Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

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lhowell
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by lhowell » June 3rd, 2011, 12:34 pm

Dear Agent,

Deep in the canyon of her soul is the spirit of a serial killer. Dr. Bailey Fairchild, a forensic anthropologist for both Montreal and New York. Leaving to attend a ceremony in her honor; the celebration should have been the climax of her evening, but instead she was attacked, kidnapped and found herself facedown tasting the runoff from the sewer left as a gutter rat. Her escort for the evening was a death threat; warned by a thug not to testify as an expert witness.

A decapitated body was found washed up in the cranberry bogs in Atlantic City. Who would kill a pregnant woman? The serial numbers in the breast implants lead Dr. Fairchild to a brilliant Beverly Hills plastic surgeon the nephew of a corrupted Mayor in New York who is owned by the mob.

There was a body found brutally murdered and left in Bailey’s car,it was her assistant. Montreal's most desired district attorney was her ex-boyfriend and her assistant’s lover. Dr.Fairchild’s DNA was discovered at the crime scene. Amidst in the web of deceit, she knows there isn’tanyone she can trust. The years of studying serial killers is her only way of survival.

Dr. Fairchild is face-to-face with the serial killer, it’s unbelievable a mirrored reflection of herself; an identical twin.

“The Engram” is my first novel.

I hope to talk to you soon. Thank you for your time.

AllieS
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by AllieS » June 3rd, 2011, 10:34 pm

Deep in the canyon of her soul is the spirit of a serial killer. Who is her? And "deep in the canyon of her soul" is a little dramatic. Dr. Bailey Fairchild, a forensic anthropologist for both Montreal and New York. There's no verb in this sentence, so it doesn't make any sense. Leaving to attend a ceremony in her honor; the celebration should have been the climax of her evening, but instead she was attacked, kidnapped and found herself facedown tasting the runoff from the sewer left as a gutter rat. I think you need to brush up on proper sentence construction. What you're saying doesn't make sense. Her escort for the evening was a death threat doesn't make sense.; warned by a thug not to testify as an expert witness. if you said "she was warned by a thug not to testify as an expert witness" then this sentence would work.

A decapitated body was found washed up in the cranberry bogs in Atlantic City. You change tenses, and this is a random jump from the previous train of thought. Who would kill a pregnant woman? omit The serial numbers in the breast implants lead Dr. Fairchild to a brilliant Beverly Hills plastic surgeon the nephew of a corrupted Mayor in New York who is owned by the mob.

There was a body found brutally murdered and left in Bailey’s car,it was her assistant. Montreal's most desired district attorney was her ex-boyfriend and her assistant’s lover. Dr.Fairchild’s DNA was discovered at the crime scene. Amidst in the web of deceit, she knows there isn’t anyone she can trust. The years of studying serial killers is her only way of survival.

Dr. Fairchild is face-to-face with the serial killer, it’s unbelievable a mirrored reflection of herself; an identical twin.
Honestly, I don't have a clue what's going on in this query. You jump around too much, the tenses switch, and the sentences need a lot of work. Fix those, go back through your novel to clean up the same mistakes, then write a query stating the basics of what happens in the story. Then narrow it down to what is essential.

“The Engram” is my first novel. Just do all caps for the title, and you need to include genre and word count in this sentence as well. Check out QueryShark for query writing help.

TomLysander
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by TomLysander » June 4th, 2011, 3:40 pm

Hi! I'm new here. My first instinct is that if the novel is at the same level of polish as this query, you'll need an experienced editor to get this novel even close to the possibility of publication, let alone probability.
lhowell wrote:Dear Agent,

Deep in the canyon of her soul is the spirit of a serial killer. Dr. Bailey Fairchild, a forensic anthropologist for both Montreal and New York.sentence fragment Leaving to attend a ceremony in her honor;another frag -- don't use semicolons where a comma will do the celebration should have been the climax of her evening, but instead she was attacked, kidnapped and found herself facedown tasting the runoff from the sewer left as a gutter rat.the runoff is left as a gutter rat? or she herself? Her escort for the evening was a death threat; warned by a thug not to testify as an expert witness.frag x3

A decapitated body was found washed up in the cranberry bogs in Atlantic City. Who would kill a pregnant woman? The serial numbers in the breast implants lead Dr. Fairchild to a brilliant Beverly Hills plastic surgeon the nephew of a corrupted Mayor in New York who is owned by the mob.name the surgeon, avoid piling on so many details

There was a body found brutally murdered and left in Bailey’s car,it was her assistant.comma splice Montreal's most desired district attorney was her ex-boyfriend and her assistant’s lover. Dr.Fairchild’s DNA was discovered at the crime scene. Amidst in the web of deceit, she knows there isn’tanyone she can trust.typo The years of studying serial killers is her only way of survival.

Dr. Fairchild is face-to-face with the serial killer, it’s unbelievable a mirrored reflection of herself; an identical twin.comma splice + run-on + frag :-(

“The Engram” is my first novel. word count here

I hope to talk to you soon. Thank you for your time.
Job #1 is making this query (and novel) readable. You won't get any requests for partials or fulls with grammar errors like these. Job #2 will be making this plot summary leave us with questions -- this query reveals too much, too easily. We should be given the mysterious clues without the means of connecting them completely yet, as well as a cast of characters who may or may not be bad (i.e. don't introduce them as owned by the mob or as the serial killer). Keep up the good work, but you aren't ready to send out a query letter just yet. Good luck! Tom

kenpochick
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by kenpochick » June 6th, 2011, 11:20 pm

This query needs a lot of work. I have no idea what your book is about. Everything appears to be in fragments that jump around. It actually reminds me of when I would read to my son and he would flip the pages before I could finish reading so that I only got to read a few words per page creating this jumbled mess of words. When reading to a toddler it's no big deal, but when trying to query an agent...

My advice is to slow down, take a deep breath and tell us what your story is about.

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bighockeyhair
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by bighockeyhair » June 7th, 2011, 2:24 am

I don't think this is ready for a line by line yet. As others have mentioned, this isn't making a lot of sense. I think you may be trying to give us your take on Elmore Leonard or something. I can't tell, either way, it's not working. Your best bet is to go right back to basics. Keep your eye on the ball. Use simple sentences and tell us what your story is about.

In a query there are essentially 3 basic questions you want to answer.

1) Who is your main character and what do they want?

2) Who or what is preventing them from getting what they want?

3) What happens (called 'the stakes') if your main character fails to achieve her objective?

I'd suggest, before you try posting again. Write out the answers to each of these questions and build from there.

Hope it helps,
BHH
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Horror thriller author
My debut novel Malice is now available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Malice-ebook/dp/B005QCC122

drewwilliam
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Re: Query Help for The Engram Mystery

Post by drewwilliam » June 10th, 2011, 5:54 am

hello to all. It is my first post and I glad to come in this forum Thanks for providing this information.

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