Query critique 6/23/22

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY

Query critique 6/23/22

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 20th, 2022, 10:12 am

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the query up for critique on the blog on Thursday. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes.

Dear [Agent],

I have chosen to query you because [xyz]

Mawdlen was born on King Arthur's grave.

That is the story her father told her, along with legends of the King and his daring knights, who fell afoul of lovely maidens and fought their way through perils back into grace and favour. Then the battles of the kings of her own time begin anew, and Master Cunnick packs up his household and brings them to the teeming, reeking city of London. After some years, though the Wars of the Roses continue, their own hardships ease as Master Cunnick finds a measure of success as a merchant. One day, delivering her father's noon meal at his warehouse, Mawdlen meets a young sailor named Santiago. He wins her heart, because he too speaks of knights and of errantry, but he is not yet master of his own ship, and when his captain sails, he must leave, too.

The years pass and Mawdlen is now over late to be married, but she fancies none of her suitors, no matter how many fetes and dances she attends at the home of wealthier friends. Wealthier, because Master Cunnick's fortune has failed him, and every day the family's luck and prosperity dwindle further and her father sinks into dissolution. Mawdlen finds an opportunity to help and, unbeknownst to her family, begins to deliver goods for a back street merchant, not a member of any guild. She is unaware of the other businesses operating from the establishment.

Santiago, having finally achieved his fortune – a ship to call his own – and returning to claim his long-awaited maiden, sees Mawdlen emerge from the back door of the merchant's and assumes the worst. But the fate that brought them together is too strong to be thwarted. They meet again at a costume party, where, despite their masks, their loving hearts each recognise the other. They must rescue both themselves and Mawdlen’s family from the clutches of the wily merchant and his nefarious gang, before they can deem all perils vanquished, and be free to celebrate the bliss of their union in marriage.

CAPTIVE OF THE SEA is a historical complete at 59,000 words.

My contemporary romance Summer Fire (Carina Press) and my short story “One to Another” in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology Dark Matter: Artificial (Dancing Lemur Press) are available now; my paranormal romance Druid’s Moon is scheduled to be published in September 2022 (Dancing Lemur Press). I have lived and worked in Canada, Switzerland, and Turkey, and my non-fiction work, including travel articles, book reviews and personal essays, has appeared in the trilingual (English, French, and Turkish) newspaper Bizim Anadolu. My short story 'Where There's Life' was shortlisted for the Surrey (Canada) International Writers' Conference Storyteller's Award in 2013. I blog about writing, reading, and travel at http://www.thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com.

Thank you for your consideration.


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