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Nightsworn - Adult Contemporary Fantasy (New Post #59)

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#1 galian84

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 10:23 PM

Newest revision in Post #59. As always, critiques and brutal honesty always appreciated. Also happy to reciprocate (please let me know if I've missed a reciprocal critique)!

 

REVISION #1

 

Briella Forthyss is on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a physician and winning a crosscountry championship for her college. Until she runs into part elf, part demonDusk during her daily jog, and plunges headfirst into his web of shadow,deceit, and murder. 

An assassin turned fugitive from another world, Dusk sees Briella as a kindhearted young woman who he’s going to charm, pursue, and seduce to gain her trust. He succeeds, and Briella agrees to help him hide out in her town. 

Too bad she had no idea how dire Dusk’s, and now her situation really is. Beyond his crimes from his own world,Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, out of self-defense. And it’s not just local police investigating. A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world hasfollowed him, hell-bent on bringing Dusk back in chains, or even better,headless. He uses Briella as bait, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation prize, dead or alive.

Now, she has no choice but tostick with Dusk, for bad or for worse, if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world, or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

ORIGINAL

 

When Briella Forthyss meets Dusk, her perfectly mapped out plans are turned upside down faster than she can say “medical school” and “graduate college”. Dusk is part elf, part Syl—a breed of demon—and an assassin and fugitive from another world, who pursues Briella in a bid to help him survive in her town in northern Florida State. Seductive and mysterious, she falls for him, and he draws her into his life of shadow, deceit, and murder.

 

First, Briella learns that Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, even if it was only out of self-defense. Then, local authorities come knocking on her door, suspicious of her involvement with him.

 

Soon after, she survives an attack by a hooded assailant, and a horrific realization hits: A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell bent on making Dusk pay for the crime that forced him to flee their world in the first place. Stalking, watching, and waiting for the right time to pounce, he turns Briella into an unwilling pawn in his deadly game of cat and mouse. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her and Dusk back to his world in chains, or bring home their heads.

 

With the authorities and bounty hunter quickly closing in, Briella and Dusk must watch their every step, or they’ll wind up imprisoned, on this world or another. That is, if either of them live long enough to see tomorrow.

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 97,000 words, and is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.



#2 Arait

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:31 PM

I am so inexperienced at this, so I can't give you real specific advice except just how I felt reading through this. I like the flow of most of it. The tension builds smoothly. Except for the second paragraph which feels just a little abrupt, like the voice of the story totally changed.

At the risk is sounding hypocritical because my MC also falls for a boy who she knows from the start is deeply involved in illegal stuff, I can't figure out why Briella likes Dusk. She'd go through all this risk for him just because he's seductive? I kinda found myself wondering why doesn't she just dump him?

Also, I thought this sentence was kind of cumbersome:
Dusk is part elf, part Syl—a breed of demon—and an assassin and fugitive from another world, who pursues Briella in a bid to help him survive in her town in northern Florida State.

Maybe you could split it into two? There are a lot of "and"s and "in a bid...in her town...in northern..." feels a little awkward. What exactly do you mean by "in a bid" anyways?

Well other than those things, I like the way you built the tension for the story and showed what was at risk. I think it's pretty good, for what the opinion of a noob is worth.

#3 Nessa

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:03 PM



Been a lurker on this forum ever since I joined and have seen some wonderful critiques and advice given. I've beat this QL to death and my head is actually starting to hurt from reading it over and over so much and trying to find things to fix. It's about as polished as I can make it at this point and I look forward to reading your critiques and constructive criticism. Without further ado:

 

When Briella Forthyss meets Dusk, her perfectly mapped out plans are turned upside down faster​[This is a little too vague. You can introduce the concretes of her plan sooner.) than she can say “medical school” and “graduate college”​[I don't know much about med school, but my first impression is that med school and graduate college are the same thing.]. Dusk is part elf, part Syl—a breed of demon—and an assassin and fugitive from another world​[Where does she meet Dusk? My biggest issue here is that you're going from what seems to be contemporary to what clearly is fantasy. You'll need to smooth out your transition. Your genre says Fantasy, but the query shouldn't whiplash between tone.], who pursues Briella in a bid to help him survive in her town in northern Florida State​[What is the bid? Why does he need help to survive? I'm not quite sure of what's going on.]. Seductive and mysterious, she falls for him, and he draws her into his life of shadow, deceit, and murder.​[Vague. Go for concrete details.]

