Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

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Cher
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Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 4th, 2012, 9:29 pm

Hi, I'm new to this site. I'm seeking help with my query. I would appreciate if you could help decide which way to go or start all over. I have to queries. Not sure which one to continue working on. Thanks in advance for your help. Cheryl

Query 1
Dear Agent,

FBI agent Gina Russo cannot wait to get her hands on the bastard who’s threatening her life. She wants to back his ass to a wall of nails. Poems that contain enigmatic clues and reveal he knows personal information about her, arrive at her front door, signed Mr. WNM.

Joey Zicara, a handsome well-rounded seasoned agent is assigned to protect her. He senses she’s a difficult woman who’s too intelligent for her good. Joey needs to figure a way to control her stubborn attitude and sway her to trust him. Then focus on keeping her out of danger while his attraction for her grows.

Gina is feeling like a prisoner in her own home and having mixed feelings about Joey. However, she’s left with no choice other than to tolerate his help. They need THE FINAL CLUE, and hope to God that it reveals Mr. WNM’s identity. It’s their only opportunity to stop him.

THE FINAL CLUE is a 100,000 word character-driven suspense novel, set in New York City.

Query 2

Dear Agent,

William Nicolas Mancuso, a career criminal incinerated during an explosion. At least, that’s what officer Gina Russo and fellow officers on the crime scene thought when she fired a shot in self-defense.

Now an FBI agent, Gina receives death threats and poems that contain enigmatic clues, signed Mr. WNM. He knows personal information about her, including the heartbreak of her life. She’s furious. She wants to back his ass to a wall of nails.

The bureau assigns handsome, sharp, agent Joey Zicara as her partner. Now she's caught between a man who wants her life and partner after her heart. With the intelligence of an experienced agent and cautious heart of a woman scorned, Gina hopes to dodge both.

THE FINAL CLUE, a 100,000 word character-driven suspense novel set in New York City.

macaronimagpie
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by macaronimagpie » July 6th, 2012, 11:57 am

*blink* *head tilt* Have I seen this before? Was your query on query shark?

Anyway. I feel like the first version has more suspense in it, because it leaves the reader wondering who the villain is. Setting up three characters feels like a bit too much for a query. Both queries read like they were missing words, but maybe that's just because my eyes are tired. Still, you might want to make an extra editing pass. How bouts I just do a quotey thing and put specific comments in brackets.
Dear Agent,

FBI agent Gina Russo cannot wait to get her hands on the bastard who’s threatening her life. She wants to back his ass to a wall of nails. [This is a really good line.] Poems that contain enigmatic clues and reveal he knows personal information about her, arrive at her front door, signed Mr. WNM. [This transition is awkward. You went from the word 'nails' to the word 'poems.' Not sure how to fix it, it just sounds a little off.]

Joey Zicara, a handsome [should there be a comma here?] well-rounded [and here? Actually, maybe consider cutting some of these adjectives.] seasoned agent is assigned to protect her. He senses she’s a difficult woman who’s too intelligent for her [own?] good. [This is a little cliche, maybe find a new way to say it?] Joey needs to figure a way to control her stubborn attitude and sway her to trust him. Then focus on keeping her out of danger while his attraction for her grows. [The '. Then' feels like it wants to be one sentence, not sure why you separated it off.]

Gina is feeling like a prisoner in her own home and having mixed feelings about Joey. However, she’s left with no choice other than to tolerate his help. They need THE FINAL CLUE, and hope to God that it reveals Mr. WNM’s identity. It’s their only opportunity to stop him. [I like this line, it makes it feel intense.]

THE FINAL CLUE is a 100,000 word character-driven suspense novel [Is character driven suspense a genre? This sounds like romantic suspense to me.], set in New York City. [Is being set in New York relevant? Maybe cut this and save words]
It's an intriguing premise, and I feel like this query just needs a little tweaking to be really good.

LizV
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by LizV » July 6th, 2012, 12:32 pm

Hi, Cher. I'm new here too, pitching right in.

I liked the second version better. It's more immediate and has a stronger voice, whereas the first version seemed to be more just a listing of facts. Also, the second version makes it clear why the "WNM" signature matters; without that background, it's just a random name. With the background, it's a clear threat.

Including that it's set in New York isn't a bad idea, but it might be better to work that in than state it at the end. Maybe introduce the MC as "New York police officer Gina Russo"?

I agree with macaronimagpie that there seem to be some words missing; seems like you're short a "was" in the first sentence, for example. Definitely give this some hard-core proofreading.

Would having somebody re-write this be helpful to you, or do you prefer to get suggestions and implement them yourself?

elbowpatch
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by elbowpatch » July 6th, 2012, 5:18 pm

Here are my two cents. I like the first one better, but I would suggest the following reworking of the beginning:

Threatening poems that contain enigmatic clues and too personal information keep arriving at the front door of FBI Agent Gina Russo. She can't wait to get her hands on Mr WMN, the bastard who’s threatening her life. She wants to back his ass to a wall of nails.
( I would then put in some transition that sets forth the idea that Joey is stopping Gina from taking risks since I sense that is the dynamic you are going for and keep the query in Gina' s POV) You also may want to explain what the final clue is. Is it simply the last clue they receive or is something that is hinted at in previous letters.

Cher
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 7th, 2012, 12:12 pm

Hello Macaroni,
Yes, blink QS. I wanted to test out a new angle. Last post from QS made me feel like I am finally getting closer. Thank you for the critique. I realized after I posted, I missed a word or two, that happened when I backed space t fix something and didn't realize I didn't but the word back in. I'll be more careful about that.

Hi Liz V,
Thank you for your feed back. I have been working on this for sometime. Can't seem to get my query right. I am seeking help in every way possible. Thanks again

Hi Elbow,
Thank you. the final clue is the last one she gets. It's so wonderful to know that there's people who are so willing to help. It's appreciated very much.

Thank you all, and I will make the corrections and re-think some of it. I'm getting different opions on which one to go with. Either way, I'll work them both. Thanks again.

LizV
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by LizV » July 9th, 2012, 2:58 pm

Cher - Opinions on the internet are like... well, opinions on the internet; everyone's got one. ;) Of course, so do agents, which is what makes this process so hard.

I'm going to take a stab at rewriting this. I'm making some guesses about your story, so use whatever works and ignore what doesn't.

William Nicolas Mancuso was killed years ago. At least, that’s what New York police officer Gina Russo and fellow officers on the scene thought when she fired a shot in self-defense that set off the explosion.

Now an FBI agent, Gina is receiving poems signed "Mr. WNM." Along with the death threats and enigmatic clues, the poems contain personal information about her, everything from her brand of peanut butter to the heartbreak of her life. Gina’s furious, and she wants to back this bastard's ass to a wall of nails.

The Bureau assigns handsome, sharp Joey Zicara as her partner and protector. Gina feels like a prisoner in her own home and has mixed feelings about Joey, but to stay alive she has to tolerate his help. Now she's caught between a man who's after her life and a partner who's after her heart. With the intelligence of an experienced agent and the caution of a woman scorned, Gina hopes to dodge both.

THE FINAL CLUE is a character-driven suspense novel, complete at 100,000 words.

Hope this helps!

Cher
Posts: 15
Joined: July 4th, 2012, 8:58 pm
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Re: Seeking help with my query for THE FINAL CLUE

Post by Cher » July 10th, 2012, 6:52 am

Hello Liz,
I like what you did. Thank you for taking the time to play with it. It's so nice to know there's people who are genuine and want to help. I hope I'm good enough one day to return the favor.
Thanks again,
Cheryl

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