Jan 31, 2010

QUERY - NEAR EDGWARE (sixth revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.
Click here to read the fourth revision. 
Click here to read the fifth revision.

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for NEAR EDGWARE, a YA paranormal romance complete at 72,000 words.

Sixteen year old Jess Trainer does not understand Caleb Ridgeway. He alternates between interested and the cold shoulder. She could manage her emotions if he did not give her reasons to hope, but this on-off attraction drives her to the brink of stalker status.

Aware that the insular Ridgeway brothers have abilities beyond a normal person, she suspects this is why Caleb says their relationship cannot develop. Only after she is attacked does Jess discover that Caleb’s secret is bitingly real and she is plunged into the seething war of attrition being fought in the woodland between those born human and those born were. When his pack in attacked, Caleb is singled out for brutal treatment. He is left traumatised and withdrawn. Jess chooses her side in the war when she runs for help, and risks her humanity, to reach out to Caleb. She helps him find his way back to a time before the pain, back to her love.
Jess’ problems lie in the secrets her parents keep from her; they prevent her from understanding why she is fast and strong, has an innate visual memory, and senses the true nature of others. Hoping to end a way of life built on hatred and annihilation, they have chosen to allow Fate to decide what will happen when the last-born Hunter meets the Alpha-to-be. Since an unscrupulous Were might see Jess’ ignorance as the perfect opportunity for revenge, it’s a good thing that Caleb fights for more than the right to love.

Thank your for your time and consideration.

My thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Query letter in its many forms. :)


Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

Excellent. Very good. I would pick this up.

My only suggestion would be making "When his pack in attacked, Caleb is singled out for brutal treatment." the start of a new paragraph.

RC Writer Girl said...

Yikes! Repeat. Yikes! You've been hiding the juiciest part of your query through six revisions!

Thank goodness you finally released it.

You are sitting on the landmine of juicy exciting story and you bury it in the bottom of the last paragraph! Don't do it.

Start over and start with the juiciest, most exciting thing there is in your story--the heart of your story: Sixteen-year-old Jess Trainer is supernaturally fast, strong, perceptive, and agile; she was born to hunt werewolves, only she doesn't know it. By the time she learns the truth, it's too late: She's already fallen in love with werewolf Caleb Ridgeway.

That's your story--forbidden love. All this stuff about the insular Ridgeway brothers and the seething war are scenery. This is a love story about forbidden passion. Sell that, and this query will rock. You gotta start with the meat uptop, then you can back into this other stuff--the pertinent details. But sell me on Jess the werewolf hunter falling in love with the wolf.

I know I've read at least one version of this query before. Why has the face that she's a hunter never been expressed before? That's key.

RC Writer Girl said...

I actually did just go back and look at all the queries, and I guess you actually allude to Jess's hunter status in some of the versions. I missed it in the one I'd seen.

Again, I'll just reiterate. I think you gotta start with Jess is a hunter, caleb's a werewolf. The conflict is obvious, so it allows you to get into story without too much motivation explanation.

Good luck with this.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts - I find it hard to lead with this certain knowledge when Jess knows nothing throughout the book.
Jess' parents and Caleb's pack know in Book 1. She is blissfully happy and in love.
The subtle messages are everywhere in the book - once you know!