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Age of Exploration-Historical Fantasy


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#1 AndrewF

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:09 AM

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks.

 

Dear Agent   

  

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks under orders to the island of Arcadia to patrol its vast and perilous river system. Beyond Arcadia’s pristine shore is a town on the verge of revolution. Will learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.       

 

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord. Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home. With the help of a local girl, he might have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord hellbent on liberating his Orcs. 

 

 

When given the opportunity to escape the carnage that surrounds him, Will recalls the slaughter of his shipmates and clenches his fists. The Orcs are pillaging what they can, destroying what they can’t, and killing all who stands in their way. Forsaking survival, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest to prevent another slaughter. No war hero, Will is nonetheless determined to save the helpless from the warlord’s fury. This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.     

 

AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History.  This story is a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission.      

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

  • Who is the hero? Will
  • What does he want? Peace and to survive
  • Who/what is opposing him? Warlord/ orcs
  • What happens if he fails to get what he wants? Destruction/ death
  • How long is the book? 95,000 words
  • What genre is the book? Historical Fantasy
  • What are the comp titles? GOT and LOTR
  • What do we know about the author? I have no experience   


#2 JRUET

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:18 PM

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle. This reads like publisher hype, while it might be correct and even interesting, it's best left out of your query. Young is this YA? If so it might be helpful to list an age, if not you could probably leave the descriptor out all together as to avoid confusion over genre Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies this is good, I know character motivation right off the bat. He’s promised a small plot of land in exchange for two years’ service and embarks to the island of Arcadia This could probably be left out unless it's super critical to the plot, it reads as background info. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but is ordered to patrol Arcadia’s vast, and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs. So I'm a little confused by setting here- is he in Britannica, Arcadia, somewhere else? Are they the same place maybe? Also, unless you're truely trying to spin this as a Lord of the Rings book (which I'd advise against as Tolkien is literally the fantasy story standard) you might want to consider giving your Orcs a different name 

         

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. During his imprisonment, Will learns of the coming war between the warlord Orcs seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron fisted will to rule. When Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired Anyone who's ever seen a film about war can visualize the scene here, save your descriptions for something we need help picturing. He must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home as he struggles to survive I'm not sure this is doing anything to help you. It's not negative, just not really adding to the story. With the help of a native native to what? cuz up until now you've lead me to believe the land is mainly inhabited by orcs, and I'm assuming she's not one... Also, where did this girl come from all of a sudden? girl named Victoria, he might just have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s (control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s furythis is somewhat confusing word order/ choice as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold. Will is no war hero but he is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight. Through that determination, he chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord butcher.

 

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000 word Historical I'm not sure you've explained the history aspect here- I don't see a glaring connection to anything in world history. Maybe, maybe a slight connection to the conquest of the Mississippi River, but it's a stretch from this query, and if that's your intension, you might want to be careful who your comparing the Orcs to... Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. This story is a standalone novel with series potential.      

   

Thank you for your time.  

 

So I like your basis, but I'm having a bit of a difficult time seeing what sets your story apart from the actual LotR, Shannara Chronicles, etc. You started out strong with Will's motive, but then you kind of lost his characterization, leaving me feeling a bit underwhelmed as to why he's the hero/ I should root for him/ what makes him unique in a sea of amazing fantasy heroes?

 

Next, (feel free to disregard if you have a reason for this and/or don't like the advice) I'm a little concerned by your name choices. As previously mentioned, the Orcs obviously belong to LotR, and your main character, Will, is also the main character of the Shannara Chronicles (a LotR inspired fantasy adventure tale) second book which was recently made into a series on MTV and has gained popularity since. My concern for you is these two similarities will at best conjure images for the reader from those books as cause a comparison, (and in the nicest way possible, you probably don't want to be compared to Tolkien ;) and at worst will seem like you're ripping off ideas from other, previously established fantasy giants. Again, not having red your manuscript, I can't say if this was purposeful, so take it with a grain of salt. 

 

Hope this helps with revisions and isn't too harsh!

 

I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks!http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-2nd-revision-options/#entry353277



#3 AndrewF

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:50 PM

Thank you for your critique. 

