Morgan’s Query Corner:
Answering Your Query Quandaries
THE WINGS OF OBORIO is a fantasy.
After his father destroys a witch’s forest, Prince Braun and his new bride, Princess Martiel must learn to trust each other if they want to end the witch’s curse to save their future children and their kingdoms, and forge a lasting partnership.
NOTE: If you submit your query to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and you are selected for inclusion, I will give you a high-level review, in-line feedback, and my own draft of your query. If this is your query, feel free to use or ignore as much of the advice and suggestions as you wish.
[Disclaimer: Any query selected for the page will be posted on this website for perpetuity. I am an amateur with no actual accepted queries and a good number of form rejections. This does not guarantee an agent or even an amazing query, just a new take by someone who’s read The Query Shark archives twice and enjoys playing with queries.]
It sounds like a good story and a solid fairy tale. One of my favorite genres!
Things to think about
- Make sure female main/secondary characters have agency. If she’s a POV character, we’re gonna have to switch one of the paragraphs to focus on her side of the story.
- What does the Prince WANT? (What stands in his way– I think you’ve got that half)
- Specificity should replace standard lines. You need to show how your novel is DIFFERENT, not how it follows the formula.
- Remember to sell one book at a time. You can say it has ‘series potential’, but make sure it can stand on its own.
While Prince Braun hunts in the enchanted Dunslach wood [is he supposed to be here?], he stumbles across the mysterious Princess [cliche. Does she have any agency?] Martiel. The beautiful girl stops him in his tracks, and both of their worlds are turned upside down [give specifics!].
When Braun returns home, his father, the king, orders him to marry a stranger—and to his surprise and delight, it’s Martiel. [Is this unexpected? Maybe something more like ‘announces his betrothal. To Princess Martiel. Braun can’t believe his luck.] when [too many whens…] a witch attacks Braun on his way to the betrothal ceremony. She vows revenge for the destruction of her forest by cursing the couple’s offspring [WHAT?! We were just hunting there]. Braun’s father is responsible for the carnage, [wait. Why? And when did this happen?] but Braun and Martiel will pay for it.
Braun and Martiel are wed, and they struggle with their new marriage, the curse, and a race against time herself, a goddess called Etunima, to save Martiel’s homeland Oborio. [And… here’s a quick synopsis.] But their friends help them understand what it means to love each other, for better or worse.
THE WINGS OF OBORIO is an 81,000-word fantasy novel and the first in a planned trilogy [The book HAS to be able to stand alone. You can mention it has series potential, though].
I am a wife to X, mom to Y(two years old), and dog-mom of two crazy Labradors (A and B) [normally, I’d suggest cutting this. Who are you to yourself, not your family, but…] from the small, town of TOWN, STATE. I graduated from COLLEGE with a Bachelor’s in Literature with a minor in Religious Studies [relevant major, gets to stay]. The real inspiration for this series came after passing of my first child, Z, who would be three now. [BAM. Why your family and Son’s age are relevant.]
Avoiding his father’s political games, Prince Braun braves the enchanted Dunslach wood to hunt its magical game, but the lonely romantic finds something far better. A beautiful girl [doing something interesting-climbing trees, playing with animals, swimming, gathering herbs] who claims to be the Princess Martiel. Entranced, Braun spends the [day/week] walking and talking with her.
When Braun returns home, his father, the king, announces his betrothal to the Princess of Oborio–Martiel. Braun can’t believe his luck. To prepare for the wedding, his father [orders his men to destroy Dunslach, to remove the border between the two kingdoms]. As Braun rides to Oborio for the betrothal, a now-homeless witch of Dunslach bars his way and curses his offspring [to die? to be bears? what sort of curse?].
Braun and Martiel are wed, but romance and marriage are two different beasts. The lovers must learn to trust each other if they want to save their future children, keep [X] from destroying Oborio, and forge a lasting partnership.
THE WINGS OF OBORIO is an 81,000-word fantasy novel and has series potential.
I live in the small town of TOWN, STATE with my husband, X, two-year-old son, Y, and two crazy Labradors. I graduated from COLLEGE with a Bachelor’s in Literature with a minor in Religious Studies. The real inspiration for this series came after passing of my first child, Z, who would be three now.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Now that the reader knows that Muriel’s got her agency and what the stakes are, with a few tweaks to add more specificity–making sure the story’s unique features are accentuated, I think this query will be ready for action!
Best of luck to Q21!
And for the rest of you out there?
Best of luck in the query trenches!
Reblogged this on Viv Drewa – The Owl Lady.
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You’re very welcome!
Hugz on owl wings! @v@ ❤
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Your queries are elegant, but read more like straight synopses. They tend to cut to the nitty-gritty of what the novel is about but with few other details, such as who is the target readership, and why this particular agent is singled out to receive the query in the first place. I like the example at the following link, and comments from an agent right after it: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-write-the-perfect-query-letter.
I followed the query shark method of most reasonings read as if you’re sucking up and looking for excuses. If you actually have a genuine connection it’s worth it, and I usually do redact those because those are going to be different for each agent even if they do decide to include them.
Okay. “Most reasonings”…?
LOL! That’s what I get for replying via voice to text while walking through an airport. To a grammar guru!