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Thorn in the Rose [YA Psychological Thriller]


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#1 perpetual

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:06 AM

MOST RECENT VERSION, AS OF AUGUST 1:

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle nestled in the French countryside, far away from their NYC penthouses, they each get a welcome note in an envelope on their respective beds: "Welcome to France, where all your secrets follow you. Whose will come out first?" It is the first of many. Rose is intrigued by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they—and the secrets they reveal—prove credible. But not everyone feels the same, and Rose struggles to contain the fallout and keep the group united. Panic and suspicion push in on them, while they're no closer to knowing who's behind it all and why.

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of their classmate was no accident—and that the group knows the murderer.

Rose is grasping for a way to come out on top because it wasn't supposed to be like this, because she will do whatever it takes to make sure at the end of it all, the ten of them come out stronger and tighter than ever, and if anyone could fight back against an unknown, it was her because she was "Rose Morton, babe", and she wasn't about to let a few secrets, however damaging, kill the bonds between the only friends she has, and—god, if only the castle didn't feel so suffocating. Despite the Rose's desperate efforts to thwart the fallout of the notes, the secrets keep coming, one by one, testing the strength of the group's bonds and the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that the most threatening truth isn't contained in the notes.

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller. It is inspired by and encapsulates the spirit of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.


Query: Click here.

 


#2 jaustail

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:56 AM

JMO:

 

 

Ten teenagers from one of NYC's prestigious private schools(are all the students from one school? else how did they become a group?) decide to spend their spring recess in a castle in France, only to discover the secrets they're all hiding have followed them. 

 

Eighteen-year-old Rose Morton, ringleader of the group, is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when the notes--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed(why does she want her secrets to be disclosed?), Rose is determined to keep the group together. Then one of the notes reveals that the recent mysterious drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group intimately knows the person responsible. Immediately, fingers start flying: Who is the murderer they all know?

 

Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating(why don't they end their vacation and return home?) and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the reveal of the final secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it(are people dying?).

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

The query is very well written. It flowed smoothly. I didn't understand why the teenagers are in the castle if it's suffocating.



#3 perpetual

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:17 AM

(why does she want her secrets to be disclosed?) --- She views her secret coming out as a trade for getting to know all of her friend's secrets, which she believes she can use to keep them all as allies. She's not a nice person, and everything she does is calculated. Which is why she struggles so much/feels like she's suffocating when she loses her perceived control.

 

(why don't they end their vacation and return home?) --- Because then they'd have to explain why they came home early to their parents, etc. and they're trying to get on top of the situation. 

 

(are people dying?).---- No. I meant survivor as in socially (because they're all filthy rich and perceptions are everything) and emotionally.

 

 

Any ideas on how to present the above ideas more clearly in the query and/or reword query so they're not an issue? I don't want to cloud the query with too much information.

 

>>>> EDITED QUERY IN ORIGINAL POST :)


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#4 jaustail

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:29 AM

Regarding then they'd have to explain to their parents why they came early and ended the vacation, well if they're filthy rich they can go in some hotel.

 

But it's okay. Even I was in similar situation a year ago. Wanted to end my vacation but thought 'what will others say' Though I wasn't filthy rich.

 

 

Ten (filthy rich) teenagers from one of NYC's prestigious private schools decide to spend their spring recess in a castle in France, only to discover the secrets they're all hiding have followed them. 

 

Eighteen-year-old Rose Morton, ringleader of the group, is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when the notes--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose is determined to keep the group together. Then one of the notes reveals that the recent mysterious drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group intimately knows the person responsible. Immediately, fingers start flying: Who is the murderer they all know?(put this from Rose's pov)

 

Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the reveal of the final secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your (time and) consideration.

 

 

Maybe put this all from Rose's pov. Like she is very attached to her friends to the extent that she wouldn't mind keeping their corpses in her basement if they died. Show her obsession towards her friends. Like she's some stalker.



#5 Conrad Williams

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:16 PM

If you read interviews by agents, they almost unanimously say that comps should be recent. Some say recent ideally means in the last five years.

