Wednesday, September 5, 2012

CAGI Entry #33

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word count: 118,000


“Reborn by Blood” is the story of Clementine, a woman in her early thirties with a broken heart, a job that is getting her nowhere and a writing block. Gifted with unusually intense intuitive and precognitive abilities, Clementine meets Ichiro, a man she created as a fictional character months ago, a man now haunting her dreams. A synchronistic encounter in a subway station leads Clementine into a world she only suspected existed until now.  When Clementine agrees to work for Ichiro, a vampire DJ with a passion for chaos, music and blood, it’s only a matter of time before she steps into a world of intrigue, magick and seduction.

First 250:

I hated to rush in the morning, especially on a hot and sticky one. I had just enough time for a quick shower, a couple of sips of coffee and a run to the subway station.

Under the hot stream of the shower head, I still cursed the disturbing dream that was back haunting my nights. In the dream, or was it a nightmare, there was a party for the launch of my first book. An Asian man with a black and blue mane of hair, wearing a pair of silver headphones around his neck, stood in front of turntables, mixing music. His lips covered with blood had me recoil while his lean body and well toned arms revealed by a sleeveless black t-shirt left me breathless with lust. The pounding of my heart matched the beats of the dance music the DJ with the bloody lips was playing. He smiled at me, revealing perfect white teeth and fangs. I stood there, holding my new book. I had to focus hard to look at the details on the front cover. I realized the DJ was on it. When I looked up again, he was standing close to me. The brush of his lips on my shoulder was a soft caress on my skin before he bit down and I moaned in ecstasy.

Now, under droplets of water, I noticed some redness on my left shoulder and cursed myself for thinking that the night dream had anything to do with it.


  1. I’d say don’t start off a query with the title and the lead in “is the story of.” Agents/editors want the first thing they read in a query to hook them in. Then again, that alone is not going to ruin your chances, but why risk it?
    Try starting off with…

    When intensely intuitive Clementine meets Ichiro, a fictional character she created months ago, on the subway, she’s not sure if she’s losing her mind or if her dreams have become a reality.

    Or something like that. Tell me more about Clementine and Ichiro in the query. What is she like? Shy and reclusive or snarky and in your face? What kind of passion for chaos does he have? Does he have bloodthirst? And why is it only a matter of time before she steps into a word of intrigue, magick, and seduction? Explain that. My concern would be the use of those cliché words in a very heavily packed genre. You want to make your query/story stand out among the hundreds that they are receiving. And you have the makings of a very interesting story. because I want to know if she somehow created this character and that's a pretty cool ides. Your query right now doesn’t tell much about the story or what happens.

    Try looking at it this way. Your character has to tell the world about her story. Write it down in 1st person, then flip it to third. Avoid overused phrases and summing up plots with them.

    Good luck!

  2. I think there's a bit of telling you could rework but I enjoyed reading!

  3. The query gets some good solid facts across, but the format threw me. Consider re-writing it with the MC's perspective coming through a little more. You say she's not sure if her dreams are becoming reality, but I'm sure there's a way for you to show that with a little more of her character. I wish you started your 250 at a less expected moment. Agents might consider the "contemplating a dream" opening as generic, which is a bummer, since your writing is really nice and clean-cut! Still, I enjoyed reading!

  4. Clarification: When Cupid said to submit only the "meat" of the query I think I took this a little too literally and went for a "lean cut".
    I've learned from my mistake :)

  5. Thought of a few more things...

    'Under the hot stream of the shower head, I still cursed the disturbing dream that was back haunting my nights.'

    As an example of what I mean, you could say 'The hot stream of the shower [washed over me - or something]'. 'I cursed last night's...' (or better yet, a thought to show us) and so on. I kind of mean the language is good, but active sentences might work better. Just thought I'd clarify.

    (@enigmasaurus on twitter if you have any q's, mines #44)