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 1 
 on: Today at 02:27:25 PM 
Started by joriesstories - Last post by vivaviolet
I like this, especially the surprise of the unfriendly kitten and the rising stakes of needing to make her adoptable in two weeks.

"Thank you for your time and consideration." may serve you better than "Regardless, thank you for taking the time to review my query."

The tone, word count and subject matter all seem perfect for lower MG.

Good luck with this!


 2 
 on: Today at 01:40:35 PM 
Started by msalem - Last post by msalem
Thanks jcwrites. I see some of your points. I'm reviewing my ms and making slow updates now. Still working on it, but here is an initial revised 5 pages.

===============

Chapter 1

The conversation began with motion, with words shared over a walk through a potential future. It was a final demonstration of where they were, and of how the journey would be. All before now were simple introductions and reviews, but this was how he defined the true journey’s start. The end was seemingly known, as was the path to achieve it, but the final execution required the appropriate words and manipulations.

Locked in step with short, easy strides, John took the lead. His waltzing head darting in every direction, an unfocused daydreamy eye glossing over the world around him, his voice simply followed the momentum of his body through long sterile halls. As they approached the first of many sliding glass security doors that constrained all foot traffic within, he swaggered through blindly. Venturing further into the most secure regions of the corporate headquarters of Human Prospects - not only the headquarters, but their main research and development facility - the majority of their most significant and secretive work was performed here. Glass doorways adorned with ever increasing alphanumeric codes separated long stretches of clean white passageways, as each step further upon the tiled floor demonstrated just how significant the company’s resources were.

Shifting loosely through intermittent foot traffic, their focus was less direct than those surrounding them, but more potent. The two men presented a visual aberration in their expensive suits. Technicians and scientists entered and exited their labs, clothed in long white lab coats with their only accessory a plastic name badge around their neck or clasped to their jackets. All pedestrians danced around the perceived trail being forged by John, their only interplay pronounced and respectful head bows with broad white smiles. For John Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, his stature and profile within the organization were represented by his outward appearance, and his fastidious nature was readily apparent.

At almost sixty, with a life spent reaching for the next level of importance, his car salesman-like personality had been one of his most important attributes. John was your greatest friend, your best ally and protector, and the one cure-all that would solve all your problems. This friendliness belied his leveraging of relationships to aid in the progression of his motives, and its need was most evident as a crutch. Nathan Jones knew the façade of the man beside him. From the slightly bloated appearance with heavily groomed light beard and moustache, to the slight southern accent that pranced from his tongue, John was nothing more than mindless flesh.

In this third and final meeting of an extended interview process, John’s entirety now focused on the sale of Human Prospects to Nathan. Courted and dazzled, countless opportunities awaited Nathan if he accepted Human Prospects’ offer of employment.

John’s breathe drew deeper and louder as wayward glances found his ward. His eyes, groping Nathan, his cleverly grasped and manipulated tonal controls were infrequently marred. Widening pupils and irregular and indistinct slurred words revealed the true future he desired. With research that could potentially spur the company to its greatest growth, John saw in Nathan a further step upward and the broader recognition he hungered for. At only twenty-four years old, Nathan had already proven his capabilities and brilliance with degrees in bio-chemistry, genetics, computer science, physics and engineering. John savored all that could come under his guidance.

Boastful and zombie-like in exuberance, John led Nathan deeper into the soul of Human Prospects. A showman, directing the crowd’s attention to the never ending expanse of labs visible through the clear walls they walked by.

“We are building a better future here, by building a better humanity. The work that we do will provide medical and human breakthroughs that will help man progress to the next level of evolution.”

A prideful statement made less potent with an animal’s sneer, “At least that’s what the marketing material says.”

Nathan’s unencumbered pace and stoic grin presented a picturesque reception to John’s musings. The VP’s wafting words attempting to make a persuasive and lasting impression on the young man was a grandiose portrayal of a father and mentor. Only furthering Nathan’s comprehension of the master of control in this situation.

