Aug 2, 2009

QUERY- FERRIS' BLUFF (Revision #1)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read revision #2.

My thanks to all who weighed in on the original. Here's revision number 1 (actually query #16) for Ferris' Bluff.

Dear Agent,

Ace Evans, ex-Navy SEAL and undercover operative, is on the run--has been for the three years since his family was brutally murdered and he was left for dead. He’s running from the Witness Protection Program that betrayed him, from Russian arms dealers still out for revenge, and from his own nightmares of that fiery night and his scarred self-image.

FERRIS’ BLUFF, a 96K word thriller, is the story of a lonely man seeking a connection to his past, a glimpse of the life he’s forced to hide from, and what he has to do to once he realizes that he has finally found sanctuary and healing love.

Risking a brief visit with his old friend, Granville Tubbs, Ace reluctantly stays in the quaint town of Ferris’ Bluff, Arkansas after he learns that Tubbs is in a coma and is being kept in near isolation by the lawyer, Tremont.

While trying to unravel the lawyer’s motives and maneuvering to see that Tubbs gets proper treatment Ace is drawn into the lives of Annie Travers, her two children, and a collection of townsfolk that are friendly and trusting, and, well…a bit nosy. There’s ‘gossip in the water’ in Ferris’ Bluff. He can’t seem to avoid making friends, try as he might to stay aloof and true to his alias.

He can’t seem to avoid making enemies either. Ace is soon at odds with Tremont, his scheming wife, and a brutal town tough named Pink.

A young Deputy Marshal tracks him down. He urges Ace to return to the WPP and warns him that the Russians are probably watching Tubbs.

Ace won’t go back. He can’t.

Why? The accident that killed Annie’s husband and left her daughter paralyzed was no accident. One of his new friends is murdered. He discovers that Tremont has stolen some mineral rights from Tubbs, the underlying catalyst for all of the local tragedies. Tubbs regains consciousness, drawing the Russians dangerously close by using Ace’s real name.

All the while the affection he is trying to deny for Annie grows. It’s a very mutual attraction and Ace is more determined than ever to set things right. With a little luck, a little larceny, and some help from his new friends he might just pull off his audacious ruse.

Thank you for your interest in FERRIS’ BLUFF. I look forward to hearing from you.


froggfeathers said...


Okay, it is off to a good start, but I would still change it up a bit. Somehow, the first paragraph and the second paragraph don't work with each other. I was originally thinking maybe you should switch them, but that won't work either. I can't explain it exactly, but it is like the query has two starts. Get additional feedback for sure on this. Maybe someone else can clear it up.

Next, some of your sentences aren't flowing correctly. I will break them down (I hope) so you will be able to see what I mean.
The sentence starting with he's running from has one too many ands in it to make sense. He is running from the witness protection...he is running from Russian arms dealers...he is running from his own nightmares of that fiery night and his own nightmares of his scarred self-image or is it he is running from his own nightmares of that fiery night and he is running from his own scarred self-image? I hope that made sense.

You have a similar problem with the sentence in paragraph two. You have him seeking a connection to his past, seeking a glimpse of life and seeking (a) what he has to do. Again, Grammar Girl has a catchy name for that mistake and I don't know it, so I hope you can sort out my convoluted explanation.

After your second paragraph, I think you need to do some serious cutting and combining. You told us who, now tell us what Ace does, why it is important, what will happen if he doesn't do it and make us care about all of that. Try to do that in one or two paragraphs at the most.

I hope that helped. I also hope you were able to wade through my lengthy explanation. Good luck!

fred limberg said...


Thanks for the comments. I hope some other folks weigh in. I kind of get what you mean. I thought of flip-flopping para1 and 2, but for now...well...still thinking..