Author Topic: The War We Cannot Win  (Read 129 times)

Offline mindym

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The War We Cannot Win
« on: March 26, 2020, 11:42:30 AM »
Would appreciate any feedback on my query letter!!!! Thanks!

Dear Fantastic Agent X:

19-year-old Ursula is a nosy ballerina-turned-med-school-keener who dreams of stepping into her parents’ shoes to join the fast-paced world of hospital life. But her big summer plans -- volunteering at the renowned teaching hospital Beaver Gate Memorial -- are shattered when her mother contracts the same mysterious illness that recently killed her grandmother and family friend.
The victims share one trait in common: they all possess Factor H, a genetic healing ability Ursula’s whole family has inherited. But “normals” don’t -- can’t -- know about Factor H, and her undercover search to bring a killer for justice will thrust Ursula into the dangerous, delicate, and -- sometimes -- deadly world of hospital politics.
Armed with her ballet BFF Elodie and Elodie’s hot-as-hell cousin Ethan, Ursula will have to learn to dance through the slippery hierarchy of the medical world, where egos and achievements are displayed more prominently than kindness and compassion. Further complicating the situation is the killer’s multiplying victims; Ursula will have to hurry before she becomes the killer’s next victim.
The War We Cannot Win is a 65,000-word YA novel set in a fictional Canadian city with a small-town feel. With its biracial protagonist, the novel is an #ownvoices description of hospital life from one of its youngest participants. A combination of Grey’s Anatomy, Nancy Drew, and the X-Men, The War We Cannot Win will appeal to fans of Erin A. Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrow, as well as anyone involved in medical or post-secondary education.

Offline mindym

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Re: The War We Cannot Win
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 11:43:17 AM »
Would also be interested if folks think this is more YA Fantasy or YA medical thriller...

Offline MichelleG

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Re: The War We Cannot Win
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 11:25:28 PM »
As written I don’t think it is a good query for either fantasy or thriller. However, I do think you have an interesting story here.

IMO - you should focus on one or the other. May I suggest you write two new queries.

One as a thriller, introduce the fantasy as quickly and in the shortest possible way so we know why she is searching for a killer and then give us the thriller with a bit more detail.

And write a query for a fantasy.

Post both of them in a new thread for opinion and critique.
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline mindym

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Re: The War We Cannot Win
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 02:48:14 PM »
Thanks! I'll do that and test it out.

Offline TheMaskedPanda

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Re: The War We Cannot Win
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2020, 12:16:17 PM »
First, I'm super into this. It sounds so original and interesting. Second, my only critique is that some of the sentences ran a little long. For the sake of clarity, I would split some of the longest sentences in two. I read it fast, the way an Agent likely would, and I had to re-read a few of the longer sentences. I like the voice, just a matter of clarity :) Also, I think you can say it's a medical thriller with fantasy elements.

Offline MegTravelz

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Re: The War We Cannot Win
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2020, 12:27:43 PM »
This sounds super unique and interesting! My main comment is you at first say it's a mysterious illness that's killing people, but then you say she's trying to bring a killer to justice. If the illness is due to human ill-intentions, I think we need to know that somewhere. I've added just a few comments below, and struck-through information we don't need at this stage.


19-year-old Ursula is a nosy ballerina-turned-med-school-keener (what is a keener?) who dreams of stepping into her parents’ shoes to join the fast-paced world of hospital life. But her big summer plans -- volunteering at the renowned teaching hospital Beaver Gate Memorial -- are shattered when her mother contracts the same mysterious illness that recently killed her grandmother and family friend.
The victims share one trait in common: they all possess Factor H, a genetic healing ability Ursula’s whole family has inherited. But “normals” don’t -- can’t -- know about Factor H, and her undercover search to bring a killer for justice will thrust Ursula into the dangerous, delicate, and -- sometimes -- deadly world of hospital politics.
Armed with her ballet BFF Elodie and Elodie’s hot-as-hell cousin Ethan, Ursula will have to learn to dance through the slippery hierarchy of the medical world, where egos and achievements are displayed more prominently than kindness and compassion. Further complicating the situation is the killer’s multiplying victims; Ursula will have to hurry before she becomes the killer’s next victim.
The War We Cannot Win is a 65,000-word YA novel set in a fictional Canadian city with a small-town feel. With its biracial protagonist, the novel is an #ownvoices description of hospital life from one of its youngest participants. A combination of Grey’s Anatomy, Nancy Drew, and the X-Men, The War We Cannot Win will appeal to fans of Erin A. Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrow, as well as anyone involved in medical or post-secondary education.