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The Sum of Who We Are

Young Adult Science Fiction Fiction

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#81 Dharshaini

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:51 AM

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then her uncle sexually assaults her. How about: 'Just when nineteen-year-old Riley has it all figured out, her uncle sexually assaults her.' I think the other aspects of your hook can come in the paragraph after. Like: 'She had just come to terms with her brother's suicide. She was the lead singer of a band, was dating the perfect girl and was one of the brains behind her university's experimental memory-erasing device. But the trauma from her rape turns her world upside down. (Or something like) Your original hook is good - but I agree with others that it feels too long. 

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks 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 start a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again I think another word other than 'betrayed' might be better - like 'horrified' maybe. Now she must decide whether to use the device to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories This comes across as quite abrupt to me - maybe before it, you could add a sentence about her desperation to forget everything, even though it could erase her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

(Okay, so I've been getting a lot of comments about my hook being too long. It's just that all the pieces of info that constitute are relevant. The piece on her being lead singer of her band explains why she's qualified to guide Luke, the part about her dating the perfect girl reveals her sexuality, and the part about her "being one of the brains.." introduces the concept of the memory-erasing device. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it succinct.)

 

The story looks good and Riley's character seems very interesting. Thank you for your feedback too! Good luck!  



#82 zjarm

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:57 PM

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, (You've got a parallelism issue here. Just drop "is" in and you're fine. "is lead singer, is dating, and is one") dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then her uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship Is it the trauma or her reaction to the trauma? This is an opportunity to show me Riley. What does she do that tanks the relationship? It can even be a construction just as short as what you have here. I don't know the story, obviously, but it could be something like "No longer capable of intimacy, Riley's relationship tanks. Just a thought., Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up (This is, of course, stylistic, but "takes up" feels like a weak construction to me. I wonder if there's a stronger way to put it. Accepts? I don't know. You'll come up with something brilliant. a tutoring position at a music class At a class? In my experience, tutors are hired at schools or centers, not individual classes.. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. Why would a savant need a tutor? Is it to break the block? If it is, maybe just start there.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting reignites his Luke's creative spark, the two start a romance Wasn't she dating a girl? Bi characters are cool, and good in this market, but this feels like a big moment for this character. Is it? If so, you might want to highlight more than a sort of throwaway. If it's not a turning point for Riley, don't. You might be able to cut some material from the beginning then to focus more on whatever the driving force is in this novel. . But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death which is?, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she must decide whether to use the device the device? what device? 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 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request. In my experience, this line is unnecessary. Of course it's available. That's why you're writing. I don't think it will hurt you, except with maybe the most easily irritable ag, but you could save a few words.

 

(Okay, so I've been getting a lot of comments about my hook being too long. Ignore them. If it's a good hook, length doesn't matter whether it's 50 words or 3. Just make sure it's engaging and does what you want. It's just that all the pieces of info that constitute are relevant. The piece on her being lead singer of her band explains why she's qualified to guide Luke, the part about her dating the perfect girl reveals her sexuality, and the part about her "being one of the brains.." introduces the concept of the memory-erasing device. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it succinct.)

I guess I have two main thoughts reading this. First, you toss in the memory-erasing device right at the very end and then say there are sci-fi elements. It feels like a bigger part of the narrative. Should there be more explanation or emphasis on this concept's existence even? I don't know. Which leads me to two. The impression I get when I finish is that I've just read a lot of plot details. I don't know what the main impetus is. Is it the rape? The broken relationship? The relationship with Luke? The memory-eraser? They are all crucial, I am sure, and interconnected. But for a query, I want the highlights. What is the main thing for Riley? The details I can get when I read the synopsis. If you can boil that down and come to the core of your novel, I think you'll be able to really be able to bring out more of that live language and engagement I catch brilliant glimpses of in here.

 

Bottom line, awesome story concept. I'd have read it in college/hs (probably still would). Thanks for critiquing mine. I'll get a second edition soon; I hope you check it out.



