Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Saturday Slash

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.

We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.

If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in green.

In Mithos, where white magic is fueled by purity and black magic by passion, True Love is known as the Intolerable Sin. It’s the most unstable and dangerous source of magic in the world. The punishment is simple: a quick death. Oooo, this sounds pretty fascinating. 

Martia is a Love Child, the daughter of True Lovers. Raised within the walls of Siris Academy, she’s been taught to hate both True Love and herself. Now that she’s graduated, Martia is out in the real world, doing what the Academy trained her to do: assassinate those who’ve committed the Intolerable Sin. Looking good so far. 

Then she meets her True Love, Narin. Martia refuses to fall under the lulling spell of the Intolerable Sin. She knows a mere caress between True Lovers could send out a flare capable of eating through skin and bone. But Narin's kind words and gentle smiles maybe not plural for "smiles" make Martia wish she could be more than a brutal executioner. When the Academy discovers her crime, she has a choice. Follow her training and kill Narin, or give into the black magic that betrays her past and risks her future.

This is a really, really good query. I honestly don't have anything to add. Your concept is interesting and seems original. The only thing I'd consider adding is possibly stating whether your MC begins to doubt whether her crime of love is actually a sin or not. She doesn't seem to be questioning her training, just whether or not to follow it.

2 comments:

Tiffanie Lynn said...

Thanks, Mindy! You don't know how happy I am to hear this. The query trenches can be a very depressing place :D

Mindy McGinnis said...

Tiffani - I know it! I don't think you'll be there long though!