#SonOfAPitch Team Leia: THE SOCIAL SEASON

Title: The Social Season

Category and Genre: Adult Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 110,000

 Leia slave

Query:

The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child. While she’d been spared, her mother wasn’t so lucky. And she’d be damned if she let that death be in vain.

 Instead, Natalie begins scheming to use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite. 

 If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who isn’t determined to control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.

 There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.

 Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who doesn’t want to obey orders. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.

 Most girls would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

 The Season quickly becomes a battle of will and power, as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants.

 First 250 words: 

I was pacing anxiously in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He was not easily evaded, however, and he’d been adept at bringing me to his office immediately following my arrival. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. The conversation had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now.

As I continued to pace, he spoke. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”

He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell, anyway. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.

“Father,” I said. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-“

I broke off quickly, seeing his face grow dangerously cold. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

19 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch Team Leia: THE SOCIAL SEASON”

  1. All comments are my opinions, please take what works and ignore the rest.

    The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child. While she’d been spared, her mother wasn’t so lucky. And she’d be damned if she let that death be in vain.
    (Treason for what? And they killed her mother for treason? I don’t know if I see why her participating in The Social Season will give her mother’s death purpose. I assume they were fighting the system, but now she is doing what she is supposed to? How old is Natalie? Is this her first Social Season? Do we need to know about the mother in this?)

    Instead, Natalie begins scheming to use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.
    (The first sentence isn’t necessary…go right into Natalie’s plan is…)

    If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who isn’t determined to control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.
    (Ah, there’s the fight attitude! And we know what she wants. You go, girl!)

    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.
    (I’d cut “There’s just one problem.” What weakness is she hoping to find?)

    Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who doesn’t want to obey orders. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.
    (So this is a dual POV ms? Why will marrying a rebel please his family?)

    Most girls would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

    The Season quickly becomes a battle of will and power, as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants. (what are the stakes here? What happens if he doesn’t marry Natalie? What happens if she can’t avoid the marriage? Is it an option for her, or once he chooses, it’s set. What is the moment of choice? What do they lose by choosing?)

    (I think this query is a bit long, tighten it up, focus it a bit on Natalie wanting to take down controlling gov and Nicolas wanting Natalie as a wife…to go against the rules…why? If this is a dual POV, there’s not enough set up of Nicolas, who he is exactly. Para one…Natalie has to participate in The Social Season and plans on using it to get her way and take down gov.
    Para two…Nicolas, the future lord, wants to bend the rules, to upset his father (or whatever it is he wants)
    When Nicolas finds Natalie trespassing, he is intrigued by this girl who won’t obey orders and decides to marry her. Natalie has no plans to marry him and become part of the system she hates…
    Then onto big moment where they must choose who to be and what to do…And stakes what are they risking? Aren’t they kind of working for the same thing? To change Dolfian? And after reading the 250, I was thrown because after the query I thought I’d be in Natalie’s head. Maybe start the query with Nicolas set up. Make sure the query and ms work together.)

    First 250 words:

    I was pacing anxiously in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He was not easily evaded, however, and he’d been adept at bringing me to his office immediately following my arrival. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. The conversation had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now.
    (I paced is a stronger way to start…and you don’t need anxiously, pacing implies that. And the way to hell is paved with adverbs…do they meet regularly?)

    As I continued to pace, he spoke. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”
    (I continued to pace…You already told us he is pacing, so show us the floor as he wears a line in it…show us the walls as he passes again and again…Show us the room he is in, show us him gripping his hands together so he doesn’t throw things or whatever his emotion is at the time. Show us his father, what does he look like, what is he doing? Sitting calmly? Staring out a window? Is it day or night? World build here, show us where we are. Oh, dear, poor Nicolas…choose a mate…or else…)

    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell, anyway. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.
    (Don’t need “anyway”. Haha! Sorry, picturing a wife groveling…but on their world, I’m assuming it isn’t Earth, that is what Nicolas has seen, what he knows.)

    “Father,” I said. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-“

    I broke off quickly, seeing his face grow dangerously cold. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.
    (How did his face go cold? Show us. What does he look like? Too far being against his father’s wishes? And don’t apologize! Be your own man.)

    1. Thank you so much for critiquing! I just posted an updated version, thanks to your suggestions. Hopefully you have a chance to check it out and, more importantly, I hope you like it better now!

      Thanks again!

  2. Title: The Social Season
    Category and Genre: Adult Speculative Fiction
    Word Count: 110,000

    Query:

    The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child.

    Since she must attend the Season, Natalie hatches a plan to use the system to her advantage. If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who won’t control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.

    Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.

    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.

