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CIRCUIT (adult dystopia)

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#21 smoskale


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Posted Today, 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.

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