Thursday, June 23, 2011

Query 82: Redux 2


Dear Mr./Mrs. AGENT NAME,

Seventeen-year-old Heiren Delaire thinks her peasant father is a fool for setting off after Erhistaut, the sword of miracles. That’s before he’s murdered by the demon Arawn.

Heiren spent her life protecting her ill father, the last living member of her family. Now she wants revenge for his death, even if it means hunting down the legendary sword, Erhistaut, to get it. Forged at the dawn of the First Age, the sword is the source of the demons’ powers. If Heiren can overcome its demonic influence, Erhistaut’s destruction will vanquish Arawn.

Arawn cares little for Heiren's quest until he realizes she is the one. The one the angels will use as their pawn and guide to the sword, ending their age-old battle. While the angels can protect Heiren from death, they can’t protect everything she loves. Arawn will torture her friends and demolish the realm of Andumir to stop her.

It’s not just about revenge anymore. The fate of a kingdom rests in Heiren’s hands. She presses onward even though she knows the moment she touches Erhistaut, the demons will come back. All of them.

ERHISTAUT is a 73,000-word fantasy novel for young adults. Thank you for your time and consideration.



This revision reads much better. The author has obviously put a lot of constructive thought into it and it shows!

The only quibble I have is in the last descriptive paragraph. I think maybe we need to know that she can’t defeat the demons until they’re back in this world. That she has to lure them all back in order to destroy them when she destroys the sword – if that’s the case. But if she’s the angels’ pawn, does she really know that touching the sword will bring back the demons?

You can fudge details a bit in the query to simplify things at need, of course. But her knowing and being a pawn seem to contradict each other.

Do realize that I’m reading quite closely here, though, and it may not seem such a quibble on a quick read before the agent glances at the accompanying page samples.

OK, I lied. I do have one more quibble: “the last living member of her family” isn’t quite accurate since Heiren’s alive too. Maybe “the only other living member” instead?

Aside from those small issues, I think this is ready to take out for a test drive! Good job!


Anonymous said...

Much better! The only quibble I had was if she had spent her life "protecting her ill father", how did he get away from her to go hunting down this sword?

Also no need to call it legendary sword in the second paragraph since its already said in the first. :-)

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Love the rework, flows. Fix the yangers mentioned and I do believe you're good to go.

Gotta love it when a plan comes together. Congrats.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yes. Much better. Awesome job!

vkw said...

Much better but there is some repetious words in here that just makes me go bug-eyed. They stick out, maybe because I've been attacked by the same disease, (if sword works four times - why not five!)

So. . I would suggest that using sword five times and Erhistaut four times in a three-hundred word or so query is maybe excessive.

So . . .

I think you can rework some sentences and rid the query of a few swords. I would name the sword only once.

I think its an unnecessary detail to know that Heiren and her dad are the only living members of their family.

Revenge for dad's death ought to be enough, I would think. It almost makes it sound like Heiren would go happily about her business after dad's killed, if she had a brother.

I have a problem with the plot: Heiren is seeking revenge for her father's death but by doing so the demon is going to torture Heiren's friends and destroy her country.

So is Heirlen's delimma to get her revenge even if it destroys her friends and country? In other words, we are missing something important here. . . there's got to be another reason to get rid of the demon other than my dad is dead.

I always think revenge is a bad motivation for any character, (I think it's overused and in real life I don't see revenge as a primary reason for most action. I will buy, however, get him before he has a chance to hurt me again.) but in this particular case seeking revenge makes Heiren sound like a madwoman.

"I'll get my revenge for dad."
"It'll destroy your country"
"I don't care"
"Your friends will be tortured"
"I still callously don't care. I'm protected by angels. No risk to me."
"After you do this deed, where will you go, you'll be homeless, friendless, and still have no family."
"But I'll have my revenge and a demon trophy."

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Yes, repetition, I do it. I wonder why? I try but there it is, there they are. Repeaters ad nauseum.

I hate repetition and hate that I do it. Any suggestions to purge this heinous habit?

Is it possible because I do it I don't see it in other's writing? Any one up to guest post on this repetitive subject?