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TRUE NORTH (YA dark) | final at #47

Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense Multi-Cultural

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#1 marisajane

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 02:54 PM

 
Thanks so much, AQ community, for taking a look at my query! I've tried to go with a more formal tone here but am now questioning that approach. Also, let the record show that my MC was created before the Kimye baby. 
 
Dear Ms. Agent, 

I am seeking representation for a new project. My young adult novel, True North, is a dark, near-future feminist love story told from the perspective of North, a young girl with extraordinary cognitive abilities. In the midst of a violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, North is just beginning to know herself and her strength; when the only person she loves and has left in her life is taken prisoner by the Control, the absolutist agency of power, North must fight through the unimaginable on a rescue mission that is nothing short of suicidal. Along the way she finds unexpected support and learns firsthand that love is less a feeling, and more an action.

True North is complete at 53k words long and is book one of two. It was conceived two years ago while I was in the process of exiting an abusive long term relationship. In questioning how I ended up where I did, I began to imagine a young girl who was empowered. Because of my background as a dance and film artist, True North started as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. It is my goal that it become a published work as well as a film.

Please let me know if you’d like to read the full manuscript! Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your response. 

 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#2 Ireth

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 03:29 PM

 

Thanks so much, AQ community, for taking a look at my query! I've tried to go with a more formal tone here but am now questioning that approach. Also, let the record show that my MC was created before the Kimye baby. 
 
Dear Ms. Agent, 

I am seeking representation for a new project. My young adult novel, True North, is a dark, near-future feminist love story told from the perspective of North, a young girl with extraordinary cognitive abilities. In the midst of a violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies (like what?), North (be sure to include her age, as it's important to the genre; a last name wouldn't hurt either, if she has one) is just beginning to know herself and her extraordinary precognitive abilities(period) When the only person she loves and has left in her life is taken prisoner by the Control, the absolutist agency of power, North must fight through the unimaginable (this is vague show us specifics, make us invest in your story and characters) on a rescue mission that is nothing short of suicidal. Along the way she finds unexpected support and learns firsthand that love is less a feeling, and more an action. (This is also vague, and we have no idea of the stakes. Those must be very clear. What will happen if North succeeds, or if she fails?)

TRUE NORTH (put your title in all caps) is a dark YA novel complete at 53,000 words long and is book one of two. It was conceived two years ago while I was in the process of exiting an abusive long term relationship. In questioning how I ended up where I did, I began to imagine a young girl who was empowered. Because of my background as a dance and film artist, TRUE NORTH started as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. It is my goal that it become a published work as well as a film.

Please let me know if you’d like to read the full manuscript! Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to your response
 

 

 


