Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

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Cher
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Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 18th, 2012, 10:17 pm

Hello, I revised my original query and hoping this one is much improved. I would appreciate your help
Thank you,
Cheryl

Seven years ago, officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense, causing an explosion, which killed career criminal William Nicholas Mancuso. That's what Gina was led to believe from the charred remains.

Now an FBI agent, Gina receives death threats and poems containing enigmatic clues, signed Mr. WNM. He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. The shock, confusion, and eerie feelings that engulf Gina , quickly turn to anger.

Charismatic agent, Joey Zicara, is assigned to protect her. He finds Gina reckless when it comes to her own safety, and worries that his growing attraction for her will compromise his judgment.

Gina is caught between Mr. WNM, the man who wants her life, and Joey , the man who wants her heart. She hopes to elude them both.

The Final Clue is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance.

idanelly
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by idanelly » July 18th, 2012, 11:06 pm

hello cher, sounds interesting
-I like your summary sentence at the end though 100,000 wds seems quite long
-you use the passive tense several times, e.g. "led to believe." usually better to use active tense if possible
-not immediately clear who is now in an FBI agent
-too many commas. check in usage book when commas should be used
-should be "attraction to her"
-why did she hope to elude them?
-

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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by LurkingVirologist » July 18th, 2012, 11:41 pm

Blue for [comment] and red for things to consider removing.

"Seven years ago, officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense, causing an[the] explosion, which[that] killed career criminal William Nicholas Mancuso. That's what Gina was led to believe from the charred remains.

Now an FBI agent, Gina receives death threats and poems containing enigmatic clues[what type of clues*], signed Mr. WNM. He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. The shock,[and] confusion, and eerie feelings that engulf Gina , quickly turn to anger.

Charismatic agent, Joey Zicara, is assigned to protect her. He finds Gina reckless when it comes to her own safety, and worries that his growing attraction for her will compromise his judgment.

Gina is caught between Mr. WNM, the man who wants her life, and Joey , the man who wants her heart. She hopes to elude them both. [I like this line!]

The Final Clue is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance."

Overall I think definitely improved! Clean, lays out stakes for all three characters and two main conflicts. Nice.

* The statement "enigmatic clues" kind of falls a little flat for me, only because it seems like those clues are the crux of the novel (based on the title anyway), so maybe consider providing a bit more detail as a teaser in the query? I don't know how hard or easy that would be, so just a suggestion.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

Cher
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 19th, 2012, 10:58 am

Hello idenelly and LurkinVirogist, thank you both for your input and critique. I revised hoping this satisfies what was questioned and hope it’s helped improved the query.

Dear Agent,

Seven years ago, officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense. It triggered the explosion believed to have incinerated career criminal William Nicholas Mancuso.

Now an FBI Agent, Gina starts to receive death threats and poems that contain enigmatic clues, signed Mr.WNM. The clues hint at his identity and potential next moves. He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. Vulnerability, a feeling Gina's not familiar with quickly turns to anger.

Charismatic agent, Joey Zicara is assigned to protect her. He finds Gina reckless when it comes to her own safety, and worries that his growing attraction to her will compromise his judgment.

Now Gina's caught between Mr.WNM, the man who wants her life and Joey, the man who wants her heart. She hopes that with the experience of a seasoned agent, and the caution of a woman scorned to elude them both.

The Final Clue is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance.

chounzet
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by chounzet » July 20th, 2012, 6:41 pm

Dear Agent,

Seven years ago, officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense. It triggered the explosion believed to have incinerated career criminal William Nicholas Mancuso.and everyone thought career criminal WNM was dead. Until now.

Now an FBI Agent, Gina starts to receive death threats and poems that contain enigmatic clues, signed Mr.WNM. The clues hint at his identity and potential next moves.I prefer it w/o the clues...moves. sentence He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. VulnerabilityI liked your first way of dealing with this better, actually, a feeling Gina's not familiar with quickly turns to anger.

Charismatic agent, Joey Zicara is assigned to protect her. He finds Gina reckless when it comes to her own safety, and worries that his growing attraction to her will compromise his judgment.

Now Gina's caught between Mr.WNM, the man who wants her life and Joey, the man who wants her heart. She hopes that with the experience of a seasoned agent, and the caution of a woman scorned to elude them both. She hopes that her experience as a seasoned agent and a woman scorned will be enough to elude them both.

Sounds great :) Have you read Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts? Might be a nice comparison for you.

