Query Help- FORSAKEN

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Meredith
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Meredith » June 18th, 2010, 7:20 am

There's nothing wrong with starting the query (and synopsis) a little early. Sometimes, I wish I had. Experience tells me it's going to take some time to get them right.
notw wrote:Here goes another round. :)

Revision 3

Dear Agent,

Over the past forty years, the land of Echin has experienced bloodshed at the hands of the usurper King Segreth, but his sadistic reign is coming to an end. The prophecy that has been foretold is coming to fruition and will be answered by the unlikeliest person, a sixteen year old girl.
I would leave this out or place it later. You really want to start with the main character and why we should care about her. This book is not about Echin, it's about Anna.

It's really, really hard with fantasy to give some kind of sense of place without giving too much detail.


Anna’s birthday should have been a day of fond memories and presents. Instead it marks her family’s brutal murders at the hands of brigands. In her search for answers, Anna discovers an old stained letter addressed to the grandmother she never knew.
Okay, but now you've lost Anna by going straight to her birthday. Tell a little bit about her, first--her identity, not what is reflected from her parents. Although, mentioning that family is very important to her could work if that helps drive the conflict.

Upon her arrival at her grandmother’s, she is ushered into the lifestyle of the rich and unwittingly meets the man who orchestrated her family’s murders, King Segreth. When Anna befriends his son, she is faced with a dilemma, to either settle down in her new home or to forsake this lifestyle and solve the mystery surrounding her parent’s past.But what are the stakes? Mom and Dad are dead. Solving the mystery won't bring them back so this conflict doesn't really move me. And settling down in her new home doesn't sound very exciting, either. I think you need the personal stakes for Anna, here.

For example (and I don't know your story), must Anna choose between love (with the prince, the son of her parents' murderer? A man her new family could never accept?) or the stability of a new family (and does Anna long for that after the murders?)
And here, at the end, you mention the title of your book, genre, and it's length. Perhaps end wtih a simple "I look forward to hearing from you."

I like the Query Shark's formula as an example (and if you're not reading the Query Shark along with Nathan's blog, you should be).
  • Who is the main character?
  • What choice does she have to make?
  • What are the consequences?
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Quill » June 18th, 2010, 11:01 am

notw wrote:Here goes another round. :)

Revision 3

Dear Agent,

Over the past forty years, the land of Echin has experienced bloodshed at the hands of the usurper King Segreth,
"The land has experienced blood" is simply not descriptive enough, even though you explain more below.

but his sadistic reign is coming to an end.
"Coming to an end" is also not descriptive enough, again, even though you imply more below (you do not actually state that Anna is prophesized to have something to do with that). I suggest you integrate your info a bit more to provide the needed context and linkages of your story.
The prophecy that has been foretold is coming to fruition and will be answered by the unlikeliest person,
I'm liking the story but this a bit weak, being passive ("prophecy has been...will be...").
a sixteen year old girl.

Anna’s birthday should have been a day of fond memories and presents.
Why should a birthday be a day of memories? Wouldn't it be stronger to say "wonderful experiences" or something to that effect?
Instead it marks her family’s brutal murders at the hands of brigands.
Okay, you're looking back on the birthday as being the day they were killed. Maybe forget the presents, then, and name the birthday (16th?) instead of calling her a 16-yr-old? Something to emphasize the date and smooth the transition from present to past.

Also, "brigands" doesn't tell us enough. She may not know who did it, but I think we need to know. Integrate.
In her search for answers, Anna discovers an old stained letter addressed to the grandmother she never knew.
Omit "stained" as not relevant to the query.
Upon her arrival at her grandmother’s, she is ushered into the lifestyle of the rich
Awkward. "Upon arrival she is ushered. Ushered into the lifestyle." I think you can convey this info more elegantly.

First, is one ushered into a lifestyle? Ushered is the odd word.

Second, this is a mighty off-hand way of introducing a major plot point: her grandmother is rich. Maybe go back to the letter and say "addressed to the wealthy grandmother she never knew". Integrate.
and unwittingly meets the man who orchestrated her family’s murders, King Segreth.
This is good.
When Anna befriends his son, she is faced with a dilemma, to either settle down in her new home or to forsake this lifestyle and solve the mystery surrounding her parent’s past.
Hmm. This doesn't answer the promise you made in the opening of your query about the reign ending the prophecy. I think we need a big finish about what she does with the info about her parents regarding the king. Not sure the son needs to enter this query.