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

 

~~~

 

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/


#3 marisajane

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 04:01 PM

Thanks Ireth! Fantastic suggests. I think overall I could up the pulse rate here, and be more specific in the places you've pointed out. Draft #2 coming soon. 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#4 marisajane

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 09:41 PM

Draft #2

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen year old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees.

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes. 

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary, and if the Control knew about her gift, she’d be their exclusive property.

So when a series of horrific murders occurs in her town, and North’s cognitive ability is exposed, she goes on the run with her best friend Ranger, the only person she loves and has left in her life. Once he is taken prisoner by the Control, the absolutist agency of power, North must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm on a rescue mission that is nothing short of suicidal. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, she finds unexpected support in a disenfranchised community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves? 

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. It was conceived while I was in the process of exiting an abusive long term relationship. In questioning how I ended up where I did, I began to imagine a young girl who was empowered, with her sovereignty intact. Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, TRUE NORTH started as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. It is my goal that it become a published work as well as a film.

Thank you for your time and consideration!


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#5 KellyS

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 06:31 AM

Draft #2

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees.

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes. (Great start!)

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary, and if the Control knew about her gift, she’d be their exclusive property.

So when a series of horrific murders occurs in her town, and North’s cognitive ability is exposed, she goes on the run with her best friend Ranger, the only person she loves and has left in her life. Once he is taken prisoner by the Control, the absolutist agency of power, North must (Your query is great up until this point where it becomes a bit too vague. I might expand on the first part of this paragraph and end with Ranger going missing. You could give more detail to explain why this boy is the only person she has left to show how important he is to her. Then you could end with something along the lines of "But when Ranger is taken prisoner, North must do A, or B will happen.) fight her way through intense grief , incredible distance, and imminent harm on a rescue mission that is nothing short of suicidal. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, she finds unexpected support in a disenfranchised community (can you give more detail? and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves?

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. It was conceived while I was in the process of exiting an abusive long term relationship. In questioning how I ended up where I did, I began to imagine a young girl who was empowered, with her sovereignty intact (I would show this in the query rather than explaining that here if at all possible). Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, TRUE NORTH started as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. It is my goal that it become a published work as well as a film. (Since word count is limited, I'd focus on the meat of your story. You don't need to go into the inception of your novel, etc)

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Sounds like an interesting novel. Best of luck!



#6 marisajane

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 12:40 PM

Thank you rose77! V helpful. I'll see if I get any other suggests to incorporate into draft # 3. 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#7 morgansivan

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 01:00 PM

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen year old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes. Great hook. I don’t think each sentence needs a specific paragraph.

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary, and if the Control knew about her gift, she’d be their exclusive property. You talk about the Control later, doing it at this point without any explanation added is confusing. You either explain here and keep the sentence or you cut it and explain later.

So when a series of horrific murders occurs in her town, and North’s cognitive ability is exposed, she goes on the forcing her to run with her best friend Ranger, the only person she loves and has left in her life. You don’t need to say more about Ranger.

 

Once he is taken prisoner by the Control, the absolutist agency of power, North must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm go on a rescue mission that is nothing short of suicidal to save Ranger. Too wordy and you didn’t say why she needs to go on that mission.

 

In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, she finds unexpected support in a disenfranchised community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves? The ending paragraph isn’t too catchy. Instead of asking questions and talk about whay North will face give us something concrete. Tell us the real stakes, what will happen if she fails on saving Ranger?

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, first book of a duology. It was conceived while I was in the process of exiting an abusive long term relationship. In questioning how I ended up where I did, I began to imagine a young girl who was empowered, with her sovereignty intact. Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, TRUE NORTH started as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. It is my goal that it become a published work as well as a film. Some agents believe it’s unprofessional to say you want your book to become a movie. I agree with rose77 here. Too much background information isn’t needed at this point.

