Mar 18, 2009

Query - Dreaming Dark

A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

Meredith is convinced she's a normal seventeen year-old, until dark, terrifying, and unbearably beautiful Eirich moves into her nothern Ontario town.

The problem with Eirich's arrival is that whenever they touch - which isn't nearly as often as Meredith would like - he fills her with a strange and tempting feeling of power. Meredith can't even figure out why she gets these feelings, let alone explain them to anyone. So when her best friend Ally falls hard for Eirich, Meredith decides it would be best to stay away from both of them, choosing to spend time at her sister Val's old hangout rather than admitting that something really, really strange is happening.

But something really strange is happening and the new hangout makes it stranger. The cottage that Meredith thought belonged to Val's friend actually belongs to Meredith, and it was left to her by her mother with the promise that it comes with magical protection. Meredith learns that she's so far from normal, she's supernatural: the last member of an ancient race with the power to control and create dreams. Worse, Eirich needs Meredith's powers to revive his own ancient race, the dark counterpart to Meredith's, and he's kidnapped Ally to get to her.

So Meredith is left with a choice: does she preserve the dreams of mankind and, more importantly, rescue her best friend, or does she succumb to the beautiful Eirich and fill herself with the power she's always longed for?

DREAMING DARK is a work of YA urban fantasy, complete at 57 000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

9 comments:

lucy in the sky said...

Got my interest within the first couple of sentences, but I have a few suggestions. First is instead of "he fills her" try "she is filled." I was distracted by the mental image I got from it...

I also think you could leave off the last paragraph.

Windy said...

Overall, I like premise of this, it sounds really intriguing.

Here are my suggestions: Your initial description of Eirich uses words that have become a bit commonplace because of certain vampire novels. You may want to re-evaluate the adjectives.

The sentence about the way Meredith feels each time she and Eirich touch doesn't have the impact it seemed like you wanted. It felt awkward to me and didn't emphasize the "strange and tempting feeling of power" enough. Based on the rest of the query, that seemed like something that could be pivotal?

The explanation of the cottage felt like too much setup also. Does Val need to be mentioned at all? Maybe try ending your second para with M staying away from both of them. Then introducing the cottage as the new hangout that her mom left her and go into the magic part.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Judy said...

First sentence is nice. But I have to agree when I first read it I thought it was going to be a vampire novel.

You need to be consistant-at first you say old hangout then the next para you say new hangout.

left to her by her mother (whose mother Meredith or the friend's mother?)

Try bringing your third paragraph about the ancient races and such to the forefront of your query. That is the part that really piqued my interest.

This seems to have a really interesting premise to it.

Your story seems to have a great premise.

Good luck!!

scott g.f. bailey said...

I think you can lose the first two paragraphs entirely, and start with:

"Something strange is happening in the cottage Meredith inherited from her mother" and then go to something like "here she learns that she is the last member of the ancient race who supply mankind with dreams" or something, and then go to the conflict: "Unearthly beautiful Eirich arrives, tempting Meredith with with unbridled powers" and kidnaping Ally to get leverage.

It sounds interesting. Is 57k long enough for YA fantasy? Not my genre, so I don't know.

Anonymous said...

For me, the word strange stood out.
You've got it here:

"he fills her with a strange and tempting feeling of power"

I'd leave it at he fills her with a tempting feeling of power

Here:

"Val's old hangout rather than admitting that something really, really strange is happening."

Here:

"But something really strange is happening and the new hangout makes it stranger"

You might want to tighten this up a bit, as you've described early on that what's happening to her isn't normal.

Natalie said...

I really liked your query and I want to read the book!

Will you send it to me? :)

Rick Daley said...

You have a well-defined conflict here, and the elements of your story are presented, but I think you can streamline the query. I agree that Val may not need to be mentioned. Try to contain the minor story arcs in favor of a solid exploration of the primary conflict.

To me "dark, terrifying, and unbearably beautiful Eirich" is reminiscent of the overly descriptive writing in Twilight. Don't know if that's good or bad...just food for thought.

On a totally unrelated note, I just submitted a fake plot to Evil Editor for this title, good luck when your time comes over there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your helpful comments, everyone! I can only hope that my comments on the other queries are so useful.
I wrote a revision, I hope this is the right place for it?

Dear Agent,
Meredith is convinced she's a normal seventeen year-old, until smouldering but silently threatening Eirich moves into her northern Ontario town.

The problem with Eirich's arrival is that whenever they touch - which isn't nearly as often as Meredith would like – she is filled with a strange and tempting feeling of power. Meredith can't even figure out why she gets these feelings, let alone explain them to anyone. So when her best friend Ally falls hard for Eirich, Meredith decides it would be best to stay away from both of them.

To escape Ally and Eirich, Meredith starts spending time at the cottage left to her by her mother. She quickly discovers that it comes with unexpected magical protection, and learns that she's so far from normal, she's supernatural: the last member of an ancient race with the power to control and create dreams. Meredith's mother starts visiting her dreams to teach her to use these powers, but Meredith, unable to control her new strength, starts pulling wild, violent dream magic into the real world. Worse, Eirich needs Meredith's powers to revive his own ancient race, the dark counterpart to Meredith's, and he's taken Ally to get to her.

Meredith is left with a choice. If she doesn't fight Eirich with her fledging dream magic, he'll try to use his own powers to trap Ally in her dreams, feeding off her emotions and growing with power until he and his ancestors can take over the world. If she does fight, she might be able to stop him and save Ally. But if she succumbs to his dark strength and joins him they can rule together, and Meredith will be filled with the power for which she longs.

DREAMING DARK is a work of YA urban fantasy, complete at 57 000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Rick Daley said...

The best place to submit revisions is on the primary submission post, but I've got you covered this round.