Query Workshop B-4: MOONDREAMER: The Sowing

 
It’s day two of the query workshop with me and three of my blogging friends. Two queries on four blogs for ten days. It’s going to be awesome. And here’s my next critique…

 

Dear Judges,

Syxx is a Moondreamer: A rare type of Fae that can make wishes come true, and will things into being. On her way home from a concert, the Fae Council manipulates her and hundreds of other Fae into attending a creepy traditional breeding ceremony.

The ceremony is vital to the Fae’s survival, but the Council’s methods are heinous WTF-ery. They force a glamour on any Fae who refuses to participate and the children conceived are forever separated from their parents.

No one has ever dared to openly challenge the eight Fae Council members, but a secret resistance movement has been gaining momentum. The resistance believes they need a Moondreamer to overthrow the Council, but Syxx’s powers are still developing and untamed. With help from her new friends – a sexy half-incubus and a sweet leprechaun – Syxx steps into the role of revolutionary.

She knows that revolutionaries have a nasty habit of losing their heads, but she’s their only hope. There’s no way in hell she’s going to abandon her new friends.

If she fails, the council will force her to breed. If she is discovered, they will kill her. There aren’t enough o’s in ‘hell no!’

MOONDREAMER: THE SOWING, an upper young adult urban fantasy is complete at 68,000 words.

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B’s critique …

Dear Judges,

Syxx is a Moondreamer: (I’m not a fan of using colons in query letters, but it could just be a stylistic choice.) A rare type of Fae that can make wishes come true, and will things into being. On her way home from a concert, the Fae Council manipulates her and hundreds of other Fae into attending a creepy traditional breeding ceremony.

Ha! That is creepy, and intriguing at the same time. 

The ceremony is vital to the Fae’s survival, but the Council’s methods are heinous WTF-ery. They force a glamour (what kind of glamour?) on any Fae who refuses to participate and the children conceived are forever separated from their parents.

No one has ever dared to openly challenge (Challenge what? Openly challenge them about the ceremony? Their cruelty? Taking the children? Just use a few words to clear that up.)  the eight Fae Council members cruelty, but a secret resistance movement has been gaining momentum. The resistance believes they need a Moondreamer to overthrow the Council, but Syxx’s powers are still developing and untamed. With help from her new friends – a sexy half-incubus and a sweet leprechaun – Syxx steps into the role of revolutionary. She knows that revolutionaries have a nasty habit of losing their heads, but she’s their only hope. And there’s no way in hell she’s going to abandon her new friends.(Pull these two paragraphs together.)

If Syxx fails, the council will force her to breed. If she is discovered (Discovered doing what? Maybe … If her alliance to the resistance is discovered), they will kill her. There aren’t enough o’s in ‘hell no!’

MOONDREAMER: THE SOWING, an upper young adult urban fantasy is complete at 68,000 words.

I love this premise. I can hear the voice, and you only need a few tweaks. Remember these are only my opinions and others may feel different, so we’ll see what they have to say in the comments. Well done!

I hope this helps. If you decide to revise and would like me to read it again, just post it in the comments of this post.

Okay, everyone, what do you think? 

And don’t forget to stop by the other blogs and read their query critiques. For each critique you leave in the comments, you get an entry into the drawing to win one of three first chapter critiques from me.

Becca C.
Becca (Becks) Coffindaffer
 Marieke Nijkamp

Sarah Nicolas
 Sarah Nicolas

12 comments to Query Workshop B-4: MOONDREAMER: The Sowing

  • Wowzers! This sounds like an incredible story. The pacing is great and the voice really shines through. With the tweaks Brenda suggested this thing should get snatched up in a hot minute! Good job!

  • I think this sounds great.
    Just to clear a few thing up, I didn’t get the “WTF-ery” comment. Also, the Glamour thing confused me, too. And I agree with Brenda’s comments.
    That’s it though, so I think you’re on the right track.
    Good Luck!

  • At first I didn’t like the style of the query, but by the end I was into it. This could just be a personal preference thing. It does stand out though, so maybe that’s a good thing.

    Other than that, I felt it was well written and like Brenda said, just a few tweaks to make it really pop.