The Final Clue is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance:)

Cher
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 21st, 2012, 12:03 pm

Hello Chounzat,

Thank you very much. I feel like I'm fianlly getting there.
No, I haven't read that, but now that you mentioned the book by Nora Roberts, as soon as I can find the time, I'll check it out.

Thanks again,
Cheryl

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Shipple
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Shipple » July 23rd, 2012, 5:15 pm

First of all, let me say your revised query is definitely an improvement.

However, these two sentences still felt awkward to me:
"Vulnerability, a feeling Gina's not familiar with quickly turns to anger."
"She hopes that with the experience of a seasoned agent, and the caution of a woman scorned to elude them both." I actually had to read this sentence twice to understand what you meant.

You may wish to state that your novel is complete at 100,000 words, but perhaps that's clearly implied to agents. I've just seen "complete at .... words" several times and liked how concise it was.
"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)
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chounzet
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by chounzet » July 25th, 2012, 8:36 am

I was just reading the archives from the Query Shark and I saw you made it on there. That's great! Congrats! I can also see the polishing you have done here and I really am liking it :)

Cher
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 26th, 2012, 8:08 am

Thank you Shipple and Chounzat,

I appreciate your input. I'm considering all critiques and thank you Chounzat for th compliment. I think I'm getting closer to having a query that works.

Thanks again,
Cheryl

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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by garnell wallace » August 10th, 2012, 11:47 am

Hello,
I am new to this forum. I really like the concept of your book. I agree that Nora Roberts' Blue Smoke sounds like a good read for you. This sounds like a romance and I'd like to see more of the conflict between Gina and Joey. What has she experienced in her life that makes her want to run from him? I think a little more insight into them will be great.

Cher
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » August 20th, 2012, 7:45 am

Hello Garnell,

Thank you and welcome to the site. I'm new myself, but finding the members here are so informative and helpful. I'm working on the query some more, but need to be careful not to be so wordy, lol, which I tend to be at times. From what I understand about query's, Agents like them tight and short, yet enticing. Not an easy task. As soon as I have the lastest query finished, I'll submit it an see what you think.

Thanks again for your advice.
Cheryl

Cher
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE. Another attempt

Post by Cher » August 21st, 2012, 11:28 am

I've read over and over all the great advice. Hope this one does it. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Dear Agent,

Seven years ago, Officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense. It triggered an explosion that incinerated career criminal William Nicolas Mancuso. At least, that’s what she thought.

Gina, now an FBI agent starts to receive death threats and poems that contain enigmatic clues leading to his potential next move, signed Mr. WNM. He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. Stunned and mad as hell, she has no idea who he is.

Charismatic FBI agent Joey Zicara is assigned to protect Gina. Not only is he concerned that his attraction to her will comprise his judgment, he finds her reckless when it comes to her own safety. Especially, after he stumbles across an ad in the newspaper that she posted in an attempt to contact WNM on her own.

Now Gina's caught between Mr. WNM, the man who wants her life and Joey, the man who wants her heart. She hopes that her experience as an agent and a woman scorned will be enough to elude them both. But will she?


THE FINAL CLUE is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance.

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klbritt
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by klbritt » August 21st, 2012, 4:16 pm

I think you are really close! Below are my suggestions in blue and purple. Red means consider cutting.

==========

Dear Agent,

Seven years ago, Officer Gina Russo fired a shot in self-defense. It that triggered an explosion that incineratinged career criminal William Nicolas Mancuso. At least, that’s what she thought.

Gina, now an FBI agent, starts to receivinge death threats and poems that contain enigmatic clues leading to his potential next move, signed Mr. WNM. [I like this, but am a little confused about who's/what's next move? She doesn't know who is sending her the letters - I understand that you're trying to build suspense here, but I think this last sentence could be reworded] He knows everything from the type of perfume she wears, to the heartbreak of her life. Stunned and mad as hell, she has no idea who he is. [We get that she doesn't know who WNM is, perhaps you could say something like - Stunned and mad as hell, she begins a self-destructing rampage that lands her the protective duty by a fellow FBI agent, the charismatic Joey Zicara...then join with the paragraph below - or something.]

Charismatic FBI agent Joey Zicara is assigned to protect Gina. [Is Joey assigned as her FBI partner, or actually to protect her? Like in secret or does she know about his duty?] Not only is he concerned that his attraction to her will compromise his judgment, he finds her reckless when it comes to her own safety. Especially, after he stumbles across an ad in the newspaper that she posted in an attempt to contact WNM on her own.

