Magic 8 Ball – Query Critique MishMash

A little white back, Crystal over at The Heart Of A Writer gifted me with the Magic 8 Ball Meme.

The rules are
1. Post the button and link to Jaycee deLorenzo, the creator of the Magic 8 Ball MeMe
2. Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you’re struggling with, are stuck on, or just can’t “get right.”
3. Ask a question about your excerpt. It can be something easy such as “What do you think?” or something more in-depth, such as “Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such,” or “How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?”
4. Tag 8 people. (I won’t be doing this, but I invite anyone who is having trouble with a piece to snaffle this baby.)

I don’t tend to have a lot of trouble with my writing. Hitting a bump often makes me step back, do something unimportant and let it simmer. Or I’ll end up ranting at my other half until his attempts to understand what I’m on about creates an epiphany.
So let’s go with my query for my Paranormal Novella, Golden Dawn. I’m not the best on queries, it’s on par with my ability to write a coherent synopsis (it tends to get away from me), and go through so many attempts.
Due to my constant tinkering, this is version … seven.

Herald, eldest son of a bloodthirsty strigoi, endured two centuries of hell before escaping into the human world. He watched, helpless, as his twin brother was murdered by the very villagers his father insists on raiding. Though he has reservations about his father’s human-only diet, Herald has nevertheless devoted all of his 1100 years towards protecting his family from outsiders.

Bewildered by his orders to guard the giant crystal held within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to hold the spirit of an angel. She is his father’s failed attempt to gain true immortality. One he cannot be rid of. Breaking the crystal would free her, but the uncontained magic would level their sheltered valley. Herald’s deranged sister doesn’t care. She’d rather risk destruction than let the angel influence another sibling.

When the angel’s continued existence becomes more important to Herald than his siblings, it results in that sister’s death and his banishment. But the angel has taken mortal form in preparation to leave this world and her immortal-gifting blood is free for the taking. Now Herald must decide whether his true loyalty lies with his family or his heart. Either choice will demand death. Only the right path will ensure the life taken is not his.

GOLDEN DAWN, complete at 33,000 words and the first in a trilogy of novellas, is a Paranormal with romantic elements, loosely set in the 1500’s.

I want to make it plain that I am after opinions, so don’t hesitate in giving your thoughts, I shall be taking them all in.
On the flip-side, if you’re also struggling with your query, Unicorn Bell is dealing with them all week long.

11 thoughts on “Magic 8 Ball – Query Critique MishMash

  1. For me, I really like the hook of “Herald has devoted all 1100 years of his life to protecting his family” because you have a feeling that something is going to change to make him not want to protect his family. It is buried, however, amongst the backstory in the rest of that paragraph. Otherwise, I like the rest of it.


  2. Hey! Some intriguing stuff in here! Nice work! I think you've got a good outline here, but because you asked, I've got some thoughts…

    I think in parts it's a bit vague–I think a few things can be described more to amp up the tension. Right off the bat I want to know who the Strigoi are, what does that mean? That will help put us in the world more. Also, protecting the family from whom? If we know the danger, it'll create tension. And what are his reservations? (I know, a lot of questions up front, but it'll make the MC and the world seem more real–connect the reader to the story) Also, how does his growing love for the angel endanger everyone? It's these little details that need to be spelled out so the agent/reader can see how your book is different from everyone else. Without them, it's not clear. 😀

    Also, 33K is too short for a novel. An agent would reject off of word count alone, in my opinion. Can you add another 15K? I think it really needs to be over 50 to be considered a novel.

    But sounds like you have some fun things in here. I'm excited for you! It really does sound like a fantastic tale! ❤


  3. I found your blog from the GUTGAA event. I couldn't resist checking out a few blogs before the event started and following them as well.

    Oh, this novel sounds like a lot of fun. Plus, it different than anything that is out there. I immediatly wanted to know more. Like your first few lines. I'm really wanting to learn more about blood-thirsty strigoi.

    The character already makes me bond with him-he lost his brother. This moment is huge in his life and it really makes me root for him. I say you have a novel that is definatly interesting. Keep wrting, keep going because I have got to read this someday.

    Russo @


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