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The Many Small Deaths of Oz (YA sci-fi) revised

Young Adult Science Fiction

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#81 Iconian

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 04:14 PM



Thanks all! and I appreciate the kind words TheBest- this forums definitely been invaluable. Just a minor change- I agree cheat probably isn't the right word. And physical labor is definitely plain/boring, but I'm not sure I can risk losing the blunt specificity of it.

 

I'd also be interested in hearing if anyone else stumbled over the virtual world part, and is confused as to how he couldn't stay there permanently, as Jaustail pointed out below.

 

 

     Seventeen-year-old deadbeat Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to positive contributor. If he fails, he'll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.

 

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of extinction, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, [I think this would be a good point to describe Oz's personality, beyond his depression.  Like, "There is simply no room for people like Oz, in spite his efforts at school."  Something along those lines to hopefully give us an idea that he has some positive qualities, even if his society doesn't care about those qualities.]  whose severe depression drove him to an attempt at suicide that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz's dreams of being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear.

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz runs to a virtual world in search of a temporary escape. Instead, he meets the savior he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows a way around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he's the most promising candidate in his class.

    

     In two weeks. But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to confront the belief that’s shaped his entire life: that the world would be better off without him.  [I don't remember what this line was in previous versions, but it's certainly a lot more powerful now.]


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


#82 Cez

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 12:45 PM

     Seventeen-year-old deadbeat Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of extinction, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s dreams of being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. My question here is: Is he a deliberate parasite? like is he lazy and irrisponsible, or is he simply incapable of helping? The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear/which will disappear in 15 days.

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz goes looking for distractions in all the wrong places. Instead, he finds the guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s the most promising candidate in his class. Could you elaborate a bit here? I don't understand why convincing everyone he's the best student in class will save his life.

    

     In two weeks.

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to become someone else entirely- someone who can deliver on the lies he's sold. And Oz's world is anything but patient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My concerns: 

 

Does the last line present more of a conflict? The wording isn't finalized yet, but I think it's a step in the right direction. I agree it's a step in the right direction. I like the tension you've set up, but it needs more detail. Your query is good, but it needs more meat. You probably don't want to give away Oz/June's whole plan, but at the moment it's too vague. If we know what lies he sold, we'll be more nervous that he may not be able to live up to those lies.

 

Interesting choice for a name by the way. Is this a Wizard of Oz retelling?



#83 Sataris

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 01:28 PM

temporarily closed while traveling! thanks all!

 

 

     Seventeen-year-old Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of collapse, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear.

 

     Oz's death seems inevitable until he meets the guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory.

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.


No current query!


#84 Bananas

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

Hope this helps.

Thanks guys! I can see how the class standing would come off as being a little vague, Cez. I think I've answered your first question, and I hope I've answered the second with this latest version. It also seems to tie in better with the plausible savior bit, and is actually a better fit for the book. The name is partly a reference to the poem Ozymandias; and there's a VR component/try-fail cycle to the story where the MC dies over and over again. I actually wanted to just call it "the many small deaths of oz" but figured that just about everyone would assume it had something to do with the wizard of oz.

 

I've decided to drop the "dreams of being useful" thing in favor of something more straight-forward and proactive - hopefully that gets at what you were saying, Iconian. Thank you again, and I hope the querying is going well with your latest version!

 

 

 

The most recent version:

 

     Seventeen-year-old deadbeat Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.  I like the imagery here.  That being said, I don't quite follow what you're saying here, and it's leaving me with more questions than I think a hook should create.  Why does he have only fifteen days?  Is it even possible for someone to go from social lowlife to a messiah, even if they were given an infinite amount of time?  How does his failure lead to his death?  There's a lot of vagueness here.

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of extinction, collapse and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There are a lot of ways to contribute to a society.  For example, where does a doctor fit into the picture?  He's not exactly gathering food items, but there is no doubting his or her worth.  How about a town administrator?  Or a retail worker?  All those roles have value.  Also, if this was actually true, then there'd be glut of resources.  There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear.  end.  Student statuses don't  disappear.  You either graduate, or you flunk out.  Either way your time as a student ends.   

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz goes looking for distractions in all the wrong places. Not sure what this means.  Instead, he finds the guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory. Within two weeks.  I really don't follow this.  I'd suggest finding a way of truncating your world building lines and thus allow yourself more room to develop your character's goal/plan.  Also, how is he supposed to fool his teachers, who at this point, would intimately know his academic record?

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Doesn't success mean that he has delivered on his lies?  Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.  Too vague.



#85 dogsbody

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

     Seventeen-year-old deadbeat Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of extinction, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear.

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz goes looking for distractions in all the wrong places. Instead, he finds the guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory. Within two weeks.

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.

