Mar 19, 2009

Query - shadowland

A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

(Personalized comments to the agent…) shadowland, is an urban fantasy, YA with paranormal tendencies.

Tian, the new guy in school, is fascinated by the way Jordan’s eyes change color with her emotions—something only he can see. And Jordan barely notices her mind translating his words when Tian speaks the ancient language of his birth. As their relationship deepens Jordan learns that Tian is a knight from Annwn, the otherworld of Celtic mythology, who has come to stop the increasingly frequent attacks on mortals by the dark ones, evil creatures from his realm.

When Jordan impulsively says “I love you” to Tian the moment is magic, literally; she doesn’t realize she’s left the familiar forest near her home and crossed into another realm. When Tian says he loves her, too, falling leaves spiral around the young couple’s joined hands as the watching trees unite them in a handfasting ceremony. Tian and Jordan don’t immediately grasp the significance—they find out they are all but married only when Tian’s mother sees gold light circling their wrists and asks when they did it. They already planned to marry, so as far as Jordan and Tian are concerned this simplifies everything.

Tian’s father, the Lord of Annwn, doesn’t approve of his son marrying a mortal but reluctantly realizes it isn’t his decision to make. As Jordan’s life becomes more intertwined with Tian and his world, they become the focus of attacks from the dark ones, particularly one powerful creature that stalks them in both realms. It is part animal, part human, able to change not just form but gender—and she has murder on her mind.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

"Personalized comments to the agent…) shadowland, is an urban fantasy, YA with paranormal tendencies."

It should read either YA Urban Fantasy or YA Paranormal. Also, you don't list a word count for your manuscript. The other thing is that this reads as a synopsis of the book and not a query. While I like the romantic aspect, nothing much happens. It sounds more like a Faerie Twilight, and you want to be careful because unless your pages (if they ask for them) are great, you may be submitting to an already staturated market.

Also, a little thing you might want to tighten:

"When Tian says he loves her, too, falling leaves spiral around the young couple’s joined hands as the watching trees unite them in a handfasting ceremony. Tian and Jordan don’t immediately grasp the significance—they find out they are all but married only when Tian’s mother sees gold light circling their wrists and asks when they did it. They already planned to marry, so as far as Jordan and Tian are concerned this simplifies everything."

Wow, that's a lot of information.
But it doesn't do anything to sell your story. I'd take all this out because YA marrying? 14-18 age group for YA and then mom only wants to know when they did it?
Plus the kids go, oh well, we wanted to get married anyway...
I'm pretty sure your book holds all the secrets yet to be revealed in a wonderful fashion, so find the treasure and just tighten this up a bit. The story sounds like it could be quite lovely with some tinkering here and there.

lucy in the sky said...

I didn't put word count because I'm trying to get the query letter right while I work on the next draft. I'd like to post a revised query using the suggestions I get.

Alex said...

Maybe make the subject matter of the query proportionate to the subject changes in your book. If the intense-love story only takes up the first several chapters, you don't want to take two-thirds of the query to discuss it. All of the tension lies in that third paragraph. And eight years ago, when I was sixteen, I would've eaten up the young marriage thing!

Grrr.... said...

I find the story intriguing, but this is too long for a query letter. Perhaps the entire paragraph about their romantic relationship could be summarized by something like, "Their impulsive declarations of love magically bind them together and transport them to Annwn." His parents' reactions don't need to be part of the query, so I would cut the entire second paragraph and the first sentence of the third.

You reveal the main conflict in the end with the mention of the attacks, the one more powerful adversary, and with a great turn of phrase, "-and she has murder on her mind." This should receive more emphasis, which I think will happen in a shorter query.

I hope you get it published; I would like to read more! Good luck!