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The Great White Bear of Eden


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#1 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:47 PM

GENRE - TRAGICOMEDY

 

CATEGORY - ADULT

 

 

BOOK TITLE -

THE GREAT WHITE BEAR OF EDEN

 

​QUERY

 

NEWEST QUERY BELOW 

 

 

Mark Twain is a lonely, bitter atheist resurrected by Lucifer in an era of superstition, folktales, and a dangerous deal between God and Satan. He’s been given an ultimatum: he and eleven geniuses must discover God’s purpose for creating human beings in three days, or humanity perishes.

 

The problem is, Twain is aloof, unfocused, and could care less about God, or most humans. Lucifer informs him, he’s the leader, and he should guide the other geniuses, but instead, he falls in love with, Paloma, a local barista. Twain desires to spend time with Paloma, but Lucifer urges him to head north to, Eden, a forest outside Bethel, where it’s rumored that God’s purpose for humans lies within a ‘Great White Bear’.

 

As Twain grows more intimate with Paloma during their philosophical discussions about life and death over cups of coffee, Lucifer intervenes, and takes Twain through a litany of transportation tunnels, in hopes the author might understand God’s bigger plan for human beings. But when Twain resists Lucifer’s motives in the name of love, the serpent has Paloma set-up to be visualized as a witch by the town folk. As they threaten to burn her at the stake, Twain reluctantly agrees to play Lucifer and God’s devious game. But the more visions Twain experiences, the less he finds reason for mankind to exist at all. 

 

In the final tunnel, it's only the spirit of an honest boy that makes him want to forego his selfish desires for the greater good of mankind, but it also means trusting the very liar who’s distorted time, altered his consciousness, and possibly losing the woman he loves, in order to discover God’s purpose before She destroys mankind.


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#2 ThatDan

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:14 PM

 

Mark Twain is a lonely, bitter atheist resurrected by Lucifer in an era of superstition, folktales, and a dangerous deal between God and Satan.​<we don't get told much else about this "deal" in the query, so it might be worth cutting (or clarifying). He’s been given an ultimatum: he and eleven geniuses must discover God’s purpose for creating human beings in three days, or humanity perishes.​<Why? Who makes them perish? Also, I'm unsure who gives this ultimatum. God, Lucifer, or both? 

 

The problem is, Twain is aloof, unfocused, and could​'nt (there are many arguments about the correct wording of this phrase, but I believe it's couldn't) care less about God, or most humans. Lucifer informs him, he’s the leader, and he should guide the other geniuses, but Instead​ of leading the geniuses, he falls in love with, delete comma Paloma, a local barista. Twain desires to spend time with Paloma, but Lucifer urges him to head north to,delete comma Eden, a forest outside Bethel, where it’s rumored that God’s purpose for humans lies within a ‘Great White Bear’.

 

As Twain grows more intimate with Paloma during their philosophical discussions about life and death over cups of coffee, Lucifer intervenes. He takes Twain through a litany of transportation tunnels, in hopes the author​< who is this author you mention? Is it Twain, or are you breaking the fourth wall? might understand God’s bigger plan for human beings. But when Twain resists Lucifer’s motives​<I don't think you can resist motives. Suggest: actions/requests/demands in the name of love, the serpent has Paloma set-up to be visualized ​<sounds awkward as a witch by the town folk ​< townsfolk?. As they threaten to burn her at the stake, Twain reluctantly agrees to play Lucifer and God’s devious game.< how is God involved in this game? So far it's just been Lucifer trying to uncover God's secret But the more visions Twain experiences,​< not sure what these visions are the less he finds reason for mankind to exist at all. ​< a bit vague, but nicely foreboding. Now you just need to tie it back in with Paloma, for if he becomes convinced that mankind should die, then she dies too, right?

 

In the final tunnel, it's only the spirit of an honest boy that makes him want to forego his selfish desires for the greater good of mankind, but it also means trusting the very liar who’s distorted time, altered his consciousness, and possibly losing the woman he loves, in order to discover God’s purpose before She destroys mankind. ​<All this just gets confusing, and doesn't really add much imo. I think you can finish it up nicely at the end of the previous paragraph.

