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#41 A Beast Am I

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:48 PM

I've recently finished a Crime/Thriller script titled Vindication Waltz.. Within the past week I've realized a simple fact - Query Letter's are my arch nemesis.... I'll explain a bit about my story for all you other thriller enthusiasts... Hopefully you might have a few suggestions for structuring a query...

 

Vindication Waltz - Is a story about three brothers who track down and kill the most psychotic/depraved murderers of society. Samson the eldest is an entity within the government, known only as a Vindicator, his mandate is to eliminate corruption within the system. He is not affiliated with the CIA or The FBI or any other known gov. Agency, hence why he is his own entity within the system. Val is a wannabe rock star and a failure at that, unemployed and easily the most eager of the three brothers to hunt down the baddies. Julian works at a children's home and is the pessimist of the bunch, but still follows suit when they have a target in mind.

 

Their current target is Dr. Carney, a misogynistic serial killer suffering from erectile dysfunction. His only method of relieving symptoms of sexual repression, is to lure unsuspecting women into his home and forcing them to star in his homemade snuff films. While he beats, strangles and cannibalizes them. Everything was falling into place for him, until his latest victim. An escort named Claire brings her young daughter Catherine along and leaves her out in her car, unaware of what Dr. Carney is going to do. A crash of thunder wakes Catherine from a nap in her mothers car. Afraid and alone, Catherine knocks on the door of Dr. Carney's home. She is greeted by a friendly old butler who works for the doctor. He invites her in after discovering that young Catherine is the daughter of his bosses current victim. The friendly old Butler offers the young girl some milk and cookies which she accepts. As young Catherine eats and drinks she begins to fall asleep, then BOOM she is out like a light. The next thing Catherine knows she awakens in the trunk of a moving car along with her mothers corpse. Then the car stops and the trunk opens, two nasty looking men are staring down at her. Before she knows it, Catherine is in a disgusting basement and witnessing the dismemberment of her mothers corpse. Suddenly a miracle happens, the two criminals dismembering her mother are arrested by local police for minor offences. Giving young Catherine the chance to escape. She is soon picked up by authorities and admitted to a hospital as a trauma victim. Local news have picked up on her story and tried to get some coverage on the story. Val sees the news coverage on Catherine and soon enough all three brothers are hot on Dr. Carney's trail.

 

 

Any suggestions that you guys might have for a hook and synopsis, would be very much appreciated..



#42 A Beast Am I

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:55 PM

I understand my last post was more than 150 words.. But I did that to give anyone reading it, more insight..



#43 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:02 PM

You might want to post this over at the Query Critique forum to get more responses / input: http://agentquerycon...uery-critiques/


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#44 spencer_lackey

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

I recently self-published my first novel, as you can see under my avatar. The Deadly Unicorn. It's a comedic noir mystery set in the near future.  It's set in a fictional city which my main character has personally nicknamed Weird City for very good reason.  This book pays homage (with tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course) to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe crime novels. If i continue it as a series, i'd like to play with a lot of other mystery genre troupes, from Nick and Nora to the classic dinner party murder mystery, but with a healthy dose of satire and a sci-fi twist.  I'm kicking around ideas for the first sequel, one of which involves spontaneous human combustion and a missing nightclub singer. 

 

While we're on the subject...what do y'all think of comedy (whether it's wry satire or farce or whatever) in the mystery genre?  It's prevalent on TV, of course, with shows like Castle, Monk and Psych but not as quite as common in novels.



#45 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:50 AM

Spencer, first let me wish you good luck with your novels.

 

Personally, I like the use of humor in novels. One of the reoccurring comments I get back from readers is the dialogue I have created between characters. I think mystery / suspense writers can get too caught up in the darker side of the genre and forget the human element. I think the infusion of humor can often be a nice respite from the underlying message of the book when used properly. 


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Perfect Pawn and Queen's Gambit are now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and KOBO.

