Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Query Critique?

If anyone wants to take (another) shot at critiquing my draft query letter, a new version is below: have at it!

You're not obliged, of course. I thank anyone who has a comment to make, good or bad, and I understand completely if you would rather not comment at all. If you would like me to critique something for you in return, just ask; I would be delighted to.

Also, feel free to post anonymously if you really want to rip it up. I welcome (and listen to) all constructive criticism, even that which leaves my ego sobbing in the corner and double-fisting chocolate bonbons. :-)

My concerns: I don't have much sense of place here. I also, to quote from the very wise Conduit's comment on the Crapometer, don't really fill in all the elements of the "(Protagonist's Desire vs Antagonist's Counter-Desire = Conflict) x Plot = Story" equation. The problem is, there are various antagonists throughout the book who have significant counter-desires, but you never actually get to meet the Big Bad Wolf. I promise it works, because the MC has conflicts with nearly every human she runs across, including her side-kick. The Big Bad Wolf, on the other hand, doesn't even have a personality, which is why it stays on the sidelines.

Anything you want to add to my list of problems? Or advice on how to address these? I have tried to deal with the concerns expressed on the Crapometer but am unsure how successful I've been.

Thanks again for any comments you care to make; I very much appreciate them!

Dear (Agent name),

Allied with enemies and navigating a tangle of her own lies, a dark-hearted princess hitches her worst impulses to her best ones and finds the heart and potency to battle a demon.

(Personalised paragraph)

Rage curled a fist inside Katirin's heart the day she was forced into a convent so her half-sister could ascend the throne. When a fellow disciple convinces Katirin the convent's priestesses are possessed by a soul-stealing demon that threatens their nation, Katirin aims her rage: she vows to act like the queen she'll never be by killing the demon and saving her people from its predations.

Lies and blackmail cement her family's ire and get her out of the convent. Outright treason destroys her last chance at the throne but deposits Katirin in an enemy nation where she can find useful allies.

The first is a prince as sexy as he is dangerous; Arkadiy wants Katirin to assassinate her family in payment for his help. His carnal relish is offered free. The second is the wizard Lethan, who intends to use the demon to attack his fellow wizards. When he learns Katirin wants to destroy his means to power, Lethan's mercurial temper will turn murderous.

As Katirin dismantles her conscience to save her nation, she learns that a queen always sacrifices something of herself for her people, and that a throne taken away can also be earned back.

DARK HEIR is a 94,000 word fantasy. The full manuscript is available upon request and I have enclosed an SASE for your reply. Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.


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