Query: Too Enchanted *getting closer*

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BAL
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Query: Too Enchanted *getting closer*

Post by BAL » February 12th, 2010, 11:15 am

*Scroll to the bottom to see my latest query post*

Any advice on this would be very welcome and I'll return the favor.

Dear Agent,

Brand is an enchanted toad living in the forest kingdom of Garn. But when Brand is turned into a human he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and go to the human lands to capture the Enchantress that cursed him. All while dodging women who are drawn to him by his curse and evading the deadly Elite Guards, who kill Enchanted Ones trespassing on human territory.

My 99,000 word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is a humorous and exciting story of one overly enchanted man trying to return to the life he thinks he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what is right may mean losing what he loves.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.
Last edited by BAL on March 1st, 2010, 10:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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theWallflower
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by theWallflower » February 12th, 2010, 11:56 am

Brand is an enchanted toad living in the forest kingdom of Garn. But when Brand is turned into a human he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and go to the human lands to capture the Enchantress that cursed him. All while dodging women who are drawn to him by his curse and evading the deadly Elite Guards, who kill Enchanted Ones trespassing on human territory.
I might change the name. Brand is an actual word you hear a lot. I'm sure agents and marketers hear it double.
Why is Enchantress capitalized?
My 99,000 word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is a humorous and exciting story of one overly enchanted man trying to return to the life he thinks he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what is right may mean losing what he loves.
You've successfully answered who the protagonist is, what the problem is, and what the hero's going to do about it, but the query's too sparse. Why is Brand changed into a human? What curse does he have that attracts women to him? Why does he need to capture the Enchantress? (as opposed to killing her or making her change him back)

I want to hear more of your voice in this query. It's too blah. Zip it up with some intrigue, some drama.

Also, I want more background on the world. What makes your world different than the other fantasy worlds out there? What makes your _book_ different than the other fantasy books out there?
Waterworld meets The Little Mermaid
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BAL
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by BAL » February 12th, 2010, 12:20 pm

Thank you Wallflower for your advice, here is a more detailed query letter.

Dear agent,
My 94,000-word novel, Too Enchanted, is a fantasy adventure story filled with humor, action, romance and colorful characters.
The enchanted forest of Garn is in an uproar. For the first time in over a hundred years a human has entered the forest and the enchantress Ruthilda is to blame. She has kidnapped a human girl and broken a century-old treaty with the humans of Lascoe. But this story isn’t about the kidnapped human; it’s about the one who witnessed Ruthilda’s crime.

Brand Toad is just that, a toad, an enchanted toad with magical powers. He is also the main witness in Ruthilda’s trial. It is Brand’s testimony that proves the enchantress is guilty. In a rage, Ruthilda casts an enchantment on Brand turning him human. She then escapes the forest. But Ruthilda’s magic-work is shoddy and Brand is left in a terrible state. He’s not only devastatingly handsome; he must avoid being kissed or risk being stuck as a human forever.

With the help of Wester, a Guardian and enchanted wolf, he must find Ruthilda and get her to change him back before the month is out. Brand must leave the quiet safety of his home and set out into the human lands to find the enchantress, all while getting used to a body that, in Brand’s opinion, is ridiculous in design.

On their journey a girl by the name of Rynn joins them. Rynn has amazing powers, a mysterious past, and an interesting career. Rynn is a hero for hire. She uses her powers to perform amazing deeds then lets those who pay her take the credit. Wester hires Rynn to help find Ruthilda and get him and Brand through the human kingdom alive.

Brand and Wester have discovered that relations have changed for the worse between the humans and the Enchanted Ones and their journey becomes very dangerous.

While dodging the kings’ deadly Elite Guards and the women of Lascoe (who all seem to be in love with Brand) our trio soon discovers that Ruthilda is involved in an intricate plot of murder and intrigue in an attempt to find The Source, a mythical object said to be the creator of all magic. If Ruthilda and her mysterious male companion get their hands on The Source it could mean the end of the Enchanted Ones and the enslavement of the humans.

Through perils, friendship, love and a heart-breaking loss Brand learns what it means to be human and in the end faces a difficult decision… stay human and shoulder the responsibility of preventing a war or change back into a toad and return to his simple, quiet life.

lachrymal
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by lachrymal » February 12th, 2010, 6:05 pm

Hi BAL,
I think this is an improvement, but now there's too much of the story in your query. If you can find a nice middle ground, you'll be in great shape.

A few things:
Your very first sentence is telling instead of showing. You don't have to tell the agent your story is full of XYZ, because your query should be a demonstration of all of those things.

You say Brand Toad is just a toad, but then you say he's enchanted and has magical powers. It sounds contradictory.

I think any agent who reads a paragraph of back story and is then told that it's not even what the story's about might be a little irked. You can say the forest is in an uproar, but I would introduce Brand in the very next sentence (like, it's in an uproar, and this poor, unassuming, reluctant toad is right in the middle of it).

Delete "she then escapes the forest". Delete the entire sentence that begins with "Brand and Wester have discovered that".

In fact, I'd collapse all the stuff about Wester and Rynn into about one sentence, and leave it at that.

