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  1. #1
    Carla C
    Guest

    Query help, please

    “They found it.” But they have no idea what it’s for. When Clarice and John Miller discover THE GLEN, deep in an ancient forest, they have no idea the Eden sanctuary awaits their very special son. Five year old Jackson, a savant, experiences catatonic trances, which baffle his parents. But discovering the reason their son needs a sanctuary proves as troublesome as delivering him to it.

    Unfortunately, those who can help have only seen the boy in their dreams. While a monk and a rabbi dream of the child they have never met, the devil uses all his powers, and all under his power, to destroy the child.

    Underlying all of this is Clarice Miller’s lifelong denial of her special ability to see the spiritual world, and what faith in that world means. She will have to face her own tortured past, and find faith in her own goodness, before she can protect her son.

    By the time the truth is revealed, and the deliverer arrives, the clock is ticking for an exciting race to THE GLEN. A monk and a satanist face off, the rabbi deliverer must face his greatest nightmare, and Clarice must face her own past to secure a future for her son.


    Any help would be appreciated.
    C



  2. #2
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Hey, Carla

    I'm going to begin with the beginning (logical, right? . I know we're all looking for an attention-grabber to start off, and this one is...but I'm not sure it fits.

    Mind you, I'm not a queryer (I've queried in the past, but none recently), so....

    Perhaps you could transform those first two lines to something like this (more show than tell):

    Ex.:
    "Clarice, I think we've found it."

    When Clarice and John Miller discover THE GLEN....
    ----------------------------------

    If that makes any sense

  3. #3
    Carla C
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Thanks, Patrick. I didn't see it, but of course you're right. Coming at it cold like that is all wrong.

    How bout:

    “They found it.” Little Jackson told his nanny following a trance.

    His parents did find it, but they have no idea what it’s for. When Clarice and John Miller discover THE GLEN, deep in an ancient forest, they have no idea that the Eden sanctuary awaits their very special son. Five year old Jackson, a savant, experiences catatonic trances, which baffle his parents. But discovering the reason their son needs a sanctuary, proves as troublesome as delivering him to it.

  4. #4
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    I have no idea what's going on here. That doesn't matter, however, because "the clock is ticking for an exciting race to THE GLEN" told me which pile this should go.

  5. #5
    Carla C
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Ok. Nom, so terms like the "clock is ticking" and exciting are a turn off.


    What about the rest is confusing? How about a little help, Nom?

  6. #6
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    You forgot one, very important detail: the word count, rounded to the nearest thousand should be near the bottom.

  7. #7
    Ce Ce
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Um ... okay.

    “They found it.” But they have no idea what it’s for. When Clarice and John Miller discover THE GLEN, deep in an ancient forest, they have no idea the Eden sanctuary awaits their very special son. Five year old Jackson, a savant, experiences catatonic trances, which baffle his parents. But discovering the reason their son needs a sanctuary proves as troublesome as delivering him to it.

    A line of dialogue with no attribution is jarring.

    Unfortunately, those who can help have only seen the boy in their dreams. While a monk and a rabbi dream of the child they have never met, the devil uses all his powers, and all under his power, to destroy the child.

    First sentences is intriguing, but you don't expand on it. And, JMO, but reading that the devil is a character I find a bit ridiculous. An evil character, sure -- but the devil? Why would the devil, or any evil being, want to destroy Jackson? You're being coy instead of letting the agent know what your book is actually about, IMO.

    Underlying all of this is Clarice Miller’s lifelong denial of her special ability to see the spiritual world, and what faith in that world means. She will have to face her own tortured past, and find faith in her own goodness, before she can protect her son.

    Telling a lot. Using "faith" twice in two sentences. And even though you're telling, I still don't know what Jackson's gift is, why the devil is after him because of it, and what Clarice's lack of faith in the spirit world or or her own goodness has to do with anything.

    By the time the truth is revealed, and the deliverer arrives, the clock is ticking for an exciting race to THE GLEN. A monk and a satanist face off, the rabbi deliverer must face his greatest nightmare, and Clarice must face her own past to secure a future for her son.

    The deliverer? Seriously? The deliverer who's a rabbi? And where did the satanist come from? Coy and irritating rather than intriguing, IMO. I still have no idea what Jackson's special gift is, or what the story is supposed to be about.

    I'm not an agent, but ...

  8. #8
    Ce Ce
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Okay -- meant to say: Leading off with a line of dialogue with no attribution is jarring.

  9. #9
    Carla C
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Joe, I had the count in a paragraph I didn't attach:

    In 94,000 words of mainstream fiction THE GLEN is a classic story of good versus evil. Its plot, like a negative image of The Omen, unfolds to reveal the secret of the child slated to be XXXXXXX.

    The end of that is the big Ta Da of the book. I'm at a loss. Is the query to read like a book jacket? The secret is not revealed until 3/4 of the way into the book. I didn't want to reveal it here. Maybe I'll have to.

    Ce Ce, Thanks for the comments. I agree about the lame terms devil and deliverer. My plot is thick and complicated, and I was afraid of bogging my query down with detail and character description. Not trying to be coy, except for the one secret.

    I was hoping to find a way to show hook, conflict and resolution. Clarice's inner struggle is woven into the plot. She runs from her ability, which was given to her to help her son. Until she accepts it, she can't help her son. Her catharsis parallels the discovery of the Glen and her son's secret.

    I'm pulling my hair out. Here's an earlier version, but I suspect it is as poor as the last.


    Hidden deep in an ancient forest, lies THE GLEN, silent for ages, awaiting the child for whom it was created. When Clarice Miller and her husband, John look for property on the remote mountain near Ithaca, Clarice is powerfully drawn to the glen. While the land calls to her she has no idea it was created for the sole purpose of sheltering her son, Jackson, whose purpose is so vital to salvation pure evil seeks to destroy him.

    A sage hermit on a mountain, and a successful rabbi in Boston, both begin having the same dreams of the child they are predestined to deliver to the glen. But neither man has ever met the child. Fate intervenes in the form of a series of coincidences to bring them together.

    After several brushes with evil, the confused parents search for the truth about their child, who is destined to be XXXXXXXX. But Satanists also discover the truth about Jackson, and seek to kidnap and destroy him in a high stakes game for souls. Once the truth is known everyone involved is in a race against time for the child. In 94,000 words of literary fiction, THE GLEN, tells of ordinary people caught in a timeless battle of good versus evil over the fate of xxxxxxxxxx.


    Pulling my hair OUT.
    Carla

  10. #10
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Query help, please

    Good. Remember, though, we can only judge you from what you post. And yes, the query should be rather like the back of the book jacket, and you don't reveal the ending.

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