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CIRCUIT (adult dystopia)


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#21 smoskale

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 08:43 AM

Dear (Agent’s Name), 

Laura Bishop has blood on her hands. She’s been on the run for years, and now she’s running out of time.

 

It all started with the truth-serum, Vocaciumthat labelled her a criminal. 

Not because it revealed the truth, but because she’s immune to it, and that makes her dangerous. "dangerous" is too vague, and is a red flag in queries for some agents. How does it make her dangerous? Specificity is good. Outlawed and hunted, Bishop’s only active voice: she seeks sanctuary sanctuary lies with the Circuit; a faction of mercenaries dwelling in the London Underworld. For years, they’ve been trying to bring down the corporate regime who shouldn't it be "it"--regime? rules the city with an iron fist.

 

Because of her reckless actions dDuring a heist-gone-wrong, her reckless actions dshe’s caught catch--present tense for query the attention of Detective Jonah Nolan who has been hunting you've used hunted above, so perhaps a different verb? tracking? after her? her for months. Bringing in Bishop will would give him the promotion and closure he’s always wanted. But more than money, Nolan is after vengeance (or something about a grudge, since it's her father, not she, who killed the sweetheart): years ago, Bishop’s father was arrested for the murder of his childhood sweetheart. 

 

What Jonah (if you call your MC by her last name, seems you should call the detective by last name, too. Though a better choice would be to call her by her first name, I think) doesn’t know is that Bishop has priceless This is ambiguous--do you mean the information is worth money? Or that it is politically explosive? I would make clear what effect this information might have, as it is pertinent to the stakes of your query information that ties together connecting the creation of Vocacium and the murder of Jonah’s love. While facing incarceration, Bishop gives Jonah a choice odd phrasing, given that she's the one in the bind. She can be offering him a deal, but not giving him a choice, I think. If he helps her escape, they can work together to find out what happened all those years ago.this is a clunker, and too general. Or he can let her die too passive, seek a stronger verb an innocent and with it bury her knowledge I like the play on words--kill and bury of the so-called Utopia he’s sworn to protect. 

CIRCUIT is a 70,000 word speculative fiction with series potential that will appeal to fans of William Gibson’s Virtual Light and Claire North’s 84K.

 

It seems there's a missing logical link or two. One, you say she has blood on her hands, but then she says she's innocent. One of these doesn't belong.

Two, why does she fear death? Is the crime she allegedly committed punishable by death? If so, you need to make this clear, it goes to the stakes. 

Three, the last paragraph: if the detective pursued her, he believed she was guilty, not innocent. Why is she appealing to his guilt for putting her behind bars? Something is missing here. She must convince him first she is innocent, or else she can't not only gove him a choice, she can't even offer him a deal.

Four, and final. There is a general problem which culminates in the last paragraph. What is your MC's choice? What does she want? The choice in the last paragraph is not hers, it is the detective, and you haven't been telling us about him. The query should make us care about the MC so that when they face a difficult choice, we want to read to find out how they settled it. On that, you could use a little more characterization of Laura to make us care about her. She's hunted, yes, but who is she? Why should we invest emotions into her?

 

It's not easy, this query business, but it does get better. Keep plugging. 

Please have a look at mine when you can. Thanks.



#22 NerdWitch

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 05:45 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions, I've done some re-structuring and here is the 7th version of the query. 

 

Dear Agent,

Laura Bishop has blood on her hands. She's been running for years and now she's running out of time. 

 

It all started with the truth serum that made her a bio-criminal. Because the keys to political control are in the hands of the drug’s maker, Bishop's immunity makes her a dangerous woman. Outlawed and hunted, Bishop’s salvation lies with the Circuit; a faction of mercenaries dwelling in the London Underworld. For years, they’ve been trying to bring down the corporate regime that rules the city with an iron fist.

 

Because of her reckless actions during a heist gone wrong, she’s caught the attention of Detective Jonah Nolan who has been hunting her for months. Bringing in Bishop will give him not only power, but closure for a crime committed by Bishop’s father. What he doesn’t know is that Bishop’s serum-proof secrets contain the missing link between his murdered love and the drug that holds a nation in an authoritarian nightmare.

 

Bishop leaves the detective with a choice: betray the government that offers him power, or bury the knowledge that could finally bring him peace.

