Jan 27, 2010

QUERY- YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL THRILLER TAKE TWO: NEW TITLE: WHISKERS: HARBINGERS OF CHANGE

Click here to read the original query.

Dear [Agent Name]:

[Personalized opening sentence] I am seeking representation for my Young Adult paranormal thriller, WHISKERS: HARBINGERS OF CHANGE, complete at 77,000 words.

Sixteen year old Nickie Leone will do whatever it takes to find her father—even if it means trusting a stranger with her most guarded secret.

As if that isn’t bad enough, she discovers the leader of an opposing clan wants to kill her father and adopt her into his pride. When uber-handsome Xavian confesses his knowledge of the danger, Nickie wonders if her classmate is tricking her or trying to help. Before she has a chance to question him, her body undergoes changes no teenager would expect—pointed ears and whiskers are not the fashion statement she wants to make. Xavian witnesses her new appendages and when he transforms into a panther, Nickie is introduced to life as an Ailuranthrope, or shapeshifter.

Now Nickie must pair up with Xavian and find a way to win her father’s freedom—before she becomes a captive and her father becomes a murder victim.

[Bio]

Thank you for your consideration,

[Me]
[Contact Info]
http://lbdiamond.wordpress.com/

2 comments:

Weronika Janczuk said...

Hi! Some comments from an intern in publishing -

Sixteen year old Nickie Leone will do whatever it takes to find her father—even if it means trusting a stranger with her most guarded secret.
Add a quick phrase about why her father has disappeared, and also be more specific with the secret. Too vague right now.

As if that isn’t bad enough, she discovers the leader of an opposing clan wants to kill her father and adopt her into his pride.
We don't know what these clans are; how does the leader know where her father is? Does this mean Nickie finds out?

When uber-handsome Xavian confesses his knowledge of the danger, Nickie wonders if her classmate is tricking her or trying to help.
So she's in school? And who's Xavian? What's the relationship between Nickie, Xavian, and the clan leader?

Before she has a chance to question him, her body undergoes changes no teenager would expect—pointed ears and whiskers are not the fashion statement she wants to make. Xavian witnesses her new appendages and when he transforms into a panther, Nickie is introduced to life as an Ailuranthrope, or shapeshifter.
How does this happen?! Is it normal in this world? What are the implications? Can she control it?

Now Nickie must pair up with Xavian and find a way to win her father’s freedom—before she becomes a captive and her father becomes a murder victim.
This is okay as it stands, but . . .

This is a paranormal, so you need to do a good job establishing the world before you get into your story - or do it seamlessly. I have really no clue what the stakes are for Nickie in context of the world - how powerful are these clans and their leaders? What do they control? How challenging is this journey?

You have the conciseness down, but you need more specifics. I don't think these are changes you can make using this template. My suggestion is to start anew and think how you would present this story - and make it dramatic - to someone who had no clue that it was a paranormal thriller. (Also, I'm not getting much of a thriller feel to this - more like adventure, and that's different.)

Dominique said...

This is better. Having more info helps make things clearer.

Using the word 'pride' before the reader knows they're shapeshifters and cat-like is going to create confusion and draw them out of your story.

I'm not a big fan of calling her changed form 'new appendages.' It makes me think she stayed mostly human and just altered her ears and grew a tail. Probably not what you meant.