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Ripples in the Pond

Thrillers/Suspense Crime

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#1 Adonis Adoni

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 08:10 AM

The 2.0 version is below. 

 

Hello, community. I'm new here and i was wondering if anyone would like to give me any feedback on my query. I will reciprocate with delight. 

 

Dear (Agent's Name), 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my novel Ripples in the Pond, a suspense-crime story completed at 78. 000 words.  

 

Carrie Ripples tries to juggle her boredom, her friend’s suspicious death, her suspension from the Academy, as well as her dysfunctional relationship with her stoner aunt.   

 

A forbidden romance, teachers with dark secrets, corrupt police officers, a hitman, an unwittingly pregnant aunt, an anti-abortionist Reverend, a scheming headmaster, a crime boss, and an iPod with an infinite song list mush together in a bottomless pit of absurdity that threatens to swallow her whole.

 

Carrie’s problem, however, isn’t to dig herself out off the pit but to escape her own egocentric myopia. And as she discovers the truth about her friend's death, her escape meets its opposition. 

 

Ripples in a Pond follows an upbeat tone similar to 12 Bliss Street by Martha Conway and dives into the thoughts and actions of a narcissistic individual much like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.   

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Warmest regards,

Adonis Adoni



#2 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 08:18 AM

Hello, community. I'm new here and i was wondering if anyone would like to give me any feedback on my query. I will reciprocate with delight. 

 

Dear (Agent's Name), 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my novel Ripples in the Pond, a suspense-crime story completed at 78. 000 [extra space, s/b 78,000] words.  

 

Carrie Ripples tries to juggle her boredom, her friend’s suspicious death, her suspension from the Academy, as well as her dysfunctional relationship with her stoner aunt.   

 

A forbidden romance, teachers with dark secrets, corrupt police officers, a hitman, an unwittingly pregnant aunt, an anti-abortionist Reverend, a scheming headmaster, a crime boss, and an iPod with an infinite song list mush together in a bottomless pit of absurdity that threatens to swallow her whole.

 

[I can see the beginnings of an interesting hook here, but the sentences above comprise a set of lists which don't tell me much about the actual storyline, or set up any intriguing questions that make me want to keep reading. There's no sense of emotional engagement (except boredom, which is not enticing :) ).]

 

Carrie’s problem, however, isn’t to dig herself out off the pit but to escape her own egocentric myopia. And as she discovers the truth about her friend's death, her escape meets its opposition. 

 

[What pit, exactly? What are the emotional stakes? And "egocentric myopia" is a turn-off for me in a novel's MC, unless I've already been gripped by something in the pitch that makes me care about her. Also, "her escape meets its opposition" is a vague phrase that I can't quite discern the meaning of.]

 

Ripples in a Pond follows an upbeat tone similar to 12 Bliss Street by Martha Conway and dives into the thoughts and actions of a narcissistic individual much like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.   [Perhaps add some of your writing or educational credentials here, if you're able? :) ]

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Warmest regards,

Adonis Adoni

 

["Warmest Regards" is a bit too personal, in my opinion. A simple "Regards" might work better.]

I can see that you have an intriguing story here, you just need to focus your pitch and punch it up a bit more. Best of luck! :)



#3 Springfield

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:44 AM

Hello, community. I'm new here and i was wondering if anyone would like to give me any feedback on my query. I will reciprocate with delight. 

 

Dear (Agent's Name), 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my novel Ripples in the Pond, a suspense-crime story completed at 78. 000 words. You want to use traditional genres.

 

Carrie Ripples tries to juggle her boredom, her friend’s suspicious death, her suspension from the Academy, as well as her dysfunctional relationship with her stoner aunt.   What? This is a list of oddly disconnected things (some lacking any explanation) that don't tell me about the character.

 

A forbidden romance, teachers with dark secrets, corrupt police officers, a hitman, an unwittingly pregnant aunt, an anti-abortionist Reverend, a scheming headmaster, a crime boss, and an iPod with an infinite song list mush together in a bottomless pit of absurdity that threatens to swallow her whole. Another meaningless, disconnected list. Character, problem, stakes.

 

Carrie’s problem, however, isn’t to dig herself out off the pit but to escape her own egocentric myopia. And as she discovers the truth about her friend's death, her escape meets its opposition. I don't know what this is meant to mean.

 

Ripples in a Pond follows an upbeat tone similar to 12 Bliss Street by Martha Conway and dives into the thoughts and actions of a narcissistic individual much like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.   You said something has an upbeat tone and then comped Gone Girl, and also I think diagnosed a character, which I really wouldn't do. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Warmest regards,

Adonis Adoni

This is a scrap-and-redo imo. Character, problem, stakes... some idea of plot. I've got absolutely no clue what's going on from this.



#4 Wayfarer

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 11:38 AM

What Springfield said. You dump a bunch of information and explain none of it. Research the structure of a query, align your story to its skeleton, and go from there.

 

Don't sweat it, I'm guilty of the same thing.



#5 Adonis Adoni

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:28 AM

Thank you for the critique! I will make the necessary changes and come back with version 2.0.



#6 ajvan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:33 AM

Hey Adonis! 

Hello, community. I'm new here and i was wondering if anyone would like to give me any feedback on my query. I will reciprocate with delight. 

 

Dear (Agent's Name), 

 

I am currently seeking representation for my novel Ripples in the Pond, a suspense-crime story completed at 78. 000 words.  You'll want to fix those small details like the atypical genre and the misplaced period. 

 

Carrie Ripples tries to juggle her boredom, her friend’s suspicious death, her suspension from the Academy, as well as her dysfunctional relationship with her stoner aunt.   I feel like there's one too many items in this list. Maybe it's a rule of three thing, but sentences with more than three clauses often read long. Cut boredom maybe? 

 

A forbidden romance, teachers with dark secrets, corrupt police officers, a hitman, an unwittingly pregnant aunt, an anti-abortionist Reverend, a scheming headmaster, a crime boss, and an iPod with an infinite song list mush together in a bottomless pit of absurdity that threatens to swallow her whole. This is where you need to give us an important plot point. Likely THE important plot point that makes everything start happening. The first paragraph sets up the crazy status quo, this one should tell us quickly how things really go off the tracks. Try to stay away from lists. 

 

Carrie’s problem, however, isn’t to dig herself out off the pit but to escape her own egocentric myopia. And as she discovers the truth about her friend's death, her escape meets its opposition. As this stands, I'm not sure what it means. Is she her own worst enemy? Try something along the lines of: "Carrie must [vitally important task]. But that will be hard, because [daunting problem(s)]." Try to make it quick and hooky. 

 

Ripples in a Pond follows an upbeat tone similar to 12 Bliss Street by Martha Conway and dives into the thoughts and actions of a narcissistic individual much like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.   

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Warmest regards, "Thanks for your consideration" is a good time-tested close.

Adonis Adoni

 

Seems like there's lots of intrigue in this story. It would be great to get a better idea of the plot. Keep after it! I've got a query posted as well, if you'd like to return the favor.



#7 Adonis Adoni

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:55 PM

Hello! This is version 2.0. Feel free to rip it apart. 

 

With the exams of her A-Level’s closing in, Carrie Ripples is preparing to wind down her boredom with the usual,-hatching a manipulative game against two of her teachers, drinking, and smoking. There is, though, an obvious hair in the soup; her despotic headmaster suspends her. Still, Carrie has one week before the suspension becomes permanent. Enough time to get back at her headmaster and win the game. The last thing she needs is to find Charles, her only friend and beacon of ethical sobriety, dead by his own hand, with a typed suicide note saying; “I’m sorry.”

 

Carrie tries to juggle her game, payback, and Charles' suspicious suicide, when her egocentric myopia is challenged by the most unexpected of places; grief. With such an opponent, Carrie’s single-mindedness has no room to hide.  

 

With the clock still ticking for her expulsion, Carrie watches the recent string of seemingly unrelated events intertwine. But, as she tries to resolve this mayhem, the truth behind Charles’ death turns sinister. Now, Carrie is about to find out how difficult is to escape her narrow-minded world.  



#8 Wayfarer

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:00 PM

With the exams of her A-Level’s closing in, Carrie Ripples is preparing to wind down her boredom with the usual (Look up what an em-dash is)-hatching a manipulative game against two of her teachers, (Does this mean she's pitting the two against each other? Or her against them? Ambiguous) drinking, and smoking. There is, though, an obvious hair in the soup; her despotic headmaster suspends her. (Why?) Still, Carrie has one week before the suspension becomes permanent. (What does permanent mean? Expulsion? Why would it change from suspension to expulsion?) Enough time to get back at her headmaster and win the game. The last thing she needs is to find Charles, her only friend and beacon of ethical sobriety, dead by his own hand, with a typed suicide note saying; “I’m sorry.” (This is weird phrasing. Should be said along the lines of "When she finds... things become even more troublesome. Etc.)

 

Carrie tries to juggle her game, payback, and Charles' suspicious suicide, when her egocentric myopia is challenged by the most unexpected of places; grief. With such an opponent, Carrie’s single-mindedness has no room to hide. (What are you saying here? This is incredibly vague and tells us nothing.)

 

With the clock still ticking for her expulsion, (Towards her expulsion?) Carrie watches the recent string of seemingly unrelated events intertwine. (If by events you mean the aforementioned "her game, payback, suicide, egocentric myopia, then it isn't really a string of events. Some of those things are events, some are mental issues. If you don't mean them, then again, confusing.)  But, as she tries to resolve this mayhem, the truth behind Charles’ death turns sinister. Now, Carrie is about to find out how difficult is to escape her narrow-minded world. What are the stakes exactly? Narrow minded world? Huh?



#9 Arait

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:04 PM

How did suspension in the first paragraph become expulsion in the last? And how is grief a place?

#10 ajvan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:37 AM

Hello! This is version 2.0. Feel free to rip it apart. 

 

With the exams of her A-Level’s A-level exams closing in, Carrie Ripples is preparing to wind down her boredom with the usual,-hatching a manipulative game against two of her teachers, distracts herself by drinking, and smoking and plotting against teachers. Long sentence... Try and lead in with something brief and to the point. Make every word count. There is, though, an obvious hair in the soup; Unexpectedly, (i'm guessing) her despotic headmaster suspends her. Still, and Carrie has one week before the suspension becomes permanent. Enough time to get back at her headmaster and win the game. Or: "Enough time to pass A-levels. Enough time to get even." I'm not sure what "game" you're talking about. The last thing Then she needs is to finds Charles, her only friend and beacon of ethical sobriety, dead by his own hand, with a typed suicide note saying; “I’m sorry.” As it stands, that last phrase seems cuttable. Maybe you could add a phrase with an m-dash. "...dead by his own hand--but is he really?"

 

Carrie tries to juggle her game, payback, and Charles' suspicious suicide, when her egocentric myopia is challenged by the most unexpected of places; grief. With such an opponent, Carrie’s single-mindedness has no room to hide.  Try to pare this down and simplify. For example: Carrie's mind whirls with suspicion and plans for payback, but then she's cornered by an enemy she's long tried to avoid: Grief, violent and crushing.

 

With the clock still ticking for her toward expulsion, Carrie watches the recent string of seemingly unrelated events intertwine. But, as she tries to resolve this mayhem, the truth behind Charles’ death turns sinister. Now, Carrie is about to find out how difficult is to escape her narrow-minded world.  Here's where you tell us about Carrie's unexpected plan, likely driven by her friend's death and her collision with sorrow. Time for a short, hooky ending. She sets out to do [something important] by [her plan of attack]. But it won't be easy because [nasty complicating factor].



#11 PureZhar3

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:16 PM

Hello! This is version 2.0. Feel free to rip it apart. 

 

With the exams of her A-Level’s closing in ​What does this mean? Are A-levels something in Europe?, Carrie Ripples is preparing to wind down her boredom with the usual,- ​a comma or dash but not both hatching a manipulative game against two of her teachers, drinking, and smoking. ​Yeah I don't understand this sentence There is, though, an obvious hair in the soup ​is this a European phrase? it isn't an American one (that I'm aware); her despotic headmaster suspends her. Still, Carrie has one week before the suspension becomes permanent. Enough time to get back at her headmaster and win the game ​use the full sentence - also, her headmaster is involved in the game?. The last thing she needs is to find Charles, her only friend and beacon of ethical sobriety, dead by his own hand, with a typed suicide note saying; “I’m sorry.” 

 

Carrie tries to juggle her game, payback, and Charles' suspicious suicide, when her egocentric myopia is challenged by the most unexpected of places; grief. With such an opponent, Carrie’s single-mindedness has no room to hide.  

 

With the clock still ticking for her expulsion, Carrie watches the recent string of seemingly unrelated events intertwine. But, as she tries to resolve this mayhem, the truth behind Charles’ death turns sinister. Now, Carrie is about to find out how difficult is to escape her narrow-minded world.  ​Does this all happen within a week? Aren't all suicides more or less sinister? 

​I'm sorry, but I stopped after the first paragraph because I simply don't understand what is going on. Try to be a bit more straightforward with your plot progression and writing. And remember, the story is in the specifics.

​Hopefully that helps!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#12 MICRONESIA

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:43 PM

That is not how semicolons work.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Thrillers/Suspense, Crime

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