Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

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Dakota388
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Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Dakota388 » December 16th, 2009, 9:37 am

I was about to start querying with the letter that everyone her helped me with when a couple small details kept rubbing me wrong. I tried to fix them but was afraid I might have ruined my query by making more questions than answers. So what better way to decide than getting all of your brilliant advice? Both queries are mostly the same with a few minor details added to the second. Advice on either query would also be greatly appreciated.

Dear;

Rasi, once the greatest warrior in Epertase, remains banished to a mountain exile while an unstoppable army prepares to attack his former homeland. His years of loneliness and anger have driven him near the feral edge of madness with little hope of return. The kingdom’s almost certain demise at the hands of the invading army triggers the beginning of a magical event. If completed, the corrupt king’s rule will violently end and his just daughter, Princess Alina’s will begin.

In the coming power-shift, Rasi sees hope of reclaiming the life he had before the king ripped out his tongue, killed his family, and left him for slaughter by a tentacled beast. With the dead creature’s violent, self-aware tentacles permanently melded to his own back, Rasi vows to control the savage appendages and defend Alina’s kingdom. Success, he tells himself, will prove his honor and secure his triumphant return to the land he loves. But his hopes of a new beginning quickly fade with revelations of a secret legend. From those legends, the power-hungry king learns that sacrificing his own daughter will save his throne. To mask his involvement, he has her kidnapped. Now, Rasi must save Alina and lead her army against the foreign threat to have any chance at redeeming himself. If he fails, he will hang, Alina will die, and Epertase will surely fall.


OR #2

Dear;

Rasi, once the greatest warrior in Epertase, now struggles in his mountain exile while an unstoppable army prepares to attack the only land he had ever loved. His banished years of loneliness and anger have driven him near the feral edge of madness with little hope of return.

The kingdom’s almost certain demise at the hands of the invaders sets into motion a legendary event. If completed, the corrupt king’s rule will violently end and his just daughter, Princess Alina’s will begin. In the coming power-shift, Rasi sees hope of reclaiming the life he had before the king ripped out his tongue, killed his family, and left him for slaughter by a tentacled beast. With the dead creature’s violent, self-aware tentacles permanently melded to his own back, Rasi vows to control the savage appendages and defend Alina’s kingdom. Success, he tells himself, will prove his honor thereby securing his triumphant return to his beloved homeland. But his hopes of a new beginning quickly fade when the Elder Three reveal a whispered fable telling of a way for the power-hungry king to save his throne—the sacrifice of his own daughter. To mask his involvement, he has her kidnapped. Now, Rasi must save Alina and lead her army against the foreign threat to have any chance at redeeming himself. If he fails, he will hang, Alina will die, and Epertase will surely fall.
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

Tzalaran
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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Tzalaran » December 16th, 2009, 10:00 am

i like the first one better. has a better flow and raises less questions as i read it (#2 has Elder Three, who are not explained, and the 2nd paragraph is a whopping block of text).

looks like a solid query to me. i'd suggest sending it to a few agents who aren't your top selections to test the waters and go from there.

Good luck!
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Hillsy
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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Hillsy » December 16th, 2009, 10:23 am

I'd say first as well....good luck

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by shadow » December 16th, 2009, 10:23 am

I agree with T. I really like your first query letter, solid, ready and the plot shines through :D Try it out and tell us if you get any requested manuscripts!
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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Shannon » December 16th, 2009, 10:33 am

Definitely the first one! I like the way you set up the plot and outlined the stakes. I've been reading your query progress (just have not commented yet) and you've made a lot of excellent changes. Well done.

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by casnow » December 16th, 2009, 10:54 am

I'm going to dissent and say I like the 2nd one, except for the "Elder Three"... if you could use a generic term for them (council, magicians, elders, whatever) it would help.

Both are good and similar... one way to test the waters might be to send v1 to 5 agents and v2 to 5 agents and see if you get a nibble or two on one, and then nothing on the other.

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Joel Q » December 16th, 2009, 10:38 pm

I like the first, but here are a few thoughts...
Dakota388 wrote: Rasi, once the greatest warrior in Epertase, remains banished to a mountain exile while an unstoppable army prepares to attack his former homeland. His years of loneliness and anger have driven him near the feral edge of madness (does the madness play a part in his personality in the story? Because he obviously is mentally OK to come up with a plan to save the princess. If he's not really mad, I wouldn't mention it) with little hope of return. The kingdom’s almost certain demise at the hands of the invading army triggers the beginning of a magical event. (You don't tell us much about the event in the synopsis. So is it that important to mention at all? If so, can you briefly tell us what the significance is?) If completed,(the magical event or the invasion) the corrupt king’s rule will violently end and his just daughter, Princess Alina’s will begin.

