Sep 4, 2010

Query - The End Begins (4th Revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.

Dear Editor/Agent,

The End Begins follows Rai coping as the only sorceress among a human population during a time of war. To private special interests, she offers herself as a mercenary to gain knowledge of the world around her so she can reunite with her father; lost in a dystopian United States.

For her latest assignment she must reach the Source of Sentient Free Will and protect it from the C.U.T. an invading enemy force taking control of alien technology as they conquer the country settlement by settlement.

But the population of non-human anomalies is growing and forces C.U.T. to go after the coveted Artifact ahead of their schedule. And they will take down anyone in their path to reign control over the population.

Against an army, aided by pockets of residential resistance, Rai must navigate dangerous territory while racing against C.U.T. for the sake not only of her own personal peace, but for the dying country whose life continues to be sucked dry.

The End Begins is a 120,000 word science fantasy story with sample chapters available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.


Zee Lemke said...

I'm not sure I can help you here. The problem might be that I don't like the underlying concept.

Are you writing this to tell a story or to Write A Big Novel About Everything? It feels dangerously like the latter.

Then there are little things, like how to use semicolons and "reign" being an intransitive verb.

Unknown said...

Hey Zee, not sure what you mean by Write a Big Novel about Everything. I feel the story is there, though with this version I tried to project something bigger, or more dynamic, while being as precise as possible. I may have overstepped a little.

Zee Lemke said...

Coming at it from a different direction, let me list some elements:

1) Sorcery
2) Dystopia
3) United States
4) Aliens
5) Adam's apple
6) Invading government
7) Mutants?

That is too many. One of those is a setting; two is a science fantasy setting. Even the wonderful Canticle for Leibowitz only had religion + post-apocalypse + mutants. You're getting into comic book territory, here. I'm wondering whether you could possibly do anything interesting with all of those in 120k words (or 300k ftm), or whether you're introducing a new element every twenty pages as a crutch instead of using an existing element. Same goes for Rai's adventuring party.

Don't know what to tell you. I can sentence-edit your query all you want. I'm not sure this project can be saved. You might have to chalk it up to experience and write another book. You might try writing the sequel as a stand-alone, and if that works then you can sell this one afterwards.

Stephanie Lorée said...

So, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with Zee on this. I like the premise a lot. I find the setting and general idea very engaging.

I will say, however, that this version of the query seems off. There are redundancies that I would cut. There's some word choices that I feel are problematic, and may hint at a larger problem in the MS.

There is a lot going on, and I think that's because the story is far-reaching. Science fantasy usually is. There is still a need to pare down and focus on the character's personality and main conflict.

Fortunately, all those things can be fixed.

At this point, I recommend throwing this out and starting from scratch. Take your main ideas and form new sentences using Rai's voice and the novel's style. Focus on clarity and avoid repetition, such as "a time of war" and "dystopian US," which is rather redundant.

I know it seems like a lot of work. Something is missing here though, and I just can't put my finger on it.