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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 4--The Legacy of the Eye

Title: The Legacy of the Eye
Genre: Science Fiction


Revision 1
David and Catrine were more than friends and schoolmates – they were a team. At least until the day he kissed her.

That was the day David noticed the tiny tattoo hidden in her hair. He recognized the symbol from a book that implied a single family had been ruling Demia since colonization. But David had never believed the book before – it contradicted the core principles on which the planet was founded. Demia was a school-planet. It was supposed to value merit, not birthright. How could all Headmasters have been from the same blood line?

Now David is certain Catrine is next in line for a hereditary throne that should not exist. And he is sure his own accomplishments will count for naught when the next head of the Academy is chosen. How can he love her if she represents the hypocrisy of the utopic society he had always believed in? To make matters worse, David discovers his parents are conspiring to make him king by marrying him to Catrine. He flees Demia to avoid getting involved in the planet’s politics. But he knows one more kiss is all it would take for him to relinquish his ideals. How long can he evade those who are determined to lure him home if the bait might just be more than he can resist? Or should he try to fix Demia with Catrine's help?

THE LEGACY OF THE EYE, complete at 82,000 words, is a work of social science fiction based on Plato’s Republic. I also work with science fiction in test tubes.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Original

Dear[Agent Name],

David and Catrine were more than friends and schoolmates – they were a team. At least until the day he kissed her.

That was the day David noticed the tiny tattoo hidden in her hair. He recognized the symbol from a book that implied a single family had been ruling Demia since colonization.But David had never believed the book before – it contradicted the core principles on which the planet was founded. A hereditary rule was standard everywhere else in the Tetracoil Galaxy because the other planets were commercial ventures, custom-designed for those with enough money to buy their own kingdom. But Demia was a school-planet. It was supposed to value merit, not birthright.

Now David is certain Catrine is next in line for a hereditary throne that should not exist. To make matters worse, he discovers his parents are conspiring to make him king of Demia. If only he could have told Catrine, they might have figured out a way to thwart his parents’ plan together. Instead, David feels the need to flee the planet to avoid being part of a hypocritical government.He knows one more kiss is all it would take for him to relinquish his ideals.But how long can he evade those who are determined to lure him home? The bait might just be more than he can resist.

THE LEGACY OF THE EYE, complete at 82,000 words, is a work of social science fiction based on Plato’s Republic. I also work with science fiction in test tubes.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[name]
[my contact info]

8 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

1. Love your opening paragraph. There is a lot of conflict inherent in that crossover from friends to 'more' even before I read the rest of the query.

2. Is the tattoo the eye? Trying to connect the title with the query. There is a lot of background information in this first paragraph. We don't need to know all of this in the query. Save it for the story. Try to say in one sentence why the tattoo bothered him, leaving out the hereditary rule standard for everywhere else. I don't care about everywhere else right now. Just David and Catrine and their problem. Do keep the part about valueing merit not birthright.

3. I'm a bit confused here. If they were a team, implying they were close, why wouldn't he talk to her. I need a good reason and I'm not seeing it here. He's running away because he doesn't want to be king? Or is there something deeper? Maybe he discovers he loves her and he thinks if he leaves his parents will stop plotting to kill her or something?

I can see a great story in here and your query is coming along nicely. Just a little tightening to clarify and draw me in will do it. Drop the background info and tell me why I HAVE to read this book.

Huntress said...

I boiled your query down to the essence of what seems important.

David and Catrine are more than friends and schoolmates – they are a team. At least until they kiss.
*Changed the tense-Huntress*

David noticed the tiny tattoo hidden in her hair, the symbol '...implied that a single family had been ruling Demia since colonization...'
*inside the quotes seems a little clunky. Try editing-Huntress*

Now David is certain Catrine is next in line for a throne that should not exist. Then he discovers his parents are conspiring to make him king of Demia. "...If only he could have told Catrine, they might have figured out a way to thwart his parents’ plan together..."
*This feels out of time-H*

David flees the planet.
*Insert the ‘wish I’d told Catrine’ here-H*

One more kiss is all it would take to relinquish his ideals. But how long can he evade those who are determined to lure him home? The bait might just be more than he can resist.

*love,love, love the line '...throne that should not exist...'-H*

Liz said...

I liked the revisions you made. I'm curious as to what is going to happen, and that's the whole point, right?

Patchi said...

Thanks for the comments. This workshop has been very helpful.

Loralie Hall said...

I like the way you've spun this utopia that's not what it seems. Something was tripping me up, and I've read over this several times to try and pinpoint it.

I think it's the concept of a school planet. I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around that. I understand Catrine being next in line for the throne, and David being torn between love, ideals, and the chance to make the world what he thought it was.

But is the entire planet a school? How has no one noticed before now that there's a bloodline of ascension into the 'headmaster' spot. Can a headmaster rule an entire planet? Which I guess so, if the planet is a school...

I'm sure you answer all these questions in your book, but in the query they catch me off guard. Is there a way to diminish that aspect in your query? Everything else stands fantasically to me.

Huntress said...

Love this!

You use a lot of questions in your query. Hm. Maybe one. Maybe two. But four?

Nothing wrong with them. Not a thing. If you like that many in your query, then I say keep 'em.

Patchi said...

I am worried about all those questions too. I'm considering taking the last one out and ending like I did in the original version.

mshatch said...

My comments/suggestions are in parentheses:


David and Catrine were more than friends and schoolmates – they were a team. At least until the day he kissed her. (Great opening)

That was the day David noticed the tiny tattoo hidden in her hair. He recognized the symbol from a book that implied a single family had been ruling Demia since colonization. But David had never believed the book before – it contradicted the core principles on which the planet was founded. Demia was a school-planet. It was supposed to value merit, not birthright. How could all Headmasters have been from the same blood line? (Maybe the book is more of a fairy tale – or so everyone has been led to believe? And I’ll echo x comment about how could people have not realized

Now David is certain Catrine is next in line for a hereditary throne that should not exist. And he is sure his own accomplishments will count for naught when the next head of the Academy is chosen. How can he love her if she represents the hypocrisy of the utopic society he had always believed in? To make matters worse, David discovers his parents are conspiring to make him king by marrying him to Catrine. (This sounds like one of those cases where a simple conversation could solve a lot of problems. I’d explain why that isn’t happening. And give a very good reason.) He flees Demia to avoid getting involved in the planet’s politics. But he knows one more kiss is all it would take for him to relinquish his ideals. How long can he evade those who are determined to lure him home if the bait might just be more than he can resist? Or should he try to fix Demia with Catrine's help? (See, if he and Catrine had a talk then maybe they’d both come to this conclusion together. Not having that talk is all too convenient UNLESS there is an excellent reason. Do they have a fight? Are they separated?)



Hope this is helpful.