Query Help

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ChrisisAlwaysRight
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Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 15th, 2009, 4:32 pm

For version 3, go to page 2.
Last edited by ChrisisAlwaysRight on December 16th, 2009, 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Query Help - Query critique for Guns of Pleasure and Death

Post by skottk » December 15th, 2009, 5:24 pm

EDITED: Submitted before I finished it...
Dear Nathan,

I'm not sure which sport it is that you're a fan of, but I do know that I don't like it. Nor do I share your passion for The Hills. A good story, on the other hand, is something that I love. I'm a regular on your blog, and in your forums (I post as ChrisisAlwaysRight). I can tell from your posts that you bring great passion to your work; you must have a love of a good story that equals mine. and you love a great story the way I do.
I don't think you need to criticize his sport and his TV show to establish a connection, given your history on his site.
I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy set in an alternate history where advanced clockwork and steam-powered technologies co-exist with secret, hidden magic. The story ranges from the Amazonian rainforest in 1854 to London in 1912, and the North Atlantic in the mid 1980s.

When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash in Sandringham, she doesn't realise that this is the catalyst that will send her on her greatest, and last ever, adventure. It's been fifteen years since this Victorian heroine hung up her demon-possessed revolvers, and now 72 year old Matilda waits simply to die.
I can't follow the temporal sequence between these two sentences. Was she waiting to die when she prevented the assassination? If so, it might be clearer if it were more like, Fifteen years after she hung up her demon-haunted revolvers, Matilda Raleigh, etc. etc.
Or maybe you mean that she rescued the Prince fifteen years ago, and hasn't had anything to do since.
But with villains coveting the throne of England, and planning to join Britain's forces with those of Germany to give with a plan to create a very different ending to World War 1, Matilda must dust off those very her revolvers, and face down soldiers, sorcerers, spies, robots, vampires, demons, and angels, and the Prince of Darkness himself.

InIt all leads up to a desperate last stand on board the Titanic against the Prince of Darkness himself, where Matilda's only hope to save the world is by making to make a deal with the demonic forces of evil; a deal which will result not only in her own death, but the death of over 1500 innocents as well. She saves the world, but A deal whichalters the balance of power in Hell, and seriously jeopardises God's Plan - and only by being resurrected can Matilda hope to put right the wrongs she has made, and perhaps earn herself a place in Heaven.
Just trying to clean up some long clauses and put the emphasis where I think you want it.
I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS and a few years ago took part in the Absynthe Muse mentoring programme. My mentor was a NY city editor called Nancy Wicke, and I learned a lot from her. I have been a member of writing groups both online and off- for several years now. Online, these include Scribes and Mystical Adventures (both at Runboard, though Scribes is sadly no longer active) and the Online Writers Workshops at Kelley Armstrong's otherworld forum. Off-line, I have been a member of Polmont Writer's Circle. Finally, I am lucky to include amongst my beta-readers a many times published non-fiction author. Guns of Pleasure and Death is my first novel.

I am currently outlining a sequel to Pleasure and Death, a diesel punk fantasy set in America during the roaring 20s.
From everything I've read about queries, the only thing you need to put into your publishing credits 'graph are your actual edited publication credits. Anyone else?

Overall, I love the time setting and the 72-year-old heroine, and the demon-haunted revolvers are a particularly resonant image. If all of your paragraphs are as short as these it might be a little tiring, but overall it's vivid writing, nice variety of sentence structure and rhythm.

SK
Last edited by skottk on December 15th, 2009, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shadow
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Re: Query Help

Post by shadow » December 15th, 2009, 5:26 pm

Let me give it my best shot!!!

Dear Nathan,

I'm not sure which sport it is that you're a fan of, but I do know that I don't like it.I am pretty sure that it isn't good to talk to the agent directly. Nor do I share your passion for The Hills. A good story, on the other hand, is something that I love. Aha! Sorry I see now, but at first I thought that that was your story beginning lol.I'm a regular on your blog, and in your forums (I post as ChrisisAlwaysRight). I can tell from your posts that you bring great passion to your work; you must have a love of a good story that equals mine.

I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy set in an alternate history where advanced clockwork and steam-powered technologies co-exist with secret, hidden magic. The story ranges from the Amazonian rainforest in 1854 to London in 1912, and the North Atlantic in the mid 1980s. Quite a gap in time, is it all of one main character??

