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A VEIN OF GOLD (YA dystopian)


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#1 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hey everyone! I could use some help my query. It's also a little long, so I'm sure there are places I should cut down on the word count. I'd love any feedback you can give!

Thanks so much.
------

Dear Agent,

Until he turned seventeen, Jude Ryan’s biggest fear was the supposedly dangerous children who are sold to the City and kept in the Institute. Then Jude is sold to the City himself and discovers he has much more to be afraid of.

In the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, Jude learns the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also for death itself. And immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

To survive the torture of waiting to be the doctors’ next experiment, Jude befriends a group of other teenagers, led by a girl named Pandora, who are determined to escape from the Institute. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he begins realize her willingness to sacrifice everything to outsmart the government, and fears that her influence will make him lose his grasp on his own humanity. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude wonders how they can find real safety with the government intent on tracking them down, and the threat of ending up back on the operation table hovering over them. Perhaps their plans for escape have come at too high a cost.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Me
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#2 the transylvanian

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:12 PM

Alice, this is an intreguing story - like the premises. Hook can be a bit stronger and more captivating like perhaps something from the the second paragraph. :wink:

Your query has a very good start and I think it will capture some attention. If I can advise something is only about the title - it does nothing for me - perhaps I would pass it - even reflects a lot of your story. I know we are so set on our titles and most times the publishers change them but with your great story you need a spicy title :wub: and posibilities are endless.

In all, I am quite interested to follow your progress. Good luck to you.

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#3 C.R. Rollinger

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

Hey everyone! I could use some help my query. It's also a little long, so I'm sure there are places I should cut down on the word count. I'd love any feedback you can give!

Thanks so much.
------

Dear Agent,

Until he turned seventeen, Growing up, Jude Ryan’s biggest fear was how the supposedly dangerous children labeled "dangerous" who are were sold to the City and kept in the Institute. When he turns seventeen Jude is sold to the City, becoming one of them. himself and discovers he has much more to be afraid of.

In the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, Jude learns the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also for death itself. And immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.
What I want out of this paragraph is this: Some detail about the Institute, which you have. Also what objective/goal does this now create for Jude?
EX: Jude soon learns that the Institute isn't what he thought; it's much worse. The children are experimented on, used as lab rats in order to create vaccines for everying, including death. But there is collateral damage, causing the bodies to pile up. Jude knows he has to escape the Institute before becoming another statistic.

Jude and the other (do you have a name for these teenagers? Like 'sold ones' , 'science slaves'), including the clever and beautiful Pandora, rise against their torturers. In his attempt to gain freedom, Jude discovers exactly what the Institute is up to, and it's bigger than he could ever have imagined. Now, not only is his life at stake, but possibly every life on the planet.

To survive the torture of waiting to be the doctors’ next experiment, Jude befriends a group of other teenagers, led by a girl named Pandora, who are determined to escape from the Institute. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he begins realize her willingness to sacrifice everything to outsmart the government, and fears that her influence will make him lose his grasp on his own humanity. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude wonders how they can find real safety with the government intent on tracking them down, and the threat of ending up back on the operation table hovering over them. Perhaps their plans for escape have come at too high a cost.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words.By consolidating some of the above, you now have some room to possibly compare/contrast A Vein of Gold to other novels in the genre. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Me


Overall, your idea is one of my favorites that I've come across on here. It's an intriguing idea. And all my comments are, of course, just my opinion. Hope I've helped!

#4 buttercup1387

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:22 AM

Your query reminds me of published author Jessica Khoury.(sp) Her book, Origin comes out September of this year. I find that your book is very intriguing. Don't give up on it! I feel you will be very successful with it, just keep working on your query. Strengthen your hook a bit. You have done an awesome job and I want to read more!! :-)
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#5 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:01 PM

Great advice so far. Thanks transylvanian, C.R., and buttercup for all your help! :biggrin: I really appreciate all the feedback I can get, haha. I'll keep all of these things in mind as I keep revising, and I'll post another one soon.
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#6 Elpato54

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:16 PM

Hey everyone! I could use some help my query. It's also a little long, so I'm sure there are places I should cut down on the word count. I'd love any feedback you can give!

