#13 Query Corner: ‘IMAGINARY’

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Morgan’s Query Corner:

Answering Your Query Quandaries

IMAGINARY is a YA fantasy.

Tylin is a homeschooled teen, applying for early college admission. Glimmer is an imaginary friend, assigned to a teen who’s far too old for him. Glimmer’s job is hard enough. One problem, his agency has bigger plans.

NOTE: If you submit your query to me (morgan.s.hazelwood@gmail.com), and you are selected for inclusion, I will give you a high-level review, in-line feedback, and my own draft of your query. If this is your query, feel free to use or ignore as much of the advice and suggestions as you wish.

[Disclaimer: Any query selected for the page will be posted on this website for perpetuity. I am an amateur with no actual accepted queries and a good number of form rejections. This does not guarantee an agent or even an amazing query, just a new take by someone who’s read The Query Shark archives twice and enjoys playing with queries.]

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This querist sent in their original query and their updated version.

Overall Impression:

First off, what a fun, unique story! I love it.

You’ve REALLY changed the story! From a younger MC, and slightly different goal, to a barely-performing field agent…

The query is well-written but it’s a touch long. Dual point of view is hard, though.

Here are my suggestions. As always, take ’em or use ’em or build off of them. Whatever makes the story ring true for YOU.


Querist’s Original:

[my comments are in blue/italics/brackets]

Dear [Ms./Mr. Agent Last Name],

What if imaginary friends aren’t just fleeting figments of children’s imagination? What if they’re really a race of magical beings with the day job of collecting the magic that is produced when a child uses his or her imagination?

This revelation comes as no small shock to fourteen year-old sophomore, Tylin Kane, when she is unexpectedly “assigned” a cocky, sarcasm-immune imaginary friend: Gimmer. As the only child of a patent attorney and an aerospace engineer, Tylin was looking forward to finally being lost in the crowd of public school, after ten years—and summers—of homeschooling. So, being able to see (and be irritated by) someone whom no one else can see or hear? That doesn’t remotely fit within her parameters for “blending in.”

Gimmer, hailed (by himself) as being the best field agent ever, has his own reservations about being assigned to a teenager. A teenager. Who does that? They’re ancient, with practically no imagination! Not to mention the fact that the ‘child’ he was assigned to can’t even see him, although it would appear that some random, over-correcting know-it-all can. But, with his job—and possibly his existence—on the line, Gimmer will make this assignment work…no matter how much she protests.

But, unbeknownst to them, the governing body of Gimmer’s world is close to completing a spell that would allow them to use their magic to enslave Tylin’s world—the real world. The only missing piece? Gimmer’s unique power. To save Gimmer, and stop the Council, Tylin will have to dig deep into her imagination and work together with some terrifying—and terrifyingly rude—magical strangers. For if she fails, it’s not just Gimmer’s life that is at stake—it’s the entire world.

Gimmer is a fantasy adventure for young teens (12-16). It is complete at 75,000 words and is available at your request. I feel that Gimmer would be a good fit with your agency because {personalize}. As for me, I am a fledgling video game attorney with a film production background.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Q13


Queriest’s Reworked Draft:

Dear [Ms./Mr.][Agent Last Name]:

After a decade of homeschooling and a year of correspondence physics classes, sixteen-year-old Mira Kane is ready to slay the entrance exam for the world’s most elite S.T.E.M. university. However, studying overseas isn’t exactly affordable, so she—and her moms—need a glowing recommendation for a scholarship from a couple more likely to be impressed with the Kardashians’ latest debacle than scientific achievement. On the night of a dinner party for the couple, however, Mira is confronted by an insufferable, arrogant, mildly attractive boy whom no one else seems to be able to see. While raving about how he’s her “imaginary friend” or some nonsense, the boy’s antics threaten Mira’s chances of getting the recommendation for the scholarship. [Maybe we can trim the backstory] Mira’s calendar has ninety-nine events this week, but going insane isn’t one.

Gimmer is a field agent—a.k.a. his job is being an imaginary friend to humans to collect their imagination energy. Despite this, Gimmer’s magical essence marks him as the lowest rank in society still considered to be magical. This current assignment will his last before he has to submit his “reel” to the Council for review on a promotion that could forever change his lot in life. And yet, he’s been assigned to a teenager. Something he thought impossible. Or illegal. Getting someone who listens to recordings of math concepts instead of music while studying to “play pretend” will be no easy feat.

Unbeknownst to Gimmer and Mira, the governing body of Gimmer’s city is close to completing a spell that will enslave all of humanity à la The Matrix for its imagination energy. The only missing piece? Gimmer’s unique teleportation ability that could be used to merge the worlds. The Council will do anything to get their hands on Gimmer, and Mira must choose between staying the course of her known, successful future, or risking everything she believes—and possibly her life—to save an imaginary friend she didn’t even create.

IMAGINARY is a dual POV young adult contemporary (and portal) fantasy complete at 87,000 words. It can be described as Monsters, Inc. meets Lindsay Ribar’s The Art of Wishing, with a dash of Rick and Morty. I am a California entertainment and employment attorney with a degree in film production.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

 Sincerely,

[Q13]


My Reworked Draft:

Dear [Agent],

When sixteen-year-old Mira Kane and her moms are invited to a dinner party by the couple Mira needs a glowing recommendation from, to get a scholarship to the school of her dreams, the homeschooler didn’t expect to deal with a boy’s antics. Especially not a boy no one else can see, claiming to be her “imaginary friend.” Mira’s calendar has ninety-nine events this week, but going insane isn’t one. [Only other thing that could be cut, but it gives us personality for Mira!]

Gimmer barely has enough magic to qualify as a field agent—a.k.a. being an imaginary friend to humans to collect their imagination energy. His last assignment before he has to submit his “reel” to the Council for review on a promotion lands him with a teenager. Something he thought impossible. Or illegal. Convincing someone who listens to math concepts instead of music while studying to “play pretend” will be no easy feat.

Unbeknownst to Gimmer, his Council is close to completing a spell that will enslave all of humanity à la The Matrix for its imagination energy. All they need now is Gimmer’s unique teleportation ability to merge the worlds. The Council will do anything to get their hands on Gimmer. Mira must choose between staying the course of her known, successful future, or risk everything she believes—and possibly her life—to save an imaginary friend she didn’t even create.

IMAGINARY is a dual POV young adult contemporary (and portal) fantasy complete at 87,000 words. It can be described as Monsters, Inc. meets Lindsay Ribar’s The Art of Wishing, with a dash of Rick and Morty. I am a California entertainment and employment attorney with a degree in film production.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

 Sincerely,

Q13


It’s amazing to see how far the story and the query has come since the beginning. Cutting setting and backstory really let the actual story shine through.

Best of luck to Q13!


And for the rest of you out there?
Best of luck in the query trenches!

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