The story sounds great, keep on working at the query. Good luck!


My NA Fantasy query - Burned Wings http://agentquerycon...y-death-angels/

 


#8 marisajane

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:39 PM

So I've tried to synthesize feedback and maintain focus, but I'm feeling out of sorts- this sht is hard, right? Anyway let's see how this draft lands. Thanks to everyone who's read so far :) 

 

Draft #3 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees.

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes.

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary. But if the Control, the absolutist agency of power, knew about about her gift, she’d become their exclusive property or worse- tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly.

 

So when a series of vicious murders occurs in town, including that of North's father, and her cognitive ability is exposed, she and her best friend Ranger are forced to go on the run. A horrific encounter with the Control leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect North, who now must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm to rescue him. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, North finds unexpected friendship and support in a disenfranchised community of displaced citizens, and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it strong enough to save her and the person she loves from a brutal end?

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, this work began as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#9 KellyS

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 08:28 PM

 

So I've tried to synthesize feedback and maintain focus, but I'm feeling out of sorts- this sht is hard, right? Anyway let's see how this draft lands. Thanks to everyone who's read so far :) 

 

Draft #3 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees.

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes.

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary. But if the Control, the absolutist agency of power, knew about about her gift, she’d become their exclusive property or worse (emdash) tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly.

 

So when a series of vicious (usually in queries you minimize the adjectives. You want it to have a voice, but also be as to the point as possible) murders occurs in town, including that of North's father, and her cognitive ability is exposed, she and her best friend Ranger are forced to go on the run. A horrific encounter (I'd explain the encounter a bit) with the Control leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect North (I might rephrase to say, "When X happens, Ranger turns himself in to protect her. North is willing to do whatever it takes to save the only friend she has left--even if it means joining alliance with so-and-so or doing x, y, z." I'm sure you can phrase it better, but this is just to show how you might work in some specifics.), who now must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm to rescue him. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, (This is wordy, but doesn't really give us any details.)North finds unexpected friendship and support in a disenfranchised community of displaced citizens (disenfranchised and displaced seems redundant), and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action.(Really good line!) But is it strong enough to save her and the person she loves from a brutal end? (too vague. Why/how is she facing a brutal end?)

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, this work began as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel. (I'd still cut this because it might actually work against you)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

Getting closer!!



#10 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 08:36 PM

 

So I've tried to synthesize feedback and maintain focus, but I'm feeling out of sorts- this sht is hard, right? Anyway let's see how this draft lands. Thanks to everyone who's read so far :) 

 

Draft #3 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. (Great hook!)

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes.

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary. But if the Control, the absolutist agency of power, knew about about her gift, she’d become their exclusive property or worse-- tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly.

 

So When a series of vicious murders occurs in town, including that of North's father, and her cognitive ability is exposed,(period) She and her best friend Ranger are forced to go on the run. A horrific encounter with the Control leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect North, who now must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm to rescue him. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive tragedies, North finds unexpected friendship and support in a disenfranchised community of displaced citizens, and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action.(This sounds a little awkward, and also a bit vague. How specifically do the displaced citizens teach/help her?)  But is it strong enough to save her and the person she loves from a brutal end?  (I've heard that agents hate rhetorical questions in queries. What about, "North must use her love and her skills to fight the Control, or risk losing the person she loves to a brutal end." Or something like that... You just need to spell out the stakes more explicitly.)

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. (This is kind of on the shorter end of fantasy/sci-fi YA. How long is the second book? You might actually be able to combine these into one with a little editing...)  Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, this work began as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel.  (I agree, this is unnecessary. Why does multimedia artist=screenplay? Finishing the sentence with something like "I used images to build the story before I worked it into a novel" sounds a lot cooler and makes more sense. Mentioning a screenplay still kind of implies the "film potential" which Janet Reid lists as one of her 'instant rejection phrases'.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

