Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
kenpochick
Posts: 84
Joined: March 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm
Contact:

Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by kenpochick » May 27th, 2011, 10:41 pm

Hello all! I haven't been here in a while because I...well I've been writing. And I started my own business and blah blah blah. I'm hoping you lovely people could take a look at this query and let me know what you think. I don't want to fall into movie promo mode so any help would be appreciated.
****************
Ever since inadvertently causing the death of his older brother, Prince Lucien has anxiously awaited his Quest where he can finally prove that he’s not the consolation prize, but a prince worthy of the throne. Of course with dragons extinct there are few Quest opportunities for a crown prince other than rescuing princesses, but when Lucien selects the wrong destination on his GPS he doesn’t so much as rescue a princess as he does kidnap one.

Princess Madeline has had plenty of experience with handsome, arrogant princes, but finding herself lost in the woods in her nightgown is a new one even for her. Now all she cares about is getting back to her palace before they think she’s run off…again.

When they discover a kingdom living in terror Madeline knows she can’t return home without making sure the right princess is rescued and with the magic for the GPS gone and no cell phone reception; she knows she can’t leave it to Lucien.

But as they journey to the heart of the palace they discover the mysterious Queen Evangeline has done the unthinkable; she’s weaponized magic and now nothing will ever be the same. Now with a weapon no kingdom can hope to stand against and a desire for domination, the entire Ring is in danger. With a plot against Lucien’s father and Madeline’s father on the wrong side of the battle lines, the two must rescue the captive princess and defend their kingdoms before it’s too late.

As the danger escalates, so too does their attraction and Lucien and Madeline find themselves torn between love and duty, but when emotion causes them to rush into a plan that shakes their beliefs they don’t know if they can live with the consequences. If they hope to save their kingdoms and beat Evangeline they’ll have to rise to become the monarchs they were always meant to be.

HAPPILY SOMETIME AFTER is a 69000 word young adult fantasy and is the first book in a planned series.

Thank you for your consideration.

User avatar
airball
Posts: 58
Joined: August 14th, 2010, 7:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by airball » May 28th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Hi Kenpochick,

This sounds like a great read, but overall I came a way a bit confused. The thing that raised the most questions is the mood of the query vs. the mood of the book. The tone of the query is light and even funny at times, but the subject matter (killing your brother, weaponized magic, a danger to the entire world) seems rather more serious. You can have both in a book (Harry Potter can be very funny and very serious), but I'm not sure you can do both in a query.

I also think you need to decide whose story this is, Lucien's or Madeline's. Lucien seems like kind of a screw-up, and we hardly ever hear this kind of story from the rescued princess, so maybe go in that direction?

Other quibbles:
-I like the mixing of modern gadgets in a fantasy setting, but (again) I'm not sure it's the sort of thing you can put in the query. Page one of the MS to be sure but here it might just distract.
-What is the Ring? It shows up for the first time in paragraph four, and you seem to assume the reader knows what you are talking about.
-The last two paragraphs are quite confusing.

Good luck!!

Airball
Sam Thomas
Author of The Midwife's Story: A Mystery due out from St. Martin's Press in 2013
Website: http://www.samthomasbooks.com
Team Blog= http://bloodygoodread.blogspot.com

AllieS
Posts: 125
Joined: March 3rd, 2011, 3:19 am
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by AllieS » May 28th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Ever since inadvertently causing the death of his older brother, Prince Lucien has anxiously awaited his Quest where he can finally prove that he’s not the consolation prize, but a prince worthy of the throne. This line is pretty long. Could you shorten it to make it jump out? Of course with dragons extinct there are few Quest opportunities for a crown prince other than rescuing princesses, but when Lucien selects the wrong destination on his GPS he doesn’t so much as rescue a princess as he does kidnap one. Love the idea of mixing technology with magic. But, like airball said, you're mixing death with humor here...

Princess Madeline has had plenty of experience with handsome, arrogant is Lucien arrogant? I didn't get that vibe. princes, but finding herself lost in the woods in her nightgown is a new one one what? experience? Tighten this line up to remove any doubt. even for her. Now all she cares about is getting back to her palace before they think she’s run off…again. So has Lucien actually kidnapped her? I might not be as confused if you included a detail on how he does that.

When they Lucien and Madeline discover a kingdom living in terroryou need a comma here Madeline knows she can’t return home without making sure the right princess is rescued and with the magic for the GPS gone and no cell phone reception; she knows she can’t leave it to Lucien. Woah, really long line. Again, try breaking it up.

But as they journey to the heart of the palace they discover the mysterious Queen Evangeline has done the unthinkable; this could be a colon she’s weaponized magic and now nothing will ever be the same stating the obvious. Now Omit With a weapon no kingdom can hope to stand against and a desire for domination, the entire Ring is in danger What's the Ring?. With a plot against Lucien’s father and Madeline’s father on the wrong side of the battle lines, the two must rescue the captive princess and defend their kingdoms before it’s too late.