This story sounds adorable and charming, and I really like the idea of a toad who wants to be a toad. It does remind me a little bit of "Shrek", though. But I can't help that, because that's what my kids are watching right now.

snlemon
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by snlemon » February 12th, 2010, 11:32 pm

try using your first query (which answers those very important questions) but expanding it into five sentances. One for set up, three for conflict and one for ending. Or you know, around about that number of sentances. :)

I like this idea...but out of both queries the thing that inrests me the most is the curse....the first query didn't tell me anything about it (I assumed), the second query only mentioned it in passing...but I would think that it adds a lot of conflict...poor little toad out in the world just trying to avoid being kissed...it's a dangerous sex in the city kind of world!

Okay now I'm thinking to much of the froggy. :)
There is no such thing as good writing, only good re-writing.

BAL
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by BAL » February 15th, 2010, 2:45 pm

Thanks to everyone who has commented. The most recent query is at the bottom of the page. *just to keep you updated I have changed the name of my main character*
Let me know what you think. Thank you.

Dear Agent,
Tirian is an enchanted toad with magical powers living in the forest kingdom of Garn. But when a vengeful enchantress turns Tirian into a human, he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and follow her to the human lands to get her to change him back.

While dodging women who are drawn to him by the curse that made him extremely handsome and evading the deadly Elite Guards, who kill Enchanted Ones trespassing on human territory, Tirian faces bad odds and bad luck wherever he goes. To help him along are Wester, a Guardian and enchanted wolf and Rynn a girl with amazing powers and a mysterious past. On their search, Tirian and his friends discover that the enchantress that cursed him is in league with a dangerous sorcerer, who is searching for The Source, a mythical object said to be the source of the Enchanted Ones magic. If they get their hands on The Source it could mean the end of the Enchanted Ones and the enslavement of the humans. Tirian must do whatever it takes to stop them.

My 99,000-word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is an exciting and often humorous story of one enchanted toad trying to return to the life he thinks he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what’s right may mean losing what he loves.

I chose to submit my query to you because ________.
Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerley,

lachrymal
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by lachrymal » February 15th, 2010, 5:52 pm

In terms of story content and structure, you are almost there, I think. Just enough information. But this tale is supposed to be humerous, so don't forget to include it! There was more of your voice in the first two versions, and I'm glad, because I know you can do it in this more condensed and more specific version.

Work in those things about how he thinks his human body is ridiculous. About how he was just a contented amphibian before this horrid woman cursed him to a devastating fate--she didn't just make him human. She made him handsome. (I'd put those things together, and then you can just have the first sentence of the second paragraph be something about he's got to defend his life from the elite guard while defending his chastity from the aggressive advances of all the women in the kingdom--enough to exhaust anytoad).

In the rest of the second paragraph, check over your commas and apostrophes carefully. Make sure it's apparent that Tirian and his friends are Enchanted Ones (or that they're not).

I really love the final hook that starts with your word count. It's great.

I hope this is helpful.

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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by jessicatudor » February 21st, 2010, 7:39 pm

I think if you take lachrymal's advice you'll have got it. I just want to encourage you because it sounds like a cute story. :)
'The world is but canvas to our imaginations.' - Thoreau

BAL
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by BAL » February 22nd, 2010, 12:36 pm

Thanks to snlemon, lachrymal, and jessicatudor for your advice and encouragement. Here it is again with the suggested changes. Hopefully I’ve got it closer this time. Thanks to anyone who comments. It’s much appreciated.

Dear Agent,

Tirian is an enchanted toad with magical powers living in the forest kingdom of Garn, home of the Enchanted Ones. But when a vengeful enchantress turns Tirian into a human, he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and follow her to the human lands to get her to change him back.

Tirian is left in a terrible state after the curse, he’s not only devastatingly handsome; he must avoid being kissed or risk being stuck as a human forever.

While getting used to a body that, in Tirian’s opinion, is ridiculous in design he dodges the human women of Lascoe (who all think they’re in love with him thanks to the curse) and the deadly Elite Guards who kill Enchanted Ones, like him, trespassing on human territory.

To help him survive the human lands are Wester an enchanted wolf and Rynn a half-human girl with amazing powers and a mysterious past.

On their search, Tirian and his companions discover that the treacherous enchantress that cursed him is in league with a dangerous sorcerer, who is searching for The Source, a mythical object said to be the source of the Enchanted Ones magic. If these villains get their hands on The Source it could mean the end of the Enchanted Ones and the enslavement of the humans. Tirian and his friends must do whatever it takes to stop them.

My 99,000-word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is an exciting and often humorous story of one enchanted toad trying to return to the life he thinks he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what’s right may mean losing what he loves.

I chose to submit my query to you because ________.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Lunetta22
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by Lunetta22 » February 22nd, 2010, 2:19 pm

The newest version reads well for me. I think it sounds cute, and I'd definitely read it. I love the twice on the frog prince story. Good luck with it!

