*Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

*Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 3rd, 2010, 12:00 am

*revised query on post 31*

Dear Ms. Agent:

After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life as a paranormal investigator. When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap the infant son of a werewolf king and turn him over to a vampire lord, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a war between two dragons.

Now Lillim must find a way to stop the ancient drake from awakening before her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, summons a meteor to destroy the drake and most of the planet’s population along with it.

Lillim desperately needs help if she plans on rescuing the werewolf’s son, stopping the vampires, and slaying a dragon, and the only person she can think of is her half-demon former lover.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel, though I have recently begun working on the sequel, THE HATTER IS MAD.

I understand that your time is both very limited and valuable and look forward to hearing from you soon. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by Lil Tailor on July 19th, 2011, 7:07 pm, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
Jessi Heinrich
Posts: 12
Joined: November 20th, 2010, 5:52 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Jessi Heinrich » December 3rd, 2010, 7:51 pm

Hi there, Lil!

I think that your query letter is written very well. It didn't feel dragged out at all, and you didn't waste your space with unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. The one thing that concerns me is that I sort of got lost in your hook. There are so many different creatures and people mentioned (vampire lords, dragons, werewolf & son), and then there are even more mentioned in the following paragraphs.

While I understand you may need all this detail to describe the setting and plot of the book, I'm mostly worried that you'll confuse your audience with this query. What does the vampire and werewolf have to do with the two dragons? Right off the bat, I'm wondering how in the world we get from one to the other, you know? Who is the antagonist in the novel - is it Warthor, the supernatural mercenaries, the vampire, the werewolf or the dragons?

User avatar
alienbogey
Posts: 32
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 12:53 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by alienbogey » December 3rd, 2010, 9:11 pm

Lil,

I question my own qualifications to critique your query, but I've done a bunch of research on 'em and wrestled through over 50 iterations of my own, plus you've posted for anyone to comment, so with that in mind please be prepared to disregard the following:


After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life as a paranormal investigator. I like this, a taut first sentence that introduces some bad guys, the protagonist, what she does, and reveals paranormal as part of the book, however 'has been eking out her life' is passive. Suggest perhaps 'Lillim Callina now ekes out her life.....'

When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap the infant son of a werewolf king and turn him over to a vampire lord, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a war between two dragons. Suggest attaching this to the previous sentence to build a paragraph

Now Lillim must find a way to stop the ancient drake from awakening before her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, summons a meteor to destroy the drake and most of the planet’s population along with it. 1. I had to look up 'drake' in the SOED as a synonym for dragon, but perhaps it's well known to fans of the genre 2. The previous sentence refers to two dragons, but this sentence talks about destroying the drake, which I strikes me as a little dissonant - perhaps 'a meteor to destroy one drake' 3. Suggest striking 'along with it' as unneeded. 4. Suggest also attaching this sentence to the previous paragraph

Lillim desperately needs help if she plans on rescuing the werewolf’s son, stopping the vampires, and slaying a dragon, and the only person she can think of is her half-demon former lover. 1. 'Lillim desperately needs help' is extremely strong phraseology, and 'if she plans' strikes me as as weakening it a lot, so perhaps 'Lillim desperately needs help if she is to rescue the werewolf's son, stop the vampires......' , which also replaces '-ing' verbs with a more forceful form. 2. '...the only person she can think of...' strikes me as a little generic for the situation, perhaps '...the only person she can call on...." 3. I like this sentence as a stand-alone, after the prior sentences were combined into a paragraph as suggested.


THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel, though I have recently begun working on the sequel, THE HATTER IS MAD. From what I have read most agents will not care about a possible sequel at this point, and certainly will not need to see its title. Suggest striking the last sentence.


FWIW, respectfully submitted.

Netti
Posts: 110
Joined: September 14th, 2010, 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Netti » December 4th, 2010, 9:27 am

Lil Tailor wrote:Dear Ms. Agent:

After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life as a paranormal investigator. When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap the infant son of a werewolf king and turn him over to a vampire lord, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a war between two dragons ("Dragons" is probably not the right word to use here. Try factions, leaders, or some other word.).

Now Lillim must find a way to stop the ancient drake (What's a "drake"?) from awakening before her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, summons a meteor to destroy the drake and most of the planet’s population along with it.

Lillim desperately needs help if she plans on rescuing the werewolf’s son, stopping the vampires, and slaying a dragon, and the only person she can think of is her half-demon former lover. Hold up! Where did the dragon come from? Now I understand the use of the word drake but the only other time you've mentioned dragons is in the first paragraph and there I thought you were just using it to illustrate the dangers of the vampire and werewolf.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel, though I have recently begun working on the sequel, THE HATTER IS MAD. You may want to mention that the current novel works as a stand alone (if it does) since this is your first novel.

I understand that your time is both very limited and valuable and look forward to hearing from you soon. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
"It's kind of shocking to hear Toby called a babe; sort of like calling God a studmuffin."
- Margaret Atwood, Year of the Flood

http://myscientificattempt.blogspot.com/

Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 4th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Thanks for all the great comments. I have revised my query.

**

Dear Ms. Agent:

After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life as a paranormal investigator. When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap an infant, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a dragon war.

Now Lillim must find a way to stop an evil drake from awakening before her ruthless former mentor summons a meteor to destroy the creature along with most of the planet’s population.