Thanks so much.
------

Dear Agent,

Until he turned seventeen, Jude Ryan’s biggest fear was is the supposedly dangerous children who are sold to the City and kept in the Institute. Then Jude is Sold to the City himself, Jude discovers he has much more to be afraid of.

In The Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, Jude learns contains the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. And Immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

To survive the torture of waiting to be the doctors’ next experiment, Jude befriends a group of other teenagers, led by a girl named Pandora, who are determined to escape. from the Institute. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he begins realize realizes her willingness to sacrifice everything to outsmart the government, and fears that her influence will make him lose his grasp on his own humanity. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude wonders how they can find real safety refuge with the government intent on tracking them down, and the threat of ending up back on the operation table hovering over them. Perhaps their plans for escape have come at too high a cost.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Me



I like this query, it lays out all the basics. My two things are to make sure you arn't getting to wordy with it-put it into present tense and see where some unneded words are. My other thing is the last paragraph. I felt like that really stumbled for me because you were trying to get too much out there. Is Pandora needed here? Can it just be a group of kids he befriends who are willing to give their lives to kill the governemnt.

My edits probbaly arn't what you're looking for, but it was just a few things I thought of. Overall you got a good story and a good query here, just need to make another draft or two.

Excellent start!

#7 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:30 AM

Hello again. I'm emerging from query edits with a second draft.
Transylvanian: I took another look at my hook and tried to make it relate to the second paragraph more. I may still need some help with it though. In terms of title, you have a very good point and I'll keep brainstorming some other possibilities for before I start sending out the query. Right now, I haven't settled on a new one but I'll keep thinking!
C.R.: Thanks for all the feedback! I tried to apply some of your suggestions about making Jude's motivations clearer and the stakes a little higher without using your exact words. Is this getting any closer?
Buttercup: Thank you for the encouragement! I'll have to check out that book. Also, I took another whack at the hook...is this any better?
Elpato: Great advice! I took you up on pretty much every edit you made, so I really appreciate it. I'm going to hold on to Pandora for a bit and keep playing with it, but if I do a few more drafts and she's still a nuisance, I'll cut her. :tongue:

Okay, round two. I'm struggling a bit with the hook. Tell me what you think!

----

Dear Agent,

Jude Ryan always thought the new government’s goal was to keep him safe. Once Jude is sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute, however, he discovers that they have other plans for him.

The Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, contains the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. Immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

But not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he fears that even if they manage to leave the Institute, they will never find refuge. The government will be intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin
Got a minute? Check out my new blog! http://writerdownthe...e.blogspot.com/

#8 the transylvanian

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

I like it Alice, it's so much better. You got my interest and for sure I want to read it. If I can only suggest a hook - do not feel obligated to consider it or use it.

"When Jude Ryan is sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute, he must survive the cure for death."

Everything else flows perfect. I like Pandora - her name and character. She intrigues me I would also sugest to use her name in you title. Ok - enough with my sugestions.

Wish you the best.

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#9 buttercup1387

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:41 PM

Hey! Hey! Hey! This is AWESOME! Sounds even better than before!!! I agree with The Transylvanian on the hook, but this sounds amazing! Keep up the great work!!!! :-)
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#10 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

Hello again. I'm emerging from query edits with a second draft.
Transylvanian: I took another look at my hook and tried to make it relate to the second paragraph more. I may still need some help with it though. In terms of title, you have a very good point and I'll keep brainstorming some other possibilities for before I start sending out the query. Right now, I haven't settled on a new one but I'll keep thinking!
C.R.: Thanks for all the feedback! I tried to apply some of your suggestions about making Jude's motivations clearer and the stakes a little higher without using your exact words. Is this getting any closer?
Buttercup: Thank you for the encouragement! I'll have to check out that book. Also, I took another whack at the hook...is this any better?
Elpato: Great advice! I took you up on pretty much every edit you made, so I really appreciate it. I'm going to hold on to Pandora for a bit and keep playing with it, but if I do a few more drafts and she's still a nuisance, I'll cut her. :tongue:

Okay, round two. I'm struggling a bit with the hook. Tell me what you think!

