Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

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sammyig
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Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by sammyig » August 20th, 2010, 2:06 pm

I've gotten a few rejections with my current query, and would like some help to see if it's the query that is the problem.
---------------------------------------
Dear Agent X,

Mathias is a street kid. He never believed in reincarnation, never thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die before he was eighteen. He was right...about some of it.

After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Mathias sees a mysterious figure. At once, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires. He is irritated and feels that he can trust no one. Then he encounters Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. She has an odd reaction to seeing Mathias, and no one will explain why. When Mathias discovers that the Queen is insane, he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about.

The Queen assaults him, and he suddenly recalls everything. Now he must accept that Reincarnation does exist. He carries the soul of a king whose ultimate death had been at the hands of Queen Lilith, who had once been the Queen of a clan that was a rival of his own.

When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets about his death she's tried so hard to hide, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again.

Only Mathias himself and a mysterious council called The Dragon's Order can hope to save him from the Queen's wrath before it's too late.

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word fantasy set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia.

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

me

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by Preacher » August 20th, 2010, 2:15 pm

Hey there, let me take a crack here and see what i can suggest, hopefully it is helpful.

I would just start off by saying i get confused early. Does Mathias believe he will die before he is eighteen? That's how i read it.

You tell us Mathias is "plunged" into the vampire world. I assume you mean bitten, and turned by whoever the mysterious person is.

I also get confused when "Mathias starts to remember things from a time he knows nothing about." Are we talking about dejavu? A past life experience, perhaps. I think it is confusing and can be re-worked.

I think there's a lot going on. This query is very busy as to Mathias and Lilith and remembering some stuff, then being attacked and remembering the other stuff and so on. The word queen appears a bunch of times, maybe just refer to her as Lilith after you tell us she is a Queen the first time.

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by Joel Q » August 20th, 2010, 2:25 pm

I think you have too much info, cut it back a bit.
Here are a few suggestions to cut, rework the paragraphs and see what it looks like.
Good luck.
JQ
sammyig wrote: Mathias is a street kid. He never believed in reincarnation, never thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die before he was eighteen. He was right...about some of it.

After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Mathias sees a mysterious figure. At once, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires. He is irritated and feels that he can trust no one. (cut, doens't impact the query) (Add something about finding the vamps) Then he encounters cut When he is introduced to Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. She has an odd reaction to seeing Mathias, and no one will explain why. When Mathias discovers that the Queen is insane, CUT he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about.

The Queen assaults him, and he suddenly recalls everything. Now he must accept that Reincarnation does exist. He carries the soul of a king whose ultimate death had been at the hands of Queen Lilith, who had once been the Queen of a clan that was a rival of his own.

When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets about his death she's tried so hard to hide, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again.

Only Mathias himself and a mysterious council called The Dragon's Order (New info at the end is not a good thing.) can hope to save him from the Queen's wrath before it's too late. cut

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word fantasy set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia.

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

me

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by amyashley » August 20th, 2010, 3:58 pm

It sounds like an interesting book! I think the summary could be more cohesive, with less details. You want to hook them and make them want to know why all these things are happening rather than answering all the questions up front. Leave some mystery in it maybe. Hope this helps.

Mathias is a street kid.CUT He never believed in reincarnation,CUT Henever thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die young.CUTbefore he was eighteenCUT. He was right...about some of it.
How Mathias feels about reincarnation is irrelevant until it happens to him. Just make this first sentence bold and brief.

Too much here to change font colors and CUT CUT CUT, but here is what I would try:

After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires. When he encounters Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world, he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about.
Irritated and feeling he can trust no one, he must accept that reincarnation does exist. He carries the soul of a king whose clan was rival to the clan of the insane Lilith, and that soul's ultimate death was at her hand. When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets she's tried so hard to hide, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again.



RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word fantasy set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia.

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

me

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by sammyig » August 21st, 2010, 8:27 am

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by a3writer » August 23rd, 2010, 5:37 am

Dear Agent X,

Mathias is a street kid. He never believed in reincarnation, never thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die before he was eighteen. He was right...about some of it. So he believes he's going to die before he's 18?

After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Is he dead or alive at this point, or something else? Mathias sees a mysterious figure. At once, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires. He is irritated and feels that he can trust no one. I don't think that sentence is really necessary, plus, is irritated really right? Shouldn't he be confused at his situation? Then he encounters Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. She has an odd reaction to seeing Mathias, and no one will explain why. When Mathias discovers that the Queen is insane, he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about. He remember Lilith killed him in a former life.

The Queen assaults him, and he suddenly recalls everything. Now he must accept that Reincarnation does exist. He carries the soul of a king whose ultimate It can't be ultimate. Ultimate is very last, and since he's reincarnated, it's not ultimate. It may seem like a small thing, but agents are looking for your command of language, using words as tools. death had been at the hands of Queen Lilith, who had once been the Queen of a clan that was a rival of his own. Be careful giving too much detail. It's not a synopsis. You need just a few essentials here, and do the details of his former life need to be in the query?

When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets about his death she's tried so hard to hide Why is she trying to hide it? If she killed him once, why not again. Shouldn't her goal be to find a way to permanently kill him?, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again.

Only Mathias himself and a mysterious council called The Dragon's Order can hope to save him from the Queen's wrath before it's too late. How? And this council is nothing more than a name drop that doesn't make anything more clear.

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word urban fantasy There seems to be a big distinction now between epic (or regular) fantasy and urban fantasy. Some agents rep one, but not the other set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia. The setting doesn't seem to have that much to do with the storyline, so why mention it?

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Something's missing from this, and it's Mathias's choices. What does he do in this? It seems like he's more of a passenger in this story than the protagonist. Everything happens to him, but he doesn't do anything. He's on the run and wanting others to save him.

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by thewhipslip » August 23rd, 2010, 10:44 pm

sammyig wrote:I've gotten a few rejections with my current query, and would like some help to see if it's the query that is the problem.
---------------------------------------
Dear Agent X,

Mathias is a street kid. He never believed in reincarnation, never thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die before he was eighteen. He was right...about some of it. I like it, but I don't love it. It's best to start with a quick hook and then go right into the catalyst. So maybe something like: Living on the streets, Mathias always expected to die young -- but he never expected to come back as a vampire.

That's very rough, but hopefully it'll give you an idea of how you can shorten the first paragraph.


After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Mathias sees a mysterious figure. At once, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires These two sentences don't seem to belong together. He's shot, sees a figure, and now he's a vampire? How?. He is irritated and feels that he can trust no one You're irritated when your dog pees in your shoe. When someone turns you into a vampire - you'd probably be pretty darn angry!. Then he encounters Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. She has an odd reaction to seeing Mathias, and no one will explain why. When Mathias discovers that the Queen is insane Insane is throwaway word because it could mean anything. Someone tells you they liked Avatar, you might say they're insane, but if someone tells you their dog speaks Yiddish, you might also say that's insane. The word can have many meanings. Be specific here., he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about Again: be specific. What things? I want to know. Really. And so does an agent. Don't make me sic my Yiddish-speaking dog on you!.

The Queen assaults him, and he suddenly recalls everything. Now he must accept that Reincarnation does exist Huh? What does he remember?. He carries the soul of a king whose ultimate death had been at the hands of Queen Lilith, who had once been the Queen of a clan that was a rival of his own. Ultimate death? Aren't they already dead, being vampires? And how does he carry someone's soul?

When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets about his death she's tried so hard to hide Why does it matter that he remembered all this? What's at stake?, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again. But how? Is she gonna stake him?

Only Mathias himself and a mysterious council called The Dragon's Order Are there dragons in this story too?can hope to save him from the Queen's wrath before it's too late.

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word fantasy set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia.

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

me
Work on the specifics. I'm not getting a clear idea of what the story is about or why it matters. That's where your focus should be. And don't forget to give us the details.
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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by sammyig » August 24th, 2010, 10:11 am

Here's my new letter.
------------------------------------------------

Dear Agent:

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a young boy's quest to be allowed to live.

Mathias is a street kid. He never thought he would live anywhere but the streets and die before he turned eighteen. He was right...about some it of.

After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire only to find out that the vampire has an ulterior motive. The vampire world believes him to be the reincarnation of a long lost vampire king.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwise, but then he has an encounter with Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. After that, he begins to have strange dreams about things, places, and circumstances he knows nothing about. When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all of the memories of his past life come back to Mathias. He is their long lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him.