When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash in Sandringham, she doesn't realise that this is the catalyst that will send her on her greatest, and last ever, adventure. What is the adventure exactly. Let your plot shine through your query.It's been fifteen years since this Victorian heroine hung up her demon-possessed revolvers, and now 72 year old Matilda waits simply to die.

But with villains coveting the throne of England, and planning to join Britain's forces with those of Germany to give a very different ending to World War 1, Matilda must dust off those very revolvers, and face down soldiers, sorcerers, spies, robots, vampires, demons, angels, and the Prince of Darkness himself. She seems too old to be able to do that to me.

It all leads up to a desperate last stand on board the Titanic, where Matilda's only hope to save the world is by making a deal with the demonic forces of evil; a deal which will result not only in her own death, but the death of over 1500 innocents as well. A deal which alters the balance of power in Hell, and seriously jeopardises God's Plan - and only by being resurrected can Matilda hope to put right the wrongs she has made, and perhaps earn herself a place in Heaven. It feels like there is something missing here. When I read this part I found myself asking; is that all??

I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS and a few years ago took part in the Absynthe Muse mentoring programme. My mentor was a NY city editor called Nancy Wicke, and I learned a lot from her. I have been a member of writing groups both online and off- for several years now. Online, these include Scribes and Mystical Adventures (both at Runboard, though Scribes is sadly no longer active) and the Online Writers Workshops at Kelley Armstrong's otherworld forum. Off-line, I have been a member of Polmont Writer's Circle. Finally, I am lucky to include amongst my beta-readers a many times published non-fiction author.

I am currently outlining a sequel to Pleasure and Death, a diesel punk fantasy set in America during the roaring 20s. I have heard that it is simply better to say that your novel is stand alone but can be extended into a sequel.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

Yours sincerely,
Chris Kelly

Sounds not bad all together and don't take my comments as an offence but the lady seems too old for the stuff I imagine her doing (guns, fighting evil, vampires etc.) Anyways I am excited to see how you develop your query! I wish you the best of luck, honest! Are you going to query for the new year??
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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ChrisisAlwaysRight
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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 15th, 2009, 5:33 pm

Querying about March, hopefully. It's out on beta right now, so a last edit when it comes back in.

Thank you both.

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Re: Query Help

Post by Tricia » December 15th, 2009, 5:38 pm

Chris first off I think that the query is too long.
That first paragraph a tidbit will do. One short sentence why you chose him.

I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy set in an alternate history where advanced clockwork and steam-powered technologies steam powered and alternate history are a given. co-exist with secret, hidden magic. The story ranges from the Amazonian rainforest in 1854 to London in 1912, and the North Atlantic in the mid 1980s.

When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash in Sandringham, she doesn't realise that thisis the catalyst that will send her on her greatest, and last ever, adventure. It's been fifteen years since this Victorian heroine hung up her demon-possessed revolvers, and now 72 year old Matilda waitssimply to die.

But with Vvillains coveting the throne of England, and planning to join Britain's forces with those of Germany to give a very different ending to World War 1 I, Matilda must dust off those very revolvers, and face down soldiers, sorcerers, spies, robots, vampires, demons, angels, and the Prince of Darkness himself.

It all leads up to a desperate last stand on board the Titanic, where Matilda's only hope to save the world is by making a deal with the demonic forces of evil; a deal which will result not only in her own death, but the death of over 1500 innocents as well. A deal which alters the balance of power in Hell, and seriously jeopardises God's Plan - and only by being resurrected can Matilda hope to put right the wrongs she has made, and perhaps earn herself a place in Heaven.

