JaEvans wrote:Thanks for the great comments Emily J. I have taken it to heart and shredded 100 words from the query. Please let me know how this new one sounds. Thanks.
Dear Great Agent:
Omit. "Hidden away" adds nothing and sounds childish.
in another dimension lies a spiritual realm entrusted
Is "entrusted" the right word here? Can a thing (a realm) be entrusted? And by whom?
with balancing the forces of light and darkness throughout the universe. This realm is on the verge of being tipped into perpetual darkness
Is "tipped" the right word here? Tipped implies more a tipping of the balance rather than a full on elimination of the light.
and Jonathan Cornwallis, a trouble making nineteen year old born to a prominent eighteenth century British family
Probably the previous poster in this thread is correct, both "trouble-making" and "nineteen-year-old" should receive hyphens.
, stands as their unlikely saviour.
And again, are you intentionally supplying the British spelling of "savior"? Do you in your story also spell gray as "grey" and center as "centre" for consistency?
Jonathan is the first descendant of the Sons of God to walk the earth in ten thousand years.
Good. Makes me want to know more.
By way of title
Omit. Not needed and repeats "title" from the following sentence.
that makes him a Dritian, and along with the title comes the power needed to push back the darkness.
Wait. You expect me to believe that a title alone supplies the power needed to right the entire universe?
The problem is that Jonathan does not know who he is
That is not enough of a problem. Not nearly.
or the path that lies ahead.
Omit because it is unremarkable. None of us knows the path that lies ahead; yo, Jonathan, join the club.
Anne DeVries, Jonathan’s would be lover
What does "would-be" mean and why do I have to stop and think about this?
and the illegitimate daughter of the King of England, is also unaware of what awaits her when she is suddenly repatriated to France.
Okay, introducing another main character here, done briskly and rather efficiently.
Upon her arrival she is promptly
Omit "promptly" as being redundant to "upon her arrival".
taken hostage by a mid-level criminal, Mr. Boutlier,
Why must his level of criminality be shared in the few precious words of the query? I hope there's an important reason.
in the hopes that he can secure her mother’s vast wealth.
I'm lost. How did we get from trying to restore the balance of light and dark universe-wide to a "mid-level" financial heist in li'l ol' France?
His plan - to rekindle a war with England while establishing for himself a place at the table with an elite group of men known as the Viata.
Wait. Now we're asked to see things from the point of view of the wishes and needs of this gutter frog? Whose story is this? Where's Johnathan? Where's the main conflict?
The Viata have successfully guided
Don't you mean controlled? Guided sounds like benevolent people. Is that what you are going for?
world events from behind the scenes for centuries.
Does this have anything to do with that spiritual realm where things are going dark? If so, then tie it in like crazy here. If not, leave it out. I want to know what Jonathan is doing to save the universe!
They are also extremely desirous
This is maximally awkward. A weak verb, a dreaded adverb, and then an old-fashioned adjective.
of Jonathan’s legacy and the power it contains.
Sorry but I'm not at all sure that a legacy can contain power. At least it is vague when you should be clear as day.
But they are not the only ones. Out of the depths of the spirit realm the darkness has sent its warrior,
Here you personify "the darkness" by having it
warrior. If The Darkness is a being then shouldn't it be capitalized as such, and explained as such? You intend for us to believe that darkness itself has or can send a being such as a warrior forward?
By sentence structure you imply that The Beast is its name, in which case the name should be capitalized. If not then you should probably call it a
into Jonathan’s dreams in the hope of either scaring him into service or killing him in his sleep if he refuses.
Even the dreams of men are not safe from the power of the darkness.
This sounds like an author's aside and as such robs power from the excellent idea preceding. If anything strengthen the previous sentence.
As Jonathan seeks his answers
Weak. We are at the crux of the matter and you give us seeking answers? Give us what he does! Action is what we crave here, or the promise of action.
in the new world,
What new world? America? The spirit realm? Don't make us guess!
Anne seeks Jonathan in search of answers of her own.
Again, seeking answers doesn't cut it at the query wrap-up.
What they both find on the journey is that nothing escapes the pull of the spiritual realm
This dis-empowers our heroes completely, making it sound like fate alone will prevail.
And what is meant by "pull"? Is it like gravity impelling our heroes to live in the spiritual realm. It could mean anything, which means it means nothing.
known as the World of Light and Shadow.
GATEWAY TO THE WORLD OF LIGHT AND SHADOW is an adventure/fantasy novel written in a historical setting and completed at 190,000 words.
The word "adventure/" will not help sell your book. Adventure should have already been made clear. And rather than "completed" it might more smoothly read "is complete".
I would be pleased to send a partial or full manuscript to you for consideration.
Replace with "Thank you for your time and consideration." Your willingness to send is a given, given that you've completed the writing and are querying.