 

This book is not young adult, I'm afraid I have too much killing in my story for that. 

 

"He’s promised a small plot of land in exchange for two years’ service and embarks to the island of Arcadia This could probably be left out unless it's super critical to the plot, it reads as background info."

 

I'll take this out, good tip. 

 

"He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs. So I'm a little confused by setting here- is he in Britannica, Arcadia, somewhere else? Are they the same place maybe? Also, unless you're truely trying to spin this as a Lord of the Rings book (which I'd advise against as Tolkien is literally the fantasy story standard) you might want to consider giving your Orcs a different name "

 

Will grows up in Britannica, wants to leave and travels by ship to Arcadia where the Orcs are. He reaches Arcadia at the outbreak of war. As far as I know there is no copyright on Orcs, they are used all over from LOTR to Blizzards WOW to games like warhammer and countless others. Orcs are as common as dwarfs and elves. 

 

"With the help of a native native to what? cuz up until now you've lead me to believe the land is mainly inhabited by orcs, and I'm assuming she's not one... Also, where did this girl come from all of a sudden? girl named Victoria, he might just have a chance."

 

The island of Arcadia is comprised of Orcs, native humans and Britannica's soldiers and civilians. I'll have to make that clear in the query sorry. 

 

"So I like your basis, but I'm having a bit of a difficult time seeing what sets your story apart from the actual LotR, Shannara Chronicles, etc. You started out strong with Will's motive, but then you kind of lost his characterization, leaving me feeling a bit underwhelmed as to why he's the hero/ I should root for him/ what makes him unique in a sea of amazing fantasy heroes?"

 

So you're saying I should take out some backstory and talk more about Will? I can do that. 

 

 "As previously mentioned, the Orcs obviously belong to LotR, and your main character, Will, is also the main character of the Shannara Chronicles (a LotR inspired fantasy adventure tale) second book which was recently made into a series on MTV and has gained popularity since."

 

I'm not worried about using the term Orc, I have no knowledge of the Shannara Chronicles but I guess if my character is similar that would be a problem, Will is just a popular name that I like so I picked that name.



#4 Emily804

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 07:49 PM

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks

Dear Agent   

 

 

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle. Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He’s promised a small plot of land in exchange for two years’ service and embarks to the island of Arcadia. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but is ordered to patrol Arcadia’s vast, and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.  

         

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. During his imprisonment, Will learns of the coming war between the warlord seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron fisted will to rule. Battle for control of the island begins and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home as he struggles to survive. With the help of a native girl named Victoria, he might just have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold. Will is no war hero but is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight. Through that determination, he chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord butcher. who threatens to kill them all. (You could put something else there too I just wouldn't use the word butcher. When I first read it, I took it literally and had to reread the paragraph to figure out who the butcher was, before realizing you meant that he butchers people.)

 

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The AGE OF EXPLORATION <--title doesn't need to be in all caps and italicized, one or the other works fine is a 95,000 word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. This story is a standalone novel with series potential.      

   

Thank you for your time.  

 

Sincerely,

This is very well written. I would say that it seems like it is a bit on the detailed side though. My comments are above. I hope this helps!


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


#5 PureZhar3

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:00 PM

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks

Dear Agent   

 

 

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.

​paragraph break

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He’s promised a small plot of land in exchange for two years’ service and embarks to the island of Arcadia. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but is ordered to patrol Arcadia’s vast, ​no need for comma here and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.  ​This paragraph is good :)

         

