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Never Give Up: Part Two

You may read part one here!

Now, if you have your first paragraph written and have included your main MC, a splattering of backstory without being boring and ended with the inciting moment, you are ready for paragraph TWO! yay!

Here we go. In the 2nd paragraph, Matt instructs us to add the conflict and mix it with a little of the setting details. Add in a bit of the stakes involved and AVOID cliches. Accomplish this, and you are 2/3 finished with your query. Woot, woot!

Here is my 2nd paragraph:

The Book steals memories when placed in the wrong hands. Shae Conniers thought she had swiped a cool looking journal but it ends up she gotten nothing but trouble. The powers of the Book sound intriguing to Shae but when the memories swirling around her head turn scary, she's glad the memories lead her to River so she can rid herself of the nightmare memories. Although the girls personality clash big time, they know they must unite to fight the powers of the Book. River has the Book back, why hasn't her memories returned?

Right away, I see there is no setting details and really, there is no conflict. It's more "story" than conflict. I have the consequences River will face, along with others involved. But no conflict and no STAKES. NO SETTING.

What conflict does River face?  What are her stakes? What kind of setting does River's story include?

Time for revise! Let's do it!

Okay, River's conflict is is huge. There is way to much she must overcome. Let me list them.

The powers of the Book are strong 
Others are after the book, too
River is loosing her identity and therefore her memory
She gets sidetracked trying to help Shae

So, this is a good start.

For the setting:
This is really many. Because the places River travels to are varied. So I need to nail down a description of the magical, mystical land in which she lives and travels to. Hmmm...

Any suggestions would be much appreciated while I go rewrite this paragraph from scratch...



  1. This sounds like a really cool book. :) It is so awesome that you are querying. I think you have the conflict in there. I mean you don't come right out and say, 'this is the conflict.' But to me, it's in there. As for stakes, I could be wrong, but I think the question that should be answered is 'why does it matter?' Why is the book so important to River? Why is Shae, or helping Shae so important to River? And maybe you could mention what kind of trouble the book may cause when it is in the wrong hands? Maybe you could name one of other people who are after the book?
    As for the setting, the land in which River travels or lives in, does it have a name? And if the overall land doesn't, you can just name the place where it begins and then mention that she journeys through many different places later on?
    I have heard that query letters have to be very compact. Pithy. You can shorten "a cool looking journal when it ends up she gotten nothing but trouble," to "a cool looking journal but she's gotten nothing but trouble." And "they know they must unite," to "they must unite."
    Also, and this is just a pet-peeve of mine, but you say the word "memories" a lot, very close together. It might sound better if you replace a few. For instance "she's glad the memories lead her to River so she can rid herself of the nightmare memories," to "she's glad they lead her to River so she can rid herself of the nightmares." You may even be able to shorten that to "she's glad they lead her to River so she can escape the nightmares." Or something of the like.
    But really I don't know much beyond what I've read about writing query letters. I not at that stage yet. So use your own discretion. :P But I think it's so awesome that you've completed a book and are ready to query! I can't wait for that day, and yet I dread it. May I say that you are very brave?

    1. Thank you Ashley! I think I may have figured this one out, but I am waiting until I finish the Unicorn Bell workshop before posting my new version!

  2. I love the concept of this story and the only tip I can think to offer you right now is to show and not tell. But you you knew that I'm sure! Good luck with this - it sounds like a fun book to to write.

    Janice xx

    1. I've come to love that little phrase: Show don't tell. What ever happened to Show and Tell??
      Thanks, Janice. How's things going with your busy schedule?


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