 

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#46 Late Bloomer

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 10:46 PM

 

 

Personally, I like the use of humor in novels. One of the reoccurring comments I get back from readers is the dialogue I have created between characters. I think mystery / suspense writers can get too caught up in the darker side of the genre and forget the human element. I think the infusion of humor can often be a nice respite from the underlying message of the book when used properly. 

 

I agree wholeheartedly, Andrew. In my last novel, I have a character that I specifically refer to as my "comic relief" character and so far he seems to be one of readers' favorites.



#47 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:50 PM

I just finished my 3rd book and the protagonist is quite funny / irreverent. It works well for me. My protagonist in the first two books is the professional, tough cop dealing with really serious stuff. This one was a lot of fun to write.  :biggrin:


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#48 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:49 AM

Well, I just got back the edits for my new book, Queen's Gambit, last night. Let the fun begin !!! ;-)


Blog: http://andrewgnelson.blogspot.com/

 

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#49 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:38 PM

Thought I would bring this thread back to life. Seems things are really quiet in the Mystery / Suspense world. Hopefully that means a lot of writing going on out there !!

 

I just finished up everything on Queen's Gambit, the sequel to Perfect Pawn, and it should be out next week as an e-book, followed later in print.

 

Now here is the interesting twist, a while back I started a third book based on a new character. It was originally only intended to be a short story. But my wife fell in love with the character and convinced me to write more. So then it was a novella, and finally my wife just beat me up into doing a full blown story. That's in the editing stage now and should be out before the summer. 

 

Surely there are more folks then just me and Robert banging away on our typewriters (dating myself here).

 

Whats everyone up to ?


Blog: http://andrewgnelson.blogspot.com/

 

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Perfect Pawn and Queen's Gambit are now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and KOBO.

 

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#50 Tom Bradley

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:25 PM

I just got back into writing THE PAHALA TWIST, my third Noelani Lee mystery (with a new title).



#51 Tom Preece

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 04:59 PM

You may have read this on another thread, but I'll more elaborate here.

 

Some way into the development of my second novel I got a full read of my first novelfrom a  big deal (rumored only three figure advances) old time agent.  He finally said no, quite gently, telling me I had done a good job of telling a good story in simple language.

 

I took the liberty of asking some questions and he came back with some very specific suggestions.  He said he might buy the book as a straight suspense thriller but I had to start closer to the dead body (which had happened in chapter 3) and everything in the narrative had to be focused on solving the murder.

 

That was the reverse of what I had done.  The murder was the subplot; the main plot was about how some old veterans haunted by Vietnam lose their ghosts.  The plot was propelled by my retired police chief P.I. looking for a missing friend who is messed up in the murder.

 

He suggested that the veterans story could emerge naturally during the course of the investigation.

 

This is a fascinating exercise because I really haven't diminished the plot, but simply changed the way it is revealed.

 

What I think I'm going with now is really suppress the veteran story at least in the first two thirds of the book.  Elements of it will appear but be quite mysterious.  The characters will know what they are talking about but the reader won't.  I think I can get away with that in first person because after all the narrator knows what he's talking about too even if the audience doesn't.

 

The climax of the suspense novel ends in the death of the apparent opponent. (There is another secret one who has appeared in the narrative. 

 

Protagonist's friend is still missing.  His common law wife asks him if he thinks missing friend will now come home now that major threat is dead. 

 

Protagonist struggles.  He's never explained this to her before.  This is (he thinks) his friends secret which he has never revealed to another person though he thinks he and his friend and tacit understanding.

 

He decides his relationship with his wife can only be rescued if he tells her the truth.  So he does...

 

In a long brutal flashback to combat in January 1971 that begins appropriately, "'This an ambush,' the El Tee said."  During the narrative it is revealed that friend all but certainly murdered a civilian during the war.

 

Afterwards hero and wife discuss the implications for their friend, and hero reveals that the only reason friend was close to the present day murder was to attempt to conceal his participation in one he committed forty years before.

 

Allmost all of the rest of the plot will be little different than my original version.

