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RECODED (Adult Social Scifi)

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#21 bmontana33

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:26 AM

First, I want to thank you for looking at my query :smile:  Second, I want to apologize that it has taken me a few days to repay the favor (at first glance I didn't see your query, but now that I found it, here goes). Also, I jumped right to your latest version.

 

Holy shit guys! All of your feedback combined managed to slim this thing back down to 250 words! That's totally blown me away. I can't thank each of you enough for your time and thoughts. Seriously, I can't believe the progress that's been made in only a week! It's makes me very excited about my query class at litreactor.com next week. There's no way I could have hoped to impress having been on my own. So thank you all a million once again. I hope I'm close now after this new polish. But, before I post, I guess there's a question to answer from K. West.

 

The names from the subtitle belong to Dani's parents. Their the other two significant POV's in the story. (Pretty much the reason the story is over 120k more or less). But given the restraints of the query form--focusing on Dani and Drago is pretty much the only option since they are the two main characters of this potential series (protagonist and antagonist, respectively).

 

Otherwise, I hope the 5th times the charm, (or really, really close!)

 

PS: I will make sure to visit/revist each of your queries again in return shortly, of course. :)

 

#

 

Five year old Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. Stuffed in a cold white room, where is this room and who took her? she cries for her parents. She had been sick the previous week. That’s all she knows. A voice seizes her mind when she catches a glimpse of the Director of her school. As powerful as ocean waves, yet as sweet as her Mama’s, it lulls her into a trance, tempting her to do just one small thing. Kill him. At first glance I'm confused. Don't get me wrong, I like some of the imagery in your writing, but this sounds more like something I may see in your book than what belongs in a query (especially in the hook). It needs to draw me in, not confuse me. Right now I get that Dani is five and was taken from her home. I don't know who took her or why. A voice (I don't know who's or why she can hear it, is she special?) that tells her to kill the director of her school. Again, we don't know why.

 

Before she can, her freedom is restored how long was she in captivity? a day, a month, 5 years...thanks to the school’s founder when you mention school's founder here as restoring her freedom it sounds like he is a good guy (although he could have an alterior motive), but in the first paragraph it sounds like he is a bad guy the way the voice (assuming the voice is a good guy) wants her to kill him. and her parent’s employer, Archer Drago. As an apology, he gives her a new home, school, personal escort, and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier. So she was taken by mistake?

 

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer, and enlightens Dani about things sweet little girls shouldn’t know what things?, as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all what was it then?. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. why? Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her on her way to school, Dani realizes she’s nothing more than Drago’s bait to catch a spy. Seems like a bit of a jump to this line. How does she come to realize that she is drago's bait to catch a spy? and what spy? With no one left to trust, she must unravel the mysterious link between her illness and the voice herself.

 

Even if it means killing someone. Is Dani still five here or was she in captivity longer? It feels like it would be hard for a five-year-old to take on the director of her school, her parents, some spy and killing people as a result of a voice in her head.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

 

Overall, I think there is an intersting idea here. Dani has to overcome her parents and a school director that have been keeping a secret from her, but the voice in her head is luring her to find out that secret. But past that, I feel like I'm missing something. It's a little too vague. I get that you may not want to let the reader know what's behind her illness, but going back and re-reading the first paragraph it sounds more like she has a cough or runny nose, and not some life ending disease? But it would be helpful to draw me in more if I knew more about what's going on. What's the voice in her head? Is someone controlling it? the spy? And why does the voice want the director dead? And who side are her parents on? The directors? Or is the director threatening them and thats why they are going along with him. I think you get where I'm going here. I think if you can get the backbone of the story down, your imagery with naturally come through.

 

Hope my comments help!



#22 ryankalford

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:41 PM

Okay, so considering some of the confusion, I've tweaked a few things, and ended up balloning my wordcount back to 300 *sigh*. However, I feel some of the questions raised are poking at things that aren't actually a problem, or confusing within the query? I mean, in the sense of I'm writing this query with Dani's POV in mind, and, I can't clarify what's actually happening to her without breaking the immersion of her POV. She's purposely being kept in the dark on things, so she doesn't fully understand or know why these things are happening--just that things are afoul (which lead me into my stakes). Honestly, if this isn't working . . . I'm not sure what I can do. This is her POV, and I can't think of any other way of doing it within the restrains of the query form.

