Friday, January 05, 2007

Query Letter Make-over

Thanks to the efforts of Miss Snark and assorted Snarklings, I have reworked my hook into something more coherent. But first, let's take a look at the before

HH Com 269 (266)

The dream began just as the others had: flying through blackness and following a thin, silver chord. Gavin stopped short inside an empty office. A large map of the U.S., speckled with dozens of red dots, hung in front of him. He slid through a wall to face several men in uniform, bent over blueprints which were splayed on a large, polished table. Their uniforms were like nothing he'd seen before. One of them raised his head and looked at Gavin. He was very, very angry.

(your hook starts here)East 42, the subterranean training school for the Haven, seems like everything Gavin had wished for during isolated and boring summers spent poring over comic books. His classmates train in E.S.P. and telekinesis as he discovers his talent for astral projection. But after he projects into a top office for Haven security, he falls under the scrutiny of its leaders and becomes the target for Pellere, the ex-Prime based military group.

As Gavin uncovers the Haven's plans for the construction of a bizarre new weapon, he gains unlikely allies in his quest to thwart them. The fight escalates into a campaign on Washington and a war on the battlegrounds of the Astral Plane. Gavin Beckett and the Ward world above are about to turn down a frightening new road.


You splat at "falls under the scrutiny". First, isn't he supposed to be projecting? Did he happen on to something he shouldn't see? That's key info here.

You introduce the bad guys in the second clause of a compound sentence that makes them seem like an afterthought. Are they the bad guys?

And why is he opposed to Haven constructing a new weapon? Isn't he on their team? I want my team to have very big, very scary weapons. Killer Yapp is in fact commissioning a motorized sling shot in his ongoing arms escalation in the squirrel war.

I've stopped reading by the time I get to the last paragraph cause it's stopped holding together for me.

Start over. KY is available for armament consultation as needed.


And now, the after:

East 42, the subterranean training school for the Haven, seems like everything Gavin had wished for during isolated and boring summers spent poring over comic books. His classmates train in E.S.P. and telekinesis while he discovers his talent for astral projection. But after he is caught projecting into a top office for Haven security and viewing blueprints to a mysterious machine, he falls under the scrutiny of Haven leaders. Further, this escapade makes him a target for Pellere, a terrorist group of disenfranschised Haven members.

Gavin and his friends discover the Haven's plans for the construction of a bizarre new weapon which will enable Haven leaders to use mass mind control. One of the Haven's leaders is pushing a five-year plan which includes aggressive enforcement of censorship in households with children. Gavin and his friends gain some unlikely allies as they scheme to fight the Save The Children Campaign. The fight escalates into a campaign on Washington and a war on the battlegrounds of the Astral Plane. Gavin Beckett and the Ward world above are about to turn down a frightening new road.

Any better?

5 comments:

Rashenbo said...

You got quite a response from the Snark on you HHCom... I am afraid I didn't read all of them, so I don't remember seeing yours. I found I learned a lot from the CoM - how bout yourself?

December Quinn said...

Hope you don't mind...

East 42, the subterranean training school for the Haven, seems like everything Gavin wished for during dull (avoid boring/poring in one sentence), isolated summers spent poring over comic books. His classmates train in E.S.P. and telekinesis while he discovers his talent for astral projection. But when he is caught projecting into a top office for Haven security and viewing classified blueprints, Haven leaders start seeing him as a threat. Further, this escapade makes him a target for Pellere, a terrorist group of disenfranschised Haven members.

Gavin has discovered plans for the construction of a bizarre new weapon which will enable Haven leaders to use mass mind control, including aggressive enforcement of censorship in households with children. Gavin's fight to save both his own life and the freedom of millions escalates into a campaign on Washington and a war on the battlegrounds of the Astral Plane. Gavin Beckett and the Ward world above are about to turn down a frightening new road.



I'm not crazy about all those sentences starting with "Gavin", but...take this as you will. Hope it helps.

Cynthia Bronco said...

Thanks to both of you! This has been a great learning experience.

The Insect said...

I like your blog's title! Always nice to find another Latinate on the Net ...

And, of course, I always have to wonder (after impersonating, successfully and for several months, a magazine editor -- "It seemed like a good idea at the time!" is the only explanation I can offer!) if Snarkipoo is a real agent.

I also wonder how she'd react to the nickname "Snarkipoo."

Cynthia Bronco said...

I'm sure it depends on who calls her that. If you're George Clooney, well then, I'm sure she wouldn't mind!