Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Project: DIVE (Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction)


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#1 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:11 PM

Click Here for Latest Revision.

 

Version #1

Clementine lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk?

Maybe her life.

Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, build once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin. Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to actually live.

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality a hundred years ago—alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why.

Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth. Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else.

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204-word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.

Attached Files


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#2 punitrastogi

punitrastogi

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 244 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationAsia
  • Publishing Experience:Ready with the first draft of my first book

Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:41 AM

One quick feedback - The structure of the sentences is not engaging. Too much emphasis is given for the term at the end of most of the sentences. Because it is too frequent, this pattern disturbs the flow and the surprise element where it is actually necessary.

 

The details are below:

Clementine Hawk lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel her our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. (Continue it as a narration. Something like "Not very long ago, it used to take humans just a plane ticket and maybe some turbulence")For Clementine Hawk? (Removed line breaks.) Maybe her life.

Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, buildt once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin (How or why? Also was the construction preemptive or reactive?). Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape(from what?)? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

Every day, bBetween the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerses her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game (I think the association of DIVE with the game needs to be made. Also, I think the emotion of escaping her reality needs to be come across a bit better) with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to be real actually live (Too many commas).

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving that gave humans immortality a hundred years ago—alters her physiology— (Too many hyphens) making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why. (If she is not wondering "how" he did it, the reader/agent shouldn't be made to either)

Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray (why? would "abandon" be the right word?) loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth (Need rephrasing). Although the uninhabitable atmosphere (Of earth or the underground city?) could no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try Like the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start (I think you mean the people who could not escape the last days of Earth. The sentence is pretty confusing either way)—if you one could call them ‘people.’

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only takes on the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy . The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else. (The last two paragraphs have me lost and confused. Even if there is a philosophical backdrop to the story, the last sentence needs a lot of rewriting for it to come across smoothly. Right now it is too vague and makes no sense to me.)

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204-word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality. (Not sure if the satire or the humor is required. It also breaks the mood set by the rest of the text.)

 

I apologize if I could not get the rationale behind the way the query has been written.

 

I believe that the tone of the query should be consistent.

If you are intending to showcase it as a a sci-fi/dystopian adventure, it should remain so.

If you want to emphasize on the philosophical aspect, that should be highlighted througout the content, and not just at the very end.

 

It is a tough call to make, but that is what your target agent would look at when he decides who to sell your book to.

 

Hope I was of some help. :)



#3 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:53 AM

One quick feedback - The structure of the sentences is not engaging. Too much emphasis is given for the term at the end of most of the sentences. Because it is too frequent, this pattern disturbs the flow and the surprise element where it is actually necessary.
 
The details are below:

 
I apologize if I could not get the rationale behind the way the query has been written.
 
I believe that the tone of the query should be consistent.
If you are intending to showcase it as a a sci-fi/dystopian adventure, it should remain so.
If you want to emphasize on the philosophical aspect, that should be highlighted througout the content, and not just at the very end.
 
It is a tough call to make, but that is what your target agent would look at when he decides who to sell your book to.
 
Hope I was of some help. :)


Awesome. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time diving into the details. It does have plenty of adventure in it, but I like to add philosophical elements to all my work. Can't imagine it any other way. I was worried about the clarity of the story, and you really helped sum up the confusing bits. I'll work on it accordingly. Thank you.

Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#4 Cez

Cez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 225 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationAfrica
  • Publishing Experience:Queried and querying.

Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:57 AM

Firstly, I love the cover. I have a weakness for beautiful covers and yours would definitely catch me.

I'm open to critique from anyone. Any advice and comments would be highly appreciated. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Attached to this post is also a cover idea. Open to know your thoughts about that too.


Clementine lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk?

Maybe her life.
 I suggest you cut these lines and start with a strong hook. Something like:  (age) Clementine Hawk lives so-many-thousnad miles under the surface of the earth.

Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, protecting humans from a destroyed world. build once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin. Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. -I really like these lines, but you may think of cutting them if your query is too long. Her only escape? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to actually live. I suggest you condense ths paragraph and explain a bit more about this game. Suggestion: Clementine's only escape from her dreary/awful/boring/caged/... life, is a game called DIVE. (what exactly is this game like?)

