Are you getting excited about #FicFest? I know I am! In honor of this first annual manuscript contest, a few of the mentors (incluyendome a mi) are giving away a query critique each day leading up to submission day (that's April 24th guys, as in a day!) For more details, check out my posts here and here, and the hostess with the mostest Tiffany Hofman's post here.
When Friday strikes and you volunteer to help at your daughter's private school's auction and get roped into clean up crew, you post at nearly midnight.....
Day 3 #QueryHelper Critique
First thoughts: Great length of query (a common theme in CPFest critiques, so bravo all of you!), though its broken down into littler paragraphs. We'll see if that is necessary.
As fear rips the world apart[EM2] , Allisane and Damien will sacrifice everything to protect their people. The problem? They’re on opposite sides.[EM3]
Existing in self-imposed isolation, Ӕled and the Empire of Voluce have maintained a fragile peace that shatters when the Empire begins exterminating Ӕled’s winged horses. As a Wind Rider trained in combat, Princess Allisane Kent is used to confronting conflict head-on, but she knows her people cannot survive open battle. Their inexplicable power to control light vanished generations ago. To let the Empire know could mean a stay of war. Or immediate annihilation.[EM4]
Captain Damien Ardeo, common born and uncommonly advanced[EM5] , will do anything to prevent war between the men of fire and flight. But with every winged horse trained, the light-wielding Ӕleders threaten his people’s very existence. [EM6] His Emperor spurs the conflict. His nobility preys on their own subjects. Who truly deserves his protection?[EM7]
When an overzealous division of Imperial Corps attacks Allisane, mistrust ignites into total war. As power collides, one race will rise in power. The other faces extinction.[EM8]
ASCEND is an adult high fantasy with crossover potential complete at 113,000 words with a level of violence and multiple POV style similar to Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy and a depth of world resembling Maas’s Throne of Glass.
Graduating this May with a degree in English, I am a recipient of multiple academic awards for writing but am not yet published. Thank you very much for your time.[EM10]
[EM3]I think this whole paragraph could work as a hook if it was written a tad differently with more specifics.
[EM4]I had to read this several times to understand it, I think because of all the pronouns. Then you throw in Imperial Corps below and I don’t know whose side their on? Maybe bring up the fire vs. flight races sooner will help us sort out the problems sooner? Make it clearer which side each of your MCs are one and what they stand to lose.
[EM7]This almost seems like he’s uncertain of how right his side of the conflict is. If that’s the case, make it more clear and use it to add tension to your query. What is he questioning and does he consider switching sides? What holds him back? This doesn't all have to be included in the query, but these questions can help you with the stakes for this character.
[EM8]While I understand that the stakes are which side of war will win, I’m not invested or rooting for either one. Also, no where in this query do we know if Allisane and Damien meet or end up working together, or if there is a connection there. If you use the connection in your opening hook, I’d almost want to see it in the stakes wrap up too. Bring it full circle.
Final thoughts: This query is a little confusing because there is a lot going on and we aren't grounded in the world and don't completely understand the sides. Also, I want to know if there is more of a connection between the MCs and how that plays out. Don't despair with all my suggestions. Use what works for you and your novel.
Thank you Rachel for trusting me with your work!
The rafflecopter picks have already been chosen, but I may or may not have a little surprise coming on tomorrow. So keep coming back to these critiques and connect with me on twitter for the announcement.
All #PCFest posts for PB writers will be in the comments on Monday's post. You are welcome to comment however you like, though if you are specifically searching for a CP, you should make sure to include your critiquing style, maybe some favorite authors of yours, what sort of critique you are looking for, etc. You don't have to be entering Ficfest to post in the #CPFest.
Come on back tomorrow for our next #CPFest critique!