Upper MG Fantasy

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Shipple
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Upper MG Fantasy

Post by Shipple » March 29th, 2013, 9:30 am

Some of you may have seen previous attempts at a query for this book here. I set the book aside for a while and then went through and eliminated many, many scenes to give it a new (more original) focus. So this is a slightly edgier query letter that I've been working on for the past few days.

Dear . . .

Eric Ortega’s pissed when he wakes up missing all sorts of important memories, like every single memory of his mother. His sister explains that a cacodemon had taken over his body, and the immortal beings in the town of Birch Stew had helped him. They’d removed the cacodemon, and the memory blocks are just a “side effect.” Some freaking side effect. Turns out the immortal people of Birch Stew aren’t exactly fond of humans, but after Eric’s sister married one of their immortals, they agreed to help her brother. That doesn’t mean they like Eric, though. They just won’t let him leave. He knows too much about them.

Eric only manages to scrape together a few memories of his mother, but they make him miss her so much. So he goes looking for a little help. Winged teenager Salme can sympathize with missing your mother and wanting to get out of the town of Birch Stew. He convinces Salme to help him escape and look for his mom, but that puts them both in danger. The people of Birch Stew left Eric in the dark about another important fact. The cacodemon they removed is still out there. In fact, it left a few things in Eric’s mind, and it’d like them back. It wouldn’t mind having Eric back either.

Complete at 62,000 words, TRAPPED IN BIRCH STEW is an upper middle grade fantasy with series potential that follows thirteen-year-old Eric Ortega's adventures. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Sarah Hipple
Last edited by Shipple on April 3rd, 2013, 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

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Kristina
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Re: Upper MG Fantasy

Post by Kristina » March 30th, 2013, 7:44 am

This sounds like a crazy interesting book. I love the story line that you have come up with.

acody
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Re: Upper MG Fantasy

Post by acody » April 8th, 2013, 6:54 pm

Shipple wrote:Some of you may have seen previous attempts at a query for this book here. I set the book aside for a while and then went through and eliminated many, many scenes to give it a new (more original) focus. So this is a slightly edgier query letter that I've been working on for the past few days.

Dear . . .

Eric Ortega’s pissed when he wakes up missing all sorts of important memories, like every single memory of his mother. His sister explains that a cacodemon had taken over his body, and the immortal beings in the town of Birch Stew had helped him. They’d removed the cacodemon, and the memory blocks are just a “side effect.” Some freaking side effect. Turns out the immortal people of Birch Stew aren’t exactly fond of humans, but after Eric’s sister married one of their immortals, they agreed to help her brother. That doesn’t mean they like Eric, though. They just won’t let him leave. He knows too much about them.

I like the first paragraph- great voice throughout that teens will definitely relate to!

Eric only manages to scrape together a few memories of his mother, but they make him miss her so much. '
To me this statement needs more thought- the first part is OK but the second seems to lose its umph! Why does he miss her? Some older teens may not be able to relate to that (for a lot of older teens forgetting their mother is not such a bad thing! LOL). What does he hope to accomplish by finding her and remembering her? Ultimately what is the goal or purpose for remembering and finding his mother in particular? There might be some subplot here that could be worked in- she knows something about him, that he must discover, etc.

So he goes looking for a little help. Winged teenager Salme can sympathize with missing your mother and wanting to get out of the town of Birch Stew. He convinces Salme to help him escape and look for his mom, but that puts them both in danger. The people of Birch Stew left Eric in the dark about another important fact. The cacodemon they removed is still out there. In fact, it left a few things in Eric’s mind, and it’d like them back. It wouldn’t mind having Eric back either.

It is unclear as to the first important fact they left Eric out of- when you say another- what was the first fact? That he couldn't leave? This is unclear.

Complete at 62,000 words, TRAPPED IN BIRCH STEW is an upper middle grade fantasy with series potential that follows thirteen-year-old Eric Ortega's adventures. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Sarah Hipple
Love the title! Love the tone overall!
Amy
ACody- Kentucky
Teacher/Writer

PerryStroika
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Re: Upper MG Fantasy

Post by PerryStroika » April 21st, 2013, 11:35 pm

Shipple wrote:
Eric Ortega’s pissed when he wakes up missing all sorts of important memories, like every single memory of his mother. His sister explains that a cacodemon had taken over his body, and the immortal beings in the town of Birch Stew had helped him.
First off, who are these immortal beings? Gods? Spirits? Ghosts? Is it a mystery what they are? So perhaps you could call them "mysterious immortal beings"? Does the pronoun "him" that refers to who the immortal beings helped refer to Eric or the cacodemon? Try this instead: "Eric Ortega’s pissed when he wakes up missing all sorts of important memories, like every single memory of his mother. His sister explains that the immortal beings of the town of Birch Stew helped him by removing a cacodemon who had taken over his body. The memory blocks are just a side effect."
Some freaking side effect. Turns out the immortal people of Birch Stew aren’t exactly fond of humans, but after Eric’s sister married one of their immortals, they agreed to help her brother. That doesn’t mean they like Eric, though. They just won’t let him leave. He knows too much about them.
You begin the query by taking Eric's point of view, but here the POV gets kind of muddy, so I think you should stick with Eric's for the rest of the query. So you could say something like, "Eric is grateful at first, but gradually learns that hte immortals of Birch Stew aren't exactly fond of humans. "

Theresa_B
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Re: Upper MG Fantasy

Post by Theresa_B » April 24th, 2013, 5:30 pm

I read all the versions of your query and this one is amazing! It gives me a great idea of the story and the conflict. Love it. Great improvement!

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