*Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

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Lil Tailor
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Re: *Revised 3rd time* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » July 19th, 2011, 7:06 pm

Hi guys:

So I've sent out ten queries with the below query and received only 1 request for a partial. Now, I know this is pretty good, and this is much better than I was originally getting but I can't help but feel maybe something is a bit off. One agent even told me that "You know, there is so much clever per square sentence, it's kinda wigging me out"

I was wondering if perhaps any of you see something that I don't.

Thanks so much!

**


Dear Ms. Agent:

When gun toting maniacs barge into sixteen year old Lillim Callina’s home and reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, it means only one thing: She needs better locks.

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her mom’s crazed war against the supernatural. Can you blame her? When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.”

It. Was. Awesome.

So, with an upbringing like that, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. What she isn’t prepared for is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wants to forgive him, right up until he stabs her in the back… literally.

Fortunately, Captain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, decides he needs to save Lillim from herself, even if he has to help her kill a dragon to do it.

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you?

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 60,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Joel Q
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Re: *Revised 3rd time* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Joel Q » July 20th, 2011, 3:00 pm

Lil Tailor wrote:Hi guys:

Dear Ms. Agent:

When gun toting maniacs barge into sixteen year old Lillim Callina’s home and reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, it means only one thing: She needs better locks.

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her mom’s crazed war against the supernatural. Can you blame her? When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.”

It. Was. Awesome.

So, with an upbringing like that, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. What she isn’t prepared for is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wants to forgive him, right up until he stabs her in the back… literally.

Fortunately, Captain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, decides he needs to save Lillim from herself, even if he has to help her kill a dragon to do it.

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you?

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 60,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I think it's solid.
It might not be the query. Bad timing. Wrong agent. First few pages. Plain luck.
Who knows?
JQ


glj
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by glj » July 20th, 2011, 11:41 pm

I'm one of the people who loved the attitude in your query. It is so hard to write a query that stands out and that so prominently displays the MC's character, that I would not necessarily change the query because an agent thought it was too clever.

Figuring out what agents want is something that even the smartest person couldn't figure out. And what one agent hates, another might love. I would say keep submitting unless and until you get multiple responses along that line. Ten queries ain't that many.

Of course, you could draft up another query version and see which one gets the best response. My own query has gone through several versions. Unfortunately, they have all gotten the same response -- form rejections.

jmn
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by jmn » July 28th, 2011, 11:37 pm

I really like your query. I like the voice and the action. It makes me want to read your story. But there are maybe one or two areas that were slightly too jolt-y for me...

Dear Ms. Agent:

When gun toting maniacs barge into sixteen year old Lillim Callina’s home and reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, (This part was a little confusing. She's joining with the dragon, or she's joining with the maniacs to stop the dragon? (I'm assuming she's joining the maniacs:))it means only one thing: She needs better locks.

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her mom’s crazed war against the supernatural. Can you blame her? When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.”

It. Was. Awesome. (I like the idea of this line, but for me it doesn't totally fit with the previous paragraph. In the last paragraph it seems like she is trying to show why she doesn't want to be a part of that life, but then this line is saying how awesome it was to live that way with her mom. So, if it was so awesome, then why is she avoiding it? It feels a little contradictory.)

So, with an upbringing like that, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. What she isn’t prepared for is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wants to forgive him, right up until he stabs her in the back… literally.

Fortunately, Captain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, decides he needs to save Lillim from herself, even if he has to help her kill a dragon to do it.

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you? (cute)

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 60,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

clara_w
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by clara_w » July 29th, 2011, 9:34 am

I think it's a great query, it entices curiosity and it matches with what the book is.
I never got not even a smart reply like that from agents, so, you're lucky! : )

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wilderness
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Re: *Revised 3rd time* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by wilderness » July 30th, 2011, 10:54 pm

I love the attitude and jokes in your query. But if you're grasping for straws...here's a straw. Totally just an opinion, but it might be the mechanics that are putting off some agents. Some of the sentences are either too long or just awkwardly constructed. Also it could use a little more actual detail about plot. Not too much-- a query can be a tease, but I think we need just slightly more so we know there is some real conflict. Notes below. Hope this helps!
Lil Tailor wrote:
Dear Ms. Agent:

When gun-toting maniacs barge into sixteen-year-old Lillim Callina’s home and reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, it means only one thing: she needs better locks. Love the punchline, but the run-on sentence with missing hyphens and incorrect capitalization are a problem for me.

