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Re: Query Help

Posted: December 17th, 2009, 9:55 am
by skottk
ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote: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.
.....
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?
First of all, I think that if you've got a vampire you want to mention that in the query, otherwise you're burying the lede.

Overall, I think you were in a better place before this version - just what you love to hear at this point, I'm sure!
I think your hook is something like, "72-year-old demon hunter Matilda must defeat the Incan blood curse she released when she was sixteen, or face eternal damnation." Beyond that?

Let's try Query Mad Lib again.
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/03 ... d-lib.html
[protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist's quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist's goal].

[protagonist name] = Matilda
[description of protagonist] = 72-year-old demon hunter and Duchess of Lancashire [don't know if she's a demon hunter, but DoL doesn't really tell us anything about her]
[setting] = a magical steampunk London.
[complicating incident] = Prince Alexander tries to assassinate HRH King Edward using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen,
[protagonist's quest] = sink the Titanic and all aboard her
[verb] = kill
[villain] = the Prince
[protagonist's goal] = save the world, at the risk of her immortal soul.

Matilda is a 72-year-old demon hunter and Duchess of Lancashire living in a a demon-ridden steampunk London. When Prince Alexander tries to assassinate HRH King Edward using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen, Matilda must sink the Titanic and all aboard her and kill the Prince in order to save the world at the risk of her immortal soul.

It's not pretty, but isn't this close to how you'd describe it to someone, if you had only one minute to talk?
What else does it kill you to leave out?

SK

Re: Query Help

Posted: December 17th, 2009, 11:13 am
by ChrisisAlwaysRight
Wow, that actually worked!

Okay Version 4, 5 or 6 (I'm a little lost)

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.

Matilda Raleigh is a 72-year-old former adventuress and Duchess of Lancashire living in a magical, steampunk London. When Prince Alexander tries to assassinate his father HRH King Edward VII using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen, Matilda must sink the Titanic and all aboard to stop the now-immortal Prince. But to sink the Titanic means sacrificing her soul and the souls of all who perish with it to a terrifying demon.

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

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

sincerely
whatnot

How's this?

Re: Query Help

Posted: January 3rd, 2010, 12:08 pm
by skottk
ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote:Wow, that actually worked!

Okay Version 4, 5 or 6 (I'm a little lost)

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.

Matilda Raleigh is a 72-year-old former adventuress and Duchess of Lancashire living in a magical, steampunk London. When Prince Alexander tries to assassinate his father HRH King Edward VII using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen, Matilda must sink the Titanic and all aboard to stop the now-immortal Prince. But to sink the Titanic means sacrificing her soul and the souls of all who perish with it to a terrifying demon.

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

Thank you for taking the time to consider me;

sincerely
whatnot

How's this?
Coming back to this after a long break, I think that it's not clear how sinking the Titanic stops the now-immortal Prince. Is he on board the TItanic, so he'll live forever pinned to the ocean floor? Cool, if so ;). I don't think you need to spoil the ending, but I think it would be stronger with a clearer connection.
When Prince Alexander tries to assassinate his father HRH King Edward VII on the Titanic's maiden voyage, Matilda must sink the Titanic and all aboard to stop the Prince from using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen.
Like that?
When Prince Alexander tries to assassinate his father HRH King Edward VII using the Incan blood magic Matilda released when she was sixteen, Matilda must sink the Titanic and sacrifice all aboard her to appease the terrifying demon who gives the now-immortal Prince his power. But such a victory would come at terrible price - the loss of her immortal soul.
Or that?

Hope this helps. You've got some vivid writing and a great premise -- I particularly love the combination of Victorian and Inca elements.
Good luck!


SK