Good luck. Sounds like a great story.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » July 2nd, 2010, 12:06 am

Ok, I am trying something a little different. Hope it looks at least a tiny bit better :)

Revision

Dear Agent,

Anna is your average sixteen year old but when her family is brutally murdered at the hands of brigands obeying King Segreth’s order. Her world becomes a void as the stability she craves is extinguished. Searching for answers, Anna befriends a fellow traveler who introduces her to the prophecy coming to fruition. It depicts the displacement of the reigning usurper King by the unlikeliest of souls, herself.

She inadvertently ends up meeting the man who orchestrated her family’s death and with each unraveling of the prophetic tapestry, she draws closer to the truth. Every revelation will either bring Anna closer to fulfilling the prophecy laid out before her or will push her further away as she grasps for a chance at stability.

FORSAKEN is a high school aged YA fantasy complete at 60,000 words.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Krista G. » July 2nd, 2010, 12:26 am

notw wrote:Dear Agent,

Anna is your average sixteen year old (I'd hyphenate this phrase, "sixteen-year-old," and then add a comma after it) but when her family is brutally murdered at the hands of brigands obeying King Segreth’s order. I believe you meant this period to be a comma, as the previous clause isn't a complete sentence. Her world becomes a void as the stability she craves is extinguished. This phrase doesn't have much meaning. Searching for answers, Anna befriends a fellow traveler who introduces her to the prophecy (What prophecy?) coming to fruition. It depicts the displacement of the reigning usurper King by the unlikeliest of souls, herself. "It depicts" is sort of a weaker way to start a sentence, but then, I can't come up with anything better right now. Also, "King" isn't a proper noun in this sentence, so it doesn't need to be capitalized. And the comma after "souls" doesn't imply a long enough pause to me; you might try a colon or long dash instead.

She inadvertently ends up meeting the man who orchestrated her family’s death (You could use a comma here, after "death") and with each unraveling of the prophetic tapestry, she draws closer to the truth. Every revelation will either bring Anna closer to fulfilling the prophecy laid out before her or will push her further away as she grasps for a chance at stability. I think this paragraph is too generic to really give us a sense of what's going on. And I'm not a big fan of the phrase "will either bring Anna closer to fulfilling the prophecy laid out before her or will push her further away." It's kind of like saying, "When Anna comes to a fork in the road, she will either go left or right."

FORSAKEN is a high school aged YA fantasy complete at 60,000 words. "High school aged" and "YA" are redundant. I'd stick with just "YA."
I apologize if this sounds a little snarky. I'm down there in the query-writing trenches with you, so I'm feeling extra critical at the moment. My only general suggestion would be to be as specific as possible. (How's that for an oxymoron?) Good luck.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » July 2nd, 2010, 12:38 am

Krista,

Thanks for the comments they were very helpful and did not seem snarky at all :) Good luck on your own query work!

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Emily J » July 2nd, 2010, 2:07 pm

notw wrote:Ok, I am trying something a little different. Hope it looks at least a tiny bit better :)

Revision

Dear Agent,

Anna is your average sixteen year old actually I believe this is correct as is, you only hyphenate when it is an attributive compound adj as in "Sixteen-year-old Anna..." I would add a comma here though but when her family is brutally murdered at the hands of brigands obeying King Segreth’s order. this is a sentence fragment, read it again ignoring the first clause "but when her family is brutally murdered at the hands of brigands obeying King Segreth's order..." it's an incomplete sentece, I do luv the word brigand however Her world becomes a void as the stability she craves is extinguished. odd word choice here, craved stability being extinguished? Searching for answers, Anna befriends a fellow traveler this implies she is a traveler? who introduces her to the prophecy coming to fruition. coming to fruition isn't much of a helpful modifier to prophecy It depicts depicts feels like a weak verb, portends? maybe? the displacement of the reigning usurper King by the unlikeliest of souls, herself.

