Monday, July 27, 2009

Critique Session #1

Dreaming Isis
Young Adult Fantasy
Mim Caldwell
http://confessionsofafirsttimenovelist.blogspot.com/

Query

Dear Agent,
Seventeen-year-old Isis’ life changes the day she uses magic to save herself from an exploding car. It wasn’t like she had a choice in the matter—instinct kicked in—and she did it without thinking. The only problem was that in the process she saves Dane—her stupid class project partner. The bomb was meant for him, but did he say thanks? Nope, instead he kidnaps her because of her powers and pulls her into a world of magic where two societies are warring for control.

Afraid of her family’s rejection Isis doesn’t want to join either group, but Dane insists on training her, and she begins to fall for him as they spend more and more time together. Isis discovers she is the dreamer. That means her gift is stronger than most and she can do things other people can’t –like walk around the world of dreams. It allows her to take control of people’s minds and tell them what to do and believe through their dreams. Not to mention all the magic she can do in the real world. Both societies want her and her choice could end the fighting, but Isis doesn’t know whom to trust.

Dreaming Isis is Young Adult Fantasy novel complete at 57,000 words. Further materials are available upon your request. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Me


First 250 words

The halls were crowded as school ended for the day. Everyone was heading home. I was having a bad day, and I wished that I could just go home like everyone else. Instead I had a group project to work on with Dane. I struggled to keep up with him. We weren't speaking to each other, but every minute or so Dane would say hello to a friend or slap someone on the back.

Dane was getting a lot of strange looks. I guess it was because I was with him. He'd just shrug and smile as we kept walking together, not talking. I hated school. If I didn't want so desperately out of the house, I'd skip a lot more. It was just a means to an end.

Everyone seemed to be staring at us today. Normally I didn't get noticed quite so much, but the freak walking with one of the most popular boys in school was bound to draw some attention. It didn't make me feel any better that Dane had always been more than nice to me. Not that I really knew him. He had never made fun of my clothes and he didn't seem upset when we got paired up for the history project. He treated me like I was normal, just like anyone else.

When we finally got to the parking lot, we climbed into Dane's red Subaru. It was clean inside.

"You okay?" Dane asked looking over at me as he fiddled with his iPod.

Readers: If you were an agent/editor, would you request to read more based on this sample? If not, at what point and why did you stop reading? What stood out as well done in this query/sample?
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