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GIRL, UPLOADED -- YA Sci-fi


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#21 Gabe S.

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory.

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. There are robotic Collectors chasing after her, their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. What the Collectors want is not just Abbie's synthetic body; they crave the trapped human conscience inside. Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second.

Yet Abbie must know her past, as it spells out the methods of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between her biological and artificial mind, Abbie could become something unique that’s never been seen before. She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive.

Abbie knows the collectors hold the secrets to her past. Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster

Edited by Gabe S., 18 January 2019 - 10:02 PM.

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#22 dizzywriter

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 07:45 PM

Honestly, I like this version a lot better. The one you just posted seems too vague. If you don't mind, I'll do this one.

 

Dear Agent,

In the middle of nowhere, Kansas, is a high school perfect for hiding unique people like sixteen-year-old Abigail Standish; a human consciousness trapped in an android body.

 

It's the first day of school and Abby's only memory is her name. Inside her head a voice commands her to lie [does she? does she make up a story before the red-eyes come? if so, give detail] and she fools her classmates. But she struggles to remember, fighting the voice and [it's control over her mind?], forbidding her memories except terrifying glimpses of drowning in tubs of blood.] which makes being the new girl a bit complicated. Creating a ruse with a fake personal history will only cover her for a while. She’ll keep it up as long as she can or until her memories come back. Abbie’s onboard artificial intelligence knows Abbie can’t handle her memories. It’s suppressing them, infuriating her, but for a good reason. Pleading with it, Abbie is allowed a glimpse of a memory, but it sends shivers down her spine as it depicts someone strangely familiar drowning in a tub filled with blood. 

Before she can [X. What does she need to do?], she sees red-eyed students no one else notices. But the robotic Collectors notice her and want her to know why as they shadow her in empty hallways. [Does she notice she's an android yet?]  Abbie’s other problem: The Collectors. They look like students but they are fixated on Abbie. She’s been running from them since seeing their robotic red eyes with her thermal vision. For now, she’s been two steps ahead of them, but they’re smart. They personally want Abbie to know why they’re so interested in her. The dangers of an empty hallway are not lost on Abbie. She senses the Collectors shadowing her.

Always two steps ahead of them, she can keep running, delaying the inevitable [which is what?] or she can resign herself to her fate [which is what?], But just as the Collectors corner her, Abbie finds out there's a third option. but that’s not the kind of person Abbie is. Nobody said a third option isn’t allowed. Her fate belongs to her only; it’s all Abbie has left to hold onto.

As the Collectors corner her, a dark force awakens inside Abbie, [mention a super power or two] something she feels in her polymer bones, something she was built for, and it doesn’t mind shedding blood to get answers. 

-----

I do think you need concrete action. I hope this helps. Thanks for much for your input on mine. 



#23 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:01 PM

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional. But fighting is mandatory.

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. (Great start. Just curious how she got that way.) There are Robotic Collectors chasing after her (Why?). Their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. (Already said that twice basically.) What The Collectors don't just want Abbie's synthetic body; they crave the trapped human conscience inside. (Why? Will they be able to use it for something?) Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second.  (You haven't mentioned that she doesn't know where she came from yet. Perhaps just make that the next paragraph since it doesn't fit as much here.)

Yet Abbie must know her past since it spells out her enemies' methods and of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes(Why can't she just remember it then?) No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her (Do other humans not have robots after them too? I'm sure some have something, right? Is this a world with humans and robots coexisting?). If she can breach the gap between her biological and artificial mind, she could become something unique that’s never been seen before. (like what?) She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to hide stay hidden and alive(How? & will she be able to see other things as well?)

Abbie knows the Collectors hold the secrets to her past. (How does she know? & Why do they?) Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. (Her memories? Or freedom?) But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them. (Interesting.)

 

The beginning is much better this time. I like it! Just some moments of your query is a tad vague. You could explain a bit more of what's going on to bring some clarity. I like the structure of it now though; it runs a lot smoother. Good job!

 

If you have the time, please look over my query: http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/



#24 W.P.

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 10:40 AM

Dear Agent, 

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. and Feeling is are optional—fighting is mandatory. ((I think you have an interesting hook here, but it's rather long.))

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. There are robotic Collectors are chasing after her, their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. What the Collectors want is not just Abbie's synthetic body; they crave for the trapped human conscience inside. ((why though.)) Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second. ((interesting. but it's best to trim the paragraph. It's redundant at parts and vague in others))

Yet Abbie must know her past, as it spells out it will reveal the methods of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between her biological and artificial mind, Abbie could become something unique that’s never been seen before. She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive.

