Author Topic: V2.0 Patient 19 - V2.5 in post 4  (Read 434 times)

Offline edac

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 5
V2.0 Patient 19 - V2.5 in post 4
« on: August 23, 2019, 11:28:10 AM »
Huge thanks in advance!

(newest version in post 4)

Dear [agent],

Aboveground, May drinks wine, spoons her English mastiff, and watches TV with her sweet but boring fiancé. Belowground, she wears a hazmat suit, monitors caloric drips, and injects lethal diseases into cryogenically frozen men, all in the name of testing a revolutionary nanobiotechnological cure-all called Firewall. It hasn't met a disease it can't cure, but two major problems are keeping it from public release: the inoculated become lifelong carriers of their diseases, and every patient wakes inexplicably insane.

When May discovers a series of disturbing secrets about the patients' terrifying reality, she sneaks into the lab after-hours to extract one who's shown signs of preserved sanity. In the process, she accidentally creates a breach that allows more than three hundred other patients to escape--all insane and contagious with the world's deadliest diseases. Only May can stop the ensuing pandemic from devouring the city.

PATIENT 19 is an upmarket speculative thriller complete at 106,000 words with series potential. It will appeal to fans of Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Alexandra Oliva’s The Last One.

I live in Las Vegas and teach middle-school English as well as writing at UNLV, where I received a BA and an MA in English. I grew up in a family of survivalists and conspiracy theorists but never myself accepted their beliefs. This book imagines a world where they’re right, but not in the way they think. My short fiction has appeared online and in print in several journals, including BULL, After the Pause, and Typishly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


 

« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 12:25:28 PM by edac »

Offline Pineapplejuice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
  • Karma: 148
Re: V2.0 Patient 19
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 11:58:08 AM »
Huge thanks in advance!

Dear [agent],

Aboveground, May drinks wine, spoons her English mastiff, and watches TV with her sweet but boring fiancé. Belowground, she wears a hazmat suit, monitors caloric drips, and injects lethal diseases into cryogenically frozen men, all in the name of testing a revolutionary nanobiotechnological cure-all called Firewall. It hasn't met a disease it can't cure, but two major problems are keeping it from public release: the inoculated become lifelong carriers of their diseases, and every patient wakes inexplicably insane.

When May discovers a series of disturbing secrets about the patients' terrifying reality, she ( this is too vague to feel relevant ) sneaks into the lab after-hours to extract one ( what do you mean 'extract one'? ) who's shown signs of preserved sanity. In the process, she accidentally creates a breach that allows more than three hundred other patients to escape--all insane and contagious with the world's deadliest diseases. Only May can stop the ensuing pandemic from devouring the city. ( This ending makes me feel like may actually can't stop it and I'm left not caring because there is no hope. I know you are saying she can stop it but I'm not sure what the problem is - other than a bunch of essentially zombies running around the city - I feel like I need to know more specifically what she needs to do. )

PATIENT 19 is an upmarket speculative thriller complete at 106,000 words with series potential. It will appeal to fans of Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Alexandra Oliva’s The Last One.

I live in Las Vegas and teach middle-school English as well as writing at UNLV, where I received a BA and an MA in English. I grew up in a family of survivalists and conspiracy theorists but never myself accepted their beliefs. This book imagines a world where they’re right, but not in the way they think. My short fiction has appeared online and in print in several journals, including BULL, After the Pause, and Typishly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


This read really well but after reading it I realized the plot left me shrugging and not caring because there is no complication.

You've explained the set up well but then it falls flat for me as the plot reads too simply.

There's the MC who accidentally lets out insane and infectious people - it's dangerous for civilization - the end.

Too simple.

Offline edac

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 5
Re: V2.0 Patient 19
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 02:12:17 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! A few of the points you're making are aligned with some reservations I had after writing this draft, so it's helpful to know you share them.

Offline Mentha piperita

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
  • Karma: 12
Re: V2.0 Patient 19
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2019, 03:39:38 PM »
Hey edac,  :)

I think your query reads well too. I agree that we could have a clearer sense of the stakes and more specifics about what May's challenges are going to be and what she has to do to right the situation. For me, I already care from what you have and the only things that might keep more from picking this up in a bookshop are 1. The lack of specifics and 2. A little worry it's going to be too grim (but that's totally a personal taste thing). Some thoughts below. There are a few places I think it's a tiny bit overwritten (I.e. you can cut some words without changing the meaning).

Huge thanks in advance!

Dear [agent],

Aboveground, May drinks wine, spoons her English mastiff, and watches TV with her sweet but boring fiancé. Belowground, she wears a hazmat suit monitors caloric drips, don't think this adds much.and injects lethal diseases into cryogenically frozen men, all in the name of testing a revolutionary nanobiotechnological cure-all called Firewall. It hasn't met a disease it can't cure, but two major problems are keeping it from public release: the inoculated become lifelong carriers of their diseases, and every patient wakes up inexplicably insane.

When May discovers a series of disturbing secrets about the patients' terrifying reality, she sneaks into the lab after-hours to extract one who's shown signs of preserved sanity. In the process, she accidentally creates a breach that allows more than three hundred other patients to escape--all insane and contagious with the world's deadliest diseases. Only May can stop the ensuing pandemic from devouring the city. Here's where I'd like to know who's going to suffer from the chaos (e.g. does her fiance get a disease?) and what the action is going to look like. Does she have to recruit help from 4chan? Get a gun when she's always been a pacifist? Solve a mystery?

PATIENT 19 is an upmarket speculative thriller complete at 106,000 words with series potential. It will appeal to fans of Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Alexandra Oliva’s The Last One.

