ANTEDILUVIAN query

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Auralius
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ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by Auralius » October 15th, 2010, 11:33 pm

Disclosure: MS not finished. First draft of the query is, though (obviously), and several issues I'm having with it have pushed me to go ahead and post it. Said issues enumerated after query. Aaaand...go.

Dear [agent],

"The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown."
-Book of Genesis, Chapter 6, Verse 4

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and great predatory beasts roam the wilderness. Angels have abandoned their proper abode to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, mighty warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family. Friendships forged in the heat of battle are soon tested, though, as a devastating act of betrayal thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels and their escalating lust for earthly power.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a 100,000 word historical fiction/fantasy novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY. I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]

Issues:
-Include verse from Genesis?
-Depending on one's worldview, this is either historical fiction or fantasy. How to categorize? Use the sl/ash?
-Seen different takes on this question - if it's the first of a proposed trilogy, do I mention that?

Much appreciated, all.

priya g.
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by priya g. » October 16th, 2010, 2:28 am

Auralius wrote:Disclosure: MS not finished. First draft of the query is, though (obviously), and several issues I'm having with it have pushed me to go ahead and post it. FROM ALL THE AGENTS BLOGS THAT I HAVE READ, INCOMPLETE MANUSCRIPTS AND QUERYING DONT GO HAND IN HAND. YOU MIGHT WANT TO KEEP THE QUERYING IDEA ASIDE TILL YOU HAVE FINISHED WRITING Said issues enumerated after query. Aaaand...go.

Dear [agent],

"The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown."
-Book of Genesis, Chapter 6, Verse 4

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden I THINK THIS IS A BETTER BEGINNING THAN THE VERSE, SURE YOUR STORY IS BASED ON IT, BUT JUMP RIGHT INTO THE PLOT. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and great predatory beasts roam the wilderness ARE YOU REFERRING TO ANYTHING PARTICULAR? THIS SOUNDS LIKE A NORMAL DAY ON EARTH. IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE IMPLYING? Angels have abandoned their proper abode to take human wives UMMM... I DONT EXACTLY GET THE HANG OF 'ANGELS' HERE. ARE THEY DOING THIS OUT OF FREE WILL? REBELLION?. Their offspring are the Nephilim, mighty warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron THIS SEEMS LIKE AN EXTRAVAGANT USE OF ADJECTIVES of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family. Friendships forged in the heat of battle are soon tested, though, as a devastating act of betrayal WHO BETRAYS WHO? thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels and their escalating lust for earthly power.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels. EXACTLY- NOW I WANT TO KNOW IF THE ANGELS ARE GOOD OR BAD ANGELS- WHICH SIDE THEY BELONG TO, BECAUSE TILL NOW I WAS THINKING THEY WERE THE GOOD ONES AND ONLY THE NEPHILIM WERE POWER HUNGRY.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a 100,000 word historical fiction/fantasy novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY. I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. MOVE THIS SENTENCE AS A SEPARATE PARAGRAPHThank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]

Issues:
-Include verse from Genesis? SEE COMMENT ABOVE
-Depending on one's worldview, this is either historical fiction or fantasy. How to categorize? Use the sl/ash? THIS SEEMS LIKE FANTASY TO ME PARTLY SINCE THE TIME FRAME HAS NOT BEEN SET. 'MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS' DOESNT SPECIFY
-Seen different takes on this question - if it's the first of a proposed trilogy, do I mention that? SOME SAY PUT IT AS 'HAS A SERIES POTENTIAL' AND LEAVE IT TO THAT. YOU SHOULD ASK OTHERS THIS TOO

Much appreciated, all.

Krista G.
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by Krista G. » October 16th, 2010, 2:51 am

Just jumping in here to address the issues you mention at the bottom of your post.

1) I'm with priya - scrap the quotation at the beginning of the query. Those work much better at the beginning of manuscripts than at the beginning of queries.