----

Dear Agent,

Jude Ryan always thought the new government’s goal was to keep him safe. Once Jude is sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute, however, he discovers that they have other plans for him.

The Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, contains the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. Immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

But not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he fears that even if they manage to leave the Institute, they will never find refuge. The government will be intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


This isn't bad. The content's there but the presentation might be better.

First suggestion is to write in present tense: E.g., hook para could become: Jude Ryan thinks the new government will keep him safe. Until he's sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute. His safety is the last thing the government cares about.

Oops, got carried away a bit and put it in my voice. Sorry. You can do it better because it's your query. But make it short and sweet and catchy.

Then, lose all the unnecessary stuff. E.g., ...contains the government’s chilling secret... You're telling here when you actually show the secret in the next sentence. There's no need to beat readers over the head; most of us are pretty intelligent.

One question, is this told strictly from Jude's POV? Or is some of it told from Pandora's?

And as always, this is only my opinion. Hope it's of some help.

#11 C.R. Rollinger

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:42 PM

Hello again. I'm emerging from query edits with a second draft.
Transylvanian: I took another look at my hook and tried to make it relate to the second paragraph more. I may still need some help with it though. In terms of title, you have a very good point and I'll keep brainstorming some other possibilities for before I start sending out the query. Right now, I haven't settled on a new one but I'll keep thinking!
C.R.: Thanks for all the feedback! I tried to apply some of your suggestions about making Jude's motivations clearer and the stakes a little higher without using your exact words. Is this getting any closer?
Buttercup: Thank you for the encouragement! I'll have to check out that book. Also, I took another whack at the hook...is this any better?
Elpato: Great advice! I took you up on pretty much every edit you made, so I really appreciate it. I'm going to hold on to Pandora for a bit and keep playing with it, but if I do a few more drafts and she's still a nuisance, I'll cut her. :tongue:

Okay, round two. I'm struggling a bit with the hook. Tell me what you think!

----

Dear Agent,

Jude Ryan always thought the new government’s goal was to keep him safe. Once Jude is sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute, however, he discovers that they have other plans for him.

The Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, contains the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. Immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

But not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he fears that even if they manage to leave the Institute, they will never find refuge. The government will be intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


Alice - how about some version of this as a hook:

Dear Agent,

Immortality is available - for those who can afford it.

*This is a line that you have kept in every version I think. This is a really cool line in your query that catches my eye.

*One thing I believe with queries is that alot of agents DO NOT want alot of names and details about the plot, just the hook and then the bare basics of the story that sum it up as efficiently as possible.

After your hook line, then you can go into three sentences that give a good indication of what your plot is.

#12 CJ Brassington

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:39 PM

Wow! Great feedback so far. Alice, I agree with what everyone is saying and with the changes you have made. Nice going.
I'm wondering if you might think about a hook that uses some from your first version. Something like:

Jude Ryan, seventeen, discovers that the government uses their underage wards for experiments. Now he's one of them.


Dear Agent,

Jude Ryan always thought the new government’s goal was to keep him safe. Once Jude is sold to the City and reassigned to the Institute, however, he discovers that they have other plans for him.

The Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage, contains the government’s chilling secret: the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. Immortality is just around the corner, for those who can afford it.

But not all experiments go as planned,[<--great!] and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Beautiful, clever, destructive, Pandora easily manipulates Jude into doing[it switches to Pandora's POV here-- to keep it in Jude's POV, reword to something like: "Jude finds himself following Pandora's lead to do..." whatever it takes to get them out from under the doctors’ scalpels. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he fears that even if they manage to leave the Institute, they will never find refuge. The government will be intent [this is passive, maybe say "the government has a reputation for tracking down escapees with a vengeance," or something :smile: ]on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.[<-- Nice!]

