Soledad Mendoza is mankind's last hope. Okay, again, this is vague and a bit cliche. Who is she? I mean as a CHARACTER? At least that's what the winged Mayan god who shows up after her father's death tells her. But she is an unlikely hero. The young English professor doesn't understand why a god would choose a person whose weakness for scotch makes her a prime candidate for a twelve-step program. Growing up in the sleepy town of Charleston, West Virginia never prepared her for anything like this.
Hmm. Something about this is difficult to connect with. You've got all the necessary details, inciting incident, hook-ish premise, a character we can sympathize with, but ... for some reason it just feels off.
I think the problem is that you're presenting this in the wrong order. Tell me about Soledad's teaching and scotch drinking and missing her father before you get to the god. Remember: almost all stories begin with an innocent world, in which a character may be suffering, but the major conflict of the actual plot of the story is not going on yet. Then an inciting incident occurs, and their world is flipped on its head. That kind of opening in a query, a kind of innocent world in which you can really deliver a sense of CHARACTER, will start you off right, get the reader to care about your CHARACTER, which will then make everything that comes after automatically that much better.
In the 1500s the Mayan God secretly entrusted her conquistador ancestor with the Ouroboros Amulet, a weapon containing the power of Heaven,
That's only the beginning of her troubles. She learns that her late father's friend, U.S. Senator Earl Edmondson, is aligned with a malevolent god who will assure ensure? the politician's ascendance to the presidency. Knowing that his only obstacle is the amulet that Soledad seeks, the senator turns his dark eye on her.
This is actually pretty good. A little wordy, but full of specificity.
As her enemies converge, the winged god offers a strategy to help, but his motives aren't exactly noble. Soledad discovers that she is merely a pawn in a supernatural game of treachery. If she is to stop Edmondson from ascending to the White House, she must find the amulet and the strength within herself to defeat him, or there will be Hell on Earth.
This is pretty great. Not exactly a sadistic choice, but you do end with a nice sense of either/or.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Okay, in summary, this is definitely an improvement. In fact, I think you're pretty close.
I would focus on the first paragraph, and if you can get it into the kind of format/order I suggested, so we really get to know your character first, and then once we care about her, BAM! you hit us with this winged god showing up, and suddenly her comfortable world of sipping scotch and grading papers becomes exciting and scary as hell.
After that, maybe a few tweaks here and there, but the final two thirds of this query are pretty good as-is.
What do you all think? Anyone want to take a crack at rewriting Andrea's opening paragraph?