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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 2--Golden Dawn

Title: Golden Dawn
Genre: Paranormal


Revision 2
Herald, eldest son of a bloodthirsty strigoi, endured two centuries of hell before escaping into the human world. He watched, helpless, as his twin brother was murdered by the very villagers his father insists on raiding. Though he has reservations about his father's human-only diet, Herald has nevertheless devoted all of his 1100 years towards protecting his family from outsiders.

Bewildered by his orders to guard the giant crystal held within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to hold the spirit of an angel. She is his father's failed attempt to gain true immortality. One he cannot be rid of. Breaking the crystal would free her, but the un-contained magic would level their sheltered valley. Herald's deranged sister doesn't care. She'd rather risk destruction than let the angel influence another sibling.

When the angel's continued existence becomes more important to Herald than his siblings, it results in that sister's death and his banishment. But the angel has taken mortal form in preparation to leave this world and her immortal-gifting blood is free for the taking. Now Herald must decide whether his true loyalty lies with his family or his heart. Either choice will demand death. Only the right path will ensure the life taken is not his.

GOLDEN DAWN, complete at 33,000 words and the first in a trilogy of novellas, is a Paranormal with romantic elements, loosely set in the 1500’s.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Revision 1

Herald, eldest son of a blood-thirsty strigoi, has endured two centuries of hell before escaping into the human world. He has seen his twin brother murdered by the very villagers his father insists on raiding. Though he has reservations about the necessity of his father's human-only diet, Herald has nevertheless devoted all of his 1100 years towards protecting his family from outsiders.

Bewildered when his father orders him to be the next guardian of a giant crystal held within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to be imbued with the spirit of an angel. His father's failed experiment to gain true immortality and now a liability he cannot be rid of, for breaking the crystal will level their sheltered valley. While he keeps her safe from his deranged sister, the angel helps him see the reality of his life.

When putting the angel's continued existence over the lives of his siblings ends in a sister's death, he is banished to his old duties. But the angel has taken mortal form in preparation to leave this world, leaving her immortal-gifting blood free for the taking. Now Herald must decide whether his true loyalty lies with his family or his heart. And soon, for while either choice will demand death, only the right path will ensure the life taken is not his.

GOLDEN DAWN, complete at 33,000 words and the first in a trilogy of novellas, is a Paranormal with romantic elements, loosely set in the 1500’s.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Original

Herald, eldest son of a blood-thirsty strigoi, has survived two centuries of hell. He has seen his twin brother murdered by the very villagers his father insists on harvesting, despite Herald's reservations on the necessity of a human-only diet. And he has devoted all of his 1100 years towards protecting his family from outsiders.

Bewildered when he is ordered to guard a giant crystal within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to be imbued with the spirit of an angel. One who, beyond being enchanting, helps him see the reality of his life. But it is his growing love for her that will endanger everyone.

His sisters intend on breaking the crystal, to rid them of the ‘poison’ that is the angel’s love for her guardian, and its destruction shall level their sheltered valley. Herald must decide whether his true loyalty lies with his family or his heart. And soon, for while either choice will demand death, only the right path will ensure the life taken is not his.

GOLDEN DAWN, complete at 33,000 words and the first in a trilogy of novellas, is a Paranormal with romantic elements, loosely set in the 1500’s.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

10 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

There isn't a lot to say for this one, so I'm just thinking out loud... Here's what I get:
character: Herald is like a vampire? He doesn't agree with his family's methods.
Conflict: with his family
Choice: choose his family's lifestyle or the love of the girl in the crystal--death is in here somewhere too.

Paragraph 1--can you find another word to replace "and" at the beginning of the last sentence. Ex. "nevertheless, he has..." The sentence before shows he doesn't agree with his father and the two thoughts don't really go together.

Why is Herald asked to guard the crystal? There needs to be a solid reason or this feels convenient.

How is this angel's love a poison? Just curious.

:) This sounds like it would be a fun read!

