Jul 29, 2010

Seaweeds Query (version 4)

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

Click here to read the second revision.

An unusual love triangle arises between a young man, a mermaid, and a siren in SEAWEEDS, a 65,000-word contemporary fantasy.

Sky Hunter’s twenty-third birthday brings him a boat party, strange presents, and a hook-up with sexy Melanie. An evening of pleasure turns into a night of survival when Sky falls off the boat and nearly drowns. He is rescued by a mermaid and winds up on the beach the next morning, disoriented and having no clue what saved him until he discovers a girl with violet eyes washed up nearby. She can’t speak and has trouble walking. Sky believes the girl is the mermaid. Why she is a human now bewilders him, but her charm and innocence draws him to help her. Sky is poetic so he calls her Pearl because she comes from the ocean. And in a few short days, Sky falls head over heels for her.

He’s not bothered by her strange behaviors, such as hitting the car horn whenever they go for a ride or eating all his cat’s sardines. In fact, they make her all the more enjoyable to be around because he never knows what to expect, like when she dances at his sister’s wedding or when her first words are: “Love. Pearl love Sky.”

There’s just one problem. Melanie is livid about Sky’s new girlfriend. She slaughters his cat and threatens to murder his family if he chooses to stay with Pearl. Sky refuses to give in to Melanie’s threats, certain that he can outsmart her. But when he discovers that Melanie is a siren who has to seduce a man before feeding him to the ocean, he must find a way to resist her advances long enough to save himself—and Pearl.

SEAWEEDS is The Little Mermaid meets Fatal Attraction. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I've gotten so much help already and I really feel my query is close to being ready for agents but I'm still torn with a couple of lines such as: "Sky is poetic so he calls her Pearl because she comes from the ocean." I also have a new paragraph in the middle. THANKS!


Anonymous Author said...

This is much, much better. You've made Pearl into more of a character and given us a much better sense of the story. It now sounds like a story I'd actually want to read, even though I'm neither young nor male.

In the last 'graph, I think "he must find a way to resist her advances" isn't quite what you mean. That sounds sexual. Presumably even Sky isn't tempted to hop into bed with a lady who's killed his cat, threatened his family and wants to make a human sacrifice of him. I'd rephrase.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I just can't get past the casual cat-slaughtering. There are better ways to amplify the tension than killing an innocent animal. I wouldn't touch this book.

Michelle Massaro said...

I have no problem at all with the line about resisting her advances because you have already told us that Melanie is a siren, meaning her seduction of Sky is enchanted. But if that doesn't jump out at other readers you could add a descriptor before "advances" such as the word enchanted- "He must resist her enchanted advances" or even the straightforward "He must resist her siren song", I dunno.

The added info on Pearl is good but I'd cut a few lines. The line about naming her isn't the best. How about something akin to "He calls her Pearl- a thing of beauty drawn out of the ocean." And I'd cut the first words spoken by Pearl- they sound childish. I'd end the sentence and paragraph at "he never knows what to expect".

The cat-slaying is too abrupt. There needs to be some escalation shown. For example "Melanie's strange and obsessive behavior escalates and turns sinister. Sky begins receiving death threats against his family with demands from Melanie to leave Pearl. Sky refuses to give in to Melanie’s threats, even after she slaughters his cat, certain that he can outsmart her." Or something. The cat may not even be necessary to mention in the query but if you must then try to show some progression.

It's coming along, but now the hard part is keeping the word count from getting out of hand while infusing what you need to in the query.

Hope this helps!