Dec 14, 2011

Query - Merm-8

Gene has managed to make the most out of life at sea--salvage, smuggling, and the occasional crab shipment. Despite his incredible debt to the Black Lagoon mafia and the tricks his AI assistant plays on him, things are good. Until he finds a mermaid stuck in his exhaust pipe.

But this is not a world of magic and dragons. The Earth is almost completely covered with water. Most of the population has been driven out to corporate-owned Seaplexes--giant, spherical atolls that combine malls, mines, and shantytowns. But this appears to be a genuine half-woman, half-fish.

Gene brings the mermaid to a scientist friend on one of these stations. He studies her while Gene tries to secure his next job. As they decipher this affectionate girl's origins, complications arise when she is discovered by the seaplex's populace. More complications arise when Gene's land-born status earns him the ire of the station's riff-raff. Even more complications arise when rumors of sinking ships start to emerge.

Gene discovers more about the mermaid and has to reconcile his feelings for this non-human. He must return her to her home. But her home is something he never expected.


Anonymous Author said...

Sort of Splash meets Waterworld?

There's some very choppy writing here-- repetition, telling us what the story's not, value-judgment words like "riff-raff". These are all things to avoid.

But this query's not giving us a clear idea of what the story's about.

Reduce your plot to a single sentence no more than 20 words long. Build your query from there.

(And please give that mermaid some agency. Right now she sounds like she might be inflatable.)

Stacy McKitrick said...

It sounds like this might be a humorous story, but is it? I'm not really sure what your story is ABOUT. Why does he care about the mermaid? What's his motivation? What are his goals and what's keeping him from meeting them?

Also, make sure you say what genre your book is (along with the word count). Cause if you don't know what type of book it is, how do you expect an agent to sell it?

Anonymous said...

What does Gene want? Who stands in his way? What are the consequences of failure? A query must answer those questions without rambling off into world building. (No one needs to know about Seaplexes at this point.)

Also, be specific. Avoid such generalities as "complications arise"--which you use three times. If these complications are part of the central conflict, tell us. Otherwise, they don't belong.

Good luck.