this transition could flow a bit better She inadvertently ends up meeting the man who orchestrated her family’s death and with each unraveling of the prophetic tapestry, hmm, a bit heavy handed with the metaphor she draws closer to the truth. Every revelation will either bring Anna closer to fulfilling the prophecy laid out before her or will push her further away as she grasps for a chance at stability. what revelations? this feels a bit too generic, I have seen this language far too often in queries, secrets revealed, shocking revelations, etc etc my advice: be more specific

FORSAKEN is a high school aged YA fantasy complete at 60,000 words.
Overall this isn't bad, it gets the general plot across. I do think the grammar and diction could be improved. But these are just suggestions, feel free to take 'em or leave 'em.

Best of luck querying-

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by J. T. SHEA » July 2nd, 2010, 2:45 pm

Anna is hardly 'your average sixteen year old' if she lives under someone called King Segreth. What happened to President Obama? Did Segreth kill him too?

Seriously, Notw, look at what actually happens in your revised query. King Segreth has Anna's parents murdered. A traveller tells Anna she will take Segreth's throne. She meets Segreth(?)

A query is not a synopsis, but I think an agent needs more of the story. What does Anna do? How does a teenager overthrow a king? Or does she? And isn't 'high school aged YA' redundant, or am I missing something? I know you gave more story in earlier draft queries, but they were hard to follow and concentrated on Anna discovering things and not doing much about them.

An agent can only assume your novel is written in a style similar to your query. So watch the grammar and phrasing! What about summing up the story in a single sentence and then expanding?

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » July 2nd, 2010, 3:13 pm

J.T & Emily,

Thanks for the suggestions. There is definitely a lot I need to work on and your advice has given me a good starting point. Thanks again for taking the time to look over my query :)

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » August 1st, 2010, 11:41 pm

Revision 5

Alright I think I am ready for another round :) Would love to know which one you guys like the most.

Version 1
While most maidens Anna’s age are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, Anna is left floundering for answers after the sudden murder of her family.

In her search for information, Anna heads towards the capital city of Echin. While on her journey, she is rescued from enslavement by a complete stranger. It is this stranger named Tormod who is one of the last of the Forsaken, a group of individuals who have foresworn their fealty to guarding Echin’s true history from the distortion by the king. For it is through this diversion that the King has remained unchallenged as many have forgotten the truth. And it is Tormod who introduces Anna to the prophecy that has been foretold predicting the downfall of the usurper King Segreth by none other than a mere peasant who will bring about years of prosperity and peace.

It is in the capital city that Anna inadvertently runs into the prince one of the orchestrators in the murder of peasants throughout Echin. After many intimate meetings, unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, Anna soon becomes betrothed to a man she never wanted to marry: the prince. While living in the castle, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unravel, leaving her with a decision that will drastically change the outcome of Echin’s future.

FORSAKEN is complete at 51,000 words and is meant to be told in two parts but was written to stand alone as well.

Version 2
For centuries the Forsaken have guarded and protected the king, their fealty sworn to him alone. But all of that is about to change by the usurper, General Segreth. Segreth, who upon taking the throne, hunts the Forsaken to near extinction, hoping to crush all forms of resistance to the new regime. Their only ray of hope rests on the shoulders of a peasant family.

While most maidens Anna’s age are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, Anna is left floundering for answers after the sudden murder of her family. It is in her search for information that she heads to the capital of Echin. While on her journey, she is rescued from enslavement by a complete stranger. This stranger, Tormod, is one of the last of the Forsaken who remains vigilant in protecting Echin’s true history from the distortion by the king. For it has been through this deception that the king has remained unchallenged for the last forty years, as many have forgotten the true history. From Tormod, Anna learns of the prophecy that has been foretold predicting the downfall of the usurper king by none other than a peasant who will bring about years of prosperity and peace.

It is in the capital city that Anna inadvertently runs into one of the men who orchestrated the murders of peasants all through Echin: the prince. After spending time with the prince and unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, she soon finds herself betrothed and on her way to being the next princess. It’s while living in the castle, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unravel, leaving her with a decision that will drastically change the outcome of Echin’s future.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Emily J » August 2nd, 2010, 11:19 am

notw wrote:Revision 5

Alright I think I am ready for another round :) Would love to know which one you guys like the most.

