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BOUND TO ASHES (YA SF post-apoc)


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#1 Marandart

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 06:23 PM

Updated Query HERE

[Does the hook work? Does anything confuse you? Any details you'd prefer to see omitted/included? Thank you! ]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Being one of the last genetically engineered supersoldiers isn’t so bad, unless you count the war-torn apocalyptic world and the bitter human survivors that want you gone.

 

Dev and his friends find themselves facing what could be their final days scraping by. But after their ambush on the humans goes awry and Dev is captured, he faces an even more frightening reality. The new human leader, a young woman called Alessandra, doesn’t want the supersoldiers dead.

 

She needs their help.

 

Alessandra’s destination: an underground sanctuary, the Ecodome, the world’s best-kept (and best-defended) secret for humanity’s survival. The deal: help the humans break past the defenses, and in exchange, start a new life safe underground. The supersoldiers hesitantly accept. Along the way, their uneasy alliance proves fragile— thanks to other survivors, harsh terrain, and, most of all, the deep-seated resentments for each other.

 

When Alessandra’s real motivations rear their ugly head, threatening to uproot their entire operation, Dev will have to learn to cast aside a lifetime of prejudice for a slim chance at survival.

 

BOUND TO ASHES is a full-length post-apocalyptic science fiction novel weighing in at ~95,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE and Isaac Marion’s WARM BODIES.

 

This is my first novel and has sparked the birth of a sequel, which I am actively working on. Thank you for considering BOUND TO ASHES. I hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Maranda Cromwell

 

[contact info]


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/


#2 giffordmac

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 11:43 PM

Hi, I read your query and overall, it's a good first attempt. But your voice is quite passive, with phrases like "find themselves", "doesn’t want", "proves fragile." I think you need to inject quite a bit more action or drama -- you've probably got plenty in the story and the query needs to reflect it.

 

Also, an inconsistency: you mention Dev is captured, but later say "The supersoldiers hesitantly accept." Were his friends caught, too? or how does it become more than one of them?

 

Best of luck!


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#3 Marandart

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:09 AM

Hmm, okay, I see what you mean! 
Went ahead and nixed the part about Dev being captured-- it happens, but it's not immediately important to the story for an at-a-glance look. What really matters is that they find out what Alessandra is planning. I think that should clear out any confusion on that front. 

Fixed some of the passivity as well. 

I'm finding it hard to add more drama to it, though, but I did a change some words from less exciting (fragile) to more exciting (fractures). 

I'll stew on this for a while before uploading another revision.


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/


#4 Marandart

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 03:59 PM

[After hours of browsing the Query Shark archives, here are some improvements I made.]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Being one of the last genetically engineered supersoldiers isn’t so bad, unless the virus that wiped out most of the human race seven years ago actually finished the job.

Dev and his friends face what could be their final days scraping by. Because of humans, their lives went from science experiments to vermin—and today is the last straw. They devise a plan to end the fighting once and for all. When it backfires, they face an even more frightening reality. The new human leader, a young woman called Alessandra, doesn’t want the supersoldiers dead.

She needs their help.

Alessandra’s goal: the Ecodome, the world’s best-kept (and best-defended) secret for humanity’s recovery. She offers Dev and his friends an opportunity: help the humans break past the defenses, and in exchange, start a new life in the Ecodome free of prejudice. It’s either that or waste away in a dying city, so the supersoldiers have no other option but to accept. Along the way, their uneasy alliance fractures with distrust. Alessandra walks a razor’s edge playing peacekeeper.

When the Ecodome’s tangled past reveals itself, widening the divide between supersoldier and human, Dev must learn to cast aside a lifetime of prejudice for a slim chance at saving the ones he loves. 

