Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

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MattLarkin
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Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 6th, 2011, 1:36 pm

Dear [Agent],

Generations of war ended when Chandi's cousin Aji married the solar emperor. Now Chandi lives in the solars' underwater palace, keeping an eye on Aji and spying on her new allies. Despite the marriage, no one expects the peace to last, and after losing her betrothed in the war, Chandi will do anything to protect those she cares about.

Except she soon finds herself caring about a solar soldier named Naresh far more than she should. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

Chandi's uncle, the war king, demands she plot against the solars. As his orders grow bolder she begins to suspect her king has fallen prey to the worst fear of the lunars: driven to lunacy by his supernatural gifts. And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. It is my first novel. I have previously had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

I'd love for you to represent Moonrise. Thank you for your time.

Edit: Revised below
Last edited by MattLarkin on August 12th, 2011, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Collectonian » August 6th, 2011, 3:08 pm

Over all, I think you've got some good bones here, but I also found myself a bit confused about things. Particularly with the kingdoms being "Solar" and 'Lunar" but not living on the Sun and Moon respectively.
MattLarkin wrote:Dear [Agent],

Generations of war ended when Chandi's cousin Aji married the solar emperor.How did the marriage end the war? Is Aji the daughter of the enemy? Now Chandi lives in the solars' underwater palace They are "solars", which implies sun, but live underwater? Presuming we are not on earth, but might be good to clarify., keeping an eye on Aji and spying on her new allies. Despite the marriage, no one expects the peace to last, and after losing her betrothed in the war, Chandi will do anything to protect those she cares about. Aji herself does not seem to be a major character, so maybe rewrite this to get straight to the set up. For example (guessing at some plot points here): The terrain kindgom of Lunar and the underwater kingdom Solar have entered an uneasy truce after a marriage between the two royal houses. Chandi, cousin of Solar's new empress, has two duties: guarding her beloved relative and spying on the solarians.

Except she soon finds herself caring about a solar soldier named Naresh far more than she should.Too wordy, and cliched sounding. Also confusing, maybe a quick note that "One target of her spying is Naresh, a soldier in the solar army..." because we go from her spying in general to suddenly falling in love with someone we just met. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.Presuming the "lunars' live on the surface, versus the moon?

Chandi's uncle, the war king, demands she plot against the solars.Too general and generic - what specifically does he want her to do? Then lead to her fears that he has gone insane and that it may lead to a new war. As his orders grow bolder she begins to suspect her king has fallen prey to the worst fear of the lunars: driven to lunacy by his supernatural gifts. And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.What information? Seems like the king is the one wanting the war, not Chandi.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. It is my first novel.Never say "it is my first novel" as it implies it is literally your first and therefore gives an instant connotation of being unready for review :) I have previouslyhad a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).Is this a well known or major magazine? Was it a paid publication? Was it in the same genre? If not, no need to include.

I'd love for you to represent Moonrise.Goes without saying :-) Thank you for your time.

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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 8th, 2011, 6:14 pm

Revised Query:

Dear [Agent]

For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside.

She thinks the key may be the solar soldier, Naresh. But despite her mission she finds herself falling for him. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by trirae » August 9th, 2011, 7:44 am

MattLarkin wrote:Revised Query:

Dear [Agent]

For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin, the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside.Is it common for the dynasties to mix? How does she feel about having to spy/potentially overthrow?

She thinks the key may be the solar soldier,Not sure what he's the key to. Naresh. But despite her mission she finds herself falling for himI think you can cut this line. The next one describes it better.. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.I think you can bring out the stakes for her more. In addition to another war, she's married right? Plus, I'm assuming that there is danger for her in the spying.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

I know fantasy is hard to nail in a short query when there is so much to the world building. I think you've done a nice job of narrowing into the key characters and issues. Now you can bring in the tension/stakes a bit more to really hook the reader. Sound like an intereting story. Good luck!

Thank you for your time.

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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 12th, 2011, 12:56 pm

For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside. Chandi finds herself alone in the solars' underwater city, daunted by their alien ways, terrified of defying her king, and seething from the lover the solars once cost her.

And then she finds the solar soldier, Naresh, watching her. Naresh could lead her to information that might free her from her duty in the solar city. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

If the solars catch her spying, they'll burn her alive. But no lunar would betray her family. And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Watcher55 » August 13th, 2011, 11:14 am

MattLarkin wrote:For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside. Chandi finds herself alone in the solars' underwater city, daunted by their alien ways, terrified of defying her king, and seething from the lover the solars once cost her.