#83 Faegheh

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:39 AM

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then her uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks 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 start a romance. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she must decide whether to use the device 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 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

(Okay, so I've been getting a lot of comments about my hook being too long. It's just that all the pieces of info that constitute are relevant. The piece on her being lead singer of her band explains why she's qualified to guide Luke, the part about her dating the perfect girl reveals her sexuality, and the part about her "being one of the brains.." introduces the concept of the memory-erasing device. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it succinct.)

There is this question that why she didn't use it when she was sexually assaulted. And you say she's learned to get along with her brother's suicide and then she finds out that Luke is somehow involved in his death. Tell us more about these parts. I want to know what's more important than her being raped that she is thinking about using the device now. Something to make me think this a tough choice.

 

About your hook, I think it's good. You might write something even better later but honestly, I have no suggestions.

Thanks for critiquing my query and good luck :)



#84 Vio Liddell

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:15 PM

Hi! Returning the favor.

 

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Until her uncle sexually assaults her. Good hook.

 

When the trauma from her rape drives 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 start a romance. I second Kene's suggestion: "a romance blossoms" maybe? The phrasing is a bit impersonal as it is. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again (again? The first betrayal came from her uncle when he sexually assaulted her then? Was she particularly close to this uncle?). Now she must decide whether to use the device (I agree that mentioning the device here is jarring. You mention it in your hook but you don't come back to it through the entire query.. For a second I wondered what you were referring to) to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. I see what you mean by that. Good stakes.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

(Okay, so I've been getting a lot of comments about my hook being too long. It's just that all the pieces of info that constitute are relevant. The piece on her being lead singer of her band explains why she's qualified to guide Luke, the part about her dating the perfect girl reveals her sexuality, and the part about her "being one of the brains.." introduces the concept of the memory-erasing device. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it succinct.)

 

I just think the writing is a bit bland. Could we have more of Riley's voice coming through? Apart from that, I don't have much to nitpick about. Your query is in good shape. You could just expand a bit more on Riley and Luke's relationship in the light of Riley's background and personality, and the memory-erasing device (you have enough room left for that :wink:) And Riley seems to be a very interesting MC.

 

Good luck!



#85 smithgirl

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:00 AM

FYI, I didn't read your earlier drafts.

 

 

 

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has her life together it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then  she's sexually assaulted by her uncle.

 

 

 I would asuggest substituting raped for sexually assaulted, because to me it has more impact and makes the sentence tighter. Of course it's your call, and I see you use it in the sentence below.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and gets takes up a tutoring position in 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 start a romance. Wasn't she dating a girl before? So she dates boys and girls? That's fine but confusing in such a short query. You could avoid the confusion by amending the opening of your query to something like "has the perfect relationship." But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. How is he involved in the death? Now she must decide whether to use the device to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. Good stakes.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

I think your query is good overall: it is concise and clearly states the narrative. I just had a few small comments. Could you please look at my query when you can? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...our-query-also/



#86 MICRONESIA

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:43 AM

Thanks for looking at my query. Sorry for the delay -- I took a break for a month.

 

 

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then her uncle sexually assaults her. Whoa!

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks 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. There is A LOT here. But so far, I'm still following. Nice job!

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two start a romance. "Start a romance" could be better worded. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. Now she must decide whether to use the device 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 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

 

Neat idea. Very "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But man. There is a LOT here. "Memory erasing device" is kinda fun and sci-fi, but the sexual assaults and suicide put it in a very dark realm. Maybe I'm just wondering... aloud?... that maybe you don't include the sexual assault in the query. It borders on being too much for such a small amount of space. Though I was able to follow this query well (nice brevity, by the way), it almost feel like too much information is crammed into here. Overall, though, I think this is a strong query -- though I could see some agents scratching their heads at the end!



#87 eric balson

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 02:32 PM

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a tutor at a music school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must 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 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.



#88 JP1994

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:41 PM

Thanks for your critique. Repaying the favour, as requested:

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her. (The hook was strong until this last line. It's too short and leaves the whole thing dangling off the edge of a cliff. I'd expand with something like, "At least until the night her favourite uncle runs his fingers up her skirt.")

