Author Topic: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED  (Read 120 times)

Offline ArslanArda

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The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« on: June 19, 2020, 07:16:40 PM »
Thanks to everyone with helping out on the original query a way back. I've used the feedback and spent the last month re-working the query, and I've come up with a substantial revision which I'm ready to share. Thanks to anyone who'd take a look and comment, cheers!

Dear [Agent],

The Daughters of Woe (88,000 words) is an adult high fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Gaul and Antiquity.
   
Brenna has become the priestess of her village.

The gods show her a vision: an empire of marble cities will invade her land—a land of puny villages and long-scattered tribes. The young priestess must ensure the rebirth of an ancient hero, one with the power to defeat the invaders. Until that hero is born, however, the nation must survive, and so Brenna embarks on a journey to unite the tribes.

Religion is her weapon. Her fiery speeches turn the tribes into fanatic followers, and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet. But beneath her own piety, Brenna is torn. She has befriended Laelia, a foreigner from the invading state, and the two are fast becoming lovers. Then the revelation falls upon them: Laelia is the prophesised saviour’s mother.

In loving a foreigner, Brenna is betraying her Gods, and in bearing the enemy’s saviour, Laelia is betraying hers. As blood sweeps the land, Brenna must choose between love and country, but unbeknownst to her, Laelia will make that choice too. 

I am an independent filmmaker and screenwriter with a diploma in History and Classical Antiquity research. 

Thank you for your consideration.


Offline aniawrites

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Re: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 10:26:50 PM »
This is really good! My main thing is I really wish you started with the second line, not the first. "Brenna has become the priestess" makes me go: oh? okay cool. But "The gods show Brenna a vision" ? Sooo much more intriguing. You could take out the first line entirely because you mention she's a priestess a sentence later.

This line: "and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet" was a little confusing to me as well. I think more proper punctuation would be "clamour for her: the Prophet" or ideally something shorter like "they call her the prophet."

I'd also try putting it into three paragraphs since that's the standard.

Overall a solid query though!! Best of luck <3

Offline TigerAsh

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Re: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 02:02:03 AM »
Thanks to everyone with helping out on the original query a way back. I've used the feedback and spent the last month re-working the query, and I've come up with a substantial revision which I'm ready to share. Thanks to anyone who'd take a look and comment, cheers!

Dear [Agent],

The Daughters of Woe (88,000 words) is an adult THE DAUGHTERS OF WOE is an 88,000-word high fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Gaul and Antiquity. [You should try to include two comps as well.]
   
Brenna [Last name?] has become the priestess of her village. [This isn't a terrible opening. However, it doesn't warrant being its own line; it's not powerful enough. I would see if you can come up with something more attention grabbing, and if not, use this line to start the next paragraph.]

The gods show her a vision: an empire of marble cities will invade [This makes it sound like the physical land will invade, as opposed to the people living there. Is that what you were going for?] her land—a land of puny villages and long-scattered tribes. The young priestess must ensure the rebirth of an ancient hero, one with the power to defeat the invaders. Until that hero is born, however, the nation must survive, and so Brenna embarks on a journey to unite the tribes.

Religion is her weapon. Her fiery speeches turn the tribes into fanatic followers, and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet. But beneath her own piety, Brenna is torn. She has befriended Laelia, a foreigner from the invading state,[When did that happen?] and the two are fast becoming lovers. [Weird wording. I think the "fast" is in an awkward spot.] Then the revelation falls upon them: Laelia is the prophesised saviour’s mother.

In loving a foreigner, Brenna is betraying her Gods, and in bearing the enemy’s saviour, Laelia is betraying hers. As blood sweeps the land, Brenna must choose between love and country, but unbeknownst to her, Laelia will make that choice too. [Interesting twist.]

I am an independent filmmaker and screenwriter with a diploma in History and Classical Antiquity research. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



I definitely see the potential here. And this sounds like an interesting story!


Hope my comments help. Good luck! :)


Offline MICRONESIA

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Re: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 09:56:20 AM »
Thanks to everyone with helping out on the original query a way back. I've used the feedback and spent the last month re-working the query, and I've come up with a substantial revision which I'm ready to share. Thanks to anyone who'd take a look and comment, cheers!

Dear [Agent],

The Daughters of Woe (88,000 words) is an adult high fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Gaul and Antiquity. Generally, this stuff goes at the end.
   
Brenna has become the priestess of her village. Is this sentence interesting enough to be a "standalone jaw-dropper?" I'm not sure.

The gods show her a vision: an empire of marble cities will invade her land Would re-word this. It sounds like her land will be invaded by CITIES. —a land of puny villages and long-scattered tribes. The young priestess must ensure the rebirth of an ancient hero, one with the power to defeat the invaders. Until that hero is born, however, the nation must survive, and so Brenna embarks on a journey to unite the tribes. You give us a false setup. You say she HAS to do this one thing, but then undercut it. "Nah, she can't do that yet. So she has to do this other thing." Also, there's not much URGENCY here. She has to "ensure" someone's birth? Like, she has to unite the parents, get them to mate, wait for the child to grow to hero age, etc. Let's say this hero can do his thing at, like, age sixteen. That's a LONG time! Won't her land be invaded by then?