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. During his imprisonment ​this is probably just me, but I think it would make more sense to here say "While imprisoned", Will learns of the coming war between the warlord seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron fisted will to rule. ​this sentence is a mouthful - try to cut it down. "While imprisoned, Will learns of an impending Orc rebellion against the tight-fisted Britannica" or some such thing, Battle for control of the island begins​comma and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. He must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home as he struggles to survive ​this might just be me, but the first and second clause of this sentence seem redundant: if he has to do the first three things, of course he's struggling to survive. It might read more naturally if you rephrased it as something such as "To survive, he must...". With the help of a native girl named Victoria, he might just have a chance. ​I think you could probably scrap this whole sentence. While telling us about the story, I think it detracts from the more interesting conflict. If you absolutely must keep the native girl in, try to integrate it into the last sentence. Meanwhile, Britannica’s control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold ​I think this, like some other sentences, has the potential to read smoother. Switch the clauses - "Meanwhile, people flee to Britannica's last stronghold as government control crumbles to the warlord's fury." Will is no war hero but is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight ​Again, I think that this could be made smoother - I also think this sentence runs the risk of being repetitive. Maybe just focus in on his desire to save people "Will isn't a war hero, but he's determined to keep everyone alive" or "Will isn't a war hero, but he's determined to stay alive - and help everyone else do the same." (I would also avoid saying that "he is no" because that sounds more continuous than "he isn't" i.e. he is not yet​... one makes it sound as if he will remain a not-war-hero throughout the whole book, while the other gives potential for growth) I am also unsure of the continuity, because this sounds more as if Will is selfless and focused on others, whereas the rest of the query seemed focused on his survival, and his alone. Those are slightly contrasting pictures that are being drawn... not a big deal, but something to be aware of. Through that determination ​don't repeat a form of the word determined (though if you must, use 'with' rather than 'through'). Try a synonym - "Filled with zeal,", he chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord butcher. ​Something about "warlord butcher" as a phrase doesn't work for me. I think you could come up with a stronger phrase.

 

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000 word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. ​The Lord of the Rings is an inappropriate comp, while Game of Thrones technically works, but everyone is using it these days, so if you want to actually tell the agent something about your books based on this, try to find different comps. This story is a standalone novel with series potential.      

   

Thank you for your time.  

 

Sincerely,

This is good! Don't be alarmed by the massive red - most of my issues were minute, having to do with phrasing/wording things so that they flowed better. You seem to have a pretty solid query here; it needs a bit of polish still, but otherwise I think it's ready to go.


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


#6 IslaCaribbe

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:23 AM

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks.

 

Dear Agent   

 

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.  [huh?]

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia under orders to patrol its vast and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.          

     

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. During his imprisonment, Will learns of the coming war between the warlord seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron fisted will to rule. Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through gun smoke as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home, with the help of a local girl, he might just have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold. Will is no war hero but is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight. He chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord.      [wait, so the whole story is just him trying to escape the orcs? that's like one battle. is there a bigger picture here I'm not seeing? All I read is: Guy wants to chill on a island. It's covered in orcs. Battle breaks out. He survives with a girl. there needs be a choice here. maybe he has to choose between himself and the girl. Maybe he has to renounce his alliances and find ways to connect with the orcs if he will survive. Some sort of twist that tests his character and keeps him from getting what he wants.]

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The Age of Exploration is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. This story is a standalone novel with series potential.           

 

Thank you for your time.  

 

 

This is my old one below, you can disregard, thanks for reading.

 

Dear Agent   

 

 

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle. Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He’s promised a small plot of land in exchange for two years’ service and embarks to the island of Arcadia. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but is ordered to patrol Arcadia’s vast, and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.  

         

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. During his imprisonment, Will learns of the coming war between the warlord seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron fisted will to rule. Battle for control of the island begins and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. He must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home as he struggles to survive. With the help of a native girl named Victoria, he might just have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold. Will is no war hero but is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight. Through that determination, he chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord butcher.

 

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000 word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. This story is a standalone novel with series potential.      

   

Thank you for your time.  

 

Sincerely,


Check out my query if you have time: A Goddess Calls


#7 AndrewF

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:35 PM

 [wait, so the whole story is just him trying to escape the orcs? that's like one battle. is there a bigger picture here I'm not seeing? All I read is: Guy wants to chill on a island. It's covered in orcs. Battle breaks out. He survives with a girl. there needs be a choice here. maybe he has to choose between himself and the girl. Maybe he has to renounce his alliances and find ways to connect with the orcs if he will survive. Some sort of twist that tests his character and keeps him from getting what he wants.]

