery an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, out-drinks most fish, and competes in illegal manta races, riding her manta ray at breakneck speeds, leaving the best racers in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids( I think you meant "Nereias), she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. She tells her father, but he doesn't ​believe her take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome manta racer who Ondine trusts. But the spymaster soon turns up dead, with Ondine as the prime suspect.( Reword and add this on your new paragraph. "When the spymaster turns up dead, Ondine becomes the prime suspect because .... describe why or how she becomes it. You can reword this however you'd like but be sure to add why and how she's the target.) 

 

Drake urges her to run away with him before things get worse, but if she does, the real traitor will kill again. And this time, the target may be her father, the King of Syren himself. ( stakes are okay.. But you need to be more specific. More details. How does the spymaster die? Why is Ondine the prime suspect ? What happens to Ondine, are people of the castle after her? You need to specify these on the last paragraph. 

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

You have a good story ! I do really like your underwater vibe... reminds me of little mermaid LOL... Your query needs a few tweaking and adding more details. I've noted them on the query, hope this helps (: Goodluck !


If I helped please leave a feedback on my YA FANTASY QUERY http://agentquerycon...st-50/?p=350935


#7 bkarperien

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:33 AM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who cannot swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, out-drinks most fish, and competes in illegal manta races, riding her manta ray at breakneck speeds, leaving the best racers in her wake. (Love it. This is super clear, really establishes her character, and has fantastic voice!)

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. She tells her father, but he doesn't take her seriously. No one does except Drake, a handsome manta racer who Ondine trusts. (Great, but what does she do about it? What is her goal, here? What action does she take?) 

 

But when the spymaster turns up dead, Ondine finds herself the prime suspect. Drake urges her to run away with him before things get worse, but if she does, the real traitor will kill again. And this time, the target may be her father, the King of Syren himself. (You can expand these stakes. Specify what you mean by "before things get worse". And tell me something about what Ondine plans to do about all this. You say if she runs away, the real traitor will kill again. Why can't the real traitor kill again if she doesn't run away?)

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000 word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

This is looking way better. I'd really focus on that last paragraph, and establishing Ondine's active role in the story.

If you get another chance to look at my query, I'd be very grateful :)  


Check out my query!


#8 rhwashere

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:00 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#9 VSChapman

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:47 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake. ( I like this hook. It's clear and really gives us her personality right away.) 

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then (When?) the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Aegean himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I think this is really good. I read your first tries and this one is much more clear and concise. This is something that I would want to read. :) 



#10 rhwashere

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:01 PM

I think this is really good. I read your first tries and this one is much more clear and concise. This is something that I would want to read. :) 

Thanks! It's an exhausting process, and that means a lot.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#11 bkarperien

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

This is getting really close! Looking good. I'd still expand a bit on the stakes, and make Ondine a little more active. It seems like there isn't enough conflict at the end--like all she has to do is confront the traitor, and ta-da! Everything saved! What's preventing her from just going out and doing so? 

Thanks for your comments on my query! I really appreciate the help :)


Check out my query!


#12 MICRONESIA

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 03:30 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. Already some conflict. Nice. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake. Awesome world-building.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. These two independent clauses are jammed together awkwardly. I'd consider re-wording. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself. I love the stakes, but the "choice" doesn't really work for me. It seems like her options are: run away vs. save her family. Who WOULDN'T do the latter? Seems a bit to easy...

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I dig this. Short, simple and sweet. Other than the "easy choice" she has to make, I have few problems here.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#13 ABF

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 04:19 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sounds really unique. I love the idea of an underwater world. A couple of thoughts:

1. Are these people who are underwater and can breath underwater or mermaids? I wasn't able to get a clear image of them, which was taking me out of it a little bit

2. You might want to add a sentence about who you are as a writer.



#14 Sataris

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:40 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. I hate you for having such a good hook (not really) After losing both her legs, she is weighed down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. this confuses me a little- couldn't she just swim without her legs? I get that the legs weigh her down but why does she need them? But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without suffering the consequences her permission does she ever give people permission do that?. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake. love it

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. Might want to drop a quick qualifier on Nereia but otherwise this paragraph looks great

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes this would be stronger if you told us how high it actually goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING I've read that and I agree, it sounds like an excellent comp for your book. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves. I think this goes without saying with the manta rays and the underwater kingdom and so on

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I like this a lot. I think you should consider twitter pitching it too while you're querying- your high concept hook is the sort of thing that always attracts a lot of attention. I think we could use a little clarity on the swimming thing- why can't she just swim with her arms? Or, why specifically are the prosthetics necessary if they weigh her down?

