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THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER - ROUND 2!!! YA FANTASY


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#21 Anna.k

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for the advice.
Actually The throne was overtaken by anti magic family, which Lena and co want to kill, but it seems that’s not clear early on?
That’s why there’s two Kaisers lol. And I’m not sure how I can leave that out without losing the reason for their revenge... appreciate the thoughts!!

#22 Anna.k

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:37 PM

Here's a simpler version where I've basically left out some history. Let me know what you all think.

 

Lena didn’t know her eyes could kill, until she looked at her attacker and made him drown himself.

 

But the master of the orphanage had it coming. Lena is sick of being abused for powers she can’t explain. Drawn by the use of her Magic, Lena’s long lost aunt finds her and pays for her freedom. Finally, Lena learns the truth. They are the last survivors of a feared and noble bloodline--Enchantresses who can inflict pain on their enemies or force them to do their bidding, using only their eyes. 

But when the new Kaiser claimed the throne, he exterminated every last one of them. Or so he thought.

In order to get their revenge, Lena's aunt lures her into a treasonous deal. Her first task: Kill Prince William, the Heir to the throne of Germania.

However, when Lena meets the Prince under a false identity, his kindness takes her by surprise, and she starts to fall for her victim. Fearing her aunt’s talent for pain, Lena begins seeing him in secret.

But then the Kaiser is delcared dead, and Lena must choose where her loyalties lie; avenge her kin, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and risk her aunt’s wrath. But if she gives her heart to the boy she loves, he might just have to burn her if he finds out what she really is.



#23 Koechophe

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 03:35 AM

Heya Anna. Hope my advice is useful. Fair warning, I'm a copy editor, so my claws are sharp. 

Here's a simpler version where I've basically left out some history. Let me know what you all think.

 

Lena didn’t know her eyes could kill, until a single look she looked at her attacker and made a man him drown himself.

 

But the master of the her orphanage had it coming. Lena is sick of being abused for powers she can’t explain (This is very confusing to me. The hook tells us she doesn't know about her powers, and then this tells us she's sick of being abused for them. I'm guessing it's a kind of "I knew I had powers, but didn't k now they could kill" type thing? I actually would recommend removing this line, I don't think it does anything for the query) . Drawn by the use of her Magic, When Lena’s long-lost aunt finds her and pays for her freedom. Finally, Lena, she finally learns the truth. They are the last survivors of a feared and noble bloodline-- of Enchantresses who can torture or enslave others inflict pain on their enemies or force them to do their bidding, using only their eyes (I know the "of a feared and noble bloodline of Enchantresses who..." is repetitive, but I actually think it's smoother than the use of the em dash here. The em dash is being used as a super colon, but "bloodline--enchanters" doesn't work too well, making for an awkward and clunky sentence. Even if you don't keep this recommendation, I strongly recommend rewording this)

 

(So far all I've got is raw information. I don't have any concept of characterization for the main character. She seems like a pawn that's being thrown around by other people, and hasn't exercised any choice whatsoever. That's a major issue. We like characters who act, not characters who get played with by the plot).

But when the new Kaiser claimed the throne, he exterminated every last one of them. Or so he thought. (Cliche and unnecessary back story. Cut it and move on.)

In order to get their revenge on the rulers who exterminated Lena's family, her aunt lures her into a treasonous deal (This is way too vague. Who is the deal with? What does the deal entail? Why is Lena a part of it? I get the feeling that you're summarizing like 5 chapters here, which is never a good thing).. Her first task: Kill Prince William, the Heir to the throne of Germania. (We don't know where that is, there's no point in mentioning the specific place. You're far better off mentioning his specific relationship to the Kaiser, because then we'd see the larger picture. Is william his son? His nephew?)

However, when Lena meets the Prince under a false identity, his kindness takes her by surprise, and she starts to fall for her victim. Fearing her aunt’s talent for pain, Lena begins seeing him in secret.  (We've now moved into summary mode. A good query gives a teaser of the book. This sounds like a raw "this is what happens in my book".)

