Jan 27, 2010

Query: TEMPUS VIATOR (draft two)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

Knees bent and body poised, Rochelle was ready to pounce with her knife. She kept her gaze on the man who above all wanted her blood. Little did he know it was his that would be spilled.

Twenty year old Rochelle was warned he was coming for her. Hadrian, a tempus viator, or time traveler like herself, is threatening the very existence of their kind. He has been killing off viators one by one for the past twenty odd years. His lust for power and envy for Rochelle's unique ability to see into the past, a trait not common among the time travelers, makes her his number one priority. Rochelle, together with a group of loyal friends, set out from her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee to make the hell Hadrian's created a thing of the past. A thing that cannot be changed.

TEMPUS VIATOR is science fiction complete at 73,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Joy Wilson

3 comments:

Weronika Janczuk said...

Hi! Some feedback from an intern in publishing -

Knees bent and body poised, Rochelle was ready to pounce with her knife. She kept her gaze on the man who above all wanted her blood. Little did he know it was his that would be spilled.
This doesn't work because we have no idea what the context is, or why we should care. I can promise you that most agents will dislike this kind of opening.

Twenty year old Rochelle was warned he was coming for her. Hadrian, a tempus viator, or time traveler like herself, is threatening the very existence of their kind.
Get right into the action: Twenty-year-old Rochelle is a tempus viator, or time traveler. When Hadrian, a time traveler like herself, shows up... Don't be flowery.

He has been killing off viators one by one for the past twenty odd years. His lust for power and envy for Rochelle's unique ability to see into the past, a trait not common among the time travelers, makes her his number one priority.
The only relevant part here is Rochelle's unique power. Everything toward the beginning doesn't need to be in the query.

Rochelle, together with a group of loyal friends, set out from her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee to make the hell Hadrian's created a thing of the past. A thing that cannot be changed.
Your first paragraph also implies he dies - so why do they need to do this? Also, obviously the stake is her life, but you need to explain why we care. What kind of hell has Hadrian caused? What will happen to other time travelers if she doesn't act? Why is it her that needs to do this? How rare is her ability?

I like this story - the premise is good, and very good time travel will sell. You need to give an agent a better idea of the world/story and the threat to the main character, in some kind of more concise context.

Dominique said...

This is better, but the writing doesn't pop quite yet. Some more detail will get rid of the sparce, synopsis feeling.

How did Rochelle find out that Hadrian plans to kill her?

If he can time travel, how will they be able to stop the hell he's creating without killing him? (If their plan is to kill him, you should probably just come out and say that.)

RCWriterGirl said...

I like this better. Definitely implement some of the changes Weronika suggested. They're good points. Your story is Rochelle v. Hadrian (protagonist v. antagonist).

Again, sounds like a good story.

Lastly, quick grammar points. Should be: Twenty-year-old Rochelle (with hyphens). Also, entire query should be one tense, preferably present tense. You switch back and forth.

Good luck