Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 11

Genre: MG Fantasy

VELVET BALL AND THE BROKEN FAIRY is an MG fantasy novel, complete at 17,000 words. Sprites have the power to grant many wishes, but if they don’t pay attention at magic school, they may never learn how.

After an illness, Velvet Ball arrives at her new school, but none of the girls in forth-grade want to hang out with a bald girl, especially a girl with no eyebrows or eyelashes. They only care about hairstyles and clothes. At lunch time, the boys chase her, pull off her headband and call her a tennis ball. In no mood to be teased again, Velvet runs home through the woods. Stopping for a moment, she discovers a peculiar sight. A long-legged fairy calls out for help as she hangs from the bow of a tree. When Velvet helps her, she introduces herself as Roseberry - Fairy of Woodland Forest, then she grants Velvet a wish. Velvet’s only wish is to have her hair back. Trouble is, this fairy’s been catapulted into the forest by bullies. Now, the fairy has no magic and her wings are broken.

Thinking it’s a doll, the boys try to steal the fairy to use as a football, but Velvet fights back. Happy to have a friend, Velvet hides Roseberry in her bedroom, but the fairy isn’t an endearing fairy. She’s rude, bad-mannered and spoilt, and to make matters worse, she gets Velvet into trouble by making a mess. Velvet wants to help the fairy get her powers back, but Roseberry’s too busy trying on doll clothes, looking in the mirror, and dancing around the bedroom. Velvet wonders why she’s even bothering to help such an ungrateful little thing, but when the boys break into her house and kidnap the fairy, Velvet realises how much she cares for the little sprite. After all, Rosebery is her only friend in the whole wide world, and Velvet plans to save her.

Thank you for your time and consideration. My full manuscript is available upon request and I hope you like my query enough to represent me.


  1. I want to read this. It's not your ordinary fairy story. Great job showing the personalities of the characters with so few words.

  2. This sounds like an interesting idea, actually I wish it was longer because I can imagine a lot of interesting things being done with it. There's built in sympathy for Velvet, and you convey that well in the query.

    I'm a little confused about the fairy though. How could it look like a football and then dress up in doll clothes? Maybe it's just me, but the image I had from the first part didn't match what I got from the second. Either way, you've got an idea that sounds fresh which is always good!

    Best of luck!

  3. Sounds like this would have enough action in it to keep a MG reader interested. Good premise!

  4. I think this could use a bit of tightening, but I really like the premise a lot - I've always been a sucker for fairies.

    My concern is that Rosebery offered a wish for helping her, but then she can't grant the wish. Is she unaware that her powers are gone? That could be explained very quickly.

    I also like the personality of the fairy - and the poor little bald girl. Good grief!

    I think this would be a hilarious read. Hope to see more of it.

    Oh, but that last line about hoping your query is good enough? I would lose that one and just stop and the ms. being available.

  5. I enjoy Fairy stories and I LOVE that this is different than the typical "fairy" story.
    The "not-so-perfect-fairy" vs the little girl with physical challenges. Not a physicaly disability but something that MG kids would step away and avoid the new girl.
    I wish we had to post your first three chapters so I could read this! The story sounds captivating!
    Good luck!!

  6. Thanks everyone. I'll work on it.

  7. Love this story, it is original. Good writing.

  8. Solid query with a good plotline and an interesting voice. It promises to offer something new and exciting. I'd want to read more.

  9. Jamie Weiss ChiltonApril 26, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    My first thought about your manuscript when reading this query is about your word count: 17,000 words does not fall within the standard length for Middle Grade (which, I'd say, is 30-40k). If you're pitching this as a good candidate for a highly-illustrated format, I suggest you say that up front, and/or mention some others in that format among your comp titles.

    I'd like to get a stronger sense of a kid's voice here. Sentences like "They only care about hairstyles and clothes" are written in an adult voice, and they distance me from the story.

    I may be misunderstanding the format you intend for this manuscript; if you referenced comp titles I would have a reference point and likely wouldn't be confused.

  10. Thank you, Ms. Chilton. I really appreciate you taking the time to critiquing my query. Getting feedback from an agent is fantastic. I’ll certainly take your advice. I made an error when posting my word count. It’s actually 25,000 words, and aimed at confident readers aged seven to eleven. It could be illustrated, but would read okay without. I'll also work on making it longer.

    Thanks also, Michael. What a great opportunity you gave us all.

    And, thank you everyone else for the helpful feedback. I’ll go work on it.

  11. Sorry about the typo above. I meant critique.


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