Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #59


The G.A.P. Project
YA Sci-Fi Suspense
60,000 words

Query:

            Ginny Carrera’s hometown of LaytonKansas has experienced a rash of kidnappings. Still when her parents install a panic room in her bedroom closet, she thinks they’ve gone a little overboard. That is, until she’s forced to use it. When she emerges, the life that greets her is nothing like the one she left behind.
            In the space of a week, she finds herself fleeing a past she didn’t know existed. Her parents are not her parents, scientists designed her, and a U.S. senator has her in his sights. Worse than discovering she’s a genetic freak, is being chased by government factions who want the ‘proof’ of the program, the Genetically Altered Persons (GAPs), to disappear. Designed to survive a nuclear war, Ginny is the most valuable one. Senator Emerson intends to sell her valuable DNA – whole or in parts – to the highest bidder. With the help of lifelong friends, Toad and Mayo, she sets out to bring down the senator and his crew of human engineers.
            Ginny’s goal is to blow the lid off the biggest scientific scandal of the century before the powers that be silence her, permanently. THE G.A.P. PROJECT is 67,000 words.
         
First 150 Words:
The overhead light flared on. Ginny grumbled as she opened one eye, and the green numbers on the alarm clock glared at her. 12:01. “It’s the middle of the freakin’ night.”
            “Get up. It’s time,” Dad said, his eyes wide, his lips thinned. “Just like before.” He punched the code opening the panic room at the back of her closet. He had installed it last month while spouting a detailed explanation involving as much intrigue as a political thriller.
            After the tenth kidnapping, parents across the tri-county area had taken extreme measures, but a panic room? Get real.         
            She stumbled on Grace, her stuffed pig – a gift from her friend, Toad. “Can I get my robe?”
            The door silenced his response, if there was one. A sharp clank followed the sucking of the vacuum seal, and she found herself imprisoned by iron walls, cold and unwelcoming. A steel door threw back her distorted reflection.

4 comments:

Bluestocking said...

I thought this was a pretty tight query, with clear stakes and explanations. Plus, love the GAP acronym.

And I also like how your opening starts in media res.

Sorry I don't have anything more specific. Best of luck!

Melodie Wright said...

Your title drew me in. I like your query but it could be tightened in very minor ways:

"She thinks she's gone a little over board. Until she's forced to use it."
"Designed to survive a nuclear war, Ginny is their most valuable prototype." instead of the more generic "one" which is vague and doesn't read smoothly.

Your excerpt gets right into the action. I'm really hoping that, when she comes out, her life doesn't change like you mention in the query. If it does, IMO, it's too soon. Hopefully you intro us to the 'before' Ginny, give us a reason to like/care about/root for her before blazing into her adventure. Your most important job in your first chapter is to make your reader LIKE your MC...not necessarily to move your plot.

Heather M Bryant said...

First off, this is super interesting. I really like your query the way it is, my suggestions are all just around tightening.

Ginny Carrera’s hometown of Layton, Kansas [DON'T HAVE TO MENTION ACTUAL TOWN. THE DETAIL MAKES THE SENTENCE A LITTLE CLUNKY] has experienced a rash [USE OF THE WORD RASH FEELS AWKWARD] of kidnappings. Still when her parents install a panic room in her bedroom closet, she thinks they’ve gone a little overboard. That is [CAN CUT THAT IS], until she’s forced to use it. When she emerges, the life that greets her is nothing like the one she left behind.
In the space of a week, she finds [I DISLIKE THE WORDS 'SHE FINDS' IN QUERIES - YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH IT HAPPENS. I DON'T THINK IT GIVES THE CHARACTER A VERY ACTIVE ROLE AND 9/10 TIMES, REMOVING THOSE WORDS TIGHENS YOUR QUERY HEAPS] herself fleeing a past she didn’t know existed. Her parents are not her parents, scientists designed her, and a U.S. senator has her in his sights [THIS LAST PART IS VERY OPEN-ENDED. IS HE ATTRACTED TO HER? WANTS TO KILL HER? MAYBE MAKE MORE SPECIFIC]. Worse than discovering she’s a genetic freak, is being chased by government factions who want the ‘proof’ of the program, the Genetically Altered Persons (GAPs), to disappear. Designed to survive a nuclear war, Ginny is the most valuable one [CUT 'ONE']. Senator Emerson intends to sell her valuable DNA – whole or in parts – to the highest bidder. With the help of lifelong friends, Toad and Mayo [LOL TO THESE NAMES], she sets out to bring down the senator and his crew of human engineers.
Ginny’s goal is to blow the lid off the biggest scientific scandal of the century before the powers that be silence her, permanently. THE G.A.P. PROJECT is 67,000 words.


The title is good, the end leaves me wanting more, and I really love your premise.

Good luck with the pitch round if you're entering!

Tamara said...

Gret query and first 150! You drew me right in and I wanted to keep reading! Here are just some nit-picky things - "With the help of lifelong friends, Toad and Mayo, she sets out to bring down the senator and his crew of human engineers.
Ginny’s goal is to blow the lid off the biggest scientific scandal of the century before the powers that be silence her, permanently."
Don't know how, but it might be better to word this so that in order to NOT be killed by the powers that be, she has to expose them. The way it reads makes it sound like her main goal is to expose them. Some cliche phrases that jumped out at me: 'blow the lid off', 'tri-county area', 'powers that be' .
Really loved the story set up here!!