    Under orders from his father to find a wife, Nicholas is simply uninterested in the boring, obedient women offered through the Season.

    When he catches Natalies, however, Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who won’t obey orders. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.

    Most girls in the Season would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

    Interests clash as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants.

    This MS is told in alternating POVs, giving the reader insight to both Nicholas and Natalie’s motivations.

    First 250 words:

    I was pacing in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. The conversation had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now.
    The wood floor creaked as I made another turn. His voice drowned the noise out. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”
    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.
    “Father,” I planted my feet, staring at him. He looked as calm as he would if we were discussing a meal. I resumed my walk. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-”
    I broke off quickly, seeing his eyes narrow. His hands dropped down to the desk to push himself upright. I forced myself to stand perfectly still, hiding my fear just like he’d taught me. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

  3. Oh, my gosh. I would so read this. What an intriguing concept!

    Query:
    The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child.
    Since she must attend the Season [you don’t need this clause, it’s redundant], Natalie hatches a plan to use the system to her advantage. If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who won’t control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.
    Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite. [I would reverse the order of the last two sentences, so we know how she’s using the system to her advantage, and then what the anticipated results would be. More organic that way in my opinion.]
    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.
    Under orders from his father to find a wife, Nicholas is simply uninterested in the boring, obedient women offered through the Season.
    When he catches Natalies [typo], however, Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who won’t obey orders [I don’t think you need “by someone who won’t obey orders” at this point – you’ve already made that clear]. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.
    Most girls in the Season would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.
    Interests clash as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants [I think there might be a way to bring home the stakes more effectively here. “Natalie must fight to remain free, without jeopardizing her mission, while Nicholas bends the rules of the system to take the woman he so desperately wants.” That’s not quite right, but it gives us a better vision of the conflict and stakes] .

    250:

    “I was pacing in my father’s office…” Better impact if you avoid the continuous tense here. “I paced my father’s office…”

    Second use of “conversation” isn’t needed. You can just say “it”.

    “He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper.” This contradicts the fact that his voice was drowning out the noise of the floorboard, in my mind. I’d choose one or the other.

    “…groveling at my feet.
    “Father,” I planted my feet, staring at him.” Two uses of “feet”. I’d take out the “groveling at my feet.” Also, you can remove “staring at him”. It’s implied, since you next describe what his father looks like. Especially when you write in 1st person, you don’t have to tell us the MC is staring, hearing, tasting etc. You just show what they see, hear, taste. Put us right in their head.

    Good entry! Let me know when this is published, because I’m needing to know what happens next 😀 I’m really in the mood for this sort of fantasy right at the moment.

    1. If I can get it published, you can have a free copy for hosting me and being interested in the concept! Yay for encouraging and helpful feedback.

      I’m working on another edit based on what you commented on and will post it tomorrow probably (I think I got a little over-excited about revising after the first comment, hence the typos)!

      Thank you so much!

  4. Thanks for participating in this round of Son of a Pitch! I have some notes below for you!

    YOUR QUERY

    The first half of this gets bogged down and you lose your hook. Try something like:

    “Being forced to participate in the forty-fourth Social Season wasn’t in any plan Natalie James had for her life. But it’s the price she’s paying for being convicted of treason as a child. All she wants to do is marry her best friend, a man who promises to help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.

    Determined to make that dream reality, Natalie uses the system to her advantage. She schemes and plots her way through every event, doing her best to hide any qualities that would capture the attention of those in search of a wife, mistress, or servant.

    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.

    Under orders from his father to find a wife, Nicholas is simply uninterested in the boring, obedient women offered through the Season.

    When he catches Natalie, however, Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who won’t obey orders. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.

    Most girls in the Season would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

    Interests clash as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants.”

    I would also cut that last sentence because it’s not needed.

    YOUR FIRST 250:

    I was pacing in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech.
    The conversation had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now.

    [Show, don’t tell! For instance:

    “I paced in my father’s office, searching from an escape from the horrid speech he’d probably spent hours crafting.]

    The wood floor creaked as I made another turn. His voice drowned the noise out. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”

    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.

    [If the creak is drowned out by his father, he wouldn’t comment on it. How does his father’s voice drowned out the sound in this sentence, when he’s practically whispering as stated a few sentences later? Also, don’t mix one character’s actions with another’s dialogue. Start a new paragraph when switching between the two. ]

    “Father,” I planted my feet, staring at him. He looked as calm as he would if we were discussing a meal. I resumed my walk. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-”

    [Since “I planted my feet” is action and not a saidism, you would need a period after “Father” instead of a comma.

    “Father.” I planted my feet, staring at him.

