Feb 24, 2011

Query-The Eye of Tanúb

Thrust into a world he never knew was real, a young, chubby teen must overcome the scorn of his sister, his physical appetites, and the brutally savage Warlord.

In this 83,000 word YA fantasy, thirteen year old Zach Marriott is magically drawn into his favorite online computer game, Warlord, and 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 why would he want to go home? In the game he is strong, powerful and revered. In the end, he must confront his worst enemies: his pudgy body, his bratty sister who accidentally comes along for the ride, and ultimately, the desire to return home.

I wrote The Eye of Tanúb trying to imagine what it would be like to be pulled into a modern computer game like World of Warcraft or Halo. 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.

Melissa J Cunningham
www.melissajcunningham.blogspot.com

11 comments:

Anonymous Author said...

This query is pretty good.

It sounds like middle grades rather than YA (depending on what those "physical appetites" are). A 13-year-old protagonist, slightly older than the reader, is more likely to attract middle graders than high schoolers.

There's no need to explain why you wrote the story, especially as the protagonist-sucked-into-game seems to be in the zeitgeist right now. I'd take that out.

Other than that, this seems good and will probably get some requests.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Thank you! I'll make those adjustments. Do you think (in the first para) that it would sound better like this . . .

Thrust into a world he never knew was real, a young chubby teen must overcome the scorn of his sister, his physical appetites, and a brutally savage Warlord who threatens all hope of ever returning home.

Anonymous Author said...

No, there's nothing wrong with your opening. I think it's better to be precise about the protag's age. I don't know why, but I've always found editors to be pretty demanding about knowing a (juvenile) character's age.

Besides, you can't aim for the YA market by concealing that your MC is 13. There are plenty of examples of YA novels with younger characters. It's just going to be a slightly harder sell.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Deciding between YA and middle grade was something I really debated. I made it YA mainly because of Zach's older sister who is fifteen falls in love with one of the characters in the game. There's nothing graphic in those chapters, but I thought it might be "older" material than a 8-12 year old might read. I don't know. I would happily claim it as a middle grade but don't want to cut those fun scenes out.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Here is the revised query. Tell me what you think.

Thrust into a world he never knew was real, a young chubby teen must overcome the scorn of his sister, his physical appetites, and a brutally savage Warlord who threatens all hope of his ever returning home.

In this 83,000 word YA fantasy, thirteen year old Zach Marriott is magically drawn into his favorite online computer game, Warlord, and 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, he feels like a nobody. In the end, he must confront his worst enemies: his pudgy body, his bratty sister who accidentally comes along for the ride, and ultimately, the 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.


Sincerely,
Melissa J. Cunningham

Rick Daley said...

Melissa, would you like me to put this revision up in its own post?

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hi Rick! If you wouldn't mind, I'd love that. Thank you!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Not sure if I'm overly tired of working on this query, but I changed my bio paragraph. Think an agent will like it? =p

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. I've won a few minor awards for my writing but nothing important enough to write home about.

glj said...

Thrust into a world he never knew was real, a young, chubby teen must overcome the scorn of his sister, his physical appetites, and the brutally savage Warlord. (This is a rather dry synopsis of your story. Try to word your query in a more active way, as in your next paragraph. This is something you might say to someone to describe your current project, but isn't terribly compelling. It comes across as the author summarizing the concept)

In this 83,000 word YA fantasy, (Most agents seem to like this information as a separate paragraph, i.e., the title (IN CAPS), genre, and word count) (Paragraph break: When) thirteen year old Zach Marriott is magically drawn into his favorite online computer game, Warlord, and (he) learns he is destined take the place of the last living Ancient of that exhilarating, deadly world. (Here may be the place to show the reader that he is chubby and awkward in the real world) To return home, he must complete the impossible quest to obtain the Eye of Tanúb, (So the eye is more than a game goal? If so, it might be helpful if you show why it is important. Essentially, it seems that if he wins the game, he simultaneously wins passage home. So does he then have to fight the urge to win the game?) but why would he want to go home? In the game he is strong, powerful and revered. In the end, he must confront his worst enemies: his pudgy body, his bratty sister who accidentally comes along for the ride, (but if she came along, she is not a challenge at "the end"??) and ultimately, the desire to return home.

I wrote The Eye of Tanúb trying to imagine what it would be like to be pulled into a modern computer game like World of Warcraft or Halo. My book combines the online gaming culture of our youth today with the traditional conventions of a young adult fantasy novel. (I'm not sure I would include ANY of the first part of this paragraph. Agents don't seem to like the querier going on about a) what they feel the story portrays, or b) why the author wrote it. It is superfluous) 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. (Good)


Overall, this flows well. But I would try to make it read less like an after-the-fact summary. Yes, that's easy to say and harder to do. But you want your query to stand out as much as possible.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

From what I've studied, many say to have that first paragraph be a log line, which is what I did. It's so hard to know what to write so that most agents will like it. It's such a game. Argg! I'm tired! LOL

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hi Rick! This is the version I'd like you to publish. Thank you so much!

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.