Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

Compatibility YA sci-fi

Gay Lesbian Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 22 February 2018 - 02:42 AM

Can I get some feedback on my query letter? Thanks!

 

 

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunch room from the other students and consume low-quality food. She also cannot fight in vireality matches—her favorite school sport. Priah attends practices anyway, desperate to find a way to advance her position. One of the coaches of the vireality team captures Priah’s attention. Priah calls her She-108. She-108 notices Priah, and discovers that she has academic talent—a rare thing for an incompatible to have. When She-108 also learns that Priah was accepted into the Human Reservation—a cult-like organization where extremely gifted children train to be guards or coders—she decides to help Priah.

Priah fears that if She-108 looks at her too closely, she will discover her secrets. But allowing She-108 to see her, appears to be the only way for Priah to accomplish her ambitions. If Priah can’t find a way to control her emotions, more than just her monitor will break.

 

New Version:

 

Dear:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunchroom from the other students and consume low-quality food.

Priah is coerced into joining a power hungry cult, where her choices are her own, but making them is a difficulty. Rumors of a virus designed to harm cyborgs moves through the cult. Priah must figure out who she can trust without the help of her monitor if she is going to save herself, and the other cyborgs, from those who despise them.

 

 

 

All feedback is appreciated!! 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#2 darsenault

darsenault

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 51 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 22 February 2018 - 02:56 AM

So I read the short version and went, "Oh, I don't understand what's going on, I'll turn to the longer version for some clarity."

Then the longer version was just full of more words that I didn't recognize.

 

You have a LOT of interesting subjects in your query, but almost all of them are disguised under unfamiliar terms. Let me highlight them all in red for the first two paragraphs.

 

 

Priah broke her compatibility monitor. Only low-ranking trainees or incompatibles, are supposed to do that. Not wanting to be exposed to the social stigma that comes with monitor breaking, Priah’s parents hide the shame of her act by illegally buying her a fake monitor from the Human Reservation. If the Intelligence Agency discovers her secret, it can send her parents to the Sun Colonies, and she will most likely end up there as well.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. As an incompatible she is unable to fight on the vireality team at her school, and instead can only be a Cleanoir, a member of the team who cleans up the messes of the more important players. Priah becomes obsessed with one of the coaches of the team, and works to find a way to escape her position. Priah mentally calls the woman She-108, not daring to even think her real name.

Each of those terms begs a new question that you don't have time to answer. I don't understand what Priah is, if not human, why the compatibility matters, why she can't just ask for a replacement, why incompatibles are kept around at all if they're such pariahs, what she's studying at the Advanced School, what the school sport is or why it matters... etc.

 

Also, why does she attack the only friend she is allowed to have?? And if she's got a fake monitor, why is she even allowed at that school? Shouldn't she be incognito?



Don't try and answer all of those questions in your query, but focus on the key points: Priah is known as a Meta, a modified life-form with metal under her skin. She's required to maintain a compatibility monitor to prove she's [What?]. After breaking hers, she's forced to attend Advanced University as a second-class student, but her social status is the least of her concerns. She develops an unavoidable crush on a teacher, and that same teacher has singled her out for specialized combat training, which puts her right in the crosshairs of a group sworn to destroy all Metas.

 

 

Obviously I don't understand the gist of your story well enough for that to be accurate, but do you see how I stripped any name and term I couldn't define concisely? Aim for that with your second draft.

 

 

One last note: Your short draft reads really fluidly, even if it makes no sense. Once you figure out what matters, I think you'll craft an excellent query. Good luck!



#3 JDSmith

JDSmith

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 46 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationUS West Coast
  • Publishing Experience:I have finished my first novel and am currently figuring out the publishing process in hopes to one day be published.

Posted 22 February 2018 - 03:29 PM

Can I get some feedback on my query letters? Thanks!

 

Option 3: Combine the two!

 

Option 1:

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

 

Priah has an unfortunate habit of doing things she’s not supposed to do. Breaking her compatibility monitor, falling in love with her teacher, and secretly joining a cult among them. She wasn’t always this way. She used to follow all of the rules the Intelligence Agency set out for trainees and always be close enough to the top of the rankings. But catching feelings has an interesting effect on her, and once she begins rebelling she is unable to stop.

 

Compatibility is The Price of Salt meets Battlestar Galactica. It is a young adult science fiction novel complete at approximately 98,000 words. 

 

I am a freelance writer based in Washington State.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Option 2:

Dear *Agent Name*:

 

Priah broke her compatibility monitor. Only low-ranking trainees or incompatibles, are supposed to do that. Not wanting to be exposed to the social stigma that comes with monitor breaking, Priah’s parents hide the shame of her act by illegally buying her a fake monitor from the Human Reservation. If the Intelligence Agency discovers her secret, it can send her parents to the Sun Colonies, and she will most likely end up there as well.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. As an incompatible she is unable to fight on the vireality team at her school, and instead can only be a Cleanoir, a member of the team who cleans up the messes of the more important players. Priah becomes obsessed with one of the coaches of the team, and works to find a way to escape her position. Priah mentally calls the woman She-108, not daring to even think her real name.

The only company Priah is permitted to keep is Anataszia, who has been an incompatible her entire life. When Priah attacks Anataszia, her abilities as a fighter are recognized by her “human” teacher, Mr. Prudgerson. He coerces Priah into training at the Human Reservation, where Priah’s Commander, Orca, subjects Priah and her fellow trainees to mind games and psychological torture.

In the presence of so many who call themselves “human,” Priah begins to question the validity and the strength of the metal that lies beneath her skin. Her metabilities, her metal claws, are a point of pride for her outside of the Reservation, and a useful tool in vireality matches. Outside the Reservation, having a higher percentage of metal under the skin correlates positively with high social status. Inside the Reservation, those who allow their metabilities to show are targets for Redkeys, people who believe that the world needs to be cleansed of metabilities(since you used metabilities earlier in the sentence, find a different way to reference it)

As Priah is given positions of leadership, she finds herself changing to become more like her Commander Orca. Priah fluctuates between obsession with Orca and She-108, and struggles under the power they both hold over her.

(Only name your main character and your antagonist) (At this point I'm confused about what Priah's goals are, what is the antagonist, and what are the stakes. Option 1 does not need a lot of revisions. It's solid, but I think you should combine it with the last paragraph of option 2. That way its not too long and not too short and not describing the events too much)

Compatibility is a young adult science fiction novel complete at approximately 98,000 words.

 

I am a freelance writer based in Washington State.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

 

As you can see, I'm having some trouble figuring out what to include and what to leave out. All feedback is appreciated!! 


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#4 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 22 February 2018 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the feedback! It's really helpful!


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#5 Wayfarer

Wayfarer

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 23 February 2018 - 09:52 PM

The Intelligence Agency has earth’s children under the protective control of compatibility monitors, which (Descriptor here instead of "which", for example, "Robots, AI units, etc")instruct their choices throughout the day in everything from nutrition choices to friendship choices. When Priah commits the shameful (If you're going to say shameful, you have to explain why its shameful. Simplify this by saying something like "commits the social taboo of...")act of destroying her compatibility monitor, she is coerced into joining the cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation (Explain these people briefly "...as the Human Reservation: activists who safeguard people like Priah" or something to that effect). The Reservation has been kind enough to make a fake monitor for her, but threatens to expose her if she doesn’t train for them. (This is vague. Train? Train what? "if she doesn't train for their cause off [killing/movie making/hand puppets/etc])

 

The Human Reservation claims to preserve “the ways of humanity” (Define briefly what this is. ["the ways of humanity": alcohol and apples])but despite the benevolence that they project, the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes (cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal) (Don't use parenthetical statements in the query. It reads like an after thought and breaks the snappy flow that a query is supposed to maintain. Instead use an em-dash, plenty of resources online to explain how to make one, or a colon). Priah does not have enough metal underneath her skin to be considered a complete, but she has enough to face discrimination. Rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes move through the Reservation. Priah must figure out who to believe and who to trust without the help of her real monitor. (I think you need to explain what is so special about these monitors. Why did she break hers? Why does she need it to figure things out? I get that it did a lot for her, but even managed her critical thinking? If so, that sort of thing needs explanation, because it's an extension of self at that point, making the monitor part of her character.)

Priah’s broken compatibility monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense feelings for a mysterious older woman, which could put her, and her object of affection, in danger of being sent to the Sun Colonies, where criminals and those deemed useless to society are sent to mine energy from the sun. (These whole stakes come out of nowhere. It's the first time you're mentioning this woman, and after you've built up the reservation and the monitors so much. Either make the query about the woman {Don't do that, that's boring in comparison to the other cool stuff you brought up} or make the conclusion about the other cool stuff you brought up [do that])



#6 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 726 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:46 PM

Dear *Agent Name*:

 

The Intelligence Agency has Earth’s children under the protective control of compatibility monitors, Are these monitors computers or people? which instruct them throughout their day in everything from nutritional choices  to friendship choices. When x-year-old Priah commits the shameful act of destroying her compatibility monitor, she is forced coerced in to join ing the a cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation. I would stop here and use just this as your hook. Your writing is also bit wordy. I made some recommendations to tighten it. 

 

Because this is YA, you need to state your MC's age right at the beginning.

 

The Reservation has been kind enough to make a fake monitor for her, but threatens to expose her if she doesn’t train for them. Train for them? What does that mean? And why does she need a fake monitor if she's already exiled to a place where people don't have CMs? And why do they need CMs in the first place? And why did she break hers?

