Query--Fantasy novel

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anamk
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Query--Fantasy novel

Post by anamk » November 19th, 2011, 2:16 pm

thank you so much for comments
Last edited by anamk on December 23rd, 2011, 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dios4vida
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by dios4vida » November 21st, 2011, 10:14 pm

Welcome to the forums, anamk.

As it is, your query reads more like a synopsis - its voice is a distant, telling-not-showing kind of tone. Queries are supposed to be more present and engaging, full of your own personal voice to entice agents into reading more. A good query will show an agent that
1. you can craft a compelling story, and
2. you can tell that story with a strong voice.

You start with two paragraphs that do exactly the opposite of that, so that by the time we get to the paragraph about Hera and her struggle, a lot of agents will have already stopped reading. That paragraph, though, is good! You've got some great material to work with. What I'd suggest is to keep a brief introduction of the Silver and then go straight into Hera's situation, her main goal, and the obstacles she encounters (including Zeus). Fill that out, give us a feeling of the book's voice and the feel it's written in, and you'll be in much better shape.

I'd also suggest reading some back cover copies of similar novels to get a feel of how they sound, then take those forms and put your own story into them. It'll help a lot. What those back cover copies do is what you should be doing in your query.
anamk wrote:Given the popularity of vampires and the consistent need for strong female characters, it is highly marketable and certain to reach a broad audience.
Also, I'd be extremely cautious about saying this. Let the agents find it out for themselves so that it doesn't come off as "I'm the next Stephanie Meyer".
Brenda :)

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

anamk
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by anamk » November 22nd, 2011, 6:05 am

dios4vida wrote:Welcome to the forums, anamk.

As it is, your query reads more like a synopsis - its voice is a distant, telling-not-showing kind of tone. Queries are supposed to be more present and engaging, full of your own personal voice to entice agents into reading more. A good query will show an agent that
1. you can craft a compelling story, and
2. you can tell that story with a strong voice.

You start with two paragraphs that do exactly the opposite of that, so that by the time we get to the paragraph about Hera and her struggle, a lot of agents will have already stopped reading. That paragraph, though, is good! You've got some great material to work with. What I'd suggest is to keep a brief introduction of the Silver and then go straight into Hera's situation, her main goal, and the obstacles she encounters (including Zeus). Fill that out, give us a feeling of the book's voice and the feel it's written in, and you'll be in much better shape.

I'd also suggest reading some back cover copies of similar novels to get a feel of how they sound, then take those forms and put your own story into them. It'll help a lot. What those back cover copies do is what you should be doing in your query.
anamk wrote:Given the popularity of vampires and the consistent need for strong female characters, it is highly marketable and certain to reach a broad audience.
Also, I'd be extremely cautious about saying this. Let the agents find it out for themselves so that it doesn't come off as "I'm the next Stephanie Meyer".

thank you so much for the suggestions, i will definitly make the changes and post the new version here

anamk
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by anamk » November 23rd, 2011, 7:51 am

Hi again,,
i have made some changes in the queryyyy.. please leave some feedbackk

Dear Agent

I am pleased to submit for your consideration my young adult urban fantasy, THE DARK KINGDOM. In this 99,000-word tale of magic, mystery and romance, A noble priesthood that practices white magic must find Silver who can save the human race from evil vampires, along with her saviour.

Hera is shocked to learn that she possesses the magical ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers But will she accept her fate to fight Demogorgon; the head of the vampires?

Zeus is the misfit vampire who controls his thirst, disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again.

Much to their disgust Zeus and Hera must work together to reach to their goal. But will they? Can Hera trust a vampire to kill another? Can Zeus sacrifice his dream of becoming mortal as a result of helping Hera.

Not just another vampire story, THE DARK KINGDOM brings a magical twist which overshadows the novel. THE DARK KINGDOM will appeal to readers who enjoy the paranormality of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and also to those who fell in love with the romance of TWILIGHT.

