Monday, July 28, 2014

Adventures in Fiction Writing! Part Ten: Querying Your Frickin' Heart Out

You read my pathetic attempt at a first draft for my Query. And you didn't laugh TOO hard, which I totally appreciate. I wish that was all I had to do, but unfortunately it's not. That was just the beginning. Now I have to trim it down and tighten it up. And I'm going to share that process with you! (Feeling lucky?)

Edits in red. Text that is strike-through indicates I'm considering removing it.
Here goes: 

Second Draft
All hope is never lost. Not even in Nowhere. Good line. That stays. 

Cerulean and Amarillo Saffron are sisters separated by guilt, regret, and a secret the Ardor Laboratory Corporation will go to any lengths to protect. Only hope can reunite them and save the Lost Children of Nowhere. Amarillo hasn't seen her baby sister since the day she disappeared from their family home nine years ago. The older sister is plagued by guilt: if she hadn't left home, if she hadn't sought an exciting life in Somewhere, maybe she could have saved Cerulean. A chance assignment given to her by her boss, Mayor Naples Orange of Somewhere, proves to Amarillo that there was nothing she could have done all those years ago to protect Cerulean. It also gives the spunky young woman something else she sorely needs--hope that it is still possible to save her sister, and all the other Lost Children who are trapped in the neighboring city of Nowhere.

All Amarillo has to do is find a way to get inside Nowhere Rewrite! To save the Lost Children, Amarillo has to get inside Nowhere. That is no small feat. No one in Somewhere can remember anyone ever being able to get in or out of their sister city, except maybe Nowhere's mayor, the boogeyman Mayor Blue. But Amarillo knows she can do it, even if she has to do it alone. Mayor Orange is busy with his pet road project, the Roy G. Biv highway that will connect Somewhere and Nowhere and hopefully spur economic growth. Also there is the issue of the continued hope theft from the emotion recycling plant. At first Amarillo thinks she may be able to turn to Deputy Mayor Scarlet for help, but when she spots him inside Nowhere--on the other side of the seemingly impenetrable force field that seals that city off from the rest of the world--with an armload of stolen emotion actuators, she knows he is up to no good.

What is Somewhere's deputy mayor doing? Maybe it has something to do with The Outlawz, the elusive gang of saboteurs who have been attacking the road construction from the very beginning. Both Mayor Orange and the Somewhere Times have surmised that The Outlawz are probably a youth gang comprised of Lost Children. No one has any suggestions about what the saboteurs' motives might be, but when Amarillo sees Deputy Scarlet inside Nowhere with the pilfered hope, she gets an idea.

The more Amarillo digs into the problem of the Lost Children, the more she realizes it's not just a Nowhere issue. It's a Somewhere issue. The histories of Nowhere and Somewhere are inextricably connected, and they are tied to the secret that the Ardor Labs Corporation--the largest employer in Somewhere and the biggest supporter of the Roy G. Biv highway--will do anything to keep buried. Amarillo finds an ally in Somewhere Times reporter Fern Viridian, and together, they--along with Mayor Orange--fight to unravel that secret and free the Lost Children.

What Amarillo doesn't know is that the Lost Children have not been sitting passively by, waiting to be rescued. Led by her intrepid little sister Cerulean and former Outlawz members Azure and Denim, they have been fighting: against the other Outlawz, against Deputy Mayor Scarlet, and even against the evil Mayor Blue. When the battle finally unites the forces from Somewhere and the forces from Nowhere, they are ready to stand together and vanquish their foes with their strength and their hope restored.

ROAD TO NOWHERE, a young adult urban fantasy novel, is complete at just over 77,000 words.'s a start? I'm submitting this slightly-revised second draft to The Saturday Slash query critique because I really super-duper need help in knowing how to trim this sucker down.

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