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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Query Letter: Return of the Gods

   
Author Topic: Query Letter: Return of the Gods
Jed Anderson
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Archaeologists found ancient Mayan scriptures telling of a war in the stars that caused their Gods to leave this world. The Maya created a calendar to count down to the time when their Gods would return. The Purification that followed their return tore this world apart. It is now that Mankind lives in fear from the beings from the stars, and he must hide his most precious possession, his children, lest they be stolen by the Gods.

Orion Samson was beget of those once stolen and then cast away by the Gods. Raised in what was once known as the American midwest, he earned the title “Godslayer” at the age of seventeen after killing a God in defense of his sister. He's traveled the land in search of those with the same heritage. Those born with a gift, and a curse. In the fight against these beings that call themselves Gods, Orion takes the charge to end the terror that steals children to create Demons. Creatures who enslave mankind under a blanket of fear and death. To keep those that he loves safe, Orion must find the conviction to finish what he has started. But, most importantly, he must take up the mantle of an Arc and liberate Mankind from the Gods, before humanity is condemned forever.

The Return of the Gods is a science fiction novel of 71,000 words, and is potentially the first of a series.

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by Jed Anderson:
Archaeologists found ancient Mayan scriptures telling of a war in the stars that caused their Gods to leave this world. The Maya created a calendar to count down to the time when their Gods would return. The Purification that followed their return tore this world apart. It is now that Mankind lives in fear from the beings from the stars, and he must hide his most precious possession, his children, lest they be stolen by the Gods.

You don't need the initial "It is" or "that", just say "Now Mankind lives in fear . . ."

quote:
Orion Samson was beget
begotten
quote:
of those once stolen and then cast away by the Gods. Raised in what was once known as the American midwest, he earned the title “Godslayer” at the age of seventeen after killing a God in defense of his sister. He's traveled the land in search of those with the same heritage. Those born with a gift, and a curse. In the fight against these beings that call themselves Gods, Orion takes the charge to end the terror that steals children to create Demons. Creatures who enslave mankind under a blanket of fear and death. To keep those that he loves safe, Orion must find the conviction to finish what he has started. But, most importantly, he must take up the mantle of an Arc and liberate Mankind from the Gods, before humanity is condemned forever.

The Return of the Gods is a science fiction novel of 71,000 words, and is potentially the first of a series.

All of the first paragraph and most of the second paragraph is devoted to background. It's hard to avoid some of that in sf or fantasy, but I'd argue this is too much. If your story starts with Samson saving his sister, then start with that (and put it in present tense, so we know it is part of the story and not just history from before the story starts). Otherwise, minimize the back story as much as possible and tell what this story is about.

Concentrate on three questions:
  • Who is the main character and why should we care?
  • What problem does he face? Or what choices must he make? (In other words, what's the central conflict?)
  • What are the consequences of those choices? What are the stakes?

That's all mostly in there, it's just being submerged in all the background rather than showcased.

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Jed Anderson
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It has been over fifty years since Earth was torn apart by the Purification the returned Mayan Gods put it under, and Mankind lives in fear from the beings that came down from the stars. He must hide his most precious possession, his children, lest they be stolen by the Gods. Hope is spreading, though, as the story of a Godslayer sweeps across the ruined land. It is said he will bring war to the creatures that force man to live under a blanket of fear and death.

Orion Samson was begotten of those once stolen and then cast away by the Gods. Raised in what was once known as the American midwest, he was given the name “Godslayer” at the age of seventeen after killing a God in defense of his sister. Now, to keep those he loves safe, Orion must find the conviction to finish what he has started. He must take up the mantle given to him. He and his Arcs, joined with the Honliona, the scattered pockets of human resistance fighters, will end the terror that steals their children to create Demons. Before it is too late, and humanity is condemned forever.

The Return of the Gods is a science fiction novel of 71,000 words, and is potentially the first of a series.

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Carl F
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Jed,
Could "put it under" be replaced by 'inflicted' and end the sentence there. "Mankind now lives in.. We must hide our most precious possessions, our children. The Gods would steal them to make them Demons.
The story of 'Godslayer' has given humanity hope."
Orion Sampson was that 'Godslayer'. He earned that name.......

Shorter sentences give greater impact to my understanding. Just some thoughts.

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Jed Anderson
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Thanks Carl. I'll see what I can come up with.
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