Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Editing Update

So, I have been editing Khaladin the past couple days and have edited nearly half the book. I'm very close to where the revamp is going to be taking place in the story, so I'm trying to plan everything out. I've got a few ideas, but not quite sure how to make it all work yet.

In the meantime, I got my query letter for Khaladin probably as close to perfect as I can. I ran it a LOT on AW and it got to where fewer and fewer people would edit it and then it got to where the edits were nit picky. Once you get to nit picky edits, it's my opinion that you take those hints that you want and leave the rest and lean back, hoping you have the right query letter.

And this one really didn't turn out bad! In fact, I'm rather proud of it. It's the best query letter I've ever written, but I want to share it with you to get your thoughts as well. So, here it is:

Dear Agent:

I am seeking representation for my middle grade fantasy novel, KHALADIN, which is complete at 39,000 words. (word count subject to change with edit *wink*)

Thirteen-year-old Judy never imagined her aunt’s horse would give birth to anything but a normal foal, until she saw the colt’s tiny horn. She’s thrilled to have a baby unicorn to take care of, but she soon learns it’s not easy keeping Khaladin’s existence a secret. When a greedy casino owner discovers him and steals him away to auction him off to the highest bidder, Judy knows she has to save him.

The road to rescue isn’t easy. Judy and her aunt follow the casino owner to his ranch in Arizona where Khaladin is being held. Judy knows that if she can’t rescue Khaladin, he’ll become nothing more than a status symbol- but if she succeeds, she’ll be condemning him to the same imprisonment he faced before. Judy wants Khaladin to be free to choose what life he wants. She just hopes his choice won’t break her heart.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you!



So, feel free to tell me what you think. :)


Anita said...

First paragraph: I'd remove info in ().
Second paragraph: Fewer pronouns...replace "he" with unicorn name, so I know when you're talking about the casino owner and whe you're talking about the unicorn.
Third paragraph: You say she follows him to AZ, but FROM where...this stopped me.

I wish I knew a little bit more about Judy, something going on in her life that makes me identify with her or makes me want to get to know her more. Something like: She’s thrilled to have a baby unicorn to take care of--it was so much better than spending time thinking about her father fighting in Iraq--but she soon learns it’s not easy keeping Khaladin’s existence a secret.

Just my two cents. It looks good. Good luck!

Madison said...

Hey, that would actually work about getting to know Judy more because there's a book inside the book that is very important to her and Khaladin. Maybe that's a good way to sneek that in there since it is such a majof part of the story.

Oh, and the info in the () will be removed. That was placed there as a joke for all of you. ;)

Thanks for your feedback! :D

Big Plain V said...

Honestly, I'm very impressed. I hate reading queries because they all sound so similar and tiresome. But yours was simple and clear and refreshing. Very well done, Madison.

Here are my meager suggestions:

She’s thrilled to have a baby unicorn to take care of, but she soon learns it’s not easy keeping Khaladin’s existence a secret. (Khaladin isn't still a baby, is he? If not, you could insert a phrase between these two sentences here that says 'After five years' or whatever. You might also mention something about him being sentient at this point. The 'Judy wants him to make his own choice part' at the end is the first indication that he's something more than just a pretty animal) When a greedy casino owner discovers him and...

There's something going on the middle of the second paragraph that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I don't know if it's structural or some kind of word-choice issue, but I had to work a bit to get that Judy feels bad about potentially swapping one captivity for another. Might want to streamline that somehow. Try some other phrasings or something.

Again, nicely done. I'd be very surprised if this didn't garner some interest from some agents.

Madison said...

Thanks, V! That really means a lot. I'm hoping that I will get my first partial or full request when I send it out. :)

The hardest thing will be doing this same thing with my other queries. Gotta make sure they're all good! :)

Shmoofoobean44 said...

i haven't read one before, but that's a good one. :D
I agree with all the posts before mine:
the 2nd has something missing and is a weird let down after the first(i guess cuz it's specific plot stuff), and i'd like to hear more about the inner book, ;) and judy

I guess it's really hard to write a story in 40k words and then tell it in 3 sentences. haha

Madison said...

Yeah, it is, but that's part of the challenge. :)