Thursday, July 14, 2016

Query Critique #16: THE SEVEN SOULS

My thoughts are added in redEvery comment is my own opinion. Readers, feel free to leave your own comments below and help a fellow writer out!

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Original Version (with comments):

Dear ____,

In the forest, where the trees uproot and come alive at sun down, fifteen-year-old refugee named Kale is learning how to tame them (Amazing first sentence. Oh, wow! I love it already. That and I have a character in one my books named Kale. So great name choice! ;) ). Kale is a Shepherd, a master of living trees– at least he will be once he passes his apprenticeship (Is this the right word? It might just be me, but I’m picturing him passing a test so he can be an apprentice. Maybe just keep it simple and swap apprenticeship with “final test.”). But under his mentor′s watchful eye, he struggles to earn his title (The way this sentence is worded, it almost seems like because of his mentor’s watchful eye, Kale can’t pass his apprenticeship.).

To further his training, Kale′s mentor brings him along accompanies his master to investigate a breach in the forest. They find a discover a dark creature bearing a message from Socren′s (What is Scoren? A towen?) corrupt leader, Edric. The refugees have four days to return to Socren, a city overrun and controlled by Edric′s experimental creatures and its citizens treated as slaves, where they will face trial for desertion (This is a pretty important world-building sentence. You might want to break this into two sentences. I know you mentioned in the very first sentence that Kale was a refugee. I cut that because I wanted to make the sentence punchier and you telling us that Kale was a refugee made me pause and try to understand why he is a refugee, which you didn’t answer. Consider explaining why Kale and his mentor are refugees in this paragraph. Also, why would Edric be summoning the refugees back just to kill them? Who would go???) .

Kale and the refugees must make a choiceto choose: come out of hiding and likely face execution, or defy Edric′s demands and flee (Choice number two!!). The answer seems simple to Kale: run. But when an ancient power, thought to be dormant, reawakens and begins to devour devouring the forest, Kale realizes neither option can will assure their livessurvival. They must fight – fight back against Edric and his monstrous creatures in hopes to regain their city once and for all (What brought them to this decision? Were they going to flee into the forest? The forest that’s being destroyed? You might want to show how Kale reaches this decision a little bit. I couldn’t connect the dots.)Kale must convince the refugees to find their courage if they wish to survive. (I think the previous sentence is a great way to end it!)

The Seven Souls THE SEVEN SOULS is a YA fantasy novel completed at 99,000 words with series potential. I've written to you because you are actively seeking fantasy submissions. Thank you for your consideration.


Not much to say down here! All my major comments are inline. Of course, I think you could go through and toughen up some of your verbs, but I think this query letter is well on its way to being finished. Paragraph #2 is your weakest link, so spend some time tweaking that one. Since your book is a fantasy, it’s very important that the world building in your query letter is clear.

If you want to send me your edits later on, feel free! I wish you the best with THE SEVEN SOULS!

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