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The Eden Project (Science Fiction)-Revised Version on Last Post

Fiction Military/Espionage Science Fiction Young Adult Mystery

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#1 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

REVISED QUERY ON LAST POST

Hello there! This is my first post here...so if I've broken any rules please inform me of them and I'll do whatever I can to rectify that. This is my first attempt at a query letter, but please, please rip it apart.

...

Dear (Agent's Name)

In a twisted world run by a twisted government Luke Farsal, a young government agent, has been desensitized to most everything. But when the government asks Luke to ruin the perfection a small group of people have enjoyed, they may have asked too much.

Luke is assigned to a secret government operation known as The Eden Project. The project deals with a group of people, born on one randomized date each year for the past twenty years, who all appear to have flawless bodies. No one knows who these people are, or what made them this way. Knowing that these people could be used as valuable weapons, the government sets about to try and find a way to make these self-proclaimed "perfect" people work for them, despite the fact that the jobs they would be asked to do directly contradict their code of morals. But when chaos breaks out in the capital city, the government pushes forward with their plan to make these perfect people break their code of morals, thereby ruining their "perfection." With his country crumbling, and these flawless people being the government's only option of survival, Luke must decide whether to let his country fall, or destroy the lives these flawless people have known.

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name)


If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#2 CeeJam

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

Hi Mendicant,

 

Great work!  Sounds like a good read, but there may be a little room for improvement. 

 

The first paragraph is slightly too long to be a perfect hook, IMO - there is also a little repetition in there which could do with attention. 

 

The second, while good, contains a lot of plot points and back history, which until the end is unrelated to your MC.  Many readers will prefer you to stick with the protagonist, and show how he affects the feel of the story, rather than how the plot impacts on him.

 

Specific points below:

 

Dear (Agent's Name)

In a twisted world run by a twisted [repetition here, I don't think it is working for you... Also, Twisted World shows it is different, but not HOW it differs.  I would prefer more accurate adjectives in the place of both of these.] government Luke Farsal, a young government [the repetition again - can you replace one?] agent, has been desensitized to most everything. But when the government asks Luke to ruin the perfection a small group of people have enjoyed [can people 'enjoy perfection?' - even if they can, it is not giving much information away.], they may have asked too much. [Can you show more of Luke's character here - so far the only thing we know is he is 'young', which is not specific enough!]

Luke is assigned to a secret government operation known as The Eden Project[*]. The project [Repetition] deals with a group of people, born on one randomized date each year for the past twenty years, who all appear to have flawless bodies. No one knows who these people are, or what made them this way. Knowing [how?] that these people could be used as valuable weapons, the government sets about to try [sets about to try is a weak phrase here...] and find a way to make these self-proclaimed "perfect" [me being picky, but if they appear to have flawless bodies, they hardly seem to be self proclaimed...] people work for them, despite the fact that the jobs they would be asked to do directly contradict their code of morals. But when chaos breaks out in the capital city, the government pushes forward with their plan to make these perfect people break their code of morals, thereby ruining their "perfection." [This para so far has stepped away from your MC, and I think it is weaker as a result...  the next bit is a good ending for the QL!] With his country crumbling, and these flawless people being the government's only option of survival, Luke must decide whether to let his country fall, or destroy the lives these flawless people have known. [Lots of repetitions of flawless in this para...]

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel. [THE EDEN PROJECT is young adult science fiction complete at 86,000 words.] Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name)

 

The voice and pacing are OK, but I really think you should concentrate more on your MC, his actions (rather than the effect on him as a passive part of the QL) and the possible outcome of the choices he has to make.

 

(* - The Eden Project is a major charity and attraction in the South West UK, and as far as I am aware, they have trademarked the name.  I believe they can be quite litigious when it comes to protecting their trademark.  Referring in the QL to 'Project Eden' etc may help overcome this, but I'm sure you will get more feedback from publishers, when you get to that stage!)

 

Hope this helps - good luck!

 

CeeJam



#3 Jaet-Writer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

Welcome! You've got a good start here. In my opinion, it's a better start than most make. It looks like you've done your homework on the query letter formula.  Good job.