Huntress said...

He has seen his twin brother murdered by the very villagers his father insists on harvesting, despite Herald's reservations on the necessity of a human-only diet.
*this needs broken up. Three actions take place in this sentence: his brother was murdered, his father is still alive and munching on the villagers, and Herald doesn’t like his diet-Huntress*


I've cut some of the phrases down to what interests me:
Ordered to guard a giant crystal within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to be imbued with the spirit of an angel. One who helps him (to) see the reality of his life. But his love for her will endanger everyone.

*The last paragraph needs some editing for clarification. "His sisters decide to break the crystal rather than allow the 'poison' to infect their brother. But its destruction would level the valley." - Meh. Something like that-Huntress*

Amanda Foody said...

Your first paragraph needs to be clearer, because I'm not positive exactly what Herald is exactly. You say he wants to protect his family, but you show conflicts with his father and sisters throughout the query, so it's hard to see exactly why he is so loyal to them.

Your second paragraph is very vague. What are the realities of his life? And your last sentence is also a little vague because you don't say exactly HOW this will endanger everyone. And why must he protect the crystal at all?

In your third paragraph, are you saying that love is poison to them? You also mention the valley, but I'm a little confused about the setting. Is this valley in hell? If so, make the valley part of your first paragraph. The conflict you set up is really good, but the wording of your hook sounds a little bumpy to me.

I really like the idea of having a demon-like creature as your MC. Just a note: you say it's paranormal, but it seems more like fantasy to me. Good luck!

Loralie Hall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loralie Hall said...

(posted this in the wrong place. Oops)
I see a great story in this query, but it feels like the prose and grammer need a little tightening.

I can infer what a strigoi is from context, but I don't know up front. That distracted me until I figured it out. Edit suggestion: despite Herald's reservations about the necessity of a human-only diet.
The last sentence feels out of place in this first paragraph.

In the second paragraph, the first sentence is worded awkwardly. Who orders him there? Has no one ever done it before? Why is he bewildered. Those aren't all questions that need to be answered, if the sentence is more like Harold's father orders him to guard a giant crystal within the castle, but Harold doesn’t expect it to be imbued with the spirit of an angel.

I like the idea that he's falling in love with this trapped creature, and that she's changing his world view. It's a good hook for conflict.

In the third paragraph, Harold's sister's want to destroy the crystal. I understand why they want it destroyed, and why Harold doesn't want it destroyed. That all makes sense. But if destroying it will level the entire valley, why doesn't Harold just tell them that and be done with it? The leveling the entire valley threat threw the stakes out of whack for me.

Overall, great premise, and I like the idea of the anti-hero torn between protecting good and evil ^_^

Huntress said...

Good catch, Loralie. Since I am a fan of Vampire Academy, I knew what a strigoi was and didn't even twitch an eye when I read it here.

Jeannette said...

I understood the conflict and followed the logic quite well. I knew what a strigoi was too, so depending on who you query, more explanation may not be necessary there.

My hang up was on the second line. "He has seen his twin brother murdered by the very villagers his father insists on harvesting, despite Herald's reservations on the necessity of a human-only diet." Can you tighten this up a bit? There was a lot happening and I had to read it twice, but I like where you were going with it, trying to introduce his character and situation. Good luck!

Aldrea Alien said...

Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Hopefully my revision has touched on most of the points made. ^_^

Huntress said...

IMHO, the second version still has problems with grammar and style.

Example. These two lines from the second paragraph are *sigh* clunky.
"His father's failed experiment to gain true immortality and now a liability he cannot be rid of, for breaking the crystal will level their sheltered valley. While he keeps her safe from his deranged sister, the angel helps him see the reality of his life."

'Clunky' is difficult to define and often subjective so don't take my crit too much to heart.

Write, revise, stand back and look at it. Rinse and repeat.

Keep in mind that crits might confuse more than help.

Aldrea Alien said...

Yeah nah, I've been working to declunkify it.