 

Anyways, thoughts will be apperciated, and query feedback reciprocated, as always.

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. Stuffed in a cold white room, she cries for her parents. The last week she was the first of her peers ever to have an illness. That’s all she knows until she catches a glimpse of the Director of her school. A voice seizes her mind, as powerful as ocean waves, yet as sweet as her Mama’s, and she knows he’s responsible for nabbing her. She slips into a trance. The voice tempts her to do just one small thing. Kill him.

 

Just think it hard enough, and he drops dead.

 

Before she can, she is released thanks to the school’s founder and her parent’s employer, Archer Drago. As an apology, he gives her a new home, school, personal escort, and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer, and enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her on her way to school, it’s revealed that she’s nothing more than Drago’s bait to catch a spy. With no one left to trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between her illness and the voice herself.

 

Even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#23 ellfire

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:52 PM

Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. Stuffed in a cold white room, she cries for her parents. The last week she was the first of her peers ever to have an illness. That’s all she knows until she catches a glimpse of the Director of her school. A voice seizes her mind, as powerful as ocean waves, yet as sweet as her Mama’s, and she knows he’s responsible for nabbing her. She slips into a trance. The voice tempts her to do just one small thing. Kill him.  - This may be a personal thing with me, but the changes in tense kill me at the start of this paragraph.  I actually have a hard time keeping things straight.  Ex.  "Stuffed in a cold white room, she cries for her parents."  might read easier as "She cries for her parents from within the coldly-claustrophobic room."  Keeps it all nice a present.  It is also a bit confusing  because it sounds like it is a kidnapping, then half way in, she's at school.  The psychic bit didn't throw me, but that did.

 

Just think it hard enough, and he drops dead.  - Could you move this into the previous paragraph.  It feels lonely out here, and the last sentence can lead into it.

 

Before she can, she is released thanks to the school’s founder and her parent’s employer, Archer Drago. As an apology, he gives her a new home, school, personal escort, and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.  - Wait, WHAT, this is in space!?!  Okay, I knew that from before, but it may come as a shock to our target reader.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer, and enlightens Dani about her murderous past (Dani's or the aide's?)—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life.  (This is only confusing in that the first paragraph makes it seem like she was taken from, hence, should never have known her parents.  How could they lie to her?) Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her on her way to school, it’s revealed that she’s nothing more than Drago’s bait to catch a spy. With no one left to trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between her illness and the voice herself Drago himself.  - You might not need the first sentence to get to this conclusion.  Also, the illness and voice seem to be one in the same from the query, so the last sentence seems oddly redundant.  I threw in Drago, but you might want to add in something to have her unravel.

 

Even if it means killing someone. - Okay, this will sound weird, but having this sentence stand alone makes it feel melodramatic, but, if you put it at the end of the last paragraph even after a ... it may feel better.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

It's still coming along.  It's a pain distilling down sci-fi, isn't it?



#24 GoodGirlEditing

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:44 AM

Hi Ryan!

 

Reading this with "fresh" eyes...

 


Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home (Why is her peeing herself necessary to say?). Stuffed in a cold white room, she cries for her parents. The last week she was the first of her peers ever to have an illness. That’s all she knows until she catches a glimpse of the Director of her school. A voice seizes her mind, as powerful as ocean waves, yet as sweet as her Mama’s, and she knows he’s responsible for nabbing her. She slips into a trance. The voice tempts her to do just one small thing. Kill him. (The way this is written this is a little too... I don't know... meandering? rather than just straight to the point. Something like, "When Dani Redfield is kidnapped from her bed, she's only five years old. She's taken to an industrial building lined with sterile hallways and full of scared kids just like her. They (insert stuff about experiments/tests/life at school here). She's just adjusting to life here when she catches a glimpse of the school's director. Immediately she knows he's the one who took her. A voice siezes her mind, and commands her to do one small thing: Kill him.")

 

Just think it hard enough, and he drops dead. She knows if she thinks it hard enough, he'll drop dead.

