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YA Fantasy, send help!


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#1 SnowFox23

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:35 AM

UPDATED AGAIN.

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Nightling is cursed with eternal winter, and if the cold does not kill you, then the Queen gladly will.

 

After enduring seventeen years of cruelty from human beings, the mute Queen Lux has banished everyone but her animals from her Kingdom. Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her beloved wolf, Leod, who accepted and loved her when no one else would. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who taught her sign-language and interprets for her when visitors come knocking.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to leave Nightling and navigate a new world without a voice to help her through. And when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are awaiting execution in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals. 

 

But if she does not leave Nightling, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 70,000 words. It is a fairy tale with dirt under its fingernails. And is a mix of Three Dark Crowns and Born Wicked.

 

I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am studying a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism. I also make small talk with strangers so I can pat their dogs.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 



#2 IslaCaribbe

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:46 AM

When the King kills himself in his throne [sounds weird, need a smoother way to start the query], he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases, [no comma needed] and the darkness that never ends.

 

After enduring seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants[hard to read], Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron door Nightling hides behind[hard to read and confusing]. Not that many do. Eternal night keeps people away just like the river of poison that runs snake-like through the blackened trees of the Dead Forest. [so far your main character doesn't seem very likeable. all we know is she's mute (no idea why) and she hates people]

 

Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who leant her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. [okay HERE is where the story really begins. you wasted three paragraphs before getting to the real action. condense all that backstory up there to something simple: king killed himself, now she's queen of a dead land, she's mute, and her animals are all that matters. Also, why is everything dead? It can't be much of a kingdom if there isn't anything to barter or trade so there's no economy. something to think about]

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.  [sorry, I just don't find this very compelling. I don't feel sorry for a hateful, silent girl who has to go out into the bright, living world. It doesn't sound scary. There are no stakes and no consequences.]

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. [but she likes the darkness, so that's not really a punishment for her... there are no stakes here.]

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW, AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 67,000 words.

I am a member of AgentQueryConnect and I have studied a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism.

 

 

[okay condense this. you should be able to explain the backstory in about three sentences and then get to the good stuff - her animals going missing. when you get to that, give an example of how they saved her and why we should care about her and her animals. right now all I know is the character hates everyone silently. I need to know why I should care about her. Then throw in the stakes and the consequences and make them matter. queries are hard. keep at it! you got this!]


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


#3 IndusiumGriseum

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:48 AM

I think you did a good job with establishing the stakes. I would actually start the query from the second paragraph--the first paragraph is all backstory. The second paragraph is where the story actually starts. I think you could also give us more clues into who the villain is so that we can get a better idea--it might give the note some more dramatic weight. Not a bad job overall!


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#4 Nonicks

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:21 AM

Sounds like a cool read. But it doesn't look like YA to me, more like a middle grade.



#5 Springfield

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

When the King kills himself in his throne, In? he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases, and the darkness that never ends. Why not just anyone who seeks refuge (from....?)  behind the kingdom's gates eventually goes mad (from shoveling?).

 

After enduring seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, This needs some kind of explanation or replacement -- traitorous how? Also why are vagrants in any position to treat the princess of the kingdom any which way? Lux has learnt Unless you're British querying only Brits... to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron door Nightling hides behind. Not that many do.Further complicates the above. Eternal night keeps people away just like the river of poison that runs snake-like through the blackened trees of the Dead Forest.You're harping. What is her problem?

 

Alone in the dark, Ohmigod Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who leant Eh? her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. Finally

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW, AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 67,000 words.

I am a member of AgentQueryConnect and I have studied a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism.

 

This just keeps repeating things. We finally get her problem, and it's nice -- but then it goes noplace. It's a mystery she has to solve, but there's no hint of the action she takes save to go look -- who might have done it, etc., or the stakes. 



#6 PureZhar3

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:27 PM

When the King kills himself in his throne ​suicide? you need to clarify this, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. ​I think this hook could be much better if you switched around the clauses - "Lux, a mute princess, inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling when her father kills himself in his throne. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling​comma and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases, and the darkness that never ends. ​Choose three of these... I would probably eliminate "the darkness never ends". That's assumed if the sun never shines.

 

After enduring seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron door Nightling hides behind. ​not really sure what you mean by this. Also, were the vagrants and her father humans? Are humans not native, though? Not that many do. Eternal night keeps people away just like the river of poison that runs snake-like through the blackened trees of the Dead Forest. ​I have no context for any of this.

 

Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who leant her his voice, because she was robbed of her own. ​Not sure if you mean these literally

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. ​I'm not really sure what the stakes are, yet...

