Romance Query: COVET *Revision 3 posted (4.5.11)*

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AllieS
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Re: Romance Query: COVET *Revision 2 on first post*

Post by AllieS » March 22nd, 2011, 6:48 pm

In a Kingdom feared for its powerful army, Lucas is highly ranked among the King’s Elite officers. His devotion is proudly given to the formidable ruler, a man he fights with side by side, but his heart belongs to Adelais. This sounds a little wordy. "He is devoted to the king, but his heart belongs to Adelais" might be a way to shorten it a bit. Do we honestly need to know he fights side by side with the king? She’s the girl of his youth never shrinking from his boyish taunts. The woman who possesses in spirit what he has in strength. This sounds like extraneous detail for a query. We know he loves her, we'll find out all the reasons in the story. When they wed, Lucas holds sacred Adelais’ vow to never love another. Yet as he leaves for war, that promise is threatened when someone else stays behind—the King. Again, I feel as though this could be condensed. "After they wed, their vows to never love another are threatened when . . ." etcetera or something.

After months at battle, Lucas is deceived and captured by traitors of the King. They need the soldier’s inside military knowledge and lethal skills. He’s shown intercepted orders from the King intended for his top general. Orders to execute Lucas—because Adelais carries the King’s child. The enemy fakes Lucas’ death while keeping him prisoner, but Lucas considers himself dead regardless when Adelais hastily marries the King. Blind with devastation, he helps plot a vengeful war. This paragraph is more succinct than the others, but still, I feel like you could combine some elements to get straight to the point.

The stage is set for attack—until Lucas discovers the truth behind Adelais’ betrayal. Trapped in a fatal game for power, he must find a way out. Otherwise the only woman he’s ever loved is the one he’ll be responsible for killing. These last lines are great.

At 117,000 words, COVET is a re-telling of King David and Bathsheba as a historical romance set in a fictional time period.

Hope this helps!

fishfood
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Re: Romance Query: COVET *Revision 2 on first post*

Post by fishfood » March 22nd, 2011, 9:25 pm

Hey thanks Allie!

I've been recommended to do different things with what you've pointed out. "fight side by side" was told to be included since there needs to be clarification that the King normally goes to battle with his army. Otherwise it would not be unusual for the King to stay behind.

I had some recommend showing why Lucas is devoted to the King. It's expected a soldier would be devoted to his King, but showing their mutual respect, the betrayal is that much more deep. Same with explaining a bit about Adelais character. Otherwise, he loves a girl and is devoted to a King--big deal. I'd like to cut out the words like you suggest, but not sure if it'd make the query too dry?

Otherwise, thanks for the ideas on how to condense some of my verbage. :)

Bron
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Re: Romance Query: COVET *Revision 2 on first post*

Post by Bron » April 1st, 2011, 6:29 am

Overall this is good. I've cut some stuff from the first paragraph because I think you take a bit too long to set up a simple concept: Lucas is a soldier who is loyal to his King and in love with his wife. The real meat of the story begins in the next paragraph.
fishfood wrote:Thanks for all your help!
REVISION #2 as of 3/13/11:


In a Kingdom feared for its powerful army, Lucas is highly ranked among the King’s Elite officers. His devotion is proudly given Something about this sounds off to me. I'd prefer something simpler, eg. He is devoted to the formidable ruler, a man he fights with side by side, I know you said you wanted to keep this to illustrate that the King normally goes off to fight with his soldiers, but I think people will infer that anyway when they read the last line of this paragraph. The way you've written it makes it clear that the King wouldn't normally stay behind, at least to me. Plus I think the idea of him being devoted to the King needs to be next to the idea of him being in love with Adelais but his heart belongs to Adelais. She’s the girl of his youth never shrinking from his boyish taunts. The woman who possesses in spirit what he has in strength.I don't think you need this. He's in love with her, that's all we need to know. When they wed, Lucas holds sacred Adelais’ vow to never love another. Yet as he leaves for war, that promise is threatened when someone else stays behind—the King.

After months at battle, Lucas is deceived and captured by traitors of the King.When I first read this, I thought you meant they were traitors working on the King's orders. I think this would be clearer if you just said 'After months at battle, Lucas is captured by the enemy. They need the soldier’s inside military knowledge and lethal skills.I don't think you need to explain this. If they have captured and not killed him, we can assume they're after intel or to try and turn him. He’s shown intercepted orders from the King intended for his top general. Orders to execute Lucas—because Adelais carries the King’s child. The enemy fakes Lucas’ death while keeping him prisoner, but Lucas considers himself dead This sounds quite passive, like he just wants to curl up and die. It doesn't sit with helping to plot revenge to me. Can you use another phrase, eg. but Lucas wishes they had killed him for real when Adelais hastily marries the King. Blind with devastation, he helps plot a vengeful war on the King and Queen. I know I've spent the whole query telling you that you don't have to explain so much but I think it's worth emphasising this.

The stage is set for attack—until Lucas discovers the truth behind Adelais’ betrayal. Trapped in a fatal game for power, he must find a way out. Otherwise the only woman he’s ever loved is the one he’ll be responsible for killing. Good.

