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  1. Toriel
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    Toriel New Member

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    Day of the Black Moon Query

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Toriel, Jun 26, 2014.

    Hello,

    Critiques are welcome.

    Dear Agent:

    THE DAY OF THE BLACK MOON is a 121,000 word epic fantasy with multiple points of views. This is the first of a four book series; we are drafting book two and outlining three and four. Fans of Tad William’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn will find a similar balance between character focus and world building.(Only included in agent wants a comparison)

    Cale lives a simple life until the elven Princess Alina knocks on his door. He’s prophesied to save the world, but can an ordinary elf really become a hero? He accepts his destiny but can’t decide if he fears it or his trainer more. (Alt Line: He accepts his destiny, taking up the sword—and keeps dropping it during training sessions.) Cale continues to fail, and Alina doubts his capabilities.

    As the two-hearted hero, Cale is foretold to kill the djinn emperor and bring peace to the continent of Atia. The elves in Calista, and the djinn in Ubel stand on the brink of another war. Cale couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Yet, it seems like the djinn emperor and Cale are pawns in someone else’s game.

    An act shakes Atia’s foundations and leaves the ground soaked in blood, and it may cause the death of magic. The tragedy forces an unprepared Cale to move faster than the elves planned. Cale’s already stumbling, and this push could make him fall. Cale stands between the annihilation of elves, the death of magic, and war with the djinn, but his inadequacy will let others to rise in his stead. (should/can we re-phrase this last sentence as a question or do agents not like that kind of thing?)


    Co-authored, we are pursing on our Bachelor’s degree in English, have worked as editors, journalists, and social media-marketing writers. Our short stories have won county and state-level awards, Internet contests, and were published in the Creative Writing Institute’s first anthology, Overruled.


    The complete or partial manuscript is available upon request.


    Thank you for your time and consideration,


    Regards,

    [Contact info]


    Yes, this book was co-authored. We're still not sure how to approach that in the final paragraph there.
     
  2. mootz
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    mootz Member

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    This read like a synopsis, as I say in the quote. You should look to eliminate past tense. Mentioning how many point of views doesn't seem important...its not make or break for a query. Mentioning of future books isn't necessary, certainly not in the detail that you are outlining the following books. You could simple say its a series or that its a single title with room for sequels. Unless the books are finished, don't mention it.

    Also, so you know, I'm not published or anything. so, you know, grain of salt.
     
  3. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    Dear Agent:

    THE DAY OF THE BLACK MOON is a 121,000 word epic fantasy with multiple points of views. This is the first of a four book series; we are drafting book two and outlining three and four. Fans of Tad William’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn will find a similar balance between character focus and world building.(Only included in agent wants a comparison)

    Cale lives a simple life until the elven Princess Alina knocks on his door. He’s prophesied to save the world, but can an ordinary elf really become a hero? He accepts his destiny but can’t decide if he fears it or his trainer more. (Alt Line: He accepts his destiny, taking up the sword—and keeps dropping it during training sessions.) Cale continues to fail, and Alina doubts his capabilities.
    -Continues to fail HOW? You can get more specific.

    As the two-hearted hero, Cale is foretold to kill the djinn emperor and bring peace to the continent of Atia. The elves in Calista, and the djinn in Ubel stand on the brink of another war. Cale couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Yet, it seems like the djinn emperor and Cale are pawns in someone else’s game.
    -Huh? I have no idea who the villain is supposed to be, what Cale wants, or what Cale wants to do.

    An act (WHAT act?) shakes Atia’s foundations and leaves the ground soaked in blood, and it may cause the death of magic. The tragedy forces an unprepared Cale to move faster (doing what?) than the elves planned. Cale’s already stumbling (at what?), and this push could make him fall (How?). Cale stands between the annihilation of elves, the death of magic, and war with the djinn, but his inadequacy will let others to rise in his stead (The way you write this sentence, this almost sounds like a good thing).

    (should/can we re-phrase this last sentence as a question or do agents not like that kind of thing? I've seen that many of them dislike rhetorical questions.)



    Co-authored, we are pursing on our Bachelor’s degree in English, have worked as editors, journalists, and social media-marketing writers. Our short stories have won county and state-level awards, Internet contests, and were published in the Creative Writing Institute’s first anthology, Overruled.
    -Better to leave out everything except published works or awards from reputable competitions. Don't bother mentioning that you are students. You want to be treated like a professional- don't tell them that you are a professional-in-training.


    The complete or partial manuscript is available upon request. They'll assume this. You're not querying for kicks and giggles.


    Thank you for your time and consideration,


    Regards,

    [Contact info]


    You are being WAY to general in this query and by doing so you are not enticing anyone to read the actual novel. You need to get into more detail. The main goal of the query is to make someone want to read more. This doesn't do that.

    Start where the meat of the story is. You don't need lengthy backstory. Where is the characters major defining choice? If you are new to query writing, this outline is a good place to start.

    Who is the story about?
    What are the stakes?
    What's a major choice the character faces?
    What happens if the character fails?
     
  4. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    To be honest. I read all of it and still have no idea what the book is about except that it includes elves. The blurb seemed really muddled and rambling. Maybe you should write the blurb for the back of the book instead and just include that. I think the entire first paragraph is actually redundant, the editor just wants to know what the book is about so they can see if it's something that will fit in their catalogue. You can put word count etc at the bottom.

    I'm also divided on whether or not you need to state you've won competitions etc. The quality of your query and extract from the book should speak for themselves. I also think if it's part of a series, just mention that but not that you are still outlining the rest of the story, that would tell me that you haven't thought the entire story through yet and it might fall over after the first book.
     
  5. theperiloustriumph
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    theperiloustriumph New Member

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    I wish you would get to the meat of the story a little quicker. Entice us. Make us open our eyes wide from the first sentence.
     
  6. Adora Belle
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    Adora Belle Member

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    bumped old thread and just saw the date of the last post... sorry...
     
  7. Herro Raymond
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    Herro Raymond Member

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    You'll have to let me know how you do, mate. My book is also over 100k in terms of words and I hear that's a major fuax pas. I wish you all the luck though, I'm rooting for you.
     

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