BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, Temporarily Retired

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mfreivald
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Re: BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, New, New Version

Post by mfreivald » August 4th, 2010, 10:13 am

Of course, "advantages" is kind of a flat word, but you could find something better.

"She’s found her niche, though, channeling her predatory skills to bodyguard. . . ."

"She’s found her niche, though, channeling her rage to bodyguard. . . ."

"She’s found her niche, though, channeling her deadly talents to bodyguard. . . ."

"She’s found her niche, though, channeling her fierce spirit to bodyguard. . . ."

"She’s found her niche, though, channeling her lupine prowess to bodyguard. . . ."

Just a thought. :)

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Quill
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Re: BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, New, New Version

Post by Quill » August 4th, 2010, 10:55 am

Meredith wrote:Newest Version:

Being a half-blood is inconvenient even on a good day, especially when the half you got from your mother is werewolf.
Good, but how about omitting "especially". You already have "even" to spike it up.
Valeriah can’t take wolf form but she is still driven by the full moon. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf. She’s found her niche, though, using her enhanced strength and instincts as a bodyguard for the members of the Council of Magical Races.
This is pretty good, too. Wondering if there might be better words for "driven" and "enhanced". Hmm. Can't think of any. Maybe they are okay.
When her cousin’s life is threatened, Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal.
Unclear and awkward. Unclear whether or not her cousin is a member of the Council (though we must assume so). Awkward to have "cousin" at the beginning of the sentence and the cousin's name at the end; makes me wonder if they are the same person.
She doesn’t anticipate stumbling into the very plot that led to the murders of her parents and brothers, a mystery she has spent eight years trying to solve.
Good.
She really doesn’t expect to learn that she and Crystal are the last obstacles to a coup against the Council.
Good info, but the structure is weak. You've already had her expecting, then not anticipating. I don't think a third expectation or non-expectation in a row works.
Valeriah hides Crystal in a suburb of Los Angeles while she tries to unravel the conspiracy,
"Unravel" sticks out as not accurate or not strong enough. How about "crack" or "break" or some such.
but she needs help to protect Crystal. She has to decide who she can trust.
This seems a weak bridge between sections in your description. Maybe only small changes are needed. How about (new sentence) "But she needs help protecting Crystal. Who can she trust?" or some such.
She wants to believe the handsome stranger who has already helped to save Crystal’s life, even though her instincts tell her that he’s hiding something.
Good info, but wordy. Can you streamline to punch up? Perhaps another question (though I do not ordinarily advocate rhetorical questions in queries; at least you're not opening with them): "The handsome stranger who helped save Crystal's life, even though it feels like he's hiding something." Not sure.

Might be cool to eliminate both "hiding" and "instincts", which you've already used. How about "even though her gut tells her..."
Her only other choice is a member of the Council who has already turned his back on her once.
Might be best to avoid "already" twice in two sentences.
What she doesn’t know is that one of them is the killer.
Might be best to put this in it's own paragraph, and join the previous sentence with the paragraph above.

adamg73
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Re: BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, Still Newer Version

Post by adamg73 » August 6th, 2010, 2:10 pm

Meredith wrote:Valeriah is half werewolf, unable to take wolf form but still inconveniently driven by the full moon. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf. However, her strength and instincts suit her perfectly as a bodyguard for the members of the Council of Magical Races.
When her cousin’s life is threatened, Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal. .
A couple small things. First, your use of "however" in the second sentence is a little cumbersome. It makes it sound like her strength and instincts are contradictory to her running and that doesn't make a lot of sense. Second, I think it would be better to say "When her cousin Crystal's life is threatened". Fantasy stories often involve magical crystals and it hesitated for a split second before I realized that your Crystal is a name. Sounds like an interesting story, I'll have to visit your blog.

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Holly
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Re: BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, New, New Version

Post by Holly » January 7th, 2011, 4:34 am

Meredith wrote:The newest version is on page 3.

This is approximately the fourth version of the query for this novel. Have at it.
Revised version below. I tried to take all of the feedback into account. I don't disagree with the advice to use something stronger than "plot" in the first paragraph. After three days, I just couldn't come up with anything that didn't require a paragraph of explanation. And then I read Query Shark today and decided to take that advice: 'Specificity is good, but it can get you bogged down in detail."
BTW, I'll share my favorite line from the previous version (before this forum) that got cut:

"When a werewolf and a dragon go on the hunt together, their quarry better start to worry."


Revised Version

Dear Agent:

Valeriah is half werewolf, unable to take wolf form but still inconveniently do you need "inconveniently" for humor? Otherwise, I would cut it driven by the full moon. Her werewolf strength and instincts make her a formidable bodyguard for the members of the Council of Magical Races. I like the Council of Magical Races better than what you had before, but I would still work on a snappier beginning. What about a little more humor, or a current reference, something like: Her werewolf strength and instincts make her a formidable bodyguard for the Council of Magical Races in downtown Los Angeles.

When her cousin’s life is threatened, I would be specific here Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal. It’s nothing she hasn’t done before for people she cared less about. She doesn’t anticipate stumbling into the very plot that led to the murders of her parents and brothers, a mystery she has spent eight years trying to solve.

Valeriah hides Crystal in a suburb of Los Angeles until she can unravel the conspiracy. She has to decide who she can trust. Her instincts tell her to believe the handsome stranger who has already helped to save Crystal’s life, but she knows he’s hiding something. Her other choice is a man who has already turned his back on her once. One of them is the killer who murdered her family and is now after Crystal. The other may love Valeriah enough to break her curse.

BLOOD WILL TELL is a 96,000-word urban fantasy novel. If you’re interested, you can find more information about the characters and their world on my blog, MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com. no, no, no, don't put this here -- cut the sentence and put the blog address after your name (if email) or in your stationary (if snail-mail) I have enclosed a synopsis and the first chapter per the instructions on your website. You could add a sentence of agent personalization -- that I'm a fan of xxx author and found your name when I was researching agents, OR that you read the agent's Jan., 1, 2011 interview on ____, saw you are looking for more werewolf stories set in Los Angeles, etc. -- some specific tie-in from an interview. If you Google the agent, you can find lots of interviews.
Thank you for your time and consideration (cut I look forward to hearing from you -- because you might not hear from them).

I like your story idea. I also think you need a few snappy details or sharper sentences, because you aren't quite presenting the story as well as I think you could. I would add just a tiny few contemporary details. Good luck to you.

"Original Version"

Dear Agent:

Valeriah is half werewolf, unable to take wolf form but still inconveniently driven by the full moon. Her werewolf strength and instincts make her a prized bodyguard for the elite and powerful of the magical realm.

When her cousin’s life is threatened, Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal. It’s nothing she hasn’t done before for people she cared less about. She doesn’t anticipate stumbling into the very plot that led to the murders of her parents and brothers.

While trying to keep Crystal under wraps in Los Angeles, Valeriah has to decide whether to trust the stranger who has already helped to save Crystal’s life. Her other choice is to put her faith in a man who has already turned his back on her once. One of them is the killer. The other may love her enough to break the curse she has lived under for most of her life.

BLOOD WILL TELL is a 96,000-word urban fantasy novel with elements of paranormal romance. If you’re interested, you can find character sketches of Valeriah and some of the others on my blog, http://MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com. I have enclosed a synopsis and the first chapter per the instructions on your website.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Meredith
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Re: BLOOD WILL TELL, Urban Fantasy, New, New Version

Post by Meredith » January 7th, 2011, 12:34 pm

Thanks. BLOOD WILL TELL is temporarily retired in favor of the new book MAGE STORM.
MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com

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