Dec 14, 2012

QUERY: SIRUS

Attn. ****

I am happy to be able to submit my 71 000 word urban fantasy novel, Sirus, to you after reading that you enjoy ****

Sirus. Aged 22.

That was the only information which the nightshift nurse had provided him with when he had roused in one of the dingier hospitals of Specter City. With no prior knowledge of who he was or where he came from; Sirus, a dark-skinned, tattooed, Mohawked hipster, sets out to uncover his true identity. One explosion, five murders, and two unearthly visits later and Sirus realises that there is much more to his dilemma than meets the eye.

At a time when Specter City, and the Earth itself, has sunken into a hellish pre-apocalyptic spell of murder, mayhem and devastating climatic displays of fury, Sirus rises, wielding a power which may either save or utterly obliterate everything he holds dear. Sirus must choose between the forces of ‘good’ – the Infinites – or the forces of ‘evil’ – the Demoniacs – whilst desperately trying to discover his origins and keep his beloved stripper girlfriend, Vixen, out of harm’s way.

Set against the backdrop of a war between two powerful otherworldly powers vying for control over Earth, the novel, Sirus, explores one man’s struggle to find and accept both himself and his past. It is the first of three novels of its kind, where the final instalment culminates in an action-packed battle for the control of Earth.

Sirus gravitates towards the themes of self-discovery, action, adventure, romance and betrayal. It is both character- and action-driven and it contains scenes of sexual innuendo as well as strong, yet comical, language.

I am a citizen of the Republic of South Africa, a single mother, and an avid reader and writer. I have had poetry published in the Poetry Institute of Africa’s Anthology: Soulfully Seeking, have won awards in two English Olympiads and have completed an Honours degree in Behavioural Genetics. I use this scientific background as a basis for some of the concepts in my novels, and as a means to control my invariably quirky characters, which often enjoy giving me lip. I am highly connected on social networking sights such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and WEbook, and generally love to aid my fellow writers in their endeavours. All of this may aid in marketing my novel.
I thank you for your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you. The full manuscript is available upon your request.

Sincerely,
Miss Caitlin White

2 comments:

gj said...

First, it's about twice as long as it should be. Start by cutting the last two paragraphs (bio and the closing offer of full manuscript -- that's redundant, since if you didn't have a full manuscript, you shouldn't be querying). Neither one is necessary or particularly relevant.

Second, start over with the rest. Your writing is very solid at the sentence level -- grammar, vocabulary, structure, clarity -- but you're telling us the wrong stuff. I'm guessing there's interesting stuff in the story itself, but I have no idea what's going on. Out of 385 words, what I'm getting is: "Sirus, an amnesiac in a fantasy setting that includes magic, does stuff."

What you're not telling me is what he wants (beyond the obvious of figuring out who he is), what he's actually doing about what he wants, what magic or power he has, who's getting in his way, and why we should care. And those are the fundamental things we need to know.

If you have to TELL us it's a story "of self-discovery, action, adventure, romance and betrayal," and that "It is both character- and action-driven and it contains scenes of sexual innuendo as well as strong, yet comical, language," then the query has failed, because if those things matter, you need to SHOW them in the query.

Caitlin Tahnee White said...

Thanks!!! That is great advice!