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW, AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 67,000 words.

I am a member of AgentQueryConnect and I have studied a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism.​ Do you have this, or have you just studied? Make this clear.

​The stakes are a bit on the low side. Also, you reference a lot of places and events that we don't know/have context for. Try to dig in to the intriguing parts of the story, and keep it plot-oriented. As it is, this all feels a bit disjointed and certain parts seem unrelated.


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


#7 SnowFox23

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:54 AM

REVISED!

 

When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate Nightling hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.



#8 Dasein

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:08 AM

Ooh, this is nice. Great images. I think you can leave out a few parts to make it more concise. I have deleted them below.


When the King kills himself, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate Nightling hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness all alone.

#9 Bibliophyl

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:51 PM

Hope my fresh eyes can be of use!

 

When the King kills himself in his throne [awkward wording...could just say "After the king commits suicide..." Some added specificity would be great too; "When the king hangs himself/takes poison/slits his wrists..." Would help set the scene a bit] , he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends. Great start otherwise!

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate Nightling hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. I find myself wanting to know more about the antagonist here. Who wrote this letter? I think expanding that would help heighten the tension and stakes. 

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

This definitely sounds interesting, and I wish you the best of luck!



#10 JRUET

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:15 PM

Note: I didn't not read former renditions/critiques so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)

 

When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling, and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad (by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.) this bit is good imagery, but repetitive on the heels of "sun never shines... etc bit)

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants I'm having a hard time undertanding why vagrants would come to a land of "dark, cold, madness" and once they're there, why are they even in contact with this princess?, Lux has learned ( seen you're from Australia/ New Zealand, so this edit will be wholly dependent on where you're sending your query :) to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate of Nightling hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of by her beloved animals: Her an adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did would, and her cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. Here I might just give the gist of the note "a note threatening her companions lives if she doesn't leave Nightling" istead of the direct wording. 

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her. But if she doesn't not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. 

 

Right now I'm not sure why she wouldn't want to leave Nightling, or exactly why it's cursed. I do understand the stakes, but there isn't enough drama/suspense/danger to really make me wonder what's going to happen. I have no clear "bad guy" to root against, nor does it seem like a huge sacrifice to leave a dark/cold/miserable existence. I think what's happening is you're too close to your story, so as you write your query you're filling in the excluded info in your head and it makes sense, but you have to remember that your reader can makes small guesses, but we're basically clueless to everything except what you're telling us (which is good, if we can figure it out that means the story to trite/ unoriginal). If you've had any beta readers I'd ask them to outline the three most important things about your novel (if not do it yourself). You need to be able to explain in a concise and interesting way what Lux wants (to get her animals back/safe), what's stopping her (unsure), and what the stakes are if she doesn't (having the animals be gone isn't really enough, you need an obvious catastrophe) 

 

Hope this helps :)

 

I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks!http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-last-revision-before-initial-inquiries/?p=353277



#11 AnnDayleview

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 11:40 AM

REVISED!

 

When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends. [Great way to ground us in the world!]

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has learnt to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate Nightling hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of her beloved animals: Her adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own. [Curious as to how her voice was robbed, was she born mute? Consider setting this up earlier if she lost it. Also this paragraph was a bit disorienting because it feels like we were bounced back in time. If she inherits at the begining of the novel consider exploring how her life has changed (or not changed) now that she is queen.]

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her. [I think we need a stronger reasoning behind these stakes. If she is the ruler, does she not have soldiers to hunt down the blackmailer? Does she try to find her friends on her own? What takes her to the point of giving in so easily]

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. [I really love this line



#12 SnowFox23

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 12:42 AM

UPDATED!!!!!!!!!!

 

When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has banished everyone from her Kingdom, and Nightling is empty of everything except her, and her beloved animals.

 

Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her adoring wolf Leod, who showed her what love was. And her cherished crow, Avalon who taught her sign-language, and interprets for her when vagrants come knocking.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. But when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 



#13 IndusiumGriseum

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:21 AM

UPDATED!!!!!!!!!!

 

When the King (of Nightling) kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.  (You already said that the sun never shines--we already know it's dark.)

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has banished everyone from her Kingdom (Period), and Nightling is empty of everything except her, and her beloved animals.

 

Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her adoring wolf (Comma) Leod, who showed her what love was. And her cherished crow, Avalon (Comma) who taught her sign-language, and interprets for her when vagrants come knocking.

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. (This sorta comes out of nowhere. I'd suggest adding in some kind of build up, like a small hint to who the culprit is in the beginning of the query, or multiple people to keep us guessing.)

