12.17.2006

HH Com 137

Gielle Paliter has always been fascinated by MindWalkers: small mammals that drink blood and, on rare occasions, Bond with a human Keeper, joining their two minds together. Information on Walkers is restricted, though, as the Walker-Keeper Bonds form the elite corps of the Kylton Alliance's defense, due to the mysterious Mental Strike ability that people whisper can wipe a brain clean - and then shut it down.

Gielle's immersed in the Walker Project when she and her father are invited to Lycaon to negotiate for Meris' entry into the Alliance. Invited to visit Alpha Station, the heart of the Project, she's introduced to both Bonded and unBonded Walkers - including a youngster named Irif. Then her world collapses when her father is attacked and left with only the slightest remnant of a brain - and no marks on his body. Confronted with the news, she demands to return home, then threatens a declaration of war when the Chancellor orders her to be locked at the Station. However, the danger isn't all external, as Irif attacks her, leaving her bleeding, weak, with a tiny voice in the back of her mind that isn't her own: "Gielle mine."

Still recovering from the Bonding, Gielle finds herself in a position of power as the Senate turns to her for a decision on the Alliance. Meanwhile, the assassin is still on the planet, and the Project believes he has an accomplice - one with the ability to harvest a mind.

Dragon Riders of Pern meet Night of the Living Dead. Film rights should bring millions.

This is a mess right now. Focus. Let me say that again: FOCUS. Don't build worlds. Don't explain. Get to the problem. She's got a bug in her brain and ...what? I'm not exactly sure.

12 comments:

Annie said...

"mysterious Mental Strike ability" sounds like it belongs in a video game. It may work fine in the story, but in the query it gives the wrong impression.

HawkOwl said...

Exactly. Pern redux. And I hated Pern.

amberdulen said...

Hey girl!

I think you might be suffering from Capital Syndrome: there are so many proper nouns in this that it makes me want to skim. The only ones you need are the names (and even then, not all of them) and the word MindWalker. Use common nouns that we recognize--the planet, the station, the hosts.

Try starting at the point where Gielle has been attacked. Then you can go on to explain about her mission and her father, because then we have a sense of the stakes.

wonderer said...

Miss Snark, I thought you were blocking the commenters who were nasty for the sake of being nasty.

Exactly. Pern redux. And I hated Pern.

NOT USEFUL!

Pern redux? Maybe, although I've seen it elsewhere as well and there's room to play with. But your hatred of Pern is NOT something that is going to help #137 write a better hook or even a better book. Keep it to yourself already!

Kit Whitfield said...

Who's Meris? What's Lycaon? What's the Project? Who are the Kylton Alliance defending against? Who's allied with who? What's the Station? Chancellor of what?

How do you shut down a brain, and if you can, then why wipe it clean beforehand? What does harvesting a mind involve? Is Irif male or female? Is Irif human or a MindWalker? ('Youngster' sounds human.) And why are they called MindWalkers when their telepathy doesn't involve walking and their main trait seems to be vampirism?

You lay out a lot of imaginary things and places without making it clear what they are, which is confusing for the reader. In general, I think your problem is that you're writing as if the reader is already familiar with your world, which isn't a useful in a pitch.

What would work better would be an introduction of the characters' lives and situations in a way that gets us interested in them as people. You can then sketch in the background as it becomes relevant to their story (making it clear what's what), as we'll have people to care about involved in it.

Angus Weeks said...

The two most important things that you completely leave out -

1) Who, or what, is Meris?

2) Who is Gielle that she has the power to threaten warfare and direct a senate? You never mentioned that she's someone of power - I thought she was a teenage girl going on a trip with her daddy.

Bernita said...

Oh. Dear.
Hall monitors pointing fingers at other posters isn't exactly useful, either.

shannon said...

You might want to start by introducing Gielle with adjectives of importance, as someone with the power to make a declaration of war etc.

Definitely launch straight into the interesting stuff, leave the world-building to minor details, it will show through when you reveal other, more plot-oriented things. It's a fine line between giving the reader some credit and having them distracted by endless questions Who? What? Huh? but, if you can nail it, will make your hook sound as interesting as your premise (I love stuff about mind manipulation!)

Anonymous said...

Kind of a cool premis IMO. The others are right about the confusion in the hook, but, as a SF buff, I like the basic idea a lot. I'm not sure what to tell you as far as which aspect to adress as the plot, but I think I'd leave out the murder unless you throw it in as a "not to metion the little murder...", because the decision she is being given sounds more important in the overall scheme of things. And definitel trim down the mind meld thing somehow. I know that's gonna be tough to do in a concise sentence or three, but it's essential IMO.

writtenwyrdd said...

The description is background info. The conflict seems to be all about dealing with her fathers murder; the complication being she is now bonded herself. Okay, so why should I care? I want to like your book--it's my kind of book!-- but you haven't told me what makes this struggle interesting.

There have been a number of books out there with animal/human mental bonds in them. Pern, Valdemar, etc. I would think that if yours doesn't have some refreshing angle, it won't get much attention from an agent.

writtenwyrdd said...

The description is background info. The conflict seems to be all about dealing with her fathers murder; the complication being she is now bonded herself. Okay, so why should I care? I want to like your book--it's my kind of book!-- but you haven't told me what makes this struggle interesting.

There have been a number of books out there with animal/human mental bonds in them. Pern, Valdemar, etc. I would think that if yours doesn't have some refreshing angle, it won't get much attention from an agent.

Anonymous said...

I too, like the basic idea but I confess to getting confused with the detail you provide.

I couldn't work out if Irif was human or not. I assumed he was until he 'bonded' with her.