But then the Kaiser is delcared declared dead (So wait... is he actually dead? Is the Kaiser William's father? I'm very confused here. , and Lena must choose whether to where her loyalties lie; avenge her kin (by doing what? Specify here. Kill the prince is the choice, not "avenge her kin") or betray the only family she’s ever known, and risk her aunt’s wrath (again... what would this entail? Come clean to William? Or are you saying the betrayal would be not killing him? Specify the action here.). But if she gives her heart to the boy she loves, he might just have to burn her if he finds out what she really is.  (This is just way far out of left field. The query does nothing to establish William's character as being prejudiced. There is no tension of Lena feeling unsafe with her powers here, either. Cut it and move on.)

 

 

So some more specific advice.

 

Writing style:

You use a lot of unusual sentence structures. There's em dashes, colons, semi colons... etc. Too many of these are distracting. Use maybe one in your query, but don't go beyond that. The agent wants to see that you know how to write, and using a lot unusual punctuation (especially incorrectly, as was the case here a few times) screams of amateur writing. The prose themselves are fine, very streamlined and clean, but the grammar and punctuation needs to be fine tuned. I pointed out a number of mistakes. I'd recommend your final draft checked by a proofer who knows what they're doing. The transitions are a bit awkward and unnecessary. If we look at the first sentence of every paragraph: "But the master of the... But when the..... However, when Lena.... But then the Kaiser..." It looks like you're listing events. Work on transitioning in such a way that it doesn't draw attention to itself. 

 

Query principles:

There's a few core principles that aren't working well here:

1) Queries are supposed to focus almost solely on the beginning of the book, or the underlying premise. An effective query gives a teaser of what's to come, rather than simply telling the reader. I obviously haven't read your book, but I'd hazard a guess that this query goes well into it. We see multiple paradigm shifts and a lot of summarization to try to get to the "ultimate" conflict. Don't do that. You don't need to worry about getting to the meat of the book. You're giving an appetizer, something to show the struggle ahead, rather than telling about it. As a general rule, query the first 10% of the book. 

2) The most important thing you can do in queries is establish characters that the agent wants to hear more of (well, okay, the second most important thing. The most important thing you can do is show off the fact that you can write well). We get almost no charactarization. Lena seems like an object, not an actor, and I have no reason to like or dislike her. We need more voice from her. Try writing the query in her voice (not from a 1st person perspective, but let her word choice and diction color the text). There is also no clear antagonist. We think it's the aunt or the Kaiser, but then the kaiser is randomly dead and the only thing we know that the aunt actually does is rescue Lena. So we need more concretes with the characters to make them loveable and realistic. William is about as flat as they come as well. 

3) There's too many events in here. Way too many. You're trying to give us too big of a chunk. Narrow your view down to a single moment, or a set of moments, and let the reader live in them. Then they'll be more inclined to love and support your book, too. 

4) This is actually far too short. I think this is evidence of the fact that you're listing events rather than diving in, and that you're not giving characterization. Feel free to add in length here, it doesn't need to be this short.

 

Please take everything with a grain of sugar and a grain of salt. I go hard on people most especially when I think they've got the chops to make it. Good luck and happy writing!

 

-I critique because I care. 



#24 mindy24601

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 04:05 PM

Here's a simpler version where I've basically left out some history. Let me know what you all think.

 

Lena didn’t know her eyes could kill, until she looked at her attacker and made him drown himself. This is snappy and interesting, but maybe try to make it even more succinct. "Lena didn't know looks could kill until her attacker drowned after meeting her gaze." Or something like that. 

 

But the master of the orphanage had it coming sounds a little juvenile...remember, a query letter is a professional document. Lena is keep the tense either past (above) or present (here) sick of being abused for powers she can’t explain. Drawn by the use of her Magic, Lena’s long lost aunt finds her and pays for her freedom. even though Lena is sick of being abused, this doesn't sound like something she had a role in. Finally, Lena learns the truth. They are the last survivors of a feared and noble bloodline--Enchantresses who can inflict pain on their enemies or force them to do their bidding, using only their eyes. 

But when the new Kaiser claimed the throne X number of years ago, he exterminated every last one of them. Or so he thought. a bit redundant given your last sentence

In order to get their revenge, Lena's aunt lures her into a treasonous deal. Her first task: Kill Prince William, the Heir to the throne of Germania. this sounds like it would be the last task, too?

However, when Lena meets the Prince under a false identity, his kindness takes her by surprise, and she starts to fall for her victim. Fearing her aunt’s talent for pain, Lena begins seeing him in secret. 

