Author Topic: Psychological thriller 86,000 words, revision in post#7  (Read 541 times)

Offline Chekurtab

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Psychological thriller 86,000 words, revision in post#7
« on: March 10, 2019, 07:35:21 PM »
This is a query for a psychological thriller. I'm trying to squeeze in both psychological and thriller elements, but I'm afraid that it might be too much. Please let me know if I should simplify, or clarify, or scrap and start over. :)
Thank you for reading.

Dear Agent:

Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, is determined to be the best in the video chipset business. When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, he discovers that the partner was blackmailed prior to his death. A mole has secretly altered the design of EMagin’s lead product. If gone unnoticed, the fabrication of the faulty chipsets would ruin the company and Matthew’s career. At home, Matthew struggles with chronic illnesses of his children. The long hours at work and the sickness of the children are straining his marriage. Growing up without a father, Matthew swears not to take time away from his family, but the constant fighting with his wife pushes him toward divorce.

With his job and marriage on the line, Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, who’s murdered before the police can interrogate him. The same fate awaits the mole when Matthew digs him out. As EMagin’s stock collapses, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of the company. In order to beat the Bulldog at his game, Matthew has to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. Getting closer to the criminal syndicate puts him in danger. Matthew survives shooting with the help of his loved ones, but he must surrender EMagin and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or continue to risk his life for his family, friends and employees.

Bio

Please see an updated version in post #7.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 08:19:23 PM by Chekurtab »

Offline 007 fan

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 03:42:26 AM »
This is a query for a psychological thriller. I'm trying to squeeze in both psychological and thriller elements, but I'm afraid that it might be too much. Please let me know if I should simplify, or clarify, or scrap and start over. :)
Thank you for reading.

Dear Agent:

Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, is determined to be the best in the video chipset business. When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, he discovers that the partner was blackmailed prior to his death. A mole has secretly altered the design of EMagin’s lead product. I don't know what the tampering has to do with the blackmailing of his partner. The blackmailing and the tampering seem to be separate issues. If gone unnoticed, the fabrication of the faulty chipsets would ruin the company and Matthew’s career. At home, Matthew struggles with the chronic illnesses of his children. The long hours at work and the sickness of the children are straining his marriage. Growing up without a father, Matthew swears not to take time away from his family, but the constant fighting with his wife pushes him toward divorce. I don't think you need the last sentence. The sickness of his children/long hours straining his marriage is likely enough to share. Overall, I feel the info about his family should be moved earlier.

With his job and marriage on the line, Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer < But not the person who tampered with the product? Or are they the same? Something seems messy with this. Or I'm not getting it and others will. :), who’s murdered before the police can interrogate him. The same fate awaits the mole when Matthew digs him out. Are you implying your MC is a murderer? As EMagin’s stock collapses, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of the company. In order to beat the Bulldog at his game, Matthew has to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. Getting closer to the criminal syndicate puts him in danger What criminal syndicate? You use that term as if readers should already know they are involved. To me, there seems to be three "people" messing with his business. 1. A blackmailer, 2. a tamperer, and 3. a stock manipulator/business shark. . Matthew survives a shooting with the help of his loved ones, but he must surrender EMagin and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or continue to risk his life for his family, friends(,) and employees. Continuing to risk his life for his family, friends, and employees? What does that mean? Do you mean risk his life/keeping his business going so he can support family, friends, and employees?

Overall, there are a lot of nice elements here. However, for me, things seem a bit scattered and unclear.


Bio
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Offline rivergirl

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 03:33:06 PM »
Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, is determined to be the best in the video chipset business. When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, he discovers that the his partner was blackmailed prior to his death. A mole has secretly altered the design of EMagin’s lead product.The introduction of the mole takes the reader completely out of the perspective of the MC. Tell us that matthew discovers a mole...Personally i'd like some emotion here. Matthew is devastated to discover... If gone unnoticed, the fabrication of the faulty chipsets would ruin the company and Matthew’s career. At home, Matthew struggles with chronic illnesses of his children. The long hours at work and the sickness of the children are straining his marriage. Growing up without a father, Matthew swears not to take time away from his family, but the constant fighting with his wife pushes him toward divorce. The entire section on his family and family issues is completely irrelevant (from what i can see)to a psychological thriller and baiting an agent. I'd cut it.

