Mar 23, 2011

Query- The Silver Strand (3rd revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.

Dear Agent,

I submit my middle grade, fantasy adventure, The Silver Strand, complete at 55,000 words for your consideration.  The novel is based in the northern coast of New South Wales, Australia and in the inner earth city of Agartha.  It will appeal to readers who laugh out loud, or those who love mythical creatures, secret underground worlds and high-tech flying devices as featured in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl.

When thirteen year old Isabelle Tresdon wishes her chunky, silver strand of hair never sprouted, she never bargained on it draining her magical power and life.

With five days to save her life, she undertakes three tests with the help of two Masterminds, in exchange for delivering a crystal bracelet encoded with information.  Trouble is, these two tricksters manipulate energy using their minds and their idea of tests equals Isabelle's worst nightmare.  First they transform her into a toad forcing her to rely on prickling warts to dodge death.  Then she is challenged by a grumpy dragon who threatens to roast her on a spit.

Isabelle thinks her last test will be a breeze until she and her companions are accused of being traitors and imprisoned in Agartha.  To escape, she must muster what remains of her magic and battle corrupt Agarthan leaders who break every rule to seize the bracelet and protect their secrets.  If Isabelle's already good as dead, she may as well go down fighting.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


yankinfrance said...

I feel you're kind of floundering here.

I suggest you go read the Query Shark blog -- read through all of the archives from start to finish, it's a couple of well-spent days. That will really help you to focus.

If nothing else, your query actually begins with the second paragraph -- ditch the first one entirely (except for the first sentence, perhaps, apparently some agents prefer that).

The fact that the novel is set in Australia and Agartha just isn't really important -- neither are brought up again in the query, but both can easily be dealt with briefly and later on in the query.

The query should be about the CHARACTER and her conflict(s). It's not about the place, and it's certainly not about "readers who laugh out loud" (which -- huh?).

Focus the query on Isabelle and her story, show us the danger she faces and the perils she'll have to face along the way to save her life.

Also, trim those paragraphs -- they're too long, with too many run-on sentences.

And read the Query Shark, it's an excellent resource.

Anonymous Author said...

Agree with every word yankinfrance says.

Will not bother repeating my previous advice.

Mark said...

I agree with other 2 posts on this.

Everything I have seen on queries indicates that your first paragraph detailing the book's particulars, should in fact be the last.

Look at 1st sentence of your 2nd paragraph- I think this is a good start, but you could tighten up this sentence to draw us in.

"With five days to save her life, she undertakes three tests with the help of two Masterminds, in exchange for delivering a crystal bracelet encoded with information"- this sentence has promise but I feel it is too busy- maybe because of the five, three, and two descriptions. Maybe you can tie this sentence to your very first one ("When thirteen year old...") to draw us in.

Your length is good- I think about 242 words-

Good luck with revisions- you have a strong premise/ story here.