 

Before she can, she is released (from the voice? from the school?) thanks to the school’s founder and her parent’s employer, Archer Drago. As an apology (for her kidnapping? he works for her parents, is likely responsible for her kidnapping, and then gives her a new place to live? How long does this happen after she's taken?), he gives her a new home (with her parents?), school, personal escort (why does a kid need an escort?), and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts (she's in a space colony...?), her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer (Is this relevant?), and enlightens Dani about her murderous past (Is Dani still a five year old at this point?)—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all (Is the illness the voice?). Her parents know the truth (about what? the voice? the "illness"? her kidnapping? all of it?), and have lied to her all her life (Her parents don't seem to have been in her life much at all...). Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her on her way to school, it’s revealed that she’s nothing more than Drago’s bait to catch a spy (So confused. I think this is just too... all over the place?). With no one left to trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between her illness and the voice herself.

 

Even if it means killing someone. (I think this would work better if it was previously stated that she had reservations about killing someone. It sounded like she wanted to kill the director, she was just interrupted?)

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

 

I'm rather confused by this query, I must say. Is the whole book from the POV of a five-year-old?

 

I think it needs to be more streamlined.

 

Keep at it!

 

- Melissa



#25 Cori

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:35 AM

Five year old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. LOVED this opening! Stuffed in a cold white room, she cries for her parents. She had been sick the previous week. That’s all she knows. A voice seizes her mind when she catches a glimpse of the Director of her school. As powerful as ocean waves, yet as sweet as her Mama’s, it lulls her into a trance, tempting her to do just one small thing. Kill him. I understood everything going on until I reached 'A voice...' My assumption is that she's been hypnotized in some way and the voice she hears is the suggestion of the 'hypnotist'.

 

Before she can, her freedom is restored thanks to the school’s founder and her parent’s employer, Archer Drago. As an apology, he gives her a new home, school, personal escort, and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier. Why wouldn't he send her home to her parents if she had been crying for them?

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer, I like this. It's strong and I feel it should stand in its own sentence.  Her escort though is no ordinary aide - she is a trained killer....and enlightens Dani about things sweet little girls shouldn’t know, as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her on her way to school, Dani realizes she’s nothing more than Drago’s bait to catch a spy. With no one left to trust, she must unravel the mysterious link between her illness and the voice herself. I am also confused about the good guy/bad guy - including the allegiance of the escort who sounded good and enlightening, but works for Drago is now the lowest of the low.

 

Even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

 

Keep plugging away at it! Reading from the top to the most recent, it is SO much better!  Good luck!



#26 ryankalford

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the new comments, guys. I was honestly thinking of starting over this morning before seeing them. So I decided to give it another go and tweak some of things still being miscommunicated.  I'm almost to the point of saying "fuck it" regardless if I'm going to get slaughtered or not at the query class next week. I honestly like the meat of what I have now, but the mixed reactions certainly aren't conclusive evidence that what I have is the right thing. I don't know. I guess I'm just going to go with the flow for now.

 

Time for (hopefully) lucky #7.

 

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. She cries for her parents alone in a sterile white room. The last week she was the first of her peers ever have an illness. That’s why she thinks she’s here, until catching a glimpse of the school Director. Immediately she knows he’s the one who took her. A voice seizes her mind, and commands her to do one small thing. Kill him.

 

She knows if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead. She doesn’t want to. It’s not in her nature, but her anger and the voice is so powerful, she can’t resist. She wants him to pay.

 

Before he can, she is released back to her parents the same night thanks to interference from Archer Drago, the school’s founder and her parent’s employer. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer. One who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her in the district, it’s revealed in an argument between her parents and her escort that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between the web of Drago’s lies and the voice herself . . . even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#27 rainmaker

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

Hey Ryan, sorry I wasn't able to give you feedback on your last version. So I'm going to try to include that as well below-

 

  Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. She cries for her parents alone in a sterile white room. The last week she was the first of her peers to ever have an illness. That’s why she thinks she’s here, until catching a glimpse of the school Director, Immediately she knows confirms he’s the one who took her. A voice seizes her mind, and commands her to do one small thing. Kill him.- I actually liked the way you had written this before, if you can't bring back all of that at least keep the part about the trance.

 

She knows if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead. She doesn’t want to. It’s not in her nature, but her anger and the voice is so powerful, she can’t resist. She wants him to pay. This explains things well, but she is a five year old after all. No one expects it to be in her nature. And this sentence lacks the power of the last one.  I would keep the 'Just think it... and mentions the voice is powerful in the last para.

