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The Sum of Who We Are

Young Adult Science Fiction Fiction

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#61 jaustail

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:02 AM

JMO:

 

 

Until she got sexually assaulted by her uncle, nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. (maybe start in chronological order. First mention what she was and then introduce the rape)(maybe describe the uncle, was he Riley's favorite uncle, was he a wife beater, did he just come out of jail?)

 

After the(The) trauma from her rape causes her to tank her relationship, (and) Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two form a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in a tragedy(this is vague. maybe give a small hint. jmo) that inspired her to create the device, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she has to decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.

 

 

JMO:

 

Why did she not use the memory erasing device right after she was raped? Who stopped her? I guess it was experimental and wasn't ready but still there would be a temptation to make the device ready asap.

Why does she leave college? Are the people judging her? Does she feel suffocated with the sympathy she gets?


JUPITER'S AMBITION

Revised on Post#70

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#62 eric balson

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:17 PM

Until she got sexually assaulted by her uncle, nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device.

 

After the trauma from her rape causes her relationship to tank, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two form a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s suicide, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she has to decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.



#63 BCVail

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:04 PM

Until she got sexually assaulted by her uncle, nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. (I might find a way to end this with the sexual assault bit so it ends with an unexpected punch)

 

After the trauma from her rape causes her to tank her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two form a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in a tragedy that inspired her to create the device (the tragedy is pretty vague, any way to elaborate?), Riley feels betrayed again. Now she has to decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity.

 

If she can wipe her own memory, why wouldn't she wipe her memory clean of her Uncle's assault in the first place? Is the machine to hard to control precisely?

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.

 

​Nice concept. This reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

 

 

If you have a moment, I'd appreciate another set of eyes on my query. You can find the link here. Thank you.



#64 dizzywriter

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:49 PM

Thank you for your input on mine. Yuo posted your crit before I put up the newest revision.\ Take a look if you can.

 

 

Until she got sexually assaulted by her uncle, [Mention Riley first]. nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was [make it present tense.] lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and [spearheaded, or some active verb] was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device [after her brother's suicide] [Obviously it's not all roses with Riley if her brother is dead, even before the rape.]

 

[Then, her uncle rapes her.] After the trauma from her rape causes her relationship to tank [ cliche and vague], Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves [stronger word: abandons, quits, drops out] college and takes up a tutoring position at [to tutor] a music class. There, she is assigned to [too passive] eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark [too vague. how does she do this?], the two form [form?] a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s suicide, Riley feels betrayed again. [That seems like an overreaction to me, unless what he did was really nasty. Be more specific]. Now she has to decide whether to use [the experimental memory eraser]to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase [don't use erase twice in the sentence, if you refer to the eraser device earlier in this sentence] here her entire identity. [Good stakes, but too wordy. You can streamline it a lot]

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.

I hope that helps. I think it has good potential. Keep at it.



#65 dogsbody

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:53 PM

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.

 

This isn't comparable to More Happy Than Not -- this sounds almost exactly like More Happy Than Not. At least in the particulars: romantic turmoil leads to A Big Decision involving a memory-altering device.

 

You mention more individual ideas like Riley's abuse and her brother's suicide, but only in how they bring about the romantic turmoil, not how they otherwise affect the plot and make it your own. In fact I'd go as far as to say your book suffers in comparison since More Happy Than Not takes the chance of depicting a main homosexual relationship, while yours appears (of course I don't know for sure, but looking at this version of your query, it's possible) to uphold a really wince-worthy trope where female characters are bisexual, and it's cool and "daring," but they ultimately end up with men. (Note: which is not about the valid identity of bisexual women who date or marry men. But when it's almost exclusively how bisexual women are depicted, it's a problem. Especially if the relationship with the girl is used to showcase how much "better" the relationship with the guy is.)

 

Do I have it all wrong? Great! But then I'd really recommend a version of your query which shows how unique and not-tropeworthy your book is, or you might run the risk of a lot of agents going "this book is basically on the market already, only the published version is a lot more innovative." 



#66 Erevos

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Posted Yesterday, 01:57 PM

Hello eric and thank you for taking a look at my query!

I'm a bit late to the party, so I'll only look at this draft! If need be, I can check some of the previous as well.

 

 

Until she got sexually assaulted by her uncle, nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device.

 

My quick review: Nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device - until she was raped by her uncle.

 

I believe it gives more punch to your hook. You start with who she is and end with the tragic event.

 

After the trauma from her rape causes her relationship to tank, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. Great!

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two form a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s suicide, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she has to decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. 2. things: 1 Luke's involvement is definitely strong, but in the query this doesn't really sounds as such. Is it possible to mention more? If you don't want to, then keep it as it. I think with a bit of rewording it can work. A question. Does the device have any impact on her life after tha rape or it is mentioned only when Luke's involvement comes to light? 2. The stakes....ahhhh the stakes. Do the stakes you have work? Yes. Either live with all the painful memories, or wipe them out and erase her identity. But if you can offer something stronger than that, why not do so. I know, you may not want to delve deeper into the story or perhaps you don't want to spoil stuff, but something with a bit more passion could definitely do wonders here. Perhaps a bit of rewording? You know it can do wonders. It is a really short query, so you have space to expand more!

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#67 Iconian

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Posted Yesterday, 10:42 PM

Until she got [was] sexually assaulted by her uncle, nineteen-year-old Riley had it all figured out: she was lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and was one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device.

 

But after the trauma from her rape causes her relationship to tank, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two form a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s suicide, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she has to decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 64,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. It will appeal to fans of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.

 

 

I don't know.  I think the query is pretty bare bones.  If I was an agent, I think I might just pass due to there not being enough of the story.  And like I said in my previous critique, the final sentence about Riley erasing her memory still doesn't carry all that much weight.  I mean, I don't feel like I know nearly enough about Riley to care about whether she wants to erase her memory.  Not from this query.

 

But on the other hand, 64,000 words might just be low enough that those issues won't matter much.  If there's not really a whole lot to the book itself, and your query reflects that . . . who knows?  But my own feeling is that there's just not enough of a query here.


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#68 dizzywriter

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Posted Today, 10:46 AM

Geez. I wrote an entire critique, complete with line editing, and AQ ate it. Overall, I liked it but agree with the other comments. I think Riley is the most compelling story line for the query. I thought mention of the suicide should be included with introduction of the memory eraser. Also, the back story on how cool and collected Riley is doesn't make sense since she's got this suicide story in the background. Maybe "seemingly" self-assured?







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