RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

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Severus Lawliet
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RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Severus Lawliet » October 27th, 2010, 3:09 pm

I know I haven't totally finished my HALEY query yet, but this is the query for the book that I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo, so I wanted an opinion it it before I started.

What do you think?

=======
Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend.

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards.

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.

But there's a way around every promise.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers

====

PS: Is gritty really a genre? If not, do you know anything that would fit better? Thanks in advance.
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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by oldhousejunkie » October 27th, 2010, 6:14 pm

I hope you're not going to kill any cats in this one. :-)

This is an interesting premise. I like the fact that it's the guy who's getting abused and not the girl. "Gritty" isn't a genre, I don't think, but I don't have any other suggestions. Suspense or mainstream, maybe? I don't know. But the themes seem kind of heavy for a YA.
Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. Good start!

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th. I like this, but it's kind of confusing. I understand that you are showing and not telling us, but it's a little confusing. I feel like there's a jump because you mention elementary and then the incidents are in high school.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. , but What she didn't know was that his girlfriend Harleyis an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards. I think I would trim this paragraph down and merge it with the next. Maybe: First sentence, and then "He makes Janet promise not to call the police, but Janet isn't sure if she can keep...

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back begins dating another boy behind Jude's back. But he's not just any boy, he is Janet's former best friend, Nikolai.. Janet is even moreangered when she Harley gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, this negates the feeling established by the last sentence.except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't refuses to sit back andwatch Nikolai him get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.

But there's a way around every promise. This is good, and yet it kind of sticks out. Maybe you can incorporate it to the last paragrah somehow.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers
Very interesting, and I think you should run with it. I like this much better than the cat killing boy. :-)

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by sbs_mjc1 » October 28th, 2010, 5:41 am

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. [Nice hook!]

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school.Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. [Clunky-- you might try a rewrite something like this: ''So when Janet loses her job and is kicked out of her appartment, Jude and his girlfriend Harley let her move in with them'']. What she [Janet]didn't know, [however] was that his girlfriend[Harley] is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards.

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less [? Clearly she does care], except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.
[I think you need to tie this bit back into the opening hook-- is Janet out to save Nikolai or her brother?]
But there's a way around every promise.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers

====

PS: Is gritty really a genre? If not, do you know anything that would fit better? Thanks in advance.[/quote]
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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Ermo » October 28th, 2010, 11:43 am

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. I'd combine these. Just says: Janet Nakano needs to kill her brother's girlfriend. Names and ages can come later.

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th. This is background info we don't need right now.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction. This should be moved up. It's the conflict. Although I'd show the conflict. What did the meth addict do?

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards. Probably don't need the girlfriend's name. And you can tighten this up: Jude refuses to break up with his childish, drug-addled girlfriend and Janet regrets promising not to call the cops on her.

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse. Too many names. This seems like something that should be moved higher.

But there's a way around every promise.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel. This sounds a little too adult to be YA.

I like these real-world types of stories and this one has promise from its plot. As for this query, I'd concentrate on making it a little tighter with better pace. I'd also like to see some more examples of what makes Harley so bad other than drug abuse. How does that drug abuse affect their lives. Good luck with this!

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by D.Bond » October 28th, 2010, 6:37 pm

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. This is a great hook. Makes me instantly interested in where this is going to go.

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. While showing that they've been together forever and all that jazz, it doesn't add anything and it creates a disconnect between the rest of your paragraph Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. These sentences could be better. They sounds a bit flat. Maybe something like "When Janet is evicted from her apartment, Jude lets her stay in his. She knew he had a girlfriend but she didn't..." and then merge it with the next sentence. But that's just me! What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. I think this is also not very dynamic. :( I would shorten it up to "Despite the abuse Harley inflicts on him, Jude loves her and would never break up with her"He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards. I would merge these sentences too. "Janet regrettably does as he wishes and doesn't call the police." Or something like that, I dunno. Though I would take out the compares her to a child bit.

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Who is Nikolai? Please introduce him in this sentence. :)Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. This is a contradiction. She does care, so don't even mention that she doesn't? Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse. What are the stakes here? This sentence doesn't fit with the image I got from the first. It seemed like it was going to be about her brother, but now it's about Nikolai? :(

But there's a way around every promise. Love this. It shows some character and that's always good!

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

---This sounds really interesting! Please take my critique as much as you'd like. :) Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Michael Roland » October 29th, 2010, 8:32 am

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. I love love love this! Could it be better? Probably. Maybe loose the "Nineteen year-old bit," and make it one sentence. But that is just style. The hook is set all the way.Great!