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality if humans are immortal, I suggest you mention it in one of the first paragraphs a hundred years ago—alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. -This confused me. Do you mean he made the air unbreathable to her? What did he change about her. Can you give a bit more detail here? The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why. 

Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth. I suggest you rephrase this and give more details. So she flees to the surface? How does this betray her loved ones? Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could can no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Great line! Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside  I suggest you change this or add something: as Clementine struggles to survive/learns to survive in the hostile world she comes to realize the corruption of her former home...,  but realizes the corruption of her former world can you give more detail here. What kind of corruption? —and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else. I feel controversial about this last line. There's something very catchy about it, though it's a bit vague. I can't decide whether to say "keep it at all cost" or "write a new one".  Your choice.

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204-word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.

 I think what you need most is to condense, you give too much detail in some places, and too little in others.

Good luck with your revisions.



#5 RosieSkye

RosieSkye

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 724 posts
  • Literary Status:agented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:09 PM

I'm open to critique from anyone. Any advice and comments would be highly appreciated. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Attached to this post is also a cover idea. Open to know your thoughts about that too.


Clementine lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk?

Maybe her life.


Her (Age) Clementine's 'world' is a subterranean megacity, build once as a safe-haven the second after the world fell to ruin. Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape from steel and caves (or something like that)? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, DIVE allows Clementine can to fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, (More info here - what kind of game?)  and for a while, believing it enough to actually live.

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality a hundred years ago—uses the game to alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. (This sounds like a key plot point, but you need more info - how exactly does he alter her physiology?) The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why.

Knowing she’d she'll die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike (Who does she betray, and how?), all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could can: Earth. Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could can no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist (Why an anarchist? More detail needed here.), Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else. (You've kind of lost me with all of this philosophical stuff at the end here. What does she actually DO once she's up top?  I'm picturing her fighting zombies or whatever the remaining people are (although how, I don't know.  How is she able to survive alone in a hostile world?)  And if everybody is stuck below ground, why do they care what she's up to?  Does she travel back down below again?  I'm not really sure where your story is going at this point.)

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204 115,000-word dystopian novel (I've heard that some agents are auto-rejecting anything labelled "dystopian" at this point. You might just want to say science fiction), serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.

 

 

Your query contains far too much information in some places - ice skating, sunbathing, fern porridge - and is lacking in the areas where you need to spell things out.  It seems like everything before Clementine goes to the surface is setup, and you need to detail what happens in your story AFTER she gets up there.

 

Good luck!



#6 RobynJC

RobynJC

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS South
  • Publishing Experience:Only in professional type journals

Posted 22 February 2017 - 07:26 AM

Clementine lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk? 

Maybe her life.

 

I like the punchline here, but it takes a tiny bit too long to get there and the three examples are a little generic.  Maybe ONE example that's really unique - ONE thing that she wants more than anything in the world. (I'm picturing an Ariel the mermaid song here.)

Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, build once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin. Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

 

I think the idea of the book is cool, but there's a lot of world building really early on here, and the writing is a bit stiff. And if the world fell to ruin, why does she want to go out there? That's a little confusing. 

Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to actually live.

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality a hundred years ago—alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why. 

 

This is feeling like a lot of backstory. I think it could be simpler. Protagonist, stakes, conflict, escalate.  We're getting SO MUCH detail into the history and the world, it's feeling less like being immersed in a story, and more trying to integrate a ton of information.

Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth. Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’

 

She betrays her friends and loved ones -- why? I'm not clear. Was she going to die if she stayed? So why is it a betrayal to leave? What did she do? Unanswered questions are good, but confusing questions might not be, and I'm feeling kind of confused.

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else.

 

I'm still confused. What if you made the query about the moment she stepped out into the new world for the first time? Don't give away so much mystery in the query, because it raises too many questions, but instead, show us Clementine, for the first time getting everything she wanted, but at a terrible cost.  And let us wonder, in a good way, why she wanted it and what it cost, and what she's going to have to do. (I like the antagonist, but need a little more texture for him.)

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204-word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.