As the danger escalates, so too does their attraction and Lucien and Madeline find themselves torn between love and duty, but when emotion causes them to rush into a plan that shakes their beliefs they don’t know if they can live with the consequences. If they hope to save their kingdoms and beat Evangeline they’ll have to rise to become the monarchs they were always meant to be.


I was expecting the query to end at the second to last paragraph. Depending on where the emphasis is in the story, you could probably add a mention of their growing attraction for each other into that paragraph. Overall, I think it sounds like a really fun story.

User avatar
Anna Geletka
Posts: 11
Joined: May 15th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Greenville, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by Anna Geletka » May 29th, 2011, 4:07 pm

I love the idea of this query, but I agree with airball that it's a bit confusing. Some of this could be helped by breaking up the lengthy sentences, like so:

Prince Lucien inadvertently caused his older brother's death. Now he eagerly awaits the opportunity for a Quest to prove that he's not just the consolation prince, but an heir worthy of the throne. (btw, I accidentally typed "consolation prince" instead of "consolation prize" - and I think that's kinda cute so I left it.)

Love the first two paragraphs. I actually smiled as I read "GPS", I really think the references to modern technology work in this query and add a definite uniqueness to the standard fantasy quest.

The third paragraph is where I get lost. Shorter sentences, I think, are the way to go. Also, I'd either get rid of the word Ring or explain what it means. To avoid that movie announcer feel, I'd lose the phrase "before it's too late" at the end of the fourth paragraph. Also, in the fifth paragraph the phrases "as the danger escalates", "torn between love and duty", "shakes their beliefs", "live with the consequences", and "become...what they were always meant to be" - this pushes it into promo feel. It also feels like telling rather than showing. You can probably cut most of the last paragraph and finish with something like:

the two must rescue the captured princess and defend their kingdoms. If Evangeline is to be stopped, Lucien and Madeline must become the monarchs they were meant to be.


And throw some escalating attraction in there somewhere. :)

kenpochick
Posts: 84
Joined: March 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by kenpochick » May 29th, 2011, 11:02 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys! I'll definitely incorporate them.

kenpochick
Posts: 84
Joined: March 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by kenpochick » May 29th, 2011, 11:50 pm

Ok, some changes.
**************
As a child Prince Lucien inadvertently caused the death of his older brother. Now he eagerly awaits his Quest where he can finally prove that he’s not the consolation prize, but a prince worthy of the throne. Of course with dragons extinct there are few Quest opportunities for a crown prince other than rescuing princesses, but when Lucien selects the wrong destination on his GPS he doesn’t so much as rescue a princess as he does kidnap one.

Princess Madeline has had enough experience with princes to last a lifetime, but finding herself lost in the woods in her nightgown with one is a new one even for her. Now all she cares about is getting back to her palace before they think she’s run off…again.

But when Madeline and Lucien discover a kingdom living in terror, Madeline knows she can’t return home without making sure the right princess is rescued. With the magic for the GPS gone and no cell phone reception, she knows she has to help Lucien complete his Quest. Whether he likes it or not.

When the real rescue takes them to the heart of the palace they discover the mysterious Queen Evangeline has done the unthinkable; she’s weaponized magic. Now with a weapon no kingdom can hope to stand against and a desire for domination, the entire known world is in danger.

With a plot against Lucien’s father and Madeline’s father allied with the wrong side, the two must rescue the captive princess and defend their kingdoms before it’s too late. Torn between love and duty Madeline and Lucien know that if they hope to save their kingdoms and stop Evangeline, they’ll have to rise to become the monarchs they were always meant to be.

HAPPILY SOMETIME AFTER is a 69000 word young adult fantasy and is the first book in a planned series.
Thank you for your consideration.

AllieS
Posts: 125
Joined: March 3rd, 2011, 3:19 am
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by AllieS » June 4th, 2011, 5:40 am

Good changes! Here are my thoughts on the new version.

As a child Prince Lucien inadvertently caused the death of his older brother. Now he eagerly awaits his Quest where he can finally prove that he’s not the consolation prize, but a prince worthy of the throne. There's nothing wrong with these lines . . . but the next line has such a good voice in it that I can't help but want the first two to have the same. They just seem a little bland in comparison with the rest of the query. Of course with dragons extinct there are few Quest opportunities for a crown prince other than rescuing princesses, but when Lucien selects the wrong destination on his GPS he doesn’t so much as rescue a princess as he does kidnap one.

Princess Madeline has had enough experience with princes to last a lifetime, but finding herself lost in the woods in her nightgown with one is a new one even for her. You use the word "one" twice in the span of a couple words. I think you could just say "...in the woods in her nightgown with one is new even for her." Now all she cares about is getting back to her palace before they think she’s run off…again.

But when Madeline and Lucien discover a kingdom living in terror, Madeline knows she can’t return home without making sure the right princess is rescued. With the magic for the GPS gone and no cell phone reception, she knows she has to help Lucien complete his Quest. Whether he likes it or not.

When the real rescue takes them to the heart of the palace they discover the mysterious Queen Evangeline has done the unthinkable; she’s weaponized magic. Now with a weapon no kingdom can hope to stand against and a desire for domination, the entire known world known world? Isn't the entire world known? is in danger.