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Does this sentence need to be here?Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th.

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. OK, goes a little flat here. You are about to introduce the conflict, but I'm not is suspense...at all. What about, "Janet breaths a sigh of relief when Jude offers to let her stay on his couch after she gets fired from her job and evicted from her apartment. Her relief is short-lived when she meets Jude's abusive alcoholic meth freak girlfriend, Harley. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. A bit clinical here, how about, "To Jude, the Agony of losing Harley is worse than the abuse he regularly suffers to be at her side. He can't let her go. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a lost, abused, orphaned, poor sad little...child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards.

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.Who or maybe why? Do I care? Should I? Now I don't know who to root for. What happens if the graph disappears?

But there's a way around every promise.

Huge hook. Great potential. I'm looking forward to the query revisions.
RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by airball » October 31st, 2010, 1:38 am

Severus Lawliet wrote:I know I haven't totally finished my HALEY query yet, but this is the query for the book that I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo, so I wanted an opinion it it before I started.

What do you think?

=======
Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. Agree that this is great and also to losing the age: Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she decided to kill his girlfriend.

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Presumably even before this, right?Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th. I'm not sure this is the best way to show their relationship. Maybe keep it more general?

Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Maybe invert this - she loses her job and then Jude lets her stay with him. You might also leave out the eviction. It sounds persnickety, but it's a long, drawn-out process, and you'd have a 3-6 month lag between her last rent payment and her eviction. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction. A bit clunky here...revise to get it into present tense? "Janet knows that her brother has a girlfriend, but is horrified to discover that she is ex meth addict who regularly beat the crap out of Jude.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards.

If she really loves him, you need a better reason for her to keep quiet than this. Put yourself in her shoes - would you stand by and watch someone doe this to your beloved brother? See below for a few possibilities.

You seem to have shifted your perspective in this paragraph. Is the story from Janet's POV? In the previous paragraph she is the emotional heart of the story, here it is Jude. "Janet knows she should call the police, but..." Also save her regret for the next paragraph - see below.


But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.

You need to establish who Nikolai is at the outset. As it stands, you kind of back into the important bit half way through the paragraph. "But Janet regrets her promise when she learns that Harley is cheating on Jude. To make matters worse..." More importantly, this turn of events doesn't ring quite true for me. Janet is willing to put up with with Harley abusing her brother, but when she threatens Nikolai, she decides to act? I don't get it.

Also, has Harley fallen off the wagon? I don't see her getting Nikolai onto meth but staying clean herself. Is Jude on meth as well? If not, why not?


But there's a way around every promise. So she decides to commit murder rather than break a promise to her brother? Won't killing Harley do a bit more damage to their relationship than calling the cops? Given that calling 911 would accomplish most of her goals, you have to make her motive for murder clear here.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers

====

PS: Is gritty really a genre? If not, do you know anything that would fit better? Thanks in advance.
I'm really intrigued by the characters, but the plot and motivation need a bit of sharpening. My gut says to cut out Nikolai entirely. Then all you need is a reason for Janet to kill Harley rather than call the cops. (Again, the promise just doesn't do it. Has Harley gotten Jude mixed up into some illegal business which takes that option off the table? Is she dealing, and thus connected to even more dangerous characters? You have a world of options here!

Good luck!
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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Severus Lawliet » November 3rd, 2010, 10:59 pm

Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice! I haven't logged on in a while so boy was it a surprise to me to see all this great advice! Thank you! So here is my revised query -- I tried to take as much advice from everyone as I could and here is the outcome! I hope it's better than last time :D

---

Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend.

When Janet loses her job and is evicted, Jude has no problem letting her stay with him. Janet is relieved that she won't be living on the streets, but that relief is short lived when she meets Jude's girlfriend, Harley, and discovers that she is ex-meth addict who regularly beats the crap out of Jude.

But to Jude, the agony of losing Harley is worse than the abuse he regularly suffers to be at her side. He can't let her go. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a lost, orphaned, sad little child. He claims that Harley is hurting and he is the only person that can help her.

However, Janet could really care less about the "true love" Jude claims is between him and Harley. After all, Harley is abusive and it's for his own good that she gets thrown in jail. But Janet is caught between a rock and a hard place when Harley begins to deal drugs again. With Jude's money.

So if she tells then not only will Jude get sent to prison for being involved, but there's also the chance of getting her head smashed in by angry drug addicts because she disrupted their trade. To make matters worse, a police officer from the Major Case Squad has begun to investigate Harley.

