Friday, October 11, 2013

Query Critique #2

Good morning, everyone! 

Happy Friday! Time for another query critique. I really hope you guys are finding these critiques helpful. Thanks so much to the authors :) Have a wonderful weekend!


In this era of bastard slaves, blood is the only currency. I would try to tie this line in a little better with your last sentence. 

It is 1667, and a British colony in the New World has shot two birds dead. I would maybe start with introducing Tommy and Sanctum--and what he's doing there. This line doesn't really hook the reader, and you need to hook the reader from the get-go. Illegitimates (Are they orphans? I don't feel I have a good idea who the Illegitimates are. Are there any girls?) that clog up the streets are dragged into abandoned blade mills and tobacco plantations. Some call this colony Sanctum. To most, the name is a sick joke not to be repeated. This tells us a bit about Sanctum, but I don't quite see how it follows into the sentence about Tommy digging graves (This sort of goes with my comment above about hooking the reader). 

14-year-old Tommy spends his days digging graves and chasing down body snatchers. "One of the lucky ones," should be branded across Tommy's back, for people whip him with it daily. Bastard boys are not to read pamphlets of lands far, far away. Asking where Mother and Father have gone will not bring them home. I would probably omit this line, or rework. It seems like the pamphlets are important (because in the next paragraph we learn they find clues leading away from Sanctum), but I'm not clear on how it fits.  

When somebody starts tarring tombstones with riddles from Oedipus Rex, leading Tommy to graves filled with gold, all hope catches fire. I think this line works well! Tommy's puzzlemaker turns out to be a five-foot nothing Sorceress who wields lightning like a hot knife. I really like this line! but I think it could be clarified just a little. The person who is leaving the riddles is the witch, right? (I was just wondering if the witches are common, and how are they received?) Also, we learn later that the girl's family is missing, but I wasn't sure if that was her motive for leaving the riddles(?) And this New Witch is not after Tommy for his dimples. Pursued by slavers, witch hunters, and a preacher that drinks magic like it's Dutch wine, the duo piece together a set of clues that lead away from Sanctum. Deep into a dangerous paradise of forgotten cities and deadly traps.https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Now every step takes a preacher they can't kill nearer to the witches he most wants to meet. Finding this girl's family means realizing Tommy's worst fear: that a man's worth is measured in blood.

Thanks so much for reading!


L.G. said...

Thanks so much, Jordy! Really appreciate the critique and I can see the places where this needs tightening up.

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