Romantic Fantasy Query

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amandadaul
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Joined: June 22nd, 2014, 12:01 pm
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Romantic Fantasy Query

Post by amandadaul » June 22nd, 2014, 12:07 pm

I sent this query to agents several weeks ago. On the first day I got a request for a partial, but it was later rejected and I've had nothing but rejections after that, although I'm still waiting on a few. I know I do not have a bio, but I have not been published before, save for several self published books, so I wasn't sure what to write. Any and all critiques are welcome and appreciated! Thank you!

Attn. (Agent):


I’m currently seeking representation for my romantic fantasy novel, THE
ROYAL OUTLANDER. I thought it might be a good fit for your list.



When Serafina Elizabeth was sixteen, she narrowly escaped a gruesome death.
Three years later, she is still haunted by the memories of her mysterious
savior, but is unable to mention the incident to anyone. She keeps the
secret, and awakes on her nineteenth birthday with the dread of having her
betrothed husband chosen for her from a selection.

Living under her cruel father, the King, in the secluded Kingdom city of his
realm, Serafina was formally raised with the expectation that she would
obediently fulfill her duties as the realm princess. However, the pristine
and proper lifestyle doesn’t go well with her rebellious behavior, which
soon causes friction and eventually puts her in danger. As a last resort to
force her cooperation, the King threatens his own daughter’s life.

When Serafina’s near-wedding falls apart by her own actions, she has no
choice but to escape into the feared and forbidden Outlands, home of
highwaymen and murderous thieves. It also happens to be the same place she
was nearly killed years earlier. Depending solely on her fierce
determination to keep her alive, she quickly finds out that her simple act
of rebellion has sparked something more than her own freedom.

She doesn't realize what the Kingdom has actually become until the same
stranger saves her life for the second time.

The truth behind her arranged marriage and a deadly plot against the Kingdom
force Serafina to face her past and accept what she has been afraid to admit
is her future.


THE ROYAL OUTLANDER is complete at 97,000 words, and works well as a
stand-alone novel, although a sequel is planned. The manuscript is
available, in part or full, upon request. Thank you for your time and
consideration!



Best,


Amanda Daul

GeniP
Posts: 4
Joined: June 26th, 2014, 1:07 pm
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Re: Romantic Fantasy Query

Post by GeniP » June 28th, 2014, 3:17 pm

Hi Amanda,
I think your query highlights the key conflicts in your story well, but with a little tightening, the writing could draw me into the action more rapidly. In the second line "Three years later, she is still haunted by the memories of her mysterious
savior, but is unable to mention the incident to anyone"- for instance, you could probably find stronger ways to make your points, maybe "Three years later, the memories of a mysterious savior still haunt her" for a start. The second part of the line "is unable to mention" sounds like she can't tell. I'm guessing from the next sentence that instead, she's choosing to keep the secret. Maybe you can combine these lines to pull us in faster. Why doesn't she want to talk about it? And how does it relate to her betrothal? From the genre, I'm guessing she's pining for the savior and can't agree to be with anyone else, but I don't feel that in the first paragraph. As you move forward, I'd love to see examples of how she's rebellious (whatever she did to doom her wedding is probably a good example), rather than having you tell me she is. I think it'd make the King's response feel more natural.

The story sounds like a fun read already. I think if you push to the heart of what you're saying, your query will sparkle soon too. Good luck!

tree
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Joined: July 11th, 2014, 2:25 pm
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Re: Romantic Fantasy Query

Post by tree » July 11th, 2014, 3:33 pm

Hi Amanda! Congrats on the partial - first of many I'm sure.

To me, this query gives a bit too much backstory. It could also use some tightening up, and more detail to make it really come alive. I've dashed off a quick revision to illustrate what I mean (with silly details as placeholders). Hope you find it helpful! I've also added some specific comments in the query below.


Silly revision for illustrative purposes:

When nineteen-year-old Princess Serafina Elizabeth smashes a coconut cream pie into her groom’s face at the altar, the King – her own father – orders her death. She escapes into the feared and forbidden Outlands, home of highwaymen and murderous thieves. It’s also home to her memories of narrowly escaping a gruesome death at the wings of a talking pterodactyl, thanks to the help of a mysterious saviour.

She keeps herself alive by installing a tap into a nearby cactus. But her MacGyvered succulent isn’t enough to fend off the pterodactyl that swoops in for another try at her throat. Luckily the same stranger saves her life a second time.

That’s when she learns that her simple act of rebellion has resulted in more than her own freedom. There’s a full-on uprising behind the city walls, a well-deserved rebellion against her father. But once she learns the truth behind her arranged marriage and a deadly plot against the Kingdom, she must face her past and accept what she has been afraid to admit is her future.

THE ROYAL OUTLANDER is complete at 97,000 words, and works well as a stand-alone novel, although a sequel is planned. It would fit in well with books on your list such as … Thank you for your time and consideration!




I’m currently seeking representation for my romantic fantasy novel, THE
ROYAL OUTLANDER. I thought it might be a good fit for your list. This might be vague because its a forum post and not a real letter, but in case ... specify why you thought it might be a good fit. I've also read many agents prefer to have the hook up front and the business-y part at the end. Bear it in mind!

When Serafina Elizabeth was sixteen, she narrowly escaped a gruesome death.
Three years later, she is still haunted by the memories of her mysterious
savior, but is unable to mention the incident to anyone. She keeps the
secret, and awakes on her nineteenth birthday with the dread of having her
betrothed husband chosen for her from a selection.

Not sure what the husband and the gruesome death have to do with each other. Also starting with backstory isn't the strongest opening.

Living under her cruel father, the King, in the secluded Kingdom city of his
realm, Serafina was formally raised with the expectation that she would
obediently fulfill her duties as the realm princess. However, the pristine
and proper lifestyle doesn’t go well with her rebellious behavior, show the rebellious behavior rather than tell us she is prone to it! which
soon causes friction and eventually puts her in danger. As a last resort to
force her cooperation, the King threatens his own daughter’s life.

I'd tighten this up a bit.

When Serafina’s near-wedding falls apart by her own actions would be more interesting to know what she did, she has no
choice but to escape into the feared and forbidden Outlands, home of
highwaymen and murderous thieves. It also happens to be the same place she
was nearly killed years earlier. Depending solely on her fierce
determination to keep her alive, she quickly finds out that her simple act
of rebellion has sparked something more than her own freedom.

She doesn't realize what the Kingdom has actually become until the same
stranger saves her life for the second time.

The truth behind her arranged marriage and a deadly plot against the Kingdom
force Serafina to face her past and accept what she has been afraid to admit
is her future.
I'm finding it a bit vague and a bit wordy.

THE ROYAL OUTLANDER is complete at 97,000 words, and works well as a
stand-alone novel, although a sequel is planned. The manuscript is
available, in part or full, upon request. Thank you for your time and
consideration!

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WesleyRobinson
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Re: Romantic Fantasy Query

Post by WesleyRobinson » July 23rd, 2014, 4:50 pm

Ah yes, I agree :D

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