Abbie knows the collectors hold the secrets to her past. Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them. ((This paragraph is so vague the stakes don't do it for me. What hooks readers is knowing just enough to care, but right now I feel like I don't yet know enough.))

 

Here should go a paragraph talking about your novel (genre, word count, and possibly comp titles)

Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster

 

 

 

I think that with some tweaking this could be a gem. Right now we need a bit more information so everything is clear. Also, trimming the excess would make for a "punchier" query. :)

I hope some of this helps.

 

If you have time, could you please take a look at my query as well? :)  link: http://agentquerycon...tique/?p=359880



#25 Corry

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:21 PM

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory. (Not too long, as someone stated. I think it's just right. Still, you might want to run this by folks in the "hook" section of AQ, just to get some other opinions. I still love it! The only change I'd make, and this may be where the grammar police enter :) "Feeling is optional. Fighting is mandatory." I personally would make that a stand alone statement with its own punctuation)

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. There are  (show, don't tell)  But her secret is not her own. Rrobotic Collectors have detected her presence and chase her, their red eyes constantly scanning, day and night. chasing after her, their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. They want not only Abbie's synthetic technology but need to set free her humanity so they can adapt and become super droids. What the Collectors want is not just Abbie's synthetic body; they crave the trapped human conscience inside. Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second.

 

(What they want second is important to the story, not the query. One thought at a time, they want Abbie. Who cares at this point about figuring out how she became this way? It's not relevant to the query. Plus, it kind of goes hand in hand that they'll find out the why when they find out the how. Hope that makes sense. The point is, stay on track with the important stuff...they want her, why? Figuring it out does not entice. You want to entice an agent with your query. You keep adding it, and I know why, I've done this myself justifying it by saying "...but it's important." For the query, it's not. Trust me)

 

Yet Abbie must know her past, (establish before this somehow that she has lost her human memory as it's not really clear) as it spells out the methods (personally, I'd use a word like "schemes" instead of methods or something along those line as it connotes something sinister) of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. (puppeteers are ALWAYS behind the scenes) No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between (have you considered something other than "beach the gap?" Maybe "span the chasm" as it's more dramatic. Just a suggestion here as it's mostly "bridge the gap" that one hears) her biological and artificial mind, Abbie could become something unique that’s never been seen before. She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive.

Abbie knows the collectors hold the secrets to her past. Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them.

 

Better, you're getting there. But remember to present your query as though one is reading it for the first time. Because they are. They will ask questions like "wait, she has no memory either? Where did that come from? Or what happens if the collectors capture her? What does her little town have to do with it? What will she become if she can breach the gap (though I still say change that line) and what does she risk? You've actually done a very nice job of establishing your hook now, and your risk. The middle seems to be where you go off track. But no worries, because this is getting better with each re-write. BTW, my re-writing parts are only suggestions, but my effort to display "show, not tell." I heard that term a lot writing my first query. Reading successful queries is where I had my aha moment. I still suggest, if you haven't already, to you peak in there. 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster



#26 T.K.Huynh

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 06:23 PM

Alternate query at Post 21!



It's been a year of revisions and writing the sequel to this MS, so I'm not resurrecting the old, old post.

Please have at it, and I'll return the favor.


Dear Agent, 

 

Breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory. And as Abbie Standish will find out, overcoming her amnesia will mean survival.

 

The Collectors chasing after her haunt her binary dreams. (This is a very clunky sentence, and it doesn't have any impact since we have no concept of what Collectors are or "binary dreams. Do you mean she dreams in binary?) Their red eyes track her day and night, finding opportune times to attempt to capture her. (You could put these two sentences together and take out the dream bit. Too many details will drag down your query.)

 

Surviving them is top priority; understanding who—what she is—is secondary. (So this directly contradicts your hook. You say overcoming her amnesia is key to her survival, but it's somehow also secondary.)

 

Yet Abbie must know her past, as it spells out the methods of not just her enemies, but the puppeteers behind the scenes who control them. No matter how human she may feel, she is interlinked with those who hunt her. In fact, if she finally breaches the gap between her consciousness and integrates with the artificial part of her mind, Abbie will become what has never existed before. She will be able to gleam the plans of forces infiltrating her little town in Kansas, where she's stuck trying to stay hidden and alive.

