Author Topic: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind  (Read 292 times)

Offline KLGriffiths

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Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« on: September 16, 2022, 09:49:41 AM »
I offer you NEVER MIND, about a mutilated telepath who is reluctant to uncover her past in the wake of total retrograde amnesia.

A woman lounges on the pool deck of a Caribbean cruise liner holding a cocktail she doesn’t remember ordering. Alone and disoriented, she must get her bearings, things like her cabin number, her name. With her factory-reset phone, she snaps a selfie and is horrified to find her face slashed with scars. The alcohol in her hand is already making sense.

Worse, the woman hears voices, thoughts, straight out of the heads of her fellow sunbathers. Should she tell someone she has amnesia? That she’s a telepath? Her gut tells her to act casual, not draw attention to herself, but wiith that face, it’s a tall order. She has the unshakable feeling she’s being watched, that she’s in danger.

She decides to use telepathy, her wits, and stealth to piece together the past few days and the rest of her forgotten life. Gleaning from every mind she meets, she begins to build a picture of her world. Supernaturals like her, they hide in plain sight. They vacation in the Caribbean. In fact, one is onboard searching for her who plans to kill her. Forgetting herself was how she survived. Now she has an opportunity. She can run from her enemy, the only one who can unveil her tragic past and lead her home. Or she can face her enemy, learn the truth, and lose her life.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 07:22:34 PM »
I love this story.  Truly you have an unique imagination.  And hiding on a cruise ship, great location. 

The query drew me in and I liked it just the way it is.  The only thing in the last paragraph there shouldn't be a period before the 'or'

Nice job.
"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 KLGriffiths

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2022, 06:23:01 AM »
Thank you soooo much for reading it and giving me encouragement! I've shopped this to agents in a previous revision and have collected lots of rejections. With all the changes to it, I wanted to make sure it wasn't confusing. Best to you! :)

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2022, 07:41:08 AM »
You are welcome.

I think it was a smart move not to use her name in the query since she doesn't know it.
"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 Lanita

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 05:23:45 PM »
The story catches my interest but there are a few things that jump out at me.

I offer you NEVER MIND, about a mutilated (This feels like too strong of a word. If she was mutilated, she would be in the ship's hospital, rather than sitting poolside) telepath who is reluctant to uncover her past in the wake of total retrograde amnesia.

A woman lounges on the pool deck of a Caribbean cruise liner holding a cocktail she doesn’t remember ordering. Good. Alone and disoriented, she must get her bearings. can't remember things like her cabin number, or even her name. With her factory-reset Does she know it's factory-reset? We're still in her POV so it seems off.  phone, she snaps a selfie and is horrified to find her face slashed with scars. (Have the wounds have healed? Or are they still fresh cuts?) The alcohol in her hand is already making sense. How so? Does she think she drank so much she blacked out? When people black out from drinking, they still remember who they are the next morning.

Worse, (Maybe: Odder still,) the woman hears voices, thoughts, (choose one) straight out of the heads of her fellow sunbathers. Should she tell someone she has amnesia? That she’s a telepath? (Seems like a stretch that she'd want to tell people about her telepathy) Her gut tells her to act casual, not draw attention to herself, but wiith that face, it’s a tall order. She has the unshakable feeling she’s being watched, that she’s in danger.

She decides to uses telepathy, her wits, and stealth to piece together the past few days and the rest of her forgotten life this is contrary to her two choices at the end. If she pieces it together, she doesn't need someone to tell her who she is. Gleaning from every mind she meets, she begins to build a picture of her world. Supernaturals like her, they hide in plain sight. (This is what she discovers? Or this is the opinion of the writer/narrator?) They vacation in the Caribbean. In fact, one is onboard searching for her who plans to kill her. Forgetting herself was how she survived. Now she has an opportunity. She can run from her enemy, the only one who can unveil her tragic past and lead her home. Or she can face her enemy, learn the truth, and lose her life. I'm not convinced this is a tough choice. Run from the enemy and live, or face the enemy and die knowing who she is. Living seems like the clear choice here.

Hope some of the tweaks resonate with you. It's an interesting premise for sure.

Offline KM

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2022, 09:23:58 PM »
Interesting premise!!

I offer you NEVER MIND, about a mutilated (this really stood out. Maybe consider cutting it here)telepath who is reluctant to uncover her past in the wake of total retrograde amnesia.

A woman lounges on the pool deck of on a Caribbean cruise liner holdsing a cocktail she doesn’t remember ordering. Alone and disoriented, she must get her bearings, things like She doesn't know her cabin number, or even her name. She opens the phone beside her and it's blank. With her factory-reset phone, sShe snaps a selfie and is horrified to find her face slashed with scars. The alcohol in her hand is already making sense.