 

I'm putting a couple of comments directly into the text but I wanted to give you my overall opinion, too.

 

It sounds like a really interesting story wrapped in slightly less interesting phrasing. I think you could find a stronger hook. I'm dying to see something along the lines of "When perfect people inhabit an imperfect world, Lucas Farsal is sent to correct the problem." That isn't perfect (pardon the pun), but I like the dichotomy. Whatever direction you decide to go, just try to find the thing that will punch the agent so hard he or she has no choice but to read on.

 

It's a lot of red, but I've tried to explain my comments. Good luck, I'll watch for more.

 

 

Hello there! This is my first post here...so if I've broken any rules please inform me of them and I'll do whatever I can to rectify that. This is my first attempt at a query letter, but please, please rip it apart.

...

Dear (Agent's Name)

In a twisted world run by a twisted government Luke Farsal, a young government agent, has been desensitized to most everything. But when the government asks Luke to ruin the perfection a small group of people have enjoyed, they may have asked too much.

Luke is assigned to a secret government operation known as The Eden Project. The project deals with a group of people, born on one randomized date each year for the past twenty years, who all appear to have flawless bodies.There's just a little too much information in this sentence. The randomized date thing is confusing and doesn't appear anywhere else, so I think you can do without it and go to the bare bones of what the Eden Project is. It also makes me wonder if the perfect people are created or just happen to be born. The randomized date makes me think they were genetically modified or lab created. No one knows (no one, no one? or no one outside of the government/scientists/___)who these people are, or what made them this way. Knowing that these people could be used as valuable weapons, the government sets about to try and find a way to make these self-proclaimed "perfect" people work for them, despite the fact that the jobs they would be asked to do directly contradict their code of morals. (Yowza! That's a 47 word sentence and it explores too many subjects for one sentence. 1. They could be weapons, 2. They are "self-proclaimed" perfect people...(What does that mean? Are they perfect or not?) 3. The government wants them. 4. They have a code of morals that is part of their perfection.

 

 

(Start new paragraph here) But when chaos breaks out in the capital city, the government pushes forward with their plan to make these perfect people break their code of morals, thereby ruining their "perfection." With his country crumbling, and these flawless people being the government's only option of survival, Luke must decide whether to let his country fall, or destroy the lives these flawless people have known. This sentence is a bit hinky. "With the government crumbling, the flawless people are the only hope for survival." Luke must decide.... I think you have a stronger closing tease available. The hook is to get the agent to read the rest of the QL. The closing is to get the agent to want to read the manuscript. So, what about your novel makes an agent sit up and want more? Can you find a second punch as powerful as the hook?

 

I'm left with one big question (and a few smaller ones). Why are the flawless people potential weapons? What makes them so important? I don't have a sense of urgency. What does Luke personally have to lose? What do the flawless people have to lose? What are the consequences if Luke does complete his task? If he doesn't?

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name)


Please review my query for Oath Takers (science fiction)

If you're bored with that...take a shot at my synopsis Oath Takers

Or, follow my brand new blog I Write, Therefore I Revise


#4 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

Alright, everyone! Thanks for the feedback. I'll make some changes (although it sounds like I may have to do a complete rewrite), and repost here to see what people think. Once more, thanks for the help!
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#5 Daniella

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Love your idea! I was drawn in right away and it sounds like it would be a good book. I like Jaet-Writer's idea for the hook. As far as corrections I'd just be mindful of not repeating words like "twisted".

#6 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Here's the revised version. Thanks in advance for the help!

Dear (Agent's Name),

In a twisted, dark world 14 year-old Luke Farsal, a highly-trained government agent, is tasked with ruining the perfection a small group of people have enjoyed.

Luke is assigned to The Eden Project, a secret government operation. The Project deals with an ever-growing group of people born on one day a year, who are unable to get sick, and are physically superior in ever way to the average person. Despite Luke's best attempts, he is unable to break penetrate the darkness surrounding these people's origins. Regardless, the government hopes that if these people were to obey the government, they could be used to overwhelm the rebellion, slowly raging across the country.