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her mom’s crazed war against the supernatural. Can you blame her? I find this question addressing the reader jolts me out of the story. When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.” Really funny.

It. Was. Awesome. Also funny, and I do like the pauses with periods there.

So, with an upbringing like that, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. You want voice, but extraneous "so" can tip the scale to distractingly conversational. What she isn’t prepared for is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wants to forgive him, right up until he stabs her in the back… literally. Blue part is awkward phrasing and the sentence seems too long.

Fortunately, Captain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, decides he needs to save Lillim from herself, even if he has to help her kill a dragon to do it. A lot of clauses in this sentence -- too many. Again, break up the sentence into more manageable bits. Also, the information seems to come from nowhere. We didn't know her mother had an army, nor do we know anything about Captain McDreamy. Originally I thought he might be a love interest of her mother's, not hers. I think this is where we need more depth of plot as well. We haven't truly figured out what the stakes are -- why is this time different from an apparent lifetime of fighting the paranormal?

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you? Cute.

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 60,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

TomLysander
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Re: *Revised 3rd time* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by TomLysander » August 3rd, 2011, 3:54 pm

Lil Tailor wrote:
Dear Ms. Agent:

When gun-toting maniacs barge into sixteen-year-old Lillim Callina’s home above poster is right: hyphenateand reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, it means only one thing: She needs better locks.simplify: "reveal an exciting opportunity to stop an ancient dragon from taking over the..." (the "unstoppable" is nixable, because hey, we know you're lying)

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her mom’s crazed war against the supernatural. Can you blame her? When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.”maybe: Lillim still has memories of games like "...", simply in order to avoid the contradiction: does Lillim want out or in?

It. Was. Awesome.

So,with an upbringing like that, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. What she isn’t prepared for is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wants to forgive him, right up until he stabs her in the back… literally. sentence is long -- may be a better version of this sentence that keeps the flow and the surprise

Fortunately, add in a clause like "seasoned veteran" or "aspiring hero" or something to clue us into who he isCaptain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, decides he needs to save Lillim from herself, even if he has to help her kill a dragon to do it.Is Captain McDreamy his real name? with your humorous tone, I pause and wonder.

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you?

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 60,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
This is already a strong query. You're doing great! Overall, it's just a matter of cleaning up one or two sentences. Good luck with further queries! Kudos, Tom

AllieS
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by AllieS » September 4th, 2011, 2:14 am

When gun toting maniacs barge into sixteen year old Lillim Callina’s home and reveal an exciting opportunity to join an ancient, unstoppable dragon before it takes over the world, I like the way you phrased this in your first draft better, but I like the different beginning and end. Maybe a little cutting and pasting...? it means only one thing: She needs better locks.

Then they went and lit her place on fire because that’s totally necessary when someone can’t make three easy payments of $29.95. Yeah, I don't get this part either.So now, come hell or high water, Lillim Callina is determined to slay that dragon, even if it means she has to talk to her mother.

For the better part of a year, she’s been trying to avoid being sucked back into her crazed mother’s war against the supernatural. Could you blame her? Don't need. The next awesome line shows this. When Lillim was a young girl, Mom played fun games like, “I’m going to tie you to a tree and hope you escape in time to stop the bloodthirsty vampire from tearing out your throat.”

It. Was. Awesome. Don't think you need this, either.

So, all and all, she’s totally prepared to stop a dragon. What she wasn’t isn'tprepared for was is for her ex-boyfriend to show up and act so sweet that she almost wanted to forgive him, right up until he stabbed her in the back… with a poisoned Zulu spear. I also like the previous phrasing of this line better.

Good thing Captain McDreamy, from her mother’s army, suddenly decided he needed to save Lillim from herself.

Boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use them as dragon bait… wait… Hmm…

Lil Tailor
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Lil Tailor » February 27th, 2012, 5:57 pm

I've gotten a bunch of not hits on my last query, so I was wondering about something like this:

**


All Lillim Callina wants to do is kill a goddamn dragon. That should be super easy because her entire sixteen-year-old life has been spent being trained by her crazy mother for just such an event.

So the dragon? She’s got that. Piece of cake. She could go ten rounds with an overgrown lizard in her sleep. It’s the constant distractions that are really starting to derail her whole kill the dragon thing. How was she supposed to know she accidently kidnapped a werewolf prince and turned him over to a bunch of blood thirsty vampires bent on taking over the world?

Why has her ex-boyfriend decided this is the perfect time to show back up and try to win her back? It’s not like she didn’t have enough going on with a giant, winged-alligator trying to huff and puff and blow down her sunny Orange County home.

No, this is exactly when she would like Caleb Oznek, only the hottest guy her mother has even trained, to decide that he wants to help out. Sure Caleb, you can help Lillim fight the dragon, only stay out of sight so her knees don’t go all weak in your presence.

But the dragon? She can totally take him down, as long as all the distractions just leave her alone long enough to actually do it. Because… well… boys… can’t live with ‘em, can’t use ‘em as dragon bait… Or can you?

THE DRAKE WAR is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 65,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

4helen
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Re: *Revised* QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by 4helen » March 1st, 2012, 10:19 am

After faking her death to escape a group of supernatural mercenaries, Lillim Callina has been eking out her life( eking out--are you saying she is struggling to make ends meet?) as a paranormal investigator. When a seemingly routine case causes her to inadvertently kidnap the infant son of a werewolf king and turn him over to a vampire lord, she finds herself at the center of a plot to precipitate a war between two dragons. (Seemingly routine? There are werewolves, vampires and dragons here)

Now Lillim must find a way to stop the ancient drake (is this a dragon?) from awakening before her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, (Why, Warthor, why? Is he magical? What does the drake have to do with making Warthor angry--is he just that bad?)summons a meteor to destroy the drake and most of the planet’s population along with it.

Lillim desperately needs help if she plans on rescuing the werewolf’s son, stopping the vampires, and slaying a dragon, and the only person she can think of is her half-demon former lover. (Demons too? You've got it all here. I would like to a see a page or two, so I could read how you pull all this together.)

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words. This is my first novel, though I have recently begun working on the sequel, THE HATTER IS MAD.

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Walker
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Re: QUERY: THE DRAKE WAR

Post by Walker » March 1st, 2012, 11:37 am

This sounds like my kind of story! I have some comments and I hope they are helpful.
Lil Tailor wrote:Newly revised

**

Dear Ms. Agent:

Lillim Callina should be dead. She still would be if her ruthless former mentor, Warthor, hadn’t sacrificed all of her friends to bring her back to life. Since then she’s been running from her past as a supernatural mercenary. I like it, it tells me who the main character is and gives me a feel for the book.

When an ancient dragon awakens, Lillim must find a way to stop the evil drake before Warthor destroys the creature, along with most of the planet. I'm having trouble understanding how Lillim's "stopping" the dragon is different from Warthor's "destroying" it. It still seems like they have the same goal -although maybe Warthor's method will be much more destructive. Maybe you can explain this a bit more?

Lillim desperately needs help to stop her mentor and slay a dragon, and the only person she can even think of is her half-demon former lover. Of course she hasn’t spoken to him since she blew a gaping hole in his chest for helping Warthor bring her back to life. Nice.

THE DRAKE WAR is a fantasy novel of approximately 60,000 words.Is this YA? 60K seems a low number for an adult audience. This is my first novel. The completed manuscript is available upon request. I think this is always implied.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Good luck!

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