Nov 4, 2010

QUERY- THE CHLOE CHRONICLES AND THE REBIRTH

Dear Agent,

If only Chloe Carmichael had known of her powers sooner. She might have had time to mentally prepare for the chaos that would soon ensue. Chloe is a 16 year old student at Whitney Young High School. She’s popular, she’s attractive, her parents are rich, and she truly believes she’s going insane.

THE CHLOE CHRONICLES AND THE REBIRTH is complete at 74,000 words, and is young adult science fiction. Chloe's life begins to unravel as a series of unexplained occurrences take place. Her boyfriend dies a ghastly death - which she saw prior to it occurring. She begins to hear voices, see people that don’t exist, and objects mysteriously begin to move when she is angry. These things transpire as she attempts to cope with her deteriorating relationship with her mother, which only proves to further confuse her. Christopher Thomas, a new student, insists things aren’t as they seem in her perfectly created world. Chloe is faced with an unfathomable choice: Join Chris and his friends as super humans or remain in her sheltered monotonous life. The only complication: She may lose who she is to become who she always was.

I joined the military immediately after high school and because of this have no shortage of characters to choose from when I write. I am a Paralegal, a wife, and a mother to three beautiful children.

The entire novel or partial can be sent at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

5 comments:

abogash said...

Some items I noticed right away.

You have she/her twenty-one (at least) times between the paragraphs. This means you are telling not showing about Chloe and her story. Think 250 words to generate enough interest to want to read more. PLEASE don't waste them on she/her/him/his etc. The story itself appears interesting- make us want more.

Put the title and word count at the end not in the middle of the query it breaks the flow of the query.

Read each line for importance in the query itself. Drop the mother sentence it completely threw me out of Chloe and her problems and felt like it was added to increase her "problems".

I feel Christopher needs more explanation. Is he good, bad or just a messenger?

Para one tells me her life is good but the end of para 2 states sheltered and monotonous. ???

I didn't like "the only complication" line since it wouldn't be much of a story if their weren't challenges to becoming super human.

Leave out the joined the military paragraph it is not relevant to the query and put your title, genre and wordcount here.

Also, always be proud of your work so don't say the entire followed by "or partial" line it seems like you are doubting they would want the full right away.

I'd add completed to the word count line and end with Thank you for your consideration. or something like that.

I've tried to be helpful above- I think this is a great first try. Keep at it and repost please.

Dawn Brazil said...

Thank you so much for your comments abogash. I will implement some of the changes immediately and repost.

gj said...

This doesn't have anything to do with the query per se, but, you know, just once I'd like to see a person getting paranormal powers, and not thinking she's insane, but instead thinking "oh, wow, this is just what I've always wanted to be able to do." Or "oh, wow, I always wanted to kill the psychopath next door who tortures little creatures, and now I can, and no one can stop me." Or, "oh, wow, I always wanted to be able to eat chocolate until I exploded, and then be able to put myself back together again."

I guess my reaction does have a little to do with query writing. If I'm tired of the "oh, I can't have super powers, because that's insane" trope, just from reading queries at various websites, and I can't even remember the last time I actually read a book with this trope, then I can only imagine how often it's seen by agents who represent this genre.

I'm sure it's important to explain why she accepts the sudden receipt of those powers, but somehow you need to differentiate this story from all the other stories that start out with "oh, my gosh, I have bizarre powers, and I have to come to grips with them."

Anonymous Author said...

Okay, I was waiting to comment till you'd posted your revision, but since it hasn't appeared, I'll go ahead and comment anyway.

The plot seems fine insofar as we can tell what it is. The query's let down by movie-poster writing. It's more important that you get the plot across clearly to a potential agent or editor than that you make it sound super-exciting.

Bear with me, please, for some examples.

Chloe's life begins to unravel as a series of unexplained occurrences take place. Her boyfriend dies a ghastly death - which she saw prior to it occurring.

The first sentence there is completely unnecessary. It tells us nothing about the story, just tries to get us interested. The ghastly death is more interesting, but you don't tell us anything about it.

These things transpire as she attempts to cope with her deteriorating relationship with her mother, which only proves to further confuse her.

Stay away from words like "transpire" where IRL you'd say "happen". (Also, how about "serves to" rather than "proves to"?)

... her perfectly created world.

Waitaminute, her boyfriend just died!

an unfathomable choice...

Words like "unfathomable" are the kind of thing that seek to raise the stakes, but actually don't. She's faced with a choice; that's quite good enough.

(Again, I don't see how her life's monotonous: her boyfriend just died! Can you get back to the dead boyfriend? What did he die of?)

She may lose who she is to become who she always was.

This isn't a bad line, but it belongs on the back of a book jacket, not in a query. Blurb writing, which we've all seen plenty of, seeks to entice while concealing. Query writing should not conceal. It should reveal. And let the story, not your query word choice, do the enticing.

Hope this helps. I think you can fix all of these things. Basically you need to be more specific and precise.

Anonymous Author said...

Oh, one other thing: this doesn't sound like science fiction. In science fiction, some aspect of scientific speculation based on scientific fact is integral to the plot. This is paranormal.