 

Before he can, she is released back to her parents the same night thanks to interference from Archer Drago, the school’s founder and her parent’s employer. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer. One who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control. I like this paragraph. I think you've retained it.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her in the district, it’s revealed Sometimes specifics only lead to more questions. maybe you could say she finds out he only wanted to use her as a weapon for some such. in an argument between her parents and her escort that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between the web of Drago’s lies (could you only say Drogo here?) and the voice in her headherself . . . even if it means killing someone.

 

I know you don't want to reveal the nature of the voice, but maybe you could say something about whether it's someone manipulating her, turning her into something else or if it is from within her, she's growing into a killer. I think that would help clearing up the concept a lot more.

 

Hope this helps. Good luck! I'm posting a new draft of the GIRL X query later today. Maybe you could give it look. Thanks! 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.



#28 bmontana33

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 01:48 PM

While query writing can certainly be frustrating, just keep at it. You'll get there. Try not to get too frustrated (if that's possible :smile: ).

 

Thanks for the new comments, guys. I was honestly thinking of starting over this morning before seeing them. So I decided to give it another go and tweak some of things still being miscommunicated.  I'm almost to the point of saying "fuck it" regardless if I'm going to get slaughtered or not at the query class next week. I honestly like the meat of what I have now, but the mixed reactions certainly aren't conclusive evidence that what I have is the right thing. I don't know. I guess I'm just going to go with the flow for now.

 

Time for (hopefully) lucky #7.

 

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed herself the night she was taken from home. She cries for her parents alone in a sterile white room. I don't know if this sentance is needed. It gives an idea of what she is doing, but what five year old wouldn't be crying if they were taken from there home. The last week she was the first of her peers to ever have an illness. So as of last week, she was the first child to ever have gotten sick? That’s why she thinks she’s here, until catching a glimpse of the school Director. It may not be needed in the query, but I can't help but what wonder what school? A five year old is normally either graduating from pre-k or in kindergarten. Immediately she knows he’s the one who took her. How does she know this? A voice seizes her mind who's voice? or is it her subconscious?, and commands her to do one small thing. Kill him.

 

She knows if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead. So is that what the illness is, powers to kill with her mind? And how does she know that, has she killed someone before like this? She doesn’t want to. It’s not in her nature, but her anger and the voice is so powerful, she can’t resist. She wants him to pay. Pay for what? kidnapping her? Also, you say she doesn't want to, then you say she wants him to pay. Which is it? Maybe you can just delete the she doesn't want to part and say While violence is not in her nature, the anger from being taken from her parents and the powerful voice in her head, make it too hard to resist. Just a thought.

 

Before he she can, she is released back to her parents the same night the same night as what, the night she planned on killing him or the night she was kidnapped? thanks to interference from Archer Drago, the school’s founder and her parent’s employer. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier. I get that she is happier being released, but doesn't she still have the voice in her head, I would think she would be happier once that is gone. Also, if she wanted to kill the school director and she can with just her mind, couldn't she do it after she is released, or does she have to be within a certain proximity of someone to do it?

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer. One who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. what is the illness then? If her escort tells her, why can't it be revealed to us now. It may help the reader understand everything else that is happening around her. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her in the district, it’s revealed in an argument between her parents and her escort that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between the web of Drago’s lies and the voice in her head herself . . . even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

 

It's getting better, but it still feels too vague to really understand whats going on. Keep at it!



#29 djonahayes

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 12:03 PM

Thanks for the new comments, guys. I was honestly thinking of starting over this morning before seeing them. So I decided to give it another go and tweak some of things still being miscommunicated.  I'm almost to the point of saying "fuck it" regardless if I'm going to get slaughtered or not at the query class next week. I honestly like the meat of what I have now, but the mixed reactions certainly aren't conclusive evidence that what I have is the right thing. I don't know. I guess I'm just going to go with the flow for now.

 

Time for (hopefully) lucky #7.

 

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield peed (on) herself the night she was taken from home. She cries for her parents alone in a sterile white room. The last week she was the first of her peers ever have an illness. That’s why she thinks she’s here, until catching a glimpse of the school Director. Immediately she knows he’s the one who took her. A voice seizes her mind (reads a bit awkward, perhaps change voice to thought), and commands her to do one small thing. Kill him. (is killing someone a small task? or would it seem a daunting one for a young, scared girl, or boy for that matter?)

