Sunday, April 23, 2017

Feedback Request

Rewrite of Face-Lift 1288: The Feast of Masks

For years mercenary Tali Adilrein has been following an on-again-off-again whisper of danger that only she can hear. [I
f I've been following anything for years and still haven't caught up to it, I give up.] She can't ignore it, but she doesn't want to admit the whisper may be related to the rare type of magic she wields--dragon magic.  [I'm not sure what it means to follow a whisper. I'm less interested in knowing dragon magic is rare than in knowing what it can do. I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want to admit that a whisper may (or may not) be related to dragon magic. What kind of danger is being whispered of? I'm pretty much lost. All I know is mercenary Tali wields something called dragon magic.]

The whisper [I'm becoming annoyed with the whisper.] leads Tali to stop the kidnapping of a girl, Shimmer, who can enhance dragon magic.  Worried, Tali hires on as Shimmer's bodyguard.

Soon thereafter Tali defends Shimmer from magically guided arrows.  The next day, she kills a swarm of destructive beetles released where Shimmer is working.  Both incidents involve magic similar to Tali's own. [So releasing beetles is something Tali could do? Somehow the term "dragon magic" sounds more impressive than that.]

Though initially suspicious of Tali, a well-connected politician enlists (extorts) her aid when he investigates. [What's he investigating? The failed kidnapping? Isn't that a job for law enforcement?]  While his leads peter out and his informants turn up dead, Tali must call on her own magic and Shimmer's help in fighting off stronger, more blatant attacks. [Stronger than beetles?] 

In the end they will discover an ancient dragon is hunting Shimmer.  To protect the girl, Tali will need more than dragon magic: she herself will need to become a dragon.


Does the dragon that's hunting Shimmer want to force her to enhance its magic? If so, attacking her with arrows doesn't seem smart.

If the politician does something useful, what? If all you tell us is his leads peter out and his informants turn up dead, he's not needed in the query. 

I have to say, I think your previous version gave a better idea of the story. Also, that my version in the comments there, works better than either of your versions. Apparently you've rejected it, which is okay, but I'd at least let it guide you toward something with more clarity. 


Anonymous said...

It's almost as if the first query focused on a later part of the story while this one covers the first half. Anyway, this one does well on logical progression, but I'm afraid, as EE noted, there are generalities (a whisper, dragon magic, stronger attacks) that weaken it. Can you make everything as specific as the arrows and the beetles?

My guess re the properties of dragon magic: power over six-limbed critters and anything that can fly.

Anonymous said...

Version 1 was full of vivid, weird details, but completely confusing. Version 2 is very logical but bland. I think in between is a decent query, one that keeps both the uniqueness and the internal logic. I feel like you are maybe trying to tell us too much of the story? Maybe if you start from the bare bones of hero's mission, conflict/ obstacles and what's at stake, that will leave room for the cool stuff too.

St0n3henge said...

It's hard to follow a whisper, but pretty easy to ignore it. I don't think your metaphor works.

“Enhance dragon magic” still isn't clear.

We have destructive beetles in Colorado. They really do a number on our trees.

It seems to me that if you can “enhance dragon magic” that would be your life goal, and you wouldn't be truly fulfilled unless you were paired with a dragon. Can you explain why this is not true?

CavalierdeNuit said...

I want to read this! I don't usually read this genre, but you have a very good story going on here. Also a vivid imagination.
Most of the queries I read on here have no life it seems, but this one does. Please polish this up and get it published! I'll buy it at the bookstore:)

khazar-khum said...

St0n3h3ng3--we have similar beetles here in California. And don't forget the flesh-eating ones they use to clean bones.

If someone says they have 'dragon magic', I'm picturing things like fire breath, mind control, and flying. Also hoarding, though in a person that may manifest itself in ways other than gold and jewels. Maybe you hoard things like Tupperware lids, or things that need to be fixed one day when you can get around to it.

Query writer said...

Thank you for all the helpful comments. I'll work on another revision.