Religion is her weapon. Her fiery speeches turn the tribes into fanatic followers, and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet. But beneath her own piety, Brenna is torn. She has befriended Laelia, a foreigner from the invading state, and the two are fast becoming lovers. Then the revelation falls upon them: Laelia is the prophesised saviour’s mother. So what is she torn about? This actually seems convenient as hell.

In loving a foreigner, Brenna is betraying her Gods Not high enough stakes., and in bearing the enemy’s saviour, Laelia is betraying hers. As blood sweeps the land, Brenna must choose between love and country, but unbeknownst to her, Laelia will make that choice too. The end of a query should be the PEAK of our excitement, but this lands with a thud.

I am an independent filmmaker and screenwriter If you have actual credits to brag about, include them. Otherwise, leave this out. with a diploma in History and Classical Antiquity research. Bachelors? Masters? Doctorate?

Thank you for your consideration.


I think I have a general sense of the plot, but the stakes don't feel particularly high. Also, I have logistical questions (as mentioned above).

If you don't mind, please have a look at my own query: https://querytracker.net/forum/index.php?topic=24282.0.

Offline TJMarks

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Re: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 03:28:51 PM »
Thanks to everyone with helping out on the original query a way back. I've used the feedback and spent the last month re-working the query, and I've come up with a substantial revision which I'm ready to share. Thanks to anyone who'd take a look and comment, cheers!

Dear [Agent],

The Daughters of Woe (88,000 words) is an adult high fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Gaul and Antiquity.
   
Brenna has become the priestess of her village.

New Priestess, Brenna, has been shown a vision from the gods: an empire of marble cities will invade her land—a land of puny villages and long-scattered tribes. The young priestess must ensure the rebirth of an ancient hero, one with the power to defeat the invaders. Until that hero is born, however, the nation must survive, and so Brenna embarks on a journey to unite the tribes.

Religion is her weapon. Her fiery speeches turn the tribes into fanatic followers, and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet. But beneath her own piety, Brenna is torn. She has befriended Laelia, a foreigner from the invading state, and the two are fast becoming lovers. Then the revelation falls upon them: Laelia is the prophesised saviour’s mother.

In loving a foreigner, Brenna is betraying her Gods, and in bearing the enemy’s saviour, Laelia is betraying hers. As blood sweeps the land, Brenna must choose between love and country, but unbeknownst to her, Laelia will make that choice too. 

I am an independent filmmaker and screenwriter with a diploma in History and Classical Antiquity research.  This could be expanded on. An agent wants to know a little about you. You need to sell yourself a little.

Thank you for your consideration.

Offline agrabowski

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Re: The Daughters of Woe - High Fantasy UPDATED
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2020, 04:21:32 PM »
Thanks to everyone with helping out on the original query a way back. I've used the feedback and spent the last month re-working the query, and I've come up with a substantial revision which I'm ready to share. Thanks to anyone who'd take a look and comment, cheers!

Dear [Agent],

The Daughters of Woe (88,000 words) is an adult high fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Gaul and Antiquity.
   
Brenna has become the priestess of her village.

The gods show her a vision: an empire of marble cities will invade her land—a land of puny villages and long-scattered tribes. The young priestess must ensure the rebirth of an ancient hero, one with the power to defeat the invaders. Until that hero is born, however, the nation must survive, and so Brenna embarks on a journey to unite the tribes.

Religion is her weapon. Her fiery speeches turn the tribes into fanatic followers, and they soon clamour for her—the Prophet. But beneath her own piety, Brenna is torn. She has befriended Laelia, a foreigner from the invading state, and the two are fast becoming lovers.Wait, how did they even meet? Is Brenna in communications with the invading empire? The next paragraph implies that Laelia is still loyal to the empire, so what's her story? Diplomat? Exile? Assassin who fell in love with the mark? I'm missing a crucial bit of context here. Then the revelation falls upon them: Laelia is the prophesised saviour’s mother. Like, she's pregnant with the savior child right now? Or she is destined to be one day, and falling for Brenna throws a big old monkey wrench into that prophecy?

In loving a foreigner, Brenna is betraying her Gods, and in bearing the enemy’s saviour, Laelia is betraying hers. Again, I'm confused about Laelia's motivations. Maybe flesh her out a little? Also, why do the Gods care who Brenna shacks up with?As blood sweeps the land, Brenna must choose between love and country, but unbeknownst to her, Laelia will make that choice too. 

I am an independent filmmaker and screenwriter with a diploma in History and Classical Antiquity research. 

Thank you for your consideration.

I think the good news here is that your query is still short enough that you can add some details (I tend to have the opposite problem). A couple sentences thrown in explaining what Laelia's deal is and the nature of the conflict with the soon-to-be invading empire would probably make this a lot clearer.