Query: The Pawn

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merrymuhsman
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Query: The Pawn

Post by merrymuhsman » July 1st, 2012, 3:32 pm

I know I'm a little late joining the query party, but I just now read Nathan's blog. From what I've seen, this group provides some very good feedback. I'm looking forward to your assistance with my query. Thanks!

I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel called “The Pawn”. My novel is 107,000 words.

Falsely accused of murder, a runaway uncovers an ancient plot that involves a royal heir, a healing stone and a dragon—a plot that one woman has cultivated since the day Asgard fell.

It’s been six years since Donnivus was kidnapped and escaped. But to him, only a day has passed. He returns home to find a plague has nearly wiped out his village, and killed most of his family. His father is searching for his only living son to give his blessing, something Donnivus wants more than anything.

Donnivus travels to Remengart where he is led to believe the King of Remengart has imprisoned his father. In order to free him, Donnivus must retrieve a powerful healing stone from the dragon who stole it from the King. Before he is able to retrieve the stone, Donnivus and the knights who accompany him are attacked. The knights are killed, but two dragons save Donnivus. When he returns to Remengart, Donnivus is falsely accused of the murders by the King’s advisor, Helle. She is a norn—exiled from Asgard. Donnivus is a threat to her ultimate plan of resurrecting her fallen kingdom.

Donnivus is thrust into a world of magic, deceit and redemption. Where dragons masquerade as humans and immortals walk the earth, it’s a challenge to know who is an ally or enemy. With the help of a reluctant dragon and a powerful healing stone, Donnivus must stop Helle from opening the gates to Asgard in order to protect Remengart and ultimately find his father.

I have been a monthly contributor for the former on-line magazine “Fantasy, Folklore and Fairytales.” I was accepted into The Odyssey's on-line program twice based on short stories I submitted. I was fortunate enough to be one of 14 writers accepted. My short story was among the top 25 finalists in a contest by On the Premise. “The Pawn” is my first novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Brian_H
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by Brian_H » July 2nd, 2012, 4:02 pm

HI. I put a bunch of comments here. I hope you do not think I'm trying to be mean or overly critical. There's just a lot of information here and it's not always clear to me what is going on.



Falsely accused of murder, a runaway who? Donnivus? It's unclear uncovers an ancient plot that involves a royal heir is Don the royal heir too?, a healing stone and a dragon—a plot that one woman is this Helle? also unclear. has cultivated since the day Asgard at this point i didnt know asgard was her fallen kingdom. I thought it was the name of a dead king maybe fell.

It’s been six years since Donnivus was kidnapped and escaped escaped from what?. But to him, only a day has passed. literaly, like he lost six years? How? Magic? Why? He returns home to find a plague has nearly wiped out his village, and killed most of his family. His father is searching for his only living son to give his blessing what kind of blessing, im confused. Is Donnivus getting married?, something Donnivus wants more than anything.

Donnivus travels to Remengart where he is led to believe the King of Remengart has imprisoned his father. wait, i thought his father was in the village? In order to free him, Donnivus must retrieve a powerful healing stone from the dragon who stole it from the King. Before he is able to retrieve the stone, Donnivus and the knights are they the king's knights? who accompany him are attacked by what? Dragons? Helle? Wolves?. The knights are killed, but two dragons save Donnivus. When he returns to Remengart, Donnivus is falsely accused of the murders by the King’s advisor, Helle. She is a norn what's a norn? —exiled from Asgard. Donnivus is a threat to her ultimate plan of resurrecting her fallen kingdom.

Donnivus is thrust into a world of magic are asgard and remegart in different worlds? Isnt he from this world, how is he thrust into it? , deceit and redemption. Where dragons masquerade as humans and immortals walk the earth, it’s a challenge to know who is an ally or enemy. With the help of a reluctant dragon if it is reluctant, why does it help? what is its motivation? and a powerful healing stoneyou mention the stone, but I have no idea what significance it has. Why was it stolen in the first place, what makes it so important, Donnivus must stop Helle from opening the gates to Asgard in order to protect Remengart and ultimately find his father. is Helle the dragon who stole the stone? If so, that isn't clear. If not, what does the dragon thief have in common with Helle and her plot to open the gates to asgard?

I have been a monthly contributor for the former on-line magazine “Fantasy, Folklore and Fairytales.” I was accepted into The Odyssey's on-line program twice based on short stories I submitted. I was fortunate enough to be one of 14 writers accepted. My short story was among the top 25 finalists in a contest by On the Premise. “The Pawn” is my first novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
It always seems impossible until it's done.

idanelly
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by idanelly » July 2nd, 2012, 10:29 pm

Hello, sounds interesting. A few points:
-I think the title of your book should be in capital letters and without quotation marks.That's the usual usage nowadays.
-you could omit the sentence beginning "falsely accused"
-you use passive tense a lot. activity is usually stronger, should be used whenever possible

elbowpatch
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by elbowpatch » July 2nd, 2012, 11:37 pm

Merry,

You're playing here with Norse mythology which I love, but it is unclear if your novel exists in the world of Norse mythology or simply draws upon elements from it. If Asgard has fallen, has Ragnarok occurred?

In terms of style I think you should start with It has been six years since...

I don't think you need to put in the part about the blessing, there's no need to explain why a father would search for his only surviving son.

I think you need to be clearer about why Don has to find the healing stone. Did the king make a deal with Don? (get me the healing stone and I will free your father). Will the healing stone allow Don to break into the prison and free his father etc.

It is unclear that Don manages to get the stone.

Is Helle trying to rebuild Asgard or some other kingdom. If it is Asgard, is Asgard a kingdom that should be feared? a simple adjective would convey much such as tyrranical Asgard or evil Asgard or Asgard the land of the evil Norns.

Good luck with the process.

merrymuhsman
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by merrymuhsman » July 3rd, 2012, 9:11 pm

Thanks everyone. Really great suggestions. You all bring up really good questions. It's always difficult, as I'm sure you know, to revise the query when you're so close to the story. Why does it seem easier to write a book (which is really not that easy, let's be honest) than to write a query? I've had the same trouble with synopsis.

Yes, my story takes from Norse mythology, but doesn't happen in Asgard. Ragnerock has already occurred, and it's Helle's goal to bring back Asgard. Helle has been exiled from Asgard before Ragnerock.

Thank you again!

Merry

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Beethovenfan
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by Beethovenfan » July 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm

Hi Merry,
I'm only going to offer you one little piece of advice: visit the Query Shark (aka Janet Reid). She explains in detail, step-by-step how a query should look. She will even let you send her a query for possible posting on her blog. However, she has a lot of rules that you MUST know before you even try it. She suggests reading through all the other queries that she has commented on and learn from others' mistakes. This could take a few days to do, but believe me. It is well worth your time.
Here is the link.
http://queryshark.blogspot.com/
Good luck!
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Cher
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by Cher » July 4th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Hello Merry,

I'm new to the site. Although your story sounds interesting, it's a little confusing to me. (just my opinion). About Query Shark. You were offered great advice. Definitly check that out. Janey Reid's critiques are very informative, but you need to be able to take the critiques in a positive way. Sometimes their harsh, but not in a mean way. It's to help and put you on the right track.

Best of luck to you,
Cheryl

merrymuhsman
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Re: Query: The Pawn

Post by merrymuhsman » July 8th, 2012, 9:55 am

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely check out Query Shark. I haven't heard of it before coming to this forum. Thanks!

Merry

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