A Couple of Paragraphs

I have been told that a good agent can tell in the first couple of paragraphs if they want to rep a book.  It got me to thinking.  If agents do that, does everyone do that?  Hum?  Shall we check this out together?  Below you will find a couple of paragraphs.  Read.  Comment.

Margaret Alexandria Houston, one of the newest agents in the ATF, sat on the private jet.  She looked out the window.  Two huge men sat in the fuselage watching the teenager.  Alexandria was only sixteen.  In fact, it was her birthday.  She had been a foster child since she was seven.  Since the US Government had paid for the extraordinarily intelligent child to go to college at an early age, the US Government felt the teenager owed them.  Therefore, when Alexandria had graduated from her doctorate’s program halfway through her fifteenth year, the government said she was going to work for the ATF.

It wasn’t like there was a foster family standing up for the teen’s rights to a childhood.  The only good foster family Alexandria had ever lived with had given her up.  Not that they had wanted to.  Alexandria knew they had fought for her for years.  Unfortunately, they hadn’t won in the courts.  It was why Alexandria had begun running away from the foster homes she had been placed in.  There was also the fact that each succeeding home had problems with food and beatings.  Alexandria was convinced when she left college that no one loved her, including her “blood” family.  The government offered her a paycheck and a roof over her head.  Or Alexandria could be cut from the foster care program as an adult at the ripe old age of fifteen.

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5 thoughts on “A Couple of Paragraphs

  1. I have to say that graduating with a PhD at 15 and a half just seems over the top to me. Can’t you make her a little older and still go where you want with the novel?
    Also, in the first paragraph she is 16 but at the end of the last she is worried about being dropped from the foster care system at 15. It just doesn’t add up.
    Do they really kick them out at 15? I thought they stayed until 18 or so.

    • Most states have fluctuating years. In 90% of the States you can’t be adopted after you hit 16. If the state allows you to stay in the foster system you have to work towards becoming independent. I’ve had too many friends who were on their own at 16 because of their state’s child welfare system. It is really quite sad how we treat these children still.

  2. What time period are you working with? I can tell you 18 is really young to be on your own. 2 years might make the point better. She would be young enough to feel she owed her country but old enough her education didn’t make the media. Just a thought

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