May 24, 2010


When fourteen year old Amelia Dean hears a voice calling to her from her computer, she decides it’s time to get out of town. Amelia heads to Brocton, NY. with her friend Greg and his eccentric Grandma. But a car accident and a magical String transport Amelia and Greg to Mystic, where Amelia is healed, Greg disappears and a nefarious wizard named Ralient insists Amelia join him or die. Amelia must face Ralient, rescue Greg and decide whether to stay in the land of her ancestors or return home to the family she loves and her wheelchair.

My 55,000 word fantasy, Mystic explores how a teen in a wheelchair must rely on inner strength while facing constant physical and emotional challenges.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my submission.

Krista Rausin


Piedmont Writer said...

I liked this but it was way too choppy. I'm assuming Amelia is a parapalegic before she gets transported so you might want to say that right from the beginning.

When 14 yr old parapaligic Amelia...etc.

And why would a voice be calling to her from her computer? This is weird. And then she leaves? I don't get it.

Begin the second paragraph with

A car accident...(skip the But)

What is a magical String and why is it capitalized?

Why does Ralient insist Amelia join him? Besides the dying part. Does he love her?

What is the land of her ancestors? Mystic Connecticut? or the magical place of Mystic?

I also don't think you need to explain to the agent what a teen would face in a wheelchair. We, as people, would already realize what an uphill battle that would be.

I think you have all the elements for a great query but this is a little light. I also think you need just a bit more to the hook.

Answer some of the questions I posed and I think you'll find it come together. Best of luck with this.

Jenny said...

I agree with Piedmont Writer that this sounds interesting but the query doesn't explain enough. The entire query is less than 150 words, so you've certainly got room to expand a bit.

My questions as I read:

-how does a 14-year-old just decide to leave? It's not like she can drive.

-Also, why Brocton? And does it matter, since she never makes it?

-What is Amelia healed of? I wasn't sure whether she had some preexisting condition that hadn't been mentioned or if the car accident had injured her.

-How is she healed? Is there some other character who does it or is it a part of being in Mystic?

-Where do the ancestors come in? If Amelia has a connection to Mystic and that's why she was catapulted there, it would be nice to know.

-So what was the voice in the computer? It's never mentioned again.

You don't explicitly say this is YA. I assume so from the content and wordcount but it would be best to know for sure.

Rick Daley said...

It's brief, and I think you get the major points of the story across, but I agree with the others that it is done in a manner that raises many questions.

The voice from the computer is mentioned at the beginning, but is not mentioned again or explained. I'm going to take advantage of today's place in pop-culture and officially coin this the LOST syndrome.

I agree that the fact she is in a wheelchair should be up front in the query. Should be easy to slip it in there, e.g. "When a voice from her computer almost knocks her from her wheelchair..."

What happens to Grandma in the car accident?

How is Mystic the land of Amelia's ancestors?

There are a couple typos:

- hyphenate "fourteen-year-old"

- stray period after NY

This isn't a bad start, but I think you should stew on the feedback for a couple days (and a few more comments may come in) and give it another spin.

Botanist said...

I'm trying to get down my own thoughts before getting distracted by the comments already there, so please bear with me if there's some repetition.

This is certainly brief and to the point, which is good. It seems to cover the essentials of a good query: introduces the protagonist, antagonist, conflict, and a serious choice to be made. And this sounds like it could be an interesting story.

However, some room for improvement IMHO. I felt there were a few discontinuities and credibility gaps. Why would Amelia decide to leave town? I'd have taken the computer in for repair. And would a fourteen-year-old have the freedom to make that choice? Where are her parents in all this? And we don't know she's wheelchair-bound until the end of the paragraph, so when you said she's healed, I thought you meant cured of hearing voices emanating from miscellaneous hardware.

Finally, 55000 words sounds a bit light for an adult fantasy, I assume (from the age of the protagonist) that this is YA? If so, I suggest making this clear.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

When you do revise, definitely consider renaming your fantasy land. The fact that Mystic is a town in Connecticut is confusing.

Jill said...

Just to back up the comments of some of the other posters:

I was confused about Amelia and the wheelchair. First I thought she was injured in the car accident, but maybe not.

I too thought of Mystic, CT.

Show, don't tell, what the book is about. If the query has done its job, you shouldn't have to conclude with "my book is about..."

Great job not getting bogged down in details. My eyes tend to glaze over when I read most fantasy (the fault is with my eyes, not with the fantasy genre), but I stayed with you for the entire query.

Also, I love love love the idea of a YA MC in a wheelchair. One of my college friends was wheelchair bound, and just finding an accessable public restroom was a fantastic adventure! Your MC rocks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jill. Our family knows all about trying to find accessible restrooms here in the United States and in Europe. Oh the adventures we've had!