Thursday, September 26, 2019

September 2019 Pass or Pages Entry #4

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agent Kelly Peterson for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry #4:  WATER SCROLL


Query


Twelve-year-olds Danvis and Danvic, aka “The Twins”, have an unfortunate curse. The brothers are cursed to share one identity. They do everything the same, including thinking and speaking in unison.[KP1]

The Twins think they’re nothing more than the village’s outcasts until they learn they’re the descendants of the Water Keepers—twin legendary heroes who had powers over the element water.

This discovery of their ancestry catches the attention of Princess Salina. She offers them friendship with one request: get the Water Scroll—the source that gave their ancestors their powers—so they can become the next Water Keepers. Her father’s advisor, Forvayin, is plotting to take over the throne, and she needs a hero to stop him.[KP2]

The Twins agree to her request. Not only will they get friends, but they’ll get to be more than just cursed freaks. They could be heroes.[KP3] However, the Scroll has been locked away for centuries, requiring four keys scattered across the kingdom. The journey to collect the keys won’t be easy, and when Forvayin himself finds out about Salina’s plan, he’ll do anything to make sure The Twins are dead.

WATER SCROLL is a completed 60,000-word MG fantasy novel for kids who love adventure stories such as SEVEN WONDERS and NEVERMORE.

*****
Kelly's comments:
[KP1]
Does there need to be two of them if they do everything exactly the same and think the same?
[KP2] I would put this before Salina’s request or with it so that it doesn’t seem like she’s just coming to them or helping them for no reason.
[KP3] Where is their agency within this query? Why do they make this decision? They can’t be Water Keepers without the princess telling them what to do and working for her?

First 250


Liberty Day was the worst holiday ever.

The Twins lay flat on their stomachs, taking up all the floor space in their treehouse home. For the past five—maybe ten—minutes, they tried rereading the same paragraph from their book Legends of The Land of Waves. The scent of freshly baked pastries seeped through the walls as cheery voices slipped through the shutters. Everyone from Little Pond Village crowded the road below their tree; the Liberty Day Festival had begun.

Of course, The Twins weren’t invited.

It wasn’t the village’s fault for hating them. They were cursed to have no separate identities after all.[KP4] Rarely a foot apart, they did everything the same, including speaking and thinking in unison. The fact they’d suddenly showed up with no parents two years ago hadn’t help matters manners either.

Yes, The Twins were freaks.

Suddenly, a rock knocked the shutters open; The Twins flinched. A wave of baked pastries flooded into the treehouse, and they dug their nails into the floorboards, their shoulders tensing up. A second rock flew inside, and a voice yelled, “Haha! Got you freaks!”[KP5]

Yep, happy Liberty Day.

The Twins ran their hands through their hair, shaking out a few auburn strands. Maybe a different book would distract them. Together they both reached for the stack of books in the corner, pulled the top one, and flipped it open. They couldn’t help moving in sync—thanks to their curse.[KP6]

Another rock zoomed inside.[KP7]


*****
Kelly's comments:
[KP4] Slightly awkward phrasing here.
[KP5] Confused why people throwing baked pastries through a window would make them dig their nails into the floorboards?
[KP6] If they move perfectly in sync, does that mean there’s two separate bookshelves and the same books on each bookshelf so that they can move perfectly together, or do they have to break their in sync movements in order to both pull the same book from the shelf and one of them has to flip the pages? Reading one book together would give them separate movements, even just by the slightest degree, while having two copies of each book and reading it at the same time would allow them to have exact simultaneous movements.
[KP7] Your premise just isn’t pulling me in enough with stakes and agency, so I’m going to have to pass.

Results:  Pass


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