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10 DAY CONSPIRACY adult thriller


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#1 Tanja

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 01:55 AM

Please got to page 5 post 100 for the latest and most likely final version

 

 

I thank everyone that helped me so far and I hope I could help others. Great platform

 

Dear _______

 

Decisions are made. Right or wrong - The moment the blade hit the skin of his throat he held his breath. Captured by fear, he didn’t dare swallow.

 

Twenty eight hours earlier Jeffrey Blake was at the prime of his life; in his mid forties, happily married and a successful businessman in San Diego. Captured and drugged by an unknown assailant, his life is thrown in chaos when made believe to have killed the CEO. Left with threats to fear for the safety of his family and friends and unable to recollect the events, he’s facing an emotional rollercoaster of guilt and fear.

 

Becoming a victim a second time, Blake is once more left with a blank and caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. His life starts to fall apart as police is closing in and as they dig around his past, he’s tangled in more lies and starts to run out of excuses. Fearing for the wellbeing of his loved ones, he only hints his problems to his friends, but doesn’t find the trust to share his dilemma, held back by ongoing threats and the possible truth that a close one could be pushing him to the limit.

 

Making the breakthrough that he’d been dealing with the assailant all along he decides to take him down to face justice himself, only to discover he’d made the wrong decision.

 

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery thriller with a twist, taking the reader on a journey of guessing and heartfelt emotions.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#2 Tanja

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:25 PM

25 views and no reply. It's that good... NOT... I get the hint. :sad:  I will be sitting down, scratch my head and start all over again. If it's not perfect it's not going anywhere.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#3 LapisLazuli

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 01:10 AM

I don't know why nobody's replied yet. Strange. Anyway, I'll take a crack at it.

 

Dear _______

 

Decisions are made. Right or wrong - The moment the blade hit the skin of his Jeffrey Blake's throat he held his breath. Captured by fear, he didn’t dare swallow. I like this opening, but I'd remove the first 2 sentences and insert the character's name. It makes it more personal and urgent 

 

Twenty eight 28 hours earlier Jeffrey Blake he  was at in the prime of his life; in his mid forties, happily married and a successful businessman in San Diego.Captured and drugged by an unknown assailant, his life is thrown into chaos when made believe to have killed the CEO what CEO? maybe mention something about him or just call him a CEO. Left with threats to fear for the safety of his family and friends and unable to recollect the events, he’s facing an emotional rollercoaster cliche of guilt and fear.

 

Becoming a victim a second time, Blake is once more left with a blank and caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. when does this happen? is it soon after the events of the previous paragraph? His life starts to fall apart as police is closing in and as they dig around his past, he’s tangled in more lies and starts to run out of excuses. is he a suspect in the VP's disappearance? you seem to imply that but don't explain why. Fearing for the wellbeing of his loved ones, he only hints his problems to his friends, but doesn’t find the trust to share his dilemma, held back by ongoing threats and the possible truth that a close one could be pushing him to the limit.

 

Making the breakthrough that he’d been dealing with the assailant all along he decides to take him down to face justice himself, only to discover he’d made the wrong decision. even though you don't mention names, you seem to be giving away a major plot point here. I would delete this paragraph.

 

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery thriller with a twist, taking the reader on a journey of guessing and heartfelt emotions.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

As I said, I liked the opening hook but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the query. You have an intriguing thriller here so I would suggest focusing on the immediate urgency of his situation. Make the consequences clearer. What happens to his family if he doesn't solve his problems? And what's the main plot of the story? Is it about the CEO or the VP? I think you should focus on that and make it more specific without giving away too much. Good luck!



#4 Tanja

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 02:18 AM

Hi

Thank you very much for your reply. I've actually spent the past six hours doing nothing but sitting over my query letter. Your suggestions are very helpful and I had the thought maybe to mention more names. It is a very fast paced and complex thriller which makes it hard not to give away too much. I definitely take another crack at it, taking your suggestions to heart. Thank you again.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#5 Dallas

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 04:14 AM

it helps to do some critiques of other people's queries, and make posts as a new member. You build up good will and others will reciprocate.  It's a great community of knowledgeable folks but they want you to pay some dues first.



#6 Tanja

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 05:02 AM

Hi Dallas

I've actually read your synopsis maybe an hour ago and was going to give my opinion to it. But then I held back, thinking what do I know? How can I query someones work when I'm not good at it myself. But at the end of the day, only different options let us grow. Got it :smile:


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#7 Dallas

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 07:12 AM

Right Tanja, the more you critique the better you'll find your own becoming. And it is waaay easier to critique someone else's work than see what your own needs. Thanks for bits on my synopsis. That's a good example of things making sense to me because I know the story so well but confusing others.

 

I'll come back and take another look at yours once I have an hour or two of sleep ;-)



#8 Tanja

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 07:19 AM

I have to say it was actually very hard for me to critique your work as its not in my nature. But it was also challenging and fun in some way. Hope you sleep well and maybe by the time you wake up I'll have my revised query posted. If not, then I'll be sleeping over it first


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#9 Tanja

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 08:47 AM

Hours later.... I know there is still no other names apart of Blake. But once I go down that track it'll end up too long as its all very complex. But I hope I've improved the whole query :smile:

 

Dear______

 

The moment the blade hit the skin of his throat Jeffrey Blake held his breath. Captured by fear, he didn’t dare swallow. Only one thought kept him strong: His family.

 

28 hours earlier he was in the prime of his life; in his mid forties, happily married and a successful businessman in San Diego. But the night he was captured and drugged left him with clear threats. No police or fear for loved ones. The message to be responsible for it leaves him guessing. What’s it and what for? He doesn’t know till the next morning, when his friend tells him the CEO of the company had been killed. Unable to recollect the events but finding evidence of his involvement, guilt and fear cling to him.

 

Only days later, he’s drugged again. Once more left with a blank, he’s caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. Was he responsible? Convinced to be a victim Blake is driven to prove his innocence.

 

Soon his life falls apart as police is closing in. Having weak alibis he becomes suspect and as they dig around his past, he’s tangled in more lies. Held back by ongoing threats and the possible truth that a loved one could be pushing him to the limit, he only hints his dilemma to friends.

 

After ten days of conspiracy and about to surrender he makes a heartbreaking discovery.

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery murder with a twist, taking the reader on a thrilling journey of guessing and heartfelt emotions.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#10 wildworks

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 09:55 AM

I’m not trying to be harsh, but that’s kind of how it comes out. Bear with me.

The moment the blade hit the skin of his throat Jeffrey Blake held his breath. Captured by fear, he didn’t dare swallow. Only one thought kept him strong: His family. This hook has no relation to the rest of the query, and it doesn’t tell us anything unique about Jeffery.

 

28 hours earlier he was a in the prime of his life; in his mid forties, You don’t need an age here. Given these other details we will assume his age. happily married and a successful businessman in San Diego. But the night he was captured and drugged left him with clear threats. No police or fear for loved ones. I had to read this several times to extrapolate what it meant, and still it’s hard to read. The message to be responsible for it leaves him guessing. What’s it and what for? He doesn’t know till the next morning, when his friend tells him the CEO of the company had been killed. What company? What does Jeffery’s occupation? Unable to recollect the events but finding evidence of his involvement, guilt and fear cling to him. Why, he’s as clueless as we are. That may be your intention, but the reader just feels confused, and that’s not the reaction you want.

 

Only days later, he’s drugged again. Once more left with a blank, he’s caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. Was he responsible? Convinced to be a victim Blake is driven to prove his innocence. So Jeffery is an amnesiac hit man, we’re lead to believe.

 

Soon his life falls apart as police are closing in. Having weak alibis he becomes suspect and as they dig around his past, he’s tangled in more lies. Held back by ongoing threats and the possible truth that a loved one could be pushing him to the limit, he only hints his dilemma to friends. Again we’re left with a lot of ambiguity.

 

After ten days of conspiracy and about to surrender he makes a heartbreaking discovery. This is a strong case of telling not showing. This last line doesn’t really raise the stakes or reveal any of what’s going on.

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery murder with a twist, taking the reader on a thrilling journey of guessing and heartfelt emotions. Don’t editorialize your own work.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

The problem I think you’re having is that you’re trying to shroud the story in mystery (which is understandable because that’s what it is,) but the reader is left confused with not much of a sense of what is going, why it’s going on, who the antagonist is, and not much reason to care for the protagonist. You need to show us what makes your story standout from all the other mysteries out there. Show us why we should read it, and don’t worry about giving away secrets. Don’t tell us the ending, but you have to build the suspense.

 

Hope this helps.

 

P.S. It’s nice to see another thriller/suspense/mystery on here.



#11 Tanja

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 08:48 PM

Thank you so much for your feedback. Very helpful. Seems I keep on doing the same mistake. I'm telling nothing lol. My problem is I can't reveal the antagonist since the reader and the protagonist don't know till right to the end who the antagonist is. So I'm trying to keep that suspense as otherwise it's all revealed. I'll try to give it another shot and approach it in a different way. Gosh, writing a book is easier :wink:


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#12 Tanja

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 01:39 AM

Okay, I have approached this completely different. Am I on the right track? Will see. Thank you all for your help

 

Dear______

 

Jeffrey Blake won’t forget the moment when the blade hit the skin of his throat. He didn’t dare swallow. Captured and drugged by an unknown assailant the question why is soon answered. He’s up for murder.

 

That’s what he learns the next day when going to work. Being the general manager of F.I.N., a financial institution in San Diego and happily married, nothing like it would have entered his mind; not even when he discovers his shirt soaked in blood. But when his best friend George tells him the CEO of F.I.N. had been killed, he knows it’s all very real. The message by the assailant had been apparent - he was responsible for it. Involving police was not an option as the threats were clear - fear for the safety of family and friends if doing so.

 

Convinced to be a victim Blake’s driven to prove his innocence. But how since he can’t even remember he’s committed the crime? Everyone becomes his suspect – His boss, George; even his beloved wife. But when his old friend Cam starts to work in the same company and suspicious incidents occur around him, he believes to have his assailant.

 

Even taking every precaution, only days later he becomes victim again. Once more left with a blank, he’s caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. The only ones not in riddles are police. Finding evidence against him they’re closing in on Blake. Fast. (I'm really not sure here if I should go longer. Don't know if it's clear that he's trying to prove his innocence)

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery murder with an unexpected twist.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#13 zjarm

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 02:17 AM

Okay, I have approached this completely different. Am I on the right track? Will see. Thank you all for your help

 

Dear______

 

Jeffrey Blake won’t forget the moment when the blade hit (To me, "hit" invokes an image of impact, a thud, if you will. For a knife against the throat, I think a different word would be better.) the skin of his throat. He didn’t dare swallow. Captured and drugged by an unknown assailant the question why is soon answered. (Why what? Why he was captured and drugged? Why he had a knife at his throat? For me, this sentence is awkward and unnecessary.) He’s up for murder. Now for my real "why" question: Why is he up for murder?

 

That’s what he learns the next day when going to at work. Being the general manager of F.I.N., a financial institution in San Diego and happily married, (Where this comma is placed makes it seem as though FIN is happily married, not Blake.) nothing like it (What is "it"?) would have entered his mind; (No need for a semi-colon. A comma is fine. A sentence smoothing would be even better.) not even when he discovers his shirt soaked in blood. But when his best friend George tells him the CEO of F.I.N. has been killed, he knows it’s all very (Very tends to be weak.) real. The message by the assailant has been apparent (You could make this less passive.)  - he was responsible for it. (Of course the assailant was responsible for iy. He's the assailant. What's the message?) Involving police was not an option as the threats were clear - fear for the safety of family and friends if doing so. I've corrected a couple of instances, but you've slipped into past tense. Keep the whole thing in present.

 

Convinced to be a victim (What? I'm confused by this wording.) Blake’s driven to prove his innocence. But how since he can’t even remember he’s committed the crime? Everyone becomes his suspect – His boss, George; (comma, not semi-colon) even his beloved wife (Why is his wife a suspect? Why George?). But when his old friend Cam starts to work in the same company and suspicious incidents occur around him, he believes to have he has his assailant.

 

Even taking every precaution (Such as?), only days later he becomes victim again (How so?). Once more left with a blank (This is too colloquial for my tastes.), he’s caught up in riddles when the Vice President goes missing. The only ones not in riddles are police (What does this mean?). Finding evidence against him they’re closing in on Blake. Fast. (I'm really not sure here if I should go longer. Don't know if it's clear that he's trying to prove his innocence)

 

Complete at 81’000 words ‘10 Day Conspiracy’ is a mystery murder with an unexpected twist.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I hope this isn't overwhelming. I see a lot of color and can get discouraged. I'm intrigued by the story, but some aspects are making me lose interest. I'm confused, for one. Much of the language is vague. I don't really know what's happening. I get that that's part of the mystery, but I have to have something concrete to latch onto, otherwise, even as a casual reader, my eyes will wander. I think I'm left with too many questions, and they're not about what's going to happen next.