 

She knows if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead (personally, I would go with this as your hook, this one line allow draws me into the story more than anything). She doesn’t want to (she doesn't want to 'what?' Think to kill the director, I assume, or is it the actual action of killing). It’s not in her nature, but her anger and the voice (I reason that the voice is what affects all of the children at the school, but I think, it may just be me, that the way it is presented is confusing.  perhaps more information, or a separate, small paragraph might help) is so powerful, she can’t resist. She wants him to pay (pronouns, is 'him' the voice or the director?)

 

(Pronouns, be more specific here, Im a bit confused ) Before he can, she is released back to her parents the same night thanks to interference from Archer Drago (is Archer the director of the school? If so, mention earlier), the school’s founder and her parent’s employer. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She (again pronoun, who is the aide, and if she is important to the plot, name her in the query) is a trained killer. One who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her (Dani I assume) in the district, it’s revealed in an argument between her parents and her escort that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between the web of Drago’s lies and the voice herself . . . even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

I agree with others, we are getting to the story and plot, much improved.  However, I also agree with bmontana33 that it is still too vague.

 

Remember, focus on MC, the antagonist, and what each wants/needs to complete.  What is at stake for them?



#30 ryankalford

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

I just wanted to post to say thank you to everyone who's commented and help shaped my query up. I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be for that lit agent's class starting tomorrow, so I'd thought I'd share what my final version is going to be. I know it can probably still be picked a part (but anything can, really), but after getting some great advice of "being true to yourself," this is what I've decided to go with, for better or worse. I'm happy with it, and again, couldn't have reached this point without all of your great, awesome feedback. I learned a hell of a lot in a short amount of time, but it was certainly a worth all the effort and time. I know i've been quiet the pass few days, but I'll be sticking around and make a post here or there. :)

 

One last time (for now?)

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows if she thinks it hard enough, the Director of her school will die.

 

The last week, she was the first of her peers to ever have an illness. That’s why she thinks she was taken from her parents, until she sees the Director. A voice inside her mind seizes her, making her know he’s the one responsible. It lulls her into a trance, and invites her to do one small thing. Kill him.

 

She doesn’t want too, but the voice is so powerful and clear. She can’t resist. She wants the Director to pay.

 

Before he can, she is released back to her parents the same night thanks to interference from Archer Drago, the school’s founder. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide. She is a trained killer. One who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all. Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life. Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her in the district, it’s revealed that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between Drago and the voice in her head herself.

 

Even if it means killing someone.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#31 djonahayes

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

I just wanted to post to say thank you to everyone who's commented and help shaped my query up. I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be for that lit agent's class starting tomorrow, so I'd thought I'd share what my final version is going to be. I know it can probably still be picked a part (but anything can, really), but after getting some great advice of "being true to yourself," this is what I've decided to go with, for better or worse. I'm happy with it, and again, couldn't have reached this point without all of your great, awesome feedback. I learned a hell of a lot in a short amount of time, but it was certainly a worth all the effort and time. I know i've been quiet the pass few days, but I'll be sticking around and make a post here or there. :)

 

One last time (for now?)

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows if she thinks it hard enough, the Director of her school will die.

 

The last week, she was the first of her peers to ever have an illness. She thinks that is why  she was taken from her parents, until she sees the Director.  A voice inside her mind seizes her (Wording of this phrase is still awk), making her know he’s the one responsible. It lulls her into a trance, and invites her to do one small thing. Kill him.

 

She doesn’t want too, but the voice is so powerful and clear that she can’t resist. She wants the Director to pay.

 

Before he can, she is released back to her parents the same night thanks to interference from Archer Drago, the school’s founder. As an apology, he gives her a personal escort and freedom to roam one of the space colony’s districts, her first taste of Earth. Dani can’t imagine being happier.

 

Her escort though is no ordinary aide (Again, I am wanting to know if the aide is Archer or someone else). She is a trained killer, and the one who enlightens Dani about her murderous past—things sweet little girls shouldn’t know—as well as the fact Dani’s illness was no illness at all (I know this is an important plot element, but it reads a bit awkward) Her parents know the truth, and have lied to her all her life and kept that truth from Dani.   Meanwhile, the voice only grows more impatient in her dreams, craving absolute control.

 

After a botched attempt by an android to kidnap her in the district, it’s revealed that Drago is using her as bait to catch a spy. With no one left she can trust, Dani must unravel the mysterious link between Drago and the voice in her head herself.

