Katherine is going to share a re-written version of her query with us today, but first I have a couple of selfish announcements to make:
1) I'm going to be out of town this weekend and half of next week. I'm going to Minnesota to celebrate Kelly's Grandmother's 80th birthday. We're both huge Vikings fans so I'm a little upset that it will still be pre-season, but oh well. I really wish I could stay longer or that I wouldn't be so busy while I'm there because I have two writer blogger buds (you know who you are Falen and Palindrome) who I would really love to meet someday. There just won't be time this trip unfortunately.
2) I shared another of my flash fiction pieces with Bryan Russell (Ink) the other day and he liked it well enough that he is posting it on his blog today. Bryan is my writing mentor as well as being the moderator for the illustrious forums on Nathan Bransford's blog, so it is truly an honor to have my writing posted on his blog, The Alchemy of Writing. It never gets as much traffic as it deserves though, so please stop by, follow and comment. You can read my new piece: Babysat by the Man in the Moon, and for newer followers you should also please check out the older one: The Deafening Silence. If you have the time you can read all the short stories here. I suggest you do so.
3) Wow. Man, that's a lot of links.
4) Elana Johnson took the time to comment on my blog 7 times yesterday. That's how badly she wants to help other writers. Is there a more awesome being in the universe? No.
Now to Katherine's re-written query. Katherine has been very busy this week and she may not have time to come by to comment today, but she has been reading your comments and asked me to thank you all profusely on her behalf. She had plans last night and was unable to take part in the intensive rewrite session that I suggested, but she has changed her query to this current version based on our advice. This is not necessarily a final version as she has not had time to mull things over for very long as it stands.
So here it is:
Seventeen-year-old guttersnipe Briand Varryda can control dragons with her mind. She’s a dragon talker, an ancient role from a time before electricity, steamships, and airships. But Briand doesn’t exactly want this “gift,” because it brings her nothing but trouble. It’s the reason both the Tyrant Prince and his rival, the leader of the Monarchists, are hunting for her. It’s the reason a band of Monarchists kidnaps her. A war is coming, and the Monarchists know they cannot hope to defeat the Prince’s airships and technology without the help of old magic from the far north—dragons.
And for dragons, they need Briand.
She’s not even close to the blue-blood aristocrat the dragonsayer was supposed to be—not to mention she’s female. Her kidnappers don’t like her, and she doesn’t like them. She’d rather knife them all than help them. But the Monarchists weren’t exactly asking.
But when someone in their company betrays them during their journey to the find the dragons, Briand and the survivors must flee to a place called the Stronghold to avoid being captured by the Prince’s elite Seekers. With the Seekers gaining on the group, and a traitor in their midst, Briand has to learn how to handle her gift and call up a dragon before they’re all killed.
DRAGONSAYER is 70,000 word YA fantasy novel. It contains elements of historical fantasy as well as elements of steampunk, blending dragons, castles, and swords with guns, clocks, and airships.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
This is so much better. You're so close with this Katherine. I don't think it's quite done, and I especially think you need a slightly more colorful hook, and a shorter first paragraph, but this is already a good improvement. Since you were getting some requests with your original query I'm guessing that this one is going to start working even better right away. As I've mentioned before I think the strength of your premise can almost sell itself.
What do you guys think? Better right? Is there anything that still glaringly needs to be changed? I don't think so. I think there are only subtle updates left at this point.
Please keep the comments here about Katherine's query. I really really really want you to read my flash fiction and comment and let me know what you think, but please do that at Bryan's blog. I promise I will be stalking it and reading every one of your thoughts.
Thank you so much everyone for all your help yesterday. That was an amazing example of what this community is all about.
Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Katherine's interview.