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TRUE NORTH (YA dark) | final at #47

Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense Multi-Cultural

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#41 9emilylime9

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 02:15 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. With her retired, detective father's blessing, she uses her skills to quietly investigate crime scenes with her best friend Ranger. 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 whom she sketched (I assume), whose image North can’t shake from her mind. What was she running from? (something about the Control's invovlement?) 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 them, 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 As she fights to save the person she loves, North finds within her a fierce strength that’s beyond extraordinary, and the will to overcome imminent harm anything. She could even save more than the person she loves. Not only so that she can save Ranger, but also save ______ (whatever works best with your story).

 

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? 

 

I think that you jump into the fantasy elements a little late- which is why I don't think that you should include your second little teaser paragraph as is. I also think that your ending could use a little more urgency- perhaps more specifics on what "dark purpose" the Ordinems are being used for. Show what's at stake for North.

 

 

****** I just realized that I failed to reply to your most recent draft. My bad. I'll look at that instead- but I'll leave this here in case it helps in any way :)



#42 elysezane

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:20 PM

Ooh yes, I like this better! It's more clear and focused than the previous version I read.

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like high-resolution cameras— but not even she can see a way to save her best friend. YES

 

Besides, it’s her gift that got him abducted. Well, that.. plus her drawings of the dead blonde girl. 

 

Like the girl, North is an Extra Ordinem. YES. Before I wasn't clear on why THIS PARTICULAR dead girl mattered to North, and now you've expressed it succinctly. This is also a great segue into EOs. EOs are the exclusive property of the Control, rooted out and imprisoned at a young age. In the post-Shutdown world, where the Control’s violent regime has all but eliminated genius, This reminds me of freaky Amazing Stories episode (or could have been a similar show) where kids took an IQ test when they were about 12, and only at the end of the episode do you realize the parents don't WANT their child to pass, because if you're too smart, you're euthanized. Anyway, just wanted to say bravo because it's a great idea worth "unpacking." an extraordinary talent is the ultimate commodity. It’s only because she and her father conceal her crazy camera brain that North is alive and free now. 

 

Not broken and victimized, like the dead girl. 

 

North literally can’t shake these graphic images from her mind, and when she sketches them on paper, questions pile up. How did an EO ever escape the Control? And why? North and her best friend Ranger feel compelled to seek answers. But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge, North is exposed, and her father is murdered by the Control. Now a target, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. North believes she has nothing left to lose until a vicious encounter ends with Ranger surrendering himself to protect her. This is all good! Now she must choose: either succumb to her grief in hiding, or sacrifice herself in a rescue mission to save her best friend. To fight past despair and survive forward motion, North will need a fierce strength that is beyond extraordinary— even for her. I think you stumble a bit on this last sentence. It's the first phrase I don't like. "Fight past despair" just sounds melodramatic, and you've already talked about potentially succumbing to grief in the preceding sentence, so it feels a bit repetitive. "Survive forward motion" just sounds odd to me. My reaction is "huh?"

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with sci-fi and romance elements, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. It will appeal to readers drawn to the intelligent aplomb This kind of comes across as patting yourself on the back: I have intelligent aplomb too! of Lisbeth Salander and the trauma-overcoming psyche I am not familiar with this author, but this phrase confuses me. I guess you're saying "a psyche capable of overcoming trauma"? I think it's clunky. of Jessica Jones, as well as anyone who appreciates diverse characters. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!


If I've helped you--or if you're simply bored--please comment on my query: http://agentquerycon...ction/?p=319871

 


#43 marisajane

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 08:02 PM

Thank you for your comments, elysezane! I might finally be getting somewhere :) In the passage below, Lisbeth Salander and Jessica Jones are actually characters, not authors- i'm trying a twist on the comp thing and comparing North directly to other fictional female protags. So it's not the author with the aplomb/psyche, it's those characters. Not sure if it's working tho.  

