The Desmona Child
Looking back, Marine Desmona might have done things differently.
She wouldn’t have danced with Duke Sinclair, let his cold hands touch her while his eyes absorbed light in that uncanny, lifeless way. She wouldn’t have gone to the stable alone, where he could ambush her and attempt to pry into her mind. And she wouldn’t have hesitated to escape into the trees framing Adara’s borders.
Now, locked in a magic closet and chained to a conjured bed, she has only half-hopes of being rescued. Her grieving father might end up a soulless slave to Duke Sinclair, who tormented her with scandalous caresses and cruel promises. The Duke might’ve thought immortality was valuable, but being the future bride of a madman was unappealing to her, especially if death couldn’t offer refuge.
All because she has magic, a throwback heritage from before Adaran kings burned witches.
Having the magic was bad enough – she’d be burned alive in front of cheering spectators if her powers were discovered by anyone other than the Duke – but he kept her family’s secret quiet because he wanted to use her. She was rare, a womb that could pass on magic to another generation.
Yes. If Marine had one more chance, she’d change everything. She’d escape, leave Adara behind, and head to Atlantis. There, she’d learn to be more powerful than Duke Sinclair. She could save her father.
Now, if rescued, she’d make up for her stupid mistakes.
THE DESMONA CHILD is a 85,000-word YA fantasy. The fall of Atlantis occurs in the sequel, THE DESMONA BRIDE.
This is another query revision where the structure has been completely re-envisioned and is now heading in the right direction, I think. Overall, this one entices me a lot more than the previous versions.
What doesn’t work for me are the negatives – the things Marine wouldn’t do – and the passives. By making those present and active, the query will be strengthened, I think. There’s also some tense shifting going on that needs to be cleaned up. And I think the query would be stronger if Marine wasn’t waiting around to be rescued throughout. That could be cleaned up by simply rephrasing the “Now, if rescued” phrase.
Looking back, 18-year-old Marine Desmona can clearly count every one of her stupid mistakes.
The first mistake was dancing with Duke Sinclair and letting his cold hands touch her while his eyes absorbed light in that uncanny, lifeless way. The second was going to the stable alone where he could ambush her and rape her mind. The third was not fleeing Adara and heading for Atlantis the moment she had the chance. But of course, she would never have left her father behind. Not then.
Now, locked in a magic closet and chained to a conjured bed, she can only dream of rescue from the madman who torments her with scandalous caresses and cruel promises. The sorcerer who means to make her his bride and condemn her father to a future as a soulless slave. All because she has magic, a throwback heritage from the days when Adaran kings hunted witches for sport.
If anyone other than the duke should discover her powers, they’d burn her alive in front of cheering spectators. The duke, however, doesn’t plan to give her up. No, he wants to use her. More to the point, he wants – needs – a womb that can pass on magic to another generation. That can grant him immortality.
Grabbing her one opportunity for escape, Marina rushes out of Adara and toward Atlantis, the City of Magic. There she intends to become more powerful than Duke Sinclair so she can make that sorcerer skank pay for ravaging her, body and mind. But mostly, so she can save her father.
THE DESMONA CHILD is a standalone 85,000-word YA fantasy. The sequel, THE DESMONA BRIDE, chronicles the fall of Atlantis and the crucial role Marina plays in its destruction.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Query 74: Redux 2
The Desmona Child