    Also, I would cut out the sentence about him resuming his walk. Let him face the man head on to assert himself until his father’shushes him. And show us what his father looks like seated so calmly behind his desk. :)]

    I broke off quickly, seeing his eyes narrow. His hands dropped down to the desk to push himself upright. I forced myself to stand perfectly still, hiding my fear just like he’d taught me. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

    [Cut the first sentence and let his father’s action be the reason he stops speaking. With that, you don’t need to say that he broke off. We know he did based on the em dash at the end of the sentence. Also, watch for unattached body parts. His hands didn’t drop. He dropped his hands.

    You tell us he’s desperate, but I don’t *FEEL* it. Show us the desperation. Is he sweating? Fidgeting? Is his heart racing? He comes across far too calmly for someone desperate to stay single. Let him get heated and impassioned as he defies his father to show us that desperation!]

    Best of luck!

    1. Hi! I’m sorry I’m late to respond to your feedback – for some reason I didn’t see it (too eager to repost revisions, I think).

      Thank you so much. I like a lot of the wording you changed in the query. It definitely helps bring together the two different characters without throwing off the readers as much.

      Also, your comments about the 250 were spot on. Especially the part about unattached body parts! I’d never thought of it that way but now it sticks out like a sore thumb (that isn’t an unattached part, right?? haha)

      I’ll definitely be comparing your notes to my submission before I finalize my entry so thank you!

  5. Okay – So I see in your comments that you are going to post an updated query – so I’ll come back tomorrow. I LOVE the premise and the voice in your original query and can’t wait to see what you’ve done with it.

    First 250 words:
    I paced anxiously (in-around?) my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. (love that) He was not easily evaded, however, and he’d been adept at bringing me to his office immediately following my arrival. (before he could hide?) He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. The conversation had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now.
    As I continued to pace, he spoke. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”
    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell, anyway. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. (excellent detail!) But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet. (ha!)
    “Father,” I said. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? (love this) And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-“
    I broke off quickly, seeing his face grow dangerously cold. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

    Loved the 250. This has fun but clever approach, the dialogue is smart, the reactions are well measured and I would love to see more. I was sad the words ran out.

    all thoughts/suggestions/opinions are humbly offered. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi Elsie, thank you so much! I appreciate the supportive comments (especially about the voice – it’s taken a while to nail down) and the helpful critiques. It’s been so eye-opening to have people looking at it (and I wish you could see more, too!).

      I’ve edited the query and will be posting it in a moment. I also edited the 250 words with changes inspired by your comments so thank you again!

      I hope you like the changes – feel free to comment on the 250 again if you see anything else!

  6. REVISED!

    Query:

    The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child.

    Desperate, Natalie hatches a plot to use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.

    If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who won’t control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.

    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.

    Under orders from his father to find a wife, Nicholas is simply uninterested in the boring, obedient women offered through the Season.

    When he catches Natalie, however, Nicholas finds himself intrigued. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.

    Most girls in the Season would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

    When Nicholas bends the rules of the Season to go after what he so desperately wants, Natalie must use every tool at her disposal to remain free from his control.

    This MS is told in alternating POVs, giving the reader insight in to both Nicholas and Natalie’s motivations.

    First 250 words:

    I was pacing in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. It had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now. My hands clenched into fists.
    The wood floor creaked as I made another turn. I tuned it out, focusing instead on my father’s words. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”

    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.

    “Father,” I planted my feet. He looked as calm as he would if we were discussing a meal. I resumed my walk. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-”

    I broke off quickly, seeing his eyes narrow. His hands dropped down to the desk to push himself upright. I forced myself to stand perfectly still, hiding my fear just like he’d taught me. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

  7. Okay, so, wow, I really love so much about this and I want this book to happen.

    Here are my thoughts.

    Query:
    “The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child. While she’d been spared, her mother wasn’t so lucky. And she’d be damned if she let that death be in vain.”

    LOVE this. I love that it’s called the Social Season, love that it’s a punishment for something. Love that this society is messed up enough that they’re putting children on trial for treason. Yaaassss, mama.

    ” Instead, Natalie begins scheming to use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.”

    Now I’m curious to know what caste Natalie is part of. Is she elite, too? And also…why would the elite want a convicted treasonist as a wife?

    “If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who isn’t determined to control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.”

    This is where the query starts to wobble for me. I’m not clear on how successful she might be in taking down the government because I don’t know what her social standing is. Also, this is part of the stakes, but it’s not strong enough for me to care at this point.

    “There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.”

    I think it’s too late in the query to introduce the name of the country (city? realm?). I’d bump that up to earlier.

    “Nicholas finds himself intrigued by someone who doesn’t want to obey orders. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.”

