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Jake lives life on the edge—of a pencil, that is. With his nose glued to his sketchbook, he is happy to ignore the outside world. The fact of the matter is, his voice hasn’t broken, he’s still as skinny as a spring chicken and girls don’t even know he exists. Nothing cool has ever happened to him—until he visits the city museum, where he learns the hard way why the signs say: Do Not Touch. I’d like to know how old he is. Other than that, I really like this. It tells us he’s just a regular boy without falling into the trap of sounding boring.
After brief contact with a sword, Jake
suddenly finds himself is surrounded by skyscraper trees and people who blur the line between human and animal. If that wasn’t enough to make him curl up and hide I don’t like this, but I’m not sure why. “If that wasn’t enough” is weak and trite and I don’t think an upper-teenage boy curls up and hides, he discovers the locals believe he is the warrior foretold to defeat a genocidal tyrant. None other than the big bad wolf. This last line feels slightly awkward to me. Maybe play around with attaching it to the previous sentence?
There’s just one slight problem. The prophecy isn’t about Jake. And he’s the only one who knows it. I know you’re going for punchy, but it doesn’t work for me here. Maybe others will feel differently (commenters?), but I’d rather this be: There’s just one problem: The prophecy isn’t about Jake, but he’s the only one who knows it.
He’s landed clear out of his comfort zone and smack dab in a pile of dragonscat. Having accidentally stolen the place of another boy, he better adjust to a lifestyle on the sword-tip of danger if he wants to survive. After all, he can’t go around penciling people to death. Jake’s hope to draw himself in a new light quickly transforms into a race to defeat the wolf king before everyone he has come to know is exterminated. I just don’t know about this paragraph. I was really liking your query until this. It feels like too much pizazz and not enough substance. I’d like to know a little more about the challenges he faces and feel his motivation. Is there a romance involved? If so, I’d mention it here.
HAVOC’S KNOT is a 95,000 word YA Epic Fantasy novel with series potential.
Overall, it’s a pretty solid query and the things I’ve commented on are mostly small and simply suggestions to improve (as opposed to something that’s wrong).
I hope that’s helped our brave workshop participant. Readers, please add your comments and suggestions down below!
Don’t forget Brenda’s giving away chapter critiques to three lucky commenters!