 

My novel plays heavily on Siddhartha but no agent will care about that. They want recent comps to know that you study the current market and have written something salable.  

 

That said, I did once get a request for a full using Girl, Interrupted (15yo at the time) and Catcher In The Rye as comps.



#6 perpetual

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

If you read interviews by agents, they almost unanimously say that comps should be recent. Some say recent ideally means in the last five years.

 

 

Yes. I'm actually not able to think of any comps, but I am reading YA thrillers almost exclusively now so that might change if I come across one. Of course, if anyone has suggestions, I'm welcome to them.

 

Also, I included the nod to Agatha Christie not because it's a comp but because it's what inspired this novel, which I think is important to know. Also, I've seen many an agent specifically state that their manuscript wishlist included something in the vein of And Then There Were None, which is another reason I've included it.


Query: Click here.

 


#7 illusionofscript

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

Ten teenagers from one of NYC's prestigious private schools decide to spend their spring recess in a castle in France, only to discover the secrets they're all hiding have followed them. I agree with adding a word or two about their wealth. It answers a lot of questions about their travel without overstating it.

 

To be honest, I don't care for this as a beginning. I like the idea, but it doesn't hook me enough to keep reading. Maybe mentioning the murder up front or starting with your second paragraph reworked would be better.

 

Eighteen-year-old Rose Morton, ringleader (ringleader makes me think circus. Maybe just leader or even mastermind, since she seems a bit devious) of the group, is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. (Where are the notes being found? In their bedrooms? Tapped to the walls? Are they typed? Handwritten? Do they show up as soon as they arrive or does it take a few days?) Even more so when the notes they--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. I like what you're trying to say here, but it's a bit of a mouthful Maybe make them two separate thoughts. Plus, the first part sounds a bit too causal for a query.  While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together as panic and suspicion push in on them. 

 

Then one of the notes reveals they learn that the recent mysterious drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group intimately knows the person who's responsible. Immediately, fingers start flying: Who is the murderer they all know? Soon, the monstrous castle (So, this feels odd to me. You mention the castle initially, but it doesn't feel like the setting, so mentioning it again here was a little jarring.) feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the reveal of the final secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sorry for all the comments. This isn't my kind of genre, but I like the premise. It sounds really interesting. I think most of it is word choice and eliminating extra words that are gonna force an editor to stop and reread. I think a bit of rephrasing would get this to be brilliant.



#8 lyncfs

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:50 PM

Ten teenagers from one of NYC's prestigious private schools decide to spend their spring recess in a castle in France, only to discover the secrets they're all hiding have followed them. ​ (I like the second sentence as a hook better. It starts with the character and has some mystery to it)

 

Eighteen-year-old Rose Morton, ringleader of the group, is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when the notes--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together as panic and suspicion push in on them. ​(the next few sentences are too vague. I don't get a sense of who Rose is and who her friends are that make putting her secret out in the open risky.)

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent mysterious drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group intimately knows the person responsible.(​I like this part) Immediately, fingers start flying ​(do you mean blame? Fingers starts flying makes them sound like they got chopped off): Who is the murderer they all know? Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the reveal of the final secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it. ​(Your last sentence does not give me what is at stake for rose. Will the murderer strike again to keep their secret from coming out? What choice does Rose need to make if she knows and is friends with this person?)

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration. ​(I thought of a good comp - Pretty Little Liars series. This reminds me a lot of the premise of the one. Another one that is slightly similar might be Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers Series. I don't read a lot of Psychological YA but that is what comes to mind. You could also google it and see what else sounds similar.

 

 

 

[Thank you in advance for all help with this one!]


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

#9 perpetual

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 07:28 AM

Thanks guys so much for your thoughts. :)


Query: Click here.

 


#10 BCVail

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

Ten teenagers from one of NYC's prestigious private schools decide to spend their spring recess in a castle in France, only to discover the secrets they're all hiding have followed them. (I like the next line, with Rose better as an opening sentence as we start with a specific character. Maybe combine with just saying she's spending her summer vacation at a castle in France? maybe ringleader of a student group spending their summer vacation in France.)

