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Nadia In The Starset (YA Thriller)


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#1 Ajax

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 11:31 PM

Draft 3: Abandoned by her family and paralyzed from the waist down, seventeen year old Nadia must flee her Ukrainian hometown ravaged by war.

 

 

 

 

 

Draft 2: Wheelchair user Nadia must flee her hometown before the enemy forces capture her in the war-torn Ukrainian countryside.

 

Draft 1: After being abandoned by her family, 17-year-old Nadia tries to flee the desolate warzone of Ukraine in a wheelchair with her pet corgi.



#2 Niambi

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:34 AM

It's a good start.

We know what Nadia wants: to escape, but ... and I mean this with compassion ... so what?

I would put the part about the wheelchair sooner and leave the part about her corgi out. So it would read more like this:

"Wheelchair bound Nadia, a 17 year old orphan, wants to flee the Ukraine ..."

This way, it's hopefully a little clearer as why I ask the "so what." Before people tell you about "what's at stake" I'm going to tell you that the question you should be asking is, "What your main character wants, and what is preventing them from obtaining it?" Then ask, "What will your MC do to overcome their obstacles and get what they desire?"

P.s. After years of failing to nail a perfect hook this is the information that helped me the most.

#3 Linnet_Crawford

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:09 AM

I think it's good - but does read a little like the beginning of a summary. It has enough info to make me interested, but I think it could have more "punch". Maybe something like "17-year-old Nadia wants nothing more than to flee Ukraine's desolate warzone - but wheelchair-bound, abandoned by her family and accompanied only by her beloved dog, it's a journey that won't be easy." 

 

I mean, something better than, obviously :) But you definitely want to communicate Nadia's 'wants' not just what she's doing. 


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#4 lsprochnow

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

After being abandoned by her family, 17-year-old Nadia tries to flee the desolate warzone of Ukraine in a wheelchair with her pet corgi.

 So I was prepared to leave you feedback on this until I scrolled down and saw Linnet's idea on how to change your hook. I agree with her 100% that infusing Nadia's wants would go a long way. The hook is definitely good so far. Tell us why Nadia must leave/why she wants to leave and you'll be in good shape.

 

I know I basically just reiterated feedback you've already been given, but if you have a second I'd appreciate you taking a look at my query. I'll keep an eye on  your thread for when you post the new hook.

 

 

http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/



#5 Novelarnia

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

I'd definitely establish the stakes!  What happens if she doesn't get out of the Ukraine?  Sounds like an awesome start, though!!  If it's for Twitter, I'd leave the corgi out, but for the query letter, definitely expand to put the corgi in there.  It shows Nadia's compassion: she's in a wheelchair, but she's still determined to care for someone else.  <3  But yeah, in a Twitter pitch, it's hard to fit that in, and the stakes need to take priority...

 

Sounds like an awesome pitch!  I'll check back for a revision!! :)  Thanks for your help with my query for Harbinger, too!  If you have the time, I've updated the query again.  I'd love to see your feedback!

 

http://agentquerycon...-adult-fantasy/



#6 billluton

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:56 AM

Draft 2: Wheelchair user Nadia must flee her hometown before the enemy forces capture her in the war-torn Ukrainian countryside. "Wheelchair user" does not work. Is there a more artistic way to establish this? Or a simple one maybe? How about just "Without the use of her legs, Nadia must flee..." or "Nadia hadn't even been able to walk across the room in years, but now she has to find a way to flee her hometown..." The wheelchair part just makes me see hospitals and metal with stickers on it. You can ease that in when you explain what it looks like imaginatively later on. What does a wheelchair convey? That you can't walk. So just say that instead, maybe?

 

Just some quick thoughts (without knowing any context of course), but this definitely has potential from my perspective. It makes me want to know what the heck is going on that makes her have to flee, which is the point

 

Draft 1: After being abandoned by her family, 17-year-old Nadia tries to flee the desolate warzone of Ukraine in a wheelchair with her pet corgi.



