Urban Fantasy PULSE

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kaykaybe
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Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by kaykaybe » February 15th, 2010, 6:38 pm

New version posted below with more specifics, as requested. Thanks!Dear Agent,

Lara can’t differentiate between others’ feelings and her own. When her sister chooses a dreamless Sleep to avoid dark memories, Lara barely escapes with her own life. But the darkness builds with each new girl that Mother brings into the Home, threatening the perfection of their garden world. Mother pressures Lara to swallow her fears, but in a moment of strength, Lara enters the forbidden caves. She is transported to the Outside world to seek the secrets of her past and save her sisters. Lara appears in a crime scene and is promptly arrested.

FBI Interrogation banned word David Hatton is intrigued by the way the young woman’s skin changes, chameleon-like, in response to others’ emotions. Both to deceive and to protect her, Agent Hatton rescues Lara from the Jacksonville field office. In the quiet woods of North Florida, they both seek answers, Lara by her abilities as an empath and Agent Hatton by his expertise in reading body language. When Lara learns that David has been reporting to the FBI all along, she realizes what she was protected from in the Home: the vulnerability of love.

PULSE is complete at 95,000 words and could be described as ‘X-files’ meets ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry. This multiple first-person narrative is written for adults, but is clean enough that mothers and teenage daughters could conceivably fight over whose turn it is and be forced to buy two copies to preserve family unity.

Why I chose to query this agent, etc.

I received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and am a member of the Online Writer’s Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

Thank you for your consideration,
Kelly Bryson

I appreciate all feedback. My main concern is that you get enough info about the world Lara comes from without being overwhelmed. Does it flow? And I didn't use a log line. Is that okay? I'll do my best to return crits quickly. -Kelly
Last edited by kaykaybe on February 16th, 2010, 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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taylormillgirl
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Re: Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by taylormillgirl » February 15th, 2010, 6:51 pm

kaykaybe wrote:Dear Agent,

Lara can’t differentiate between others’ feelings and her own. Literally? Like she has Asperger's Syndrome or something similar? When her sister chooses a dreamless Sleep to avoid dark memories, Lara barely escapes with her own life. But the darkness builds with each new girl that Mother brings into the Home, threatening the perfection of their garden world. Mother pressures Lara to swallow her fears, but in a moment of strength, Lara enters the forbidden caves. She is transported to the Outside world to seek the secrets of her past and save her sisters. Lara appears in a crime scene and is promptly arrested. All of this is very vague. Tell us specifically what is going on. Try not to get so caught up with using dramatic language (garden world, the darkness builds, etc.) that you don't convey exactly what's happening.

FBI Interrogation banned word David Hatton is intrigued by the way the young woman’s skin changes, chameleon-like, in response to others’ emotions. Both to deceive and to protect her, Agent Hatton rescues Lara from the Jacksonville field office. Wait, what's she doing there in the first place? In the quiet woods of North Florida, they both seek answers, Lara by her abilities as an empath and Agent Hatton by his expertise in reading body language. When Lara learns that David has been reporting to the FBI all along, she realizes what she was protected from in the Home: the vulnerability of love.

PULSE is complete at 95,000 words and could be described as ‘X-files’ meets ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry. This multiple first-person narrative is written for adults, but is clean enough that mothers and teenage daughters could conceivably fight over whose turn it is and be forced to buy two copies to preserve family unity. I'd strike this last sentence. Plenty of adults read YA. It's a given.

Why I chose to query this agent, etc.

I received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and am a member of the Online Writer’s Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

Thank you for your consideration,
Kelly Bryson

I appreciate all feedback. My main concern is that you get enough info about the world Lara comes from without being overwhelmed. Does it flow? And I didn't use a log line. Is that okay? I'll do my best to return crits quickly. -Kelly
My main suggestion: less dramatized vague statements and more specifics. Hope this helped a little. Good luck!
Author of hot & humorous romances, debut novel coming in 2012 from Sourcebooks!
http://macybeckett.com/

kaykaybe
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Re: Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by kaykaybe » February 16th, 2010, 12:09 am

Thanks, taylormillgirl. Hubby agreed that it was a bit vague (You are conspiring for me! yeah!) I have reworked. I get what you're saying about the whole YA thing, but the book is not YA. It has adult characters, so if NEW ADULT ever takes off, that's the category. I've had some people like that sentence, so I'm going to keep thinking about it.

