Query Help- FORSAKEN

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mfreivald
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by mfreivald » August 7th, 2010, 10:29 am

Well, I deserve a flogging for suggesting a line written in the passive.

I also think you could drop the reference to typical maidens altogether. So an active sentence might read:
"The sudden murder of Anna's family crushed her hopes for courtship at the age of sixteen."

If you wanted to keep the maidens, it might be better with a second sentence, ala: "While other maidens flirted with suitors, Anna grasped for answers."

It might be worth playing with, anyway.

notw
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » October 10th, 2010, 1:15 pm

Revision

Alright, I am going to try this again. Hoping this might explain it a little better. :)

Sixteen-year-old Anna is mourning the sudden death of her family. While other maidens her age are preparing to enter into courtships, she is left grasping for answers.

Taking refuge in a nearby village it soon becomes apparent no one knows anything about her parent’s mysterious past or why someone would want them dead. It isn’t until a stranger named Tormod starts prying into her family that she learns of her father’s possible involvement in the Forsaken, a group forsworn to protect the rightful heir before he was murdered at the hands of his trusted general. Anna is also introduced to the prophecy that has foretold the death of the current king at the hands of a peasant.

Accompanied by Tormod, Anna sets out for the capital city of Echin, hoping to find someone who may know more about her father’s involvement with the Forsaken. But after an accidental encounter with the Prince who becomes infatuated with her, Anna is lined up to become one of the king’s greatest threats. That is, if she learns about her father’s heritage and follows in his footsteps before the king discovers the truth.

FORSAKEN is a YA fantasy complete at 52,000 words, a standalone story with potential for a sequel.

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Quill
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Quill » October 10th, 2010, 2:08 pm

notw wrote:Revision

Alright, I am going to try this again. Hoping this might explain it a little better. :)

Sixteen-year-old Anna is mourning the sudden death of her family. While other maidens her age are preparing to enter into courtships, she is left grasping for answers.

Taking refuge in a nearby village it soon becomes apparent no one knows anything about her parent’s mysterious past or why someone would want them dead. It isn’t until a stranger named Tormod starts prying into her family that she learns of her father’s possible involvement in the Forsaken, a group forsworn to protect the rightful heir before he was murdered at the hands of his trusted general. Anna is also introduced to the prophecy that has foretold the death of the current king at the hands of a peasant.

Accompanied by Tormod, Anna sets out for the capital city of Echin, hoping to find someone who may know more about her father’s involvement with the Forsaken. But after an accidental encounter with the Prince who becomes infatuated with her, Anna is lined up to become one of the king’s greatest threats. That is, if she learns about her father’s heritage and follows in his footsteps before the king discovers the truth.

FORSAKEN is a YA fantasy complete at 52,000 words, a standalone story with potential for a sequel.
As written, Anna comes off as a very passive character. Really, the only thing she does actively, it seems, is that she "sets out for the capital city". Other than this she "is mourning" "is left" "learns" (this is fine) "is introduced" "is hoping" "is lined up". That's it. In a few other places there is speculation: "if she learns, if she follows". And there's a sentence in which I think you mean her the subject, but she is not mentioned: "Taking refuge in a nearby village it soon becomes apparent no one knows anything" (there actually is no subject in that sentence).

So I think what this description needs is more action from the protagonist. What does she do? Mourns, wants, goes, seeks, finds, struggles. Direct, present tense verbs will help.

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androidblues
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by androidblues » October 10th, 2010, 2:10 pm

This is a lot better. But like Quill said, make Anna more active. I now understand the plot, overthrow the King with peasants right?
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » October 10th, 2010, 2:46 pm

Quill- Thanks for the advice!

Android- The plot is something like that though it is one peasant who will cause the most trouble.

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androidblues
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by androidblues » October 10th, 2010, 3:24 pm

I've always been a fan of peasants overthrowing empires. Good luck with finishing your query.
http://www.thebooklantern.com

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never want to hear the screams of the teenage girls in other people's dreams.

In the real word as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

notw
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » October 10th, 2010, 3:44 pm

androidblues wrote:I've always been a fan of peasants overthrowing empires. Good luck with finishing your query.
So have I and thanks!

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » November 1st, 2010, 8:53 pm

Okay, I have sent out quite a few queries and no bites. So I decided to try and tweak it again. Does this one seem more interesting?

Revision
Someone wants sixteen-year-old Anna dead.

While most maidens her age are preparing for a courtship, Anna is reeling from the sudden murder of her family. It isn't until a stranger named Tormod starts prying into her father’s past that she learns of his involvement in the Forsaken. This group had foresworn to protect the rightful heir before he was usurped.

Accompanied by Tormod, Anna sets out for the capital city of Echin, seeking a mysterious woman who is somehow connected to her parents. As Anna continues to delve into her parent’s past, she is lined up to be the king’s greatest threat. If she can place the pieces together before the king succeeds.

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Holly
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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by Holly » November 1st, 2010, 9:26 pm

notw wrote:Okay, I have sent out quite a few queries and no bites. So I decided to try and tweak it again. Does this one seem more interesting?

Revision
Someone wants sixteen-year-old Anna dead.

While most maidens her age are preparing for a courtship, Anna is reeling from the sudden murder of her family. It isn't until a stranger named Tormod starts prying into her father’s past that she learns of his involvement in the Forsaken. This group had foresworn to protect the rightful heir before he was usurped.

Accompanied by Tormod, Anna sets out for the capital city of Echin, seeking a mysterious woman who is somehow connected to her parents. As Anna continues to delve into her parent’s past, she is lined up to be the king’s greatest threat. If she can place the pieces together before the king succeeds.

Someone wants sixteen-year-old Anna dead. While most maidens her age are preparing for (cut a) courtship, Anna is reeling from the sudden murder of her family. It isn't until a stranger named Tormod starts prying into her family's (cut father’s) past that she learns of her father's (cut his) involvement in the Forsaken. This group had foresworn to protect the rightful heir before he was usurped.

(I would move this Accompanied by Tormod,) Anna sets out for the capital city of Echin, accompanied by Tormod, to seek (cut seeking) a mysterious woman who might be is somehow [ I would cut this word -- too vague connected to her parents. As Anna continues to delve into her parent’s past, she is lined up passive sentence -- explain who lines her up to be the king’s greatest threat. If she can place the pieces together before the king succeeds. I would develop this last sentence some more

Your story sounds intriguing. Good luck to you!

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » November 1st, 2010, 10:13 pm

Thanks for the comments Holly!

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Re: Query Help- FORSAKEN

Post by notw » January 13th, 2011, 3:37 pm

Here is my latest revision.

Someone wants sixteen-year-old Anna dead.

After witnessing the brutal murder of her family, Anna clings to her mother’s last sentence, “this was no mere accident.” Searching for answers, she heads to the nearby village where she encounters a stranger named Tormod. He is the last of a secret order called the Forsaken who have sworn fealty to finding and protecting the rightful heir to the throne.

Offering to escort and protect Anna as she journeys to meet one of her mother’s acquaintances, Tormod informs her of her father’s past with the Forsaken and provides a warning about the Prince. But after an accidental encounter with the Prince who becomes infatuated with her, Anna is thrown into the middle of a conspiracy only her father’s past will resolve.

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