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Author Topic: Directed by Mr. Ridgley  (Read 611 times)
JustinB
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« on: January 23, 2019, 07:59:47 AM »

I’m back with a third novel(is the third time the charm? Probably not). But anyway thanks for looking and for any advice or critiques you might have.


Mariette Logstein, failed actress-turned-private investigator, finally gets her big break when  ordered to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on-camera. The assignment in-hand, she heads off to the video store to pore over his work, desperate for any clues that his art might give her. The effort proves to be successful as she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts where she discovers a projector spinning images of his dead body over a white wall. With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off.

Against the wishes of her boss she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. She traces her steps back to the site of the projector before she realizes that the director is in fact not dead. No one could have directed the shot the way he did except himself. Determined to make her his next star, the director lures Mariette in with the promise of eternal fame and glory, a promise that she must resist the urge to sacrifice everything for as she tries to bring the murderer to justice.

Directed by Mr. Ridgley is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:20:36 AM by JustinB » Logged
Waterfall
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 09:01:52 AM »

This seems like a pretty strong idea for a novel, but I think the pitch could be tighter and quicker, as befits a psychological thriller.

Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator [no hyphens needed there], finally gets her big break when ordered to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. [Who's she commissioned by?] The assignment in-hand She heads off to the video store to pore over his work, desperate for any clues that his art might give her. The effort proves to be successful as She pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts, where she discovers a projector spinning images of his dead body over a white wall. [maybe pgph break here instead of after this next sentence? That would give you one pgph about the setup, and the other about her refusal to believe the simple answer.]

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. She traces her steps back to the site of the projector before she realizes that the director is in fact not dead. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did except himself. Determined to make her his next star, the director lures Mariette in with the promise of eternal fame and glory, a promise that she must resist the urge to sacrifice everything for as she tries to bring the murderer to justice.

This brings you down from 192 to 160 words, and picks up the pace a little. See what you think.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 09:12:24 AM by Waterfall » Logged
kaperton
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 10:12:14 AM »

I'm confused by the first line. You say he's a famous director--is his identity known but just not his whereabouts? Or does no one know who he is? I'm assuming if people knew who he was, they wouldn't be letting themselves get killed.

Does this take place in the past (70s, 80s, 90s)? I'm assuming so since there aren't too many videos around anymore. I wonder if it's worth mentioning to eliminate an agent's doubt that you're out of touch with technology. Smiley
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JustinB
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 09:00:33 PM »

New version, I tried to spice things up but I’m not sure if it’s good. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when ordered to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts that is all but abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. The corpse bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck and a suspicious amount of clues lead her to a confrontation with the director, who has been luring her in this whole time with the promise of fame and glory.
But as she too prepares to reel in the deranged director, she must fight the urge to ingrain herself into the celluloid that would cement her celebrity forever.

Directed by Mr. Ridgley is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 10:18:22 AM by JustinB » Logged
Smellerby
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 12:38:01 PM »


Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when she's ordered (usually people aren't "ordered" into their big break, so that's an odd word choice to me) to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts that is all but abandoned, When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall.The corpseAnd it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck(,) and a suspicious amount of clues(,) lead her to a confrontation with the director, who discover that the director has been luring her in this whole time with the promise of fame and glory.

But aAs she too prepares to reel in the deranged director, she must fight the urge to ingrain herself into the celluloid that would cement her celebrity forever.

I'm not really sure what's going on here. I can kind of see where your plot is, but I'm not sure I totally get it. How is he tempting her in any way meaningful enough to derail and entire investigation?

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 12:40:35 PM by Smellerby » Logged
klclou
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 12:07:14 AM »

I'd read this and ask "How can the director have been luring her in this whole time with the promise of fame and money? Like, how? Is it like, hey, this case will make you famous? Is he the client? Why was the case dropped then?"
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slightlysmall
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 01:15:01 AM »


Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when she's ordered (usually people aren't "ordered" into their big break, so that's an odd word choice to me) to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts that is all but abandoned, When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall.The corpseAnd it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck(,) and a suspicious amount of clues(,) lead her to a confrontation with the director, who discover that the director has been luring her in this whole time with the promise of fame and glory.

But aAs she too prepares to reel in the deranged director, she must fight the urge to ingrain herself into the celluloid that would cement her celebrity forever.

