Monday, November 1, 2010

Query 30: Redux

The Heirs

The author says: The problem I'm facing is that now I have blown up my word count. Cripes! There is also a run-run-run on sentence in the second paragraph that I'm having trouble breaking down. Any thoughts?

Every generation of Gabriel's in the last hundred years has inherited the same birthright upon their seventeenth birthday: the innate knowledge for hunting vampires and the family to hone those gifts. But not Mia Gabriel.

After a lifetime hidden away on Maui, sixteen-year-old Mia Gabriel is orphaned when her mother unexpectedly dies of cancer, leaving her alone and oblivious to what she is. Taken in by an estranged, paternal aunt and uncle, Mia learns about her family's birthright in the dark, violent world of hunting vampires and her father’s death at the hands of the Romanian enforcer sent to the area in search of the rouge heir and son. But if Mia is sure of anything, it's that she cannot be a part of this life.

For months Mia has dated the charming, William Dubois with his unearthly gifts and a strange reluctance to meet her family that she comes to understand all too well. Mia is fated to hunt him. When Mia confronts Will, he tells her everything about his life on the run as the heir to the brutal Romanian coven.

Now Mia has to make a choice: Join the only family she has left, or stand by the vampire she knows she loves. But with no bloodlust for Will and the ability to sense people's emotions a trait common among vampires Mia may become the very thing her family hunt. The search for her great-grandmother's diary yields the information Will expected. Mia is directly descended from the last French pureblood. When the desperate French coven learns of Mia’s existence she knows that they will do anything to secure a rightful heir. Protecting Will from the coven that hunts him, and helping Mia with her family determined to keep them apart my just what their willing to do.

Thank you for considering THE HEIRS, a YA paranormal romance complete at 108,000 words.

Yours truly,

Comments

This does give us a better idea of what's going on, but you're right in that, by expanding it, it does lose a bit of its original crispness.

How does someone inherit a family at 17? If the knowledge is innate, it shouldn't make a difference whether Mia has anyone to explain things to her or not.

Why does Mia confront Will?

I'm not clear what is meant by the last two sentences. Does "when the coven learns" mean they HAVE learned of her existence, or does it mean when they learn in the future? So the French coven will a) protect Will and b) help Mia stay with Will? So what's the conflict? It still feels as though Mia and Will are pawns, not protagonists.

My Revision

My version doesn't cut the word count, which is OK as it still fits on a properly formatted page. What it does do is chop up the sentences a bit differently, giving it a little different rhythm that makes it "sound" shorter and a bit faster paced. I made up the ending because I'm still not sure what yours is. And you'll, of course, want to come up with something better than the cliches I've embedded...

By the age of 17, every generation of Gabriels in the last hundred years has claimed their birthright: the gift for hunting vampires. Except Mia Gabriel.

After a lifetime hidden away on Maui by a mother desperate to keep her daughter safe, 16-year-old Mia is orphaned when her mother unexpectedly dies of cancer, leaving her oblivious to what she is. The estranged aunt and uncle who take her in instruct Mia on her birthright in the dark, violent world of vampire hunting. Most disturbing to her is learning how her father died at the hands of an enforcer for a Romanian coven. But while a lust for revenge may be natural, if Mia is sure of anything, it's that she cannot be a part of this life.

The reason is William Dubois, a charmer with unearthly gifts and a strange reluctance to meet her family. He's also the rogue heir to the brutal Romanian coven. To Mia, who's been dating him for months, Will is breath and soul. Yet she is fated to hunt him.

Mia must make a choice: join the only family she has left or stand by the vampire she knows she loves. But with no bloodlust for Will and her ability to sense people's emotions--a trait common among vampires--growing stronger, it may well be Mia is becoming the very thing her family hunts. Her suspicion is confirmed when her great-grandmother's diary gives up its secret: Mia is directly descended from the last French pureblood, and the French coven is ready to do anything to secure a rightful heir. Caught between the Romanians closing in on Will, the French with their sights set on Mia, and a family determined to keep them apart, Mia and Will together must find a way to escape their legacy -- or die trying.

3 comments:

lexcade said...

Phoenix, I think your revision is fabulous. I've been working with the author for a while on the query, and this is the cleanest one so far. Most of what you did is tighten everything up. Kudos to the author for attempt #2 :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Your revision makes more sense to me, Phoenix.

I got lost (seems to be my morning for it).

I'm stuck on things like:
Paternal aunt and uncle clashing with Gabriel family heritage. Isn't Gabriel her father's name and family? This seems like it's mom's heritage since the pair who take her in are on dad's side and they don't know anything - except they do in Phoenix's version.

Orphaned when mom dies, but then dad dies later?

Does it matter about Maui?

What family is left? Did the aunt and uncle die? Are there people in her mother's family left?

What's with the rightful heir and why is that important?

I don't think I've read an earlier version of this, so I'm coming at it cold. There's a lot that seems to be assumed knowledge here.

Matt said...

What worries me is that the plot is a tad predictable. Don't hold back any twists if you have them.

PHX did a good job of making it read less predictable by being upfront with all the information. Instead of thinking "of course that guy's a vampire" I didn't make any assumptions because I knew what he was right away.