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Baldr the Dead (Fantasy) by DT919


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#1 lnloft

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:08 PM

(Posting on behalf of DT919)

 

Hi everyone, 

 

Any comments on the following would be appreciated - it's my first attempt at writing a novel and my first attempt at writing a query.

 

(And thanks to LNLOFT for all the help to people like myself who want to join Agent Query Connect but can't right now).

 

Thanks!

 

---

 

Dear [Cool Agent Person]

 

My book tells the story of the Viking god Baldr, the god who dies.

 

What would you do if you were warned that your fiancée was not only going to eat you on your wedding night but would go on to murder your whole village? Baldr decides that the best thing to do is to remake reality into one in which he isn’t so engaged. He teams up with the young goddess Hel for a quest that involves romance, murder and a fountain of exploding fermented fish. 

 

BALDR THE DEAD is 93,000 words long and explores the story of a minor figure from Viking mythology. It is a coming-of-age fantasy narrative like Patrick Rothfuss’s ‘The Name of the Wind’ told with a distinctive narrative voice comparable to that of Susanna Clarke.

 

I am currently a researcher of Old Norse religion at [place]. I have published an [academic textbook about Old Norse religion and written a bunch of pieces online about pop culture]. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

DT919


If you appreciated my feedback, I'd appreciate yours: Ouroboros

 

Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that instead.


#2 CarterT

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:59 PM

I've tried the 'what would you do if...' hook for a query before; it didn't go well. Don't get me wrong, I like what you wrote, but query letters for a lot of agents (and editors) are like a game whose rules you need to play by, and they are going to expect very specific things. Feel free to buck the system, your writing is witty, but make sure that is the battle you want to fight. 

 

You could say something like: Warned that his fiancee would eat him and murder his whole village on their wedding night, Baldr does what any sane man would - he goes on a quest to reshape reality. 

 

(You can make it better than that). 

 

Next, generally speaking, you can have up to 3 or so paragraphs to lay out a bit about your character and your plot. People will always want to know about your MC (main character) so they can connect with him. We (as readers) tend to root for people, not for stories, if you know what I mean. So, give us a bit more about Baldr and what makes him somebody we want to spend time with. But, balance that against giving us a taste of what's going to happen in the story, and what the stakes are. 

 

What are the 3 things people always quote are needed? Something like goals, stakes, and consequences of not succeeding (while working in a bit about your MC to make us like him). 

 

Basically, above, you only give us 1/2 a paragraph about what your book is about. I chuckled reading it, but it doesn't give me enough to make me want to read the whole book. And you're trying to get an agent to invest their time, blood, sweat, and tears in fighting for this book. So, give them a little more to make them want to get in the ring. 

 

(PS - Feel free to take a look at my latest one. Not saying it's better, but it'll give you an idea about structure, maybe. http://agentquerycon...-adult-fantasy/



#3 lnloft

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:37 PM

(On behalf of DT919)

 

Hi CarterT,
 
Thanks for the feedback. I've gone through multiple iterations of this query at this point (without sending it off to many agents or ever getting very comfortable with it), so I suppose I've just boiled it down too far at this point and need to pull back out again. I appreciate you pointing that out and your other advice, and I'll have another go, starting from the basics again.
 
Thanks for the link to your own query as well. I'm sure it will be useful and I'll see if can think of anything constructive to contribute about it as well.
 
Cheers!

If you appreciated my feedback, I'd appreciate yours: Ouroboros

 

Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that instead.


#4 CarterT

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:52 AM

Hey, one other very important thing I forgot:

 

Everybody has an opinion, and not all of them are good (mine included/especially). So, end of the day, it's your story, go with what feels right for you. 






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