 

Even if it means killing someone. (is this the Director that she wants to kill or Drago?  Im a bit confused.  Please clarify)

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.  (I am not sure how the title of novel fits in with Dani's story.  Are Alan and Rachael, Dani (Dani herself and the voice in her head)?  How are they related to the character Dani, Drago etc?  What purpose do Alan and Rachael have to the themes set up in the previous paragraphs?)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

 

If the Director is an important element, I still would like to know his name.



#32 ryankalford

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

Hey guys. Okay, so after getting a reaming from a dear friend who tore apart my query (who actually liked the 1st version I posted here far more than the last version I posted here), among several of the same issues cropping up, it seemed like the only thing I could do was to go back to the drawing board on the query. The bad thing is I've got till Tuesday before submitting it to that lit agent in the class, and this is most certainly not how I intended to be running against the clock. But whatever, it is what it is at this point. Anyways, here's the fresh rebooted version.

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know, however, are that hers have mutated.

 

Deceit and treachery—traits Alan Redfield wishes he didn’t have. Years ago, he used them to hurt his wife. Now, he utilizes those same talents to hide the fact his daughter isn’t human anymore.

 

Love and hate. Rachael Redfield carries them both. She holds nothing but affection for her sweet little girl. Her husband, on the other hand, called her a liar a few nights ago. They haven’t spoken a word since.

 

Together they shape a loving family in distress. One which the Director of Dani’s school would love to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his products. Children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. Until Dani became sick last week and turned into a stain upon the project he wants more than anything to wipe out.

 

Lucky for him, Dani overhead her parents fight, and tells her councilor that the virus she had isn’t the one her father claims. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrest her parents for conspiracy. The flaw will now become his greatest triumph.

 

But little could he suspect the implications of what not being human anymore enables. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them, and driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: He’s the one responsible, and if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead.

 

She can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#33 djonahayes

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 11:29 AM

Hey guys. Okay, so after getting a reaming from a dear friend who tore apart my query (who actually liked the 1st version I posted here far more than the last version I posted here), among several of the same issues cropping up, it seemed like the only thing I could do was to go back to the drawing board on the query. The bad thing is I've got till Tuesday before submitting it to that lit agent in the class, and this is most certainly not how I intended to be running against the clock. But whatever, it is what it is at this point. Anyways, here's the fresh rebooted version.

 

#

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know, however, are that hers have mutated.

 

Deceit and treachery—traits Alan Redfield wishes he didn’t have. Years ago, he used them to hurt his wife. Now, he utilizes those same talents to hide the fact his daughter isn’t human anymore.

 

Love and hate. Rachael Redfield carries them both. She holds nothing but affection for her sweet little girl. Her husband, on the other hand, called her a liar a few nights ago. They haven’t spoken a word since.

 

Together they shape a loving family in distress. One which the Director of Dani’s school would love to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his products. Children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. Until Dani became sick last week and turned into a stain upon the project he wants more than anything to wipe out.

 

Lucky for him, Dani overhead her parents fight, and tells her councilor that the virus she had isn’t the one her father claims. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrest her parents for conspiracy. The flaw will now become his greatest triumph.

 

But little could he suspect the implications of what not being human anymore enables. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them, and driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: He’s the one responsible, and if she thinks it hard enough, he’ll drop dead.

 

She can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 

RECODED VOLUME I: ALAN AND RACHAEL is a 123,000 word social sci-fi novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

--Ryan K Alford

I will have to say this is much better than before.  I feel the stakes are expressed for all parties.  Good job.

 

I do feel that most queries, no matter how good, will not find an audience with all people including agents.  I like this version the best so far.  As you, I have been completely rethinking my own query.



#34 ryankalford

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 01:46 PM

Thanks. The same friend who ripped apart the last version seem to really like it, like you--so I think I might finally have it? (outside of word and grammar tweaks). I'll be submitting to the agent on monday, so I guess I"ll see how it stacks up in her opinion shortly!

 

The last week has been terrible to me as far as time to review/critique. I only managed to look at two queires in the lit agent's class, much less anything here. I'll hope to take a look at your new one when you have it ready, as well as others that catch my attention, or I still owe a look-over.

