1. Jackie B
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    Jackie B New Member

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    Query sos - the curse and the quest

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Jackie B, Oct 10, 2015.

    Thank you for reading and commenting on my query.

    Dear Ms/Mr,
    The Curse and the Quest is my 95,000 word fantasy novel for young adults.

    In some worlds birth is fate. Except when a curse intervenes.

    Allie was born a princess. To be a queen is her fate. She is not thrilled by the prospect or by the marriage her parents have arranged for her, with a Most Suitable Prince.

    On the day of her wedding Allie discovers the kingdom’s best-kept secret. As a baby, she had been cursed by a high-IQ fairy to engage in a singular quest. She must roam the world searching for herself. And she can find herself only by losing herself.

    Accompanied by Spooky, a were-dog with an attitude, Allie sets off on her endless road. She becomes an undesirable alien in the land of a xenophobic king. Her attempt at befriending a prince-in-distress has unforeseen consequences. She tumbles into a witch-hunt, witnesses a book-pyre and meets Brunelles, a fashion-conscious dragon with a sweet tooth. Each encounter teaches her something, about her world and about herself.

    Lost in a primeval desert, with Spooky consumed by a mysterious illness, Allie is confronted with an impossible choice. Can she save her beloved were-dog without giving up her life of adventure and freedom? Must she return to being a miserable misfit in a gilded cage? Where does one turn, when the last throw of the dice produces a naught?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is kind of old, so I'm just going to give a few comments, in case you're not around to read them or have already moved on. If you respond, I can try to give a bit more depth.

    Overall, this feels really choppy to me. A lot of short sentences, and it's not really clear how the story flows from sentence to sentence. It kind of feels like a list in paragraph form, rather than a series of connected events leading to a satisfying conclusion.
     
  3. Jackie B
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    Jackie B New Member

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    I'm afraid you are right. Trying to revise. Thanks.
     
  4. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    I agree with @BayView about the choppyness (is that a word?). Also, I think Young Adult and Fantasy are supposed to be capitalized. But isn't that line (where you list the word count and Genre) supposed to be at the end of the Query? That is what all the advise things say anyway, first pragraph is how you know them or why you chose them. The second is a description of the story and the third is why you are qualified/interesting as a writer.
     
  5. Jackie B
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    Jackie B New Member

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    I;ve made some changes. I hope someone takes a look. Thanks in advance.

    Princess Allegra is in a royal pickle. She doesn’t want to wear a crown; or be married at sixteen. But in some worlds birth is fate, unless a curse intervenes.


    When Marginal, doyenne of evil fairies, offers Allegra a way out, she jumps at the chance. But there is a catch. As a baby, Allegra was cursed by Marginal. She can escape her royal destiny only by embracing the curse. She must roam the world, looking for herself. And she can find herself only by losing herself.


    So Princess Allegra becomes Allie the vagabond. She hits the road, Spooky, a were-dog with an attitude, her sole companion. She plays knight-errant to a handsome prince-in-distress, thwarts a witch-hunt, discovers love, witnesses a book pyre and hobnobs with a chic dragon in a fancy hat. Each encounter broadens Allie’s horizons; each experience deepens her understanding. She begins to know herself by becoming aware of her world in all its complexities.


    Allie revels in her freedom. Lost in a primeval desert, with Spooky dying of a mysterious illness, she realises freedom is not free; it comes with responsibilities and choices. Her only hope of saving her beloved were-dog lies in Marginal’s double-edged gift to her, a magical cookie. But consuming the cookie will end the curse and send Allie right back into the gilded cage she escaped from.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It feels a little comma-heavy to me, kind of a new version of the earlier choppiness.

    I think I'd be more inclined to try a different format. Is the curse short, and written in an interesting way? If so, I'd be inclined to open with that. Something like:

    By the powers of the night and the darkness, I curse you to XYZ.

    It's a pretty horrible curse to live with, but Princess Allegra has bigger problems lately. She doesn't want to wear a crown or be married at sixteen; she wants to be free.

    Marginal, the evil fairy who cursed her at birth, offers Allegra a way out of her royal life, and Allegra jumps at the chance, even though it means embracing Marginal's curse. Princess Allegra becomes Allie the vagabond and she hits the road with Spooky, a were-dog with an attitude, her sole companion. She plays knight-errant... in all its complexities.

    But living in the larger world comes with danger, and as she faces it, Allie realizes that freedom isn't free, and sometimes those she loves will be the ones to pay the price. When Spooky falls into a mysterious illness, Allie has to decide whether to give up her freedom, or watch her beloved friend suffer and die.

    And then some final thought to wrap it up?
     
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  7. Jackie B
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    Jackie B New Member

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    Thanks for that. I do like what you've done to the final para. Thanks again.
     

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