But when the city Luke loves begins to fall into total anarchy, the government places him in charge of a small team designed to make these people break their code of morals, and restore order to the city. But as one by one the people break their code, Luke's guilt builds. He begins to question the beliefs he has been taught his entire life, and morality of what he is doing. But worst of all, he realizes he can only save one thing; the innocence of the perfect people, or his crumbling country.

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel with series potential. Regardless of your decision, thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
(my name here)
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#7 Jaet-Writer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

Good work with the details and getting more of the story across. Now you need to work on getting rid of all of the passive voice in here. A lot of stuff happens to someone else. Instead of telling us what happens to Luke, tell us what Luke does. Luke tries to break into...Luke faces a decision to...  We use passive voice when we are uncomfortable with something it makes us feel like we are a step removed from whatever the icky thing is. Be bold. you have to be willing to hurt your characters and have your characters hurt others and then take responsibility for it.

 

One thing really sticks out to me. "...14-year-old Luke Farsal, a highly-trained government agent..." First, spell out fourteen. Second, I have a hard time imagining any fourteen-year-old being highly trained in anything...there just hasn't been enough time...unless there is something special about Luke, or there is something significantly different about his culture. If there is, we need to know that. If not, I would probably question not just the first sentence, but also several other statements about Luke's responsibilities, etc.

 

Another question I have for you...is the Eden Project what creates these people, is it the place where the government puts all of these people (like a reservation), or is it a study designed to figure these people out? Or, something I haven't even thought of yet.

 

Just something to think about. Read your letter out loud, sentence by sentence and ask yourself this question, "So what?" If you can't come up with a compelling answer that pushes you on to the next sentence with urgency, then ask if you really need that sentence.

Here's the revised version. Thanks in advance for the help!

Dear (Agent's Name),

In a twisted, dark world 14 year-old Luke Farsal, a highly-trained government agent, is tasked with (passive voice, can you make this active?) ruining the perfection a small group of people have enjoyed.I'm left saying "so what?" here. This doesn't seem like enough of a conflict to get me saying, "Oh, I must find out why." It sounds like "I'm being sent to mess up some rich kids' perfect little world." Don't let me get away with thinking that. Give me something that says, "This is earth shattering stuff!"

This whole paragraph is things happening to someone. It is very passive. Luke is assigned (it happens to him), people who are unable to get sick, Luke is unable to find out about these people, if these people were to...These are all passive. Can you bring out and give it a feeling of urgency? ie "Assigned to the government's top secret Eden Project, Luke struggles to break through the layers of...blah, blah, blah..." Luke is assigned to The Eden Project, a secret government operation. The Project deals with an ever-growing group of people born on one day a year, who are unable to get sick, and are physically superior in ever way to the average person. Despite Luke's best attempts, he is unable to break penetrate the darkness surrounding these people's origins (this is the mystery I'm dying to explore). Regardless, the government hopes that if these people were to obey the government (again, extremely passive), they could be used to overwhelm the rebellion, slowly raging across the country. The question I'm left asking at the end of this paragraph is how does this affect Luke? What is the conflict? Is it

But when the city Luke loves begins to fall into total anarchy, the government places him in charge of a small team designed to make these people break their code of morals, and restore order to the city. This sentence is a bit convoluted. We're looking for a good old if A, then B kind of statement. Instead we've got if A, then oranges. I don't understand why breaking a set of morals can lead to a restoration of order. But as one by one the people break their code, Luke's guilt builds. He begins to question the beliefs he has been taught his entire life, and morality of what he is doing. But worst of all, he realizes he can only save one thing; the innocence of the perfect people, or his crumbling country.This is getting there. we see a consequence in his impossible choice. But what is the consequence to Luke himself?

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel with series potential. Regardless of your decision, That is a complete Eeyore statement. "I know you'll hate it but thank you anyway..." Be confident. thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name here)

 

 

I hope all of this helps.  I don't want to discourage you.  Keep working on it. I'll watch for the next version.