    Good job!

  • I got the Glamour reference, but I’m a nerd like that. You might want to use a different term to clarify it for a reader not familiar with it. I also didn’t get the WTF-ery term, and had to re-read it several times before it clicked. I don’t know if I’m into the adjectives you use to describe her new friends. “Sexy” and “sweet” are a little vague. Is the half-incubus a love-interest? The term “sweet leprechaun” conflicts a little with the edgy style of your query. As for that edgy style, clearly some are captivated by it and others are put off. I think if it reflects Syxx’s voice in your novel, then I’m sure you’ll find an agent who’s looking for just this sort of voice. Good luck with this!

  • I agree with Brenda’s suggestions. I would also change:

    MOONDREAMER: THE SOWING is a young adult urban fantasy, complete at 68,000 words.

  • I got the glamour too, but just wondered how it was used. To make them look appealing or make the deed appealing? Glamours can mask people’s true identity. I guess I haven’t read a book with Faes in a while. LOL

  • This query really stands out, and I have nothing more to add to Brenda’s comments. About the language (WTF-ery, glamour, etc.) I think that it will appeal or not appeal based on whose reading the query. To some agents who get it, they’ll REALLY get it and probably really love it. To others, that might be what alienates them from asking for more. I think it would be a risk worth taking in the beginning, but if you run into walls while querying, maybe reconsider the use of terms like that.

  • I’m intrigued by the wishes come true and willing things into being, and it makes me wonder what take this story will have on it. The weird ceremony feels a little bit out of place, like I’m wondering where it came from an if more explanation is needed. Not sure that “WTF-ery” makes sense in terms of the story, but I’m curious as to if that’s the normal voice… since it mentions a concert.

    I might say “A secret resistance movement –is– gaining momentum” to keep it in present tense. I think you could simply say, “Syxx’s powers are still untamed,” to make the flow a bit punchier. And where did she get her new friends? How did she meet them?

    The last line got a chuckle from me.

    I’m definitly curious about the story, and I suspect the largest problem you’ll have with the query is figuring out how much is necessary to explain and still have it make sense.

    Good luck! 🙂

  • I really like the voice here, and that alone kept me reading! I really think this is promising, and wish I could read the first couple of pages!

    The one thing that stood out to me that I feel needs to be changed is the amount of foreign words: Fae, Glamour, Fae Council, Incubus. It confused the plot.

  • The concept grabs me; I want to know more but I think some things could be tweaked to better impact. The opening falls just a tad flat for me; it just doesn’t quick have the voice the first sentence of the second paragraph does.

    Also, it leaves me wondering, if she got tricked into the ceremony, does that mean she’s already participated by the time she joins the resistance?

    I agree with Brenda on joining the third and fourth paragraphs, as well as rewording “discovered”. I love the line: There aren’t enough o’s in “hello no!”

    Upper young adult urban fantasy seems to me like a major mash up, but considered the content/concept of procreation, I don’t think I’d classify this as Young Adult (maybe that’s just me, but if the focus is on sex and her new friend is sexy incubus, then I’m definately leanting towards an adult audience). I’d also be concerned the word count is a little light for urban fantasy, but not by much. If the writing was tight, it wouldn’t be an issue. All in all, a good job. Good luck!

  • The first couple of paragraphs read very dryly to me. They feel like a recitation of the plot. Then the voice comes almost too fast and furious in the next couple of paragraphs, with the WTF-ery and the hell no’s. The tone is disjointed for me. The story is intriguing but I’d like a little more about who Syxx is. Does she know she’s a fae/moondreamer? Is she a teen? Was she rebellious to begin with, or did the ceremony break her faith in the council?

  • Dang, this was pretty good. I really liked it and it was tightly written and fluid — there wasn’t really much I could suggest to cut because it was very tight (and that’s an awesome thing!). The writing wasn’t stagnant or boring, but I have to admit, some of the terms like WTF-ery and the ‘funnies’ did get me feeling a bit… I don’t know. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but that’s a personal preference 🙂 This was a great query though and everything I could have said, Brenda said it already 🙂 Great job!

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