Oct 17, 2010


Dear Agent,

Thirteen-year-old Nathan Dagger must transform himself from a chubby video gaming geek, into a strong and fearless warrior.

OPAL, a secret society, believes Nathan is the chosen one. It was foreseen in a vision that a powerful channel exists in his mind that will allow him to lock on to their ruthless enemy, Zafaar. To be certain, they watch through Nathan’s eyes and listen through his ears, using a monitoring device they implanted in his brain.

When the time is right an elaborate plan of deception is set into place to test and train Nathan. He is tried both physically and mentally for ten agonizing weeks to see if he has what it takes to be a member of OPAL. Throughout his trials, and radical metamorphosis  Nathan must discover the awesome power and the terrible curse of his hidden gifts. Only then can he enter the mysterious world of OPAL, where modern technology is merged with psychic abilities to fight evil.

Deep underground in OPAL’s command center Nathan is told the startling truth about his father, James and why he was murdered by Zafaar. Now Nathan must decide if he will risk his life too and join forces with OPAL to stop Zafaar from inciting his master plan of overthrowing human civilization and ruling over a world of chaos, fear, and darkness.

DAGGER is an 86,000 word paranormal Young Adult Novel. Thank you for your consideration.


Maria Kenney said...

I feel like this reads more like a synopsis of the events of the book, rather than cutting straight to the conflict. Perhaps it would be better to start off where you were in paragraph 3, with training, and right in the midst of something more concrete. Bring the agent right into the action with a killer first sentence. Then add something like, "Problem is, Nathan is more the chubby gamer type than a strong and fearless warrior."

I think you create the world of OPAL very well (but do you need to put it in caps every time?). With a little bit of tweaking - cutting to the chase, boiling your query down to your story's conflict - you'll have a really powerful query. Good luck!

Angela said...

Thanks for the advice Maria. OPAL is an acronym for omni- psychic assassin league, so it needs to be in caps.

Kristina Fugate said...

I do actually like that first line. But the second paragraph seems like a lot of set up. Maybe if you could try to condense all that and jump right into the training Nathan is doing with OPAL.

I'm a little curious about Zafaar. How exactly does he plan to carry out that master plan of his? Is he magic? Does he have his own personal army? I don't think you should add a full explanation in the query, but maybe make a mention of why he's so powerful.

I believe you've got a pretty interesting story here and with a little polishing, your query should be ready to go. Good luck with everything :)

Mesmerix said...

Love the first line. Plot progression is very clear. Protag and antag are clear. This is a really good starting query in my opinion.

The only thing you need is some seasoning. Spice it up. Cut the boring crap, add in more awesome. Here's some basic suggestions.

1) OPAL, a secret society... is dull. In another comment you spell out the acronym, and it's awesome! I would do that here. "OPAL, the covert omni-psychic assassin league,..."

2) Drop the stuff about chosen one. It's overdone. Go straight into, "...believes a powerful channel exists between Nathan's mind and their ruthless enemy, Zafaar."

Boom. Hook, protag, antag, conflict, all together.

3) Focus on specifics. Give me an example of his trials, pick the most unique or intriguing one. Give me an example of his "radical metamorphasis" again, pick the one that stands out.

4) Drop the father's name. You only need a max of 2 characters (protag+antag) in a query. Calling everyone else in relation to the protag is perfect. IE: his father.

5) The choice of "Nathan must decide" seems really odd to me. I mean, OPAL put an implant in his head and they're controlling him through this elaborate plan. What choice does Nathan actually have? How does he get around being controlled by the omni-organization?

6) What's at stake is Zafaar controlling the world as an evil overlord. I have concern that he is a generic evil overlord who merely does evil for evil's sake. I mean, who wants to rule a world of chaos, fear, and darkness? Seems a bit cliche. See if you can come up with something better to talk about what Zafaar wants, why he might want it, and what's at stake if he succeeds.

Just some food for thought. I think the meat and potatoes of this query is fantastic. I would totally read this. Add in some flavor and you've got a winner. Best of luck!

<a href="http://mesmerix.blogspot.com/>Scribbler to Scribe</a>

Angela said...

Thanks Kristina and Mesmerix. I appreciate all the great advice and encouragement. I will think through everything and rework.

Oh God, my brain is already hurting! Okay, I have to stay positive. I can do it. I'm going to nail that query. It's not going to get the best of me.

Maria Kenney said...

Go for it!

Kristina Fugate said...

:) That's the spirit! Just stay positive and this'll be a piece of cake!