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The Last Deception (mystery suspense) new version post #113


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#1 John_Angel

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:26 AM

Hello everyone,

  

I would be very appreciative for a little feedback on this query. Been working on it for a while now. Outside eyes are always helpful and deeply grateful!

 

Thank you,

John Angel

 

See post #113 for newest version of query — http://agentquerycon...t-110/?p=332422

 

 

 

I’d like to tell you about my latest novel, THE LAST DECEPTION (111,000 words)

Before he succumbed to alcohol, Eric Spellman had been a great cop, the one who captured New York City’s worst serial killer, The Counting Man. Driven with the desire to capture his wife’s killer, it became a game to the killer, nearly destroying Spellman in the process. For years after the capture, he became the shell of the man he once was. But just as if it seemed he would retire some day a fallen hero, a woman named Jill Clairmont comes to him asking for his help in finding her missing husband. The man buried inside the hero is prompted to action, but when Jill receives a letter from her husband telling her he has left, it all but confirms the husband left, but Spellman doesn’t believe it. He tirelessly investigated, leading him nowhere. In the years that followed, two more husbands went missing, along with the letters saying they left.

Obsessed with the cases, Spellman struggled to find the husbands. Everywhere he searched, he found nothing. Just when he thought he would redeem himself, he reverted back to the shell of the hero he once was. He retired the fallen hero.

For ten years, the cases remained cold, until Charlotte Jackson comes to Mike Spellman, Eric’s cousin, for help in finding her missing husband. Just when it seemed Eric’s theory was coming true, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. Along with his partner and best friend Rich Luft, they begin investigating. Upon their investigation, they discover the burial site of the four husbands. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan.

I am writing to you because I read on your website you were passionate about mysteries. I am hoping that mine is one you could also feel passionate about. My novel has been published on Amazon.

Thank you for your time.

Best wishes,
 



#2 Testome

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:18 AM

Hello everyone,

  

I would be very appreciative for a little feedback on this query. Been working on it for a while now. Outside eyes are always helpful and deeply grateful!

 

Thank you,

John Angel

 

 

 

I’d like to tell you about my latest novel, THE LAST DECEPTION (111,000 words)   I woulg just say Dear(agent) messagge to that agent like why you think this novel is right for them, and put age group title and wc at the bottom.

 

 

 

Before he succumbed to alcohol, Eric Spellman had been a great cop, the one who captured New York City’s worst serial killer, The Counting Man. Driven with the desire to capture his wife’s killer, it became a game to the killer, nearly destroying Spellman in the process. For years after the capture, he became the shell of the man he once was. But just as if it seemed he would retire some day a fallen hero, a woman named Jill Clairmont comes to him asking for his help in finding her missing husband. The man buried inside the hero is prompted to action, but when Jill receives a letter from her husband telling her he has left, it all but confirms the husband left, but Spellman doesn’t believe it. He tirelessly investigated, leading him nowhere. In the years that followed, two more husbands went missing, along with the letters saying they left.You should come up with a hook to draw in the reader. What you have now is a bit generic.

Obsessed with the cases, Spellman struggled to find the husbands. Everywhere he searched, he found nothing. Just when he thought he would redeem himself, he reverted back to the shell of the hero he once was. He retired the fallen hero.Fallen hero to me implies more someone went bad than someone who just can't solve a case.

For ten years, the cases remained cold, until Charlotte Jackson comes to Mike Spellman, Eric’s cousin, for help in finding her missing husband. Just when it seemed Eric’s theory was coming true, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. Along with his partner and best friend Rich Luft, they begin investigating. Upon their investigation, they discover the burial site of the four husbands. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan. Is she the main obstacle Eric faces here?  I would get to this paragragh sooner. 

I am writing to you because I read on your website you were passionate about mysteries. This feels like a personal message to the agent at the top sort of thing.I am hoping that mine is one you could also feel passionate about. This is a given considering you're querying the book. My novel has been published on Amazon.Self published novels may not count for much writing credits.

Thank you for your time.

