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The Medicament Report — (Speculative Fiction)

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#1 epercak

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:25 PM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report. Complete at 70,000 words, it is an upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction. I’m contacting specifically because ________.

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. Months in, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for.

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely. 

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. After confronting the doctors, they admit The Medicament didn’t come from a lab. It becomes clear they are only guessing. Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential.

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before.

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested.

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak



#2 Bibliophyl

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:37 PM

The first thing that jumped out at me was that your MC completely vanishes from the query after the first paragraph. I find myself wanting to know what the situation you've described means for Lily. What does she have to do that drives the story forward? What does she risk or stand to gain/lose? Is she even the MC? I think it will be a lot more compelling if you dig in and focus on the specifics as they relate to your main character. I hope that is helpful. Good luck!



#3 Joseph Isaacs

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:52 PM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report. Complete at 70,000 words, it is an upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction. I’m contacting specifically because ________. (tighten this, cut extraneous words. this part the agent will know without you spelling it out and the extra words signals (perhaps incorrectly) that you aren't great at cutting yet)

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. not strong enough for an opening line, where is the hook? Months in, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for. stakes aren't high, on the positive side though your writing is nice and clear and strong, good job on that front

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely.  that seems bad. turns you into a baby?

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. cool After confronting the doctors, they admit The Medicament didn’t come from a lab. It becomes clear they are only guessing. Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential. that seems easy just confront them and boom the secrets spill

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before.

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. formatting of paragraphs seems off, also this paragraph feels a bit dry and off putting to me

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my quer (cut the following as they know, check out query shark online, that should help. overall not a bad start. hope my comments are of help) y. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested.

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak



#4 Stephen G. Bria

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 12:06 AM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report. Complete at 70,000 words, it is an upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction. I’m contacting specifically because ________.  I would question the lead in with "upmarket" and "speculative fiction" only due to its redundancy. You compare your manuscript to books in those same categories later. I don't think you need both, and if I had to choose between the two, the direct comparison to already published novels is more specific and provides more information to the agent. 

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. Months in, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for.  I think the elements are here, but it needs to be rearranged. Start with her cut being healed and then explain the backstory. E.G. She took this drug and this happened. Then the Motive, and then end with the but. . . .

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely. 

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. After confronting the doctors, they admit The Medicament didn’t come from a lab. It becomes clear they are only guessing. Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential. This entire paragraph is bizarre and I don't follow. Who is guessing about what? No one knows where the drug came from? What does final sentence have to do with the rest of what you are saying?

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before. Recenter this paragraph on your Protagonist. It's already built for it. 

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested. Delete literally this entire sentence. You are wasting their time by thanking them for it. And you are already expected to be able to provide excerpts and the entire manuscript-- that's a given. 

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak



#5 kathleenq

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:28 PM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report, (comma) Complete at 70,000 words, it is an upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction. I’m contacting specifically because ________.

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. Months in, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for. (what did she think she was signing up for initially?)

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely. 

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. After confronting the doctors, they admit The Medicament didn’t come from a lab (and it came from where?). It becomes clear they are only guessing (guessing about what?). Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential. (trial and error of what? It doesn't seem like Lily is being put through any sort of harmful experiment, which I feel like "trial and error" in medication testing would infer.)

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before. Where's Lily in all of this? Who's your main character?

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested.

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak

I'm really confused about who your main character is and what the stakes are. If she gets supernatural healing abilities, I don't see the downside of this from your query? And if the substance reverses aging, you need a downside for that as well, or is there some other effect that the Medicament is causing that is bad and the subjects have to figure out what it is before it's too late?


Query: Glass Domes


#6 AstrMikeDexter

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:59 PM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report, complete at 70,000 words, it is an upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction. I’m contacting specifically because ________.

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. Months in, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for. (I'm curious what Medicament is supposed to do? Is it to heal people quicker? I'm not clear if this side effect is supposed to happen or if it's something strange with Lily.)

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely. (Ah, I see. I think some of this information could be worked into the above paragraph just give a clearer picture.)

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. After confronting the doctors, they admit The Medicament didn’t come from a lab. It becomes clear they are only guessing. Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential. (Lily really should be the main through-line in the query but she seems to have dropped off. Also, I'm getting confused about the Medicament - where did it come from and why are they testing it on people if they don't really know what it does? And who are these people on the project? The last line is also kind of vague.)

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before. (This paragraph is vague. We need more specifics. Also, where are the stakes? What does the main character want, what is the main character doing to get it, and who is getting in the way? )

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested.

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak

Thanks for looking at my query!

 

It seems like you have a really interesting story here! Just a few thoughts and suggestions above.


Any help with my query would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#7 London C

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 03:01 PM

Greetings ________, 

 

         I’d like to introduce The Medicament Report Complete at 70,000 words, it is an 70,000 word upmarket adult novel with elements of speculative fiction . I’m contacting specifically because ________.

 

When Lily volunteers for a yearlong drug trial, she thinks the free room and board will give her a chance to finally write her novel. Months in, the drug, The Medicament’s effects seem mild at best; however, a deep cut on her hand heals almost instantly and causes her to question what she’s signed up for.

 

On a celebratory video call, the project’s CEO informs the subjects The Medicament is working even better than expected. Instead of slowing the aging process, the drug seems to be reversing it entirely. 

 

But something doesn’t add up—youth doesn’t equate supernatural healing power. After [who? Lily?]confronting the doctors, they admit The [why the article?] Medicament didn’t come from a lab. It becomes clear they are only guessing. Through trial and error they’re harnessing the substance’s potential. ​[I'd condense these last two paragraphs into one] 

 

As the subjects’ dependence on The Medicament grows, the history of the project emerges, telling a story of deception and the unknown. It’s difficult to know what’s real and what’s not, but one truth is undeniable: this has happened before.

 

 

         Using found documents in the manner of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves, The Medicament Report combines literary and science fiction similar to Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

 

         I hold a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. I have published in literary journals including: Radii,From Glasgow to Saturn, 121 and Literally Literary. I am active on my blog (www.ericpercak.com) and Twitter (@ericpercak).

 

         Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I am happy to provide excerpts, if requested.

 

         With gratitude,

         Eric Percak

 

 

As Bibliophile notes, once you introduce your MC, she disappears. It's not clear how she's involved other than being a random subject. Is she taking action to stop this? What's at stake for her  (healing quickly and de-aging don't sound especially perilous)? The premise sounds like it has potential, especially combined with the found document approach, but right now I can't tell what the plot is, nor why you chose Lily to center the story on.


——————

My latest query is here. I appreciate reciprocal critiques






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