Jan 14, 2011

Query: Nepenthe (third revision)

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

Kate is twenty-three years old, has just started up her own cafĂ©, and is addicted to adrenaline. Michael, a ghost, teaches her to convert the fear that people naturally feel in his presence, and turn it into an adrenaline rush. It’s a harmless thrill, until the ghost wants her dead.

Michael has been wandering the earth alone since he died in the 1800’s, looking for distractions to help him forget painful memories of his life. If Kate becomes a ghost and stays with him, he promises to teach her how to forget the traumatic event in her past that has been driving her need for adrenaline fixes. Memory loss and walking through walls aren’t enough to entice Kate to die.

When Kate asks Michael to leave, his volatile emotions hurl objects and break glass. When Michael finds Kate and her boyfriend on a date at the fair, the entire hall of mirrors shatters.

Michael begins to haunt Kate exclusively by forming a ghost bind to her, hoping that his constant adrenaline giving presence with convince Kate that she needs him. She is unable to escape Michael, which puts her boyfriend in Michael's reach if her boyfriend gets too close. Kate’s boyfriend isn’t willing to give up on her.

Kate’s life isn’t the only one she has to fight for.

NEPENTHE is a paranormal romance of 101,000 words.

4 comments:

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

I haven't read your other drafts so I could get a fresh perspective.

I'm confused about Kate's connection with this ghost. How do they know each other, why does he haunt her, and why does she speak to him? I'm also confused about the entire adrenaline aspect of the story. I don't understand how you can convert fear into adrenaline, or why you would want to. Also, is her fear of the ghost? If so, why does she spend time listening to him and letting him teach her about adrenaline? When you say "forget painful memories," I stop and ask myself, "What painful memories? Is this important to the story?" It feels weird that you mention them and then don't say anything else about them. You can cut the entire second paragraph and just say, "It's a harmless thrill, until the ghost decides that if she were dead, they could spend eternity together and cure his loneliness." We can naturally assume that she doesn't want to die, so you don't have to spend time saying it. If he's haunting her exclusively, does that mean he's haunting other people too? We already know Kate's life isn't the only one in danger, so you don't have to say it.

I hope that helps.

Florence said...

Hello, I made a comment on one other version of this query.

What you might want to try is to SLOW down. Sit back and read lots of other queries. Successful queries here and at Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino.

For a reason I can't grasp, you arent "getting it."

Also, I think you are very attached to the word "adreniline."

This is the third time and it really isn't working. It happened to me twice already. I kept writing the same query over until I lost perspective. Put it down and work on something else and above all read other queries and as many blogs on queries you can stand.

Great success with this project. The premise is sound, the execution needs a complete rewrite.

Kaleen said...
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Kaleen said...
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