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"BEHIND THE GHOST METROPOLIS", YA Contemporary. Will critique back.

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#41 AsperBlurry

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 06:10 AM

Here's the new version: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356167

Remember to link me your query :) 

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Punk is putting a blade to her skin. Suicide seems like the only way to forget.  ((Although this beginning has a lot more impact, this doesn't read like a hook. The others read a lot more like a hook to me. I think it's because this beginning paints a picture and gives us a hint at conflict, but tells us no story. But it's just my opinion. Others might like it better))

 
Her so-called friend, who brought her cookies, rapes her at the party. At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden realization of what really happened breaks her.  ((I wonder if we need this. Although this is a good reaction and good conflict, it feels more like something in a synopsis and in the actual novel. Basically, too many details for a query, I think.))) Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Her guilt and ugly smirks on his face ((his sneers? <-- more concise. I also suggested removing "her guilt" because the previous sentence focused on her emotions, and so it just felt like repetition--even though it isn't)) at school push her into a haze of((not needed)) alcohol and drugs. 
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with the fire of love and fights, tears, betrayal and joy ((I suggest keeping only three words ((the rule of three is always a good rule)). My suggestion: "Filled with joy, tears and betrayal.")). And his broken heart. ((I like this. has "punch" to it))
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. ((this paragraph is great)) 
 
Letting go is easier. Seeking help and fighting her demons are as hard as getting up every day. ((this one isn't working for me.she still gets up everyday, meaning she still can ask fro help. even if it's super hard. and "letting go is easier" is too vague. ))\
 
 
 
I like a lot of these changes. I do feel like the query is stronger overall. Although I think both the beginning and the ending still aren't quite there. But they are the hardest. One must hook, the other must make the agent NEED to read more. But you are definitely getting closer :) 

 

 

 

Thank, you, W.P! I've actually added more details according to the suggestions :D And I feel like it's important to focus on Punk's feeling in the first paragraph. I came up with a different ending as well, I hope it's better.. And I'll get to your query asap!



#42 cmmg

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:34 PM

The latest version of my query is always here.

 

Thank you for all your help so far! I will critique back, just reply with the link :)

 

 

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget. Her so-called friend, who just the other day brought her cookies, rapes her. (These two sentences are disjointed. I know you mean the second sentence is what she needs to forgot, but the wording isn't there. It sounds like she needs forget, and then she's raped. And if she's raped after, why does she need to forget? There needs to be a better bridge, I think.)
 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden (the use of sudden doesn't really feel sudden, so I'd avoid it) realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. His sneers at school push her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. (This reads melodramatic. It's not just his sneering that's doing this, it's a lot of stuff. You can't get it all in there, but consider this, when you say that  the realization of her rape breaks her, I believe that. You showed that she tried to do something else first and couldn't and it's clear why this would be devastating, but just the sneering? If you said "Seeing him at school only makes things worse. When stares turn into sneers, Punk turns [back to?] to alochol..." or something it shows that these things are developing, now it seems like this girl who's never tried drugs, sees one guy sneer and immediately gets high, which is not what actually happens.)
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. (I like this paragraph by itself because it builds but it seemed disconnected to what came before it. if you want to end on drugs you need a connecting though even if that thought is just "but even as her turning to drugs destroys her, a glimmer of hope..." even if it's that small there needs to be a connection. There needs to be a moment to process how the turning to drugs goes badly for Punk, because right now there isn't that. You need to let the reader absorb information and feel it.)
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, seems easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are the hard part. (I really feel like you got good stakes here finally! Especially compared to before!)
 

 

]

I think you could a lot better at focusing the query but I think it still needs to be more coherent, and it feels a lot like melodrama in the beginning. BUT, I really did like the ending, and I felt you pulled that off way better than the beginning. You've come along way.

 

If you want to way in on my own query:


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

synopsis


#43 W.P.

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:47 AM

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget. Her so-called friend, who just the other day brought her cookies, rapes her. ((I think you could connect the sentences for a bigger impact. And I'm not sure you need the thing about the cookies. It's a bit distracting. But I do like that this is your hook, I just think it could be worded differently. Also, I'm not sure whether she had depression before the rape. If she did, then I think you could say something like Punk's depression escalates to suicide intent after a so-called friend rapes her. But is she didn't have depression before, you could say that after being raped by someone she trusted, Punk falls into deep depression, with suicide in her mind. I just feel like we should get to the very core.)))