 

 

 

First, Briella learns that Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, even if it was only out of self-defense. Then, local authorities come knocking on her door, suspicious of her involvement with him.​[Why was Dusk attacked?]

 

 

Soon after, she survives an attack by a hooded assailant​[This reads as too casual. I think it's the "soon after." But I'm also not feeling the brief mention of "hooded assailant."], and a horrific realization hits: A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell bent on making Dusk pay for the crime that forced him to flee their world in the first place​[What's the crime?]. Stalking, watching, and waiting​[These words take up too much space for the same idea.] for the right time to pounce, he turns Briella into an unwilling pawn in his deadly game of cat and mouse​[Careful of clichés: hell bent, game of cat and mouse, etc. Sometimes clichés work (if they blend in with the voice), but I don't think they work here.]. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her and Dusk back to his world in chains, or bring home their heads.​[I don't have a sense of why they both are in trouble.]

 

 

With the authorities and bounty hunter quickly closing in, Briella and Dusk must watch their every step, or they’ll wind up imprisoned, on this world or another. That is, if either of them live long enough to see tomorrow.​[Cliché.]

 

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 97,000 words, and is a standalone with series potential.​[Lately, I've been seeing a lot of flack against "with series potential" from agents and agent interns on Twitter. I recommend you ditch it. Stick with "NIGHTSWORN, an Adult contemporary fantasy, is compete at 97,000 words" and add two comp titles if you have any. Side note: if you want to get specific with subgenre, contemporary fantasy traditionally refers to fantasy in a modern environment, and urban fantasy traditionally refers to fantasy in a city environment. I also don't recommend using NA as a category because it's not really a successful genre in traditional publishing.]

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

 

I'm also more than happy to return the favor and critique your queries. Just send me a link to your QL, if it's not already in your signature, and I'll get to it as soon as I can. Also been having some trouble with comp titles and fitting it into a particular subgenre, so I've not included those in the letter, as of yet.

Thanks so much in advance!


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#4 TClark

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

Been a lurker on this forum ever since I joined and have seen some wonderful critiques and advice given. I've beat this QL to death and my head is actually starting to hurt from reading it over and over so much and trying to find things to fix. It's about as polished as I can make it at this point and I look forward to reading your critiques and constructive criticism. Without further ado:

 

When Briella Forthyss meets Dusk, her perfectly mapped out plans are turned upside down faster than she can say “medical school” and “graduate college”. Pick one or the other, adding both expressions is unnecessary. Dusk is part elf, part Syl—a breed of demonToo much info right off the bat. The first paragraph should be quick and precise. Try something like, "Dusk is part elf and demon." and an assassin made (too many "ands") fugitive from another world, who pursues Briella in a bid to help him survive in her town in northern Florida State. Seductive and mysterious, she falls for him, and he draws her into his life of shadow, deceit, and murder.

 

The intro paragraph should be sweet and to the point. You're adding far too much extra detail.

 

 

 

First, Briella learns that Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, even if it was only out of self-defense. Maybe ditch this part, although the line can work with the extra detail. Then, local authorities come knocking on her door, suspicious of her involvement with him.

 

 

Soon after, she survives an attack by a hooded assailant, and a horrific realization hits: A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell bent on making Dusk pay for the crime that forced him to flee their world in the first place. <--- I want this entire sentence to be re-written. It is way too wordy. Stalking, watching, and waiting for the right time to pounce, he turns Briella into an unwilling pawn in his deadly game of cat and mouse. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her and Dusk back to his world in chains, or bring home their heads.

 

 

With the authorities and bounty hunter quickly closing in, Briella and Dusk must watch their every step, or they’ll wind up imprisoned, on in this world or another. That is, if either of them live long enough to see tomorrow.

 

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 97,000 words, and is a standalone with series potential.

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

 

I'm also more than happy to return the favor and critique your queries. Just send me a link to your QL, if it's not already in your signature, and I'll get to it as soon as I can. Also been having some trouble with comp titles and fitting it into a particular subgenre, so I've not included those in the letter, as of yet.

 

Thanks so much in advance!

 

So your query letter isn't bad but it contains far too much extra detail than what is necessary for a query letter. I recommend removing some details and reworking some clunky sentences. 



#5 Wayfarer

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:28 PM

I will be reviewing your query, but not until its second revision. The reason being the above critics noted many of my own issues, so repeating them would add nothing. Looking forward to the next draft.