 

The Human Reservation claims to preserve “the ways of humanity comma” but despite the benevolence that they project, the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes (cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal). What? You need to clarify this. Priah does not have enough metal beneath underneath her skin to be considered a complete, I thought she was 100% human. but she has enough to face discrimination. Rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes move through the Reservation. This comes out of nowhere. Priah must figure out who to believe and who to trust without the help of her real monitor. So she needs a monitor after all? So people are dependent on the CMs to make their decisions? If so, this is an important point you need to clarify at the beginning. 

 

 Priah’s broken compatibility monitor is not her only secret. I'm still confused why she needs a fake monitor on the Reservation. I also didn't know it was a secret that hers is fake. She harbors intense feelings for a mysterious older woman, Romantic feelings? And this is the first time we see any kind of second character. which could put her, and her object of affection, in danger of being sent to the Sun Colonies, where criminals and those deemed useless to society are sent to mine energy from the sun. This last sentence is too long and it's confusing. Why would get sent to another colony because she has some kind of feelings for some other woman? And what happened to the virus?

 

So your query is very unclear. There is no clear chain of events. There are random events that are seemingly unconnected. We also know nothing about Priah, how old she is, what her feelings are, why she was motivated to break her CM. Late in the query we learn that she is apparently cyborg.

 

We need to know who Priah is and what she wants. I have no idea what she wants. I assume that what she wants is somehow related to why she broke her CM, but you never explain that. In a query, your MC needs to have a goal/need/desire -- something they are striving to achieve. Then there are obstacles they must face to achieve their goal. Finally, there are consequences they face if they fail (the stakes).

 

You need to rewrite your query to address these questions:

 

1. Who is Priah?

2. What does she want/need?

3. What obstacles prevent her from getting what she wants/needs?

4. What will happen if she fails to get what she wants/needs (the stakes).

 

You also need to write your query using this overall structure.

 

1-2 sentence snappy hook.

Body paragraph 1

Body paragraph 2

​Body paragraph 3 (end with the stakes)

Closing paragraph with genre, word count, etc

 

One other thing you need to watch out for is being wordy. In a query you need to write very efficiently. Work hard to make your writing very tight.

Query writing is hard, so don't be discouraged. Good luck!

 

 

 



#7 TraceyB

TraceyB

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:None

Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:15 AM

Can I get some feedback on my query letter? Thanks!

 

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

 

The Intelligence Agency has earth’s children under the protective control of compatibility monitors, which instruct them throughout their day in everything from nutritional choices to friendship choices. When Priah commits the shameful act of destroying her compatibility monitor, she is coerced into joining the cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation. The Reservation has been kind enough to make a fake monitor for her, but threatens to expose her if she doesn’t train for them.

 

 The Human Reservation claims to preserve “the ways of humanity” but despite the benevolence that they project, the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes (cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal). Priah does not have enough metal underneath her skin to be considered a complete, but she has enough to face discrimination. Rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes move through the Reservation. Priah must figure out who to believe and who to trust without the help of her real monitor.

 

Priah’s broken compatibility monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense feelings for a mysterious older woman, which could put her, and her object of affection, in danger of being sent to the Sun Colonies, where criminals and those deemed useless to society are sent to mine energy from the sun.

 

(Note: I left out the word count and the bio but I know that needs to be included. This is a revised addition, previously there were multiple options that I was asking for feedback on. )

 

New Edition: 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor.

 

Priah’s new monitor does not work well. It only pairs her with one friend and this friend is involved with the Human Reservation.What is this? Alienated from the rest of the school, Priah decides to join the cult to regain a feeling of power. Priah is warned of a virus designed to wipe out all metabilities—special abilities made of metal.How can an ability be made of metal? Priah had never considered that the metal claws she was born with were unnatural, but extremists on the Reservation known as Redkeys insist that metabilities are an abomination.

 

Priah’s broken monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense romantic feelings for an older woman. The woman has her own plans for Priah, and although Priah senses that her intentions might not be exactly pure, she allows herself to be used by the woman in the delusional hope that the two of them can make something better out of their difficult pasts.

I am really new to this but I have had a go based on the feedback you gave me! This reads really well and sounds like an interesting book but I was unclear in two places. Is the metability a tool that gives the user a special ability? Hope this helps a little and good luck.

 

All feedback is appreciated!! 



#8 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:28 AM

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally.  She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor. Okay - so I understand what is happening, but I still have lots of questions.  You need to say WHY it's so bad for her to destroy her monitor.

 

Priah’s new monitor does not work well. It only pairs her with one friend what does this mean? and this friend is involved with the Human Reservation. what is this? Alienated from the rest of the school why is she alienated?, Priah decides to join the cult to regain a feeling of power. Priah is warned of a virus designed to wipe out all metabilities—special abilities made of metal HUH?. Priah had never considered that the metal claws she was born with were unnatural, but extremists on the Reservation known as Redkeys insist that metabilities are an abomination. Again - what? THIS came out of nowhere.

