This query is from Candace Rose for the novel Whisper Pale. Thank you Candace Rose for the honour of allowing me to work on and post this!
Jayde's had a lot of practice keeping secrets. It's a good thing too--it seems like guards outnumber regular citizens these days, and her own neighbors line their pockets by exposing traitors like her. If only those baggy boy clothes hid her sixteen year old body as easily as they used to...
Maybe she should have just risked the tests nine years ago.
Maybe if she were a different girl, getting a number seared into the back of her hand would mean fortune, comfort, security. But that kind of luck tends to run in families, and after the Census tests scarred and melted her mother's body over twenty years ago, they're more likely to bring the same pain and poverty to Jayde--or maybe they'll just kill her.
One stupid mistake--and an intriguing boy who sees through her disguise a little too easily--is all it takes to bring on the full horror of the dangerous tests and the threat of steep punishment for years of lies.
But there’s a secret even she doesn’t know she has, one only the tests can unlock. And powerful people would use that secret to force her to sacrifice her values, her dreams, even her freedom, to keep her family alive.
Jayde isn’t the only one with secrets, but it might be too late by the time she discovers the hidden agenda behind the tests she avoided for so long. Or that the choices she was forced to make were meaningless--she’s dead either way.
Whisper Pale is a YA Speculative Fiction novel, complete at 76,000 words.
Jayde's had practice keeping secrets. Guards outnumber regular citizens these days, and her neighbors would happily line their pockets to expose a traitor like her. If only those baggy boy clothes hid Jayde's sixteen-year-old body as easily as they used to...
Jayde could have risked the Census tests back when she was seven, but while for some girls the tests means fortune, comfort, and security, for Jayde's mother, they scarred and melted her body and left her in poverty--and that kind of luck tends to run in families.
When a stupid mistake and a boy who sees through her disguise too easily lands Jayde [in a specific, dangerous place], facing the full horror of the Census tests as well as steep punishments for her years of lies, Jayde must [take action to try to improve her situation.]
But Jayde has a secret even she doesn’t know about--one only the tests can unlock. [Reveal the secret here, so we know why it increases the stakes.] [Specific antagonist] threatens Jayde by [using their knowledge of the secret] to demand Jayde [do something horrible] in exchange for keeping her family alive.
However, Jayde isn’t the only one with secrets. When she learns [the specific agenda behind the tests], Jayde must [do something specific and horribly difficult]--or accept that all her choices have been meaningless and she was dead either way.
Whisper Pale is a YA Speculative Fiction novel, complete at 76,000 words.Have any thoughts about either the original or the re-written query? Please join the discussion in the comment thread!
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