 

 The books follows Will from lowly recruit through the horrors of war. He just wanted a bit of adventure sailing the seas but he finds himself flung into so much more. He makes lots of choices about his survival and there are many major battles. I just didn't want to go into too much detail. Mostly because I have tried that people told me my query read more like a summary. 

 

He also finds out the Orcs aren't all terrible, they are mostly fighting for their own freedom, with the exception of a few Orcs who just want war and death.  



#8 lnloft

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:47 AM

Happy to help out. :smile:

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks.

 

Dear Agent   

 

From beautiful island colonies to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.  I always advise just leap right in with your main character. Besides, this line is far too generic; it could be referring to any number of stories.

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. Will hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia under orders to patrol its vast and perilous river system. He arrives to find Arcadia on the verge of revolution and learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs. Hmm... I think this is the right content for your hook, but it's feeling like it's presented a little blandly right now. Like joining the navy and finding an island of orcs are as noteworthy as going down to the store to buy some milk. I think you're going to have to play around with this to see how you can make it snappier. One thing that might help is varying up the sentence structure a bit. All of them start with Will (or "he" referring to Will) as the subject.        

      

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed and captured by a cunning Orc warlord. While imprisoned This is the second sentence in a row that starts with "While", Will learns of the coming war between the warlord seeking freedom and Britannica’s iron - [insert hyphen] fisted will to rule So, a couple things here. One, the war can't really be between a warlord and a "will to rule". Second, you said the island was on the verge of revolution and the orcs have already attacked them, so I was assuming that they were either already at war or pretty clearly on the verge, which means Will learning about it makes Will seem rather short-sighted.. Battle for control of the island begins It just... begins? There's probably a more exciting way to reveal this, and Will slips away through gun smoke as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home, with the help of a local girl, he might just have a chance. Read this sentence again. It's a run-on. Meanwhile, Britannica’s control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as people flee to Britannica’s last stronghold Too many "Britannica's" in one sentence, and also are they fleeing the island or just to somewhere else on the island?. Will is no war hero but is determined to survive, and save those too weak to fight. He chooses to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord. Wait, I'm confused. To me it seemed the story was going to be about Will just trying to get out and survive, but suddenly he's a guy who wants to protect the weak (which comes out of nowhere) and he also suddenly is back with his fellow soldiers to join in the fight. So what is the main crux of the story? Is it about him trying to survive? Or fighting the orcs? You need to be clear about it.     

 

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and History. The Age of Exploration AGE OF EXPLORATION [all caps your title, and also, is AGE OF EXPLORATION, or THE AGE OF EXPLORATION? You've got "the" at the beginning, but not italicized, so I'm not sure. If it's not part of the title, leave it out.] is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones Sorry, these are not appropriate comps. You want to avoid super popular and successful things, and things that have been turned into movies. Otherwise it seems that a) you have a bloated sense of how successful your book will be, and b) maybe your only familiarity with the genre is through watching movies/tv shows.. This story is a standalone novel with series potential. This is under multiple submission.           

 

Thank you for your time.  

 

 

You've got an interesting and unique premise, but the query is a bit muddled right now. I'm not quite sure about what the story is and therefore what the stakes are. Is it a story of survival? A story of a battle where who's right and who's wrong might not be as clear cut as originally thought? I think if you start from the point of nailing exactly what kind of story you're trying to tell and then working your query to lead up to that would help you a lot. Good luck.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#9 AndrewF

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:57 PM

Thank you Inloft, I've tried to incorporate a few of your changes. Below is the information I want to convey in my query letter. As for my comparison books, I want this to become at least a trilogy and be as successful as those. If this does not one day become a movie/ series I will consider it a failure.

 

  • Who is the hero? Will
  • What does he want? Peace and to survive
  • Who/what is opposing him? Warlord/ orcs
  • What happens if he fails to get what he wants? Destruction/ death
  • How long is the book? 95,000 words
  • What genre is the book? Historical Fantasy
  • What are the comp titles? GOT and LOTR
  • What do we know about the author? I have no experience


#10 lnloft

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

As for my comparison books, I want this to become at least a trilogy and be as successful as those. If this does not one day become a movie/ series I will consider it a failure.