Please review my query for Oath Takers (science fiction)

If you're bored with that...take a shot at my synopsis Oath Takers

Or, follow my brand new blog I Write, Therefore I Revise


#8 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

This is very helpful, thank you! I've worked a bit more on it, and tried to bring it closer to Luke. I think it might be worth mentioning here that there's a reason I don't want to reveal the actual reason why these people are "perfect," so to speak. That would make the emotion the only push behind the plot, which isn't what I want to do with the book. If you really think I should, I'll consider it though. Anyway, here's the revised copy.

Dear (Agent's Name),

When Luke Farsal, a fourteen-year old highly trained government operative, is ordered against his will to destroy the perfect world a small group of people have enjoyed, he must decide which he values more: morality or loyalty.

Luke has been in training for as long as he can remember, so when he is assigned to The Eden Project he is thrilled. The project is the government's investigation into the origins of a group of people with flawless bodies, and their usefulness in putting down the rebellion raging across the country. Luke begins trying to answer the question of where these people came from, but only manages to find more walls in the ever-growing maze of mystery surrounding these people. Slowly, however, he uncovers the government's purpose with these perfect people. To Luke's revulsion, the government plans to force these people to act as their nigh-on invincible police force; achievable due to their superior physical abilities.

But when the city Luke loves begins to fall into total anarchy, the government places him in charge of a small team designed to make these people break their code of morals, and use the people to restore order to the city. But as one by one the people break their code, Luke's guilt builds. He begins to question the beliefs he has been taught his entire life, and the morality of what he is doing. But worst of all, he realizes he can only save one thing; the innocence of the perfect people, or his crumbling country.

Luke slowly comes to understand that either choice will only end in more pain. If he lets the perfect people alone, he will have doomed the country and the people he loves to destruction, and will make powerful enemies in the process. But if he makes the people break their code, he will live forever knowing that he was the sole cause of the misery the people will endure as long as they live.

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel with series potential. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
(my name here)
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#9 maggiej

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:36 PM


Dear (Agent's Name),

When Luke Farsal, a fourteen-year old highly trained government operative, is ordered against his will to destroy the perfect world a small group of people have enjoyed, he must decide which he values more: morality or loyalty.

Luke has been in training for as long as he can remember, so when he is assigned to The Eden Project he is thrilled. The project is the government's investigation into the origins of a group of people with flawless bodies, and their usefulness in putting down the rebellion raging across the country. Luke begins trying to answer the question of where these people came from, but only manages to find more walls in the ever-growing maze of mystery surrounding these people. Slowly, however, he uncovers the government's purpose with these perfect people. (this is all redundant, no matter how long it takes him to discover, the discovery is what drives the plot. try to put these two sentences together with no filler.) To Luke's revulsion, the government plans to force these people to act as their nigh-on invincible police force; achievable due to their superior physical abilities.

But when the city Luke loves begins to fall into total anarchy, (do the perfect people live in a separate city? how is the government targeting them if they are spread out? the way you write, it seems luke is sent to where the perfects live. also, if he has been in training all his life, does he also live a normal-ish life in the city and has grown to love it? im confused, it seems as if there are 3 places you are talking about) the government places him in charge of a small team designed to make these people break their code of morals, and use the people to restore order to the city. But as one by one the people break their code, Luke's guilt builds. He begins to question the beliefs he has been taught his entire life, and the morality of what he is doing. But worst of all, he realizes he can only save one thing; the innocence of the perfect people, (what makes them innocent? do they live by a code of do no harm or have no master beyond so-and-so?) or his crumbling country.

Luke slowly comes to understand that either choice will only end in more pain. If he lets the perfect people alone, he will have doomed the country and the people he loves to destruction, and will make powerful enemies in the process. But if he makes the people break their code, he will live forever knowing that he was the sole cause of the misery the people will endure as long as they live. (is luke being threatened into making the perfects work for the government? he cannot be the sole cause if he is working for someone, maybe adding a villain besides a faceless government will help make the conflict more believable).

