Sep 3, 2010

Query- Sub Rosa (Second Revision)

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

(Thanks to everyone who has critiqued my previous queries. Your advice has been constructive and supportive, and I hope to do you all proud with this effort! So, in the interests of keeping it short and sweet, here goes...)

The dinner party didn’t turn out the way Aemilius Valerius expected. He didn’t expect a place at the main table. He didn’t expect to drink that much. He didn’t expect to hook up with one of the scarier dancers. And he certainly didn’t expect to trip over the bloody corpse of his host on the floor of the informal dining room.

One man’s grisly murder is another man’s opportunity. Valerius teams up with the investigator, a plebeian with a chip on his shoulder, to discover the killer. Mad Uncle Maro promised it would be a smart career move, but that was before a second senator turned up dead. Now everything points towards a corrupt legion, an imperial assassin, and the emperor Nero’s mother. It might have been smarter to accept that honorary priesthood, stupid hat or not.

Sub Rosa, a historical mystery, is complete at 129 000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Burke

4 comments:

Mesmerix said...

I think this is great. It leaves you words to play with if you want to say something to each agent to personalize it (like: I met you at BLAH conference or read your blog or whatever).

Your conflict is clear, the character is engaging, and the voice is wonderful. You even have action and setting all worked in!

I have no more adjustments to recommend for you. Sometimes, you can tweek something to death, and I don't want to see you kill this query. Try sending it out to a batch of 10 appropriate agents, see if you get any requests. If you get at least 1 hit, something is working. If you get 0, then go back and revise again.

Best of luck to you!

Anonymous Author said...

I really think you're there.

The only thing that snagged me as a distraction was "Mad Uncle Maro". Try changing it to "his uncle" and see if you think it reads more smoothly.

MitMoi said...

very late to join the party.

This is MUCH IMPROVED. And it shows great skill at listing and revising. All part of the publishing process.

However - here are two things that still niggle ... "scarier dancers" ... I think you're trying to translate a ancient tale into current day language/scenarios. However - I don't know how to translate "scary dancer" into an image of today - OR back in Nero's time.

Also? What's an informal dinning room? It makes me ask questions. "Did the previous scene take place in the formal dinning room - and the corpse is in the informal room?" "Did they have "formal" and "informal" dinning spaces?"

And really - these are such minor nit-picks. But it reflects on word choices you might want to scour your MS for ... (says she who ends on a prepositional phrase).

Once again - excellent idea and ability to work with critiques.

Suzan Harden said...

The last thing you want to do is tune your query to death. Send this version out to five folks on your dreamlist and see what response you get.