Mar 19, 2009

QUERY: DEATH AND ME

Dear Agent,

Death follows Charlotte—literally. When Charlotte was twelve, an intoxicated Death accidentally took her parents instead of another couple in a car crash. Due to his negligence, Death has been sentenced to be Charlotte’s temporary guardian till she finds a permanent home. Responsibility, though, isn’t Death’s top priorities. Instead of finding her a new home, he uses Charlotte as way to scam and steal from others to fuel his gambling, smoking, and drinking habits. With each bad deed, the ever impressionably, enthusiastic, and indecisive Charlotte finds it harder and harder to find her place in an adoptive family.

But just when Death begins to grow attached to Charlotte and feel responsible for her, a family wishes to tear their friendship apart when they begin to turn Charlotte against Death. When the family frames Death for a crime and Charlotte believes it, Death knows that Charlotte’s soon-to-be family is not who they seem to be at all. In a race against time, Death must clear his name and win Charlotte back before she is lost forever.


DEATH AND ME is a quirky 55,000 word novella.

Sincerly,

"E.Reliant" (fake name.)

Guess the Genre.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd guess YA. But even with YA you've made Death so unappealing as a character (I like it by the way, sort of Beetlejuice-ish), I'd be hardpressed to find a school librarian who'd stock the book. Yes it's quirky and I LOVE quirky. But throwing the kid in there, I don't know why she's in the equation. For what? To redeem him? He killed her parents. I know this is fantasy, but...
He's Death...why take away his edge. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Oh, just wanted to add, The "Guess the Genre" was for this site's benefit right? Because if you put that down at the bottom of a real query, I don't know...bad things man...bad things can happen, like a big fat rejection for a promising query.

Off topic: I need to get a google account so I can stop posting Anon.

Barbara Early said...

"Death knows that Charlotte’s soon-to-be family is not who they seem to be at all."

"is" should be "are"

"Family" can be either singular or plural. Since you are later identifying them as "they" you need the plural conjugation.

Erin said...

Ooh, typos. I'm always a bit worried when I see so many typos in a proposal because (as an editor) it makes me think that too many editing hours are going to have to be spent fixing things that the author should have been able to catch.

Also, I was confused. In the first paragraph, Death sounds like a creepy, child-abusing disaster. I don't even see why a family would need to frame him when he's doing so many bad things already. And the reader is suddenly expected to sympathize with him and hope he gets the girl back from this bad family? I don't think so. You need to include some more details to explain the perspective transition there.

Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

It sounds like a funny premise, something that I have never read about. A drunk, gambling death.

Human personality traits to something that most people would think of having no feeling could lead to something very interesting.

The writing does need to be tighten as previously suggested.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

"Responsibility, though, isn’t Death’s top priorities." I'm not the best at grammar, but shouldn't that be priority or one of his top priorities.

I also think something is wrong with "an intoxicated Death" it makes death sound like an object instead of a person. Maybe it should be: Intoxicated, Death accidently took the twelve year old girl's parents instead of the couple in a car crash.

I could be way off, so you definitely need other opinions weighing in. (Rick you need to draw some attention to this one, somehow.)

The first time I read this it was confusing. When I re-read it I liked it. I'm afraid that might be a problem for you. I slowed down the second time, and a busy agent might not. It could be partly the grammar errors, but I think you need to explain that the guys name is death better or something.

Alex said...

Great premise! And yeah, if it is YA, it might be too offbeat/quirky, but that (offbeat/quirky) is a genre option.

But definetly take the "Guess the genre" at the end. Anon was nice about it, but seriously, every agent I've seen address genre says "PICK ONE". Like that, all angry and loud.

splatter said...

I really like the premise of this - the issue as to genre depends on the main PoV, I think. If it's the girl, probably YA. If death (or a mixture), I'd say fantasy. It actually feels like a slightly darker Terry Pratchet to me.

I'll agree that the idea of Death being framed seems odd, unless we're in a world where everyone is aware of Death, and the fact that he's caring for this girl. I'd make death's role in the world a bit more clear.

As for sympathizing with Death, I might add a line about how Charlotte's relationship with Death goes both ways. He's changing her, but her good side is rubbing off on him a bit too. Make him feel a little more... redeemable.

Also "he uses Charlotte as way to scam and steal" should be "as a way" or just "he uses Charlotte to scam and steal..."

I do think the first sentence has a good bit of pop to it... a good start to the query!