 

Priah’s broken monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense romantic feelings for an older woman. The woman has her own plans for Priah, and although Priah senses that her intentions might not be exactly pure, she allows herself to be used by the woman in the delusional hope that the two of them can make something better out of their difficult pasts. These aren't very good or conscise stakes.

 

 

All feedback is appreciated!! 

 

I think you have some really cool ideas, but each paragraph seems to jump from point to point, and I have no clue what the stakes of this story are and what the core conflict is supposed to be.  I was also very confused in the second paragraph, as you can see.

The woman in the final paragraph seems shoehorned in.  I realize this is an LGTBQ story, so it's important to say that, but she comes out of no where.  The woman either needs to play an integral part in the rest of the query, or omit her.



#9 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 726 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:15 PM

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke the original one.  her original monitor.

 

Compatibility monitors were instituted twenty-five years ago to replace parents; it is considered a crime to go without. (Insert some information about CMs, why it's important that people have them). Additionally, Priah’s new monitor does not work well for her. It only allows her to have one friend. Alienated from the rest of the school, Priah joins a cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation to regain a feeling of power. Despite the benevolence that they project, the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes—cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal. Priah does not have enough metal underneath her skin to be considered a complete, but she has enough to face discrimination. Priah had never considered that the metal claws she was born with were unnatural, but extremists on the Reservation known as Redkeys insist that they are an abomination. When rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes moves through the Reservation, Priah is terrified she could be infected. Many believe that the virus is just a myth, and that the real toxicity comes from the hatred completes feel for humans and humans feel for completes.

 

Priah is frightened and struggling to function with a defective compatibility monitor. When she meets an older woman named JANE [insert name] on the Reservation (?) who shows her kindness, she soon has a new problem: romantic feelings for a woman. But Priah’s broken monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense romantic feelings for an older woman. The woman JANE has her own plans for Priah, and although Priah senses that her intentions might not be exactly pure, she allows herself to be used by the woman in the delusional hope that the two of them can make something better out of their difficult pasts. This last sentence needs to be clarified. What was Jane's difficult past? Does Jane reciprocate? And this does not count as stakes. We need clear stakes: If Priah can't make Jane love her, she will die of heartbreak -- your query needs to end with a cliffhanger.

 

So this query is better, really it is. There is less random information. But the two body paragraphs seem to be from two unrelated books. You need to connect them, make this into one long story. You also need to clarify the CM thing, why people have to them, what's so wrong about not having one.

 

Good luck.

 

 

 



#10 TeaTime

TeaTime

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 67 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:10 PM

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship (Good opening sentence). After fourteen-year-old Priah (I think of the word Pariah whenever I see her name. Is that intentional?) destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor. (I don't follow this--if her fake monitor is discovered, doesn't that basically mean the authorities will know she broke her original? Are these actually two separate fears/problems?)

Priah’s new monitor does not work well for her. It only allows her to have one friend. (Since there's no details about this one friend, I would just skip straight from it's not working well to her being alienated) Alienated from the rest of the school, Priah joins a cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation. Despite the benevolence that they project (Okay, so this world's politics are a little murky--there's a world government who makes kids do CM's. Right? Now is the Human Reservation & the gov't enemies with each other? Is the HR dept (heh heh) underground to hide from the gov't?), the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes (Maybe capitalize "completes" to make the word stand out more?)—cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal. Priah does not have enough metal underneath her skin to be considered a complete, but she has enough to face discrimination. Rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes moves through the Reservation, but Priah’s attention is focused elsewhere.

Priah’s broken monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense romantic feelings for two older women. Priah’s thoughts turn obsessive and she finds that unrequited love is more difficult to battle than any government or organization.

 

I didn't do any more comments in the last half because I think there's a broad overarching problem with this query being about three different things that feel so disconnected, where it can really only hold a maximum of two.

 

1. CM/fitting in woes

2. HR & especially the later stuff about completes, & then a virus

3. The love aspects

 

I understand that large chunks of your whole story probably cover all of these three plot lines perfectly fine, but this query can only focus on so much in such a short space. I would probably cut one, & I would say that would be the one that feels the least personally tied to Priah. Good job, you're clearly making progress on this query  :smile: 


Feel Free to Check Out My Current Query Letter Here, Thank You


#11 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:56 PM

 

New Edition: 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor.  I still think it would be good to clarify why it's so important everyone has a monitor.

Priah’s new monitor only pairs her with one friend. This friend doesn't seem important. Either say why he/she is, or take out of the query.  You could just simply say "Priah's new monitor doesn't work well" or something like that. Alienated from the rest of her school, Priah joins a cult and trains to be part of their guard. Priah’s Commander Orca warns her of the creation of a virus designed to harm cyborgs. Though Priah has metal underneath her skin, she questions rather than fears the existence of the virus, believing that Orca is only trying to manipulate her. Orca uses extreme and sometimes violent measures to keep her trainees in line, but Priah empathizes with her technique. Priah develops feelings for her harsh but charismatic Commander. 