#6 PureZhar3

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:03 PM

Been a lurker on this forum ever since I joined and have seen some wonderful critiques and advice given. I've beat this QL to death and my head is actually starting to hurt from reading it over and over so much and trying to find things to fix. It's about as polished as I can make it at this point and I look forward to reading your critiques and constructive criticism. Without further ado:

 

When Briella Forthyss meets Dusk, her perfectly mapped out plans are turned upside down faster than she can say “medical school” and “graduate college”. Dusk is part elf, part Syl—a breed of demon—and an assassin and fugitive from another world, who pursues Briella in a bid to help him survive in her town in northern Florida State this last clause could be condensed. Seductive and mysterious, The way this is phrased, it almost sounds as if she's seductive/mysterious she falls for him, and he draws her into his life of shadow, deceit, and murder.

 

 

 

First, Briella learns that Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, even if it was only out of self-defense. Then, local authorities come knocking on her door, suspicious of her involvement with him.

 

 

Soon after, she survives an attack by a hooded assailant, and a horrific realization hits: A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell bent on making Dusk pay for the crime that forced him to flee their world in the first place what is this crime/why does the bounty hunter care? Again, not a big thing, but my brain did go there. Stalking, watching, and waiting for the right time to pounce, he turns Briella into an unwilling pawn in his deadly game of cat and mouse. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her why her? just because she's involved with Dusk? and Dusk back to his world in chains, or bring home their heads. it might be more powerful if you tried something like "back to his world - chained or headless."

 

 

With the authorities and bounty hunter quickly closing in, Briella and Dusk must watch their every step, or they’ll wind up imprisoned, on this world or another. That is, if either of them live long enough to see tomorrow.

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 97,000 words, and is a standalone with series potential.

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

 

I'm also more than happy to return the favor and critique your queries. Just send me a link to your QL, if it's not already in your signature, and I'll get to it as soon as I can. Also been having some trouble with comp titles and fitting it into a particular subgenre, so I've not included those in the letter, as of yet.

 

Thanks so much in advance!

Good query! Overall, I understand it. I think my biggest problem with it is that it doesn't grab me... it doesn't make me perk up and say "oh now, this is different!" I think it's because you've given me the stakes, but I don't necessarily care about the characters. I also don't totally understand why Briella is almost as hunted as Dawn. It would help if you specified what Dawn's crime was, and who the characters are (so that I can start to care). Hopefully that helps!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#7 galian84

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 05:31 PM

Just wanted to stop in and say you guys are amazing, and thank you so much for taking the time to critique my QL. I've carefully read all your responses and critiques, and it's given me a lot of info to marinate on. I'll post my revised version when I come up with something workable :)



#8 galian84

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:05 AM

Put up Revision #1 in original post. Thanks again to all who critiqued my QL! Made this new version more targeted at Briella and hopefully her motivation and the stakes are more clear. Also cut out ~40 words, as well.



#9 Wayfarer

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:37 AM

Briella Forthyss is on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a physician and winning a cross-country championship for her college. Until she runs into part elf, part demon Dusk--a demonic elf--during her daily jog, and plunges headfirst into his web of shadow, deceit, and murder. 


An assassin turned fugitive from another world, Dusk seeks refuge in this one. He sees Briella, as a kindhearted as she is, young woman who as someone he can charm, pursue, and seduce into helping him to gain her trust. He succeeds, and Briella agrees to help him hide out  him in her town.

Too bad she had no idea how dire But Dusk's situation is dire, something Briella soon understands. He is being hunted by both the police of this world, for the three he killed in town, and a bounty hunter from his own, hellbent on bringing him back either in chains, or headless. and now her situation really is. Beyond his crimes from his own world,Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, out of self-defense. And it’s not just local police investigating. A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world hasfollowed him, hell-bent on bringing Dusk back in chains, or even better,headless. He uses Briella as bait, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation prize, dead or alive. (Use her as bait for what exactly? The police? The hunter? Both? To what end?)


Now, Ensnared in Dusk's fight, Briella has no choice but to stick with him Dusk, for bad or for worse, if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world, or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.

 

 



#10 Nessa

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:43 AM

REVISION #1

 

Briella Forthyss is on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a physician and winning a crosscountry championship for her college.​[This is clearer and more concrete, but it's not very intriguing.] Until she runs into part elf, part demonDusk during her daily jog, and plunges headfirst into his web of shadow,deceit, and murder. ​[First 1/2 is clearer, but last half is still vague.]

