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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 10--Times None

Title: TIMES NONE
Genre: YA Fantasy


Revision 1
Dear Agent:
Amanda Leonard doesn't know who her mother was. She wishes she did.

Amanda does know when the world is going to end. She wishes she didn't.

As long as she can remember, Amanda has been aware of a clock inside her head counting down to the apocalypse. She has never told anyone--not even her only family, the four "uncles" that adopted and raised her after her mom died. She's spent most her life trying to ignore it, but time is finally running out. The clock will strike midnight shortly after her upcoming eighteenth birthday.

Desperate for answers, Amanda digs through the remnants of her family's history, unearthing dark truths about her childhood, her uncles, and even her mother.  Amanda learns that she is no mere bystander to the approaching apocalypse, but its harbinger. Amanda is going to lose something in the coming days: her life, her family, or her world. As the harbinger, she will have to pick one, or risk losing everything. The walls of isolation Amanda spent her whole life building will come crashing down when she finds that the end of the world starts at home.

TIMES NONE, complete at85,000 words, is a YA contemporary fantasy that examines the end of the worldthrough the lenses of small-town intrigue, the bonds of family, and one young woman's journey to adulthood.

Sincerely,
  

Original
Dear Agent:

Amanda Leonard doesn't know who her mother was. She wishes she did.

Amanda does know when the world is going to end. She wishes she didn't.

As long as she can remember, Amanda has been aware of a clock inside her head counting down to doomsday. She has never told anyone--not even her only family, the four "uncles" that adopted and raised her after her mom died. She doesn't know why she's been given this knowledge of the future and noway to change it. Given that the clock will strike midnight shortly after her upcoming eighteenth birthday, she decides to drop out of college after only a semester and return home, hoping to find answers, and with them, some relief.

But Amanda's search for answers offers no comfort. As she digs through the remnants of her family's history, she uncovers dark truths about her childhood, her uncles, and even her mother.  Amanda learns that she is no mere bystander to the approaching apocalypse, but its harbinger. As the doomsday clock ticks down to midnight, Amanda will be forced to make an impossible choice, one that will either cost her life, her family, or her world. The walls of isolation Amanda spent her whole life building will come crashing down when she finds that the end of the world starts at home.

TIMES NONE, complete at 85,000 words, is a YA contemporary fantasy that examines the end of the world through the lenses of small-town intrigue, the bonds of family, and one young woman's journey to adulthood.

Sincerely,

BWC

6 comments:

Lara Schiffbauer said...

There is great tension throughout the query, I think!

I don't know that you need the line about not knowing why she has the knowledge but no way (which I think needs a space) to change it, or maybe you could incorporate the "no way to change it" with the last sentence if it's important for the reader to know she can't do anything about it.

I definitely see the character, conflict, choice. And I really like your last paragraph.

Charity Bradford said...

I love your first two lines.

This was easier than writing all my comments out.

Suggestion:

"As long as she can remember, Amanda has been aware of a clock inside her head counting down to doomsday. She has never told anyone--not even the four "uncles" that adopted and raised her after her mom died. The clock will strike midnight shortly after her upcoming eighteenth birthday. With time running out, she's desperate for answers.

She digs through the remnants of her family's history, uncovering dark truths about her childhood, her uncles, and even her mother. Amanda learns that she is no mere bystander to the approaching apocalypse, but its harbinger. The walls of isolation Amanda spent her whole life building will come crashing down when she finds that the end of the world starts at home."


You sort of lose the choice by doing that, but the sentence you have doesn't clearly state the choice anyway. You'll want to work in a solid choice in there somehow.

Fascinating story idea, by the way.

Connie said...

I didn't know what a harbinger was so that tripped me up. If this is a common term that people who will read your story will know than don't worry about it. HOwever you might give a hint as to what it is for those of us lacking that vocabulary. :)

Huntress said...

Interesting hook! Love this one! Good Gravy, how do agents choose?

My only suggestion is an edit in the first line.

Amanda has a clock inside her head counting down to the apocalypse.

Or
A clock inside Amanda’s head is counting down to the apocalypse.

I'd cut as many words as possible and leave the strong nouns and verbs. It makes it dramatic and eye-catching.

Emily said...

Ooh...this is great. I think you've done a superb job of showing the plot and conflict.

The only two sentences I would consider changing:

"she is no mere bystander" to "she's not merely a bystander"

"Amanda is going to lose something in the coming days: her life, her family, or her world." to "Something is going to be lost in the the upcoming days: Amanda's life, her family, or her world." (or something like that--only because you begin two sentences in a row with Amanda)

Very strong query. Best of luck!

mshatch said...

I don't have much to add to the suggestions already made although I did know what a harbinger is and I think most people who read fantasy will. Liked this and prefer the revised edition (sorry to disagree Huntress).