Orca is not the only one Priah has a crush on. A mysterious woman Priah calls She-108 has captured her interest as well.

Priah doesn’t trust her monitor anymore, and allows the women she loves to make choices for her instead. Both women are more interested in Priah’s skills as a fighter, than her emotions. For Priah, unrequited love is more difficult to battle than any government or organization. I feel like the higher stakes are the virus.  I think the query should end on that.  I also don't know if it's necessary to include both women.  Commander Orca flows well, but the last woman, again, just feels shoehorned in.  

 

 

All feedback is appreciated!! 

 

This is way better, but it still feels like you're trying to fit too much info in too small of a space.  I suggest eliminating She-108 entirely.

Also, a better way to set up the query and end it on the stakes of the virus could be something like:

First paragraph - what you already have/

Second paragraph - Priah’s new monitor only pairs her with one friend. Alienated from the rest of her school, Priah joins a cult and trains to be part of their guard... 

Then introduce Commander Orca and Priah's feelings for her.

Then talk about the virus and end on that.

Of course, this is just my suggestion, feel free to ignore it if you don't feel like it's applicable :)



#12 Nikita

Nikita

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 62 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:05 AM

​Update:

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor. Why would it matter if people know that she broke her original monitor? What are the consequences? Also, is her fake monitor a working one, or just an object that appears to be a monitor? If it does work, I'm not sure 'fake' is the best word to use.

 

Priah’s new monitor only pairs her with one friend. Alienated from the rest of her school, Priah joins a cult and trains to be part of their guard. This seems like a really extreme reaction to just getting paired with one friend. I'd like to understand more of the motivation behind it. Does Priah desperately desire more friends? How big of a deal is social alienation in this society? Priah’s Commander Orca uses extreme and sometimes violent measures to keep her trainees in line. Orca showers Priah with attention, putting her in danger of being the outlet for her fellow trainees’ anger. To protect herself, Priah begins using Orca’s techniques to gain power over the other trainees. Priah becomes obsessed with Orca, desperate to understand her motivations and the reasons behind her cruelty. Orca warns Priah of the creation of a virus designed to harm cyborgs. Though Priah has metal underneath her skin, she questions rather than fears the existence of the virus, believing that Orca is only trying to manipulate her. This paragraph has a lot of info! In my opinion it's a little overwhelming. Perhaps it would help to break this up into a couple paragraphs. I also think it might help to pick just the few biggest plot points to focus on. Also, what exactly are the stakes at the end of this? What will happen if Priah questions the existence of the virus? What happens if she questions Orca? I feel like I need to understand potential consequences to feel really invested in this.

Compatibility is a young adult science fiction novel complete at approximately 98,000 words. I have included the first…

 

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Emily804

 

I think you're making progress on this query! And thanks for your comments on my query!



#13 9emilylime9

9emilylime9

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:39 AM

Can I get some feedback on my query letter? Thanks!

 

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

 

The Intelligence Agency has earth’s children under the protective control of compatibility monitors, which instruct them throughout their day in everything from nutritional choices to friendship choices. When Priah commits the shameful act of destroying her compatibility monitor, she is coerced into joining the cult-like organization known as the Human Reservation. The Reservation has been kind enough to make a fake monitor for her, but threatens to expose her if she doesn’t train for them.

 

 The Human Reservation claims to preserve “the ways of humanity” but despite the benevolence that they project, the Reservation is infested with those who despise completes (cyborgs whose bodies are almost entirely made of metal). Priah does not have enough metal underneath her skin to be considered a complete, but she has enough to face discrimination. Rumors of a virus designed to destroy all completes move through the Reservation. Priah must figure out who to believe and who to trust without the help of her real monitor.

 

Priah’s broken compatibility monitor is not her only secret. She harbors intense feelings for a mysterious older woman, which could put her, and her object of affection, in danger of being sent to the Sun Colonies, where criminals and those deemed useless to society are sent to mine energy from the sun.

 

(Note: I left out the word count and the bio but I know that needs to be included. This is a revised addition, previously there were multiple options that I was asking for feedback on. )

 

New Edition: 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor.

 

Priah’s new monitor only pairs her with one friend. Alienated from the rest of her school, Priah joins a cult and trains to be part of their guard. Priah’s Commander Orca uses extreme and sometimes violent measures to keep her trainees in line. Orca showers Priah with attention, putting her in danger of being the outlet for her fellow trainees' anger. To protect herself, Priah begins using Orca’s techniques to gain power over the other trainees. Priah becomes obsessed with Orca, desperate to understand her motivations and the reasons behind her cruelty. Orca warns Priah of the creation of a virus designed to harm cyborgs. Though Priah has metal underneath her skin, she questions rather than fears the existence of the virus, believing that Orca is only trying to manipulate her.

