Aug 8, 2009

Query- The Last Flight (Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Richard pulled the chord.The chute did not open. He grabbed the emergency chord and the chute did not respond. He calculated his life ending in approximately ninety seconds, not enough time to review instant replay of his life.

Richard Harper accepted an offer to investigate the largest insurance fraud he had ever known. Getting corrupted never entered his mind, nor did the idea of his wife Lydia getting seduced by Mark Flannary, CEO of Global Investments LTD.

The SEC had been watching the irregularities in the hedge funds for Global Investments LTD all of 2008. Now in early 2009, Jeff Conklin, special investigator for SEC, begins to unravel the company's scheme.Befriending Richard Harper , Jeff finds that all is not what it seems to be. Trust, sex, and murder is wrapped tightly in the lives of Richard, wife Lydia,and Mark before justice prevails.

I am looking for representation for a completed 85K word crime genre novel. This is my first go at searching for an agent and your agency was recommended as top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Fry, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Robert Meacham


FictionGroupie said...

I think this revision definitely fleshes out the story better. The only confusion I have is who is the investigator Richard or Jeff--are they both with the SEC?

Also, the sentence "Trust, sex, and murder is wrapped tightly in the lives of Richard..." It should be "are" instead of "is".

Good improvements though, much more intriguing to me!

Rick Daley said...


The essence of the story is in there, and you have an effective way of showing the danger the protagonist has gotten himself into.

Here are a couple of suggestions for the query:
- You shift tenses form past to present. Queries are typically written in present tense.

- In the first paragraph you repeat the word "life." Try to find a different word for one of the instances. for example, the first time instead of saying life ending say death coming.

- I'm a little confused about the relationship between Jeff and Richard. Is one the antagonist? Which one?

This is an improvement on the first one, let some more feedback come through and chew on it and then give it another round of polish!

fred limberg said...


I don't get what the opening paragraph has to do with the story. I've been accused of being dense, among other things, but I don't see the connection.

RCWriterGirl said...

I didn't read the original query, so I'll just go on what you have here.

I'm confused. I don't know that it's good to backtrack in a query, but it seems like that's what you're doing. The guy's abobut to die, so he sees in flash back all this stuff that happened?

Who is Jeff Conklin? Why is he investigating if Richard is investgating? I really don't care about Mark and Lydia. They seem really too tangential in the query, as presented.

Who gives them justice: the parachute or Jeff?

This needs some revision so it's not so confusing. While the parachute bit is interesting, it seems completely irrelevant to the story. I think it would be best to take some time, figure out the heart of the story, then start from there. What I see here is just way too confusing.

Donna Hole said...

Better, Robert. It gives a little more of the plot, but adds an extra character who's role is undefined. And if Mark Flannary's role is more sinister than the fact that he is CEO of Global Investments and sleeping with Richard Harper's wife, you may need to define that. As written, you have two possible protagonists - Richard and Jeff - and no clear antagonist. The role of the wife - Lydia - is also unclear in the criminal plot. And as awesome as the first paragraph is, it doesn't seem to fit into this query.

I'm going to ask you a hard question here, and hope you forgive me if it is offensive. You can always ignore my post, or ask me to butt out if I go too far.

Have you written a premise yet? A premise is usually only one line that sums up the point you are trying to make in writing your story. What you are trying to prove. There is a lot of controversy - as with the need to write out a chapter outline - over whether one is needed, but I think it may help you put the major points of your story into a query. And it doesn't have to be only one line to start, no one but you will read it if you don't want to share. I had to start with about four sentences, and kept working on it until I had all the basic elements in one sentence.

Basically, what you want to ask yourself is: who is your hero, what is the task, and how will he/she accomplish it. Then add in what his obstacles are and the climax. By climax I mean what situation he/she is in that either resolves or destroys his mission. What types of inner resources he needs.

I know, it sounds easy putting it this way. Its hard when you have so much information you want to convey to an agent, and ultimately, the reader. I think your query is really coming along. I almost have my own query ready to post here, and I hope you weigh in on the critique when I do.

word verif: refor. Is that like a do-over? Only you get to change your mind and be "for" and issue instead of against?

Charlie said...

The only thing I'd like to add is that 90 seconds is plenty of time to review your life.

I fell 18 feet, maybe one full second, and I had PLENTY of time to realize my mistake, what I should've done to prevent it, and wondered why I didn't hit the ground yet, and wondered WHEN I'm going to hit. Then I had time left over...

The mind races when situations like that happen. I'm convinced that time is not a constant. (a total of three very different circumstances have proved it to me)
I know the phrase "life passing before me" has some truth to it.

I'm just sayin...

Robert A Meacham said...

I want to thank you all for pointing out how I can improve my query. I will try another revision and see what happens.