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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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#41 lnloft

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:00 PM

Despite enjoying your 250 words, I never got around to critiquing your query.

Thanks Zhar! Those suggestions were really helpful, and I feel like this will be my best version yet:


Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim While your next sentence clarifies, and while I know from the context of reading some of your other stuff, to me this reads too much like she never learned to swim rather than physically can't. I imagine her going around with little inflatable floaties on her arms. Probably not what you want. . After losing both her 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. I think this is a good indicator of her character. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, So you've presented her as a strong, independent young woman, but now here the moment there's trouble she goes running to daddy. Which is a very logical thing to do, and I don't have a problem with her doing it in-story, but here it just feels like she's tattling. Is there a way you can rephrase this. but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved So I assume Antipater is not the handsome manta racer? This whole sentence reads awkwardly. But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself. How does she learn this?

Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren. So you established that her father didn't believe her earlier, but I think you could establish even more strongly why Ondine has to deal with this herself rather than someone more qualified. I think that would also help up the stakes, because then it makes it really clear that she is dealing with this on her own.

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.

I mean, I want to read your book. Between the snippets I read before, and the positive way you portray Ondine, plus just the cool, unique setting, it all looks very promising. Just a few things to clean up query-wise. Speaking of, since I didn't really follow up in blue on this point, and since I'm assuming that Antipater is not the manta racer, the manta racer is just kinda there in the query, with just the one reference. Either follow up on him or cut him out.

 

Good luck.


If you found my feedback useful, I'd appreciate yours: Ouroboros


#42 galian84

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:54 PM

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her 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. (Thumbs up to your opening line. I like the Princess already)

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. 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 (are they a rival Kingdom? Should specify, if so), and whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the Syren king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer (the way this sentence is written, it almost makes it sound like Antipater is the handsome manta racer) who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren. (Clear and concise stakes, good!)

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.

Hi there, fresh eyes! Suggestions above. I didn't get to go through your previous versions and other comments thoroughly...tired eyes from a long day at work. Sounds like you have a really interesting story, and the query is good, despite my nitpicks. I don't normally read YA, but it sounds like you have something fun and unique here :)



#43 SnowFox23

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:28 PM

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her legs, it would be kind of cool to know how she lost them, but up to you if you want to reveal. 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.

So good. Love it. Great job.

 

Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. That is a very neat way of showing us what sort of character she is, which is excellent. She fights at the drop of a fin, hehe, love it and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races. awesome, so wish it was a dolphin, though Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she’s never cared about politics. Really neat again, maybe you could add an adjective to the royal family to reinforce your point. (sedate, perhaps.) Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom and whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

You might have to expand on what border lords are, because I don't fully understand.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. that's really neat and precise too, because it is adeptly showing us that she could choose to leave quietly with him But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.

I could nitpick, but I'm not going to. This works extremely well, you obviously have done your research on queries. Great job! I would expect this query to resonate well with agents.

 

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word spot on with the WC YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING. This personalisation is perfecto!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Excellent. You have done a great job. I wish you the best in sending this baby out, because I would say that it is ready to go. Enjoy the full and partial requests coming your way. :)

Are you going to be sending it out now? I would love to keep in touch and see how you go.



#44 rhwashere

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:08 AM

I’m actually still writing it. I decided to do the query letter at the beginning, after I’d thoroughly mapped out the plot. I wanted to try doing the query when the core ideas of the story were still clear and not bogged down by months of thought, writing, and world-building. The overwhelmingly positive responses I’ve been getting from you guys let me know I’ve got a good idea this time around.

80000 words is my goal and I’m 20000 in (after less than 2 months). But each scene has been mapped and everything in the query will have happened as described. Again, I want to thank all of you for your support. If this is as successful as I hope, I’ll be sure to post it in the Successful Queries forum!

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


#45 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 01:13 PM

I did that with a dating profile once. She was disappointed.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#46 SnowFox23

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 12:56 AM

That is so funny, because I am doing exactly the same thing. I just finished writing my query for the book I am currently writing. I am 28,000 words in after one month, and am aiming for 70,000 by April.

I might post my query today, check it out if you can.



#47 Wayfarer

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 02:56 AM

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, while also making 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 (Give these races a name. You saying fearlessly implies they're dangerous). 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. If she fails, another royal death is certain, and this time the victim will be her true father, the King of Syren.

Really not much to change, it's a good query.