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. But when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals. (Definitely switch these two points because the last paragraph was about the animals)

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

(I would definitely explain why she's so afraid of the light. Is it a phobia? Did she have a bad experience with light? It's not really explained why she fears the light so much that she is considering not getting her animals back.)

 

 

Great start! My suggestion would be to mention the importance of the animals in the beginning, explain why she's so afraid of the light and hint at who could have taken the animals and for what reason, but not give it away. Good luck! :)


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#14 rhwashere

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:38 PM

UPDATED!!!!!!!!!!

 

When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling and the vagrants (I'm not sure what you mean by using this word) who seek refuge are soon driven mad by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends (redundant).

 

After seventeen years of ill-treatment (be specific; was she insulted, spat upon, beaten, or worse?) by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants, Lux has banished everyone from her Kingdom, and Nightling is empty of everything except her, and her beloved animals. How exactly does she go about banishing EVERYONE from her kingdom? I'm struggling to suspend disbelief on this one.

 

Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her adoring wolf Leod, who showed her what love was is, and her cherished crow, Avalon who taught her sign-language, and interprets for her when vagrants come knocking. (I'm a little confused with the tone here. You begin with suicide on a throne, and now we're on to loving wolves and crows that teach and interpret sign language. Who is your target audience with this story?)

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. But when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals. Is there a bigger risk to her leaving than just imprisonment? I feel like the stakes here could be stronger.

 

But if she does not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. I do like this ending.

 

I think my biggest issue with this query is the tone. On one hand, we've got magical animals who are Lux's best friends, and on the other end we've got suicide, madness, and kidnapping. There's a good story in here, I'm sure, but I need more specifics and a more homogeneous tone.


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


#15 SnowFox23

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 06:31 AM

NEWEST QUERY IS ON PAGE 1!!



#16 rhwashere

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:35 AM

Nice job on “a fairy tale with dirt under its fingernails”. I like that. But I think the problems that remain are still the ones brought up by Isla and Springfield. We don’t have much of a reason to care about the MC (other than “mistreatment”, which is vague), and we don’t know where your story goes after the animals disappear. We need an idea of what she plans to do, what dangers await, what she stands to lose, etc.

If you have a chance, would you mind taking a peek at mine? I made some changes.

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


#17 TClark

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:21 PM

UPDATED!!!!!!!

 

Hello lovely people,

 

I revised and edited a lot of my original query, and this is the new one. I will happily look at yours if you look at mine...that sounded weird. You know what I mean. I'm tired.

 

 

Few people visit the Kingdom of Nightling. Those that do rarely return home. These first two sentences should be combined into flowing hook. Nightling is cursed with eternal winter and if the cold does not kill you, then the Queen gladly will. This sentence doesn't flow well, either. It would be cool to bridge the cold winter and the queen together, such as mentioning the ice in the Queen's veins in reference to her murderous appetite. 

 

After enduring seventeen years of cruelty from human beings, the mute Queen Lux has banished everyone but her animals from her Kingdom. Good. Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her beloved wolf, Leod, who showed her what love wasThis needs to be reworded or cut. And her cherished crow, Avalon, who taught her sign-language and interprets for her when visitors come knocking. I love the idea of the crow! However this last part is way to clunky. 

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow.

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness (silence?) is far easier than having to leave Nightling and navigate a new world without a voice to help her through. And when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals. (why is the Lannox kingdom bad?)

 

But if she does not leave Nightling, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 70,000 words. It is a fairy tale with dirt under its fingernails. And is a mix of Three Dark Crowns and Born Wicked.

 

I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am studying a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism. I also make small talk with strangers so I can pat their dogs.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

So I definitely think you have a really cool idea here. However, I'm a little unsure of the stakes. Why is this other kingdom so bad? Why would they want to steal her animals?

 

Additionally I had a lot of complaints with the phrasing and wording of some of your sentences. Everything you need to have a good query letter is present, but its just lost in some bad wording. You're 100% on the right track though, keep up the good work :) 



#18 PureZhar3

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 03:22 PM

Ditto to what TClark said.


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


#19 Oldborne

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 03:33 PM

Few people visit the Kingdom of Nightling. Those that do rarely return home. Nightling is cursed with eternal winter and if the cold does not kill you, then the Queen gladly will. I like this third sentence a lot (it's killer) but the first two don't hook me. I'd work this paragraph into one sentence if possible.