In the coming power-shift, Rasi sees hope of reclaiming the life he had before the king ripped out his tongue, killed his family, and left him for slaughter by a tentacled beast. With the dead creature’s violent, self-aware tentacles permanently melded to his own back,(Interesting, like Doc Oct) Rasi vows to control the savage appendages and defend Alina’s kingdom. Success, he tells himself, will prove his honor and secure his triumphant return to the land he loves. But his hopes of a new beginning quickly fade with revelations of a secret legend. From those legends, the power-hungry king learns that sacrificing his own daughter will save his throne. To mask his involvement, he has her kidnapped. Now, Rasi must save Alina and lead her army against (why or how does she have an army if the king is still in control, is this like a special guard or something?) the foreign threat to have any chance at redeeming himself. If he fails, he will hang, Alina will die, and Epertase will surely fall.

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Madaboutstories » December 16th, 2009, 10:51 pm

I also prefer the first query, except for using the word legend so closely (back to back sentences). It flows well, and I have a good understanding of the storyline. The only thing I wonder about is the army. If they are coming to destroy the land, isn't that a bad thing? Or do they only want to dethrone the King? I'm not quite sure how to resolve that in my mind. And why does the protag know of the impending attack, and for that matter, why does the King? Maybe we're not supposed to know without reading the whole thing, but it does confuse me.
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Dakota388
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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Dakota388 » December 17th, 2009, 1:46 pm

Thank you to everyone for your advice. I'm going with the first query with a few minor tweaks to reflect your responses. I am sending out my first batch from this query today. I will keep everyone informed if I get any requests. To date, I have not gotten even a partial request with my last two queries, so let's keep our fingers crossed.
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by choculagrl » December 17th, 2009, 11:55 pm

I would read this for the violent self-aware body-melded tentacles alone.

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by hartjohnson » December 18th, 2009, 12:13 pm

This story sounds AMAZING. I like the first version best too.

The only suggestion I might make (and others might disagree, but i thought I'd throw it out there)--the detailing is VERY dense and adds to what the story is, but dense details, complex sentence structure and long paragraph combined to make it so I had to read it three or four times... it was good enough I WANTED to, but you may want to think about either quick, short sentences or breaking that second paragraph into two, just to make that wonderful, rich detail more digestible.

Dakota388
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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Dakota388 » December 19th, 2009, 10:09 am

hartjohnson wrote:This story sounds AMAZING. I like the first version best too.

The only suggestion I might make (and others might disagree, but i thought I'd throw it out there)--the detailing is VERY dense and adds to what the story is, but dense details, complex sentence structure and long paragraph combined to make it so I had to read it three or four times... it was good enough I WANTED to, but you may want to think about either quick, short sentences or breaking that second paragraph into two, just to make that wonderful, rich detail more digestible.

Thank you for the compliments. I agree and to be honest, I cheated a little. I, too, would break the second paragraph into two but was trying to stay within the guidelines of a specific agent. She wanted two paragraphs only. A lot of good it did me. Countless hours of researching her and following her instructions to a tee. Submitted- Friday morning, form rejection- Friday night. It sure would be nice to know if it was my sample, my query, my lack of experience, my idea or whatever (but that's a separate topic that has been beaten to death).
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by Joel Q » December 19th, 2009, 11:05 am

[quote="Dakota388]" It sure would be nice to know if it was my sample, my query, my lack of experience, my idea or whatever (but that's a separate topic that has been beaten to death).[/quote]

That is the great question we will probably never know. It would be an amazing advantage if we did know.
JQ

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Re: Two queries for Epertase- Which to use?

Post by charity_bradford » January 19th, 2010, 10:40 am

I like certain aspects of both queries, but I combined the parts I liked the best--comments marked in blue, your words rearranged in red. The story sounds fascinating, and I'm sorry you didn't get any feedback on the query. Here's to hoping for better luck next time!
Dakota388 wrote: Dear;

Rasi, once the greatest warrior in Epertase, remains banished to a mountain exile while an unstoppable (Not sure about this, maybe say formidable since there has to be a way to stop them or what is the point in telling the story. Why are they attacking? Is it because the current King is so contemptible?) army prepares to attack his former homeland. His years of loneliness and anger have nearly driven him mad with little hope of returning to the land he loves. The kingdom’s almost certain demise at the hands of the invading army triggers the beginning of a magical event.(I agree, tell more about this event. Is there a limited time for it to be completed? How did it start?) If completed, the corrupt king’s rule will violently end and his just daughter, Princess Alina’s will begin.

In the coming power-shift, Rasi sees hope of reclaiming the life he had before the king ripped out his tongue, killed his family, and left him for (The "for" bothers me, but I know that "to be" isn't any better. sorry I don't have a better solution.) slaughter by a tentacled beast. With the dead creature’s violent, self-aware tentacles permanently melded to his own back, Rasi vows to control the savage appendages and defend Alina’s kingdom. He feels his success will prove his honor and secure his triumphant return to the land he loves. However, his hopes of a new beginning quickly fade with the whispered fable telling of a way for the power-hungry king to save his throne—the sacrifice of his own daughter. To mask his involvement, he has her kidnapped. Now, Rasi must save Alina and lead her army (I was also confused about her army--is it separate from her father's army? And is the army in the first paragraph her father's army or a third army?) against the foreign threat to have any chance at redeeming himself. If he fails, he will hang, Alina will die, and Epertase will surely fall.
If you are a mother and a writer you have to make the time to write. No one is going to give it to you.
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