BOUND TO ASHES is a full-length science fiction novel weighing in at ~95,000 words with series potential. It will appeal to readers of Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE and Isaac Marion’s WARM BODIES.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Maranda Cromwell

[contact info]


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/


#5 Aether

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:05 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Being one of the last genetically engineered supersoldiers isn’t so bad, unless the virus that wiped out most of the human race seven years ago actually finished the job. The hook is pretty good and it interests me but the wording seems a bit off. You could say: Being one of the last genetically engineered super soldiers isn't so bad unless you realize you have a deadly virus.

 

Dev and his friends face what could be their final days scraping by. Because of humans, their lives went from science experiments to vermin—and today is the last straw. They devise a plan to end the fighting once and for all. When it backfires, they face an even more frightening reality. You could try shortening this and then allowing you to add a few more details. Their plan to end all the fighting backfires, but they face an even more frightening reality. The new human leader, a young woman called Alessandra, doesn’t want the supersoldiers dead.

 

She needs their help.

 

Alessandra’s goal: the Ecodome, the world’s best-kept (and best-defended) secret for humanity’s recovery. She offers Dev and his friends an opportunity: help the humans break past the defenses, and in exchange, start a new life in the Ecodome free of prejudice. Why does the human leader want to attack the one thing for humanity's recovery? It’s either that or waste away in a dying city, so the supersoldiers have no other option but to accept. Along the way, their uneasy alliance fractures with distrust. Alessandra walks a razor’s edge playing peacekeeper. These last two sentences seem disjointed, like you just added the fact that's Alessandra is trying to be a peacekeeper.

 

When the Ecodome’s tangled past reveals itself, widening the divide between supersoldier and human, Dev must learn to cast aside a lifetime of prejudice for a slim chance at saving the ones he loves. 

 

BOUND TO ASHES is a full-length science fiction novel weighing in at ~95,000 words with series potential. It will appeal to readers of Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE and Isaac Marion’s WARM BODIES. Thank you for your consideration.

 

This is a really good query. You just need very fine tuning. Try to add a bit more character voice (trust me, I have huge problems adding character voice in my query too). This will help the reader want to learn more because they are rooting for Dev. I don't think you need to do much more work on this just a little bit more and you'll be there. Good luck!


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#6 Marandart

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 11:41 AM

[Thank you for the feedback! I took the advice to heart. Here is another revision.]

 

Dear Agent,

 

Being one of the last genetically engineered supersoldiers wouldn’t be so bad, if the virus that wiped out most of the human race seven years ago actually finished the job.

Dev and his friends face what could be their final days scraping by. Because of humans, their lives went from science experiments to vermin—and today is the last straw. But their plan to finally end the fighting backfires, and they face an even more frightening reality. Unlike the leader she overthrew, the new human leader Alessandra doesn’t want the supersoldiers dead.

She needs their help.

Alessandra’s goal: the Ecodome, humanity’s only chance for recovery. But the dome’s automated security systems stand in her way. She offers Dev and his friends an opportunity: help the humans break past the defenses, and in exchange, start a new life in the Ecodome free of prejudice. Dev, unsure if his decision will save his friends or just get them all killed, accepts.

Alessandra must find a way to convince the supersoldiers that the problematic past of the Ecodome (and her own hidden motives for bringing them there) aren’t what they seem.

And for the sake of his friends, Dev must find it in himself to believe her.

 

BOUND TO ASHES is a full-length science fiction novel at ~95,000 words with a sequel in the works. It will appeal to readers of Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE and Isaac Marion’s WARM BODIES.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Maranda Cromwell

[contact info]


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/


#7 Marandart

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 11:59 AM

I guess my question now is... does the query have the same effect without the first line? It seems mysteriously like a log line, which I've heard is kind of a no-no. But I feel that the virus wiping everyone out is crucial information to the book, otherwise, why go to the Ecodome at all? 
I might just try to rephrase it. Thoughts? 

 "If the virus that wiped out nearly all of humanity seven years ago had finished the job, Dev and the other remaining genetically engineered supersoldiers wouldn't be in this mess." 
I dunno. I've read it so many times it's becoming mush. 


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/





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