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, (Explain this point a little more. It'd make Riley easier to sympathise with) Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls (enrols) as a tutor at a music school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. (I feel you're telling too much here. You don't need to go into excruciating detail, but do exemplify what sparks their romance and how Luke caused her brother's death. These developments sound important, so the writing needs to do them justice.) She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. (How does she still have the memory device? Didn't she leave her university? Did she take it with her?)

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, (That we see very little of in the query) told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

A bit of the story is unclear, and what is clear is hurt by a lot of telling over showing. This needs more drama, more fire, more emotion; and the science-fiction needs a bit more of the spotlight, too.

 

If I were you, I'd go nuts and add another fifty words of detail, then trim what you feel is superfluous.



#89 smithgirl

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:49 AM

After years processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then her uncle sexually assaults her. I think you hook is OK.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and takes up a tutoring position at a music class. There no comma she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. I think this paragraph is OK, too.

 

As Riley aids Luke in reigniting his creative spark, the two start a romance. This is OK. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. This is where I'd like more information. Now she must decide whether to use the device to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. This paragraph seems too short. Your query is so short, I would recommend filling this last part out a bit. Could you give us some information about how Luke is related to to her brother's death without a bit spoiler?

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 65,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

​Overall, I think your query is clear. I just feel like the last paragraph is abrupt, and that you could smooth it out and make it someone longer. At the same time, you have a lot of revisions already. At some point, you just have to try it, because I do think that it conveys the essential elements of your story. Good luck.



#90 Arcanjoe

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:52 PM

Here returning your helpful crit.

 

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her. (Impactful hook.)

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a tutor at a music school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. (

 

As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms. (The first sentence of this para could be added on to the second para, making the first sentence of the third para a big twist and therefore more intriguing.) But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could erase her entire identity. (There is too much telling in this paragraph. It seems like you're hitting the major plot points without giving me quite enough for me to feel enticed. I agree with previous posters: your query is short enough that you can add more information without it becoming too bogged down.)

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

I remember looking over this query a while ago and thinking it was a very interesting premise. I think you've trimmed the query down to the absolute bones here, which is fine, but now you need to flesh it out again. The hook is solid and I do think the choice of dealing with the pain or ridding herself of it once and for all is compelling. But adding a line or two to the second para will add a little extra to this query. I hope this has helped! 


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

A Life in Colour:

http://agentquerycon...g-contemporary/

 


#91 dragoness

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 05:31 AM

Hi, I've been on a long vacation lately, so I missed some of your versions, but now I'm here again  :smile: .

 

This version is written very good, IMO :Woah!: The only problem I can see here is that there are too many disasters happening in too few sentences. Unfortunately it's realistic, but it's not customary in books, especially not in YA, so I'm afraid agents might have a problem with it. I think you better omit the uncle, and make it's influence more foggy.

 

How about:

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then she's being attacked a close uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a tutor at a music school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death.

 

As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms. But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must 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 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

You're almost there  :smile: .

 

Would you like to look at my new version? http://agentquerycon...que/?hl=empress

 

Thanks.



#92 eric balson

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:46 AM

I'M STUCK BETWEEN THESE TWO VERSIONS. WHICH DO YOU THINK IS BETTER?

 

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close, for the second time. Now Riley must 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 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

OR THIS:

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She suspends her involvement with the device when she leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke convinced her brother to kill himself, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close, for the second time. Now Riley must 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 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.



#93 dragoness

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:57 AM

I think the first version is definitely better.

 

It's more detailed and interesting, and less darker, IMO.

 

Two tiny technical comments:

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s (I think you better use "mother's" instead of "mom's". It's not his POV, and "mom" sound childish, IMO) death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. She turns to the device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close , (there shouldn't be any comma here. The comma makes the "second time" refer to her turning to the device, not to her being hurt.) for the second time. Now Riley must 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 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

It's very good! Good luck with it!

 

Thanks for commenting on my query  :smile: .



#94 egavin

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:14 PM

I vote for the first one.

