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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query for NA Fantasy

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message 1: by L.C. (new)

L.C. Perry | 45 comments The letter needs cutting since it's too long. For example, the third paragraph is not necessary. It's too redundant of what is already established in the first paragraph. You can honestly add her age to the first paragraph, delete the third paragraph, and nothing really changes. In fact, it makes things clearer.

The second to last paragraph could be a little stronger. It sounds too much like other fantasy. "Grapple with the eroding façade of the narrative in which they find themselves" is overkill and confusing. Make things more specific. What kind of monsters are they evading? The line "Are they heroes because they’re saving the world? Or are they heroes because that’s how the fairy tale is designed?" feels really generic. Maybe something like "Are they heroes because they want to be? Or are things being orchestrated to be this way?"

Even if you keep the line "Or are they heroes because that’s how the fairy tale is designed?" I'm confused because this implies that there's some kind of enemy/outside force who could be forcing them on this quest. If that's the case, this should be mentioned in the query letter.

Hope this helps!

message 2: by Rae (new)

Rae Metters | 22 comments Hi Kayfoo, This is my critique advice. Please don't be offended by my brutal honesty. Lets begin...

Maddie Phillips doesn’t want to believe in unicorns anymore.

(First sentence of a query should grab the agent. Which this does. A good hook. I want to know why know...)

It’s becoming harder to pretend that the fantastic isn’t real, however, when it’s standing before her, begging for help.

(This sentence is clunky. Re-write.)

The unicorn’s world—the Pine Lands—is dying, and Maddie and her friends can save it. All they have to do is perform a ritual to restore the magic. They will be honoured, celebrated. They will be heroes. One of them will be king.

(Or queen, Maddie is a girl, right?)

It’s the kind of fairy tale Maddie dreamed about as a child, but now that she’s twenty,

(WOAH! Okay I thought I was reading a middle-grade book here? Please assume your readers will be approx the same age as your pro-tag. Twenty seems a little old for your pro-tag to be in a story about unicorns... I'll keep going)

she’s realizing that maybe fairy tales aren’t for adults.

(They can be if done well.)

As lovely as unicorns are, they are not the only creatures hiding in the shadows of the woods. (Okay... elaborate.)

Rowan Temorast has been given his first mission: retrieve the travelers before they can enter the Pine Lands. Do so without killing them. Without eating their magic.

( Eating magic? what is he, a dragon?)

Rowan does not want to be a murderer, and he does not want to be a monster, but life is much easier when he’s allowed to be both. (Okay, I like this line)

As Maddie and her friends track down the components of the ritual, they must not only evade monsters but grapple with the eroding facade of the narrative in which they find themselves. Are they heroes because they’re saving the world? Or are they heroes because that’s how the fairy tale is designed?

(Okay, last paragraph I was skimming. I'm still not quite sure on the stakes Maddie is facing. Surely saving this unicorn is far too bothersome? I'm not entirely sure of the plot. I think this can be condensed and re-worked.)

[TITLE] is a 117,000 word new adult dark fantasy. It has dual-POV protagonists and is the first novel in an proposed duology. It will appeal to fans of V.E. Schwab’s A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED. I am a graduate of the [writing-based graduate school] and a [editing based profession]. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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