QueryTracker Community
July 20, 2018, 01:29:09 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Immunology YA  (Read 1123 times)
horrorchix89
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« on: October 31, 2017, 02:25:31 AM »

For months, seventeen-year-old Hiromi has toiled as an immunology intern on a small island hoping to develop a cure for a deadly virus that mutates people into Konadai—undead creatures with tentacle tongues, sharp teeth, and five-inch claws.  Safe from the Konadai behind the city’s walls, Hiromi and her mentor are running low on the infected blood and tissue samples they need for research.

On a desperate mission to gather more samples, Hiromi reaches out to her childhood friend, Kenji, a private in the city guard skilled with fire magic. Within days, Hiromi’s invited to join Kenji and his squad on a mission to investigate a horde of infected. Due to underestimating the Konadai’s abilities, one of Kenji’s friends is bitten—but he doesn’t show signs of infection. It’s the breakthrough Hiromi’s been searching for. But to create a large antidote supply, Hiromi will need an extensive amount of tissue and blood samples from Kenji’s friend and his three young siblings. Fearing for their lives, Kenji refuses to let Hiromi take his friend back to the lab.

With her friendship shattered and the virus running rampant, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing innocent lives to save the city or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.


I'm not sure if this is Fantasy or SciFi or if I can get away with Science Fantasy (there are magical humans in my MS).

For months, seventeen-year-old Hiromi has worked as an immunology intern in what’s left of Japan to find a cure for a deadly virus that’s mutating those infected. With every test to find a cure comes the inevitable result, failure. Hiromi and her mentor are running low on infection samples and hope for saving the city.

In order to gather more samples, Hiromi reaches out to her childhood friend, Kenji, a private in the city guard and a skilled fire magic user. Although his military squad is stuck on gate patrol, Kenji reluctantly agrees to help. Within days, Hiromi gets a chance to join Kenji and his squad on a mission to investigate a horde of infected. The mission goes south and one of Kenji’s friends is bitten—but he doesn’t show signs of infection. It’s the breakthrough Hiromi’s been searching for, but Kenji refuses to let his friend be turned into a lab rat even if it is for a good cause.

The squad, along with Hiromi and Kenji, are at each other’s throats. With her friendship shattered and the virus claiming more victims, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing an innocent life to save the city or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 01:43:14 AM by horrorchix89 » Logged
koji
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 31
Offline Offline

Posts: 168


« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 03:19:35 AM »

Overall it's a tight query. There are a few cliches that could be fleshed out more and a few details that seem irrelevant (marked in the picture). Since it is a biting\zombie story, you might want to include that earlier. Go a little into the disease and how it works- what makes your zombies different than all the others? Also, you mention the friend is a skilled fire magic user, but we never understand why this is important or how it relates to the story.

Right now your query is short enough, especially if you take out the cliches, to expand on your world building a little and give details that make your story unique.
Logged
jldelozier
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 41
Offline Offline

Posts: 342



WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 07:15:46 AM »

It's got good bones, but it's a little wordy. By cutting back, you'll have more room for "meat" as Koji said. Also, pump up your verbs to increase tension. 
Example:
For months, seventeen-year-old Hiromi has worked toiledas an immunology intern in what’s left of Japan hoping to find DEVELOP (less passive than just "finding" it) a cure for a deadly virus that’s mutating those infected. With every test to find a cure (redundant) comes the inevitable result -(should be a colon or an em dash here, not a comma) failure. Hiromi and her mentor are running low on infection samples (This phrase sounds too vague. Use blood samples, tissue samples or even better, "running low on infected blood") and hope for saving the city This phrase is a cliché and a bit awkward. If you want to still use it, at least put an em dash so you have that dramatic full stop, like this: Hiromi and her mentor are running low on infected blood - and hope for saving the city. As an aside, in the first sentence, you mention Japan as a whole was infected/affected, so to me it sounds like you should raise the stakes and say "her country" or Japan. The higher the stakes, the better.

