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KILLER IN HEELS (Suspense/Thriller)


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#1 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 07:54 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears being single forever, but solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded Springfield 1911-A1 pistol and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. She has killed over eighty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins. It's a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager Enoch is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a male partner on the biggest assignment of her life, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, she wonders if her employer is doubting her abilities. All she knows is she must maintain her reputation, or die trying.

 

Verity's new partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He knows more than she does about everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. Doing her job with this smartass doubting her every move is going to be a lot harder than she imagined.

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word novel of suspense.

 

 

Thanks everyone! 



#2 PureZhar3

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:19 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears being single forever, but solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded Springfield 1911-A1 pistol and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. ​I would maybe cut this into two sentences - "fears being single forever. But solitude..." She has killed over eighty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins​comma . It's a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager Enoch is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a male partner on the biggest assignment of her life, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, she wonders if her employer is doubting her abilities ​Hmm. Okay, so this sentence reads a bit run-on. Maybe cut it into two sentences, or separate the assignment with dashes as opposed to commas to set it apart more clearly. Also, I'm suspending a bit of disbelief that just because he's a male, she assumed her employer is questioning her. Now, it may be the fact that he assigns her a partner at all, in which case you might consider dropping the male part... while it makes sense, it is also slightly misleading All she knows is she must maintain her reputation, or die trying. 

 

Verity's new partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He knows more than she does about everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. Doing her job with this smartass doubting her every move is going to be a lot harder than she imagined. ​Not near as big a fan of this paragraph. Maybe because it's a bit cliché - guy who knows everything waltzes in. Plus, I think this sentence has more potential. First, if there's romantic tension anywhere between them, you might want to hint at that (and tie it back to the hook, because right now, the single part of the hook seems slightly irrelevant). Second, you have the chance to here show us how it's going to be hard and what expectations she has to meet/break. Third, I think you could capture his smart-aleck tone better. Try to mix it up, and make it seem more unique, even in wording...

​"Verity's new partner Cy calls himself the world's greatest assassin. He also fancies himself the Earth's most brilliant man, an expert on everything from *Thing* to pouring tea. He has deluded himself into thinking Verity will fall head over heels for him *or other aspect of romantic tension*, and Verity finds her every action under critique. She has to finish this assignment and kill the drug lords before she kills her smart-mouthed partner."

​Or something...

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word novel of suspense. ​suspense novel

 

 

Thanks everyone! 

This is a really solid start. The last paragraph disappointed because the first ones were so great. Just a few points of thought :)


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


#3 lnloft

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:20 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears being single forever, but solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded Springfield 1911-A1 pistol and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. I like the concept of this hook, but I have a couple problems with it. One is that it's an awfully long sentence, which just gets cumbersome and has a harder time holding attention. Another is that I'm not a fan of the "woman doesn't like being single" hook. When you start with that, it sets us off on the wrong foot, especially when the rest of the query indicates that Verity can do perfectly fine without a man, thank you very much. Lastly, it feels a bit like you're immediately contradicting yourself, because you say she fears being single, but then immediately say that I guess it's fine, which weakens the whole sentence. But I do like the bit about the pistol and tea. Nice characterization, nice voice. She has killed over eighty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins. It's a reputation she has proudly earned alone. Since there is that nice voice at the end of the first sentence, these two sentences feel a little bland. Is there a way you can spice them up?

 

Verity's manager Enoch since he's never mentioned again by name, you don't need his name. If in later versions he takes on a bigger role in the query, you can then keep his name. is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a male partner on the biggest assignment of her life, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, she wonders if her employer is doubting her abilities. All she knows is she must maintain her reputation, or die trying.

 

Verity's new partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He knows more than she does about everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. These two sentences sound a bit like you've switched to Cy's POV. I know you haven't, but you want to make it clear that you're sticking to Verity's POV. That being said, I do like how the "cup of tea" came back around. It now adds a nice characterization of him. Doing her job with this smartass doubting her every move is going to be a lot harder than she imagined.

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word novel of suspense.

 

 

Thanks everyone! 

You're off to a good start. My biggest critique, which is not noted in blue above, is that I feel the latter two paragraphs are missing something. They're a little sparse in details, I guess. I understand that Verity doesn't necessarily know everything that's going on, and that's fine to play with that, but probably some more info on the mission would be helpful. I'm honestly not entirely certain who the villain of your story is, for one thing. Is it the guys she has to kill? Cy? Enoch? The company she works for? For that matter, the stakes are rather lacking. Verity has a job to do and needs to work with an arrogant, macho know-it-all, but what happens if she fails? You note that she cares about her reputation, but why should we care if her reputation takes a blow? Is that the only thing on the line here, or is there something bigger going on? And maybe Verity doesn't know the bigger issue, but that again becomes something you can play up, the mystery of what the heck is going on while she's also dealing with Cy on this job. I'm throwing a lot of things out there, because I don't know what exactly goes on with your story, but the point is there needs to be something more there. And you're in luck, because right now your query is fairly short, giving you a bit of wiggle room on the word count. Good luck.



#4 Casanuana

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:34 PM

I honestly don't get the feeling of suspense from this query. The last paragraph makes it sound like a Stephanie Plum novel. Which, don't get me wrong, isn't bad. Yet I don't think that it is the impression that you want for this query.  What are the stakes of the story? I understand that she might die but it seems put int here as an afterthought. WHY is she going to die? WHY does she feel that her boss is doubting her? Just the fact that she is getting a male partner? Are partner's rare in her line of work?


I am far from an expert but I am willing to give my opinion and share what I have learned.

 

my First 250: http://agentquerycon...sy-current-wip/

 

my Query: http://agentquerycon...antasy-revised/


#5 IslaCaribbe

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:14 AM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears being single forever, but solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded Springfield 1911-A1 pistol and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. She has killed over eighty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins. It's a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager Enoch is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a male partner on the biggest assignment of her life, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, she wonders if her employer is doubting her abilities. All she knows is she must maintain her reputation, or die trying.

 

Verity's new partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He knows more than she does about everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. Doing her job with this smartass doubting her every move is going to be a lot harder than she imagined.

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word novel of suspense.

 

 

Thanks everyone! 

I don't get it - where's the story?

 

Verity is a badass.

She gets a male partner (why is she upset? shouldn't that be normal? why did you mention 'male'? does she hate men?)

What are the stakes? What happens if they fail? 

What challenges will they face?

And where's the suspense?


Check out my query if you have time: A Goddess Calls


#6 RosieSkye

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:37 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears being single forever, but solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded Springfield 1911-A1 pistol and a warm cup of tea to keep her company.  (As others have said, this sentence is a run-on, and you immediately contradict yourself.) She has singlehandedly killed over eighty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins. It's a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager Enoch is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a male partner on the biggest assignment of her life, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, she wonders if her employer is doubting her abilities. All she knows is she must maintain her reputation, or die trying.

 

Verity's new partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He knows more than she does about everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. Doing her job with this smartass doubting her every move is going to be a lot harder than she imagined. (It feels like you switch POVs at the beginning of this paragraph, and then switch back to Verity.  I'd adjust the wording to stick with her.)

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word novel of suspense.

 

 

Thanks everyone! 

 

 

This is off to a good start, but your stakes seem lacking, and the ultimate tone of your query feels a little more sassy and tongue-in-cheek than serious and suspenseful.  It feels like all that's really on the line is Verity's reputation as somebody who can work alone, which might be a blow to her ego, but nothing for a reader to really get invested in.  Maybe something more in the vein of "this is the most dangerous assignment of Verity's career, and if she and Cy can't work together, they'll both end up dead" or something like that.

 

Good luck!



#7 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:59 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears she'll never meet a man who will accept her dark secret. But solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded sniper rifle and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. She has killed over forty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins, a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager is her only link to the anonymous company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, a partner sounds like a good idea. Until she meets his ego. Cy thinks he's the expert on everything, from how to be the world's greatest assassin to exotic herbal teas. He criticizes her every move, and has little faith in her instincts.

 

When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Verity knows his strategy will get them killed, but she needs his help taking down the hundreds of armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers. Verity could ditch him and kill their target on her own, but this is a two person job. If she can't survive Cy's recklessness, and show him her way is better, neither of them will be making it off the island alive.

 

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word suspense novel. It will appeal to fans of Wanted, Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise series, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (with a Domino Harvey edge), and readers looking for books written by women about sophisticated female assassins.

 
Thanks everyone!


#8 RosieSkye

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:40 PM

 

UPDATED VERSION

 

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears she'll never meet a man who will accept her dark secret. (What's her dark secret?) But solitude isn't so bad, not with when she has a loaded sniper rifle and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. She has killed over forty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins - a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

 

Verity's manager is her only link to the anonymous company she works for. When he tells her she learns she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, a partner sounds like a good idea. (Rather than simply saying a partner is a good idea, I think you should word this more like: DESPITE her knack for working alone, which you've just spent the last paragraph setting up, the size of her next assignment makes her grudgingly admit that a partner is necessary.)  Until she meets his ego. Cy thinks he's the expert on everything, from how to be the world's greatest assassin to exotic herbal teas. He criticizes her every move, and has little faith in her instincts.

 

When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Verity knows his strategy will get them killed, but she needs his help taking down the hundreds of armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers. Verity could ditch him and kill their target on her own, but this is a two person job. (This is contradictory - if she can ditch him and do it herself, it's by definition a one-person job.  Do you mean she'll get in trouble if she goes off alone?) If she can't survive Cy's recklessness, and show him her way is better, neither of them will be making it off the island alive. (I think you need more detail here.  It's like you're telling us Cy is reckless and they're in danger, but I'm not really feeling it.)

 

 

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word suspense novel. It will appeal to fans of Wanted, Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise series, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (with a Domino Harvey edge), and readers looking for books written by women about sophisticated female assassins.

 
Thanks everyone!

 

 

 

I don't know your story, but I get the feeling there's a lot of snarky banter between your characters, which isn't really coming across here.  Your query needs a distinct voice, and I think yours either needs to be with super colorful characters and said snarky banter, OR serious action and suspense, with the peril well spelled-out.  Right now it's falling in the middle, and not really delivering either way.  I feel like I'm being told that two somewhat bland people don't get along, and are in danger, but I'm just not invested.

 

And what about Verity's dark secret?  You open with it, and then never mention it again.

 

Hope this helps!



#9 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:21 PM

UPDATED VERSION

 

 

She-wolf is a nickname twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst has earned as one of the world's highest paid assassins. When she's not taking out criminals, she spends her free time adding to her Louboutin shoe collection, relaxing in bubble baths, and perfecting her aim. When she's told she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, it's time to load her sniper rifle. This is the most dangerous job of her life.

 

Verity hates her new partner Cy's entitled mentality. He looks like a Greek god and frequently checks himself out in mirrors. He's the world's greatest assassin, everything he does is magic, and Verity's instincts are a joke to him. When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Oh really? He couldn't even beat her in a training course competition.

 

Verity knows Cy's strategy will get them killed. He refuses to back down, and prepares for their invasion with whiskey cocktails and a power nap. If she breaks the rules and ditches him, she could kill their target herself, but the island's armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers far outnumber her. If she sticks with Cy's plan, they'll end up in the Rottweilers' feeding trough. Determined to make it off the island alive, Verity's best option is to convince Cy her plan is better. And she'd almost rather step on a landmine than reason with his attitude.

 

 

Thanks everyone, especially RosieSkye for the direction!



#10 mkuriel

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:21 PM

UPDATED VERSION

 

 

She-wolf is a nickname twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst has earned as one of the world's highest paid assassins. When she's not taking out criminals, [interesting; does she only kill criminals?] she spends her free time adding to her Louboutin shoe collection, relaxing in bubble baths, and perfecting her aim. When she's told she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, it's time to load her sniper rifle. This is the most dangerous job of her life. [this is good characterization and backstory, but there's no hook. Suggest something like: The She-wolf puts criminals in the ground, and looks good doing it. Until a client forces her to partner with "the world's vainest assassin."]

 

Verity hates her new partner Cy's entitled mentality. He looks like a Greek god and frequently checks himself out in mirrors. He's the world's greatest assassin, everything he does is magic, and Verity's instincts are a joke to him. When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Oh really? He couldn't even beat her in a training course competition.

 

Verity knows Cy's strategy will get them killed. He refuses to back down, and prepares for their invasion [odd word choice for a two-person mission] with whiskey cocktails and a power nap. If she breaks the rules and ditches him, she could kill their target herself, but the island's armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers far outnumber her. If she sticks with Cy's plan, they'll end up in the Rottweilers' feeding trough. [This feels repetitive and wordy. Nothing technically wrong, but suggest making it snappier: they'll end up as doggie kibble.] Determined to make it off the island alive, Verity's best option is to convince Cy her plan is better. And she'd almost rather step on a landmine than reason with his attitude. [You'd be better served by concretely describing the attitude. Preferably with whatever names she uses for him. And she'd rather step on a landmine than reason with the chauvinist pig.]

 

 

Thanks everyone, especially RosieSkye for the direction!

 

I'm mostly nit-picking. Well done!



#11 Oldborne

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:14 AM

UPDATED VERSION

 

 

She-wolf is a nickname twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst has earned as one of the world's highest paid assassins Nice hook. When she's not taking out criminals, she spends her free time adding to her Louboutin shoe collection, relaxing in bubble baths, and perfecting her aim. ​I immediately like how it sounds as though you've written a genuine female MC who is also an assassin, not an assassin who is also female.   When she's told she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, it's time to load her sniper rifle This sentence sounds like it's leading to a problem with having a partner but just kind of ends, instead.... This is the most dangerous job of her life why so?.

 

Verity hates her new partner Cy's entitled mentality. He looks like a Greek god and frequently checks himself out in mirrors. He's the world's greatest assassin wording's a little cliche here, but maybe that's what you're going for. You could call him the world's self-proclaimed greatest assassin, perhaps?, everything he does is magic, and Verity's instincts are a joke to him. When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Oh really? He couldn't even beat her in a training course competition.

 

Verity knows Cy's strategy will get them killed. He refuses to back down, and prepares for their invasion with whiskey cocktails and a power nap He sounds like Sterling Archer. If she breaks the rules and ditches him, she could kill their target herself, but the island's armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers far outnumber her Kind of redundant. They surely outnumber her with Cy, too . If she sticks with Cy's plan, they'll end up in the Rottweilers' feeding trough. Determined to make it off the island alive, Verity's best option is to convince Cy her plan is better. And she'd almost rather step on a landmine than reason with his attitude. Your stakes are super flat to me. She just has to convince Cy to change his plan. Do they go ahead with Cy's plan and get captured or something? It sounds more like set-up than stakes to me. 

 

 

Thanks everyone, especially RosieSkye for the direction!

Characterisation sounds good for both your leading characters and I like the direction the story seems to be going.

There were a few minor things, up to you if you want to address them, but the stakes aren't juicy enough in my opinion. What you have right now sounds like you're setting up to bigger stakes which might leave agents a little deflated.

Overall though this is pretty polished another draft or two and you'll be there.

Best of luck!   



 


All feedback appreciated: http://agentquerycon...ust-sf-mystery/

 


#12 BetsyEm

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 08:51 PM

UPDATED VERSION

 

 

She-wolf is a nickname Love this new opening! twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst has earned as one of the world's highest paid assassins. When she's not taking out criminals, she spends her free time adding to her Louboutin shoe collection, relaxing in bubble baths, and perfecting her aim. When she's told she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, it's time to load her sniper rifle. This is the most dangerous job of her life.

 

Verity hates her new partner Cy's entitled mentality. He looks like a Greek god and frequently checks himself out in mirrors. He's the world's greatest assassin, everything he does is magic, and Verity's instincts are a joke to him. When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to eliminate their final target, Cy insists on being the leader. Oh really? He couldn't even beat her in a training course competition.

 

Verity knows Cy's strategy will get them killed. He refuses to back down, and prepares for their invasion with whiskey cocktails and a power nap. If she breaks the rules and ditches him, she could kill their target herself, but the island's armed guards and bloodthirsty Rottweilers far outnumber her. If she sticks with Cy's plan, they'll end up in the Rottweilers' feeding trough. Determined to make it off the island alive, Verity's best option is to convince Cy her plan is better. This seems weak to me. The stakes feel high, but the phrasing here doesn't push home the drama. Is she willing to kill him? And she'd almost rather step on a landmine than reason with his attitude.

 

 

Thanks everyone, especially RosieSkye for the direction!

 

I have to say you are able to cultivate a really strong aesthetic with your tone and details which is awesome. However, while they evoke a really particular feel, they don't make me care about the characters. What's Verity's soft spot? Why do we, as readers, want her to survive this?  

 

I get kind of a love interest off of Cy, honestly - is there anything going on there? 


Currently working on my query for The Great and Terrible Carter Dynasty





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