 

Comparables might help.  This sounds to me like Dust - is that right? Also "girls with bad hair coming our your television set" doesn't really work.  There's lots of horror stories and dystopia out there with characters like this; what will make yours different is the voice.  Good luck!



#7 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:58 PM

So much information! Thank you guys for taking the time to help out. I'll be working on revisions soon enough and posting back here. I'm struggling with what details to include and what not to, but I think I have an idea now. Think I've completely missed out on describing the essence of the story, based off what I'm seeing here, so I'll be putting in more information on what's actually needed. Looking forward to hearing more from you guys.


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#8 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:12 PM

I'm open to critique from anyone. Any advice and comments would be highly appreciated. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Attached to this post is also a cover idea. Open to know your thoughts about that too.


Clementine (How old is she?) lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us (If you were going to go this route, I'd replace it with 'most people'), all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk? I'm not really feeling this first paragraph. I get what you're trying to get at but I think it could be done with half the words you've used here. It also makes her more appealing if she's got a specific goal as opposed to having a whole bunch of places she'd want to go to.

Maybe her life. This part would be pretty cool if the first paragraph was working better.

Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, build once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin. The grammar in this sentence is a bit off and also confusing. What second world? If the world fell to ruin, why does she still want to go to it so badly? Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to actually live. The first half is a bit irrelevant and adds nothing to the story.

But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality a hundred years ago—alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why. I don't really get where this is going.

Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth. Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’

Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:

The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else.

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204- (round to nearest 1000) word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.

 

On the whole I feel this could use some work. I've got a vague idea about what the story might be, but very vague. I'm not entirely sure what's going on and think it needs to be simplified more. Who is this girl? What does she want? What's stopping her from getting it? What's her dilemma that she's facing? There are a few examples of successful queries on this site I'd recommend looking at these.



#9 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 23 February 2017 - 07:51 AM


Version #2



PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to put a face into the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but because of its possibility.

He named her Eevee. Hensen Clarke's daughter was a miracle—capable of living for a thousand years, but didn’t make it past five. With climate alteration well in effect resulting from corporate greed, it became clear that Eevee was meant to live in what the world should’ve been, not what it was.

Determined to not let his daughter’s death go in vain, Clarke used Eevee’s remains as a blueprint to revolutionize nanotechnology—creating machines capable of cell regeneration. The grief-maddened geneticist gave humans their holy grail: Eevee’s immortality. But there was a catch. It only worked on those who had Eevee’s potential dormant in their DNA—those born after 1990.

When outrage ensued among the wealthy, older generation, Clarke’s formula is leaked into the hands of one such envious tycoon. A day later, the well-recognized CEO is seen walking naked through the streets of New York, cannibalizing his former secretary.

His disease spread, turning half of the once hopeful world into flesh-eating husks. The survivors fled underground, and after a century of enduring a subterranean mega-city, one girl is born that brings Clarke out of hiding: twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk.

A misfit and dreamer, Clementine’s yearning to see trees and a shoreline is only sated through a platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Any time she has outside of her daily grind, Clementine immerses her body and mind in an online fantasy game. Fighting dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closest thing Clementine has to a sky and green fields.

But everything changes when Clementine and her party find something out of place from their stone castles: skyscrapers. Believing it a glitch, the group sets out into a world they though they’d never see. But the nostalgic dream turns to a heart-sinking nightmare when a horde of husks attacks one of them, sending shrieks of pain that should not be felt in a game.

Trapped, unable to logout, Clementine realizes the stakes are much more real than she could have imagined. Her final escape is given by a man everyone believed dead. The world-renowned geneticist has found his new ‘Eevee,’ and offers her a way out of her underground reality: a place that has the open sky and meadow fields she’s always wanted.

When Clementine refuses out of mistrust, Clarke alters the nanomachines she was born with, making her unable to breathe the artificial air sustaining her underground haven. Clementine’s lack of choice becomes all too clear, upon discovering her friends’ virtual deaths were all too real. Reality caves in, and she realizes the haunting truth behind Clarke’s words.

If she has any chance to live, Clementine Hawk will have to lie, betray, and escape the only world she’s ever known, only to walk another that’s far from the 'dreamscape' she imagined: Earth.


