Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

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Preacher
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Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by Preacher » July 2nd, 2010, 2:52 pm

Hello all, i am new here and am going to spend some time later on today and over the weekend and try and give some helpful feedback on other queries here. I am having a hard time with the process so i will do my best to say things that are useful. I just finished my novel DIE AGAIN and had a rough query and wanted to post here to see what people might suggest.
thanks in advance and i look forward to being an active member here .....


Dear Agent

Detective Ethan Moon has to make a choice between duty to his job and duty to his family.

When an Assistant D.A. is murdered, Moon takes the case and finds himself hunting a killer who is supposed to dead. A killer he knows all to well. A man who haunts his dreams -his adopted brother.

Moon unearths a videotape that tags his brother as a killer and makes himself a target to draw him out. After a near deadly confrontation Moon will have to choose between closing the case and taking a dangerous man off the street or helping a broken family try and put the pieces back together.

DIE AGAIN is a crime thriller about family, relationships and muder. It is complete at 85,000 words and a full manuscript is available upon request.

notw
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Re: Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by notw » July 2nd, 2010, 3:20 pm

Preacher wrote:Hello all, i am new here and am going to spend some time later on today and over the weekend and try and give some helpful feedback on other queries here. I am having a hard time with the process so i will do my best to say things that are useful. I just finished my novel DIE AGAIN and had a rough query and wanted to post here to see what people might suggest.
thanks in advance and i look forward to being an active member here .....


Dear Agent

Detective Ethan Moon has to make a choice between duty to his job and duty to his family. I might consider taking out the second duty and change it to somehing like "...choice between duty to his job and family obligations." Just a thought :)

When an Assistant D.A. is murdered, Moon takes the case and finds himself hunting a killer who is supposed to be dead. A killer he knows all to well. A man who haunts his dreams -his adopted brother. I like this last sentence.

Moon unearths a videotape that tags his brother as a killer and makes himself a target to draw him out. Does his adopted brother know he is a cop? If so wouldn't he stay away from him? After a near deadly confrontation Moon will have to choose between closing the case and taking a dangerous man off the street or helping a broken family try and put the pieces back together. Is it the D.A's family that is broken? If so, wouldn't getting the killer off the street and getting justice help them in the healing process?

DIE AGAIN is a crime thriller about family, relationships and muder. It is complete at 85,000 words and a full manuscript is available upon request. Not sure you need to add the last half of the sentence.
While I am no expert (having a hard time myself with this process) I think your story sounds interesting. Good luck on your querying!

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Quill
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Re: Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by Quill » July 2nd, 2010, 3:48 pm

Preacher wrote:
Detective Ethan Moon has to make a choice between duty to his job and duty to his family.
This is somewhat generic for a tagline.
When an Assistant D.A. is murdered, Moon takes the case and finds himself hunting a killer who is supposed to dead.
Missing word after "to".
A killer he knows all to well. A man who haunts his dreams -his adopted brother.
Punctuation after "dreams": em dash instead of space + dash.
Moon unearths a videotape
Unearths is a bit odd here. Sounds like it was buried in the ground.
that tags his brother as a killer
This repeats the info from previous sentence, which isn't effective.
and makes himself a target to draw him out.
Comes across like a run-on sentence and the way it's written almost sounds like the tape makes Moon a target ("a videotape that tags his brother and makes him(self) a target")
After a near deadly confrontation Moon will have to choose between closing the case and taking a dangerous man off the street
The way it's written it sounds like his choices are between closing and taking, which is not what you are saying.
or helping a broken family try and put the pieces back together.
1. "A broken family". Why not his broken family, if it is his we are talking about.

2. "Helping (them) try and put" is awkward.

3. "put the pieces back together" is cliche, and would benefit from more specificity.
DIE AGAIN is a crime thriller about family, relationships and muder.
Omit "about family, relationships and murder", as you have already shown this.

"murder" is misspelled.
It is complete at 85,000 words and a full manuscript is available upon request.
Omit "and a full manuscript is available upon request" as redundant to "complete" and the fact that you are querying.

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dios4vida
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Re: Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by dios4vida » July 2nd, 2010, 3:56 pm

Preacher wrote:Detective Ethan Moon has to make a choice between duty to his job and duty to his family.

When an Assistant D.A. is murdered, Moon takes the case and finds himself hunting a killer who is supposed to dead. A killer he knows all to well. A man who haunts his dreams -his adopted brother.

Moon unearths a videotape that tags his brother as a killer and makes himself a target to draw him out. After a near deadly confrontation Moon will have to choose between closing the case and taking a dangerous man off the street or helping a broken family try and put the pieces back together.

DIE AGAIN is a crime thriller about family, relationships and muder. It is complete at 85,000 words and a full manuscript is available upon request.
Welcome to the forums, Preacher!

It sounds like you have a really solid story going on here. Plenty of internal and external tension, which is great. I think a little polishing on your query will give you a great chance at catching an agent's attention.

I think the second paragraph would benefit from a little more emotion. "hunting a killer who is supposed to be dead" is great, but then the super brief "A killer he knows all to [which should be too] well." kinda throws me off a little. It's very impersonal and erases the emotion that was building. Maybe a little rephrasing would help: "He is a killer Moon knows all too well." Just a thought.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "tags his brother as a killer and makes himself a target to draw him out." What exactly is going on here? Is the adopted brother trying to bait Moon? Or does it simply point to Moon's brother as the killer and Moon feels obligated to take care of his brother himself? Maybe you need to clarify the relationship between Moon and his brother a little. You said that the brother was supposed to be dead - how does Moon feel about that? Were they close, and he mourned the loss? Or were they rivals? And what would Moon think about his brother being alive? Would he be thrilled and wanting a reunion, or frightened or just plain confused? I think knowing a little more about Moon's relationship with his brother would help clarify why Moon is drawn out and needs to handle this himself.

I agree with notw about the broken family. Who's family? And how would putting his brother in prison hurt/help the family? Again, with a little clarification about the brotherly relationship we'll feel a lot more internal tension in the query.

Good luck with Die Again, it really sounds like an interesting story.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

LBender
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Re: Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by LBender » July 2nd, 2010, 4:17 pm

Hello all, i am new here and am going to spend some time later on today and over the weekend and try and give some helpful feedback on other queries here. I am having a hard time with the process so i will do my best to say things that are useful. I just finished my novel DIE AGAIN and had a rough query and wanted to post here to see what people might suggest.
thanks in advance and i look forward to being an active member here .....


Dear Agent

Detective Ethan Moon has to make a choice between duty to his job and duty to his family.

When an Assistant D.A. is murdered, Moon takes the case and finds himself hunting a killer who is supposed to dead. A killer he knows all to well. A man who haunts his dreams -his adopted brother.

Moon unearths a videotape that tags his brother as a killer and makes himself a target to draw him out. After a near deadly confrontation Moon will have to choose between closing the case and taking a dangerous man off the street or helping a broken family try and put the pieces back together.

DIE AGAIN is a crime thriller about family, relationships and muder. It is complete at 85,000 words and a full manuscript is available upon request.Preacher

The others have pointed out most of what I would say. However, there are a couple of other things. Why does his adopted brother haunt his dreams? Did he supposedly kill him? Was there unfinished business between the two? Obviously, if Moon is making himself a target, the brother must want to kill him.

One problem I've had in queries is trying to make them too short. I think you might benefit by adding in a bit more information to make things clearer

Kalika
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Re: Query Help - DIE AGAIN!!!!!

Post by Kalika » July 3rd, 2010, 2:09 pm

The general problem I see with your query is vagueness. Why is the killer supposed to be dead? Why does he haunt Ethan's dreams? That's easy to fix.

Beyond that, I'm not convinced by the 'choice'. His choice is between doing his job or not doing it? It's not appealing to me as a reader to think that a cop may decide to let a murderer go because they're related. This may be a problem with the story rather than a problem with the query, only you can tell.

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