Feb 14, 2010

The Nameless Query (Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent:

Eighteen year old Erica Ann Dawson was living a quiet, albeit boring life in the sleepy town of Batesfield Connecticut.

But after a bizarre recurring dream, Erica’s peaceful life begins to unravel at the seams. She begins blacking out, awakening hours, even days later with no memory of what had transpired in the intervening time. As the blackouts grow worse, she begins 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 her name and is using it to steal away Erica’s memories, 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 must learn to harness a strange new ability 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.

Sincerely,


Emily XXXX
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6 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

This is much better than the first but if I may -- the two opening sentences should be combined.

Erica Ann Dawson's peaceful life begins to unravel at the seams after a bizarre recurring dream. Continue with paragraph two.

That first sentence is your hook. Don't need to know she's normal, lives in Batesfield, is bored & quiet.

In between "memories, her very soul" do you want to include "her life"? or something. It seems like there should be one more thing she should lose about her.

"...the girl must harness a strange new ability..." which is...
turning into a turnip, reading backwards without a mirror, speaking Chinese upside down? I think you need to tell us (agent) what that ability is.

This sounds like a really great premise and you're almost there with the query. I like the idea of this book, it's spooky in this modern computer age.

Good job. Good luck.

Rick Daley said...

I agree that you need a stronger hook. Try to think of this as the 99th query in a row the agent has read, the eyes are already glassed over, and you only have one sentence to shatter that glass. Start with that sentence.

Dominique said...

Definitely much better. It's more concise and still gives the important info.
You'll want to buff up the hook, but you're definitely moving in the right direction.

Lisa Amowitz said...

Eighteen year old Erica Ann Dawson was living a quiet, albeit boring life in the sleepy town of Batesfield Connecticut. I agree with Piedmont Writer on this first sentence. Cut it.

But after a bizarre recurring dream, Erica’s peaceful life (in--maybe insert the town name here since it's important) begins to unravel (at the seams—delete: cliche). She (begins-delete) blacks out, awakening hours, even days later with no memory of what had transpired in the intervening time. As the blackouts (grow worse) worsen, she (begins) doubts her own sanity—until she learns the truth.

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

To save herself (from being completely consumed), Erica is forced to make a terrible (sacrifice)— to give up her name, and with it, relinquish all rights to her identity.

Nameless and forgotten by her friends and family alike, the girl must learn to harness a strange new ability to combat? 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? (not sure I love the question at the end)

I'd make this last para into one sentence if you can.

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

Emily said...

Thanks for the feedback. I am going to post my second revision in a few minutes. I really appreciate you all taking the time to read this and comment.

I think I have a hook now, but tell me what you think of Revision #2.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The most interesting part is the take over by the changeling. I would cut to the middle.


Fighting blackouts and strange time-loss, Erica Dawson discovers that changelings are real...and one is trying to steal her body.

(My paragraph needs work, too, but something like it...with the whole strength of the conflict in the first paragraph.)