 

I think this is great. I'm so VERY glad to see you rewrote some of the language so that it all feels of the same tone, and it's also very evocative in spots. It's got the character and basic set-up, clear stakes and conflict... bravo.

 

I think if you want to query with this version, you should.

 

That said, I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't mention something which... I don't even object to it, it just... So, is Oz's depression chronic, and dealt with as a serious mental illness? Or is it situational just the (understandable) result of desperation and crummy circumstances? Because "severe depression" and suicide makes me think the former, but calling him a "deadbeat" makes me hope it's the latter.

 

Again, AGAIN, I would never call this a serious flaw in your query because I think you've written a letter that's more than good enough to get people to look at your sample pages at least, where I assume these issues are dealt with in more depth and nuance. I'm just bringing it up because the depiction of mental illness, depression especially, is such a hot topic in the YA world right now (what with the Netflix adaptation of the YA classic Thirteen Reasons Why). So I figure if it's something you can make explicit from the get-go (either that you treat chronic depression as a serious issue, or that this is just the understandable depression that comes from living in a world where your life depends on productivity), and something you feel comfortable doing so, it can't hurt? Given the current sensitivity of the subject. 

 

But this is all extraneous to the fact that I think you've done an amazing job. I wouldn't want it to discourage you at all, I'm just throwing it out there just so I don't feel guilty that no one mentioned this particular elephant in the YA room. If it's an easy fix, like simply taking out "deadbeat" if he's seriously mentally ill, that seems fine to me. If it's a more complicated issue that would wreck the current balance you've achieved with this version, I would think you'd be fine using it and trusting in your pages.

 

Best of luck!



#86 Sataris

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for the constructive criticism bananas! I think your suggestions would require a total rewrite from the ground up, but if this current version flops, your post will be the first I look to to guide that revision.

 

And a particularly huge thank you to you, dogsbody, both for your previous comments in this thread and those you've made on others queries. It was your original post that convinced me to kill my first line and get to the stakes more quickly- and to clarify them in general. I think I've got a small rewrite to do to make this query a bit more honest to the first act, but both the story and the query are better off because of it.

 

As to the depression part- I totally agree it's some dangerous ground. The crux of the story is that the MC really isn't a deadbeat at all; it's just that the story is told in first person and his depression colors everything. So maybe I need to rethink leading with that word; I'm probably getting at the same thing with social parasite, anyway. Once again- thank you!


No current query!


#87 dogsbody

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:35 PM

As to the depression part- I totally agree it's some dangerous ground. The crux of the story is that the MC really isn't a deadbeat at all; it's just that the story is told in first person and his depression colors everything. So maybe I need to rethink leading with that word; I'm probably getting at the same thing with social parasite, anyway. Once again- thank you!

 

That makes total sense. And I can see how that would come through in the pages perfectly. It's just the presentation of the query (which, as of course you know, is supposed to be your voice and not your MC's) which I worried about. 

 

Actually "social parasite" works, I thought! Because that's a description of his condition -- not contributing, considered a drain on resources -- instead of the personal judgement call that "deadbeat" feels like. But you know, we might be getting into split hairs and individual responses. I wouldn't worry too much about it. You really do have a good query on your hands, I think. 



#88 albarchs

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:42 PM

Seventeen-year-old deadbeat Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean. ((Nothing wrong here. Hook is clear and makes me curious.))

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of extinction, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear. ((Gives a good idea of what happened. This is more personal but what kind of post-nuclear world? I think giving the specifics of why Oz’s world got nuked are important. If I was reading this as a blurb, post apoc/post-nuclear worlds are very common. What separates this version of a post-nuclear world from the dozens of others? Again, just a subjective suggestion.))

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz goes looking for distractions in all the wrong places. ((What distractions? This is vague and I don’t know what to make of this.)) Instead, he finds the guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath ((I don’t know if I’d used sociopath. There’s distinct differences between sociopaths and psychopaths. Think Son of Sam vs Patrick Bateman. While in YA this character type might fly more, Jokeresque/violently quirky characters can get annoying very quickly. I don’t know if Gen Z kids would be drawn to this kind of character.)) who knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory. Within two weeks. ((Already mentioned he's got 14 days to live in the hook.))

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice. ((This is great. You get the stakes right here. He’s dead if he fails, he’s dead if he succeeds and can’t deliver on his lies. Also, nice callback to the hook.))

 

I agree with dogsbody. This  well setup with the character, the conflict, and the stakes. Some minor quibbles worldbuilding wise and a questionable character aside. Still, I can tell this is solid. Great job and keep at it!



#89 dizzywriter

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:03 PM


 

     Seventeen-year-old pariah Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite [if you have parasite, you don't need pariah] to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the [too many junk words. Try to eliminate as many as you can.] many corpses that litter [littering] the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean. [I like this a LOT. But you can tighten it up.]

