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The Shirk Master (Fantasy) - Will Critique Back

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#41 Bkrasnik

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:48 PM

Changed up some things, primarily in the beginning.

 

It look me six drafts to finally get what so many critiques were saying about the "save the world" line. I always had it in my mind to mean it is an issue of them lacking the ability, not the will to the save world. Sorry  I was so slow with that.

 

Thank you for all of the invaluable help. I'll reciprocate any critiques as always.

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

 

Draft 7

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Ohshus is a mediocre Binder—a melder of magical forces—and not one for politics. But losing a civil war within his Binding Order upends everything, forcing him to abandon his quiet research, the only thing he loves.

 

With his reconstituted Order now wanting him dead, Ohshus flees known civilization for distant lands beyond their reach. This way leads through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. They restlessly rove the Barren Wastes, each capable of catching and crushing a mount in its jaws.

 

To survive this, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader. His arcane skills can’t hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman, threatening the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff

 

 

 Dear Agent,

 

Ohshus is a mediocre Binder—a melder of magical forces—and not one for politics. But losing a civil war within his Binding Order upends everything, forcing him to abandon his quiet research, the only thing he loves. (I agree with mkuriel on this part)

 

With his reconstituted Order (What is this reconstituted Order exactly? I need some clarification here.) now wanting him dead, Ohshus flees known civilization for distant lands beyond their reach. This way leads through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. They restlessly rove the Barren Wastes, each capable of catching and crushing a mount in its jaws. (You gave too much time to these beasts. We will have a chance to get all the gory details when we read your book. I would say delete the last sentence.)

 

To survive this, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is (why are these guys also desperate? Needs more context). But Ohshus is not a capable leader. His arcane (I looked at synonyms for arcane, and I am not sure how this word makes any sense here.) skills can’t hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. (So he recruited a band of fighters to get through the shuuv and find the distant lands? I feel like this needs something more, escaping beasts just doesn’t feel like enough to uphold a plot.)

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman, threatening the world they just left behind (Why is the world he left behind important to him? Based on the information given, it seems like a bad place). But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world (If you say they can’t save the world, it gives away some mystery that might be nice here). They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff

 

I think there needs to be more plot elements added into your query to give your story more depth. Maybe giving more information about the young woman and her threat can help. Good luck!   


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#42 cmmg

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 10:57 AM

Changed up some things, primarily in the beginning.

 

It look me six drafts to finally get what so many critiques were saying about the "save the world" line. I always had it in my mind to mean it is an issue of them lacking the ability, not the will to the save world. Sorry  I was so slow with that.

 

Thank you for all of the invaluable help. I'll reciprocate any critiques as always.

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

 

Draft 7

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Ohshus is a mediocre Binder—a melder of magical forces—and not one for politics. But losing a civil war (Does he really lose it, or is he on the losing side? This implies that he's somehow at the top, and I think that's at odds with you describing him as mediocre ) within his Binding Order upends everything, forces him to abandon his quiet research, the only thing he loves. (This does a good job at introduce the character's personal struggles and goals, but you can strengthen the wording and the goals here are not the same as the goals he has elsewhere)

 

With his reconstituted Order now wanting him dead (I think this is a bit wordy, but maybe it's just me), Ohshus flees known civilization for distant lands beyond their reach. This way leads through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. They restlessly rove the Barren Wastes, each capable of catching and crushing a mount in its jaws. (Something about the transition between these sentences can be improved but I can't put my finger on it. "This way leads" feels discordant in tone a little to the preceding sentence and the "this" was a little confusing for me at first. And the "they restlessly rove" seems off. It's mostly the "they" I think the second half of that sentence is good but the transitions don't feel right. Also not sure the last sentence is necessary)

 

To survive this, Ohshus recruits and attempts (even though you're using attempts to imply he's bad at it, I think the thing  is he does lead them. Even if it's poorly. And adding attempts weakens the sentence) to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader. His arcane skills can’t hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other (I really like the last two sentences, they give a good sentence of the conflict!). Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman, threatening the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves. (ALSO I feel like the "They can't save the world" thing here is not really literal. Everyone seems to take this literally, but I took this as a voice thing, to emphasis that they are up against insurmountable odds (I mean, they might save the world after all) if you were going for that, I'd leave it.)

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff

 

The only thing that I'm sort of concerned with, is that I'm not clear about the win/loss scenario here. I think there's an engaging hook, and the obstacles and complications at the end feel very real, but how does Ohshus win? He's fleeing, but is it to somewhere specific? Is this a "once he reaches location X he will be granted asylum!" situation? You make it more clear how he can lose (by being eaten) but by not making it clear how he wins, it's harder to figure out what he wants/his motivation. I mean, I get that he wants to survive, but I feel like maybe it can be a little more clear how they save themselves.

 

On the other hand, if this is a "I must live out the rest of my life as a fugitive" situation, then I don't know what to tell you. I mean, if he has to hide forever, there's no real to occur there, so his motivation will feel a little stagnant after a while (though in the book I assume he'll have to deal with the ancient power and he'll have new goals cropping up.) I'm not sure if I'm articulating this in an understandable way, but I'm not really sure how he can achieve his ultimate motivation, if that makes sense.

 

In terms of the second paragraph, I do think it's important that you mention he's feeling to a land beyond their reach, only because it gives some sense of his ultimate goal, but the focus on the shuuvs is a bit long.

 

I'm not sure that the hook misleads the query, but I do think it could be more connected and some information could be better integrated. You could even conceivable start with "After picking the losing side of a civil war, Ohshus must flee known civilization for distant lands beyond the reach of his former Binding Order." or something. You want to get across that he's an academic and not good at politics, but I'm not sure that matters to the rest of the query. And there are other ways to insert that, especially when talking about how he sucks at leadership.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#43 TeaTime

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 04:30 PM

Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I'll reciprocate any critiques as always.

 

I've changed up the beginning, hopefully it's a bit better.

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

 

Draft 8

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics. Content in the quiet research he loves so much, fallout from a civil war in his wizard’s Order suddenly forces him to abandon everything to run for his life.

 

With his reconstituted Order executing dissenters, Ohshus flees known civilization for distant regions beyond their reach. This way leads through expanses restlessly held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader. His arcane skills can’t hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman, threatening the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff


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


#44 Bkrasnik

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 05:09 PM

Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I'll reciprocate any critiques as always.

 

I've changed up the beginning, hopefully it's a bit better.

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

 

Draft 8

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics (I love this beginning, it has a nice comedic touch to it that get's me hooked). Content in the quiet research he loves so much (You don't want to say content and loves so much, it is redundant; Pick a better synonym for loves so much and do that one), fallout from a civil war in his wizard’s Order (what is this order exactly? I think you should clarify this for the reader) suddenly forces him to abandon everything to run for his life. (Good, gives a sense of urgency.)

 

With his reconstituted Order executing dissenters(I don't see how dissenters makes sense here and I still have no idea what this "order" is.), Ohshus flees known civilization for distant regions beyond their reach (Beyond whose reach?). This way leads through expanses restlessly held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader. His arcane skills can’t hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control (I think if you could elaborate on what you mean by this it would add a lot of value to your story. Losing control, like losing his mind? Or are the band of fighters rebelling against him?) Get into the specifics here). Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman, threatening the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff

This version is definitely better than the last, especially the hook and the third paragraph. But I feel like you are not providing enough details on what exactly the journey of these band of fighters entails, except that there are shuuv's and Ohshus is afraid of losing control. I want details. What are some of the specific obstacles that they face on their journey? What is the transformation of character as a result of this journey? 

 

Also, if you bring up this ancient power threatening the world they left behind, but they don't intend to do anything about it, why are you even bringing it up? Because it sounds like this is a huge threat, but instead of seeing how the wizards respond to it, they are more worried about just surviving and fighting off shuuvs. 

 

Also, I liked how you said he is "terrible at politics," but your query never addresses that again. In order to keep this, you would need to elaborate on this.


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#45 TeaTime

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 08:14 PM

This query has changed a bit since the last draft, let me know what you think.

 

As always, I'll reciprocate any queries.

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

 

Draft 9

 

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics. But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life.

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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


#46 Bkrasnik

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 12:37 AM

This query has changed a bit since the last draft, let me know what you think.

 

As always, I'll reciprocate any queries.

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

 

Draft 9

 

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics

But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life.

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. (I think you need to paint a stronger and more detailed visualization of their journey--what are some obstacles along the way and what kind of conflicting interests exist that can create conflict? If you give us a taste of that, we will be more engaged.)