This section definitely could be tightened for dramatic affect:

In order On a desperate mission to gather more samples, Hiromi reaches out to her childhood friend, Kenji, a private in the city guard and a skilled fire magic user. Although his military squad is stuck on gate patrol, (unnecessary, adds no "exciting" info) Kenji reluctantly agrees to help. Within days, Hiromi gets a chance to join(s) Kenji and his squad on a mission to investigate a horde of infected. The mission goes south and when one of Kenji’s friends is bitten—but he doesn’t show signs of infection. It’s the breakthrough Hiromi’s been searching for, but Kenji refuses to let his friend be turned into a lab rat even if it is for a good cause. This is very cliché. I would think a soldier, with the fate of Japan hanging overhead, would succumb to the "duty, honor, and sacrifice for the greater good" code of the Japanese people and not dig in his heels like this. You need to make us better understand WHY he refuses to turn over his friend. From my understanding of Japanese culture, the friend would probably volunteer himself.

With her friendship shattered and the virus claiming more victims running rampant, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing an innocent life to or saving her the city her country (see above) or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.


I did this really quickly before a dentist appointment, so let me know if you have any questions.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 11:37:58 AM by jldelozier » Logged
MKWrites_318
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 45


« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 02:33:30 PM »

From reading your query, it sounds more like YA urban fantasy to me. Depending on how gruesome the virus is, it might even drift into horror. Magic doesn't necessarily mean it isn't sci-fi, but magic + zombie-like virus sounds more like urban fantasy. I'd suggest asking your beta-readers about genre. They'll have a better idea than people who've only seen the query. Smiley

I agree with jldelozier's editing ideas. I would just add one thing. In paragraph 2: "...Kenji, a private in the city guard and a skilled fire magic user." Maybe say "practitioner of fire magic" or "skilled fire magician." But "fire magic user" sounds flat to me. Even saying, "a skilled user of fire magic" is better, but I don't love "user" in general there.

Best of luck!
Logged
horrorchix89
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 11:58:31 PM »

Thanks for the help everyone. It really helps to see how others feel. I've been staring at this for a while.

One thing I like to point out is that it's not the full country of Japan. This takes place in 2181. The country of Japan (along with most of the world) was destroyed after two world wars (one ending in a nuclear war). A massive earthquake also hit and tore the country apart nearly a century ago. So my "city" is an island a bit small than Hawaii's big island. It has one main city, farmlands on the eastern shore, hills to the west, and a large wall that nearly cuts the island in half. On one side lives people and wolf-hybrids (basically werewolves since I don't want to go into detail of what they actually are...although they're more fantasy than paranormal) and the other is the zombie-like mutants with long tentacle tongues, five-inch claws, and sharp teeth (like the Lickers from Resident Evil but with eyes and leathery black skin). Also, after 100 years of war, 20 years of immigration, and 60 years trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic city--there's not much that remains of the modern culture.

TL;DR: it is a city/island and not an entire country.

I'll try to figure out how to make Kenji's choice to not let his friend get used for experiments clearer. Basically, they won't just take a pint of blood and leave it at that. They'll take his younger siblings (including his three-year-old sister) and use them as well.
Logged
jldelozier
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 41
Offline Offline

Posts: 342



WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 05:35:54 AM »

Code:
They'll take his younger siblings (including his three-year-old sister) and use them as well

That definitely ups the stakes and adds clarity as to why the soldier/friend won't turn him in.
Logged
koji
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 31
Offline Offline

Posts: 168


« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 06:55:03 AM »

Thanks for the help everyone. It really helps to see how others feel. I've been staring at this for a while.

One thing I like to point out is that it's not the full country of Japan. This takes place in 2181. The country of Japan (along with most of the world) was destroyed after two world wars (one ending in a nuclear war). A massive earthquake also hit and tore the country apart nearly a century ago. So my "city" is an island a bit small than Hawaii's big island. It has one main city, farmlands on the eastern shore, hills to the west, and a large wall that nearly cuts the island in half. On one side lives people and wolf-hybrids (basically werewolves since I don't want to go into detail of what they actually are...although they're more fantasy than paranormal) and the other is the zombie-like mutants with long tentacle tongues, five-inch claws, and sharp teeth (like the Lickers from Resident Evil but with eyes and leathery black skin). Also, after 100 years of war, 20 years of immigration, and 60 years trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic city--there's not much that remains of the modern culture.