This sounds really interesting. You just need to amp up the stakes. I love that the love interest is childhood friend instead of some dark angsty guy. :)

 

Did you write this as a NaNoWriMo novel? I remember seeing someone on the forums with a novel and a main character with the same names as yours on the forums there. I wondered if that was you? 

 

If you have time, please take a look at my query, linked in my signature. 



#11 marisajane

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:15 PM

Thank you rose77 & waxesnostalgic! Totally helpful, and i see what you both mean about the film/screenplay mentions- out with it! And nope- wasn't me for nanowrimo. Hoping to godsssss their plot is different, ha. 

 

Draft # 5 on its way


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#12 waxesnostalgic

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:53 PM

Thank you rose77 & waxesnostalgic! Totally helpful, and i see what you both mean about the film/screenplay mentions- out with it! And nope- wasn't me for nanowrimo. Hoping to godsssss their plot is different, ha. 

 

Draft # 5 on its way

I thought that would be too much of a bizarre coincidence, but I had to ask. XD It's definitely a memorable title, since I remembered it from last year--so that's a good thing! I love your title.



#13 Cinder Elly

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 05:33 PM

I didn't read your previous drafts, trying to come in fresh like an agent would.

 

So I've tried to synthesize feedback and maintain focus, but I'm feeling out of sorts- this sht is hard, right? Anyway let's see how this draft lands. Thanks to everyone who's read so far :) 

 

Draft #3 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. (Very attention catching! Maybe I'm being too literal but it does make me wonder...are her eyes literally cameras?)

 

Her skill comes in very handy at crime scenes.   This is exactly the kind of skill that comes in handy when you spend most of your time at crime scenes. (Just something a little more punchy, you can play around with it)

In the post-Shutdown world, she’s extraordinary. (I think you're leaving us guessing too much. Shutdown what? How?)  But if the Control, the absolutist agency of power, knew about about her gift, she’d become their exclusive property or worse- tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly. (They don't already know? If no one knows about her gift why is a seventeen year old working with the police at crime scenes?)

 

So when a  Then a series of vicious murders occurs in town, including that of North's father.and Her cognitive ability is exposed (how? while investigating? at the time her father is murdered?) and North and her best friend Ranger are forced to go on the run. A horrific encounter (more here...)with the Control leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect North. Now she must fight her way through intense grief, incredible distance, and imminent harm to rescue him. In the midst of this violent world and its inherent and repercussive (not a word as far as I know) connected tragedies, North finds unexpected friendship and support in a disenfranchised community of displaced citizens, and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it strong enough to save her and the person she loves from a brutal end? 

 

(How does North's ability tie in to her quest to save Ranger? Why do they want him anyway? Just because they assume she will follow him? We need their motivations to make sense)

TRUE NORTH, a dark near-future YA novel complete at 53,000 words, is book one of two. Because of my background as a feminist multimedia artist, this work began as an image-intensive screenplay before it became my first novel.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 



#14 Mezzanine

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:38 AM

When you say “cameras for eyes,” do you mean she has a photographic memory? As written, I initially wondered if you meant that literally. I don’t think that works for me as a metaphor.
 
I’d do away with the second paragraph. For me, it doesn’t seem to add any new detail that pulls me in. But getting to the following paragraph keeps the flow moving.
 
As I read this, I wasn’t really getting what about her ability is so intriguing or coveted by the Control. It sounds like someone with a photographic memory who becomes a sketch artist.
 
Overall, I think you could make the query more compelling by showing a bit more.
 
I found myself wondering what about her ability makes her so coveted by the Control? And how does her particular gift, if that’s indeed what it is, fit into the arc of the story to help move it towards the climax? 
 
It’s great that your story promises a lesson for the reader.
 
You’re off to a good start. I hope this helps. Good luck!
 


#15 marisajane

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 04:48 PM

Stepping up for round four! I feel like a boxer. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions thus far, so very helpful. I tend toward the vague and general when faced with a v limited word count, and I'm discovering that adding detail/clarity/motivation in this clipped query style sometimes feels a bit like hyping? sensationalizing? but i like it. 

 

Draft #4

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like cameras and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. 

 

Her skill comes in very handy at the crime scenes she covertly investigates alongside her best friend Ranger. With her retired detective father’s blessing, no less. 

 

In the post-Shutdown world North is extraordinary. And by law, all Extra Ordinems like her are taken from home at age thirteen by the Control, the brutal absolutist agency of power. If the Control knew about her gift, she’d become their exclusive property or worse— wind up tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly. 

 

Like the girl her age, facedown on a bed and covered in blood. North literally can’t shake the image from her mind.

 