 

Eighteen-year-old Rose Morton, ringleader of the group, is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes (are these notes being left for them, mailed to them? in the castle? just mysteriously turning up?). Even more so when the notes--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together (great line) and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously waiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together as panic and suspicion push in on them (Well done escalating the tension). 

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent mysterious drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group intimately knows the person responsible (maybe it says that one of them is responsible? Otherwise it reads as if the group knows who it was that committed the murder). Immediately, fingers start flying: Who is the murderer they all know? Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the reveal of the final secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it. (This last sentence reads a little clunky. Maybe split into two sentences? Also reveal is used 2x. )

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sounds interesting and the query flows well. Just needs a little clarification.

 

[Thank you in advance for all help with this one!]

 

 

If you have a moment, I'd appreciate another set of eyes on my query. You can find the link here. Thank you.



#11 perpetual

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:12 AM

Thank you for your thoughts!

 

Query edited in original post.


Query: Click here.

 


#12 jaustail

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

Just a suggestion: when posting revised versions, post them in new replies instead of editing the first post. Else this can confused the reader as to which post has been revised.

You can post the revision as a reply and change the thread title to :Thorn in the rose revised on post#xx

 

 

JMO

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?"(I suggest remove this)

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they receive in an envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal(do the teenagers share the notes? why would a teenager share a note that has his or her secret?)--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed(maybe give a glimpse of the secret. drugs, booze, sex?), Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the person responsible. Either here, or in NYC, is a murderer walking freely(If the group knows who the murderer is, then they'd know if the murderer is in the castle or is in nyc). Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

Honestly it didn't work for me. Maybe mention more about the group and the secrets. Is there someone whom she loves? Does on secret revolve around incest? Give some details.

 

JMO of course.



#13 perpetual

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:59 AM

Just a suggestion: when posting revised versions, post them in new replies instead of editing the first post. Else this can confused the reader as to which post has been revised.

You can post the revision as a reply and change the thread title to :Thorn in the rose revised on post#xx

 

 

JMO

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?"(I suggest remove this)

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they receive in an envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal(do the teenagers share the notes? why would a teenager share a note that has his or her secret?)--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed(maybe give a glimpse of the secret. drugs, booze, sex?), Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the person responsible. Either here, or in NYC, is a murderer walking freely(If the group knows who the murderer is, then they'd know if the murderer is in the castle or is in nyc). Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

Honestly it didn't work for me. Maybe mention more about the group and the secrets. Is there someone whom she loves? Does on secret revolve around incest? Give some details.

 

JMO of course.

 

But like... Literally the whole novel revolves around the reveal of the secrets? If I give away even one in the query, I've lost the suspense build up in the actual reading of the manuscript.

 

 

Other edits made and query edited in original post.


Query: Click here.

 


#14 Springfield

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:10 AM

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?" So it's not like Vegas? 

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, They... all live in penthouses? that is the 'welcome' note they receive in an envelope on their respective beds. Agreement It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. I think you need to start with some setup, because I have no idea what's going on here. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. Huh? While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, tense Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all. I don't understand what's happening.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the person responsible. Either here, or in NYC, is a murderer walking freely. Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. I don't get this -- on top of what? Am I meant to think she did it or that she's sending the notes? However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would tense reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it. Tense.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

[Thank you in advance for all help with this one!]

Sorry, I don't get this at all -- I don't follow the basic plot. Your MC doesn't, in the query, do anything, and I don't see the stakes.



#15 jaustail

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:25 AM

JMO:

 

So if you cannot reveal their secrets maybe reveal other stuff like:

 

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?"

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends(maybe give an idea of their wealth. like 'nine of her friends, two of whom, are royals or something like that) arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they receive in an envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--(remove 'dashes')prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies(maybe put YA voice here like:...small price to pay for BFFs for life). While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts(how?). Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the murderer. It is either one of them or someone they are all acquainted with in NYC, roaming freely. Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

I think the issue is the query comes across as passive. As in the teenagers are reacting and not doing stuff. Maybe add some voice and other details.

