The Saturday Slash

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.
We all know the first line of a query is your “hook.” I call the last line the “sinker.” You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.
If you’re looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey – the query. My comments appear in green.

One sketch from Laurain Hart and two humans fall in love. Oh, nice hook.

Thirteen-year-old Laurain wants nothing more than to continue spending the afternoons with her mystic classmates, drawing pictures that create an enduring romance. Ah, so Laurain herself is not human. Got it.

When an ancient enchanter casts a spell disrupting the order of the calendar days, Laurain’s visions vanish, so it’s her visions that allow her to do the drawing? What’s the connection there? starting a countdown to the day when humans can no longer discover true love. Paired with a time-traveling leprechaun, who is more interested in stealing gold than helping, Laurain must locate the rogue enchanter and restore the missing day. Slightly confusing in that you said the days were “disrupted” before (I thought, out of order, maybe) but now we learn there’s one missing? Why would that cause a chain reaction that has anything to do with love?

She travels across the human and mystic realms battling gruesome ghouls, hostile witches, angry elves and, scariest of all, finds herself developing a crush on a teenage human boy. To make troubles worse, Laurain develops the powers of an enchanter. So being an enchanter is bad? It’s not just that one bad apple? If the other mystics find out, she’ll never be allowed to draw her visions again. How long can she keep it a secret?

With time running out, Laurain must learn how to control the gold-hungry leprechaun, come to terms with a new, magical ability that could get her expelled from school and defeat the most powerful enchanter who ever lived—all while lying to a boy she may be falling in love with.

THE STOLEN DAY, a middle grade fantasy complete at 38,000 words, introduces us to the mystic realm, providing a behind-the-scenes look at how much work goes in to (one word) protecting humans.

Overall, this is good. Interesting premise with a fresh take. Clear up the questions I have above about cohesion and you’re in good shape.


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