Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Attack my Query, Please

I decided to work on my query today and I think I'm at a place where I'd like to share it and get your suggestions on how to make it better. :)

So, feel free to attack offer suggestions to make my query better! :)


Set in the country of Menrio, seventeen-year-old Edom is hunted, simply because he was born with the gift of healing in a kingdom where healers carry a price on their heads. 

Edom is the oldest healer to survive.  He’s a protector, guarding the life of his little sister, Liora, and any other healers he can find.  The Guard won’t give up until he’s dead.  Armed with curved blades and malice in their hearts, they are always hunting to kill.  King Alined is a lecherous man, intent on the slaughter and persecution of all healers, not caring that they are children.  The healers are either hung or burned alive.  After a run in with the king, Edom kidnaps his savior and discovers that she has a secret.  She’s the princess, Dalia.  She has been raised to hate healers and is filled with contempt for her kidnapper.  Yet something made her decide to save him.  With the Guard closing in, the group travels through the mountains, desperate to escape and seeking a chance at life.  If something doesn’t change, Edom will lose everything he loves. 

NAMELESS is a YA fantasy, the first in a series of two, complete at approximately 50,000 words. 


Thank you in advance! :)

13 comments:

  1. Could probably take out that first part "set in the country of...". And that line about curved blades and malice in their hearts sounds kind of goofy. You can take out how many are in the series and don't say it's "approximately" 50,000 words; they already know it's approximate so just say 50,000 words.

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    1. Very true, thank you! That line does sound a little goofy now that I read it again.

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  2. I'm really bad at critting queries. The above poster had some good feedback, though. He's right--you don't want to mention it's part of a series. You could mention it has "series potential" (it should be a complete story on it's own). Have you taken a look at Mindy McGinnis's "Saturday Slash?" She crits queries on her blog and gives FABULOUS feedback. I HIGHLY recommend checking out her website www.writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com Good luck!

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    1. I will definitely check out her site, thank you Angela! :)

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  3. one thing that stood out it for me, is that we don't get much about who Edom is besides being a healer. And he is your MC, right? I'd like to know just something more about who he is that has nothing to do with healing

    You state at least 3 times, in different ways, that the healers are hunted and killed.

    Also, you say he is the oldest healer to survive, is that relevant to the story? Because at first I thought you meant he was the only one left, but then he is looking for others to protect? Maybe it's me, but it's confusing me a little.

    The story sounds really interesting and it's totally something I would read :)

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  4. First, I like your cover image for Nameless. Very nice.

    1) Maybe you could combine your opening line with some of the others:

    “Seventeen-year-old Edom is the oldest healer to survive in Menrio, a country where healers carry a price on their heads.”

    2) “He’s a protector, guarding the life of his little sister, Liora, and any other healers he can find. The Guard won’t give up until he’s dead.”

    Maybe reword the first sentence since you’ve used the word “guard” as a specific name in the second sentence?
    Example,
    “Edom is a protector, defending his sister, Liora, and other healers from the Guard, a malicious group that always hunts to kill, and King Alined, who wants to see all healers persecuted, then hanged or burned alive, regardless of their age.”

    3) “After a run in with the king, Edom kidnaps his savior and discovers that she has a secret. She’s the princess, Dalia. She has been raised to hate healers and is filled with contempt for her kidnapper. Yet something made her decide to save him.”

    Maybe reorder the information here?
    Example,
    “After being saved during a run-in with the king, Edom kidnaps his savior and discovers her secret: She is Princess Dalia. Having been raised to hate healers, Dalia is filled with contempt for her captor, even though something made her decide to save him.”

    4) “With the Guard closing in, *the group* travels through the mountains, desperate to escape and seeking a chance at life.

    *Maybe a little clarification here?
    Example,
    “With the Guard closing in, Edom leads his group through the mountains in a desperate attempt at escape and life.”

    Feel free to disregard any of the above suggestions. Hope this helps, and good luck! :) "Nameless" sounds like a really good story!

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  5. -I'd drop the first part 'Set in the country of Menrio'

    -'Edom is the oldest healer to survive.' to survive what?

    -too many words 'wasted' on the Guards description. Rather explain more plot. For example, 'Edom kidnaps his savior and discovers that she has a secret.' How/what did she save him from?

    -'Yet something made her decide to save him.' This feels like a POV slip. Keep it from one character's view.

    - Over all, this needs to stick more to the plot. I bet this story is pretty exciting, but that's not coming over yet.

    - 50,000 is awful light for YA.

    Take and leave what you want. Good luck with this! I'm crossing my fingers for you.

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  6. I got a little tripped up when you said he was 'guarding the life of his little sister' and then almost immediately switched over to 'The Guard' who was trying to kill him. Other than that, I liked it!

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  7. As a self-publisher, I haven't done the query thing before, so I'm not one to give advice! I've looked at the other commenters though, and they seem to have suggested a lot for you :-) Hope you can use it all! Good luck!

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  8. I agree that you need to drop the first part and you don't need to mention that healers are being hunted and killed so often. Tighten it up and ramp up the tension. Also, I'd like to know why Edom kidnaps his savior and how she saved him.

    Here's a tighter version:
    Seventeen-year-old Edom is the oldest healer in the country of Menrio where his kind are hunted and killed for their gifts. He’s a protector, guarding the life of his little sister, Liora, and any other healers he can find. King Alined is a lecherous man and intent on the slaughter of these children. After a run in with the king, Edom kidnaps his savior and discovers that she has a secret. She’s the princess, Dalia. She has been raised to hate healers, but something made her decide to save him. With the Guard closing in, Edom and his friends travel through the mountains, desperation spurring them forward. Edom must find a way to save the healers or their kind will be lost forever.

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    1. This is amazing, Christine!! :) I am definitely going to use this and modify it a little bit to add a little more about the plot and Edom, my MC. Thank you so much for your help!

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  9. Christine gave a great example! i agree with the tightening and i like the story premise!

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  10. I agree with Christine. When I read " Edom is hunted, simply because he was born with the gift of healing in a kingdom where healers carry a price on their heads." That's when I was hooked! Give your first line a little action and not so much detail and you're sure to catch someone's attention :D

    Nicely done, though!

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