Version 1
While most maidens Anna’s age are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, Anna is left floundering for answers after the sudden murder of her family. not bad, this helps us get a feel for the setting of the novel but I feel there could be more of a logical flow in the sentence

In her search for information, Anna heads towards the capital city of Echin. While on her journey, she is rescued from enslavement by a complete stranger. It is this stranger named Tormod who is one of the last of the Forsaken, a group of individuals who have foresworn their fealty to guarding Echin’s true history from the distortion by the king. all kings? or just the latest king, and what distortion? a bit unclear For it is through this diversion that the King has remained unchallenged as many have forgotten the truth. what diversion? i find this sentence confusing And it is you are using this construction too much, "it is..." comes across as a bit stilted Tormod who introduces Anna to the prophecy that has been foretold "that has been foretold" seems unnecessary predicting the downfall of the usurper King Segreth how is he a usurper? who has he usurped? by none other than a mere peasant who will bring about years of prosperity and peace.

It is <-- see! you need to switch up your sentence structure in the capital city that Anna inadvertently runs into the prince i think you need a comma here one of the orchestrators in the murder of peasants throughout Echin. a bit awkward, and shouldn't it be murders plural? After many intimate meetings, what does that mean? unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, Anna soon becomes betrothed to a man she never wanted to marry: the prince. While living in the castle, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unravel, leaving her with a decision what decision? that will drastically change the outcome of Echin’s future. how will it change the outcome of Echin's future?

FORSAKEN is complete at 51,000 words and is meant to be told in two parts but was written to stand alone as well.

Version 2
For centuries the Forsaken have guarded and protected the king, their fealty sworn to him alone. But all of that is about to change by the usurper, wrong tense, that isn't about to change, it already has changed General Segreth. Segreth, who upon taking the throne, hunts the Forsaken to near extinction, hoping to crush all forms of resistance to the new regime. Their indefinite pronoun only ray of hope rests on the shoulders of a peasant family.

While most maidens Anna’s age are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, Anna is left floundering for answers after the sudden murder of her family. It is in her search for information that she heads to the capital of Echin. While on her journey, she is rescued from enslavement by a complete stranger. This stranger, Tormod, is one of the last of the Forsaken who remains vigilant in protecting Echin’s true history from the distortion by the king. For it has been through this deception that the king has remained unchallenged for the last forty years, as many have forgotten the true history. From Tormod, Anna learns of the prophecy that has been foretold predicting the downfall of the usurper king by none other than a peasant who will bring about years of prosperity and peace.

It is in the capital city that Anna inadvertently runs into one of the men who orchestrated the murders of peasants all through Echin: the prince. After spending time with the prince and unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, she soon finds herself betrothed and on her way to being the next princess. i think this part is clearer than in the other version It’s while living in the castle, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unravel, leaving her with a decision that will drastically change the outcome of Echin’s future.
I'm not sure which query I like better. I think starting with Anna is a good idea, however I think the second query did a better job of explaining who the Forsaken are and how the prince is involved in the nefarious plot. So I guess I would try and combine the two.

Overall though, there are a lot of plot points given but I think you could do a better way of tying everything together. I am assuming that Anna's family were murdered due to the prophecy and that the king and prince are unaware that she survived but these are points that could be explained. Also not sure how Segreth is a usurper. And I think you definitely need to explain what choice Anna faces.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by mfreivald » August 2nd, 2010, 11:35 am

I think the first one is stronger, mostly because it’s Anna’s story, and you need to get her involved right away.