 

Because Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body, and she’s only sixteen-years-old. But human age is arbitrary to the needs of artificial beings that can live forever. Abbie's synthetic body is their goal; her trapped conscience inside a bonus.

  

If Abbie is to find out why she has been transferred into a mechanical body, she must stand and fight the Collectors and rip her past out of their heads by any means necessary. But what lies in her past are memories of violence she’s unprepared to handle, and The Collectors are but the tip of the spear being thrust right towards Earth. (You have a lot going on in this query, and this last line is just confusing. What does the Earth have to do with this? I thought they were after Abbie.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,
 

Miss Piggy

Notes:

There is way too much happening in this query. I know it's tempting to want to spell out your whole world in this, but honestly, you're never going to accomplish that. The purpose of the query is to gain interest, to show what sets apart your story from others. My recommendation is to write about what the story seems like in the first thirty to fifty pages or so, as if it's the back of the book cover (as these queries often are). Don't give away your twists.

 

Hope this helps.



#27 Caligulas

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 02:26 PM

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory. (I get what you're going for here, and once I continue, I like it. Alone it reads overly dramatic because I don't see how breathing can be optional for anyone. But she's an android so it makes sense. I think you should work in the android part here to be clear and always, more eye catching. Right now, from first glance. It reads like you're over stating her gusto, not being literal)

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. There are robotic Collectors (You should tell us what being a Collector entails) chasing after her, their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. What the Collectors want is not just Abbie's synthetic body; they crave the trapped human conscience (Do you mean consciousness? Or her actual moral fortitude?)  inside. Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second.

Yet Abbie must know her past ,(You're kind of restating the last sentence with this opening) as it spells out the methods of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between her biological and artificial mind, Abbie could become something unique that’s never been seen before. She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive. (This line is a lil confusing) 

Abbie knows the collectors hold the secrets to her past. Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them.
(Kind of vague and doesn't work as too much at stake unless you're saying she might literally fire her mind, even then, what's the massive gain here? She want knowledge she might not be able to handle. Does she also want to protect this little town? If so, I think that should be highlighted more and weigh into the stakes)
Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster

Hope this helps!



#28 dizzywriter

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:52 PM

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory [I'd get rid of one of the optionals to tighten it up].

Abbie['s] is a human mind [is] [mind or brain?] trapped in an android body and she can't remember anything. With robotic, red-eyed Collectors hunting her for the human conscience [consciousness?] trapped inside her synthetic head, surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second. [I think you need a more precise description of what they want. consciousness? memories? emotion? spirit?]

Yet Abbie must [learn her past]  , as it spells out the methods of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. No matterow human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between her biological [is it just her mind in the android or her actual brain? If it's not her brain, I don't think biological is the right word.] and artificial mind, Abbie [would gain the power?] to see the plans of her foes [as they infiltrate her].  little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive. [But for that, she needs her memories. -- right?]

 

Abbie knows [how does she know this? when did it happen?] the collectors hold the secrets to her past. [Do they have her memories? Who has them? JEN? Do the Collectors want her memories?]Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. [what is that? Her memories? YOu need to spell out what it is that they that she wants, and she has that they want..] But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic mind may not be able to handle them.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster

It looks like a lot of commentary, but it's getting there. It's a good story. I hope this helps. I have a new one up if you can take a look.



#29 kassamarandra

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:36 PM

Dear Agent,

For sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish, breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional—fighting is mandatory. (I personally don't like all the repetition of "optional" in the hook. repetition has its place, but the hook shouldn't meander. what is the inciting incident? what kicks off the story? give us your character/ conflict/ stakes of the story)

Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body. There are robotic Collectors chasing after her, their red eyes searching day and night, trying to find her. (I'd reword this sentence or work it into your opening hook) What the Collectors want is not just Abbie's synthetic body; they crave the trapped human conscience inside. Surviving is her first priority. Finding out how she became an android is second.

Yet Abbie must know her past, as it spells out the methods of not just her enemies, but their puppeteers behind the scenes. No matter how human she may feel, she’s helplessly intertwined with the unfeeling robots hunting her. If she can breach the gap between her biological and artificial mind (I thought her mind was human?), Abbie could become something unique that’s never been seen before. She will be able to see the plans of her foes infiltrating her little town where she's trying to stay hidden and alive.

Abbie knows the collectors hold the secrets to her past. Facing them in battle is the only way she'll get what she wants the most. But knowing her past means getting memories so shocking and powerful that even her cybernetic  mind may not be able to handle them. (this ending is too vague) 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

The Cookie Monster

Thanks for the critique, sorry it's taken me so long to get to yours. Best of luck with your query! 



