Oct 16, 2010


Dear Public Query Slushpile,

One would think that every Princess is born with a ready-made fairytale life complete with a happy-ever-after ending. But clearly that isn’t the case, for why then does seventeen year-old Princess Maia’s life turn out to be so disagreeable with her own desires? If a Princess’ life were to be perfect, then why did her father arrange for her to marry the Prince of Pelear without her consent? And as though life couldn’t possibly get any worse for Princess Maia, her father is demanding for her immediate departure to Pelear.

Enraged, confused and hurt, Princess Maia is sure that her father’s reason for sending her to Pelear is to finalize her marriage to Prince Sealtiel, Pelear’s Prince.

However, just before she leaves her kingdom, her father reveals the true cause for her unplanned journey; she needs Prince Sealtiel’s protection. He informs her that an unidentified adversary is attacking Citrine and is after the Blood Ruby, their most prized treasure. As the keeper of the Blood Ruby it is Princess Maia’s duty to keep it protected at all times, or else Citrine’s entire civilization will cease to exist.

When Princess Maia successfully slips into the dangerous Mystical Forest of Memron, the only safe path to Pelear, she breathes a sigh of relief. But she soon learns that letting her guard down inside the Mystical Forest of Memron is a reckless move when she is faced with a perilous situation that almost ends her life. Lucky for her a renegade warrior from Pelear named Ralph, who has been hiding inside the forest, saves her just in time.

Ralph becomes her protector though he seems to loathe his task. But as they journey deeper into the forest, Ralph confesses that his loathing has turned to love. Princess Maia is aware that a relationship with Ralph is forbidden, as she is engaged to his Prince. However, she finds herself incapable of warding off his affections for she feels the same way about him.

Princess Maia’s love for Ralph and her duty to her citizens conflicts her, knowing that to acknowledge one, is an instant rejection of the other. But as though fate wanted her life to be more complicated, she learns about Ralph’s secret which makes her question the sincerity of his love.

Her mistrust for Ralph makes her act carelessly. Her tactless action lands her straight into the arms of the mysterious enemy she has been trying to elude.

Princess Maia is captured and taken to Scapia, where she encounters Malvar, the man responsible for attacking her kingdom. Though a skilled warrior herself, Princess Maia is powerless against Malvar whose obsession for the Blood Ruby has driven him mad. Her only chance of escape is dependent upon the man she had doubted.

Will Ralph become her avenging knight and save her once more? Or, had her mistrust for him robbed her life of a happy-ever-after ending?

THE BLOOD RUBY OBSESSION is my first novel. This YA fantasy is complete at 108, 000 words. I would be glad to send you my full manuscript upon request.

Thank you for your time.



Anonymous said...

This query is too long. Try cutting it down to 250 words. The first two paragraphs you don't need. I would start it like this. Seventeen year-old Princess Maia is sent on a dangerous journey to protect the Blood Rudy. Cut and condense and you will have a stronger query. Good luck.

Anonymous Author said...

I agree. It's much too long. Chances are the same kind of excess verbiage occurs in the novel, so you'd better take a look at that too.

Just tell us what happens; don't try to wring our hearts. As it is I'm getting a little annoyed with Maia already-- she seems pretty sold on herself-- and am wondering how the query would read from Ralph's POV.

Draconium said...

It's not excess verbiage, you're just giving too much away. All you're trying to do is entice us to read more. It's not a plot summery, we don't need all the who, what, where, just get to the main tension and cut the rest.What is the main tension? a princess must choose between the man she loves and the man who can protect her people from harm.

And why can't the other man protect this ruby? besides, how can the fate of a whole kingdom depend on one little ring? i mean... ruby. At a glace it seems like a tired trope. If you're going to use it make sure you're using it in a new and exciting way, and make sure it's integral to the story.

The Las Vegas Writer said...

In my opinion, you're using the name Princess Maia too much. This is your character, you know her by name. Call her Maia after the first introduction. Same goes for Prince Sealtiel. You might not even need to mention him by name in the query since it doesn't sound like he's a major character. Anonymous is right - the query is too long. Cut it down to the major events. Good luck!

Jodi Henry said...

First off your novel is about 46000 words too long for YA. They average between 40K and 60K for new writers. Established authos have less restrictions on word count.

Same goes for your query.

You have too muich going on.

Pick the main plot of the book and write the query based on that.

Public query slush pile has a link to nathan bransford' blog for the Query Formula. I would take a look there and literally copy and past the elements you already have written into the formula.

You've got what you need here you just need to pare down A LOT of extra words.

Cut the rehtorical questions they just eat up words.

You only need five elements in a query: 1)protag. 2)antag. 3) conflict. 4) setting. 5) voice.

Another place to stop by is literary agent Janet Reid's blog: query shark for examples if what to do and what not to do.

Hope some of this helps