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#10 Skaranorak

Skaranorak

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Zero

Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:54 PM

Version #2



PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to put a face into the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but because of its possibility.

He named her Eevee. Hensen Clarke's five year old daughter was a miracle—capable of living for a thousand years, but didn’t make it passed five. With climate alternation well in effect resulting from corporate greed, it became clear that Eevee was meant to live in what the world should’ve been, not what it was.

Determined to not let his daughter’s death go in vain, Clarke used Eevee’s remains as a blueprint to revolutionize nanotechnology—creating machines capable of cell regeneration. The grief-maddened geneticists gave humans their holy grail: Eevee’s immortality. But there was a catch. It only worked on those who had Eevee’s potential dormant in their DNA—those born after 1990.

When outrage ensued among the wealthy, older generation, Clarke’s formula is leaked into the hands of one such envious tycoon. A day later, the well-recognized CEO is seen walking naked through the streets of New York, cannibalizing his former secretary.

His disease spread, turning half of the once hopeful world into flesh-eating husks. The survivors fled underground, and after a century of enduring a subterranean mega-city, one girl is born that brings Clarke out of hiding: twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk.

A misfit and dreamer, Clementine’s yearning to see trees and a shoreline is only sated through a platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Any time she has outside of her daily grind, Clementine immerses her body and mind in an online fantasy game. Fighting dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closest thing Clementine has to a sky and green fields.

But everything changes when Clementine and her party find something out of place from their stone castles: skyscrapers. Believing it a glitch, the group sets out into a world they though they’d never see. But the nostalgic dream turns to a heart-sinking nightmare when a horde of husks attacks one of them, sending shrieks of pain that should not be felt in a game.

Trapped, unable to logout, Clementine realizes the stakes are much more real than she could have imagined. Her final escape is given by a man everyone believed dead. The world-renowned geneticists has found his new ‘Eevee,’ and offers her a way out of her underground reality: a place that has the open sky and meadow fields she’s always wanted.

When Clementine refuses out of mistrust, Clarke alters the nanomachines she was born with, making her unable to breath the artificial air sustaining her underground haven. Clementine’s lack of choice becomes all too clear, upon discovering her friends’ virtual deaths were all too real. Reality caves in, and she realizes the haunting truth behind Clarke’s words.

If she has any chance to live, Clementine Hawk will have to lie, betray, and escape the only world she’s ever known, only to walk another that’s far from the 'dreamscape' she imagined: Earth.

Hello Arty90, 
I'm new to this site and to trying to get my worked published in general. I was scanning through some of the query's and this one happened to catch my attention. I avidly read fantasy books based in all ages and forms of the genre. I recently read of called Ready Player One by Ernet Cline that your Query reminded me of. You might want to take a look and see how it compares Project Dive. After reading everyones revisions I noticed a drastic improvement in your query and found myself genuinely interested in the book. Your first query was vague and left me asking too many questions. It frequently had me rereading the same sentences to try and understand what direction you were heading. It felt as if you were having a conversation with an invisible figure. The second revision was a great improvement. It was to the point and full of vivid details. I had a better idea of what Clementine was going through, what Project Dive is, and what her motive is to leave the safe and familiar world shes become accustom to. I'm looking forward to the progression of this project and hope to see a final product some day. It's nice to see people taking the advice of others from this site. I'm looking forward to posting my own soon as well.


#11 kassamarandra

kassamarandra

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 253 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:39 PM

Version #2



PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to put a face into the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but because of its possibility.

He named her Eevee. Hensen Clarke's five year old daughter was a miracle—capable of living for a thousand years, but didn’t make it passed five. With climate alternation well in effect resulting from corporate greed, it became clear that Eevee was meant to live in what the world should’ve been, not what it was.

Determined to not let his daughter’s death go in vain, Clarke used Eevee’s remains as a blueprint to revolutionize nanotechnology—creating machines capable of cell regeneration. The grief-maddened geneticists gave humans their holy grail: Eevee’s immortality. But there was a catch. It only worked on those who had Eevee’s potential dormant in their DNA—those born after 1990.