They were alike in that regard, with Nathan realizing long ago the need for performances. A life mandated by showing the world what they wanted to see, and not who he was - not what he was capable of. It wasn’t as mundane as John’s simple greed, but it was born out of unperceivable greatness.

John cut the air with directed hand and nodding grin, a light but sufficiently forceful monologue. The words, it appeared to Nathan, were more for John’s benefit, and only seemed to fall haphazardly upon those in his sphere of influence. So enthralled by his own presentation, John seemed unaware that his young companion had only but spoken the briefest of comments since their journey within the physical body of the company began.

“We aren’t the largest corporation in the world, but we like to think we are amongst the best and most benevolent.”

One of the largest pharmaceutical and medical companies in North America, Nathan knew Human Prospects was at the forefront of numerous medical technology breakthroughs, with a heavy emphasis on increasing research and development. With over twenty thousand employees worldwide, the company focus had remained largely unchanged, and their continued growth had demonstrated the validity of their approach. It was one of the reasons why Nathan favored them over some of their larger competitors. There were strategies in place here that aligned to Nathan’s own. Aspects that needed to exist in a suitable environment for his plans to flourish and dominate.

Approaching the main section of the company’s research and development facilities, increased security tightened around them. Standing in front of the men was an additional glass barrier with the words ‘No unrestricted access.’ Eyes surreptitiously surveilled the environment, sniping precise targets as gentle acknowledgements to John’s continued ramblings allowed gentle misdirections in head movements. Every structural feature logged to an internal map, this heightened visibility of cameras and additional security measures demonstrated the depths to which Nathan was being granted access.

John’s hand silkily glided into his inside jacket pocket, gracefully revealing additional security credentials. Gingerly swiping the pass against the wall card reader, a smug smile encouraged Nathan through the separating barrier. John’s leering eyes, not seen but sensed, followed at Nathan’s back: This entry thus granted by my hand. It was another human aspect that Nathan took no pleasure in; the waste, ignorance, and importance of me. But Nathan’s exterior was a camouflaged wolf amongst sheep: gentle and accommodating to every purpose.

“The work you see here is years ahead of our competitors, with the reticent security to protect it. We push the envelopes others only dream of.” Stopping for a moment, John was Shakespearean; statuesque and solemn.

“Hopefully, this is where you come in.”

They continued on through several other security checkpoints, with Nathan adhering to John’s side. Approaching a more open corridor, John haphazardly typed into a walled keypad, and led Nathan onto a large observation deck. The raised floor of the room overlooked an elaborate, state-of-the-art, and costly lab through a large, clear glass wall separator. John’s outstretched hand, like a model on a game show presenting a beautiful prize, further indicating the splendor before them. Their perch above allowed full view to the many men and women working below. Filled with all manner of scientific equipment, the lab only went to further demonstrate the expense to which the company moved to further their technology leadership. In thanks to the sound proofing and hermetical seal of their station, the lab personnel concentrated on the work before them, oblivious to the pair watching from above. This lack of interest was shared equally by their overseers, as the nature of John and Nathan’s discussion was one centered upon presentation, not content.

The observation area was undoubtedly widely used for such demonstrations, given the theatre seating and the portable bar. Fully carpeted and decorated with art, flat screen monitors adorned every wall, with full surround sound, and a retractable screen for the glass partition. This room was designed for the most senior and important gatherings of officials. It was just one of the tools used for sales, both of product and reputation.

 3 
 on: Today at 11:26:53 AM 
Started by longknife - Last post by longknife

I normally take pieces like this with a grain of salt. Everyone wants to help you write a best seller – for a fee. But, this article is filled with great tips.
1: To get started, write one true sentence.
2: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
3: Never think about the story when you're not working.
   IMHO, this is a real toughy. How can you ignore all the scenes you see and plot lines filling your head?
4: When it's time to work again, always start by reading what you've written so far.
5: Don't describe an emotion--make it.
6:he'd a pencil.
   I’m willing to bet that, if he were alive today, he’s be using a word processor.
7: Be Brief.
Hemingway writes:
It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.
Well worth the time to read @ http://www.openculture.com/2018/11/7-tips-ernest-hemingway-write-fiction.html

 4 
 on: Today at 06:53:42 AM 
Started by joriesstories - Last post by joriesstories
Thank you so much for taking a look at this!