I'm not really sure what's going on here. I can kind of see where your plot is, but I'm not sure I totally get it. How is he tempting her in any way meaningful enough to derail and entire investigation?

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Seconding the thoughts here. I think I love this idea, but I can't follow it well enough to be sure. (That said, I'd never read it. Psychological horrors scare the living daylights out of me. What you have here does, too, but I want to be absolutely certain it would.)
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JustinB
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 10:19:10 AM »

Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when given the chance to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that she would give anything for, but finding the murderer could bring her the fame she has always desired. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts. When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck and a suspicious amount of clues lead her to a confrontation with the director, who knows that she longs for recognition and admiration. The deranged director uses this knowledge to persuade her to be in his next film in a role that would require everything from her, including her life.

As she prepares to reel him in, she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever.

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 10:52:44 AM by JustinB » Logged
Smellerby
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 03:59:36 PM »

Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when given the chance to (How about "tasked with?" Or "assigned to?" It makes it clear she was assigned to it as her job, without the somewhat negative connotations of the word "ordered" from the first query) hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that she would give anything for (Maybe "dreamed of in her younger years" or something? It just reads a little funky to me as-is), but finding the murderer could bring her the fame she has always desired. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts. When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck(,) and a suspicious amount of clues(,) lead her to a confrontation with the director, who knows that she longs for recognition and admiration. The deranged director uses this knowledge to persuade her to be in his next film(--) in a role that would require everything from her, including her life. (Why would she agree to it then?)

As she prepares to reel him in, she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever.

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.

This is a decent query, I think. It reads pretty well and I have a fairly good grasp of your plot. The only problem for me is your lead character's motivations. I was on board until the "including her life" line because that, to me, gives the impression that she KNOWS she'll die, and yet she does it anyway? That throws me off a bit. Even just wording it with a little less certainty would help, ie: "possibly even her life." Or, even better, maybe add a line about how, even though her life is in danger, it's worth the risk because... blah blah blah, whatever's appropriate.


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JustinB
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 10:53:29 AM »

I made a few changes that hopefully work. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far it really means a lot and I owe you!

Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when she is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that her childhood mind yearned for, but finding the murderer could bring her the fame she has always desired. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts. When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did. A few strokes of luck, and a suspicious amount of clues, lead her to a confrontation with the director, who knows that she longs for recognition and admiration. The deranged director uses this knowledge to persuade her to be in his next film. Mariette knows that the director wants her to give everything she has to the role, but for Mr. Ridgley, everything really means everything, including her life.

As she prepares to reel him in, she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever.

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 03:02:08 AM »

I made a few changes that hopefully work. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far it really means a lot and I owe you!

Private Investigator Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when she is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. ( This sentence is trying to say too much and info dump, and is confusing instead of hooky because with the actress references you're trying to say something cute with the 'hig break' bit that refers the the role she gets that we don't find out about until the end of the query ( so it's lost here ) , at the same time as get a point across and it's messy and crammed and hard to read ) It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that her childhood mind yearned for, but finding the murderer could bring her the fame she has always desired. After perusing through his filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former hideouts. When she arrives, she finds it abandoned, save for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one but himelse could have directed the shot of his dead body the way he did. A few strokes of luck, and a suspicious amount of clues, lead her to a confrontation with the director, who knows that she longs for recognition and admiration. The deranged director uses this knowledge to persuades her to be in his next film. Mariette knows that the director wants her to give everything she has to the role, but for Mr. Ridgley, everything really means everything, including her life.

As she prepares to reel him in, she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever. ( I like what you were going for with 'reel him in' but rework the sentence as meaning unclear )

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 03:04:12 AM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 03:22:09 AM »

Just wanted to play with a version for clarity

Private investigator Mariette Logstein is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. His filmography gives her the clues to his wherabouts, but when she arrives at his current hideout it's abandoned, though a projector spitting images of a mangled corpse. The film's shots bear an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but no one but him could have directed the shot of his body. When she finds the director he persuades her to be in his next film. Mariette agrees, preparing to reel him in, but she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever.


DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.

'the offer to ingrain' makes no sense because she has already 'been persuaded' to be in the film, apparently.  The use of abandoned is wrong technically, just something I noticed.As a projector being left on doesn't meant the building isn't abandoned, but you could still use it.