And then she finds the solar soldier, Naresh, watching her. Chandi charms(?)Naresh, a solar soldier who could lead her to information that might free her from her duty in the solar city. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

If the solars catch her spying, they'll burn her alive. But no lunar would betray her family. And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war. I'm more than a little confused here. Perhaps if you make a clearer connection between Chandi's divided loyalties, the nature of the info (or how she got it?), and the murder of Maresh's mentor.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
Big improvement.

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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Quill » August 13th, 2011, 12:16 pm

MattLarkin wrote:For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside. Chandi finds herself alone in the solars' underwater city, daunted by their alien ways, terrified of defying her king, and seething from the lover the solars once cost her.
Shouldn't Solar and Lunar be capitalized throughout, since you introduce them with capitals, and since they are titles, like saying English and American?

Isn't that a lot for a king to put on a (presumably) young woman, to find a way to overthrow an empire? Wouldn't he simply ask for information and have his own experts back at the palace to devise a plan from it?

"Seething from the lover" seems awkward and inaccurate. Seething means angry. Angry from the lover?

Why is she terrified of defying her king? We don't have a clue. Do you mean failing her king? Defying implies willfully going against his directive. Is that the case here? If so, maybe clarify.
And then she finds the solar soldier, Naresh, watching her.
This sentence could pop more. "And then" is a weak beginning. "Finds" and "watching" are not action verbs.

Also, wouldn't it more properly be "a soldier" rather than "the soldier"?
Naresh could lead her to information that might free her from her duty in the solar city.
"Could" and "might" seem vaguely redundant.

Why does she wish to be freed of her duty? Please clarify. We have no idea.
Chandi plans to milk Naresh
Odd metaphor here. Like a prize stud? A cow?
for all the information she can
Weak. How about naming some specific info she seeks instead of leaving it open ended and vague.
, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.
She falls in love with him simply because he gives her a guided tour? Why is she attracted to him?
If the solars catch her spying, they'll burn her alive.
This is stating the obvious and so does not further the query.
But no lunar would betray her family.
Not one of the millions of Lunars would ever do this? Seems exaggerated.
And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war.
Or might not?

We need to know more of the dynamics of the situation. Why does she not want to spy? How does she fall in love? What will happen to her if she does or doesn't do as told? It sounds like her actions will ignite a war either way. It is hard to pull for your character and for your book without having the main thread of the conflict(s) drawn a bit tighter.
Moonrise
MOONRISE
is a 74,000 word
74,000-word
fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
Good luck with your project.


-----
edit: typo
Last edited by Quill on August 13th, 2011, 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by dios4vida » August 13th, 2011, 1:21 pm

MattLarkin wrote:For generations the Solar and Lunar Dynasties fought for control of the Skyfall Archipelago. I see that you're setting up the world here, but this doesn't have any direct bearing on Chandi. You could easily delete this whole sentence and start with "Chandi, the Lunar princess (assumption), is sent to watch over her cousin, the new bride of the Solar Emperor and the Lunar's mortal enemy. Before she leaves, the Lunar King...When the war ends, the lunar Chandi is sent to watch over her cousin, the new bride of the solar emperor. But the lunar king gives her another task: spy on the solars and find a way to overthrow their empire from the inside. Chandi finds herself alone in the solars' underwater city, where did the cousin go? daunted by their alien ways, terrified of defying her king, and seething from the lover the solars once cost her. Confused about the 'lover the solars once cost her' but otherwise I like this.

You started with the Solars and Lunars capitalized, then switched to lowercase. Which should it be? It seems like it should be capitalized.


And then she finds the solar soldier, Naresh, watching her. Not sure I like the transition here. At the risk of sounding very unhelpful, it sounds like telling. Naresh could lead her to information that might free her from her duty in the solar city. Chandi plans to milk Naresh for all the information she can, but as he shows her the wonders of his undersea world, she begins to realize she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and to her own heart.

If the solars catch her spying, they'll burn her alive. How would they do that in an underwater world? But no lunar would betray her family. This made me wonder if she'd found some treacherous about her family. It took me a while to figure that that 'betraying her family' means not reporting against Naresh. Could you clarify that a little? And when the information she uncovers leads to the murder of Naresh's mentor, Chandi may well ignite another war. This is good but it leaves me with one big question: What will she have to do to stop it? While you've got a decent amount of tension here, adding in one more sentence about what Chandi might be risking personally to stop this war would add an extra punch to the query and show that there's a lot more at stake on a macro and micro level.