An assassin turned fugitive from another world, Dusk sees Briella as a kindhearted young woman who he’s going to charm, pursue, and seduce​[You've already used a list in the first paragraph. I wouldn't do it again, especially so close.] to gain her trust. He succeeds​[There's not enough of a bridge between the prev sentence and this sentence to show that Briella trusts Dusk. We're ​told​, but that's not enough.], and Briella agrees to help him hide out in her town. 

Too bad she had no idea how dire Dusk’s, and now her situation really is​[Awk wording.]. Beyond his crimes from his own world,Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, out of self-defense.​[Why was he attacked?] And it’s not just local police investigating. A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world hasfollowed him, hell-bent on bringing Dusk back in chains, or even better,headless. ​[This is better than in the prev version.]He uses Briella as bait, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation prize, dead or alive.​[So he's going to go home with Briella as a trophy? Isn't he wanted dead? Or is he taking her down with him if the hunter grabs him?]

Now, she has no choice but tostick with Dusk, for bad or for worse, if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world, or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.​[Could shorten. You also want to end with a stronger stake than "surviving to see her graduation day."]


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#11 PureZhar3

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 06:15 PM

Briella Forthyss is on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a physician and winning a cross country championship for her college. Until she runs into part elf, part demonDusk during her daily jog, and plunges headfirst into his web of shadow,deceit, and murder. It's too early for an incomplete sentence. Also, the last bit of this sentence could be more descriptive (webs of shadow, deceit, and murder could apply to any number of books)

An assassin turned fugitive from another world, Dusk sees Briella as a kindhearted young woman who he’s going to charm, pursue, and seduce to gain her trust. Interesting. But why? Also charm/seduce are a bit redundant He succeeds, and Briella agrees to help him hide out in her town. 

Too bad she had no idea how dire Dusk’s, and now her situation really is. Too bad is too informal/subjective. Also this sentence is exceedingly vague Beyond his crimes from his own world,Dusk is wanted for killing three people in her town, out of self-defense. And it’s not just local police investigating. A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell-bent on bringing Dusk back in chains, or even better,headless. He uses Briella as bait, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation prize, dead or alive. This sentence is much better!

Now, she has no choice but to stick with Dusk, for bad or for worse, if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world, or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.

 

Overall, this is much better! I like the beginning and end, it's simply the middle that I'm struggling with. There's quite a bit going on, but I don't have an clear picture of what that is. Try to give us more specifics.

 

Hopefully that helps!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#12 galian84

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 10:18 PM

Thanks so much for your feedback! Will be taking in all your suggestions tonight and tomorrow and will post a revised version when I have one. Also, if I haven't critiqued your query, please send me a link. I'd love to return the favor!



#13 galian84

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:24 AM

Revision #2:

 

Briella Forthyss doesn’t believe in elves or demons. So when she runs into strange, shadowy Dusk during her daily jog, she brushes him off. Especially when he claims to be both of the above, and an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world, to boot.

 

Until Dusk starts turning up everywhere she is, seducing and persuading her into hiding him in her college town.

 

No sooner had Briella agreed to help him, the local police show up at her doorstep, and she narrowly escapes a poisoned arrow aimed for her heart. Then, the truth comes out, straight from Dusk’s mouth. Beyond his crimes from his own world, he’s also wanted for killing three people in her town. And that poisoned arrow? A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell-bent on bringing him back in chains, or even better, headless. He uses Briella as bait to draw Dusk out, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation

prize, alive or dead.

 

Ensnared in Dusk’s fight, Briella has no choice but to stick with him if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.



#14 PureZhar3

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:36 PM

Revision #2:

 

Briella Forthyss doesn’t believe in elves or demons. So when she runs into strange, shadowy Dusk This is confusing, because people won't be sure what you're referencing (it won't necessarily occur that it is a name. Perhaps just say man, then later say that he claims his name is Dusk) during her daily jog, she brushes him off. Especially when he claims to be both of the above, and an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world, to boot.

 

Until Dusk starts turning up everywhere she is, seducing and persuading her into hiding him in her college town.

 

No sooner has Briella agreed to help him, the local police show up at her doorstep, and she narrowly escapes a poisoned arrow aimed for her heart. The sentence structure here could be cleaned up. Then, the truth comes out, straight from Dusk’s mouth. There needs to be a transition, but the former sentence is too long about achieving it Beyond his crimes from his own world, he’s also wanted for killing three people in her town. And that poisoned arrow? A bounty hunter from Dusk’s world has followed him, hell-bent on bringing him back in chains, or even better, headless. He Specify that it's the bounty hunter uses Briella as bait to draw Dusk out, and has no qualms about taking her home as a consolation

prize, alive or dead. This confuses me tense-wise. It's hard to tell if this is happening, will happen, or might happen.