 

Due to your interest in commercial dystopian fiction, I'd like to send you the CIRCUIT. Complete at 70,000 with series potential that will appeal to fans of William Gibson’s Virtual Light and Claire North’s 84K.


Please help me with my query http://agentquerycon...dystopiasci-fi/
And my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...it/#entry330157


 


#23 smoskale

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:14 PM

Dear Agent,

Laura Bishop has blood on her hands. You never come back to this bit. She's been running for years and now she's running out of time. 

 

It all started with the truth serum that made her a bio-criminal. Because the keys to political control are in the hands of the drug’s maker, Bishop's immunity makes her a dangerous woman. Outlawed and hunted, Bishop’s salvation lies with the Circuit; a faction of mercenaries dwelling in the London Underworld. For years, they’ve been trying to bring down the corporate regime that rules the city with an iron fist.

 

Because of her reckless actions during a heist gone wrong, she’s caught the attention of Detective Jonah Nolan If he's been hunting her, you can't say she's caught his attention––she's had his attention while he's been hunting her who has been hunting her for months. Bringing in Bishop will give him not only power I liked your previous line on career advancement: power is vague, but closure for a crime committed by Bishop’s father he's been investigating. What he doesn’t know is that Bishop’s serum-proof secrets contain the missing link between his murdered love this is the first time his love is mentioned in this QL, it comes out of the blue; you might not need that plot line to make the query work. and the drug that holds a nation in an authoritarian nightmare.

 

Bishop leaves the detective with a choice: betray the government that offers gives him power, or bury the knowledge that could finally bring him peace.I'm still concerned about the choice being not hers, but the detective's. Perhaps you need to end the QL's narrative earlier, somewhere where Laura must make a choice. She has this information, right? How does she choose to use it, other than running away from persecution? 

 

Due to your interest in commercial dystopian fiction, I'd like to send you the CIRCUIT. Complete at 70,000 words, the novel has a with series potential that and will appeal to fans of William Gibson’s Virtual Light and Claire North’s 84K.

 

I think it's getting better. Keep going.



#24 NerdWitch

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 05:49 AM

VERSION 8! Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I'm hoping this is getting closer to being a good query. 

 

 

Dear (Agent’s Name),

 

The blood on Laura Bishop’s hands is not the start of her problems: that would be the antidote flowing in her own veins.

 

It all started with the truth serum that made her a bio-criminal. Because the keys to political control are in the hands of the drug’s maker, Bishop's immunity makes her a dangerous woman. Outlawed and hunted, Bishop’s salvation lies with the Circuit; a faction of mercenaries dwelling in the London Underworld. For years, they’ve been trying to bring down the corporate regime that rules the city with an iron fist.

 

Because of her reckless actions during a heist gone wrong, Detective Jonah Nolan is one step closer to catching the criminal he’s been hunting for months. Bringing in Bishop would give him the promotion he’s always wanted. But more than money, Nolan wants closure. Years ago, Bishop’s father was arrested for the murder of Nolan’s childhood sweetheart.  

 

What he doesn’t know is that Bishop’s serum-proof secrets contain the missing link between his murdered love and the drug that holds a nation in an authoritarian nightmare. Now, Bishop must make a choice: she can either convince Nolan to betray the government that gives him power or face incarceration and bury the knowledge that could finally give them both peace.

 

Due to your interest in commercial dystopian fiction, I'd like to send you the CIRCUIT. Complete at 70,000 words, the novel has series potential and will appeal to fans of William Gibson’s Virtual Light and Claire North’s 84K.


Please help me with my query http://agentquerycon...dystopiasci-fi/
And my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...it/#entry330157


 


#25 Tanja

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 07:26 AM

Hi,

Back again and trying to help.

 

I preferred the other hook much better than the new one. The new one is vague and leaves no stakes. While this one raises attention: Laura Bishop has blood on her hands. She's been running for years and now she's running out of time.

However, it only works if you clarify in the query why she has blood on her hands.

 

To the query. I'll pinpoint a few things that I think are important and have been totally forgotten and overlooked.

The main issue I have with the new version is that it now falls fairly flat. We know she's an outlaw and hunted because she's a bio-criminal, though it's too late mentioned in the query that she's immune to the serum.

 

I think the weight of the query lies too much on the underworld, the political control, and the government because there is really nothing grabbing attention. I skimmed through previous versions and I stumbled over something that caught  my attention: a front for illegal human cybernetics fronted by Laura’s own brother.

