Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Title: The GAP Project

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Thriller


Kidnappings hit Ginny Carrera’s hometown of Layton, Kansas. Still, when her parents install a panic room, she thinks they’ve gone too far. Until she’s forced to use it and she emerges to find a new reality.

She’s forced to flee a past she didn’t know existed. Her parents aren’t her parents, scientists designed her, and a senator has her in his sights. She discovers there are things worse than being a genetic freak, like being chased by government factions who want the ‘proof’ of the program, the Genetically Altered Persons (GAPs), to disappear. As the most valuable prototype, Ginny’s DNA is up for sale – whole or in parts – to the highest bidder. She sets out to bring down the senator and his crew of human engineers.
Ginny hopes to expose Emerson’s plan in the scientific scandal of the century before those who seek to, silence her permanently. THE G.A.P. PROJECT is 67,000 words.

First sentence: 

No way, not again, not a middle of the night drill.


  1. I love the first paragraph! However, I was confused about the "past she didn't know existed". Starting the second with more of that information would help. I would like to know more specifics about that. Good luck!

  2. I think you could cut the kidnappings out of the pitch and go straight for the meat: Ginny's scientifically-engineered life and the consequences she faces because of it. The last sentence of the second paragraph also feels a little too vague. I'd like just a bit more detail as to Ginny's plans to bring the senator (Emerson?) down.

  3. I agree with Memory above. This first paragraph seemed kind of choppy to me, maybe combine the first two sentences if you do keep them? However, once I got to the second paragraph, I was completely intrigued. And I love the title! Good luck!

  4. I think this is set up very weird. You say she uses the panic room but not why and then you never mention the panic room again. Is it really that important?

    Maybe if you say something like "When her parents install a panic room, she thinks they’ve gone too far. Until scientists come for then. Then she understood exactly why her parents were so paranoid." or you know, something.

    You don't really make the connection between the kidnappings and the scientists stuff in this pitch. I assume they were kidnapping kids hoping they were her? Tell us that, don't make us guess.

    I think this needs to be simplified a little bit. Instead of going into detail about what she is and what people want. Really, you spend a whole paragraph one that. This line: "As the most valuable prototype, Ginny’s DNA is up for sale – whole or in parts – to the highest bidder." is perfect and really all you need other than the fact that her parents "made" her. Then go into what actually, physically, happens. Is she stuck in the panic room for most of the book? Or is she out on the run. I'm not really sure what *happens* here, so tell us that.

  5. Some good advice here already. I feel like you're obscuring the story a little and that if you just peel things back and clarify for us a little more, your pitch will really sing! :)

    The first line is a neat intro, but I wonder if you could throw us into the moment even more. How does the drill start? A bell? Shouting? A siren piercing the air? I think you could yank us into the story fast and hard if you start with the audio. Just a thought, because the internal dialog works, but I found myself wondering how your character knew there was a drill and that starting just a couple seconds earlier in the story might give it more punch.

  6. What I like: I liked the Twilight Zone aspect of a panic room leading to another reality.

    What I would like: Moving from the panic room to an alternate reality makes the story seemed schismed. I don’t understand how it fits. If the reality she journeys to is so bad, why not leave it? (This may be another problem in the story but what happens here is we are presented with a problem which is never resolved).

    Also, beware sentences like this ‘She’s forced to flee a past she didn’t know existed’ that sound big but don’t tell us much.

    Great job!


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