 

Like:

 

18-year-old Rose and her nine equally filthy rich friends go to a castle in France for a two-week holiday. The castle has fountains of booze, drugs in reception, and the bellboys are pretty as vogue. But one 8-by-4 inch envelope spoils the joy marathon of the rich teens. They all receive a letter that hints toward their not-so-decent past.

 

It's time for the rich to become bitches as the secrets can shatter their lives and reduce their bank balance to zero. Rose, the richest and loneliest of all, enjoys the drama. There's nothing like mutual destruction to maintain bffs for life. Her ideal scenario includes chains tying her friends to a basement so no one can steal her best pals from her.

 

Another secret. Another friend cries on Rose's shoulder.

 

The next letter takes matters to the next level when it reveals the murder of a classmate. An incident everyone assumed was a drowning accident. The brat group knows the murderer. It's a secret that'll keep them. Rose's paranoia of loneliness is turning true as the group is coming together against her.

 

Okay so this is very drama bad. But JMO.



#16 perpetual

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:55 AM

JMO:

 

So if you cannot reveal their secrets maybe reveal other stuff like:

 

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?"

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends(maybe give an idea of their wealth. like 'nine of her friends, two of whom, are royals or something like that) arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they receive in an envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--(remove 'dashes')prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies(maybe put YA voice here like:...small price to pay for BFFs for life). While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts(how?). Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the murderer. It is either one of them or someone they are all acquainted with in NYC, roaming freely. Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

I think the issue is the query comes across as passive. As in the teenagers are reacting and not doing stuff. Maybe add some voice and other details.

 

Like:

 

18-year-old Rose and her nine equally filthy rich friends go to a castle in France for a two-week holiday. The castle has fountains of booze, drugs in reception, and the bellboys are pretty as vogue. But one 8-by-4 inch envelope spoils the joy marathon of the rich teens. They all receive a letter that hints toward their not-so-decent past.

 

It's time for the rich to become bitches as the secrets can shatter their lives and reduce their bank balance to zero. Rose, the richest and loneliest of all, enjoys the drama. There's nothing like mutual destruction to maintain bffs for life. Her ideal scenario includes chains tying her friends to a basement so no one can steal her best pals from her.

 

Another secret. Another friend cries on Rose's shoulder.

 

The next letter takes matters to the next level when it reveals the murder of a classmate. An incident everyone assumed was a drowning accident. The brat group knows the murderer. It's a secret that'll keep them. Rose's paranoia of loneliness is turning true as the group is coming together against her.

 

Okay so this is very drama bad. But JMO.

 

 

Hmmm... I see where you're coming from. Ok, I shall ponder on how I can make it more active while still keeping in line with Rose's tightly wound, prim and proper voice/persona. 

Thanks for your help! :)


Query: Click here.

 


#17 Sataris

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:58 AM

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?" I personally don't think this is the way to go about hooking your reader- I'm wondering who exactly is speaking right off the bat

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC, penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they they each receive in an envelope on their respective beds. (insert threatening description here) It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together, and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all. it's probably implied that they don't know who is behind it, and the other stuff is synopsis.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident I'd try to get to this as early as possible - this is where it really gets interesting--and that the group knows the murderer. It is either one of them or someone they are all acquainted with in NYC, roaming freely. I don't know your story here, so I could be totally off base in this, but it seems like there's very little point for the note writer to be threatening them if they just happen to know the murderer, but not the fact that that person is are a murderer. And if even they know the person's a murderer, I'd be wondering why someone would be tormenting them rather than just turning them in as being an accomplice 

 

Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top I'm not sure how exactly she can come out on top, because it seems like she's basically helpless, and can't do anything but wait for more notes. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it. won't they all be standing once the murderer is revealed? Except for maybe the murderer, who I presume will be going to jail?