    We’re heading into too much plot and detail now. You’ve split the query to focus on two separate characters and that weakens it significantly. It’s almost like two separate queries mashed together. And is his family really going to be happy that he’s with this convicted felon?

    ” Most girls would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.”

    We already know she doesn’t want to be this guy’s wife, so this paragraph can be slashed and shortened.

    ” The Season quickly becomes a battle of will and power, as Natalie works to circumvent an oppressive system and Nicholas bends the rules of the same system to take what he so desperately wants.”

    Closing paragraph sort of shores up the shaky middle, but you can cut this thing way down and focus it.

    First 250

    The query focuses on Natalie as the primary character and the first 250 is about Nicholas?? The whole thing went “splat” for me at that point.

    So that tells me one of two things: You think the story is really about Nicholas but Natalie is a stronger character, which is why the query focuses on her. Or, you need to revise the query to illustrate a dual POV novel.

    1. Hi Sara, thanks for coming by and critiquing!

      It is told in a dual POV, which may explain some of your concerns. If you have a chance to come back, I’ve been posted revised versions which highlight this, as it seems to have raised questions for a few people.

      I’m so glad you love the concept and I’ll definitely use your critique to improve my query and 250! I’d love if you could come back to review the revision when it’s up if you have the time!

      Thank you again!

  8. Well, looks like this version was worth the wait. (I’d read this now. I love the premise. )

    Here are my thoughts.. just 2 … little thoughts…
    Desperate, Natalie (must) use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.

    and This MS is told in alternating POVs, giving the reader insight in to both Nicholas and Natalie’s motivations can just be worked into the info as “Told in alternating POVs, THE SOCIAL SEASON is a…” . Goal should be understood.

    This. is. Fabulous.

    (All thoughts/opinions/suggestions are humbly offered. Thank you for sharing your words.)

    1. Agh, thank you so much! The part about it being in two POVs is definitely worded a little awkwardly – it was a struggle to convey that info without being too wordy but your suggestion definitely makes more sense than what I have.

      I’m so glad you love the premise and appreciate all of your comments!

      I’ll be working on another revision where I’ll definitely implement your changes.

      Thank you!

  9. REVISED! Also, sorry for all the revisions people – I’m trying to incorporate changes as we go!

    Query:

    The forty-fourth Social Season isn’t optional for Natalie James. She’s being forced to participate, a stipulation from her trial for treason back when she was a child.

    Desperate, Natalie must try to use the system to her advantage. Her plan is to go unnoticed through the various events, meant to showcase the qualities that would make her a good wife, mistress or servant to a member of the elite.

    If she succeeds, she’ll be able to marry her best friend, a man who won’t control her and will help her take down the tyrannical government controlling their lives.

    There’s just one problem. While searching for weaknesses in the government, she’s caught trespassing by one of the most powerful men in the city: Nicholas Olsen, future lord of Dolfian.

    Under orders from his father to find a wife, Nicholas is simply uninterested in the boring, obedient women offered through the Season.

    When he catches Natalie, however, Nicholas finds himself intrigued. And he’s determined to make her his wife, a task that will please both his family and his city.

    Most girls in the Season would be delighted by his proclamation. But Natalie isn’t most girls, and she has no plans to let Nicholas Olsen take over her life and mark her as his legal property.

    When Nicholas bends the rules of the Season to go after what he so desperately wants, Natalie must use every tool at her disposal to remain free from his control.

    Told in alternating point of views, THE SOCIAL SEASON is a work of speculative fiction complete at 110,000 words.

    First 250 words:

    I was pacing in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. It had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now. My hands clenched into fists.
    The wood floor creaked as I made another turn. I tuned it out, focusing instead on my father’s words. “Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”

    He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.

    “Father,” I planted my feet. He looked as calm as he would if we were discussing a meal. I resumed my walk. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-”

    I broke off quickly, seeing his eyes narrow. His hands dropped down to the desk to push himself upright. I forced myself to stand perfectly still, hiding my fear just like he’d taught me. I’d gone too far in my desperation. But I wouldn’t apologize.

  10. My one comment about the query…what happens if Nicolas can’t get her for a wife? What happens if Natalie can’t escape him? Some stakes. What are they risking? Will she end up in prison? Will he end up forced to marry a boring girl? And that’s all I got, cause the rest read super well!

    The words…I got nothing. I enjoyed them! Drama is coming, cause father and son aren’t seeing eye to eye. Yup.
    Great work!

    1. Yesssss, thank you so much! I’m so glad you see improvement and I’ll definitely look over the query again to see if I can add stakes without bogging it down.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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