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


Great progress, Alice! Interesting story. Nice amount of risk. I hope any of my feedback was helpful. I'll watch for any future rewrites!
(If you get a chance, would you please take a look at my revision on UNEARTHED?? :biggrin: Thank you!)
CJ Brassington
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#13 the transylvanian

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

WoW, I like C.R.'s hook too. :cool:

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#14 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:26 PM

Wow! What terrific advice. :biggrin: I'll look over all of this amazing feedback, revise, and post again soon! Every piece of advice is helpful. Thanks!
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#15 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

Okay, sorry I've been a bit MIA. Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I loved all the hook suggests, but I ended up going with C.R.'s. What do you think? Transylvanian, I'm still thinking on that title. Hmmm. Also, Cheryl, the book is entirely from Jude's perspective. I reworded a bit of that second to last paragraph so maybe that is more obvious now, but if there is still a section that makes the POV seem ambiguous, please let me know! Also, just for the record, you guys have helped me cut almost 100 words off of this query, which is amazing! Thanks for the wonderful feedback and keep it coming.

----

Dear Agent,

Immortality is just around the corner – for those who can afford it.

After being sold to the City, Jude Ryan is placed in the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage. Once there, Jude discovers that the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself.

Not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he is easily manipulated by her into doing whatever it takes to get out from under the doctors’ scalpels. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude fears they will never find refuge with the government intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin
Got a minute? Check out my new blog! http://writerdownthe...e.blogspot.com/

#16 Mia K Rose

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

Okay, sorry I've been a bit MIA. Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I loved all the hook suggests, but I ended up going with C.R.'s. What do you think? Transylvanian, I'm still thinking on that title. Hmmm. Also, Cheryl, the book is entirely from Jude's perspective. I reworded a bit of that second to last paragraph so maybe that is more obvious now, but if there is still a section that makes the POV seem ambiguous, please let me know! Also, just for the record, you guys have helped me cut almost 100 words off of this query, which is amazing! Thanks for the wonderful feedback and keep it coming.

----

Dear Agent,

Immortality is just around the corner – for those who can afford it.

After being sold to the City, Jude Ryan is placed in the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage. Once there, Jude discovers that the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself. [I would look at breaking this into two separate sentences personally. Something like 'Once there, Jude discovers that the City's wards aren't just prisoners, but also experiments. The country's leading doctors not only want a cure for mutations and diseases, but a cure for death itself'. Obviously just a suggestion and can be reworked and improved, just a rough idea :)]

Not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he is easily manipulated by her into doing whatever it takes to get out from under the doctors’ scalpels. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude fears they will never find refuge with the government intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead. [I like your end sentence. However I feel again your sentences feel long in this paragraph. Your story gives me a sense of more urgency than these long sentences imply. But, that just may be me.]

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


Overall I really like this, well done. :)
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#17 C.R. Rollinger

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

Okay, sorry I've been a bit MIA. Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I loved all the hook suggests, but I ended up going with C.R.'s. What do you think? Transylvanian, I'm still thinking on that title. Hmmm. Also, Cheryl, the book is entirely from Jude's perspective. I reworded a bit of that second to last paragraph so maybe that is more obvious now, but if there is still a section that makes the POV seem ambiguous, please let me know! Also, just for the record, you guys have helped me cut almost 100 words off of this query, which is amazing! Thanks for the wonderful feedback and keep it coming.

----

Dear Agent,

Immortality is just around the corner – for those who can afford it.

After being sold to the City, Jude Ryan is placed in the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage. Describing it here might be a little distracting. Just calling it the Institute gives us an idea and then that idea is fostered by the rest of the information you give us. Without that little extra, it reads better also. Once there, Jude discovers that the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, this kind of says the same thing twice. "The wards are kept as prisoners" is kind of like saying "The prisoners are kept as prisoners" Maybe try "Jude discovers that the City's wards are experimented on" experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself.

Not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Nice line. As Jude’s obsession infatuation with Pandora grows, blinding him to her manipulation. he is easily manipulated by her into doing whatever it takes to get out from under the doctors’ scalpels. Im sure in your book that Jude doesn't go instantly from friend to obsessed person in a split second, but that's what it reads like. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude fears they will never find refuge with the government intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret.Institute. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead. Great line

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


Hey Alice - much tighter query! It reads much better. Now, I think it needs to improve with how it flows, and what details you are releasing. Also, everything needs to be clear and make sense.

