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juliatheswede
03-20-2012, 03:36 AM
Hi,

I'm looking for someone to read part or all of my polished 79,000-word long YA thriller. I'm happy to do an exchange as long as the MS is polished. By polished I mean that it's not a first draft and that it has been edited. (I don't like high fantasy like Harry Potter.) Below is my query (which still needs work, but you will get an idea what it's about):

For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Mel Walker has been obsessed with serial killers. When the NYPD announces a serial killer is loose in the city, hell-bent on killing pretty twelve-year-old girls like Mel’s little sister, Mel is on full alert. Especially since the authorities seem to remain clueless.

When the fifth victim is found near the lab where Mel’s best friend Alyssa volunteers, Mel thinks she’s found a lead. Someone has drawn angry smiley faces—the killer’s leaked signature---on the leaves of an experimental plant created in Alyssa’s lab, and then placed the plant in the lobby for everyone to see.. The killer must be someone working there who did this to taunt the stumped authorities. But before Mel and Alyssa can bring the plant to the police, it’s destroyed.

Since the police don’t take Mel and Alyssa seriously without the plant, the girls investigate the lead on their own. As a sixth victim is found near the lab, Mel is even surer they’re on to something. Unfortunately, she’s also surer Alyssa, who’s acting weirder by the day, might have something to do with the murders

P.S. I'm a very quick beta and would like to work with someone who is also quick.

Thanks for reading my post.

robjvargas
03-20-2012, 07:07 AM
This is going to sound cruel, and I'm sorry for that. Interesting story, but:



Unfortunately, she’s also surer Alyssa, who’s acting...

Surer? With a polished manuscript?

That's not proof positive, I admit, but it's like a train whistle in the distance while staring at a stalled car on the tracks.

BarbaraSheridan
03-20-2012, 01:57 PM
Have to agree with robjvargas on the "surer" thing(used multiple times btw).

Also:


Hi,

17-year-old Mel is freaking out—a serial killer is loose in NYC, hell-bent on killing 12-year-old girls. <---Along with how many other girls in NYC. What makes this personal to Mel. Does her sister fit a specific type besides the age? Or is it girls who've just turned twelve in a certain range of time? There has to be a pattern she sees. Not only has Mel’s sister just turned twelve, but the NYPD remains clueless, leaving the killer free to sadistically dismember and then murder young girls. <--This makes it sound like they're standing around wringing their hands and doing nothing at all.

When the fifth victim is found near the hospital that houses the lab where Mel’s best friend Alyssa volunteers, Mel, obsessed with the case, thinks she’s found a lead. Someone has drawn angry smiley faces—the killer’s calling card---on the leaves of an experimental plant created in Alyssa’s lab.<--A plant created in a hospital lab?Why not some place that specializes in botanical things? And if this guy/girl is leaving clues the cops would have picked up on it. The killer must be someone working there who did this to throw the hopelessly lost authorities <--Sorry not buying hopelessly lost. For a serial killer the FBI might even be involved. Hell it being NYC they might a way to think Terrorism and bring in DHS a bone—which should also stir up the media’s fading interest<--I doubt the media interest would fade with the serial killings of little girls happening. in the case. But before Mel and Alyssa can bring the plant to the police, it’s destroyed.

Since the police don’t take Mel and Alyssa seriously now,<--Don't take them seriously now? Did they take them seriously at an earlier point? the girls investigate the lead on their own. As a sixth victim is found near the hospital, Mel is even surer they’re on to something. Unfortunately, she’s also surer Alyssa, who’s acting weirder by the day, might have something to do with the murders.


You may have covered the points that stick out to me as unbelievable but you need to make your blurb better reflect that.

juliatheswede
03-20-2012, 06:48 PM
Dear Robjvargas and Barbara, "surer" is not grammatically incorrect as there are two possible forms of the adjective "sure." Check out this site for verification. http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/adjektive_steig.htm

I did consider using "more sure" as it may be a more common way of using the word, but didn't think it would matter at this point. Barbara: My blurb was only meant to give the reader an idea what the story is about. It still needs work. Thanks for pointing out some stuff that I need to make clearer--or maybe I should say "more clear":) (You can use both forms.) In fact, one of your comments--what makes this personal to Mel--gave me an idea how I can make the pitch better.

By polished I never meant there won't be a couple of errors here and there, just that it's perfectly readable.

Maryn
03-20-2012, 09:48 PM
There's not a thing wrong with the word surer.

Let's stay on track here. Julia seeks a beta, not a critique of the query letter, which she said still needs work. I suggest those who do not have a response to her request but to her query may be drawing attention away from the reason she posted: She wants a beta reader.

Maryn, grammar nerd

MKrys
03-20-2012, 10:00 PM
Good luck, Julia. Your query letter sounds very interesting. I only wish I had more time to help you out!

BarbaraSheridan
03-20-2012, 11:38 PM
There's not a thing wrong with the word surer.

Let's stay on track here. Julia seeks a beta, not a critique of the query letter, which she said still needs work. I suggest those who do not have a response to her request but to her query may be drawing attention away from the reason she posted: She wants a beta reader.

Maryn, grammar nerd

Commenting on the description was meant in the spirit of helpfulness. At first glance it seems as though this book has numerous plot holes and that it might not be ready for a beta prior to submission.

How many people who might have volunteered to beta will have the same thought and not bother to offer?

It's an interesting premise. Good luck Julia :)

IrisFlower81
03-28-2012, 12:56 AM
Julia,

I might be interested in working on this with you. I also have a YA thriller, heavily edited, complete around 75,000 words. If you would like to swap first chapters and see if our work/writing styles/work ethic might be a good fit, I'd be happy to do so.

Let me know?

Iris (Ellen)

P.S. I saw that you're looking for someone who can work fast. I'm in my last semester of college, so I won't be as speedy as I might be usually. That being said, I only have about seven weeks of school left before my time is my own again. If this is a risk you're willing to take, then you can PM me. If not, don't worry about it. I believe in being up front. :)

juliatheswede
03-28-2012, 06:02 AM
Hi Ellen, pm-ing you now.