 

But thanks again for the continued input, djonahayes.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#35 ryankalford

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 06:14 PM

Hello everyone

 

It's been nine months, but I wanted to drop a line to AQ since I'm soon to finally embark my novel out into the wild (into QueryKombat, PitMad, and possibly PitchWars for starters). My query is pretty much perfect, I think. Agent approved even (by the awesome Ms. Sarah LaPolla), so I'm posting mostly to inquire about how I should handle the "series potential" line. "Final" Query below for clarity.

 

_____

 

Dear Agent,

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know are that hers have mutated.

Her father, Alan Redfield, hides that fact by making his co-workers think it’s a virus transmitted from her mother. Rachael Redfield suspects otherwise, since she’s never had it, but Alan throws her off his scent by calling her a liar during a fight.

Together, they shape a loving family in distress. One which the Director of Dani’s school would savor to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his prestigious products; children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. When Dani becomes sick, she turns into a stain upon the project and his reputation. A stain he must wipe away.

Lucky for him, Dani overhears her parents fight, and tells her councilor. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrest her parents for conspiracy. The first human ever to survive a genetic mutation will be his greatest achievement.

But little could he suspect the implications of her transformation. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them. Driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: she can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 
RECODED is a 108,000 word adult social sci-fi novel with series potential.
 
_____
 
Should I simply leave it at series potential? As far as my own vision, I see Recoded as a six book series, or a trilogy of directly connected duologies [Recoded, Re-Encoded, Decoded, respectively] The first book is naturally titled RECODED, with the tentative second titled RECODED: SEQUENCE COMPLETE. Hence the connected duology element (like the double helix of DNA). Together they complete the first major arc in the saga, but I'm not looking to try to sell it as a duology in the query (given I've only gotten 8,000 words into the sequel, and I'm going to be junking most of that small progress when I pick it back up). Instincts tell me to just let the query and manuscript do the talking, but I wanted to see what others may think or advise.
 
Thanks.

RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#36 smithgirl

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 09:14 AM

 

Hello everyone

 

It's been nine months, but I wanted to drop a line to AQ since I'm soon to finally embark my novel out into the wild (into QueryKombat, PitMad, and possibly PitchWars for starters). My query is pretty much perfect, I think. Agent approved even (by the awesome Ms. Sarah LaPolla), so I'm posting mostly to inquire about how I should handle the "series potential" line. "Final" Query below for clarity.

 

_____

 

Dear Agent,

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know are is that hers have mutated. She knows one thing. Is refers to that one thing. Singular.

 

Really nice intro.

Her father, Alan Redfield, hides that fact by making his co-workers think it’s a virus transmitted from her mother. Rachael Redfield suspects otherwise, since she’s never had it, but Alan throws her off his scent by calling her a liar during a fight.

Together, they shape a loving family in distress comma Oone which the Director of Dani’s school would savor to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his prestigious products;colon children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. This sentence is an incorrect use of punctuation. It's set up like the second sentence clarifies the first. In a case like that, you use a colon. When Dani becomes sick, she turns into a stain upon the project and his reputation. A stain he must wipe away.

Lucky for him, Dani overhears her parents fighting, and tells her councilor counselor. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrest her parents for conspiracy. The first human ever to survive a genetic mutation will be his greatest achievement. Above it says that Dani is a stain on the Director. That statement seems to conflict with the previous sentence that now she will be his greatest achievement.

But little could he suspect the implications of her transformation. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them. Driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: she can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 
RECODED is a 108,000 word adult social sci-fi novel with series potential.
 
Your query makes the story sound really exciting! And it's very concise. Just a few issues I marked above. Re series, I would leave it like it is. It's good to know it has potential and to let them know it has potential, but not to be too set on what happens next. If they take you on, they/your editor might have changes they want you to make, and that can be painful if you have everything pre-written and set in stone.
 
 
_____
 
Should I simply leave it at series potential? As far as my own vision, I see Recoded as a six book series, or a trilogy of directly connected duologies [Recoded, Re-Encoded, Decoded, respectively] The first book is naturally titled RECODED, with the tentative second titled RECODED: SEQUENCE COMPLETE. Hence the connected duology element (like the double helix of DNA). Together they complete the first major arc in the saga, but I'm not looking to try to sell it as a duology in the query (given I've only gotten 8,000 words into the sequel, and I'm going to be junking most of that small progress when I pick it back up). Instincts tell me to just let the query and manuscript do the talking, but I wanted to see what others may think or advise.
 
Thanks.

 



#37 ryankalford

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 03:38 PM

Thanks once again smithgirl! Glad you really dug it, and more than happy to leave the sequel-baiting at "series potential." Just wanted a double-check. And wow, in query and synopsis and novel itself--no one's ever caught the councilor error before. So double thanks for pointing that out before I made myself potentially look silly.  

 

Revision below.  

 

 

_____

 

Dear Agent,

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know is hers have mutated.

Her father, Alan Redfield, hides that fact by making his co-workers think it’s a virus transmitted from her mother. Rachael Redfield suspects otherwise, since she’s never had it, but Alan throws her off his scent by calling her a liar during a fight.

Together, they shape a loving family in distress, one which the Director of Dani’s school would savor to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his prestigious products: children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. When Dani becomes sick, she turns into a stain upon the project and his reputation. A stain he must wipe away.

Lucky for him, Dani overhears her parents fighting, and tells her counselor. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrest her parents for conspiracy. A flaw no longer, the first human ever to survive a genetic mutation will be his greatest achievement.

But little could he suspect the implications of her transformation. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them. Driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: she can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 
RECODED is a 107,000 word adult social sci-fi novel with series potential.

RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#38 smithgirl

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 10:00 AM

 

Thanks once again smithgirl! Glad you really dug it, and more than happy to leave the sequel-baiting at "series potential." Just wanted a double-check. And wow, in query and synopsis and novel itself--no one's ever caught the councilor error before. Yay! So double thanks for pointing that out before I made myself potentially look silly.  

 

Revision below.  

 

 

_____

 

Dear Agent,

 

Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know is hers have mutated.

 


Her father, Alan Redfield, hides that fact by making his co-workers think it’s a virus transmitted from her mother. Rachael Redfield suspects otherwise, since she’s never had it, but Alan throws her off his scent by calling her a liar during a fight.

Together, they shape a loving family in distress, one which the Director of Dani’s school would savor to tear apart. He doesn’t like having a flaw among his prestigious products: children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. When Dani becomes sick, she turns into a stain upon the project and his reputation. A stain he must wipe away.

Lucky for him, Dani overhears her parents fighting, and tells her counselor. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrestS her parents for conspiracy. A flaw no longer, the first human ever to survive a genetic mutation will be his greatest achievement.

But little could he suspect the implications of her transformation. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees through the two-way mirror that separates them does them refer to Dani and the director? Maybe you could clarify. Otherwise, this is a really action-packed sentence. Driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: she can kill him, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.

 
RECODED is a 107,000 word adult social sci-fi novel with series potential.
 
Hey Ryan, I think your query is nicely short, concise, and action-packed. You have a lot of showing. Just two more little things I noticed: should be arrestS, and some ambiguity regarding the two-way mirror.
 
Good luck!
 

 



#39 ryankalford

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:05 PM

Posting a new version of my query, mainly due to changing the gender of the Director to female. Just double checking the pronouns don't trip over each other.. 

 

_____

 

Query:
 
Five-year-old Dani Redfield knows that genes are the building blocks of life. What she doesn’t know is hers have mutated.

Her father, Alan Redfield, hides that fact by making his co-workers think it’s a virus transmitted from her mother. Rachael Redfield suspects otherwise, since she’s never had it, but Alan throws her off his scent by calling her a liar during a fight.

Together, they shape a loving family in distress, one which the Director of Dani’s school would savor to tear apart. She doesn’t like having a flaw among her prestigious products: children of high intelligence and superior immunity to disease. When Dani becomes sick, she turns into a stain upon the project and the Director's reputation. A stain the Director must wipe away.

Lucky for her, Dani overhears her parents fighting, and tells her counselor. Using that information as leverage, the Director seizes Dani from home, and arrests her parents for conspiracy. A flaw no longer, the first human ever to survive a genetic mutation will be the Director's greatest achievement.

But little could she suspect the implications of Dani's transformation. Locked within an observation room, Dani sees the Director through the two-way mirror that separates them. Driven by her overwhelming grief, her mind instantly knows two things: she can kill her, and save her parents . . . but only at the cost of her innocence.
 
RECODED is a 100,000 word adult social sci-fi novel with series potential.

RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#40 Ireth

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 08:03 PM

This looks really good! My only quibble is the age of your protagonist. Are adults going to be able to relate to a story told through the eyes of a five-year-old?I'd really consider aging her up.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

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All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Science Fiction

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