Query - Griffinborn

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Brendanjparedes
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Query - Griffinborn

Post by Brendanjparedes » August 29th, 2010, 2:02 pm

Rory Balenford was a roguish young thief who was never sure of his place in the world till he picked the wrong pocket and got drafted. Twelve years later, he’s a young captain in the Ducal Guard of the Griffin Lords. When an ancient relic the ruling family has been guarding for a thousand years is stolen he’s given the seemingly easy task of getting it back and bringing those responsible to justice. With the aid of his trusted friends, a brilliant but highly inexperienced magus, a disgraced Knight wallowing in his own drunken misery, and an existential Elf who thinks humanity is an amusing idea, they set of on the only clue they’ve got to enlist the aid of the most notorious corsair in the Dreaming Sea.

Once they find the thief their problems are only just starting. The Corsair apparently has a death wish that some very bad people are more than willing to fulfill and is in the middle of his own bloody little war of revenge. He’s falling for the pirate’s homicidal ex-girlfriend. His friends are starting to wallow in their own personal problems. The thief turns out have been working for an insane priest leading a cult with delusions of reaching godhood through an apocalypse. And the shadowy figure that hide the relic with the Griffin Lords to begin with is getting very impatient.

It’s not the biggest problem Rory Baleford has ever faced, though it might be the end of the world. All Rory has to do is keep is kill a god and save the world.

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oldhousejunkie
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by oldhousejunkie » August 29th, 2010, 2:18 pm

This started out pretty good and then nosedived into confusion for me.
Rory Balenford was a roguish young thief who was never sure of his place in the world till he picked the wrong pocket and got drafted.When an ancient relic the ruling family has been guarding for a thousand years is stolen he’s given the seemingly easy task of getting it back and bringing those responsible to justice.


This is good, but wordy. Maybe "Rory Balenford was a roguish outcast until he picked the wrong pocket and got drafted into the Ducal Guard of the Griffin Lords. Twelve years later, he's a captain who has been charged with finding the thief who has stolen an ancient relic.
With the aid of his trusted friends, a brilliant but highly inexperienced magus, a disgraced Knight wallowing in his own drunken misery, and an existential Elf who thinks humanity is an amusing idea, they set of on the only clue they’ve got to enlist the aid of the most notorious corsair in the Dreaming Sea. Once they find the thief their problems are only just starting. The Corsair apparently has a death wish that some very bad people are more than willing to fulfill and is in the middle of his own bloody little war of revenge. He’s falling for the pirate’s homicidal ex-girlfriend.[/
This is way too wordy. The people described come across like a whole army because of the descriptions. Maybe "With the aid of his trusted friends, Rory enlists the help of the most notorious corsair in the Dreaming Sea, not knowing that this corsair is in the middle of his own bloody war of revenge."

The rest...well I think you are trying to be humorous, but it comes across as convoluted. Maybe: "Rory identifies the thief, but his problems are just starting. His friends are falling prey to their own eccentricities, while The Corsair is doing battle with a homicidal pirate, and the thief turns out to be in the employ of an insane priest with delusions of bringing on the Apocalypse."
It’s not the biggest problem Rory Baleford has ever faced, though it might be the end of the world. All Rory has to do is keep is kill a god and save the world.
Once again, I think this was meant to be humorous, but it falls flat. The end of the world is, I believe, the biggest problem anyone could face. I would definitely re-write this.

Good shot...I like the premise, kind of Princess Bride meets Pirates of the Carribean meets The DaVinci Code. Best of luck to you.

Brendanjparedes
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by Brendanjparedes » August 29th, 2010, 2:36 pm

Good points, Junkie. Was considering some of that myself before posting it up - think this is query revision number 50, and still not thrilled with it. I keep looking at that center piece and cringing now that I'm looking at it again. Ok... guess I'll see what others have to say and maybe a solution will click, but yeah, the bit in the beginning, the Friends thing, and the end need revision. Just not sure what's going to pop for me on it.

Thanks.

B

mfreivald
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by mfreivald » August 29th, 2010, 3:05 pm

This query is fairly clear, and you have some decent rising tension, but that tension is too diffused in the second paragraph. You want to have a hard hitting statement that says “Oh-ho! This guys in trouble,” but instead you have a bunch of things that equally distract from each other instead of driving that tension home. What’s the biggest threat here? What causes the protagonist the greatest problem?

I also think you could tighten it up. His “thief to captain” story could be about half as long without losing much, as could the explanation of the relic, and each character could be summed up more tersely. (“brilliant street-dumb magus,” “drunken knight,” and “supercilious elf” might be possibilities. They are easier to read and remember, and they give enough to be humorous and raise interest.)