 

Orca is not the only one Priah has a crush on. A mysterious woman Priah calls She-108 has captured her interest as well. Both women are more interested in Priah’s skills as a fighter, than her emotions. For Priah, unrequited love is more difficult to battle than any government or organization.

 

​Update:

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. She lives in fear of her fake monitor being discovered and worse—people knowing she broke her original monitor. (What would happen if she were discovered? This is an important detail to include, here. What are the stakes?)

 

Priah’s new monitor only pairs her with one friend. Alienated from the rest of her school, Priah joins a cult and trains to be part of their guard (Whoa. Is this a common thing in your world? Does she have no other option? Why? Otherwise, what draws her to this organization in particular?). Priah’s Commander Orca uses extreme and sometimes violent measures to keep her trainees in line. Orca showers Priah with attention, putting her in danger of being the outlet for her fellow trainees’ anger. To protect herself, Priah begins using Orca’s techniques to gain power over the other trainees. Priah becomes obsessed with Orca, desperate to understand her motivations and the reasons behind her cruelty. (I feel like you can rewrite this part so that you give a little more of a sense of Priah as a character, and what she wants. Is Orca what drew her to this organization? Right now it seems a little disjointed) Orca warns Priah of the creation of a virus designed to harm cyborgs. Though Priah has metal underneath her skin (Priah being a cyborg should be one of the first things we learn about her), she questions rather than fears the existence of the virus, believing that Orca is only trying to manipulate her. (It seems like you half-set-up the main conflict. How does the virus relate to Priah's journey? Is it just there to drive a wedge between them, or do they end up teaming up against it? Does it come into play with fatal consequences?)

 

Compatibility is a young adult science fiction novel complete at approximately 98,000 words. I have included the first…

 

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Emily804

 

 

All feedback is appreciated!! 

 

The premise sounds interesting, but I think that you need to make the main conflict in the story more clear. I hope this helps!



#14 PureZhar3

PureZhar3

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:59 PM

Can I get some feedback on my query letter? Thanks!

 

 

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. ​This could all be worded more smoothly: "Earth's children" makes me question if Earth is an actual character, or you're just referencing mankind. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. ​I think this might actually pack more punch if you said simply "she obtains an illegal replacement" If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family. ​You may need to delve slightly more into this. I'm suspending disbelief that most children have no broken their monitors at some point in their childhoods. Actually - upon rereading, I would just cut this whole sentence.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunch room from the other students and consume low-quality food. ​I would get rid of the "one friend" sentence, because it distracts me, and it doesn't seem to come up again. She also cannot fight in vireality matches—her favorite school sport. Priah attends practices anyway, desperate to find a way to advance her position. ​She-108, One of the coaches of the vireality team​, captures Priah’s attention. Priah calls her She-108. She-108 notices Priah, and discovers that she has academic talent—a rare thing for an incompatible to have. When She-108 also learns that Priah was accepted into the Human Reservation—a cult-like organization where extremely gifted children train to be guards or coders—she decides to help Priah.

Priah fears that if She-108 looks at her too closely, she will discover her secrets. But allowing She-108 to see her, ​no comma appears to be the only way for Priah to accomplish her ambitions. If Priah can’t find a way to control her emotions, more than just her monitor will break. ​Hm. You're here linking it back to her emotions, but I haven't seen much beyond anxiety in her, which doesn't strike me as angry. What emotion does she have to control?

All feedback is appreciated!! 

 

​This is good; you have certainly narrowed it some. However, you need to cut down a few of the ideas in it. For me, there are three plotlines going on:

​1) Priah's relationship with She-108/pursuit of her own ambition/breaking her status as incompatible

​2) the consequences of an illegal monitor

3) Priah's emotional problems

 

​I think you need to diminish at least one of those, and equalize the other two. My suggestion would be to cut out the consequences of an illegal monitor - tell us, obviously, that the monitor is illegal, but the fact that it's illegal is enough to make us aware that she shouldn't get caught with it. As long as you don't draw attention to it by saying "something bad will happen" or such, I doubt anyone will question it. They'll just see the word illegal and equate it with conflict. As it stands, it simply brings up a lot of questions. Then, try to draw out Priah's emotional problems a bit more. Inform us of how they intermingle with Priah's incompatible status, and exactly which emotions she so often struggles with, and what they entice her to do. If you do that, I think you could end up with a solid query. Your story certainly sounds interesting and relatable.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#15 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 01 March 2018 - 05:16 PM

​This is good; you have certainly narrowed it some. However, you need to cut down a few of the ideas in it. For me, there are three plotlines going on:

​1) Priah's relationship with She-108/pursuit of her own ambition/breaking her status as incompatible

​2) the consequences of an illegal monitor

3) Priah's emotional problems

 

​I think you need to diminish at least one of those, and equalize the other two. My suggestion would be to cut out the consequences of an illegal monitor - tell us, obviously, that the monitor is illegal, but the fact that it's illegal is enough to make us aware that she shouldn't get caught with it. As long as you don't draw attention to it by saying "something bad will happen" or such, I doubt anyone will question it. They'll just see the word illegal and equate it with conflict. As it stands, it simply brings up a lot of questions. Then, try to draw out Priah's emotional problems a bit more. Inform us of how they intermingle with Priah's incompatible status, and exactly which emotions she so often struggles with, and what they entice her to do. If you do that, I think you could end up with a solid query. Your story certainly sounds interesting and relatable.

