Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My query is drowning in suck

It doesn't matter how I change it at this point, my query for The Taste of Magic still reads like one of the fake plots over at Evil Editor. Its suckiness is compounded by the fact that I left my writing notebook at work this afternoon, so below is the typed-from-memory updated version of the query. Please tell me what the hell I can do to make it less sucky. I'm trying to downplay the vampires, without much luck since the whole plot revolves around them.

Analefa Miradwen has spent the last ten years avoiding vampires and the Carafell city guard. She's not happy to learn she's attracted the attention of both, though, when a vampire mage named Magnus tries to abduct her. Magnus wants Ana's blood for its rare magic-enhancing properties, while the king's enforcer, Vincent Ondarr, wants to lock Ana in the Tower of Justice for her own protection.

Since Ana can't abide enclosed spaces--like jail cells--she takes refuge with her troll friend Ash. She figures no one will look for her in the troll section of Carafell, leaving her free to investigate the strange dormant spell in a friend's new tattoo. But when she meets Rafael, leader of a group of half-breed mages who all have the same tattoo, Ana realizes there's more going on in her city than even Vincent knows.

If Ana wants a normal life again, she's going to have to deal with Magnus herself. To do so, she needs the help of Ash, Rafael, and even Vincent--and she's not sure who she can really trust.


Aaron Polson said...

I'm not sure I would be much help, but I feel the query misses all the racism / classism inherent in the book (based on your previous post).

I'm quoting your post: "Ana (female!) is a half-breed elf in a society that considers half-breeds second-class citizens--but even half-breeds have things good compared to trolls..."

I want to see this worked into the query. That, to me, sings out "hook".

Everyone loves an underdog. Prop up Ana as the biggest half-elf underdog this side of, well, New Zealand. ;)

Good luck.

BT said...

I think Aaron has the right of it. Maybe you need to list out all the underlying themes you're trying to work with and put them alongside major turning points. Include the central question and add water as desired.

Too be honest, I find it difficult to be helpful with queries unless I've read the work.

Maybe the Queen of queries will stop by - Carrie??

Cate Gardner said...

I think maybe you mention too many people in the query - especially the last line (maybe you could change it to friends?). I also agree with what Aaron said.

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks, guys, that's already helping. I was trying to keep the emphasis away from vampires and healing, but obviously I'm going to have to go back to those two things since they're the core of the plot.

The half-breed rights/troll rights issues come up in the next book and not so much in this one. On the other hand, it is important to the plot and Ana is definitely an underdog.

Hmm. I have an idea for what to bring out in the query. I'll go work on it.

Carrie Harris said...

I'm not the Queen of Queries! I'm the NINJA. ;)