Query for DRAGON QUEEN

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brandi_fey
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Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 7th, 2010, 3:32 pm

Hi, y'all. I've been lurking around the forum and trying to be helpful in the hopes that some of you might take pity on me and peek at my query. This is a query for a work that is currently receiving some minor revisions, but I hope that by the time I have the revisions done, this query will be sparkling and everything will be ready to go. Thanks ahead of time! ~Brandi

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

At 85,000 words THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]

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rainbowsheeps
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by rainbowsheeps » April 7th, 2010, 4:04 pm

brandi_fey wrote:Hi, y'all. I've been lurking around the forum and trying to be helpful in the hopes that some of you might take pity on me and peek at my query. This is a query for a work that is currently receiving some minor revisions, but I hope that by the time I have the revisions done, this query will be sparkling and everything will be ready to go. Thanks ahead of time! ~Brandi

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage. (Excellent.)

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed (Malignant's old definition of "evil" or "harmful" is being waded out of use in recent times, and it's beginning to mean "fatal / can kill," presumably because of the influence of medical dramas. You may want to omit it here so as to not confuse any agents who watch a lot of Grey's Anatomy when there's probably a better adjective or metaphor you can use to avoid the confusion.), Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

At 85,000 words THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
I think, except for that one adjustment, this query is incredibly tight actually. The story sounds engaging, the query flows well and gives a sense of character, action and scope, and it reads like something that could definitely grab the attention of readers and agents.

I like this a lot. Good luck with it!

brandi_fey
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 7th, 2010, 4:14 pm

OMG, thanks so much, rainbowsheeps! I'm doing a happy dance now. :)

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dahosek
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by dahosek » April 7th, 2010, 5:55 pm

brandi_fey wrote: Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head.
This sentece is a bit long. There are an awful lot of subordinate clauses going on here. I'd break this into two sentences, or separate two independent clauses with a semicolon.
brandi_fey wrote: But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.
It seemed like she was whisked away before the marriage when you talk about "her salvation comes..." You need to clarify that. I think you could also stand to explain why she would be whisked away. Otherwise, you've done a good job of creating a tight query hook.

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by Emily J » April 7th, 2010, 6:24 pm

brandi_fey wrote:Hi, y'all. I've been lurking around the forum and trying to be helpful in the hopes that some of you might take pity on me and peek at my query. This is a query for a work that is currently receiving some minor revisions, but I hope that by the time I have the revisions done, this query will be sparkling and everything will be ready to go. Thanks ahead of time! ~Brandi

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. If the rock is actually a dragon's head then this detail is important, if not, i don't get why it's included here. Also I agree, the first sentence is a bit long. It isn't bad but the first sentence is the hook, it's got to be perfect! But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, *hate you* whoops sorry, that is the name of the MC in the epic fantasy series in my head claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her the? instead of her? you use the word her a lot arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping feel like some info is missing, what parts of Yealanthe is she uniting? Why is she "usurping" the Dark One? Is he seated on the big ass Dragon throne? the dreaded Dark One, eh, villain in Wheel of Time, the name isn't too original a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband. good ending!

At 85,000 words you would need a comma here but I would rearrange the sentence, "THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy complete at 85,000 words" Just a suggestion! THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
Concise, generally good. Needs a bit more detail and a bit of clarification. Still don't know why you mention the shape of the rock pillow if it isn't going to be a dragon!

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Scribble
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by Scribble » April 7th, 2010, 7:41 pm

Brandi, I like this query a lot. We get the age, name, setting and character all in the first sentence. It might be a touch too long, but that's easily broken up if you want to. I've added a couple of (very small) comments in the quote.
brandi_fey wrote:
Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark A lot of use of the word Dark here, you might want to change one of them? influence grows like a malignant weed, possibly change this simile to something more dramatic, 'like a deadly cancer'? Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

At 85,000 words THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
Nice one! The novel sounds really cool and it's already pretty polished- good luck on submission.

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rainbowsheeps
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by rainbowsheeps » April 7th, 2010, 8:46 pm

Emily J wrote:Still don't know why you mention the shape of the rock pillow if it isn't going to be a dragon!
I assumed the shape of the rock is included to show the character's devotion to the concept of dragons. She loves them so much she abandons her princess bed to sleep on a rock that's shaped like one... hence the hatred for the dragonslayer husband. I think that little detail is part of what gave me a stronger connection to the character at the start. My humble opinion is KEEP it.

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by Emily J » April 7th, 2010, 10:29 pm

rainbowsheeps wrote:
Emily J wrote:Still don't know why you mention the shape of the rock pillow if it isn't going to be a dragon!
I assumed the shape of the rock is included to show the character's devotion to the concept of dragons. She loves them so much she abandons her princess bed to sleep on a rock that's shaped like one... hence the hatred for the dragonslayer husband. I think that little detail is part of what gave me a stronger connection to the character at the start. My humble opinion is KEEP it.
Whoosh.

That went right over my head. But it does make perfect sense in that light! I can see how it ties in now.

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by jmkmcmullen » April 8th, 2010, 5:47 am

A few suggestions:

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurpingTo do so she will need to usurp the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

All of your sentences are long. The shortest one is seventeen words. Try short, declarative sentences occassionally.

The last sentence contains a lot of vague innuendo. I don't know anything about her allies, so why do I care if they become enemies? How does the Dark One's influence grow? Don't just tell us it's a malignant weed, the means practically nothing to me. You should be able to get another good paragraph or two out of this one sentence. Maybe put a little more focus on her having to rely on her husband.