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel with series potential. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
(my name here)

 

I like the storyline but there is a ton of detail that makes me ask a million questions. you don't have to answer my questions directly, but those are what come to mind as I am reading. overall, it sounds very interesting but the mc is quite young to be entrusted with such a task on his own, which is the way it sounds. I also get the impression that the perfect people live in a separate city, so involving a city that is crumbling confuses me, but you mention country twice. do you mean to talk about the country the whole time? sorry if im asking too many questions. I'll wait for a revision to ask more :D

~Maggie J~



#10 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Just a quick question regarding your comment about adding a villain. The twist in the story is (and I don't communicate this clearly in the QL, I'm aware of that), that the main character IS the villain. The story is about the MC working through the morality of what he's doing, and trying to discern some sort of order in what he views as a completely chaotic world. So while in the pitch the government is portrayed as the antagonist for the sake of brevity (it takes the whole book for it to become clear that the MC is the villain), the actual villain is the MC. Does that work to remedy the villain problem? Ah, and another question for anyone. Is it an unjustified leap in logic to assume that the city Luke has lived in his whole life he's come to love? I hope maggiej that you don't take this as an attack, I'm simply trying to figure out the fine line between giving too little information, and too much information. Is there a good rule to go by for this, when it comes to query letters?
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#11 maggiej

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

Just a quick question regarding your comment about adding a villain. The twist in the story is (and I don't communicate this clearly in the QL, I'm aware of that), that the main character IS the villain. The story is about the MC working through the morality of what he's doing, and trying to discern some sort of order in what he views as a completely chaotic world. So while in the pitch the government is portrayed as the antagonist for the sake of brevity (it takes the whole book for it to become clear that the MC is the villain), the actual villain is the MC. Does that work to remedy the villain problem? Ah, and another question for anyone. Is it an unjustified leap in logic to assume that the city Luke has lived in his whole life he's come to love? I hope maggiej that you don't take this as an attack, I'm simply trying to figure out the fine line between giving too little information, and too much information. Is there a good rule to go by for this, when it comes to query letters?

I can understand that. it is not hard to believe luke loves his city, but the way it is written, I believe the perfect people live in a different place. he must go to them to influence them, leaving his own city behind, but that is just my perception. maybe I am reading it in the wrong context. I think the place for mystery is the hook, the rest of the query is meant to sell the book, holding back only takes away from the reason the book is good. only the agent reads the query, it wont be printed on the cover what your big secret is. if he is the villain, lead up to that in your final paragraph, which I see you are attempting to do. maybe I am asking too many questions, I am no expert at any kind of writing. maybe this will help me understand, where do the perfects live?



#12 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Basically, the perfects change location midway through the book. The first half, they are spread throughout the country. The second half they are all rounded up and placed on a man-made island in the Atlantic together. That's the really brief overview. Luke is sent to make them break their code and for reasons explained in the book he has to air drop onto the island with his team. As he is about to air drop is when he gets the news that the rebels have attacked New York (the city most of the book takes place in). So basically, the tension for the rest of the book is him racing against a timer he can't see as he tries to do something he is slowly realizing is fundamentally wrong, while knowing all the time that if he doesn't, he'll doom his city to destruction. This probably doesn't make any sense at all...but that's my best attempt at explaining it. Does that answer your question? And if so, how much of that should I put in the query?
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#13 maggiej

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

Basically, the perfects change location midway through the book. The first half, they are spread throughout the country. The second half they are all rounded up and placed on a man-made island in the Atlantic together. That's the really brief overview. Luke is sent to make them break their code and for reasons explained in the book he has to air drop onto the island with his team. As he is about to air drop is when he gets the news that the rebels have attacked New York (the city most of the book takes place in). So basically, the tension for the rest of the book is him racing against a timer he can't see as he tries to do something he is slowly realizing is fundamentally wrong, while knowing all the time that if he doesn't, he'll doom his city to destruction. This probably doesn't make any sense at all...but that's my best attempt at explaining it. Does that answer your question? And if so, how much of that should I put in the query?