 

I can see how the broken monitor thing would definitely be confusing. The monitors are actually very difficult to break. It takes a considerable amount of force, it's not like a cell phone where you can just drop it and it breaks. I don't know that I can explain the attachment that children typically feel for their monitor in the short space of the query. Breaking one in this society is considered an incredibly antisocial action, and it's only one that incompatibles typically take. Destroying a monitor in Priah's world would almost be like the equivalent of killing an animal in our world, and most children don't do that in our world, so to me, it makes sense that most children in her world wouldn't break their monitors. Conveying all of these societal norms and complexities of Priah's culture, however, proves to be a difficult task...


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#16 PureZhar3

PureZhar3

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 01 March 2018 - 05:49 PM

I can see how the broken monitor thing would definitely be confusing. The monitors are actually very difficult to break. It takes a considerable amount of force, it's not like a cell phone where you can just drop it and it breaks. I don't know that I can explain the attachment that children typically feel for their monitor in the short space of the query. Breaking one in this society is considered an incredibly antisocial action, and it's only one that incompatibles typically take. Destroying a monitor in Priah's world would almost be like the equivalent of killing an animal in our world, and most children don't do that in our world, so to me, it makes sense that most children in her world wouldn't break their monitors. Conveying all of these societal norms and complexities of Priah's culture, however, proves to be a difficult task...

 

I completely understand - and yes, that's a good comparison with the animals. That's why I suggested cutting the sentence out. In the book, it will add a layer of depth, but in the query, it is unnecessary detail. You will spend far too many words and attention trying to weave it in, and I don't know that it's worth the effort. I think it will only dissipate your focus.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#17 LolaInSlacks88

LolaInSlacks88

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:My first two novels were a high-fantasy pair published by Greyhart Press, called 'The Lineage of Tellus.'

Posted 05 March 2018 - 02:56 AM

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors(use a colon here) handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst, she obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family. This doesn't fit with the rest of your crisis.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunch room from the other students and consume low-quality food. She also cannot fight in vireality matches(change to comma) her favorite school sport. Priah attends practices anyway, desperate to find a way to advance her position. One of the coaches of the vireality team captures Priah’s attention. Priah calls her She-108. She-108 notices Priah, and discovers that she has academic talent(change to comma) a rare thing for an incompatible to have. When She-108 also learns that Priah was accepted into the Human Reservation—a cult-like organization where extremely gifted children train to be guards or coders—she decides to help Priah. This is a lengthy paragraph and reads matter-of-factly. I'd shorten it/color it with your voice.

Priah fears that if She-108 looks at her too closely, she will discover her secrets. But allowing She-108 to see her, appears to be the only way for Priah to accomplish her ambitions. If Priah can’t find a way to control her emotions, more than just her monitor will break. I'm not entirely clear on the crisis here. The final sentence lacks that 'oomph'. 

 

A great structure to follow for a query is MC intro, strong verbs, inciting incident, conflict/obstacle, intrigue, MC's goal, and stakes/crisis. This query has promise but needs tightening/trimming, and your voice isn't coming through. As I've learned, be wary of overusing em dashes, and try reading some examples of successful queries that follow the formula I mentioned and get a feel for their flow and voice. If you're not doing so, read your writing aloud. It helps you find your rhythm.

 

Keep tweaking and updating--you'll get there! :) 



#18 JRUET

JRUET

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 35 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 06 March 2018 - 03:59 PM

Note: I didn't not read former renditions/critiques so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children I might be the only person to think this- but my brain immediately goes to Jane Auel's Earth's Children seris about cavemen, for that reason I might change the wording to "Children of Earth" are under the control do they "control" or "influence" them? One suggests a lack of free will while the other suggests drooling screen driven youth (I.E. children today;) of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she must obtain? obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family. "Shame" might be the correct word choice here, I don't kno wenough about the manuscript to be sure, but again this conjures images of Mulan's dragon ranting about bringing shame to her ancestors, so if that's not what you're going for I'd examine the word choice. (for the record, if that is what you're going for, it's funny)

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school what's advanced school and why is it a proper noun? and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy is this because the replacement is a dud, or because she had to get a replacement in the first place?. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunch room from the other students and consume low-quality food. She also cannot fight in vireality matches—her favorite school sport I'd consider flipping the word order here so we know it's a favorite sport before you introduce the tern "vireality". Priah attends practices anyway, desperate to find a way to advance her position. One of the coaches of the vireality team captures Priah’s attention. Priah calls her She-108 does this coach not have an actual name? Is this what Priah has been told to call her, or is this a name Priah made up?. She-108 notices Priah, and discovers that she Priah has academic talent—a rare thing for an incompatible to have. When She-108 also learns that Priah was accepted into the Human Reservation—a cult-like organization where extremely gifted children train to be guards or coders—she decides to help Priah this is a little vague. Typically teachers/coaches job is to help students, especially outliers, so I don't feel like this is as unusual as I'm assuming you'd like it to seem.

