Jan 14, 2010

Query: Out of Time (2nd revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Out of Time tells the story of Drew Evans, a police officer in one of St. Paul's worst gang-infested precincts that recovers a device that allows him to travel through time. Presented with an opportunity like no other, Drew learns to control the device and travels back to visit his father, renowned musician Doc Evans. Drew chooses to visit his father in 1947 Chicago just as his father is getting his big break leading the band at the new Jazz Ltd nightclub. Of course things never go as planned—that Murphy guy got it right—and when Drew interferes with a robbery, it causes the Chicago mob to have a newfound interest in the club. Now, caught in the middle, Drew must use his experience with combating gangs to force the Chicago mob away from the club to save his father’s future—while risking the opportunity to connect with his father.

OUT OF TIME, an adventure novel complete at 75,000 words, will appeal to fans of Michael Crichton’s Tmeline and Clive Cussler’s Sahara.

Having written professionally for the last ten years in advertising and marketing, I’ve learned the value of powerful ideas and concise execution.

Thank you for your consideration,

Allan Evans

8 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Allan -- this is much better than the first two, sweet, short, concise. Only things I saw that bothered me...

"...gang-infested precinct that.."
it should be "who" not "that" recovers the device

And the whole thing about Murphy, I think that phrase could go, it was a little confusing. It took me a minute to catch on it was Murphy's Law, you don't want an agent to have stop and think about that.

And do you want Drew to "connect" with his father, or "re-connect" with him in the last sentence.

FWIW I also don't think an agent would care about the last paragraph. I'd take it out.

Looks like an interesting book.
Good Luck.

Falen said...

Much better. I even think you could still expand a bit on the device and how he finds it (not much) but i know not everyone agrees with that sentiment.

ali said...

Hi Allan, I hope you don't mind me jumping in? Because I'm not sure how to do this in a comment, I hope you'll forgive me if I rewrite it, the way I think it ought to go, and then you can see what I'm suggesting and decide what works for you and what doesn't. Hope that's okay.

**
OUT OF TIME is the story of Drew Evans, a police officer in one of St. Paul's worst gang-infested precincts, who recovers a device that allows him to travel through time.

Presented with an opportunity like no other, Drew learns to control the device. He travels back to visit his father, renowned musician Doc Evans, in 1947 Chicago just as his father is getting his big break at the new Jazz Ltd nightclub. But things rarely go as planned and when Drew interferes with a robbery, it causes the Chicago mob to have a newfound interest in the club.

Caught in the middle, Drew must use his experience with combating gangs to force the Chicago mob away from the club in order to save his father’s future—while risking the opportunity to connect with his father (Q: Why is this important? Does he need to reconnect with his dad because he died when he was very little? or they're estranged now that he's an adult? I'd put the reason here, or else leave the whole "risking the opportunity" part out of this sentence.)

OUT OF TIME, an adventure novel complete at 75,000 words, will appeal to fans of Michael Crichton’s TIMELINE and Clive Cussler’s SAHARA.

Having written professionally for the last ten years in advertising and marketing, I’ve learned the value of powerful ideas and concise execution.

Thank you for your consideration,

**

I love your last paragraph, Allan. Very nice. Good job over all!

Dominique said...

Much better. The brevity works. I might suggest breaking it into two or three paragraphs so that it won't look like a huge block of text in the email or letter.

Aimless Writer said...

Love it! Great job. You were concise, to the point and I know what its all about. I can see the conflict (mob bad guys interfering), motivation (his father's at risk), goal (saving father's future and restoring life as it was so that time can move forward)
I know from the previous query his father dies young...will he prevent that when all is done? Inquiring minds what to know.

Allan Evans said...

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. I feel I am almost there.

However, several aspects of the book are missing in the query. Drew brings his by-the-book partner back to help. Their relationship has that "buddy cop" feel that adds both tension and humor to the situation. There is a fair amount of humor in the story as well.

Should these aspects be mentioned?

Does this work?

"Now, caught in the middle and facing near insurmountable odds, Drew chooses to bring his by-the-book partner back to help. Drew must use their experience with combating gangs to force the Chicago mob away from the club and save his father’s future—while risking the opportunity to re-connect with his father.

OUT OF TIME, an adventure novel—complete at 75,000 words—infused with humor and action, is a buddy cop story that will appeal to fans of Michael Crichton’s TMELINE and Clive Cussler’s SAHARA."

Falen said...

I guess you need to decide if his partner is so important that you can't leave him our of the Query?

In my Queries i only mention the absolute main characters, the kind that, if they were removed, the story would crumble because it's built on their backs.

If your story would still stand without his friend, then don't include him in the Query.

That said, how you added him in above is the way you would want to do it.

Hope that helps!

Piedmont Writer said...

I have to agree with Falen on the buddy cop. Yes add him if he's that important, don't if he's not.
I think you've got enough meat with just Drew to compel an agent to ask for more. That said, I also like the paragraph you gave about the buddy so if you need to add it, do.