May 29, 2010

Query- Colsen Deming and the Nephilim Existence

Colsen Deming is seventeen and suffers daily encounters of abuse from his foster parent. His one goal in life is to shield his younger foster brother Alex from Beverly’s drunken attacks. But Colsen has a problem. He is turning eighteen next year and won’t be able to take Alex along when Beverly kicks him out.

Colsen tries talking to Alex about moving out on their way home but upsets the boy and finds himself chasing Alex into an abandoned alley. With no explanation or reasoning of any kind, the boys are attacked by two wicked men who will forever change Colsen in ways he never imagined possible.

Certain he is about to die, Colsen experiences a surge of adrenaline as his body morphs into that of a Nephilim to protect himself and Alex from attack, resulting in the death of the strange duo.

Terrified from murdering the two men, the mysterious disappearance of their corpses and the almost overnight transformation of his body, he returns to the scene of the crime for answers. Once there Colsen encounters Nerissa, a fellow Nephilim, who helps him come to terms with his new form and offers insight into his murky past.

Colsen soon finds his father is a fallen angel disgraced by God for impregnating his human mother. And now his father wants to have Colsen by his side while he seeks to destroy everything Colsen has learned to love.

When Alex is kidnapped by Colsen’s father in an attempt to lure Colsen away from protection, he is faced with the ultimate decision. Does Colsen save the only brother he has ever known from death, taking his rightful place by his father’s side? Or does he sit idly by while Nerissa and her family risk their lives to rescue Alex without him?

Please let me know if you would be interested in reading Colsen Deming and the Nephilim Existence, a 73,000-word young adult fantasy novel about friendship, trust, and the Nephilim race. You can reach me via e-mail at (redacted) or by phone at (redacted). I would like to mention this is a simultaneous query. Thank for your time and consideration.


Amanda said...

I like your query, and your concept, but I think you need to work on vague statements that are confusing. Statements like 'in ways he could never imagine' don't tell me what your novel is about. Also, Colsen's father is seeking to destroy everything Colsen loves? You need to say specifically why Colsen won't join his father- right now I don't really understand why Colsen wouldn't just ally with his father when it seems like it would help his foster brother. Don't generalize about why he doesn't want to help his father, tell us!
Also, I wouldn't bother to mention the simultaneous query thing- I'm sure the agent will know it is simultaneous, but mentioning it isn't necessary.
Good luck!

Suzan Harden said...

Your premise has a lot of potential. There's three major things needing attention.

1) This query is too long. To add to Amanda's suggestion, trimming the vague statements will cut down on the wordiness. A 250-word query should be your target. That last paragraph is a prime example of stuff that can be trimmed. Leave it at "Title is a X-word genre novel. You can reach me at e-mail or phone number. Thank you for your time."

2) Be more specific. Example: What protection did Colsen find if his foster mother is abusing him?

3) What makes your novel different than Percy Jackson & the Olympians? Because this sounds an awful lot like Riordan's series, just switching Greek gods for angels and mom for foster brother. There's no such thing as a totally original story. *grin* But you also want to show the twist in your story that makes it different than the current stuff on the market to a prospective agent or editor.

Like I said, I think this story has a lot of potential, especially with moral dilemmas it sounds like Colsen faces.

Best wishes on your submissions!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Amanda-- too many vague statements. They also lengthen the query unnecessarily. For example:

"With no explanation or reasoning of any kind, the boys are attacked by two wicked men who will forever change Colsen in ways he never imagined possible."

While I've never been attacked in an alley, I gather an explanation isn't usually part of the experience. So you can leave that off. Consider instead:

"The boys are attacked by two men."

(You don't need to say they're wicked. Nice men don't attack people in alleys.)

Then instead of saying they'll forever change Colson etc., say how. Be specific.

Go through and do two things to every paragraph: take out all unnecessary words, and make every general statement specific.