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Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXVI

tinfoilshoeSpace Age-looking shoes for O.W., who submitted today’s About My Query. Remember, these are going up every TWO weeks now until the end of the year, interspersed with more posts answering your questions about all sorts of things. But I’ve got to leave for the airport momentarily, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

Nearly every civilization has a coming of age rite. In the 51st century, 15 year-olds travel to the dark side of their tidal-locked planet to live without adult influence for a month.

When Terry Massey first arrives, she’s expecting to have a blast, make the friends she’s never had, and start a new life. Her first few hours are great, but then things start to take a turn for the worse. A gang of thugs is terrorizing a select few citizens for seemingly no reason at all, her new friend is furious with her, and she’s surrounded by robots who might be trying to take over the world. The only person she identifies with keeps melting away into the shadows, and by trying to find him, she only succeeds in further isolating herself from the rest of her peers within the paradise of an enormous library.

She discovers a hinting of a secret of epic proportions within that library, as well as Colin, the devilishly charming and clever boy who led her to the library in the first place. As events escalate with the unbelievably irrational behavior of the rest of their age-group— especially the thugs— Terry and Colin join forces with several tea-addicts who sound like computers and an infuriating old man with secrets of his own. Together they must discover the truth behind both the actions of their fellow citizens and the enormous conspiracy that’s been lurking in the Palace’s tower for hundreds of years. And with the thugs after them, they’d better do it fast.

THE CLOCKWORK EXPERIMENT is complete at about 83,000 words. I live in [town], North Carolina, and this is my first novel.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


Good opening paragraph, although I think, moving on, you can be a little more specific about where Terry arrives.

Things go pretty quickly bad, I see, within a “few hours.” And the mention of the library immediately brings to mind that fabulous Doctor Who two-parter, “The Silence in the Library.” That’s a lot to live up to, there. Your language moving into paragraph three is a little rough. Can you find a better way to say “a hinting of a secret of epic proportions”? The way it’s worded now, I’m thinking that Terry may also only discover a “hinting” of Colin — although I’m curious to know if he’s the person in the previous paragraph who “keeps melting away in to the shadows.”

As you add in more details, I get a little lost, but overall, it’s something I’d definitely look at the first few pages of.

Readers, what do you think? What advice do you have for O.W.?

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