Jun 6, 2010

Query - A Tale of Youth and Sorrow (revised!)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear X:

I visited AGENCY NAME's website and noticed that you are interested in YA and fantasy projects. A Tale of Youth and Sorrow, my 53,400-word novel, might interest you.

Traumatized by the death of her mother two years prior, twelve-year-old Potioneer Minette Bublee would like nothing more than the approval of her guardian, the master thief, Ilona Njis. Then one day, Minette saves the life of a victim of a brutal beating, one who utters to her one name in warning: Belphelial. It is a name that spurs Ilona to explode with unprecedented viciousness, shattering Minette’s faith in their friendship, and hurtling the thief down a path of self-destruction. In a race to save Ilona from herself, Minette unwittingly draws the attention of arcane forces, permitting her a glimpse into her world’s tumultuous history through the eyes of a tortured young Priestess – Ilona, in a former life. Minette will not only confront the ancient demon, Belphelial, himself, but come face to face with an even greater evil; the sole reason for Ilona’s demise. With the horrors of their past threatening to tear them apart, both friends will voyage through time to unlock the secrets of a power greater than any magic, the only power that can save them: love.

Five of my short stories were published in Malate Literary Folio (De La Salle University, Philippines) between 1997 and 2002, one of which won second place in my university's 1999 Literary Awards. A member of Writing.com, I received the 2007 WDC Wonderfuls Award for outstanding writing.

I would be glad to send you my complete manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Cunanan Logarta

1 comment:

wendy said...

I really liked this, Michael. For me, the query had clarity, was well-written and pithy. The characters were also well-delineated, I thought, in the short space you had to put some flesh on their bony outlines. Although, perhaps, just a tiny touch more about Ilona - even just a fitting one-worded description. e.g., '...the cunning master thief, Ilona Njis. I like those one word summaries to give a quick impression of the character's strongest attribute in the story.

Two minor nit-picks because of repetition: 'Then *one* day, Minette saves the life *of a* victim *of a* brutal beating, *one* who utters to her *one* name...'

Tiny bit of a cliche thing going on with unlocking secrets of a power greater than any magic - love. However, perhaps this is something that can never be said enough, and it's a positive reinforcement that people need, so what the heck? :)

I liked the introductory para even though some agents, like the query shark, request to begin with the action. I think a pithy personalisation is good at the start. If I was an agent, it would appeal to me, anyway.

Sounds like an interesting fantasy story with a solid basis because of the focus on unique characterisation rather than action and magic, which is the kind of thing I like to read.