Feb 13, 2011


Click here to read the original query.

Click here to read the first revision.

Dear Agent,

Laura can’t escape death. Her parents were burned alive, her best friend’s throat was ripped out and her boss’s brains were blown out across her face. And she doesn’t know why. She fears the killer is the one who chases her in nightmares – and she must stop him or be next.

The mystery could be connected to the meteorite that hit her hometown lake almost thirty years ago. Ben Fieldstone thinks so. He was there the night his parents were crushed under it. Laura finds him when she returns home to search the lake for answers. Drawn to one another they discover they are bound by fate, as Laura’s true identity is revealed. Together, they unravel her past to discover the man who wants her dead is part of a destiny she never could have imagined. With the killer closing in, Laura realizes she must fight him alone to save them both. But if they survive, she fears she can’t give her heart to Ben now that he knows who she really is.

I am seeking representation of A HUMAN ELEMENT, a 120,000-word suspense novel. I would appreciate the opportunity to send you the entire manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Anonymous said...

All right, this has been bothering me through all the versions of this query:

Laura can't escape death.

At last report: none of us can.

Anonymous said...

You've definitely improved from your first version, but there's still a ways to go.

I find your opening to be far too passive -- we're seeing what happens to her, not what she DOES.

And I'm put off by the gory details -- surely that's not what's important about the novel itself? Isn't it enough for us to know that these people were murdered? (in other words, unless the plot hinges on the exact ways these people die, this is unncessary information).

I'd be more stimulated by an opening like: "After witnessing the murders of her parents, her best friend and her boss, Laura fears the killer is the man who haunts her dreams. Now she must find a way to stop him, or she may be next."

Something like that. The idea that the heroine is also harboring the killer is intriguing and infinitely more threatening.

The second paragraph is a mess... too much telling, very little showing.

In an earlier version, you suggest Laura has special powers? This isn't even mentioned here -- but the title "Human Element" kind of needs a tie-in (I'm assuming these powers come from the meteorite strike).

I'd definitely recommend the Query Shark blog, read through the archives (but skip forward to post #187 where she gives a couple of excellent query formulas).