Sunday, March 29, 2009

Querying

My husband had commented to me that my blogs were full of typos. And I looked back over them this weekend, and he was right! So I spent some time fixing them. I don't know if I caught all of them, but I hope I did find the most glaring ones.

This week just sped by. I decided it was time to start working on my query letter. And so I posted it on a forum, and got it critiqued. The consensus was that I wasn't being specific enough, which funnily enough is what Rob told me. He always tells me that. I guess I am a generalist or something. So I worked on it, and posted another one--still not specific enough. Third attempt had a huge info dump--which you don't want in the query.

So here is my fourth attempt. A query is supposed to be about 250 words long. It should really get into the meat of the story, and it should suck the agent in enough that he/she will request pages. So please feel free to give me your opinion of my current query attempt. I will try to incorporate your suggestions.

Here it is:

Isis is a senior in high school focused on keeping her carefully controlled world from falling out of balance. She doesn’t know why strange things happen around her, just that they are unacceptable to her mother. She doesn’t realize that two magical societies are racing to find her. Ares has nearly achieved its goal of world domination by using both its magical powers and political connections. Damia exists to stop Ares from destroying the world.

When Isis uses her gift to save her life she is drawn into the world of Damia. Dane, her classmate, is one of Damia’s strongest members and is being trained for a leadership position. He guides her as she learns there is a purpose for her powers. Soon Ares discovers Isis and tries to convince her to join them. The fight intensifies as both groups realize that Isis is a dreamer and the most gifted mage of her generation. This gift allows her to manipulate others’ subconscious as well as work powerful magic in the Hall of Dreams. Her choice will tip the balance of power between the two groups allowing one to annihilate the other.

Isis is torn between embracing her true identity as a mage by joining one of the groups and the rejection of her family who has shunned every sign that Isis may possess the gift of magic. Through her dreams Isis learns of the plot of a future bombing followed by the assassination of the current president. As Isis and Dane race to stop the bombing, she learns that it is a trap and is kidnapped. Isis realizes that she must risk everything to save her life and the world that she knows.

THE GUARDIANS is a 57,000-word Young Adult contemporary fantasy novel.


Also I don't like the title. It is a work in progress--so any cool words that you know that have to do with protection or something would be great.

Thanks! Have a great week!

2 comments:

jessie said...

When I got to this sentence: "Her choice will tip the balance of power between the two groups allowing one to annihilate the other" I felt concluded, that the query was over. But then the third paragraph opens up a new conflict and another hanger sentence: "Isis realizes that she must risk everything to save her life and the world that she knows." I guess if it were possible to weave these two conflicts (because of course the actual novel is going to have more than one conflict) into one paragraph, and one cliff-hanger sentence, it may read better. I'm definitely not an experienced query professional, but I tried to read it like I was reading the inside of a jacket cover, which I hear is good advice. Great story, however. It seems very well-developed. And both hanger-sentences were good, wetting my appetite for more, but you may just need one. What about "the Keepers." ???

Mim said...

Jessie--Thanks so much for your input. I get what you are saying about the two hanger sentences. I'll see if I can work the two together more! I like the name The Keepers, too!