I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS and a few years ago took part in the Absynthe Muse mentoring programme. My mentor was a NY city editor called Nancy Wicke, and I learned a lot from her. I have been a member of writing groups both online and off- for several years now. Online, these include Scribes and Mystical Adventures (both at Runboard, though Scribes is sadly no longer active) and the Online Writers Workshops at Kelley Armstrong's otherworld forum. Off-line, I have been a member of Polmont Writer's Circle. Finally, I am lucky to include amongst my beta-readers a many times published non-fiction author. TMI again the first sentence is more than enough

I am currently outlining a sequel to Pleasure and Death, a diesel punk fantasy set in America during the roaring 20s.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

Yours sincerely,
Chris Kelly

To help it flow better I would pick out the main plot point perhaps a sub plot or two. Focus and it will be stronger. Sounds like an interesting story.
Happy writing
Tricia

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Re: Query Help

Post by Joel Q » December 15th, 2009, 5:53 pm

Here are a few thoughts..
ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote:Dear Nathan,

I'm not sure which sport it is that you're a fan of, but I do know that I don't like it. (If you follow his blog you should know who he likes) Nor do I share your passion for The Hills. (not sure negative connections are a good thing) A good story, on the other hand, is something that I love. I'm a regular on your blog, and in your forums (I post as ChrisisAlwaysRight). I can tell from your posts that you bring great passion to your work; you must have a love of a good story that equals mine.

I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy set in an alternate history where advanced clockwork and steam-powered technologies co-exist with secret, hidden (secret and hidden bring up the questions of why, I suggest just 'magic') magic. The story ranges from the Amazonian rainforest in 1854 to London in 1912, and the North Atlantic in the mid 1980s. (lots of different times, big plot)

When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash in Sandringham,(You don't mention the prince again in the query, so I'd leave him out) she doesn't realise that this is the catalyst that will send her on her greatest, and last ever, adventure. It's been fifteen years since this Victorian heroine hung up her demon-possessed revolvers, and now 72 year old (72-year-old)Matilda waits (doesn't sound like she waiting) simply to die.

But with villains coveting the throne of England, and planning to join Britain's forces with those of Germany to give a very different ending to World War 1, Matilda must dust off those very revolvers, and face down soldiers, sorcerers, spies, robots, vampires, demons, angels, and the Prince of Darkness himself. (I don't think you need a complete list)

It all leads up to a desperate last stand on board the Titanic, where Matilda's only hope to save the world is by making a deal with the demonic forces of evil; a deal which will result not only in her own death, but the death of over 1500 innocents as well. A deal which alters the balance of power in Hell, and seriously jeopardises God's Plan (You could stop here an it would be OK)- and only by being resurrected can Matilda hope to put right the wrongs she has made, and perhaps earn herself a place in Heaven. (This addition to the plot line just put too much in the query. If Heaven is her goal, maybe you could shorten this paragraph a bit and add it in.)

I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS (What is HNC and GCNS) and a few years ago took part in the Absynthe Muse mentoring programme. My mentor was a NY city (New York City )editor called (called? If Nancy Wicke is her name you can delete called) Nancy Wicke, and I learned a lot from her. I have been a member of writing groups both online and off- for several years now. Online, these include Scribes and Mystical Adventures (both at Runboard, though Scribes is sadly no longer active) and the Online Writers Workshops at Kelley Armstrong's otherworld forum. Off-line, I have been a member of Polmont Writer's Circle. Finally, I am lucky to include amongst my beta-readers a many times published non-fiction author. (Most of this can be cut, from what I have read, name significant contests your manuscript has won, publications your have stories in or other writing credentials, not writing groups.)
I am currently outlining a sequel to Pleasure and Death, a diesel punk fantasy set in America during the roaring 20s. (You can cut this line, its not important unless P&D gets published)
Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

Yours sincerely,
Chris Kelly

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 15th, 2009, 6:18 pm

Thanks guys - you helped make Version 2.0

Let's hope this is better. More focused on plot, I believe.

Dear Nathan,

I'm a regular on your blog, and in your forums (I post as ChrisisAlwaysRight). I can tell from your posts that you bring passion to your work, and you love a great story, as I do. I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy.

When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash, she doesn't realise that this is the start of her greatest, and last, adventure. With Alexander willing to murder his father and all five of his elder siblings to gain control of the Empire, unite with Germany and bring a very different ending to World War I, Matilda must once more take up her demon possessed revolvers, Eros and Thanatos, and do what she does best.

But at 72-years-old, with a bad hip and a soon-to-be-fatal disease, it will take intelligence, cunning and more than a little luck to navigate the dirty streets of Edwardian London, and face down spies, sorcerers, vampires and demons. If only the angels who claim to be on her side would give more aid than just a little healing that seems to cause more pain than it cures.