Priah fears that if She-108 looks at her too closely, she will discover her secrets. But allowing She-108 to see her, appears to be the only way for Priah to accomplish her ambitions. If Priah can’t find a way to control her emotions, more than just her monitor will break. 

So I think you have an interesting idea here, but it's a little vague and I'm unsure of the stakes. I think it trying to hook the readers attention by trying to leave us at a cliff-hanger you've actually done a disservice to yourself by not giving the reader enough of a conflict for her/him to feel like they need to know what happens. 

I think on your next go-round you need to be a bit more brutal with word choice. As a former teacher I used to make my students defend their writing by asking the questions: "why this word in this place, and not a different word in another place?"

I do like the story concept and will be interested to see where you go from here. 

I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks! http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-2nd-revision-options/#entry353945



#19 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:20 PM

 

Note: I didn't not read former renditions/critiques so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)

 

Dear *Agent Name*:

Earth’s children I might be the only person to think this- but my brain immediately goes to Jane Auel's Earth's Children seris about cavemen, for that reason I might change the wording to "Children of Earth" are under the control do they "control" or "influence" them? One suggests a lack of free will while the other suggests drooling screen driven youth (I.E. children today;) of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she must obtain? obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family. "Shame" might be the correct word choice here, I don't kno wenough about the manuscript to be sure, but again this conjures images of Mulan's dragon ranting about bringing shame to her ancestors, so if that's not what you're going for I'd examine the word choice. (for the record, if that is what you're going for, it's funny)

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school what's advanced school and why is it a proper noun? and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy is this because the replacement is a dud, or because she had to get a replacement in the first place?. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunch room from the other students and consume low-quality food. She also cannot fight in vireality matches—her favorite school sport I'd consider flipping the word order here so we know it's a favorite sport before you introduce the tern "vireality". Priah attends practices anyway, desperate to find a way to advance her position. One of the coaches of the vireality team captures Priah’s attention. Priah calls her She-108 does this coach not have an actual name? Is this what Priah has been told to call her, or is this a name Priah made up?. She-108 notices Priah, and discovers that she Priah has academic talent—a rare thing for an incompatible to have. When She-108 also learns that Priah was accepted into the Human Reservation—a cult-like organization where extremely gifted children train to be guards or coders—she decides to help Priah this is a little vague. Typically teachers/coaches job is to help students, especially outliers, so I don't feel like this is as unusual as I'm assuming you'd like it to seem.

Priah fears that if She-108 looks at her too closely, she will discover her secrets. But allowing She-108 to see her, appears to be the only way for Priah to accomplish her ambitions. If Priah can’t find a way to control her emotions, more than just her monitor will break. 

So I think you have an interesting idea here, but it's a little vague and I'm unsure of the stakes. I think it trying to hook the readers attention by trying to leave us at a cliff-hanger you've actually done a disservice to yourself by not giving the reader enough of a conflict for her/him to feel like they need to know what happens. 

I think on your next go-round you need to be a bit more brutal with word choice. As a former teacher I used to make my students defend their writing by asking the questions: "why this word in this place, and not a different word in another place?"

I do like the story concept and will be interested to see where you go from here. 

I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks! http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-2nd-revision-options/#entry353945

 

 

I love your references to Earth's Children and Mulan! I guess I don't mind if an agent thinks of those things, it'd actually be kind of awesome! I've never read Earth's Children, but the fact that it is about cavemen is a bit funny considering my book is futuristic. 

Thanks for the critique! 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#20 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:47 AM

Finally revised this again!

 

Dear:

Earth’s children are under the control of compatibility monitors—handheld devices that make choices for them, from nutrition to friendship. After fourteen-year-old Priah destroys her monitor in an emotional outburst she obtains a replacement. Illegally. If anyone finds out that she broke her monitor, she will bring shame to her family.

With an imposter monitor clutched between her fingers, Priah enters Advanced school and quickly falls to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her new monitor only matches her with one friend. Priah is labeled “incompatible” and must eat in a separate lunchroom from the other students and consume low-quality food.

Priah is coerced into joining a power hungry cult, where her choices are her own, but making them is a difficulty. Rumors of a virus designed to harm cyborgs moves through the cult. Priah must figure out who she can trust without the help of her monitor if she is going to save herself, and the other cyborgs, from those who despise them.


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/






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

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users