Query – Hunter

This is a work in process. Just looking for impute on what I have so far. I also don’t know what to compare it to, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Three years ago, Hunter ran away from home to escape her mother’s harsh thoughts and neglectful ways. She was picked up by Talon, the Telepathic Allianceof Latent or Non-manifested and taught to develop her abilities as a telepathic bounty hunter. Little did she know that she would become the hunted.
When Hunter becomes the mark of a government agency, Bear, her partner turns on her. He wants her dead so he doesn’t have to deal with her childish ways any longer. With nowhere else to run, Hunter allows herself to be captured by the agency and taken to the PIT, the Psychic Intelligence Team, where she learns a horrible truth. Talon has been using her to kill people.
Not willing to be used any longer, Hunter bargains with the commander of PIT. Her life for the information she knows about Talon. When they come to an agreement, a trap is set up for Talon and Hunter is the bait. Will she be able to bring down Talon and live to hunt another day, or will the people she has learned to trust in the PIT die to save her.

HUNTER, a YA urban fantasy is a work in process. It’s a stand alone novel with series potential.
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10 thoughts on “Query – Hunter

  1. Hi there! This totally seems like my kind of read, so that's exciting 🙂 I have a few thoughts to share that will hopefully be of help.

    Paragraph 1: Why would she run away from her mother's “harsh thoughts”? I know we find out that she's telepathic, but it seemed like odd wording. Maybe her mother's “harsh criticisms” would be a good compromise?

    I got caught up at the acronym for Talon. It felt like it was missing something on the end (Latent or Non-manifested what? Powers?) I know you're probably trying to fit the words to a cool sounding acronym, but maybe something that could be played with a little.

    Paragraph 2: I sort of assumed that when you said she was a bounty hunter, it mean she was killing people, or at least playing a role in the killing of people, so when you say in the second paragraph that she learns the truth that she's been killing people it felt obvious. I wonder if there's a way you can explain what she THOUGHT she was doing for Talon in paragraph #1?

    I don't think you need to name Bear in the query (just one extra name to try to keep track of).

    Paragraph 3: You start by saying she's not willing to be used, but then she's used as bait (willingly, I'm sure) but it caught my attention as being not quite right. You end with a question, and I wonder if there's a way to turn it into a stronger statement. Something like: “There are only two ways it can end. Hunter will bring down Talon and live to hunt another day or everyone she's learned to trust in the PIT will die to save her. And it's all in Hunter's hands.” Not quite that, but something along those lines maybe. Though I did wonder why she would want to continue hunting, if her past hunting led to people's deaths?

    Hope that helps! Good luck as you finish writing!

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  2. Great concept! I like that the opening sentence hints at Hunter’s telepathy, but I’m not sure it works this way. However, the last line of the first paragraph is a great hook.

    I think Bear needs a stronger reasoning for wanting her dead, but that’s totally my opinion. Pay it no mind 🙂

    I’m not a fan of ending with questions. I think they take away from the tension. Also, if she’s bringing Talon down, why would she return to bounty hunting? Especially now that she knows it gets people killed.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!

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  3. Hi,

    Love MC's name.

    How was she picked up?

    Why is the government after her?

    What's childish about

    I think you focus by name only on the protag unless it's a romance, but I could be wrong.

    Why is Bear the only other place to turn? Needs more rationale here.

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  4. I don't usually read Urban genre, so please take this critique with a grain of salt! 😉

    I love the first paragraph – good hook, and the last sentence made me want more!

    I like that you gave the readers something negative about your MC's character (gives her more depth in my opinion). I love the revelation.

    “Not willing to be used any longer, Hunter bargains with the commander of PIT. Her life for the information she knows about Talon.” This part confused me because I thought she was being hunted and captured by Talon and that PIT was just part of that same organization – I thought they just decided to tell her the truth, but then when I read this part, I figured I was wrong about it. Not sure if it could be made clearer or maybe I just misread.

    I also like the stakes!

    Hope this helps!
    Good luck! 🙂

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  5. Great story here!

    The one thing that stuck out to me was the use of the word “Hunter” I know its the mc's name but then she's also a bounty hunter, and she's hunted. Just something to think about.

    Dang, Bear is harsh! Killing someone just because of childish antics seems like going a bit far. maybe rephrase if she really is that annoying or if she somehow threatens him in some other way.