#30 Gabe S.

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:01 PM

Hi all!

 

I sent out a batch of queries (11, I think) for this MS and got zippo back a few months ago. Not surprised.

In the meantime I wrote a whole new manuscript to clear the Query Fatigue from February, but that's a whole other story (LOL!).  

 

I'm back to it, though, and rewrote this query. I think I'm on the right track, but need new eyeballs on it.

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Somebody played God with Abbie and she’s not happy about it.

 

The start of Abbie’s junior year at Stockton High imemorable. No memories, no friends, absolutely nothing to start with but her name: Abigail Jaqueline Standish. If there is a grand plan at work, she's sure being kept out of the loop.

  

To make Abbie’s life more interesting, she finds out two things: some creepy dude is keeping tabs on her, but he vanishes as fast as he appears, great, and there’s that little thing she just discovered—she’s 99% android—1% human. The human part is her consciousness. Somebody cared little about her attachment to her birth-body and if this is how she was treated, what’s in store for other people? She’s gotta find this asshole.

 

Not everything is revenge and blood-lust, though. Harrison and his band of misfits are a ray of sunshine for Abbie. Harrison’s wacky and absolutely up her alley, and his friends are pretty great too, but she can’t tell them her secret. If she does, they’ll probably become targets too. That or they might just grab their torches and pitchforks and run the weirdo (Abbie) out of town.

 

Either way, that creepy dude is following Abbie again, but this time he’s not disappearing and he’s got two more buddies. Their eyes glow red and only Abbie can see them. Why? Maybe her cyborg fists can extract those answers. She’s run, she’s hid, but now it’s time to fight. Abbie’s existence means something much bigger is going on, and the more she knows the braver her pursuers get. One thing's clear, her body was made for fighting and whatever’s coming doesn’t seem to like unruly androids. Or humans. 


If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#31 mindy24601

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 02:29 PM

Query game is rough! Better luck in round 2.  :smile:

 

Somebody played God with Abbie comma and she’s not happy about it. Can you make this even catchier? I would avoid starting with a cliche unless it directly relates to your book (i.e. "God" is a code name, etc.)

 

The start of Abbie’s junior year at Stockton High imemorable. No memories, no friends, absolutely nothing to start with but her name: Abigail Jaqueline Standish do you mean, her name is memorable?. If there is a grand plan at work grand plan for what? this is too vague, not attention-catching enough, she's sure being kept out of the loop.

  

To make Abbie’s life more interesting, she finds out two things: some creepy dude is keeping tabs on her, you might consider starting the query here. this is the first sign of action but he vanishes as fast as he appears you mean, virtually? make that explicit, great, and there’s that little thing she just discovered Although Abbie make speak this way, remember a query is a professional letter, and should follow generally-accepted rules of grammar—she’s 99% android—1% human. The human part is her consciousness. Somebody cared little about her attachment to her birth-body and if this is how she was treated, what’s in store for other people? She’s gotta find this asshole. again, try and keep your query professional, i would say

 

Not everything is revenge and blood-lust, though. Harrison and his band who is harrison? how does he fit in here? of misfits are a ray of sunshine for Abbie. Harrison’s wacky and absolutely up her alley, and his friends are pretty great too, but she can’t tell them her secret. If she does, they’ll probably become targets too. That or they might just grab their torches and pitchforks and run the weirdo (Abbie) out of town.

 

Either way, that creepy dude is following Abbie again, but this time he’s not disappearing and he’s got two more buddies. Their eyes glow red and only Abbie can see them. Why? Maybe her cyborg fists can extract those answers. She’s run, she’s hid, but now it’s time to fight. Abbie’s existence means something much bigger is going on, and the more she knows the braver her pursuers get. One thing's clear, her body was made for fighting and whatever’s coming doesn’t seem to like unruly androids. Or humans. 

 

okay, so three major things I would focus on:

1) Grammar + professional tone are a must

2) It needs to be more exciting and interesting. Generally this is done with more details. 

3) Try and summarise your book by telling a story. this is a little all over the place. 

good luck!!!!

 

 

please consider returning a critique: http://agentquerycon...sysupernatural/



#32 lnloft

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:10 PM

Returning the favor. :wink:

Hi all!

 

I sent out a batch of queries (11, I think) for this MS and got zippo back a few months ago. Not surprised.