In between lying to Detective Joshua Ames for the woman she hates most in the world and trying to stay away from a drug dealer's son who seemed to take an interest in her, Janet promised herself that she wouldn't loose her cool or do anything irrational.

She promised herself she wouldn't do something that would hurt and not help her situation. She promised herself she wouldn't commit murder.

But there's a way around every promise.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word Contemporary YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers

---
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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Michael Roland » November 4th, 2010, 8:30 am

I liked this bit,

"Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th."

It is personal, shows caring and compassion and depth of understanding of eachothers weaknesses, sets up the relationship. Also, I think it carries hint of the authors voice.

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Erin » November 4th, 2010, 7:30 pm

Severus Lawliet wrote:I know I haven't totally finished my HALEY query yet, but this is the query for the book that I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo, so I wanted an opinion it it before I started.

What do you think?

=======
Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. Nice!

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th. [Not sure if this is necessary]

When Janet loses her job and gets evicted, Jude lets her stay in his small apartment. She knew he had a girlfriend. What she didn't know - Haley is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.
Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards. [This could be tighter.]

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.

But there's a way around every promise. [This is good.]

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Sincerely,

Rachel Summers

====

PS: Is gritty really a genre? If not, do you know anything that would fit better? Thanks in advance.
This has great potential. Good luck!

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Re: RESCUE MY SOUL - YA Gritty Novel

Post by Severus Lawliet » November 7th, 2010, 1:06 pm

Erin wrote:
Severus Lawliet wrote:I know I haven't totally finished my HALEY query yet, but this is the query for the book that I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo, so I wanted an opinion it it before I started.

What do you think?

=======
Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend. Nice!

Janet and Jude have always been by each other's side since elementary school. Janet understood why Jude couldn't stand up to his tormentor in 10th grade, and Jude understood why Janet was still pining over the jerk who cheated on her in 11th. [Not sure if this is necessary]

When Janet loses her job and gets evicted, Jude lets her stay in his small apartment. She knew he had a girlfriend. What she didn't know - Haley is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.
Jude has no problem with letting Janet stay in his small apartment when she loses her job and is evicted. Janet knew that her brother had a girlfriend. What she didn't know was that his girlfriend is an abusive alcoholic recovering from a crystal meth addiction.

Jude tells Janet that despite the emotional and physical abuse that Harley inflicts on him, he loves her and would never break up with her. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a child. Janet promises that she won't tell, although she immediately regrets it afterwards. [This could be tighter.]

But Janet isn't sure if she can keep quiet when Harley starts going out with Nikolai behind Jude's back. Janet is even more angered when she gets Nikolai hooked on drugs. Janet couldn't care less, except that Nikolai used to be her best friend. Even though they've had their differences, Janet can't watch Nikolai get sucked into the depressing abyss of Harley's abuse.

But there's a way around every promise. [This is good.]

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word gritty YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Sincerely,

Rachel Summers

====

PS: Is gritty really a genre? If not, do you know anything that would fit better? Thanks in advance.
This has great potential. Good luck!

Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Janet Nakano loves her brother Jude. That's why she has to kill his girlfriend.

When Janet loses her job and is evicted, Jude has no problem letting her stay with him. Janet is relieved that she won't be living on the streets, but that relief is short lived when she meets Jude's girlfriend, Harley, and discovers that she is ex-meth addict who regularly beats the crap out of Jude.

But to Jude, the agony of losing Harley is worse than the abuse he regularly suffers to be at her side. He can't let her go. He begs Janet not to call the police and even compares Harley to a lost, orphaned, sad little child. He claims that Harley is hurting and he is the only person that can help her.

However, Janet could really care less about the "true love" Jude claims is between him and Harley. After all, Harley is abusive and it's for his own good that she gets thrown in jail. But Janet is caught between a rock and a hard place when Harley begins to deal drugs again. With Jude's money.

So if she tells then not only will Jude get sent to prison for being involved, but there's also the chance of getting her head smashed in by angry drug addicts because she disrupted their trade. To make matters worse, a police officer from the Major Case Squad has begun to investigate Harley.

In between lying to Detective Joshua Ames for the woman she hates most in the world and trying to stay away from a drug dealer's son who seemed to take an interest in her, Janet promised herself that she wouldn't loose her cool or do anything irrational.

She promised herself she wouldn't do something that would hurt and not help her situation. She promised herself she wouldn't commit murder.

But there's a way around every promise.

RESCUE MY SOUL is a 50,000 word Contemporary YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Rachel Summers
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