Moonrise is a 74,000 word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
Overall opinion: I like your ideas a lot. This book sounds really fascinating. And your query is definitely on the right track. Just a few more tweaks could really make it shine, I think. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 14th, 2011, 5:42 pm

Revised Query Again:

Chandi, niece of the Lunar King, has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. Still seething over the death of her lover during the war, Chandi accepts the task he gives her.

She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can't match. Of course, the more she uses them, the faster she becomes a lunatic.

When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart.

MOONRISE is a 74,000-word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.



/query

I'm wondering if I should mention directly in the last full paragraph that it's an Oceanic setting. Oceanic Fantasy is not a genre, but it is something to distinguish it from regular Medieval fantasy.

Thanks for the all help, guys.
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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by dios4vida » August 14th, 2011, 6:28 pm

Hey again, Matt. I hope we aren't seeming too overbearing or demanding on your query. :)
MattLarkin wrote:Chandi, niece of the Lunar King, has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. Ooh, much better!! I know it's changing my opinion from earlier, but with the way you've worded this I'd consider switching these sentences. The way it is now, the marriage bargain seems like it's just a side note. But if it came first - "The Lunar King has bargained his daughter...and Chandi, niece of the King, has been sent along as a handmaid of the bride. But she also has another task: to spy on the Solars and find a way to destroy their kingdom from the inside." That would pack more of a punch, I think. Sorry if I've made you do a 180. Still seething over the death of her lover during the war, Chandi accepts the task he gives her. I was waiting for something to explain how she accepted it - with relish, with delight, with the downfall of the Solars in her heart - to show the pain she still carries more clearly.

She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can't match. Of course, the more she uses them, the faster she becomes a lunatic. Wow - this wasn't in the other query!! How cool! This definitely give it a different spin. :)

When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart. Well, and her sanity... :) Also, I'd keep the part about her inadvertently restarting the war. It adds a lot more tension and makes it clear that this is more than just a fantastical love story.

MOONRISE is a 74,000-word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.



/query

I'm wondering if I should mention directly in the last full paragraph that it's an Oceanic setting. Oceanic Fantasy is not a genre, but it is something to distinguish it from regular Medieval fantasy. I think that's totally clear from the query itself. To mention it specifically would be redundant.

Thanks for the all help, guys.
Sounding good, Matt!! This story gets more and more interesting the more I learn about it.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Quill » August 14th, 2011, 10:53 pm

Much improved, Matt!

And yeah, I'd work in the oceanic setting, as that will likely add interest.

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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Collectonian » August 14th, 2011, 11:25 pm

I second Brenda's suggestions for the first paragraph. I also must admit, seeing "Of course, the more she uses them, the faster she becomes a lunatic." made me go "Oh, now that does sound interesting!" The only other thing I might suggest adding is something, maybe near the start, that clarifies exactly what she thinks about the Solars, other than "enemy we were at war with." It would give the line about Naresh more punch to know what mistaken beliefs are being corrected.

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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 15th, 2011, 8:17 am

Thanks for all the help everybody! I'll work on this some more in a bit.
seniyajw wrote:I will definitely take to work through the tightening of the shoots! It 'so nice and refreshing to get different perspectives.
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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by Watcher55 » August 15th, 2011, 8:46 am

MattLarkin wrote:Thanks for all the help everybody! I'll work on this some more in a bit.
seniyajw wrote:I will definitely take to work through the tightening of the shoots! It 'so nice and refreshing to get different perspectives.
What?
spam spam spam spam -- spammity spam --

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Re: Revised: QUERY: Moonrise, Epic Fantasy

Post by MattLarkin » August 16th, 2011, 9:42 am

Revised:

The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. The King sends his niece Chandi along as handmaid to his daughter. Chandi has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. Still seething over the death of her lover during the war, Chandi accepts the task he gives her. The Solars cost her everything she cares up, and now she wants nothing more than proof of their treachery so she can go home.

She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can't match. Of course, the more she uses them, the faster she becomes a lunatic.

When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she'll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart. And when the Solar secrets she reavels to her people lead to the murder of Naresh's mentor, she risks reigniting the war.

MOONRISE is a 74,000-word fantasy that stands alone, but could be expanded into a series. I have had a short story published in the e-magazine The Harrow (April 2008).

Thank you for your time.
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