 

I would definitely add that they are collected and put into seclusion.is that what makes him sure he is doing the wrong thing? there must be something that puts doubt into his head, especially if he has spent all his life serving the government (do they have a name? that could add a more sinister quality to their actions) as he gets to know the perfects and learns what they are supposed to do, and how much it offends their morals...? it only propels him further away from his training. people with life-long training (think of it as a religion) need something very shocking to turn them away from all they've known. I believe you have much more than you are revealing, don't be afraid :D

~Maggie J~



#14 Jaet-Writer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

Just to stick my nose into the dialogue...If the main character is the villain, it seems like a great hook. I'm guessing that Luke discovers that he is the bad guy at the same time the reader does. Is the book ultimately about Luke discovering this in himself?  Just a thought... 


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#15 mendicant0

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

Alright, so in order to answer as many questions as I can, I'll break down the entire plot here, and then if you guys can tell me what information needs to be included that would be great.

Basically, the story opens when Luke is getting ready for the Guardian tests, the tests that determine what project he will be assigned to (there are hundreds of projects). Think of it as the SAT's of...well this government. Luke takes the tests and is assigned to The Eden Project.

At the time of assignment the perfect people are spread throughout the country, and are a secret to everyone but the government, though the government doesn't know why the people are the way they are. Also, at the time of assignment, Luke has never killed someone. Now although he's been taught his entire life to kill, he's never envisioned himself as ever having to do it. However, on the new project, he's forced to kill three people in a car chase, by his own hand. After that, he's never the same.

At this point the Senate passes the PPF (People's Police Force) act, which allows any citizen over the age of 21 to kill someone if they feel that person is threatening them on any level. At first, the act is only instituted in New York, and the city immediately descends into near anarchy.

A "final" test that the Director of The Eden project has come up with is implemented. In order to give the government 100% proof, they place all the perfect people in a near-perfect enviroment. If they create a Utopia, the government reasons, then they truly can be used as supersoldiers, basically. If not, then they're just very physically fit people.

However, the PPF act which they're trying to get reversed but is taking longer than they want is about to go into action the capital city of the country, Hardwin. The government decides that after only two weeks, Luke and his team will be sent to the island to do two things. 1) Discover if it has been turned into a Utopia and if it has 2) Make the people break their code of morals so that they can serve the government, and restore order to New York City, and crush the rebellion.

Luke, still scarred from his first killings, accepts the mission, but is faced more and more with the immorality of his actions. That leads to the emotional climax of the book which in turn triggers the actual climax of the book.

Wow...just read over that, and I explained it horribly. But anyway, hopefully that gives you an idea. Luke never realizes he's the villain. It's more of a realization that he's doing the wrong thing, or might be. The reader will be the only one who sees that he's the villain. I know it sounds completely uninteresting, but...hopefully it's not. Anyway, I'm tired so I'll do some more work on my query tomorrow.

Thank you all once again for your incredible help. I really appreciate it.
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#16 maggiej

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

Alright, I see where you are going with this. Luke seems more of a pawn/victim of the government. also, the world is relatively normal until the PFF is installed, so there is a catalyst that sparks the chaos. in previous attempts, it seems the world is already afire and the training he goes through is because of that. if he is unused to killing, but is trained to be violent, that is enough to make him begin questioning all he knows. I think you should mention the descent of civility, because it does further the plot for the mc, but he is more a victim of circumstance than a villain in his own right. he just wants to do the right thing, but as he is pushed further and further, the right thing begins to go against all he's been trained to do. are the perfect people invincible? like unable to be killed? if that is the case, you must mention that, otherwise they are just really nice people, and those don't seem like the type who are capable of killing or being manipulated. if they can feel pain, but not die, they can be tortured. I dunno if that's what happens but I see more of your storyline now. it is difficult to sum it up, but I think you've got a good start on your synopsis as well, that will be very important when you decide to query. all the agents ive found want query, synopsis and the first few chapters or 50 pages or so all at once so the query is not the only thing you have to focus on. no pressure! haha

~Maggie J~



#17 mendicant0

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Alright, so here's another major revision, hopefully making clear some unclear things. Thank you for your continued help.

