Face-Lift 778: Bound and Fallen
In a world of nine squabbling gods, no one seeks to upset them. But one girl did and now she must pay.
15-year-old Ki -- who hates her new name -- must serve the most capricious, and often bored, god of the nine. Wishing she could turn back time, Ki struggles to please the whims of her new deity. Her current random mission? To train a boy nicknamed 'the Designer'. 'De' for short. It's worse than her new name.
However, Ki discovers the training is a façade. Her god, seeking amusement, has put her in the middle of a brewing god-war. De's family is supposed to be under the protection of the Sister gods, yet another god has forced his way into the house by sending a demon to possess De's father. The Sister gods and the unknown god all need De -- a Genius that could alter the balance of the pantheon -- and Ki is their best bet. Ki doesn't want De to lose his family the way she lost hers, but she doesn't want to upset the gods again either. With time running out, Ki must outmaneuver an entire pantheon to save De's life or watch as history repeats itself.
This version is also posted in the comments of the original on EE's site in case it sounds familiar to anyone.
Author, I think you're at that point in every rewrite where you've gotten a lot of feedback and you're trying to please everyone but in doing so you sort of let the query get out of control. It happens to most of us. The good news is that the NEXT version is usually head-and-shoulders above the previous versions.
Reading the first plot paragraph, I have no idea why Ki wants to turn back time. Is it because she wants to go back to a time when her parents were alive? Or because she just wants to go back to a time when it wasn't the capricious god she was serving? Was she serving another god previously if this is a new one for her? Do people get shuffled from one god to the next in this world?
I'd also like to get a better sense of De. In this version, "boy" could well mean an 8-year-old. If he's a hottie love interest, let's hear it up front. He's also referred to as "Designer" and "Genius". Too many handles that aren't explained -- stick with just one for better reader comprehension. Also, I still don't know what "training" means.
Your second plot paragraph is, unfortunately, still not very clear, IMO. I'm confused as to how De's life is in danger if all the gods need him and why they need Ki at all. And your stakes seem to switch from saving De's family to saving De's life. I'm also unclear if any of the gods are "good" gods. Is the main struggle humans against gods or gods against gods? Lots of extranneous words, I think, are getting in the way of a succinct summary. See if you can pare it down.
My Revised Version
In a world with nine squabbling gods, no one can afford to upset them. But one girl does and now she must pay.
15-year-old Ki serves the most capricious of the gods. Not by choice -- it's her punishment for [trying to stop the gods from killing her parents when she accidentally interferes with a divine bet]. Wishing she could turn back time, Ki struggles to please her new deity. Her current random mission? To train some boy in the art of [servitude]. The problem? The 'boy' is two years older than her and annoyingly attractive in that "how can I even concentrate when I'm in the same room with him" kind of way. Oh, and his new nickname, De, is even worse than hers.
Then Ki discovers the training angle is just a ruse; her trickster god has placed her smack in the middle of a brewing god-war. It seems De is a Genius -- born with the ability to [XXX], which could alter the balance of the pantheon. When one of the gods uses a demon to infiltrate De's family, the boy [abandons good sense and swears revenge]. Afraid to upset the gods a second time yet unwilling to watch De and his family end up like hers, Ki must find a way to outwit an entire pantheon and keep De from repeating her own gut-wrenching mistakes before it's too late.
Complete at 80,000 words, BOUND AND FALLEN is either a standalone YA fantasy novel or the first in a trilogy that [fouses on your theme or world]. I look forward to sending you the completed manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Query Revision 14
Face-Lift 778: Bound and Fallen