Thursday, 11 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic 3rd draft Query

Dear Agent,
A strange, mournful wail trumpets from the nearby forest, disturbing eleven-year-old Andy Salazar’s imaginings of baseball games and monster movie marathons to come.  Accompanied by his wisecracking best friend, Rich, Andy ventures to the dried riverbed on the first day of summer to investigate.  The boys are surprised to find there the quiet, homeschooled girl from Rich’s neighborhood.  Together, they unearth fragments of the town of Hamlin’s guarded history in the form of old, forgotten relics.
Guided by the dapper dwarf known as King Henry, Andy and his friends endeavor to connect their discoveries to the town’s past.  Henry says a storm is coming, and the town elders look to the rumpled clouds with growing unease.  A mysterious murder, Hamlin’s first in decades portends a series of baffling crimes.  Rumors swirl of a tattooed man and dog-faced boy stalking the streets.
 Hamlin is haunted by its secrets and time is running out. Andy must learn why the year 1934 is missing from the town’s history books, and how the buried artifacts connect to the bloodshed, the flood, and the elephant calls in the night.  With the help of his friends, Andy forces Hamlin to face its past and confront its restless dead.
The Last March of Elephants is a New Adult novel with coming of age and paranormal elements in the tradition of Stephen King’s It and Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life.  It clocks in at 90,000 words.  Although the protagonist and his friends are around eleven years old, the novel deals very much with adult themes.  Thank you for your time and consideration.


  1. Okay, this has to be the one.

    Congrat's your are definitely getting there. Sigh of relief...

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Yolanda, I think it's getting there,'s hoping! (crosses fingers)

  2. Wow, you have a lot going on in your novel. I'm impressed. I think you have a strong query right now. The only part that tripped me up was this partial sentence-are surprised to find there the quiet-it's grammatically correct, but feels clunky and awkward. I know it seems nitpicky, but it really is the only problem I had with it.

    Nice job and good luck!

    1. Thanks Jess, I think with the clunky sentence I was trying to preserve a sentence my Super Villain suggested I change. I need to to either revert to the old sentence or find a new way to word it. Thanks for the observation! I thought it was a bit awkward as well...

  3. Such an improvement! I like this version and would also suggest rewording the "clunky" part. How much more perfect can it get after that? Good job:)

    My revise is up, too.

  4. Seconding that one sentence revision suggestion, but beyond that, I think this great. The mood and atmosphere is great and the plot sounds very intriguing. Best of luck, and I think this will be very successful!

  5. Wow! GREAT FIRST SENTENCE!! You immediately drew me in. Great job! I connect with the characters on a much different level.
    Now to my

    First sentence: AWESOME! Very intriguing and gives us his age without telling! Here is my question. If he is imagining these things, do you need to put "to come" at the end of the sentence? I believe those two words could be completely cut due to repetitive meanings.

    Instead of putting the two boys names next to each other in this sentence. Why not reword it to read like this:

    Accompanied by Rich, his wisecracking best friend, Andy ventures to the dried riverbed on the first day of summer to investigate.

    [I like how you put summer in this sentence. Now we know the season and it isn't forced upon the reader! The information "flows" within the sentence]

    The last sentence of your first paragraph is great. It sets us up to know they are trying to discover hidden mysteries in the TOWN of Hamlin! Before, we had no idea until halfway through, but now it is very clear.

    Should there be another comma in this sentence?
    A mysterious murder, Hamlin’s first in decades[,] portends a series of baffling crimes.

    Overall, great job! You are almost there!

    1. and I didnt mention the "clunky" sentence, as several above called it because you already know. lol. Could the whole thing be cut? I know she is important to your story but is she important to your query? I don't feel like the home-schooled girl does anything for us other than information that she was there.

  6. I was a bit thrown by the mention of the mysterious homeschooled girl and how she is connected to the artifacts in the next sentence. Did she find them? Was the wail coming from her? Other than that part, I think this query is amazing and it sounds like you really have something here! Good luck!
    -Minion Mara