If Matilda is to stop Alexander from invoking the ancient Incan magic that will give him infinite wealth, immortality, and control over a demi-god, she must deal with the demon that has spent most of her life seeking her soul. In a desperate last stand on board the Titanic, Matilda makes such a deal, staining her soul by damming 1500 innocents to an eternity of suffering – but surely saving the entire world is worth such a price?

I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS a few years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

Sincerely,
Chris Kelly
Last edited by ChrisisAlwaysRight on December 15th, 2009, 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 15th, 2009, 6:21 pm

but surely saving the entire world is worth such a price?
Those damn rhetorical questions are good at sneaking in, aren't they?

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Re: Query Help

Post by Tricia » December 15th, 2009, 6:42 pm

Much improved!
Good luck
Tricia

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Re: Query Help

Post by Hillsy » December 16th, 2009, 8:32 am

ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote:
When Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Lancashire, stops a clockwork robot from assassinating King Edward at Prince Alexander's birthday bash, she doesn't realise that this is the start of her greatest, and last, adventure. (OK Straight off the bat a pet peev, this time with a twist. I don't like the "When X does Y she never imagines Z will happen" formula, usually because it's so obvious she wouldn't. In this case it's the opposite. A seasoned pro will automatically think that an adventure is in the offing when someone tries to murder a King - this can be worded better)

With Alexander willing to murder his father and all five of his elder siblings to gain control of the Empire, unite with Germany and bring a very different ending to World War I, Matilda must once more take up her demon possessed revolvers, Eros and Thanatos, and do what she does best. (Right....well confused. Is Alexander Edward's son? I immediately thought "Alexander the Great? He was waaaaay back." It's not totally clear despite saying the King is at the the Prince's birthday....there are many princes in many countries....only needs a word or two but it does need them.)

But at 72-years-old, with a bad hip and a soon-to-be-fatal disease, it will take intelligence, cunning and more than a little luck to navigate the dirty streets of Edwardian London, and face down spies, sorcerers, vampires and demons. If only the angels who claim to be on her side would give more aid than just a little healing that seems to cause more pain than it cures. (OK. I had this problem with one of my earlier revs and I've taken it out since. It's hard to NOT say it's going to be a fun romp through all these brilliant and mental things, but really it just sounds sooo non-specific. Why is she fighting vampires? Why Demons? Why Sorcerors? Is Alexander Sauron on something? There has to be a reason...this is plot!)

If Matilda is to stop Alexander from invoking the ancient Incan magic that will give him infinite wealth, immortality, and control over a demi-god, (I though he was murdering his father and losing WW1? What happened? Be consistent with your plot. At the moment I've got a fluffed murder followed by umpteen wild events that are barely linked.)

she must deal with the demon that has spent most of her life seeking her soul. In a desperate last stand on board the Titanic, Matilda makes such a deal, staining her soul by damming 1500 innocents to an eternity of suffering – but surely saving the entire world is worth such a price? (Ok - we've got a good conflict here. First introduce the demon earlier. Second, it's cool you've got the titanic in there, but it could be the hindenburg and it wouldn't make a differnce, the important part is the fact she's willing to trade thousands of lives for her own so she can save the world. This is absolutely vital!!! This has to run through the query alongside your plot: She's got a demon on her back, that demon is part of the solution, that demon wants a massive price, that price is conflicting with her morals. Excellent. now use it!)
OK on the plus side you've done really well to set Matilda up as an aged heroiene about to embark on her swangsong adventure. As a character it has a little something about it which is always good. However, though the actions she has to take are too vague it does mean that if you can boil the plot down to it's finer points it'll immediately read smoother. It's hard, I know, but try and lay off the "Look it's got such cooool stuff in it" approach. My earlier revs had that and they got in the way of everything!

Good Luck

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 16th, 2009, 4:43 pm

And now for something completely different. I have no idea if this works or not. PS I thought plot went in synopsis, not query?



At the age of 16, deep in the Amazon rainforest, Matilda Raleigh learned that the world is a harsh place. Searching for El Dorado with her father, she found the lost remnants of the Incan Empire, and fell afoul of its magic. Thirteen crystal skulls that give the powers of unlimited wealth and immortality, and control over an awesomely powerful demi-god, to their invoker.