Now Gina's is caught between Mr. WNM, the man who wants her life and Joey, the man who wants her heart. She hopes that her experience as an agent and a woman scorned will be enough to elude them both. But will she?[This last sentence is better on the back cover on the book ;)]


THE FINAL CLUE is a 100,000 word suspense novel with a touch of romance. [or maybe - a suspense novel with light romance...]

===========

Sounds like a great story!

~Kristie
~Kristie

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http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

Cher
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Re: Tried on new approach with the query fo THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » September 5th, 2012, 9:17 am

Hello everyone and thank again for your help. I'm hoping this one puts me closer as I'm about to complete the final polish of my novel. I would appreciate any critique to push me in the right direction.
Thanks again,
Cheryl

Dear Agent,

Police officer Gina Russo and her fellow officers at the crime scene believed the person responsible for shooting at her was William Nicholas Mancuso, who was incinerated in the explosion triggered when she fired back in self-defense. They were dead wrong!

Gina, now an FBI agent, begins receiving death threats and poems containing enigmatic clues signed by a Mr. WNM. He knows everything, from the scent of her perfume to the heartbreak of her life. Each time she receives a poem. Shock and confusion quickly turn to anger.

Joey Zicara, a top-notch agent who loves a challenge, gets more than he bargained for when he’s assigned to protect Gina. He’s attracted to her, but finds she’s as difficult as dealing with the clues that need to be figured out. It’s his only shot to nail the bastard, in order to keep her safe.

Gina’s mixed up in a bizarre game with Mr. WMN, and she’s stuck with Joey, a tough-ass agent with dimples that can captivate any woman’s attention. She hopes her experience as an agent and a woman scorned will be enough to beat WNM at his own game and will also protect her shattered heart from another disastrous relationship. But will it?

THE FINAL CLUE: A suspense novel with a touch of romance, and set at 100.000 words

kelseyebeach
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Re: Revised Query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by kelseyebeach » September 7th, 2012, 6:23 pm

Comments in blue, deletions in red, additions in green:

Police officer Gina Russo and her fellow officers at the crime scene believed the person responsible for shooting at her was William Nicholas Mancuso, who was incinerated in the explosion triggered when she fired back in self-defense. They were dead wrong! [I like the previous opening better. This one is wordy. Try this rewrite:]

Officer Gina Russo fired in self-defense and killed career criminal William Nicolas Mancuso. At least, that’s what she thought.

[I took out the incinerated part to save words and because it didn't seem necessary. It does add some excitement though, so if you like it or if it's important to the story, keep it.]

Seven years later, Gina, now an FBI agent, begins receiving death threats and poems containing enigmatic clues signed by a Mr. WNM. He knows everything, from the scent of her perfume to the heartbreak of her life, and he leaves mysterious clues about when he will make his move to kill her. Each time she receives a poem. Shock and confusion quickly turn to anger , and she is determined to track him down.

[You say in another version of the query that WNM leaves clues to his next move. You mean clues about when he will kill her? Or when he will leave the next note? This will help determine the stakes.]

Joey Zicara, a top-notch agent who loves a challenge, gets more than he bargained for when he’s assigned to protect Gina. [Why would one agent be assigned to protect another? Is he her partner or body guard?] He’s attracted to her [why? "he's attracted to her fiery attitude" or whatever], but finds she’s as difficult as dealing with the clues that need to be figured out to deal with as the cryptic poems. It’s his only shot to nail the bastard, in order to keep her safe. [I'd like more motivation or characterization for Joey. Currently we don't know much him. The last sentence of this paragraph doesn't add anything. Is his job or his life on the line too?]

Gina’s mixed up in a bizarre game with Mr. WMN, and she’s stuck with Joey, a tough-ass agent with dimples that can captivate any woman’s attention. She hopes her experience as an agent and a woman scorned will be enough to beat WNM at his own game and will also protect her shattered heart from another disastrous relationship. But will it?

Try this: Gina fights to beat Mr. WMN at his own game while fighting off Joey's advances. She hopes her experience as an agent and a woman scorned will save her life and protect her shattered heart. But will it? Maybe you can find a way to condense that paragraph into one sentence (two with "But will it?").

THE FINAL CLUE is a suspense novel with a touch of romance, and set at 100.000 words.

After all your rewrites, you're almost there!

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