Jun 17, 2009


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

Here we go - submitted a very
similar one over at AW (not too much crit, there, so I'm hoping for some more here).

A bit of BG: this query has gotten some traction w/ agents, but not as much as I'd like... I'm marketing it as YA Fantasy or Dark Fant/Lit Fic - which I'd include in my introduction to the particular agent.

Dear Agent X,

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a onetime human boy, abhors harvesting children – snatching them from their beds, mining their spirit energy, and transforming them into goblins. Despite his aversion, he never falters in his duty until he abducts Natalie, a girl who can befriend a goblin and awaken his humanity even as he strives to desecrate her soul. Her faith in his goodness inspires him to pursue a new mission, one where he will be guardian instead of predator; one that will afford him pride in place of sorrow.

Yet, to protect future generations from the torment he and countless others suffered, the goblin prince must commit one last atrocity, far more difficult than all the rest. He must murder Natalie, his only friend in an unforgiving world, to unleash her magnificent spirit energy upon the other fiends lurking in the shadows, hungering for children’s souls.

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a grim 51,000 word version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, is the story of a self-proclaimed monster seeking redemption in a world consumed by dark creatures and dark intents, with a single shining beacon of humanity to guide his way.

[Personal Info]

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,


Rick Daley said...


I think that's pretty cool, and I would request a partial. It's a very cool concept and there is style to your writing.

How old is Natalie, and how old was the Goblin Prince when he was turned from a boy? That's the one extra thing I would want to know to make sure the story is well suited for YA audience.

As I said, though, I would request a partial..despite these questions.

Marissa Miranda said...

It sounds really intriguing, especially the fact that the Goblin Prince doesn't like what he has to do. I don't understand why he DOES do it though. I think you could make the query letter stronger if you show motivation (internal or external) for his actions, since they go again his morals. (Is he forced to do it or die? Does his body do it without permission? Is he under contract with some goblin who is forcing him to do it? I want to know WHY!)

Agents might fear that you don't HAVE any motivation for this action since you don't explain why he harvests children though he dislikes it. (And if he doesn't have solid motivation for it in the book either... I would definitely add some!)

folksinmt said...

Excellent. Maybe the reason you didn't get any criticism from the other site is because there is nothing to criticize! Good luck!

scott g.f. bailey said...

I think Marissa's got a good point, that the internal conflict doesn't make sense on the surface. And I'll just say that the external conflict doesn't, either. Why does he have to murder Natalie? Is she also some sort of supernatural being whose "magnificent spirit energy" will destroy the other fiends? If she can love the goblin prince, surely she loves the others as well? It just doesn't all hang together for me.

Also, the language is a bit clunky and I think you take too long to get to your points. Why "onetime human" and not "once-human"? I think you could cut your paragraphs to half their length and give the whole thing more punch.

I think paragraph 3 is the strongest thing here, telling us right away that it's a grim version of B&TB.

Bane of Anubis said...

Thanks guys.

Rick - Good point about the ages.

Marissa, I keep flip-flopping between versions of my first sentence (1 that shows motivation and one that doesn't): here it is w/ the motivation...

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a onetime human boy, abhors harvesting children – snatching them from their beds, mining their spirit energy, and transforming them into goblins - but he never falters in his duty, for without their energy, he and his brethren will perish. (then a slightly different transition into the next line)...

Scott, I guess I need to clear up the point that murdering her will allow him to release her spirit energy (i.e., he can't use it otherwise).

I am a bit confused how to tighten it much more (other than a few words here and there) without removing the thrust of the story - the 2nd paragraph can be cut a bit (and originally was, but a few people suggested I add to it to increase the MC's internal conflict)... Any suggestions are definitely welcome.

Also, with something like paragraph 3, I'm never sure if that's something that should lead a query or trail it.

Thanks again!

hope101 (Jan) said...

Bane, does the Prince have a name? When you have an anti-hero like this, I think it's key for us to want his redemption for *himself*, not just for the world.

And is there an antagonist in here other than the world? If there is anyone who can personify the forces that oppose him, for me the story would immediately be more compelling.

Bane of Anubis said...

Hope - this is another one that I've flip-flopped on... I've thought about using his name, but I'm countering that with thoughts about streamlining the query.

I also have a longer query that defines the antagonists more clearly (and is a bit more of a synopsis), but now I leave them as ambiguous fiends.

I'm never sure whether to provide more detail or less - the problem w/ my more detailed query was I felt that it didn't capture the heart of my story as well (the major conflict is internal, though there are significant external conflicts)