And here, at the end, you mention the title of your book, genre, and it's length. Perhaps end wtih a simple "I look forward to hearing from you."notw wrote:Here goes another round. :)
Over the past forty years, the land of Echin has experienced bloodshed at the hands of the usurper King Segreth, but his sadistic reign is coming to an end. The prophecy that has been foretold is coming to fruition and will be answered by the unlikeliest person, a sixteen year old girl.
I would leave this out or place it later. You really want to start with the main character and why we should care about her. This book is not about Echin, it's about Anna.
It's really, really hard with fantasy to give some kind of sense of place without giving too much detail.
Anna’s birthday should have been a day of fond memories and presents. Instead it marks her family’s brutal murders at the hands of brigands. In her search for answers, Anna discovers an old stained letter addressed to the grandmother she never knew.
Okay, but now you've lost Anna by going straight to her birthday. Tell a little bit about her, first--her identity, not what is reflected from her parents. Although, mentioning that family is very important to her could work if that helps drive the conflict.
Upon her arrival at her grandmother’s, she is ushered into the lifestyle of the rich and unwittingly meets the man who orchestrated her family’s murders, King Segreth. When Anna befriends his son, she is faced with a dilemma, to either settle down in her new home or to forsake this lifestyle and solve the mystery surrounding her parent’s past.But what are the stakes? Mom and Dad are dead. Solving the mystery won't bring them back so this conflict doesn't really move me. And settling down in her new home doesn't sound very exciting, either. I think you need the personal stakes for Anna, here.
For example (and I don't know your story), must Anna choose between love (with the prince, the son of her parents' murderer? A man her new family could never accept?) or the stability of a new family (and does Anna long for that after the murders?)
I like the Query Shark's formula as an example (and if you're not reading the Query Shark along with Nathan's blog, you should be).
- Who is the main character?
- What choice does she have to make?
- What are the consequences?