What about this...


Dear Agent,

The mythical geroth fruit heals every pain and keeps Lara and her sisters eternally young. As an empath, Lara’s responsibility is to ensure that the girls chosen as harvesters are spiritually clean so that the fruit trees are safe. However, Lara sympathizes so deeply that when one sister chooses Sleep to escape the memories of Outside, Lara absorbs her despair and barely escapes Sleep herself. Mother pressures Lara to forget her questions, but Lara rebels and enters the forbidden caves. She is transported to Outside, arriving in a crime scene, and is promptly picked up by the FBI for questioning. Her strange robes and veils match the description for a kidnapper that has been stealing young girls.

FBI Interrogation banned word David Hatton removes her veil and is intrigued by the way the young woman’s skin changes, chameleon-like, in response to others’ emotions. Both to deceive and to protect her, Agent Hatton 'rescues' Lara from the FBI field office. In the quiet woods of North Florida, they both seek answers, Lara by her abilities as an empath and Agent Hatton by his expertise in reading body language. David answers her questions about mortal life and they both discover the power of love. Lara must choose between staying in a fallen world with the man she loves or returning to the Home and freeing her sisters.

PULSE is complete at 95,000 words and could be described as ‘X-files’ meets ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry. This multiple first-person narrative is written for adults, but is clean enough that mothers and teenage daughters could conceivably fight over whose turn it is and be forced to buy two copies to preserve family unity.

Thank you, contact info,etc.

Do these details draw the reader in? Or have I confused things? Thanks so much! -Kelly

jessiecoon
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Re: Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by jessiecoon » February 16th, 2010, 1:25 am

kaykaybe wrote:Thanks, taylormillgirl. Hubby agreed that it was a bit vague (You are conspiring for me! yeah!) I have reworked. I get what you're saying about the whole YA thing, but the book is not YA. It has adult characters, so if NEW ADULT ever takes off, that's the category. I've had some people like that sentence, so I'm going to keep thinking about it.

What about this...


Dear Agent,
I would like to see a hook here before you jump right into a mini-synopsis.
The mythical geroth fruit heals every pain and keeps Lara and her sisters eternally young. As an empath, Lara’s responsibility is to ensure that the girls chosen as harvesters are spiritually clean so that the fruit trees are safe. However, Lara sympathizes so deeply that when one sister chooses Sleep to escape the memories of Outside, Lara absorbs her despair and barely escapes Sleep herself. Mother pressures Lara to forget her questions, but Lara rebels and enters the forbidden caves. She is transported to Outside, arriving in a crime scene, and is promptly picked up by the FBI for questioning. Her strange robes and veils match the description for a kidnapper that has been stealing young girls.

FBI Interrogation banned word David Hatton removes her veil and is intrigued by the way the young woman’s skin changes, chameleon-like, in response to others’ emotions. Both to deceive and to protect her, Agent Hatton 'rescues' Lara from the FBI field office. In the quiet woods of North Florida, they both seek answers, Lara by her abilities as an empath and Agent Hatton by his expertise in reading body language. David here you call him David when just above you call him Agent Hatton- I would stay consistent. I had to go back up to the first sentence to find out who David was again. answers her questions about mortal life and they both discover the power of love. Lara must choose between staying in a fallen world with the man she loves or returning to the Home and freeing her sisters.
I am a bit thrown off by all the capitalized nouns/pronouns (Mother, Sleep, Outside, Home) these are all pretty generic words that you choose to make significant just by the capitalization. I would like to see more descriptive or original words here. Like instead of the School- choose Hogwarts. Do you see what I mean?

PULSE is complete at 95,000 words and could be described as ‘X-files’ meets ‘The Giver’ (I believe titles should be all caps or italicized) Also, you need to give a genre-YA, paranormal, urban fantasy, romance, etc. by Lois Lowry. This multiple first-person narrative is written for adults, but is clean enough that mothers and teenage daughters could conceivably fight over whose turn it is and be forced to buy two copies to preserve family unity.

Thank you, contact info,etc.

