Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

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glj
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Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by glj » October 13th, 2010, 10:39 am

Dear _,

Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series.

Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all else. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door, but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome.

Thank you for your consideration.

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androidblues
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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by androidblues » October 13th, 2010, 12:15 pm

Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series.

Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard.Clunky sentence Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all else. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door, but in a universe of eccentric wizards. (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome.

WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE is a 106,000 word comedic fantasy novel that will appeal to readers of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
I don't think it's bad. I'd offer more critique but my brain is feeling sort of dead.
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wilderness
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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by wilderness » October 13th, 2010, 12:29 pm

Um...I think this sounds awesome! What a fun idea. I don't really have any suggestions for the query. Except Query Shark recommends you put the word-count and genre at the bottom.

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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by robyn » October 13th, 2010, 1:10 pm

Great sounding story, though,I do think you can move your first sentence down. That way you can head straight into the MEAT. You definitely need a hook. Build off the first sentence. It doesn't read easy. Maybe just changing a few words around will do the trick. Grandpap sounds like quite a character. I want him to find a bride. But I need to care about Sonny. So far I don't. He's a selfish money (gold) grubber. I find out at the end of the query that Sonny does have love in his heart, which makes me care about him, but by then will the agent still be reading? It has been said that every scoundrel has something good about them. Mention that about Sonny at the beginning. And I am no expert. My query is full of holes, but I am just going with my gut here. Also, since Grandpap is so cheap it makes me wonder why Sonny would want to go through all of this just for a little gold. Since he is a cheat and can probably make more off the villagers than the paltry sum Grandpap is offering.

Dear _,

Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series.

Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard.This first sentence needs more hook to reel in the agent and make them WANT to read more of your query. Otherwise they may stop after reading this first sentence. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheapIf Grandpap is so cheap, why is he supporting Sonny?. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all elseDon't we know that Sonny loves gold from reading the first part of the query?. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they (Who are they? I thought Sonny was in complete charge.)devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests Like what?will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door,I wonder if you need this. It distracts and by reading the query we can see that it is medieval reality with magic. but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome. Sounds like it has some humor in it too. If I'm right about that, show some through the voice of the story.

Thank you for your consideration.Always thank them for their time as much as their consideration. I hope I have helped even a little. I HAVE no confidence in my query critting ability.

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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by Mark17 » October 13th, 2010, 2:05 pm

This sounds awesome and I'd definitely read it even with this query, but the query could definitely still be pumped up a little. I agree with the previous poster, I need a reason to care about Sonny.

Dear _,

Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series. Move this to the end. Also you probably don't need the word humorous, we read your query, we know it's humorous.

Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all else. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.

Again, why do we care about Sonny? Think about slackers who you care about from other things. Usually they have a heart of gold or something. Sonny's ridiculing his grandpaps idea, which actually sounds great. I don't want to root for a guy who is helping his Grandpap for money. I think about a famous slacker like Happy Gilmore (not exactly the most high-culture) reference, but the one reason you root for him is he loves his Grandparents.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

I love that he falls for the giantess, but again why do we want him to end up with her. It's clear that Sonny actually is a redeeming character, it may be as simple as taking out some of the negative stuff about him in the first paragraph. Or even, why does he still live with his Grandpa? Right there might tell us something about him.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door, but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome.

This paragraph is great.

Thank you for your consideration.

Again, I think most people would want to read from this query, but if you could show some of Sonny's redeeming qualities a little more, I think it would go long way. Great job and good luck.

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Thermocline
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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by Thermocline » October 13th, 2010, 3:11 pm

As the others have noted, it's hard to like Sonny. I also wonder if he really is a slacker. I'm guessing that cheating villagers, pilfering gold, and planning a pageant take some initiative. Is there another way you could describe him that might make Sonny a more sympathetic protagonist? What about something like, "Sonny the Scoundrel learned scoundreling at his father's knee, and the twelfth century was not a good one for changing careers."
glj wrote:Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series. Moving this to the end allows you to jump right into the hook of your novel.

Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all else. Much of this paragraph is devoted to Grandpap. You might want to try to keep the focus on Sonny. Something like, "When Grandpap the wizard asked for help with finding a young wife - a trophy bride - Sonny sees an opportunity to make money and meet chicks." To draw fair maidens from near and far, they devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors. I think you could delete these two lines because the idea behind a pageant is pretty clear.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then This twist in your story comes with the next line. I'd suggest removing the previous two sentences so you can get right to it. Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom What does Grandpap's lack of interest have to do with Sonny's problem? Stay focused on what Sonny is doing/the choices he needs to make.. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door This is a show about Playboy Playmates. You might want to A. consider if this really is the image you're going for or B. give us some hint above that nudity/sexuality are going to play a part in your book. , but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome. I like this line, but I think it needs to come before the last line of the previous paragraph. This might make for a good opening of the second paragraph.

Thank you for your consideration.
I think a little trimming will make a difference for your query. You've got a great set up, you just need to tighten the wording a little. I hope my comments help!

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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by Jaligard » October 13th, 2010, 6:19 pm

I LOVE this idea. The query needs a lot work.

The problem you've got is that you've got such a great idea. You have an additional task. Not only do you have to make the novel sound interesting and convince an agent you can string together 106,000 words into an enjoybale story, you have to convince them that you can pull this idea off. It's the epitome of high concept. Everyone has an instant perception of how it should go. You not only have to show you can deliver to those expectations, but that you can exceed them.

