Friday, October 22, 2010

Query Critique #24

Query #24 - Deb

Sixteen-year-old islander Denton is stunned when a grieving father demands he steal the holy Blue Anchor, which legend says can restore life to the dead. If Denton refuses, the blackmailer will murder his family. If he’s caught robbing the temple, the priests will throw him into the Pit, where he’ll be eaten alive.
This sets some of the premise, but I don't know why Denton would be singled out by the father, and "islander" doesn't give enough of the setting. Instead of saying he's stunned, can you give a word or two that clarifies why he would be asked? Does the father blame his for his child's death? Is he chosen because he has no magic?  
A grieving father demands that sixteen-year-old Denton steal the holy Blue Anchor (of the island people of...), which legend says can restore life to the dead. If he refuses, the blackmailer will murder his family. If he’s caught robbing the temple, the priests will throw him into the Pit, where he’ll be eaten alive. 
But the Blue Anchor can’t revive the dead; instead it anchors an ancient imprisonment spell, and by removing it from the temple, Denton unchains a murderous wizard. When the wizard crawls out his prison and kidnaps Denton’s cousin, Denton blames himself. 
This is a nice twist, but you're missing an "of." 
But the Blue Anchor can’t revive the dead. It anchors an ancient imprisonment spell, and by removing it from the temple, Denton unchains a murderous wizard. When the wizard crawls out of his prison and kidnaps Denton’s cousin, Denton blames himself. 
He doesn’t have a speck of magic, but when sorcery sticks an oar into his affairs, he’s not about to let it scuttle his boat. Denton swears he’ll rescue his cousin, even if that means facing down the wizard. Alone. 
I like the nautical flavor, but I'm not much of a fan of sentence fragments. 
He doesn’t have a speck of magic, but when sorcery sticks an oar into his affairs, he’s not about to let it scuttle his boat. Denton swears he’ll rescue his cousin, even if that means facing down the wizard alone. 
ANCHORING THE RAIN is a 97,000 word fantasy that will appeal to fans of Patricia Wrede and Mercedes Lackey.
Given the age of the MC, I recommend mentioning if this is intended for a YA or adult audience.

My story, Amber Profits, was published in Aurora Wolf’s first anthology, Aurora in the Dawn.
Excellent. 
My story, Amber Profits, was published in Aurora Wolf’s first anthology, Aurora in the Dawn.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

XXX XXXX

2 comments:

Deb Salisbury said...

Thank you! Your critique is very helpful. I need to clarify that first paragraph.

I'm greatly enjoying all of your critiques. I'm glad I found your blog - via Kimmy at QueryTracker.

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