Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXV

October 1st, 2010 • Kate

circuit-board-shoesNot sure you’d be super comfortable wearing these shoes made from circuit boards, but you’d certainly be high tech! And with that, let’s move right to today’s query:

Dear Ms. Unfeasible:

The 2046 International Biomedia Conference is the most celebrated event for high school students on the planet. But when Seth receives an invitation to attend, the last thing he wants to do is celebrate.

Seth hates biomedia, especially his Wingtooth, the tooth-shaped implant that links his brainwaves to the Stream. He’s never found much use for a b-Camera that takes pictures with his eyes or a b-Player that blasts its music straight into his brain. But the Wingtooth is the symbol of the wealthy class, so his parents won’t let him take his out, although he unclicks it often. And they won’t let him not go to the conference, since they’re less concerned about his comfort than they are about his chance to meet Marvin Hermes, the industry’s reclusive founder.

Not ten minutes off the shuttle, Seth introduces himself to the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen by accidentally dumping his breakfast on her. Worse, the girl is Toothless, part of the recession-ravaged class unable to afford Wingteeth, and probably took the dumping as an insult. Little does Seth know that wearing his breakfast on her sleeve is the least of Adair’s concerns.

Ever since her mother died in an overcrowded Wingtooth factory, Adair and her father have been masterminding a Toothless takeover. Their plan is simple: Shut down the Stream, assassinate Marvin Hermes, and make the whole thing look like an accident. Then install one of the Toothless as chairman of the board. But their plan takes a complicated turn when Adair doesn’t go through with the assassination—and when shutting down the Stream leaves the city’s Wingtoothers unable to think or even eat for themselves.

Now Seth and Adair are the Wingtoothers’ last hope. But how can they stand up for anyone when they don’t know what they stand for themselves?

WHOSE TEETH ARE AS SWORDS is a 69,000-word YA dystopian. I’ve appreciated your query advice and that of your readers in the past, and I’d love to get your and their feedback on this one.

I am a BYU graduate, a stay-at-home mom, and a blogger.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Krista V.

This is definitely intriguing! Great world-building — a little long, maybe, but you do a good job introducing both major characters and a very technical set-up.

Honestly, maybe I am getting a little burned out on queries, but I can’t think of anything I would about this that isn’t “Please send me your first five chapters”!

Readers, what advice do you have for Krista?

And speaking of advice… I’m going to be interspersing my Friday About My Query posts with more general Ask Daphne posts, so please, send me your publishing questions for future posting! Thanks!!

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11 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXV”

  1. Jess Says:

    I've already read this – and the first five chapters – and, um, yeah. Nothing to add here.

    (SEE? I'm not *always* negative!)

  2. RaShelle Says:

    The premise does sound very cool, stuff connected inside the brain. Awesome! but not for this guy, so, why not?

    I was thrown by the fact that the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen was toothless. When someone doesn't have any teeth, their mouth's sort of sag in . . . yeah, what does she do when he spills the food? Yell in a lisp? Gasp a big, toothless gasp. I'm trying to see it.

    I guess I'd want to read the first five chapters to see how she made toothless beautiful.

  3. Georgiana Says:

    Feed meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

  4. Kate Says:

    I read Adair as "Toothless" with a capital "T", as in, she doesn't have the Wingtooth, not that she doesn't have any teeth at all.

  5. RaShelle Says:

    Oh, LOL – that makes so much more sense. Yes, you can call me dingy, I'll except it at this point. The tooth shape and Toothless threw me. =D

  6. Chelsey Says:

    There are a couple of grammatical things I'd change. The misplaced modifier in the first sentence. (teenagers on the planet, or biggest conference on the planet?). Also the phrase "won't him not go" sounds awkward to me.

    Other than that it looks like a solid character. I particularly like how Adair is introduced.

  7. Adam Heine Says:

    I agree it's very nice. I thought the first paragraph could be trimmed a bit. And the first time Adair's name was mentioned I was like, "Who's Adair?" and backtracked to see if I missed something.

    "Toothless" also got me imagining someone without teeth. I understand it means "no Wingteeth", but at first read it felt a little odd to me.

    Those are just my nitpicks. I would totally read this though.

  8. Krista V. Says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! And let me just add a "Woohoo!"

    After watching my favorite college football team get smeared by an in-state rival that hasn't beaten them in almost twenty years, I needed a little pick-me-up tonight. This definitely sufficed:)

  9. A.L. Sonnichsen Says:

    Yay, Krista!! I'm so happy for you. 🙂 Good luck, my friend.


  10. Jennifer Says:

    I want to read this! 🙂 A couple of suggestions below.

    you: And they won’t let him not go to the conference

    me: And they won’t let him skip the conference

    I don't like the last sentence of the third paragraph.

    I like the fact that they can't even eat without their Wingteeth activated.

    Your title is weird. I'm not sure if it is weird good or weird bad because I only know what you told us in the query. I had to read it three times just to be sure I wasn't reading it wrong. That being said, I love dystopian stories and yours sounds unique and interesting.

    Good luck!

  11. Shannon Says:

    Hmmm… I'm not sure you really need a critique of this Query, since you have a partial request and all (Bravo BTW!).

    But, just in case.

    The only thing that caught my attention is the movement between tenses. There isn't a lot of it, but I did notice it here and there.

    It's also a bit wordy: "Not ten minutes off the shuttle" could be "Fresh off the shuttle".

    Obviously, Adair changed her mind about the assassination plot, but that part of the query is a little confusing and hard to follow.

    Otherwise, CHEERS! Great job!