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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 1--Relic

Title: Relic
Genre: YA Fantasy

Princess Far has always known how it feels to die.

She is a Relic, a person who has visions from their past lives, and she has spent her entire life guarding this secret. In the ancient legends, Relics sold their souls to demons in exchange for unstoppable magic, and most people believe all Relics must be exterminated. None of Far’s past lives match the horrors of the legends, but even she doesn’t know the origins of her memories, demonic or otherwise.

After the sudden death of her sister, eighteen-year-old Far must assume membership in the kingdom’s Council, but all she knows how to do is be invisible.

When a dark order of magi invades her kingdom and thrusts her people into a world war, Far’s past-life knowledge becomes her most powerful weapon. She is the only one who knows the order's secret. But somehow, they also know hers. She must decide if exposure is worth the protection of her people.

Because if those same people learned what she really is, they’d nail her to a fiery stake. Crown and all.

RELIC is Young Adult fantasy complete at 85,000 words. The self-discovery, past-life romance, and world war make it a cross between GRACELING, A GAME OF THRONES, and A GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.


Charity Bradford said...

Intriguing. This is what I get from your query:
Character: Far is 18, and she has to step into her recently dead sister's shoes. She's hiding the fact that she is a relic.

Conflict: 1. Far is a wall flower when she needs to be a lion and 2. her kingdom is being invaded.

Choice: Reveal her secret to protect her people.

If these are the most important things to your story then good job!

Some other suggestions:
I personally don't think you need the definition of relic or other background in the first paragraph. If you've done your research the agent or editor will know that information. I do like that she doesn't know the origin of her memories. That means somethings missing there or amiss in some other way?

Paragraph 2 is your inciting incident--good.

Paragraph 3--personal preference for flow, but consider removing "a world" before war. Also "somehow" before "they also know hers." And finally, consider switching the last sentence around. She must decide if protecting her people is worth exposing her true nature. The way it currently reads, my mind goes "duh, protecting people" but if you switch it I pause and think "wow, how much do the people really hate relics?"

Huntress said...

By all that is holy, why did you even submit a query for critique? Because there is nothing, NoThiNG to crit! Nothing. Zip.

And why the blue blazes aren’t you published?

IMHO, if I were an agent, I’d ask for more pages. Heck I’d ask for the full. RIGHT NOW!! SEND,SEND.
Love the title. Love the conflict.

Loralie Hall said...

I love your opening line - great hook!

I'm not sure you need to include the bit about Far not knowing the origins of her memories. To me, you can lose that information.

With 'all she knows how to do is be invisible.', I get that your referring to the fact she's spent so much time hiding that she's a Relic, but hiding the one secret doesn't neccesarily mean she's hiding all of herself. I like the implication about taking the job, but it doesn't feel like the 'invisible' bit has a solid tie to the rest of the query.

If the dark order of magi already know her secret, does it even matter if she exposes herself? Won't they do that for her?

I'm being nitpicky. Really, your voice is great and the story sounds compelling, and the stakes are very clear and intriguing. Great job ^_^

Jeannette said...

I think this is a really solid query. I think you can cut the last sentence of your second paragraph, "None of Far's past lives..." and it would read better. Good luck!

Ink in the Book said...

Such an interesting query. I don't know much about critiquing queries, but I do know this one pulled me and kept me reading. Nice work:)

Aldrea Alien said...

I'm no whizz in this querying stuff (got my own query here), so let me break down my thoughts:

Paragraph 1: First line is okay. Makes me wonder why she knows this. Not sure about it being by itself.

Paragraph 2: First sentence is good, but you've lost me a bit in the second sentence. If Far is a Relic, and Relics get that way because they've sold their souls, then Far sold her soul somewhere down the line. Or a past life did, or something.
Then, in the last sentence you say she doesn't know the origins of her memories. Is this meant to say that she knows she's a Relic, but she doesn't tie that to the strange memories? It seemed to me that you cannot know one without the other.

Paragraph 3: Lot of questions here. Firstly, how did her sister die? Sickness? Assassination?
Secondly, I know I'm probably being nit-picky here, but I would've thought, at 18 years of age, her parents would've been fixing her up for some prince. And for that matter, where are her parents?
Lastly, why must she 'assume this membership'? The phrase feels like she just taking part. But I've a feeling she's meant to be taking over, which would be more challenging. If this is so, perhaps a little wording to stress it.

Paragraph 4: Like the idea of using the memories of her past life to help defend her kingdom. I do wonder how she'll go about doing this, which is good. On the other hand, the choice falls a little flat as I don't think Far is the type of person to risk everyone just to save her own skin.

Paragraph 5: I think this bit could be merged with the one above. Though it seems a bit unlikely to me, especially since she's been helping her people.

Oh. I seemed to have gone on for longer than your query. Um ... please do remember, this is just my opinion.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Sounds like an interesting concept. Good luck.
Are you aware there is a popular book published, and made into a movie, with that title?

mshatch said...

I concur with Charity. Especially her suggestion of using this : "She must decide if protecting her people is worth exposing her true nature." As Far's choice.

tlbodine said...

I would definitely read this. The query seems like it's two queries mashed together, though. There's a lot of "When this...then that" structure, and it feels like the query is several pitches strung together, which makes it feel a little unpolished. I think you can focus more on Far's character and leave out most of the Relic background -- just leave us enough to know a little about what's at stake for her, but I think the story ultimate lies in the choice she's making.