I think it needs to be punchier and stakier. The last part needs be explained better as it seems silly that she is willing to consider being in his film when he kills his actors. It might sound more understandable if you explain it better
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 11:47:06 AM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
rivergirl
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 08:47:55 AM »

Mariette Logstein, failed actress turned private investigator, finally gets her big break when she is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera.Break up this crazy long sentence. flow is everything.  It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that her childhood mindshe yearned for, but finding the murderer could bring her the fame she has always desired. After perusing through his the director's (don't make your reader guess)filmography for any clues, she pinpoints one of the director’s former a potential hideout hideouts. When she arrives, she finds it don't say it when you can be clear. When she arrives at the ramshackled house (or whatever) abandoned, save don't say 'save', there's no exception. it really is abandoned. just say that when she arrives she discovers the eerie blah blah blah for a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a white wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.  clap

With the wanted man suspect presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows something is off. Against the wishes of her boss, she continues to study Mr. Ridgley's work, certain that he is still alive. No one else could have directed the shot of his body the way he did.A shot sounds like a still shot or a single image, but it was a film, right? I'd call it a clip or a film instead of a shot.every word counts A few strokes of luck no comma needed here and a suspicious amount of clues, lead her to a confrontation with the director, who knows that she longs for recognition and admiration. alternate long and short sentences for better flow. this is another doozy. The deranged director uses this knowledge to persuade her to be in his next film. Mariette knows that the director wants her to give everything she has to the role, but for Mr. Ridgley, everything really means everything, including her life. OH no!! you just put us in the director's head. Get me out! This is from Marietta's perspective only. (Marietta doesn't know that the director wants her to give everything for his movie, only that it will be the role of a lifetime.) Okay, that's not great, but you get the idea. from her perspective only. Story sounds awesome and truly unique. You may need to explain more clearly the agony of the choice she must make.

As she prepares to reel him in, she must resist the offer to ingrain herself into the celluloid of his new film that would cement her celebrity forever.
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JustinB
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 05:20:23 PM »

Thank you for all your help. I don’t know if this is any better but I hope it is!


Private Investigator Mariette Logstein finally gets her big break when she is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that she yearned for, but finding the murderer could bring the fame she has always desired. After perusing through the director’s filmography for any clues, she pinpoints a potential hideout. When she arrives, she finds a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a cracked wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows that no one but him could have directed the shot of his body. A few strokes of luck, and a suspicious amount of clues, lead her and an investigative team to a vintage soundstage where the director waits in hiding. For Mariette, this is her chance to bring in the deranged director and receive the recognition she has always craved. But as her fellow investigators collapse around her with anguished cries, she hones in on a clicking sound coming from a bright speck of light in the middle of the room. Possessed by the light, Mariette wonders if bringing in the man is really worth it, or if she should just let the camera keep rolling, for everyone in a film that is directed by Mr. Ridgley eventually finds fame.

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 05:49:55 PM by JustinB » Logged
neverish
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 10:33:16 AM »

[ I haven't done one of these in a while, so I hope this makes sense! I mostly wanted to highlight how you could tighten it up a bit more, readability-wise. ]

Private Investigator Mariette Logstein finally gets her big break when she is assigned to hunt down a famous director accused of slaughtering his actors on camera. It’s not quite the turn in the spotlight that she yearned for, but finding the murderer could bring the fame she has always desired. After perusing through the director’s filmography for any clues, she pinpoints a potential hideout. When she arrives, she finds a flickering projector spitting images of a mangled corpse over a cracked wall. And it bears an uncanny resemblance to the suspect.

With the wanted man presumed dead, Mariette is dropped from the case, but she knows that no one but him only he could have directed the shot of his body. A few strokes of luck, and a suspicious amount of clues, lead her and an investigative team to a vintage soundstage where the director waits in hiding. For Mariette, this is her chance to bring in the deranged director and receive the recognition she has always craved. But as her fellow investigators collapse around her with anguished cries [why, though? are they under attack? is someone shooting at them? sorry if I'm missing something], she hones in on a clicking sound coming from a bright speck of light in the middle of the room. Possessed by the light, Mariette wonders if bringing in the man is really worth it, or if she should just let the camera keep rolling, for everyone in a film that is directed by Mr. Ridgley eventually finds fame.

DIRECTED BY MR. RIDGLEY is an 80,000 word psychological thriller. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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