Oct 16, 2010

Query- Possessed (revised)

Click here to read the original query.

Hello again! I am ready to submit the second draft of my query letter for Possessed. Thanks for all your help. :)


Dear Agent So-and-So,

After fighting in the Napoleonic Wars for two years, battle hungry Gabriel is now stuck at home with a father forbids him to return to sea. His anger evaporates when he hears voices in a dark room filled with locked cabinets. The strong pull that Gabriel feels from that room is interrupted when his family`s estate is burned to the ground with his parents trapped inside.

Gabriel flees to a nearby forest where he fights a seemingly invincible, ghostlike pursuer. Just as strange, the day suddenly darkens to a starless night.

Gabriel thinks he’s gone insane, but he awakens in a bright room filled with people wearing long, white coats. They tell him that he volunteered at the White Horizon Research Facility for a classified potential breakthrough study two weeks ago. He has no recollection of signing up for the study, and listens as the scientists tell him about his failures.

As Gabriel`s hazy memory returns, he realizes that he is a murderer trying to escape from his past. The angry voices of those he killed five years ago have been plaguing him since that fateful day.

To make matters worse, the paranoid medical staff debate on whether or not to euthanize the study`s volunteers while an armed maniac will not rest until she kills Gabriel. He’ll have to find a way to stay alive—without reverting to his murderous ways.

Possessed is a supernatural thriller that contains a final word count of 56,000 words.



Thank you for taking the time to review my work.


Sincerely,

Sara Flower Kjeldsen

9 comments:

Anonymous Author said...

Okay, I remember saying before that this sounded like a story I really wanted to read, but it was hard to tell without more details.

Now you've given us more details, and it's become a completely different story. I thought it was a middle grades historical. But it's something else.

Don't pull this bait-and-switch with an agent that you're trying to hook. If the agent is intrigued at the prospect of a story set in the early 19th century, by the end of your query she'll fell cheated.

Anonymous Author said...

ps i mean "feel" not "fell

Stacy McKitrick said...

You've done what I've done in the past, created a query that reads more like a short synopsis. And 56,000 words seems rather short for a thriller. As a reader, I might feel cheated.

I think you're giving too much detail when you should be hooking the reader into wanting to read more. Who is your character? What does he want? What's keeping him from obtaining his goal? Those are the things you should be concentrating on.

Mentioning your character is a murderer might not be the wisest thing to say, either. We readers want our protagonists to be good.

Good luck with your query.

The Las Vegas Writer said...

I agree with Stacy. This is reading more like a synopsis and full of passive voice. I like this paragraph: "To make matters worse, the paranoid medical staff debate on whether or not to euthanize the study`s volunteers while an armed maniac will not rest until she kills Gabriel. He’ll have to find a way to stay alive—without reverting to his murderous ways." and think this voice should be used for the rest of the query. This is labeled as a thriller, but I'm not getting the suspenseful language in the first 4 paragraphs. This sounds like an awesome story. Good luck :)

Sara Flower said...

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

So, how should one word a query so that it doesn't sound like a synopsis? I guess I thought that was what I supposed to do.

Also, do you feel that I should not reveal the twist in the query? I did decide to reveal it so that the agent would know what to expect from the story and so that they would not "feel cheated" as Anonymous said.

Thanks!

Sara Flower said...

Las Vegas Writer,

Thanks for pointing out the strongest paragraph and letting me know what needs more work. :)

Anonymous Author said...

Yes, you should certainly reveal the twist, given that it changes the entire nature of the story.

The only circumstances in which I would say don't reveal it is if it comes in the last quarter of the book, and is in fact the climax... the sort of thing you would not reveal if you were writing an amazon review.

Sara Flower said...

The twist where he finds himself back in the modern world is fairly early on. I think I had put way too much stuff about the beginning of th story ibn my first two queries.

Thanks for your help! :)

Sara Flower said...

Oh! Horrible typos there. Sorry.