Author Topic: MIXED GREENES - YA  (Read 446 times)

Offline MichelleG

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MIXED GREENES - YA
« on: November 23, 2022, 10:47:15 AM »
Hello QTers

I could really use some help with this one - maybe just a fresh pair of eyes - LOL

Hope you like it - thanks for any help you can give.


Sixteen-year-old Jade Greene and her twin brother Forrest have been at war with each other since they were five. Switching bodies and living as the enemy is the last thing either one of them would wish for. When it happens, the teens quickly learn the transformation isn’t the fun and games the movies make it out to be.

It is the first day of spring break. Forrest wakes to find himself in a beachfront condo, in his sister’s body, with three of her friends. He has to intuit the rules of the game when he sees they treat shoplifting as a competitive sport. He is shocked to discover Jade broke up with her boyfriend almost a year ago when something devastating happened, but he can’t ask what. Forrest discovers the 5’8” Jade weighs less than ninety pounds and pops diet pills like candy. He is determined to uncover the cause of her eating disorder and intent on turning her life around.

A cabin in the mountains is not Jade’s idea of a good time. To make it worse she’s spending it with three of Forrest’s friends in her brother’s body. The boys are flush with cash and spending it on all types of extravagances. Jade finds out the reason her brother’s knee is sore, one of them pushed him out of a two story window and for some reason they all think it’s funny. She is shocked to discover he and his boys have been burglarizing houses. Keeping in character, she willingly participates until a simple B&E turns into a violent home invasion. Jade is intent on putting an end to their crime wave.

Jade threatens to reveal their secrets by telling people who she really is. Forrest has no doubt what will happen if the truth is uncovered, his friends are dangerous and will eliminate any threat.
           
With no idea why the switch happened, nor relief from their personal hell in sight, the Greene twins must come up with a solution that won’t get them killed.
           
At 75,000 words, MIXED GREENES is an edgy young adult novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
"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 gman

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2022, 11:08:46 AM »

Sixteen-year-old Jade Greene and her twin brother Forrest have been at war with each other since they were five. Switching bodies and living as the enemy is the last thing either one of them would wish for. When it happens, the teens quickly learn the transformation isn’t the fun and games the movies make it out to be. Solid hook. Hints at conflict.

It is the first day of spring break. Forrest wakes to find himself in a beachfront condo, in his sister’s body, with three of her friends. He has to intuit the rules of the game when he sees they treat shoplifting as a competitive sport. He is shocked to discover Jade broke up with her boyfriend almost a year ago when something devastatingBe specific here. happened, but he can’t ask what. Forrest discovers Wouldn't he know this already? the 5’8” Jade weighs less than ninety pounds and pops diet pills like candy. He is determined to uncover the cause of her eating disorder and intent on turning her life around.

A cabin in the mountains is not Jade’s idea of a good time. To make it worse she’s spending it with three of Forrest’s friends in her brother’s body. The boys are flush with cash and spending it on all types of extravagances. Jade finds out the reason her brother’s knee is sore, one of them pushed him out of a two story window and for some reason they all think it’s funny. She is shocked to discover he and his boys have been burglarizing houses. Keeping in character, she willingly participates until a simple B&E turns into a violent home invasion Raise the stakes here. Does someone die? Maybe he's (she's) hauled off to prison. And now her brother (in her body) has to find her a way out.. Jade is intent on putting an end to their crime wave.

Jade threatens to reveal their secrets by telling people who she really is. Forrest has no doubt what will happen if the truth is uncovered, his friends are dangerous and will eliminate any threat.
           
With no idea why the switch happened, nor relief from their personal hell in sight, the Greene twins must come up with a solution that won’t get them killed.
           
At 75,000 words, MIXED GREENES is an edgy young adult novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Solid query overall, Michelle. I'm really digging the twist on the body switching trope. I think raising the stakes after they rob the house and being more specific in certain places will improve things. It's pretty darn good as it stands, though.

Offline Sandbox

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2022, 11:53:54 AM »
Hi Michelle.

I think your book sounds really great--but I don't think your query is telling the story in an effective manner. I played around with it a little bit to try and put it into a format that satisfies
what needs to be in a query.. and then tried to show places where I had questions. I'm not sure what happens after the set up--what do each of them do to get to the other side of their situation? What challenges do they face in the process and how do things end up? I hope it helps! SB.


(WHAT IT IS)

When Sixteen-year-old Forest Greene wakes to find himself in a beachfront condo, in his twin sister Jade’s body, with three of her friends, he has to quickly intuit the rules of his sister’s life. He is shocked to discover Jade broke up with her boyfriend almost a year ago for reasons unknown, and she pops diet pills like candy. When he looks at himself in Jade’s body, he realizes he weighs only 90 pounds. Forrest is determined to uncover the cause of his sister’s eating disorder to help her turn her life around.

Similarly, Jade finds herself in her brother’s body, in a cabin in the mountains, with three of his friends. Her knee is sore, or rather her brother’s knee, because one of his friends pushed him out of a two-story window which the friends think is funny. She is shocked to discover that Forrest and his friends have been burglarizing houses. Jade is intent on helping her brother out of this mess by putting an end to their crime wave.

When Jade threatens to reveal their secrets by telling people who she really is…(then what happens? ) this happens....And when  Forrest does blank…. this happens. The two blank… . details details ending.



           
With no idea why the switch happened, nor relief from their personal hell in sight, the Greene twins must come up with a solution that won’t get them killed. (this line is not connected with what comes before so we don't understand what happened in the story to lead up to this)
           
At 75,000 words, MIXED GREENES is an edgy young adult novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2022, 10:54:03 PM »
Gman

Thank you for your comments.

Unfortunately, I can't say what happened to cause the breakup because he has no idea and it is one of the mysteries of the story (what happened - what the affects were - her eating disorder - it even made a ripple in his life he wasn't aware of).

I think I should put back in information which I took out - how his friends are right - his sister is starving herself to death. 
They've been saying it, but he hasn't been listening. So yes, he should know it.

You don't think '... eliminate any threat ... get them killed' is enough at stake?


Sandbox

Thanks for your input.

I'm a little confused.

With no idea why the switch happened, nor relief from their personal hell in sight, the Greene twins must come up with a solution that won’t get them killed. (this line is not connected with what comes before so we don't understand what happened in the story to lead up to this)[/b]

Is it not clear that they wouldn't wish this, so don't know why it happened?  That living as each other isn't fun? That Forrest's friends will eliminate - yes, kill - her, him, them - if they learn what's going on?
"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 Sandbox

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2022, 07:12:52 AM »
Hi Michelle,

I guess what I'm confused about is what happens in the story--meaning, you have these two twin siblings who are in each other's bodies and they both learn unsettling things about each other and want to help rectify each other's situations. (but then again, you say upfront that they have been at war with each other and are enemies...so wanting to help each other maybe seems inconsistent?)


and then you say this...Jade threatens to reveal their secrets by telling people who she really is. Forrest has no doubt what will happen if the truth is uncovered, his friends are dangerous and will eliminate any threat. (I find this confusing--I guess what I would want here is more of an explanation of what happens to make it clear, something that connects with the information before and is less vague. Who does Jade threaten and how does the threatening happen--in what context?)

I'm thinking if you put it in a format like... (and I'm just making stuff up here because I don't know the story) When Jade threatens to reveal their secret to her brother's friends, a move her brother knows will get them both killed, her brother is forced to (do what?) put his bad feelings aside for his sister so the two of them can come up with a solution to reverse the switch and keep them both from getting killed.
           
I do have questions about the switch and how it factors into the story as a whole.

Hope this helps. SB
           

Offline MichelleG

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2023, 03:13:12 AM »
Sandbox -

You said -

I do have questions about the switch and how it factors into the story as a whole.

I am so confused. The switch is the story, or being switched is the whole story.
"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 Sandbox

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 07:02:30 AM »
Hi Michelle,

I've re-read the thread. I haven't gone and looked for other things you might have posted about the book so that I keep it focused on the query. It is so hard to write these things when we write the book because it is so hard to see what is coming across and what isn't. Believe me. I know this!

I just am not getting the whole picture of the story and clarity with specific details on what is at stake (but it has to be a short picture because it's a query--but the full arc) I know you have the 2 siblings who find themselves in each other's bodies. That is the situation. I know they both learn unsettling things about each other when placed in their sibling's situations. That is what happens. I know there has been tension between them before this happens (is this relevant? And how does that factor into the story? or does it?). And I know they are trying to keep the switch secret from those around them because of some major threat. But these details need to be more specific. I know the threat is that what the brother is doing is criminal and that Jade is (stupidly--and why?) is going to come clean to his friends about who she is (again, why? would she do this?) Is it To help her brother stop his life of crime or to screw him over?)