 

Ensnared in Dusk’s fight, Briella has no choice but to stick with him if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment—on this world or another—and surviving to see her graduation day.

Definitely progress! I felt a greater sense of tension this time :)


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#15 Wayfarer

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 01:49 AM

Briella Forthyss doesn’t believe in elves or demons. So when she runs into a stranger named strange, shadowy Dusk who happens to be both during her daily jog, she brushes him off. But when Dusk begins turning up everywhere she is, she can't help but notice him.

 

As their relationship develops, Dusk reveals to Briella that he isn't just an elvish demon, but an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world. He seduces her, and persuades her into helping him remain hidden in her college town from those who hunt him.

 

Dusk reveals to her then that it isn't only a bounty hunter from his home world that hunts him, but her own local police as well. Ensnared in Dusk's fight, Briella has no choice but to stick with him if she has any hope of avoiding imprisonment-on this world or another.- and surviving to see her graduation day.

So I rewrote most of it, because most of it is messy. I'm not saying use what I've written, but take the advice that's implied in how I rewrote it. You have too many details going on, and it inhibits the flow of the query, and the readers understanding of it. Simplify it to the meat of the story. This is a lesson I'm still learning myself, so I empathize with the difficulty of the task.



#16 galian84

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:39 AM

Thank you guys for your help, once again. It's definitely a learning process!



#17 galian84

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:44 PM

Okay, needed a few days away from this, but here's the newest revision. Took me awhile to learn that query-writing is a totally different beast than writing the novel, itself! Definitely a headache-inducing process, at times, figuring out how to maintain tension and include all the necessary detail without overdoing it.   

 

Anyway, without further ado. A little better? As always, critiques much appreciated!

 

 

REVISION #3

 

Briella Forthyss planned to spend her last college months finalizing medical school plans and competing for a cross country championship. Instead, she’s hiding an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world.

 

Finding three dead bodies is the last thing Briella thought she’d see during running practice. Days later, she literally runs into striking, unusual Dusk, and she’s drawn to his mystique, giving bloom to an uneasy relationship. He asks for help to survive in her town until he can get home, and Briella agrees, never one to turn away someone in need.

 

The ugly truth hits her when local police show up at her doorstep, and an arrow strikes dangerously close to her heart. Part elf and demon, Dusk is exiled from his world for killing a prominent figure. And those dead bodies? He’s suspected in their murders, too. A bounty hunter is also hot on their trail, his goal to bring Dusk back in chains. Or even better, headless. Accusing Briella of guilt by association, he’s happy to take her as a consolation prize, alive or dead, if she won’t give him up.

 

Dusk assures her that they’ll get through this together. But now, she’s not sure she still trusts the man who knowingly got her into this mess. Yet, handing Dusk over means trusting that the bounty hunter won’t kill or imprison her when he gets what he wants. One wrong word or move could see her physician and championship dreams – or her life – snuffed out.

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 98,000 words, and is an adult contemporary urban fantasy, with elements of romance and high fantasy, told in dual POVs. 



#18 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 03:40 PM

Okay, needed a few days away from this, but here's the newest revision. Took me awhile to learn that query-writing is a totally different beast than writing the novel, itself! Definitely a headache-inducing process, at times, figuring out how to maintain tension and include all the necessary detail without overdoing it.   

 

Anyway, without further ado. A little better? As always, critiques much appreciated!

 

 

REVISION #3

 

Briella Forthyss planned to spend her last college months finalizing medical school plans and competing for a cross country championship. Instead, she’s hiding an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world. ​SO much better as a hook!!

 

​Three dead bodies is the last thing Briella thought she’d see during running practice. Days later, she literally runs into striking, unusual Dusk, and she’s drawn to his mystique, giving bloom to an uneasy relationship. ​You gloss over those dead bodies wayyyy too easily. Tell me what she does in response - reports them and goes home? Freaks and pretends she didn't see them? He asks for help to survive ​surviving in her town until he can get home, and Briella agrees, never one to turn away someone in need.