But then the Kaiser is delcared spelling dead, and Lena must choose where her loyalties lie;colon avenge her kin, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and risk her aunt’s wrath. But if she gives her heart to the boy she loves, he might just have to burn her if he finds out what she really is.

This certainly has promise, but I think it needs a bit of work on the flow. Right now, it sounds more like sentences thrown together. Really try to tell your story. More succinct is always better (as it seems you have already done). Now, just needs a little bit of polish. :) 

Good luck! I know it's hard. 

 

 

 

Please consider reciprocating: http://agentquerycon...ath-ya-fantasy/



#25 Bibliophyl

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:10 PM

I didn't read the previous comments/versions so as to come at this fresh!

 

Lena didn’t know her eyes could kill, until she looked at her attacker and made him drown himself.

 

But the master of the orphanage had it coming. Lena is sick of being abused for powers she can’t explain. Drawn by the use of her Magic, Lena’s long lost aunt finds her and pays for her freedom. [this sentence doesn't follow the previous one--it feels disjointed. How is her aunt coming related to her murdering someone?] Finally, Lena learns the truth. They are the last survivors of a feared and noble bloodline--Enchantresses who can inflict pain on their enemies or force them to do their bidding, using only their eyes. 

But when the new Kaiser claimed the throne, he exterminated every last one of them. Or so he thought.

In order to get their revenge, Lena's aunt lures her into a treasonous deal. Her first task: Kill Prince William, the Heir to the throne of Germania. [One big question I have is if/to what extent this incorporates history. Is this historical fantasy? It sounds like you're using riffs on real people. I think clarifying the setting would help. Is it an alternate world where magic is real?]

However, when Lena meets the Prince under a false identity, his kindness takes her by surprise, and she starts to fall for her victim. Fearing her aunt’s talent for pain, Lena begins seeing him in secret.

But then the Kaiser is delcared dead, [declared dead makes it sound like he's not really killed, but that doesn't seem to be the case from the rest of the query. Even if he's not really dead in the story, I think it should be worded differently here because presumably she wholeheartedly believes he's dead at this point. Also is the Kaiser the same person as William? I thought he was on first read, but going back I'm not sure] and Lena must choose where her loyalties lie; avenge her kin, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and risk her aunt’s wrath. But if she gives her heart to the boy she loves, he might just have to burn her if he finds out what she really is. [this last sentence confused me because I assumed William is the "boy she loves," but he's dead. If it's a new character, he should be introduced earlier]

 

This sounds interesting! My main suggestion would be clarifying the setting/genre, e.g. is it historical fantasy? To what extent is it grounded in history? I pointed out a few areas where I got confused as well. Hopefully that is helpful! Best of luck!



#26 Anna.k

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 02:57 PM

Thanks everyone

It seems the query was just confusing people with a lot of events and maybe losing a bit of characterization.

Anyway, here's yet another revision! Appreciate everyone's help so much!!!

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena is being groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena can curse her victim with only a look and force them to do her bidding. With a little training. Lena wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed and his eldest son next in line for the throne, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince.

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets William, his kindness takes her by surprise, making him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for.

 

As they begin seeing each other in secret, with the Coronation fast approaching, Lena is torn between her conflicting feelings. Now she must choose whether to murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy.

 

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.



#27 janeald

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:54 PM

Here's a simpler version where I've basically left out some history. Let me know what you all think.

 

Lena didn’t know her eyes could kill, until she looked at her attacker and made him drown himself. But the master of the orphanage had it coming. Lena is sick of being abused for powers she can’t explain. Drawn by the use of her Mmagic use, Lena’s long lost aunt finds her and pays for her freedom. Finally, Lena learns the truth. They are the last survivors of a feared and noble bloodline--Enchantresses who can inflict pain on their enemies or force them to do their bidding, using only their eyes. 

 

When the new Kaiser claimed the throne, he exterminated every last one of them. Or so he thought. In order to get their revenge, Lena's aunt lures her into a treasonous deal. Her first task: Kill Prince William, the Heir to the throne of Germania. However, when Lena meets the Prince under a false identity, his kindness takes her by surprise, and she starts to fall for her victim. Fearing her aunt’s talent for pain, Lena begins seeing him in secret.

 

But tThen the Kaiser is declcared dead., and Lena must choose where her loyalties lie; avenge her kin, or betray the only family she’s ever known, (no comma) and risk her aunt’s wrath. But if she gives her heart to the boy she loves, he might just have to burn her if he finds out what she really is.

