THE DRIFTER - Query

Share your blood sweat tears query for feedback and lend your hard-won expertise to others
Post Reply
User avatar
shadow
Posts: 302
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm
Location: The moon
Contact:

THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by shadow » April 16th, 2010, 9:41 am

Revision down below
I posted my original novel query here and got amazing help, so here goes my newest novel a Paranormal romance. Dum, dum, dum.


Dear...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t prevent it. Because one day, someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s deaths.

But when Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. When Romeo takes Pip to France she is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her.

Until one night.

Her curse returns.

And Romeo has only one hour left to live.

Thanks for your time and consideration. May I send you the complete manuscript?
Sincerely,

ME!

BE HARSH HARSH AND HARSH!
Last edited by shadow on April 16th, 2010, 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage

Emily J
Posts: 250
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 2:20 pm
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Emily J » April 16th, 2010, 12:07 pm

shadow wrote:I posted my original novel query here and got amazing help, so here goes my newest novel a Paranormal romance. Dum, dum, dum.


Dear...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t prevent it. Because one day, someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s deaths. This sentence doesn't make sense to me given the preceding one. You definitely need to rephrase or rework one or the other so they harmonize.

But when Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up vulnerable this isn't bad, but you could show us how she is vulnerable, bleeding, trembling, crying, a bit more specific imagery would be great here with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. She falls in love with Romeo? And she isn't Juliet? :) When Romeo takes Pip to France why exactly, I don't think I would bounce off to France with every guy who runs me over, Romeo or not she is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her.

Until one night.

Her curse returns. You have 4 stand alone sentence paragraphs. I think this is lessening the effectiveness of your formatting (if that makes sense). I would consider combining these three stand alone sentences. And "Until one night." is a sentence fragment btw. Not to say sentence fragments can't be effective, but a query is generally a place for grammatically perfect prose. A literary novel is the place for sparse sentence fragments.

And Romeo has only one hour left to live. Good! This reads like a teaser trailer and definitely leaves me wanting to know more, which is exactly what an effective query should do! (Although I think starting with a conjunction that this should be combined with the preceding sentence)

Thanks for your time and consideration. May I send you the complete manuscript? Not sure if I like the question here. I generally try to steer away from them. I think "The complete manuscript is available upon request." would be better here, but not a biggie

Sincerely,

ME!

BE HARSH HARSH AND HARSH!
I love the story idea. I think this query is great in its conciseness and the way it leaves on a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wanting to know more. A few things to consider, though, would be to limit the number of one sentence paragraphs and to eliminate sentence fragments unless you really think they are absolutely necessary. A few more specifics and a bit of expansion on the budding relationship between Pip and Romeo would be great as well and a bit more detail into how her power works exactly. (In my head I see the numbers over people's heads from Deathnote)

Best of luck to you.

kenpochick
Posts: 84
Joined: March 12th, 2010, 4:41 pm
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by kenpochick » April 16th, 2010, 3:18 pm

shadow wrote: Dear...

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t prevent it. Because one day, someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s deaths. (This doesn't make a lot of sense. If she can't prevent it, she can't prevent it.)

ButWhen Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent. She wakes up vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. When Romeo takes Pip to France she is desperate to tell him of her lost talent.

But he would never believe her.

Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live. (Combine these three into one sentence.)

I’m seeking representation forTHE DRIFTER, is a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

Thanks for your time and consideration.May I send you the complete manuscript?Sincerely,

ME!
Good luck with this. You may want to consider adding what she does to save the boy she loves. I'm assuming she does save him and doesn't just stand around and waits for him to die right? :-)

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Quill » April 16th, 2010, 3:48 pm

shadow wrote:
deprived of her talent.

her talent gone,

her lost talent.
I don't think it is wise to say the same thing three times.
May I send you the complete manuscript?
I don't believe this hard sell will further your cause.

SCrez
Posts: 1
Joined: April 14th, 2010, 1:51 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by SCrez » April 16th, 2010, 4:03 pm

shadow wrote: Dear...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t prevent it. Because one day, someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s deaths.

I'm assuming the purpose of these two sentences is that she's afraid someone will discover she knew about a person's death and didn't doing anything to save them...making her guilty in their mind.

If that is the case, maybe it would be clearer if instead of saying prevent twice, you use save. Something like, "Especially when she can't save them. Because if someone ever discovers her talent, they'll be furious that she didn't prevent their loved one's death." Obviously, that's nowhere near perfect, and saying "they'll be furious" would be a gross understatement. But maybe something along those lines.


But when Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. When Romeo takes Pip to France she is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her.

Until one night.

Her curse returns.

And Romeo has only one hour left to live.

