Author Topic: YA Fantasy - THE BONE GODS  (Read 152 times)

Offline StephTRoss

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YA Fantasy - THE BONE GODS
« on: November 08, 2019, 11:11:36 AM »
Hi all! I posted a version of this query a few months ago, but have rewritten the MS as YA and decided to change up the query a bit. Feel free to be as critical as possible.

NEW
Eighteen-year-old Fen Morgan is a warper—a user of chaotic magic inherited from an exiled dark god. She patrols the streets of the Elysan Empire as a soldier, forced into service as punishment for the dark god’s centuries-old curse that submerged the world in shadows.

When Fen is selected to travel two hundred years into the past to protect the Bone Emperor, the historic figure who fought the dark god, she sees a chance to escape the empire's control and choose her own fate. But the mission goes awry when Fen arrives on the wrong day in the wrong place, with no supplies or idea where to go next.

Then she’s attacked by the dark god's warper acolytes, shattering everything she thought she knew about the timeline. For the acolytes are convinced Fen is the Bone Emperor's infamous murderer, who dooms the world with his death. To build a future in the past, Fen will need to do more than confront zealous warpers and ruthless gods—she'll need to defy history.


OLD
Eighteen-year-old Fen Morgan is a warper—a user of chaotic magic gifted by an exiled dark god. She patrols the streets of the Elysan Empire as a soldier, forced into service as punishment for a centuries-old curse from her god, one that submerged the world in impenetrable shadows.

When Fen is selected to travel two hundred years into the past to protect the Bone Emperor, the figure who banished the dark god, she sees a chance to control her life. But the mission goes awry when she first arrives in the wrong place, then runs into an exuberant noble and his scowling guard, and finally suffers an attack by the dark god’s acolytes.

After the noble witnesses Fen's rare magic, he becomes convinced she’s the legendary Adelais, shattering her hope of choosing her fate. For she knows the Adelais murders the Bone Emperor and dooms the world with his death. To build a future in the past, Fen will need to do more than confront scheming nobles and ruthless gods—she'll need to defy history.

Complete at 80,000 words, THE BONE GODS features bisexual characters in a world that mixes the magic of the GRISHAVERSE with the time travel of OUTLANDER. I have included [the synopsis, first 10 pages, whatever] in the body of this email. Thank you for your time and consideration.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 04:43:21 PM by StephTRoss »

Offline Cobalt_Caster

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Re: YA Fantasy - THE BONE GODS
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 12:19:11 PM »
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Eighteen-year-old Fen Morgan is a warper—a user of chaotic magic gifted by a dark god.
I'd use a different word than "gifted" because Fen's desire to control her life makes this seem less a gift and more a divine conscription.

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Raised as a ward of the Elysan Empire, she patrols the streets as a soldier, forced into service because of the dark god’s curse of shadows that cloaks the world.
I'd delete this.

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When Fen is selected to travel two hundred years into the past to save the Bone Emperor, the figure who battled the dark god, she sees a chance to control her life.
Is she supposed to use the dark god's magic to save the dark god's enemy? That seems contradictory.

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But the mission goes awry when she first arrives in the wrong place,
This is good.

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then runs into an exuberant noble and his scowling guard,
I would delete this. Focus more on the noble when he becomes convinced she's the Adelais. Right now he is disconnected.

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and finally suffers an attack by the dark god’s acolytes.
So she IS supposed to use the dark god's magic against the dark god's interests. You need to clear this up. Is she rebelling against the dark god? Is the dark god constantly supplying her powers or is it like giving her a gun and hoping she won't shoot him with it?

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After the noble witnesses Fen's rare magic, he becomes convinced she’s the legendary Adelais, shattering her hope of choosing her fate.
I would say the noble should convince Fen she's the Adelais. Why would some guy's opinion shatter her hope? But if he convinces her his opinion is correct, that would shatter her hope.

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For she knows the Adelais murders the Bone Emperor and dooms the world with his death. To build a future in the past, Fen will need to do more than confront scheming nobles and ruthless gods—she'll need to defy history.

Quote
Complete at 80,000 words, THE BONE GODS features bisexual characters in a world that mixes the magic of the GRISHAVERSE with the time travel of OUTLANDER. I have included [the synopsis, first 10 pages, whatever] in the body of this email. Thank you for your time and consideration.

You should focus more on Fen and her personal struggle and perspective. A lot of your query is extraneous to that or is "once-removed" relevant to that. You also need to resolve the contradiction I've noted because otherwise it could imply to an agent that you haven't thought your story through.

Offline StephTRoss

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Re: YA Fantasy - THE BONE GODS
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 04:40:58 PM »
Thanks, @Cobalt_Caster! I think I'll revert back to the simpler version of my query. All the details I tried to add are rather extraneous.

Offline rivergirl

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Re: YA Fantasy - THE BONE GODS
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 09:47:08 AM »
I like the newer version better.

Eighteen-year-old Fen Morgan is a warper—a user of chaotic magic inherited from an exiled dark god. Your agent isn't going to know what chaotic magic is. I'd spell this out. She patrols the streets of the Elysan Empire as a soldier, forced into service as punishment for the dark god’s centuries-old curse that submerged the world in shadows. While this is written well, it doesn't create an image in your readers min as to what kind of world this is. What exactly is a world of shadows? Is it a crime ridden empire? Is is filled with debris and crumbling buildings? A few carefully chosen words will give your reader an image in their minds so they can relate to this story.  the word "centuries" feels wordy to me and adds clunk to this sentence. just say the word "curse" and the reader already feels that its very old. Also use as few names as possible. Personally, I'd remove the name of the empire. It doesn't really matter imo and creates pause as the reader tries to digest all the new names.

When Fen is selected to travel two hundred years into the past to protect the Bone Emperor, the historic figure who fought the dark god, she sees a chance to escape the empire's control and choose her own fate. But the mission goes awry when Fen arrives on the wrong day in the wrong place, with no supplies or idea where to go next. sounds good.

Then she’s attacked by the dark god's warper acolytes, (the reader doesn't know what a warper or an acolyte is. Consider being more precise.Then she's attacked by the dark god's assassins.Ok, confused. Why would the dark gods people be after her when they think she murdered the Bone emperor, the dark god's enemy shattering everything she thought she knew about the timeline. For the acolytes are convinced Fen is the Bone Emperor's infamous murderer, who dooms the world with his death. To build a future in the past, Fen will need to do more than confront zealous warpers and ruthless gods—she'll need to defy history.

The most interesting part of this story to me is Fen's ability to do magic, but not a single mention of what she can actually do. What does her magic have to do with this story? Any way it can be incorporated. The last sentence is good, consider changing defy to change for a clearer image in your reader's mind. (she'll need to change history! Now that's an accomplishment) It's not really clear what defying history means imo.