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. His sneers at school push her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. ((really enjoying the paragraph. I think the only thing I'd point out is--and this could be a personal preference--that the two last sentences should have a linking word. Just starting the last sentence with "and" would give it more of a "flow". However, I do know some people don't like starting sentences with "and.")))
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness ((I still think this is too wordy for a query. sounds nice in a  novel, but here it sounds strange. because everything else is so concise, but this here is the very opposite style. calls too much attention to itself))) after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. ((really enjoying this paragraph as well))
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, seems easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are the hard part. ((Ooooooh! I like this much better. I have a clear picture in my head of the consequences. the thing that could be worked on is "are the hard part." because you were providing us with her two options: death or life, letting her depression take hold of her, or her fighting through it. Meaning, you were saying "this or that" but "the hard part" makes it sound like "either this but this is hard." doesn't really make much sense to me. Maybe just "is much harder" would do because then you are doing a "comparison")))
 
 
 
 
 
It's really coming together! The conflicts are clear and the writing is mostly concise and to the point. I feel like the weakest paragraph is the opening one. Also the hardest one to write. xD But I feel like you're getting closer. :)
 
Good luck!


#44 AsperBlurry

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:26 AM

Thank you very much, guys, for your feedback, I also feel like I'm finally getting closer!

 

I'll do my best to comment on your queries today. I just need a little break or else my head will explode :D

 

I think you could a lot better at focusing the query but I think it still needs to be more coherent, and it feels a lot like melodrama in the beginning. BUT, I really did like the ending, and I felt you pulled that off way better than the beginning. You've come along way.

 

If you want to way in on my own query:

 

 

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget. Her so-called friend, who just the other day brought her cookies, rapes her. ((I think you could connect the sentences for a bigger impact. And I'm not sure you need the thing about the cookies. It's a bit distracting. But I do like that this is your hook, I just think it could be worded differently. Also, I'm not sure whether she had depression before the rape. If she did, then I think you could say something like Punk's depression escalates to suicide intent after a so-called friend rapes her. But is she didn't have depression before, you could say that after being raped by someone she trusted, Punk falls into deep depression, with suicide in her mind. I just feel like we should get to the very core.)))

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. His sneers at school push her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. ((really enjoying the paragraph. I think the only thing I'd point out is--and this could be a personal preference--that the two last sentences should have a linking word. Just starting the last sentence with "and" would give it more of a "flow". However, I do know some people don't like starting sentences with "and.")))
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness ((I still think this is too wordy for a query. sounds nice in a  novel, but here it sounds strange. because everything else is so concise, but this here is the very opposite style. calls too much attention to itself))) after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. ((really enjoying this paragraph as well))
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, seems easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are the hard part. ((Ooooooh! I like this much better. I have a clear picture in my head of the consequences. the thing that could be worked on is "are the hard part." because you were providing us with her two options: death or life, letting her depression take hold of her, or her fighting through it. Meaning, you were saying "this or that" but "the hard part" makes it sound like "either this but this is hard." doesn't really make much sense to me. Maybe just "is much harder" would do because then you are doing a "comparison")))
 
 
 
 
 
It's really coming together! The conflicts are clear and the writing is mostly concise and to the point. I feel like the weakest paragraph is the opening one. Also the hardest one to write. xD But I feel like you're getting closer. :)
 
Good luck!

 



#45 AsperBlurry

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:28 AM

Here's the new version: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356167

 

Thank you and remember to link me your query :)



#46 W.P.

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:21 AM

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget that her so-called friend raped her. ((Hmmm ... Again, the content is good, but the way it's phrased doesn't allow it to have the impact it deserves. I've noticed you've been working on this non-stop and so you probably know your query by heart already. It's hard to think of anything new when you're so close to it. This happens to me too. But we need time to breathe and let our brains rest so they can look at things with fresh eyes. I think the best might be to take a short break, even two days will do, without looking at this and then--without checking the query--you should try to brainstorm at least 20 different hooks. That's what works for me at least.)))

