Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #5

Dear Ms. Sciuto:

Sixteen-year-old bookworm Brielle's gritty fantasy world helps her escape her boring life. As bad-a** slayer Brielle Cross she's killed deadly creatures and the occasional Hoover vacuum. But when strange bruises start to appear on her body along with an unexplained tattoo, she starts to wonder if it could be more.

Cross has tried her best to hide her strange visions where she's Brielle Cross: Nerdy teen girl living in a happy world of dull. Her shrink says it's her way of coping with her job of slaying the confetti-blooded beings known as moths and butterflies as part of the M.B.E.A., but Cross has seen enough to know that's wrong.

Waking up in each others' worlds alone, Brielle and Cross realize they've been living in each other’s skin, literally. Thinking they’ll switch back soon, they pretend to be their doppelganger. Soon they’re tangled in a mystery that involves a mythical bridge that connects their two worlds and a handsome butterfly Cross was hired to kill.

The more they discover, the more it becomes clear: Someone wants them both dead--and the one they’re supposed to kill might be the only one who knows why. Now they must find out who’s trying to destroy their connection before the bridge back to their worlds comes crashing down.

CROSSING BRIELLE is a YA urban fantasy told from both Brielle and Cross' perspectives. It's complete at 63,000 words and should appeal to fans of the duel worlds of The Mortal Instruments and Alice In Wonderland's whimsy and creatures.

Thank you for you time and consideration.

Sincerely,
J.C.


CROSSING BRIELLE

The streets of Nashville were silent when Brielle made her move. Slinking through the alley as nimble as a cat, she stalked her prey’s tracks, waiting for the right time to strike. Liquid gold lit her way as her small frame slid along a bumpy brick wall. Foot firmly on a faded green dumpster, she propelled herself back up to her selected post. Sweat dripped from her brow, but Brielle refused to acknowledge it. Spring wasn’t always so hot, but right then she felt like she was standing in a freakin desert instead of on a tar roof.

Any day now. She knew he’d be back soon. After all, his victim was too close for him to pass up the chance to say his twisted hello. She just had to be patient—which wasn’t much her thing. She surveyed the dull, decaying landscape. The sun may have been shining, but as usual, it did nothing to help her find who she was looking for.

Moths were always tricky jobs, but cinnabars were the worst. It’d taken her six months of pretending to be a cinna-groupie just to learn his next set of victims’ names. Part of that time, she couldn’t actually remember. Really, she liked it that way. Kept her from believing the crap she had to say and do just to get the job done.

Finally the tell-tale solid black figure with blood red stripes running down his sleeves and pants came into view. Brielle’s head rose slightly, checking for the matching red spot on his back.

6 comments:

Andrew said...

Oh cool! I like the body-switching element and interesting bad guys. :D Good luck!

michelleimason said...

This sounds really interesting! However, I did get a bit confused with the names. Is she named Brielle Cross in both realities but goes by Brielle in the real world and Cross in the alternate world? I also like that you've created new kinds of creatures with moths and butterflies, which I'm sure are much more deadly than they sound :).

I think in the final paragraph you mean "dual" instead of "duel."

The first 250 gives a great sense of the world. Good luck!

tangynt said...

Diving right in. And these are merely suggestions/opinions and in no way the end all beat all of critiques. ^_^

The Query: The first line wasn't incredibly hooky. What sets her apart from other bookworms who do the same thing to escape boring life? It didn't stop me from reading, but I don't think it does the rest of the query, and your awesome premise, justice.

The name thing caught me up as well, but that could be fixed if you just call Brielle Brielle and Cross cross. So, second sentence, "As bad-ass slayer Cross".

The final sentence of the first paragraph just needs a pinch of BAM, cause mystery bruises and strange tattoos? Uber schway. And is this Cross' tattoo? If so, THAT is stupid cool, and I think you can get away with saying as much. "Along with an unexplained tattoo her alter-ego sports" only written better than that...Ahh, how I embarrass myself.

Third paragraph, nix alone.

Fourth paragraph, you can cut the first sentence off after "wants them both dead". Get right to the point.

Love the title, love the premise, and the use of moths and butterflies is something I've yet to see. Major kudos.

The 250: You leave me hanging on the liquid gold! You've caught my attention and I'm waiting for just a weeeee bit more detail so I can paint this scene in my mind. Liquid gold light? Liquid gold paint on the walls, on the ground, oh the possibilities!

Are you missing a word here: Foot planted firmly? Foot place firmly? Foot locked firmly? Foot braced firmly?

Nix Back in "propelled herself back up".

You have my attention. I don't know what moths and cinnabars are, but I'm hooked and willing to go along for the ride to find out. Nicely done! Thoroughly enjoyed, wish there was more~ *Whine*

Good luck!

Margaret G. said...

I love the voice here but your query left me confused between Brielle and Brielle Cross. Specifically got lost in paragraph 2 and 3.

I would definitely read past your 250 words as I'd be interested to learn more about this unique world.

Good luck!

Sarah Turnbull said...

I agree with the others in that it sounds like you’ve created a unique world with some interesting (moth and butterfly) characters. I was also confused by the Brielle / Cross descriptions in your query. I think tangynt had a great suggestion, “just call Brielle Brielle and Cross Cross.”

Good luck!

Agent Sara Sciuto said...

This was an interesting query. I like the idea of a monster slayer, but I have to say I was confused for most of the query. It wasn't until I got to the last paragraph with the doppelganger mention that I understand they were two different people, in a sense. In the beginning of the query you refer to the character as Brielle Cross, so when you used Brielle and Cross alternately throughout the query I thought you were just referring to like an alter-ego kind of thing. This also made a lot of the plot details confusing. I would get to that last paragraph as soon as possible and cut down most of the earlier description, for clarity.

For the sample pages, I really liked the immediate tension of the scene, with our character stalking some dangerous creature. However, that paragraph with all the made up terms (e.g. cinnabars, cinna-groupies, and moths--I assume this isn't my conception of a moth) kind of took me out of the story. You also had mention of a memory loss, etc, which felt abrupt this early on. Overall, that paragraph just confused me. Other than that though, I love that you dropped us into a live scene. It seems an exciting world!