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Author Topic: Adult Fantasy: THE WAYFARER’S CHAINS  (Read 720 times)
Lwillis
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« on: December 01, 2017, 11:01:46 PM »

Hi everyone! I’m hoping to get some feedback on my query. My main concern is really the target audience. Although the MC is a teen, basically everyone else in the story (including the two other POVs) are adults. So that’s one reason why I’m billing it as adult. So I’m trying to figure out if this query reads as “adult” or “YA”, or if it even makes any sense at all, LOL. Here goes:

Dear agent:

As a member of the Sanga tribe, teen martial artist Mika was surrounded by loving friends and family. So she feels justified in attacking a noblewoman who insults them. But she’s left devastated and alone after her actions lead to her tribe’s massacre by the king’s guards. She flees to another kingdom where she meets Amblyn, her mother’s ex-lover who happens to be the only female head guard. Mika wants to avenge her tribe, but realizes she doesn’t have the physical or emotional capacity for the task. With Amblyn’s support, she decides to get the strength she needs—by becoming a guard herself.

As a member of the king’s army, she finds herself surrounded by people who don’t always have her best interests in mind. To Amblyn, she’s the perfect catalyst in overthrowing the army’s contentious male leadership. To her peers and commanding officers, she’s an underaged, unruly foreigner only worthy of eradication. And the limits of her body are tested through strenuous, and often dangerous training. Mika is determined to become strong enough to face the men that decimated her tribe. But guard life threatens to destroy her before a plan for vengeance even comes to fruition.

THE WAYFARER’S CHAINS is a multi-POV, adult fantasy novel with series potential. At 92,000 words, my #ownvoices story pulls inspiration from West African/African-American culture, and explores cultural assimilation as well as microaggressions. I have a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. This is my first novel.
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gckatz
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 11:57:05 PM »

Own voices fantasy set in an underrepresented part of the world? YES. I'm also digging that there's an older woman mentor figure. It's 100% your choice if you want to market this as adult or YA, but I'll tell you that you could absolutely sell this as YA if you wanted to.

I want to make sure you phrase everything in the most active way possible. "Her actions lead to her tribe's massacre by the king's guards," for example, is a very passive phrasing that takes a lot of the punch out of that plot beat.

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As a member of the Sanga tribe, teen martial artist Mika was surrounded by loving friends and family. So she feels justified in attacking a noblewoman who insults them. But when the king's guards massacre her tribe in retaliation, she’s left devastated and alone after her actions lead to her tribe’s massacre by the king’s guards. She flees to another kingdom where she meets Amblyn, her mother’s ex-lover and who happens to be the only female head guard. Mika wants to avenge her tribe, but realizes she doesn’t have the physical or emotional capacity for the task. With Amblyn’s support, she Mika decides to get the strength she needs to avenge her tribe—by becoming a guard herself.

As a member of the king’s army, she finds herself surrounded by people who don’t always have her best interests in mind. To Amblyn, she’s Mika is the perfect catalyst in overthrowing the army’s contentious male leadership. To her peers and commanding officers, she’s an underaged, unruly foreigner only worthy of eradication. And the limits of her body are tested through strenuous, and often dangerous training. Mika is determined to become strong enough to face the men that decimated her tribe. But guard life threatens to destroy her before a plan for vengeance even comes to fruition.

THE WAYFARER’S CHAINS is a multi-POV, adult fantasy novel with series potential. At 92,000 words, my #ownvoices story pulls inspiration from West African/African-American culture, and explores cultural assimilation as well as microaggressions. I have a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. This is my first novel.
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mgmystery
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 07:55:36 AM »

I like gckatz suggestions for wording. This basically seems like a strong query. Good luck!
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MKWrites_318
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 03:41:17 PM »

I agree with making it less passive in voice. I would also add that you might want to break up the sentence structure. The sentences are all roughly the same length. Having differing lengths, in my opinion, adds interest and energy. This is a loose suggestion based solely on my personal taste. Smiley


As a member of the Sanga tribe, teen martial artist Mika was surrounded by loving friends and family. So she feels justified in attacking a noblewoman who insults them. The phrasing of these two sentences kinda confuses me. Were her friends and family there when she attacked? How bad was the insult? How bad was the attack that a king would decimate a whole people over it (not that that would ever be warranted)? I think more detail would help clear it up. But she’s left devastated and alone after her actions lead to her tribe’s massacre by the king’s guards. She flees to another kingdom where she meets Amblyn, her mother’s ex-lover who happens to be the only female head guard. Mika wants to avenge her tribe, but realizes she doesn’t have the physical or emotional capacity for the task. With Amblyn’s support, she decides to get the strength she needs—by becoming a guard herself.

As a member of the king’s army, she finds herself surrounded by people who don’t always have her best interests in mind. To Amblyn, she’s the perfect catalyst in overthrowing the army’s contentious male leadership. To her peers and commanding officers, she’s an underaged, unruly foreigner only worthy of eradication. And the limits of her body are tested through strenuous, and often dangerous training. Mika is determined to become strong enough to face the men that decimated her tribe. But guard life threatens to destroy her before a plan for vengeance even comes to fruition.

THE WAYFARER’S CHAINS is a multi-POV, adult I agree that you could totally market this as YA, and you don't have to specifically say adult. It's just fantasy. Smiley fantasy novel with series potential. At 92,000 words, my #ownvoices YES. story pulls inspiration from West African/African-American culture MORE YES., and explores cultural assimilation as well as microaggressions. I have a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. This is my first novel.

Best of luck!
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blackhat
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 05:26:20 PM »

I certainly think your query has the potential to ring most of the current cultural bells that will cause agents to pause and give your story a second look - especially the #ownvoices connection and the African female weighted storyline.

A couple of comments. I'm bothered by your second sentence since it's the inciting incident that gets the plot rolling. Why "So?" It just strikes me as odd. Since Mika was surrounded by loving friends and family she felt justified in attacking a noblewoman? Perhaps you can clarify the moment for us. Otherwise, Mika seems pretty flippant in her violence. In addition, you mention later that she is determined to be strong enough to "face the men that decimated her tribe." Should you have that information also up front when the decimation takes place? Was it the king's male guards who massacred her tribe? If that's important later it needs to be important up front.

In my opinion, this is a great vehicle for YA and, to me, the query reads like YA.

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