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, makes things worse and ((not sure you need this. it's telling us what you show right after really well (pushes her into drugs) so my advice is to remove it and make the sentence tighter)) pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
Through the stimulants taking control of Punk’s life, ((this is repeating the end of the previous paragraph, so it's redundant and not needed, and the sentem would be stronger without it))) hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are much harder. ((Yeeeees! Clear stakes and awesome ending! Great job!))
 
 
 
 
It's really shaping up! I really like it. Honestly, the only thing that isn't quite there is the hook. But I think a two-day break not thinking about your query will help. Right now you're too familiar with your query. I'm sure you could recite it without hesitation. That's a sign you need a break. xD I had to force myself to take many breaks as well. It's hard to look at our works clearly when we're always working on them. :) But I think fresh eyes and a fresh mind will help you get where you want to be. :D


#47 AsperBlurry

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 06:31 AM

Thank you, W.P., you've really helped me a lot!! I guess you're right about taking a break... But I just came up with a few different hooks (without overthinking it, haha). Maybe it will help me to shape it. What do you think, which one is better?:

 

1) To forget that her so-called friend raped her, fifteen-year-old Punk is thinking about suicide. 
2) When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, she falls into depression
3) When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, she falls into the abyss of suicide. 
4) When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, guilt brings her on the edge of suicide
5) Guilt brings fifteen-year-old Punk on the edge of suicide when her so-called friend rapes her.
 

 

 

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget that her so-called friend raped her. ((Hmmm ... Again, the content is good, but the way it's phrased doesn't allow it to have the impact it deserves. I've noticed you've been working on this non-stop and so you probably know your query by heart already. It's hard to think of anything new when you're so close to it. This happens to me too. But we need time to breathe and let our brains rest so they can look at things with fresh eyes. I think the best might be to take a short break, even two days will do, without looking at this and then--without checking the query--you should try to brainstorm at least 20 different hooks. That's what works for me at least.)))

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, makes things worse and ((not sure you need this. it's telling us what you show right after really well (pushes her into drugs) so my advice is to remove it and make the sentence tighter)) pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
Through the stimulants taking control of Punk’s life, ((this is repeating the end of the previous paragraph, so it's redundant and not needed, and the sentem would be stronger without it))) hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are much harder. ((Yeeeees! Clear stakes and awesome ending! Great job!))
 
 
 
 
It's really shaping up! I really like it. Honestly, the only thing that isn't quite there is the hook. But I think a two-day break not thinking about your query will help. Right now you're too familiar with your query. I'm sure you could recite it without hesitation. That's a sign you need a break. xD I had to force myself to take many breaks as well. It's hard to look at our works clearly when we're always working on them. :) But I think fresh eyes and a fresh mind will help you get where you want to be. :D

 



#48 W.P.

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 08:10 AM

In my opinion, the fourth hook is the strongest. But that's very subjective, I'd check what everyone else thinks. :)



#49 AsperBlurry

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 09:56 AM

Thank you! I also like it better so I'll go with that hook :)

 

In my opinion, the fourth hook is the strongest. But that's very subjective, I'd check what everyone else thinks. :)

 

Here's the new version after some minor edits: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=356167



#50 TheBest

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:26 AM

When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, guilt brings her to the edge of suicide. (This is a punchy hook. The only thing I take issue with is "so-called friend." Consider making this relationship more specific. If that's all he is, that's fine too. But I think something to make the relationship clearer might help.)

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. (Very concise and clear. Great job.)
 
Hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside in a world of romance, filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. (Those last two sentences threw me off. Nihil's broken heart came out of left field for me. This paragraph also seemed to happy, without enough conflict. I'd suggest replacing those last two sentences with some sort of qualifier to explain how Punk's depression/addiction makes things difficult, or some issue that Nihil has, or that his love creates.)
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices a choice. (2 options = 1 choice)
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting depression is much harder. (I'd suggest making these final stakes more extreme, or specific. I like the first sentence. I just wonder if the second could be made more daunting.)
 
Great query. You created strong characters and kept everything clear. My biggest suggestion for you is to introduce more conflict, and make the stakes seem higher. At points it seems like a summary rather than query. Bad things do happen, but it feels less like conflict and more like bad luck. Since everything is already so clear and concise, it should be a pretty quick fix for you to go through and beef up the stakes/conflict. Just add an ominous qualifier statement to match all the positive/negative things that happen to Punk. I also really like all your imagery! Good job and good luck. 
 