In the meantime I wrote a whole new manuscript to clear the Query Fatigue from February, but that's a whole other story (LOL!).  

 

I'm back to it, though, and rewrote this query. I think I'm on the right track, but need new eyeballs on it.

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Somebody played God with Abbie, and she’s not happy about it. There's a good concept with this hook, but right now it's a little too broad. Playing God could mean someone genetically modifying her into a super soldier, for instance, or a literal god using her as a cosmic plaything. See if some tinkering can narrow it down a bit.

 

The start of Abbie’s junior year at Stockton High imemorable. No memories, no friends, absolutely nothing to start with but her name: Abigail Jaqueline Standish. I get that having "memorable" in quotes is to make it sarcastic, but saying it's memorable and then immediately saying she has no memories comes off as a little awkward. If there is a grand plan at work, she's sure being kept out of the loop.

  

To make Abbie’s life more interesting, she finds out two things I feel like I've seen a lot of queries with some derivation of this phrase: some creepy dude is keeping tabs on her, but he vanishes as fast as he appears, great, and there’s that little thing she just discovered—she’s 99% android—1% human Grammar here is clunky as heck. That "great" just throws a little wrench in everything. And the dashes aren't really used very well. The second one would be a lot better off as a comma. Even removing the "great" and fixing the dashes, though, it's still a long sentence with a lot crammed in, so I'd play around with it. The human part is her consciousness. Somebody cared little about her attachment to her birth-body and if this is how she was treated, what’s in store for other people? First, avoid questions in queries. Second, this sentence comes a little out of nowhere. We've established she's an android, but that didn't immediately intuit to me that some evil person transferred her consciousness into that body (and that they did it for evil reasons: maybe she was dying and this was the way to save her). She’s gotta find this asshole. I'm going to disagree with mindy24601. Yes, you need a certain level of professionalism in your query, but you want your voice to show through. And this is a point on voice. I've seen other queries with cussing. If you know what you're doing, it works.

 

Not everything is revenge and blood-lust, though. Harrison and his band of misfits are a ray of sunshine for Abbie. Harrison’s wacky and absolutely up her alley, and his friends are pretty great too, but she can’t tell them her secret. If she does, they’ll probably become targets too. Why? And targets for whom? So far some guy is watching Abbie, but that's all that's happened. And if someone is targeting Abbie and they're willing to go after Abbie's friends, then the friends are going to be targets whether they know anything or not. That or they might just grab their torches and pitchforks and run the weirdo (Abbie) out of town. This paragraph feels like an abrupt turn for the query, like it's mostly wandered into another genre.

 

Either way, that creepy dude is following Abbie again, but this time he’s not disappearing and he’s got two more buddies. Their eyes glow red and only Abbie can see them. Why? Again, avoid questions. Maybe her cyborg fists can extract those answers. She’s run, she’s hid, but now it’s time to fight. Abbie’s existence means something much bigger is going on, and the more she knows the braver her pursuers get. One thing's clear, her body was made for fighting and whatever’s coming doesn’t seem to like unruly androids. Or humans. Stakes and danger are still a little vague at this point.

First things first, the paragraph about Harrison offers absolutely nothing to the query right now. You could cut the whole thing and it wouldn't change anything else. So unless you've got a bigger point to make about Harrison, I say for purposes of the query he can go.

 

And, the bright side of losing him is that you then have more words to expand on the rest of the plot. Because I'm a little iffy on what's going on. Abbie's an android and some creepy guy's following her. And? I can guess that Abbie doesn't know everything that's going on, either, so you can't reveal why things are happening, but then you need to play up some of the other things she does know, and what she's doing. I just don't have a clear enough view of the actual stakes and what she does about it.

 

You've got voice, so that's a plus. Now let a bit more of the story come out.

 

Incidentally, what happened to your old query, the one that started with her waking up .2 seconds ago or however exactly it went? I remember being impressed with that one. As near as I can tell you changed the query because the story changed? If it was just because you thought it wasn't a very good query, though, I'd think about looking at it again. I mean, I don't know how long ago that was but I still remember it, so that counts for something.

 

Whatever you go with, good luck.


Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#33 Gabe S.

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 07:56 PM

*climbs out of manuscript holodeck*
Thank you for the literary niggling LNLOFT. In part, yes, the query did what it’s supposed to do and it highlighted issues with the manuscript. I was paranoid that I was letting the query drive the MS, but after a read-thru, that wasn’t the case.