With his job and marriage on the line, Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, who’s murdered before the police can interrogate him. The same fate awaits the mole when Matthew digs him out. I'm not sure you need to tell us step by step what happens as much as telling us he's following a trail of death as he tries to uncover the reason for the faulty hardware or whatever is correct. I feel like your'e taking some of the mystery out As EMagin’s stock collapses, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of the company. In order to beat the Bulldog at his game, Matthew has to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. Getting closer to the criminal syndicate puts him in danger telling us he's in danger is too vague. tell us that when he gets too close, he finds an assassin on his trail or whatever is true. The latter your agent will be able to visualize. Matthew survives shooting with the help of his loved ones just tell us he becomes a target (when you tell us he survives, the tension is gone for me), but he must surrender EMagin and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or continue to risk his life for his family, friends and employees. I don't understand what yo mean by he has to risk his life for his family. Do you mean to say he has to risk his life and the lives of his family? Or risk his life to save his family? I'd keep it personal. His life is at stake

This is reading step by step like synopsis instead of a quickie teaser giving us the gist of your book.The good news is that this is pretty clear, but I'd cut the entire family scenario unless you want to tell us he's a family man
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 03:34:51 PM by rivergirl »

Offline mafiaking1936

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 10:16:03 AM »
Hi. Not sure if you know this, but Emagin is the name of a real company (they make OLED displays), so you might have to change that if you want it to be published.

Offline Chekurtab

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 06:01:31 PM »
007 fan, Rivergirl, Mafiafan,

Thank you for the comments. I'm trying to show both internal and external conflicts the MC's facing, but the family angle doesn't seem to work. I may drop it to concentrate on the external part.
You gave me a lot to think about, and I greatly appreciate your insights.

Happy writing!

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 02:42:46 AM »
Dear Agent:

Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, ( I don't know what Emagin is and the mention of chipset didn't clarify this for me , so it's tricky. I like that you mention MC is a CEO though but I don't understand his role. )   is determined to be the best in the video chipset business.( I'd try to put something more hooky in first sentence than what his goal in life is. ) When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, ( I don't like the way you put this. The interesting part about the suicide is tacked on the end, and 'looks into the circumstances' doesn't sound interesting. I'd try to make this sound more dramatic. Put us in his pov maybe, of the moment he finds out his partner committed suicide )  he discovers that the partner was blackmailed prior to his death.  ( How does he know this. Just thinking a small detail might make it easier to picture this, as you get so much info across but I'm not connecting with MC ) A mole has secretly altered the design of EMagin’s lead product. If gone unnoticed, the fabrication ( I don't know what 'fabrication' refers to. I am kind of in the dark at this point about what chipsets are and I feel like it's important for me to know what the consequences of faulty chipsets would be, but because I don't know what they are I just feel confused because of all my unanswered questions ) of the faulty chipsets would ruin the company and Matthew’s career. At home, Matthew struggles with chronic illnesses of his children. The long hours at work and the sickness of the children are straining his marriage. Growing up without a father, Matthew swears not to take time away from his family, but the constant fighting with his wife pushes him toward divorce. ( A litte detail of his circumstances would be good but this amount, worded here, like this feels irrelevant. I'd try to the other stuff sorted first then add it in later when you've figured out how to get the chipset/suicide/mole/blackmailer stuff across clearly )

With his job and marriage on the line,( I don't like how this is 'told' here. It's 'telly'. I don't know how his job IS on the line...that hasn't come across at all for me yet, ) Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, who’s murdered before the police can interrogate him. ( I don't understand how MC 'flushes' out the blackmailer....this sentence is trying to say too much and leaves me baffled. Also is the blackmailer important? Why? Need to make that clear or cut it. This does read as ambiguous, like the MC found the blackmailer then killed him and you're just not telling us ) The same fate awaits the mole when Matthew digs him out. ( This DOES make me think MC killed blackmailer as MC about to do the same thing. I don't see the reason for not just saying MC killed the blackmailer. ) As EMagin’s stock collapses, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of the company. ( Argh, I have no idea about stockmarkets but how is this relevent to the plot above what with the compromised chipsets and 'suicide' and mole and blackmailer? There's just too many enemies from different angles and I don't understand how they are connected or what is going on really ) In order to beat the Bulldog at his game, ( you mean manipulating the market? Why is MC needing to do this?) Matthew has to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. Getting closer to the criminal syndicate puts him in danger. Matthew survives shooting ( survives shooting? What does this mean? A literal shooting? ) with the help of his loved ones, but he must surrender ( Surrender how? Vague term not helping me understand things ) EMagin and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or continue to risk his life for his family, friends and employees.

Bio

You have lots of interesting elements specific to a CEO type person that sounds exciting but to me it was hard to read because there were too many things that didn't connect up to make the plot clear. It reads like the Bulldog has nothing to do with the previous things going wrong with chipset etc and I'm sure I'm wrong about that.

Maybe try to trim some. Like keep the suicide of partner, but leave out mole ( unless the mole is the blackmailer ) i ...just got confused by to many antagonist type characters.

Offline Chekurtab

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 07:47:41 PM »
Thank you for reading, everybody. I tried to incorporate the suggestions in the current, simpler version. I'm looking for clarity and flow. I appreciate all and every comment.

Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, is determined to be the best in the super-thin chipset business. When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, he discovers that the partner was blackmailed. The design of the video chipset the partner created is altered by a mole. If gone unnoticed, the production of the faulty chips would ruin the company and Matthew’s career.

As the stock comes under pressure, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of EMagin. Hostile takeovers are Bulldog’s specialty. In order to beat the man at his game, Matthew would have to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises.

Determined to defend his company and employees against the Bulldog, Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, then the mole, but they’re both murdered before the police can interrogate them. Following the death trail at EMagin puts Matthew’s own life in danger. To survive, he must surrender his company and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or turn into a killer himself.

GAMES OF CORVIDS is a tale of love, loss, and family values set against the backdrop of corporate greed and moneymaking at all costs. Bio

Offline rivergirl

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words, revision in post#7
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 09:44:23 PM »
This is much better and much closer!

Matthew Horowitz, an ambitious co-founder and CEO of EMagin, is determined to be the best in the super-thin chipset business. When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner’s suicide, he discovers that thehis (keep it personal) partner was blackmailed. The design of the video chipset the partner created is altered by a mole. If gone unnoticed, the production of the faulty chips would ruin the company and Matthew’s career. These last two sentences can be even better. As is, they seem to be two independent statements that aren't linked to one another. (Still would love some emotion in here) When Matthew looks into the circumstances of his partner's death, he's (devastated, shocked, horrified, numbed) to discover that his partner was blackmailed by a mysterious source. When Matthew follows the clues buried in his associate's suicide note, he suspects the worst: there's a mole in the company. Only an operative would be capable of altering and ultimately ruining the company's flagship chipset. (okay this probably isn't right, but just showing that one sentence must lead into the next)

As the stock comes under pressure, Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, [s]manipulates[/s]manipulated the market to gain control of EMagin. Hostile takeovers are Bulldog’s specialty. In order to beat the man at his own game, Matthew would have to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. (There's something off about this last sentence and I can't quite put my finger on it. It's the 'would have to become...") Maybe a re-word? In order to beat the man at his own game, Matthew submerges himself in a dark world of corporate raids, deceit, and manipulation.

Determined to defend his company and employees against the Bulldog, Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, then the mole, but they’re both murdered before the police can interrogate them. Following the death trail at EMagin puts Matthew’s own life in danger.(danger feels too generic. give this query some color and imagery) To survive, he must surrender his company and everything he's (IDK, both the company and everything he's worked for felt redundant to me. I say one or the other) worked for to the Bulldog or turn into a killer himself. Awesome ending with great stakes. so much better without the family elements. This has turned into an adventure that will pique your agent's interest!

Offline 007 fan

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Re: Psychological thriller 86,000 words.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 01:08:53 AM »
Thank you for reading, everybody. I tried to incorporate the suggestions in the current, simpler version. I'm looking for clarity and flow. I appreciate all and every comment.

I haven't read rivergirl's comments, so my apologies if I repeat anything she's highlighted.

Your first line is long and dry when it could be intriguing. I'm going to do a trim and bring some "stuff" into your first line....


Matthew Horowitz, co-founder and CEO of a chipset business (company sounds better)(,)investigates his partner’s suicide and discovers he was blackmailed. The previous sentence doesn't seem to have anything to do with the next. We need more info. The blackmailer and the mole are different people. Right? The design of the video chipset the partner created is altered by a mole. If gone unnoticed, the production of the faulty chips would ruin the company and Matthew’s career.

As the stock comes under pressure < How does the stock come under pressure? The altered chip was discovered before it went to production.  , Matthew suspects that the largest shareholder, an activist investor nicknamed the Bulldog, manipulates the market to gain control of EMagin Matthew's company. Is the "bulldog" behind the mole and alteration? I suspect so but you don't have it clear and agents aren't going to study your query to understand things. Hostile takeovers are Bulldog’s specialty. In order to beat the man Bulldog at his game, Matthew would have to become a ruthless corporate raider and an expert manipulator—the very qualities he despises. Since he doesn't seem to do these things below, I suggest a different start to your next paragraph.

Instead, Mathew defend(s) his company and employees against the Bulldog by fleshing Matthew flushes out his partner’s blackmailer, then the mole, but they’re both murdered before the police can interrogate them. Following the death trail at EMagin puts Matthew’s own life in danger. < I think that could be more exciting if you say how his life is in danger. Like "When someone shoots at...., he must decide if he'll surrender his company to the Bulldog or turn into a killer and defend not only everything he's worked for but his life. Or something. To survive, he must surrender his company and everything he worked for to the Bulldog or turn into a killer himself.

GAMES OF CORVIDS is a tale of love, loss, and family values set against the backdrop of corporate greed and moneymaking at all costs. Bio
It's better to show these things than "tell" them.

Good luck! This sounds exciting!  :up: 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 05:38:36 AM by 007 fan »
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