If you would like to consider THE DARK KINGDOM, I'd be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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dios4vida
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by dios4vida » November 23rd, 2011, 10:52 am

Right off the bat, this query has a much better structure.
anamk wrote:I am pleased to submit for your consideration my young adult urban fantasy, THE DARK KINGDOM. In this 99,000-word tale of magic, mystery and romance, A noble priesthood that practices white magic must find Silver who can save the human race from evil vampires, along with her saviour.

Typically, the info with the title, genre, and word count is at the end of the query. This is acceptable, but I think jumping right into the main character and plot tends to draw agents in a little more. Up to you.

Hera is shocked to learn that she possesses the magical ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers But will she accept her fate to fight Demogorgon; the head of the vampires?

There are some fuzzy areas here that would do better with some explanation. The details like "noble priesthood" and "white magic" feel a little generic as they are. The interesting part comes with Silver and the evil vampires, so starting off with that might be better: "Evil vampires roam the world, and only Silver and her saviour can save the human race." <etc.> Then jump to Hera: "Hera and her friends <who are they? Teenagers, students?> are eager to learn the art of weaponry and the history of Silver and her saviour. One night, when they sneak off to the city, the girls are surprised to learn that Hera possesses the ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers." <that's mostly taken from your last draft, but obviously some wordsmithing to make it all your own is in order.> "That means that Hera is the long sought-after Silver, but can she accept her fate to fight Demogorgon, the head of the vampires?"

Zeus is the misfit vampire who controls his thirst, disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again.

Much to their disgust Zeus and Hera must work together to reach to their goal. But will they? Can Hera trust a vampire to kill another? Can Zeus sacrifice his dream of becoming mortal as a result of helping Hera.

I think some transition between Hera and Zeus would be helpful here. "Hera's best hope for beating Demogorgon is Zeus, the misfit vampire who works to control his thirst, disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again. <I like this introduction!> But how can Hera trust one vampire to kill another? <a little more expansion on her disgust, her reason for hating vampires, her mistrust of them would be good here.> And can Zeus sacrifice his dream of becoming mortal <you might want to explain this a little more> in order to help Hera?"

Not just another vampire story, THE DARK KINGDOM brings a magical twist which overshadows the novel. I don't think you need this sentence, your query establishes the magical twist with Silver well enough. THE DARK KINGDOM will appeal to readers who enjoy the paranormality of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and also to those who fell in love with the romance of TWILIGHT.

If you would like to consider THE DARK KINGDOM, I'd be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Over all, this is much better! I do think that some more explanation of things would help this a lot. The "sweet spot" for query length is 250 words, give or take, so you have some room to play around. Give the agent enough information to know Hera and Zeus more, understand their basic conflicts (yeah, they have to defeat Demogorgon, but we also want to know about their inner conflicts and what makes them unique) and show how three-dimensional they are. Also, make sure you show the stakes. What happens if Hera and Zeus don't succeed? You've done a great job of illustrating their personal issues with the situation, but also the big-picture stakes would be fantastic to draw people in and want - need - to know what happens.
Brenda :)

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

anamk
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by anamk » November 23rd, 2011, 11:44 am

dios4vida wrote:Right off the bat, this query has a much better structure.
anamk wrote:I am pleased to submit for your consideration my young adult urban fantasy, THE DARK KINGDOM. In this 99,000-word tale of magic, mystery and romance, A noble priesthood that practices white magic must find Silver who can save the human race from evil vampires, along with her saviour.

Typically, the info with the title, genre, and word count is at the end of the query. This is acceptable, but I think jumping right into the main character and plot tends to draw agents in a little more. Up to you.

Hera is shocked to learn that she possesses the magical ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers But will she accept her fate to fight Demogorgon; the head of the vampires?

There are some fuzzy areas here that would do better with some explanation. The details like "noble priesthood" and "white magic" feel a little generic as they are. The interesting part comes with Silver and the evil vampires, so starting off with that might be better: "Evil vampires roam the world, and only Silver and her saviour can save the human race." <etc.> Then jump to Hera: "Hera and her friends <who are they? Teenagers, students?> are eager to learn the art of weaponry and the history of Silver and her saviour. One night, when they sneak off to the city, the girls are surprised to learn that Hera possesses the ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers." <that's mostly taken from your last draft, but obviously some wordsmithing to make it all your own is in order.> "That means that Hera is the long sought-after Silver, but can she accept her fate to fight Demogorgon, the head of the vampires?"

