Monday, May 31, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Alamandine has a beautiful soft voice. Unfortunately, the opera house only accepts singers who can be heard by those in back of the upper balconies. Can a creepy mask-wearing stalker teach her to scream loud enough to be heard?
2. When promising three-year-old filly Alamandine's Song disappears from her stall at Santa Anita, detective Zack Martinez knows two things: the filly didn't shoot the guard and drive herself away, and he'd better pick up some almond milk for his wife's new diet.
3. Alamandine is mute from birth, and also possesses a perfect ear for music. When a wandering mystic offers her the chance to finally sing, what price will she be willing to pay?
4. World cup fever has swept the world (except the US) and Brazilian playboy and superstar Alamandine is wild on and off the field. But the night before the big final he is visited by an angel who tells him he must mend his sinful ways and give up soccer to become a choir singer.
5. Alamandine never really could sing; she's mute. But one day she notices a song she's been composing at the back of her mind being played and sung, and realizes that the voice is her voice and the guitar is that of a handsome street performer. You can guess the rest.
6. Alamandine has nothing more important to worry about than what to wear to her tenth high school reunion--until she learns that her father was murdered, and goes on a quest to find his killer, armed with a sword forged by a dragon. When her quest is complete, her brother performs a song about it.
I am seeking a publisher for a finished 92,000 word Urban Fantasy manuscript called Alamandine's Song. It is a story about a woman caught in the middle of Faery politics, and her learning that growing up doesn't stop at eighteen. [Boil this paragraph down to: Alamandine's Song is a 92,000-word Urban Fantasy about a woman caught up in the tangled web of Faery politics. And move it to the end of the query.]
At twenty seven, Alamandine “Mandi” Croach doesn't know a lot of things. She doesn't know that her mother is alive, that she has a younger brother, that her father's drowning was a murder, [I'm starting to think it would be faster to list what she does know.] or that she is in line for the Star Court's crown. She is about to find out, and with love and life on the line, she learns what being a Faery Princess really means. [Boil this paragraph down to: At twenty seven, Alamandine “Mandi” Croach doesn't know that she has a younger brother, that her father's drowning was a murder, or that she is in line for the Star Court's crown. She is about to get a crash course in what it means to be a Faery Princess.]
From her high school reunion to the fields of Faelyn, Mandi has to face her own demons as well as more than a few beings that are trying to kill her. [Not clear whether the beings who want to kill her are monsters or Fae or women at her reunion who've put on more weight than she has.] [That sentence can go somewhere else or away. It doesn't lead into the next one.] With help from her fairy guard, and armed with a blade forged for her by a dragon, she goes on a quest to find out who murdered her father. [If more than a few beings were trying to kill me, I think I'd put off finding out who killed my father for a while.] [Finding a murderer sounds more like an investigation than a quest with a sword. Quests are for epic fantasies.] When it becomes clear that her half-brother's kidnapping and her father's murder are connected, she decides that in the tangled web of politics that she finds herself in, having the prince might give her some leverage. [Not clear whether the prince is the brother she didn't know she had or the half-brother who was kidnapped.] [Also not clear whether "having the prince" means having him on her side or having him as a prisoner.] [Also not clear against whom she wants leverage. When you have a sword forged by a dragon, do you really need any more leverage?] [Get rid of "in the tangled web of politics that she finds herself in,"]
Adding to the action is a complicated love story, pitting Mandi's long time infatuation with her gorgeous, but distant, fairy guard against a new flame. Can Mandi trust her heart to someone she has known practically all her life, when she learns that he has been keeping secrets? [Is the fact that he's her fairy guard one of the secrets? Did she know he was her guard, in which case, what did she think he was guarding her against, or did she think he was this handsome guy who's been stalking her for twenty-five years?] Is the chance at love worth putting an innocent man in danger by getting him involved in politics he can know nothing about?
Thank you for your consideration.
Note from author (not part of query): The title comes from the faery tradition of having a person's story told by singing it. At the end of the book, her brother sings her song for the Court.
I see that we have Faery politics and Faery Princess. If this is the world of the Fae, isn't it spelled Faerie? And what about the fairy guard? Is the guard Fae? Or just a fairy?
It's not clear whether Mandi has always known she's Fae but didn't know what happened to her family, or whether she believes she's a normal human until she's twenty-seven. If the latter, it seems like if a guy you've known forever shows up one day and says, "Guess what, I'm your fairy guard, here's a sword forged for you by a dragon, let's go on a quest," that you would not take him seriously.
Either eliminate the high school reunion and the new flame, making this all about the quest, or give us a little more about the life Mandi is leaving behind.
Political intrigue, assassins, a murder investigation, seem like they belong in urban fantasy; fighting off beings with a sword forged by a dragon seems like it belongs in a different genre.
Mandi seeks her father's killer. Someone doesn't want her to find him. Focus on that. What's at stake? What happens if she succeeds, and what happens if she fails?