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Monday, September 16, 2013

Workshop #13 Diamond Black

*oh, what the heck, might as well throw this into the mix. This is my wip-Huntress*

Diamond Black likes her ‘life’ just as it is. She’s dead. Has been for a thousand years. Now, with no bad hair days, red sequined heels to die for, and the occasional haunting, her afterlife has purpose. She’s a Finder, a go-fer between the spectral world and the living.

Her partner Thorne is a living, breathing man who can see ghosts like Diamond. Together they find things; Wills, lost objects, and sometimes people. While Thorne promotes the business, Diamond contacts her ghostly pals for information. The frustrated cops want to know how Thorne gets his information when their own investigations lead nowhere.

The authorities don’t faze Diamond. She’s dead so what’s to worry. But she is afraid of one thing. The Dark. When this evil pours into the countryside, people are murdered and vigilantes walk in broad daylight. After a mysterious man recruits Thorne to find his brother and the clues point to a cursed town, Diamond loses Thorne and her purpose in the Afterlife. All that is left is revenge. And facing The Dark.


Martha Mayberry said...

I see this is a WIP; it's great to work on the query as you work on the book since it helps identify plot holes, etc.

I love the beginning, the voice, the set-up for this story! But you lose me about the time you talk about the cops being frustrated. The Dark gets thrown in in the last paragraph and I wonder if this should be mentioned right from the start as it seems to be tied to the stakes. I’m also not sure what Diamond actually wants here, or what’s keeping her from getting it. The stakes seem to be avoiding the Dark, but I don’t see how it’s tied to Thorne or the cops, or the revenge that’s brought in in the last moment.

Hope this helps.

Kathleen said...

I liked the start of it thinking it was a story about two detectives, one of them just happens to be dead. However, the rest of it leads me elsewhere. I agree, it needs to be less confusing. Usually you only need one plot point in a query, I'd leave out the cops part.

Charity Bradford said...

Hmm. I think I agree with Kathleen about leaving out the part about the cops. I'd keep the first two paragraphs the same and just cut out the last sentence of the 2nd. Then do something like this...

"The only thing Diamond is afraid of is The Dark.(Something about it coming and how it takes Thorne?)

Since we know she's dead, we need to know what's at stake for her. Can she cease to exist if the Dark gets her?

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

So glad to get feedback on this! Thank you thank you. Your help is very much appreciated.

Liz A. said...

Should "Wills" be capitalized?

I like this. I want to read the book.

Tiffanie Lynn said...

The first thing I thought when I read "Diamond Black" was of the cheese "Black Diamond". That sorta ruined the query for me.

I don't think "Wills" should be capitalized.

This line ("Now, with no bad hair days, red sequined heels to die for, and the occasional haunting...") confused me.

How does losing Throne make her want to face the Dark? Also, does "losing" mean he died? If so, say it.

Kristin Smith said...

I really like your opening paragraph- I think it makes for a great hook.

I think I agree with Kathleen and Charity, the cops part probably isn't necessary, although I can see how the cops would be frustrated when some guy is able to do the job better than they are.
Just as Charity suggested, you could remove the last sentence from paragraph two and do something like this for paragraph three:

"Diamond isn't afraid of much, except for one thing. The Dark. When..."

Just a little tightening and you have it! You definitely made me want to read the book!

Liz Blocker said...

Whoa. Great query, great idea.

few small things:

- I agree with everyone; cut the cops. It crates an awkward couple of sentences in the last para and I don't think you need them.

- 'Will': is this "will" like "Last will and testament", or "Will" like "willpower"? If it's the former, no caps; if the latter, does it have a special significance in the world of the book that merits caps? If yes, then it might need more explanation.

- Last para: I'm not sure about the last few sentences. How does she lose Thorne? Is he dead, and if so, why can't she see him? How does he disappear? And what does the Dark have to do with all of this? I don't think you need to answer all of those questions in full, obviously :) I just need a little more info to connect the dots, and understand the stakes.

mshatch said...

First off, I want to read this. Second of all, great query up to this point:

While Thorne promotes the business, Diamond contacts her ghostly pals for information.[I DON'T GET HOW THIS NEXT SENTENCE FOLLOWS. I FEEL LIKE THERE'S SOMETHING MISSING] The frustrated cops want to know how Thorne gets his information when their own investigations lead nowhere.

Otherwise, like it!

nwharrisbooks said...

Love the premise of this story and the hook is awesome. I'd try to say "to die for" in the second line a different way because it steals something from the power of "She's dead." in the first line.

Second paragraph, I'd take out "like Diamond." from the first line, not sure you need it and it confused me at first, made me think, that Diamond can see ghost, then I went, oh yeah, he can see her because she's a ghost. Not sure you want the query reader to stumble there. Don't think you need to capitalize "Wills" in the second line.

Overall, I like the query but wonder if you could raise the stakes and tension earlier. The first two paragraphs give me some backstory, but I found myself saying, okay, where is the main conflict. The third delivers, but maybe you could spread what the third paragraph is saying to the first and second. The first line of the first paragraph hooked me, then I drifted away and then was pulled back in at the end (hope that makes sense). Would love to read this book when its done. :-)

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

Thank you again everyone! I love the feedback.

For anyone who is serious about writing and knows that every good thing comes from practice, this is golden.