Guess the Plot
A Song of Steel
1. A stranger has arrived, and no one knows his name or where he's from. He could be a singer or even a steelworker. No one knows. What is known is that if no one stops him, he'll crush the entire country, and if anyone tries to stop him, they'll be crushed. Perhaps we'll call him . . . The Crusher!
2. Tired of constantly being tasked to save the world, superman hangs up his cape and turns to lyrical composition.
3. It was the forbidden song. Throughout the ages its words were sung surreptitiously wherever there was oppression and hearts longed for revolution and freedom. So the wizard overlord cursed the song so that its lyrics now invoke the dreaded steel vampire.
4. In the middle of an international performance, a violinist discovers his bow has turned into an arrow. He promptly changes professions, becoming an assassin who musics people to death.
5. In ancient Japan, a samurai went everywhere with his sword. Of course, only Haribo took it to extremes. This is the untold story of the samurai who forsakes all others for love of his sword.
6. What did Jesus really do? In this memoir based on recently found scrolls, get the true story of Christ's few years of turning water into wine and drinking it, spending too much time "saving" prostitutes, and carving obscene figurines out of olive wood. And steel.
Greetings Evil Editor,
Civil war sets Valzyr on the path to destruction. The work of one man brings it crumbling down. No one knows who he is, and for their own good, no one ever should. [I can't tell if Valzyr is a country, a planet, a religion, or a super robot. A couple extra words in the first sentence would clear it up.]
There are those who try to unveil him. Let them, if they can see past the corpses on the battlefield to the true enemy.
There are those who try to stop him. Let them, if they think they can outmatch him in his game of shadows and blood.
Stay silent and watch him crush the Republic; [Him and what army?] interfere, and be crushed as well. [I choose to stay silent.] He will destroy Valzyr and build his kingdom on the ruins. The only unknown is: whom will he kill? [Actually, that's not the only unknown. Other unknowns include:
- Who is he? (True, you did warn me that for my own good I shouldn't know that, but it is, technically, unknown.)
- Will we be better off if the Republic is crushed and this guy builds his kingdom on the ruins? Or worse off? Things aren't exactly going well at the moment, what with the civil war and all.
- What are this guy's superpowers, and do we have any super-powered guys on our side?
- Is his "game of shadows and blood" available as an app? It sounds pretty good.]
A SONG OF STEEL, 100K words, showcases the tragic fall of the Republic and its heroes in the shadowy politics of Valzyr. It sets the political intrigue and grey morality of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen in a failing democracy reminiscent of Rome. [Is that the failing democracy of Rome in ancient times or the failing democracy of Rome in 2014?] I am 15 years old [What the-? Okay, unless you can convert this into a book that sets the political intrigue and grey morality of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen in a middle school, revealing that you're 15 won't work in your favor.] [On the other hand, it's amusing to imagine someone finishing your gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, emotional roller coaster of a book, sighing with satisfaction, and turning to the author bio only to find that you're a 10th grader who enjoys hanging out at the mall, Biebs, and talking on the phone with your BFF.] and this is my debut novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
After your book gets made into a blockbuster movie this can be the script the voice-over actor reads during the trailer. First things first. You've told us the situation that exists as the story opens. We also want to know what happens.
The only character important enough to be mentioned in the query is a guy whose identity no one knows, and no one ever should know? I assume he isn't referred to in the book as the man whose identity no one knows, and no one ever should know. What's his name?
Is he the main character? If so, why is he out to crush the Republic and how can he manage such a Herculean task? If not, you need to choose a character (who presumably is trying to stop the man whose identity no one knows, and no one ever should know) and tell us his/her story. How does this person plan to stop a guy capable of crushing the Republic? What happens if the Republic is crushed? Readers need a character to get behind and cheer to victory. The query needs to focus on that person, their goal, the obstacles keeping them from succeeding.
Your writing is excellent, but what you've written is vague and doesn't even begin to tell us your story. Start over and take us far enough so that we simply must know what happens to whomever.