Monday, January 10, 2011

Query 32 : Re-redux

Eyes of Stone
(originally titled All Things Together for Good)

Anaiiya is a monster. She just doesn’t know it until the deranged Queen, seeing only traitors in every species that isn't human, hires a group of ‘pro-human’ fanatics to destroy the gargoyle tribe who adopted Anaiiya. Panicked at the thought of losing the only family she’s ever known, Anaiiya blacks out—and awakens covered in the blood of thirty men with no memory of how it happened.

The battle and the bloodshed awaken something in Anaiiya. Now the river boils when she sings and drops of blood show her visions and play symphonies only she can hear. Her burgeoning powers are accompanied by a bloodthirsty darkness within her, which Anaiiya ignores so she can use her abilities to defend her beloved tribe.

But Anaiiya’s attempts to save her family draw the attention of far more dangerous creatures than militant humans or mad Queens. Now beings of dark magic use the gargoyles as pawns to control Anaiiya and the powers she is only beginning to understand. The last gargoyle tribe is in greater danger than ever, and only Anaiiya can save them—if the darkness growing like a cancer within her soul doesn't destroy them first.

EYES OF STONE is a 109,000-word fantasy.

Comments

Much better title!! And I think placing the focus so tightly on Anaiiya and her gargoyles has helped this query a lot.

I'm not so sure leading off with "Anaiiya is a monster" works, mainly because the reader has no grounding yet whether this is meant to be figurative or literal. Maybe a reversal here would work better? See what you think in my version.

I also think with this tighter focus, adding in the fanatics is noise. And the way it's written, it seems Anaiiya blacks out because she panics, which I don't think is quite what you want to convey.

My Version

Anaiiya's always known she's human. Even living among the last of the gargoyles the certain knowledge of who and what she is has always been with her. But when a deranged queen who sees only traitors in every non-human species launches an attack on the gargoyle tribe, Anaiiya discovers a dark truth: there's a monster inside her waiting for the right trigger to free itself. Seeing her family assaulted, she blacks out -- and awakens covered in the blood of thirty men, with no memory of how it happened.

Now the river boils when she sings and drops of blood show her visions only she can see. The thing within, the thing she is, overwhelms with a bloodthirsty darkness that demands to be sated. Flexing her newfound powers, she turns them to defending her beloved tribe.

But Anaiiya's attempts to protect her family draw the attention of far more dangerous creatures than a mad queen and her militant army. Using the gargoyles as pawns, immortal beings of dark magic war for control of Anaiiya's powers. Because of her, the last of the gargoyle tribe is in greater danger than ever and now only she can save them —- if the darkness growing like a cancer within her soul doesn't destroy them first.

EYES OF STONE is a 109,000-word fantasy.

2 comments:

vkw said...

This is much better and more interesting. It's not quite there yet, however.

I didn't like the query starting out with Anaiiya is a monster. It was confusing to me right from the beginning.

Anaiiya, a human, living amongst the gargolyes doesn't realize who or what she is until they are attacked. Outnumbered and out armed her and her adopted family appears to be doomed until she blacks out. She awakens to find thirty dead men at her feet and the knowledge that something dark - and not fully human - has awakened inside of her.

Something like that.

I didn't like "Panicked" - that implies something far less courageous than your heroine.

Along with the development of these powers is a bloodthirty anger boiling up inside.

I didn't like "anaiiya ignores", maybe he fights to control as she defends her tribe from continuing assaults.

I didn't like "Anaiiya's attempts"

Her budding powers and success draws the attention of _______________

I wouldn't focus on the Mad Queen. She's important but she in a supporting role. I think in queries it's best just to focus on the MC and plot.

vkw

Matt said...

Much tighter, but I must confess that I went from liking this to not liking this. The premise hooked me in the initial query; a child raised by gargoyles is a great metaphor for adoption and there are a lot of psychological avenues the author could explore.

Upon reading the more accurate query, I see that this is mostly about discovering new powers and that the villain has usual motivation (Redeeming point: the queen hates these gargoyles for a sympathetic reason). Personally, I wish Ana didn't have any powers.

But, as I've said to others, I recognize that you're not here to gain the approval of a single commenter whom you've never met

Structurally, your query is sound. Using Phoenix's rewrite should net positive results.