Dear Ms. Agent,

(I’ll put some personalized stuff about the agent here.)  In researching your interests, I was excited to see that you are still acquiring middle-grade fiction.
I’d like to offer my 32,000 word lower MG novel A & B & THE FOSTER CAT-ASTROPHE for your consideration.

More than anything in the world Bee Brown wants a cat of her own. But even her lucky socks can’t conquer her dad’s cat allergies.
When Bee and her twin brother, Abe, get involved with the Humane Society’s Cat Adoration Club, they find out there are many cats and kittens who need foster homes. The twins write up a Cat Care Contract, and despite the odds, their dad signs it, agreeing to foster a kitten temporarily, under the strict rules the kids set for themselves in the contract.  But when they get the kitten, she only hisses and hides from the kids. If Abe and Bee can’t care for the feral kitten on their own, while keeping her away from Dad, she’ll be sent back to the Humane Society immediately. And if they can’t figure out how to tame her in the two week foster period, she won't be adoptable, and will never find a home of her own.

A & B & THE FOSTER CAT-ASTROPHE is the quirky, feel good tale of of a yowling kitten and the power of siblings when they put their minds together. I believe it will appeal to fans of A BOY CALLED BAT and THE MAGICAL ANIMAL ADOPTION AGENCY.

(My credentials here)

Per your specifications, I have included the first (#)pages of my novel within this email. I would love to send you the rest if you are interested. Regardless, thank you for taking the time to review my query

 5 
 on: Today at 06:06:17 AM 
Started by Munley - Last post by jldelozier
Munley, I like it, but I have two minor suggestions. Because you use the phrase "to find" twice is such close proximity, I would change the first to, "in search of." It also might be nice to find a stronger, single verb to replace the phrase "sets out" but I can't think of a great one right now (no coffee yet this morning!) "Launches a search" or "Embarks on a search," maybe?


sets out to find justice for her, only to find his own identity in doubt.   = sets out in search of justice, only to find his own identity in doubt.

 6 
 on: Yesterday at 10:03:02 PM 
Started by Munley - Last post by Munley
-- one sentence
-- one paragraph
-- two paragraphs

Came across this agent's blog on how to come up with these:

https://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05/one-sentence-one-paragraph-and-two

This is my first try at the 1-sentence pitch:

A Nova Scotia boy, convinced his maman’s disabling brain injury is the work of his no-good, absent dad –- not the result of a fall down some steps-- sets out to find justice for her, only to find his own identity in doubt.

 7 
 on: Yesterday at 05:59:39 AM 
Started by mramberg - Last post by koji
Definitely prefer the second. Just add one line of stakes at the end and you're set.

 8 
 on: Yesterday at 03:45:30 AM 
Started by Pineapplejuice - Last post by Pineapplejuice
I don't write MG but just saw on Twitter a retweet by Penny Moore that Harper Collins is open to Diverse Voices for MG manuscripts just for today. I would have posted earlier if I'd known. Trying to remember some MG diverse voices here. I'll take a look. But if you think of anyone maybe let them know.

https://twitter.com/HarperCollins/status/1063175855080460288

 9 
 on: Yesterday at 02:17:07 AM 
Started by Munley - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Someone said it. Lol.

Yes I know exactly what you mean about agents like that.

 10 
 on: November 15, 2018, 08:23:28 PM 
Started by mramberg - Last post by ms._m
Nice work! My two cents is that I really preferred the second version. It was much more exciting and gave the impression that the book is filled with interesting characters and threads. One critique, you may want to consider changing the wording in the last sentence from "European adventure to life," to "European history to life."

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