Thanks for your time and consideration. May I send you the complete manuscript?
Sincerely,

ME!

BE HARSH HARSH AND HARSH!
Everything else was touched on by others, so I'll leave it at that. I love that it's very clear and concise, and leaves me wanting to know what happens next. Good job, and good luck.

User avatar
shadow
Posts: 302
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm
Location: The moon
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by shadow » April 16th, 2010, 5:56 pm

NEXT PAGE IS THE REVISION Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death.

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up trembling, wounded and vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents they leave to Paris where Pip to is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her. Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Last edited by shadow on April 22nd, 2010, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Quill » April 16th, 2010, 8:18 pm

shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

... deprived of her talent.

...her talent gone,

... her lost talent.
I take it, then, you do not see this as a problem?

Joel Q
Posts: 131
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 12:11 pm
Location: The other side of Pikes Peak
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Joel Q » April 16th, 2010, 9:04 pm

shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death.

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up trembling, wounded and vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents they leave to Paris where Pip to is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her. Until one night, (I don't care for "until one night" because I think of the previous sentence as I read it, then I think the two sentences don't work together.) her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

I want to know why he's going to die. What's the cause? Is it paranormal? By letting us know, we can imagine the conflict about to happen and decide just how much trouble Pip is about to get in. I want it to be something I don't think she can handle, so I know the story will be good.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,

User avatar
Robin
Posts: 315
Joined: April 8th, 2010, 9:09 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Robin » April 17th, 2010, 11:36 pm

shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation Personally, the agent already knows your are seeking representation. You may want to begin with the story part for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death. I dont think you really need this.

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent. talent or curse?

She wakes up trembling, at a hospital? on the street? wounded and vulnerable not so fond of "wounded and vulnerable. Its obvious if she was just hit and was unconscious . with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love she develops a relationship with romeo. To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents they leave to Paris where Pip to is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. This sentence was choppy. She is 16, not getting moving to another country with a boy at 16... But he would never believe he. Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.
I like the hook- so she has to try to save his life in one hour? sounds very interesting. You definitely have my interest and I would like to know more.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

KappaP
Posts: 58
Joined: December 9th, 2009, 12:44 pm
Location: Macedonia
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by KappaP » April 18th, 2010, 3:56 pm

Hey Shadow! I think this sounds really interesting and you've done a good job making this concise-- (I think) it's always easier to add than it is to figure out how to further reduce! Here are a few things I spotted:
shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death. These two sentences still conflict for me-- you say she CAN'T prevent death, but then she fears people knowing she could have. I suspect you either mean a) she can't stop it [her talent] or b) someone will BELIEVE she could have stopped it (even though she couldn't). I could obviously be wrong, but it seems like there's probably something to clarify.

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent. You essentially say the same thing here and in the next sentence-- I think you can make each stronger. How does Pip know times of death (does she have a phonebook style catalog in her head, does she instantly know it when she sees someone, does she hear them in her head, etc)? I'm wondering if you could use that to give us some imagery about losing the talent here-- showing us that when she wakes up, for the first time she doesn't hear/know/see people's deaths. You reference "her talent" a few times in a short space, and I think this sentence would have more punch if we suddenly heard the radio silence from her losing her ability.

She wakes up trembling, wounded and vulnerable with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. I want more of this. I think you can somehow incorporate Romeo into the sentence about her getting hit and then use that space to develop their relationship a bit more. How IS it to be normal and fall in love? What are her experiences? Why do his parents disapprove? Obviously don't do detail dump, but flesh it out a little and make us feel for Pip rather than just saying what she experiences (I know-- a lot easier said than done). To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents, they leave to Paris where Pip to is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her. Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
This is a really interesting hook and I like it. I think what would cinch it for me is if you flesh out Pip a little more and let us first feel her frustration at HAVING this gift and then feel the happiness she finds when she loses it. Why does she want to tell Romeo about the talent? Anyway, I think you've got a pretty strong gig going on here and I'm interested to read more. Give us a bit more feeling for Pip and you'll have me hooked. Great job!
www.patchesandsara.blogspot.com

Not a writing blog... at all.

User avatar
HillaryJ
Posts: 434
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 7:22 pm
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by HillaryJ » April 20th, 2010, 1:24 am

shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death.

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent. *Can you make this less passive? Her talent has disappeared. Her talent is silent (depending on how she "knows" this)*

She wakes up injured and confused, in the arms of a boy named Romeo who is apologizing the accident. *Quite a big step between these two sentences (and I don't think we need to know her past is hazy or repeat that her talent is gone). Any transition?* Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents they leave to Paris *awkward phrasing* where Pip is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. But he would never believe her. Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
"Growing tiresome" is dull. As in: Recurring cobwebs in the corner grow tiresome. Wasps frighten. That last invisible mosquito buzzing about your head when you're trying to fall asleep is infuriating. A girl with an unusual talent that is growing tiresome is less compelling than a girl frightened or infuriated by the same talent.

