Saturday, September 22, 2007

Query 7: Can You Spare Some Brains?

To ensure her king's throne, Gina must trust a traitor.
Good first sentence.
She faces this quandary in GOOD NIGHT, ODILE, a 65,000 word upper-YA fantasy that will appeal to fans of THE ILLUSIONIST and Tamora Pierce's early quartets.
Conceivably achievable comparisons.
Nineteen-year-old Gina is renowned as a powerful sorceress and a promising justice keeper. It falls to her to swiftly stop a rebellion.
Just a little more background here, please.
She enlists the assistance of Sam, a sorcerer destined for a traitor's execution. Bound by magic and law, Gina abhors Sam's crimes, but must see beyond his failings to work with him. Their uneasy alliance forged, the traitor and his keeper invade the rebellion's fortress.
Interesting dynamic. But overly arch phrasing.
Their assault is meeting with success until Sam betrays his word and turns on Gina,
Who would have seen that coming?
breaking her spine and rendering her body useless.
I didn’t see that coming. The main character’s now a quadriplegic? I don’t suppose this fantasy land has electric wheelchairs?
He has fought for the rebellion all along. Intent on serving justice to the traitor, Gina becomes one with her power to slip into his soul.
What? I hope this sounds less invasion-of-the-body-snatchers in your manuscript. Your heroic main character is leaving her own body to slip inside other people’s bodies? Creepy.
There she discovers her mistake in judging him: magical threads surround Sam's soul, trapping the true Sam in a web of servitude.
Oh, for f***’s sake.
If she can free his soul, Gina both rights her mistake and cripples the rebellion. She weaves her power between the binding threads and shreds them, but Sam grows weaker with every cut. Gina herself is slipping away to the immortal realm, but she must free Sam in time or his death will leave the rebellion unimpeded, and this time, she won't be alive to challenge it.
So they both die? I guess there won’t be a sequel.
I am currently working on the sequel to GOOD NIGHT, ODILE
But your main characters are dead. Do they re-inhabit their dead bodies and go on a zombie killing spree? Which side of the rebellion are zombies on?
and a YA contemporary novel. The complete manuscript of GOOD NIGHT, ODILE is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

8 comments:

Angela said...

EA or somebody-- What's overly arch phrasing?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the query said they both died--it said if she didn't save him in time he would die. Since there's a sequel, I'm guessing she saved him. It's less clear about what happened to her--since she was already slipping toward the immortal realm.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how comments such as "The main character’s now a quadriplegic? I don’t suppose this fantasy land has electric wheelchairs?" are funny or even helpful. They seem unprofessional and in poor taste.

Anonymous said...

So when the author says, "I am currently working on the sequel to Good Night Odile and a YA contemporary novel," is that last part "in case you aren't grabbed by this premise, but are intrigued enough to see more of me/my work?" Is it necessary to state you have other things in progress or completed, or would an editor or agent go ahead and ask for something else without mention of a file of manuscripts?

ae said...

Anon 2:42. Why is it poor taste? I don't see humorous intention. And how are they unprofessional?

There is no poor taste here to my liking...because

there is nothing derogatory or disrepectful here.

Just two sentences...nothing implied.

Anonymous said...

ae -- it's in poor taste beacause what is the author supposed to DO with those comments? Change her story so the character's spine isn't broken? Reword the line? If so, how? There's a basic lack of instruction of ANY kind.

For some of the rest of the queries I can see some merit of EA's comments. But these don't seem very helpful, simply because, how is she supposed to have a clue how to go about revising her query based on the (supposedly) humorous slams?

(and no, I'm not the author)

2readornot said...

For something like this (a query study, of sorts), what's helpful, imo, is hearing how various aspects of the query (and the story) strike a reader -- so I think that although some of the comments may seem harsh to the authors (and a few others), some of us look at it and realize that every reader is going to have different reactions, and it's good to know the range of what some of those might be.

In other words, it is helpful to hear even 'snarky' thoughts because there will be days when every agent/editor will be in that kind of mood -- and perhaps we can change the queries a little to forestall those reactions...perhaps.

Tori said...

Believe it or not, this made me smile all day yesterday. A few things that I wondered about were answered, and I have some ideas about how to improve my query. An informative experience, overall.

anon 2:19 and anon 2:42, thank you for your support and comments. They were of great help.