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Best Answer jrjan1 , 16 August 2018 - 07:04 PM

Thanks for great advice! I think this is much better...

 

In 16th century France, legends are real, superstitions run deep, and witches are everywhere. Fifteen-year old Agnes wants to be like Meme and learn the ways of nature to treat the sick. To the locals, Meme is a foreigner with a thick Spanish accent who looks out of place and practices strange customs—a witch. To Agnes, she is simply Grandma.

 

Seeking help for a snakebite, Henry, son of the mayor, finds himself in Meme’s care. Though unnerved by the unconventional herbalist, Henry is infatuated with her beautiful granddaughter, The couple fall in love, but afraid of a scandal on their reputation, his mother refuses to bless their union unless Agnes gives up her dreams of being a healer.

 

The plague sweeping through the countryside recognizes neither family nor foe. Meme rushes to help, but lingering rumors escalate until she is blamed for causing the disease. Warned of her impending arrest, she saves herself from the stake in one horrific event. When family and former friends betray Agnes, she has to decide whether her good reputation is enough to save her.

 

Steeped in the religious and political intrigue of the Renaissance with topics that still resonate today, BOOK TITLE is a 121,000 word multi-perspective historical.

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#1 jrjan1

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 07:05 AM

In 16th century France, legends are real, superstitions run deep, and witches are everywhere.

 

Fifteen-year old Agnes wants to be like Meme and learn the ways of nature to treat the sick. To the locals, Meme is a foreigner with walnut-colored skin and a Spanish accent who practices strange customs—a witch. To Agnes, she is simply Grandma.

 

Seeking help for a snakebite, Henry, son of the mayor, finds himself in Meme’s care. Though unnerved by the unconventional herbalist, her beautiful granddaughter, Agnes infatuates him. His mother reasons the snake is a manifestation of the devil, but before fate can bring them together, Agnes must make a choice. Learn the ways of nature to heal or marry her true love.

 

Agnes makes a choice, but is it one she can live with for the rest of her life?

 

Steeped in the religious and political intrigue of the Renaissance with topics that still resonate today, BOOK TITLE is a 121,000 word multi-perspective historical.



#2 JoQwerty

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 10:50 AM

It is a good start, but the wording raises a few questions you need to think about.

 

Between the first sentence and the last it is not quite clear if this is historical fantasy or historical fiction. In historical fiction, people may be superstitious, but witches and legends are not real.

 

"...Meme is a foreigner with walnut-colored skin..."  I have heard it said in many forums and by many agents, that people should not be described by their skin color. I would leave it out in the query letter altogether. In the novel you can approach the topic more obliquely.

 

A boy bitten by a poisonous snake is going to die or recover withing 24 hours. I suspect there is more to the book than the events of a single day, but that is all the drama you have told us about. And why can't a healer be married? What is preventing Agnes from doing both? After all, if her grandmother is a healer, then there seems to be a precedence for combing the two choices...



#3 jrjan1

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 03:04 PM

Oh, you're completely right...

 

 This is historical fiction.

 

So saying in the 16th century doesn't clarify that during this time in history, people believed that witches and legends were real?

 

Thanks about the description of Meme. She is discriminated against based on her looks. I will write it a different way - and that is why the son of the mayor can't marry her because her grandmother is thought to be a witch. So I guess I need to change quite a bit.

 

Thank you !

 

I will redo and repost.



#4 giffordmac

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:08 PM


Though unnerved by the unconventional herbalist, her beautiful granddaughter, Agnes infatuates him.

 

His mother reasons the snake is a manifestation of the devil, but before fate can bring them together, Agnes must make a choice. 

 

 

Hi, jrjn1,

 

I noticed a couple of problems with your sentence construction:

 

- Any time you open a sentence with a modifying phrase, it gets attached to the first person following it. So, in the first sentence above, the phrase in blue modifies "her beautiful granddaughter", and it winds up saying the granddaughter is unnerved, when it's really Henry who is.

 

- In contrast, when you use a pronoun like "them", as in the second sentence, it refers to the people or things that came before it. So "them" is some combination of mother, snake, devil, and/or fate. I assume "them" is Henry & Agnes, but his name isn't even in the sentence, though hers comes later.

 

I've also heard it said many times that rhetorical questions within a query are something many agents don't like. Maybe you could rephrase that so it's a statement instead. You've made a good start and it sounds like an interesting story.

 

Best of luck!


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#5 jrjan1

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 07:04 PM   Best Answer

Thanks for great advice! I think this is much better...

 

In 16th century France, legends are real, superstitions run deep, and witches are everywhere. Fifteen-year old Agnes wants to be like Meme and learn the ways of nature to treat the sick. To the locals, Meme is a foreigner with a thick Spanish accent who looks out of place and practices strange customs—a witch. To Agnes, she is simply Grandma.

 

Seeking help for a snakebite, Henry, son of the mayor, finds himself in Meme’s care. Though unnerved by the unconventional herbalist, Henry is infatuated with her beautiful granddaughter, The couple fall in love, but afraid of a scandal on their reputation, his mother refuses to bless their union unless Agnes gives up her dreams of being a healer.

 

The plague sweeping through the countryside recognizes neither family nor foe. Meme rushes to help, but lingering rumors escalate until she is blamed for causing the disease. Warned of her impending arrest, she saves herself from the stake in one horrific event. When family and former friends betray Agnes, she has to decide whether her good reputation is enough to save her.

 

Steeped in the religious and political intrigue of the Renaissance with topics that still resonate today, BOOK TITLE is a 121,000 word multi-perspective historical.



#6 jrjan1

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 07:06 PM

I took the question out too, now.

 

Does that first sentence need revising? Does it sound like a fantasy?







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