For instance, if your hook reads "Immortality is just around the corner -- for those who can afford it" the reader assumes that this is a very important piece of information you are giving out. But the rest of the query doesn't mention it, so it seems like it's not relevant enough to warrant being your hook. Why is it important that people can or will be able to afford immortality soon?

A hook like "Immortality is just around the corner -- but the price is steep" would tie in better to the story that I'm seeing in the rest of the query. So now the reader knows that immortality is not quite here but is coming, and also that there is a big price to pay for it. Not only can that refer to a monetary value, but to the pain and suffering of the children being experimented on.


Ok, so if you put together what I did, it would read like this:

Immortality is just around the corner -- but the price is steep

After being sold to the City, Jude Ryan is placed in the Institute. Once there, Jude discovers that the City’s wards are experimented on with no regard for their welfare. The country’s leading doctors will stop at nothing to find a cure for all that afflicts their people, including death.

Not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. Jude’s infatuation with Pandora grows, blinding him to her manipulation. Before long, he has to determine what’s worse: his ruthless captors, or the girl using him against them. Jude has escape on his mind, knowing that he won’t survive long at the Institute. But when he discovers the reach of the Institute, and their relentlessness in keeping their secrets safe, he wonders just how long he’ll last outside its walls. There, Jude won’t be just another lab rat, he’ll be a man with information…And information is expensive.

A VEIN OF GOLD, my young adult dystopian, is complete at 70,000 words. It is The Hunger Games meets ________. This would be my first professional sale.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin




I think its good to put a line about your publishing history (if any) and/or your education. Also, you should compare/contrast your work to something prevalent in your genre's market today. I'm sorry, I don't know any other dystopian type books other than the Hunger Games haha! But something along those lines.

I feel like you are on the right track. In a query, all 200-250 words should be the exact right ones, so it usually takes a while to get them all! Good job.

#18 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:21 PM

Okay, sorry I've been a bit MIA. Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I loved all the hook suggests, but I ended up going with C.R.'s. What do you think? Transylvanian, I'm still thinking on that title. Hmmm. Also, Cheryl, the book is entirely from Jude's perspective. I reworded a bit of that second to last paragraph so maybe that is more obvious now, but if there is still a section that makes the POV seem ambiguous, please let me know! Also, just for the record, you guys have helped me cut almost 100 words off of this query, which is amazing! Thanks for the wonderful feedback and keep it coming.

----

Dear Agent,

Immortality is just around the corner – for those who can afford it.

After being sold to the City, Jude Ryan is placed in the Institute, a hybrid hospital and orphanage. Once there, Jude discovers that the City’s wards are kept as prisoners, experimented on by the country’s leading doctors to not only find the cure for mutations and diseases, but also a cure for death itself.

Not all experiments go as planned, and to survive being the doctors’ next mistake, Jude befriends Pandora, who is determined to escape. As Jude’s obsession with Pandora grows, he is easily manipulated by her into doing whatever it takes to get out from under the doctors’ scalpels. Even if they manage to leave the Institute, Jude fears they will never find refuge with the government intent on tracking them down to stop them from telling the world the Institute’s secret. This time, if the government finds them, they won’t want them as lab rats. This time, they’ll want them dead.

A VEIN OF GOLD is a YA dystopian novel complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Alice Martin


Hey Alice, getting better but still not there. Try to do away with some of the passive flavor and rewrite to lose some of the they and thems. It's confusing as it is now.

I agree with CR about 'price too steep' in the hook. Maybe something like he suggests or something like...corner--but someone has to pay the price. I'm sure you'll think of something.

No need to put in any credentials unless you're pubbed in fiction. They'll assume you're a newbie if you don't have them and you can save the words for other things.

Just my opinion.

#19 christined

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:51 PM

This sounds great and I'm intrigued. Good luck. I'm sorry I have nothing to add.

#20 Alice in Wonderland

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

Terrific advice as always! I'm working on a rewrite now and should have it up very soon. Thanks so much. :biggrin:
Got a minute? Check out my new blog! http://writerdownthe...e.blogspot.com/




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