Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 2020 Pass or Pages Entry #3

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary and Tia Rose Mele of Talcott Notch Literary Services for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 3: How to Seduce Four Princes


Once upon a time, Ovelynn, a lowly palace guardswoman, falls in love with a handsome prince. Even though they have to keep their relationship a secret from his strict mother, she adores him too much to complain.

Late at night, the God of the Sky appears before her. He says, “I have a task only you can do. If you succeed, I will grant you a wish.”

Feeling suspicious, Ovelynn says, “The tasks of gods always lead mortals to ruin. Pick someone else.”

The god says, “The infertile queen of this kingdom wished for more children, so I accidentally split the prince into four people.”

Ovelynn twitches[RP1].

“If he can’t be cured by the next full moon, then he’ll die. In order to combine him back into one man, all four of him must sleep with the same person. I could just hire a prostitute, but you come for free.” The god shrugs. “The longer the different parts of his mind remain apart, the more violently insane he’ll become. The first person he’ll kill will probably be that bitch who four-timed him with all his brothers. Do your best not to die!”

Ovelynn says, “Oh great god, I have my wish. I want to kick you in the crotch.”[TRM1]

HOW TO SEDUCE FOUR PRINCES is a 73,000-word romance novel. Inside Out meets an R-rated Cinderella with gender-bending and LGBTQ+ romance[RP2]. The main character’s bulimia is based on my own experience. Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
Rebecca's comments:
[RP1] On the one hand, you’re taking a risk with this format, and some agents may appreciate it. For me, the device of a scene standing in as a summary doesn’t quite work, and goes on too long. I think there’s a way to work in the tone/humor within a standard query, because the premise is interesting, but I was distracted by wrestling with the format.
[RP2] I like this information/description quite a lot, and would rather it be at the top of the query, actually!

Tia's comments:
[TRM1] Try to avoid using dialogue/quotes from the manuscript in the query. The query should be more of a very short summary.

First 250 Words

If you would visit the flying island Avacasta, bring a broad-brimmed hat. This serves a dual purpose: keeping off the never-ending rain and using it to wave down the town guard if you become stuck up a tower with no stairs. The inhabitants of Avacasta have wings, and their city is not designed for poor Ground-Dwellers.

Guardswoman Ovelynn Oxgourd navigated her hover-cart to rescue yet another pair of tourists who hadn’t read their government-issued guidebook. She landed atop the observatory roof. A husband and a wife huddled together under a too-small umbrella, both shouting at her.

“The elevator only went up, then wouldn’t go down again,” the man cried.

“It hasn’t stopped raining since we got here,” the woman said.

Ovelynn sighed. “It never stops raining in Avacasta, not since the God of the Sky angered the Goddess of the Sea. You’re going to need a bigger umbrella.”[TRM2]

The wife pointed at Ovelynn. “It’s not raining on you.”

“I’m half Sea-Folk.”

“But you have wings,” the man said.

“Half,” Ovelynn stressed. They both stared at her.

Halves always took after only one parent, so Ovelynn looked pure Sky, from her big eyes to her slightly pointed ears. She was short even by Sky-Folk standards. Dark curls framed a heart-shaped face. Translucently pale skin gave her an otherworldly air which contrasted with her muscles. A pair of turquoise wings made of pure light stretched from her back. The only sign of Ovelynn’s paternal heritage was the dry bubble around her.
Rebecca's comments:

Tia's comments:
[TRM2] The tone reads a bit young here, almost like it's a children's book. I would stop reading because it doesn't have the voice of an adult project. The opening paragraph is okay but I think it's the dialogue that makes it feel young. This is especially true when the man and woman are first speaking, but continues when Ovelynn responds. 

Rebecca - Pass
Tia - Pass

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