New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

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littlebird
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New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by littlebird » March 11th, 2011, 5:00 pm

REVISIONS BELOW!!!

Hi Folks! I've been queried 12 agents, gotten 5 nos, and one request for a full off my query letter. But I've realized that the thing that makes my paranormal romance different from others is the "drug dealer element." I'm trying to figure out how to put that it without getting too wordy. Here's the new version:

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he really has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit to the Brazilian drug lord that employs his mother.

Intuitives are rare commodities that every South American cartel wants to possess; they give dealers and human traffickers a definite edge over their law enforcement counterparts. Sam and his mom are always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

When a middle of the night relocation dumps them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of any girl he grins at, including his calculus tutor, Gabby Wilkins.

When his latest vision reveals Gabby's death at the hands of a stalker, Sam knows he can’t ignore it. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.


OR is the original version still better because it's more concise.

Sam Oliveira can barely make it through a day without gut-wrenching visions.But he accepts that no seventeen-year-old can stop the natural disasters and terrorist attacks he sees before they happen.

When his latest vision reveals the death of his crush, Gabby Wilkins, at the hands of a stalker, Sam knows he can’t ignore it. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

The two people who can help Sam—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a drug lord who wants Sam's gifts for his business—are unappealing options but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.


Would love any opinions!

REVISIONS BELOW!!
Last edited by littlebird on March 12th, 2011, 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

littlebird
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by littlebird » March 11th, 2011, 5:02 pm

P.S. I also sent out one query with this paragraph at the end:

Too bad the only people who can train him are major players in an international drug ring: an uncle with a murderous agenda, or a ruthless cartel boss who wants to use Sam’s gift to evade authorities. Neither are appealing options, but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

Just a little more voice.

AllieS
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by AllieS » March 11th, 2011, 7:03 pm

I definitely like your new version. It gives more insight into how everything in Sam's story got started, and I'm more intrigued by it than by your original one.

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he really has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit to the Brazilian drug lord that employs his mother. I really like this beginning.

Intuitives are rare commodities that every South American cartel wants to possess; they give dealers and human traffickers a definite edge over their law enforcement counterparts. This, however, totally throws me. It states something the reader would be able to assume, but I understand that you want the lead into why Sam and his mom are being hunted. Maybe if you changed this to a much shorter comment that said something like: "Sam's intuition is coveted by dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement." I also think the word intuitives is odd. Sam and his mom are always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

When a middle of the night relocation dumps them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of any girl he grins at, including his calculus tutor, Gabby Wilkins. Why can he win the heart of any girl he "grins" at? Also, I think the word "smile" would sound more natural here.

When his latest vision reveals Gabby's death at the hands of a stalker, Sam knows he can’t ignore it. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves. Great last line.

littlebird
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by littlebird » March 11th, 2011, 7:11 pm

Oh wow Allie! You cleaned up that second paragraph SO NICELY!! Thank you!

glj
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by glj » March 11th, 2011, 9:00 pm

Littlebird, I like this version much, much better. It gives a good picture of the plot and makes me identify with Sam. Good work and I'm glad you are not being impatient about polishing it up.


Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he really has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit but "recruit" implies he has a choice. Conscript? to the Brazilian drug lord that employs his mother.

Intuitives are rare commodities that every South American cartel wants to possess; they give dealers and human traffickers a definite edge over their law enforcement counterparts. I agree that this seems unnecessarily long. Sam and his mom are always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

Suggestion: Intuitives give dealers and human (slave?) traffickers an edge over law enforcement.

When a middle of the night relocation dumps them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of any girl he grins at, including his calculus tutor, Gabby Wilkins. I don't think you need to bring in any girl other than Gabby.

When his latest vision reveals Gabby's death at the hands of a stalker, mysterious figure? Sam knows he can’t ignore it. "Can't ignore it" seems so ... weak. This makes it sound like Sam tries to ignore the visions of her death, but in the end, feels like he has to do something because he wants to stop the visions. Not a very compelling hero. Can you show his panic and intense efforts to learn what will happen? Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her. Again, this is not bad, but it needs to convey some desperation on his part. Make us hold our breath, hoping that Sam can figure out how to help her in time. After all, he doesn't know how long he has to figure out who will attack her, does he? Does he start missing class, staying out late, following her around and trying to be nearby when the actual attack comes? Does he start to creep Gabby out a little? Does he arm himself or worry about how to take on the potential attacker?

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves. Yes, very nice last line! This is much better.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.

Bron
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by Bron » March 11th, 2011, 10:21 pm

littlebird wrote:Hi Folks! I've been queried 12 agents, gotten 5 nos, and one request for a full off my query letter. But I've realized that the thing that makes my paranormal romance different from others is the "drug dealer element." I'm trying to figure out how to put that it without getting too wordy. Here's the new version:

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he really has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit to the Brazilian drug lord that employs his mother.

Intuitives are rare commodities that every South American cartel wants to possess; they give dealers and human traffickers a definite edge over their law enforcement counterparts. Sam and his mom are always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months. I'm confused. Are they being hunted by rival cartels who want their power, or has Sam's mother escaped from the cartel that employed her and that's who they're on the run from?

