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Wraith Hunter Query
CarrieM
Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011 6:33 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 25


Hey everyone. I'm looking for advice on the query for my latest project. What do you all think?

Two hundred years ago, Mina was forced to watch as wraiths (grotesque creatures that feed on human fear) broke into her home and sucked the life out of her husband and beautiful baby girl. Her quest for revenge led her to a mysterious immortal who offered her immortality and a chance to protect humanity from the horrors that destroyed her family. Mina accepted in the hope that immortality would one day bring her the strength to fight the wraiths’ psychotic leader, Deimos.

Today, Mina’s only companion is an orphaned teenage girl she took in ten years ago. Two days before her fifteenth birthday, the girl Mina has come to think of as a daughter is slaughtered by the wraiths. Mina knows it’s time to finally face Deimos and put an end to his genocidal tendencies. She teams up with a cocky, amateur wraith-hunter named Lindsey who has decided to help her, despite her less than subtle hints that she’d rather work alone. But Deimos is ready for them. As they make their way closer to his citadel, he torments them with ghosts of lost loved ones and enough illusions, traps and tricks to make them lose their minds—not to mention the hordes of wraiths and hellhounds lurking in the shadows. Revenge has always been the only thing that mattered to Mina. But as her sanity starts to slip and Lindsey’s health deteriorates, she struggles with the realization that she just might have to choose between revenge and the life of a friend she never asked for.
Jay Greenstein
Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2011 2:35 AM
I'm afraid this is a mini synopsis, not a query. You're focused on facts, but what you should be doing is selling the reader on turning to page one and reading.

Remember, they're not looking for plot, at this point, but reading enjoyment. Facts are for newspapers, textbooks, and the synopsis. The job of the blurb is exactly that of the bock cover of the book, and that's how it should read. Since you explain what a wrath is, why bother to use the title? Call them evil creatures who feed on fear. Then, later, when you refer to them again, use the title and the reader will make the connection.

Think on terms of writing the voice-over for the theatrical trailer. all menace and tension. Things are bad and going to get worse. and unless our protagonist can...

A reader isn't coming to you for facts, remember, They want to be excited, and frightened and passionate, not hear that someone else feels that way. And that holds for the blurb as well as the story, itself.

Evoke, don't inform. Sell, don't tell.
CarrieM
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 7:42 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 25


Okay, here's a revision I did based on some advice I got on other forums. Let me know what you think:

Mina has spent the last two hundred years as an immortal wraith hunter, exacting revenge on the monsters that sucked the life out of her husband and baby girl. Up until now, she’s seen their endless numbers as a blessing—no amount of dead wraiths could ever make up for what happened to her family.

Now, two centuries after she watched her loved ones crumble to dust, the orphaned teenage girl she took in and raised as her own is slaughtered in much the same way. Killing wraiths isn’t enough anymore. Mina knows it’s time to hunt down the wraiths’ psychotic leader, Deimos, no matter how much more powerful than her he is. She teams up with a cocky, amateur wraith-hunter named Lindsey who has decided to help her, despite her best efforts to convince him she’d rather work alone. But Deimos is ready for them. As they make their way closer to his citadel, he torments them with ghosts of lost loved ones and enough illusions, traps and tricks to drive them to the edge of their sanity—not to mention the hordes of wraiths and hellhounds lurking in the shadows. Revenge has always been the only thing that mattered to Mina. But as her desperation grows and Lindsey’s health deteriorates, she realizes she just might have to choose between revenge and the life of a friend she never asked for.

LilySea
Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 5:03 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


Hi Carrie, I hope it's not too late to offer you some feedback.

I would cut everything after "Mina knows it's time to hunt down the wraiths' psychotic leader, Deimos."

It is so darn difficult to cut your story down to a teaser of this length. Believe me, I know! But if the teaser is interesting enough, it should prompt the reader to ask for more.
nancy lopez
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 9:03 PM
Joined: 8/12/2011
Posts: 23


Hi, Carrie,

Your story sounds compelling and adventurous. I'm still working on my query and am by far no pro but, i really like the begining.

You do show, "evoke" I think. Maybe all you need is to cut out the fat? Don't know, here are a few suggestions I think, might help. If you break it down, this is what it will look like in terms of the order of the story line.


Two hundred years ago, Mina was forced to watch as wraiths, that feed on human fear, broke into her home and sucked the life out of her husband and beautiful baby girl. Her quest for revenge led her to a mysterious immortal who offered her immortality and a chance to protect humanity from the horrors that destroyed her family. Mina accepted in the hope that immortality would one day bring her the strength to fight the wraiths’ psychotic leader, Deimos.

Mina’s only companion is an orphaned teenage girl she took in ten years ago. Two days before her fifteenth birthday, the girl Mina has come to think of as a daughter is slaughtered by the wraiths. Mina knows it’s time to finally face Deimos and put an end to his genocidal tendencies.


She teams up with a cocky, amateur wraith-hunter named Lindsey who has decided to help her, despite her less than subtle hints that she’d rather work alone. But Deimos is ready for them. As they make their way closer to his citadel, he torments them with ghosts of lost loved ones and enough illusions, traps and tricks to make them lose their minds—not to mention the hordes of wraiths and hellhounds lurking in the shadows.

Revenge has always been the only thing that mattered to Mina. But as her
sanity starts to slip, she struggles with the realization that she just might have to choose between revenge and the life of a friend she never asked for.

----I like the flow of the first paragragh and the last. I, would read it. But I think, try to fuse the two middle ones together? Since killing your family is already high on the list of revenge, pehaps save the orphan girl for the synopsis?
Maybe---something like this, again, I am not a pro, just trying to help out since so many loyal members on Book Country have given me terrific advice, I would like to give back. This is truly a nice site with nice people.

Here goes: Mina knows it’s time to put an end to Deimos genocidal tendencies. Despite she’d rather work alone, a cocky, amateur wraith-hunter named Lindsey has decided to help her. But Deimos is ready for war. Ready to torment them with ghosts of lost loved ones and enough illusions, traps and tricks to make them lose their minds—not to mention the hordes of wraiths and hellhounds lurking in the shadows.

--Wow, this version clocks in at 193 words and a lot was was said.
---I don't know what else to say, i don't know if it sounds like a synopsis or a pitch.Good luck in whatever you decide. Hope this helps.

Nancy
 

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