  • What are the comp titles? GOT and LOTR

Don't we all want that, man, don't we all.

 

I definitely dream of seeing my book on the big screen one day. But first I dream of seeing my name on the shelf in a bookstore. And before that I dream of an agent saying she wants to represent me. One step at a time.

 

Comparing your book to GOT and LOTR may be accurate (I obviously haven't read your book, so I wouldn't know), but agents don't want to see those comparisons. If that's what you're using as comps, the agent might think that's all your exposure to fantasy, and that means you haven't gone very in-depth in the genre and therefore don't know it too well. I know, that doesn't necessarily make sense, but that's how it is. So for the sake of your own success, you don't want to use them. Find something a little lower down in the totem pole of success. Since you're advertising as historical fantasy, look there. One thing that comes to mind for you to look at is Naomi Novik's Temeraire series. It's the Napoleonic Wars, but with dragons. Which honestly seems a little more on par with your story than GOT or LOTR anyway, as your premise seems as though it can be extremely simplified to "British Imperialism, but with orcs." Again, I'm not saying whether your comparison is accurate or not, I'm just saying that you're doing something agents won't want to see, so it's not going to help you.

 

I'll also note to keep your standards of success/failure in check. Yeah, having a movie would be AWESOME, but lack thereof does not indicate failure. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series was never adapted for the screen, nor has anything by Brandon Sanderson, but referring to those as failures would be a huge oversight. Really, even just getting published is a huge success in of itself. Think about it: first you've convinced a complete stranger to work with you, who will then go convince someone else to spend money on you, all so other strangers can pay money to read what you've created. If that's not success, I don't know what is. I'm definitely not trying to trample your dreams, but keep in mind that success doesn't only mean billion-dollar blockbuster.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#11 AndrewF

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:37 PM

Has everyone lost interest?



#12 Wayfarer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:12 PM

Are you returning critiques, and taking the initiative to critique others queries in order to earn their reciprocation?



#13 AndrewF

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:19 AM

Are you returning critiques, and taking the initiative to critique others queries in order to earn their reciprocation?

 

I would if I had anything to offer, i'm rather new and inexperienced at writing a query letter. That's why i'm here!

 

I'll give it a try though



#14 PureZhar3

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:09 AM

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. Will ​He hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia under orders to patrol its vast and perilous river system. Behind Arcadia’s pristine shores is ​(this doesn't match... it should either be "shore is" or "shores are") a town on the verge of revolution and Will learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs.

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord and his inexperience fades with the slaughter of his shipmates ​not totally sure what this last clause "his inexperience...shipmates" means. I would cut it or majorly rephrase it. Will slips ​escapes through the gun smoke​, intent on survival.  and chaos and focuses on survival. He must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home; with the help of a local girl, he might have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord’s fury as he is hellbent on liberating his Orcs. Innocent people are caught in the middle, and Will ​is? no war hero, but is determined to survive, and prevent another slaughter ​are you referring back to the initial slaughter of his shipmates?. As a lowly recruit, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest, and clash swords with the warlord. This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the ​resulting carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.
​You're using a lot of unnecessary "and"s... try to vary sentence structure
AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History. This story​, a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission. 


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


#15 PureZhar3

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:16 AM

 

Thank you Inloft, I've tried to incorporate a few of your changes. Below is the information I want to convey in my query letter. As for my comparison books, I want this to become at least a trilogy and be as successful as those. If this does not one day become a movie/ series I will consider it a failure.

