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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 16--Tagestraum

TITLE:  Tagestraum
GENRE:  Fantasy

Dear [agent]

When social worker Adrian Montgomery's seven-year-old client, Nathaniel, disappears from his backyard, he jumps on the chance to aid in the investigation, but he doesn't expect the search to lead him to another world.

At the scene of the boy's disappearance is a doorway that only Adrian seems to be able to see.  On the other side is Tagestraum, a realm fed by the energy of children's imaginations. Without their dreams, the whole faerie kingdom would be plunged into the sort of Darkness where monsters are born and nightmares become real.  But Tagestraum's been suffering an energy crisis lately because someone has been stealing dreams – and the kids who make them.

In order to find the dream-thief and rescue Nathaniel, Adrian must journey through a savage wonderland of flesh-eating unicorns, dream-addicted faeries and corrupt monarchs. Worse, Tagestraum itself assaults the sanity of rational minds, and Adrian's is made up of locked doors and labeled file cabinets. At night, the Darkness drags him through his darkest memories, forcing him to face horrors from his own troubled childhood.

As the search unfolds, he realizes that he's not here by coincidence. And if he can't stop the dream thief, Tagestraum isn't the only world that will be overrun with Darkness.

TAGESTRAUM is an 80,000 dark fantasy that would appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and China Mieville.  My short stories have previously appeared in the Dark Valentines anthology from Whortleberry Press as well as Freedom Fiction Journal and MicroHorror.

I have attached [whatever you're looking for] per the guidelines on your website.  The full manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


storymultiverse said...

Intriguing. I'm interested to know more. I have a few thoughts.

1. I like the way you set up the world of your novel, especially the line about "flesh-eating unicorns, dream-addicted fairies, and corrupt monarchs." It gives me a view of your (somewhat Lovecraftian) fantasy world.

2.Good job establishing the overall conflict. I have a clear idea of what it is that's going on and why it's important for him to rescue Nathaniel.

3. Good comps. I'm a fan of both authors, and I have a good idea then of what your story might read like.

4. For some reason, I keep hitting a snag between the second and third sentences of the second paragraph. I'm wondering if maybe you could establish that it's a faerie kingdom first.

Charity Bradford said...

I love this query.There are just a few things to mention.

1. We get a bit of pronoun confusion, but it's easily fixed by removing "from his backyard".

2. You can swap "seems to be able to see" for "can see". It's not so wishy washy. You might even consider combining the first two sentences: At the scene of the disappearance is a doorway only Adrian can see leading to Tagestraum, a realm fed by the energy of children's imaginations.

3. Love the world building. In my opinion you don't need the phrase "and Adrian's is made up of locked doors and labeled file cabinets." The next sentence is better at describing the horrors he has to go through.

4. Perfect.

Great query and fascinating story premise.

Huntress said...

I’d break the first paragraph into two sentences. Add a bit more drama to it. Cut unnecessary words.

Example: When seven-year-old Nathaniel disappears from his backyard, social worker Adrian Montgomery jumps at the chance to find him. Even if it means traveling to another world. (26 words compared to the original 34)

Try for more action in your word choices. If you note and edit the ‘to be’ verbs, I believe you’ll give this query more energy. Watch out for unnecessary phrases such as ' order to...' and '...the whole...'. Say what is vital and drop the flotsam.

Mary Holm said...

I liked this a lot. Especially the flesh-eating unicorns.

I had trouble with the sentence: Worse, Tagestraum itself assaults the sanity of rational minds, and Adrian's is made up of locked doors and labeled file cabinets.

I assume you mean his mind is made up of locked doors and labeled file cabinets, but it isn't clear. And it doesn't really make sense.

Also, "As the search unfolds, he realizes" could just be: Adrian realizes.

Great job.

mshatch said...

I like this query a lot! My only suggestion is to give me a little more about Adrian's character. Otherwise, loved it!