Best wishes,
 

I think the main problem is this takes to long to get to the main conflict.  If you could bring those first two paragraphs down to a couple of sentences I think that might work better only because a lot of your setup info is just repeated in the last paragraph. Also, the conflict and the stakes are somewhat vague.  Right now this reads like any common procedural on tv. You should work on highlighting your uniqueness.



#3 John_Angel

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:58 PM

I think the main problem is this takes to long to get to the main conflict.  If you could bring those first two paragraphs down to a couple of sentences I think that might work better only because a lot of your setup info is just repeated in the last paragraph. Also, the conflict and the stakes are somewhat vague.  Right now this reads like any common procedural on tv. You should work on highlighting your uniqueness.

Thank you for your advice. I do agree it's too long, but the story is complex. It starts out in 1980, then ends in 2016, so how to set all that up without giving anything away is the real issue. The crux of the story is about the missing husbands and how Spellman investigates in 1991 with it ending with his cousin in 2016. But it's back to the drawing board, definitely. Thanks again.



#4 John_Angel

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 06:42 PM

I just re-worked the outline of the story in the letter. Here's my updated version without the rest...

 

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City: but it wasn’t alone. Something else was killing homosexuals. Fear spread amongst the gay population in another form: they called it Janus. Was it another disease? A serial killer? No one knew. It stayed that way for years, until Detective Mike Spellman started investigating the disappearance of Charlotte Jackson’s husband.

As Mike dug deeper into his investigation, similarities to his cousin Eric Spellman’s three missing husbands cases twenty years prior were becoming clearer. Upon further investigating, Mike uncovered the one common link to both cases: they all had an affair with a woman named Kaitlin Donovan. With his partner and best friend Detective Rich Luft, they discover the bodies of four missing husbands, including Charlotte Jackson’s husband, along with the remains of a missing homosexual man.

Mike enlists the help of his retired cousin Eric Spellman, who reveals to Mike his investigation of five homosexual men found murdered by the mysterious Janus. As the investigation continued, every corner they turned, the murder trail led directly to Kaitlin Donovan.

 

Any opinions of course would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again...



#5 Tanja

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 12:48 AM

Hi

I  haven't been here for a while as I'm busy writing and querying but I just stumbled over your query. The second version is much much better. A couple of things I'd like to point out.

 

What I struggle with in this sentence is the IT. In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City: but it wasn’t alone. what does it refer to? Aids or the homosexual men? It's a little confusing. To eliminate that confusion, I'd delete that part. Stick to the basics and keep the story going. And to avoid repeating the word homosexual twice, change one to gay.

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City, but something else was killing the gays.

 

One of the main problem with the query is the tense. Everything should be in present tense. As Mike digs deeper into his investigation etc. Nearly the whole query is in past tense. Queries have to be in present tense. One other thing is you're using questions. If possible, try avoiding questions at all time in a query.

 

The one thing I'm missing here are the stakes. What are the stakes for Mike? Also is there a need to mention Rich Luft (which I think is a great name), and Eric Spellman? Since they are both really "side noises" and don't really add to the query, I would leave them out and concentrate more on Mike and why this case means to much to him.

 

However, by reading the first version again, I think if anything, then this part could really add some conflict to the query:

 

For ten years, the cases remained cold, until Charlotte Jackson comes to Mike Spellman, Eric’s cousin, for help in finding her missing husband. Just when it seemed Eric’s theory was coming true, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. Along with his partner and best friend Rich Luft, they begin investigating. Upon their investigation, they discover the burial site of the four husbands. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan

 

If you can mix the first version with the second, then I think you could come up with something more grabbing, because your story sounds great. Now you just need the good query to go with it.

 

Good luck and I hope I could help a little :smile:


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#6 John_Angel

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:50 AM

Hi

I  haven't been here for a while as I'm busy writing and querying but I just stumbled over your query. The second version is much much better. A couple of things I'd like to point out.

 

What I struggle with in this sentence is the IT. In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City: but it wasn’t alone. what does it refer to? Aids or the homosexual men? It's a little confusing. To eliminate that confusion, I'd delete that part. Stick to the basics and keep the story going. And to avoid repeating the word homosexual twice, change one to gay.

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City, but something else was killing the gays.

 

One of the main problem with the query is the tense. Everything should be in present tense. As Mike digs deeper into his investigation etc. Nearly the whole query is in past tense. Queries have to be in present tense. One other thing is you're using questions. If possible, try avoiding questions at all time in a query.

 

The one thing I'm missing here are the stakes. What are the stakes for Mike? Also is there a need to mention Rich Luft (which I think is a great name), and Eric Spellman? Since they are both really "side noises" and don't really add to the query, I would leave them out and concentrate more on Mike and why this case means to much to him.

 

However, by reading the first version again, I think if anything, then this part could really add some conflict to the query:

 

For ten years, the cases remained cold, until Charlotte Jackson comes to Mike Spellman, Eric’s cousin, for help in finding her missing husband. Just when it seemed Eric’s theory was coming true, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. Along with his partner and best friend Rich Luft, they begin investigating. Upon their investigation, they discover the burial site of the four husbands. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan

 

If you can mix the first version with the second, then I think you could come up with something more grabbing, because your story sounds great. Now you just need the good query to go with it.

 

Good luck and I hope I could help a little :smile:

Thank you, thank you so very much! You were a big help. I just needed the fine tuning and you provided that. Your ideas are awesome and going to use a few of them and clean this letter up. I'm also glad you like the sound of the story. It is one of my better ones and have been working on it for a long time.



#7 John_Angel

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 03:28 AM

I think I may have it, but as always, I could do with some feedback...thanks again.

 

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City, but something else was killing gay men. Fear spread amongst the gay population in another form: they called it Janus. No one knew if it was another serial killer or a new disease. The cases remained cold for years.

When a woman named Charlotte Jackson comes to Detective Mike Spellman for help in finding her missing husband, he begins to investigate. As Mike digs deeper, clues to three missing husband cases twenty years prior were becoming clearer. Just when it seemed Mike was getting closer to solving the case, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. Along with his partner and best friend Detective Rich Luft, they discover the burial site of the four husbands, along with the remains of a homosexual man. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan.

When Mike is critically shot during the investigation, Rich enlists the help of Mike’s retired cousin Detective Eric Spellman, who reveals to him his investigation of five homosexual men found murdered by the mysterious Janus. As they seek answers, every corner they turn, the murder trail leads directly to Kaitlin Donovan.



#8 DaveTheRave

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 07:39 PM

I think I may have it, but as always, I could do with some feedback...thanks again.

 

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City, but something else was killing gay men. A killer stalked New York City in the 80s: AIDS. And it wasn't alone. Fear spread amongst the gay population in another form this is poorly espressed, you're saying fear spread in another form. What other form? Happiness? Smoke? they called it Janus. No one knew if it was another serial killer or a new disease wouldn't it be rather obvious? The cases remained cold for years. So it stopped?

 

 

When a woman named Charlotte Jackson comes to Detective Mike Spellman for help in finding her missing husband, he begins to investigate this sentence lacks voice and characterisation. As Mike digs deeper deeper than what? he just started digging, clues to three missing husband cases twenty years prior were becoming clearer your tense is off in this sentence. Just when it seemed Mike was getting closer to solving the case, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left . Along with his partner and bes?t friend Detective Rich Luft, they discover the burial site of the four husbands how?, along with the remains of a homosexual man How do they know he's gay? When they finally come close to unraveling the case, how? they discover at the center of all the missing husbands lies one common link: a woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan.

When Mike is critically shot you can get critically wounded, not criticlly shot during the investigation, Rich enlists the help of Mike’s retired cousin Detective Eric Spellman, who reveals to him his investigation of five homosexual men found murdered by the mysterious Janus. As they seek answers, every corner they turn, the murder trail leads directly to Kaitlin Donovan. That's it? Where's the stakes?

Hey there,

 

I like the idea of a serial killer stalking the gay population along with AIDS, however, this query lacks characterisation, voice and tension. You need to be more effective at building intrigue and tension rather than just "he does this, he finds this out, his brother tells him this.

 

I notice here, but especially in your first draft about and in your novel online that you seem to have real trouble with tense. An agent would never consider representing somebody who hasn't mastered that basic part of the craft. You need to get help with that to give yourself a chance.

 

Good luck. Please hit me back on mine ;


Feedback is always appreciated on:

 

Query: http://agentquerycon...e&module=usercp

 

Opening 250: http://agentquerycon...iller/?p=317580


#9 John_Angel

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:30 PM

Hey there,

 

I like the idea of a serial killer stalking the gay population along with AIDS, however, this query lacks characterisation, voice and tension. You need to be more effective at building intrigue and tension rather than just "he does this, he finds this out, his brother tells him this.

 

I notice here, but especially in your first draft about and in your novel online that you seem to have real trouble with tense. An agent would never consider representing somebody who hasn't mastered that basic part of the craft. You need to get help with that to give yourself a chance.

 

Good luck. Please hit me back on mine ;

Thanks for your advice, really appreciate it. Guess it's back to the drawing board, lol...



#10 Tanja

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:52 AM

Hi again

Glad I could help so far. I think DavetheRave has given you a great first sentence. A killer stalked New York City in the 80s: AIDS. And it wasn't alone.  One of the main problems I see, and I did the same with my first query is, you're going too deep into the story. I can't remember how many attempts I had at my first query, a lot, but it was worth it. So don't give up. Keep going.

 

one of the best suggestions I had was to concentrate on the first 50 pages of your story. Pin them down as strong as you can. Go into as much detail as you can. In my case I had to go into as much detail as a shirt and a business card. Avoid vagueness. Like this is vague: ...he begins to investigate. As Mike digs deeper, clues to three missing husband cases twenty years prior were becoming clearer. Give details. What exactly does he discover? Janus seems to be important but how can the gay population not know if it was a decease or a killer, as in a murderer? If you can't give away who Janus is, try to be clearer in how those people died.

 

Best way to go about this is to sit down and outline the first 50 pages. Then trim them down, and trim them more down. Keep doing this and concentrate on the most intriguing parts. If possible, get them down to two paragraphs. The third paragraph you use to hint at what's coming in the story. You could leave the discovery of Kaitlin Donovan as a cliffhanger. But make sure to mention the stakes. Who is at stakes? What is at stakes?

 

One of the most important things: don't give up. Writing a query is harder than writing an entire book. Trust me, it'll give you sleepless nights. But keep going. You'll get there.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#11 RosieSkye

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:13 PM

I think I may have it, but as always, I could do with some feedback...thanks again.

 

 

In the 80’s, AIDS terrorized homosexual men all throughout New York City, but something else was killing gay men. (Introducing AIDS right off the bat makes it seems like this will be a story about AIDS, but then you immediately veer away from it.) Fear spread amongst the gay population in another form: they called it Janus. (Not sure about this wording - they called the fear Janus?) No one knew if it was another serial killer or a new disease. The cases remained cold for years. (Still not sure about this. Wouldn't the bodies of people struck by a serial killer look very different from people who were killed by a disease?)

When a woman named Charlotte Jackson comes to Detective Mike Spellman for help in finding her missing husband, he begins to investigate. As Mike digs deeper, clues to three missing husband cases twenty years prior were becoming ("become" - keep the rest of your query in present tense) clearer. Just when it seemed Mike was getting closer to solving the case, a letter arrived from Charlotte’s husband telling her he left. (So he gets a letter from the husband, and then finds the husband's dead body? I think this part with the letter can be cut, because it doesn't directly lead to anything in your query. It's more streamlined if Mike just starts investigating, and then finds the bodies.) Along with his partner and best friend Detective Rich Luft, they discover the burial site of the four husbands, along with the remains of a homosexual man. When they finally come close to unraveling the case, they discover at the center of They soon learn that all the missing husbands have lies one common link: a mistress, Kaitlin Donovan. woman they all had an affair with named Kaitlin Donovan.

When Mike is critically shot during the investigation, Rich enlists the help of Mike’s retired cousin Detective Eric Spellman, who reveals to him his investigation of five homosexual men found murdered by the mysterious Janus. As they seek answers, every corner they turn, the murder trail leads directly to Kaitlin Donovan. (It seems like you've abandoned Mike as your MC here. What is he doing while the other men are investigating?  What's ultimately at stake for him?  Keep your query from Mike's POV.)

 

 

Hope this helps!



#12 John_Angel

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:17 PM

Hope this helps!

Yes it does help! Thank you. Been rewriting this letter all week lol. Tougher than the book itself, but I'll get it with everyone's help. Thanks again.



#13 John_Angel

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 01:40 PM

Hi again

Glad I could help so far. I think DavetheRave has given you a great first sentence. A killer stalked New York City in the 80s: AIDS. And it wasn't alone.  One of the main problems I see, and I did the same with my first query is, you're going too deep into the story. I can't remember how many attempts I had at my first query, a lot, but it was worth it. So don't give up. Keep going.

 

one of the best suggestions I had was to concentrate on the first 50 pages of your story. Pin them down as strong as you can. Go into as much detail as you can. In my case I had to go into as much detail as a shirt and a business card. Avoid vagueness. Like this is vague: ...he begins to investigate. As Mike digs deeper, clues to three missing husband cases twenty years prior were becoming clearer. Give details. What exactly does he discover? Janus seems to be important but how can the gay population not know if it was a decease or a killer, as in a murderer? If you can't give away who Janus is, try to be clearer in how those people died.

 

Best way to go about this is to sit down and outline the first 50 pages. Then trim them down, and trim them more down. Keep doing this and concentrate on the most intriguing parts. If possible, get them down to two paragraphs. The third paragraph you use to hint at what's coming in the story. You could leave the discovery of Kaitlin Donovan as a cliffhanger. But make sure to mention the stakes. Who is at stakes? What is at stakes?

 

One of the most important things: don't give up. Writing a query is harder than writing an entire book. Trust me, it'll give you sleepless nights. But keep going. You'll get there.

Thanks bunches!! Big help and good advice. Yeah, writing this letter is so much more tougher than the book itself.



#14 John_Angel

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 02:24 PM

I've got a better version here, so I think. More details with stakes. Of course, all help is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks again...

 

 

In the 80’s, five homosexual men, mysteriously poisoned to death, are found in dumpsters behind an abandoned building in New York City. Fear amongst the gay population it’s the work of something they’ve been calling Janus. As Detective Eric Spellman investigates, many speak of a figure who wears hoodie sweatshirts and dark sunglasses two of the five victims were last seen with. When the killings stop, the hooded figure becomes a ghost. It stays that way for three years, until Jill Clairmont comes to Eric for help in finding her missing husband. What she doesn’t realize is her husband Steve is having an affair with a woman named Kaitlin Donovan.

After Steve breaks off the affair with Kaitlin, the mysterious hooded figure abducts him. Steve turns up in a dark basement, tied up and scared. Fearing for his life, the hooded figure wants only one thing from him: a confession for cheating. After Steve confesses, the hooded figure makes him write a letter to his wife, telling her he’s never coming back. When Jill receives the letter, she brings it to Eric, who believes Steve has not left, but is in fact dead.

When Nancy Coleman and Kendra Black come to Eric saying their husbands are missing, Eric’s theory of another serial killer comes into focus, but no one believes him, since two more letters arrive saying the husbands left. Eric must find the answers to where the husbands are before the hooded figure takes them away from their wives.



#15 Tanja

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:45 AM

Thank you for leaving a comment on my query. It's an old version and not the one I started sending out. As with all queries, they need constant attention.

 

Anyhow. You're doing much better now. However, particularly in the first para you're creating some confusion, though overall it's clearer. 

 

In the 80’s, five homosexual men, mysteriously poisoned to death, are found in dumpsters behind an abandoned building in New York City. All I'm asking here is were they all found at the same time or at different times? If they were found at different times, you need to be more specific. Fear amongst  the gay population it’s the work of something they’ve been calling Janus. Try turning the sentence around to make it clearer: The gay fear it's the work of something they call 'Janus'. By saying that, 'something' is very vague. Can you be more specific what the gay population identifies as Janus? As Detective Eric Spellman investigates, many speak of a figure who wears hoodie sweatshirts and dark sunglasses two of the five victims were last seen with This is a very confusing sentence. Maybe try: As  Detective Eric Spellman investigates the killings, two of the witnesses clarify seeing a man wearing a hoddie and dark sunglasses. When the killings stop, the hooded figure becomes a ghost. It stays that way for three years, until Jill Clairmont comes to Eric for help in finding her missing husband. What she doesn’t realize is her husband Steve is having an affair with a woman named Kaitlin Donovan. Now here is where the confusion starts. Try to stay with one or no more than two MC's. You were with Eric. Then you change to Jill. How does Jill know her husband is having an affair with Kaitlin? If she doesn't, dump that part. Stay with Eric.


After Steve breaks off the affair with Kaitlin, the mysterious hooded figure abducts him. Steve turns up in a dark basement, tied up and scared. Fearing for his life, the hooded figure wants only one thing from him: a confession for cheating. After Steve confesses, the hooded figure makes him write a letter to his wife, telling her he’s never coming back. When Jill receives the letter, she brings it to Eric, who believes Steve has not left, but is in fact dead. I'm going to ask an important question. Who is your MC in the book? How many POV's are you using? I suggest in the query to use no more than two. So we don't want to know what happens to Steve, instead we either concentrate on Eric alone, or we can feed Jill in as well.

When Nancy Coleman and Kendra Black come to Eric saying  When two more women claim their husbands are missing, Eric’s theory of another serial killer comes into focus, but no one believes him, since two more letters arrive who received the letters? saying the husbands left. Eric must find the answers to where the husbands are before the hooded figure takes them away from their wives.

 

There is still a lot of work ahead. But don't give up. It's better than before. I'm wondering about one thing. You're starting off with the 5 dead gay guys, then suddenly husbands go missing. I don't quite see the connection between the two, so the first para is kind of lost in the rest of the query.

 

Another thing is you really need to try and shrink the sentences and make them snappy. I struggled with the same when I first wrote queries. I know you read the process of my query to 10 Days - The Betrayal. But I suggest reading the entire process of Conspiracy. There you'll see that I struggled with the exact same thing you're struggling with. I went way too long, used words that were totally unnecessary. And concentrate on your MC in the query. That will help a lot.

 

Good luck. :smile:  And don't give up. Your story sounds really intriguing.


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#16 Tanja

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 04:13 AM

I'm actually a little confused now. I just read your first entry again and there you're talking about Charlotte Jackson. And that it's ten years between the cases. In the latest version it's Jill Clairmont. And it's three years between the cases. Have you actually finished your MS or are you still working on it?Just wondering so I  know what I'm dealing with :wink:


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#17 John_Angel

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:40 PM

I'm actually a little confused now. I just read your first entry again and there you're talking about Charlotte Jackson. And that it's ten years between the cases. In the latest version it's Jill Clairmont. And it's three years between the cases. Have you actually finished your MS or are you still working on it?Just wondering so I  know what I'm dealing with :wink:

Hey, thanks again with your feedback, always appreciate it. OK...with the story, it starts out with a prologue in 1980 about a kid who kills his friend, then jumps to 1988 with the gay men and Eric investigating, then it jumps to 1991 where Eric starts to investigate the missing husbands, JIll Clairmont being the first wife, and they're ALL connected with the hooded figure in some way. Then, after Eric retires without solving the cases, it jumps to 2016 where his cousin Mike Spellman gets involved when Charlotte Jackson comes to him, and again they're ALL connected to Kaitlin and the hooded figure in some way. The story spans over a 35 year period. Starts with Eric first, then Mike and Rich. They're all main characters. See my dilemma? Trying to put that into a query is very very hard without trying to give away the BIG twist. It's also a continuation of my first book with Eric Spellman. When you first read the story, it all flows neatly. And yes, the book is finished, just proofing it now. But I do appreciate your help. Thanks again.  



