Admirable Pursuit

I just submitted my YA SF novel to Strange Chemistry, the YA division of Angry Robot books. Angry Robot rules. Among other things, they just released Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig, a colorful and talented writer who also generously shares hilarious, NSFW, spot-on advice perfect for writers (like me!) who are trying to navigate publishing and improve our craft.

My novel Admirable Pursuit is for older readers--teens and up. I actually started it well before Comet Jack but finished it after. When I heard (via @ChuckWendig on twitter) that Strange Chemistry, the YA arm of Angry Robot, was running an Open Door, calling for unagented, unpublished, completed YA SF novels, naturally I jumped.

I had to jump. I heard about it with just four days left in the 2-week submission window (which ends today, April 30th).

As part of the submission process, Strange Chemistry asked for a one-sentence summary of the book. Admirable Pursuit is almost twice as long as Comet Jack. It is told through multiple points of view using short, punchy, action-filled chapters, with an interwoven twisty-turny plot set on two planets and a starship, against a backdrop of ultra-capitalist distopia/utopia (depends on your tax bracket). So, yeah, I couldn't imagine boiling it down to one sentence.

The elevator pitch might be: Indiana Jones meets Dune by way of Blade Runner... for teens!

Those of you pulling for me will be encouraged to know that's not what I put in the submission. After much hemming, hawing, and eyebrow pulling, here's how I boiled it down:

Admirable Pursuit in one sentence:
Wendy Veritage, the teenage heir to her Family's fortune, runs away to carve her own path in a future world of haves and have-nots, and ends up in the middle of a battle for humanity's future on a far away planet where a mysterious power allows people to experience their full potential.

Does that sound like something you might be interested in?

Strange Chemistry will let me know.


CJayBee said...

Good luck on the submission. I'm floored you were able to summarize the work to a single, compelling sentence. Nicely done!

Steve Kopka said...

Thanks, Chris. Couldn't have done it without your help.