I think it could be condensed a bit.
While most maidens Anna’s age are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, Anna is left floundering for answers after the sudden murder of her family.<--I personally avoid words that could tacitly signal the agent in ways you don’t want. In this case “flounder.” It might be a perfect word to describe what occurs, but I don’t want the idea that my characters are “floundering” anywhere in the agent’s head. I also think you can combine this sentence with the next paragraph.--<<

In her search for information,<--I think this in particular should be specific. Does she follow a witness? Were there insignias on the murderers’ uniforms identifiable to Echin? Does she find out it was the kings orders? It’s odd for a murder investigation to look far away for an answer, so I need reason.--<< Anna heads towards the capital city of Echin. While on her journey,<--I don’t think this is necessary--<< she is rescued from enslavement by a complete stranger.<--This seems like something that could be easily shown rather than told.--<< It is this stranger named Tormod who is one of the last of the Forsaken,<--I choked on this in both versions for a number of reasons. For one, it’s the name of the powerful sorcerers in Wheel of Time (which has very bad/evil guy connotations). For two, it doesn’t help us understand who they are or who Tormod is. I think a simple descriptive word would work much better.--<< a group of individuals who have foresworn their fealty to guarding Echin’s true history from the distortion by the king.<--This is murky, and it doesn’t help us understand Anna’s story, so, unless you are going to create tension with Anna by it (like telling us something specific), I would just drop it.--<< For it is through this diversion that the King has remained unchallenged as many have forgotten the truth.<--More of the murkiness. Something tangible would be better.--<< And it is Tormod who introduces Anna to the prophecy that has been foretold predicting the downfall of the usurper King Segreth by none other than a mere peasant who will bring about years of prosperity and peace.<--I think you say too much about the prophecy here. The prophecy that ends in the good guys winning takes the wind out of your tension’s sails. It almost says to me: You don’t really need to read this, because we all know they win in the end.--<<

It is in the capital city that Anna inadvertently<--I don’t think you should advertise to the agent that your plot is “inadvertent” rather than having strong events closely tied to previous ones.--<< runs into the prince one of the orchestrators in the murder of peasants throughout Echin. After many intimate meetings, unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, Anna soon becomes betrothed to a man she never wanted to marry: the prince.<--This sentence could be a lot stronger. A short sentence showing the prince selecting her for his bride would work.--<< While living in the castle, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unravel,<--I think you mean “unfold.” “Unravel” implies that the mystery is falling apart.--<< leaving her with a decision that will drastically change the outcome of Echin’s future.<--Instead of confronting her with a choice, can the unfolding of it place her in greater peril somehow? This sentence is a perfect place to really ratchet up the tension, but her murky decision doesn’t give me much.--<<

FORSAKEN is complete at 51,000 words and is meant to be told in two parts but was written to stand alone as well.<--I don’t think I would complicate things with this. Keep it simple, and don’t leave them asking: “So . . . which is it?”--<<
It seems like you might have a compelling story, and you have a natural structure toward rising tension (who murdered her family?-->chases answers; will she find answers?-->pulled into the enemy’s lair; will she survive and solve the mystery?-->read and find out), but you need to draw out its compelling features more.

Regards,
Mark

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » August 2nd, 2010, 11:48 am

Emily & Mark,

Thanks for the comments. Looking forward to trying this again :)

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » August 3rd, 2010, 1:03 pm

Here is my latest revision.

Most maidens at the age of sixteen are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, but Anna is left grasping for answers after the sudden murder of her family.

Upon finding a letter addressed to a mysterious woman in the capital city of Echin, she sets out hoping to find answers. Anna sets up came for the evening, but finds herself surrounded by enslavers until a stranger named Tormod comes to her rescue.Tormod is one of the last of the Forsaken, a small group of individuals who have remained vigilant in waiting for the rightful heir to immerge. From Tormod, Anna learns of the prophecy predicting the downfall of the reigning king by none other than a peasant. Tormod believes that Anna’s parent’s past plays a vital role in the prophecy’s future, if the king doesn’t place the pieces together first.

In the capital city, Anna runs into the prince, one of the orchestrators in the murders of peasants throughout Echin. From the moment they collided, the prince had sealed her fate by choosing her to be his wife. Unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, she moves into the castle. With each passing day, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unfold, placing her in line to be one of the king’s greatest threats if she chooses to continue the legacy of the Forsaken.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by mfreivald » August 4th, 2010, 11:06 am

Most maidens at the age of sixteen are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, but Anna is left grasping for answers after the sudden murder of her family.<--I think this could be a lot stronger. Maybe: “Anna’s hopes for a courtship at sixteen, typical for maidens her age, were crushed by the sudden murder of her family.”--<<