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time to end her rule and save himself.

My short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. Riding on the Tail of the Devil is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by Hyaline » August 24th, 2010, 1:26 pm

Wow--nice job with the edit. This is much clearer now for the most part, so great work! I've made comments inline in spots.
sammyig wrote:Here's my new letter.
------------------------------------------------

Dear Agent:

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a young boy's quest to be allowed to live.I think you can skip this. Don't worry about telling us what the book is about--show us in the query. You can add a simple sentence to the end with the title and word count.

Mathias is a street kid. He never thought he would live anywhere but the streets and die before he turned eighteen. He was right...about some it of.Much better beginning--and I think you can start here. One nagging detail "and die before he turned eighteen." The way the sentence reads, that would be "He never thought he would die before he turned eighteen"--I don't htink that's your intention. How about He never thought he would live anywhere but the streets *and assumed he would be dead by the time he turned eighteen* or something else that indicates exactly what his expectation is.

After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire only to find out that the vampire has an ulterior motive. The vampire world believes him to be the reincarnation of a long lost vampire king.Can I just say--this is way better, introducing the reincarnation concept within the context of the vampires. Before I thought this was a book about reincarnation and was really confused when vampires entered the picture.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwiseis this important?, but then he has an encounter with Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. After that, he begins to have strange dreams about things, places, and circumstances he knows nothing about. Why not combine these two sentences to be more concise? First two sentences could become: After an encounter with Lilith, the Queen of the vampire world, Mathias begins to dream about people, places, and circumstances he knows nothing about. I would cut that he tried to convince them otherwise--feels extraneous; I would also cut "supreme monarch" because reading Queen with no other modifers makes me assume she's the head honcho. I might also emphasize why having weird dreams is so important--I dream about stuff I've never experienced all the time--are they terribly vivid? Does he remember things as well as just dream them? When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all of the memories of his past life come back to Mathias. He is their long lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him.This is mostly clean and clear--I do wonder if a bit more flavor could weave in here--more of your voice. But that's just me hoping for brownie points for you :)

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time to end her rule and save himself.Very clear, again--if there's a way to inject some voice, it can only help you as long as you keep the clarity.

My short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. Riding on the Tail of the Devil is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Nice work reworking this! Best of luck!

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by a3writer » August 25th, 2010, 3:45 am

First, congratulations on the re-write. I know wrestling with queries is tough, so just getting a new one down is awesome.

Dear Agent:

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a young boy's quest to be allowed to live. Move this bit to the end. Give the story first, and once hooked, then you can give the stats.

Mathias is a street kid. He never thought he would live anywhere but the streets and die before he turned eighteen. He was right... okay, this is a small thing, but it's a pet peeve for me, and I know it is for some agents as well. An ellipsis is three spaced periods, and there are spaces after the first word, and before the next like . . . this about some it of it.

After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire. only to find out that the vampire has an ulterior motive. Apparently (or similar word) The vampire world believes him to be the reincarnation of a long lost vampire their king. Just tighten the language down a little. Don't use any words you don't need to.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwise, but then he has an encounter with Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. After that, he begins causes him to have strange dreams about things vague. More specific? , places, and circumstances he knows nothing about. When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all of the memories of his past life come back to Mathias I look at this, and I am intrigued, mostly wondering why, exactly, getting his face sliced causes the memories. Is it the contact, the spilling of his blood, a memory? If you can be specific, the next sentence will make more sense.. He is their long lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him.

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time to end her rule and save himself. It sounds like there's an unspoken choice here, like "to do so means accepting his destiny as vampire king, and forsaking his humanity" (or am I reading too much into this?)

My short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. Riding on the Tail of the Devil is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Overall, much better. Well done!

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by D.S. Deshaw » August 25th, 2010, 12:30 pm

I think a3writer has your query tightened and questioned pretty well. My only addition to make the language stronger and tighter here:
The vampires believe he is the reincarnation of their king.
"Vampire world" sounds stilted to me. They don't have a world all to themselves, after all, and we don't call Earth "human world." I would just go for "vampires" in most cases, including "Vampire King" and "Vampire Queen." Be careful not to overuse the term, though.

I think there isn't much voice in the whole thing over all. There's a hint at it in the hook but that's about it. Is Mathias funny at all? Is he witty, sarcastic, or what? I'm not getting any sense for the kid and thus, I don't really care if he becomes the Vampire King. Of course Lilith wants to kill him. Spice it up. How is he going to do such a thing? How is he dealing with being a vampire?

Lastly, I think your hook needs work. I would tighten it a bit to something like this:

Mathias never thought he'd die before he turned eighteen. He was right.

Even still, I think your hook could probably come from him becoming a vampire, not so much about him dying. He probably never thought he'd die before he turned eighteen and then become a vampire, right?

This is pretty good for a second revision. You just need some more voice and you need to really look for that "wow" factor to grip us at the beginning and end so we want to read more. Good luck!
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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by TigerGray » August 25th, 2010, 7:46 pm

sammyig wrote:I've gotten a few rejections with my current query, and would like some help to see if it's the query that is the problem.
---------------------------------------
Dear Agent X,

Mathias is a street kid. He never believed in reincarnation, never thought he would live anywhere else but the streets and die before he was eighteen. He was right...about some of it. What about combining the opener and the second paragraph? "is a street kid" doesn't seem like the best start to me. Could it be something like "Mathias, a street kid with a fatalistic bent, doesn't believe in anything he can't see for himself. But when he is gunned down in a drive by shooting, he is thrust in to the vampiric underworld. That he may also have to accept reincarnation as a reality seems almost reasonable in comparison! " Not great, but hopefully you get my idea.

Further notes. The name Lilith for crazy, evil female characters makes me gag. It seems obvious and stereotypical. I think you might have a hard time getting an original character across with a name like that. I think when you introduce her you can jump right to the assault and its consequences, and leave out the her being insane and so forth stuff.


After being gunned down in a drive by shooting, Mathias sees a mysterious figure. At once, Mathias is plunged into the world of vampires. He is irritated and feels that he can trust no one. Then he encounters Lilith, the Queen and supreme monarch of the vampire world. She has an odd reaction to seeing Mathias, and no one will explain why. When Mathias discovers that the Queen is insane, he begins to remember things he shouldn't remember from a time he knows nothing about.

The Queen assaults him, and he suddenly recalls everything. Now he must accept that Reincarnation does exist. He carries the soul of a king whose ultimate death had been at the hands of Queen Lilith, who had once been the Queen of a clan that was a rival of his own.

There is something awkward about this sentence for me. Maybe you could add in something more about this past conflict? Why did the Queen want him dead? Were they lovers? Join rulers? Give me something personal to hang on to.

When the Queen discovers that Mathias has remembered who he was and the secrets about his death she's tried so hard to hide, she decides that it is time for Mathias to die-- again.

Only Mathias himself and a mysterious council called The Dragon's Order can hope to save him from the Queen's wrath before it's too late.

It's odd to me that we only hear about this benevolent Order at the end. Can they and their stakes be worked in earlier?

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is an 80,000 word fantasy set in New York City, small town in West Virginia, and Siberia.

I am not sure you need to include the settings. I find the mention of Siberia to be quite odd since I get no sense of that from the query itself. I think if you entered more personal details and emotion, I would be interested in this.

My short story, "Papap's Teeth" was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

me
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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by sammyig » August 26th, 2010, 9:54 am

Here is my latest draft.

------------------------------------------

Dear Agent:

“You know you’ve been on the streets too long when the sound of an old man urinating in an alley sounds like falling rain,” Mathias thought . . .

Mathias never thought that he would live anywhere but the streets, and he figured he’d die before he turned eighteen. He was right, about some of it. After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire. It seems that the vampire world believes him to be a reincarnation of an ancient king.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwise, but an encounter with Lilith, the Queen, causes him to have strange dreams about people, circumstances, and places he knows nothing about. When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all the memories of his past life come back to Mathias, including memories of the Queen torturing him. He is their lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him.

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time for her to die and save himself.

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a boy’s quest to be allowed to live.

My short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. Riding on the Tail of the Devil is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by Joel Q » August 26th, 2010, 3:25 pm

-
Here are some thoughts...
sammyig wrote:
“You know you’ve been on the streets too long when the sound of an old man urinating in an alley sounds like falling rain,” Mathias thought . . . ( I don't think agents like qoutes from the story... though this is a great image.)

Mathias never thought that he would live anywhere but the streets, and he figured he’d die before he turned eighteen. He was right, about some of it. After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire. It seems that the vampire world believes him to be a reincarnation of an ancient king.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwise, but an encounter with Lilith, the Queen, causes him to have strange dreams about people, circumstances, and places he knows nothing about. When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all the memories of his past life come back to Mathias, (I don't like this line. Too much info, by that I mean...trapped, clawed, so how does he escaped? Anyway to reword, like... After a second violent meeting w/ Lilith his memory returns...) including memories of the Queen torturing him. He is their lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him.

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time for her to die and save himself. This line just falls flat. There's no excitement, or the I-got-to-know-what-happens feelings for me. Maybe beef up the dark moment and leave us with the question of what he's going to do? What's his big choice? Is it to live, and if so, how... to try to survive as a human or become a vampire... just asking b/c I want more to keep my interest.

Hope that helps.
JQ


RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a boy’s quest to be allowed to live.

My short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing in February of 2010. Riding on the Tail of the Devil is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

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Re: Query- Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Post by D.S. Deshaw » August 26th, 2010, 3:53 pm

Okay, a few questions :)

What are the stakes? He's a vampire and he's already dead. He doesn't like this vampire world and he doesn't want to be their king. So why does he want to kill Lilith and take over? I also don't see the point in saying 'lived' or 'saved' because he's a vampire and they're not alive.
“You know you’ve been on the streets too long when the sound of an old man urinating in an alley sounds like falling rain,” Mathias thought . . . This isn't a hook. You need to start with the story.

Mathias never thought that he would live anywhere but the streets, and he figured he’d die before he turned eighteen. He was right, about some of it. ( After being gunned down in a drive-by shooting, Mathias is saved by a vampire. It seems that the vampire world believes him to be a reincarnation of an ancient king. ) This part is your hook. Mathias was gunned down. He knew he was going to die before he turned eighteen--he didn't think he'd become a vampire or that he'd be the reincarnation of an ancient vampire king. This presents the conflict.

Mathias tries to convince them otherwise if he doesn't want to be their king then he should walk away, and 'tries to convince' makes him sound a bit weak willed and I'm not sure it makes me like him or sympathize with him at all, but an encounter with Lilith, the Queen, causes him to have strange dreams about people, circumstances, and places he knows nothing about. When the Queen traps him in a dark hallway and slices his face with her claw, all the memories of his past life come back to Mathias, including memories of the Queen torturing him. He is their lost king, and it was Queen Lilith who killed him. In this paragraph you're presenting the conflict of your book as Mathias not wanting to be the king and then remembering his past. Isn't your conflict how he kills Lilith? I would condense this all into one sentence about him realizing that he's their king and that Lilith is the one who killed him and that she plans to do it again. Then I would present the stakes: he likes his new life? He's fallen in love? He is scared of dying for real? WHY is Lilith wanting to kill him again a big deal? Does he remembering WHY she did it in the first place? Is she just an evil lady?

When Mathias finds out that the Queen plans to kill him again, he decides that it is time for her to dieand save himself. So how is he going to kill her? Does he have a plan? As of right now it's pretty obvious that he's going to kill her so try to complicate it a bit. Does she fight back? Does she make it hard for him?

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is an 80,000 word fantasy featuring vampires, reincarnation, and a boy’s quest to be allowed to live. This is being repetitious because you already told us all of that. Vampires and reincarnation are in the first paragraph and I don't think this is a quest for him to live--he's not alive anymore.
Over all I think your story sounds really dark and edgy :) If you can make your query shine (or sparkle if you want a bad vampire pun) then I think you'd have great potential! I also definitely wouldn't mind reading it.

Also, a tip about voice: try writing out your query in Mathias' point of view. He'll describe things in a certain way and use certain words. That's his voice and I'd love to read it in your query. Use those particular things to rewrite it, but don't write your query in his point of view, a lot of agents see that as a gimmick.
Show, not Tell -- blog, funny times, updated daily (weekends don't count).

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