When outrage ensued among the wealthy, older generation, Clarke’s formula is leaked into the hands of one such envious tycoon. A day later, the well-recognized CEO is seen walking naked through the streets of New York, cannibalizing his former secretary.

 

(is this where the story really begins? or does your story jump a century somewhere within the tale? If so, the three prior paragraphs are backstory and should be shortened considerably.)

His disease spread, turning half of the once hopeful world into flesh-eating husks. The survivors fled underground, and after a century of enduring a subterranean mega-city, one girl is born that brings Clarke out of hiding: twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk.

A misfit and dreamer, Clementine’s yearning to see trees and a shoreline is only sated through a platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Any time she has outside of her daily grind, Clementine immerses her body and mind in an online fantasy game. Fighting dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closest thing Clementine has to a sky and green fields.

But everything changes when Clementine and her party find something out of place from their stone castles: skyscrapers. Believing it a glitch, the group sets out into a world they though they’d never see. But the nostalgic dream turns to a heart-sinking nightmare when a horde of husks attacks one of them, sending shrieks of pain that should not be felt in a game.

Trapped, unable to logout, Clementine realizes the stakes are much more real than she could have imagined. Her final escape is given by a man everyone believed dead. The world-renowned geneticists has found his new ‘Eevee,’ and offers her a way out of her underground reality: a place that has the open sky and meadow fields she’s always wanted.

When Clementine refuses out of mistrust, Clarke alters the nanomachines she was born with, making her unable to breath the artificial air sustaining her underground haven. Clementine’s lack of choice becomes all too clear, upon discovering her friends’ virtual deaths were all too real. Reality caves in, and she realizes the haunting truth behind Clarke’s words.

If she has any chance to live, Clementine Hawk will have to lie, betray, and escape the only world she’s ever known, only to walk another that’s far from the 'dreamscape' she imagined: Earth.

 

Hi Arty90
First, thank you for the critique on my query. 

After going through your most recent version, a few things came to mind. Standard query formats suggest that a query should aim to hit between 250 and 350 words and as close to 3 paragraphs as you can comfortably tell your story. Beyond my other note above, where it looks like 2 separate stories, the query looks solid. I like the world you've created somewhere between sci-fi and horror. 



#12 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:21 PM

Hi Arty90
First, thank you for the critique on my query. 
After going through your most recent version, a few things came to mind. Standard query formats suggest that a query should aim to hit between 250 and 350 words and as close to 3 paragraphs as you can comfortably tell your story. Beyond my other note above, where it looks like 2 separate stories, the query looks solid. I like the world you've created somewhere between sci-fi and horror.


Glad to hear it! I actually heard it was between 400-500, but I could be wrong. I'll look it up. And yes, the first half is a backstory, but an essential backstory as it tells the reader the reason why Clementine needs to escape, why it's dangerous, and why she fanstasized about it. I'll definitely consider trying to shorten it up. Thank you!

Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#13 SRPasternack

SRPasternack

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 56 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:47 PM

AFAIK the only hard and fast rule for query letters is they should be a single page MAX. Everything else I think is flexible.

 

Version #2



PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to put a face into the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but because of its possibility.

He named her Eevee (I'm 90% sure there's a lil puppy Pokemon named Eevee or something along those lines). Hensen Clarke's five year old daughter was a miracle—capable of living for a thousand years, but didn’t make it passed past five. With climate alternation (is this the word you meant to use? If so, then I have no idea what climate alternation is) well in effect resulting from corporate greed, it became clear that Eevee was meant to live in what the world should’ve been, not what it was.

Determined to not let his daughter’s death go in vain, Clarke used uses Eevee’s remains as a blueprint to revolutionize nanotechnology—creating machines capable of cell regeneration. The grief-maddened geneticists gave humans their holy grail: Eevee’s immortality. But there was a catch. It only worked on those who had Eevee’s potential dormant in their DNA—those born after 1990.

When outrage ensued among the wealthy, older generation, Clarke’s formula is leaked into the hands of one such envious tycoon. A day later, the well-recognized CEO is seen walking naked through the streets of New York, cannibalizing his former secretary.