 

​Great work so far. Main suggestions:

​-More clarity about this "deal" and how God is involved.

​-A bit too long, but some easy cuts can be made

 


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#3 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:40 PM

Thanks Dan! 

 

 

   WILL RETURN CRITIQUES.  ​NEWEST QUERY!

​GENRE - TRAGICOMEDY

 

CATEGORY - ADULT

 

 

BOOK TEMPORARY TITLE -

THE GREAT WHITE BEAR OF EDEN

 

​QUERY

 

 

Mark Twain is a lonely, bitter atheist resurrected by God to figure out Her plan for mankind’s existence in three days, or humanity perishes. (or lose his soul to the devil) (I'm wondering what are better stakes?)

In the medieval town of Bethel, Christmas is in three days and God returns on the third night to see if Twain succeeded. The problem is, Twain could care less about God, or most humans. When he falls in love with Paloma, a local barista, he feels alive for the first time in a thousand years. However, Lucifer (sent to the town by God for oversight) urges Twain to head north to Eden, where it’s rumored that God’s purpose lies within the ‘Great White Bear’.

Twain ignores Lucifer and spends time with Paloma in the coffee shop. It is their loneliness and love for good coffees that forms a bond between them. Yet Paloma resists her inner desires, even though her marriage is crumbling. Lucifer (having his own motives for pleasing God) warns Mark to stay focused on God’s purpose. When Twain resists, Lucifer sets up Paloma and makes the townsfolk believe she’s a witch.

As they threaten to burn her at the stake, Twain agrees to play God’s game. Lucifer takes Twain through a litany of realms to awaken his godless mind, but the more scenes he witnesses, he finds less reason for mankind to exist. Faced with a cruel ultimatum, he must humor God, play Her game and win, or sacrifice humanity and lose the only woman he’s ever really loved. 

 

Option B for last sentence -

or sacrifice his rekindled soul to the devil and lose the only woman he’s ever really loved. ​(again, should I use humanity or him losing his soul to Satan?)


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#4 ThatDan

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 11:49 PM

I think losing his soul is better stakes. To kill all of humanity just for the sake of Twain's game seems unreasonable and exaggerated. Losing his soul (especially after falling for Paloma) seems like more meaningful and personal stakes.

 

However, if this becomes what you use, then you need to better clarify his two options. Because for now the choice is obvious: play the game, win, save his soul, and paloma. There is no other choice that tempts him.


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#5 Sataris

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:03 AM

 

 

Mark Twain is a lonely, bitter atheist who is very displeased to have been resurrected by a God he doesn't believe in. resurrected by God to. He's charged with figuring out Her plan for mankind’s existence Mankind already exists though, right? So is the plan more like a reason? Or maybe we just need another detail about what exactly he's trying to figure out? Also- God presumably knows her purpose, so why would she charge him with figuring it out? I'm sure you get into that in your book, but we could probably use a bit more on that in three days, or humanity perishes.

 

(or lose his soul to the devil) (I'm wondering what are better stakes?) I'd go with the latter, as it seems unlikely that a lonely/bitter guy would care all that much about humanity (you states below that he doesn't care about most humans), while his soul is much more personal. That said, it might help if we knew what specifically was in store for him if he loses his soul

 

In the medieval town of Bethel, Christmas is in three days and God returns on the third night to see if Twain succeeded. The problem is, Twain could care less about God, or most humans. This feels like a little bit of a time jump, because we fast forward three days then go back and learn of the events that have occurred in that time (falling in love) When he falls in love with Paloma, a local barista, he feels alive for the first time in a thousand years. However, Lucifer (sent to the town by God for oversight) urges Twain to head north to Eden, where it’s rumored that God’s purpose ah, purpose makes much more sense than plan lies within the ‘Great White Bear’. I'm not sure what this means, though I don't know that you need to reveal it. It might help if you convey something about how Twain is baffled by it too or nobody seems to know what it is, etc.

Twain ignores Lucifer and spends time with Paloma in the coffee shop. It is their loneliness and love for good coffee that forms a bond between them. Yet Paloma resists her inner desires, even though her marriage is crumbling This might be more powerful if we knew about the marriage earlier on - could create tension. As in "Twain falls in love with a married woman named Paloma" up in the above paragraph. Lucifer (having his own motives for pleasing God Might want to detail his motives if you want to mention them) warns Mark to stay focused on God’s purpose. When Twain resists, Lucifer sets up Paloma and makes the townsfolk believe she’s a witch. this seems like the inciting incident - could you get to this a little faster? maybe trim some of the falling in love stuff?

As they threaten to burn her at the stake, Twain agrees to play God’s game. Lucifer takes Twain through a litany of realms to awaken his godless mind Not sure what it means to have his mind awakened, and it seems like you might be better off focusing on the personal relationship since you get back to it in the next line, but the more scenes he witnesses, he finds less reason for mankind to exist. Faced with a cruel ultimatum, he must humor God, play Her game and win, or sacrifice humanity and lose the only woman he’s ever really loved. 

 What exactly is playing god's game, and what will it cost him if he wins, and what if he loses? As far I can tell, it entails heading to the Great White Bear to discover something, but I'm not sure what else. And it seems like both sacrificing humanity (or losing his soul) and also losing Paloma would be much worse than heading to the bear, so it seems like a bit of an easy choice at the moment.

Option B for last sentence -

or sacrifice his rekindled soul to the devil and lose the only woman he’s ever really loved. ​(again, should I use humanity or him losing his soul to Satan?)

 

 

Hope that was helpful! Despite all the questions, I do think you've got something pretty cool going on here, and I love the idea of a bitter atheist (especially twain) being resurrected. Query wise I think all the parts are here, but that we just need a bit more specifics about what the quest would entail, and what he stands to lose if he decides to go on it (since the cons are so severe on the other side of the stakes)


No current query.


#6 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:55 PM

Thank you, Dan and Sataris. Great feedback. 

 

I rewrote the query below. - will return critiques

 

 

 

One second, Mark Twain is hanging out dead in his grave; the next, he’s in a new white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with dead geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door…

He has a few demands: One, that they put on some clothes (that just magically appeared). Two, they have three days to figure his wife’s purpose (that’s God!)

Twain doesn’t much give a shit about God, or her lousy husband’s demands. He treks into the snowy streets of Bethel, smokes a fat cigar, drinks some fresh hot coffee that he hasn’t tasted in a thousand years. Meanwhile, Satan’s pissed. He and his wife made a deal. If old boy (that’s Twain) succeeds at finding her purpose for mankind, old Lucifer can get his sawed-off wing back and return to hell with his friends.

Instead, Twain falls in love with the barista, so Lucifer threatens to have her burned at the stake. As the town takes her into custody for the likelihood that she’s a witch. Twain must decide to help Lucifer, or lose his soul and the only woman he’s ever loved.


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Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#7 RMLucas

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:33 PM

 

One second, Mark Twain is hanging out dead in his grave; (What do you mean by hanging out? Is he dead or is he resurrected.) the next, he’s in a new white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with dead geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door… (I like this last half of the sentence.)

He has a few demands: One, that they put on some clothes (that just magically appeared). Two, they have three days to figure out his wife’s purpose (that’s God!) (Had to read this sentence a couple of times. Maybe find a way to connect God and satan as husband and wife a little clearer? But I do like the twist.)

Twain doesn’t much give a shit about God, or her lousy husband’s demands. Instead, he treks into through the snowy streets of Bethel, smokesing a fat cigars, drinkings some fresh hot coffee that he hasn’t tasted in a thousand years. Meanwhile, Satan’s pissed. He and his wife made a deal. If old boy (that’s Twain) succeeds at finding her purpose for mankind, old (Got two olds in this sentence.)Lucifer can get his sawed-off wings back and return to hell with his friends. 

Meanwhile, Twain falls in love with the barista (maybe give her a name?), so Lucifer threatens to have her burned at the stake. As the town takes her into custody, accused of witchcraft, for the likelihood that she’s a witch Twain must decide to help Lucifer, or lose his soul and the only woman he’s ever loved.

 

 

Hi! thank you so much for your critique on my own query. You have a great story. I felt like I got the premise of your book from the query above. This is my second critique, ever so please take my advice with a grain of salt. Overall it seems like you have all the parts you need to get this query polished up. I'll keep an eye on your query ;)



#8 smithgirl

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:42 AM

One moment no comma Mark Twain is hanging out dead in his grave; the next, he’s in a new white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with dead geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door…

 

I think you should change second to moment. I also agree that hanging out is vague. Does it mean he's dead but aware? He's a ghost lingering at the gravesite? Or is he completely dead (and unaware) and then suddenly alive again? Also, who are the dead geniuses? We never hear about them again -- unless the dead geniuses refer to God and Satan, but that seems like a stretch. I assumed you were talking about other writers.

 

​Aside from the comments above, I do like your hook. It definitely gets my attention.

 

Satan has a few demands: One, that they put on some clothes (that just magically appeared). This is fun, but I don't see that it's relevant to your query.  Two, they have three days to figure out his wife’s purpose (that’s God!).

 

I read paragraph 2 thinking that He referred to MT, because I thought he was the MC. I was very confused until I realized (in paragraph 3) that He refers to Satan. And I think you still need to be clearer that Satan's wife is God.

 

Twain doesn’t much give a shit about God, or her lousy husband’s demands. He treks into the snowy streets of Bethel, smokes a fat cigar, drinks some fresh hot coffee that he hasn’t tasted in a thousand years. Mark Twain has been dead for a thousand years? So this is the future? Meanwhile, Satan’s pissed. He and his wife made a deal.  If old boy (that’s Twain) succeeds at finding her purpose for mankind, old Lucifer can get his sawed-off wing back and return to Hell with his friends. What? Lucifer has a sawed-off wing? Why did he get expelled from Hell? And why does God suddenly need a purpose for mankind? Also, I think that in this case Hell would be capitalized (might want to check) because it's being used as a proper noun for a specific place (as opposed to a general statement -- the workday was hell).

 

Instead, Twain falls in love with the barista, so Lucifer threatens to have her burned at the stake. This happens very suddenly. As the town takes her into custody for the likelihood that she’s a witch. Awkward wording. Twain must decide to help Lucifer, or lose his soul and the only woman he’s ever loved. Twain will lose his soul if he doesn't help Satan?

 

This story sounds really interesting, but I don't think your query is selling it as well (or clearly) as it could. There were just a lot of details that I was unclear about. It also feels a bit like you change POVs, since you start the second paragraph about Satan, rather than about MT. But then the rest of the query shifts to MT. Who is the MC? Twain or Satan? Your query is super short right now, so flesh it out, address the confusion, drop the clothes sentence and use those words for something more important.

I think your book is probably funny and original, but I'm just too confused from the query. Good luck!



#9 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:15 PM

THANKS SMITHGIRL & RMLUCAS! GREAT HELP, INDEED!

 

(SMITHGIRL, LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED A CRITIQUE, WHENEVER YOU HAVE SOMETHING)

 

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES!

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR  

Genre – Tragicomedy

Category - Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is chillin’ dead in his grave; the next, he’s alive in a fresh white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with naked geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door…   

Mr. Satan, himself, has a few demands: One - the geniuses must put on clothes (that just magically appeared). Two - they have three days to discover his wife’s sole purpose for mankind’s existence (yes, God & Satan finally tied the knot!)

Twain doesn’t much give a shit about God, or her lousy husband’s demands. He treks into the snowy streets of Bethel, smoking a fat cigar, drinking fresh hot coffee he hasn’t tasted in a thousand years. Meanwhile, Satan’s pissed. He and his wife had whipped up a deal after he cheated on her. If ole boy (that’s Twain) succeeds at finding her purpose for mankind, ole Satan can get his sawed-off wing back and fly home to Hell to visit with friends.

However, Twain’s falling in love with Paloma, the local barista, threatens Satan's plans. So he threatens to have her burned at the stake. As the town takes her into custody, accused of witchcraft, Twain must decide to help Lucifer, or humanity will perish—including the woman he’s come to love.  


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#10 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 01:19 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy

Category - Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is chillin’ dead in his grave; the next, he’s alive in a fresh white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with naked geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door… 

Satan weaseled a deal with his wife (God) and now Twain’s caught in the middle of their marital problems. Rather than help Satan and the geniuses solve God’s riddle in three days, Twain falls in love with Paloma, the town barista. So Satan has the town arrest her, accused of witch craft. As time ticks down to the final hour, Twain must choose to humor a God he never believed in, trust a Devil who’s always lying, all to save a true love he never thought really existed.  


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#11 rockondon

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:08 PM

Hello my friend!

 

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy

Category - Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is chillin’ (I'm not loving chillin here but maybe it's just me) dead in his grave; the next, he’s alive in a fresh white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew (considering how shocking his ressurrection would be, is it really worth mentioning the house and town are unknown to him?), with surrounded by naked geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in through the door…  

Satan weaseled a deal with his wife (God) and now Twain’s caught in the middle of their marital problems (This line might need some reworking. I'll post a suggestion below) . Rather than help Satan and the geniuses solve God’s riddle in three days (riddle? what riddle?), Twain falls in love with Paloma, the town barista. So Satan has the town arrest her, accused of witch craft. As time ticks down to the final hourWhen Satan has her arrested and tried for witchcraft, Twain must choose to humor a God he never believed in, trust a Devil who’s always lying, all to save a true love he never thought really existed.  

A  suggestion to consider for paragraph 2:

After an eternity of marriage to his wife, God, their union is struggling and all of creation hangs in the balance. Twain is called upon to mediate but his attention is drawn to Paloma, a local barista with curves that would melt the collar off a priest. When Satan has her arrested and tried for witchcraft, Twain must choose between....etc

I'd like to see the stakes reworked to a really difficult decision. He must humor someone or trust someone else? - big deal. Give me something that would tear me apart inside. 



#12 cjsorvik

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 03:09 PM

Hey P.C.!

 

    It's been fun to read through this thread watch the changes! I'm certainly no expert, so merely accept my thoughts as a humble reader.  :smile:

 

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy

Category - Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is chillin’ dead in his grave; the next, he’s alive in a fresh white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with naked geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door… (FANTASTIC opening, totally interested, the hook works!)

Satan has weaseled a deal with his wife (God) and now Twain’s caught in the middle of their marital problems. Rather than help Satan and the geniuses solve God’s riddle in three days, (this is where things get tricky. Everyone commenting knows of the riddle from earlier versions, but existing in only this query -reading with eyes that have never seen anything else - I am super confused. What riddle? why does a riddle have anything at all to do with why he is back or God and Satan's marital problems?) Twain falls in love with Paloma, the town barista. So Satan has the town arrest her, accused of witch craftAn unfocused atheist isn't of much use to a desperate devil, so he has her tossed in jail; witchcraft most certainly can't be had in a peace loving town like this, after all.  As time ticks down to the final hour, (Final hour? what final hour? why is there a final hour and what happens when it strikes?) Twain must choose to humor a God he never believed in and trust a Devil who’s always lying, all to save a true love he never thought really existed.  

 

Just some thoughts:

   It seems (to me anyway) that your "voice" from the first draft to this is quite different. That's only problem if the final version is in a voice different from your actual manuscript. I very much enjoy the voice of the latter query's and hope the book is written in the same tone, as anything with to serious a tone will probably come off as very offensive and not sarcastic and humorous as I assume it is meant. 

    I also noticed that this query is very short. This may not be a bad thing, but I know I personally would have liked to have more. Good questions were formed in my mind, but alas, to many blanks where drawn as well. Giving this query with excellent voice, some of the "meat" from earlier attempts would (IMO) be of great benefit. This sentence from an earlier write, I really like with a little more fleshing out : If old boy (that’s Twain) succeeds at finding her purpose for mankind, old Lucifer can get his sawed-off wing back and return to hell with his friends. With a little more context, this sentence lets me know the bases of God and Satan's conflict, as well as a portion of their motivations. It also lets me know why Twain was brought back, that is, with a few more deftly handled sentences around it to create flow.

 

Hope this helpful! 

Would love to receive a little feedback on my query as well - if you have time.  :smile:  Also, LOVE the title!

http://agentquerycon...ver-ya-fantasy/



#13 smithgirl

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 03:33 PM

One moment Mark Twain is chillin’ dead in his grave; the next, he’s alive in a fresh white suit, in a house he’s never seen, in a town he never knew, with naked geniuses he never liked. Oh, and Satan just walked in the door… 

 

This is a good hook.

 

Satan weaseled a deal What deal? with his wife (God) and now Twain’s caught in the middle of their marital problems. Why Twain? Rather than help Satan and the geniuses solve God’s riddle What's the riddle? Why Satan need Twain's need to help solve it?  in three days, Twain falls in love with Paloma, the town barista. So Satan has the town arrest her and accused her of witchcraft (one word). As time ticks down to the final hour, Twain must choose to humor a God he never believed in or trust a Devil who’s always lying, all to save a true love he never thought really existed. I like this last sentence.

 

I really like the hook and the last sentence, but I think you could add more in between. This query is so short! I also agree with cjs that the previous version had more voice. I think you should go back and flesh out the middle a bit; let us know why Twain and some geniuses have been resurrected to solve a riddle (what riddle?) between God and his wife. I see the skeleton of your story, but it's so naked right now.

 

The book sounds fun and unusual but I think you can still give your query a bit more life. Good luck!



#14 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:50 PM

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Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#15 Preston Copeland.Biz

Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:13 PM

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy/satire

Category – Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is dead in his grave, the next he's resurrected in a fresh white suit, chilling in a mountain lodge in a small town he doesn't recognize, surrounded by eleven other geniuses from throughout history. A dapper gentleman claiming to be Satan strides through the front door. He says the group has been tasked with figuring out the secret purpose of life. If they don't find the correct answer in the next three days, Satan's wife (God) shall annihilate the entire human race.

Satan has a soft spot for humans, though, and he's planning to use Twain to help dissuade God, which will not be easy after the American novelist runs into Paloma, a local barista with curves that would melt the collar off a priest. Instead of working on the riddle, the ever-lonely Twain falls head over heels. Could this be his true love at last?

Meanwhile, to teach the group of twelve about human nature, Satan steadily peels back the polite layers from the village. A series of catastrophes ensues. The superstitious villagers respond with panic and mob rule. A scapegoat must shoulder the blame, and it is the innocent Paloma who gets hauled away to be tried for witchcraft. Mark Twain has to choose between obeying the Devil to save the human race and rescuing his beloved Paloma... before the final hour.


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#16 AsperBlurry

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:48 AM

Hi, Preston, thank you for your critique of my query! And as promised here's my feedback:

 

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy/satire

Category – Adult

 

One moment Mark Twain is dead in his grave, the next he's resurrected in a fresh white suit, chilling in a mountain lodge in a small town he doesn't recognize, surrounded by eleven other geniuses from throughout history. Great hook! but I'd use here the sentence from your previous query, so like that: One moment Mark Twain is dead in his grave, the next he's resurrected in a fresh white suit, chilling in a mountain lodge in a small town he doesn't recognize, surrounded by other naked geniuses he never likedA dapper gentleman claiming to be Satan strides through the front door. He says the group has been tasked with figuring out the secret purpose of life. If they don't find the correct answer in the next three days, Satan's wife (God) shall annihilate the entire human race (so cool!)

Satan has a soft spot for humans, though, and he's planning to use Twain to help dissuade God, which will not be easy after the American novelist runs into Paloma, a local barista with curves that would melt the collar off a priest. Instead of working on the riddle, the ever-lonely Twain falls head over heels. Could this be his true love at last? I've been told that questions in a query are a big NO. 

Meanwhile, to teach the group of twelve about human nature, Satan steadily peels back the polite layers from the village. A series of catastrophes ensues. The superstitious villagers respond with panic and mob rule. A scapegoat must shoulder the blame, and it is the innocent Paloma who gets hauled away to be tried for witchcraft. Mark Twain has to choose between obeying the Devil to save the human race and rescuing his beloved Paloma... before the final hour. (I  like the last sentence. But I also like the one from your previous query: "As time ticks down to the final hour, Twain must choose to humor a God he never believed in or trust a Devil who’s always lying, all to save a true love he never thought really existed". I think it has better impact.

 

I think you got an interesting story there, I haven't read a tragicomedy in a while and I'd definitely read yours :) 

 

 



#17 StephenLost

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:19 PM

One moment Mark Twain is dead in his grave (redundant), the next he's resurrected in a fresh white suit, comfortable in a mountain lodge in a small town he doesn't recognize, surrounded by eleven other geniuses from throughout history. A distinguished gentleman claiming to be Satan strides through the front door. He says the group has been tasked with figuring out the purpose of existence. If they don't find the correct answer within three days, Satan's wife (God) (this is a bit out of left field   might jsut say God) shall annihilate the entire human race.

Satan is sympathetic to humans, and he's planning to use Twain to help dissuade God, which will not be easy, considering Twain's carnal appetite for a local barista. Instead of working on the riddle, the ever-lonely Twain falls head over heels. Could this be his true love at last?

Meanwhile, to teach the group of twelve about human nature, Satan steadily peels back the polite layers from the village. A series of catastrophes ensues. The superstitious villagers respond with panic and mob rule. A scapegoat must shoulder the blame, and it is the innocent Paloma who gets hauled away to be tried for witchcraft. Mark Twain has to choose between obeying the Devil to save the human race and rescuing his beloved Paloma... before the final hour.   (Bring this in sooner.  You introduce the danger too late)

 

Best of luch friend.



#18 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 09:18 PM

Thanks Guys!

 

Great feedback. :)


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#19 RosieSkye

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 12:03 PM

 

WILL RETURN CRITIQUES . . .

 

Title – MARK TWAIN’S FINAL HOUR

Genre – Tragicomedy/satire

Category – Adult

(You're missing the word count here.  I'd put all of this into a paragraph at the bottom - deviating from standard format straight off the bat might result in unnecessary auto-rejections.)

 

One moment Mark Twain is dead in his grave, the next he's resurrected in a fresh white suit, chilling (Is this the right word? Isn't he at all curious or freaked out?) in a mountain lodge in a small town he doesn't recognize, surrounded by eleven other geniuses from throughout history. A dapper gentleman claiming to be Satan strides through the front door. He says the group has been tasked with figuring out the secret purpose of life. If they don't find the correct answer in the next three days, Satan's wife (God) shall annihilate the entire human race. (Great setup!)

 

Satan has a soft spot for humans, though, and he's planning to use Twain to help dissuade God, which will not be easy after the American novelist runs into Paloma, a local barista (My mind goes immediately to Starbucks here, which then has me questioning your time period. Maybe a different descriptor that doesn't have such an immediate modern connotation?  Barmaid, serving girl, something like that?) with curves that would melt the collar off a priest. Instead of working on the riddle, the ever-lonely Twain falls head over heels (cliche). Could this be his true love at last? (Huh... why is he lonely?  He's surrounded by geniuses and tasked with saving the world.  And what is it about Paloma that makes her special? I wouldn't think that a worldly genius like Twain would find true love with some serving girl simply because she's hot. This romance is the crux of your story, so you really need to sell Paloma and this relationship.  Having curves isn't enough.  Plus, this makes Twain pretty unsympathetic - the fate of the world is in his hands, and he's off swooning over some woman.)

 

Meanwhile, to teach the group of twelve about human nature, Satan steadily peels back the polite layers from the village. A series of catastrophes ensues. The superstitious villagers respond with panic and mob rule. (There's a lot going on in these last couple of sentences, and you should expand on it.  Right now you're telling rather than showing.) A scapegoat must shoulder the blame, and it is the innocent Paloma who gets hauled away to be tried for witchcraft. (Again, why witchcraft? What happened?) Mark Twain has to choose between obeying the Devil to save the human race and rescuing his beloved Paloma... before the final hour.  (Sorry, but if he chooses Paloma over saving the rest of the human race, he's a complete a-hole.  And wouldn't he and Paloma die then, anyway?  I'm not feeling these stakes at all.)  

 

 

 

Hope this helps!






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