But just as a link begins to emerge between this murder and another, North's father is killed by the Control. With her sketchbooks discovered and her cognitive ability exposed, North becomes a Control target herself, and is forced out on the run with Ranger. When a horrific encounter with the same ruthless Control agents who murdered North's father leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect her, she'll do anything to save him, and now she must find a new strength to fight her way through grief, distance, and imminent harm on a suicidal rescue mission to Control Headquarters. In the midst of this violent directive and its repercussive tragedies, North receives unexpected support from a disenfranchised rural community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves from a savage end at the hands of the Control?

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller complete at 53,000 words, is book one of a two book series. My background as a feminist multimedia artist based in NYC has helped direct North's voice and drive in this narrative.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

---

  • Alternate first line that i prefer: Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with cameras for eyes and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. Sort of attached to this metaphor as opposed to the simile i use above. But i see the point, eyes aren't cameras, your thoughts?
  • It's come up in a few crits- how does North's extraordinary gift help her save Ranger? While it's integral to the rising action of the plot, which i hope i've now shown, her cognitive talent - while v useful- doesn't save him. Her hard work, determination, and collaboration with others does. I'm attempting some distance from the chosen One narrative
  • If this line But is it strong enough to save her and the person she loves from a savage end at the hands of the Control? is still too vague stakes-wise, i might switch it up to an If she succeeds / But if she fails scenario

TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#16 marisajane

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:19 PM

Draft #4.5 - a few tweaks from the latest draft above 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like cameras and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. 

 

Her skill comes in very handy at the crime scenes she covertly investigates alongside her best friend Ranger. With her retired detective father’s blessing, no less. 

 

In the post-Shutdown world North is extraordinary. And by law, all Extra Ordinems like her are the exclusive property of the Control, taken from home at age thirteen by the brutal absolutist agency of power. If the Control knew about her gift, she’d be imprisoned or worse— wind up tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so expertly. 

 

Like the girl her age, facedown on a bed and covered in blood. North can’t shake the image from her mind.

 

But just as a link begins to emerge between this murder and another, North's father is killed by the Control. With her sketchbooks discovered and her cognitive ability exposed, North becomes a Control target herself, and is forced out on the run with Ranger. When a horrific encounter with the same ruthless Control agents who murdered North's father leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect her, she'll do anything to save him. Now she must find a new strength to fight her way through grief, distance, and imminent harm on a suicidal rescue mission to Control Headquarters. In the midst of this violent directive and its repercussive tragedies, North receives unexpected support from a disenfranchised rural community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves from a savage end at the hands of the Control?

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with romance elements and diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped direct* North's voice and drive in this narrative.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

*inform? shape? 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#17 dkorngold

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:12 PM

What about eyes like cameras?

I liked the comes in handy at crime scenes version better

 

Absolutist agency of power sounds slightly clunky to my ear can you say government agency with absolute power?

 

In order to tighten it up a bit try focusing on one or two major plotlines and give details then add hooks to close those paragraphs as well. Agents know the quest to save the captured lover is gonna be hard tell em who or what stands in the way.

 

Good luck you have some really compelling stuff here



#18 KellyS

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 12:38 AM

 

Draft #4.5 - a few tweaks from the latest draft above 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like cameras and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. 

 

Her skill comes in very handy at the crime scenes she covertly investigates alongside her best friend Ranger. With her retired detective father’s blessing, no less. 

 

In the post-Shutdown world North is extraordinary. And by law, all Extra Ordinems like her are the exclusive property of the Control, taken from home at age thirteen by the brutal absolutist agency of power. If the Control knew about her gift, she’d be imprisoned or worse— wind up tortured and dead, like one of the many  victims she sketches so expertly. 

 

Like the girl her age, North discovered face down on a bed and covered in blood. North can’t shake the image from her mind. (this line felt out of place to me, so I think you needed a bit more segue)

 

But just as a link begins to emerge between this murder and another, North's father is killed by the Control. With her sketchbooks discovered and her cognitive ability exposed, North becomes a Control target herself, and is forced out on the run with Ranger.

When a horrific encounter (This feels a bit vague and could be more active. Could be rephrased to say something like, "But when the Control agents who killed her father catch up with her and (do xxxx), Ranger turns himself in to protect her." with the same ruthless Control agents who murdered North's father leads to Ranger turning himself in to protect her, she'll do anything to save him. (The query letter is strong overall up to this point. Then it becomes more of a summation, and ideally you want the last sentence to be show your stakes clearly.)Now she must find a new strength to fight her way through grief, distance, and imminent harm on a suicidal  rescue mission to Control Headquarters. In the midst of this violent directive and its repercussive tragedies (I think you can do without this phrase. We don't know what the violent directive is. And we already know that this is fresh on the heels of her father's murder, so I don't think saying in the midst of tragedy is needed), North receives unexpected support from a disenfranchised rural community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves from a savage end at the hands of the Control?

