Remus Shepherd wrote:
They are mad geniuses; ugly but adaptable, stubborn but strong. They are a secret cabal called the Platinum Donkeys, and Maggie -- a sexy TV host turned serial-killer -- is their latest recruit.
When Maggie murders an important guest on the orbital station where she grew up, she escapes to Earth to find it a world of omnipresent, shapeshifting electronics and frightening social control. Hunted by the police and aided by a multiphobic lawyer, a psychopathic chemist and a precognitive megalomaniac, Maggie fights against corporate intrigue, doomsday machines, and her own traumatic past to discover the cause of and cure for her insanity.
But the Platinum Donkeys only recruit the insane, and they force her to make a choice: Either defeat them to save the world, or destroy it and rule as their queen.
Please note, I mostly only like to offer advice on things like grammar, structure, tempo, word choice, etc. I'm not going to try and tell you what you need to write in order to convince someone to buy your book; I'll try to help you make your writing stronger and more clear, which should help your book sell itself. To be a successful author, one (should) be a good writer.
Okay, that's out of the way. I'm not going to tackle this inline as I normally would because I want to make points whilst I work and it will be easier to do this way, I hope. As a result red
for changes/suggestions/offerings, black for commentary.
They are mad geniuses. Ugly, adaptable, stubborn, strong, they are The Platinum Donkeys. Maggie--sexy TV host turned serial killer--is the latest recruit in their secret, psychopathic cabal.
A previous comment was, in effect, "don't say it's fast-paced, demonstrate it." You asked how, this is how. Make the punctuation work for you. Think of punk rock and its greatest creed, "Stand up, spit it out and sit the f*ck back down." If you want your reader to get that your story is fast-paced, you need to deliver your lines like Henry Rollins mainlining caffeine.
Maggie murders an important guest on the orbital station she calls home and seeks refuge and respite down on the surface. Earth is contaminated: omnipresent shape-shifting electronics, social control. Freedom is dead. Hunted by the Law, aided by the Strange, Maggie fights back. The Corporate System, Doomsday Machines, past trauma made present, Maggie battles for one thing: to free her own mind.
Carrying on with the hardcore delivery. I might be letting the punk in me make a few too many broad strokes, particularly re: social commentary, but them's the breaks. This paragraph covers everything you have, save for defining her Band of Merry Companions, but lays them out with force.
But The Platinum Donkeys thrive on crazy, they force Maggie's hand. Destroy the Donkeys and save the world or damn it and be the Donkey Queen.
Okay, I'll admit that Donkey Queen is kinda uncool but it is what it is. I think you get the point.
It's about voice, style, the ineffable "feeling." You want to engage your reader, you want them (hopefully there will be a lot!) to connect with your story. I've really been heavy-handed with the punk tempo here, used it to the extreme, but it's to make a point: if you want to show someone that your novel is fast and full of energy you need to pull out all the stops to make it so. It means using the right words in the right order and punctuating (or refraining from doing so) in a way that drives things forward at increasing speed. Take my second paragraph, first sentence. Just the period at the end, no commas, nothing but what looks like a couple of extra 'and's towards the end. They make the sentence read faster as you get to the end because your mind tumbles over them, compelling itself whether you want it to or not. My introduction to the Donkeys works similarly, but with different punctuation. "They are X." No room for any discussion, no wishywashyness. Then, "bang, bang, bang, bang, they are." Rapid-fire, get it across.
Regardless, that's my input on the topic for now. If I were reading this on the back of a book, I'd still be doubtful. I'd want to know more, but I'd want the author to tell me what is important for me know. I won't tell you what I want you to tell me. I read because I enjoy having someone else tell the story, but they'd better do a good job of it. So, if you want me to walk out of the bookstore with your book in hand, YOU tell ME what I need to know.