Mar 26, 2010

Query- Snare

College freshman Chloe Shepherd’s knows that guys like Dylan Hughes don’t fall for girls like her. So, when he seems equally smitten, Chloe is ecstatic – and totally unprepared for the girl in the corridor. She grills Chloe about her date with Dylan, finishing with a terse, “Don’t like him too much. The last girl who did ended up dead.”

The words ring in Chloe’s head. Are they a warning or a sinister promise? She can’t ask Dylan; he doesn’t speak to her now. He won’t even look at her as they sit next to each other in class. Yet months later Dylan confesses that he’s missed her, and Chloe dives headlong into his words despite his admission that the dead girlfriend is the least of it. She’s been waiting for this, and if that explosive first kiss is anything to go by, so has he.

But, Dylan warns her – he’s still not a good bet. That hasn’t changed. He and his family are part of the great Rayhm clan of witches; the symbol of the clan burned into his skin is testament to how very powerful he is. Yet, to Chloe, they are just two ordinary people falling extraordinarily in love.

Who knows how long it might have stayed that way if she hadn’t eavesdropped on him in the library? Now she realizes what he’s been keeping from her. For every secret he’s revealed, there’s a deeper one. Because of her, Dylan will be forced to defend his birthright. Chloe is the only person in the world who can give him the one thing he’s never wanted – the power to rule the Rayhm.

Snare is a YA/New Adult paranormal romance, complete at 94,000 words.

Personal info below.

Thank you for your consideration.

Brenda St John Brown


Lori Folkman said...

I think your query is well written and intriguing. But it is also confusing.

For starters...the girl in the corridor? What's that supposed to mean? You don't want an agent to get confused right off the bat.

Then you go from Dylan seeming smitten to not talking to Chloe and then to him warning her that he's not a good bet. I see that you are trying to get in all the key elements, but I really feel like I'm left in the dark.

Your last sentence about the plot seems cliche--how is she the only one that can give him that power? And why has he never wanted it?

Also, I'm not sure, but I thought that YA is supposed to be with MC who are still in high school.

I can tell that your story is interesting, but I think your query needs reworked. I would trim out at least of paragraph, and give us only the essentials. Make sure that the reader isn't having to guess what your meaning is--don't be too vague. Good luck!

Sarah N Fisk said...

I agree with most of what the person who posted before me said.

I feel like the two first paragraphs can be condensed with some tighter writing.

I also wondered how she could give him that power when he's not supposed to date her?

I have a comment about the YA thing though: This is technically YA because she's (most likely) 18 but most publishers won't want college-aged MCs. So far, St Martin's Press is the only publisher who has shown interest in what they call New Adult (not an actual genre by most standards). It's going to be a huge hurdle for you to overcome. Is there a specific reason she can't be a HS senior at a boarding school?

Sounds like you have an interesting concept here, it just needs to come out a little clearer in the query.

Victoria Dixon said...

There were some confusing points: the girl in the corridor is too abrupt. Chloe is ecstatic and unprepared when a strange girl warns her, "Don't like Dylan too much. The last girl who did ended up dead."
I don't think you want to go into Chloe and Dylan not speaking - at least not without explaining that it's because she confronts him. Then, when Dylan confesses that he's missed....
I'd avoid the word "realizes" in queries and your ms. It implies introspection instead of activity, which can also lead to telling vs. showing. She *discovers* what he's been keeping from her.
Also, I don't understand why he wants her if she's going to give him what he's never wanted. It SOUNDS intriguing, but I want to understand why he'd go for it.

Emily J said...

I liked this query generally, and I sympathize as I also have a YA manuscript with an 18 y old protag. It is a tough sell.

But I had a few suggestions:

In para 1 why is there an "'s" after Shephard? Also, your description of Chloe & Dylan seems problematic (those names have been used a lot btw) since we don't know what kind of girl she is or what kind of guy he is.

In para 3 I would take the comma out after "But" I was tripping over it. I like your last sentence a lot though, as I am not an adverb-hater.

In para 4 I think you should lose the sentence "For every secret he's revealed there's a deeper one" this is vague, cryptic and doesn't really serve any purpose.

So overall I think this is well-written and gives enough specifics about the plot. I would suggest paring down the plot description though. As a suggestion, take paragraph 2 out completely and start para 3 with "Dylan warns Chloe that a dead ex-girlfriend is the least of it." I dont think you lose anything there. I do like the story idea though, so good luck with your query.

Lynn Lindquist said...

I would rework the second to last paragraph ("Who knows..."). Beyond that, I liked it. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy.