To Save My Life Query + 250

9:14 PM



Query Kombat was an awesome experience. My query and first 250 are a million times better thanks to everyone who gave me feedback. So thank you.  :) Thank you a million-trillion times over.

Nickname: Android Adoration
TO SAVE MY LIFE
YA Sci-Fi
61,000 Words


Query: 
 
Seventeen-year-old Aiden is the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab’s greatest creation. That is, until an ominous test labels him “too-human-for-a-robot”, and AIR demands his destruction. Desperate to stay alive, he escapes the secured facility outfitted with nothing more than a stolen gun and titanium bones. For the first time in his life, Aiden is on his own.

Soon after breaking out, he runs into Eva, who says her father is the head of AIR—the same man hell-bent on ending Aiden’s existence. AIR is calling it project termination, but Eva thinks murder is a more fitting term. Instead of turning him in, she agrees to help the frantic fugitive. After all, they both know he’s as good as dead without her.

While they hide, Aiden gets a glimpse into what it’s like to be human. Suddenly, dying means more than losing a life filled with tests, security cameras, and steel walls. Now it means losing the girl who’s shown him compassion, affection, and maybe even love. With AIR hunting him, Aiden is faced with a choice: stay with Eva and risk her life, or let her go and give up all the things that make his life worth living.


First 250:


If I failed this test they’d deem me as faulty, malfunctioned.
Broken.
You’d think after six-hundred and fifty-seven days of existence, I’d be used to the tests by now. I couldn’t study for them, let alone understand them.
            I stood outside door three-fifty-eight. The shiny, grey surface looked like all the rest. It was what lay behind the door that mattered. And when it opened and I stepped inside, all the resolve I’d been grasping slid away from me.
The man moving forward was nearly the same height as me. His face was square and he wore small-framed glasses. I spared a second to wonder why he hadn’t corrected his imperfect vision with surgery. But then he smiled, reached out his hand, and I stopped thinking about everything else.
            “Hello, Aiden. I’m Chief Carter.” He shook my hand firmly. “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.”
            “I certainly hope I don’t disappoint you, sir.”
            He chuckled like what I said was funny and his smile widened. There was something wrong about it though. It was stretched too thin, the ends too crooked. “As do I. Please, you can call me Carter.”
            I nodded. I’d heard his name before but I’d never heard anyone refer to him as Carter. It seemed too casual for him, with his off-centered grin and narrowed eyes. He was trying to appear friendly. Guess I had to give him credit for that.
            He took a seat on the long, black couch. “Please sit.”
 

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5 comments

  1. This is good! I like that the opening tells us exactly who the MC is and starts at a tension filled moment for him.

    The only part that I had trouble with was in the query. This line: "Suddenly, dying means more than losing a life filled with tests, security cameras, and steel walls." The thought that went through my head was, "If that's all he thinks life is, why did he risk it to escape the lab?" He knows there has to be more to life than that, right? That's why he left. Maybe if the line was something like, "Finally, he's found something in life besides..." Just a suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like this version of your query. A couple suggestions: not sure he's outfitted with titanium bones? aren't they part of him, not like he's chosen to wear them today? And "she agrees to help the frantic fugitive" distances us a bit from Aiden. Maybe "...she decides to save him from certain death." and cut the following sentence.

    For the first 250, the only tiny nit I have is "the man moving forward" confuses me. Is the man walking toward Aiden, like to greet him, or walking away. Like I said, a nit, I just got stuck imagining it both ways at once.

    Otherwise - excellent! Very nice improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. loved the query

    the first page--liked it all except the last paragraph concerns me -- MY SUGGESTED DELETE AND REVISION ARE BELOW IN ALL CAPS (IN CASE YOU COULDN'T GUESS--HAHA)

    I nodded. I’d heard his name before but I’d never heard anyone refer to him as Carter. It seemed too casual for him. MAYBE He was trying to appear friendly. Guess I had to give him credit for that

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great query!
    Just a couple of nitpicks is all. "Armed with a gun and titanium bones" made me think he's carrying titanium bones as weapons. I assume you meant he's made of titanium? Perhaps reword that sentence. And I had to reread the lines "Suddenly, dying means more than losing a life filled with tests, security cameras, and steel walls. Now it means losing the girl who’s shown him compassion, affection, and maybe even love." It confused me at first and I'm wondering if it needs a JUST (dying means more than just losing...). I know just is a word that should be cut more often than not, but I feel like it's missing. Could be a personal thing.

    Loved your first 250!!! I agree with Ann above with her tiny rewrite of the last paragraph though.

    Great job!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really good! I like the strength of your writing, by which I mean that all of your sentences are correct but also show attention to variety and even to musicality, and they all seem to have been created intentionally. Not always the case with every writer.

    I actually feel that the first 250 is stronger writing though than the query. The query has a couple of expressions that seem a little clichéd and thus maybe less strong than you are obviously able to achieve. Terms like "hell-bent", "runs into", "glimpse into".

    HOWEVER -- keep "as good as dead" because I think that's a great pun on how he's non-human (i.e. not really alive).

    Great premise: a lovely personal story with potential for a powerful commentary on racism and prejudice. And I like the innocent-teenager voice of the narrator.

    Like it! I'd get it for my girls to read. And I'm sure that Eva will be a strong female, right?

    ReplyDelete

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