Jan 23, 2010

QUERY- EYES OF MY KILLER

Dear Ms. Dream Agent,
Please accept my submission of EYES OF MY KILLER, a thriller complete at 80,000 words.

Misty reads eyes. She needs only to glance deep within your eyes to see your soul, your world, and all your secrets. But her gift has gotten her into trouble before as it doesn’t always give a clear picture. Not everything she “sees” makes sense. Random thoughts, images, and emotions come through haphazardly. When she comes eye to eye with a serial killer Misty goes to the police for help. In shock, she can describe the brutality and horror she saw in his eyes, but not the man himself. She knows the police think she’s a kook, but she has to make them listen.

Max Jennings is a by the book cop and he’s on the trail of the nastiest serial killer in Angel Fall’s history. When Misty McAllister walks into his squad room and declares she knows who the Angel Fall’s Strangler is because she met him at the mall, Max labels her a whacko. When the strangler leaves a message on Misty’s doorstep in the form of a dead body he labels her a suspect, but Misty insists it’s a warning. Now she’s in a race for her life and only man who can help her, is the one who doesn’t believe her.

Best Regards,
Aimlesswriter

4 comments:

Weronika Janczuk said...

Hi! Some feedback from an intern in publishing -

Please accept my submission of EYES OF MY KILLER, a thriller complete at 80,000 words.
"Please accept my submission of" is awkward; I've never seen someone write it like that. I vote for "EYES OF MY KILLER is a thriller complete at 80,000 words," and I say put it after the hook.

Misty reads eyes. She needs only to glance deep within your eyes to see your soul, your world, and all your secrets. But her gift has gotten her into trouble before as it doesn’t always give a clear picture. Not everything she “sees” makes sense. Random thoughts, images, and emotions come through haphazardly. When she comes eye to eye with a serial killer Misty goes to the police for help. In shock, she can describe the brutality and horror she saw in his eyes, but not the man himself. She knows the police think she’s a kook, but she has to make them listen.
(1) The use of "your" as a pronoun is a no-no, as the agent or any figures reading this won't appear in the novel. Say "people."
(2) The first four sentences need to be condensed: "Misty needs only to glance into a person's eyes to see their secrets; it can be fun sometimes, but her visions aren't always clear. When she comes . . ." (Question: How can you look "deep" into a person's eyes?)
(3) What's at stake for Misty? Why does she do this? What is at stake for her?
(4) Give her last name earlier, as you give Max's upon his introduction.

Max Jennings is a by the book cop and he’s on the trail of the nastiest serial killer in Angel Fall’s history. When Misty McAllister walks into his squad room and declares she knows who the Angel Fall’s Strangler is because she met him at the mall, Max labels her a whacko. When the strangler leaves a message on Misty’s doorstep in the form of a dead body he labels her a suspect, but Misty insists it’s a warning. Now she’s in a race for her life and only man who can help her, is the one who doesn’t believe her.
(1) It's "by-the-book."
(2) Who's the POV story from? It almost feels as if you need to set up Max's story first because the implication in P1 is that no one knows about this serial killer, and that Misty gives them a brand new case.
(3) Why does he label Misty a suspect? Your logic doesn't make sense.
(4) Why is Max the only person who can save her?
(5) The paragraph RE: Max being the only one who can save her should be a new one.

Bio?

You have a good story here. It needs to be more concise, and you need to tell us why we care about either of the two characters.

RCWriterGirl said...

I agree with Weronika about your opener. I've never seen anything like that either. I would do what she suggested (starting with hook, then saying book is complete and wordcount).

As to the query, I thought it was reading pretty well, until this sentence: " When the strangler leaves a message on Misty’s doorstep in the form of a dead body he labels her a suspect, but Misty insists it’s a warning."

Whoa, doggie! If the killer likes killing people (and I can only presume s/he does because they've done it so much), why doesn't s/he just kill Misty? If he knows enough about her to drop a dead body on her doorstep, why not just drop her dead?

This would strike me as a plotting flaw, and if I were an agent, I'd pass on it. Now maybe there is a great explanation for why the killer doesn't just kill her (as, if I were a killer, I think I'd kill the person who could out me, not some stranger). If there is, I'd state it, otherwise, I'd try to work my way around this dead body on the doorstep, because it seems really implausible (I mean, Misty has seen him, and could presumably describe him to a sketch artist, so you think he'd want her outta the way). Unless he's doing this to frame her (as a way to get her outta the way and allow him to kill more in some other town).

Anyway, that's my two cents. Definitely an intriguing premise.

Good luck.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Can I be introduced to Misty?
I'd love to have an image of her at the start - the fragile-boned bookworm, cynical, corporate executive or transvestite drag queen?

"But her gift has gotten her into trouble before as it doesn’t always give a clear picture. Not everything she “sees” makes sense. Random thoughts, images, and emotions come through haphazardly."

SUGGESTION:
Hers is an imperfect gift where....

nasty serial killer?

I'd want my sociopathic sadist working his way through my nearest-and-dearest as my personal punishment for having a window into his world.

You could drop the last line in the first paragraph as it is repeated in the second.

People love reading about the police dealing with killers. I'm looking forward to reading your next version of the query.

Aimless Writer said...

Thanks! This helps a lot. I'm working on the revision and hope to post soon.