Half a century later, and Matilda has spent most of her life in this war or that, facing enemies both powerful and terrifying. Through it all she has held to the strict moral code that any Victorian lady should have. She knows the difference between right and wrong, and she's always on the side of right. She is famed across the world, heroine of nineteen biographical adventure novels, wielder of demon-possessed revolvers, her own soul the target of a Duchess of Hell who has hunted her over continents and across decades.

But at 72, with a bad hip and soon-to-be fatal disease, it will take every ounce of her bravery and wit to stand against the new wielder of those skulls. Prince Alexander, youngest son of King Edward, covets not only the throne; he seeks an ever-lasting British Empire and sees himself as the immortal king-emperor.

To stop him, Matilda must deal with the very demon she has spent half a century avoiding. To make such a deal means damning fifteen hundred innocent souls to an eternity of suffering – is saving the world worth such a price?

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Re: Query Help

Post by Alexandra Little » December 16th, 2009, 8:26 pm

Just so you know, I haven't read the past versions of your query. I should probably also preface up here that I've been told I'm harsh. I will tell you how I see it.
ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote:And now for something completely different. I have no idea if this works or not. PS I thought plot went in synopsis, not query?

Well you have to give some amount of your story in your query, and that involves plot. The general consensus is that you don't reveal the ending in a query, and you do in a synopsis. A query is sort of like the back cover description of a novel (note that I say "sort of," as trying to write a query exactly like a back cover description often doesn't go too well).

I need title, genre and word count up here, otherwise I go into the description with different expectations and get confused when query and expectations don't match.

At the age of 16, deep in the Amazon rainforest, Matilda Raleigh learned that the world is a harsh place. A bit of an awkward sentence, and I had to pause and reread to understand. You can move the Amazon rain forest bit to the next sentence. Searching for El Dorado with her father, she found the lost remnants of the Incan Empire, and fell afoul of its magic. Thirteen crystal skulls that give the powers of unlimited wealth and immortality, and control over an awesomely powerful demi-god, to their invoker. Last sentence is an incomplete sentence.

The cynic in me is wondering how on earth Matilda got to 16 without learning that the world is a harsh place. Innocence nowadays is shattered around the 12/13 mark, and I presumed that the query is set at least somewhere in the recent past as you don't mention a time period until the next paragraph. In addition, while I think this backstory is necessary it is leaving a lot of blanks that only make me confused; for instance, you say her innocence is shattered but the query doesn't show it. Also, I think this information can be woven more succinctly later in the query.

Half a century later, and Matilda has spent most of her life in this war or that, facing enemies both powerful and terrifying. Through it all she has held to the strict moral code that any Victorian lady should have. If she had the strict moral code that any Victorian lady has, she wouldn't be involved in this war or that. With no genre stated up front, I am wondering what wars she's been through as a woman. Has she been through actual campaigns like the one in Afghanistan during the 1800s, or are these magical wars she has been drawn into due to her involvement with the Incan magic? "Victorian" also spans a very long time period where many changes happened, which does not help me in pinpointing when your story takes place. She knows the difference between right and wrong, and she's always on the side of right. She is famed across the world, heroine of nineteen biographical adventure novels, wielder of demon-possessed revolvers, her own soul the target of a Duchess of Hell Oh, so we're really, really into fantasy as a genre. This needs to be mentioned in the very first sentence of your query. This information also raises many more questions: what Victorian morals does she have if she wields revolvers and is famed across the world? And if you're writing a fantasy novel, how have Victorian morals changed? who has hunted her over continents and across decades Is the information about the Duchess of Hell hunting her part of the main plot? If not, I don't think it needs to be here.

But at 72, with a bad hip and soon-to-be fatal disease (awkward: "terminal disease" is better, and even that is a turn-off because that's telling me she's going to die no matter what), it will take every ounce of her bravery and wit (does she have any type of flaw? While I would love to read about a 72-year-old heroine with a bad hip who wields demon-possessed revolvers, she doesn't come off as very appealing here) to stand against the new wielder (13 skulls seems a bit unwieldy, actually, and 13 is a bit stereotypical. How on earth would he wield them in the first place?) of those skulls. Prince Alexander, youngest son of King Edward (the VII?), covets not only the throne; he seeks an ever-lasting British Empire and sees himself as the immortal king-emperor. Ahhh, the main plot. I was looking for this. THIS has to be at the beginning, and then give background where needed.