TL;DR: it is a city/island and not an entire country.


I'll try to figure out how to make Kenji's choice to not let his friend get used for experiments clearer. Basically, they won't just take a pint of blood and leave it at that. They'll take his younger siblings (including his three-year-old sister) and use them as well.

This is important stuff that builds your MS as unique and (I think) should be in your query. Instead of just saying the virus mutates humans, explain that it turns them into "zombie-like mutants with long tentacle tongues, five-inch claws, and sharp teeth."

Honestly, if it is set that far in the future and not much is left of modern Japanese society, I would not bother saying in your query it is set in Japan. Instead, say it is set on a small island. I am not sure if your wolf-creatures have a role in the story. If they do, put a line about them in the query.

Consider something like:

For months, seventeen-year-old Hiromi has worked as an immunology intern on a small island to develop a cure for a deadly virus that mutates people into zombie-like mutants with long tentacle tongues, five-inch claws, and sharp teeth. Safe from the mutants and magical wolf-humans behind the city walls, Hiromi and her mentor are running low on the blood samples they need for their research.

To gather more samples, Hiromi reaches out to her childhood friend, Kenji, a private in the city guard skilled with fire magic. Within days, Hiromi gets a chance to join Kenji and his squad on a mission to investigate a horde of infected mutants. The mission goes south (How? Are they ambushed? Attacked? Unaware of a second horde?) and one of Kenji’s friends is bitten— but he doesn’t show signs of infection. It’s the breakthrough Hiromi’s been searching for. But to make a cure in time, Hiromi will need extensive blood and tissue from Kenji's friend and his three-year-old sister. Afraid for their lives, Kenji refuses to let Hiromi take his friend back to the lab. 

With her friendship shattered and the virus claiming more victims, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing innocent lives to save the city or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.
Logged
mgmystery
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 184
Offline Offline

Posts: 858


« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 07:44:15 AM »

You've been given a lot of good advice here. I definitely think specific details will help your query stand out in a zombie saturated market and Koji's example is a great starting point. I'll watch for the rewrite  Smiley
Logged
horrorchix89
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 01:42:42 AM »

It's so hard squeezing all the information into 350 words or less. Thanks again for the help. I updated the first post with my new attempt.

By the way, the wolf people are friendly and live amongst the humans. From afar they actually look human but they have pointed ears, sharp fangs, and yellow eyes. The humans just sort of fear their bad tempers and make them wear suppression collars to keep their rage in check (it's not really important enough to put in the query, but they play a bigger part later in the series). Just thought I should clear that up
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 01:46:23 AM by horrorchix89 » Logged
jldelozier
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 41
Offline Offline

Posts: 342



WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 07:27:38 AM »

This is so much more engaging - a vast improvement, in my opinion. My only suggestion is to shorten the last line. It's a mouthful, and will be more impactful if shorter.

Quote
With her friendship shattered and the virus running rampant, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing innocent lives to save the city or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.

Good work! clap
Logged
MKWrites_318
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 45


« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 01:35:10 PM »

It's much, much better! clap To me, this is a pretty solid query. I would just change "Due to underestimating the Konadai's abilities, one of Kenji's friends..." to "When they underestimate the Konadai's abilities, one of Kenji's friends is bitten..." or something similar. "Due to" sounds too businesslike to me for this. But that's probably just my preference.  Smiley
Logged
horrorchix89
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 04:29:09 PM »

Thank you jldelozier and MK.

I agree with both of your suggestions. Sometimes I'm long winded lol.
Logged
mgmystery
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 184
Offline Offline

Posts: 858


« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 08:54:26 AM »

I like the new version! Nice job  Thumbs Up
Logged
horrorchix89
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 06:00:12 PM »

I like the new version! Nice job  Thumbs Up

Thank you!
Logged
paddler
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 26
Offline Offline

Posts: 217



« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 09:18:43 PM »

Just make sure you put the word count in the housekeeping section. Other than that I would say to take it for a ride.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!