 

Keep at it! And best of luck!



#14 Tanja

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 06:56 AM

Thank you all very much for the help so far. I have to admit I'm stuck at the moment... if not getting frustrated with myself. There is so many "can't do" in this query letter that I'm asked to do. And the reason why I can't do it, is because it would give away everything. And that's what I'm stuck with.

I can't reveal why he's blamed for murder

I can't reveal who the assailant is

I can't reveal why this all happens to him (Blake) as this is the big jaw dropper at the end.

And I seem to give the wrong message. No Blake is not an amnesiac hit man (even I did like the comment), he's the victim. Blamed for murder he can't recall. Why? I can't reveal as it would give it all away. By whom I can't reveal for the same reason.

So here I am. Stuck. :sad:


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#15 zjarm

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 03:01 PM

Thank you for your comments!

 

I see your dilemma and that's a tough situation to be in. I am certainly glad I am not a mystery writer. That genre seems to make the whole query letter nightmare tenfold more daunting.

 

I might have some thinking points which may help with your next revision (or may cause so much more confusion).

 

I definitely feel like you can give specifics without giving away the big reveal. And agents are entitled to glean some secrets from your query letter.

 

First, those question which need to be answered, those seem like the primary obstacle for your MC. It would take a lot of skillful writing to compose it correctly, but why not think baout including them in the query? Blake doesn't know why he's blamed for murder, who his assailant is, or why all of this is crashing down on his head. (Of course written much more coherently in your wonderful voice.) After all, aren't these the big questions he's trying to answer for himself?

 

Secondly, you can give details of action without revealing your twist. What exactly happens to Blake? How is he assailed, even if you can't say who did it? What exact things are happening to him, even if you can't reveal why?

 

Finally, what's really at stake? Does he have to answer these question to save his own life? Or are there bigger issues at play?

 

Just some things to think about (as though you needed more). You were one of the few to read/respond to my query, so I want to help you as much as I can, even if it's not a lot. You can always tell me to buzz off.

 

Good luck! Onward and upward!



#16 wildworks

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:40 PM

I agree with Zjarm. My suggestion is to go to the library, a book store, or amazon and read a bunch dust jackets in the mystery section, get an idea how they work.



#17 Tanja

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 12:22 AM

Thank you all for your help. It's very much appreciated.

 

I can't count how many back of books I've read to get an idea. I can't remember how many endless hours, days, months I've spent reading and learning. But it seems I'm still not there. I have learned other authors in the same genre don't give away much, like talking about a clue without revealing what the clue is (as an example) but all I can do is drink some red wine, get over my clipped wings and start all over again.

 

Thank you all so far. I'll be sitting down again and when it's ready I'll re-post.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#18 wildworks

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:52 AM

Ive done the same, read lots of jackets, but after a while they seem to fade away. What seem to work best for me is to get on amazon, or query shark, then read one query and write. When I get tiered of reading, I read another query or dust jacket

Good luck..



#19 Lyric

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:43 PM

It is funny how we write thousands upon thousands of words to create a story that is well thought out, with surprises, twists and turns...and yet we are all here on this site unable to convey that idea in a simple letter of about 250 words to get the right people to interested in what we wrote.

 

Tanja , I understand there is  a lot you cant give away in writing your query. I know the frustration...But try to remember the formula...What disrupts Blake's world...What are Blake's goals...What stops Blake from those goals...and what happens if he fails...you have written the story and you can figure out a way to write this query.

 

I have to say I like  that line you said near the end of Post 14...Blake is not an amnesiac hit man. He's the victim, blamed for a murder he can't recall....I don't know if you could use that but it would be a great hook.



#20 Tanja

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 12:52 AM

Thanks Lyric for your suggestions. Over the past few days I've done nothing other than going through Michael Connelys's hooks and outlines. I've been working hard on a new one which is not quite ready yet but it will be different and concentrate on Blake and nothing else and I think I should be on the right track then. Hopefully. I like your idea about the hook but then I would be stealing of wildworks who put the word amnesiac hit man in the comment. And I liked the expression as much as you do


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey





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