I live in Las Vegas and teach middle-school English as well as writing at UNLV, where I received a BA and an MA in English. I grew up in a family of survivalists and conspiracy theorists but never myself accepted their beliefs. This book imagines a world where they’re right, but not in the way they think. My short fiction has appeared online and in print in several journals, including BULL, After the Pause, and Typishly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
:up:

Offline edac

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 5
Re: V2.0 Patient 19
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 12:22:55 PM »
Great points! I agree that the caloric drips doesn't add much content-wise--it's just in there for sentence rhythm balance. I also agree that I could use some more specifics toward the end. Thanks for the feedback! How does this revision look?

Dear [agent],

Aboveground, May drinks wine, spoons her English mastiff, and watches bad TV with her sweet but boring fiancé. Belowground, she wears a hazmat suit, monitors caloric drips, and injects lethal diseases into cryogenically frozen men, all in the name of testing a revolutionary nanobiotechnological cure-all called Firewall. She hates pumping the diseases into the frozen veins, but even worse is having to watch the men wake completely and inexplicably insane.

Motivated by an absolute belief that her team's work will lead to the biggest medical breakthrough in history, she presses on despite the secrecy and emotional toll. But when well-intentioned mistakes allow hundreds of patients—all contagious and insane—to escape the lab and invade the city, May discovers dark and tortuous secrets about the people who sign her checks, about what they'll do for the sake of progress—and money. Now on her own, she faces a decision: save herself and those close to her, or risk everything to go against the lab and put a stop to the ensuing pandemic.

[overview and bio unchanged]
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 12:25:58 PM by edac »

Offline Pineapplejuice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
  • Karma: 148
Re: V2.0 Patient 19
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 12:34:15 PM »
Great points! I agree that the caloric drips doesn't add much content-wise--it's just in there for sentence rhythm balance. I also agree that I could use some more specifics toward the end. Thanks for the feedback! How does this revision look?

Dear [agent],

Aboveground, May drinks wine, spoons her English mastiff, and watches bad TV with her sweet but boring fiancé. Belowground, she wears a hazmat suit, monitors caloric drips, and injects lethal diseases into cryogenically frozen men, all in the name of testing a revolutionary nanobiotechnological cure-all called Firewall. She hates pumping the diseases into the frozen veins, but even worse is having to watch the men wake completely and inexplicably insane.

Motivated by an absolute belief that her team's work will lead to the biggest medical breakthrough in history, she presses on despite the secrecy and emotional toll. But when well-intentioned mistakes allow hundreds of patients—all contagious and insane—to escape the lab and invade the city, May discovers dark and tortuous secrets about the people who sign her checks, ( Just tell me what the secrets ARE, not that there 'are secrets'. Vagueness is your enemy here )  about what they'll do for the sake of progress—and money. Now on her own, she faces a decision: save herself and those close to her, ( this didn't come across. I don't know who is close to MC No one was mentioned. )  or risk everything ( 'everything' is a dramatic word but I think 'risk her job' would sound stakier as specifics are easier to relate to ) to go against the lab and put a stop to the ensuing pandemic. ( Putting a stop to the epidemic sounds too easy put like this. Like it's just a choice ...Also the either or isn't clear. Like I don't know why it's 'save those she cares about' OR the world. You're telling me that's how it is, but because I don't see the reason why it IS that way, it feels kind of cliche and vague and I'm not believing the stakes. )

[overview and bio unchanged]

The ending is still vaguely worded.

Offline edac

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 5
Re: V2.0 Patient 19 - V2.5 in post 4
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 01:00:28 PM »
Good calls. I've rewritten the last paragraph. I really appreciate the time you're putting in!



Motivated by an absolute belief that her team's work will lead to the biggest medical breakthrough in history, she presses on despite the secrecy and emotional toll. But when well-intentioned mistakes allow hundreds of patients—all contagious and insane—to escape the lab and invade the city, May discovers the terrifying cause for insanity. More terrifying, though, is her discovery that the higher-ups have always known but carried on nonetheless. Now with too much knowledge and on the run from seasoned mercenaries, she faces a decision: escape the city and save herself, or sneak back into the lab to shut down Firewall in hopes of stopping the pandemic.

Offline Pineapplejuice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
  • Karma: 148
Re: V2.0 Patient 19 - V2.5 in post 4
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2019, 01:17:14 PM »
Good calls. I've rewritten the last paragraph. I really appreciate the time you're putting in!



Motivated by an absolute belief that her team's work will could lead to the biggest medical breakthrough in history, so she presses on despite the secrecy and emotional toll. But when well-intentioned mistakes allow ( this is vague and doesn't add anything . We're not a court about to charge someone, we're just reading a query so we don't need to know that no one was to blame. The main point is the patients get out ) hundreds of patients—all contagious and insane—to escape the lab and invade the city, May discovers the terrifying cause for insanity. ( The cause doesn't matter to me. At least not the way you've put it here. If the cause is interesting - tell us. If not, leave out the discovery since we don't know what you're referring to as you haven't been specific with the details.  ) More terrifying, though, is her discovery that the higher-ups have always known ( known what exactly? That the patients were going insane. I thought she already knew )  but carried on nonetheless. ( I assumed she'd figured that out in the beginning ) Now with too much knowledge and on the run ( not sure why she'a on the run...I think this is where your stakes could be but you're not being specific enough )  from seasoned mercenaries, she faces a decision: escape the city and save herself, or sneak back into the lab to shut down Firewall in hopes of stopping the pandemic.

I don't think the choice ending works here. We know she's not going to escape the city and save herself ...that's obvious. Maybe try a cliffhanger ending over a choice ending.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 01:25:07 PM by Pineapplejuice »