Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Query Critique #18

Query #18 - Eliza

Dear Ms. Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Avikar has always dreamed of being an adventurer, but after his brother’s death, he stays home and accepts his life as a stable boy. Until, his beautiful sister Jeslyn is kidnapped, and the fear of losing another sibling sends him on a journey to rescue her. After failing to save his brother two years ago, he just can’t fail again. To find her, though, he must take on an unlikely ally--the man who kidnapped her.
I like this opening, but it could be a little tighter, and you need to watch the way you use commas (you've got a couple in the wrong places). 
Seventeen-year-old Avikar always dreamed of being an adventurer, but after his brother’s death, he stays home and accepts life as a stable boy. When his sister Jeslyn is kidnapped, the fear of losing another sibling sends him on a journey to rescue her. After failing to save his brother two years ago, he just can’t fail again. To find her, though, he must take on an unlikely ally--the man who kidnapped her.

His search for Jeslyn leads him to Eden--a secret paradise ruled by a young tyrannical, half-human lord named Lucino. Lucino has a hobby of collecting pretty girls, and has sent his men out on his latest request. Many girls are taken from their homes, but his desire to have the prettiest bride, makes Jeslyn the only girl worthy.
Good set-up of the conflict and setting. I've suggested some ways to tighten the prose (and there's another comma-issue). 
His search for Jeslyn leads him to Eden--a secret paradise ruled by a young, half-human tyrant named Lucino. Lucino has a hobby of collecting pretty girls, and his men have taken many from their homes. However, his desire to have the prettiest bride makes Jeslyn the only girl worthy.

In order to reach Jeslyn, Avikar will have to face an ancient guardian snake, seductive dark haired beauties, and a battle where he is hopelessly outnumbered. He begins to realize that he is in way over his head, and questions his ability to save her. He will have to overcome his fear of inadequacy and believe that he can be the hero he was born to be, or else Jeslyn will be lost forever.
Watch your clichés. 
In order to reach Jeslyn, Avikar will have to face an ancient guardian snake, seductive dark haired beauties, and a battle in which he is hopelessly outnumbered. He will have to overcome his fear of inadequacy and believe that he can be the hero he was born to be, or else Jeslyn will be lost forever.

WINDS OF CHANGE is a complete, 65,000 word YA fantasy, with outlines done for future books.
It's risky to mention that your book is the first of a series. If you can say that it can stand alone, I recommend that you do so (it's an easier sale for the agent). Feel free to mention that your book has "series potential," though. 
WINDS OF CHANGE is a complete, 65,000 word YA fantasy novel with series potential.

I don’t have any fancy credentials, unless not dying in the first few chapters of a Choose Your own Adventure book counts.
Normally I don't recommend having a line like this, but I laughed out loud when I read it. I suggest you only use it when you query agents who have something funny in their own website bios.   

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, 


XXX XXXX

I think you'll have a lot of interest in this book; I know several agents specifically request YA books with a male MC. Best of luck! 

2 comments:

Eliza Faith said...

Thank you so much. It means a lot to get some honest feedback.

kudos to the query tracker buddies, they helped me a lot on this query.

Keisha Azzalea said...


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