Since then I slapped myself around and regained control of the MS. I switched from third person to first, as this story is awesome from Abbie’s point of view. (Doing this is absolutely the most monotonous process; ‘she’ to ‘I’, ‘she found’ to ‘I found’, ‘losing herself’ to ‘what the fuck’, etc.)

I have a new query which I’ve tooled together from elements of all the previous versions. What I didn’t like about the previous queries was that they didn’t mention Jen, who is a huge character and integral to the story. I guess I wimped out facing the prospect of trying to fit her (it, actually) into the query.

Another challenge to this MS and writing the query is that there is no hard enemy (think Darth Vader or the Emperor). The Collectors are just an arm of a larger phenomena Abbie will have to understand after Act 1. Abbie’s enemies are her amnesia, the Collectors, and her own stubborn will to figure out why she’s no longer human. I’m not saying my MS is ‘special’, but through the dozens of different queries I’ve posted (and left hidden in my hard drive out of shame), I’ve come to find that querying this MS is fucking hard!

Anywho, I’ll post the new query. I hope it doesn’t suck. ;D

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#34 Gabe S.

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:00 PM

Among the crowds of Stockton High is a special new student: sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish. Abbie is an android with a human soul—no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; cold, soulless, androids called Collectors prowl after her, disguised as students, observing everything she does.

A month ago, Abbie found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; right down to skin pores, sweat, and a nervous synthetic heart. She also has amnesia, and an artificial intelligence in her head called J.E.N., who tells her to invent a fake past in order to blend in. Revealing that she isn’t exactly ‘normal’ is off the table, even to Harrison, with whom she’s developing a special bond. Slowly, she adapts herself to her new seemingly ordinary life.

But when the Collectors make their move forcing Abbie into a trap, the resulting fight destroys the gym locker room and any façade of normalcy Abbie’s been creating. Her friends unwittingly witness the fight, making them targets for the Collectors who, as J.E.N. informs Abbie, will be back and in force. Fighting her enemies also reveals Abbie’s fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code in her own brain overwrites her humanity.

Now, Abbie must protect her friends from the Collectors, who insidiously push her to use violence. She suspects that below the surface, the motivations of the Collectors—and the data in their heads—may yield information about why she exists and how she can finally get rid them. The price of ripping her answers out of the Collectors means losing the last bit of her own soul, and picking the non-violent route will only forestall the threat against her and her friends. But Abbie’s special, she’s more than any binary choice thrust on her. She’ll make her own third option.

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#35 Anna.k

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 06:20 PM

Returning the favor! Feeling the querying pain too (Must've sent 20 queries and got nothing either, urghh!) Well that's what we're all here for! Here we go!

Among the crowds of Stockton High is a special new student: sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish. Abbie is an android with a human soul—no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; cold, soulless, androids called Collectors prowl after her, disguised as students, observing everything she does.(I feel like you've strayed from the original query? Which to me seemed a bit more exciting. IMO I would stick to the hook about Abbie being trapped in an android body and the Collectors chasing her... )

A month ago, Abbie found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; right down to skin pores, sweat, and a nervous synthetic heart. She also has amnesia, and an artificial intelligence in her head called J.E.N., who tells her to invent a fake past in order to blend in. Revealing that she isn’t exactly ‘normal’ is off the table, even to Harrison, with whom she’s developing a special bond. Slowly, she adapts herself to her new seemingly ordinary life. (Words like 'slowly' and 'ordinary' don't invoke a lot of excitement either..)

But when the Collectors make their move forcing FORCE Abbie into a trap, the resulting fight destroys the gym locker room and any façade of normalcy (Reword this? I feel that the whole 'something's ruining my ordinary life' is a bit tired and tropey) Abbie’s been creating. Her friends unwittingly witness the fight, making them targets for the Collectors who, as J.E.N. informs Abbie, will be back and in force. Fighting her enemies also reveals Abbie’s fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code in her own brain overwrites her humanity.(Hmm, maybe a bit TMI at this point)

Now, Abbie must protect her friends from the Collectors, who insidiously push her to use violence. (Why?)She suspects that below the surface, the motivations of the Collectors—and the data in their heads—may yield information about why she exists and how she can finally get rid them. (OK, but this can be made 'punchier'. I.e, To discover who she really is, Abbie must hack the data in their heads...or something) The price of ripping her answers out of the Collectors means losing the last bit of her own soul, (Why? Will she automatically shut down?) and picking the non-violent route will only forestall the threat against her and her friends. (Not crazy about this other option lol) But Abbie’s special, she’s more than any binary choice thrust on her. She’ll make her own third option. (This falls a bit flat for me. I'd like to see some more 'life or death' stakes situation. This has a lot of potential, but I feel you sort of strayed from the original meat of the story with all the query re-writes. I would even suggest eliminating her friends. Keep it simple, keep it powerful, and keep it about Abbie and what SHE wants, what's stopping her from getting that, and what she's gonna do about it!)



