Jan 13, 2010

Query- Blind Pig

Blind Pig

The unexpected discovery of a bag of money is just the beginning, as Alan tries to stay one step ahead of a drug dealer, the mob and NYPD. A crime story with a twist - suspense, romance and humor.

Accidentally stumbling onto a drug sale, Alan is forced to kill in self-defense. Fleeing with a satchel of 'appropriated' loot, he battles the drug kingpin who hopes to recoup his loss and the mobster who financed the deal.

All that might have been easy — except that his girl friend is the NYPD detective assigned to make sense of the case, which rather complicates the romance.

I grew up in Colorado and spent the 60s in Greenwich village and Little Italy. Familiarity with the West and friendships with various NYers, savory and otherwise, has allowed me to create authentic characters to populate genuine locales.

I greatly appreciate your time and consideration. The completed manuscript is available on request.


chicago writer said...

OK- first off, your title is not something I want to read about. I'm sure somewhere it ties into the story but after reading all the way thru I am afraid it is how Alan thinks of his "girlfriend". Ouch.
I think your query needs more personal information on Alan for starters...who is he in the form of some background, what makes him tick, why should I like and cheer for him during his story.
He obviously isn't a good guy since he killed 1 or more, not clear on the drug sale scene how many he killed, but I assume more than one person and he took the money- what about the drugs? The kingpin and the mobster also need a face for me to reach out and want to read more. The girlfriend- are they close? Is this a passing fling? Does she know what he is really like? I think you are too vague in your descriptions all the way around. Give me more meat to chew on!

Tighten up your personal info- not sure what the west has to do with your story.

Also, you should mention word count and genre.

Good start- please post your update. And as always comments are just my 2 cents.

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

"Accidentally stumbling onto a drug sale, Alan is forced to kill in self-defense. Fleeing with a satchel of 'appropriated' loot, he battles the drug kingpin who hopes to recoup his loss and the mobster who financed the deal."

For me, this passage is an issue, because it makes me think the writing is going to be loose in the text. The gerund phrases you're starting with indicate that these actions are occuring simultaneously ('Running down the stairs, I fired at the attacking clowns.' That would mean I'm firing my gun and running at the same time.) These actions do not sound like they're supposed to be simultaneous.

This site might be helpful for you: http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/

dolorah said...

You certainly have the concept of “concise” query down to an art (lol). A little too concise, perhaps.

“Accidentally stumbling onto a drug sale, Alan is forced to kill in self-defense.” This is a good first line. It needs a bit more personal info to strengthen it: last name, possibly his age, location of money and what Alan was doing when he found it, type of employment, etc.

You want to build your character, using as few words as possible, but you also want to give a sense of setting. It is also a repeat, somewhat, of the first paragraph. That one needs to be moved to the end of the short synopsis, or possibly deleted entirely if the body of the query fleshed out to impart all that info.

I’m also uncertain of why Alan would “flee” with the loot, how the mob kingpin would know who stole the money, and why Alan didn’t turn the satchel over to his detective girlfriend in the first place. This is synopsis info the Agent needs to consider if the novel is something he'd be interested in.

Your author bio sounds like you’ve lived an interesting life. But unless this is a work of non-fiction from the era, having “spent the 60s in Greenwich Village and Little Italy” doesn’t make you an expert on the same areas of New York, or it’s criminal element, in a contemporary novel.

For a work of fiction, unless you spent your career as a narcotics officer or DEA, or some other detective who specialized in Criminal Organizations, (or you are an Italian Mobster) it’s best not mention a misspent youth as a basis of authority.

The basic plot reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN”. Maybe it would be helpful to read the back-of-the-book blurb for that and other similar novels to get a basic idea of what info you want in the query.

Good luck with your revision.


Unknown said...

When is the discovery of a bag of money ever expected?
Does he stay one step ahead or not? There is no "try".
I thought the twist would be a pretzel. Every crime story has a twist...or it doesn't sell. Don't state the obvious.
Does anyone ever intentionally stumble into a drug sale?
"is forced"--passive

And I'm done. That's about as far as I'd read if I were an agent. Too many adverbs, poor sentence structure, lack of polish.

What are his major choices? What are the consequences? Give me a sense of what the book's about towards the end rather than the beginning.

Sarah Ahiers said...

i agree with what everyone said above.
For me, the biggest issue was not know anything about the main character? Who is he? Why should i care about him? What are his motivations and goals and what is the conflict?

RC Writer Girl said...

I'm sorta going in blind on the blind pig, as I haven't read others' comments, and I'm kinda late to the game. But, for what it's worth, here's my opinion.

I said yikes, when you threw in four genres: crimes, supsense, romance and humor. This does not endear you to an agent. Pick one. If it's a crime novel, call it that. The genre is what it's primarily about, not everything. A lot of crime novels have a little romance, but if it's more crime than romance, you call it crime. If it's more romance than crime, you call it a romance or romantic suspense. You don't drop four genres in the first paragraph.

Next thing: "he battles the drug kingpin"? Ahem, how? Most drug kingpins are mean, dangerous man. I can only assume, unless there's some critical fact you've failed to mention about Alan (he's a Navy SEal; a ninja perhaps), that Alan would lose in hand-to-hand combat with a drug kingpin, as well as a gun battle (unless again, Alan is walking around New York with an unregistered handgun and able to actually participate in a battle). So, that sentence needs fleshing out, or explanation, otherwise it doesn't work.

The stuff about you growing up in Colorado and spending the 60s in greenwich village and little italy seems totally irrelevant. I think I'd spend time fleshing out the story, instead.

Lastly, you haven't told us what's at stake--which to me is the most important thing in a good query. Your stakes sentence should address the following: If Alan fails to XXX(and I'm not even sure what Alan is trying to accomplish based on this query), YYYYY could happen.

Good luck with your query

steeleweed said...

Appreciate the comments, including the brickbats.

For an alternative description:

A would-be writer blunders into a drug-deal and is left holding the bag - full of money! Afraid that turning it in would expose him to recognition, then retribution, he decides to keep the money. Or is it just his greed? But keeping the money proves more of a problem than he expected when he finds out his new girlfriend is an NYPD detective assigned to making sense of the broken drug deal, the money's owner is scouring the city looking for him, and the mobster who financed the deal is also very interested in recouping his investment. It all makes him wonder if maybe honesty wouldn't have been the best policy in the first place. Nah!