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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Query help needed!

    Hi all,

    I'm Carrie--a newbie. I don't know why I didn't see this forum before. I think my brain is fried from staring at this query letter for so long. I posted my original letter in the lit. agents forum, but obviously, it belongs here. (Thanks to Avonne and Lea who already gave some great advice.) I humbly appreciate any insights you can give me. Here goes:

    Dear Mr. or Ms. ____,

    Like most sixteen-year-old boys, Nathan Terras thinks a lot about girls and not so much about the nature of good and evil--until a near-death experience reveals he's to become the Antichrist.

    Forget vampires, werewolves, and zombies. They're the lucky ones.


    Nathan would love to wake from this nasty nightmare, except it's his enemies who are waking. They're coming for him, and they're not interested in a friendly game of Halo. They can be anyone--his classmates, friends, even his own family. To top it off, Nathan must deal a violent power growing inside him. He canít control it, and worse than thatópart of him starts to like it.

    Nathan doesnít want to be a monster, but when his little brother disappears at the hands of those sworn to protect him, heíll do anything to get him back. By embracing his destiny, he can win the lives of those he loves. But what he loses may be so much more. The line between good and evil blurs, leaving Nathan wondering which side heís supposed to be on.

    THE BECOMING is a young adult paranormal novel of 78,000 words with series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    (I started out with the title ANTICHRIST 16: THE BECOMING, but thought it might frighten some agents off. Then I tried DEVIL'S SON: THE BECOMING, but that's morphed into just THE BECOMING. Yeah, I like to second guess myself. Do you have a preference?)

    Thanks in advance to anyone with suggestions!

  2. #2
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Copying my response from the other thread:

    I, too, like THE. ANTICHRIST part. How can you beat that?

    I agree that referencing his English teacher and friends aren't necessary in this. And, is the power you mention his "dark secret?" If not, what is? Also, "...part of him starts to like it." isn't working for me. I know what you're going for, but the wording doesn't have the same impact as something else might. For example: "He can't control the violent power that continues to grow inside him, but the more he experiences its dominance, the more he doesn't want to." Or, whatever you can come up with.

    Last, "... he may win the lives of those he loves." Not sure I understand what this means. I think you can come up with something else and clear this up.

    Good start! And, good luck!

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Hi Carrie,

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the lines which say "Nathan is a normal guy" (thinks about girls, etc), and "Nathan would love to wake from this nightmare", and "Nathan doesn't want to be a monster" are your three descriptions of your character, and none of them make me really warm to the guy! I think those lines are pretty much redundant, and I've seen them in So Many Queries here and on the net. If I were you, I'd try and think of a way to twist them a little, give us some specifics, like (and I'm just making cr@p up now, this is almost definitely not your story, just examples of the style)

    Now, when Nathan gets angry, his enemies break out in zits and lose the power of speech. It would be a lot more alarming if it wasn't so awesome. Nathan, despite his firm morals, is beginning to like his dark powers.

    Anyway, that's not great. But honestly, the "wants to wake up from nightmare and not be monster" just bores me, even though the story sounds like it's probably entirely non-boring. Good luck, please feel free to ignore my opinion! It's just that!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    If I didn't need the help, I wouldn't be here. I don't want my novel to go down in flames on account of a ho-hum query. So I'm thankful for any and all opinions. I had a previous letter that started with:

    "It’s not like sixteen-year-old Nathan Terras wants to be evil. A bad boy, maybe. But not evil. Yeah, he can see auras but so what? He’d gladly trade that talent for, say, a new Mustang or a little skin time with Scarlett Johansson. There’s only one problem."

    Maybe I should keep that and spice up the other parts. Oh, Lord. Where's a crystal ball when you need it?
    Last edited by Carrie Graves; 10-14-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Rich Plowden
    Sounds like a great story!

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