#36 Gabe S.

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 07:13 AM

Thanks Anna! 

I think the most frequent suggestion that I've heard for all the query versions is to keep it focused on Abbie. I've also been debating on what characters to include in the query, and it seems like it's gotta be the Collectors and Jen (J.E.N.), then stop there and focus on the inciting event of Act 1. 

Revision time!


If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#37 Gabe S.

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 09:27 AM

Okay! This is gonna be rough, but I revised the query into a semi readable version. The ending is kicking my ass, though. I decided to exclude Abbie's friends from the query, but the stakes in Act 1 are Abbie's, as well as her friends', lives. Maybe somehow including that Abbie doesn't know whether the Collectors want her dead or alive is an option here. It's just not translating into query language in my head. Grrr!! And an ending did finally pop into my head.

As always, any suggestions are welcome.



Breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional. Fighting is mandatory.

Among the crowds of Stockton High is a special new student: sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish. Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body—no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; cold, soulless androids called the Collectors prowl after her, disguised as students, biding their time for the right moment.

A month ago, Abbie found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; right down to skin pores, sweat, and a nervous synthetic heart. She also has amnesia, as well as an artificial intelligence in her head called J.E.N., who tells her that revealing that she isn’t exactly ‘normal’ is off the table. Don’t need to add humans to the stalker party after her already.

When the Collectors force Abbie into a trap, the resulting battle reveals that she has serious combat capabilities, as well as a fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code in her brain overwrites her human consciousness. Unable to access her own memories, Abbie must confront the Collectors again to unlock the secret of her existence, as well as why they’re after her.

But fighting will literally delete Abbie, and running away and dodging them will only work for so long. Abbie must find another way, and she’s gotta do it fast—the Collectors have been emboldened by their fight and judging from her first encounter with them, they don’t care if they capture her alive or dead.

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2


#38 Anna.k

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 08:56 AM

Okay! This is gonna be rough, but I revised the query into a semi readable version. The ending is kicking my ass, though. I decided to exclude Abbie's friends from the query, but the stakes in Act 1 are Abbie's, as well as her friends', lives. Maybe somehow including that Abbie doesn't know whether the Collectors want her dead or alive is an option here. It's just not translating into query language in my head. Grrr!! And an ending did finally pop into my head.

As always, any suggestions are welcome.



Breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional. Fighting is mandatory.(I'm still not entirely sure about this hook. It gave me the impression she's a cage fighter or something, but then the next line shows that's not the case.)

Among the crowds of Stockton High is a special new student: sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish. Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body—(Just nitpicking rewording; I would get rid of the school name and insert it below. I.e. Here you could just put, Abbie is a human mind trapped in an android body...) no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; cold, soulless androids called the Collectors prowl after her, disguised as students, biding their time for the right moment.(HERE you could insert the Collectors prowl STOCKTON HIGH, the school Abbie attends, for ex....nice, I didn't get before that they are disguised students. Creepy!)

A month ago,(Or, Abbie just found out..try to limit time passing as much as possible) Abbie found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; right down to skin pores, sweat, and a nervous synthetic heart. She also has amnesia, as well as an artificial intelligence in her head called J.E.N., who tells her that revealing that she isn’t exactly ‘normal’ is off the table (Hmm not sure about this phrasing) Don’t need to add humans to the stalker party after her already.(?? Confused.)

When the Collectors force Abbie into a trap, the resulting battle reveals that she has serious combat capabilities, as well as a fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code in her brain overwrites her human consciousness.(Ah, love this!) Unable to access her own memories, (Due to her amnesia I'm guessing? Or is that just an overwrite?) Abbie must confront the Collectors again to unlock the secret of her existence, as well as why they’re after her. (Great, but if she's fighting them, isn't she already confronting them? A little rewording can clear this up.)

But fighting will literally delete Abbie, (Lol!) and running away and dodging them (This reads awkward; maybe, hiding from them? Or just, running from them..) will only work for so long. Abbie must find another way, and she’s gotta do it fast—the Collectors have been emboldened by their fight and judging from her first encounter with them, they don’t care if they capture her alive or dead.(I like the alive or dead, but not the 'Abbie must find another way'. Give us some options to work with..?)

 

Gabe S

Thanks for looking at my query. This is way better than your previous revisions! I loved so many things about this. Just some rewording at this point and that ending...as hard as endings are!



#39 SuzieTheWriter

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:22 AM

Okay! This is gonna be rough, but I revised the query into a semi readable version. The ending is kicking my ass, though. I decided to exclude Abbie's friends from the query, but the stakes in Act 1 are Abbie's, as well as her friends', lives. Maybe somehow including that Abbie doesn't know whether the Collectors want her dead or alive is an option here. It's just not translating into query language in my head. Grrr!! And an ending did finally pop into my head.

As always, any suggestions are welcome.



Breathing is optional. Eating is optional. Feeling is optional. Fighting is mandatory. (I really like this hook---I don't know really what's going on but I'm intrigued and it gives me a sense of your writing style within the book).

Among the crowds of Stockton High is a special new student: sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish. Abbie is a human mind, trapped in an android body—no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; cold, soulless androids called the Collectors prowl after her, disguised as students, biding their time for the right moment. (I'm a little confused here about the right moment for WHAT).

A month ago, (I agree with another that the time peg is just a bit confusing and unneeded) Abbie found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; right down to the? skin pores, sweat, and a nervous synthetic heart. (For some reason, 'right down to skin pores' reads awkwardly to me...) She also has amnesia, as well (Also and as well seem repetitive) as an artificial intelligence in her head called J.E.N., who tells her that revealing that she isn’t exactly ‘normal’ is off the table. (This is really interesting to me) Don’t need to add humans to the stalker party after her already.

When the Collectors force Abbie into a trap, the resulting battle reveals that she has serious combat capabilities, as well as a fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code in her brain overwrites her human consciousness. Unable to access her own memories, Abbie must confront the Collectors again to unlock the secret of her existence, as well as why they’re after her. (Nothing wrong with what you wrote here but I just noticed you write 'as well as blank' a lot in this query and it might be nice to have some variety in the syntax).

But fighting will literally delete Abbie, and running away and dodging them from them will only work for so long. Abbie must find another way, and she’s gotta (Is gotta too casual for a query?) do it fast—the Collectors have been emboldened by their fight and judging from her first encounter with them, they don’t care if they capture her alive or dead.

 

Overall, this concept is really cool to me! And I can definitely see it going places. I think there are just small wording things.


Please check out my latest query:

http://agentquerycon...antic-thriller/


#40 Gabe S.

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 12:03 PM

I think we were all thinking of the same changes which means we're all on the same (web) page! (hardy-har-har!)

I was retooling the Query before hopping on here and seeing what you guys thought. Here's the updated query, with some of the suggestions:



Breathing is optional. Feeling is optional. Fighting is mandatory.

Sixteen-year-old Abbie Standish is a human mind, trapped in an android body—no technology should exist that can create her, but here she is. And she’s not alone; prowling Stockton High are soulless androids called the Collectors, who are disguised as students and follow her every move.

Abbie just found out she’s an exact replica of a girl; equipped with fake breathing, a mental toggle-switch for emotions, and a synthetic heart eager to wear out that switch (<—too much? What do you guys think?). An artificial intelligence in Abbie’s head, named J.E.N., tells Abbie she can’t remember her past because of amnesia and that she must keep her uniqueness a secret.

When three Collectors force Abbie into a trap, she kills two of them, revealing that she has serious combat capabilities. The fight also exposes a fatal flaw—the more she fights, the more a machine code insidiously overwrites her human consciousness. If only she didn’t have amnesia, she’d understand why all this is happening to her. Abbie’s only choice is to confront the Collectors, again. If she can hack the data in a Collector’s head, she may be able to unlock the secret of her existence and why they’re after her.

But ripping heads off is fighting, which will literally delete Abbie, and running away from a challenge is not her style. She knows their tactics and their goal—the hunted must become the hunter—but she can’t use violence against them. Abbie must act fast. Losing their fight showed the Collectors they underestimated Abbie and they’ll be back in force, and judging from her first rumble with them, they don’t care if they capture her alive or dead.

If you'd like, you can critique my query at: http://agentquerycon...a-sci-fi/page-2





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