 

I'm a little nervous about this.  This isn't exactly what super agent suggest I do, but it does a great job of selling my main theme which is that the cost of war is forever.  I'm going to finish it and see what he thinks.



#52 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 03:15 PM

Tom B - Congrats !! I've started work on my 3rd James Maguire as well. Keeps my wife happy, as she is my biggest fan (and biggest pain when she has nothing to read).

 

Tom P - Good luck with the revision. I know that it is sometimes hard to step away from the story you envision. I had to do that with my first novel, Perfect Pawn. I had this perfect little scenario and then about 1/2 way through I decided, nope, not gonna be all rainbows and unicorns folks. Which worked out well for me as it allowed me to get expand on the characters. Also gave me the opportunity to do a sequel, Queen's Gambit, which should be out next week (shameless plug). I think I like the premise of using the war as more of a back story. Sometimes it can be a nice hook for what would normally be just another story. Either way, it sounds interesting to me. 


Blog: http://andrewgnelson.blogspot.com/

 

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Perfect Pawn and Queen's Gambit are now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and KOBO.

 

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#53 KAOlmsted

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:44 AM

I've been dying for a crime genre forum and look! I found one! All of your projects sound so interesting. Here's mine :-D

 

After Seattle Police Department Narcotics detective Nic Boman’s partner is shot and killed during a routine bust, Nic’s promotion to Detective Second Grade comes with a mysterious transfer to the Homicide Unit, a new partner, and a horrific first case that brings a charismatic FBI agent to town.

 

Told in the no-nonsense first person present narrative, in JUDAS ME, openly gay Sergeant Detective Niclas Boman takes us on an intertwining journey through his professional and personal life, where his new boss is a former lover, a young runaway and her friend aren’t what they seem, the department shrink believes he’s suffering from PTSD-induced sexual addiction, and the sick son of a bitch exploiting and murdering homeless teenage girls in his Pacific Northwest city might or might not be a member of the Russian mob.

 

As he finds his footing in the internal politics of the Homicide Unit, Nic is covertly working with the local feds to combat corruption in the SPD that spans decades and departments, but his investigation uncovers betrayal, and evidence of the most heinous, and shocking, crime of all.

 

Thanks, guys!

 

-kimmer 



#54 Thrash

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:38 AM

Great premise!  A note on your pitch, if you'd like, the middle paragraph is all one sentence. It's technically correct, but the way it's set up I had to go back at "a young runaway" because at first I thought it was an appositive of "lover".  See what I mean?  Some restructuring there might slow the reader down a bit.



#55 KAOlmsted

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

Thrash, thank you so much! I see what you mean and I will fix it right away. Your advice is very much appreciated! 



#56 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:45 AM

KA, good luck with your novel. Sorry I have been away for awhile, but between promoting my books and a much needed vacation (on which I did copious amounts of site research for an upcoming story)...... Clearly my time has been otherwise accounted for.

 

Glad to be back and hope everyone is having a fun and production summer !!


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#57 mickey2012

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 03:24 AM

Foundation of Eternity is a thriller/ suspense of the Salem Witch Trials with a twist.



#58 Tom Bradley

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 07:08 PM

Still slogging away on THE PAHALA TWIST (passed 53k words), though I've considered dumping a subplot when it's time for edits.

But then again, it may fit.

Or not.

So maybe I'll lose it.

But it works, too, which makes me lean toward keeping it.

Unless I scrap it.

 

 

Damn. Where's the booze when you need it?



#59 KellyFedd

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:48 AM

I’m planning to write a story on vampires and doing some research on it.. Hoping to give a good output..



#60 Dr Anne

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:26 PM

I have to write the outline and the middle of a 'suspense story'  for a comp. Haven't written suspense before, so am thinking of it as a challenge. I have the plot and the main character worked out, plus secondary characters. It involves murder, and corruption in the police force.

Tomorrow I am having a medical test where I will be wearing a monitor at home and can't use a computer, so it looks like I'll be handwriting the story.






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