Query-Akasha one more time...I think

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mrpluckey
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Re: Query-Akasha One more time...I think

Post by mrpluckey » April 6th, 2010, 9:34 pm

All right- if I could get a couple pair of eyes to look at this one last time that would be great. My greatest concern is saying Nichole's name too much. Are three names too many for a query? I think it would flow better if I gave Nichole's mother's name. Thoughts?


In 1879, sixteen-year-old Nichole leads a life most of her peers desire. A big house, a mother who indulges her, and she’s betrothed to the wealthiest man in town. The year she must spend apart from him while he learns his father’s business is the only thing hindering her happiness.

Until the note appears. ‘I found you,’ is all it says, but these three words cause her mother to become frantic. Knowing more than she’ll say, Nichole’s mother tries to make Nichole leave behind their home, all her possessions and the love of her life.

She’s too late, though, and her mother dies in a fire. Nichole is left in the hands of her superstitious town who believes she’s been cursed by the band of gypsies living nearby. When one of the gypsies comes to claim her, the town hands her over with no remorse.

Although she’s unhappy with her new life she feels drawn to Bryshen, the man who’s been put in charge of watching over her. Her trust in him turns to love and the wounds of loss begin to heal.

Then she discovers their secret. They are witches, possessing the powers of the elements, and Nichole is destined to be their leader. They found her just in time.

The same witch her mother hid from is stealing witches powers and they need Nichole to stop her. To make matters worse, her betrothed has come to “rescue” her from the gypsies. Now she’s torn between the easy life she’s always known, and her duty to fulfill her destiny as the Akasha.

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rainbowsheeps
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Re: Query-Akasha One more time...I think

Post by rainbowsheeps » April 7th, 2010, 12:01 am

mrpluckey wrote:All right- if I could get a couple pair of eyes to look at this one last time that would be great. My greatest concern is saying Nichole's name too much. Are three names too many for a query? I think it would flow better if I gave Nichole's mother's name. Thoughts?

Historical and fantasy is not usually my area of interest, but I have to say this query (at least the newer edits) really work for me. I think it could use some tightening up, but the plot entices me in a way that most historicals don't.

In 1879, sixteen-year-old Nichole leads a life most of her peers desire. She has a big house, a mother who indulges her, and she’s betrothed to the wealthiest man in town. The year she must spend apart from him while he learns his father’s business is the only thing hindering her happiness. (I think "hindering her happiness" is slightly awkward. Also the sentence could probably be tightened to something like: "In fact, her only true trouble is the year they'll be apart while he learns his father's business.")

Until the note appears. ‘I found you,’ is all it says, but these three words cause her mother to become frantic. Knowing more than she’ll say, Nichole’s mother tries to make Nichole leave behind their home, all her possessions and the love of her life. (Good stuff.)

She’s too late, though, and her mother dies in a fire. Nichole is left in the hands of her superstitious town who believes she’s been cursed by the band of gypsies living nearby. When one of the gypsies comes to claim her, the town hands her over with no remorse. I can't exactly pinpoint a specific problem with this paragraph, but I suppose I feel the death of the mother is possibly too bluntly said? I can't think of any concrete suggestions, so maybe this paragraph is fine.)

Although she’s unhappy with her new life , she feels drawn to Bryshen, the man who’s been put in charge of watching over her. Her trust in him turns to love , and the wounds of loss begin to heal.

Then she discovers their secret. They are witches, possessing the powers of the elements, and Nichole is destined to be their leader. They found her just in time.

The same witch her mother hid from is stealing witches powers and they need Nichole to stop her. To make matters worse, her betrothed has come to “rescue” her from the gypsies. Now she’s torn between the easy life she’s always known, and her duty to fulfill her destiny as the Akasha. I think this paragraph is where the query needs the most work. Firstly, I think you should put a name to this antagonist. Secondly, I think you might want to suggest why the gypsies believe Nichole should be their leader and how she can stop this antagonist. What can she do that the others can't, etc. The last two sentences are perfect though.
All in all, I find this query surprisingly effective (surprising because it's not my typical genre). You get a sense of what this protagonist is like, her conflict is enticing, the historical setting seems intriguing (which is new for me, honestly), and the details add up in a way that I think I have a sense of what this story will be like, and how all the details are building up into this fantasy adventure. Personally, I think it's very very very close.

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