Upon finding a letter addressed to a mysterious woman in the capital city of Echin, she sets out hoping to find answers.<--This is really murky without knowing something about why that letter gives hope for answers.--<< Anna sets up came for the evening, but finds herself surrounded by enslavers until a stranger named Tormod comes to her rescue.<--This sentence needs a lot of polish. “Enslavers” is odd. I’d go with “slave traders” or “slave hunters”--<< Tormod is one of the last of the Forsaken, a small group of individuals who have remained vigilant in waiting for the rightful heir to immerge.<--Without previous reference, we need to know what he would be heir to--<< From Tormod, Anna learns of the prophecy predicting the downfall of the reigning king by none other than<--I don’t think “none other than” helps here--<< a peasant. Tormod believes that Anna’s parent’s past plays a vital role in the prophecy’s future, if the king doesn’t place the pieces together first.<--This looks like it could ratchet up the tension, but it needs polish.--<<

In the capital city, Anna runs into the prince, one of the orchestrators in the murders of peasants throughout Echin.<--This is a bit incongruent because, up to now, the query gives the impression that Anna’s family’s murder is an isolated event. Now it sounds like we should know about these ongoing murders of peasants. You should probably allude to them above.--<< From the moment they collided,<--You should probably drop this and just say “the prince seals her fate”--<< the prince had sealed her fate by choosing her to be his wife. Unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, she moves into the castle. With each passing day, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unfold,<--By the way, I guess your usage of “unravel” was technically correct, but a) I like unfold a lot better, b) it still would have distracting connotations, and c) the word was used in three different queries that I’ve read in three days, so it's probably overused. My concern now is that it might be a little inactive, and an active form of it might help build the tension--<< placing her in line to be one of the king’s greatest threats if she chooses to continue the legacy of the Forsaken.
I think you have the meat of a potentially good query here, but it really needs to be massaged and polished for clarity and effect.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by thewhipslip » August 6th, 2010, 8:59 pm

notw wrote:Here is my latest revision.

Most maidens at the age of sixteen are hoping for a courtship as they enter into adulthood, but Anna is left grasping for answers after the sudden murder of her family.I agree with mfreivald here that this sentence is a little clunky. It's long and it doesn't necessarily grab you because the murders are left at the end. That's the most interesting part. I think the sentence should be shorter, perhaps something like: "Anna is supposed to be pining for marriage now that she's sixteen - but her entire family has been murdered."

Upon finding a letter addressed to a mysterious woman in the capital city of Echin, she sets out hoping to find answers I'm not clear on how the letter connects to answers. What's in the letter that makes her think Echin is useful?. Anna sets up came for the evening, but finds herself surrounded by enslavers until a stranger named Tormod comes to her rescue.Tormod is one of the last of the Forsaken, a small group of individuals who have remained vigilant in waiting for the rightful heir to immerge. From Tormod, Anna learns of the prophecy predicting the downfall of the reigning king by none other than a peasant. Tormod believes that Anna’s parent’s past plays a vital role in the prophecy’s future, if the king doesn’t place the pieces together first.

And here is where Tormod is never heard from again. Just when I was having fantasies of a Forsaken love story. Where'd he go?

In the capital city, Anna runs into the prince, one of the orchestrators in the murders of peasants throughout Echin What peasant murders?. From the moment they collided, the prince had sealed her fate by choosing her to be his wife. I would take the first half of the sentence away. Pare your words: In the capital city, Anna is seen by the prince - and he wants her for a wife. Unaware of his involvement in her family’s murder, she moves into the I would say "his castle".castle. With each passing day, the mystery of her parent’s past begins to unfold, placing her in line to be one of the king’s greatest threats if she chooses to continue the legacy of the Forsaken.
1) As I already mentioned, where the heck is Tormod and the Forsaken? That plot line drifted off.
2) It sounds like the book takes place mostly in the castle, making the first two paragraphs just back-story...Or am I reading that wrong?
3) I'm not sensing the conflict here. What can Anna do to escape this prince? It sounds like he can easily kill her, so what can she fight him with? And why does finding out the truth about her family's murder change anything? Make her more active in this. Things are happening to her right now, but I'm not feeling a plan coming from her. That's what's going to make me read. Have Anna write your query letter, see what she says about her life.
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