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with— (delete the "--", unnecessary) and that she threatens the world they just left behind (Is there something that Ohshus left behind in the old world that is important to him? If so, I think you should bring it up, because this will create higher stakes. But if he left nothing behind, why should the reader care that the old world is being threatened? We have no emotional attachment there.) . But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Besides my comments in blue, everything else looks good! 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#47 Caligulas

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 05:45 PM

This query has changed a bit since the last draft, let me know what you think.

 

As always, I'll reciprocate any queries.

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

 

Draft 9

 

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics. But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life.

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. (Very good opening. You only don't need the words 'but' or suddenly' in the second sentence)

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. (Again, really good. Opened with the inciting incident, the character's attempt to fix, and the ongoing problem)

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves. (Snags here for me. What does it matter if she threatens a world left behind? It's left behind and then you add they can't save it anyway? Is this a bit of sarcasm? If so it's too subtle. Be a little more direct here. What threat does she pose to MC? What will he have to do to overcome it? What bad thing might happen if he does overcome it? Then you'll be left with stakes. This is REALLY good and almost there. You just need the final punch. I'd appreciate if you took a look at my query for When I See Me. :))

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#48 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 07:49 PM

This query has changed a bit since the last draft, let me know what you think.

 

As always, I'll reciprocate any queries.

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

 

Draft 9

 

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics. (I like this line! I'm not sure you need the em dash though) But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life. (I'm a little confused here because I'm not seeing the connection between being a wizard and any type of research. My idea of a wizard deals with magic.)

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged (Are these creatures created by the people of this world? "Gouged" implies that they're not natural. I'm not really sure "gouged" is the right word) with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus (Poor Ohshus isn't good at much, haha. This is all very good, though!) is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. (This part about the ancient power seemingly comes out of nowhere and seems a bit vague.) It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with— (delete the em dash) and that she threatens the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Is this a journey for Ohshus to prove himself an effectual leader? It sort of sounds like it could be. If so, I think that journey could be alluded to a little more in the final paragraph. It sounds like a great story, though, and I was very entertained by the query!


Any help with my query would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#49 W.P.

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 07:48 AM

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics. But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life. ((I like the first line, but the two first sentences seem stitched together and don't flow very well. I suggest some rewording))

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. ((I like the conflict and stakes, but I have yet to be given a reason to care. I think it might be the lack of characterisation? I don't have a feel for the main character or nay other character and so I don't feel connected. In queries, we get a feel for the character through their decisions and actions, but all Ohshus's actions were for survival--things we ourselves would do. nothing specific to hint at character. so I'm having a hard time understanding who he is. If that makes sense))

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves. ((loved the two last sentences. made me chuckle.)

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

 

The beginning could be improved but the ending is really nice. I think the query could do with a bit more character. The stakes are clear and the conflict as well, but not Ohshus. Anyway, I hope this helps. :)

 

 

My query: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=357968



#50 TeaTime

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:51 PM

Thanks everyone, I've revised the beginning & ending a bit. I will reciprocate any critiques as always.

 

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

 

Dear Agent:

 

Ohshus had expected to spend his life researching magic and avoiding politics at all costs. Political fallout from a civil war, however, forces him to abandon everything to run for his life.

 

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. Responsibility has always been something for Ohshus to avoid, but maybe this time it’s really out of his hands.

 

He and his company probably can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff


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


#51 Caligulas

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 06:06 PM

Thanks everyone, I've revised the beginning & ending a bit. I will reciprocate any critiques as always.

 

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

 

Dear Agent:

 

Ohshus had expected to spend his life researching magic and avoiding politics at all costs. Political fallout from a civil war, however, forces him to abandon everything to run for his life.

 

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. Responsibility has always been something for Ohshus to avoid, but maybe this time it’s really out of his hands.

 

He and his company probably can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Contact Stuff

 

I won't go line by line because it's mostly the same up top (though not sure why you split the fleeing sentence from the opening paragraph). This is better. I see a little more detail on the adventure and I, personally, have enough info on MC. Especially, considering this seems more like a plot based story. It snags still a bit at the end for me. When you say they inadvertently awaken her, I'm wondering if you can be more specific? They kick over a rock that opens the tomb she was locked in? They trip over her leg? If it's something you can describe in a sentence or two, I'd say do it. It'll make what she IS a little more concrete. You call her an ancient power but I'm not able to visualize how battling her might look because it could be like fighting a God or Godzilla, if you get what I mean. The falling in love part makes it harder too because that almost conflicts with the ancient power. I'm kinda of thinking of a sexy Goddess like whatever-her-name-villain was from Suicide Squad, lol. But that might be way off which is why it would help to give me a little more. And again, still not sure why a left behind world is part of what's at stake. It's kind of like saying, "This monster is going to eat my baby!" (Oh no!) "...and smash the car I junked last week!" (Oh...kay...?). Still think this is pretty good, just need some clarity. Would you mind taking a gander at my redo for When I See Me? :P



#52 W.P.