    Great start here, good luck with this!

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  6. When I originally read the first paragraph, I thought that Talon was a character until I re-read the acronym and found out it's an organization.

    Your use of 'mark' in the first sentence of the second paragraph could also lead to confusion – maybe 'target' would be clearer. In the same paragraph, you refer to 'the agency' – I think we all assumed agency=talon, but it appears this isn't the case.

    I remember reading the first page of your story when the did the blog hop for that – you have a good story to tell. My advice would be to check out the Query Shark archives, and the “Quite the Query” feature on the Chasing the Crazies blog for examples of queries in your genre.

    Good luck, I hope this is helpful to you!

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  7. Hi Sara,

    In the first part, I'd cut 'the Telepathic Alliance of Latent or Non-manifested and' as it bogs down the pitch and is confusing.

    This part needs a little work, too: 'Bear, her partner turns on her. He wants her dead so he doesn’t have to deal with her childish ways any longer.' I find it kind of petty that Bear would turn on her for her childish ways. I think it's too vague and, if it's really important to the hook, it needs to be more specific.

    Also, I don't know why but this seems obvious from the first paragraph: 'she learns a horrible truth. Talon has been using her to kill people.'

    I wrote the above before I looked at other people's comments, just fyi. 🙂

    I really like the sound of this book and liked the rest of the query. Good luck to you!

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  8. This sounds like a great read, but there were a couple parts that felt a little vague to me, namely, “her mother’s harsh thoughts and neglectful ways” and “her childish ways.” I agree with Heidi that you don't need to name Bear – it reads just fine without his name included.

    Also, you repeat the words “any longer” a couple of times in quick succession, so maybe you could tweak it to something like, “He wants her dead so he doesn’t have to deal with her childish ways anymore.” and “No longer willing to be used, Hunter bargains with the commander of PIT.”

    This sounds great, though – good luck with it! 🙂

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  9. This looks like a good MS, but the query has some word choices I'm not a fan of (mark being one of them) there's too much time spent on the organizations that are after her, and the opening doesn't draw me in. The hook is buried in superfluous phrases (any longer, harsh thoughts and neglectful ways). It's better to start with the hook, then fill in the gaps.

    For instance (using your query and paraphrasing):

    Three years ago, Hunter became the hunted. Trained by Talon, the Telepathic Alliance of Latent or Non-manifested, as a telepathic bounty hunter, Hunter captured criminals on the run. Then her pissed off partner turned her into a big fat target etc. etc.

    I agree with Shari on the “childish ways” motive.

    And lastly—personal preference—don't use rhetorical questions. It detracts from the umph. Better to set up the stakes with the “the trap laid with Hunter as bait” and tell us that either Talon crumbles or Hunter dies.

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  10. HEY SARA,

    #9 FROM THE HOLIDAY QUERY HOP HERE 😀

    Three years ago, Hunter ran away from home to escape her mother’s harsh thoughts and neglectful ways. She was picked up by Talon, the Telepathic Alliance of Latent or Non-manifested and taught to develop her abilities as a telepathic bounty hunter. Little did she know that she would become the hunted.

    When Hunter becomes the mark of a government agency, Bear (IS THIS HER PARTNER OR THE NAME OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY?), her partner turns on her. He wants her dead so he doesn’t have to deal with her childish ways any longer (THIS ECHOES EARLIER WHEN YOU SAID “NEGLECTFUL WAYS”. ALSO, WE DON’T HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF HUNTER BEING CHILDISH). With nowhere else to run, Hunter allows herself to be captured by the agency and taken to the PIT, the Psychic Intelligence Team (YOU HAVE A LOT OF ACRONYMS), where she learns a horrible truth. Talon has been using her to kill people.

    Not willing to be used any longer, Hunter bargains with the commander of PIT. Her life for the information she knows about Talon. When they come to an agreement, a trap is set up for Talon and Hunter is the bait. Will she be able to bring down Talon and live to hunt another day, or will the people she has learned to trust in the PIT die to save her. (DON’T END WITH A QUESTION. AGENTS DON’T LIKE QUESTIONS)

    IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR COMPARISONS, MAYBE SAY “THE TV SHOW ALIAS MEETS (PARANORMAL BOOK)”.

    BEST OF LUCK,
    TIFFANIE

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