Worse, the woman she hears voices, the thoughts, straight out of the heads of her fellow sunbathers. Should she tell someone she has amnesia? That she’s a telepath? Her gut tells her to act casual, not draw attention to herself, but wiith that face, it’s a tall order. She has the unshakable feeling she’s being watched, that she’s in danger, but doesn't know from who or what.

She decides to use telepathy, her wits, and stealth to piece together the past few days and the rest of her forgotten life. Gleaning from Scouring every mind she meets, she begins to build a picture of her world. Supernaturals like her, they hide in plain sight. They vacation in the Caribbean. In fact, one is onboard searching for her who and plans to kill her. Forgetting herself was how she survived. Now she has an opportunity. She can run from her enemy, the only one who can unveil her tragic past and lead her home. Or she can face her enemy, learn the truth, and lose her life.

Offline KLGriffiths

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2022, 06:32:07 AM »
Hey thanks tons to KM and Lanita for your feedback on my query!! I don't know how I missed it until yesterday, but I love your suggestions and am going to get working on it today. It's amazing how motivating it is to get some thoughtful suggestions.

Offline KLGriffiths

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2022, 06:58:29 AM »
Ok...I gave it another go, based on the feedback.

...I offer you NEVER MIND about a telepath who is reluctant to uncover her past in the wake of total retrograde amnesia.
 
A woman lounges on the pool deck of a Caribbean cruise liner holding a cocktail she doesn’t remember ordering. Alone and disoriented, she can’t remember her cabin number or even her name. The phone beside her is empty, but she snaps a selfie and is horrified to find her face slashed with old scars.

Odder still, the woman hears the thoughts of her fellow sunbathers. Her gut tells her to act casual, not draw attention to herself. With that face, it’s a tall order. She has the unshakable feeling she’s in danger.

Scouring every mind she meets, she begins to rebuild the last few days. Supernaturals like her, they hide in plain sight. Two are onboard searching for her. One wants to save her. One wants to kill her. She can slip away from friend and foe while the ship is at port–and likely never remember herself. Or she can face the two people who can unveil her tragic past. Enemy vengeance or the truth from a friend–either may be her undoing.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2022, 08:24:20 AM »
OH, NO!

This version is clearly more concise.  Unfortunately, now I have questions which must be answered somehow or for me - wearing my imaginary agent hat - it would be a pass.

She is gathering information by listening to the thoughts of others. Is this how she knows there are two people on the ship who know her?  And if so, doesn't she know which one is a friend and which is a foe? And if so, and regardless of how she got in this situation, why doesn't she reveal herself to her friend?  Isn't that what friends are for?

Writingwise - The second query is much better, but there is a huge gap.
Storywise - The first query is better - there is one person who knows her and they want her dead.


I posted the 'romance' version of my query Lies on the Seine. If you get a chance, please let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 08:29:35 AM by MichelleG »
"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 KLGriffiths

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2022, 09:16:55 AM »
Hey Michelle. I hope you see this and not to beat a dead horse, but here I am, beating it...

The last graph is the only one I changed, per your WONDERFUL insights. Hopefully, I didn't create more problems (this is a theme of mine) with the "fixes." I covet your thoughts and am grateful for the perspective you've provided so far.

NEW QUERY BLURB:

A woman lounges on the pool deck of a Caribbean cruise liner holding a cocktail she doesn’t remember ordering. Alone and disoriented, she can’t remember her cabin number or even her name. The phone beside her is empty, but she snaps a selfie and is horrified to find her face slashed with old scars.

Odder still, the woman hears the thoughts of her fellow sunbathers. Her gut tells her to act casual, not draw attention to herself. With that face, it’s a tall order. She has the unshakable feeling she’s in danger.

Scouring every mind she meets, she begins to rebuild the last few days. Supernaturals like her, they hide in plain sight. One introduces himself as an old friend. He’s come to help her escape from an enemy she doesn’t remember and a past she'd do well to forget. But of all the passengers, his is the only mind she cannot read. Her enemy will use her memories to hurt her, he says. She can slip away from the enigmatic “friend” and her enemy while the ship is at port and lose the chance to ever learn her history. Or she can face the consequences of her tragic past. Enemy vengeance or the truth from a friend–either may be her undoing.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2022, 10:01:44 AM »
A reason not to trust her ‘friend’.  Now we’re cooking.   :clap:
"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 KLGriffiths

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Re: Query/Suspense/soft SF (Adult) Never Mind
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2022, 10:19:27 AM »
You're awesome.  :inocent: Thanks for reading.