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Supra/normal: YA Paranormal


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#1 asmcdermott

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 11:30 PM

I've been sending out my query to some agents and getting no bites. I think my query is really strong based on the feedback I've got, so it might be my sample pages that aren't grabbing people. I've revised them a ton, but I still think the beginning isn't quite where it needs to be. I'd appreciate any feedback on the opener, and I'll gladly take a look at your 250 words in exchange. Thanks!

 

I’ve known I was an illegal since I turned twelve. When I walked up to class that morning and saw my name posted on the list by the door, I realized everyone else would soon find out the truth, too.

 

They had scheduled me for a mandatory blood test in the nurse’s office at ten-thirty the next morning. Once my blood came back as positive I’d be totally screwed. They normally tested us at birth, and again when we reached puberty. Somehow, I had slipped through the cracks. Until now.

 

I stood in the school hallway as the others kids passed back and forth, wishing I could reach through the glass and tear up the sheet. There were a couple of other names on there. I wondered if they felt as scared as I did. Probably not. The chances were their tests would come back negative, and I would be the only one taken away.

 

I sat with my friend Journey at lunch shorty after seeing the list, my mind still reeling from the news. We were both sophomores at Kurtzberg High, and she was the only person I’d call a friend, but like nearly everyone she was unaware of my illegal status. She didn't even notice how little I talked about myself. Normally, it was the perfect relationship. Except, for once, I wanted to talk about myself, to tell her about the test the next day and get some reassurance it was nothing. But I was afraid to even bring it up.



#2 bkarperien

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 11:41 AM

I've been sending out my query to some agents and getting no bites. I think my query is really strong based on the feedback I've got, so it might be my sample pages that aren't grabbing people. I've revised them a ton, but I still think the beginning isn't quite where it needs to be. I'd appreciate any feedback on the opener, and I'll gladly take a look at your 250 words in exchange. Thanks!

 

I’ve known I was an illegal since I turned twelve. When I walked up to class that morning and saw my name posted on the list by the door, I realized everyone else would soon find out the truth, too.

The way you start off leaves me a little confused. You mention, when I was twelve, so I thought it's flashing back to when they were twelve and discovered they were an illegal...

I'd recommend something like this:

 

My name was on the list. I'd known I was illegal since my twelfth birthday, but soon, the whole world would know.

 

I was scheduled for a mandatory blood test in the nurse’s office at ten-thirty the next morning. Once my blood came back as positive, I’d be totally screwed. They normally tested us at birth, and again when we reached puberty. Somehow, I had slipped through the cracks. Until now.

 

I stood in the school hallway as the others kids passed back and forth, wishing I could reach through the glass and tear up the sheet. There were a couple of other names on there. I wondered if they felt as scared as I did. Probably not. The chances were their tests would come back negative, and I would be the only one taken away.

 

I sat with my friend Journey at lunch shorty after seeing the list, my mind still reeling from the news. We were both sophomores at Kurtzberg High, and she was the only person I’d call a friend, but like nearly everyone she was unaware of my illegal status. She didn't even notice how little I talked about myself. Normally, it was the perfect relationship. Except, for once, I wanted to talk about myself, to tell her about the test the next day and get some reassurance it was nothing. But I was afraid to even bring it up.

Thanks for your comments on my 250! The biggest concern I had here was with the opening sentences, which confused me and didn't draw me in to the action. 


Check out my query!


#3 A.M.Rose

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:17 PM

I think you are missing an opportunity to add a lot of tension from the start and really get us into your MC's head.

 

I’ve known I was an illegal since I turned twelve. When I walked up to class that morning and saw my name posted on the list by the door, I realized everyone else would soon find out the truth, too.

 

I agree with the person above. My immediate thought was we are starting with a flashback. As an Idea you could start with something like: 

 

My heart stopped as I stood in the hallway, eyes fixed on the bright yellow paper attached to my classroom door. People shuffled past me, laughing, shouting, doing whatever it is they did before they bell rings, but I couldn't move. There, three names from the top was mine. BOB SMITH. It might as well have neon lights flashing on it saying, He's an illegal. Sure I knew it. And now thanks to that stupid paper everyone else would know it too. 

 

So this might not be the best example, but I think you get the point. Right now it feels a little bare bones. Like we aren't really in your MC's head. And then within the 250 words we fast  forward all the way to lunch which makes me question, where does your story really start? Have you thought about having the friend come up right then and there while he is staring at this paper? 

 

Is this paper the inciting incident? Or is it the actual blood test he has to take? Don't just tell us the MC is scared, show us them being scared. Palms sweating, trembling, stomach wrenching... whatever it is. The sooner the reader can connect to the MC the better.

 

I hope this helps you in some way. 

 

Best of luck 


A.M. Rose

Author of Road to Eugenica - Available 2018 from Entangled Teen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#4 asmcdermott

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:54 PM

Thank you both for the very helpful comments. They've given me some good ideas for how to more dramatically show the MC's fear. The inciting incident doesn't actually occur until Chapter Three, when the MC reveals her powers to everyone. This first chapter starts with the blood test just to create more tension upfront.



#5 Patrick Bohan

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

I’ve known I was an illegal since I turned twelve. When I walked up to class that morning and saw my name posted on the list by the door, I realized everyone else would soon find out the truth, too. 

 

They had scheduled me for a mandatory blood test in the nurse’s office at ten-thirty the next morning. Once my blood came back as positive I’d be totally screwed. They normally tested us at birth, and again when we reached puberty. Somehow, I had slipped through the cracks. Until now.

 

I stood in the school hallway as the others kids passed back and forth, wishing I could reach through the glass and tear up the sheet. There were a couple of other names on there. I wondered if they felt as scared as I did. Probably not. The chances were their tests would come back negative, and I would be the only one taken away. (This paragraph seems resigned, and doesn't pull me in.)

 

I sat with my friend Journey at lunch shorty after seeing the list, my mind still reeling from the news. We were both sophomores at Kurtzberg High, and she was the only person I’d call a friend, but like nearly everyone she was unaware of my illegal status. She didn't even notice how little I talked about myself. Normally, it was the perfect relationship. Except, for once, I wanted to talk about myself, to tell her about the test the next day and get some reassurance it was nothing. But I was afraid to even bring it up.

 

 

​This is a great start! I would, however, have liked more drama or tension in the beginning. Less resignation, and more stress to pull me in. Luck!






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