 

Word count, genre, and comparison books.

 

This sounds really interesting! I do think there is enough information so far. I hope my suggestions help!



#28 CarterT

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:57 AM

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena is being has been (I know it's past tense, but so is the 'ever since' earlier on) groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena can curse her victim with only (the only here makes me trip when reading. The beat doesn't fit) a look and force them to do her bidding. With a little training - This short sentence feels so out of place. I get what you're saying, but maybe you want to em-dash it from the previous sentence?. Lena wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls Okay, but is this ACTUALLY what she wants? The next few lines suggest that not to be true. I hate to use the word 'think' in a query, but 'Lena thinks she wants nothing more...' or maybe 'Lena has been groomed to want nothing more...' though that comes across as passive. I know you want to make it active, but the strength of this sentence conflicts with what comes after

 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed and his eldest son next in line for the throne, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince.

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and (accidentally?)meets William, his kindness takes her by surprise, making him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall forYou don't have to answer in the query, but I kind of had a question at this point. If she can kill/curse with a look, why didn't she do it from across the room and be done with it?

 

As they begin seeing each other in secret, with the Coronation fast approaching, Lena is torn between her conflicting feelings. Now she must choose whether to murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy. (Added an em-dash here to connect the mention of conflicting feelings to the actual feelings)

 

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.

 

So, I dunno why the font and size went all wonky on me. Sorry. Like the Cinderella tie-in, that adds a whole level to the query you didn't need to waste words on.



#29 Anna.k

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

LATEST QUERY, reaaallly hoping to close this one (253 words) thanks again for the advice!!

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena can curse her victim with a look and force them to do her bidding--with a little training. And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his Coronation.

If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret. Worse yet, William’s kindness toward her makes him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for.

With time against her, Lena must choose between her now conflicting feelings. Murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy.

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.



#30 hermitage

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:41 PM



LATEST QUERY, reaaallly hoping to close this one (253 words) thanks again for the advice!!

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress [I think I understand why you're capitalizing this, but it might confuse the reader a bit. In your world perhaps Enchantress is a proper noun, but in regular English it is a regular noun, which isn't capitalized. If it's the name of a race, why is it so gender-specific? Etc.] blood, Lena can curse her victim with a look and force them [Victim is singular; them is plural] to do her bidding--with a little training. [This is a bit of a weird aside. When does this training take place?] And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind [What kind is that? Faeries? Enchantresses/Enchanters?] and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. 

With the Kaiser [I guess this is the prince's father?] on his deathbed, Lena is given [This is in the passive voice, which can be trouble. Given by who? Her aunt? Is her aunt part of some secret society of I guess faeries trying to get revenge for being exterminated? If they were really exterminated, how many could there be?] her most difficult [Okay, but the first few sentences of the pitch made Lena seem pretty close to omnipotent, so I'm wondering what factors could make it difficult for her to assassinate someone. She just has to look at people, right? Does it not work under certain circumstances?] task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his Coronation [Does this need to be capitalized?].

If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret. Worse yet, William’s kindness toward her makes him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for. [This feels maybe a little familiar; maybe a little generic? All we know about her is that she's a trained assassin; all we know about him is that he's a prince and a reasonably nice guy. Is there anything you can do to make these people stand out more as unique individuals?]

With time against her [Maybe this is a bit of a cliche.], Lena must choose between her now conflicting feelings. [This sentence doesn't seem to work in the literal sense. I mean, you don't really choose between feelings, do you?] Murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy. [I feel like you've already spelled out the basic dilemma at this point. And again, somehow it feels familiar. I wonder if you can do anything to set it apart a bit more, rather than restating it here. This idea that the heroine is maybe in love with a guy, but she will also maybe have to kill him... it's common, right? What new twist are you offering on this concept? What is it about your characters and your setting that will make it different enough to be worth readers' time?]

