May 10, 2010


Dear Agent:

Jake Wakely is no stranger to being a stranger. He’s lived abroad for the first thirteen years of his life. But after being sent to his father's childhood hometown of Sleepy Valley to live with his grandparents, his ‘new kid’ mystique is fading fast.

Jake’s unpopular friendship with Simon, a native Duwali from the Plateau, disrupts the town's spurious peace by exposing their prejudice. The unrest leads Jake to a government plot to keep the public segregated yet dazedly productive in the town’s pharmaceutical factory.

Jake and Simon must awaken the people by convincing them to complete an unfinished lacrosse game from generations past, with Jake and Simon playing in place of their fathers. But when Jake uncovers his father’s fateful role in the unfinished game, he gets caught between his friendship with Simon and his own family legacy.

THE DREAM PLAYER, a young adult thriller, chronicles Jake’s miraculous journey. Readers may find this similar to Holes or Lord of the Flies—real people in imagined settings challenged by nature, the depravity of man and the bioelectrical effects of targeted infrasonic wave generation. (A cliché, admittedly) The completed manuscript is 74,000 words.



Amanda said...

This query left me slightly confused. I don't know if your novel is fantastic and original, because I'm not entirely sure what it was about. Also, the last paragraph was baffling. I consider Holes and Lord of the Flies to be very different novels, and "the bioelectrical effects of targeted infrasonic wave generation" lost me completely. Maybe I am just not very bright, but I had no idea what this meant or why it was cliche- I don't know that everyone reading this query will understand that. Maybe this is a hilarious joke and I'm just dense...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Amanda's comment. I also think it's a mistake to describe your story as cliche. If I were an agent, I'd want to choose something unique, & if the writer thinks it's cliche I'd assume that his readers would agree.

The writing (& in particular the 2nd paragraph) seemed choppy.

Jolene said...

I'd just re-write the last paragraph. It sounds like an interesting read.

wendy said...

I thought there were a lot of good things about this query. The first sentence was very arresting. The writing was descriptive and technically well done. I understood what you meant in the last paragraph. I think The Time Machine had this kind of scientific ploy which kept the people controled and subdued. Popping this description into the last para didn't work for me. You've already detailed the plot in the previous paragraphs and the last para is really just for general comments, so to throw this plot point in there was confusing. I think by all means add it to the previous telling (the end of the second para, perhaps?) but don't add the disclaimer that you think it cliched, because this signals to the reader that you think this might be a weak aspect of the plot. However any element can be made to work depending how you handle it. And from what your've written, you've shown how capable a writer and idea spinner you are.

Just a vague thought, but could you possibly add more flavour to the query which revels more of the same of your story? You've done this well to a degree. We can tell that it's sci fi and imaginative, but what's the main focus and vibe?

chris said...

Thanks for the comments. The cliche' comment was supposed to be a joke, but I guess it bombed.

I actually shortened the query before posting it, which after reading 'in print', seems a bit lacking.

I'll post a revision soon.