His disease spread, turning half of the once hopeful world into flesh-eating husks. The survivors fled underground, and after a century of enduring a subterranean mega-city, one girl is born that brings Clarke out of hiding: twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk. (whoa okay, I think this paragraph is the start of the story, and all that other stuff is just backstory.

A misfit and dreamer, Clementine’s yearning to see trees and a shoreline is only sated through a platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Any time she has outside of her daily grind, Clementine immerses her body and mind in an online fantasy game. Fighting dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closest thing Clementine has to a sky and green fields.

But everything changes when Clementine and her party find something out of place from their stone castles: skyscrapers. Believing it a glitch, the group sets out into a world they thought they’d never see. But the nostalgic dream turns to a heart-sinking nightmare when a horde of husks attacks one of them, sending shrieks of pain that should not be felt in a game (you don't feel shrieks, in a game or otherwise).

Trapped, unable to logout, Clementine realizes the stakes are much more real than she could have imagined. Her final escape is given facilitated? by a man everyone believed dead (this is a good opportunity to drop a little blurb about who Clarke is without having 4 paragraphs of backstory). The world-renowned geneticists has found his new ‘Eevee,’ and offers her a way out of her underground reality: a place that has the open sky and meadow fields she’s always wanted.

When Clementine refuses out of mistrust, Clarke alters the nanomachines she was born with, making her unable to breathe the artificial air sustaining her underground haven (so he's going to suffocate her unless she does what he wants? That's a great way to improve trust). Clementine’s lack of choice becomes all too clear, upon discovering her friends’ virtual deaths were all too real. Reality caves in, and she realizes the haunting truth behind Clarke’s words. (I'm still kinda stuck on the whole "he's trying to kill her" angle.)

If she has any chance to live, Clementine Hawk will have to lie, betray, and escape the only world she’s ever known, only to walk another that’s far from the 'dreamscape' she imagined: Earth.

 

At first this kind of came off to me as another scientist-accidentally-makes-zombies story (yawn). But then you got into the underground cities and VR and it got more interesting. IMO, cutting out the first part would make the query smoother. Clementine seems like your protagonist, but she isn't introduced until the fifth paragraph! Move her into to the first paragraph and I think the query will be way more clear.

 

Something to remember about the query: the point of a query letter is to get an agent to say, "oohhh I want to read that book!" Not to tell the whole story. The synopsis is to tell the whole story, and that's where the backstory belongs.


My Pitch--My Query--My Synopsis--My 250

 

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." W. Somerset Maugham


#14 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 749 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:46 PM

Your query is much too long. The body of the query should not be more than 300 words.



#15 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:54 PM

Thank you guys. My first query tried to go with the narrative of not introducing the backstory, but it generated a lot of confusion. People didn't understand why Clementine wanted a reality outside her underground world. More importantly, the reason the world became uninhabitable was summed up by 'the world fell to ruin,' many of which found the idea vague.

 

SRPasternack, thank you for calling out the mistakes I somehow totally missed! Jesus. The word is climate alteration, not alternation. I think that gives you a better idea of what I meant. It's essentially a different word for climate change. Also, I need to make it more clear that Clarke is not trying to kill her; he's simply forcing her to find him on the outside.

 

Also, some people seem to have concerns over the word count. It's unfortunately something I will have to deal with. As much as I've tried, I don't think I can condense Clementine's whole reality to 300 words, at least not without making a whole lot of sense. I tried that with my first query, and again, it only served to confuse people.

 

I've read conflicting reports about the queries being between 200-300 words, some 400-500. Mine falls in the later category. I believe when a story requires world-building elements, agents do give a little more room for the word count. I could be wrong, but hopefully I'll find one that can have the patience for it.

 

I'll be posting another draft soon enough, a bit shorter than what I have.

 

Thank you all for your continued support. I'm looking forward to more of your invaluable advice ahead.


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#16 SRPasternack

SRPasternack

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 56 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 27 February 2017 - 11:32 PM

Version #2



PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to put a face into the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but because of its possibility.

He named her Eevee. Hensen Clarke's daughter was a miracle—capable of living for a thousand years, but didn’t make it past five. With climate alteration well in effect resulting from corporate greed, it became clear that Eevee was meant to live in what the world should’ve been, not what it was.

