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The Skin of the World (YA Sci-fi) - Revised


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#1 rhwashere

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:43 AM

Hey guys! This is a revision of a post I submitted some time ago. Please let me know what you think!

 

 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

When the government rules by stoking prejudice and paranoia, and those opposing it are brutal enough to murder children, there are no good guys. That's why fourteen-year-old Noah Grayfield would rather spend his time tinkering with machines, the one thing that makes him happy. But after rebels decide to bomb a library, killing Noah's only friend, he can no longer ignore the conflict around him.

 

In the days following his friend's death, Noah begins to develop strange abilities. He has visions of places he's never been; at times, he can even peer through walls and see in total darkness. He believes he's the only one with such inexplicable gifts until he meets Adia, a captivating sixteen-year-old who can channel electricity with her mind. As Noah tries to unearth the secret of where their power comes from, he finds himself falling for her instead.

 

Then Noah discovers the horrifying truth: Adia is one of the same rebels who killed his best friend. What's more, these violent extremists are poised for their biggest attack, yet. And even as Noah struggles with these revelations, he learns that he has been marked by a deadly government agency charged with making empowered people like him disappear.

 

To confront Adia means making himself a target of both the government and the rebels. But to do nothing means allowing the rebels to start a civil war that will kill millions.

 

THE SKIN OF THE WORLD is a 82,000-word YA science fiction that should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s THE RECKONERS series. Given your interest in ____, I thought it might be a good fit for your list. Thank you for your time and consideration.



#2 callalilly

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:24 PM

Hello rhwashere, below are just a few thoughts for you that hopefully help.


(I get where you were going with your hook, but would suggest re-working it. I think possibly you should start with Noah at the forefront. Something like: "Fourteen-year-old Noah Grayfield survives the world by keeping his head down and his hands busy tinkering with machines. It's safer that way since his world  is fueled by the government stoking prejudices and paranoia, and those willing to oppose it are brutal enough to murder children. But after rebels decide to bomb a library, killing Noah's only friend, he can no longer ignore the conflict around him."

That's not great -you'd do better since it's your tale, but I hope to express that by Noah being right at the forefront, readers are instantly introduced to their main character. Perhaps others will disagree with this, and if so, please ignore -it's just a thought :)

 

In the days following his friend's death, Noah begins to develop strange abilities. (Maybe more info on how this came about -was he anywhere near the bomb at the library i.e. did he get affected by some sort of radiation or something. Forgive me if I'm way off -I'm picturing a superhero thing. If NOT though, possible add how Noah feels in the beginning, is he scared, excited, does he have trouble controlling his power?) He has visions of places he's never been; at times, he can even peer through walls and see in total darkness. He believes he's the only one with such inexplicable gifts until he meets Adia, a captivating sixteen-year-old who can channel electricity with her mind. As Noah tries to unearth the secret of where their power comes from, he finds himself falling for her instead. (I may be in a small percentage of people who are unsure of this, so if you disagree -understandable. BUT, I feel like you should change either Noah's age or Adia's age. 14 Vs. 16 is only two years, but there is some major life-points between them that would I think separate Noah from Adia. 16 is that standard high school age, most girls have already gone through puberty. 14 is kinda prepubescent -almost little kid like. Now, if Noah's love is unrequited because of this age difference, I get it, but if something comes of it, I suggest a possible age change. There is also the thought of genera. You note this as a YA book, but your main character is 14, that straddles the line a bit, agents might put it more in a middle grade book. Of course though, this is just my thought and again again again -ignore if you disagree.)

 

But just as Noah is falling for her, he discovers the horrifying truth: Adia is one of the same rebels who killed his best friend. What's more, these violent extremists are poised for their biggest attack, yet (where? and why?) Struggling with these revelations, he learns also that he has been marked by a deadly government agency charged with making empowered people like him disappear. (why?)

 

To confront Adia means making himself a target of both the government and the rebels (I assume doing that also marks her since she has a power). But to do nothing means allowing the rebels to start a civil war that will kill millions. (I would like more info on why the rebels do this, obviously they're angry, but how does the violence help their plight? And how does killing children do that?)

 

(Overall I think it sounds really interesting. I think maybe if you decided to focus on a few specific things would help. If you explain the rebels more, Noah's power, his love-interest and what that means, and the government wanting to take out the individuals with a power. That's a lot to cover, so maybe simplify and choose maybe 3 to explain? Interesting read though, I hope I helped some and happy writing.)

 

THE SKIN OF THE WORLD is a 82,000-word YA science fiction that should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s THE RECKONERS series. Given your interest in ____, I thought it might be a good fit for your list. Thank you for your time and consideration.


