I'll be querying again soon, about a matriarchal, nomadic, goat herding society. Hopefully they'll all love this next one.I perked up immediately.
I mean who doesn't want a book about matriarchal, goat herding nomads?
BUT, and this is a big but, there was a missed opportunity here.
Thanks to Sara for generously allowing me to use her as the demo-chum.
2:20pm update from the comments
Hank references great old movie: The Gods Must Be Crazy
There needs to be an empty coke / pepsi bottle that fell from the sky.
Post a blog filled with writers, and sure enough, you get a story:
I’m guessing magic beans, which Suri the surly goat-herder (and reluctant heir to her grandmother’s goat fur crown) will feed to the goats in the hopes that they’ll sprout wings and fly away so she can skip off (on a flying goat, with any luck) to the bright lights of faraway Oasis and fulfill her dream of becoming a forensic accountant. And the trouble that ensues when it turns out that her lifelong nemesis, Carbuncle the Foul, has tainted the magic beans so that instead of bestowing the power of flight, they cause the goats to multiply exponentially every 10 minutes and follow Suri wherever she goes. In other words, a compelling protagonist with a knotty problem and a ticking clock.
In other words, a story. Which I’m sure S.P. Bowers has —we just didn’t get to hear about it yet, and we are poorer for it. I hope we’ll get to hear it soon.
Heading in the right direction
K. White Stakes and conflict.
Atlantic: I was missing conflict.
Claire Bobrow: I'm guessing what several of you already said: stakes and conflict.
Beth Carpenter: I agree with several of you. The story is about a matriarchal, goat herding society AND what happens when something important changes. In other words, the instigating event.
Barbara Etlin: Conflict and stakes.
Here's my take. There is no verb. No action. No DO and therefore no conflict.
"A story about a matriarchal, nomadic, goat herding society THAT ..."
They need to DO something. Like others have said ... that is where story and conflict happen.
An example would be:
Jaws is a story about three men--a sheriff, a scientist and a semi-loon fisherman.
But that is not what Jaws is about. That's just who is involved.
Jaws is a story about three men--a sheriff, a scientist and a semi-loon fisherman--who risk their lives hunting down a giant great white in a small boat. (or something to that effect)
My updateAll stories are about conflict. So what is missing:
A matriarchal, nomadic, goat herding society battles vampires, dragons, and zombies for survival.
Here's what's missing: a taste of the plot, or the challenges faced by the characters. Clearly in a blog comment you don't have 25 words or even 10 words to describe it. Two or three at MOST.
Which means it's going to take a while to get it right. The fewer the words, the longer the writing time.
So: matriarchal, goat herding society
who get caught up in a waror whatever the change in situation is that prompts the start of the book.
who get kidnapped by aliens
who find dragons at the next oasis
And why do you need that?
Because if you have that, and if I read it, I'm probably going to say something like "I want to read that."
You've seen me do that with Julie Weathers and the Lady Bronc Riders. No pressure Julie. Nope, none.
You spend time on this blog and on Twitter. Think of it as investing not spending.
Don't miss a chance to catch my eye, or the eye of other agents on Twitter.
If you think we're not looking for good stuff, well you haven't been paying attention.