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 [Is this a little long for YA maybe? Consider cutting it down perhaps? I cut down my book from around 95K to 77K without changing the plot at all, just by trimming a bunch of fat here and there, and I think it got a lot more readable as a result.] words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain [Interesting idea, but where is the wicked stepmother, and/or the faerie godmother? Is the aunt somehow both? Where are the ugly sisters, and so on? And how can your protagonist also be your villain? Is she maybe just more of a conflicted hero? It all feels like a stretch. And if Cinderella is not the basis but just a source of inspiration, I'm not sure that an agent would need to know this right away.] and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, [I feel like maybe you don't need to state themes here, as it doesn't seem to be a usual practice, and anyway we can already get these particular ones from the pitch.] and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.

 

Hi Anna, I'm going to try to be honest here. Based on your comments on my own pitch, I think we might just have fundamentally different views about what might make these things work. I'm trying to put this nicely, but please forgive me if I still come off as partisan: It looks to me like you're trying to get through the beats of a set formula in as few words as possible, while I'm trying to do what I can to make my main character stand out as an individual, make my story seem different from other stories, and show that I can write with a bit of style and flow. Probably neither of us really knows what's going on in this odd query universe, so let's say that your guess is as good as mine, but I think the difference of opinion might mean that I'm not the best person to offer you feedback (or vice versa). 



#31 ScarlettLeigh

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:58 AM

Hi Anna K!

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon. Nice :D

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena hones her abilities to curse her victim with a look and force them to do her bidding. She wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. (I think this is a great opening paragraph! I just tripped over the "with a little training" clause. It feels tacked on at the end, so I suggested a rewording to smooth that out)

 

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. (I'd love to get what she does find here. This would help characterize the prince and deepen the conflict. You don't need much. Maybe something like "...he's not at all what she expects: he's charming, kind, and xxxx something unique and original only to this character. Show off some voice here.)

 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his Coronation. If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret. How or who gives her this task feels like an important missing details. The wording is passive right now, which makes Lena feel a bit passive, too. Was it her aunt who gave her the task? If so, you could just say "With the Kaiser on her deathbed, her aunt gives Lena her most difficult task yet: Kill the prince on the eve of his coronation." Prince and coronation I don't think need to be capitalized in this case. 

 

Worse yet, William’s kindness toward her makes him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for. 

Suggest cutting this here because I think it feels more organic to describe the prince above.

 

With time against her, Lena must choose between her now conflicting feelings. Murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy. How is time against her? Be specific here. "With only a week until the coronation, Lena must choose between her conflicting feelings..."

 

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself. Could consider combining with the previous paragraph. I don't think you need quite so many breaks.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian. Great comps!

 

I think this is close! Just a few places that shouldn't be difficult to add some specifics, and if you can wring a little more voice/ what makes the story unique out of it, the better! Good luck XD



#32 lnloft

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 02:15 PM

LATEST QUERY, reaaallly hoping to close this one (253 words) thanks again for the advice!!

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon. Hmm. My only hesitation is that if someone is coming into this without having read previous drafts, they might not be quite sure that this is literal, and that might lead to confusion. So maybe just tweak it to "With eyes that can literally kill..." Although I can imagine that some people might argue that doesn't sound as good anymore. (I think it sounds fine, but I can imagine people arguing it.) So I guess it's a bit of a coin flip.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena can curse her victim with a look and force them to do her bidding--with a little training On first read-through, this line caught me up for half a second, because I thought it was meaning that the victims need a little training. . And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

 

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. 

 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his Coronation.

 

If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret. Worse yet, William’s kindness toward her makes him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for. The way this is put, it sounds like she starts seeing him in secret, and then falls for him. But if she wasn't already falling for him, then why was she seeing him in secret to begin with?

 

With time against her, Lena must choose between her now conflicting feelings. Murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy.

 

But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.

This is really, really close. We're starting to get into quibble territory. The only thing that is really making me pause is the paragraph breaks. I inserted spaces everywhere I saw you had started a new line, and what that really shows is that you have quite a few very short paragraphs. In a format like a query, that can make things read a little choppier. I would just see if you can get them to flow nicely into a few slightly longer paragraphs. But you're really getting there. Good luck.


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 thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#33 SharonMorrisWagner

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:31 PM

LATEST QUERY, reaaallly hoping to close this one (253 words) thanks again for the advice!!
 
With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

While I like this hook and idea I don’t think it can stand alone. I want to know how old she is and does she live here in this world, another world?
 
Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena can curse her victim with a look and force them to do her bidding--with a little training. And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family who exterminated her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

What’s her kind? Enchantresses? What does that mean?

But when she attends the Spring Ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. 