With a plot against Lucien’s father and Madeline’s father allied with the wrong side, the two must rescue the captive princess and defend their kingdoms before it’s too late. Torn between love and duty Madeline and Lucien know that if they hope to save their kingdoms and stop Evangeline, they’ll have to rise to become the monarchs they were always meant to be.

TomLysander
Posts: 12
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 2:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by TomLysander » June 4th, 2011, 3:13 pm

Hi! I'm new here, but I thought I'd offer some observations I have that might make this piece really shine.
kenpochick wrote:Ok, some changes.
**************
As a child Prince Lucien inadvertently caused the death of his older brother. Now he eagerly awaits his Quest where he can finally prove that he’s not the consolation prize, but a prince worthy of the throne. I'm not sure about the capitalized "Quest" -- this sentence could go faster by writing "Now he eagerly awaits the chance to prove that he's..." but if Quest as an institution is important to the story, leave as is. Of course with dragons extinct there are few Quest opportunities for a crown prince other than rescuing princesses, but when Lucien selects the wrong destination on his GPS he doesn’t so much as rescue a princess as he does kidnap one.You may need a line to set up the mixture of fantasy/modern tech -- this use of GPS could be taken as a bad metaphor, rather than an urban fantasy detail. Omit "so much AS rescue" --> "so much rescue a princess as..." for less choppiness

Princess Madeline has had enough experience with princes to last a lifetime, but finding herself lost in the woods in her nightgown with one is a new one even for her.you have an opportunity to give us a little more of Madeline's personality here: is she a snob who rejects princes regularly? a tomboy who tires of courtship? (the "runaway" line suggests this) You could take the more passive "has had enough experience with princes" and change it to "has dumped enough princes" or "has had enough awkward dates with princes" etc. etc. Now all she cares about is getting back to her palace before they think she’s run off…again.

But when Madeline and Lucien discover a kingdom living in terror, Madeline knows she can’t return home without making sure the right princess is rescued.Make Madeline active: "Madeline refuses to return home until the right princess..." or something similar. With the magic for the GPS gone and no cell phone reception, she knows she has to help Lucien complete his Quest. Whether he likes it or not.No need to separate the sentence fragment for emphasis -- I like it better with "complete his Quest whether he likes it or not."

When the real rescue takes them to the heart of the palace they discover the mysterious Queen Evangeline has done the unthinkable; she’s weaponized magic. Now with a weapon no kingdom can hope to stand against and a desire for domination, the entire known world is in danger.This is actually grammatically incorrect -- who has the weapon? the desire? the entire known world is the only subject in this sentence. an easy fix: "Now with x and y, the queen is putting the entire world in danger" or "the queen stands ready to conquer the world" or some variant.

With a plot against Lucien’s father and Madeline’s father allied with the wrong side, the two must rescue the captive princess and defend their kingdoms before it’s too late. Where is the "captive princess" is all this? Is rescuing her one of the steps to defeating Queen Evangeline? Why or why not? I'm curious if "rescue the princess" and "stop the evil Queen" are intertwined plots, or two prongs that just happen to share the same palace. Torn between love and duty Madeline and Lucien know that if they hope to save their kingdoms and stop Evangeline, they’ll have to rise to become the monarchs they were always meant to be.

HAPPILY SOMETIME AFTER is a 69000 word young adult fantasy and is the first book in a planned series.
Thank you for your consideration.
I think this query is already pretty sharp. A dream version of this query might find a way to give us a sentence-long glimpse into the world they live in -- with its GPS and weaponized magic. The stakes are high enough -- but is the captive princess an alibi to get the heroes to the evil kingdom? or is she important to the Queen's plot?

What I like best about this query is that it lays out characters and plots nicely in accumulating layers of complexity. Draw out those moments that make this fantasy world unique, and you'll have a strong query on your hands! Kudos, Tom

kenpochick
Posts: 84
Joined: March 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by kenpochick » June 6th, 2011, 11:14 pm

Thanks Tom. Good points.

Yes, the Quest is an institution which is why I have it capitalized through the manuscript. Every prince has to complete one and the requirement is common knowledge. The captive princess does conveniently bring our heroes to the palace but she's there to guarantee another kingdom's cooperation so it's not just a plot device. :-)

Thanks for the help guys. I'm so nervous querying. Ahhh!

Oh, and btw, I say "known world" because Ring was a proper name for it. There actually is more to the world but none of the characters know that. They think there is nothing worth conquering in the land outside the Ring. Assuming I actually get to continue this story that would come out in the next book. The evil Queen knows there's something out there but our heroes just think she's crazy.

AllieS
Posts: 125
Joined: March 3rd, 2011, 3:19 am
Contact:

Re: Happily Sometime After --YA Fantasy

Post by AllieS » June 7th, 2011, 7:52 pm

I understand what you're saying about the "known world," but because the readers and the characters know nothing about it, I don't think there's any point in including the "known." Especially if you get to it in the second book, including it in a query where you can only say so much just confuses people. Just my opinion!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests