Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

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wilderness
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Re: Query for Thriller - Boo, I'm ba-ack, again

Post by wilderness » June 3rd, 2010, 3:47 pm

It was a good 8, of course :)

Love the 'tude! Voice was the only thing you were missing, so now I think it's a 10! Like Justine, I do hope it does take place during Christmas though, otherwise the references might be confusing.

Good luck!

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 3rd, 2010, 8:29 pm

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the new comments. I feel much better about this query. Yes, it does take place right before Christmas. Melody is reunited with her mom on Christmas Eve--awww.

Justine, you are a sharp cookie. I probably don't need that sentence about Melody, but it will be tough to let it go. I like it because it gives you a sense that even thought Melody is kidnapped, she's okay. Jodie isn't a mom, but she's doing her best. It also reinforces the point that Jodie, and Melody, are under constant surveillance.

For the record, I have no beef with the FBI. DeAngelis is very bitter because he was 'forced' into the Bureau many years ago, but I can't say more.

Ghost

GeeGee55
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by GeeGee55 » June 3rd, 2010, 11:33 pm

I think both versions are good. You could try with one and if it doesn't get the response you want, try the other.
--------------------

While under FBI surveillance, psychic Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl. Agent William DeAngelis doesn’t panic. Jodie’s ESP follows a well-documented pattern: crime first, life-saving event later. Sure, Melody’s I don't think you ever need to mention the girl's name in the query, just use girl or kid or whatever parents will freak and there will be a police investigation. But after twenty years of monitoring psychics, DeAngelis doesn’t sweat the small stuff. In his mind Jodie didn’t commit a crime, she’s on a rescue mission.

However, nothing’s easy when you work for the Federal Bureau of Idiots. DeAngelis’s on-the=job nemesis wants Jodie in custody so he can harness her ESP. This snake has the ear of their boss, whispering that Jodie’s evil. That Melody is drinking Coke, not milk, and sleeping in a borrowed sweatshirt instead of her Hello Kitty jammies.

DeAngelis is outraged. If not for Jodie, Melody would be in pieces along with her newly deceased father. The kidnapping kept the little girl out of her old man’s car when it blew. And there’s more where that bomb came from, a boatload of it. Some sick Santa’s hoarding a killer present—recipient unknown. lots of voice in this!

Jodie could lead the Bureau to the missing explosives, if they just stay out of her way. But no. The powers that be would rather arrest her. Merry-freakin’-Christmas. I want something a little more here, about him, I don't know what exactly - maybe change the order of the sentences = The powers that be insist that DeAngelis arrest her, but he decides Jody could lead the Bureau to the missing explosives, if he can just keep them out of her way. Merry Freakin Christmas!
-
--------------

Note: This puppy comes in at 202 words, which is reasonable for the Janet Reid 250 word query model. I think the first paragraph could be used on it’s own for those agents who want something super-short.

What do you think? Too much ’tude?[/quote]

It's good. Hope you catch an agent with it.

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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 4th, 2010, 11:23 am

Hello, Here Comes Version 4 . . .

I’ve taken the advice of Justine and GeeGee55 and removed Melody’s name. Justine, I did lose the milk/coke sentence, but replaced it with something else. J.T.’s comment about ‘only evil people giving kid’s Coke’ helped me rethink what I wanted to do in that part. I also changed ‘nemesis’ to ‘rival’ to emphasize ‘this snake’ works with DeAngelis. And I tweaked the third paragraph a bit, per GeeGee55’s advice, to get DeAngelis’s presence felt.

Here’s the result:
____________

While under FBI surveillance, psychic Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl. Agent William DeAngelis doesn’t panic. Jodie’s ESP follows a well-documented pattern: crime first, life-saving event later. Sure, the kid’s parents will freak and there will be a police investigation. But after twenty years of monitoring psychics, DeAngelis doesn’t sweat the small stuff. In his mind Jodie didn’t commit a crime, she’s on a rescue mission.

However, nothing’s easy when you work for the Federal Bureau of Idiots. DeAngelis’s rival wants Jodie in custody so he can harness her ESP. This snake has the ear of their boss, whispering concerns for the child’s safety. After all, Jodie’s been driving the tot around with a telephone book for a booster seat.

DeAngelis is outraged. If not for Jodie, the little girl would be in pieces along with her newly deceased father. The kidnapping kept the kid out of her old man’s car when it blew. And there’s more where that bomb came from, a boatload of it. Some sick Santa’s hoarding a killer present—recipient unknown.

DeAngelis knows Jodie could lead the Bureau to the missing explosives if they just stay out of her way. But no. The powers that be expect him to arrest her. Merry freakin’ Christmas.

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

Thanks again everyone! Now I gotta get this on Rainbowsheeps’ Super Incredible Agent Pre-Tester!

Ghost

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Quill
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Quill » June 4th, 2010, 11:29 am

Ghost in the Machine wrote:While under FBI surveillance, psychic Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl. Agent William DeAngelis doesn’t panic.
Why not start with your main character (DeAngelis, right?)

"Agent William DeAngelis doesn’t panic when psychic Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl under FBI surveillance."

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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by wildheart » June 5th, 2010, 12:47 am

I must admit that when I read the first sentence I thought the pyschic was the MC. Maybe you should switch it up a little bit so we know that its not her? But this is pretty nitpicky because you make it obvious later who your MC is.

I really like the Merry Freakin' Christmas part. It made your character come alive for me.

Even though I don't read this genre I can tell your story has great potential. That is, if it is as polished as this query.

Question: Where is your novel's name, the length, ect.? That should be in your query too but I know this isn't your first version. So you probably already know that.

Honestly I can't see much that needs to be changed. I'm almost tempted to tell you to send it as is!
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A mother. A writer. A dreamer.

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JustineDell
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by JustineDell » June 5th, 2010, 6:20 pm

Nice job, Ghost!

I like it as-is. ;-)

Good Luck!

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by writeaskew » June 6th, 2010, 5:30 pm

I agree with thte commoent that it would be a good idea to start with the MC, so we know clearly who we're following from the start. Other than that, I love the concept. I think it sounds like a fascinating read.

The only other suggestion I have is maybe vary your sentance length. Read the query out loud, do you see how there is an abrupt feeling to the flow? If you can even that out, it seems like this is a perfect query.

Nicely done.

Writeaskew

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 7th, 2010, 10:16 am

Hey Guys and Gals,

Thanks for the additional input. I think Quill and Wildheart are correct. I should start with the MC. I just haven't found the perfect opener yet. For this thread, I was just interested in getting the pitch part in better shape, but yes, I'll be including the title and word count along with personalized agent stuff in the real deal. If curious, the working title is A Glass Half Full and it's 105 K. WriteAskew, I will look at the sentence structure again.

Ghost

Serzen
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Serzen » June 7th, 2010, 11:35 am

Hey, Ghost, this is pretty good, but I think it can be better. Your final three paragraphs are in a consistent style, but the first doesn't match them. You're starting to get to the style by the third sentence, but I think you'd be better served starting there. Backed into a corner and forced to make the change, I'd probably try something like: Don't panic. That's what Agent William DeAngelis tells himself when Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl while he was supposed to be keeping an eye on her. Jodie's a psychic, her ESP follows a documented pattern: crime first, life-saving event later. Sure, the kid's parents will freak; sure, there'll be a police investigation--the FBI will get even more involved than it already is. After twenty years of monitoring psychics, though, DeAngelis doesn't sweat the small stuff. As far as he's concerned, Jodie didn't commit a crime, she orchestrated a rescue mission.

Or something like that. I dunno, not enough caffeine yet. There's a dangling modifier in my second sentence, but the lizard brain seems to have taken over this morning and I'm not finding a graceful way to resolve it. Alas.

Otherwise, watch your punctuation. Definitely missed some commas.

I don't really know how The Snake is going to harness Jodie's ESP, but if you could find five or so words to tell me why, I might actually bother to care. The rest of the details you provide either add weight or color to the world you've built, but nabbing a psychic to harness her power is a big fat cliché sandwich, so give him a better motive in the query. I'm assuming he's got one in the book.

On the whole, a nice piece, and just niggling things to pick at.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 8th, 2010, 10:25 am

Hi Serzen! Thanks for stopping by. Yes the first paragraph is problematic and I agree, "harnessing Jodie's ESP" is a weak spot. I might just leave that phrase out. Must ponder it a while. Here's my new first paragraph:

After twenty years of monitoring psychics, FBI Agent William DeAngelis has a high tolerance for wierdness. He doesn’t panic as clairvoyant Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl. Jodie’s ESP follows a well-documented pattern: crime first, life-saving event later. Sure, the kid’s parents will freak and there will be a police investigation. But in DeAngelis’s mind, Jodie’s no criminal, she’s on a rescue mission.

Ghost

capaloha
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by capaloha » June 9th, 2010, 3:18 pm

Hey there....how did the query work for you? Do you need more feedback, or are you set?

Capaloha---

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Ghost in the Machine » June 10th, 2010, 10:11 am

Hey Capaloha,

Feel free to comment on others. I'm waiting to hear back from my local writing group guru, a person who has read my book and doesn't pull their punches critique-wise. If they give this query a greenlight, I'll feel much better about sending it out.

Yes, I'm a chicken. I've sent too many stinkers out in the past. I want to get this one right.

Ghost

Serzen
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Re: Query for Thriller - Fresh Meat, Notes to Commenters

Post by Serzen » June 10th, 2010, 11:42 am

Ghost in the Machine wrote:Hi Serzen! Thanks for stopping by. Yes the first paragraph is problematic and I agree, "harnessing Jodie's ESP" is a weak spot. I might just leave that phrase out. Must ponder it a while. Here's my new first paragraph:

After twenty years of monitoring psychics, FBI Agent William DeAngelis has a high tolerance for wierdness. He doesn’t panic as clairvoyant Jodie Belay kidnaps a three-year-old girl. Jodie’s ESP follows a well-documented pattern: crime first, life-saving event later. Sure, the kid’s parents will freak and there will be a police investigation. But in DeAngelis’s mind, Jodie’s no criminal, she’s on a rescue mission.

Ghost
I'm still not crazy about this paragraph. It's certainly improved, but still not of the caliber of the rest. How would I fix it then? I hear you ask already. Fear not! I come prepared with suggestions!

First sentence, last word: I would have chosen just 'weird', were I the one drafting this. It more closely fits the style you present in the remainder of the query.

In the next line, I'm willing to bet Ol' Bill does panic a little 'as' Jodie is doing the kidnapping, for as implies 'during the course of'. Now, if you said 'when,' you'd be letting us know that he's observed it, had time to figure the whole thing out and come to terms with what Jodie's done.

Finally, your last sentence. If you want to use 'but', you should splice this into the previous sentence with a comma. You could drop the 'but' and splice the two together with a semi-colon. Or you could try a stand alone sentence that reads something like "To DeAngelis's way of thinking, Jodies no..."

I think that about covers it for now.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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