I have some trouble believing that a 16-year old who is "hazy" about her past can just run about Europe. I'm assuming they are in Europe if they go to Paris. Why not state where they are starting?

I feel that Pip's realization that Romeo has only one hour left to live is a bigger deal than her angst over whether/how to tell him about her talent, presuming that she takes some action to prevent it or is forced to tell him what she knows and why.

Try reading this aloud. Some of the phrasing is awkward or could be improved with more dynamic language and fewer words.

This is an interesting premise, but what's at stake for Pip and her boy?
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press

Emily J
Posts: 250
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 2:20 pm
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Emily J » April 20th, 2010, 11:43 am

shadow wrote:Taking all your guys' great advice into consideration, here is my revision:

Dear ...

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults.

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. Because one day, she fears someone’s going to know that she could have prevented their loved one’s death. You have rephrased this but the fundamental logical problem is still here. Why would someone "know" she could have prevented these deaths when she herself claims she can't stop them? Also, does she try and stop these deaths? Still needs reworking for me. Maybe something like: "Especially since no matter how hard she tries, she cannot stop fate. One day she fears someone will discover her terrible secret, and blame her for the deaths she tried desperately to prevent." JUST A SUGGESTION, please put it in your own words

When Pip is hit by a motorcycle and knocked unconscious, she is deprived of her talent.

She wakes up trembling, wounded and vulnerable I feel I am responsible for this, I listed a few words as examples, I don't think you need three different adjectives here (especially "vulnerable" which is implied) with a boy named Romeo by her side trying to apologize for the accident. Her past hazy and her talent gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. To run from Romeo’s disapproving parents they leave to Paris where Pip to is desperate to tell him of her lost talent. You do repeat lost talent a bit much, you could cut this one out though I think. Word choice would help to, to call it something other than "talent." But he would never believe her. Until one night, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live. Still love the ending

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,

User avatar
shadow
Posts: 302
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm
Location: The moon
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by shadow » April 21st, 2010, 3:44 pm

Thanks for all your very helpful advice! I have reworked the query a bit to be more concise and clear. Tell me what you guys think. I am really not sure about giving away what it is that is going to kill him though, because its very twisted, lol. Anywasy...

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. When a boy named Romeo hits her with his motorcycle she suddenly loses her curse.

Her past a blur and her curse gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. His warm embraces and lingering kisses keep Pip away from the world of her nightmares and from his father's disapproving glares. But when Romeo’s father discovers she is a drifter, she is forced to run, Romeo by her side. Yet Pip’s recurring hallucinations of the dead keep coming and she is desperate to tell Romeo of her lost curse. But he would never believe her. Until the night they plan their escape, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

A.K.
Last edited by shadow on April 22nd, 2010, 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
shadow
Posts: 302
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm
Location: The moon
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by shadow » April 22nd, 2010, 2:37 pm

Anyone want to take a stab at my newest revision? I am going to send out soon and I really appreciate any advice.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Robin
Posts: 315
Joined: April 8th, 2010, 9:09 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact:

Re: THE DRIFTER - Query

Post by Robin » April 22nd, 2010, 3:17 pm

shadow wrote:Thanks for all your very helpful advice! I have reworked the query a bit to be more concise and clear. Tell me what you guys think. I am really not sure about giving away what it is that is going to kill him though, because its very twisted, lol. Anywasy...

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Pip, knowing everyone’s time of death is growing tiresome. Especially when she can’t stop it. When a boy named Romeo hits her with his motorcycle she suddenly loses her curse. she's freed from her curse (maybe, instead of suddenly)

Her past a blur and her curse gone, Pip finally sees how it is to be normal and to fall in love. You already mentioned her curse leaving... I think you need to have something like: With her past a blur, Pip experiences a normal life and a steamy romance ensues between her and Romeo. His warm embraces and lingering kisses keep Pip safe from the world of her nightmares and from his father's disapproving glares. But when Romeo’s father discovers her past she is forced to run, Romeo by her side.

When Pip’s curse reappears she keeps it from Romeo, until his life depends on it- Romeo has only one hour left to live. (just a thought) she is desperate to tell Romeo of her lost curse. But he would never believe her. Until the night they plan their escape, her curse returns...and Romeo has only one hour left to live.

I’m seeking representation for THE DRIFTER, a 55,000-word paranormal romance novel for young adults. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

A.K.
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests