Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Glass Domes (Psychological Thriller)


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 kathleenq

kathleenq

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 104 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 31 January 2019 - 06:21 PM

UPDATED IN #22

 

Thank you! Back at the query after a year or so off, so here we go:

 

Dear Agent,

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator makes the worst accidental mistake of his entire life. He lost a vial. A vial containing a disease that he created, a disease so vile that he alternates between heart bursting pride at having created such a thing and gut wrenching guilt that maybe he’s destroyed everything.

So far, though, nothing’s happened. Not a peep has been heard from anywhere in the world that some mysterious illness had been wreaking havoc. So, he decides that it’s finally okay to move on with his life. But of course, just when everything seems to be finally coming together, it all falls apart. After all, terrible things always happen on beautiful days.

He sees a newspaper, emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, and excuses and reasons begin to tumble into place. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his.

He’s not a monster though - he never meant to kill anyone. It was just supposed to be a little experiment just to prove he could. He had intended to destroy that vial, he really did. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out but he can’t manage the crushing guilt.

But when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying, pleads for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thanks so much! Looking forward to speaking with you soon,


Query: Glass Domes


#2 ScarlettLeigh

ScarlettLeigh

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 124 posts
  • Literary Status:in-between agents, industry insider
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:35 PM

Hi Kathleen!

 

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator (does this mean you haven't named him yet, or he's unnamed throughout the story? I tripped over this and spent way too much time trying to guess what it meant. Is there a way to approach this information a little more smoothly?) made the worst accidental mistake of his entire life. He lost a vial. A vial containing a disease that (that is a filler word you can often do without. Comb your manuscript for "thats" you can cut too) he createda disease so vile (may need a different word choice here...vial and vile sound repetitive) that he alternates between heart-bursting pride at having created such a thing and gut-wrenching guilt that maybe he’s destroyed everything(Instead of this part I suggested striking through at the end, I'd rather know why he thinks maybe he's destroyed everything. What's so vile about the disease?)

So far, though, nothing’s happened. Not a peep has been heard from anywhere in the world that concerning some mysterious illness had been wreaking havoc. So, he decides that it’s finally okay to move on with his life. But of course, just when everything seems to be finally coming together, it all falls apart. After all, terrible things always happen on beautiful days. (How was his life coming together and how does it fall apart? Give me the specifics here. Without them, it's tough to get a sense of the story.)

He sees a newspaper, emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, and excuses and reasons begin to tumble into place. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his. (If he never had a chance to test his disease, how does he know what the symptoms are? I wouldn't mind a clearer picture overall of what this disease entails and what the MC knows/ doesn't know)

He’s not a monster though - he never meant to kill anyone. It was just supposed to be a little experiment just to prove he could. He had intended to destroy that vial, he really did. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. (woah, now this is creepy) He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt.

But (two clauses in a row beginning with "but" change one up to avoid repetition?) when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, is (? feels like there's a word missing here) now infected and dying, pleads for help in finding a cure, (who pleads for help? The MC or his friend? Take another look at this sentence. I had a little trouble parsing it) he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thanks so much! Looking forward to speaking with you soon,

 

Woah. So yeah. This is sufficiently creepy. I get both the psychological and the thriller. Great job! Most of my comments are about tightening up in a few places. I think the number one thing you can do to take this from attention-grabbing to "must have" is cutting generalities in favor of more specific details. Really interested to see where you go with this!



#3 Caligulas

Caligulas

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 292 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 01 February 2019 - 02:48 PM

Thank you! Back at the query after a year or so off, so here we go:

 

Dear Agent,

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator makes the worst accidental mistake of his entire life. He lost a vial. A vial containing a disease that he created, a disease so vile that he alternates between heart bursting pride at having created such a thing and gut wrenching guilt that maybe he’s destroyed everything. (This is on the verge of working, right now it's a lumbering start and also not specific enough to demand attention)

 

So far, though, nothing’s happened. (Huge tension drop) Not a peep has been heard from anywhere in the world that some mysterious illness had been wreaking havoc. So, he decides that it’s finally okay to move on with his life. But of course, just when everything seems to be finally coming together, it all falls apart. After all, terrible things always happen on beautiful days. (This paragraph is useless. It isn't moving the plot at all)

He sees a newspaper, emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, and excuses and reasons begin to tumble into place. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his.(Again, this is lumbering and also formatted in a non-standard way for a query. If you're going to break "rules" you have to do it in an extraordinary way. This isn't. Try writing it like a regular query. We don't need emotion beats. We need to see the plot. So far there's really nothing substantial being said)

