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 1 
 on: Yesterday at 10:52:52 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by Pineapplejuice
*** Note I have changed the age range although I am still on the fence about it. Also, the word count changed because if it is a MG Fantasy, it should be around this number (as suggested)***

Dear XXX,

Based on your interest in middle-grade Fantasy, I hope you will consider representing my novel The Roth Legend, which is complete at 80,000 words

When eleven-year-old Esther is orphaned, she's shipped from her home in the city to live with her grandfather, who lives on a graveyard in the backwoods. When she meets her grandfather for the first time, he is rude and seemingly crazy. When Esther begins having dreams of other worlds, strange creatures, ( too listy ) and the jailbreak of a mysterious ominous figure named the Shadow Thief, her first thought is that she too is going crazy until the Shadow Thief begins showing shows )up on her grandfather's property.

Esther doesn't know what to make of it until a fairy-like creature visits her and tells her of her family's heritage as the secret Guardians of Earth. He then informs her that ( We can assume it's the fairy explaining this ) the current Guardian of Earth is missing. ( again, needs a break here )

and that The Shadow Thief has stolen his collection of keys that unlock the prison cell of free an evil lord  from his prison. The lord is hell-bent on destroying all humankind. ( Break sentences up, it's too cumbersome and confusing ) The fairy offers says Esther has magical potential and the opportunity to can continue the legacy and be a guardian of the prison, because of her magical potential and to It will bring the Roth family back into the Guardian fold. ( Why should Esther care about this honor? Maybe don't mention this like this.  Whether the family is back into the Guardian fold feels low interest compared with saving the world stakes ) 

After she accepts her grandfather is ordered to ( You don't need to over explain things in slow motion, things have to be fast. Saying things like 'After she accepts' or 'When she first meets' slows pace down. Her grandfather, as a former guardian, is tasked with teaching her. her in her quest since it is his final obligation as a former Guardian to teach her. Esther suddenly finds herself standing between an evil army with the sole purpose of releasing their dark lord from his secret prison.( finds herself is passive. Also this plot reads as very predictable and commonplace. An 'evil army' stands in her way'. Can you raise the stakes or convey the obstacle in a more interesting way? )  However, before her adventure begins, Esther's irritable grandfather refuses to teach her how to use magic and forbids her to travel to other worlds but doesn't explain why. ( Ok reading this it felt tacked on and made me roll my eyes. It felt like needless backstory, at first. Then re- reading I realised THIS might be the real obstacle, and your intention might be to convey this, but it's not comming across well. If your angle of this query is ' disgruntled old man newly adopts grandaughter, who thinks he is crazy but it turns out she's got a magical inheritance, then grumpy grandpa has to teach her about her magic to save humankind - only he refuses. That is an interesting premise, or can be if you make it clear. What is she up against in convincing him. If it's interesting enough, that would raise the stakes I think. Because it's not just an army in her way ( which is predictable ) but it's ornery gramps fighting her every step

Esther is determined to find those keys and resolves to get on her grandfather's good side, but she is not sure how to do so with a man she just recently met.

The Roth Legend will appeal to fans of the Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.

 2 
 on: Yesterday at 10:33:47 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by Pineapplejuice
This may actually be even better... more of an overview without all the details that seemingly bog the query down... thoughts?

Dear xxx

Based on your interest in YA, Fantasy, I hope you will consider representing my novel The Roth Legend, which is complete at 100,000 words.

After choosing to continue her families legacy as the Guardian of Earth, young, shy, innocent, Esther finds herself ( finds herself is passive ) standing in the gap between an evil army hell-bent on releasing their dark lord from a secret prison and on the wrong side of her irritable guide, who is angry that she accepted the guardianship without asking him. ( Sentence too long . First sentence is loaded with backstory. I don't like this beginning ) While searching for the Shadow Thief, a creature who has stolen the keys to open the dark lord's prison cell, Esther learns of the magic, the mystery, and the adventure being Guardian, but also the cost of such a dangerous occupation.

Past the magic, adventure, and mystery, ( you've already said magic mystery and adventure. You're repeating yourself. )  The Roth Legend is a story of hope, love, and the unique power of the family bond ( Another vague list. Try not to use lists. They often read like sardines stuffed into a tin ) between Esther and Ethan. Their relationship with each other and the characters that they meet along the way is crafted to make you laugh, cry, and dance for joy while they fight to save our world from the clutches of evil. ( Way too vague. 'their relationship is crafted' but you don't show this is in this version of your query. A certain amount of telling is ok, as moves plot along but this version has way too much and utilizes 'telling' badly.

The Roth Legend will appeal to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.
This version is way too vague. The plot is crammed in there but I still can't see stakes ( what happens and what will Esther lose apart from the vague 'destruction of the word by an evil lord ' it's too generic. I need to fear for her imminent journey , not shrug and be like, yeah, go for it I don't care if you die. Your other versions made me care about her. )

 3 
 on: Yesterday at 10:26:11 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Again, thanks for the notes... here is another crack... I feel a little stuck and I hope I am not just spinning my wheels...

When eleven-year-old Esther is orphaned, she's shipped from her home in the city to live with her grandfather, Ethan who lives on a graveyard in the backwoods. When she meets her grandfather for the first time, ( It's not necessary to explain the exact moment in time she thinks he's crazy - trust the reader to get it. It just wastes words and waters down writing. ) he is rude and seemingly crazy, especially when mumbling to himself or his horse. ( I thought that was fine. Not a fan of 'seemingly crazy , especially as that's a subjective term that's a little vague  But this beginning is nice and to the point otherwise I think . I like the 'mumbling to his horse detail! )


When Esther mysteriously begins having mysterious dreams of other worlds, with strange creatures, about and the jailbreak of a mysterious an ominous ('mysterious doesn't tell us how to feel about him )  figure named the Shadow Thief, her first thought is that she too is she concludes she's  also losing her mind . ( repeating the term 'crazy' is a lost opportunity to switch it up and make the writing more interesting. Try not to repeat words . Also 'her first thought is that' is redundant and waters down writing and wastes words ) going crazy and decides ( Decides is a filter word. Just say 'she ignores' filter words water down writing and waste words ) to she ignores the strange visions until the Shadow Thief begins showing shows 'begins showing up' is also redunant, watery, 'shows up' is stronger' up on her grandfather's property.

Esther doesn't know what to make of it until ( We can conclude she doesn't know what to make of it ourselves, save mentioning feelings for things that add to stakes ) [color=green A[/color] a magical being named, Binea visits her and tells her of explains her family's heritage as the Guardians of Earth. He then says that the current Guardian of Earth is missing . ( this needs breaking up I think )

and that The Shadow Thief has stolen his collection of the keys that unlock the prison cell of an evil lord hell-bent on destroying all humankind. Binea offers Esther the opportunity to continue the legacy, because of her magical potential and to bring the Roth family back into the Guardian fold. After she accepts her grandfather, Ethan is ordered to be her guide.

Esther suddenly finds herself standing in the way of an ( Not active enough. Try 'Esther needs to _____ but an [/color evil army hell-bent on releasing their dark lord. from a secret prison ( We already know he's imprisoned.) and on the wrong side of her irritable guide, who was angry that she accepted the Guardianship without asking him.

Past the magic, adventure, and mystery, THE YOUNG IBER is a story of hope, love, and the unique power of the family bond between Esther and Ethan. Their relationship with each other and the characters that they meet along the way is crafted to make you laugh, cry, and dance for joy while they fight to save our world from the clutches of evil. ( You don't say anything here that you haven't already said in query.

The Roth Legend will appeal to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.

 4 
 on: Yesterday at 07:20:36 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by A.J.thekid
*** Note I have changed the age range although I am still on the fence about it. Also, the word count changed because if it is a MG Fantasy, it should be around this number (as suggested)***

Dear XXX,

Based on your interest in middle-grade Fantasy, I hope you will consider representing my novel The Roth Legend, which is complete at 80,000 words

When eleven-year-old Esther is orphaned, she's shipped from her home in the city to live with her grandfather, who lives on a graveyard in the backwoods. When she meets her grandfather for the first time, he is rude and seemingly crazy. When Esther begins having dreams of other worlds, strange creatures, and the jailbreak of a mysterious figure named the Shadow Thief, her first thought is that she too is going crazy until the Shadow Thief begins showing up on her grandfather's property.

Esther doesn't know what to make of it until a fairy-like creature visits her and tells her of her family's heritage as the secret Guardians of Earth. He then informs her that the current Guardian of Earth is missing and that Shadow Thief has stolen his collection of keys that unlock the prison cell of an evil lord hell-bent on destroying all humankind. The fairy offers Esther the opportunity to continue the legacy, because of her magical potential and to bring the Roth family back into the Guardian fold. After she accepts her grandfather is ordered to guide her in her quest since it is his final obligation as a former Guardian to teach her. Esther suddenly finds herself standing between an evil army with the sole purpose of releasing their dark lord from his secret prison. However, before her adventure begins, Esther's irritable grandfather refuses to teach her how to use magic and forbids her to travel to other worlds but doesn't explain why. Esther is determined to find those keys and resolves to get on her grandfather's good side, but she is not sure how to do so with a man she just recently met.

The Roth Legend will appeal to fans of the Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.

 5 
 on: Yesterday at 01:43:12 PM 
Started by Aightball - Last post by rivergirl
June 2018

Death is for sale. It doesn’t matter what stage of death you’re in, it’s going to generate money. And I am one part of that system. life.
All around me police run, calling to each other, and a camera snaps now and again. Yellow tented plastic printed with black numbers line the ground, marking a bullet here, a blood spatter there, and whatever else counts as evidence these days. It looks like an episode of CSI or something, but it’s real life. A man shakes his head when the police point to a body on the ground. Nearby a crowd watches and someone wails with grief. great opening parag!

The metal legs of the gurney unfold as I pull it out of my van, rolling it toward the center of the street. Headlights from police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances light the scene where a young man lies in the street, blood staining his shirt. His startled eyes stare at the starry sky, mouth slightly agape, hands frozen over his stomach. I'm relieved I get an inkling of the speaker right away.

Violence in small town Iowa is rare and it brings a crowd. Folks line the streets around the crime scene, murmuring to themselves, trying to see who was involved. The gurney rolls over the uneven ground and I steer around a pot hole. As I lower the bed and unfold my a body bag, the neighbors inch closer, most in their pajamas.

“The big city folks need to stay in the big city,” a deep man’s voice says. “This has never happened here before, and I don’t want those problems here.”

“It’s happening everywhere.” The neighbors murmur agreement, as a woman shakes her head. “It was coming here sooner or later. Let’s pray for the family instead of shouting our opinions.” had to read this a couple of times. a crowd can't murmur this in agreement, only have a similar sentiment. I"d make this either the sentiments of one observer in the crowd (the woman shaking her head" or have the crowd murmur their grief or whatever they are feeling collectively.

Ah yes, prayer, the go-to of small town Iowa in a crises. They pray and they cook in this part of the state. No doubt, the family of the victim will see two sides: one side filled with anger and opinions and the other filled with prayer and food. And who knows where this kid came from; without a subject here, this semicolon doesn't work could’ve been visiting family for all I know. Still, a shooting is unusual in Larchwood, Iowa and the police will have their hands full working the case.

Doctor Musselman joins me as an officer waves us over. Unzipping a black body bag, I lay it on the ground, then put on a pair of gloves. With the help of Doctor Musselman, we get the body secured and I zip it up. Once it’s on the gurney, I roll it to the van, the legs collapsing as I lock it in place.

“I’ll meet you at the morgue Carla,” Mussleman says, walking toward his county vehicle. Lyon county is small enough that he doesn’t get a lot of calls, mostly car accidents, not so many shootings. But times are changing and rural Iowa has to change with them.

A young man with curly dark hair sits next to me as I put the van in drive, his eyes focused out the window. Finally, he sighs. (I've read quite a ways down (maybe not far enough) and never get an explanation of who this person is. My preference is for you to spell it out for your reader so they're not guessing. it sounds like he was involved in the shooting but for the life of me i can't understand why he'd be in the hurst or ambulance. please consider spelling this out a little more.

“What happened?” I ask, as I turn toward downtown. 

He shrugs, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his shorts.This is totally nitpicking put putting hands in short pockets while sitting is very tough. maybe he rubs his hands across his shorts? “I dunno. Dude walked up to me, all pissed off and stuff, waving a gun. Pretty sure he was f**king high. He took my wallet and shot me. And you can see how that ended. Who would’ve thought in small town Iowa, eh?” (okay this is a small town. your reader gets it. don't go overkill. your character is more likely to say who would've thought that would happen here?

I nod, looking both ways at the intersection. Small town Iowa( enough with the small town!) isn’t exactly hot bed of criminal activity. Hell, where I live, people still don’t always lock their doors or even take the keys out of their cars. Living in a small town suburbs is supposed to be safe, idyllic, not like the big cities. Yet tonight, on the streets of a small town  Angry in far Northern Iowa, some dude got shot and killed. From the murmurings I overheard at the scene, it may have been someone high on meth. That epidemic knows no demographics and is becoming an increasing problem all over the country. here's a great opportunity to see what our protagonist sees. I can't see the road at all. is he driving by farm fields or restaurants? The county building is up ahead, Mussleman’s black SUV already in place. 

“Yeah. Well, I hope they catch the guy who did it.”

“Me, too..”

“I’ll cross my fingers for you, dude.”

I pull up to the garage door, which opens on my approach. Once I’ve pulled in and shut the van off, the doctor comes out and waves. I open the back and help pull the gurney out. This is my youngest pick up tonight; the other two deliveries were elderly and infirm, straight to the funeral home. This is totally nitpicking. all the commas interfere with flow. consider putting in more contractions or breaking up into two sentences. This is my youngest pickup tonight; the other two deliveries were elderly and infirm. They went straight to the funeral home. If you can't "hear" the difference, never mind

The prep area is in the basement and it’s a silent, awkward elevator ride down. I have never been a big fan of elevators, and like them even less with a dead body along for the ride. My imagination always makes me think the person breathes or twitches, even though they likely don’t. I love how you've put me in your character's head. this is so important.

Finally, I help pull the kid onto the prep table and we get him out of the bag. There’s a wash station and I clean the bag before folding it and heading back to my plain white, more nitpicking but the excessive adjectives interfere with your flow and don't really add much. the van is unmarked so of course its plain. unmarked vehicle. My phone is already buzzing, since I cover a pretty wide area; the joys of being a contractedcurrier of the dead. Choppy. re-word.My phone is already buzzing.It's part of the joys of covering such a wide area and being the only contracted courier of the dead. check your spelling on courier.  If all I had was my home area most nights would be dreadfully boring. I glance at the text to see where I’m headed to next.

I take my phone from my pocket and glance at the message. he's already looking at his phone. see above. this is a repeat. Got an add on, love. Out of area in Sioux Falls, car accident, older gentleman in his fifties.  At the hospital.  Normal person is out sick, so if you could fill in it would be much appreciated.  Thanks so much!

No problem, Petunia, I’m on it.

Petunia is my bosses secretary and one of my favorite people. She’s a British gal who dresses like she’s still in the 1950s and her favorite color is pink. Getting back in the van, I head toward the border between Iowa and South Dakota

Of course there’s a f**king traffic jam going on; why not? I pull up behind a truck and smash my hand over the horn, which makes a comical ‘meep’ sound, more like a moped. This is a two lane road in no man’s land, and I bet it’s never seen this much backed up traffic.

I hit the horn again and the driver in front of me shoots the finger out their window. My own finger waves back as I slow behind them. Sticking my head out the window, I can’t believe I’m in a traffic jam in BFE northern Iowa. Seeing flashing lights up ahead, that answers that. I inch along with everyone else, finally clearing what looks to be an accident; probably drinking, given that it’s the middle of the damn night.choppy. I finish my drive into Sioux Falls, picking up speed as I hit the interstate.

I take the next right and pull up to a large hospital. The dock is open and waiting and I back up flush to load. I hop down and greet the same guard that’s always working when I pick up here.

“This one’s going to Mortimor Funeral Home. Need the address?”

“Yeah, probably better. After this, I’m done for the night. Kind of glad it’s my last night; I’m ready to have one job for a while.”

He punches the address into my GPS. “Have a good night. Going to miss you.”

I give him a hug. “I know. I won’t miss the work but you guys I will. Have a good night.”

I took the job for the sole purpose of helping Dad with some debt. Farming isn’t easy these days, especially if you’re a family farmer. Big factory farms are the name of the game, and a lot of little guys are being bought up by the big guys. There are still family farmers working hard to feed our world, but it’s getting more and more difficult to make ends meet. So, rather than Dad losing the farm or declaring bankruptcy, I thought I’d see if I could help. This isn’t the job I had in mind but sometimes, a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do.

We load the body and I’m on my way across the city. A sleepy young man meets me at the funeral home, and I help get the body into the freezer. Death is a twenty-four hour business the year round.

“Thanks. Have a good night.”

I just read the happenings of someone's night at work. I'd introduce the plot a lot more quickly to keep your reader engaged. I'd prefer to know i was reading about a teenager a lot sooner so I can see him a little better. You can sneakily give us some visuals on him. we saw the other guys shorts, but you could have easily let us see our protagonist a little better. it would speak volumes about who he is. maybe he wipes a hand across a torn tee-shirt or something. I was visualizing a middle-aged man. I also have trouble seeing a male teenage boy hugging an individual he sees occasionally with his job. a fist bump feels more appropriate but then i don't know your character like you do. I don't believe his name is up there. would have been super easy to insert. The writing overall is very good. watch those choppy sentences. read your work out loud to see if it sounds choppy.

 6 
 on: Yesterday at 01:35:11 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by A.J.thekid
Thanks, TigerAsh!

   As for the YA vs. MG, you MAY be right, but with many of the themes and circumstances, I still think it may be YA. I'll have to re-evaluate again. Also, I DON'T hate you for suggesting a cut down ha ha I figured that even if it is a YA, I'd have to cut it down. Killing darlings is part of my daily routine :^ /

Thanks again, I will post another draft shortly.

 7 
 on: Yesterday at 01:06:48 PM 
Started by Wallis - Last post by kaperton
My tips and tricks will come across as completely insensitive, considering you told us that money is tight. I hired an ADHD life coach to keep me on track, and a professional editor to help me whittle it down (and give me external deadlines). But it sounds like you completed your book all by yourself, so in my opinion, you are a rock star! I need to ask you, how did YOU do it? Even with my life coach's help, it took me over 3 years to write my book.

 8 
 on: Yesterday at 12:59:31 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by TigerAsh
I think you cut too much in your second attempt, so I'll critique your prior revision instead.


When eleven-year-old Esther is orphaned, she's shipped from her home in the city to live with her grandfather, Ethan who lives on a graveyard in the backwoods. When she meets her grandfather for the first time, he is rude and seemingly crazy, especially when mumbling to himself or his horse.
[I see no benefit of naming her grandfather; it kills the flow for me. Other than that, I like this opening paragraph, so I think you should keep it.]

When Esther begins having mysterious dreams of other worlds, strange creatures, and the jailbreak of a mysterious figure named the Shadow Thief, her first thought is that she too is going crazy and decides to ignore the strange visions until the Shadow Thief begins showing up on her grandfather's property. [This sentence is too long. Split it in two. The navy word is where I think you should consider breaking it up.] Esther doesn't know what to make of it until a magical being [Specify what magical being she is.] named, Binea visits her and tells her of her family's heritage as the Guardians of Earth. He then says that the current Guardian of Earth is missing and that Shadow Thief has stolen his collection of keys that unlock the prison cell of an evil lord hell-bent on destroying all humankind. Binea offers Esther the opportunity to continue the legacy, because of her magical potential and to bring the Roth family back into the Guardian fold. After she accepts her grandfather, Ethan is ordered to be her guide. [You need to clarify what being a guide means. Also, why can't her grandfather be the one to find the keys?]

Esther suddenly finds herself standing in the way of an evil army hell-bent [See if you can use another descriptive term since you used "hell-bent" a few sentences ago.] on releasing their dark lord from a secret prison and on the wrong side of her irritable guide, who was angry that she accepted the Guardianship without asking him. Past the magic, adventure, and mystery, THE YOUNG IBER [What is this? A former title for this project? Make sure you proofread! It makes it easier for us to help you. Smiley] is a story of hope, love, and the unique power of the family bond between Esther and Ethan. Their relationship with each other and the characters that they meet along the way is crafted to make you laugh, cry, and dance for joy while they fight to save our world from the clutches of evil.

[So I don't really feel anything in the above paragraph is necessary. In regards to the stuff I crossed out, you shouldn't be telling the agent those things; they should be shown/alluded to in the query letter. In regards to the first sentence of the paragraph, I think it could be worded better. You want to leave the readers dying to know what happens next. So maybe talk about how her grandfather is holding a grudge and refuses to "guide" her (though again, I need clarity on what it means to be a guide, and why he can't just find the keys himself). And then you can maybe end with alluding to the fact that without him, it'll be difficult for Esther to stop the evil lord from being released; so she needs to amend her relationship with him, but not sure where to start with a man she just recently met.]

The Roth Legend THE ROTH LEGEND is a 100,000-word middle grade fantasy with series potential. It will appeal to fans of the [Author's] Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the [Author's] Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.


I think this is better than the last version I read, but it could still use some work. Smiley


Also, based off the fact that (1) your MC is 11 years old; (2) your comp titles are middle grade; and (3) the overall plot of your book is still giving me MG vibes, I have a strong feeling that your book should be labeled as middle grade fantasy, not a YA fantasy. Unfortunately that means that you're gonna have to cut your word count significantly (and I know you probably hate me for saying that; but it's better you fix it now than later, after you've already amassed a lot of rejections).


And lastly, one other aside is to watch your comma usage; I picked up on a few commas that shouldn't be there.


Hope this helps!



 9 
 on: Yesterday at 12:54:10 PM 
Started by Cailinchristine - Last post by kaperton
Wow, this is SO MUCH BETTER! I'm impressed with your total rewrite!

Based on the last feedback, I realized my book really starts in Chapter 2. Here are my new first 5 pages. Any feedback is much appreciated!!

Chapter 1
   This place is a wreck. My once pristine room is now torn apart and covered by all of my possessions. Half-filled boxes take up the small space between my bed and my dresser. My bed has become the clothes sorting station, which is really just a nice way of saying every article of clothing I own is strewn about in no particular order.
   “Please tell me the majority of these boxes are going into storage and not being trekked across the state with you to college.” My dad stands in awe of the unorganized chaos my room has become during operation last minute pack up for college. While I’m usually annoyingly over-organized, I have been putting this off for weeks because I knew I wouldn’t be able to depart without most of my belongings in tow.
   “Look man, I’m doing my best here.” I quickly scan the room and realize my best isn’t going to cut it. What if I want to reminisce with my high school scrapbooks or re-read any of my murder mysteries. And I obviously need my astronomy books and all the framed pictures of my loved ones. This is way harder than I thought and I have to leave first thing tomorrow morning. I collapse onto my bed, moving a pile of tank tops out from under my back, to take a much needed break.
   “OK.Okay. Well, I can see you’re going through something here, so I’m just going to leave this here and remind you that you’re only going to be gone for six weeks. Good luck.” He places a freshly made coffee on my dresser. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do, although I’m afraid your mother was always the expert packer in this family.” He smiles solemnly and walks out, shutting the door behind him.
   He was He's right. If she were here she would have my car expertly and efficiently packed up, like a game of Tetris, fitting every unnecessary thing I wanted in with ease. I’m instantly disheartened that this is just another one of the many things she’ll never get to help me with.
   “Hey hon?” A knock on my door jolts me awake. What? Oh no. I must’ve dozed off. What time is it?
   “Come in,” I reply still groggy, looking for my phone.
   “Hey. Someone’s here to pick you up.” Dad walks in with a grin that almost instantly fades to a look of horror at the realization that my room is in the exact same condition it was in when he left me hours ago, including the now ice cold coffee sitting untouched on my dresser.
   “Pick me up? I can’t go anywhere, I have to organize and cull!”
   Just then, John appears behind him, casually dressed in khaki shorts and a t-shirt. “Hey babe. Come on, I want to take you somewhere.” He motions for me to follow him out the door with an oversized smile.
   I look at him perplexed. After spending the last two days together, we had agreed that today would be for packing and preparation and had have already said our goodbyes. “John, look around. Unless you are taking me to rent a U-Haul, I can’t go.” While I love that he is spontaneous and constantly surprising me, I also wish he could take things a little more seriously sometimes.
   “Amy, take a breath,” dad Dad interjects. “I will load all of this ridiculously gratuitous stuff into my SUV and drive up with you tomorrow. Go and enjoy your last day together.”
   I suspect he’s happy to have an excuse to help me, which is the sole reason I’m not arguing. “Really? You’re sure? Cause I can stay…”
   “I’m sure. Go on.” He motions towards John.
   “OKOkay. But I…”
   “Go.” He gently pushes me through the door.
   “Should I change?” I’m wearing my oldest and comfiest pair of jeans and a ribbed tank top. My hair is pulled back in an unkempt braid and my makeup is from yesterday. Plus I just woke up. Not exactly winning any beauty contests, here.
   “Nope. You look perfect.” John grabs my hand and leads me out to his car.
   “Sooo, are you going to tell me where we are going?” We’ve been driving for about twenty minutes and he hasn’t said a word. I’m starting to wonder if I should attempt to covertly text someone that I’ve been kidnapped.
   “Where’s the fun in that?” He smiles mischievously. “We’re almost there.”
   A few minutes later, the shoreline comes into view and he pulls into one of the public beach access parking lots. This must be a joke. “The beach? You brought me to the beach? You know that I hate the beach.”
   “Can you just trust me, please?” He puts the car in park and gets out to pay the machine. I’m slightly annoyed, but also intrigued. As much of a control freak as I have always unapologetically been, he never ceases to surprise me. [This is nitpicky, I know, but these two clauses don't go together. "I'm a control freak, but he surprises me."]
   He opens my door. “Well are you coming, or did you want to wait for me in the car?”
   I step out with hesitation and look around at the sand, bars, and souvenir shops that surround us. I can’t imagine what he has in store, but I am kind of wishing he had advised me to change into shorts and sandals. He walks behind his car and pulls a backpack out of his trunk before leading me down a narrow walkway that runs parallel to the beach. It’s actually a really beautiful day outside, and as long as I’m not getting sandy or sunburnt, I have no complaints. Yet.
   We approach a small empty field adjacent to the beach. “Come on!” John drags me into the field until he finds a grassy spot with very little sand. He opens his backpack and pulls out an over-sized oversized blue blanket to throw down, followed by sandwiches from our favorite hole-in-the-wall sub shop. “Can I interest you in a sunset picnic?” He beams with pride.
   “Oh my gosh. This is perfect.” As are most of John’s adventures. “I was just thinking that I was going to miss Subtastic’s subs the most when I leave!” A large percentage of my life revolves around food. I wrap my arms around him. “Thank you so much. I can’t imagine spending my last day anywhere else.”
   “YeaYeah, well if I knew I was going to have to drag your pain in the ass out of the house kicking and screaming.” He rolls his eyes and hands me my sub.
   “Oh, come on. You saw the disaster I was working with at home. You knew.” I happily start devouring my sub, realizing that I haven’t actually eaten anything all day.
   “Yeah, yeah. Guess I was hoping you’d surprise me.” He unwraps his sub.
   “I’m nothing if not predictable.”
   In the distance, the middle-aged bar crowd over at JP’s is starting to get rowdy as Jimmy Buffet blares through the speakers. It makes for some delightful people-watching as we finish up our picnic.
   “So, are you still planning to go to Newton?” I ask casually, trying to hide my disapproval that he’s considering postponing college to instead pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
   “Unfortunately,” he responds dryly. “I’m still waiting to hear from that theater camp program I applied to volunteer for. Who knew it would be such a process to work for free.?
   “Well the experience would be amazing, right?”
   “Definitely. The audition and interview went so great. I had to have gotten it.” He’s always had an admirable level of confidence. Modesty is not his thing.
   “I’m sure you did. You’ll hear soon.” I lean my head on his shoulder and he puts his arm around me. Oh, right. Now I remember what I’ve been so scared of missing out on.
   “You OKokay?” He brushes a few stray hairs out of my face.
   “Yeah,” I lie.
   He sits up, his tone lowers, and his olive green eyes look right through me. "What’s up with you, Constant?” He knows exactly how to soften my mood. I earned my nickname in the aftermath of a particularly brutal argument. After all was said and done, he told me that no matter how much we may hate have hated each other in that moment, I was his “constant” and we’d always find our way back to each other. He was always He's always been good at grand romantic gestures.
   ”I'm sorry. I just really can't believe that in three days we're going to be 300 miles apart. How am I even going to survive without you? No one is going to want to be friends with the odd, quiet girl who watches way too much TV. That's what you're for, to convince them that I'm actually cool.”
   He laughs. "You're going to the top school in Florida, Amy. There are probably nothing but odd, quiet people there. If you think about it, you're probably the coolest in comparison." I'm not amused. "Oh come on, lighten up. You are going to be fine. We are going to be fine. We'll talk every day, and I'll visit all the time. You'll meet people that appreciate how amazing you are, just like I do. You just have to give it a chance.” He pauses and looks towards the shore. “Wow. Look at that.”

 10 
 on: Yesterday at 12:13:21 PM 
Started by A.J.thekid - Last post by A.J.thekid
This may actually be even better... more of an overview without all the details that seemingly bog the query down... thoughts?

Dear xxx

Based on your interest in YA, Fantasy, I hope you will consider representing my novel The Roth Legend, which is complete at 100,000 words.

After choosing to continue her families legacy as the Guardian of Earth, young, shy, innocent, Esther finds herself standing in the gap between an evil army hell-bent on releasing their dark lord from a secret prison and on the wrong side of her irritable guide, who is angry that she accepted the guardianship without asking him. While searching for the Shadow Thief, a creature who has stolen the keys to open the dark lord's prison cell, Esther learns of the magic, the mystery, and the adventure being Guardian, but also the cost of such a dangerous occupation.

Past the magic, adventure, and mystery, The Roth Legend is a story of hope, love, and the unique power of the family bond between Esther and Ethan. Their relationship with each other and the characters that they meet along the way is crafted to make you laugh, cry, and dance for joy while they fight to save our world from the clutches of evil.

The Roth Legend will appeal to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Prydain Chronicles. I am the Director of Video for a marketing firm where I write scripts for national commercials. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.J.

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