Feb 2, 2011

Query-Wheezy-Medium of Casing, Florida

Dear

WHEEZY—MEDIUM OF CASING, FLORIDA—82,000 words—Paranormal

The eagle tattoo on his forearm, weightlifter-build, and comfort on the basketball court is the only hint of his identity. He appeared on the other side, a spirit with no memory of his past. History of the live-ones he's near pours into his head though, also their thoughts, emotions, even glimpses of their future. He learns this is unique among his kind, as is another inconvenient shortcoming—he forgets much of the previous day when he resets in his private Groundhog Day.

He chose to call himself Bob. Numbed by the drudgery of perpetuity, unable to sense the passing of time, he searches for purpose. His favorite live-ones have issues. He sets out first to assist with a crush-taken-too-far, but his web of meddling endangers the lives of his adopted family in a cartwheel backlash. He generates ire in his fellow spirits, bartenders, and school administrators; incites mob hit men, cops, predators, and abusive parents; brings multiple forces after those he intends to help.

Despite his interference, his live family narrowly avoids a succession of disasters. By ghostly sleight of hand, spirit battles, and human determination, bullies are put in their place, mobsters in their graves, and the family gets a second chance at normalcy—if you disregard the plethora of friendly spirits who hang around.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

3 comments:

Stephanie M. Lorée said...

I'm just going to come out and say this: I don't have any idea what this story is about. A ghost with an adoptive family? Bullies? Mobsters? A guy with an eagle tattoo?

You need to focus on precision with your sentences, whiddling down to a single play-by-play main plot. You don't need to overcomplicate things. Novels complicate, queries clarify.

Your title/genre/WC sentence needs to be formatted differently as I can't tell which is a hypen, and which is a dash. Here is an example, "WHEEZY-MEDIUM OF CASING, FLORIDA is a 82,000 word paranormal."

Then move into the character and his main conflict. Who is our protagonist and what does he want? What is preventing him from getting what he wants? What awful, horrible things happen to him and how does he plan to solve it? Leave the resolution of the climax a mystery.

I hope this helps you. Your words are beautifully written, and I enjoy some of the descriptors like "drudgery of perpetuity" and these "live-ones" that you mention. But I don't get a sense of the actual story or the character. Is he dead or alive? How do fellow spirits, bartenders, and school administrators fit into all of this? From bullies to mobsters is a big leap.

Focus on a single plotline: what the main character wants and the obstacle that prevents him getting it. Everything else is subplot and best left for the novel. Your main goal is to clearly convey the story to me. Let it entice me.

Best of luck!

Scribbler to Scribe

johngb3 said...

Agree with Stephanie. I get a laundry list of things your character does, but no explanation of why or what Bob wants. That makes it nearly impossible to relate to him as a character (ghost?), and I subsequently lose interest. You need to lose the scatter-shot approach, focus on your main conflict or two, and structure the query around that.

Tabitha Bird said...

Okay, this just needs some refinements.
1/ Who is your MC? This needs to go into the first sentence with a name. If it's Bob then you need to state that right up front. Don't keep us guessing.

This first sentence needs to be a GREAT hook that will peak the agent's interest in your story. A great hook tell us WHAT is unique about YOUR story (name it specifically) and WHY the reader should care about what will happen.

Don't start with a description of your MC. Start with the MOST interesting and unique thing about your book. To me that seems to be that Bob is a ghost who can 'see' the history of the Live-ones that he is close to. Now THAT is a great story. SHOW US THAT! :)

Is the fact that he has no memory of his past important to the story? If not, I'd leave that information out. Same with the tattoo and skills on a basketball court.

What seems to be important is that Bob wants to help some of these Live-ones in order to have some sort of purpose in life. Is that true? AND it would seem that Bob is causing more harm than good.
You need to focus on that. Make THAT information into a KILLER first sentence and you'd have my interest.

I actually find the premise for this book fascinating. I so want you to get this query right cause I love the sound of your book.

Remember the query is NOT a synopsis of your book. It's enough information to peak the interest of Wonderful Agent. THAT is the goal.

Good luck! :)