Dear Fantastic Agent:
For your consideration, my young adult fantasy, SHADOWS AND LIGHT, is complete at 85,000 words. Set in a world where darkness reigns and survival is an everyday struggle, seventeen-year-old Jazzlyn is desperate to save the boy she loves from the rebels holding him hostage, but doing so requires betraying the only person who can restore light to Creperi. So far I’m intrigued. The first is a bit vague, but immediately I sense the conflict, what Jazzlyn will be fighting for, and even though I don’t know who the gatekeeper (so to speak) is, I know there will be one. Great.
I think to address the broadness of your first statement you need to stay clear of general declarations like darkness reigns and survival is an everyday struggle. Is there something more specific, more unique and distinctive that makes your setting a place where an agent would want to spend his/her time?
Also, this last sentence contains a lot of ‘is’s. Remember what I said in the first query breakdown? That all verb forms of am/be/was should be eliminated or replaced with a verb that conveys stakes? I would do that here. The council protects the people, but they also punish and their practice lacks leniency. Not great, but you get the idea.
Ignoring her fear, she swears to uphold the laws of Creperi and seek aid from Lumen's ruler, Alphonsine, to restore the light to their impoverished land. This first sentence should be included in the paragraph above. But hours before her first trip to Lumen, a group of rebels kidnaps her betrothed. They want the light stone in exchange for his life, but stealing it from Alphonsine means breaking her promise to the council. If caught, she'll suffer their retribution, and if Alphonsine discovers her crime, all of Creperi will pay for her betrayal. Here the stakes are high, there’s a twist. This is good. Out with a bang!
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Thank you so much for sharing with us. I hope having another set of eyes helps you achieve the dynamic query you're sure to write! And like the first query breakdown, I'm sure our star-queriers would appreciate some feedback from all of you.