Apr 22, 2010

Query - Whispers in the Dark (take 3)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

TWRP requires a short synopsis with their queries, not actual pages. (Just FYI for GJ)

Here goes:

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent,

I am seeking publication for Whispers in the Dark, my 47,000 word paranormal romance novella, with your Faery Rose Press division.

Jazz Cornier, Slayer for Everto in Unum, ancient vampyre destroyers, loses her entire family during a last-minute raid. In the days following the tragedy and in the midst of her mourning, a dark stranger invades her life declaring her the prophesized, reincarnated Goddess with the faculty to cure vampyrism.

Instead of staking him where he stands, Jazz dismisses Kayne Sutrey's unsubstantiated claims and begins to move on with her life; or so she thinks. She soon finds herself needing Kayne's vampyric strengths and protection against another who seeks to make Jazz his own in order to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled. A prophecy she doesn’t believe in.

Kayne knows Jazz is his chance for mortality, if only he could convince her of her destiny. Instead, he finds himself wanting her for reasons much more personal. He must decide if his love for her overrides his quest for mortality.

My recent publication credits include AnnWenn: Dawn of Destruction, a short story published by Lame Goat Press in Kings of the Realm: A Dragon Anthology and Rebirth, another short story to be featured in Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2010 by Sonar4 Publications.

I’ve also recently accepted an editing position with Strong Truths, a YA publisher.

Attached, in the body of this email, is a short synopsis.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dawn Hullender


Falen said...

i have to say that this version is, hands down, my favorite.

Dawn Hullender said...

Thank you Falen!

Ju Dimello said...

My .02

First, please change the query to begin with - Dear Editor.

Okay - here's the question I have. Why must he decide if love or his mortality comes first? If he makes her his own (as per destiny/prophecy), then he gets both love and mortality right?

Just ignore my rambling, if I have misunderstood the prophecy....

Compared to the initial versions, I too agree this seems to be much better.

Falen said...

I don't know why the query should be addressed to an Editor when it's meant to be sent to an agent...?

I'm still not crazy about keeping the Everto In Unum part in the query. I understand why you do, but it seems to just muck things up a bit. I don't see why you couldn't just write "Jazz Cornier, vampire slayer, loses her entire family..."
or "Jazz Cornier, slayer in a group of ancient vampire hunters" etc
Also i would lose "declaring" and change it to "and declares", but then i hate adverbs.

For paragraph two, i think there are bits that might be too vague. At the end you have "against another who seeks to make jazz his own". Is he another vampire (i mean, i assume he is, but you never know). If so, i think maybe you should just straight up say so (protection against another vampire"
Also "make his own" - does that mean make a vampire? Or make part of his creepy lady harem? Though i know what you mean here, "make his own" really doesn't hold much meaning.
If you could put something specific here this paragraph would sound stronger to me.

"She soon finds herself needing Kayne's vampyric strength and protection against another vampire who seeks to control Jazz in order to prevent the prophecy from being fullfilled) or something.

I, too, wonder why his quest for immortality and his love for her are conflicts at a crossroad. They seem to me that they'd run parralel since they both involve being around and protecting Jazz. If there's something else then put in that specific detail.
i.e. (and i'm making this up)
"Kayne knows Jazz is his chance for mortality, if only he could convince her of her destiny. But the closer he gets to her, the more his sinks into his vampire ways. Now he must decide if his love for her overides his quest for mortality and his vampire apetites" or whatever. If that makes sense.

And the rest is good.

I mean, overall the query is quite strong and my comments above were from me reading very closely and digging for stuff since i noticed you didn't get a lot of comments.

But, i've also found that the strongest queries on TPQS tend to not garner comments so i certainly think you're heading in the right direction.

I think if you just did a little more cleanup and tightening here and there you should be good to go, imop.

Rick Daley said...

I believe this query is addressed to an editor because it is for a novella being offered to a small press that accepts un-agented submissions. That's also why a synopsis is included instead of sample pages.

Ju Dimello said...

Falen, I re-checked that out by shunting back and forth from the first post to the last. This query is meant for a specific editor.

Check out some of the "editor/agent" talks and they have their pet peeves. One of them is : If someone addresses an editor as "agent" or vice versa, they assume it is some thing like : A single mail sent to many people in Bcc and it shows that we as "aspiring writers" haven't taken care to personalize the query.

Hence I gave that as one of my comments.

-- In continuation of another thought I had with regards to query. I too had this doubt - makes his own. The same wordings are used for both the hero and I assume the other is a villan. This kind of gives a feeling like - a single heroine, 2 vamps who love her, seeking to end their vampyric existance and embrace mortality - instead of the "evil" feeling from the antagonist.

So, we can probably change the antagonist's perspective to clearly mention how he intends to harm her.

gj said...

This is better, but note that you start with the heroine and her goal, and then as soon as the hero is introduced, the heroine -- a vampire slayer, for goodness sake! -- becomes nothing more than a passive pawn. Sort of the way some teen girls forget about their BFFs as soon as a cute boy shows up.

Note how the pitch ends with the HERO's quandary, not the heroine's, so the reader is left with the impression that the story is all about HIS choices, and she's just along for the ride, or perhaps is the reward for a job well done.

Dawn Hullender said...

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback.

Ju : The reason I began the query with "Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent" is because I was merely going for a generic title. I wasn't focusing on the salutation.

Falen : Thanks for your great advice, I will use it wisely.

Much appreciation to you all for your time!