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message 1: by Molly (new)

Molly Stegall (mollystegall) | 193 comments Hello, I’m currently looking for representation for my YA Fantasy novel ASHES OF REVENGE which sits around 96k words. Given your interest in YA Fantasy, I feel as though my book will be a good fit for you.

Five Kingdoms and five species are on the brink of war in the land of Corrail: a territory with nothing to offer but violence and hate. When the Monstro King issues an ultimatum for the other Kingdoms to either join him or go to war, those traits intensify and the possibility of war becomes a reality. 

Trying to stop the Kingdoms from wiping out one another is Raven, a badly burned Mundus who wants nothing more than for the Mundus King to perish, her being one of his victims from his cowardice ruling. Helping her is an anxiety-ridden Shifter named Colt and Richard, an overly strict Farian.

The three different species have a simple plan: destroy the Monstro villages - a Kingdom known for its terrifying nights, brutal King, and horrific subjects - and work their way across the map until a new Mundus Ruler is crowned and the threat of war is gone. However, their plot is halted when Death derails their path and causes them to go into the Mundus Kingdom, not liking them destroying his favorite of the Kingdoms. The trio changes tactics but keeps their initial goal at the forefront: revenge and peace.  

I am popular on social media platforms for writing such as Wattpad and Inkitt. Through those apps, I managed to land a publishing deal with one of my books - THE VAMPIRE’S PET - and would love to become more mainstream with ASHES OF REVENGE.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon.


message 2: by Scott (new)

Scott | 100 comments Hi Molly,
I'm still having trouble following some of this. Is the Monstro king different than the Mundus king? Does "the three different species" refer to the three character mentioned? The phrasing makes it sound like the entire species. Destroying the Monstro villages doesn't sound like a simple plan. Also, some of the sentence structure is difficult to read.

Trying to stop the Kingdoms from wiping out one another is Raven
a badly burned Mundus
who wants nothing more than the Mundus King to perish
her being one of his victims
from his cowardice ruling.

It's okay to combine thoughts in one sentence but there's too much going on. Here, we learn what Raven is trying to do, who she is, what she wants, why she wants it, and then bonus info about the way the King rules. "Her being one of his victims from his cowardice ruling" -it's about Raven, the pronoun is she, not her. "One of his victims" might work, but not when followed by the rest. She being THE victim OF his ruling. "Wiping out one another," might read better as, wiping one another out, but, better still is -from destroying one another.

"I am popular on social media platforms for writing such as wp and Ink." The phrase, "for writing," interrupts the link between platforms and your examples, making it wordy. Either drop, for writing, or the examples. Using both is redundant. If you really feel need both, a better phrase would be, "I am popular on writing platforms such as..." Also, "not liking them destroying" may or may not be correct, but it is a poor subject-verb pairing. (Death not liking?) Even written as, "because he didn't like," isn't great. Maybe, "because he didn't like the fact that they destroyed... " The point is, it's wordy.

I'm not sure what the magic number is, (you should probably find out) but it seems to me that if the first book didn't sell more than 20K copies, it shouldn't be mentioned. Good luck!


message 3: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley (fiona_hurley) | 33 comments My opinions; take what you need and leave the rest.

Five Kingdoms and five species are on the brink of war in the land of Corrail: a territory with nothing to offer but violence and hate. When the Monstro King issues an ultimatum for the other Kingdoms to either join him or go to war, those traits intensify and the possibility of war becomes a reality.

First sentence is strong but then it gets repetitive .e.g "on the brink of war" is much the same as "the possibility of war becomes a reality". Also, it takes too long to introduce the protagonist (Raven). I'd condense this paragraph to the first line "Five Kingdoms and five species are on the brink of war in the land of Corrail."

Trying to stop the Kingdoms from wiping out one another is Raven, a badly burned Mundus who wants nothing more than for the Mundus King to perish, her being one of his victims from his cowardice ruling. Helping her is an anxiety-ridden Shifter named Colt and Richard, an overly strict Farian.

Scott already pointed out the sentence structure issue. Restructure to focus on Raven and what she wants.

The three different species have a simple plan: destroy the Monstro villages - a Kingdom known for its terrifying nights, brutal King, and horrific subjects - and work their way across the map until a new Mundus Ruler is crowned and the threat of war is gone. However, their plot is halted when Death derails their path and causes them to go into the Mundus Kingdom, not liking them destroying his favorite of the Kingdoms. The trio changes tactics but keeps their initial goal at the forefront: revenge and peace.