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, [I wouldn't draw attention to your world building]. Start with something like "After the nuclear holocaust [or whatever it was, be specific] civilization is on the brink of collapse. , and [E]very citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand. Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful  [maybe something specific but brief about what exactly he tries to do], his injury [makes him] prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student [has kept him alive.] – which is about to disappear. [why? be specific.]

 

     As the days pass and the pressure builds, Oz meets - and is increasingly drawn in by - the [a] guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who knows how to get around the requirement for [avoid] physical labor. All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory. Within two weeks.

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.

 

***

 

I like it a LOT. Just some suggestions to tighten it up. I very highly recommend an online editor like Prowritingaid.com. You can do it for free on a query. I bought a subscription for my MS and it eliminated at least 10K junk words. Just FYI.

 

I posted a revision, too. If you'd like to take a look.



#90 lyncfs

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 04:49 PM

Thanks guys! I can see how the class standing would come off as being a little vague, Cez. I think I've answered your first question, and I hope I've answered the second with this latest version. It also seems to tie in better with the plausible savior bit, and is actually a better fit for the book. The name is partly a reference to the poem Ozymandias; and there's a VR component/try-fail cycle to the story where the MC dies over and over again. I actually wanted to just call it "the many small deaths of oz" but figured that just about everyone would assume it had something to do with the wizard of oz.

 

I've decided to drop the "dreams of being useful" thing in favor of something more straight-forward and proactive - hopefully that gets at what you were saying, Iconian. Thank you again, and I hope the querying is going well with your latest version!

 

 

 

The most recent version/semi-final version (for now). Still happy to take critiques on it and will return them! Just maybe looking for small improvements here and there, if that makes sense!

 

Please let me know if you stumble over anything at all!

 

 

     Seventeen-year-old Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior ​(of what? country, planet, people?). ​(Nice hook - but I think the Seventeen Year Old bogs it down and gives the reader preconceived notions. You can maybe substitute with a little description of who Oz is (profession/characteristics)) If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean.

    

     In Oz’s post-nuclear world, civilization is on the brink of collapse, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose severe depression ​caused him (you can probably think of a stronger verb) drove him to a suicide attempt that severed the nerves in his right hand.​(Although I see how you want to link suicide and severing the nerves, I think the depression is enough - and lots of people seem to be interested in mental illness these days.) Despite Oz’s best efforts at being useful, his injury prevents him from becoming anything more than a burden upon his labor-intensive society. The only thing that’s kept ​that keeps him alive​, to this point is his protected status as a student– which is about to disappear.​(can you tell us a little more why it is about to disappear ---because of his hand or his own actions?)

 

     Oz's death seems inevitable until he meets the ​his guardian angel he doesn’t deserve: June, an adorable sociopath who ​learns to bypass the  knows how to get around the requirement for physical labor. ​(bit of a long sentence. I suggest you split in two to make comprehension easier or cut where I suggested.) All Oz has to do is deceive the entire world into believing he’s one of the most gifted candidates in his class- and that he has a plan for restoring society to its former glory. ​(think of shortening this line to have more impact)

    

     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice. ​(I like the ending choice. Simple and with good word choice)

Overall, a well-written and strong query. There are some words you can cut to make it simpler. Thank you very much for your comments on my query too---I could tell you spent a lot of time on it. Best of luck!


THE IMMORTAL GUARD. Link to my query. Please critique, if I have reviewed yours.

#91 Sataris

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:40 AM

Thanks all! I really appreciate the critiques. Please let me know if I haven't returned one- I think I've gotten to everyone. I'm going to be traveling the next little bit, so I'm going to close this for now while I work on any version. Thanks!

 

   
 
 
    Seventeen-year-old Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. It seems an impossible task for someone who isn’t even sure he wants to save himself. But the only other option is to end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean. 
     
In Oz’s unforgiving world, civilization is on the brink of collapse, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz, whose struggles with depression and self-harm have tanked his academic standing, ruined his career prospects, and left him with a single working hand. 
     
Despite Oz’s dreams of being useful, his injury—coupled with the physical nature of the only job he’s qualified for—prevents him from becoming anything more than a liability. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a youth—which is about to disappear.
   
Oz believes his death is inevitable—until he meets Voo, an adorable sociopath who sees him as more than a burden to be shrugged off. She offers an ugly solution to Oz’s problems: he must convince the people in charge that he’s invented a piece of technology that might change society for the better. Only he hasn’t, and there simply isn’t time.
     
But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the impossible lie he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.

No current query!


#92 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:12 AM

 

Thanks all! I really appreciate the critiques. Please let me know if I haven't returned one- I think I've gotten to everyone. I tweaked that last version and sent out a few queries, but here's what I've been working at since. I hope it answers some of the questions that were pointed out without losing the framework I had before.