To stop him, Matilda must deal with the very demon the Duchess of Hell? she has spent half a century avoiding. To make such a deal means damning fifteen hundred innocent souls It does? This information came out of nowhere to an eternity of suffering – is saving the world worth such a price?
I don't have enough information to help rewrite this.

Who is your character?
What must she do?
Why her / what is at stake for her personally?
What are one or two main obstacles that make this hard for her (what is she up against, is there any enemy she must she cooperate with and doesn't want to, etc.)?

As I haven't read your novel I can't really answer these, and your query is cluttered with a lot of information that is given the same weight, but I can't tell which is more important. It's important that Aragorn had to take the throne of Gondor, but the main plot is Frodo's journey to destroy the One Ring in Mount Doom.
WIP #1: young adult fantasy, rewriting/editing
WIP #2: young adult fantasy, first draft
WIP #3: young adult fantasy, twinkle in the author's eye

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 17th, 2009, 1:35 am

Ah, I missed the first paragraph (genre, steampunk, title, wordcount, why I'm submitting to Nathan) and last (writing credits) as they are (general consensus) okay. I can understand how just the bit in the middle would throw you, though. Sorry for that.

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 17th, 2009, 1:39 am

Dear Nathan,

I'm a regular on your blog, and in your forums (I post as ChrisisAlwaysRight). I can tell from your posts that you bring passion to your work, and you love a great story, as I do. I hope you find something to love in The Guns of Pleasure and Death, my 100,000 word steampunk fantasy.

At the age of 16, after a sheltered upbringing, Matilda Raleigh learned that the world is a harsh place. Deep in the Amazonian rainforest, searching for El Dorado with her father, she found the lost remnants of the Incan Empire, and fell afoul of its magic. Thirteen crystal skulls that give the powers of unlimited wealth and immortality, and control over an awesomely powerful demi-god, to their invoker.

Half a century later, and Matilda has spent most of her life in this war or that, facing enemies both powerful and terrifying. Through it all she has held to the strict moral code that she was brought up with. She knows the difference between right and wrong, and she's always on the side of right. She is famed across the world, heroine of nineteen biographical adventure novels, wielder of demon-possessed revolvers, her own soul the target of a Duchess of Hell who has hunted her over continents and across decades.

But at 72, with a bad hip and soon-to-be fatal disease, it will take every ounce of her bravery and wit to stand against the new wielder of those skulls. Prince Alexander, youngest son of King Edward, covets not only the throne; he seeks an ever-lasting British Empire and sees himself as the immortal king-emperor.

To stop him, Matilda must deal with the very demon she has spent half a century avoiding. To make such a deal means damning fifteen hundred innocent souls to an eternity of suffering – is saving the world worth such a price?

I studied an HNC in Creative Writing at GCNS a few years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

sincerely
Chris Kelly

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Re: Query Help

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 17th, 2009, 3:24 am

See, I have a problem in writing this query. I have 30k words dedicated to 16 year old Matilda's first encounter with the Incan blood magic. I have 40k words relating to 72 year old Matilda's last encounter with the Incan blood magic - unfinished business she must sort before she dies. I have 10k words relating to Matilda's resurrection roughly seventy years after her death.

It all interconnects, it all plays on each other, every part of it is necessary, and every part of it is main plot. Furthermore, it is steampunk/sword and sorcery, so it is 100% action orientated (the plot) and consists of action event + action event + action event = action event.

So where you might say "Is this backstory? Is this main plot? Does he need this?" I'm more likely to say "This is main plot, this is main plot, this is main plot. This, this, this and this is main plot - shame I can't fit it all in."

She doesn't fight the vampire - she has to go to the vampire for help because he has an airship that will get her to Ireland before the already at sea Titanic does (its first stop is Cherbourg, France) but in an earlier (unwritten) adventure, she dissolved half his face in Holy Water and now she struggles to convince him.

Is this main plot? Yes. Important, yes? Included, no.

And that's what I'm struggling with. I've mentioned nothing about the clockwork robots battling Edward in Buckingham Palace, or the supernatural war that wages between angels and demons and intrudes throughout the novel, and which ultimately P&D ends up being about. I have a lot of plot, how do I decide what to include?

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