2) Have you considered just "historical fantasy," no slash, as a genre description? I think you set the time period well enough with the "More than a thousand years" line, and introducing Noah as a major character helps with that. Then again, we have very little information about what life was like back then, so it's basically impossible to use the same amount of historical detail you'd normally see in a historical fantasy.

3) You can mention the trilogy or not mention it - neither one will make or break you. If you do decide to mention it, make sure to also mention the book can stand on its own.

I love the title, by the way, although I do wonder how many agents will be up on their Bible-centric vocabulary. If you don't already know what antediluvian means, the title won't make much sense.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

JMB
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by JMB » October 16th, 2010, 11:35 am

I feel like this query takes too long to introduce the Main Character. I would say in the opening sentence who/what Noah is and what his problem is. Then I would go back a bit to clarify/set the scene for the larger conflict between Nephilim and ??? (not exactly sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys).

Okay, as a nice Catholic girl (or raised as one anyway), I can't imagine there are many people (and by people I mean agents) out there who would classify this as historical. Unless you are querying devout Creationists, I don't think you'll find many people who believe that the events of Genesis are to be taken as an historical account of the earliest days of the Earth. Correct me if I'm wrong people (and by people I mean other forum followers) but stories about good angels, fallen angels, etc. are considered fiction/fantasy.

Auralius
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by Auralius » October 16th, 2010, 2:12 pm

Thanks for the comments and suggestions, all. Working on query changes.

priya - thanks for all your suggestions. True, MS isn't finished, but plot and outline are, hence existence of query draft. Definitely don't intend on querying until the whole thing's done and polished. Will add a quick "betrayal" identifier. I'm a little confused about your confusion as far as the fallen angels go. What exactly made you think the angels were good and the Nephilim were bad? Will drop that last sentence to another paragraph.

Krista - I agree with you and priya - quotation scrapped. "Historical fantasy" might work well. I guess I'm leaning toward mentioning the trilogy (or, at least "trilogy potential").

JMB - thanks for the suggestions. Interesting comment on the "historical" aspect. Gallup has done six polls since 1982, last in 2004, on that very question (Biblical creation vs theistic evolution vs naturalistic evolution). With very little variation, a Biblical young-earth creation has been the dominant view, followed by theistic evolution, with naturalistic evolution trailing far, far behind. Lots of other polls done by other organizations, too, all generally following those trends. What those numbers tell me is that around 80% of the American populace would have no problem accepting anything past Genesis 3 as "historical." Don't know if agents are a different breed, but I wouldn't preemptively put "angels" in the "fiction/fantasy" barrel, certainly not in the US market.

Gallup polling data, BTW: http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolut ... esign.aspx

Thanks for all the great feedback so far.

JMB
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by JMB » October 16th, 2010, 6:59 pm

Fascinating poll. Thanks for the link. You might want to post this question about classification/genre of your story in the Ask Nathan forum. He is great about answering writers' questions about this kind of thing.

Auralius
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by Auralius » October 17th, 2010, 2:24 pm

Query, updated. All critiques and comments much appreciated.


Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. Angels have abandoned their proper abode to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, mighty warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family. Friendships forged in the heat of battle are soon tested, though, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels and their escalating lust for earthly power.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]

fishfood
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by fishfood » October 17th, 2010, 4:43 pm

Auralius wrote:Query, updated. All critiques and comments much appreciated.


Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. Angels have abandoned their proper abode to take human wives (so who are they now taking as wives? Why was it considered their proper abode?). Their offspring are the Nephilim, mighty warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage (throwing in that he has a noble heritage seems irrelevant for the query's sake though I'm sure it's important for the story). When his lands are attacked (by who?), he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family. Friendships forged in the heat of battle are soon tested, though, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels and their escalating lust for earthly power.(Long sentence. I think it's important here to elaborate what she does, otherwise, it's vague and doesn't amp up the tension very well nor explain why he's thrust into this revolution that also seems to be thrown just now into the story)

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels (why does it matter who they fight for? I feel like this story is about Noah too. If it's more about the Nephilim, then focuse on one Nephilim character and make us care about him/her).
ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]
There's no doubt the writing is great and the story is probably outstanding. You have some room here with the word count to elaborate and pique the agent's interest. Otherwise, I feel I'm being told of a vague supernatural story of power-lust, betrayal, revenge, etc, but not clearly given who and what is at stake here.

I think querying as a historical fantasy is fine.

priya g.
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by priya g. » October 18th, 2010, 3:38 pm

Auralius wrote:

Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden PERFECT BEGINNING. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness I STILL DONT GET AN ESSENCE OF TIME- I KNOW I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE BUT ARE YOU TRYING TO PORTRAY A TIME BEFORE INDUSTRIALIZATION?. Angels have abandoned their proper abode to take human wives WHY?. Their offspring are the Nephilim, mighty warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth GOOD SUMMARY OF WHO THEY ARE.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family. Friendships forged in the heat of battle are soon tested, though, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels and their escalating lust for earthly power. THIS IS TOO MUCH INFO TO DIGEST IN ONE PARAGRAPH- YOU CAN EITHER BREAK IT DOWN OR SPREAD IT OUT- E.G. ABOUT NEPHILIM HAVING LUST FOR EARTHLY POWER WHEN TALKING ABOUT WHO THEY ARE.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans... or the angels.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]
this is definitely an improvement!

Auralius
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by Auralius » October 20th, 2010, 5:27 pm

Query revision. Hope I solved some problems without creating new ones. Have at it.

Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. The Grigori, angels charged with watching over mankind, have abandoned their appointed stations to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, giant warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family from a monstrous foe thought to be invincible. Bonds between the humans and the giants are forged in the heat of battle; however, peace won by an unlikely victory is short-lived. The Grigori's lust for earthly power has grown, and they now view Noah's family, as well as his mighty Nephilim allies, as a threat. Friendships and faith are soon tested, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]

JMB
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by JMB » October 20th, 2010, 5:55 pm

Can someone tell me how to remove a duplicate post?
Last edited by JMB on October 21st, 2010, 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

JMB
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by JMB » October 20th, 2010, 5:57 pm

Hope this is helpful. I feel like the query assumes a certain level of Biblical knowledge, which I lack. So, where I am lost or confused, or simply stumbled, I've tried to ask questions that would help me to better follow the plot.

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. The Grigori, angels charged with watching over mankind, have abandoned their appointed stations to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, giant warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth. [Much clearer set up/world building than previous queries. Although it would help to understand who the Nephilim are. Grigori are fallen angels it says but Nephilim are large what??? Are they the offspring of the fallen angels/human women and this combo happens to produce super-sized warriors?]

[In addition, I find myself wishing there was a hook in this first paragraph that introduced the MC (Noah. I presume from para 2) and the challenge he faces.]


Born into this boiling cauldron of history [hate this phrase plus it is in passive voice-- sorry] is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked [by whom?], he enlists Nephilim [why the Nephilim? what's his connection to them?] why would they help?] aid to protect his family from a monstrous foe thought to be invincible [so this must be the Grigori? but what's there grudge against Noah?. Bonds between the humans and the giants [what giants? like the opposite of dwarfs? or, are you referring to the Nephilim?] are forged in the heat of battle [wait, I thought the bonds were forged earlier thanks to some deal struck by Noah and the Nephilim and Noah agreed to fight side-by side]; however, peace won by an unlikely victory is short-lived {why?}. The Grigori's lust for earthly power has grown, and they now view Noah's family, as well as his mighty Nephilim allies, as a threat. [Okay, totally lost now. I thought Noah and Nephilim were on one side and Grigori on the other and they are already battling?] Friendships and faith are soon tested, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels.{But Noah is already in the middle right, and because he wants to keep his lands, not 'cause he is hot for some woman]

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels. {and shouldn't we end with Noah's conflict, if he is the MC, not the battle between Nephilim and Grigori.]

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wilderness
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by wilderness » October 20th, 2010, 6:15 pm

Auralius wrote:
Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. The Grigori, angels charged with watching over mankind, have abandoned their appointed stations to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, giant warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family from a monstrous foe thought to be invincible. What foe? Be specific. Bonds between the humans and the giants are forged in the heat of battle; however, peace won by an unlikely victory is short-lived. Passive voice and generally clunky sentence. Also lacks specificity. What happens in battle? The Grigori's lust for earthly power has grown, and they now view Noah's family, as well as his mighty Nephilim allies, as a threat. Friendships and faith are soon tested, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels. More specificity needed. How are friendships ad faith tested? Who is the woman Noah loves and how does she betray him?

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels. I think it's better to end with your MC's conflict.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind. Since nephilim stories are currently categorized as fantasy (see Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments Trilogy), I would go with fantasy.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]
Hi --

Sounds like an interesting world/time period. However, I think this query focuses too much on the world, but you're better off focusing on your character, Noah. What problems does he face? What are his internal and external conflicts and goals?

Be specific. Here's Nathan's post "Specificity: The secret strength of killer queries" -- http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03 ... eries.html

Hope that helps!

fishfood
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by fishfood » October 20th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Auralius wrote:Query revision. Hope I solved some problems without creating new ones. Have at it.

Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. The Grigori, angels charged with watching over mankind, have abandoned their appointed stations to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, giant warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth. PERFECT!

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family from a monstrous foe thought to be invincible. Can you say why they attacked his lands? Are they just greedy for land? Bonds between the humans and the giants are forged in the heat of battle; however, peace won by an unlikely victory is short-lived. The Grigori's lust for earthly power has grown, and they now view Noah's family, as well as his mighty Nephilim allies, as a threat. Friendships and faith are soon tested, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels. This seems to be to be the turning point in the novel, so I don't think elaborating on what this act of betrayal was will tip the word count over too much. Can you say when Noah's true love does xyz, Noah "pisses off" the Grigori thrusting him into the midst of their revolution to take back the earth...?
Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels. NICE.
ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

[My name here]
Much better!! Great job!

priya g.
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Re: ANTEDILUVIAN query

Post by priya g. » October 21st, 2010, 9:38 am

Auralius wrote:Query revision. Hope I solved some problems without creating new ones. Have at it.

Dear [agent],

More than a thousand years have passed since the fall of man and the exit from Eden PERFECT. The earth has been cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness. The Grigori, angels charged with watching over mankind, have abandoned their appointed stations to take human wives. Their offspring are the Nephilim, giant warriors with birthrights in heaven and on earth.

Born into this boiling cauldron of history is Noah, a hardworking farmer with a noble heritage. When his lands are attacked, he enlists Nephilim aid to protect his family from a monstrous foe thought to be invincible. Bonds between the humans and the giants are forged in the heat of battle; however, peace won by an unlikely victory is short-lived GOOD EXPLANANTION. The Grigori's lust for earthly power has grown, and they now view Noah's family, as well as his mighty Nephilim allies, as a threat. Friendships and faith are soon tested, as a devastating act of betrayal by the woman IS SHE HUMAN, ANGEL OR NEPHILIM? he loves thrusts Noah into the middle of a revolution against the fallen angels.

Meanwhile, his Nephilim comrades must decide, once and for all, whether they will fight on the side of the humans...or the angels.

ANTEDILUVIAN is a [100,000] word [historical fiction/fantasy] novel that combines fascinating Biblical details of an ancient world and Stephen Lawhead's storytelling sensibilities, with hints of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY and James Gurney's DINOTOPIA series. Although it stands alone as a single story, it has been written with multivolume potential in mind.

I'm interested in representation by your agency because [reason]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
[My name here]
This is nearly good to go! just two suggestions there. otherwise- wonderful job! this query has come a long way from the first draft

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