Jan 24, 2011

QUERY: Nephilim Wars: The Formation of the Human Alliance (First Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Thanks for all the input! I focused much more on the characters and their actions this time.

Dear [Agent],

The enemy that created him has cursed the powerful wizard, Master Tigon, with long life. This power has allowed him to watch civilizations rise and fall. Now it’s humanities turn.

Determined not to let this happen he travels to Atala, an ancient castle and home to the mighty Centaurs. There he finds Deminar, warrior prince and last hope of the world. Together the old wizard, the hero prince of Atala, and two Royal guards embark on a journey through an ancient portal to a foreign land. They travel to present day Earth.

After going above and beyond the call of duty to rescue the president, Captain Nolan Fields of the US Marine Corps is given a new company to command, Alpha Company First Recon Division, the best of the best. This company of Marines will join the knights on their journey and will be the first envoys to a new world. They will be part of the Earth’s First Contact with an alien civilization.

But, First Contact is a disaster. The team of marines is ambushed, some of them captured. Now Captain Fields and Prince Deminar must battle against two technologically advanced races; the unstoppable horde of the space-dwelling Nephilim and the Nano-machine powered Neila. But to save this planet these two soldiers from different worlds must unite humanity, for if they fail Earth will be next.

Nephilim Wars: The Formation of the Human Alliance is a complete Science Fiction / Epic Fantasy Novel at 140,000 words, with a complete blend of swords, sorcery, castle sieges, space battles, and modern warfare. This is my first attempt at publication.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Stephanie Lorée said...

Joshua: You need to take the time and read the available material on creating a query. See links to the right sidebar of this blog ---->.

You need to focus on one character, not an entire group, and that main protagonist's journey. You can include the main antagonist, but it's better if you only have one character. Even if your manuscript has multiple PoVs, focus the query in on one.

You are obviously enthusiastic and your grammar is fine, but this is not a query. We, as critiquers, would not benefit you well until you have composed something that follows the basics. A query is a special monster all to itself, very different from novel writing.

One character. One conflict. Streamlined. Be specific, precise, and clear. What is Master Tigon "determined not to let happen"? What does he do to prevent whatever "it" is? Only one plot, no subplots. If rescuing the president doesn't have anything to do with your main character's main conflict, then cut it.

There are "templates" you can follow for first drafts of queries. Nathan Bransford has a great example here. Once you become comfortable with the boiler-plate, than you can expand and add your own creative touches. Keep in mind that this template works for a reason. As they say, if it's not broke...

Best of luck!

scott g.f.bailey said...

Who's the main character of this story? The wizard? The prince? The captain? Focus on the MC and the primary evil and write the query about that conflict. I know you want to show the epic sweep of the narrative, but the way to do that is to succinctly outline an awesome conflict.

Also, the title "Nephilim Wars" is okay (but pretty generic) while everything after the colon is pretty clunky.

Rick Daley said...

This is better than the original, but still needs to be re-worked. Take time to collect more feedback, then take time to think through the comments before re-writing the query.

In the first line, you use a pronoun before the proper noun. For clarity's sake, always introduce a character formally before shortening to a pronoun. You also use humanities (plural) when you want humanity's (possessive).

In the following paragraphs, it's hard to tell who the protagonist is. The query opens with the wizard Tigon, and he meets Deminar, and they travel to earth...but after that, the wizard is not mentioned again and Captain Fields and Prince Deminar take center stage.

You have a complex plot (which would be expected in a 140,000-word novel) and distilling it is going to be difficult.

Find a way to tell what your story is about in a single sentence, then add to that sentence until you have a 250-350 word description. If you start long and cut back, you'll always have loose threads.

I would also encourage you to revisit the manuscript and make sure it's ready to be queried. I know epic fantasy can run long, but 140,000 words is very long, and on a first novel there is a chance that not all those words are needed to tell your story. I don't want to sound discouraging, but this is a very competitive industry.

Good luck, and keep working at it.

Joshua A said...

Thanks for all the valuable input!
I will spend a while re-working it. Thanks again!

Ashley said...

It sounds interesting, but it's just a little complicated. At 140, 000 words, it's got to be difficult condensing it. But go for the most basic plot you possibly can.