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with sci-fi and romance elements, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. North? will appeal to readers drawn to the intelligent aplomb This kind of comes across as patting yourself on the back: I have intelligent aplomb too! of Lisbeth Salander and the trauma-overcoming psyche I am not familiar with this author, but this phrase confuses me. I guess you're saying "a psyche capable of overcoming trauma"? I think it's clunky. of Jessica Jones, as well as anyone who appreciates diverse characters. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#44 elysezane

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 08:47 PM

In the passage below, Lisbeth Salander and Jessica Jones are actually characters, not authors- i'm trying a twist on the comp thing and comparing North directly to other fictional female protags. So it's not the author with the aplomb/psyche, it's those characters.

 

Oh! I apologize for my ignorance. I think the comps work then. Obviously you created North, but somehow complimenting her sounds less self-congratulatory.

 

Unlike me, your target agents should know who Lisbeth and Jessica are. But I still like it better if you say "North will appeal to..." The paragraph flows better and it's more concrete.


If I've helped you--or if you're simply bored--please comment on my query: http://agentquerycon...ction/?p=319871

 


#45 Mezzanine

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 10:46 AM

Thanks everyone! for all of your excellent feedback. This is a refocus/new direction prompted in part by your suggests. 

 

Draft #9 

 

Dear Ms Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like high-resolution cameras— but not even she can see a way to save her best friend. 

 

Besides, it’s her gift that got him abducted. Well, that.. plus her drawings of the dead blonde girl. 

 

Like the girl, North is an Extra Ordinem. EOs are the exclusive property of the Control, rooted out and imprisoned at a young age. In the post-Shutdown world, where the Control’s violent regime has all but eliminated genius, an extraordinary talent is the ultimate commodity. It’s only because she and her father conceal her crazy camera brain that North is alive and free now. 

 

Not broken and victimized, like the dead girl. 

 

 

North literally can’t shake these graphic images from her mind, and when she sketches them on paper, questions pile up. How did an EO ever escape the Control? And why? North and her best friend Ranger feel compelled to seek answers. But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge, North is exposed, and her father is murdered by the Control. Now a target, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. North believes she has nothing left to lose until a vicious encounter ends with Ranger surrendering himself to protect her. Now she must choose: either succumb to her grief in hiding, or sacrifice herself in a rescue mission to save her best friend. To fight past despair and survive forward motion, North will need a fierce strength that is beyond extraordinary— even for her. 

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA thriller with sci-fi and romance elements, is complete at 53,000 words and is book one of two. It will appeal to readers drawn to the intelligent aplomb of Lisbeth Salander and the trauma-overcoming psyche of Jessica Jones, as well as anyone who appreciates diverse characters. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

This makes it clearer to me why her talent is coveted. I think that helps draw out more of what the story is about. I’d change “conceal her crazy camera brain” to something more like “conceal her talent” as that reads better, to me.
 
Just a thought, but with vision and seeing being major themes, or at least appearing that way to me, I wonder if the title draws on that, or if it can be made to draw it out more. I don’t know that it’s something to do in the query, but I also wondered if seeing and vision became a major symbol in the book. It seems like it could be very rich with meaning and as a venue for indirect social commentary.
 
Hope this helps! Good luck!
 


#46 marisajane

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 06:09 PM

 

This makes it clearer to me why her talent is coveted. Yay! Yes this version feels more clear to me too. I think that helps draw out more of what the story is about. I’d change “conceal her crazy camera brain” to something more like “conceal her talent” as that reads better, to me. 
 
Just a thought, but with vision and seeing being major themes, or at least appearing that way to me, I wonder if the title draws on that, or if it can be made to draw it out more. I don’t know that it’s something to do in the query, but I also wondered if seeing and vision became a major symbol in the book. It seems like it could be very rich with meaning and as a venue for indirect social commentary. Definitely! So the title TRUE NORTH obviously (well, i hope obviously) plays with both my protagonist's name and her journey toward finding her greater/deeper direction. Since it's a series, i'm leaving myself open to the idea of a longer title for each of the 2 books, like- TRUE NORTH: CRAZY CAMERA BRAIN - that one's a joke, but this is the idea.
 
