new query for a thriller

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boatbuilder
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new query for a thriller

Post by boatbuilder » February 19th, 2013, 7:26 am

I thank you in advance for any comment.

Query for St. Johns

Daphne Flowers’ stock in trade had gone up as the economy had gone down. An FDLE Agent, Daphne was a practicing forensic accountant. This meant she followed the money. She was good at it, much to the dismay of many Ponzi and Pyramid schemers. This caused a groan when her boss detailed her to take on the investigation of a possible serial killer.

The investigation started with a floating body recently pulled from the St. Johns River. It was the first of five similar floaters to be identifiable. This changes when two of her friends go missing from a jobsite. Waiting the dawn at a strange encampment Daphne finds a serial killer’s memento box that raises the stakes for the investigation because it adds to the possible body count and adds women to it. She also finds enough explosives to consider add the terrorist tag to the investigation.

Terrorist chatter had been focused on the area but the object of it was still unknown, but it is believed that action is imminent. When Daphne’s investigation centers on the former Sheriff of Putnam County some things fall into place. Questions grow around why the Sheriff had returned to the area at this particular time. When boats launch from a yacht that the Coast Guard is watching, things escalate faster than the police can keep up.


ST. JOHNS is a completed 69000 word mystery/thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration

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Quill
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Re: new query for a thriller

Post by Quill » February 19th, 2013, 12:20 pm

boatbuilder wrote:I thank you in advance for any comment.

Query for St. Johns

Daphne Flowers’ stock in trade had gone up as the economy had gone down. An FDLE Agent, Daphne was a practicing forensic accountant. This meant she followed the money. She was good at it, much to the dismay of many Ponzi and Pyramid schemers. This caused a groan when her boss detailed her to take on the investigation of a possible serial killer.

The investigation started with a floating body recently pulled from the St. Johns River. It was the first of five similar floaters to be identifiable. This changes when two of her friends go missing from a jobsite. Waiting the dawn at a strange encampment Daphne finds a serial killer’s memento box that raises the stakes for the investigation because it adds to the possible body count and adds women to it. She also finds enough explosives to consider add the terrorist tag to the investigation.

Terrorist chatter had been focused on the area but the object of it was still unknown, but it is believed that action is imminent. When Daphne’s investigation centers on the former Sheriff of Putnam County some things fall into place. Questions grow around why the Sheriff had returned to the area at this particular time. When boats launch from a yacht that the Coast Guard is watching, things escalate faster than the police can keep up.


ST. JOHNS is a completed 69000 word mystery/thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration
This query suffers from passive writing, and would benefit from active verbs (She does, rather than it is done).

Instances in red above. Notice how all the verb subjects are inanimate objects (or organizations: police, etc). Make them people, especially your main character, and you'll see a more active tone emerge. "She starts the investigation" rather than "the investigation starts", for example.

Also, watch your typos: " ... police can keep up WITH" and "...consider addING the terrorist tag". They will count against you.

Good luck with the project.

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Shipple
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Re: new query for a thriller

Post by Shipple » March 29th, 2013, 9:15 am

I can tell you've got a lot of action in your story, which is, of course, perfect for your genre. However, as I was reading through I got a little confused as to why certain things were happening. I commented on a few specifics.

The thing about a query letter is that it has to stand completely on it's own, no matter how many cool and awesome hijinks your main character gets up to in the book. And when it's your own book and you know about all the awesome things you have happening in it, it is sort of hard to see what people will and will not understand b/c you're so intimately familiar with the plot itself. Because of that, I'd think about paring things down a little more and maybe explaining some things a bit more.
boatbuilder wrote: Daphne Flowers’ stock in trade had gone up as the economy had gone down. I don't actually know what this sentence means with regard to your plot. I know you explain later, but I wouldn't lead off with a vague sentence b/c you need to capture the agent's interest right off the bat.An FDLE Agent, Daphne was a practicing forensic accountant. This meant she followed the money. She was good at it, much to the dismay of many Ponzi and Pyramid schemers. This caused a groan A groan from whom? Caused her to groan? Why? Becuase she'd rather just work with money? Because working with money is safer?when her boss detailed her to take on the investigation of a possible serial killer. I am a little confused as to why someone would think a forensic accountant was the right person to track down a murderer.

The investigation started with a floating body recently pulled from the St. Johns River. It was the first of five similar floaters to be identifiable. This changes when two of her friends go missing from a jobsite. Waiting the dawn at a strange encampment I had to read this phrase twice to understand what you meant. I got it then, but I'd consider re-wording for clarity. Daphne finds a serial killer’s memento box that raises the stakes for the investigation because it adds to the possible body countand adds women to it. I think "adds to the possible body count" conveys the same thing as adds women to it. The important thing here is that more people are dead. It might really matter to your book that they're women, but from reading this query letter, I don't understand why that'd be more relevant than an increase in the body count. So for the query, I wouldn't mention the women. She also finds enough explosives to consider adding the terrorist tag to the investigation case file (I just like referring to it as a case file, but that's completely up to you.).

Terrorist chatter had been focused on the area but the object of it was still unknown, but it is believed that action is imminent. When Daphne’s investigation centers on the former Sheriff of Putnam County some things fall into place. Questions grow around why the Sheriff had returned to the area at this particular time. When boats launch from a yacht that the Coast Guard is watching, things escalate faster than the police can keep up.


ST. JOHNS is a completed 69000 word mystery/thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

Literary Flamingo
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Re: new query for a thriller

Post by Literary Flamingo » September 5th, 2013, 5:33 pm

I'm going to give you my instant reactions upon quickly reading each paragraph, as if I'm a literary agent. I hope this helps.

Daphne Flowers’ stock in trade had gone up as the economy had gone down. An FDLE Agent, Daphne was a practicing forensic accountant. This meant she followed the money. She was good at it, much to the dismay of many Ponzi and Pyramid schemers. This caused a groan when her boss detailed her to take on the investigation of a possible serial killer.

This is too passive. Give me some active verbs. The setup is nice, but I don't understand why a forensic accountant is going to investigate a serial killer. I'm still reading, though.

The investigation started with a floating body recently pulled from the St. Johns River. It was the first of five similar floaters to be identifiable. This changes when two of her friends go missing from a jobsite. Waiting the dawn at a strange encampment Daphne finds a serial killer’s memento box that raises the stakes for the investigation because it adds to the possible body count and adds women to it. She also finds enough explosives to consider add the terrorist tag to the investigation.

I'm going to be blunt here: this paragraph is an instant form rejection. Just try reading it out loud. The lack of active verbs is bad enough, but the last two sentences (there's a typo in the last one) really sink this query. "Waiting the dawn at a strange encampment Daphne finds a serial killer's memento box that raises the stakes for the investigation because it adds to the possible body count and adds women to it." When I read this it makes me worry about the prose for the rest of the novel. Try: "When Daphne finds the serial killer's memento box, the stakes of the investigation are raised."

Terrorist chatter had been focused on the area but the object of it was still unknown, but it is believed that action is imminent. When Daphne’s investigation centers on the former Sheriff of Putnam County some things fall into place. Questions grow around why the Sheriff had returned to the area at this particular time. When boats launch from a yacht that the Coast Guard is watching, things escalate faster than the police can keep up.

More passive verbs, more weird syntax. I can sense that there are a ton of plot twists and action scenes going on, but the writing is getting in the way of the story. I know nothing about Daphne or the choices she faces, I don't entirely understand the conflict, I don't know anything about the serial killer, and I don't know where the terrorists are coming from. Add in some active verbs and make this more of a query rather than a synopsis. If nothing else, the amount of action going on seems crazy, in a a good way, so try to highlight that.

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