Now this is a fact that should make it's way back into the query because this is a real conflict. And the fact that Bishop's father was arrested for Nolan's sweethearts murder. Those are details that make the story interesting. Plus that she's immune to the truth-serum. I also see that you keep mentioning the heist gone wrong, but you still don't give details about the heist and how she was involved and why she is hunted for it. This is a detail that should also be in the query instead of the political parts of the story. Because the reader/agent wants to care about Bishop and not about the government or the underworld.

 

As for  the stakes, they still need more oomph. As an example: Bishop only has one chance to convince Nolan of blah blah and if she can't, the truth will die with her. Surely there is a better option, so this is just to give you an idea.

 

Don't give  up. Queries are tough. You got a great story. I just think you lost the focus of the query a little.

 

Hope this helps


Query:  10 DAY BETRAYAL

             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

             RABBIT 76 (NEW PROJECT)

 

Twitter: @tccorrey


#26 NerdWitch

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 03:35 PM

Hi,

Back again and trying to help.

 

I preferred the other hook much better than the new one. The new one is vague and leaves no stakes. While this one raises attention: Laura Bishop has blood on her hands. She's been running for years and now she's running out of time.

However, it only works if you clarify in the query why she has blood on her hands.

 

To the query. I'll pinpoint a few things that I think are important and have been totally forgotten and overlooked.

The main issue I have with the new version is that it now falls fairly flat. We know she's an outlaw and hunted because she's a bio-criminal, though it's too late mentioned in the query that she's immune to the serum.

 

I think the weight of the query lies too much on the underworld, the political control, and the government because there is really nothing grabbing attention. I skimmed through previous versions and I stumbled over something that caught  my attention: a front for illegal human cybernetics fronted by Laura’s own brother.

Now this is a fact that should make it's way back into the query because this is a real conflict. And the fact that Bishop's father was arrested for Nolan's sweethearts murder. Those are details that make the story interesting. Plus that she's immune to the truth-serum. I also see that you keep mentioning the heist gone wrong, but you still don't give details about the heist and how she was involved and why she is hunted for it. This is a detail that should also be in the query instead of the political parts of the story. Because the reader/agent wants to care about Bishop and not about the government or the underworld.

 

As for  the stakes, they still need more oomph. As an example: Bishop only has one chance to convince Nolan of blah blah and if she can't, the truth will die with her. Surely there is a better option, so this is just to give you an idea.

 

Don't give  up. Queries are tough. You got a great story. I just think you lost the focus of the query a little.

 

Hope this helps

Hi Tanja, thank you so much for taking the time to help me out, I really appreciate it. Your critique makes sense and I will try to work it into a query that will hopefully work. 


Please help me with my query http://agentquerycon...dystopiasci-fi/
And my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...it/#entry330157


 


#27 SnowFox23

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:40 AM

The blood on Laura Bishop’s hands is not the start of her problems: that would be  it's the antidote flowing in her own veins.

cool opening :)

 

It all started with the truth serum that made her a bio-criminal. Because the keys to political control are in the hands of the drug’s maker, Bishop's immunity makes her a dangerous woman. this is all a bit static. Outlawed and hunted, Bishop’s salvation lies with the Circuit; a faction of mercenaries dwelling in the London Underworld. For years, they’ve been trying to bring down the corporate regime that rules the city with an iron fist.

 

Because of her reckless actions during a heist gone wrong, Detective Jonah Nolan is one step closer to catching the criminal he’s been hunting for months. Bringing in Bishop would give him the promotion he’s always wanted. But more than money, Nolan wants closure. Years ago, Bishop’s father was arrested for the murder of Nolan’s childhood sweetheart.  

 

What he doesn’t know is that Bishop’s serum-proof secrets contain the missing link between his murdered love and the drug that holds a nation in an authoritarian nightmare. Now, Bishop must make a choice: she can either convince Nolan to betray the government that gives him power or face incarceration and bury the knowledge that could finally give them both peace.

 

I think my problem here is that this query seems a bit cold. It needs more of a voice. There are a lot of facts here, but not enough heart, if that makes sense. Other than that, the story sounds wicked cool. :)



#28 cswilliams

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 06:34 PM

I prefer the first version; it's shorter and flows better. Just my opinion, but I think that with a little rewording and some specifics you'd have a great query.






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