#QueryKombat pre-contest query party

Uncategorized

Bonjour fellow contestants! #QueryKombat is two days away, and I’m sure we are all tearing our eyes out pouring over each and every syllable. But as we all know a fresh set of eyes can make a gargantuan difference in refining our elusive query letters/ first 250. So, fellow writers, let’s have a critique party!

Here’s how it works: create a blog post of your query and/or first 250 (depending on what you want help with) and email me the link. I will create a host blog hop page where we can check each other’s work out and critique in the comments. If you do not have a blog, fret not. Email me your query/250, copy and pasted into the body of the email, and be sure to include the title and genre. I’ll create a separate blog post and tweet out for others to critique. Either way, if you are interested, email me at cooperkpaul@gmail.com or just tweet me your link. My query is below and open to critiquing as well. Good luck everyone, and thanks for participating!

Query for Hunted Souls:

Cancer patient Bixby awakens in Centerra, where giants hunt children for magic, harvesting it from their blood and selling it for a profit. If anyone gets rescued, the giants retaliate by killing a child in return. They call it “insurance.”

Dionté adopts Bixby into his band, provided Bixby follows his rules. Despite butting heads with the temperamental leader, Bixby obeys. However, he struggles to wrap his head around rule number 1: don’t rescue your friends. As he watches the giants pick them off, Bixby fights back, and Dionté banishes him from the protection of underground forts.

Bixby’s two friends, Otsu and Asra, follow him into the unknown. They share a common bond, because none of them have discovered their powers. With no magic and no home, they sneak into the castle in search of a way to rescue all the prisoners. However, giants seek not only magic, but four kids destined to destroy their race. By entering their territory, Bixby risks giving the giants the key to their survival.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “#QueryKombat pre-contest query party

  1. I remember reading this in thewvoice I know you used to have a part about him getting treatment,I think you need to add that back in because the reader doesn’t know how he got to centerra.

    Like

  2. This sounds like a cool story. I think you’ve done a fair job building the world – though I had to read it through a couple of times to get all the pieces together. It wasn’t clear, for instance, on the first pass that the giants lived in “the castle”. It makes sense once I read it again. I got a little hung up on the syntax in the first sentence, trying to trace back the antecedent of “it” to “magic” and the antecedent of “their” to “children”. Maybe that could be untwisted a little for clarity. Otherwise – i think you’ve got the stakes there and I wasn’t left asking too many questions. I was left asking the good kind of questions anyway – like I’d like to read on to find out the answers.

    Good luck!

    Like

  3. I really like the idea of someone sick being hunted for his blood! And I can imagine that could backfire nicely on the giants. 😉 What I’m missing in this pitch is what Bixby needs to do or decide and the consequences of not doing it: Bixby has to do X before Y or else Z will happen. I put my specific comments in brackets.

    Best of luck in the contest and thanks for organizing!

    Cancer patient Bixby awakens in Centerra [sounds like a fantasy-place; how did he get there?], where giants hunt children for magic, harvesting it from their blood [do they stay alive during this harvesting process? I assumed they died, but then I wondered how it’s different than the killing mentioned below] and selling it for a profit. If anyone gets rescued, the giants retaliate by killing a child in return. They call it “insurance.”

    Dionté adopts Bixby into his band, provided Bixby follows his rules. Despite butting heads with the temperamental leader, Bixby obeys. However, [personal preference: “however” sounds so businesslike to me – could you find a different way to say it?] he struggles to wrap his head around rule number 1: don’t rescue your friends. As he watches the giants pick them off, [my guess is he doesn’t fight back as he watches, but after he has seen it happen once or twice, right?] Bixby fights back, and Dionté banishes him from the protection of underground forts.

    Bixby’s two friends, Otsu and Asra, follow him into the unknown. They share a common bond, because none of them have discovered their powers [I think this information might be good before the first sentence in this paragraph because it sets up why they accompany him]. With no magic and no home, they sneak into the castle [what castle is this? Does it belong to the giants?] in search of a way to rescue all the prisoners. However, [the (?)] giants seek not only magic, but four kids destined to destroy their race. By entering their territory, Bixby risks giving the giants the key to their survival.

    Like

  4. I think this sounds like an exciting story. I love your query ending leaving me wanting more. The middle bit I got lost in a little. On second reading I understood, but I wonder if you could find a way to make it less complicated and more emotive? I’m not very good at critiquing and offering suggestions, but I was in my head a bit working it out, so my thoughts are to get the essence more so I care more.. I hope this helps?!

    Like

  5. Again, thanks for organizing! A great idea.

    I like the idea of your story, and the concept that you can harvest magic from blood. Intriguing! I’ve put a couple notes in the query. Let me know if you need clarification. I hope it helps! And good luck in Query Kombat.

    Cancer patient Bixby awakens in [a city? a country?] Centerra, where giants hunt children for magic, harvesting it from their blood and selling it for a profit. If anyone gets rescued [from the giants? from the castle?], the giants retaliate by killing a child[ in return – don’t need “in return”]. [Is this child one who is already kidnaped and under their control?] They call it “insurance.” [Love this line. 🙂 ]

    Dionté, [a XXX — who is Diante? Another child? A man? A Doctor?] adopts Bixby into his band [runaways? cancer patients? gang members?], provided Bixby follow[s] his rules. Despite butting heads with the temperamental leader, Bixby obeys, however, he struggles to wrap his head around rule number 1: Don’t rescue your friends. As he watches the giants pick them off, Bixby fights back, and Dionté banishes him from the protection of underground forts.

    Bixby’s two friends [from the cancer ward? Home?], Otsu and Asra, follow him into the unknown [streets? another town?]. They share a common bond, because none of them have discovered their powers [Instead of “powers,” how about “what kind of magic resides within their blood” or something like that?]. With no magic and no home, they sneak into the [giants’] castle in search of a way to rescue all the prisoners. However, [the] giants seek not only magic, but [the] four kids destined [prophesied?] to destroy their race. By entering their territory, Bixby [and his friends] risk[s] giving the giants the key to their survival. [What is the key?]

    Like

  6. This sounds really interesting. I think I remember seeing this during pitchslam. I had to read this a couple times before I really understood what was going on, but I get the concept. In the second paragraph, I would think about deleting the Dionté reference. For some reason, it threw me off. I got confused to who the main character is for a split second. Maybe explain how he joins the band without mentioning Dionte by name. To keep things simplified, as clarity is key in any query, I would cut out the two friends in the last paragraph. Less is always more.

    Great premise! You have a wild imagination!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s