Aug 19, 2010

Query- Seaweeds- Version "hopefully the last"

Click here to read "the undisputed first" version.
Click here to read "the definite first" revision.
Click here to read "the improved upon second" revision.
Click here to read "thanks for the tips I'm making great progress" revision.

Dear AGENT,

An unusual love triangle arises between a young man, a mermaid, and a siren in SEAWEEDS, a 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 winds up on the beach the next morning, disoriented, until he discovers a girl with violet eyes washed up nearby. She can’t speak and has trouble walking. Sky believes the girl is a mermaid who saved him. Her charm and innocence draws him to her; he calls her his Pearl from the ocean. And in a few short days, Sky falls head over heels for her.

He’s not bothered by Pearl’s 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.

There’s just one problem. Melanie is livid about Sky’s new girlfriend 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 has a secret of her own, he must find a way to resist her enchanted advances long enough to save himself—and Pearl.

SEAWEEDS is The Little Mermaid meets Fatal Attraction. My novel is complete at 66,000 words. I am currently working on a sequel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,

ME!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The little mermaid meets fatal attraction?"

nonono! A big query don't is to use random mash-up comparisons that really don't give an agent a good sense of your novel. I'm that definitely qualifies.

Try to illustrate your point in a clearer way. What draws you to that comparison and what is perhaps a better analogy/description?

Good luck with your querying!

Mesmerix said...

I read all the previous versions.

First, I have to disagree with anonymous above. I thought "The Little Mermaid meets Fatal Attraction" was a great, humorous line to add in. I don't think it's a random mash-up, I think it brings together the query well. But we all have our opinions, and I'm not always right.

So now, let me say, this premise is awesome and something I would definitely read. I mean, it just sounds like a fun, action-packed book.

This query is a huge improvement from the other ones. It has voice, style, and is fun to read. I like the addition of the paragraph about eating cat's sardines, as it gives characterization.

My biggest critcisms are excess fluff and imprecise word usage, which can be telling of a larger problem. You need to cut it from your query in a line-by-line edit. Pare down, cut anything unnecessary. Let me give you some examples...

"Pleasure turns to survival when Sky falls off the boat and nearly drowns."

"He wakes on a beach, disoriented, and discovers a girl with violet eyes."

See what I mean? You've got a lot of exceess stuff crammed in that really doesn't need to be there. Your story stands without the fluff!

Finally, I don't like the change at the end to "secret of her own." I liked what you had before about her being a man-sacrificing siren.

Go through and cut the excess in each line and I think you'll have an amazing query to an amazing story that will sell quickly.

Best of luck!

Scribbler to Scribe

N. Blank said...

Thanks so much for the comments! I'm super excited and also very nervous to start querying this out but I appreciate all the suggestions and def will consider them all when I do my final (did I say final?) revisions. :-)

Anonymous said...

I've never been a fan of your first sentence. I tried to mash the first two together and came up with this:

"When Sky Hunter hooks up with a sexy girl named Melanie on his twenty-third birthday boat cruise, an evening of pleasure turns into a night of survival as Sky falls off the boat and nearly drowns."

It's not perfect... but an alternative.

Zee Lemke said...

I was thrown by the name "Sky Hunter," I admit. I had to go back and read that this was contemporary. Now I think "Sky" is a first name and "Hunter" is a family name, but it was REALLY unexpected in the first sentence. The human is named Sky Hunter and the non-humans are named Melanie and Pearl? (Oh... and pet peeve: guys getting last names and girls only getting first names.)

Feel free to ignore me if I'm being stupidly anglocentric or something. Names are so touchy.

N. Blank said...

Melanie and Pearl don't have last names because they're mythological creatures. And I chose to throw Sky's last name in because he's the main character. Hope that clarifies it. ;-)

Zee Lemke said...

He doesn't need a last name just because he's the main character. If "Sky" isn't his full first name, I'd rather have "Skyler" than "Hunter." If Melanie is passing for human, she probably has a last name too. (Although I suppose it's possible--proverbially so even!--to hook up with someone and not know their last name.)

Did his PARENTS name him "Sky Hunter?" Were they on drugs at the time? It really sounds like he's hunting the sky, here.

Oh, and don't mention any incomplete works in a query, especially including sequels.

Zee Lemke said...

...just realized how mean that sounded. Ugh. I think I felt like you were dismissing my concern about the confusing first line and got defensive :(. I'm really sorry.

N. Blank said...

No harm done.
His family has a weird tradition of naming their kids after nature. So his real name is Sky Hunter. He has a sister named River Hunter. Cousins named Brooke and Tiger.
Would you suggest I not include his last name in the query?

Zee Lemke said...

I'd strongly consider it, unless he has a de-confuse-ifying middle name.

Things that are on the Mary-Sue Test raise red flags for me anyway, although they're frequently selling points in fantasy and especially YA fantasy.

On the other hand, I don't think the name is going to sink the query.

Dominique said...

I thought Little Mermaid meets Fatal Attraction sounded like an accurate description of the book you described.

There were some things I thought could use a better explanation.
Why, for example, is he so okay with the idea that he got saved by a mermaid? Most people would find that a major surprise. Also, why does Melanie decide his whole family must die? Most people, I imagine don't go to the "I'm going to slaughter your family" place when they get thrown over by a guy. And, if a girl does threaten to off someone's whole family, people tend to chuck girl's like that in a mental hospital, not dig into their pasts.