Determined to not let his daughter’s death go in vain, Clarke used Eevee’s remains as a blueprint to revolutionize nanotechnology—creating machines capable of cell regeneration. The grief-maddened geneticist gave humans their holy grail: Eevee’s immortality. But there was a catch. It only worked on those who had Eevee’s potential dormant in their DNA—those born after 1990.

When outrage ensued among the wealthy, older generation, Clarke’s formula is leaked into the hands of one such envious tycoon. A day later, the well-recognized CEO is seen walking naked through the streets of New York, cannibalizing his former secretary.

His disease spread, turning half of the once hopeful world into flesh-eating husks. The survivors fled underground, and after a century of enduring a subterranean mega-city, one girl is born that brings Clarke out of hiding: twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk.

A misfit and dreamer, CLEMENTINE HAWK ’s yearning yearns to see trees and a shoreline. She has only ever known a life underground, where humanity has retreated from the poisoned air that covers the Earth. Her longing for the above-ground Earth of legend is only sated through a platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Any time she has outside of her daily grind doing such-and-such a job that gives us more insight into her character, Clementine immerses her body and mind in an online fantasy game. Fighting dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closest thing Clementine has to a sky and green fields.

But everything changes when Clementine and her party find something out of place from their stone castles: skyscrapers. Believing it a glitch, the group sets out into a world they thought they’d never see: briefly describe the city/skyscrapers. But the nostalgic dream turns to a heart-sinking nightmare when a horde of husks attacks one of them, sending shrieks of pain that should not be felt in a game. zombie monsters attacks, wounding/killing Clementine's friends not only in the game, but in real life, too.

Trapped, unable to logout, Clementine realizes the stakes are much more real than she could have imagined. She finally escapes, aided by a man calling himself CLARKE, who says Clementine is unique, and that she holds the secret to making the world whole again.  Her final escape is given by a man everyone believed dead. The world-renowned geneticist has found his new ‘Eevee,’ and offers her a way out of her underground reality: a place that has the open sky and meadow fields she’s always wanted.

 

As Clementine reels from Clarke's revelations of a past Earth, it becomes evident why he's so knowledgeable about the destruction. After Clarke makes Clementine's continued existence underground impossible, she is forced to ascend to the surface. There, she sees firsthand the extent of the damage wrought by Clarke's misguided attempts at medical advancement, and she embarks on another quest, where the adventure is as deadly as it is timeless, and there are much worse creatures than dragons.

When Clementine refuses out of mistrust, Clarke alters the nanomachines she was born with, making her unable to breathe the artificial air sustaining her underground haven. Clementine’s lack of choice becomes all too clear, upon discovering her friends’ virtual deaths were all too real. Reality caves in, and she realizes the haunting truth behind Clarke’s words.

If she has any chance to live, Clementine Hawk will have to lie, betray, and escape the only world she’s ever known, only to walk another that’s far from the 'dreamscape' she imagined: Earth.

 

Here's my dumb attempt at whittling down your query. ^_^ 293 words in this one. I don't know all the specifics of your story, so I took what I gleaned from the query I critiqued and made it sound like what I think is going on.


My Pitch--My Query--My Synopsis--My 250

 

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." W. Somerset Maugham


#17 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:27 AM

On the contrary, you couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face. Thank you SRPasternack. I loved the way you teased out Clarke's past. What I think I'm going to do now is flesh out two separate versions: one with the scientific backstory, and one with the mystery flare you envisioned.

 

I can't believe you went through the trouble of writing it yourself! I'm really excited about this new revision. Thank you, again. 


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#18 SRPasternack

SRPasternack

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 56 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:27 AM

On the contrary, you couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face. Thank you SRPasternack. I loved the way you teased out Clarke's past. What I think I'm going to do now is flesh out two separate versions: one with the scientific backstory, and one with the mystery flare you envisioned.

 

I can't believe you went through the trouble of writing it yourself! I'm really excited about this new revision. Thank you, again. 