#51 AsperBlurry

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 05:50 PM

Thank you so much for your feedback! I'll take a look at your query tomorrow :)

 

When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, guilt brings her to the edge of suicide. (This is a punchy hook. The only thing I take issue with is "so-called friend." Consider making this relationship more specific. If that's all he is, that's fine too. But I think something to make the relationship clearer might help.)

 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. (Very concise and clear. Great job.)
 
Hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside in a world of romance, filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. (Those last two sentences threw me off. Nihil's broken heart came out of left field for me. This paragraph also seemed to happy, without enough conflict. I'd suggest replacing those last two sentences with some sort of qualifier to explain how Punk's depression/addiction makes things difficult, or some issue that Nihil has, or that his love creates.)
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices a choice. (2 options = 1 choice)
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting depression is much harder. (I'd suggest making these final stakes more extreme, or specific. I like the first sentence. I just wonder if the second could be made more daunting.)
 
Great query. You created strong characters and kept everything clear. My biggest suggestion for you is to introduce more conflict, and make the stakes seem higher. At points it seems like a summary rather than query. Bad things do happen, but it feels less like conflict and more like bad luck. Since everything is already so clear and concise, it should be a pretty quick fix for you to go through and beef up the stakes/conflict. Just add an ominous qualifier statement to match all the positive/negative things that happen to Punk. I also really like all your imagery! Good job and good luck. 
 

 



#52 RegE

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 08:29 PM

 

The latest version of my query is always here.

 

Thank you for all your help so far! I will critique back, just reply with the link :)

 

 

NEW VERSION:

 

When fifteen-year-old Punk is raped by her so-called friend, guilt brings her to the edge of suicide.
 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
Hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her < I love the wuery so far, but for me this line doesn't work. I think the structure/grammar feels off. Maybe rephrase.  Beneath his hard, rebellious exterior he is kind. What's more, he wants to get close to her. Whatever you want to write..I just think you need to break the things into two sentencesAlthough scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart < This doesn't make sense all alone here. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, and wakes up in a pool of her own vomit, that she realizes she has two choices.  People whoo overdose usually wake up in hospital or don't wake up at all!!
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting depression is much harder. (This could be stronger. I think something about the lovers relationship would be a better way to end. Like the choices are heal the relationship or die alone)

 

 

 

 

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget that her so-called friend raped her. 
 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Seeing him at school, sneering with satisfaction, makes things worse and pushes her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
Through the stimulants taking control of Punk’s life, hope appears when she meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, is easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are much harder. 
 

 

 

 

For fifteen-year-old Punk, suicide seems like the only way to forget. Her so-called friend, who just the other day brought her cookies, rapes her. 
 
At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. His sneers at school push her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with joy, tears, and betrayal. And his broken heart. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet the self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Dying slowly, surrounded by other addicts, seems easier. Waking up every day and fighting her demons are the hard part. 
 

 

 

VERSION:

 

Fifteen-year-old Punk is putting a blade to her skin. Suicide seems like the only way to forget. 
 
Her so-called friend, who brought her cookies, rapes her at the party. At first, Punk tries to convince herself that she wanted to sleep with him. But the sudden realization of what really happened breaks her. Ashamed, she’s sure no one would believe her. Her guilt and ugly smirks on his face at school push her into a haze of alcohol and drugs. 
 
A glimmer of hope sneaks through her loneliness after Punk meets an older boy, Nihil. Beneath his rebellious appearance, there are kindness and desperate attempts to save her. Although scared of intimacy, Punk finds herself inside a world of romance. Filled with the fire of love and fights, tears, betrayal and joy. And his broken heart. 
 
But even Nihil’s love can’t quiet self-destructive voices whispering in Punk’s head. It’s only when she overdoses, waking up in a pool of her own vomit, she realizes she has two choices. 
 
Letting go is easier. Seeking help and fighting her demons are as hard as getting up every day. 

 

 I like your query. It's short and simple. There are just a few lines which would benefit from being re phrased. I also think the ending could be a lot stronger. 







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