CoachMT
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by CoachMT » February 22nd, 2010, 2:41 pm

BAL wrote:Tirian is an enchanted toad with magical powers living in the forest kingdom of Garn, home of the Enchanted Ones. But when a vengeful enchantress turns Tirian into a human, he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and follow her to the human lands to make her to change him back.

Tirian is left in a terrible state after the curse. He’s not only devastatingly handsome, he must avoid being kissed or risk being stuck as a human forever.
These first two paragraphs are great in my opinion, minor clean ups = )

While getting used to his ridiculous new body, Tirian dodges the lovesick women of Lascoe (who all think they’re in love with him thanks to the curse) and the deadly Elite Guards who kill Enchanted Ones, like him, trespassing on human territory. His only help comes in the form of Wester, an enchanted wolf, and Rynn a half-human girl (what's the other half?) with amazing powers and a mysterious past.

During their search, Tirian and his companions discover that the treacherous enchantress that cursed him is in league with a dangerous sorcerer, who is searching for The Source, an mythical object said to be the power behind the Enchanted Ones' magic. Tirian and his friends must do whatever it takes to stop these villains from obtaining The Source or they face the end of the Enchanted Ones and the enslavement of everyone else.

My 99,000-word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is an exciting and often humorous story of one enchanted toad trying to return to his old life (?), learning along the way that fighting for what’s right may mean losing what he loves.
Obviously, just my suggestions, your mileage may vary! I think you've got a winner here though, keep working. I'd love to hear your thoughts about mine as well, it's here: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=881

jessicatudor
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by jessicatudor » February 22nd, 2010, 4:26 pm

BAL wrote:Thanks to snlemon, lachrymal, and jessicatudor for your advice and encouragement. Here it is again with the suggested changes. Hopefully I’ve got it closer this time. Thanks to anyone who comments. It’s much appreciated.

Dear Agent,

Tirian is an enchanted toad with magical powers living in the forest kingdom of Garn, home of the Enchanted Ones. But when a vengeful enchantress turns Tirian into a human, he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and follow her to the human lands to get her to change him back.

Tirian is left in a terrible state after the curse, he’s not only devastatingly handsome; he must avoid being kissed or risk being stuck as a human forever.

While getting used to a body that, in Tirian’s opinion, is ridiculous in design he dodges the human women of Lascoe (who all think they’re in love with him thanks to the curse) and the deadly Elite Guards who kill Enchanted Ones, like him, trespassing on human territory. Wester, an enchanted wolf, and Rynn, a half-human girl with amazing powers and a mysterious past, help him navigate the human lands.

On their search, Tirian and his companions discover that the treacherous enchantress that cursed him is in league with a dangerous sorcerer, who is searching for The Source, a mythical object said to be the source of the Enchanted Ones magic. If these villains get their hands on The Source it could mean the end of the Enchanted Ones and the enslavement of the humans.

My 99,000-word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is an exciting and often humorous story of one enchanted toad trying to return to the life he thinks he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what’s right may mean losing what he loves.

I chose to submit my query to you because ________.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
WOO! This has GOT it, I only recommend combining paras and making the sentence about Wester and Rynn a bit less clunky, and delete the do what they must line, because, well, DUH. My ONLY question is "may mean losing what he loves" - there's no mention of love. I think 'the life he thinks he wants' would be a solid ending. This has great voice and energy and the story is summed up really well,
'The world is but canvas to our imaginations.' - Thoreau

BAL
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted

Post by BAL » February 23rd, 2010, 11:22 am

Wow, thank you to Lunetta22, Jessicatudor, and CoachMT for your comments, your advice has been so great. Enjoy my revision.

Dear Agent,

Tirian is an enchanted toad with magical powers living in the forest kingdom of Garn, home of the Enchanted Ones. But when a vengeful enchantress turns Tirian into a human, he must leave the quiet safety of his forest home and follow her to the human lands to make her change him back.

Tirian is left in a terrible state after the curse. He’s not only devastatingly handsome; he must avoid being kissed or risk being stuck as a human forever.

While getting used to his ridiculous new body, Tirian dodges the lovesick women of Lascoe and the deadly Elite Guards who kill Enchanted Ones, like him, trespassing on human territory. His only help comes in the form of Wester an enchanted wolf and Rynn a half-human, half-enchanted girl with amazing powers and a mysterious past.

During their search, Tirian and his companions discover the treacherous enchantress that cursed him is in league with a dangerous sorcerer, who is searching for The Source, an object said to be the power behind the Enchanted Ones’ magic. Tirian and his friends must do whatever it takes to stop these villains from obtaining The Source or face losing their powers and their freedom.

My 99,000-word fantasy adventure novel Too Enchanted is an exciting and often humorous story of one enchanted toad trying to return to the life he wants, learning along the way that fighting for what’s right may mean losing what he loves.

I chose to submit my query to you because ________.
Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

BAL
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted *Final draft of query letter?*

Post by BAL » February 26th, 2010, 11:03 am

I just need a final validation on my query letter. Did I get it right. Please let me know what you think.

CoachMT
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Re: Query: Too Enchanted *Final draft of query letter?*

Post by CoachMT » February 26th, 2010, 11:45 am

Looks good to me, I'd say run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes! Good luck!

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