Prince William? Really? That name can’t stay no matter how much you like it.

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena is given her most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his Coronation.

Why? Why not kill him sooner? Or after his coronation? Why on the eve?

If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret. Worse yet, William’s kindness toward her makes him hard to hate, and infuriatingly easy to fall for.

Love this


With time against her, Lena must choose between her now conflicting feelings. Murder the Prince and make her family proud, or give her heart to the enemy.
But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

Great ending.
 
THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It explores themes of abuse, revenge, and forbidden love, and may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.


Yikes. Too long. Cut back to under 100K at least.

I like all of what you have but think it’s too little. If your world building I don’t get anything here about your world you built. Tell me a lot in a little - just three or four more strategic sentences would be perfect.

#34 Anna.k

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:50 AM

It seems you can't please everyone lol. As far as inserting the time and setting, everyone has a different opinion on those proper nouns. Here's another go at it, good to know I'm getting there. *Happy side note* just got an agent request from one of my earlier versions, so yey!!

 

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, sixteen-year-old Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena is mastering her power to curse her victim with a look and force him to do her bidding. And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family of the Kingdom of Germania who exterminated almost all of her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

But when she attends the spring ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. Worse yet, his charming wit, as well as his kindness toward her, makes him hard to hate and infuriatingly easy to fall for. 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena’s aunt gives her the most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his coronation. If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret, and against her aunt’s wishes. 

 

With the coronation looming, Lena must make an impossible choice. Murder the Prince, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and give her heart to the enemy. But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It may appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.



#35 fatalkiss19

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:35 AM

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage, sixteen-year-old Lena has been groomed for revenge. Born with Enchantress blood, Lena is mastering her power to curse her victim with a look and force him (she can only force men?) to do her bidding. And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family of the Kingdom of Germania who exterminated almost nearly all of her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

But when she attends the spring ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. Worse yet, his charming wit, as well as his kindness toward her, makes him hard to hate and infuriatingly easy to fall for. 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena’s aunt gives her the most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his coronation. If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret, and against her aunt’s wishes. 

 

With the coronation looming, Lena must make an impossible choice. Murder the Prince, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and give her heart to the enemy. But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Young Adult Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It will appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.

Overall nice query. Good luck!



#36 queryseal

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

It seems you can't please everyone lol. As far as inserting the time and setting, everyone has a different opinion on those proper nouns. Here's another go at it, good to know I'm getting there. *Happy side note* just got an agent request from one of my earlier versions, so yey!!

 

 

With eyes that can kill, Lena is the perfect weapon.

 

Ever since her aunt rescued her from the orphanage (maybe you can skip the orphanage part all together since it's not mention again and just say "Under the guise of her aunt, sixteen year old Lena has been groomed for revenge"), sixteen-year-old Lena has been groomed for revenge. (I think the sentence about her being the last of her kind might go better here before explaining her power). Born with Enchantress blood, Lena is mastering her has the power to curse her victim with a single look and force him to do her bidding. And she wants nothing more than to destroy the ruling family of the Kingdom of Germania who exterminated almost all of her kind and decorated the castle with their skulls. 

But when she attends the spring ball under a false identity and meets the heir to the throne, Prince William, he's not at all what she expects. Worse yet, his charming wit, as well as his kindness toward her, makes him hard to hate and infuriatingly easy to fall for. 

With the Kaiser on his deathbed, Lena’s aunt gives her the most difficult task yet. Kill the Prince on the eve of his coronation. If only she hadn’t already started seeing him in secret, and against her aunt’s wishes. 

 

With the coronation looming, Lena must make an impossible choice. Murder the Prince, or betray the only family she’s ever known, and to give her heart to the enemy. But William is also being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. And if he ever discovers what Lena really is, he may just have to kill her himself.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE SPIDER is a YA Low Fantasy of 106,000 words, inspired by Cinderella as a villain and set in Medieval Stuttgart, Germany. It may will appeal to fans of SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian.

 

Overall it's a solid query and gets the premise across. Just little nitpicks then and there. Good luck!



#37 Anna.k

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 03:15 PM

Thanks, everyone! Closing this thread as I prepare to begin querying again!



#38 janeald

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 03:35 PM

THREAD CLOSED FOR QUERYING! WISH ME LUCK!

 

Thanks for your feedback on my query and good luck!






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