And yes! seeing/vision/image capture is a built in thru-line that does parallel heavier, real life social themes. Using this in a title could totally work! :) 
 
Hope this helps! Good luck! Thank you!
 

 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#47 marisajane

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 08:59 PM

Hello all! Thank you as always for your input. I do believe this is my final draft, but feel free to drop off suggestions. 

 

Dear Ms Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like high-resolution cameras— but not even she can see a way to save her best friend. 

 

Besides, it’s her gift that got him abducted. Well, that.. plus her drawings of the dead blonde girl. 

 

Like the girl, North is an Extra Ordinem. EOs are the exclusive property of the Control, rooted out and imprisoned at a young age. In the post-Shutdown world, where the Control’s violent regime has all but eliminated genius, an extraordinary talent is the ultimate commodity. It’s only because she and her father conceal her crazy camera brain that North is alive and free now. 

 

As opposed to broken and victimized, like the dead girl. 

 

North literally can’t shake these graphic images from her mind, and when she sketches them on paper, questions pile up. How did an EO ever escape the Control? And why? North and her best friend Ranger feel compelled to seek answers. But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge, North is exposed, and her father is murdered by the Control. Now a target, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. North believes she has nothing left to lose until a vicious encounter ends with Ranger surrendering himself to protect her. Now she must choose: either succumb to her grief in hiding, or sacrifice herself in a rescue mission to save her best friend. To propel herself away from despair and into forward motion, North will need a fierce strength that is beyond extraordinary— even for her. 

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA novel with both sci-fi and romance elements as well diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words with series potential. North will appeal to readers drawn to the trauma-overcoming drive of Jessica Jones and the deep determination of mythological Psyche. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250


#48 Mezzanine

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:47 AM

I think this is good to go. I wish you the best of luck!



#49 Cinder Elly

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 05:24 PM

This is leaps and bounds ahead of where you started! I really get a sense of her ability and how it plays into the world around her in this one. 



#50 jbodd

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 07:00 PM

Great work! Love this version! Can't wait to see it out there in book stores. Best of luck to you!


JBodd ~

 

If you have time, please take a look at my first paragraphs, Cleaning House  http://agentquerycon...market-fiction/

 

Or my title hunt [http://agentquerycon...omething-else/]


#51 wildworks

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 11:50 AM

Dear Ms Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like high-resolution cameras— but not even she can see a way to save her best friend. 

 

Besides, it’s her gift that got him abducted. Well, that.. plus her drawings of the dead blonde girl. 

 

Like the girl, North is an Extra Ordinem. EOs are the exclusive property of the Control, rooted out and imprisoned at a young age. In the post-Shutdown world, where the Control’s violent regime has all but eliminated genius, an extraordinary talent is the ultimate commodity. It’s only because she and her father conceal her crazy camera brain that North is alive and free now. 

 

As opposed to Not broken and victimized, like the dead girl. 

 

North literally can’t shake these graphic images this girl from her mind, and when she sketches them the scene on paper, questions pile up. How did an EO ever escape the Control? And why? (Asking questions in a query is dangerous territory. Tread lightly.) North and her best friend Ranger feel compelled to seek answers. But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge, North is exposed, and her father is murdered by the Control. Now a target, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. North believes she has nothing left to lose until a vicious (Is there a more specific way you can describe this encounter? Like the events surounding it or how it came about.) encounter ends with Ranger surrendering himself to protect her. Now she must choose: either succumb to her grief in hiding, or sacrifice herself in a rescue mission to save her best friend. To propel herself away from despair and into forward motion, North will need a fierce strength that is beyond extraordinary— even for her. 

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA novel with both sci-fi and romance elements as well diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words with series potential. North will appeal to readers drawn to the trauma-overcoming drive of Jessica Jones and the deep determination of mythological Psyche. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

Just a few nitpicks, but overall, nicly polished.

Hope this helps.



#52 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 03:32 PM

Lookin' good... :)


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#53 Gibber

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 05:50 PM

 

Hello all! Thank you as always for your input. I do believe this is my final draft, but feel free to drop off suggestions. 