#18 John_Angel

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:16 AM

Yet, another version of my query. Hope this is better. Appreciate the help.

 

 

In 1991, NYPD Detective Eric Spellman investigates the disappearance of two husbands. When the wives of the missing husbands mysteriously receive letters saying their husbands have left, Eric doesn’t believe they left, but are in fact dead. His investigation turns up nothing, staying that way until he retires in 2006.

In 2016, a woman comes to Eric’s cousin, Detective Mike Spellman, and his partner Detective Rich Luft, for help in finding her missing husband. During the investigation, the woman receives a letter saying her husband left. When Mike reads it, he feels the same as his cousin did twenty-five years earlier: the husband is dead. They soon learn all the husbands, including the ones in 1991, have a common link: a mistress named Kaitlin Donovan.

After Mike is shot and critically wounded by a mysterious hooded figure during the investigation, Rich continues investigating, enlisting the help of Eric Spellman. When Rich and Eric question Kaitlin about her affairs, they discover one of her friends is a famous author who wrote a short story in 1988 called Janus: about a serial killer who killed six husbands and sent letters to their wives. Kaitlin goes on to tell them about a hooded figure following her home one night. After they find the famous author murdered in his home, Rich and Eric must find the clues to the identity of the hooded figure and his connection to Kaitlin before he makes her his next victim.



#19 Tanja

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 01:33 AM

now I'm starting to see your dilemma. It's a very complex story. Same as mine. And  it was a huge struggle for me to get the query together. Trust me. But not impossible.

 

Your new attempt is much clearer, much better. You can still shorten everything. You're double-troubling a lot. If you know what I mean ;-)

 

In 1991, NYPD Detective Eric Spellman investigates the disappearance of two husbands. When the wives of the missing husbands mysteriously receive letters saying their husbands have left, Eric doesn’t believe they left, but are in fact dead. His investigation turns up nothing, staying that way until he retires in 2006. This sentence as an example repeats the same all over. You could put all that into two sentences. When to wives claim their husbands are missing, leaving notes stating they've left, NYPD Detective Eric Spellman believes the men are dead. But his investigation ends up as a cold-case until he retires in 2006.

 

In 2016, a woman comes (maybe try: seeks Detective Mike Spellsman's help, Eric's cousin, to Eric’s cousin, Detective Mike Spellman, and his partner Detective You don't need to repeat Detective since he's his partner Rich Luft, for help in finding her missing husband. During the investigation, Then, the woman receives a letter saying her husband has left. When Mike reads it, he feels Mike feels the same as his cousin did twenty-five years earlier: the husband is dead. They soon learn all the husbands, including the ones in 1991, have a common link: a mistress named Kaitlin Donovan. Try stronger words like: they stumble over the fact that all the husbands have one common link: a mistress ....

 

After Mike is shot and critically wounded by a mysterious hooded figure during the investigation you have too many investigations in the query. Either delete some of them where ever you can, or use something else, like "as they dig deeper" , Rich continues investigating, enlisting enlists the help of Eric Spellman. When Rich and Eric question When questioning Kaitlin about her affairs, Rich and Eric discover one of her friends is a famous author who wrote a short story in 1988 called Janus: a story about a serial killer who killed six husbands and sent letters to their wives. Kaitlin goes on to tell them who is them? about a hooded figure following her home one night. After they find the famous author murdered in his home, Rich and Eric must find the clues to the identity of the hooded figure and his connection to Kaitlin before he makes her his next victim.

 

You have some stakes now too. Which is good. Generally, much better. Next step, try using stronger words. dig deeper, encounter, shocked. All words you could use in the query to strengthen the whole thing. I can see it's really hard to get rid of one character since Mike is out of action. But maybe with your next re-write, I come up with an idea. And no you don't have to give away the big twist. That's what people always asked me to do. And I'm stubborn there, too. It's a thriller, thrillers have twists. Giving away the big secret would ruin the whole query. So no, don't give it away. You're on the right track now.

 

You also wrote that this is the second book. Did you write this as a standalone or as a continuation to the first? I suggest to write it as a standalone so you don't need to read the first to understand the second. I, too, wrote a trilogy, the third just in editing process, but even though they are all connected, they can all be read without the other. It's easier to place them with agents then hitting them with two books that have to be sold together. Just as a little hint ;-)

 

I'll check again tomorrow. Good luck


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#20 John_Angel

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:51 PM

now I'm starting to see your dilemma. It's a very complex story. Same as mine. And  it was a huge struggle for me to get the query together. Trust me. But not impossible.

 

Your new attempt is much clearer, much better. You can still shorten everything. You're double-troubling a lot. If you know what I mean ;-)

 

In 1991, NYPD Detective Eric Spellman investigates the disappearance of two husbands. When the wives of the missing husbands mysteriously receive letters saying their husbands have left, Eric doesn’t believe they left, but are in fact dead. His investigation turns up nothing, staying that way until he retires in 2006. This sentence as an example repeats the same all over. You could put all that into two sentences. When to wives claim their husbands are missing, leaving notes stating they've left, NYPD Detective Eric Spellman believes the men are dead. But his investigation ends up as a cold-case until he retires in 2006.

 

In 2016, a woman comes (maybe try: seeks Detective Mike Spellsman's help, Eric's cousin, to Eric’s cousin, Detective Mike Spellman, and his partner Detective You don't need to repeat Detective since he's his partner Rich Luft, for help in finding her missing husband. During the investigation, Then, the woman receives a letter saying her husband has left. When Mike reads it, he feels Mike feels the same as his cousin did twenty-five years earlier: the husband is dead. They soon learn all the husbands, including the ones in 1991, have a common link: a mistress named Kaitlin Donovan. Try stronger words like: they stumble over the fact that all the husbands have one common link: a mistress ....

 

After Mike is shot and critically wounded by a mysterious hooded figure during the investigation you have too many investigations in the query. Either delete some of them where ever you can, or use something else, like "as they dig deeper" , Rich continues investigating, enlisting enlists the help of Eric Spellman. When Rich and Eric question When questioning Kaitlin about her affairs, Rich and Eric discover one of her friends is a famous author who wrote a short story in 1988 called Janus: a story about a serial killer who killed six husbands and sent letters to their wives. Kaitlin goes on to tell them who is them? about a hooded figure following her home one night. After they find the famous author murdered in his home, Rich and Eric must find the clues to the identity of the hooded figure and his connection to Kaitlin before he makes her his next victim.

 

You have some stakes now too. Which is good. Generally, much better. Next step, try using stronger words. dig deeper, encounter, shocked. All words you could use in the query to strengthen the whole thing. I can see it's really hard to get rid of one character since Mike is out of action. But maybe with your next re-write, I come up with an idea. And no you don't have to give away the big twist. That's what people always asked me to do. And I'm stubborn there, too. It's a thriller, thrillers have twists. Giving away the big secret would ruin the whole query. So no, don't give it away. You're on the right track now.

 

You also wrote that this is the second book. Did you write this as a standalone or as a continuation to the first? I suggest to write it as a standalone so you don't need to read the first to understand the second. I, too, wrote a trilogy, the third just in editing process, but even though they are all connected, they can all be read without the other. It's easier to place them with agents then hitting them with two books that have to be sold together. Just as a little hint ;-)

 

I'll check again tomorrow. Good luck

Thanks again for the advice! Your help has been tremendous! Yes, this is a standalone book, but I did mention things from the first book without giving anything away just in case people want to read the first book. You can read this one and have an idea about the first one. I do have some ideas for a series, but that's a long way off lol. Thanks again!






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