Dear (Agent's Name)

In a country on the verge of falling into anarchy, Luke Farsal must make a choice between the innocence of a group of people who have done no wrong, and the lives of millions of his fellow country men.

Luke is thrilled when he is assigned to The Eden Project, an operation that deals with people who possess flawless bodies. Unable to get sick, and physically superior by a far cry, these people are scattered throughout the country. As Luke digs deeper into the workings of The Eden Project, he discovers that the government plans to turn them into it's own nigh-on invincible police force. There's a bit of a problem though: the perfect people's code of morals to which they rigorously hold will not let them serve the government.

But when a foolish law is passed, Luke's home city is plunged into anarchy. The government deposits all the perfect people on a man-made island in the Atlantic, and sends Luke and a small team to force them to break their code of morals, and act as the police force to restore order to the city.

Luke springs at the opportunity and immediately sets his plan in motion. But as he watches these flawless, happy lives disintegrate at his hands, his guilt builds. But as the law is enacted in other parts of the country, and the entire structure begins to fall, Luke realizes he can't stall any longer. Which does he care about more; the innocence and happiness of people who have done no wrong, or the survival of his own country?

Neither choice has good consequences. On one side he might save his country, but have the guilt of the hundreds of lives he ruined, or he can doom his own country to destruction, knowing that he could have saved it.

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name here)
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/

#18 Jaet-Writer

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

I think you've done a nice job of laying the story out here. At this point, I really only have one comment for you.

 

The query has a feeling of telling rather than showing, to me. I think it's the passive voice. Can you make Luke a more active participant in what is happening/where he is going/...?

 

Honestly, before I even worried about some of the details, I'd work on getting this into active voice. Here's a good example:

 

But when a foolish law is passed, Luke's home city is plunged into anarchy.

 

But when lawmakers pass a foolish bill, Luke's home city plunges into anarchy.

 

(Actually, I'd still rework it because technically a law can't be foolish, it's an anthromorphization.)  I'd go for, "When lawmakers pass a bill that ___give a specific____, ..."

 

I'll keep watching for revisions, but I really think you need to try to make the query move more.


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#19 April_Parr

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

I think you need to drop the 'buts' out of the sentences the they start. From what I've been told, most agents will toss queries with lines that start with but or and. Plus it causes a lot of repetition. But this, but that, it's very distracting. I've also been told over and over no questions. The story sounds interesting, the query just needs a little more work to make people want to know more.

If you have time, please stop by query The Black Reflection and give me your thoughts? New version is post 35.

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#20 mendicant0

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

So I've worked on getting it into active voice, let's see how well I did.

Dear (Agent's Name)

In a country on the verge of falling into anarchy, Luke Farsal chooses between the innocence of a group of people who have done no wrong, and the lives of millions of his fellow country men.

Luke is thrilled when he is assigned to The Eden Project, an operation that deals with people who possess flawless bodies. Unable to get sick, and physically superior by far, these people are scattered throughout the country. Luke digs deeper into the workings of The Eden Project, discovering that the government plans to turn the perfect people into its own invincible police force. A problem arises, though: the perfect people's code of morals to which they rigorously hold will not let them serve the government.

In the middle of all this lawmakers pass a foolish bill and Luke's home city is plunged into anarchy. In desperation, the government deposits all the perfect people on a man-made island in the Atlantic, sending Luke and a small team to force them to break their code of morals, and act as the police force to restore order to the city.

Luke springs at the opportunity and immediately sets his plan in motion. Slowly, as he watches the perfect peoples flawless, happy lives disintegrate at his hands, Luke's guilt builds. As the law is enacted in other parts of the country, and the entire nation begins to collapse in on itself, Luke realizes he can't afford to stall any longer. Which does he care about more: the innocence and happiness of people who have done no wrong, or the survival of his own country?

THE EDEN PROJECT is an 86,000 word young adult science fiction novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
(my name here)
If you have time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd critique my qeury: http://agentquerycon...n-in-last-post/





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