At 117,000 words, COVET is a re-telling of King David and Bathsheba as a historical romance set in a fictional time period.
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It's much more fun and less terrifying to critique everyone else's queries! I'm hoping some of you can pick up on things I'm blind to as the author. I do have several versions, but this one seemed to fit the "romance query" prototype the best even though the novel isn't a strict romance. I hope it's not too synops-ish. Thanks in advance, and please let me know if I can return the favor. :)

Dear Agent,

Adelais knows she shouldn’t love Lucas, and not because he stuffed frogs down her smock when they were children. But because he’s a professional soldier for the King’s Elite Army, a trained killer always a step away from death. Yet when Lucas asks her to be his wife, Adelais also knows her heart will never belong to another.

Though he risks his life serving his Kingdom, death is not what Lucas fears. If he ever lost Adelais, there would be no end to his madness. As he leaves his wife to depart for war, someone else stays behind—the King.

During battle, Lucas is deceived and captured by traitorous enemies of the King who need the soldier’s inside military knowledge and lethal skills. Fortunate for them, they know Lucas’ fatal weakness. He’s confronted with a stolen order from the King meant for his general. Orders to execute Lucas—because Adelais carries the King’s child.The enemy falsifies his death for their own gain, but Lucas considers himself dead regardless after swift news arrives of Adelais’ marriage to the King. Blind with rage, he aids them in a plot to destroy the King and his new Queen.

The stage is set for a vengeful war—until Lucas discovers the truth behind his wife’s betrayal.

Complete at 117,000 words, COVET is King David and Bathsheba re-told as a historical romance set in a fictional time period.
I think it's worth adding a sentence that the novel is told from the POV of both Lucas and Adelais. You could probably drop this info into the end of the last sentence.

fishfood
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Re: Romance Query: COVET *Revision 2 on first post*

Post by fishfood » April 4th, 2011, 10:48 pm

Thanks Bron! I actually agree with a lot of your awesome feedback, thanks for taking the time. Based on some separate feedback, I still left some things in only because one person will say I need this, the other will say I don't and I suppose in the end, if it doesn't burden the word count too much, I might as well keep it. I didn't want you to think I was totally disregarding it. ;)

Also, it's a multiple 3rd person pov novel so it's not soley from Lucas' and A's pov. I thought you only mentioned it was a multi-pov story if the pov's were first person? Sort like a Jodi Picoult novel. Am I wrong? I chose the best pov to tell the query from and Lucas was the winner. :)

I was over at agentqueryconnect.com and they harp and harp about having a "hook" in your query which I didn't think was totally necessary after perusing through Query Shark, but I reworked the query slightly to include it. So...I hope it works. Just when I was so proud I had the meat of the query under 200 words...

Tweaked version # 3:

Dear Agent,

When a powerful King steals the wife of his prized soldier and plots his murder, it results in a war that could destroy their entire Kingdom.

As a highly ranked officer in the King’s professional army, Lucas is devoted to the formidable ruler. But his heart belongs to Adelais. Teasing her when he was a boy earned him a kick to the shins, but believing in her dreams earns him her hand in marriage. When Lucas departs for battle, Adelais’ vow to never love another is threatened when someone else stays behind—the King.

After months away, Lucas is deceived and captured by the enemy. He’s shown intercepted orders from the King intended for his top general. Orders to execute Lucas—because Adelais carries the King’s child. They fake Lucas’ death while keeping him prisoner, but he wishes he’d been killed regardless when Adelais hastily marries the King. Blind with devastation, he helps plot a vengeful war against the King and his new Queen.

The stage is set for attack—until Lucas discovers the truth behind Adelais’ betrayal. Trapped in a fatal game for power, he must find a way out. Otherwise the only woman he’s ever loved is the one he’ll be responsible for killing.

At 117,000 words, COVET is a re-telling of King David and Bathsheba as a historical romance set in a fictional time period.

AllieS
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Joined: March 3rd, 2011, 3:19 am
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Re: Romance Query: COVET *Revision 3 posted (4.5.11)*

Post by AllieS » April 5th, 2011, 12:44 am

When a powerful King steals the wife of his prized soldier and plots his murder, it results in a war that could destroy their entire Kingdom.

As a highly ranked officer in the King’s professional army, Lucas is devoted to the formidable ruler. But his heart belongs to Adelais. Teasing her when he was a boy earned him a kick to the shins, but believing in her dreams earns him her hand in marriage. When Lucas departs for battle, Adelais’ vow to never love another is threatened when someone else stays behind—the King.

After months away, Lucas is deceived and captured by the enemy. He’s shown intercepted orders from the King intended for his top general. Orders to execute Lucas—because Adelais carries the King’s child. They fake Lucas’ death while keeping him prisoner, but he wishes he’d been killed regardless when Adelais hastily marries the King. Blind with devastation, he helps plot a vengeful war against the King and his new Queen.

The stage is set for attack—until Lucas discovers the truth behind Adelais’ betrayal. Trapped in a fatal game for power, he must find a way out. Otherwise the only woman he’s ever loved is the one he’ll be responsible for killing.

At 117,000 words, COVET is a re-telling of King David and Bathsheba as a historical romance set in a fictional time period.

The only thing I recommend removing is that first hook line. Since it begins with the king's action, it makes it seem as though the story is told from the king's POV. It isn't, and I like the rest of your query better without it! Good changes!

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