#48 TeaTime

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:58 PM

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl (So are these people human? Mermaids? Some other kind of humanoid sea creature? This is a question I still have after reading through the query, due to the fin comment below) who can’t swim. After losing both her 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. (I agree that this sentence is a bit clunky, especially at its end, & would agree with some of the other critique's proposed changes)

Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin (Good voice stuff. This is interesting though--is fighting (granted, I don't know if this is just verbally or also physically?) at the drop of a fin entirely a "good" quality? For anyone? It would be interesting if this is a spunky, but not entirely healthy reaction she has developed to her losing her legs, & she would have to deal with through the course of the story.), and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer (I read this racer as a separate person from Antipater--is that right?) who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself (This actually sounds like a really late revelation in the plot--hopefully it's not revealing too much, you are of course the best judge of that).

Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.

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.

 

Sorry if this critique is too late to the party. But I feel like this is a really interesting story, especially the setting & the potentials it's no doubt providing you.

 

My biggest concern throughout is probably that there are a lot of characters (plus the Nereids)--most of them are unnamed, which is good, & ultimately I think it mostly works even in the form it is now. But if there's any way to cut one or two of them, I'd take it.

 

Really compelling story premise/setting though, good luck with the writing.


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#49 Emily804

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 05:02 PM

Thanks Zhar! Those suggestions were really helpful, and I feel like this will be my best version yet:


Dear [Agent],

<In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her 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. > This is good

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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn't believe her. No one does except Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But when the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.
<Get rid of space and make these two paragraphs one.>
Ondine knows she has to stop him, even though he has been like a second father to her. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.

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. (Typically if you decide to include comp titles in a query, you should include two.)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

It's really good! I would say it's almost ready to send out. Some of your sentences are on the long side. This makes it a bit hard to read at points, but the long sentences also work in your favor in that it keeps the query's momentum. I would just carefully reread each sentence and see if there's a way to rephrase some of them. What you have here is the main plot points organized in the right way, and they also seem interesting because of the way you presented them. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#50 Gabe S.

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 08:54 AM

Rhwashere, I like the progress of the query, but I do have a concern.
From personal experience and from seeing other queries transform, I can tell you with certainty that the MS you are currently writing will change and you’ll have to go back to the query and change it - sometimes from the ground up. It’s not a given, but something to keep in mind.

Even after you finish the MS, there will be a ton of edits that can transform the story, and the query will have to reflect that and that is really hard sometimes. I personally view early query writing as an excercise that could eventually become a wast of time as you’ll go through huge edits when the MS is finished.

Aside from this, keep on with the keeping on!

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...aded-ya-sci-fi/


#51 rhwashere

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 09:14 PM

I understand the concern. But even if the MS changed dramatically (which I don’t imagine it will), I would not view early query writing as a waste of time. It helped me express the core idea of my story while the core was still fresh. It’s a lot harder to write a query after you’ve written 80,000 words over a year, or years. The core can get lost under all the sediment of world building. Believe me, I’ve done it.

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


#52 rhwashere

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:47 PM

Just to avoid critiques for things I’ve already changed, here’s the latest:

Dear [Agent],

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

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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.

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


#53 JDSmith

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 08:30 PM

Yeah, this is the best version! Great job!


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#54 crestakaz

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 02:43 PM

Just to avoid critiques for things I’ve already changed, here’s the latest:

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down, making her an object of ridicule to other Seafolk. I'm so in love with this opening line! It absolutely kills. 

Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission I love this line too. Very voice-y and shows Ondine's personality right off. She fights at the drop of a fin,(no comma needed here) and fearlessly (I don't think you need the adverb here. Excess word that is demonstrated by the fact she rides in the deadliest races) rides her manta ray in the deadliest races. Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she’s never cared about politics. Not Matter of personally opinion, but I suggest "That is, until..." instead of "Not" until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom, and whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a (handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved) I love this phrase!. But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself. I feel this is the weakest part of the query. It starts getting bogged down in details. I suddenly feel lost amongst the characters you've just introduced (spymaster, Antipater, hot guy) the plot points (she catches spymaster, tells father who doesn't believe her, two people believe her, spymaster is dead, traitor is Antipater). It's a lot of info for three sentences. I'd work on trimming down the info and sticking to the most key point (from what I understand): Ondine find out that the traiter is Antipater, who is like a second father to her. Figure out another way to work in the hot guy, though, haha.

