Mar 30, 2013

Query - Siren Pacific

The epic poet Homer doesn’t exactly paint an accurate picture of Sirens. Arden would know. She doesn’t spend her days sitting on a rock in the middle of the ocean. She doesn’t lure unsuspecting sailors to violent deaths, either. She could, if she wanted to. But she doesn’t.

Much to her chagrin, Arden has to keep her abilities a secret, which isn’t always easy. Of course, the sexy new guy at her high school doesn’t help her plight at all. He makes her insides tremble with longing. But as her clan’s future guardian, dating humans isn’t even an option.

Then, a Siren in her clan is killed, the vocal chords ripped from her neck. Arden knows the identity of her people is no longer a secret. The Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult bent on killing the few remaining Sirens on Earth, has discovered them.

The Sons of Orpheus plan to slaughter the Sirens. They won’t stop until everyone in her clan is dead. Arden could flee, which means leaving her home and the ocean behind. Her only other choice is to stop the Sons before the Sirens of Pacific Grove are exterminated. Leaving her precious ocean is unthinkable, but staying to fight might end her life.

Complete at approximately 70,000 words, SIREN PACIFIC is a young adult urban fantasy. I teach high school English to precocious ninth graders, and their enthusiasm inspires me to write. They have also assured me that sirens are the new vampires for young adult readers. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

3 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

The first paragraph doesn't grab me as it should. The first two sentences are okay, but if Arden would know, then tell us how. The rest of that paragraph tells us nothing about her.

And the second paragraph tells us nothing again. I had no idea Arden was a high school student until now.

You need to set up the first few sentences with this information. And the true story/plot/query is in the third paragraph -- a siren is killed, the vocal chords ripped from her neck -- now THAT is the real first line of this query.

You need to clean this up. You have too much blah blah blah and not enough meat. I really like this premise, and the plot sounds like a winner, but I get the feeling you're trying to sound like a high school student and it's just not working.

Also, after your Complete at 70,000 words, Siren Pacific is a young adult urban fantasy sentence -- Stop. Agents don't care who you are or what you do or your opinion on what 9th graders think is the new big thing.

You have 250 words to make a good first impression. Use them wisely. Like I said, this story sounds great, the query, not so much.

Best of luck.

Jenn said...

I'd suggest making the first paragraph much more direct in noting Arden is a siren and leading into the difficulty of how she is a mythical being and trying to survive in the human world.

In the last paragraph I'd cut the line about student assurances that sirens will be the next hot thing. An agent will know trends and may or may not be following them.

Anonymous said...

The epic poet Homer doesn’t exactly paint an accurate picture of Sirens. Arden would know. maybe be more overt here, Arden is a siren etc She doesn’t spend her days sitting on a rock in the middle of the ocean. She doesn’t lure unsuspecting sailors to violent deaths, either. She could, if she wanted to. But she doesn’t. last sentence of this paragraph has no panache, I like the sitting on a rock imagery tho

Much to her chagrin, much to her chagrin is a cliche, avoid! Arden has to keep her abilities what abilities exactly? since we can't base anything off of Homer as he is inaccurate, need to establish your version of a Siren at some point a secret, which isn’t always easy. why isn't it easy? who is she keeping it from? Of course, the sexy new guy at her high school doesn’t help her plight at all. He makes her insides tremble with longing. if this is a romance I feel we need his name, or he needs to be mentioned again and not dropped But as her clan’s future guardian, what being a Siren guardian mean exactly? dating humans isn’t even an option.

Then, a Siren in her clan is killed, the vocal chords ripped from her neck. Arden knows the identity of her people is no longer a secret. The Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult bent on killing the few remaining Sirens on Earth, has discovered them.

The Sons of Orpheus plan to slaughter the Sirens. They won’t stop until everyone in her clan is dead. Arden could flee, which means leaving her home and the ocean behind. unclear, does she live in the ocean? underwater high school? Her only other choice is to stop the Sons before the Sirens of Pacific Grove are exterminated. Leaving her precious ocean is unthinkable, but staying to fight might end her life.

Complete at approximately 70,000 words, SIREN PACIFIC is a young adult urban fantasy. slightly long for young adult? I teach high school English to precocious ninth graders, and their enthusiasm inspires me to write. They have also assured me that sirens are the new vampires for young adult readers. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Overall pretty solid, but lacks a strong enough hook.