Lillim desperately needs help to rescue the child, stop her mentor, and slay a dragon, and the only person she can even think of is her half-demon former lover.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

User avatar
lyndoncr
Posts: 19
Joined: December 5th, 2010, 12:18 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by lyndoncr » December 5th, 2010, 2:16 am

I skipped straight to the rewrite so this comment is based solely on that.

I really like the sound of this, though I think the query is far too short. Can we hear a little more about the former lover? Why he's the right choice to help her out.

Also " ... meteor to destroy the creature along with most of the planet’s population." I think this could be better if you cut it at "" ... meteor to destroy the creature along with most of the planet." Just personal preference but I think it sounds a little smoother ... plus isn't that what a great dragon slaying meteor would be doing?

I don't think there's really an issue with the term Drake, most fans of the genre will know what that means.

User avatar
maggie
Posts: 50
Joined: August 22nd, 2010, 10:50 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by maggie » December 6th, 2010, 9:54 pm

This sounds interesting!
Dear Ms. Agent:

After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life as a paranormal investigator. When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap an infant, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a dragon war. Something bugs me about this last sentence. What does the baby have to do with a dragon war?

Now Lillim must find a way to stop an evil drake from awakening before her ruthless former mentor (I find myself thinking here, why does the mentor care? Who is he/she?) summons a meteor to destroy the creature along with most of the planet’s population.

Lillim desperately needs help to rescue the child, stop her mentor, and slay a dragon, and the only person she can even think of is her half-demon former lover. (Again, I'm thinking who is this former lover? Like the idea of him, but I could use slightly more description of who he is, why he's right for the job, why this is bad for Lillim...)

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Overall I agree with lyndoncr that it could use just a little more, but I think it sounds really interesting!

Joel Q
Posts: 131
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 12:11 pm
Location: The other side of Pikes Peak
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Joel Q » December 14th, 2010, 6:09 pm

I read both of your queries.
I think you went from to much info to not enough.

You don't mention the baby again, so maybe not mention it all or you'll have to tell more.
Dragons, werewolves, vampires, demons: you got it all. You just need to figure out what you can tell in a simple way, yet keep the tension and the story line in there to lead us to the story question and Lillim's choice.

JQ

Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 15th, 2010, 12:22 pm

Okay, This time I essentially rewrote it from scratch, so let me know how this seems...

Thanks for all the great comments

**
Dear Ms. Agent:

Lillim Callina should be dead. She still would be if her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, hadn’t sacrificed all of her friends to bring her back to life. Since then she’s been running from her past as a supernatural mercenary.

When she stumbles into a plot to awaken an ancient dragon, Lillim must find a way to stop an evil drake from awakening before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet.

Lillim desperately needs help to stop her mentor and slay a dragon, and the only person she can even think of is her half-demon former lover. Of course she hasn’t spoken to him since she blew a gaping hole in his chest for helping Warthor bring her back to life.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Joel Q
Posts: 131
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 12:11 pm
Location: The other side of Pikes Peak
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Joel Q » December 15th, 2010, 1:55 pm

Much better.
My only issue is this line.

When she stumbles into a plot to awaken an ancient dragon, Lillim must find a way to stop an evil drake from awakening before...

You use awaken twice.
And is the drake the dragon? (Not sure what a drake is?)
It seems the two phrases are redundant, or am I missing something?

Nice job reworking it.
JQ

Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 15th, 2010, 2:18 pm

Yeah, I didn't see that. A drake is a dragon.

It'd probably make more sense if I wrote:

"When she stumbles into a plot to awaken an ancient dragon, Lillim must find a way to stop the evil drake before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet."

Joel Q
Posts: 131
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 12:11 pm
Location: The other side of Pikes Peak
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Joel Q » December 15th, 2010, 3:57 pm

Yes, that reads better.

I know you don't want to fill the query with a bunch of info/stuff, but I read this and think I'm missing a plot point here.

I just want to clarify...
Lilliam and Warthor both want to stop the dragon?
Yet are fighting against each other?

Now you have to answer (simply) another plot question...
Who is awakening the dragon? And how are they part of the plot?

Now tie all that into a nicely written query. :-)

JQ

Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 15th, 2010, 5:25 pm

If I just wrote something like this would it be sufficient?

"When an ancient dragon awakens, Lillim must find a way to stop the evil drake before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet."


Also, is it unclear why Warthor and Lillim are both opposing each other even though they have the same goal?

Joel Q
Posts: 131
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 12:11 pm
Location: The other side of Pikes Peak
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Joel Q » December 16th, 2010, 6:41 pm

Lil Tailor wrote:
"When an ancient dragon awakens, Lillim must find a way to stop the evil drake before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet."
That's good.

Also, is it unclear why Warthor and Lillim are both opposing each other even though they have the same goal?
Correct, unclear. Not sure what we need to know about that? I'd repost ask what others think.
JQ

Lil Tailor
Posts: 38
Joined: December 2nd, 2010, 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » December 17th, 2010, 10:28 am

Newly revised

**

Dear Ms. Agent:

Lillim Callina should be dead. She still would be if her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, hadn’t sacrificed all of her friends to bring her back to life. Since then she’s been running from her past as a supernatural mercenary.

When an ancient dragon awakens, Lillim must find a way to stop the evil drake before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet.

Lillim desperately needs help to stop her mentor and slay a dragon, and the only person she can even think of is her half-demon former lover. Of course she hasn’t spoken to him since she blew a gaping hole in his chest for helping Warthor bring her back to life.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests