Query Time Tourism again, just when you thought it was over

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christi
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Query Time Tourism again, just when you thought it was over

Post by christi » February 1st, 2010, 10:31 am

Scroll to bottom for newest revision, pretty please with MATSUTAKE on top

Query Shark says it still needs work, sorry guys. SOOOOOOOOOO sorry.

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

My completed manuscript, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series.

Set in modern day, Azomyn Jakorus is a young immortal from a secretive race who accidentally travels forward in time twenty years. He meets his older self who warns him about the dangers of trying to change the past, and is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he is to murder, people he is to betray, and the bad choices that he must make again.

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale, trying to become what they need him to be, but often feels as though he is not up to the task. Reluctant but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right. However, against their wishes he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history.

I have included the first five pages of “Time Tourism” and a synopsis beneath my query, as listed by your contact information. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Last edited by christi on February 7th, 2010, 2:01 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Query -Time Tourism - Revised

Post by JustineDell » February 1st, 2010, 1:25 pm

christi wrote:Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

My completed manuscript, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. (Depending on the agent, this info may go at the beginning or end, check the agents preference)

Set in modern day, Azomyn Jakorus is a young immortal from a secretive race who accidentally travels forward in time twenty years. He meets his older self who warns him about the dangers of trying to change the past (what dangers?), and is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he is to murder (whoa, murder? more info please...like murder for the good of his race?) , people he is to betray (as an order or involuntarily?), and the bad choices that he must make again.

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends (unearthy types?) and trains with his older self and Master Kale, trying to become what they need him to be, but often feels as though he is not up to the task.What is it he needs to be? Why isn't he up to the task? Some inner turmoil you could hint to here? Reluctant but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right. However, against their (who is "their"?) wishes he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history. Do this triangle include him? If so, you may want to include a blurp about that.

I have included the first five pages of “Time Tourism” and a synopsis beneath my query, as listed by your contact information. Thank you for your time and consideration. (I'm guessing this is agent specific)

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
While I applaud you for keeping it concise in the three paragraph format, I find the information generic with not enough information about the conflicts of the story or the "most unusual love triangle in history." I realize how hard it is to cram info from a 100k book into a 3 paragraph query, but I think you may have focused too much on concise and not enough on info. I've done the same thing. If you took a look at my first query, you would notice that I turned my mainstream romance into a suspense story...and that just won't work. I'm just wondering what the key is to this story? Is the MC saving his race from an untimely error someone made in the future that he can change with his new skills? Or is the love triangle effecting his race in a way that no one could have ever imagined? I guess I'm left wondering what the main focus is off this story.

I've learned a very important lesson doing query's. The best thing to do is to write a REALLY long one. Then, cut it down to the bare bones while still helping the agent understand the story AND keeping them hooked. And that, my friends, is easier said than done!!

Again, I'm no pro...just take my advice as you deem fit.

~JD

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Re: Query -Time Tourism - Revised

Post by christi » February 1st, 2010, 1:32 pm

Yeah, this query thing is a pain in the butt. There is SO much that happens in my story, and trying to knock it down to just a paragraph or two is KILLING ME. KILLLLLING MEEEE I say.
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Re: Query -Time Tourism - Revision Deux

Post by christi » February 1st, 2010, 4:04 pm

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Set in modern day, Azomyn Jakorus is a young immortal from a secretive race who accidentally travels forward in time twenty years. He meets his older self who warns him about the dangers of trying to change the past, and is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the bad choices that he must make again, otherwise his world and everyone he knows will suffer for his cowardice.

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale, trying to become what they need him to be, but often questions himself and their decisions, worried that he is not strong enough for the task. Reluctant but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right. However, against all advice and fierce pressure, he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history.

My completed manuscript, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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Re: Query -Time Tourism - Revision Deux

Post by Seadhlinn » February 1st, 2010, 7:04 pm

christi wrote: Set in modern day, Azomyn Jakorus is a young immortal from a secretive race who accidentally travels forward in time twenty years.
There is a adjective placement issue here. Presumably you are intending to say that your story is set in the modern day. However, it sounds lie Azomyn is "set in the modern day", which makes no sense.
I'm now also confused about when "forward in time" is-- does Azomyn leap forward from 2010 to 2030... or from 1990 to 2010?

He meets his older self who warns him about the dangers of trying to change the past, and is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the bad choices that he must make again, otherwise his world and everyone he knows will suffer for his cowardice.
Perhaps you want to rephrase this. Right now, I'm thinking: what's the conflict? If he knows the consequences from his choices, even the "bad" choices, ultimately lead to the better outcome, why would he have a temptation to screw it up?
While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale, trying to become what they need him to be, but often questions himself and their decisions, worried that he is not strong enough for the task.
First, this is quite vague. Who in the heck is Master Kale? What to they "need him to be"? What is this task?
Reluctant but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right. However, against all advice and fierce pressure, he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history.
Why is he reluctant? And what is he going to "make right", if we established earlier that he's basically been given the cheat code of what decisions he needs to make (including the unpleasant ones) to get the best possible outcome? And where is this love triangle coming in, and what are the stakes?
My completed manuscript, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.
It's good you identify your potential audience(s) and the context of the book here.

So.... sorry if I focused on the negative here. Just trying to be economical by focusing on the things that could improve. My main problem with this letter was the vague nature of the conflict. You have the advantage of having a "high concept" plot, but you really need to use this well in your letter. For example, defining your conflict like this:
"Azomyn, a young immortal from a secretive race, is thrown forward in time and meets his future self. In the future, he is told a set of choices he needs to make-- including mistakes-- to avoid Awful Potential Outcome. However, he begins to doubt that this is the correct course of action, especially as it will cause the Horrible Love Triangle of Doom and Other Awful Potential Later Outcome that his future self doesn't care about. But is it too late to change the future? How will he choose between X Scenario and Y Scenario?"
Obviously, I don't know the twists and details of your novel, but I hope that gets my point across.

Obviously, I know very little about the in

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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised Again

Post by christi » February 1st, 2010, 7:15 pm

Yes, thank you very much. This obviously needs more of a re-write than I have brain power for right now :-) I really appreciate your help!
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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised Again

Post by jmcooper » February 1st, 2010, 7:22 pm

Query letters are exhausting aren't they!? I love to rewrite my chapters, but make me edit a query and I want to throw it in the fireplace. It's so frustrating. It's the one time I'd rather talk about my books. And that's unheard of. :-)

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Re: Query -Time Tourism - Revision Deux

Post by Dankrubis » February 1st, 2010, 7:50 pm

christi wrote:Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Set in modern day, I'd get rid of this- one would assume it's set in modern day, unless stated otherwise. Azomyn Jakorus is a young immortal from a secretive race who accidentally travels forward in time twenty years. He meets his older self who warns him about the dangers of trying to change the past, and is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the bad choices that he must make again, otherwise his world and everyone he knows will suffer for his cowardice. Things are vague here, but it sounds like an interesting concept.

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale If you're not going to introduce us to Master Kale, I wouldn't bother mentioning him in the query. , trying to become what they need him to be, but often questions himself and their decisions, worried that he is not strong enough for the task. I'm not positive about this, but the previous sentence seems like a run-on. Even if it's not, I'd chop it up. Reluctant but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right. However, against all advice and fierce pressure, he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history. Wha? All this time travel and training and immortals and it comes down to a love triangle? If this love triangle is a significant portion of the novel, we need a little more about it.

My completed manuscript, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. Lose the 'easily appeal to adults' thing. Comes off a little amateurish. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Also lose this sentence. The agent/publisher will mention the possibility of a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Seadhlinn mentioned the vagueness, and I want to throttle this point home. After reading this through twice, I have no idea what's happening to this guy. He's on a mission, he's got a task, and he's getting lots of advice and he's being pressured, and he's reluctant and determined to do what's best for his people. It's almost like a politician talking- it all sounds great, but when you think on it, was anything really said?

Get specific. Give us more characters than Azomyn and Azomyn from the future. Tell us the mission, the people in the love triangle, who's trying to stop him, all that good stuff.

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Query Time Tourism Revised Again

Post by christi » February 1st, 2010, 7:54 pm

This is attempt three. Please, don't be gentle. I am loving the feedback.

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Azomyn Jakorus is a young being from an immortal race that lives secretly among humans. One day he is magically catapulted through time twenty years. His older self is there waiting for him to tell him about the dangers of trying to change the past, something that had been tried again and again by other Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created. He is shown what is meant to happen in his life; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat, otherwise his world and everyone he knows will suffer for his cowardice.

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale, a member of the Council of Elders, trying to become the creature of fortitude and resolution they need him to be. Yet, he often questions himself and their decisions, worried that he is not strong enough for the task. Reluctant to leave his friends, but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right.

However, against all advice and fierce pressure, he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history. The decisions he makes on his own are foolhardy at best. Perhaps this was to be expected from one so young, but at seventeen he was headstrong, independent, and absolutely positive that what he did was right.

Time cripples confidence.

Set in modern day, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised Third Time

Post by Yoshima » February 2nd, 2010, 9:01 am

This is attempt three. Please, don't be gentle. (no problem-o!) I am loving the feedback.

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Azomyn Jakorus is a young being from an immortal race that lives secretly among humans. One day he is magically catapulted through time twenty years. His older self is there waiting for him to tell him about the dangers of trying to change the past, something that had been tried again and again by other Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created (I'm kind of a clause-Nazi, so this is just personal preference: you've got two "that" clauses one right after the other, and I think it adds unnecessary clunk. Split up, maybe?). He is shown what is meant to happen in his life; (colon?) people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat, otherwise his world and everyone he knows will suffer for his cowardice. (I like the concept of him having to consciously betray etc. Great setup for conflict!)

While in the future, Jakorus makes many unusual friends and trains with his older self and Master Kale, a member of the Council of Elders, trying to become the creature of fortitude and resolution they need him to be. Yet, he often questions himself and their decisions, worried that he is not strong enough for the task. Reluctant to leave his friends, but determined to do what is best for his people, he is returned to his true time with a mission to make things right (I thought he had to do things wrong...Now I feel like I'm missing something. So he was training for a different task? What is it?).

However, against all advice and fierce pressure, he has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history. The decisions he makes on his own are foolhardy at best. Perhaps this was to be expected from one so young, but at seventeen he was headstrong, independent, and absolutely positive that what he did was right. (so he changes the future? The change from present to past tense confused me a bit, too.)

Time cripples confidence. (...I'm sorry to say, but I don't really know what you're going for with this. I might just be slow, though, so see if others have the same reaction before changing it.)

Set in modern day, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy, but will easily appeal to adults. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me

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Query Time Tourism Revised FOURTH Time

Post by christi » February 2nd, 2010, 10:19 am

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Azomyn Jakorus is a young Bryzintan, an immortal race which lives secretly among humans. One day he is magically catapulted through time twenty years. His older self is there waiting for him to warn him about the dangers of trying to change the past, something that had been tried again and again by other Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created.

There is a war brewing among his kind, and each attempt to thwart it has only led to more death and destruction. He is shown the vile things he has to do; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat. Jakorus is returned to his own time with strict instructions of what must be done to save his people.

However, against all advice and fierce pressure, Jakorus has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in history. He loves a girl, and she loves his older self, but she cannot be with both when he is older and the time loop brings another Jakorus from the past. The decisions he makes on his own were foolhardy at best. Perhaps that was to be expected from one so young, but at seventeen he was headstrong, independent, and absolutely positive that what he did was right.

Set in modern day, “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised FOURTH Time

Post by aspiring_x » February 2nd, 2010, 1:24 pm

christi wrote:Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Azomyn Jakorus is a young Bryzintan,I liked it better when you didn't name the species. Too many strange new words confuse me, but then I'm easily confused... an immortal race which lives secretly among humans.This is a cool idea... like Highlander? One day he is magically catapulted through time twenty years. His older self is there waiting for him to warn him about the dangers of trying to change the past, something that had been tried again and again by other Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created. Perhaps that was to be expected from one so young, but at seventeen he was headstrong, independent, and absolutely positive that what he did was right.I would move this here.I like the idea that this is not his first try. Shows us something about his bull headedness.

There is a war brewing among his kind, and each attempt to thwart it has only led to more death and destruction. He is shown the vile things he has to do; people he has to murder, people he cares about that he needs to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat.In order to what? Win the war? Stop the time loop? Does the time loop have something to do with the war, or is just a handy coincidence for Jakorus' side? Jakorus is returned to his own time with strict instructions of what must be done to save his people.

However, against all advice and fierce pressure,this is understood, if you're looking to cut length I would cut this. Jakorus has his own agenda: to prevent the most unusual love triangle in historyThis is catchy, but it's a really big boast. I'm a wuss, I probably would have written something like "to prevent his own bizarre love triangle.". He loves a girl, and she loves his older self, but she cannot be with both when he is older and the time loop brings another Jakorus from the past. I know that this is an odd love triangle, and I think I get what you're saying, but this is worded in a very confusing way.The decisions he makes on his own were foolhardy at best.I would get rid of this. Perhaps that was to be expected from one so young, but at seventeen he was headstrong, independent, and absolutely positive that what he did was right.I moved that sentence up, because I think it helps the reader visualize the two Jakorusi if you get a mental image of them, and knowing their ages helps me form a mental image.
Set in modern day,I don't know if you need this. “Time Tourism,” is a YA fantasy. The manuscript is 125,000 words in length. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Mewouldn't we all
You have so many good ideas and such a complex plot! I'm amazed at how well you have summed it up. I bet it has been pretty painful. Your story sounds really interesting. Remember, all my advice should be taken lightly. Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing. I love your tenacity by the way.

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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised: Tenacity WILL pay off, dangit

Post by christi » February 2nd, 2010, 2:24 pm

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Hurled into the future twenty years, a young Bryzintan named Jakorus is confronted with a horrifying truth: the world has changed, and it’s his fault. His older self, surprisingly haggard for one so young, warns him about the dangers of trying to change what has happened in their world. Altering events has been repeatedly attempted by previous Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created, but all efforts have ended in failure.

A civil war is brewing on the island of Cybraxas, and each endeavor to thwart it has only led to more death and destruction. He is shown the vile things he has to do; innocents he is to murder, friends he is required to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat in order to restore the timeline. Jakorus is returned to his own time with strict instructions of what must be done to save his people.

However, against all advice and fierce pressure, Jakorus also has his own agenda: to prevent one of the most unusual love triangles in history. He loves a girl that loves his older self, and he refuses to share her when time marches on and the time loop inevitably brings another young Jakorus from the past.

TIME TOURISM is my completed YA fantasy novel of approximately 125,000 words. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised Fifth Time (please don't hate me)

Post by Kirril » February 3rd, 2010, 12:27 pm

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Hurled into the future twenty years, a young Bryzintan named Jakorus is confronted with a horrifying truth: the world has changed, and it’s his fault. His older self, surprisingly haggard for one so young, warns him about the dangers of trying to change what has happened in their world. Altering events has been repeatedly attempted by previous Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created, but all efforts have ended in failure.

I didn't read earlier versions of this so it wouldn't color my perceptions. I like this hook except for a couple of nits.

Hurled into the future twenty years, young Jakorus is confronted....
His older self, haggard and worn beyond his years, warns him....


A civil war is brewing on the island of Cybraxas, and each endeavor to thwart it has only led to more death and destruction. He is shown the vile things he has to do; innocents he is to murder, friends he is required to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat in order to restore the timeline. Jakorus is returned to his own time with strict instructions of what must be done to save his people.

Good paragraph. Has specifics about what horrors lie in store for our MC. I'd remove the indefinite article from the start, however:

Civil war is brewing...



However, against all advice and fierce pressure, Jakorus also has his own agenda: to prevent one of the most unusual love triangles in history. He loves a girl that loves his older self, and he refuses to share her when time marches on and the time loop inevitably brings another young Jakorus from the past.

I'd remove "However". This paradox confuses me. So this girl won't fall in love with him until he's older? Is there an older version of him already in this time period? I can't make sense of this part, sorry.

Against all advice and fierce pressure, Jakorus wants to prevent a most unusual love triangle. He loves a girl who loves the older version of himself and time paradox has brought them all together. Young Jakorus refuses to share her even if it means killing himself.

Not sure if I got it, but the premise sounds interesting.


TIME TOURISM is my completed YA fantasy novel of approximately 125,000 words. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I'm not familiar with YA word count limits, but 125k sounds a little steep. Might want to check into that. Also, the title sounds like someone has figured out a way to commercialize time travel by offering tours. From the little I know of your book, this title doesn't seem to fit. If the main crux of the book is the love triangle, maybe concentrate on that.

Best Regards,

Pitiful Writer Who'd Lick Your Shoes if You Signed Me
Overall I liked the query and think it's really close aside from the title and the paradoxical last paragraph. I really couldn't figure that bit out. Hope this helps!

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christi
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Re: Query Time Tourism Revised Fifth Time (please don't hate me)

Post by christi » February 3rd, 2010, 1:19 pm

TIME TOURISM the title was me trying to be all clever and use something that Stephen Hawking once suggested: that the absence of tourists from the future constitutes an argument against the existence of time travel. I really don't know what to call my book since narrowing it down to just a title is nearly impossible for me to do, so I just went with that *shrug* I hope that explains it :-)

As for the rest, I know it's confusing about the love triangle, and trying to explain it in the query in a way that doesn't kill the whole idea altogether is frustrating for me. I don't want to out and out say he'd kill his own self for her because then he just sounds like a jealous lover. He's going to do things to try to keep them apart to avoid her falling for both of them once another twenty years passes and HE is the one that is older and a NEW him shows up. *sigh* I know, I know. When I type it out like that it sounds lame, but in the story it works out pretty cool.

So, without any further ado, here is a new revision. I'm still game for suggestions.

Dear Great and Noble Agent of Oz,

Hurled into the future twenty years, young Jakorus is confronted with a horrifying truth: the world has changed, and it’s his fault. His older self, haggard and worn beyond his years, warns him about the dangers of trying to change what has happened in their world. Altering events has been repeatedly attempted by previous Jakorus’ trapped in the time loop that was created, but all efforts make things worse.

Civil war is brewing on the island of Cybraxas, and each endeavor to thwart it has only led to more death and destruction. He is shown the vile things he has to do; innocents he is to murder, friends he is required to betray, and the wrong choices that he must repeat in order to restore the original timeline. Jakorus is returned to his own time with strict instructions of what must be done to save his people.

Against all advice and fierce pressure, Jakorus also has his own agenda: to prevent one of the most unusual love triangles in history. He loves a girl who loves his older self, and he refuses to share her when another twenty years pass and the time loop inevitably brings another young Jakorus from the past.

TIME TOURISM is my completed YA fantasy novel of approximately 125,000 words. It can stand alone as a single book, but it is meant to be the first in a series. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Someone who can't explain her book well enough to sell it
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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