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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

query #2 - Sendek revised

Alright, I've tweaked it a bit from the last time. :)

Dear _____,

Talia Shannon dreams of scaled demons attacking, hunting, and burning her world. These prophetic dreams leave her sore and wasted, but each morning the twin suns rise to heal her and erase any evidence of her injuries.

Determined to find a way to survive the coming invasion without revealing the magical source of her information, Talia searches for scientific proof of extraterrestrial life. Her work leaves no time for personal relationships, but Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a spy and Talia fits his profile. ooh! I like this!

Near one of the moons, the Draguman, a human dragon hybrid created in Sendek’s past, have returned from exile. Smarter and stronger than ever, they plan to wipe out their creators and claim Sendek for their own. As a direct descendant of the mage who created the Draguman, Talia is the key to their destruction—if she can trust the magic coursing through her veins. I almost want this last sentence in a paragraph of its own and maybe add in something about how she comes to work with Landry.

When science fails to protect her way of life, magic becomes the only hope.

SENDEK is a complete science fantasy novel of approximately 87,000 words available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Now for all you followers, especially those who saw this query last time, please comment and feel free to agree or disagree with my comments! And remember, the more people who critique the more helpful we are :)
I'll be back tomorrow to check in...

11 comments:

GigglesandGuns said...

I haven't even tried a query but this is wonderful information.
How did I miss this blog?

Huntress said...

Holy Cow!
I love that second paragraph too. Excellent throughout the rest of the query too.
I want a bit more introduction to Landry though. Just a word or two.

David Jace said...

The second paragraph actually leaves me confused. The first I'm pretty good with. It tells me of prophetic dreams, demons, and hints that she might already be fighting them in her dreams. Perhaps they are not dreams at all?

However, at that point, we leave dreams and demons behind, and encounter aliens and spies. Who is Lundry? Why is she looking for extraterrestrial life when she's dreaming about demons? Who is this a spy for? Her side? Against whom? If no one else knows of the demons, then on whom is she spying?

The third paragraph seems to be an entirely different genre/story again. I had no clue who Sendek was (later figured out it's her planet?), and suddenly, added to the demons and aliens are a genetically engineered race of dragon-humans? Ah, no, they were created by a long ago mage... that happens to be her great-x-? grandfather. Now we, as perhaps she, discover that she has magic in her veins, which she must learn to control if she is to succeed/survive.

I do love that tag line "When science fails to protect her way of life, magic becomes the only hope," but I haven't heard any hint of science in this story.

I think there's a good story here, but the details of it seem muddy. I think clarifying a couple of things would help let the creative story behind the query shine through.

Who /is/ our antagonist: demons? aliens? dragomen?

Introduce the name of the world earlier or not at all. Since it is your title, I would suggest earlier.

The angle of Landry and the spy seems not only important, but intriguing. It's something we as readers can identify with more easily than the rest. (The rest is awesome, but being able to connect is important, too.) Landry and his spy-search get one sentence. If they are important, they need more.

If this is a conflict question of the balance between science and magic, then we need to see where science fits into this world.

I hope I'm not coming across as too critical. I love the title/name of the planet: Sendek. Does it bear any relation to Maurice Sendek who wrote "Where the Wild Things Are"?

L. said...

The "demons" she's dreaming of are the dragon-men, yes? (Not sure)

Why does she need proof of extraterrestrials?

Why does Landry need a spy?

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the second paragraph! However, I would like one or two words about Landry, just a tiny introduction.

Charity Bradford said...

Thanks everyone! I'll see if I can give a bit more on Landry.

David, here is a short answer to some of your questions.

In Sendek's past the people believed and worked magic. After the creation of the Draguman they turned against magic and moved toward science. Those Draguman were exiled (the dragons sent them through a portal to another planet using their magic) and have spent thousands of years trying to get home. Sendek is now highly technological and no longer believes in magic, which is why Talia is looking for scientific proof of ET. She is dreaming about the return of the Draguman, but she doesn't know who or what they are because they have been lost to history.

Landry is nephew to the King, and bent on protecting the monarchy from a secret group not worth mentioning in the query. That group is also responsible for his father's death and he thinks Talia might be their spy at the Space Exploration Foundation. Of course she's not, and the physical and magical connection between the two is eventually more than they can fight. (Landry has hidden magical potential as well as Talia).

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can boil THAT down to fit in the query?

Charity Bradford said...

Well, it turned out to be a long answer. :D

David Jace said...

OK, that world description helps a LOT! So much so, that I think it should be paragraph one. It really helps set the scene. So, start with something like:

In Sendek's past, the people believed and worked magic. After the creation of the Draguman they turned against magic and moved toward science. Those Draguman were exiled (the dragons sent them through a portal to another planet using their magic) and have spent thousands of years trying to get home. Sendek is now highly technological and no longer believes in magic. By the way, what happened to the dragons?

Now bring in Talia, but forget this demon thing for the query. Talia is supposed to be the confused one, not the reader. (And certainly not the agent!)

Talia Shannon dreams of these forgotten misshapen humans attacking, hunting, and burning her world. These mysterious, prophetic dreams leave her sore and wasted, but each morning the twin suns rise to heal her and erase any evidence of her injuries. Unless she awakes, sees wounds, and then the sunlight falls on her and heals them, I would rephrase like this: each morning the twin suns rise without any evidence of her injuries. Talia searches for a way to survive the coming invasion without revealing the magical source of her information.

Now we need Landry.

Landry, nephew to the King, is bent on protecting the monarchy from a secret group that is responsible for his father's death. When he suspects Talia might be their spy at the Space Exploration Foundation, the physical and magical connection between the two is eventually more than they can fight.

Now your rising climax:

Near one of the moons, the Draguman, a human dragon hybrid created in Sendek’s past, have returned from exile. Smarter and stronger than ever, they plan to wipe out their creators and claim Sendek for their own. As a direct descendant of the mage who created the Draguman, Talia is the key to their destruction—if she can trust the magic coursing through her veins

And the big finish:

When science fails to protect her way of life, magic becomes the only hope.

SENDEK is a complete science fantasy novel of approximately 87,000 words available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

David Jace said...

That post was less confusing when it had color. I'm jealous. I want some color, too!

Tara Tyler said...

the revisions are great, i would start sending it. then tweak and send more...
great!

mshatch said...

oh thank you everyone for commenting! This is exactly what we all need :)