Oct 25, 2010

Query- Liquid Smoke

Click here to read the sample pages.

Dear Fantastic Agent,

When the eight-year-old daughter of Danny Reece was forcibly taken by agent Rick Delaruse, Danny had no choice but to submit to the government and pray for the collapse of the secret program she was enlisted in.

Thirteen years later, Jenna is living the happy life of a college student and has no recollection of the six month long government program. When she is attacked on campus, agent Delaruse pays a visit to Danny with alarming news. The twelve children who were enrolled in the program thirteen years earlier are turning up dead in the order they were inducted.

With his grown daughter next in line on the short list of a serial killer, Danny is forced to team up with his long-standing enemy to revisit the past and uncover the true reason behind the government program she was forced to participate in when she was a child.

Liquid Smoke is a 70,000-word psychological thriller. I would be happy to forward the complete manuscript upon request. Thank for your time and consideration.


Cordially,
My name here

3 comments:

Mesmerix said...

Okay, your biggest problem here is name soup. Right off the bat, I was confused.

You name Danny Reece, so I assume the story is about him. Then you name Rick Delaruse, and I assume he is the antagonist. Then you say "she was enlishted in" and I think She refers to Danny.

Further confusion, you go on to name Jenna, which I didn't understand was Danny's daughter until I read it 3 times.

You need to state the plot clearly, focusing on ONE main protagonist. Even if it's from multiple PoVs, really try to pare down to one person making that person the SUBJECT of the action.

Example: When Danny Reece's eight-year-old daughter is forcibly taken...

Now, see how I changed that to present tense? That's because the query needs to be in present wherever possible, starting wherever the book starts, and ignoring any backstory.

Does the story start with Danny's daughter being taken? Or with Danny's daughter being threatened 13 years later? Start wherever the book does, in present tense.

I also don't understand why a father would team up with the guy who basically kidnapped his daughter. There better be some serious motivation on why dad is OK with governmental experimentation and hasn't went to the media...

Looks like you got the plot there, but you need to pare down. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Mesmerix said.

"Government program" sounds like food stamps. Try to come up with a more precise description.

This is an example of the kind of thing that confuses your readers:

When she is attacked on campus, agent Delaruse pays a visit to Danny with alarming news. The twelve children who were enrolled in the program thirteen years earlier are turning up dead in the order they were inducted.

With his grown daughter next in line on the short list of a serial killer...


The news that one's daughter has been attacked certainly qualifies as alarming news, but instead you're talking about something else. And it's not clear to us that the young woman hasn't been murdered, since you just say she was attacked and don't say in what way. I'd leave out the attack altogether, as well as needless details like the order in which they were inducted, and just say someone's killing young people and it looks like she's next.

The Las Vegas Writer said...

I'm finding it hard to understand your first paragraph. First off, is the story about Jenna or Danny?

If it's about Danny, then you don't need his daughter's name in the query at all.

For your first paragraph, cut down. I suggest something like, "Danny Reece's eight-year-old daughter is forcibly enrolled in [program name] by a federal agent and he has no choice but to submit."

Your first sentence isn't really catchy, just wordy.

Second paragraph - "Agent" should be capitalized. Again, cut down your words. The main event of this paragraph is Danny discovering the children in the program are turning up dead. Take out, "Thirteen years later, Jenna is living the happy life of a college student and has no recollection of the six month long government program." It has nothing to do with finding out about the other children.

Third paragraph is better, but it's one long sentence. Cut it down to the basics.

Good luck :) Sounds like a great thriller