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 02:24 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Ohshus had expected to spend his life researching magic and avoiding politics at all costs. Political fallout from a civil war, however, forces him to abandon everything to run for his life. ((I actually think the first line of your first query flows better than this one. I think the transition feels stitched together. which is normal after many revisions--trying to piece everything together.))

 

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. ((This reads a bit "distant." Reads very much like a query, for sure, but it also sort of removes the attention from the main character. Like he's just a detail in the sentence, not the active character. Just by writing him as the subject of the sentence, makes it sound much stronger, like, As he flees known civilisation, he crosses expanses held.... But that's just my opinion. Writing is very subjective.))

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead ((this is hinting what you say in the next sentence. could be removed to make for a shorter, stronger sentence)) a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays  ((they stray? to make the sentence flow better)) from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. ((This sounds very important. I wonder if we could get a few details just to "ground" the idea. It's very vague like this. How did they awaken it? Was she held somewhere?)) It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. Responsibility has always been something for Ohshus to avoid, but maybe this time it’s really out of his hands.

 

He and his company probably can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

I hope this helps. :) 

 

I have rewritten my query. If you could take a look at it again, it'd be great. http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=358017



#53 kat8

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:46 PM

This query has changed a bit since the last draft, let me know what you think.

 

As always, I'll reciprocate any queries.

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

 

Draft 9

 

Dear Agent Name:

 

Ohshus is a mediocre wizard—and terrible at politics (I see what you're going for, but it didn't quite get me because politics and wizardry are not exactly related). But political fallout from a civil war suddenly forces him to abandon his comfortable research and run for his life (starting this sentence with but confused me because it doesn't seem to contradict anything in the previous sentence).

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they (who, his group of warriors?)inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise (awkward word choice) of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind (ohhh I like this sentence :) ). But Ohshus and his company can’t save the world (what is this referring to?). They'll be lucky if they can save themselves.

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word adult fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I can see the outline of your story, but I'm a little confused about the bit at the end about awakening an ancient power. It doesn't seem related to most of the earlier query. I can see most of the stakes, though, and where your story is going, which is the most important part of a query :)

 

If you have the time, I'd appreciate it if you could take a look at my query, linked in the signature below!


My query: 27 Club


#54 bookgirl_kt

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Posted Yesterday, 09:49 AM

Here are my suggestions:

Dear Agent:

 

Ohshus had expected to spend his life researching magic and avoiding politics at all costs. Political fallout from a civil war, however, forces him to abandon everything to run for his life. The first sentence is great. The second one is clunky, and you've repeated "politics" twice without explaining anything about what politics looks like on his world.

 

Fleeing known civilization leads him through expanses held by the shuuv—hulking lion-like beasts crudely gouged with human features. One paragraph sentences work well when used for emphasis, but having too many of them gets rid of the emphasis, and I'm not sure why you'd pick this one for special focus.

 

To survive, Ohshus recruits and attempts to lead a band of fighters as desperate as he is. Interesting and I wonder if there's a way to insert a little detail about the group. But Ohshus is not a capable leader—not even his arcane skills can hide that for long. The further their company strays from civilization, the more Ohshus fears he's losing control of their diverging interests. Holding them together may be the only thing that can keep them alive, both from the shuuv and from each other. Are the shuuv intelligent? I've gotten mixed impressions. It's a minor point but I am curious if these are people or more of generic fantasy-world monsters.

 

Matters spin further out of his grasp when they inadvertently awaken an ancient power in the guise of a young woman. It’s too bad she’s so easy to fall in love with—and that she threatens the world they just left behind. Nice twist. Responsibility has always been something for Ohshus to avoid, but maybe this time it’s really out of his hands.

 

He and his company probably can’t save the world. They'll be lucky if they can save themselves. Not a bad clincher, but it has been used before. I wonder if there's a way to put your own twist on it. A big theme in your query has been how your MC avoids responsibility, maybe you could combine your  third to last sentence in here to work that in?

 

THE SHIRK MASTER is a 115,000-word fantasy novel. This story is a standalone with series potential.

 

Hope I've helped! A link to mine is below.







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