Zeus is the misfit vampire who controls his thirst, disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again.

Much to their disgust Zeus and Hera must work together to reach to their goal. But will they? Can Hera trust a vampire to kill another? Can Zeus sacrifice his dream of becoming mortal as a result of helping Hera.

I think some transition between Hera and Zeus would be helpful here. "Hera's best hope for beating Demogorgon is Zeus, the misfit vampire who works to control his thirst, disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again. <I like this introduction!> But how can Hera trust one vampire to kill another? <a little more expansion on her disgust, her reason for hating vampires, her mistrust of them would be good here.> And can Zeus sacrifice his dream of becoming mortal <you might want to explain this a little more> in order to help Hera?"

Not just another vampire story, THE DARK KINGDOM brings a magical twist which overshadows the novel. I don't think you need this sentence, your query establishes the magical twist with Silver well enough. THE DARK KINGDOM will appeal to readers who enjoy the paranormality of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and also to those who fell in love with the romance of TWILIGHT.

If you would like to consider THE DARK KINGDOM, I'd be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Over all, this is much better! I do think that some more explanation of things would help this a lot. The "sweet spot" for query length is 250 words, give or take, so you have some room to play around. Give the agent enough information to know Hera and Zeus more, understand their basic conflicts (yeah, they have to defeat Demogorgon, but we also want to know about their inner conflicts and what makes them unique) and show how three-dimensional they are. Also, make sure you show the stakes. What happens if Hera and Zeus don't succeed? You've done a great job of illustrating their personal issues with the situation, but also the big-picture stakes would be fantastic to draw people in and want - need - to know what happens.
Thank you so much for your feedback... Your suggestions have helped me a lot with my query and right now I am making some changing in my query.... Thanks a lot...

clara_w
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Re: Query--Fantasy novel

Post by clara_w » November 23rd, 2011, 3:02 pm

anamk wrote:
The Dark Kingdom is a fantasy novel set in London during a period of imbalance (Imbalance reads odd) in the world, where vampires are endeavouring to either drink or turn all of the humans. A noble priesthood that practices white magic is desperately seeking the one person who can save the human race—Silver—along with her saviour (Who's her saviour?), whose power she will need to defeat the vampires.

The legacy of young women who have emerged as Silver through the ages to save humanity have been defeated by the vampires, led by the prince of darkness, Demogorgon. The noble priests take all the young girls from the surrounding area to a mansion protected by white magic, where they train them to defend themselves against the vampires. I'd start your query here with this paragraph

Adventurous Hera and her friends are eager to learn the art of weaponry and the history of Silver and her saviour. One night, when they sneak off to the city, the girls are surprised to learn that Hera possesses the magical ability to turn a vampire to ashes with a simple twist of her fingers. A little research at the priests’ temple, the Doric, which Hera seamlessly enters, despite the fact that she does not possess the silver stick that the priests must use to enter, proves that she is Silver. Perhaps more shocking is the discovery of her saviour—Zeus, the misfit vampire who controls his thirst,I'd break this into different sentences, too confusing as it is. disregards the authority of his superiors, and who longs to be human again. However, in order to return to human form, Zeus must kill Silver. He is then faced with a choice: kill Hera, with whom he now shares a profound bond, in order to be one of her kind or help her kill the vampires and their leader and remain immortal.

This novel is primarily aimed at the young adult market; however, its subject matter and themes of identity and love certainly translate to an older adult audience. Given the popularity of vampires and the consistent need for strong female characters, it is highly marketable and certain to reach a broad audience. Please cut this. Start with 'The Drak kingom' is a finished YA fantasy novel at ...words. I look forward to hearing from you, thank you for your time and....

The manuscript is just over 99,000 words in length. Thank you for your time and consideration.

So it seems you've got a pretty interesting story here. I'd read it, but I think you need to tweak it a bit before sending it out. Good luck!!

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