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle sexually assaults her. I think you should go with "Then her uncle rapes her" or something. Short and blunt.

 

When the trauma from her rape tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mom’s death. Yeah, I think "mother" seems to work better.As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley feels betrayed again. <You could probably punch this up somehow. "Feels betrayed" doesn't seem to adequately capture how awful her experiences have been. She turns to the memory (I was a little confused by what the device was until the next sentence) device, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close, for the second time. Now, Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could This is probably kinda nitpicky, but to me "even though" suggests that she's already decided to go through with it. "At risk of erasing her identity" might be better? erase her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

 

I think you're almost there!



#95 eric balson

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 02:28 PM

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her.

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.



#96 otto

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 05:06 PM

Hi! I love this newest query. 

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her. <--This still feels "off" to me but better than before. )

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Congrates on a solid query! Best of luck on your endeavors. 



#97 jaustail

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:22 AM

JMO:

 

 

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then(replace 'then' with 'until' makes a smoother transition) a close uncle rapes her. (maybe build up like: until a close uncle locks her bedroom door, wears a sly grin, and rapes her... or until a close uncle, under the pretext of teaching her driving, takes her to an isolated spot and rapes her... as in make the reader fear what Riley fears when realizes the uncle's intentions)

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship(maybe describe how. does the perfect girl not like Riley now? Does Riley not want any people around?), Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser(why did she not think of this after she was raped?), unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether('whether' made me think there is some 'or' element to this sentence) to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity.(how does she know this? have the two traumatic incidents brought some positive to her personality? why would anyone not want to erase such memories? does someone tell her that using the memory-eraser device will alter her personality? but this is a minor nitpick. can be ignored.)

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.(remove this. it's assumed the book is available upon request)(maybe add comparison titles)

 

 

This is a clear query. Nicely written. Flows smoothly. Not many suggestions. Sounds like a quick read. Good luck.


Query: WALL OF ICE

(Space Opera)

Revised version: Link


#98 C. C. Carroll

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:45 AM

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her.

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Sounds like you've got it! Congrats!



#99 Jonas

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:20 PM

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her.

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity.

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

I am doing this on your request. I can't write queries, so don't take my opinion. I know, I know queries are supposed to be direct but this is direct. Rape sentence and romance blossoms to me is to direct and turns me off. This is why I can't write these, so don't take my opinion. Good luck and based on everyone's opinion, you are doing awesome!



#100 Chloe Kleine

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    Do please take a look at my new query : RED MOON

Posted Today, 08:00 PM

Hi Eric,

Thanks for critiquing my query a few days ago. I'm returning the favour!

I've read your latest draft fresh without referring to the previous drafts.

Chloe :-)

 

 

After years spent processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her. This is a nice hook (but maybe sets us up in the wrong direction - see below). 

 

When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. Wow. A lot just happened. I would have thought Riley's relationship break-up, and dealing with the trauma of the rape would fill at least half a book.. She's given up her university research project too? That was decisive and all happened very quickly. There, she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms. So soon after the last one fell apart. Isn't she still suffering from the trauma of the rape? Meanwhile do we assume she is bisexual? And she has a creative spark as well as being a science student. There's a lot going on here. 

 

But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, (freaky coincidence - maybe a bit too freaky) Riley is devastated again. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity. I assume the memory eraser is still at prototype stage, and Riley has exclusive access to it. So the big stake is - does she use it on herself?  That's a nice interesting stake (aside: memory erasing is not a new concept, so you need to show how your story is unique - that hasn't come across yet in the query)

 

THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. If Luke is a main character, you may want to introduce him earlier on in the query (but keep the query in the POV of Riley). The way you've built this query gives too much emphasis on Riley's first relationship, which you may want to pare down. You've also set up the rape as a driving factor. We'd expect to read about the trauma of the rape in the first half of the book, but it seems that's not the main story. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

 

I'd like to see a bit more about Luke, and how he is coincidentally connected to Riley's brother's death. At the moment it is too coincidental, and would put me off. I'd also like to see how this story of memory erasing is different from all the others.


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 






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