Brendanjparedes
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by Brendanjparedes » August 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm

Good points, Mfreivald. Dove tails with a lot of what OHJ was saying... I must be on the right track, since everyone seems to be agreeing with the general problems!

lol!

Write2Me
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by Write2Me » August 29th, 2010, 4:54 pm

I was intrigued by para 1..then para 2 kind of muddles the effect.

Para 1: With para one....it isnt clear as to where he's drafted, so if its a fictitious army then mention the name? Maybe the last sentence should be something like..."to retrieve the relic, the ragtag band of heroes must enlist the aid of the most notorious corsair in the dreaming sea..." something to that extent seems to give it more direction. Also is corsair too uncommon of a reference? Maybe just pirate? Just a thought.

Para 2: Maybe you don't need to go into the corsair's issues, since he's an incidental character. Maybe something like "Rory has precious little time to find the thief, and his vision is being clouded by the thoughts of the pirate's former flame, a beautiful woman with murderous tendencies. When Rory finally finds the thief....

queries don't have to be long to be effective...check out some of those.
http://djmachalebooks.com/books/pendragon/

From what i've read, the more you're query reads like the back of your eventual book cover when people pick it up, the better. Hopefully i helped some.

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TigerGray
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by TigerGray » August 29th, 2010, 5:51 pm

Brendanjparedes wrote:Rory Balenford was a roguish young thief who was never sure of his place in the world till he picked the wrong pocket and got drafted. Twelve years later, he’s a young captain in the Ducal Guard of the Griffin Lords. Is the name drop needed? I know sometimes too many names early on can put people off. When an ancient relic the ruling family has been guarding for a thousand years is stolen he’s given I'd consider removing qualifiers like "seemingly"the seemingly easy task of getting it back and bringing those responsible to justice. With the aid of his trusted friends, a brilliant but highly inexperienced magus, a disgraced Knight wallowing in his own drunken misery, and an existential Elf who thinks humanity is an amusing idea, they set of on the only clue they’ve got to enlist the aid of the most notorious corsair in the I like the name. It interests me. Dreaming Sea. Love the bit about the Elf

Once they find the thief their problems are only just starting.Get rid of the previous sentence entirely and start with the corsair The Corsair remove apparently apparently has a death wish that some very bad people are more than willing to fulfill maybe break up in to two sentences? and is in the middle of his own bloody little war of revenge. Who now? You've lost me He’s falling for the pirate’s homicidal ex-girlfriend. His friends are starting to wallow in their own personal problems. The thief turns out have been working for an insane priest leading a cult with delusions of reaching godhood through an apocalypse. And the shadowy figure that hide the relic with the Griffin Lords to begin with is getting very impatient.

It’s not the biggest problem Rory Baleford has ever faced, though it might be the end of the world. All Rory has to do is keep is kill a god and save the world.
you repeat words here. I think coming up with different phrasing would help you.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Jaligard
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by Jaligard » September 3rd, 2010, 3:29 pm

Brendanjparedes wrote:Twelve years later, he’s a young captain in the Ducal Guard of the Griffin Lords. When an ancient relic the ruling family has been guarding for a thousand years is stolen he’s given the seemingly easy task of getting it back and bringing those responsible to justice.
When someone steals a shield from one of the Ducal Guards, getting it back seems easy. When they steal the Pink Panther diamond, things are going to be difficult.

You cannot build us up with "Ducal Guards," "Griffin Lords," and a "relic the ruling family has been guarding for a thousand years" and then dismiss it all before the next period. Inconsistency works against you.

chris13
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by chris13 » September 3rd, 2010, 4:34 pm

Hi,

I love the premise, but also agree that the 2nd graf is confusing. And a small point....A corsair is a ship, and the word used for certain airplanes. It threw me off until I learned this seemed to be a person. It's like calling someone Frigate or Corsaire--at least in the query when there are no extra words to build your naming world.

Keep up on the query revisions; I bet the book is great.

elfspirit
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Re: Query - Griffinborn

Post by elfspirit » September 4th, 2010, 8:19 pm

I pretty much agree with what others have written, in case you're keeping score.

I love the first paragraph, because what I hear in it is your author's voice, one that is very appealing to me.

The voice gets lost in the second paragraph, and I got confused by who you were talking about, specifically who was falling for the pirate's girlfriend. As others said, I think you can tighten this up considerably.

I recommend using the third paragraph to heighten the tension. It should leave the agent wanting more.

It really sounds like a book I would enjoy reading, so you are definitely doing something right. Your challenge is to do more of it.

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