A Touch of Madness

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Bron
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Re: A Touch of Madness

Post by Bron » March 30th, 2011, 5:32 am

Deciding how much detail to include while being enticing, but not overwhelming or too vague, is the biggest challenge in writing a query, and I think it's one most of us have struggled with. I think this newest version is your best yet, and strikes an improved balance between too much detail and not enough. There's still a few things I think you could change though.
Netti wrote:Ok, here goes again... The one thing that I'm most unsure about in this version is the very last line. I was trying to do something not cliche and interesting(I guess that's the word I want) but think I may need to dial it back a bit. Anyway, thanks for all the help!



Duty above all else is what the Successors are taught from a young age on the planet Jodlaz.The problem with this sentence is you introduce us to two unfamiliar proper nouns straight up. Plus, it's an abstract statement that doesn't mean much at first. I'd cut this sentence and start with the second. So when Gliane and her comrades are sent by theher planet’s Representatives on a simple fact-finding mission to the Maircla Desert, they do it without question.but the mission goes awry when they are captured.

But Gliane soon finds herself at the mercy of a When thescientist who injects herGliane with a formula which makes anyone who touches her literally go mad. She accidentally uses her new power to escape and free her surviving comrades. Good.

Duty above all else.Again, I don't feel this adds anything to your query. It might be a theme in the novel, but I think all we need to know at this point is why she goes back, and your answer is in the next sentence: the Representatives send her back. The Representatives send the Successors back to the desert to collect more information and free the other prisoners. As part of the plan, they allow themselves to be recaptured and Gliane is prepared by the scientist to be sold. I wouldn't mind a hint of whom the scientist is going to sell her to, but it's not necessary.

The plan goes awry when Gliane discovers that the scientist has also kidnapped and poisoned her brother. In his pain he begs his sister to put him out of his misery.

Vengeance nestles around Gliane’s heart and she’s willing to do anything to satisfy its hunger.
I'm not a fan of this sentence. I'd prefer the stakes to be clearer. eg. Gliane must choose between taking the vengeance she hungers for or rescuing the remaining prisoners. But better written than that.

So I think you're pretty much there, and obviously my changes are suggested only eg. I just noticed I added the word 'awry', which you already use further down in the query. Good luck with the final coat of polish.

Netti
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Re: A Touch of Madness

Post by Netti » March 30th, 2011, 8:31 am

Query 1:
When Gliane and her comrades are sent by her planet’s Representatives on a simple fact-finding mission to the Maircla Desert everything quickly goes wrong.

A scientist injects Gliane with a formula which makes anyone who touches her literally go mad. She accidentally uses her new power to escape and free her surviving comrades.

The Representatives send the Successors back to the desert to collect more information and free the other prisoners. As part of the plan, they allow themselves to be recaptured and Gliane is prepared by the scientist to be sold.

The plan goes awry when Gliane discovers that the scientist has also kidnapped and poisoned her brother. In his pain he begs his sister to put him out of his misery.

Only revenge can ease Gliane's grief but it could also cost her future.


Query 2:
It was supposed to be a routine, fact-finding mission. No danger involved.

Gliane arrives in the Maircla Desert without a problem and is quickly captured. She soon finds herself at the mercy of a scientist who injects her with a formula which makes anyone who touches her literally go mad

The deal is supposed to be her brother’s safety for her cooperation- except Gliane’s brother has already been poisoned. As he’s dying, slowly and painfully, he begs his sister to put him out of his misery.

When Gliane was sent on the mission she never thought she’d end it by killing her brother then getting revenge by murdering the crews of two spaceships.

But she does.


Alright, let me know which is better. I really do appreciate all the help but I've written ten queries/drafts so I think after this I'm going to take a break from it because I'm just getting frustrated.
"It's kind of shocking to hear Toby called a babe; sort of like calling God a studmuffin."
- Margaret Atwood, Year of the Flood

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Bron
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Re: A Touch of Madness

Post by Bron » March 30th, 2011, 11:39 pm

I prefer Query 1. And I know what you're going through with the frustration. You could send a couple of queries out now and see what sort of response you get. By the time you get replies, or write them off as not interested, you should be fresh enough to revise if needed. Just a suggestion though.

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wilderness
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Re: A Touch of Madness

Post by wilderness » March 31st, 2011, 8:18 pm

I actually like your second version better. It has a good voice to it. It needs to be polished and have typos fixed, but it feels stronger to me. The ending is very gripping too.

If you're getting frustrated, do take a break. Maybe when you come back to it you'll have a fresh approach! :) Good luck!

AllieS
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Re: A Touch of Madness

Post by AllieS » April 5th, 2011, 6:36 pm

I also like the second one better, probably for the way it introduces the brother earlier on. I would switch up the beginning of that second to last line, though. The way it starts sounds as if it's supposed to be the first line in the query. Also, you end the query with her getting revenge, so what is there left for me to look forward to? Does she want to get more revenge, like on the scientist? I'd add that in there as well.

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