Feb 24, 2011

Query-The Eye of Tanúb (revised)

Click here to read the original query.

Thrust into a world he never knew was real, thirteen year old Zach Marriott must overcome the scorn of his sister, the physical appetites of his chubby body, and a brutally savage Warlord.

In THE EYE OF TANÚB, an 83,000 word YA fantasy, Zach is magically drawn into his favorite online computer game, Warlord. He learns he is destined take the place of the last living Ancient of that exhilarating, deadly world. To return home, he must complete the impossible quest to obtain the Eye of Tanúb, but he's not sure he wants to go home. In the game he is strong, powerful and revered. At home . . . not so much. In the end, he must confront his worst enemies: his pudgy body, his bratty sister who accidentally comes along for the ride and attracts misfortune at every turn, and ultimately, his desire to return home.

My book combines the online gaming culture of our youth today with the traditional conventions of a young adult fantasy novel. I graduated from the Longridge Writer's Course in December 2010, am a member of the League of Utah Writers, and write weekly on my blog, A Writer's Reality.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my query. I look forward to hearing from you.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

If your writing awards are not "important enough to write home about", why mention them?

Rick Daley said...

NOTE TO COMMENTORS:

The original post was edited immediately after publication. Anon's comment above about the awards was in a draft published by mistake, and has been removed. So Anon is of sound mind, don't go hunting for that phrase.

Anonymous Author said...

Melissa, I'm not a great fan of bios, unless the agent or editor you're querying actually asks for them. But at least you've avoided the two great pitfalls of bios, irrelevant info ("I am the mother of three wonderful kids and a Great Dane") and reaching for writing credentials ("I have been published in the Bumchuck Hollow Weekly Advertiser").

As for the question you raised in the last thread about an older character's romantic entanglements: of my three published middle grade novels, two contain romances between older characters. This doesn't change the fact that they're middle grade, based on the plot and on the age of the protagonist.

Of course, it's unlikely anyone's going to reject your query for getting the age group wrong, unless they happen not to represent/publish that age group.

I do wonder about that "physical appetites" line. If you're talking about his sex drive, well that's not hugely middle grades. It can certainly be dealt with in a middle grades book but it probably doesn't belong in the query.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

His appetites are more about food. Should I word that in a different way?

Anonymous Author said...

Absolutely you should word it in a different way... as it is it sounds like something else.

As I said before, though, there's not a whole lot of tweaking to do; this query is succinct and gets the point across.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

How's this for a revision?


Thrust into a world he never knew was real, thirteen year old Zach Marriott must overcome the scorn of his sister, the weakness of his chubby body, rejection from his hero, and the dreaded Warlord.

In THE EYE OF TANÚB, an 83,000 word YA fantasy, Zach is magically drawn into his favorite online computer game. He learns he is destined take the place of the last living Ancient of that exhilarating, deadly world, but to return home, he must find the Eye of Tanúb, a nearly impossible quest to complete. Here lies the problem. He's not sure he wants to go home. In the game he is strong, powerful and revered. At home . . . not so much. In the end, he must confront his worst enemies: his pudgy body, his bratty sister who accidentally comes along for the ride and attracts misfortune at every turn, and ultimately, the brutally savage Warlord.

My book combines the online gaming culture of our youth today with the traditional conventions of a young adult fantasy novel. I graduated from the Longridge Writer's Course in December 2010, am a member of the League of Utah Writers, and write weekly on my blog, A Writer's Reality.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my query. I look forward to hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

I think this latest revision (the one posted in the comment) loses the rhythm of the second query post.

I like the online gaming angle and especially the idea that Zach is more comfortable with his alter ego than with himself (although I do hope by the end he discovers how to like himself in real life...). I'd start with that.

The "thrust into a world he never knew was real" line sounds pretty but doesn't actually show us anything. Worse, it's confusing, since we haven't yet been introduced to the online game.

Also, there's no need to repeat the list ( about Zach being fat, his sister, etc.) in both paragraphs. But both of those sentences are too long anyway.

Lastly, I'd reconsider revealing the Longridge thing. I've been to their web site, and I don't see any difference between them and those old "Learn to Draw" ads on the backs of comic books. It may be legit (I find that hard to believe) but I find it even harder to believe that any agent would see this credit as anything more than amateur stuff. In fact, I'd ditch the whole bio -- everybody and their mother has a blog nowadays, even my 9 year old kid. And being a member of a writer's "league" means what exactly?

If you've published, that's great. If you haven't, then just let the novel speak for itself.