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by JustineDell » April 8th, 2010, 9:15 am

[quote="brandi_fey"

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered<--aside from hating the arranged marriage aspect, why does this shattered her childish fantasies. Did you she want to marry a dragon? , and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

At 85,000 words THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted][/quote]

Wow - this story sounds really neat! And your query is pretty darned tight as-is. I only have one concern. You have a few sentences in there that are REALLY long. Your first sentence is almost 40 words. A humble suggestion would be to break them up. Other than that - nice!

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

brandi_fey
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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:15 pm

Emily J wrote:
rainbowsheeps wrote:
Emily J wrote:Still don't know why you mention the shape of the rock pillow if it isn't going to be a dragon!
I assumed the shape of the rock is included to show the character's devotion to the concept of dragons. She loves them so much she abandons her princess bed to sleep on a rock that's shaped like one... hence the hatred for the dragonslayer husband. I think that little detail is part of what gave me a stronger connection to the character at the start. My humble opinion is KEEP it.
Whoosh.

That went right over my head. But it does make perfect sense in that light! I can see how it ties in now.
I was starting to get worried there. Glad that's clarified now. :)

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:18 pm

dahosek wrote:
brandi_fey wrote: Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head.
This sentece is a bit long. There are an awful lot of subordinate clauses going on here. I'd break this into two sentences, or separate two independent clauses with a semicolon.

Yeah, I tend to favor long sentences. I will see what I can do to break that up.
brandi_fey wrote: But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.
It seemed like she was whisked away before the marriage when you talk about "her salvation comes..." You need to clarify that. I think you could also stand to explain why she would be whisked away. Otherwise, you've done a good job of creating a tight query hook.
Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I guess I should say "escape from her wedding night" or some such. Thanks!

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:21 pm

Emily J wrote:
brandi_fey wrote:Hi, y'all. I've been lurking around the forum and trying to be helpful in the hopes that some of you might take pity on me and peek at my query. This is a query for a work that is currently receiving some minor revisions, but I hope that by the time I have the revisions done, this query will be sparkling and everything will be ready to go. Thanks ahead of time! ~Brandi

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. If the rock is actually a dragon's head then this detail is important, if not, i don't get why it's included here. Also I agree, the first sentence is a bit long. It isn't bad but the first sentence is the hook, it's got to be perfect! But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, *hate you* whoops sorry, that is the name of the MC in the epic fantasy series in my head claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her the? instead of her? you use the word her a lot arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping feel like some info is missing, what parts of Yealanthe is she uniting? Why is she "usurping" the Dark One? Is he seated on the big ass Dragon throne? the dreaded Dark One, eh, villain in Wheel of Time, the name isn't too original a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband. good ending!

At 85,000 words you would need a comma here but I would rearrange the sentence, "THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy complete at 85,000 words" Just a suggestion! THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
Concise, generally good. Needs a bit more detail and a bit of clarification. Still don't know why you mention the shape of the rock pillow if it isn't going to be a dragon!
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll take a look at the second paragraph and see if I can make it come off more specific. I just didn't want to go overboard, which I tend to do. :)

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:26 pm

Scribble wrote:Brandi, I like this query a lot. We get the age, name, setting and character all in the first sentence. It might be a touch too long, but that's easily broken up if you want to. I've added a couple of (very small) comments in the quote.
brandi_fey wrote:
Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurping the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark A lot of use of the word Dark here, you might want to change one of them? influence grows like a malignant weed, possibly change this simile to something more dramatic, 'like a deadly cancer'? Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

At 85,000 words THE DRAGON QUEEN is a YA fantasy. Per your submission guidelines…

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
Nice one! The novel sounds really cool and it's already pretty polished- good luck on submission.
Thank you, Scribble. Hmm. You're right, that is a lot of "Dark". I'll see what I can do about that. As for the malignant weed, I think I might change it to something more specific. ::mind-wheels turning::

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Re: Query for DRAGON QUEEN

Post by brandi_fey » April 8th, 2010, 12:32 pm

jmkmcmullen wrote:A few suggestions:

Sixteen-year-old Jade, the youngest of Thorndarl’s thirteen princesses, never expected to rule, so she spends her days dreaming of dragons and her nights sneaking out of the castle to sleep on a rock shaped like a dragon’s head. But when the famed dragonslayer, Drake, claims her for his bride, all her childish fantasies are shattered, and she prays for escape from her arranged marriage.

Her salvation comes on wings when a dragon whisks her away to the war-ravaged land of Yealanthe. She is proclaimed the Dragon Queen and charged with the task of reuniting Yealanthe and usurpingTo do so she will need to usurp the dreaded Dark One, a black dragon with a heart as dark as his scales. But when allies become enemies and the Dark One's influence grows like a malignant weed, Jade realizes that the dragons’ only hope might rest with the one man she hoped to never see again: her husband.

All of your sentences are long. The shortest one is seventeen words. Try short, declarative sentences occassionally.

The last sentence contains a lot of vague innuendo. I don't know anything about her allies, so why do I care if they become enemies? How does the Dark One's influence grow? Don't just tell us it's a malignant weed, the means practically nothing to me. You should be able to get another good paragraph or two out of this one sentence. Maybe put a little more focus on her having to rely on her husband.
I appreciate your suggestions. I don't want to expand this too much, but I will see what I can do to make this more specific.

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