 

Dear Ms Agent, 

 

Seventeen-year-old North McNeil was born with eyes like high-resolution cameras— but not even she can see a way to save her best friend. (So she's a cyborg? Does this mean she has really good vision or an eidetic memory?)

 

Besides, it’s her gift that got him abducted. (Why?) Well, that.. plus her drawings of the dead blonde girl. 

 

Like the girl, North is an Extra Ordinem. EOs are the exclusive property of the Control (What's the control and why is it capitalized?), rooted out and imprisoned at a young age (Where? Why?). In the post-Shutdown  world (What's that mean? It's a bad idea to throw nouns at us without explaining them. Makes it confusing.), where the Control’s violent regime (Is this some kind of global government? What makes them violent, as in, show us this violence.) has all but eliminated genius (Wait, what? How? And why would anyone do that?), an extraordinary talent is the ultimate commodity. (Why?) It’s only because she and her father conceal her crazy camera brain that North is alive and free now. (This phrasing sounds awkward.)

 

As opposed to broken and victimized, like the dead girl. 

 

North literally can’t shake these graphic images from her mind, and when she sketches them on paper, questions pile up. (Why is she drawing the girl? Seems like a risky move if she's trying to keep hidden.) How did an EO ever escape the Control? (How does she know the girl escaped?) And why? (You've made it sound like a Very Bad Thing to be taken, so why would she be questioning an escape?) North and her best friend Ranger feel compelled to seek answers. But just as the dangerous truth begins to emerge, North is exposed, and her father is murdered by the Control. Now a target, she is forced out on the run with Ranger by her side. North believes she has nothing left to lose until a vicious encounter ends with Ranger surrendering himself to protect her. Now she must choose: either succumb to her grief in hiding, or sacrifice herself in a rescue mission to save her best friend. (This isn't so much about this query as the general trend, but why must she sacrifice herself? Why can't she just risk herself trying to get her friend back? It's such a pessimistic outlook going in and it irritates me. Why can't she go in knowing the danger, but trying to win anyway? I get sick of seeing the female characters (and it's usually the female ones) with such a passive, defeatist attitude. Again, not so much in this query, but do you have to use that trope? You mention Jessica Jones below, and one of the things I loved about that series was she went in not like I was afraid she would, "Oh, I must re-enter his clutches to save others" but to take that sonnuva bitch down. See the difference?) To propel herself away from despair and into forward motion, North will need a fierce strength that is beyond extraordinary— even for her. 

 

TRUE NORTH, a dark YA novel with both sci-fi and romance elements as well diverse characters, is complete at 53,000 words (That sounds a bit short.) with series potential. North will appeal to readers drawn to the trauma-overcoming drive of Jessica Jones and the deep determination of mythological Psyche. My background as a feminist multimedia artist has helped shape this story.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

I didn't mean to sound harsh. This story sounds like it has a lot of potential, but there were a lot of proper nouns tossed in there with no explanation.



#54 marisajane

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 09:35 PM

(This isn't so much about this query as the general trend, but why must she sacrifice herself? Why can't she just risk herself trying to get her friend back? It's such a pessimistic outlook going in and it irritates me. Why can't she go in knowing the danger, but trying to win anyway? I get sick of seeing the female characters (and it's usually the female ones) with such a passive, defeatist attitude. Again, not so much in this query, but do you have to use that trope? You mention Jessica Jones below, and one of the things I loved about that series was she went in not like I was afraid she would, "Oh, I must re-enter his clutches to save others" but to take that sonnuva bitch down. See the difference?)

 

Hey Gibbler, thanks for your input!

 

I agree- your issue isn't so much about this query, but here's to sounding off. In the interest of being clear, there's nothing passive or defeatist about my character North. I believe we're seeing/defining self-sacrifice differently.

 

Also I'm wondering if we saw the same JJ, as your view on her character motivation seems super black and white- this not that- and I found it anything but. As a metaphor for an abusive relationship, I feel it works precisely because of the grey area. 


TRUE NORTH ​query

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES 250






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