 

   ​Hello Sataris,
 
 
    Oz ​(at first I thought this was Oz, like the city) has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite to plausible savior. If he fails, he’ll end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean. ​(I wouldn't focus on his death as the catch of the hook, but rather what is he trying to save? That seems more important, here)
     
     In Oz’s unforgiving world, every citizen must earn their place by contributing more resources than they consume. But Oz’s ​(not Oz's but Oz)struggles with depression and self-harm​(self-mutilation, self-inflicted pain, I think harm is a weak word) have left him with a useless right hand, an abominable ​How do his struggles with depression lead to an excellent academic record?) academic record, and a single open career path. Unfortunately, that career path also requires rigorous physical labor, and Oz knows he won’t be able to ​(hack it ​(Why not?). While he wants nothing more than to be helpful​(helpful to who? Why? Be more specific), Oz's troubled past makes him a liability in the eyes of those​(in charge of what? in charge. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a student—and Oz is about to graduate.​(Woe, this last line totally confused me. If his being a student is that important, we need to hear more about the school he is in, the rules of that world, so far I don't know anything about this world, but I do know a little about Oz, which is good. I would rework this query, focusing on his protected status and what that means; that was the most interesting line in the whole query to me, but instead of validating and bringing everything together, it only created more questions.
     
     Oz believes his death is inevitable until he meets June, an adorable sociopath who says she can get him a job​(get him a job where? Where is this taking place?) where his injury won’t be a factor. All he has to do is smother his conscience, cheat his way to the top ​(So there are ;little allusions that this takes place in a school, but tell us some details, school uniforms, rules, etc. We want a picture of this setting)of his class, and buy into her ridiculous plan to dupe the higher-ups into thinking Oz has invented a piece of technology that might turn society around. ​(I liked this last line the best, but I still think it can be reworded)
 
​This sounds like a really cool story. I would suggest weaving in details of this school so we can imagine Oz acting in his world better, like Harry Potter acted in his world with wizards, flying brooms, talking owls, etc. What does your world offer?
 
​Hope this helps!
 
 
     Or: ...and buy into her ridiculous plan to dupe the world into thinking Oz is some sort of technological Messiah. (sounds better, but maybe a bit too vague, possibly confusing).
     
     But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the lies he's sold. Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.

 


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#93 ddcash80

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:38 PM

 

Thanks all! I really appreciate the critiques. Please let me know if I haven't returned one- I think I've gotten to everyone. I tweaked that last version and sent out a few queries, but here's what I've been working at since. I hope it answers some of the questions that were pointed out without losing the framework I had before.

 

   
 
 
    Seventeen-year-old Oz has fifteen days to transform from societal parasite (I just don't like this wording, it gives me a bad taste for your MC and I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say. I would definitely try to keep it simple here so your reader doesn't stumble: Maybe try "Outcast"?. to plausible savior. It seems an impossible task for someone who isn’t even sure he wants to save himself. But the only other option is to end up as one of the many corpses that litter the frozen surface of the Pacific Ocean. This is an interesting twist. I hope you explain this corpse-littered ocean later . . .
     
In Oz’s unforgiving world, civilization is on the brink of collapse, and every citizen must contribute more resources than they consume. There is simply no room for people like Oz (okay now I see why you said "societal parasite" but that doesn't belong in the first sentence with no explanation to it. I would do something to clarify it there, or just choose another word like I suggested), whose struggles with depression and self-harm have tanked his academic standing,(I think this sentence/list is too long) ruined his career prospects, and left him with a single working hand.
     
Despite Oz’s dreams of being useful, his injury—coupled with the physical nature of the only job he’s qualified for—(too much and simple is better, you still get the point across without having the reader pause and think) prevents him from becoming anything more than a liability. The only thing that’s kept him alive to this point is his protected status as a youth—which is about to disappear.
   
Oz believes his death is inevitable(starting to use too many dashes, a comma would be fine here) until he meets Voo, an adorable sociopath who sees him as more than a burden to be shrugged off. She offers an ugly solution to Oz’s problems: he must convince the people in charge that he’s invented a piece of technology that might change society for the better if possible I would spoil it and give a better glimpse of this technology (it would make me interested to read more. at least say How it will make society better because it's bordering on vague). Only he hasn’t, and there simply isn’t time.
     
But if Oz succeeds, he’ll have to deliver on the impossible lie he's sold. (comma?) Or his death will be far uglier than a long walk on the ice.

 

Good query overall. some small changes could make it a bit better. Good luck!
 

If you have a chance, my query is here for critique: http://agentquerycon...iques/?p=344446







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Young Adult, Science Fiction

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