#7 DogHugger

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:18 PM

I agree with these posts. I'll check back to see the revised version. :)



#8 strangeface

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:52 PM

Draft 2: Wheelchair user Nadia must flee her hometown before the enemy forces capture her in the war-torn Ukrainian countryside. 

 

 

 

Draft 1: After being abandoned by her family, 17-year-old Nadia tries to flee the desolate warzone of Ukraine in a wheelchair with her pet corgi.

 

Well, first of all, the term "wheelchair user" is a bit boring.

 

But more importantly, it reads like the beginning of a Wikipedia plot summary, not something that's supposed to get me interested in the story. It's very clinical, with no voice.

 

I actually disagree with Niambi a bit. We'll find out "so what" later in the query. The important thing is establishing why I even want to hear about Nadia, and why I want to hear YOU talk about Nadia. This doesn't do that. The hook sounds like it was made by an AI.



#9 CFrances

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 10:47 AM

I am a wheelchair user, and I agree with the others who think the term is boring! It also doesn't convey the added precariousness of her position. I prefer Billuton's 'without the use of her legs'.



#10 samlat77

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

Draft 2: Wheelchair user Nadia must flee her hometown before the enemy forces capture her in the war-torn Ukrainian countryside. 

 

 

 

Draft 1: After being abandoned by her family, 17-year-old Nadia tries to flee the desolate warzone of Ukraine in a wheelchair with her pet corgi.

How about something like "Abandoned by her family and wheelchair-bound with no one but her beloved dog as a companion, seventeen year old Nadia must flee her Ukrainian hometown ravaged by war." 

Or something like that. I'm pretty sure you'll come up with something better since this hook is already fairly strong already. Good luck and I hope I've helped even a tiny bit!

And thanks for your comments on my query!!



#11 Ajax

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 02:13 PM

This is interesting. Almost all of you want me to use the term "wheelchair bound" when I've found that it's a derogatory term in at least half a dozen of online articles.

 

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

Article 6



#12 samlat77

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

This is interesting. Almost all of you want me to use the term "wheelchair bound" when I've found that it's a derogatory term in at least half a dozen of online articles. . 

 

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

Article 6

Then would "paralyzed" work?



#13 Niambi

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:48 PM

This is interesting. Almost all of you want me to use the term "wheelchair bound" when I've found that it's a derogatory term in at least half a dozen of online articles. . 

 

 

 

Then I say leave it out or reword it like samlat77 said, especially if you think it really adds to setting up the character and story.

 

"Paralyzed from the waist down, 17 years old Nadia must flee the Ukraine ..."



#14 npstanford

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:43 PM

I really like this hook, and agree with everyone that "paralyzed from the waist down" is much more dramatic than wheelchair user and doesn't sound derogatory at all.

 

My only suggestions are stylistic.

 

Paralyzed from the waist down, 17 year old Nadia must flee across the war torn Ukrainian countryside (e.g. no need to mention hometown). As a side note, is there a reason that the enemy forces are looking for her in particular? it seems odd that they'd try to capture her. If there is some reason, that might be good to include in the query (e.g. Nadia must flee before the enemy forces capture her and the secret military plans she is carrying, or something like that).

 

it'd also be nice to get some idea of the time period. Is this set in a specific historical conflict? Is it in the near future? If so, you should mention that in the query. (It's 2011 and Nadia must flee...)



#15 Vio Liddell

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 06:34 AM

Right now this doesn't sound like thriller to me. Also, what you have in this 3rd draft is rather vague regarding the stakes for Nadia. War is a very good reason in itself to make anyone want to flee a town or a country, but you need something more specific as a plot point, especially if you're trying to sell a thriller. Otherwise it'll sound like any other war story. Of course, you may have a very distinctive voice with Nadia's POV, but right now it doesn't show up in the pitch. You could mention for example why the enemy forces are after Nadia in particular (I second Npstanford's comments about this). Also, was she abandoned by her family because of her disability?

 

I also agree that it would be nice for the reader to get some idea of the time period. I'd keep the hometown mention though; it helps emphasizing the drama.






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