Sep 25, 2010

QUERY – IMMORTAL DECISION

Dear Super-Duper Agent looking for Queries that lack suckitutde:

As a former priest turned vampire, Stefan’s greatest desire is to end his two hundred years of tortured existence. He knows his prophesized death is at hand, but suicide is impossible and his vampiric nature prevents him from purposely losing a battle. Then the means to his end presents itself in the form of an American named William, the lost heir Stefan has been searching for.

Stefan lures the young man to Romania with the promise of a substantial inheritance. In order to receive it, William must read the complete history of his future estate and the past of his ancestors. The centuries-old manuscript - Stefan's own personal journal – provides William with an abundance of information about the supernatural world, and what it means to be a vampire.

Stefan is vexed that the mere human will flee when he realizes what he must do to claim his inheritance, and uses all his powers of psychological manipulation at his disposal to make William stay. But Stefan's conscience is torn. If Stefan succeeds, he may condemn William to eternal damnation. If he fails, he could inflict the same torture he has face hundreds of years of sunless, Godless existence.

IMMORTAL DECISION is a 109,000 word urban fantasy debut. Thank you for your consideration.

7 comments:

Dominique said...

This reads like a summary to me. I'm not hearing enough about the struggles Stefan has to face in his little suicide-by-air scheme. If he really wants to off himself, couldn't he just walk into the sunlight? Why does it have to be William?

Ocean Archer said...

Hi Kim,

Sorry I don't have a lot of time to analyze this, but at first glance, it appears that Stefan is your protagonist. Is that supposed to be the case?

Overall, the structure and flow is much better than your previous versions.

()=add []=cut {}=comments


Stefan lures the young man to Romania with the promise of a substantial inheritance. In order to receive it, William must [read] (decipher clues hidden within) the complete history of his future estate and the past of his ancestors.

{I made this change because the way it originally reads makes it sound like all William has to do is read the journals, then the inheritance is his. But that's not the case, as we find out in the next paragraph. He must do read the journals, then do something.}


[The centuries-old manuscript - ]Stefan's [own] centuries-old personal journal [–] provides William with [an abundance of] information about [the supernatural world, and] what it means to be a vampire.

Stefan is vexed that (William) [the mere human] will flee when he realizes what he must do to claim his inheritance, and uses all his powers of psychological manipulation [at his disposal] to make William stay. {in one paragraph you use 'he' twice to refer to one person, then 'his' to refer to another. I know what you mean, but it can be a bit confusing. Simply replacing the pronouns with their proper noun counterpart won't work either, so this paragraph will need some restructuring. Sorry I can't make any good suggestions on restructuring here right now.

kmullican said...

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to reply...so I will in hopes to assist in the whole process...

It isn't suicide-by-air, and I don't even know what that means. As far as committing suicide...I address that in paragraph 1...he can't. Also this dude is a former priest...I mean, what's left to question about suicide...did I miss something huge?

I put psychological manipulation at his disposal because they aren't his powers, but I don't have enough word count left to explain the other people involved, and the Shark says not to tell it all...frrrrrustrating!

Thank you!

B.E. Sanderson said...

This query is confusing and I think I know why. You emphasize Stefan seeking death in the first paragraph, but unless the plot is that William is going to kill him it isn't necessarily the crux of the plot. (Hence, the suicide by heir - which is what I think Dominique was trying to say.)

Also, I'm getting stuck on the fact that Stephan was priest, but William is his heir. Unless he was a very bad priest, he shouldn't have heirs. (And yes, I know you probably explain that in the book, but if it's jumping out in a query, it's not going to encourage the agent to read your book. It's going to look like you don't know your subject matter. Been there, done that.)

Lastly, consider a different word than vexed in paragraph 3. I keep tripping over it. It doesn't feel like it fits with the rest of the paragraph, and it seems like a centuries old vampire would be way worse than annoyed at William's refusal.

Anyway, it sounds like an interesting premise and I look forward to seeing it on the shelves some day. Good luck. =o)

Anonymous Author said...

kmullican-- my writing teacher always forbade us to reply, and for a good reason. Our natural tendency is to defend what we've written, to the death if necessary, rather than to revise.

The questions raised about suicide show that there's some lack of clarity there. I also assumed that suicide was impossible for vampires rather than for Catholic priests.

This sentence confused me: "Stefan is vexed that the mere human will flee when he realizes what he must do to claim his inheritance..."

This sentence appears to be in future tense. Unless Stefan is ablet to predict the future, he can't be vexed about it. Vexed means annoyed. He can be worried about it. He can be "afraid that," but not "vexed that."

Anonymous Author said...

Er, I mean "able," not "ablet". :p

Elena Solodow said...

What you're lacking here is a sense of action. I can envision much of the plot involving William reading - which doesn't exactly excite me. If that's not the case, then instill this with some more action. Are the journal entries written out? What is the history exactly?

And my biggest question: why does William need to become a vampire in order for Stefan to die? What's the prophecy and how does William play into it? And why is there a prophecy? Is Stefan important somehow? As a former priest, was he supposed to redeem himself as the undead?