Dec 26, 2009

QUERY - THE GATEWAY

When people dream, this does not happen in their head. Their mind projects to the Other World and they experience dreams. Their connection is tenuous and fleeting. Jordan Quinn’s is not.

When Jordan is visiting a friend in South Korea he is attacked by a mysterious woman, put to sleep and imprisoned in the Other World.

After he begins to hear voices telling him to save a little Russian girl, he finds hope that he can wake. But matters are complicated when he is kidnapped by Nnekara, a deadly African woman with the power to animate and control shadows. Nnekara has also been put to sleep by the woman, but with the intent of keeping Jordan occupied and out of the way while the dream world is being merged with reality.

Jordan finds that as things change, and the merger nears completion, the woman gets closer to releasing a group of long-forgotten gods, the Dreamwalkers, to usher in the extinction of the human race.

Jordan must gain mastery over his power as the gateway between the worlds and race to save the young Russian girl from dying if he has any hope of thwarting the woman's plans or waking again.

With a basis in real world mythologies, THE GATEWAY – a young adult fantasy complete at 73,000 words – explores a new world by recreating and redefining what we all experience as dreams.

I have a degree in Russian studies and have lived in both Russia and South Korea. Together, my education, travels and understanding of other cultures play a huge part in the unfolding tale, as the world we know ceases to exist and we find people across the globe – each with their own unique abilities – coming together and choosing sides.

THE GATEWAY is a standalone novel, but the first in a planned series. If you are interested, I would love to send the full manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

7 comments:

Holly said...

I can pick up your enthusiasm for your novel, but to my eyes the writing isn't ready to submit to anybody.

First sentence:

"When people dream, this does not happen in their head."

Are we talking reality here, or your novel? Of course people dream in their heads (and here you have a grammar error -- it's HEADS, not HEAD). If you are talking about your novel, then word it that way.

"Their mind projects to the Other World and they experience dreams. Their connection is tenuous and fleeting. Jordan Quinn’s is not."

The writing is awkward, plus has more singular and plural errors.

My serious suggestion: take some writing courses at your local community college. The teachers will help you with the basics and make you into a better storyteller. Writing is a craft just like painting or woodworking. You need to work on the basics before you try to sell your stories.

I enjoyed the bio paragraph. It sounds like you've had an interesting life. Good luck!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Your premise seems interesting, but your query is a bit choppy. I suggest you try reading it out loud.

Holly is correct about the grammar. Really pay attention. Maybe your book doesn't have these kinds of mistakes, but an agent will assume they do.

I'm discovering there really is an art to writing a good query, and it's nothing like writing a good book. Keep revising. If you have a friend that's good at grammar, have them look at it. Good luck!

Scott said...

I think Holly's assessment may be a bit harsh. Yes, the query needs a lot of work, but I'm not sure we can judge the quality of the novel from the query.

To me, the meat of the story comes in the last two graphs before the bio. Boil those two graphs into one while touching on your main character. Perhaps something like:

Mankind's savior is asleep. But the dreamworld is just where Jordan Quinn needs to be if he's going to stop...

GhostFolk.com said...

You asked for advice by posting here, so here goes:

Recommend something tight and to the point:

1. When people dream, the connection to another world is tenuous and fleeting. For Jordan Quinn, it's not. He is imprisoned in a world of Dreamwalkers.


2. In GATEWAY, Jordan must master this new world in a race to save a Russian girl or he may never wake again.

If your story is actually set in South Korea and Russia (I can't tell, Russia girls can live anywhere), you might say so here.

You also have the opportunity to (briefly!) compare what American readers know about Russia (or South Korea) as a world that is as different to us as dreamwalking and reality are to Jordan.

But that's enough. If an agent is interested in this sort of story for Young Adults, the first two paragraphs above are enough.

I think. for your YA market, having a novel set in BOTH South Korea and Russia is pushing it. I don't see how you can do both settings AND a created new world of Dreamwalkers justice in 75,000 words. Then again, you might be the genius that is capable of that.

As a reader of YA, I'd be much more interested in the real Russia or the real South Korea than in the world of shadowy dream villains your query suggests you have created here. But I am aslo confused by your query. Is the story set entirely in the dream world?

CHARCATER!:

Other than the circumstances of the action in your story, can you make your Main Character interesting? YA is driven by character empathy. Is Jordan a kid? Does he speak Korean and live in the U.S.? Is he in Haarlem, Chicago, on a farm in Indiana?

Cut this, btw, for sure: THE GATEWAY is a standalone novel, but the first in a planned series. Sell the novel you got, not future plans.

Best of luck! You have a terrific imagination for creating fiction!

Kate said...

QUERY - SECOND SIGHT

Seven years ago,a frightened five year old escaped from his kidnapper, hid in the woods for days, and finally surrended to the Hawthorns who found him scavaging from their cafe trash cans. He's known as MICK HAWTHORN today and the most frightening thing that's happened to him lately is kissing JULIE RAINWATER at a summer Band picnic.Then the nightmares begin.
A new preacher has come to Jasper, Arkansas, population 500. As his generic prayer for a safe sports season rolls over the students at the first school pep rally, Mick is shocked to recognize the voice he feared as a child. But PASTOR RICHTER is charismatic and the community flocks to join his congregation.
Mick confronts Richter, who laughs and tells him that no one will ever believe his story. When Julie and some of the other girls begin attending extra study sessions at the church and plan a trip with Richter to present a play at other churches in St Louis, Mick knows that the man has chosen his new victims.
Mick joins the drama group, persuading Richter that he holds no grudges for his mistreatment. During a storm, the students are abandoned at a cabin on the way to Missouri. Waking from a drugged sleep, Mick forces Richter into releasing two of the girls, but nearly loses Julie as the preacher attempts to drive away.
The final solution to stopping Richter is up to Mick. Even though he is smaller, he attacks the man, drives him into the woods, and contacts the authorities. Sometimes even a boy has to summon the force within himself to be the hero.

Second Sight is a 40,000 word novel for middle grades.

John Wilson said...

Kate, your query looks interesting, but you pasted it in the wrong place.

Go to the home page, look on the right side of the screen, and click on the link to submit queries.

An article will come up, and you paste your query into the comments there.

Rick, the site administrator, will see your query and give it a place of its own on the home page.

Rick Daley said...

Hi Kate,

Your query is up in its own post. I've been offline a lot over the holiday or I would have caught this sooner.

Good luck!