Feb 15, 2010

The Nameless - Query (Revision #2)

Click here to read the original query. 

Dear Agent:

Eighteen year old Erica Ann Dawson fell asleep in her bed in Batesfield, Connecticut and awoke to find herself driving down a four lane highway.

Plagued by inexplicable blackouts, she begins losing hours, even days, with no memory of what transpired in the intervening time.

As the blackouts grow worse, she starts to doubt her own sanity, until she learns the truth.

Erica is slowly being replaced, being usurped from her own life by a creature known only as a Changeling. The Changeling has bewitched Erica’s name and is using it to steal away her memories, her life, her very soul.

To save herself from being completely consumed, Erica is forced to make a terrible sacrifice; she gives up her name, and with it, relinquishes all rights to her own identity.

Now, nameless, and forgotten by her friends and family alike, the girl is plunged into a world of magic where a Sharpie and a book of matches could mean the difference between life and death. She must learn to harness the power of names and sigils to fight back against the Changelings and the dark force invading Batesfield.

Will she be strong enough to overcome the mysterious master of the Changelings and reclaim what she has lost, or will she remain nameless forever?

The Nameless is a YA fantasy novel complete at 60,000 words. The manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Emily XXXX


Stacy McKitrick said...

I'm still very new to all of this, but the one thing I noticed right off the bat was the change of tenses.

You should stick to the present tense i.e.: Eighteen year old Erica Ann Dawson falls asleep in bed and wakes up in a car, driving on a four lane highway.

This phrase: "being replaced, being usurped" is awkward. I'd use only one word and probably "replaced". Better yet, go from passive to active: A creature known only as a Changling is slowly replacing Erica's life.

In paragraph six, you could say "she plunges into a world of magic". Using "the girl" is a little confusing, even though I understand (now) why you're doing it. However, an agent probably won't.

I also don't know if you need to mention the town, even though you listed it twice. Is it really relevant to the query?

The story does sound interesting (if not a little like Stephenie Meyer's "The Host"). I hope I've been able to help a little. Good luck on your search for an agent.

Piedmont Writer said...

Excellent job, very nice, very good. I LOVE the Sharpie and book of matches. I think "...her memories, her life, her very soul." is good, don't you. It adds that much more.

I really like the first sentence -- grabby. Great hook.

Just one typo -- sigils -- is that supposed to be signals? or is that a word I don't know. If so, I would put it in quotes. 'sigils'.

Nice job, very well done. Good luck with your query.

Dominique said...

Great. Much better hook this time. I, too, liked the Sharpie and matches part.

Emily said...


Good catch on the tense. I will change that. Thanks.

@Peidmont Writer

I’m not surprised you liked the addition of “her life.”:) It was a great suggestion and I snatched it up immediately. Thanks!

Also, sigil is a word. I swear I did not make it up. I did not think it was that obscure but that is a question I have gotten more than once.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

Wow, there's one I like. Spare, intriguing, a few tense and comma issues, but if I were an agent representing this genre I'd ask for pages.