When a middle of the night relocation dumps them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of any girl he grins at, including his calculus tutor, Gabby Wilkins. I actually like the word 'grins'. 'Smiles' sounds more polite, whereas 'grins' implies an easy-going charm.

When his latest vision reveals Gabby's death at the hands of a stalker, Sam knows he can’t ignore it. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves. Good. Don't crowd this up with mentions of uncles and drug lords.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.


OR is the original version still better because it's more concise.

Sam Oliveira can barely make it through a day without gut-wrenching visions.But he accepts that no seventeen-year-old can stop the natural disasters and terrorist attacks he sees before they happen.

When his latest vision reveals the death of his crush, Gabby Wilkins, at the hands of a stalker, Sam knows he can’t ignore it. Problem is, Sam’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If he could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to protect her.

The two people who can help Sam—an uncle with a murderous agenda of his own and a drug lord who wants Sam's gifts for his business—are unappealing options but time is slipping away and Sam is desperate.

SAW IT COMING is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 63,000 words.


Would love any opinions!
I think in this case, less concise is better. You've given us a better feel for the story and what makes it unique. Good job.

littlebird
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by littlebird » March 12th, 2011, 10:44 am

THIS IS THE NEW VERSION!

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit for the Brazilian cartel boss that employs his mother.

Sam's ability is coveted by drug dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement. His family’s always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

When a middle of the night escape lands them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of his dream girl, Gabby Wilkins.

Everything is perfect until Sam starts having gut-wrenching visions of Gabby being murdered. Problem is, he’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If Sam could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to save her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves.

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wilderness
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by wilderness » March 12th, 2011, 8:39 pm

I really like your latest version! I could see how you were trying to include the drug lord bit in the old thread and it just seemed kind of random. Now not only does it play a large role in your setup, it gives your book something more real and interesting than the average "teen has some extraordinary power" story. Nice job and nice job to the previous commenters who helped you clean it up a bit!

littlebird
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by littlebird » March 12th, 2011, 9:39 pm

Thanks Wilderness! This forum is great!

fishfood
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by fishfood » March 13th, 2011, 10:07 am

littlebird wrote:THIS IS THE NEW VERSION!

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit for the Brazilian cartel boss that employs his mother.

Sam's ability is coveted by drug dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement. His family’s always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

When a middle of the night escape lands them in suburban Houston, Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of his dream girl, Gabby Wilkins.

Everything is perfect until Sam starts having gut-wrenching visions of Gabby being murdered. Problem is, he’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If Sam could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to save her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves.
I think Query Shark would find this a winner. Nice job.

glj
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by glj » March 13th, 2011, 1:32 pm

One final nit-pick.
Sam's ability is coveted by drug dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement. His family’s always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.

You have "family's" as a contraction of "His family is", but it comes across as a possessive. Consider spelling it out as "His family is always ..."

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alienbogey
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by alienbogey » March 14th, 2011, 7:48 pm

littlebird wrote:THIS IS THE NEW VERSION!

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit for the Brazilian cartel boss that employs his mother.

Sam's ability is coveted by drug dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement. His family’s always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months.
My nitpick is that I see a contradiction between the first and second paragraphs.

In the first paragraph, "....for the Brazilian cartel boss that employs his mother." implies, to me at least, job stability, and I get the impression that his mother has worked for them for some time, almost like it's a regular job with vacation and medical coverage.

In the second paragraph, ".....His family's always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months." which gives me the impression that his mother only reluctantly, occasionally, and under duress would work for them, which rather contradicts my first paragraph impression that the cartel employs his mother as a rather regular job.

Now, maybe the mother does work for them and it's the rest of the family that is changing locations and identities, but, again, I see an implied contradiction or lack of clarity.

Let me emphasize that the above is a nitpick and others may not agree. Also, I think you have a winner here, it's a hook that definitely intrigues me.

AllieS
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by AllieS » March 15th, 2011, 11:42 pm

I agree with the commenter above me about that nitpick. I hadn't noticed it before. Otherwise, I think you've got it. Good job!

Joel Q
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Re: New Direction for query for SAW IT COMING

Post by Joel Q » March 16th, 2011, 5:49 pm

littlebird wrote:THIS IS THE NEW VERSION!

Sam Oliveira doesn’t want to join the family business—not that he has a choice. Seeing the future is an inherited trait, one that makes him a valuable recruit for the Brazilian cartel boss that employs his mother.

Sam's ability is coveted by drug dealers and human traffickers who want an edge over law enforcement. His family’s always being hunted, changing locations and identities every few months. (This paragraph is clunky. I suggest a rewrite. Simplify the first sentence?)

When a middle of the night escape lands them in suburban Houston, (seems like they went from Brazil to Houston in one evening.) Sam finally gets the life he always wanted. He wins a starting spot on the baseball team and the heart of his dream girl, Gabby Wilkins.

Everything is perfect until Sam starts having gut-wrenching visions of Gabby being murdered. Problem is, he’s only getting flashes—wild images of her being beaten, broken, submerged in water. If Sam could learn to control his precognition, he might be able to save her.

Too bad the only people who can help him are on the wrong side of the law themselves.
(help him how? Understand his powers or help him track down the would-be murderer? How would he contact the group them in Brazil? What if they are the murderers? If they are, it is no surprise to the reader.)

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