You've got three paragraphs.
glj wrote:Medieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. START HERE So When Sonny's Grandpap announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden. Sonny, the medieval slacker, loves gold above all else. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they helps devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.
I think you can trim here (and elsewhere) and get to the guts of the story. I'm not sure how the above edits actually read, but you shoul be able to fit it into the same space:

My stab: Sonny the Scoundrel has not amounted to anything yet, but why should he? As long as Grandpap the wizard keeps him fed and does not notice the missing gold in his hoard every week, Sonny can live the life of ease. When the one-hundred-and-forty year-old geezer decides it is time to take a trophy wife, Sonny gets the job. To earn his pay--equal to the dowry--Sonny devises a series of contets to eliminate the faint of heart and select the perfect bride for Grandpap.
As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. But Grandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving Sonny’s fears that Grandpap has another scheme in play. Then Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door, but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome.
Now, I think you're giving away too much of the story. Personally, I would recommend a short list of contestants along the lines of "Could it be Dori, the elven princess, or Esmerelda Vadoma Lumitsa Florica Johnson of the gypsy-kin? Will Trixie the Pixie survive the physical challenge and can Griselda Gruts the giantess win immunity before Elena the Enchantress votes her out of the contest?"

Use examples from the novel. Make it FUN. Give us enough to know it's a reality show without ever explaining it. Since you're pitching a humorous novel here, use this whole paragraph to show off that humor and give us an idea what we'll see in the book. Be ruthlessly funny.

Then hit us with a summary paragraph and just hint at Sonny's dilemma: He's fallen for one of the contestants. You don't need to tell the whole story here, just enough to pique our interest.

glj
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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by glj » October 14th, 2010, 9:47 am

Thanks for the feedback, eveyone.

My main concern has been the last paragraph. My critique group was divided, with some liking it and some hating it. And I have often seen comments for the queries of others that one should never compare to a movie or TV show, only to another book. So I have wrestled with this. But it has been designed from the beginning as a parody of reality shows, cheesy and tawdry and all just spectacle for the audience, but in a world of medieval magic.

The other aspect I have been grappling with is the likeability of the characters. Sonny is not a warm and fuzzy character. Neither is Grandpap. All of the characters are heavily flawed. So I have worked at making some redeeming qualities in the book, but don't want the query to read like Sonny and Grandpap are horrible persons (though they are shallow and self-centered most of the time).

The suggestions above give me ideas to ponder, so I will work on a revision.

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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by fishfood » October 19th, 2010, 10:15 pm

glj wrote:Thanks for the feedback, eveyone.

My main concern has been the last paragraph. My critique group was divided, with some liking it and some hating it. And I have often seen comments for the queries of others that one should never compare to a movie or TV show, only to another book. So I have wrestled with this. But it has been designed from the beginning as a parody of reality shows, cheesy and tawdry and all just spectacle for the audience, but in a world of medieval magic.

The other aspect I have been grappling with is the likeability of the characters. Sonny is not a warm and fuzzy character. Neither is Grandpap. All of the characters are heavily flawed. So I have worked at making some redeeming qualities in the book, but don't want the query to read like Sonny and Grandpap are horrible persons (though they are shallow and self-centered most of the time).

The suggestions above give me ideas to ponder, so I will work on a revision.
I read through the posts and thought the suggestions were awesome so felt at a loss to contribute until you responded. Here's my take on the likeability of your characters. They're likable BECAUSE they are scoundrels. And the fact that Sonny falls in love is with a "fat-chick" is pretty adorable in my mind. Last time I checked, "heavily-flawed" was a GOOD thing in writing, especially satires.

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Re: Wizard Seeking Trophy Bride

Post by oldhousejunkie » October 20th, 2010, 1:47 pm

glj wrote:Dear _,

Please consider representing my fantasy manuscript, WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, complete at 106,000 words, a humorous tale in the vein of Robert Asprin’s “Myth” series. Move to the bottom.

START HEREMedieval slacker Sonny the Scoundrel wants nothing more out of life than to continue living off Grandpap the wizard, avoiding work, cheating villagers, and pilfering gold from Grandpap’s hidden hoard. Grandpap is eccentric, one hundred forty years old, and terribly cheap. So when he announces that he wants to take a young and fair wife—a trophy bride—Sonny ridicules the idea. But Grandpap insists, and promises Sonny a reward in the same amount as the dower if Sonny will help find a suitable maiden, as Sonny loves gold above all else. To draw fair maidens from near and far, they devise pageants where beautiful young women will vie to marry the aged wizard. Magical tests will eliminate the faint of heart and one girl will be voted off at each pageant. At the end, Grandpap will pick his trophy bride from among the survivors.

As the finale approaches, Sonny lusts for his promised dower match. ButGrandpap will not reveal whether he finds any of the fair maidens suitable, reviving and Sonny’s fears that Grandpap hasthere is another scheme in play. Then When Sonny falls for the unlikeliest of contestants, the giantess Griselda Gruts... HOW DOES SONNY FEEL ABOUT THIS? I think this is where you can make him more likeable or show the shift in his priorities. When Griselda is magically kidnapped during the final pageant, Grandpap is strangely uninterested in helping the frantic Sonny pay the ransom and win her freedom. As a result, Sonny must choose between the girl of his dreams or the gold of his desire. I don't like this ending at all. It's kind of blah for a query that was quicky and witty up to this point.

It’s a medieval reality show, with magic! Think The Bachelor meets The Girls Next Door, but in a universe of eccentric wizards (as if there were any other kind). Sonny struggles to keep the pageants on track as young women vie to marry Grandpap, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as both the wizard and the contestants resort to spells, love potions, and deceptions to affect the outcome. I would strike all of this and insert your genre, title, word count,etc. I think you've conveyed in your query what this story is and how fun it's going to be, so this whole paragraph is not very helpful.

Thank you for your consideration.
WOW! What fun...and I don't even like fantasy. I think you did an excellent job conveying the plot while not losing your voice. And beyond what I mentioned earlier, I think you should leave Sonny alone. Good luck to you!

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