Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

The Island (YA Sci-Fi) UPDATE ON POST #60 WIll CRIT BACK

Fiction Adventure Commercial Fiction

  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#61 sarahja

sarahja

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 103 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:Poetry in journals

Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:36 PM

June 16 

 

Hi All, 

Here is my newest revision. I have been playing around with various names for the leaders of the island, and the one I like most at this point is the Elite's. Thoughts? 

Rachel Ives is condemned to an island surrounded by an electric grid where back-breaking labor, harsh laws, and public whippings are the way of life. Maybe mention the watchmen here...like those who resist are taken by the watchmen, never to return. She wants nothing more than to escape and protect her emotionally fragile sister, but the Elite’s only offer two options: silent obedience or be taken by watchmen to never return.

When a young maybe another adjective that hints at his personalityman named Keith, unlisted in the government records, arrives at Rachel’s workhouse, she learns he is here to destroy a secret governmental machine that neurologically strips the citizens of their humanity, turning them into humanoids. A machine used on the citizens taken by watchmen. Show her horror, and show the wanting to escape/protecting emotionally fragile sister Marybeth. Does she find out info and keep it secret to protect him/the chance of his succeeding? Something like that will give us more a hint at her personality.

To her horror, Rachel’s sister, Marybeth, is taken by the watchmen. I think this line could have a bigger impact either on its own or at the end of paragraph. Also, if it were punchier. Like...Then Marybeth is taken by the watchmen.

Blinded by the desire to save her before it’s too lateYou can make this stronger. Blinded by desire/before it's too late are quite common phrases, so they don't hit us as hard as they should, she joins Keith on a dangerous mission to destroy We know this is Keith's mission, so I think you can lose it/add another detail like their destination or what they have to do, like breaking in to somewhere or overcoming someone. the machine. But Rachel soon learns that the machine is the one thing keeping the citizens alive—without it, they are useless to the Elite’s who rule the island.  Rachel and Keith must choose between risking thousands of lives by destroying the machine and risking thousands of lives for a chance of freedom and escape, or surrendering and becomingbeing mindless slaves to the governmental machine forever.

 

THE ISLAND is a Young Adult Science Fiction Novel complete at 96,000 words. My fiction writing advice articles have been published in EveryWritersResource.com & Black Fox Literary Magazine and my short stories have been published in The Zodiac Review & UIC Red Shoes Review Literary Magazine.

I like this! I think it's really clear and the plot is laid out well. But I do think that adding a few more details could make it stand out more, if that makes sense? I think a bit more flavour would make you NEED to read this. What makes it stand out from other dystopian YA novels? Details really make something like this sing and you don't need to add more lines, necessarily, just swap what you already have for more specific wording/situations. If that makes sense. Like do they break in somewhere? Are they risking lives of people around them? Stuff like that could function as scenes from a trailor, nearly. Stuff the agent'll look forward to reading, stuff that makes them want to request.

 

What makes Rachel stand out as a character? You can maybe show her motivation/desperation even more clearly if you maybe put the escape/protect her sister after keith is introduced, as if she would be tempted to help him except she has to protect sister, then you hit us with her sister being taken. I don't know, just a suggestion.

 

I also think that the conflict between freedom/possible death and captivity/safety, and the conflict between saving her sister/risking many are two things you should really bring out. Read that last pargagraph aloud and make it as clear/fat-free as possible.

 

I hope this helps! Really, this query is so streamlined and simple, congrats.


If you have the time, please take a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...can-ya-fantasy/


#62 yawriter

yawriter

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 110 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:37 PM

June 16 

 

Hi All, 

Here is my newest revision. I have been playing around with various names for the leaders of the island, and the one I like most at this point is the Elite's. Thoughts? 

Rachel Ives is condemned to an island surrounded by an electric grid where back-breaking labor, harsh laws, and public whippings are the way of life. She wants nothing more than to escape and protect her emotionally fragile sister This makes me think she's fairly young as a sister. I'd like to know what ages these girls are....who is older?, but the Elite’s only offer two options: silent obedience or be taken by watchmen to never return.

 

 

When a young man named Keith--unlisted in the government records-- (I feel like this is a focal point and with the dashes, it makes it more impactful than commas..but it's your choice) arrives at Rachel’s workhouse, she learns he is here to destroy a secret governmental machine that neurologically strips the citizens of their humanity, turning them into humanoids. This was a super long sentence. Can you break it up some how? A machine used on the citizens taken by watchmen.

 

To her horror, Rachel’s sister, Marybeth, is taken by the watchmen. ​what is the cause and effect here? They just took her?  No reason? Or because Rachel was talking to Keith they took her? Seems out of place after that last paragraph. Blinded by the desire to save her before it’s too late, she joins Keith on a dangerous mission to destroy the machine. But the machine is the one thing keeping the citizens alive—without it, they are useless to the Elite’s. too many spaces here Rachel must choose between risking thousands of lives by destroying the machine for a chance of freedom and escape, or being mindless slaves to the governmental machine forever.

 

THE ISLAND is a Young Adult Science Fiction Novel complete at 96,000 words. My fiction writing advice articles have been published in EveryWritersResource.com & Black Fox Literary Magazine and my short stories have been published in The Zodiac Review & UIC Red Shoes Review Literary Magazine.



#63 smoskale

smoskale

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 67 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:2 non-fiction books with a University Press are out, two more are scheduled for 2018 release.

Posted Today, 09:07 AM

Condemned to an island surrounded by an electric grid, the citizens of the Western Division live in dilapidated huts and endure back-breaking labor, harsh laws, and public whippings under the eyes of the Colonials. This first sentence is too long, and too impersonal, to hook us. I would start with Rachel, then expand the view to her people. Actually, I would drop the first sentence, and weave the political detail throughout the query. Rachel Ives wants nothing more than to escape and protect her emotionally fragile sister, this is good, shows us she is a good person, makes us care. but the Colonials offer only two options: Silent obedience to the cruel way of life or be taken by watchmen never to return passive voice here is not good. Try for a strong verb. or the watchman will disappear you, or the watchmen drag you away never to return, or something.

 

When ​Keith, a young man named Keith, unlisted in the records this is the first time we hear about records, and we know nothing about their significance. If they are important, you need to explain. But maybe just drop the reference and say something like a young man nobody has heard about, arrives at Rachel’s workhouse, she and her best friend disobey curfew to investigate the reason for his arrival. They uncover a dead body, with misleading this is odd word choice: if the evidence links to Keith, then it's not misleading; perhaps drop the word, or say something like confusing evidence seemingly... evidence linking Keith to the murder.

 

Rachel soon learns that Keith has a connection to her dead father that he claims is alive and the real reason for his arrival—to destroy a secret governmental machine that strips away not only memories, but everything that makes someone human—a machine used on the citizens taken by watchmen. Oy vey, this is a long, long sentence with way too much information. I would break it down into several. 

Keith tells Rachel that the father she has thought dead is actually alive. What's more, Keith reveals to her his mission–– to destroy a secret government machine that wipes away memories and the very humanity of citizens the watchmen detain. 

 

Meanwhile, Rachel’s sister, Marybeth, goes looking for her and is taken by watchmen.active voice: Meanwhile, the watchmen catch Marybeth looking for Rachel, and take her in (or something) Crippled by the news, Rachel vows to do everything in her power to save her.

 

Blinded by the fear of losing Marybeth and the sentence above does this job already, this clause is unnecessary finding her father, why is she blinded by the fear of losing her father? Do you mean she's driven by hope of finding her father and by the fear of losing her sister?  she risks trusting throws her trust into Keith, and followings him on a dangerous mission to destroy the machine in hopes of freedom and escape. you already told us his mission, no need to repeat But she realizes too late that the machine was the one thing keeping them alive—without it they are useless to the Colonials. Aside from phrasing, this needs serious elaboration. What do you mean, without it they are useless? Would Colonials slaughter them? Would they become mindless vegetables if the machine destroyed? This is your stakes, it's important to make us understand the magnitude of danger Rachel, and her people, are facing. Specifically. Racing against the clock, they must find the loophole word choice. A loophole is often used metaphorically, as in a loophole in the law, to say there's a way to get around it. Metaphorically, I'm not sure how to understand a loophole in the blueprints. Or do you mean it literally: there's a loophole on the map that leads out of the islands? Perhaps it's a simple word choice: they must find a secret passage out of the island.   in the islands' blueprint that will be their only chance to save their civilization.  

 

THE ISLAND is a Young Adult Science Fiction Novel Don't say Fiction Novel, it's a huge pet peeve for agents. YA Science Fiction is enough complete at 96,000 words. My work has been published in EveryWritersResource.com, Black Fox Literary Magazine, The Zodiac Review, and UIC Red Shoes Review Literary Magazine.Cool!

I thought of Hunger Games when I read the query, so that may be a comp for you. Also, it sounds a little like a dystopian. Maybe it's both dystopian SF. 

 

Hit me back pls!

Thanks!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Adventure, Commercial Fiction

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users