 

 

Okay, thats a lot of cuts. But. You've got some good stuff in here, and you've got a story that you've related in very few words, which leaves you a lot of room to expand on some other stuff. I think what this query is lacking so far is information on Rose. We need to get in her head a lot more if we're going to be interested in this. We have to see her questioning her past and her every friendship (and if she's an unreliable narrator, we need to see that somewhere too). We need to see her agonizing over each revelation, however small. And, most importantly, we need to know that she really, really cares about the final result. Was her classmate a good friend of hers? Also- is anyone going to desperate measures to keep the rest of the people from discovering their secret?


No current query!


#18 epercak

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:58 PM

MOST RECENT VERSION, AS OF JULY 18:

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?" Echoing the previous comment, I don't think this works as a hook. It's vague and a little confusing. I'd just strike it. 

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the 'welcome' note they each receive in an cryptic envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together and one of her secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. You're dictating theme here. Let it be apparent through the story. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets would be disclosed, Rose works to keep the group together, even as some in the group resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion push in on them, and the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all. These two sentences can be trimmed a whole lot. 

 

Then One of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that  the group knows the murderer. It is either one of them or someone they are all acquainted with in NYC, roaming freely. Soon, the monstrous castle feels suffocating and Rose is gasping for a way to come out on top. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this.  However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would will reveal the most surreptitious truth, and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

[Thank you in advance for all help with this one!]

 

 

The story certainly sounds promising, but you need to make some edits to make it pop. It rambles a bit and some clunky sentences get in the way. I also agree that we need to know a bit more about Rose, maybe some of her quirks could make her distinct. 

 

Keep at it!



#19 veda_p

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 04:13 PM

Hey perpetual! Nice to see you with another project! 

MOST RECENT VERSION, AS OF JULY 18:

 

"Welcome to France, where all your secrets still follow you. Whose will come out first?" Love the hook. 

 

When eighteen-year-old Rose Morton and nine of her friends arrive in a castle far away from their NYC penthouses, that is the welcome (no need to put welcome in quotations, I think) note they each receive in an envelope on their respective beds. It is the first of many. Rose is initially delighted by the mystery of the threatening notes. (I read in your other reply that Rose is a calculating, cold person, but for the reader who doesn't know that, this throws them off. Why would she be delighted by something threatening? I'd maybe elaborate a bit more on Rose's character before attempting to explain her reaction.) Even more so when they--and the secrets they reveal--prove credible. There's nothing like mutual destruction to keep friends together, and one of her own secrets is a small price to pay for permanent allies. While anxiously awaiting for when and which one of her secrets to be disclosed (earlier version was too muddled), Rose works to keep the group together, even when they resist her efforts. Panic and suspicion arise as the group is no closer to knowing who's behind it all.

 

Then one of the notes reveals that the recent drowning of one of their classmates was no accident--and that the group knows the murderer. It is either one of them or someone they are all acquainted with in NYC, roaming freely. (too much info. kills the suspense) The monstrous castle feel suffocating as Rose grasps for a way to come out on top. However, the closer they get to the last remaining secret, the more obvious it becomes that only time would reveal the most surreptitious truth, the mystery of the lone survivor.  and who would be standing as a survivor on the other side of it.

 

THORN IN THE ROSE, a XX,XXX word YA Psychological Thriller, is my homage to the brilliance that is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

[Thank you in advance for all help with this one!]

 

I'm not a mystery person at all, but i love the sound of this. My biggest points are to elaborate more on Rose's character and her deception--we get inklings of that, but not enough. As a reader, I'm programmed to see the main character as the hero, the "good guy," and Rose clearly isn't. I tried to fix a couple of sentences that felt too long or confusing, but other than that you're doing great! Good luck! (also, just posted a new version of my query for Of Violet Eyes, so feel free to take a look!) 


My query. If I have critiqued yours, I would appreciate a glance at mine! :) 


#20 perpetual

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:49 AM

Thank you all so much for your help!! I'll have to sit on your suggestions and come back with an edit :)


Query: Click here.

 





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