 

Awesome! Glad I could help. ^_^


My Pitch--My Query--My Synopsis--My 250

 

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." W. Somerset Maugham


#19 Arty90

Arty90

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:57 PM

Revision #3

 

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel that puts a face on the distant future we don’t think about—a horror story not because of monsters, but its possibility.

 

A misfit and dreamer, twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk wants nothing more than trees and a shoreline. A century ago, it would’ve just taken a stroll outside. Today it may cost her life.

 

Born in a subterranean safe-haven after humanity’s retreat from the toxic surface, Clementine’s longing for an open sky is only sated through a VR-platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment. Every night the college sophomore immerses both her body and mind into an online fantasy game. Conquering armor-shredding dragons and taking on timeless adventure, DIVE is the closet thing Clementine has to a sky and open fields.

 

But everything changes when Clementine and her friends find something out of place from their stone castles: hundred-foot skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. Believing it a glitch, they set out into this nostalgic dream, only to be forced into a heart-sinking nightmare. Flesh-eating husks, who were once everyday people of New York, attack them. Reality quickly caves in when Clementine realizes her friends’ deaths were anything but virtual, and even more when realizing she's reliving a history she never knew.

 

Trapped and unable to logout, her escape is orchestrated by a man calling himself Clarke. Most believed him dead, some believed him turned into the husks he created. The reclusive geneticist not only helps Clementine escape, but offers her a new world full of what she’s always wanted: an open sky and meadow fields. But the last person Clementine wants help is from the man who destroyed the world she could’ve already had.

 

After Clarke makes Clementine’s underground life impossible, she is forced to go where no man ever dared: the surface. There she sees the firsthand extent of the damage wrought by Clarke’s misguided attempts at medical advancement. 

 

Clementine realizes she had escaped her world, only to walk another that is as deadly as it is eternal, where there waits far worse beings than DIVE’s dragons.

 

 

 

*Kept the word count to 344. It hurt having to cut the backstory, but I agree entirely that it should be left for the synopsis. Looking forward to further comments and critique! Thank you. And a special thanks to SRPasternack! Couldn't have done it without you.


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#20 Wanjoo

Wanjoo

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:30 PM

PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,000-word novel aiming to that puts a face into on the distant future we don’t think about—it's a horror story not because of monsters, but its their possibility.

 

A misfit and dreamer, twenty-two year old Clementine Hawk wants nothing more than trees and a shoreline. A century ago, all it would’ve taken her was a stroll outside. Today it might take her life.

 

Born in a subterranean safe-haven after humanity’s retreat from the toxic surface, Clementine’s longing for an open sky is only sated through a VR-platform coined DIVE: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.

 

Everyday the college sophomore immerses both her body and mind into an online fantasy game. Conquering armor-shredding dragons and taking on timeless adventures, DIVE is the closet thing Clementine has to a sky and open fields.

 

But everything changes when Clementine and her friends find discover something out of place from their stone castles anachronistic visuals protruding from their land of castles: hundred-foot skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. Believing it a glitch, they set out into this nostalgic dream, only to be forced that morphs into a heart-sinking nightmare.

 

Flesh-eating husks, who were once everyday people of New York, attack them. Reality quickly caves in when Clementine realizes her friends’ deaths were all except virtual. Trapped and unable to logout, her escape is orchestrated by a man called himself Clarke.

 

Most believed him dead, some believed him turned into the husks he created. The self-isolated reclusive geneticist not only helps Clementine escape, but offers her a new world full of what she’s always wanted: an open sky and meadow fields. But the last person Clementine wants help from is from the man who destroyed the world she could’ve already had.

 

After Clarke makes Clementine’s survival underground life impossible, she is forced to go to the only place she can: the surface. There she sees the firsthand extent of the damage wrought by Clarke’s misguided attempts at medical advancement. 

 

Clementine now realizes she had escaped her world, only to live another that is as deadly as it is eternal, where there waits far worse beings than DIVE’s dragons.

 

*Kept the word count to 344. It hurt having to cut the backstory, but I agree entirely that it should be left for the synopsis. Looking forward to further comments and critique! Thank you. And a special thanks to SRPasternack! Couldn't have done it without you.

 

Hope the few corrections help. This is not my genre so it's hard for me to comment on the substance. 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users