Monday, February 13, 2017

Son Of A Pitch Query | Immunity YA Fantasy *Updated*

Title: Immunity
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 78,000

Query (minus the bio)

Seventeen-year-old Sasame Kai hates the mutated undead more than she hates doing petty missions for her agency. Those flesh-eating bastards took her parents and left her with no one. She trains every day at the fighting and magic academy envisioning ripping off the mutants' heads.

The agency sends her on a mission to hunt students at the academy whose blood is the key to the mutation virus antidote. Sasame's emotions have no place in her missions; her victims' blood is more valuable. The problem is, the more time she spends learning about her targets, the more she grows to actually enjoy their company. Even if some of them are annoying. Her handlers aren't happy. They have strict rules against relationships. Insubordination means death.

When questioned about her new friends, Sasame pretends they aren't important to her, but her regret over hunting students interferes with her missions. Sasame confronts the agency and they answer by threatening her life. If she goes against her orders, she will be forced to kill her new friends to prove her loyalty to her cruel employer or risk becoming the next target herself.

IMMUNITY is complete at 78,000 words and is told from the points of view of five characters. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

First 250 Words

It's only another mission, I keep telling myself as I try to sleep. I stare at the ceiling fan spinning on the lowest setting. There really isn't a need for the fan as the air is surprisingly cool tonight, but its sound comforts me. Tonight is different. In my mind, the blades of the fan turn to knives. Blood rains down on my face and the screams of my victims pierce through my ears. Tomorrow will just be another mission.

The sound of Yuki talking to her husband—my substitute parents—enters my ears from the next room.

"I pulled some strings and got the perfect mission for Sasame," Yuki says. "She's going to Summer Fest to meet teenagers her age for some much-needed interaction."

I'm seventeen, not twelve. I don't need to make friends. Yuki's been laughing and talking about how great the festival will be for the last hour. Her squeaky, high-pitched voice is like nails on a chalkboard. It sounds like she had the same cold for years. Ever since my parents disappeared, The Organization that I devote my loyalty to was kind enough to give me replacements. Not that I need them, I can take care of myself.

I roll over and close my eyes. The walls are so thin in this townhouse; I'm surprised they've never heard me scream into my pillow at night. I cover my face with my pillow to block out the sound. How blind can everyone in this city be?


  1. This is a very cool concept. Overall, the plot is outlined well in the query although it reads a bit more like a synopsis and lacks the big initial hook. Reading through the query, the hook potential is there. A very strong one. I need to think on the wording a bit come back with a specific recommendation. Overall, it's good, but I think it's on the edge of being great.

    The first 250 create a vivid imagery but kind of take me in and out of the scene. I think you could lose (or move) the lowest setting phrase. The first and third line as so strong this kind of pulled me away. The fan turning to knifes, blood raining down is fantastic although it's hard to see exactly how it fits in with victims. Does she kill them from below? Is it supposed to be representative of ambushing victims, up close killing, etc. This is so good, I want to know more. Maybe one more sentence.
    "enters my wall from the next room" threw me a bit. Do you mean she heard them through the wall? You might be able to tighten it.
    "I pulled some strings and set up the perfect mission for Sasame," Yuki says. (says the same thing with 10 less words) "She's going to SummerFest with other people her age to get some much needed interaction."

    I would try to adjust the description of her voice from telling to showing and make it more active (her squeaky voice grades on Sasame's nerves and the high-pitched shrill hurts her ears or something like that, but better lol)

    I really like the concept of this and where it is heading!

    1. Thank you for the advice. I've revisited my query so many times I'm not sure what to do with it anymore.

      That line "enters my wall from the next room" was a typo. It's supposed to say "enters my ears from the next room". I'll see if I can tighten it.

  2. I really like this story. In the query, I might try to add a few more details and cut sentences that are more general. For example, "Her skills and determination..." Could you cut this paragraph down to say, three sentences, by being more specific? "Her speed and ability to climb any surface means she's sent on a mission to kill students. But when they become her friends, she no longer believes murder justifies using student blood for the mutant virus antidote." You'll be able to write it much better than that, but, you get the idea. I think there are a lot of sentences that could go in order to streamline this story.

    I like the first 250. I hear her voice immediately. She's tough, but sweet.
    Good luck.

    1. Thanks! I removed about 22 words from my query. I'm trying to figure out how to shorten the 2nd paragraph more without opening up questions. I'll post the updated version tomorrow.

    2. Elisa, I think that second paragraph is MUCH tighter. Now, time for the third. All you really need here (in my humble opinion) are the stakes. Maybe something like this:

      When questioned about her new friends, Sasame pretends they're not important to her, but her regret over killing students interferes with her missions. When the agency orders her to (put something really good here), she has to decide. Kill her friends to prove her loyalty, or risk becoming the next target on the agency’s hit list.

      Or end the first sentence with something like this: but when her regret over her deeds makes her xxx, she has to make a choice.

      You're really close!

    3. Thank you again. I updated with a new version

  3. Wow. I don't usually read this genre, but I think this book sounds awesome! Love the MC's voice.