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Finding Electrons

Middle Grade Adventure

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#1 Aneta

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 01:03 AM

Hey everyone, excited to get any kind of feedback on this :)
 
OK, here we go...
 
 
11-year-old Leo sets out to get the lost electricity back. If only he could overcome his own fears and all the secrets his team-members are keeping.
 
Five years have passed since the Great Disaster  which left the earth without electricity. Life is hard on the disfigured planet. At the age of six,children go digging for days to bring the coalistones - the only left energy source. Leo is one of the kids in the streets of the ruined city struggling to survive. But secretly he attends Mr. T's illegal lessons. With this mysterious professor, confined in a former underground station, along with reading and writing Leo learns how to be friends with sixteen other kids. Except from Sissy maybe, the girl who keeps visiting their strange class without actually needing the lessons and whose poisonous tongue would make a scorpion jealous. Leo could describe himself being quite happy at times he forgets it's all until he gets fifteen and goes to the digging army. Unless...
 
Unless he is brave enough to break into the power station to let the electricity out into the world, which the government has secretly regained, Sissy whispers to him in the dead of night. And this revelation changes everything, apart from the fact that fighting back is not really his thing. Yet he finds himself leading the mission of the kids to the very power station. Still not sure of his plans and still scared to death, he has no other choice than to get his sleeves rolled up when his 5-year-old sister is taken to the laboratory in the same power plant.
But how easy is it to succeed in carrying out this dangerous operation when no one seems to be who they say they are?
 
FINDING ELECTRONS is a middle grade adventure novel set in a post-apocalyptic world and completed at 38,000 words.
Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

 



#2 callalilly

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:12 PM

11-year-old Leo sets out to get the lost electricity back. If only he could overcome his own fears and all the secrets his team-members are keeping. (I suggest a different hook -while I get where you're going, it doesn't convey enough info to really propel readers to next paragraph.)


 
Five years have passed since the Great Disaster  which left the earth without electricity. Life is hard on the disfigured planet.  (I don't think you need this really -we know life can't be a paradise without electricity.) At the age of six,children go digging for days to bring the coalistones - the only energy source left (Unless Leo is one of these kids, I think you can cut this...keep your paragraphs about Leo.  Leo strugles to survive on the streets of the ruined city, while secretly attending Mr. T's illegal lessons (Why illegal? and What type of lessons?). Confined in a former underground station with the mysterious professor and sixteen other kids, Leo quickly forgets his lonely days on the streets (I really mixed up this sentence -but if you think it sounds bad, ignore all.). Only his classmate Sissy -a mean girl who keeps visiting their strange class without actually needing the lessons and whose poisonous tongue would make a scorpion jealous- could make Leo miss the streets. Sheltered in his classroom, Leo is quite happy, he even forgets at times the concern over turning fifteen and being forced into the digging army. Unless...
 
Unless he is brave enough to break into the power station to let the electricity out into the world, the same electricity -Sissy tells him- in which the government has secretly regained. And this revelation changes everything, apart from the fact that Fighting back is not really his thing, yet he still finds himself leading a mission with kids to the very power station. Still not sure of his plans and still scared to death, he has no other choice than to roll up his sleeves and go in when his 5-year-old sister is taken to the laboratory in the same power plant.
 
But how easy is it to succeed in carrying out this dangerous operation when no one seems to be who they say they are?
 
(Interesting story :) I suggest focusing the points more. And this is just my opinion that you may not think is right, but I think you need to take out some items and focus more on key items. There is a feeling of some jumping around here: 1. the loss of electricity 2. Leo's illegal lessons 3. threat of the digging army 4. breaking into get the electricity. 5. sister taken
 
This is a lot to cover in 200 words and makes it feel a little unfocused. Maybe focus 1. on the loss of electricity: why did it happen? How has it affected the world? Why is the government keeping the electricity? and 2. Leo's illegal lessons: Why are they illegal? What are they? Who is Mr. T? Why is Leo chosen to study these lessons? How will they help him get back the electricity? This will lead up to 4. getting the electricity: tell us why its locked up, how the kids will get it, and why they are so zealous to get it again.
 
As for 3. the threat of the digging army -unless your book has a time jump, I don't think you need to mention this; Leo is 11, he still has four years before this is a real concern then.
 
And 5. sister taken, I think you can take this out. It is slipped in at the end with no backing. If you want to keep it, reference the sister in the beginning. Furthermore, tell us why she was taken.
 
This is A LOT I know, and I apologize, but I really hope it will help you -that's my main goal in writing this; to help if I can. I think you can form a great query, but there needs a little more focus and direction. Again, if none of my critiques work -delete this info. You will know what's best for your book. Take care!

My work in progress: http://agentquerycon...again-ya/page-2

 


#3 Bananas

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:39 PM

I hate to be harsh, but this is a scrap and redo.  Your scientific premise is flawed and I don't have the slightest clue what your story is about, much less who your MC is as a person.

 

Hey everyone, excited to get any kind of feedback on this :)
 
OK, here we go...
 