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

 


#3 IslaCaribbe

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:55 PM

When the government rules by stoking prejudice and paranoia, and those opposing it are brutal enough to murder children (how would murdering children help defeat the government?), there are no good guys. That's why fourteen-year-old Noah Grayfield would rather spend his time tinkering with machines, the one thing that makes him happy. But after rebels decide to bomb a library, killing Noah's only friend, he can no longer ignore the conflict around him.

 

In the days following his friend's death, Noah begins to develop strange abilities. He has visions of places he's never been; at times, he can even peer through walls and see in total darkness. He believes he's the only one with such inexplicable gifts until he meets Adia, a captivating sixteen-year-old who can channel electricity with her mind. As Noah tries to unearth the secret of where their power comes from, he finds himself falling for her instead.

 

Then Noah discovers the horrifying truth: Adia is one of the same rebels who killed his best friend. What's more, these violent extremists are poised for their biggest attack, yet. And even as Noah struggles with these revelations, he learns that he has been marked by a deadly government agency charged with making empowered people like him disappear.

 

To confront Adia means making himself a target of both the government and the rebels. But to do nothing means allowing the rebels to start a civil war that will kill millions.

 

weird spots

 

Overall very interesting! Keep at it! :D


Check out my query if you have time: A Goddess Calls


#4 jaustail

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:21 AM

JMO:

 

Dear Ms. [Agent],

 

When the government rules by stoking prejudice and paranoia, and those opposing it are brutal enough to murder children, there are no good guys. That's why fourteen-year-old Noah Grayfield would rather spend his time tinkering with machines, the one thing that makes him happy. But after rebels decide to bomb a library, killing Noah's only friend, he can no longer ignore the conflict around him.(good opening)

 

In the days following his friend's death, Noah begins to develop strange abilities. He has visions of places he's never been; at times, he can even peer through walls and see in total darkness. He believes he's the only one with such inexplicable gifts until he meets Adia, a captivating sixteen-year-old who can channel electricity with her mind. As Noah tries to unearth the secret of where their power(powers) comes(come) from, he finds himself falling for her instead.

 

Then Noah discovers the horrifying truth(<--this sounds like synopsis): Adia is one of the same rebels who killed his best friend. What's more, these violent extremists are poised for their biggest attack, yet. And even as Noah struggles with these revelations, he learns that he has been marked by a deadly government agency charged with making empowered people like him disappear.

 

To confront Adia means making himself a target of both the government and the rebels. But to do nothing means allowing the rebels to start a civil war that will kill millions.

 

THE SKIN OF THE WORLD is a(an) 82,000-word YA science fiction that should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s THE RECKONERS series. Given your interest in ____, I thought it might be a good fit for your list. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

I like the query. It gives a clear picture of what to expect from the book.

Link to my revised query is in my signature in case you want to have a look.



#5 egavin

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:15 PM

 

When the government rules by stoking prejudice and paranoia, and those opposing it are brutal enough to murder children, there are no good guys. That's why fourteen-year-old Noah Grayfield would rather spend his time tinkering with machines, the one thing that makes him happy. But after rebels decide to bomb a library, killing Noah's only friend, he can no longer ignore the conflict around him. (I'd go with callalilly's suggestion. Right now, Noah holds my attention more than a faceless, generic war, so start with him!)

 

In the days following his friend's death, Noah begins to develop strange abilities. He has visions of places he's never been; at times, he can even peer through walls and see in total darkness. He believes he's the only one with such inexplicable gifts until he meets Adia, a captivating sixteen-year-old who can channel electricity with her mind. As Noah tries to unearth the secret of where behind their power comes from, he finds himself falling for her instead. (Instead doesn't really work here)

 

Then Noah discovers the horrifying truth: Adia is one of the same rebels who killed his best friend. What's more, these violent extremists (I'd choose another phrase, since "violent extremist" just sounds kind of dry and newspaper-ish. Even something simple like "her organization" would work) are poised for their biggest attack, yet. And even as Noah struggles with these revelations, he learns that he has been marked by a deadly government agency charged with making empowered(this is kind of an odd word choice, though I can't think of a better one off the top of my head) people like him disappear.

 

To confront Adia means making himself a target of both the government and the rebels. (Why does confronting her make the government target him? Won't they try to get him no matter what he does?) But to do nothing means allowing the rebels to start a civil war that will kill millions. 

 

THE SKIN OF THE WORLD is a 82,000-word YA science fiction that should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s THE RECKONERS series. Given your interest in ____, I thought it might be a good fit for your list. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Hope I could be of help! If you have a minute, my query's in my signature






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