 

  • Who is the hero? Will
  • What does he want? Peace and to survive  ​I have a few thoughts on this, which might serve to strengthen your query. First of all, these motives (as they are portrayed in the query) show Will initially trying to navigate through the island (presumably trying to get off it) in order to SURVIVE. Then you have his motive for PEACE to have him fighting against the Orcs. However, these two motives are contrary to each other... if he really wants to live he's going to get out of the battle despite the people who are dying. But if he wants to save innocent lives, he's going to join the battle, even though he could die. Now, both of these desires will and should be present, but you need to figure out which one is more important to him, and make that clear in the query. So far, it seems as if he's putting survival as the highest priority, until you bring in the fact that he's no war hero and that he wants to save lives. This jump is logical enough (person is trying to survive, but then they see how many people can't escape, and they have a heart so they go and help), but you need to show us what causes the shift in motive. I.e. "as Will is about to escape a boat from the island, he looks back at the war and recalls the slaughter of his shipmates. Forsaking survival, he goes and helps."
  • Who/what is opposing him? Warlord/ orcs
  • What happens if he fails to get what he wants? Destruction/ death
  • How long is the book? 95,000 words
  • What genre is the book? Historical Fantasy
  • What are the comp titles? GOT and LOTR ​Inloft had some excellent points about the comp titles... for some agents, they will automatically reject based off these comps. 
  • What do we know about the author? I have no experience

 


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


#16 PureZhar3

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:18 AM

I would if I had anything to offer, i'm rather new and inexperienced at writing a query letter. That's why i'm here!

 

I'll give it a try though

 

​That's okay - most of us are new and inexperienced :) Critiquing other people's queries is how you learn - it shows you what works and what doesn't work, so that you get better at writing queries and at critiquing them. Everyone will (or should) take your critiques with a grain of salt, so it's okay if all of your comments aren't spot-on. You'd be surprised how much it helps your overall writing. So go ahead and jump in... it'll increase traffic to your topic and it will give you experience.


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


#17 TeaTime

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 09:13 PM

Dear Agent   

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He hopes for a peaceful time (Maybe use something like "career" instead here, as "time" sounds sound more one-offish) sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks (I would put "ordered to" or "assigned to" right away here.) to the island of Arcadia to patrol its vast and perilous river system. Behind Arcadia’s pristine shore is a town on the verge of revolution and Will learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs (Is this something that Britannica has been trying to keep secret, because otherwise wouldn't all the world know about this? (unless they just very very recently setup a colony on the island)).

 

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord. Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home. With the help of a local girl (If there's anything interesting or different about the girl, I'd add it. Otherwise I might cut her one mention here), he might have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord hellbent on liberating his Orcs.  

 

When given the opportunity to escape the carnage that surrounds him, Will recalls the slaughter of his shipmates and clenches his fists. Forsaking survival, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest to prevent another slaughter. Will is no war hero but is determined to save the helpless from the warlord’s fury. This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.   (I'd leave this out entirely. This is basically what your query has already said, in less flowery, more effective language.)

  

AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones (Way, way too big comp titles. Aim for successful, but not mega successful, as others have noted). I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History (Tie this even more directly into how it helped you write this story, if possible).  This story is a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission(This is assumed by agents)

 

This version is definitely much improved from some of the past ones I've read. It's getting tighter & more succinct. Keep up the good work  :cool: 


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


#18 PureZhar3

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:24 PM

 

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks.

 

Dear Agent   

 

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia to patrol its vast and perilous river system. Behind Arcadia’s ​But eyond the pristine shore is a town on the verge of revolution. and Will learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs. 

 

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord. Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home. With the help of a local girl, he might have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord hellbent on liberating his Orcs.  

 

When given the opportunity to escape the carnage that surrounds him, Will recalls the slaughter of his shipmates and clenches his fists ​I really like what you're trying to do with showing us his action, but clenching the fists is too mundane of an action. Perhaps tell us about how his feet will no longer move, or the guilt for leaving the innocent consumes him. Forsaking survival, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest to prevent another slaughter. Will is no war hero but is determined to save the helpless from the warlord’s fury. ​This sentence could be stronger if you wrote it as such: "No war hero, Will is nonetheless determined to save the helpless from the fury of the warlord." Or something like that, which doesn't utilize the "but" This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.   

  

AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History.  This story is a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission.    

 

I think the final paragraph is much stronger! Excellent update. It can still use some polishing, but you're headed in the right direction in terms of continuity.


