Query - Forest Whispers

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Query - Forest Whispers

Post by skypdleck » July 12th, 2018, 11:39 pm

Dear (Agent),

There are many things that may destabilize the human being. For Savannah Ross, the turbulent divorce of her parents and a devastating break-up seemed to have reached the edge. But when an accident occurs, a wildfire begins and everything around is on fire except for her, Savannah finally understands that all the previous stuff was only a prelude.

Living with his mother, a little more than one year, in the superstitious town of Valency Falls, Savannah had already understood that the gypsies in the woods were everything that the people dreaded and avoided the most. She, having as a friend, the mysterious gypsy Blake Dalaryo, and herself partaking of this newfound lineage, starts figuring out the reason behind so much superstition: the gypsies know magic.

Savannah spends most of her time learning and understanding this magic, however she finds out that this whole power is useless when it comes to the fact that unexplainable things start to happen. Children are disappearing without leaving any trace, crazy animals are attacking without a reason and the whole ground awakes covered with snow in mid-August. And in a blink, all the quietness of the town becomes craziness and the gypsies in the woods must be the ones behind this, although, not even the gypsies themselves know the answers for all these uncanny events. Now they have to deal with the rage of a prejudiced town and solve their own issues.

Savannah, finds herself completely overwhelmed when she discovers that she is one of the few that may decipher this riddle and the answer she finds reveal a more sinister purpose than she ever could have imagined.

FOREST WHISPERS is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a planned series. Per submission guideline I’ve pasted the first fifteen pages below. Thank you for taking the time to consider FOREST WHISPERS.


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Re: Query - Forest Whispers

Post by Muse_Clio » September 6th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Ok. You are all over the place here. When you rewrite, which I think you should, these are my thoughts. These are the elements that I see could be interesting. But I don't know enough about your story to really say.

In the first paragraph:

After a wildfire starts and everything around her is on fire, Savannah realizes her parent's messy divorce and her own devastating breakup was nothing compared to what's coming next. Is she causing the fire? Is she immune to the fire? What's going on here?

In the second paragraph:

Savannah understood that the townspeople fear the gypsies in the woods. When she befriends a gypsy named Blake she discovers the reason behind the fear and distrust, the Gypsies have magic.

"Valency falls" stops me cold. It takes a second to realize, ok that's the name of the town. I recommend changing it because the last thing you want is for me to stop and go huh?

Third Paragraph:

When children disappear without a trace, animals attack without reason and the whole town wakes to find the ground covered with snow in mid-August, Savannah discovers that the magic she's spent her time learning is powerless to stop it. Blinded by their fear, the townspeople lash out, attacking what they think is the source of their devastation: the Gypsies.

When you re-write, you may consider putting this first. It tells you the stakes, it introduces Savannah and the gypsies and tells you that there's magic. In this paragraph, you don't need to know the gypsies have magic, because the people are already afraid of them because they're outsiders and THEY don't know that gypsies have magic.

Fourth Paragraph:

Savannah, finds herself completely overwhelmed when she discovers that she is one of the few that may decipher this riddle and the answer she finds reveal a more sinister purpose than she ever could have imagined.

Personally, I say scrap this line. "decipher this riddle" sounds like there's an actual riddle she needs to solve. (like: what walks on four legs at the beginning of its life, then two, then three at the end of its life.)

Revise. Repost. Good Luck.

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Re: Query - Forest Whispers

Post by nlshippen » October 27th, 2019, 11:24 pm

It's my understanding that genre and word count need to be at the top of the query so the agent knows whether your story is for them. I am not an expert, so perhaps more experienced writers can confirm if that is the case. In saying that, if I were an agent I would definitely want to see that information first to decide if I should keep reading.

The idea of one problem eclipsing another is very appealing, as this often happens in life. Savanah thought she had problems when her parents divorced but soon after she has to deal with the life threatening fire. A great way to escalate the tension. Also in paragraph 2 you write "Living with his mother", however, Savanah is a girl so it should be "her" mother.

In paragraph 2, it would be clearer to state that she and her mother move to a new town following the divorce, rather that say "Living with his mother, a little more than one year, in the superstitious town of Valency Falls.' The idea of moving to a mysterious town with gypsies is very appealing, as is the way Savanah as an outsider is drawn to them.

Then comes the strange and chaotic happenings in the town for which the gypsies get the blame. It is intriguing that the gypsies don't know what's going on and the enmity with the townsfolk is going to be a great source of conflict.

I would have liked some indication of why Savanah is "one of the few" who has some insight into the reason for the chaos and I would like to know who the others are.

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