First person queries—I know it's a gimmick. I know you say not to (I-the-writer, not I-the-character and the confusion between). I have been all through your blog looking for an answer and only found two instances of first person intrigue, one wins, one failed. Neither helped my specific needs:
My main character doesn't have a name. How am I expected to write a winning query while simultaneously enticing the prospective agent if I can't even state more than "he"?
The basic premise of my novel is that I (the writer) have to write these words to escape my curse. Telling "my" tale in the hopes of making the supernatural activity stop, etc etc filler and adjectives...
I am seriously at a loss. I feel (as does every person who writes a manuscript, no?) that I have a sound novel. I could be wrong and maybe the problem is with my story, but I am almost positive it is not.
Any help and/or advice on this particular 1st person instance?
The best way to figure out how to do it is to see what other people did.
Spenser has no first name (the novels by Robert B. Parker) but that doesn't help since people do call him Spenser. (Even his main squeeze, the dreadful Susan Silverman)
Bill Pronzini writes the Nameless detective novels, and the character is referred to as Nameless.
And the one that might surprise you: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. The narrator is never named. She's called Mrs. deWinter but you never know her first name, or what her maiden name was.
And in fact the real Mrs. deWinter is the titular Rebecca. So let's see what the flap copy says here:
After their honeymoon, wealthy Max deWinter and his bride return to his country estate in Cornwall. But the unsettling presence of Rebecca, the deceased first Mrs. deWinter, lingers in the mansion and in reminders from the strange housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.
Not really much help is it?
So, I think you're left with "the nameless first person narrator" as a starting point. If that feels awkward, give him/her a name. And then never use it in the book. This will make a great trivia point when you're rich and famous.