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


#19 AnnDayleview

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:10 PM

Dear Agent   

 

 

[I think you need to set the scene a bit more with this. When I read the first bit my thoughts are Historical Fiction or Steam Punk. Make your first sentence calling out your character's age and ground us in the genre.]

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia to patrol its vast and perilous river system [This makes me think Amazon!]. Behind Arcadia’s pristine shore is a town on the verge of revolution and Will learns the rumors back home are true: the island is plagued with savage Orcs. [I think drawing a tighter connection between these two points would go a long way to getting your reader hooked. Are the orcs the ones plotting the revolution? Who is it against and how is Britannica involved?]   

 

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord. [Here I want to know more about Will's personal investment. Why should he care who controls the island? Why does the orc seek him out?Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through thick jungle, and find his way home. With the help of a local girl, he might have a chance. Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord hellbent on liberating his Orcs. [This last sentence sets up the conflict in a way we haven't seen before. I think this is stronger than having the orc warlord ambush them. This gives us a reason and should be mentioned further up.]  

 

When given the opportunity to escape the carnage that surrounds him, Will recalls the slaughter of his shipmates and clenches his fists. Forsaking survival, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest to prevent another slaughter. Will is no war hero but is determined to save the helpless from the warlord’s fury. This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.  [I think you should delete this paragraph. Typically, you only have two paragraphs of plot summary before you go into your meta data. The information here doesn't focus on your stakes and that's where you need to end on. What does Will risk and what happens if he fails.

  

AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History [Good, shows you know what you are talking about!].  This story is a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission.    

 

 

*If you are struggling to pinpoint the right information to pull into your query I made this tool that might help: https://www.anndayle...-Idea-Generator

 

Good luck!



#20 Kelz1990

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 11:26 AM

 

I have posted this here once before and have received great feedback, thank you for your help. My novel is now complete and I am looking for advice on my query letter, I hope this does not read too much like a synopsis. I look forward for your feedback, thanks.

 

Dear Agent,   

 

 

Young Will Raynor joins the Navy to escape an ever-industrializing Britannica and its polluted skies. He hopes for a peaceful time sailing the high seas, but his ship embarks to the island of Arcadia to patrol its vast and perilous river system. Behind Arcadia’s pristine shore is a town on the verge of revolution and Will learns the rumors back home are true: (replace colon with dash) the island is plagued with savage Orcs.    

 

While sailing downriver, Will and his crew are ambushed by a cunning Orc warlord. Battle for control of the island begins, and Will slips away through the gun smoke and chaos as the opening shots are fired. To survive, Will must outwit bloodthirsty Orcs, persevere through the thick jungle, and find his way home. With the help of a local girl, he might have a chance. How does his come across this girl? How did they meet? Meanwhile, Britannica’s iron-fisted control over the island crumbles to the warlord hellbent on liberating his Orcs.  I'd rework this into an earlier paragraph so it doesn't sound like you're switching POV's.

 

When given the opportunity to escape the carnage that surrounds him, Will recalls the slaughter of his shipmates and clenches his fists. Forsaking survival, Will chooses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Britannica’s finest to prevent another slaughter. Will is no war hero but is determined to save the helpless from the warlord’s fury. This book follows Will from his arrival on a beautiful island colony to the carnage of war - an epic tale of empire versus rebellion and a young man thrust into battle.   What happens if he doesn't win? What are the stakes? This would be a good place to mention that instead of just starting the sentence with "Forsaking survival."

  

AGE OF EXPLORATION is a 95,000-word Historical Fantasy novel and will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Don't use those comps as they are considered "blockbuster titles." Inloft's suggestion would be good. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in both Business and Military History.  This story is a standalone novel with series potential, it is under multiple submission.    

 

 

 

 

        

 

  • Who is the hero? Will
  • What does he want? Peace and to survive
  • Who/what is opposing him? Warlord/ orcs
  • What happens if he fails to get what he wants? Destruction/ death Mention that toward the end of your query to heighten the excitement
  • How long is the book? 95,000 words
  • What genre is the book? Historical Fantasy
  • What are the comp titles? GOT and LOTR Again, don't use those
  • What do we know about the author? I have no experience   

 






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