THE LANPHIER CHRONICLES: THE WIZARD AND THE KNIGHT-MARE Query Critique

OR

A Tale of Kidnappings, Magic Mirrors,
Enchanted Armor, and Bad Wizards
 

Original:

Dear [Agent]: 

Fourteen-year-old Frank Williams might be the last to disappear, but if he’s not careful, he’ll be the first to die. 

When students from Lanphier High School go missing, authorities can’t figure out why or how. The only clue is a coppery taste in the air, and Frank seems to be the sole person who can sense it. As a result, the police have no leads. 

But Frank does. He believes another teenager is abducting kids after catching him talking to a handheld mirror. The coppery taste resurfaces within Lanphier, and Frank follows it to discover more people have disappeared. After learning the suspect isn’t really a student, Frank goes to confront the culprit, who is nowhere to be found. 

Instead Frank finds the mirror in a teacher’s desk, where he sees it act as a window to a golden realm. A voice from within the glass orders Frank’s death, and he is attacked by an enchanted suit of armor. Frank leaves the mirror behind to escape but continues his investigation, now with three goals: reclaim the mirror, show the golden realm to anyone who will listen, and find the missing people. But those objectives will incur the wrath of the enchanted armor…and the maniacal wizard who controls it.

THE LANPHIER CHRONICLES: THE WIZARD AND THE KNIGHT-MARE is YA fantasy, complete at 62,000 words with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

REDACTED

 

Here we go, y’all: 

Dear [Agent]:

Fourteen-year-old Frank Williams might be the last to disappear, but if he’s not careful, he’ll be the first to die. 

Good hook.

When students from Lanphier High School go missing, authorities can’t figure out why or how. The only clue is a coppery taste in the air, and Frank seems to be the sole person who can sense it. As a result, the police have no leads. 

But Frank does. He believes another teenager is abducting kids after catching him talking to a handheld mirror. The coppery taste resurfaces within Lanphier, and Frank follows it to discover more people have disappeared. After learning the suspect isn’t really a student, Frank goes to confront the culprit, who is nowhere to be found. This is borderline synopsis-y. 

Instead He finds a mirror in a teacher’s desk, where he sees it act as a window to a golden realm. Explain. A voice from within the glass orders Frank’s death, and he is attacked by an enchanted suit of armor. Frank leaves the mirror behind to escape but continues his investigation, now with three goals: reclaim the mirror, show the golden realm to anyone who will listen, and find the missing people. I would suggest narrowing down his goal to just finding the missing people to keep the query un-muddled. But those objectives will incur the wrath of the enchanted armor…and the maniacal wizard who controls it. I’d like to know more about this. 

THE LANPHIER CHRONICLES: THE WIZARD AND THE KNIGHT-MARE is YA fantasy, complete at 62,000 words with series potential. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

REDACTED 

The hook and first paragraph were good, but the following paragraphs read more like a synopsis, with each event listed linearly. I’d like to see this query focus more on the wizard and this mysterious “golden realm”. 

I think the main issue is that I don’t clearly understand the stakes. If you trim down the middle, clarify the antagonist, and tell us what exactly is at stake for Frank it may ramp up the sense of danger. I want to know more about the bad guy and why these kids are kidnapped, as opposed to a magical mirror. Other than that, good query. 

This is close! 

Love,

The Query Faerie

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s