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with romance elements and diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped direct* North's voice and drive in this narrative.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

*inform? shape? Just a thought, but I wonder if it would be better to just say that you're a feminist artist, rather than saying this shaped your MC's voice. It might read as if this is your voice, rather than North's voice. But I might be over-thinking it.

 



#19 wilesthing

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:10 AM

 

Draft #4.5 - a few tweaks from the latest draft above 

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like cameras and the talent the ability to draw exactly what she sees, and to the Control, that makes her dangerous

 

Her North's skill comes in very handy at the crime scenes she covertly investigates alongside her best friend Ranger. She does this, of course, wWith her retired detective father’s blessing, no lessBut this talent must remain a secret, because iIn the post-Shutdown world, someone like North is extraordinary.

 

And bBy law, all Extra Ordinems like her are the exclusive property of the Control, the brutal agency that takens them from their homes at age thirteen (For what purpose? To join their ranks? To be put to use elsewhere?) by the brutal absolutist agency of power. If the Control knew about her North's gift, she’d be imprisoned. Oor worse, she'd wind up tortured and dead, like one of the many victims she sketches so easily(?) naturally(?) effortlessly(?) expertly. Like the girl her age, she can't forget lying facedown on a bed and covered in blood. North can’t shake the image from her mind.

 

But just as a link begins to emerges between this murder and another, North's father is killed by the Control. (I think giving a connection between these murders and the killing of North's father would help this sentence. Was North's father the one who find out the link? Was he keeping a secret? You don't have to give all the suspense away, but a connection here would help the sentence flow.) With her sketchbooks discovered and her cognitive ability exposed, North becomes a Control target herself, and is forced out on the run with Ranger. But after When a horrific encounter with the same ruthless Control agents who murdered North's father, Ranger leads to Ranger turning surrenders himself in to protect her., she'll do anything to save him. Now, with the help of a remote community, North must battle through her grief and embark on a suicidal mission to Control Headquarters to avenge the father she lost and save the person she loves. (This ending could probably be stronger, but this is an example of the general direction it could go).she must find a new strength to fight her way through grief, distance, and imminent harm on a suicidal rescue mission to Control Headquarters. In the midst of this violent directive and its repercussive tragedies, North receives unexpected support from a disenfranchised rural community and learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. But is it enough to save her and the person she loves from a savage end at the hands of the Control?

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with romance elements and diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped direct* North's voice and drive in this narrative.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

*inform? shape? 

 

 

Hope these suggestions help, marisajane. Good luck to you.



#20 marisajane

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 05:58 PM

THANK YOU rose77 and wilesthing- very helpful. I've taken on many of your edits for this next try!

 

Draft #5

 

Dear Ms. Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like cameras and the talent to draw exactly what she sees. 

 

Her skill comes in very handy at the crime scenes she covertly investigates alongside her best friend Ranger. With her retired detective father’s blessing, even. 

 

North is extraordinary— and in the violent post-Shutdown world, she must conceal it. All Extra Ordinems like her are by law the exclusive property of the Control, imprisoned at a young age by the brutal agency of power. For what dark purpose, no one knows, and North hopes to never find out. But one sketch out of line and she could become a victim herself, as tortured and dead as anyone she captures on paper. 

 

Like the broken, bloodied girl whose image North can’t shake from her mind. What was she running from? North, Ranger and her father are getting closer to uncovering the answer. 

 

But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge about this girl’s death, North's ability is exposed, and her father is killed by the Control. Now a target herself, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. When the same agents who murdered North's father catch up, and Ranger surrenders himself to protect her, she must choose between succumbing to her grief and a suicidal rescue mission. Unexpected support from a disenfranchised rural community propels North away from despair and into forward motion, and she learns firsthand that love is less a deep feeling, and more a deep action. If it’s deep enough, she’ll find a fierce strength that’s beyond extraordinary, and the will to overcome imminent harm. She could even save more than the person she loves. 

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with romance elements and diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this narrative.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

 

*weak, yet effective and brief. Suggestions? 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250






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