Saturday, January 31, 2015

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.

Sixteen-year-olds Faerydae and Altair have spent their lives training to serve their kingdom, only to discover that their final and most important task will be to kill each other. OOoooo.... color me intrigued.

Faerydae the daughter of Tauren Lyon and Altair the son of Sabina Thren this is getting lengthy and I'm untangling things, I don't know that you need to name their parents. A family feud mention with just their family names is sufficient will be used to settle their powerful families’ long-standing feud. They will battle in the dangerous and enchanted lands of the Torrential Ruins. Stakes are high; the winner keeps their life and their family will control the throne.

The impending battle pushes the people of Aria to their breaking point. They are enraged that the two elite families' bickering continues to shape their government’s policies. As protests protests against what? The government in general or the deathmatch? begin to spark across the kingdom need some punctuation here Faerydae and Altair realize the dissidence will elicit a violent retaliation from the government. Despite their wishes, they comply with their families’ orders to go to the Ruins, hoping to calm the uprising.

Only one will be able to survive the ruins – unless they join together and spark a rebellion. Hmm.... but they're going there in order to avoid protests that could end in violent government retaliation... so how would sparking a rebellion be any different?

I like the idea and I think your hook is solid, however I think the world building and motivation could stand clarification. So the families are all part of the same world / government? And the general people are protesting against something... but I don't know what. I think I also need to know if the general public is aware of this deatchmatch, and how they are reacting to it. You're also going to need to make clear how this is different and distinct from the Hunger Games, in my opinion.

3 comments:

Jack Weaver said...

Thanks so much for the critique! I don't think it's quite like the hunger games... It's a magical High Fantasy. I think I thought to include that in the query I sent you. Nevertheless thanks so much!

Hopefully this Manuscript will be the one!

Jack Weaver said...

****Whoops. Forgot not thought in the earlier comment***

Mindy McGinnis said...

Best of luck!