 

After enduring seventeen years of cruelty from human beings, the mute Queen Lux has banished everyone but her animals from her Kingdom Is Lux not a human? 'Human beings' reads awkwardly. Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her beloved wolf, Leod, who showed her what love was I think you mean this to sound more innocent than it does... . And her cherished crow, Avalon, who taught her sign-language and interprets for her when visitors come knocking. Are the visitors not human? I'm confused. Are the animals sentient? Is Lux human? 

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. Nice set up. 

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to leave Nightling and navigate a new world without a voice to help her through. And when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom don't know where/what this is or why it's bad, she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals. 

 

But if she does not leave Nightling, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. Good stakes. 

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 70,000 words. It is a fairy tale with dirt under its fingernails, and is a mix of Three Dark Crowns and Born Wicked.

 

I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am studying a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism. I also make small talk with strangers so I can pat their dogs. Honestly, I don't know the rules but I'm not sure if this last sentence will be appreciated. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Overall this sounds like a sweet idea that your target audience will love. There're a few hiccups in the query that raised a lot of questions for me. I feel like it's not made all too clear what/who Lux is, to the point that I still don't know if she's human. The part that threw me was when you mentioned 'human beings'. Making a point of them separated Lux from them and planted a seed in my head that she was something 'other'. You should also make it clearer what the Lannox Kingdom is and why it's bad that the wolf and crow have been taken there.

Best of luck with this, hope I've helped!  


All feedback appreciated: http://agentquerycon...ust-sf-mystery/

 


#20 mkuriel

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:35 PM


Few people visit the Kingdom of Nightling. Those that do rarely return home. Nightling is cursed with eternal winter and if the cold does not kill you, then the Queen gladly will. [This doesn't read like a hook, but backstory. You should also combine the sentences. Also, contradictions.]

 

After enduring seventeen years of cruelty from human beings, the mute Queen Lux has banished everyone but her animals from her Kingdom. [Are you intentionally implying that Lux isn't human? Also, a minor tweak of the first sentence would make a better hook] Alone in the dark, Lux’s life is made bearable because of her beloved wolf, Leod, who showed her what love was. [easily misinterpreted because it's vague. It could hint bestiality...] And her cherished crow, Avalon, who taught her sign-language and interprets for her when visitors come knocking. [ok, so you don't need "interprets for her," because at most, the crow would act as her voice. Unless, of course, she's deaf and mute and can't read lips. Then she might need an interpreter. And I'm really curious about how an animal with no fingers teaches sign language...]

 

When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. [I play an otter on the internet, and, as an animal, I'd go missing too if a mute not-human kept me in a castle. :)]

 

For Lux, a lifetime spent in darkness is far easier than having to leave Nightling and navigate a new world without a voice to help her through. And when she finds out that Leod and Avalon are being held in the dungeons of the Lannox Kingdom, [this is an awkward phrase. It basically personifies a kingdom rather than identifying an antagonist. So either her pets are prisoners in a dungeon in the Lannox Kingdom, or the King of Lannox holds them in his dungeon. Unless, of course, the malevolent kingdom actually has dungeons...] she knows that leaving to find them means risking the same fate as her animals.  [the words highlighted in green are first, passive voice and second, an unnecessary filter. Which is why objections are made by critics who find the sentences awkward. See what I did there? Sentences written in passive voice risk confusing readers; Telling the reader what the MC knows, thinks, sees, finds, etc... creates unnecessary distance between reader and character. Neither are 'incorrect' since they're style choices, but either could obscure your intended meaning.]

 

But if she does not leave Nightling, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed Kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart. [literally? cause that would make some very interesting stakes...]

 

THE WOLF, THE CROW AND THE QUEEN is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, complete at 70,000 words. It is a fairy tale with dirt under its fingernails. [nice!!] And is a mix of Three Dark Crowns and Born Wicked.

 

I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am studying a B.A in Communications, majoring in Journalism. I also make small talk with strangers so I can pat their dogs. [um... I'm not sure either of these sentences belong in a query... would either help an agent sell your story? In this instance, you might do better to wait for people who have more experience interacting with agents to deliver their opinions.]

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

My questions:

Is Lux human? (part of me hopes not)

Is the Kingdom cursed with winter AND darkness? (I suspect yes)

Who took her animals and why? (seems rather stupid to scream at the waiting avalanche)

If she loves her animals and has a Kingdom devoid of people, why live in a castle? (because mad queens have to live in castles, it's a fantasy thing)

 

Those questions really identify that, to me, I don't really get the stakes or motivations. Saving your pets makes a lot more sense if I can get my mind wrapped around from what or whom they need saving. And why they'd bother in the first place.

 

Oh, and don't worry over much about questions - an inquisitive mind will always find something to question. It's fantasy.

 

Hope that helps,






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