It seems like I've known Heather Van Fleet forever. We were in the query trenches together. I'm so happy to have her offer a critique.
Keep in mind that feedback is subjective by nature. What does and does not catch the eye is going to vary by person. Each writer must weigh the comments they get against their own judgement and make the changes that resonate with them.
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Dear Awesome Agent,
When sorceress and
Australian crime-boss Morgause hit-men fails to take out Artie
before he discovers he’s the new ‘once & future king,’ Morgause
implements plan-B: kill Artie’s spirit.
There is a LOT going on in this one particular sentence
and you’ve kind of lost me, mainly because it’s extremely wordy. Also, I’d like
to know more of Morgause’s stakes and why she wants to ‘take out’ the future
king so badly. In queries, the simpler the better is what I’ve always been
told. So maybe something like this might work instead:
After a failed attempt to assassinate Artie, the future
king of (insert location here maybe?), Sorceress and Australian crime-boss
Morgause must implement a plan-B. This time she must try to kill Artie’s spirit,
before he discovers the truth about who he is.
She tasks her son to seduce Artie’s best mate and then
uses the witless love-struck human to spy on Artie. Then,Morgause soon discovers
ing Artie’s Catholic Priest is struggling with his vows and the
woman of his sexual fantasies just so
happens to be Artie’s girlfriend, Gwen. fantasies
is Artie’s girlfriend Gwen, Morgause ply’s(I’d think of a different word than ply’s here.) Gwen and the Priest with a powerful tonic— The potion one that fevers lust
while diluting a mortal’s reason and moral compass. Gwen and the Priest spend a
wild night together, but with the clarity of morning, both regret their
actions. Ashamed, they agree to tell no one; however, a secret video of their
night together quickly goes viral on YouTube.
Again, there is a lot going on here, more so a play by
play of the story rather than little teases of what happens. Not to mention the
abundance of characters. Is this Morgause’s story? Arties? Gwen?
Feelingb Betrayed and struggling with the world either vilifying Gwen or
laughing at him, Artie is broken.
(I think broken is not quite a powerful
enough word here. I’d find a synonym or state exactly what Artie does. EX: Does
he go off the deep in? Loose control? I need something more visual here.) Now, Morgause can finally destroy the man and the legend, while and also have herseeking
revenge on the first King Arthur and her
This is, so far, the best written paragraph in the query.
Great stakes. I just suggest a word change, some word replacement, and
something more visual as far as Artie goes.
ButLuckily Artie isn’t alone… (This would be a great standalone sentence adding to the
tension and leading in to the final paragraph.)
With the help from a
few mythical beings,of an invisible
dragon and the mythical Rainbow Serpent of Koori legend, Merlin casts magic
bullets (where do these bullets go? Morgause’s
home? In her? I’m confused.) which should
vanquish Morgause. But in order for the magic to bond, a final ingredient is
needed… forgiveness. If Artie has truly forgiven his best mate, priest,
girlfriend, and even his parents for their lies, (Since you didn’t mention his parents in the query, I would
leave them out.) then the magic will work. The
final body-count will determine the power of Artie’s forgiveness by who
My suggestion here would be to combine the last two sentences
into a simple sentence, for example: But
in order for the magic to bond, a final ingredient is needed: Artie’s
forgiveness to all who have wronged him. If not, then…
The rest is up to you. That last sentence though HAS to be
pretty memorable for an agent to really feel it. You’ve got great bones here,
but a little more tightening and simplifying will make this very intriguing.
Told forin dual point of view between Morguase’
& Artie, ARTIE AND THE DODECAGON is an (estimated) 80,000-word erotic contemporary adult,
sexually explicit (straight and gay), dark, Arthurian re-telling set in Scotland and Australia.
No need to use contemporary, adult, sexually explicit,
straight and gay, and dark. Erotic covers them all and simplifies the
I was born in Croatia, raised in Australia, and have lived in France.In 2013 I placed in a worldwide short story
competition. In 2015 I’lland have a short story published in an anthology with a US
publisher. (Agents will want to know this
publisher name, so be sure to add it in the query instead of just saying US
publisher.) I’m also a painter, a slave to
my Feline Overlords and active on social media.
That’s wonderful you have such a fabulous background and were
able to live in all those places. (I’m very jealous) but this is the paragraph
where you tell your publishing background. If you want to say you were raised
in Australia (since the book takes place there part of the time) then that
might be okay. Otherwise I’d leave the rest of the locations out.
Per submission guidelines …..
Young adult and new adult author Heather Van Fleet is an Illinois born native, raised in a town that borders both Iowa and Illinois. She’s a wife to her hubby (and high school sweet heart) Chris, as well as a mom to her three little girls. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, burning meals, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, or typing away on her laptop, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they were water. Heather is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary.