Oct 22, 2010

Query- Possessed (Third Revision)

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

Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Gabriel is not supposed to remember who he is or what he has done. However, the White Horizon Research Facility experiment fails.

Everything that Gabriel thought was real turns out to be a product of radiation, electrodes, and drugs – including his identity as a young midshipman in the Napoleonic War.

Gabriel's memory returns, along with the angry voices of those that he killed five years ago. They want revenge. He wishes he could erase what he did to them.

When Gabriel and two other participants are locked in a "debriefing room", they overhear the doctors' decision to euthenize them. The study is illegal. They are not supposed to be alive and one of the other "volunteers" - Gabriel's troubled cousin - has already escaped. They find a way out, but Gabriel's cousin will not rest until she kills all three of them. Wherever they go, she finds them.

Gabriel will have to find a way to keep himself - and his new friends - alive. But nothing can save him from the guilt and remorse he feels. Everyone knows that there is no way out of eternal damnation for a killer.

Possessed is a young adult supernatural thriller with a final word count of 56,000 words.

Thank you for taking the time to review my work.


Sara Flower Kjeldsen


Anonymous Author said...

MUCH much better.

This is so much of an improvement on your previous versions that it doesn't even seem to be the same story.

Now, a couple notes. You spelled "euthanize" wrong. And the people Gabriel killed five years ago seem to be dropping from the sky-- which may be all right at this point, since if you explain that he's a murderer you'll have to fight for reader sympathy in the query letter and you don't really have time for that.

"They are not supposed to be alive" is confusing too. Mm, you may be best off just saying that this guy is a murderer.

(And I'm still disturbed by the "eternal damnation" thing. Surely that's not Gabriel's only reason for regretting killing people.)

And they're not "reviewing" your work, they're considering it. Review means something specific in the publishing world.

Sara Flower said...

Thanks. I am glad it sounds much better than the previous ones. Thanks for the pointers - I will take out the "They are not supposed to be alive" thing.

I did mention that Gabriel feels guilt and he wishes that he could erase what he did. The eternal thing is just another reason why he regrets being a murderer - not the only reason. :)

Anonymous Author said...

Good point, Sara. You did say that this time; I was reacting to my memory of an earlier version. This is a common problem when people critique multiple revisions.

I think your biggest need now is to say that this guy is a murderer. Right now you're only hinting at it, and it's pretty key to the story, if it's true. I see opportunities to mention it in your first sentence, or in your second paragraph.

(Saying "those that he killed" doesn't get the point across, since you've already said he was in a war.)

Once you've stated that, your other big task will be keeping him a sympathetic character.

The Las Vegas Writer said...

Why does his cousin want to kill them? Everything looks great. Good job :)

Sara Flower said...

Good point Anonymous! It does sound like I am beating around the bush about him being a murderer.

Sara Flower said...

Thanks Las Vegas. :) I was thinking of putting the reason why the cousin wants to kill them (She becomes possessed), but I need to word it so that it doesn`t sound too bulky. Some more revising to do! :)