Feb 15, 2010

The Five Stages of Querying

One of the Slushpile's followers / lurkers / commentors posted a nice article about The Five Stages of Querying.

She also gives some advice regarding the hardest part of querying:  waiting for a response!

The Nameless - Query (Revision #2)

Click here to read the original query. 

Dear Agent:

Eighteen year old Erica Ann Dawson fell asleep in her bed in Batesfield, Connecticut and awoke to find herself driving down a four lane highway.

Plagued by inexplicable blackouts, she begins losing hours, even days, with no memory of what transpired in the intervening time.

As the blackouts grow worse, she starts to doubt her own sanity, until she learns the truth.

Erica is slowly being replaced, being usurped from her own life by a creature known only as a Changeling. The Changeling has bewitched Erica’s name and is using it to steal away her memories, her life, her very soul.

To save herself from being completely consumed, Erica is forced to make a terrible sacrifice; she gives up her name, and with it, relinquishes all rights to her own identity.

Now, nameless, and forgotten by her friends and family alike, the girl is plunged into a world of magic where a Sharpie and a book of matches could mean the difference between life and death. She must learn to harness the power of names and sigils to fight back against the Changelings and the dark force invading Batesfield.

Will she be strong enough to overcome the mysterious master of the Changelings and reclaim what she has lost, or will she remain nameless forever?

The Nameless is a YA fantasy novel complete at 60,000 words. The manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Emily XXXX

Beth Query (revised)

Click here to read the original query.

--note: this is not the actual title and it is only the *hook* of the query.

Seventeen-year-old rocker Beth Collins plays a killer lead guitar, but that's not what's nabbed her a scholarship to the exclusive Hamilton Academy.

It's Beth's other killer talent—the one for causing death.

Beth is a Deathmage and Hamilton is no ordinary school. It’s an enclave for the differently Talented—in other words, freaks like Beth.

At Hamilton, Beth finds love, friendship and the support she needs to rein in her
frightening abilities. But behind the school's kindly fa├žade lurks a secret threat—a plan is brewing to exploit her Talents for a hellish evil. Now Beth must master her deadly skills on her own terms, or succumb to those who would destroy her and all that she loves.