He’s not a monster though - he never meant to kill anyone. It was just supposed to be a little experiment just to prove he could. (This, combined with the vial stuff, said succinctly is probably where your query should start) He had intended to destroy that vial, he really did. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. (He's conflicted about what to do....said in an EXTREMELY long way)

But when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying, pleads for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity.
(These stakes are GOOD. The query is way too long, says way too little, I don't understand why you're doing the unknown narrator thing (is this how it literally is in the book?), and I think you need to go back to the drawing board on this one. I see what you're trying to do, but the pinpoint by the minute writing isn't working to build suspense. That's not what the query's purpose is anyway. We need to know what MC wants, what he's willing to or has to do to get it, and what is standing in his way to show the stakes. Par this down)

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thanks so much! Looking forward to speaking with you soon, (I've seen Query Shark note several times that the standard salutation is what you should do here. I believe she once noted something like "If they reject you, are you really looking forward to that?" Plus, this is a business letter and requires some formality so "Thank you for your time and consideration" is how most agents who critique queries suggest you end it off. Just passing this along.

 

Hope this helps. I'd really appreciate if you look at my newest query as well. :) http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=360155 



#4 hannahb712

hannahb712

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:10 AM

I hope my suggestions help!! Also, it would be great if you could check out my query as well!! :) 

 

 

Thank you! Back at the query after a year or so off, so here we go:

 

Dear Agent,

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator makesmade the worst accidental mistake of his entire life. He lost a vial. A vial containing a disease that he created, a disease so vile comma that he alternates between heart bursting   (don't love heart bursting. Maybe try a word like insurmountable, etc.) pride at having created   already used the word created, try to find another one. Invented, originated, birthed, etc. such a thing comma and gut wrenching guilt that maybe he’s destroyed everything. I like the way this sentence ends, I like the way it starts, but I don't love the middle. Maybe it needs to be split up or reworked?So far,   Since then, though, nothing’s happened. Not a peep has been heard from anywhere in the world that some mysterious illness had has been wreaking havoc. So, he decides that it’s finally okay to move on with his life. But of course, just when everything seems to be finally be coming together, it all falls apart. After all, terrible things always happen on beautiful days.  This line was nice but just not necessary. Don't want to waste space with fluffy writing. 

He sees a newspaper emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause.” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, and panics as answers (or maybe the word, information, here) excuses and reasons begin to tumble into place. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence to prove it's his this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his. He’s not a monster though--he never meant to kill anyone. It was just supposed to be a little experiment just to prove he could. He had every intention ded  to of destroying that vial, he really did.

 

The panic rises as  s Eventually, seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead. He doesn’t know how to helpcomma . He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the it's scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out but he can’t manage the crushing guilt.  This line was contradicting the points you were making about how he's proud of what he's caused.  But  However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, becomes infected comma and dying, pleads for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity. Does he ignore his plea? Or does he invent a cure, that would mean destroying his most greatest achievement to date?

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thanks so much! Looking forward to speaking with you soon,



#5 beccamae

beccamae

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Some newspaper articles. I was a finalist in Peace Corps Storytelling Contest.

Posted 03 February 2019 - 04:55 PM

Hi, I'll post my feedback down below. I'd love some feedback too: http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/

 

 

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator makes the worst accidental mistake of his entire life. He lost a vial. A vial containing a disease that he created, a disease so vile that he alternates between heart bursting pride at having created such a thing and gut wrenching guilt that maybe he’s destroyed everything. How did he destroy everything? Or, is it the potential to destroy everything?

So far, though, nothing’s happened. Not a peep this word makes it feel comedic. Is it supposed to be serious or full of hijinks?has been heard from anywhere in the world that some mysterious illness had been wreaking havoc. So,change beginning of the sentence as you started the previous one with 'so' he decides that it’s finally okay to move on with his life. But of course, just when everything seems to be finally coming together, it all falls apart. After all, terrible things always happen on beautiful days. This is too vague for a query letter.

He sees a newspaper, emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, and excuses and reasons begin to tumble into place. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his. You can tighten this paragraph, it's a bit repetitious. 

He’s not a monster though - he never meant to kill anyone. It was just supposed to be a little experiment just to prove he could. He had intended to destroy that vial, he really did. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out but he can’t manage the crushing guilt.

But when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying, pleads for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity. Wouldn't he want to fix the world?  Why is it such a big choice for him? Is it just that he'd be found out? 

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer. I didn't get the sense that he was a mass murderer and the tone is confusing. 

Thanks so much! Be more formal here, 'Thank you for your time,' etc Looking forward to speaking with you soon, 

 

If you're marketing it as a thriller, make the query darker. The narrator seems bumbling. The emotional piece is also confusing. Why is it so terrible to create a cure? I didn't get a sense of setting either. What is the narrator doing while waiting for the news to role in? How could he make something so powerful, but then simply loose it. I'd suggest tightening the whole thing up, three paragraphs on the plot is fine, and add some strong details. Good luck.

 

 



#6 kathleenq

kathleenq

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 104 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:28 PM

Thank you all so much for the feedback! It was extremely helpful, and here's another attempt. I do agree that the unnamed narrator thing is a bit strange/cumbersome, but it's like this in my book as well. It's written in first person and no name or gender is ever mentioned (I'm using he/him in the query for ease of reading). If anyone has any thoughts about how I can handle this better, I would appreciate it!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator made the worst accidental mistake of his life. He thought that maybe if he could make brains bigger, he could make people smarter. In the course of the research, he created a disease so horrid that he decided the best thing to do would be to destroy it. All but one vial, just enough to test and prove that he was right.

No one even had to know, until he lost the vial.

And now, he sees a newspaper emblazoned, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, but doubts still take root. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. The intentions are clear. It must be his.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy?

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query: Glass Domes


#7 kassamarandra

kassamarandra

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:28 PM

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator made the worst accidental mistake (I would use either "accidental" OR "mistake"; both are jarring) of his life. He thought that maybe if he could make brains bigger, he could make people smarter. In the course of the research, he created a disease so horrid that he decided the best thing to do would be to destroy it. All but one vial, just enough to test and prove that he was right. (so this is backstory. And imo you shouldn't stary the story in past tense in a query. you want it to feel urgent.)

No one even had to know, until he lost the vial. (how/ where? this isn't something that would just be laying around--how is it not considered theft?)

And now, he sees a newspaper emblazoned, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and begins to panic. (this should be your hook)  He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, but doubts still take root. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. (if he never tested it how does he know the symptoms in humans?) The intentions are clear. It must be his.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He doesn’t know how to help. (but below you said he can come up with a cure if he wants to) He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead. 

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy? (why a question? No rhetorical questions in a query)

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you for the query critique, I'm here to return the favour. 

 

It sounds like you have an interesting premise and here, but I think you bury the lede when you  choose to put all that backstory up front. I hope you find something helpful in my comments. 



#8 A Fatalist Dawn

A Fatalist Dawn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:17 PM

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator made the worst accidental mistake of his life. He thought that maybe if he could make brains bigger, he could make people smarter. In the course of the research, he created a disease so horrid that he decided the best thing to do would be to destroy it. All but one vial, just enough to test and prove that he was right.

Let me just say that you hooked me right away with the unique voice and intriguing concept. That being said, I think you can tighten this opening paragraph a bit more.

 

No one even had to know, until he lost the vial.

And now, When he sees a newspaper emblazoned with the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” and he begins to panics. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, but doubts still take root. He never had a chance to test his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But what else could it be? All the symptoms match. (How does he know the symptoms? What is the basis here?) The intentions are clear. (What do you mean by this?) It must be his.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He doesn’t know how to help. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

I'm liking the internal conflict here; it gives a lot of insight into how psychologically disturbed your MC is. I'm also liking how the stakes are being raised at the end.

 

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy? (I wouldn't word this as a question.)

The stakes get bigger. Add to that, I like how you've ended on your MC's dilemma.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

 

Like I've said, this query is very voice-driven, which I love. I was worried, at first, if you could pull this off from the POV of an unnamed narrator, but the voice hooked me from beginning to end. There's a lot to nitpick about whether you should start in the past or present and where you can tighten the paragraphs, but overall I think you have a solid query here.


Check out my poetry book, The Groundwork of Realization (2018).
 

#9 Caligulas

Caligulas

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 292 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:25 AM

Just going to note that this got MUCH better. Now you're breaking rules in an intriguing way. The writing still needs to tighten. You're still trying to build suspense, which isn't what a query's purpose is and why it's lumbering. All you need to do is tighten it, and you're good.



#10 kathleenq

kathleenq

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 104 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 13 February 2019 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for the comments! Changed up some of the details, and still starting it in past tense. Controversial, I know, but it's a risk I'm willing to take right now.

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

Nearly two years ago, the unnamed narrator made the worst mistake of his life. He thought that maybe if he could make brains bigger, he could make people smarter. In the course of research, he created a disease so terrible that he could only destroy it. All but one vial, just enough to test and prove that he was right.

And then he lost the vial.

