Friday, November 13, 2015

Feedback Request

Hello again.

A quick bit on the revision. After some thought and other reading, I decided to try simply focusing on what happens in Act I for the query. As such, the morphine stays (sort of, she doesn't hook up with the doctor plot wise, but steals it in Act II, but the ramp to that is definitely Act I), and another plot that was in an earlier draft (not seen here) made it back in. Nadya's conflict with the commissar spans most of the book, but its not the main plot. So, here's where I'm at:

Nadezdah Buzina, a pilot serving in the Red Army’s all-female 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment during WWII, is a natural flyer. Sadly, her inborn talent is no match for veterans of the Luftwaffe. While she patrols war-torn Stalingrad, Gerhard Rademacher, a German ace, blasts her out of the sky, leaving her severely burned and the sole survivor of her flight.

Nadya vows revenge, but when Commissar Petrov, an NKVD political officer, thinks she survived the dogfight due to cowardice rather than luck, her life is jeopardized by his ensuing investigation. Her family has ties to the White Army, and she could be summarily executed if that’s discovered proven--or Unfortunately, if she doesn’t cooperate with the Petrov’s interrogations, he can shoot her just the same.

Worse, winter approaches and the cold exacerbates Nadya’s injuries. Nadya She manages to find relief from the crippling pain with morphine, but her CO refuses to let her fly while using it. However, there’s still a way Nadya can get some. [That would make more sense if you said her CO cut off her access to the drug, rather than he refused to let her fly.] The regiment’s doctor has offered to exchange undocumented syrettes for nighttime encounters, and since Rademacher is still out there killing her friends, Nadya is about to find out what she’s willing to do to stop him.

Thanks in advance!


The White Army is as obscure to us as the 586th; we can do without it in the query. The last sentence may be enough to suggest what the rest of the book is about, so even though the previous versions were in good shape, so is this one.

This is just your plot summary; I assume you'll mention at the beginning or end that the all-female regiment was real. Or is there no risk that we'll think you created it as part of your "fictional world"?

It's time to send out a few queries and see what happens, assuming you've put as much effort into the book as the query.


Anonymous said...

Put the first sentence back. That's my vote.

Anonymous said...

I'm with EE, start sending it out.

Suggestions on this version:
Break that last sentence into two or three sentences. Maybe phrase it differently than "about to find out" which sounds off for some reason. Might just be me.

Mister Furkles said...

I like the second and third paragraphs with EE edits. In the first sentence, I'd recommend you drop 'natural born flyer.' Not that it hurts, but adds little. Then in the second sentence mention that her Yakovlev [or whatever she flies] is a poor match against the Luftwaffe's ME 109. Better than her being a poor flyer.

I also liked the previous first sentence better. Nadezdah Buzina, a pilot with the Red Army’s 586th all-female fighter regiment, dreams of becoming an ace. This sentence says “You've got to read about me!”

Any agent who cares can look up the 586th. It takes 18 seconds on a seven year old computer with modest Internet speed; I timed it. An agent could likely get it in something like seven seconds.

Any agent familiar with 20th century Russian history will know about the White Army and the Russian Civil War. But maybe you'll find an agent who isn't up on her history.

Sounds like a good story.

Have you read Janet Reid's blog? She has a lot of query advise. Number one: "Don't stop until you've gotten 100 rejections." Of course, you continue to improve the query as you go along.

Evil Editor said...

You're more likely to find agents who think Red Army and White Army are referring to Alice in Wonderland than who are up on Russian history.

alaskaRavenclaw said...

This doesn't grab me nearly as much as the last one did. Eight proper nouns in the first paragraph, some of them unfamiliar to me, and I'm afraid my eyes and mind start to wander.

DD3123 said...

Thanks again. I'll be taking the plunge then and see what happens :)

Brigid said...

Just a heads up--the more common spelling is Nadezhda.