Friday, June 30, 2017

Face-Lift 1359

Guess the Plot

Project: Yggdrasil 

1. Vera Smythe's vacation company takes ultra rich guests on informative tours of each planet of the solar system while fighting off alien-riddled meteors, space pirates, and lawyers. Also, illicit affairs between personnel. 

2. Fascinating tale of the most successful ad campaign ever: How a potent male enhancement drug became a wildly popular brand despite its deadly side effects. Also, a month's supply of condoms.

3. It started as a way to visit alternative realities to live their dream life. But when Alan can't decide which life he prefers, he tries to live all of them at once. He just has to deactivate nine other accounts first.

4. After the failure of Project: Skidbladnir, Vikings perfect their time machine and travel to 21st-century Norway, where they are disappointed to find their land hasn't noticeably progressed in 700 years.

5. A genetically-engineered soldier seeking revenge on those who murdered her family is captured behind enemy lines by people developing a weapon that will end free will. If you want to know what happens after that, you'll have to buy the rest of the series.

6. Oh no! Science Fair projects are due TOMORROW, and there's no way Eddie can get that thing he was going to do about eggs, that he never got around to starting because of baseball, done in time. And he misspells 'eggroll'. Then it hits him: Make up something about an alien world!

Original Version

Morrighan doesn’t know who murdered her family or why. After escaping the massacre, the genetically engineered soldier, born [borne?] from the Yggdrasil project, vows to search for those who survived—and avenge those who didn’t. Fortunately for her, the ability to manipulate metal gives her an edge in a borderline-apocalyptic world where gangs will ambush her for nary [Nary? Who says "nary"?] more than a few scavenged cans of food. [If a gang ambushes me, I'm thrilled if they're just after my cans of food.]

After dodging a traitorous brother who can infiltrate dreams and extract memories, Morrighan goes on to track down a few remaining family members—only to find out that they’d been harboring some serious skeletons in the form of a failed genetic engineering project. Morrighan is enraged by her parents’ secrecy, but realizes that she needs their help tracking down the murderers. [In paragraph 1 we learn that someone murdered Morrighan's family. In paragraph 2 we've encountered her traitorous brother, a few remaining family members, and her parents. Just thought I'd point that out.] Before she can unearth much more, Morrighan discovers that the media has painted her as the criminal responsible for the attack on Helix Labs, [FAKE NEWS!] and is forced to flee.

Now a fugitive, [As we learned one sentence ago.] Morrighan embarks on an intel-gathering mission, during which she and her allies are confronted by the enemy. [She just went on the run and already she has allies and enemies?] Her allies manage to escape, but Morrighan is caught behind enemy lines. In the final scene, she uses her last moments of consciousness to transfer the enemy’s files to her allies—including a blueprint for a weapon that will ultimately result in the death [end?] of free will.

Project: Yggdrasil is the first novel in an action-packed science fiction trilogy aimed at young and new adult audiences that combines elements of dystopia, survival and family-oriented relationships. [Why is there a colon after "Project"? Project Gutenberg and Project Runway don't have colons. Or you could go with The Yggdrasil Project, as in the Mindy/Blair Witch/Manhattan Projects.] Readers of X-Men and Maximum Ride may also enjoy this book. [I prefer "should" over "may also."] [Also, X-Men the comic book? We had a talking cat two queries ago, but the author didn't declare that fans of Sylvester would enjoy the book.] It is complete at about 109,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


It's not clear to me who Morrighan's enemy is. Is it whoever massacred her family? Or is it the people she's fleeing, the ones who think she's a criminal?

We know Morrighan and her brother have super powers, but we don't see how they use these powers. The brother's only role in the query is to show that Morrighan isn't the only character with a power. Morrighan should never have been captured, not with those metal-manipulation powers. 

You don't want to give the impression that you have a cliffhanger ending and no resolution to the main plot. If they like this book they may decide they want a three-book series, but they don't want you telling them they have to buy a series. If this book doesn't have a satisfying conclusion, give it one, and say the book has series potential.


davefragments said...

Do you really want to mix mythologies as diverse as Yggdrasil and Morrighan ? It pulled me out of the letter.
If you do use them together, then be more explicit about the plot.
I am guessing that this is a revenge story -- genetically engineered Morrighan goes after the people who slaughtered most of her family.
Someone or some entity wants Morrighan either dead or out of the way. They go so far as to frame her.
I would guess that your story is Morrighan, a genetically engineered soldier, and her brother (Also a genetic modification) are being hunted by the organization that created them (or someone else) and decides to fight back after the organization slaughters most of her family.

Anonymous said...

The query isn't the place to give a plot summary, it's the place to give a teaser.

Your plot seems to be: Morrighan wants revenge on whoever murdered her family.
If this is the case, things we might need to know:

-who was murdered <-- two sisters and three cousins is more informative than "family" which sounds like at least the core group of everyone which isn't the case unless your paragraphs are out of order

-who Morrighan suspects and why she suspects them <-- as is, I don't even know what makes this obviously not a gang attack.

-what resources Morrighan has to help her find what she's looking for (how her super powers are going to be useful, who her allies are, etc)

-who her enemies are <-- or at lest enough about them to understand the level of threat she's up against. Rogue branch of the family is going to be different from unrelated secret government agency which is different from independent super villain.

-what's at stake for Morrighan <-- if what you have listed is the entire plot, Morrighan doesn't seem to care that much about protecting her surviving family. It looks like you have her tracking them down just to involve her in an espionage/intelligence gathering plot. So what's her motivation here? Is her version of revenge is stealing files?

davefragments said...

I do have a question -- why Yggdrasil?