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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    5

    Second Query Letter Critique

    I have rewritten the first query letter taking your advice. Let me know if this is better and if I'm on the right track.
    Jane counts the rhythmic thud as she straddles the stranger’s bare chest. Thrusting back and forth, her naked body bathed in sweat. Done, Jane pats his bare chest and stands up dropping the hammer. She examines her handiwork, his mangled face and crushed skull.

    Jane is a serial killer. A socialized psychopath. She works as a sales rep for Manchester Insurance. Jane has no friends or family. Jane isn’t even her real name.

    Jackson Bright is an idiot. A redneck with a penchant for extreme violence. When a group of his men go hunting for a new girl to play with they accidentally kidnap the wrong girl – Jane.

    Locked away in a basement in a cabin, in the middle of the woods Jane explains to her first victim that she likes to play the game “Operation”. Once disemboweled, written in his blood on the basement wall are the words: PREY FOR ME.

    And just like that it begins.

    As Jane cuts a swath of violence she comes across another secluded a cabin. A cabin her family once owned. Her past. A past she had long since forgotten. One filled with physical abuse at the hands of her father. As Jane confronts her past she soon discovers the company she works for belongs to her father.

    I am seeking representation for my new dark comedy thriller novel, INSANE JANE. The finished manuscript has 52,000words. A crime novel with series potential.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Christian Bertoni

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    You should really give it more thought before doing a rewrite. At least wait a day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,142
    Beginning a query with a scene from the novel--or with a scene written in that vein--is generally considered a not-so-good idea.

    There's a blogger named Evil Editor (he's an acquiring editor with a trade publisher) who says a query letter should be ten sentences that focus on the main character. Who is he? What does he want? What's stopping him? What does he plan to do about it? And what is the price of failure? (think character, conflict, stakes)

    I think you've got a great premise here (bad guys unknowingly kidnap a psychopath, although I'm not sure I'd call it a comedy); polish your setup and payoff, and give us a reason to care. Remember, you're not trying to write a synopsis; all you want to do is entice the agent into asking for pages.

    Rogue is correct; take your time, let your subconscious mull this stuff over.

    That pretty much exhausts my advice. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    5
    I will thank you so much for the advice

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Elkins Park PA
    Posts
    343
    Jane counts the rhythmic thud as she straddles the stranger’s bare chest.
    Look at this from a reader's viewpoint. They don't know who they are as a person, where they are, or what's going on. You do, of course, so it has meaning to you. But the words must have context for the reader.

    Some advice: this isn't written at all like a query, so you've obviously not done enough research into what a query is and how to write one. And based on the first paragraph you've also not looked into the techniques of writing fiction. But you must. Writing fiction for the page is unlike verbal storytelling. It's very different from writing for film and stage. And, it's very different in approach from the kind of writing we learned in our school days. So doing a little digging into the tricks the pros take for granted can make a huge difference.

    Your local library systems fiction writing section is a great help, and will have you slapping your forehead and saying, "Why didn't I see that?"

    Jay Greenstein

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    394
    It feels like you're pitching two different stories here - the serial killer captured by redneck sadists. And a serial killer who must confront her abusive past - and ultimately her father.

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