Feb 12, 2010

Query - The Nameless

Dear Agent:

What’s in a name? More than you can imagine.

The days passed in unbroken tedium for Erica Ann Dawson, the eighteen year old girl left behind in the sleepy town of Batesfield Connecticut after the diaspora of her friends and classmates to various colleges and universities across the country.

Afraid to strike out on her own, and warm in the blanket of her own complacency, Erica is content to sit back and watch the world go by.

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

Now, nameless, and forgotten by the world, 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 XXXXXXX
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6 comments:

Jason Myers said...

Hey there!
As always, these are attempts at being helpful and take them with a grain of salt.

The days passed in unbroken tedium for Erica Ann Dawson, the eighteen year old girl left behind in the sleepy town of Batesfield Connecticut... universities across the country.

Afraid to strike out on her own, and warm in the blanket of her own complacency, Erica is content to sit back and watch the world go by.

The second paragraph is good...however, it almost seems to mirror the first statement...and was a little boring. There was no bang! Can you combine them? I really like the wording of the 2nd paragraph.

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.
Yeah. Here we go! This is good stuff. I know you want to set the stage that her life is droll, but do it quicker and get to this juicy steak!

Erica is slowly being replaced, being usurped from her own life by a creature known only as a Changeling. To save herself from being....Erica gives up her name, and with it, relinquishes all rights to her own identity.
Whoah! Easy there, tiger. You're giving us a lot of stuff here and we're not grounded yet. You throw out the changeling stuff quick! Can you soften this blow a little somehow? What is this terrible sacrifice? You don't have to tell us, but you might hint at it. How does giving up her name help? That seems to be a key ingredient to the entire story, but you don't pay it enough respect here.
We need to understand why being nameless is bad.

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?
Good question here, but we don't know what she's lost so the reader can't empathize with her. I hope that makes sense. I feel vague writing it :-)

Hope this helps!!!

jessjordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessjordan said...

I'd get rid of the first sentence, but that's just my opinion.

The first 2 paragraphs (3, if you count the "What's in a name" part as a paragraph) lack the punch that your story seems to have. Where it gets interesting is the paragraph where Erica starts blacking out. I would try to consolidate all the information before that into 1 or 2 lines, and then get to the good stuff.

I don't know if you called Erica "the girl" in the last big paragraph b/c she's already given up her name, but it seems kind of ... strange. I'd use Erica there, but again, just a personal preference.

Dominique said...

The first two paragraphs didn't seem too related to the main plot of the story. Try to shorten them so you can get to the juicy bits faster.

Emily said...

Thank you all so much for the comments! Looking over my query I agree, I need to cut down the first two paragraphs.

@jessjordan Yes, the choice not to use her name was deliberate. I think this is a case of content dictating style.

Aimless Writer said...

No retorical questions. Get rid of first paragraph. The next two are more back story-scratch them.
I think your hook here is the changeling issue but I don't understand how it's taking her over.
I really like the premise of this story. Perhaps mixing the dream paragraph and the changeling paragraph would give you a more exciting hook.
I don't care her life is borning and content. I care about the action. Thats what will suck me in and make me want to read more. We can find out about the rest when we read the book.
I think you have a great story here.