When he sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is, but doubts still take root. He never tested his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But brains are growing, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels, so what else could it be?

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 


Query: Glass Domes


#11 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 749 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:03 PM

Oh, I remember this query from before.

 

Dear Agent:

Nearly Two years ago, the unnamed narrator made the worst research mistake of his life. Meaning to make brains larger, thus smarter, he instead made a disease that made brains larger but destroyed . He thought that maybe if he could make brains bigger, he could make people smarter. In the course of research, he created a disease so terrible that he could only destroy it. All but one vial, just enough to test and prove that he was right.

 

I think can you can use just the accidental brain disease part your hook. Also, toss the "nearly." Not necessary and adds that extra adverb.

 

And then he lost the vial. Actually, I think you can omit the whole vial thing. The query would work without it.

 

When he sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Brain Overgrowth Cause,” he panics. begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that the cause is, but doubts still take root How can he know it's his disease just from this headline? It says nothing about brains. Since he has no access to the bodies, he can't be sureHe never tested his disease, so there’s no evidence this is really his. But brains are growing, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels, so what else could it be?

 

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He doesn’t know if he wants to help. Why not? Why wouldn't he? He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, What? Why is he proud of the destruction? proud of the scientific success But it's not a success. You start the query saying it was his biggest mistake.He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. I thought he was proud? The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy. Is there a third option? Make the cure and pretend he never made the original disease? Just wondering.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Hi kathleen. I had a few notes that I think can tighten your query. I also think you can omit the info about the vial. This is definitely an interesting idea: becoming an accidental mass murderer. However, I still feel like are some elements of the query that seem in direct conflict:

 

You start saying the disease was the biggest mistake of this life, then he says he's proud, then you say he has guilt. So which is it? Maybe his feelings are swinging between these extremes, and that's OK. But if that's the case, I could clarify: One moment he feels proud, one moment he feels crushing guilt. Otherwise, it just sounds like your are making opposing statements, and that makes things very confusing. I hope this helps. Can you please look at my query when you get a chance? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...title-redacted/
 



#12 kathleenq

kathleenq

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 104 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 20 February 2019 - 06:15 PM

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is. He had, after all, designed a disease to make brains grow. And now they are, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He knows that. But he doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query: Glass Domes


#13 TClark

TClark

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 78 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:35 PM

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panics. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is. (bridge these two sentences <-->) He had, after all, designed a disease to make brains grow. And now they are, so much so that they’re oozing  (May be a personal opinion, but I don't like the word oozing here) out of ear canals and nose channels.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He knows that. But he doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The His panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, is now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Not a bad query but there are some confusing motivations for the main character? He's proud but feeling guilty? Why did he want to make brains grow? I'm left with some confusing character motivations. Keep up the good work!



#14 callalilly

callalilly

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 218 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 21 February 2019 - 03:12 PM

Hi kathleenq. Hoping to offer you some constructive notes. If you do not agree with my notes, please ignore -this is your query and you'll know what is best for it.

 

 

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a the headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is. He had, after all, designed a disease to make brains grow. And now they are, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels.

He’s not a monster -he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He knows that. (Since you acknowledge this in the previous sentence, I don't think you need it here.) But he doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt (Maybe reword these last two sentences, they feel slightly contradictory: he's proud, but he's also guilty. If he is guilty than wouldn't he want to help? He may experience all of these feelings in the book, but I think in a query where there's less room for explanation, it comes off contradictory. BUT this is just my opinion, please, please ignore if you don't agree.). The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, When an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now becomes infected and lays dying, pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let the world die, or make a cure and destroy his own secrete scientific legacy (I added secret just since he's the only one who knows his own efforts in the scientific community).

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Overall, sounds like a good query and a good book. I'm left with a few edits above and a few questions that you may choose to address here in the query or not. I wonder 1) How is he immune to his own destruction? 2) Was he hired to do what he did? If so by who and why? 3) If he chooses to stop what's begun, can he even? 4) Does his friend know what he's done? It sounds like she does since she asks for help?

 

That's a lot of questions to answer in a query, but maybe if you feel it just to answer one or two in the query, it might add a few more stakes -just a suggestion. Anyway, again sounds like a good read. I wish you luck and happy writing.


 ,Query I'm fighting with: http://agentquerycon...-post-22/page-2

 


#15 W.P.

W.P.

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 169 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationEurope

Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:42 AM

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what that cause is. He had, after all, After designeding a disease to make brains grow. And now they are, so much so that they’re , brain matter is oozing out of ear canals and nose channels.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He knows that. But he doesn’t know if he wants to help. He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead. ((Loving it so far!))

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy. ((now this last sentence is what doesn't work for me. It makes me wonder "why not just cure her and no one else? I'm sure the narrator could keep it a secret from everyone? if not, let us know why. and why the deaths are good for his research. I don't understand the point of making brains grow. unlike the rest of the muscles in the body, a bigger brain doesn't mean more intelligent. They weighed Einstein's brain and it was smaller than usual. So I am feeling a bit lost.))

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Very interesting concept! I think it could be a bit clearer. Good luck!



#16 Joseph Isaacs

Joseph Isaacs

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:none

Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:01 PM

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly whatsuggestion:  caused it--him.that cause is. He had, after all, designed a disease to make brains grow.combine two sentences And now they are, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels. eww nice

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something. He knows that. But he doesn’t know if he wants to help. you just contradicted yourself. he knows he should do something, twice for emphasis, and then he doesn't want to help it was going well up until here but this one stopped me hard, so advise fixing it.  He’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. i am guessing there is some sort of contradictory elements about the character, but you need to make this clearer. i think you need to tell a bit more here and show a bit less, pull the camera lens back a little, because it keeps feeling as if you are telling me he wants to and he doesn't but not explaining it. Perhaps simply-- he is torn between guilt and his strong belief in the importance of him continuing his work no matter what the consequences to others.The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for help in finding a cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer. good!

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#17 kathleenq

kathleenq

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 104 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 07 March 2019 - 03:32 PM

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic. He’s pretty sure he knows exactly what caused it. Years ago, he had designed a disease to make brains grow. And now they are, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels.

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something to help. But he’s torn between his guilt and his obsessive hatred of people. He thinks some of them deserve to die and he’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for him to take her place on the team for the cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy.

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Query: Glass Domes


#18 Bibliophyl

Bibliophyl

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 93 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 08 March 2019 - 02:50 PM

I didn't read any of the prior comments so as to come at it fresh--this sounds super interesting, but my biggest question that I think has the potential to turn off an agent is why the unnamed narrator? I feel like that's one of the things you can pull off, but you have to have a really good reason for doing it and do it well. Otherwise it seems like an unnecessary gimmick. I'm sure you have given it some thought and I'm sure it's well-executed, but from the query, I'm not quite "getting" it and I'd worry that it would be an instant turn-off. What benefit does the unnamed narrator give that you can't get with calling him Jack or Dave or whatever?

 

I do like the rest of the query. My only other question is about the very end: "make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy." If it's fame/a scientific legacy he's after, surely curing a mysterious disease that has killed thousands would give him that. 

 

Good luck!



#19 Stephen G. Bria

Stephen G. Bria

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Getting there.

Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:52 AM

You get in, you get out. You sell your book concisely. I think its great. 

 

The only change I would make is to scientific legacy. That doesn't seem to be the conflict here.  Maybe something like "make a cure and destroy his own sadistic satisfaction." He's choosing whether or not to be a murderer. 

 

After reading through several of the successful queries to learn how to write these damn things, I can honestly say yours is the best I've read so far. I could be wrong though. I'm still unsure the difference between book cover and query.



#20 G A Johnson

G A Johnson

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 51 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Createspace.com (Amazon)

Posted 12 March 2019 - 02:58 PM

Overall, I think you've done great! My suggestions are based mostly on the economy of words.

 

Dear Agent,

When the unnamed narrator sees a headline, “Seven Dead from Mysterious Cause,” he begins to panic panics. He’s pretty sure suspects he knows exactly what caused it--and who. Years ago, he had designed a disease to make brains grow. This wasn't a side effect, but the intended purpose. And now they are The project succeeded, so much so that they’re oozing out of ear canals and nose channels. (SWEEEET!)

He’s not a monster - he never meant to kill anyone. He knows he should do something to help. But (I'd just go ahead and connect. Don't feel like a stand alone conjunction really adds to drama in this instance.) he’s torn between his guilt and his obsessive hatred of people. He thinks some of them deserve to die and he’s proud of his work, proud of the destruction it’s causing, proud of the scientific success achievement. He doesn’t want to be found out, but he can’t manage the crushing guilt. The panic rises as seven becomes hundreds, becomes thousands, becomes millions dead.

However, when an old friend, perhaps the only friend he’s ever had, now infected and dying and pleading for him to take her place on the team for the cure, he has to make a choice that will ultimately define his humanity: ignore her plea and let them all die, or make a cure and destroy his own scientific legacy. (NICE! I wish I had my stakes as clear as yours!) 

Complete at 71,000 words, GLASS DOMES is a psychological thriller exploring the makings of a mass murderer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users