Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pass or Pages Entry #4

Welcome to our feedback reveal for Pass Or Pages. In this contest, randomly chosen entries were critiqued by our agent panel. We hope it will give everyone a sense of what is going on in an agent's head as they read queries and first pages. We're so grateful to the members of the agent panel who gave their time to provide feedback on these entries. We'd also like to thank the entrants. It's hard to put yourself out there. Thanks for being brave!

Entry #4 RAKER


I am seeking representation for my 75,000 word new adult, suspense thriller, Raker.

Two detectives and a beautiful, visually impaired, young woman must identify, [US1] confront, and subdue an elusive killer.[CF1] Marvell Lake, a summer resort and university town that appeals to an upscale clientele with an active nightlife scene, is plagued by a series of homicides. The vicious killer utilizes a modified garden tool as a weapon to dispatch victims in a graphic method unique to the motives of the perpetrator. [US2]

The characters are comprised primarily of university students of various ethnicities and members of the local community.[CF2] Jezebel Rhodes, a beautiful, young dancer and university student, may be the only one capable of ending the bloodshed.

Laced with insight into dance techniques and a strict, unwritten code of etiquette, a gathering of young dance contestants compete for the ultimate dance trophy while shadowed by a vengeful killer.[CF3]

Thank you for considering Raker. I look forward to hearing from you.

[US1] There are certainly punctuation errors here, first concern.
[CF1] Is this young woman Jezebel? She seems to be the main character. If it is the same person, start with her. “Jezebel, a beautiful, young dancer. must identify……”
[US2] Awkward phrasing. I would stop here. My advice is to read a lot of jacket copies to get a better idea as to what a pitch is.

[CF2] This sentence isn’t needed. Tell us about the main character, the antagonist (which you have done) and one other character – usually the main characters love interest, best friend, or in this case, one of the detectives she is working with. 

[CF3] I suggest moving this to the beginning of the query. Add a little to the beginning of the sentence and it is your hook. It shows what makes this different from other suspense thrillers. If you move this to the beginning, you will need a new last line to tie it together
[MG] Falls under 80k, the minimum book length

FIRST 250:

As she straddled her companion, Jessamine Rhodes pulled the black rayon, neck [US1] tie firmly around the bare skin of her lover’s neck.

The young man located beneath her, Kurt Degen, instructed Jessamine.

“Tighter…,” he gasped.

Dressed only in crimson red, Chantilly lace, baby-doll lingerie, the young woman clenched her fists and drew the fabric taught, constricting the trachea of her companion. Jessamine simultaneously increased the frequency and rate of motion [US2] of her hips.

“Almost there…,” Kurt murmured.

The face of the young man turned red.

“Okay, remove…take it off…”

Jessamine complied and relaxed her arms. The neck tie slackened.

Kurt inhaled deeply and paused for several moments. The deafening silence was disrupted by the slow and audible exhale of the young man. Jessamine removed the neck tie and discarded the tie to the floor.

Jessamine smirked and discreetly removed the forest green, satin sheet covering her legs. She carefully removed herself from her lover, placed the soles of her bare feet on the cool, hardwood floor and rose to a standing position. Jessamine stretched her arms and casually walked across the floor in the direction of the bedroom window. She pulled both panels of the forest green, room darkening drapes aside along the curtain rod and proceeded to raise the window sash.

Jessamine arched her back and closed her eyes as an early autumn breeze entered through the open window into the bedroom. She raised her pale, slender arms above her head exposing her petite frame to the warm air.

[US1] Misplaced comma

[US2] If this is supposed to be sexy, it is not working for me.  I do not connect with the narrative voice at all.
[CF] I don’t think you have started in the right place on this. This is not showing us anything about your main character or the main story. It feel like gratuitous sex and made me go from wanting to read more to no longer being interested.
[LA] I’m passing on this entry. It ‘s just not for me, plus I’m already working on a thriller with a visually-impaired young woman..

Uwe Stender: PASS
Caitie Flum: PASS
Mark Gottlieb: PASS
Lisa Abellera: PASS

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