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Moon Daughter
12-30-2013, 02:50 PM
Allow me to forewarn you all this is not a finished project. I intended to ask for a beta reader after I was finished and had edited heavily, but I'm completely stuck. I'm looking for someone who would be interested in bouncing ideas off each other and critiquing each other's work, whether in-progress or not. I'd prefer to develop a writer relationship with someone else who writes specifically for YA. So far I'm at 50K.

A very terrible query letter:

After nearly having died from a fatal medical condition, fifteen-year-old Payson Godric receives a heart transplant. A second chance at life also comes with a second sight: now she can see the dead. Beyond freaked, she makes it a point to ignore the spirits lurking around town, which proves difficult when one in particular won’t leave her alone. A reluctant Payson joins forces with the amnesiac ghost (quickly dubbed as Gigi) when she realizes the only way she’ll leave her alone is to help her get her memories back and move onto the afterlife. As they venture for answers, they find her death is not at all what it appears to be. Now the same forces that were after Gigi are coming for Payson. And if Payson isn’t careful, she might be joining Gigi in her world soon.


Writing Sample:

My heart was a ticking time-bomb as my father rushed me into the emergency room. Mom trailed right behind us; her eyes steadily trained on me. She clutched the pager--the one that says "hey, we got you a new heart!"--even though it never set off.

Suddenly I was on a cart. Lights faded in and out as people wheeled me down the hallway to a private unit as they busily exchanged conversation. The brightness strained my heavy lids and so I closed my eyes for comfort. Or for death, I wasn’t sure.

"No, no sweetie. Don’t go to sleep," my father pleaded as my mother started to sob.

The thought of sleep became more alluring as the seconds passed, but I was too afraid to let myself slip, afraid that it wasn’t temporary rest coming to greet me. I held onto my father’s words and recycled them in my mind, hoping I could talk myself out of unconsciousness. No…don’t go to sleep. Could dying be this peaceful? My heart responded with a sharp pain.

Clothes were torn off. Cold objects and hands touched my skin. Something hugged my finger, followed by a new noise: my slowing heartbeat.

Twinkie
01-07-2014, 07:00 AM
I'd be interested in trading stories/idea-bouncing. I'm also in the midst of a work-in-progress, currently at 67k. I write almost exclusively YA (and read a ton of it), but my current project is kind of in a gray area because it includes an adult POV.

My story is a retelling of Snow White, but it is set on a spaceship in the future, and I have gender-swapped the roles of Snow White and the prince. I am so, so bad at summaries. Writing queries are PAINFUL. What else can I tell you? . . . The story is told from three POVs--Eirwyn (Snow White but a dude), Joanna (girl prince), and Major Corde (Evil Queen). The ship is tooling along five years into its exploration mission when something goes wrong. Ugh, I'm so bad at this. I will just stop trying to summarize it. Basically it's got the bones of the Snow White plot, plus some added sci-fi plot elements like ship malfunctions, mysterious space junk, and supply shortages.

Here's an excerpt from an early chapter in Joanna's (girl prince's) POV:

“Joanna.”

As she turned at the sound of her father’s voice, the floor pitched violently, knocking her into his arms. She gazed up at him in surprise.

Every time she saw him, she was still shocked by how her mother’s death had aged him. They knew it was coming, but that hadn’t made it any easier. The gray in his beard had also moved up to his temples, and the bags under his eyes seemed permanent now. He never seemed to smile anymore, but then, neither did she.

“What was that?” she asked.

Captain Graydon—Dad—shrugged. “I’m sure engineering will have an answer in a few minutes. Where are you off to?” he asked her, his voice gravelly.

“The infirmary,” she replied.

“Oh,” he said, after a moment’s pause in which his gaze lit on her scars. “Nothing wrong, I hope.”

She shook her head. “I’m just popping in on Claudia,” she said. Her frequent visits to the infirmary to have her scars tended to had to be explained. She’d let her father persist in his belief that she and Claudia had become friends. If she had to keep up the pretense much longer, they might actually become real friends, instead of uneasy allies bonded over a terrible secret.

“All right. I guess I’ll see you later.”

He shuffled off, wandering kind of uncertainly at first. Then, as he got farther away (and as she probably began to fade from his thoughts), he walked with more of a purpose, turning the corner and moving out of sight. The juddering of the ship, he took in stride. His own daughter, however . . . Well, in all fairness, Joanna didn’t really know what to make of him, either.