 
11-year-old Leo sets out to get the lost electricity back. How exactly does electricity get lost?  The basic science doesn't make any sense, and if I were an agent, I'd stop here.  Electrical charges can be created by passing a magnetic field over a conductive material, so unless magnetism and copper has sudden disappeared from the world, your premise is DOA.  If only he could overcome his own fears and all the secrets his team-members are keeping.  
 
Five years have passed since the Great Disaster  which left the earth without electricity. Friction is another source of electricity.  Placing two dissimilar metals in an acid solution is another (that's a battery, btw).  Life is hard on the disfigured planet. At the age of six,children go digging for days to bring the coalistones - the only left energy source. What about wind? Steam? Waterfalls? Anything that could rotate a magnet over a copper coil, really. Leo is one of the kids in the streets of the ruined city struggling to survive. What city?  You need to set your setting better.  "Disfigured planet" makes me think of a barren world, and now there's cities?   But secretly he attends Mr. T's illegal lessons. Seriously?  Mr. T?  I assume you're not talking about the guy from the A-Team.  And if I'm right... wow, just wow.  You need to be conscious of what names you use. With this mysterious words like mystery, secret, prophecy are poison in a query.  While you might think they incite interest, but they often have the opposite effect.  professor, confined in a former underground station, along with reading and writing Leo learns how to be friends with sixteen other kids. Except from Sissy maybe, the girl who keeps visiting their strange class without actually needing the lessons and whose poisonous tongue would make a scorpion jealous. A) Scorpions don't have tongues.  B) this is an awful info dump. Leo could describe himself being quite happy at times he forgets it's all until he gets fifteen and goes to the digging army. Digging army?  I thought all the kids over 6 were the diggers?  Besides this, the grammar in this sentence is messed.  Try reading it aloud - if you trip up, so will we.  Unless...
 
Unless he is brave enough to break into the power station to let the electricity out into the world, what are you talking about?  which the government has secretly regained, huh?? Sissy whispers to him in the dead of night. About what?  That the "government" can turn on the lights?  Nothing about this makes any sense.  And this revelation changes everything, apart from the fact that fighting back is not really his thing. Fighting about what? Yet he finds himself leading the mission of the kids to the very power station. Still not sure of his plans and still scared to death, he has no other choice than to get his sleeves rolled up when his 5-year-old sister is taken to the laboratory in the same power plant.  There's no rhythm, no flow here.  You just drop plot points with no explanation and no leadup.  Things should flow together.  
But how easy is it to succeed in carrying out this dangerous operation when no one seems to be who they say they are?  Rhetorical questions are a huge no-no.  They leave you open to smart-ass answers.  Agents are known to reject queries with rhetorical question in them.
 
FINDING ELECTRONS is a middle grade adventure novel set in a post-apocalyptic world and completed at 38,000 words.
Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

 



#4 Aneta

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:20 AM

Callalilly and Bananas, thanks so much for your critique. It's really helpful to know how your query really sounds to others and what kind of questions it leaves unanswered.

I'll bear all this in mind while revising.



#5 jaustail

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:46 AM

JMO:
 
11-year-old Leo sets out to get the lost electricity back. If only he could overcome his own fears and all the secrets his team-members are keeping.
 
(maybe start the query from here)Five years have passed since the Great Disaster  which(there is extra space before 'which') left the earth without electricity. Life is hard on the disfigured planet. At the age of six,children go digging(who sends them? parents? government?) for days to bring the coalistones(maybe coalstones. no 'i') - the only left energy source. Leo is one of the kids in the streets of the ruined city struggling to survive. But secretly he attends Mr. T's illegal lessons. With this mysterious professor, confined(i got confused as to who is confined. the processor or the students?) in a former underground station, along with reading and writing Leo learns how to be friends with sixteen other kids. Except from Sissy maybe, the girl who keeps visiting their strange class without actually needing the lessons and whose poisonous tongue(is it really poisonous or is this some analogy?) would make a scorpion jealous. Leo could describe himself being quite happy at times he forgets it's all until he gets fifteen and goes to the digging army. Unless...(how do they get light inside this underground station? are there candles around? what is the professor teaching?)
 
Unless he is brave enough to break into the power station to let the electricity out into the world, which the government has secretly regained, Sissy whispers to him in the dead of night. And this revelation changes everything, apart from the fact that fighting back is not really his thing. Yet he finds himself leading the mission of the kids to the very power station. Still not sure of his plans and still scared to death, he has no other choice than to get his sleeves rolled up when his 5-year-old(five-year-old) sister is taken to the laboratory in the same power plant.
(add line break)But how easy is it to succeed in carrying out this dangerous operation when no one seems to be who they say they are? (not sure you must end with a question)
 
FINDING ELECTRONS is a middle grade adventure novel set in a post-apocalyptic world and completed(maybe complete) at 38,000 words.
Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
Being an electrical engineer i loved the premise. I thought this would be a fantasy where heros are finding electrons in some nucleus or power system. Lol.
 
The query needs to be simplified. The professor doesn't come later. Why is he hiding? Good luck!!

Query: WALL OF ICE

(Space Opera)

Revised version: Link






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