New Story in Progress: Witchwood

I’ve taken a bit of a break from the blog to work on a new book that somehow already has 20,000 words! I am not sure how that happened or when it happened to be honest. While it is nowhere near ready to hit the Worlds in Progress page, I’ll let y’all take a look at what its query might look like…

WITCHWOOD

They knew her as Crown Princess Blodwen Rydderch of Hearth– the woman born as the daughter of Hearth.  She would become the beating heart of the eight islands. As the last midnight bell tolled on her eighteenth birthday, she would look at the Ladies and Lords of the seven islands before her and choose who would rule beside her.

They knew her as resistance leader Raven– the woman born a witch’s daughter. Her mother long dead. Her birthright unknown. Her grievances against the crown carried on black wings out across the sea.

Only she knew they were one in the same.

When the resistance is cursed into the forms of the birds they once used, when they are caged by the crown they defied, when she is cast out by her father, Raven’s wings pull her into the safety of the Witchwood–where the Goddess lives and magic flows.

Pulling elements from The Seven Ravens, Snow White, and other beloved tales, Witchwood reaches into monarchy at the brink of change as it follows the generation who will dismantle a kingdom through nature, witchcraft, and embroidery.

(YA Fantasy, Estimated 80,000 words)

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Everything I’ve Learned to Write the Perfect Query

Dear Agent That Absolutely Wants To Represent Me Via This Unsolicited Query,

This is where you put a one line hook to your book that may or may not actually be completely out of tune with the rest of your query. You desperately try to match it to the style of your book. You stare at it for countless numbers of days, weeks, and occasionally months.

Here you expand upon your plot. I hope you only have one relevant character because that’s as many words as you are allotted. One. Ok. You’ve already used too many words. No. Stop. Stop now.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU HAVE ANOTHER PARAGRAPH ABOUT YOUR PLOT. HOW DARE YOU.

CALL TO ACTION. This book is about something and you somehow waited to put that all the way down here.

Now is the time to get pithy and reference this one specific agent even though you probably have approximately 5-10 queries out right now. It’s cool. A couple won’t bother responding at all. Just keep breathing. Breathe and be pithy.

Talk all about your wonderful writing credentials. Name drop a couple of conferences. What do you mean you are unpublished and unknown? Too bad.

Author bio? What author bio?

Thanks for the upcoming rejection,

~ Authorial Furies

Except you aren’t done yet.

Some of you want a sample chapter. HAVE AT IT. Please ignore the fact that the character I just talked about doesn’t actually show up for a chapter or two and actually this is an epic fantasy with like twelve main characters but totally only really focused on that one character because that’s how you write query letters and this is all one sentence because that’s how I live my life. #runonlife

OH WAIT. Now you want a 1-2 page synopsis of 120,000 words. Will do:

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

PLOT

CLIFFHANGER ENDING. HOPES FOR A SEQUEL.

And that’s it. That’s everything I’ve learned.

You can read more about my querying woes here and here. I’m sure more are to come as I convince myself to get out of my querying hiatus. I just couldn’t job hunt and agent hunt at the same time. That is the way to sadness. Sadness and chocolate.

Postscripts I Want to Include in Queries

P.S. Ask for my manuscript you will.

P.S. Don’t hate this.

P.S. It’s not as trope-filled as it seems.

P.S. #notatolkienripoff #ipromise

P.S. I absolutely know what I’m doing.

P.S. Someone once threw my manuscript across the room after they finished reading it. That has to count for something.

P.S. There is a mostly happy ending… eventually.

P.S. I don’t murder all of my characters.

P.S. Ignore my spectacular lack of credentials.

P.S. pls.

A bit of a follow up to this post.

10 Things You Mutter While Writing a Query Letter

  1. “What is my book about? No, really. Someone tell me!”
  2. “Why do I have so many characters?!?”
  3. “Why does this sound like a D&D game…? A bad D&D game.”
  4. “What would (enter famous author’s name) do? Oh, right.  Write better.”
  5. “FRAUD POLICE.” *siren wail*
  6. “Why would anyone read this? I don’t even want to read this.”
  7. “Maybe if I stare at my computer……..” *inaudible muttering*
  8. “That’s not even a sentence.  Is that a sentence?  I want that to be a sentence.  What even is a sentence?”
  9. “Despite the last 300 words, please… Trust me!”
  10. “Oh yeah! I’ve got this.  I’m amazing.”
  11. “I lied.”