Friday, August 9, 2013
Friday Freeday: Revising a Query.
(It's crazy that Friday is already here. Just Wednesday, I was grumbling that the next day would only be Thursday. Time is so odd.) Last night I finally finished my latest revision on Save the Queen, and the next step will be to collect some beta readers and query agents. Because the latest revision of my query needs more work, I thought I would go ahead and post what I had posted to my AQC SpecFickers and do a "live" correction blog. (Long post ahead.)Here is what I started with, which is already too long (316 words).When Ghuli turned seventeen, everyone she knew and loved died, but she doesn’t remember them. She doesn’t even remember being seventeen.As far as she knows, she is the sole heir to the throne of a race massacred by the metal army the world calls the Contagion. Her parents sent her away to be protected by watchmen before their home was destroyed. The Contagion scours the world, destroys villages, and kills thousands searching for her. Raised by a team of handmaids and watchmen who keep her out of the army’s reach, Ghuli grows up as carefree as possible, swinging from willow trees and learning fairytales from lands near and far.But the army beings to find her. The first attack took the life of her commanding watchman. The next forced her to flee for safety on another continent. Ghuli tries to dream of the fairytales that once soothed her to sleep but dreams instead of a relic, one she needs to find so she can remember. Searching for it isn’t as easy as it seems, especially once she meets the power behind the army, a wraith who remembers everything she doesn’t, who says everyone died because she and Ghuli killed them. They were princesses and could have been queens, but Ghuli betrayed the one person she promised to protect and must be punished.As Ghuli runs from this new threat, she meets…herself, the piece of her that remembers everything. Ghuli’s consciousness lurches through time to help protect her body until it can reach the relic and piece herself back together. Once made whole, Ghuli can stop the wraith before the Contagion leaves nowhere else for her to hide.SAVE THE QUEEN is a YA fantasy complete at 103,000 words. As a lover of RPG video games, I strove to create on in prose form. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.So the critiques I received on it were: interesting, but not as a hook, and to start with what Ghuli does remember, cut the word count, make Ghuli active, not passive, change the order of the details even though it's not the story's sequence, my big issue: clarification, and to nix that RPG note.I really do thank my AQC people, too, because they've helped me do better and to grow a thicker skin. I'm very protective over this piece specifically, so I always felt like a mama bear listening to her cub be criticized. lolSo now, let me see what I come up with based on the notes I received. I can say that even with the addition of detail I added in my last revision, I shaved 1,000 words. Like a boss.*live revision of my query*As far as Ghuli knows, she is the sole heir to the throne of a race massacred by the metal army the world calls the Contagion. She will learn her home was destroyed once before.Raised by a team of handmaids and watchmen who keep her from the army’s reach, Ghuli grows up swinging from willow trees and learning fairytales from lands near and far, but the ever present Contagion scours the world, destroys villages, and kills thousands searching for her. Sometimes it finds her. Forced to flee for safety, Ghuli tries to dream of the fairytales that once soothed her to sleep. She dreams instead of dark places and abandoned castles, of ghosts and worlds she’s never seen.At least, she doesn’t remember seeing them. She meets a wraith who controls the Contagion and seeks to punish Ghuli for betraying her in a time Ghuli can’t recall. She runs from this new threat and into her consciousness, lurching through time to help protect her body until she can reach a relic hidden among a land forgotten by most. The relic will not only mend Ghuli but show her what it was that destroyed her home the first time around. Once made whole, Ghuli can stop the wraith before the Contagion leaves nowhere else for her to hide.SAVE THE QUEEN is a YA fantasy complete at 102,000 words. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.241 words. I think I like this one, but is there ever a query that you say, "YES! This is it!" or do you just close your eyes and push it off the cliff?