What are "the three species"? Are we talking about Raven, Colt, and Richard? Why would a new Mundus king prevent the threat of war? Which kingdom is Death's favorite? "Revenge and peace" are not one goal but two, and contradictory ones at that (it's not a bad thing to have conflicting goals, but it needs to be clearer).

There's some good worldbuilding here, but the blurb needs to focus more on character and plot. Who, what, why.

Hope this helps.


message 4: by Molly (new)

Molly Stegall (mollystegall) | 193 comments Scott wrote: "Hi Molly,
I'm still having trouble following some of this. Is the Monstro king different than the Mundus king? Does "the three different species" refer to the three character mentioned? The phrasin..."


Fiona wrote: "My opinions; take what you need and leave the rest.

Five Kingdoms and five species are on the brink of war in the land of Corrail: a territory with nothing to offer but violence and hate. When the..."


Sorry for the late reply! But is this better in terms of focus and sentence structure? Thanks!

Five species live in the land of Corrail - a territory with nothing to offer other than hate and violence. Raven, a badly burned Mundus, knows that better than anyone. Betrayed by her Kingdom, she wants nothing but revenge against the Mundus King.

From this hate, an unlikely trio forms with similar interests: Colt, an anxiety-ridden Shifter, and Richard, an overly strict Farian. The small group devises a plan when the Monstro King issues an ultimatum for the four other Kingdoms, side with him, or be reduced to ash. With the threat approaching quickly, they scramble to try and prevent war, keeping retribution nearby and doing so in the Monstro Kingdom - a place in which nightmares become a reality. 

Just as they begin to make progress, Death changes their course and forces Raven to make an unbreakable deal. She is forced to walk a thin line and one wrong step could mean the difference between suffering and vengeance. 


message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley (fiona_hurley) | 33 comments Much better; gets right to the point, showing us Raven and her motivation. Nice work!

A few small points:

Raven, a badly burned Mundus, knows that better than anyone.
Not clear what that refers to. Does Raven know better than anyone that "five species live in the land of Corrail" or that the territory has "nothing to offer other than hate and violence"? I'm guessing the latter.

The small group devises a plan when the Monstro King issues an ultimatum for the four other Kingdoms, side with him, or be reduced to ash.
Punctuation makes this unclear, should be:
"The small group devises a plan when the Monstro King issues an ultimatum for the four other Kingdoms: side with him or be reduced to ash."

they scramble to try and prevent war, keeping retribution nearby and doing so in the Monstro Kingdom
How does "keeping retribution nearby" prevent war? Surely that would further anger the Monstro King and make war more likely?


message 6: by Molly (new)

Molly Stegall (mollystegall) | 193 comments Fiona wrote: "Much better; gets right to the point, showing us Raven and her motivation. Nice work!

A few small points:

Raven, a badly burned Mundus, knows that better than anyone.
Not clear what that refers ..."


Thank you!


message 7: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 20 comments Since others have already commented on the story synopsis and sentence structure (to which I agree), I will comment on some of the passive words used at the beginning and end of your pitch.

"I feel as though" -- other choices: "I believe" "I am confident that"
"I am popular on" -- other choices: "I can be found on" "Currently, many readers enjoy my work on"
"I managed to land" -- change to: "I landed"
"and would love to become more mainstream with" -- (who wouldn't?) -- change to something like: "With Ashes of Revenge, I believe I have created a story that will have mainstream appeal for young readers."

Also, last tip, I don't know if this helps or not, but my articles I've read on writing queries have stated the importance of demonstrating that you know something specific about the agent's tastes. For example: "My work is most similar to [insert title] by [so and so] whom I know you represent."

Hope these suggestions help. Good luck!


message 8: by Molly (new)

Molly Stegall (mollystegall) | 193 comments G.R. wrote: "Since others have already commented on the story synopsis and sentence structure (to which I agree), I will comment on some of the passive words used at the beginning and end of your pitch.

"I fee..."


Thank you so much for the suggestions, they really helped! Yes, I have also read to personalize it for the agent, but this is just a rough format that will be changed for each agent.
Thanks!


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