Do these details draw the reader in? Or have I confused things? Thanks so much! -Kelly
For me, if you have a romance going on in there, which you clearly do with David, you need to play it up a little more. You basically have one sentence about the power of their love, which seems a little generic. I want to pulled in by their romance, like a sneak peak into why they have fallen in love. I know very little about him other than he can read body language. As for the magical world you have created it sounds interesting. Is this set in a modern place and time, I dont have a really good grasp on it and maybe a time and place would help.
I hope I was able to help a little. I know how hard it is:).

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by Ghost in the Machine » February 16th, 2010, 12:19 pm

Hi Kelly,

Ahh-someone else writing about FBI agents, kidnappings, and young women. I feel comfy already. Prepare for commentary:

Dear Agent,

The mythical geroth fruit heals every pain and keeps Lara and her sisters eternally young. As an empath, Lara’s responsibility is to ensure that the girls chosen as harvesters are spiritually clean so that the fruit trees are safe. However, Lara sympathizes so deeply that when one sister chooses Sleep to escape the memories of Outside, Lara absorbs her despair and barely escapes Sleep herself. Mother pressures Lara to forget her questions, but Lara rebels and enters the forbidden caves. She is transported to Outside, arriving in a crime scene, and is promptly picked up by the FBI for questioning. Her strange robes and veils match the description for a kidnapper that has been stealing young girls.

Comment: I feel like I’ve sat down in a movie right smack dab in the middle of the show. Clearly, we’re not in Kansas, but can you narrow it down for us? Someone else suggested an introductory hook, and I’ll second the motion. Feel free to laugh or hiss at the following attempt, whichever feels most appropriate.

Suggestion: The most important occupation in Xenia is not the pursuit of fame or money. In this paradise, the empath Lara and her sisters devote their lives to keeping the geroth fruit trees safe. In return, the healing fruit grants them eternal youth.

The geroth fruit heals every pain, but it can’t mend Lara’s heartache. Her sisters are chosen from our world, the Outside. Once brought to Xenia, Lara ensures that these chosen harvesters are spiritually clean before they are allowed near the geroth. When one chosen sister chooses Sleep to escape the memories of Outside, Lara absorbs her despair, barely escaping death herself.

Tormented by questions of the Outside, Lara goes to the Mother for guidance, but receives a rebuke instead of comfort. Rebellious and hurt, Lara enters the forbidden caves and is transported to the Outside.

Comment: Consider moving the part where she’s picked up by the FBI to a new paragraph. It might enhance the transition between worlds.


FBI Interrogation banned word David Hatton removes her veil and is intrigued by the way the young woman’s skin changes, chameleon-like, in response to others’ emotions. Both to deceive and to protect her, Agent Hatton 'rescues' Lara from the FBI field office. In the quiet woods of North Florida, they both seek answers, Lara by her abilities as an empath and Agent Hatton by his expertise in reading body language. David answers her questions about mortal life and they both discover the power of love. Lara must choose between staying in a fallen world with the man she loves or returning to the Home and freeing her sisters.

Suggestion: Before Lara can gather her bearings, she is siezed by the FBI. Her strange robes and veils match the description of the kidnapper responsible for x missing girls. In his ? years as an FBI Interrogation banned word, David Hatton never dealt with anyone like Lara. When he removed her veil, her skin changed from ? to ?.

Comment: Since these two end up romantically involved I love, love, loved! how he first sees her by lifting a veil. The symbolism here is exquisite. I would change the “power of love” phrase. The rest of the paragraph starting at “Both to deceive . . .” reads well.


PULSE is complete at 95,000 words and could be described as ‘X-files’ meets ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry. This multiple first-person narrative is written for adults, but is clean enough that mothers and teenage daughters could conceivably fight over whose turn it is and be forced to buy two copies to preserve family unity.

Comment: The last sentence here is great writing, but is it appropriate? Tough call. It’s the dream of aspiring authors but might come off too cocky to agents. If the agent blogs with a similar sense of humor, it might work.

Thank you, contact info,etc.

Good luck!

The Ghost in the Machine

kaykaybe
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Re: Urban Fantasy PULSE

Post by kaykaybe » February 16th, 2010, 1:28 pm

Thanks everyone! And Ghost- that's what I thought when I read yours- ohh! We could start our own subgenre!
This is humbling in the extreme (in a good way) and I appreciate the time taken to help me know what I need to focus on. I'll work on this and repost when I've addressed these comments. -Kelly

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