May 26, 2009

Query-The Eternal Link (Version 2)

Click here to read the original query.

*any comments would be really helpful to me! thanks in advance!

Dear Mr./Ms. Agent,

I am seeking representation for my 80,000 word young adult fantasy novel, THE ETERNAL LINK.

Trees start talking, entire ancient villages appear out of thin air, and the wizard Valmont arrives in the 3000 CE ready to trample all who get between him and immortal power. All this, because sixteen-year old Catalina wants to find her true mother and instead causes a rift in time that collides the magical past and the high-tech future.

With the two worlds merging at an alarming rate and time leaps occurring as close as a few feet away, Catalina accepts her responsibility to restore order as an Eternal, a keeper of time. With so little of her magic developed, Catalina tries to renew the powers of the Eternal before her, an old wizard whose weakness caused Catalina to be chosen in his place. But with time literally running out and Valmont closing in, Catalina chooses between holding onto her hopes of a life with her real mother or her duty to return time to its proper state. A state where nothing is left of her new friends, her mother, or the boy she comes to love than a 2,000 year old memory.


jbchicoine said...

I think this sums up your story very well—nice and concise.
Specifying when Valmont arrives in '3000 CE', seems better than the general ‘future’ (delete ‘the’ before 3000).

The last sentence still seems a little awkward. Perhaps you could clarify it— something like, ‘A state where nothing is left of her new friends, her mother, and where the boy she comes to love will become only a 2,000 year old memory.’

Barb said...

Just an idea for the last sentence:
A state where a 2,000 year old memory will be all that is left of her new friends, her mother and the boy she comes to love.

Great story idea - best of luck with it.

DW Golden said...

Don't forget to add some biographical information at the end, especially anything you've published or classes taken, where you went to school, what you do when not writing.

DW Golden
Sour with fairies in this new young adult novel: Purple Butterflies.

Laura Martone said...

It sounds like a curious story, but I agree with the other bloggers that the last sentence is a bit awkward as it stands.

Also, in addition to adding some biographical info (if relevant) to the end of the query, you should include a polite send-off, such as "Thank you for your consideration. If you require a synopsis or complete manuscript, please contact me at the email address or phone number listed below. I look forward to hearing from you soon."

One last thing - it could just be me, but your first sentence is an all-too-common way to begin a query (Nathan Bransford once used it as an example of what NOT to do - if only because so many writers do). Perhaps you could plunge right into the story - and wrap up with the word count, genre, and title. But, again, it's just a thought.

Regardless of how you revise your query, you deserve a hearty pat on the back for crafting one and trying to make it even better! (I'll be doing the same soon.) ;-)

Scott said...

I agree with Laura, move the book title and word count to the end.

Also, I would caution you to use a more active voice. You begin several sentences with long subordinate clauses like:

"With the two worlds merging at an alarming rate and time leaps occurring as close as a few feet away, Catalina accepts..."

If you flip the order of the sentence, you'll get a stronger, more active voice. In most cases, straight-forward subject verb sentences work better. The sentence might read something like:

"Catalina embraces her responsibility to restore order as a time keeper, or Eternal, when the two worlds come crashing together..."

Do you see the difference?

Hope this helps!

Jen said...

Wow guys thanks for the great advice. I'm doing a little re-ordering and re-writing right now, so I'll post an updated version soon!

Rick Daley said...

Overall I think it's a really cool premise, but here are some nits...

The phrase "rift in time that collides..." seems odd to me. That's an aggressive action to apply to an inanimate object...I don't see the rift physically hurling the past into the future. I also think collide gives the wrong impression. A collision is fast, and the result is violent and destructive. I think "a rift in time that (couples/merges (you use this term later)/joins/connects/etc.)" seems like a more suitable word choice. But then again, you know your story better than I do!

"With so little of her magic developed..." this made me re-read the beginning to see what I missed about her magic not developing, I think it implies a prior reference that is not there, and therefore has an awkward flow. Actually, this whole sentence can be reversed, similar to what Scott suggested for the prior sentence. Not only is it more active, it tells the events in order:

"An old wizard, too weak to continue as Eternal, steps down. The vacancy forces Catalina to accept the post even though her own magical powers are under-developed."

And the last sentence is awkward, but that's already been pointed out.

Eden said...

I think the story is intriguing and you convey it well in your synopsis.

I think the problems with the last pp are about sentence structure; three sentences in a row start with "With" (if you take "but" off the beginning of one of them). And the last sentence is incomplete (there's no verb). It's an easy fix, varying the sentence structure.

Anonymous said...

Promising story! To me this reads more like a suspenseful pitch to a reader than an informative pitch to an agent, though. I think we need more concrete information about the world and people. Start with Catalina and her life, what's at stake for her, etc. I'm also confused about the "magical past and the high-tech future." Is Catalina living in the future or the past? What kind of magic does she have? What is driving her to find her mother? What exactly is Valmont trying to do that Catalina is trying to prevent? What does a "keeper of time" do? I'm afraid the generalities might keep an agent from understanding what's unique and different about your book.