 

The ugly truth hits her when local police show up at her doorstep, and an arrow strikes dangerously close to her heart. ​a literal arrow? Because right now it sounds as if what the police are saying strikes her with fear Part elf and demon, Dusk is exiled from his world for killing a prominent figure. ​are the police telling her this? how did she find all this out? And those dead bodies? He’s suspected in their murders, too. A bounty hunter is also hot on their trail, his goal to bring Dusk back in chains. Or even better, headless. ​I wouldn't use any incomplete sentences in the query Accusing Briella of guilt by association, he’s happy to take her as a consolation prize, alive or dead, if she won’t give him ​Dusk up.

 

Dusk assures her that they’ll get through this together. But now, she’s not sure she still trusts the man who knowingly got her into this mess. Yet, handing Dusk over means trusting that the bounty hunter won’t kill or imprison her when he gets what he wants. One wrong word or move could see her physician and championship dreams – ​and her life – snuffed out.

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 98,000 words, and is an adult contemporary urban fantasy, with elements of romance and high fantasy, told in dual POVs. 

​The hook is great, but the rest of it isn't as strong as it could be. Things aren't flowing as well as they should be - I'm not getting as good of a sense of pacing and plot. You also used a lot of sudden punches (i.e. "yet", "buts", all those moments where the plot thickens) which work well, but in this case your query felt oversaturated with them. Now every sentence can be a "but the plot twists and thickens!" moment, or we're left with a vague sense of plot and feel a bit overhyped. That third paragraph, try to step back and tell us in straightforward prose what's happening without aiming for any dramatic moments. The content is dramatic enough that the writing shouldn't have to be.

 

​I would appreciate it if you would check out the newest version of my query. The link is in my signature and my newest draft is in the original post. Thanks :)


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#19 galian84

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:13 PM

Thanks, Pure! You've made some really good points. I definitely think it could have been better, but just wasn't sure how exactly to go about doing so. Your suggestions are excellent. I'll go ahead and take a look at your new query, as well :) I actually wandered over to your thread earlier but I couldn't find your newest version, which I must have overlooked, but now I know where to find it.



#20 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:37 AM



Okay, needed a few days away from this, but here's the newest revision. Took me awhile to learn that query-writing is a totally different beast than writing the novel, itself! Definitely a headache-inducing process, at times, figuring out how to maintain tension and include all the necessary detail without overdoing it.   

 

It IS headache-inducing, isn't it? But oh, so worth it when you wind up with an excellent query! :)

 

Anyway, without further ado. A little better? As always, critiques much appreciated!

 

 

REVISION #3

 

Briella Forthyss planned to spend her last college months finalizing medical school plans and competing for a cross country championship. Instead, she’s hiding an assassin-turned-fugitive from another world. [I really like this hook opening. It definitely has me asking: "What? Why? TELL ME MORE!"]

 

Finding three dead bodies is the last thing Briella thought she’d see during running practice. Days later, she literally runs into striking, unusual Dusk, and she’s drawn to his mystique, giving bloom [this word brought me up short, and not in a good way. "Giving rise" is the usual turn of phrase, and reads better IMO] to an uneasy relationship. [How is it uneasy? Sexual tension? Emotional mistrust? Does something about him make her suspicious? A word or two here would add more emotional juice to the query.] He asks for help to survive in her town until he can get home [Where? What's preventing him from going home? Is he not telling her, and that's where the uneasiness comes from?], and Briella agrees, never one to turn away someone in need. [This is a good touch, it gives her emotional appeal as a character.]

 

The ugly truth hits her when local police show up at her doorstep, and an arrow strikes dangerously close to her heart. Part elf and demon, Dusk is exiled from his world for killing a prominent figure. And those dead bodies? He’s suspected in their murders, too. A bounty hunter is also hot on their trail, his goal to bring Dusk back in chains. Or even better, headless. Accusing Briella of guilt by association, he’s happy to take her as a consolation prize, alive or dead, if she won’t give him up. [WOW! Lots of great tension packed into this paragraph. Now I'm eager to read the book!]

 

Dusk assures her that they’ll get through this together. But now, she’s not sure she still trusts the man who knowingly got her into this mess. Yet, handing Dusk over means trusting that the bounty hunter won’t kill or imprison her when he gets what he wants. One wrong word or move could see her physician and championship dreams – or her life – snuffed out. [Killer last paragraph. I can't find anything to crit in this one.]

 

NIGHTSWORN is complete at 98,000 words, and is an adult contemporary urban fantasy, with elements of romance and high fantasy, told in dual POVs. 

 

 

This sounds like a novel I would want to read, even though it's not usually my preferred genre. You sell it well -- the query, IMO, just needs a few more tweaks. Nicely done!







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