My comment about the switch factoring into the story has to do with pulling it all together like I'm suggesting above, not that the switch happened--it's a good premise. ( I do have questions about how this switch happpened--but I am assuming it is okay to just have it happen without any explanation--like in Freaky Friday)

Again, I'm thinking if you put it in a format like... (and I'm just making stuff up here because I don't know the story) When Jade, threatens to reveal their secret to her brother's friends, (again--why would she do this? what is her motive?) a move her brother knows will get them both killed, her brother is forced to (do what?) put his bad feelings aside for his sister? so the two of them can come up with a solution to reverse the switch and keep them both from getting killed. It sounds like the overall story might be the two of them reconciling their differences to help each other in the end.

I'm not sure how the eating disorder thing factors into the story--so if you mention it it must be part of the arc of what happens.

I hope this helps. I really do think the story sounds great and I love the title!

SB

Offline Outscribe

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2023, 10:42:21 PM »
Hi, I'm very new here, so please factor that into my comments. I'll start by saying that I too like the premise of your story and think the title is clever.

In my understanding, the objective of a query synopsis is to tell a very small version of your story that feels complete. As Sandbox wrote, it should feel like the full arc.

I think you got off to a great start, then a few things got confusing.

I had a hard time unpacking Jade threatening to "tell people who she really is." Presumably she's still herself, just in a different body. Maybe "tell people she's in the wrong body"?

Maybe instead of "a solution that won’t get them killed" it's more like "a solution before they both get killed"?

One phrase that could be more specific: "all types of extravagances." Perhaps name a few rather than generalizing.

Also, do you want to mention any comparable books?

Hope that helps a bit,
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Offline MDane

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Re: MIXED GREENES - YA
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2023, 05:34:56 PM »
Hi Michelle, well done on your story! It sounds really interesting, and from your query I get a real feel about what it is about. I have added some thoughts below which I hope may help.

Hello QTers

I could really use some help with this one - maybe just a fresh pair of eyes - LOL

Hope you like it - thanks for any help you can give.


Sixteen-year-old Jade Greene and her twin brother Forrest have been at war with each other since they were five. (Excellent opening line!) Switching bodies and living as the enemy is the last thing either one of them would wish for. When it happens, the teens quickly learn the transformation isn’t the fun and games the movies make it out to be. (These last 2 sentences are a little confusing to me. The first line says it is the last thing they would wish for, but the second sentence says they movies made it out to be fun.)

It is the first day of spring break. Forrest wakes to find himself in a beachfront condo, in his sister’s body, with three of her friends. (the transition of these two sentences is a bit jarring. One second he wakes up as his sister, then it skips to how he is living her life. I think a transition sentence may help)  He has to intuit the rules of the game when he sees they treat shoplifting as a competitive sport. He is shocked to discover Jade broke up with her boyfriend almost a year ago when something devastating happened, but he can’t ask what. Forrest discovers the 5’8” Jade weighs less than ninety pounds and pops diet pills like candy. He is determined to uncover the cause of her eating disorder and intent on turning her life around. (I like where this story is going)

A cabin in the mountains is not Jade’s idea of a good time. To make it worse she’s spending it with three of Forrest’s friends in her brother’s body (this might need a little rework as it sounds like hthe brother's friends are also inside the brother's body). The boys are flush with cash and spending it on all types of extravagances. Jade finds out the reason her brother’s knee is sore, one of them pushed him out of a two(dash)story window and for some reason they all think it’s funny. She is shocked to discover he and his boys have been burglarizing houses. Keeping in character, she willingly participates until a simple B&E turns into a violent home invasion. Jade is intent on putting an end to their crime wave. (They both have great problems to solve).

Jade threatens to reveal their secrets by telling people who she really is. Forrest has no doubt what will happen if the truth is uncovered, his friends are dangerous and will eliminate any threat.
           
With no idea why the switch happened, nor relief from their personal hell in sight, the Greene twins must come up with a solution that won’t get them killed. (I love it!)
           
At 75,000 words, MIXED GREENES is an edgy young adult novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.