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. I'd suggest raising the stakes here a little in terms of describing what she'll have to overcome in order to stop him. Otherwise, "stop him" is kind of a general phrase that doesn't tell me what all she'll need to do and why it's going to be hard. Is she trying to stop him without indicating he's the real person at fault? Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren. Good mirroring of info in the sentences (second father vs. real father)

OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should  with appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING. I'd suggest dropping comp titles unless you have two to offer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Overall, it's a pretty strong query! My biggest issue is with that third paragraph, but it seems like you've really come a long way :) I would consider upping the stakes of that last paragraph (if it's still accurate plot info) by mentioning Odine is perhaps being framed/considered as traitor. It gives her more incentive to make a choice one way or the other. At the same time, though, balance it out with a further obstacle that is keeping her from making that choice.

 

Good work! :)



#55 TeaTime

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 08:26 PM

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren (I stilllllll don't know what kind of people this story is about. I keep defaulting to mermaids/men, but I don't know if that's right. This would be a good place to give a short description of just what kind of people are in this kingdom, i.e. what exactly a "Seafolk" is.), Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down, making her an object of ridicule to other Seafolk.

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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace. (I think this paragraph is good. I can see crestakaz's concern about how the last sentence starts though. You could try something like "At least not until.." to try to flow more smoothly into the sentence fragment.)

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved (This character is of course interesting, but since this is the only mention of him, I'd cut him :sad: (or tie him in more to the narrative, but the query doesn't really seem to have room for that as it currently stands).). But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.  (This closing line is strong & has good stakes)

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. (Do you have any ideas for a second comp title?)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yeah, this query is in pretty good shape as it is. The biggest thing may be that third paragraph could just use more focus, trying to keep it more maybe on Ondine, what it means to her to have a new layer of people not believing her/rejecting her. But overall, good job  :cool: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#56 Wayfarer

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:45 AM

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

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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren.

The only part that reads a little weakly to me is the second sentence of the second paragraph where you detail aspects of her life that substantiate the claim made in the sentence prior. I think a third aspect would be beneficial for the flow of the sentence, and I would try to find a way to rewrite "fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races". That last part just reads awkwardly to me.

 

Other than that, I think this is perfect.



#57 LolaInSlacks88

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  • Publishing Experience:My first two novels were a high-fantasy pair published by Greyhart Press, called 'The Lineage of Tellus.'

Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:39 PM

 

 

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. Good beginning. After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down, making  I'd consider 'and make' to eliminate this second comma her an object of ridicule to change to 'for' if you change to 'make to' other Seafolk.

Still, just go with a hard 'But' here 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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace. Okay, good conflict here.

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer what is his name? This sounds like Antipater is also the racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself.

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. Feels redundant because you mentioned he knows her better than anyone already Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren. The stakes are clear, but the beginning hook almost sets it up as if the novel's about her overcoming her loss of legs.

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. 

 

All in all, not too many issues here. Just a few tweaks for clarity's sake. Thanks for taking the time to read and make notes on my query! Best of luck to you on your journey :)



#58 darsenault

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:07 AM

I specifically looked for your query because I saw the quality feedback you left others, and now I'm just disappointed. Your query is excellent, and I don't think I can leave any feedback that the commenters above haven't already hit. I hope you're querying already, and I want to read the novel when it's out! 

 

Good luck!



#59 rhwashere

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:59 PM

Thanks! Sorry to disappoint. 😉

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


#60 ltlibrarian

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 11:07 AM

Just to avoid critiques for things I’ve already changed, here’s the latest:

Dear [Agent],

In the underwater kingdom of Syren, (age?) Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down, making her an object of ridicule to other Seafolk. - this isn't quite a hook to me. The beginning is good, but it seems to be missing those stakes to really draw the reader in

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. 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 whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace. - solid, and good adding of worldbuilding

When Ondine catches the king’s spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she immediately tells her father, but he doesn’t believe her. There are only two who do: Antipater, the royal adviser who knows her better than anyone, and a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. But after the spymaster turns up dead, she learns that the real traitor is Antipater himself. - good intro of love interest and intrigue

Ondine knows she has to find a way to stop him, even though he’s like a second father to her. Because if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren. - good stakes

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.

 

This seems like it's pretty much perfect, all I would suggest working on is writing a hook that really tugs readers in and makes them want to read more. Hope that helps!


Looking for feedback on my query, will return the favour!

 

Website: http://ltlibrarian.com - book reviews, round-ups, quotes, writing tips, etc.

Twitter: @lunchtimelib

 






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