 

But yeah, good stuff. If you've got a minute, I'd appreciate you taking a look at the query in my signature 


No current query.


#15 Queen of my backyard

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 05:32 PM

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both her legs, she is weighed (This may be persnickety, but since most agents are- "weighed" refers to an object's mass, "weighted" refers to something being held down due it's weight.) down by metal prosthetics that make her an object of ridicule. But nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about palace politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of Nereia (I agree with previous posts that a brief explanation of who/what Nereia is would help orient the reader), and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. (This is an incomplete sentence: Not until A and B happen...we're missing the pay-off of does C happen.) When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. But no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

Then the spymaster turns up dead, and Ondine learns just how high up the conspiracy goes. Drake urges her to leave the palace, but if she doesn't confront the real traitor now, he will kill again. And next time, the target may well be her father, the King of Syren himself. ​(I also agree this seems like somewhat of an easy decision which weakens the stakes in an otherwise fascinating story. Since your writing is crisp and tight and you've got room to spare, I'd punch up the stakes for Ondine cuz we know she's not gonna leave pops to be killed off- although, that would make for one hellova twist!)

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING. Nearly every creature and setting in the story is modeled after the real-life wonders that lie beneath the waves.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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


#16 rhwashere

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:40 PM

All your feedback has been great! Here's what will probably be my last version for a while.

 

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down and make her an object of ridicule. Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought.

 

But when the spymaster turns up dead, Ondine is horrified to learn that the conspiracy goes right up to the royal adviser, a man who used to read stories to her when she was a child. Stopping his plot will mean killing a man she's known all her life, but if she does nothing, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, it may be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#17 Sataris

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:49 PM

 

All your feedback has been great! Here's what will probably be my last version for a while.

 

Dear [Agent],

 

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents yup this is much better/clearer, but they also weigh her down and make her an object of ridicule. Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission still think this implies that she gives people permission to make her feel inferior. also: totally, totally irrelevant, but typing that made me think of the "nobody makes me bleed my own blood" line from dodgeball She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake.

 

Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom better, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. The trouble is, no one will listen to her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

 

But when the spymaster turns up dead, Ondine is horrified to learn that the conspiracy goes right up to the royal adviser, a man she's known all her life, who used to read stories to her when she was a child I like what you're going for here, but you could probably pick one of these two lines to keep it punchier. Or maybe a man who was like a second father to her, etc Drake urges her to leave with him this could be interpreted as leaving with the royal adviser since he was just mentioned a sentence earlier, but if she does nothing, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, it may be her father, the King of Syren himself.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Still like it. Maybe a bit to clean up in the last paragraph, but overall you answered most of the questions I had with these edits. Nice work!


No current query.


#18 rhwashere

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:57 PM

Ha! You quoted my post before I made some last minute edits. I took out Drake completely, but I'm having second second thoughts. Do you think I should leave him in (so that agents can see there will be that oh-so-necessary love interest)? Or is the edited version posted above better?


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#19 Sataris

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 07:07 PM

I'm not sure about Drake, but I do think the stakes are better in the above version, provided that you play up the relationship to the adviser a bit more (make him seem like family she can't live without; right now he's more of a babysitter and for the choice to be compelling he needs to be almost as important to her as her father). Probably an improvement overall since Drake was never all that fleshed out.

 

Another option other than chucking Drake back in is adding another line to your comp with graceling, since the romance is such a large part of that story. Something like fans of political intrigue strong female leads and romantic subplots, etc.

 

the only question this new version raises that I see is why she has to kill him. would turning him in not work? or would they just execute him anyway?

 

edit: I also think the last line is a good opportunity for you to leave us with an image. Like, if she does nothing, it might be her father whose found floating among the reeds or something along those lines


No current query.


#20 rhwashere

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:49 AM

So much for last versions. Here we go again:


Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can't swim. After losing both legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down and make her an object of ridicule.

Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, leaving even the best riders in her wake. Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she's never cared about politics.

Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom, and there are whispers of a traitor in the palace. When Ondine catches the king's own spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer to her family than she thought. Unfortunately, the only person who believes her is Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved.

But when the spymaster turns up dead, Ondine is horrified to learn that the conspiracy goes right up to the royal adviser, a man who has been like a second father to her. Stopping him means turning on one of the few who truly understands her. But if she takes Drake’s offer to leave, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, it may be her real father, the King of Syren himself.

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore's GRACELING.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935






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