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The Hero Syndrome (YA dark fantasy) - rev. #60

Fantasy Young Adult Fiction Adventure

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#61 jaustail


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Posted 18 September 2017 - 10:26 AM



Dear [agent]:



Sixteen-year-old hardcore gamer Malory doesn’t play like everyone else. Each time she runs her fave action-adventure game on her computer, she gets sucked into it. Literally.(great premise. i'm interested already) And the wrong move could be enough to trap her forever.


The only snag is that her memories and inner turmoil are fueling the software. Since she came out of childhood with a few skeletons in her closet, the game has been turning into a survival horror. J-L, the recurring boss, has now so much power over it that it’s nearly unplayable(maybe reword this to something like J-L has made the game very tough or added new villains or something like that. show how the game is unplayable). Malory can’t possibly share this secret with her parents: her overbooked businesswoman of a mom and her moony archeologist of a dad often leave her alone at home where she has no choice but to chat to the walls. Her two best friends are her only hope of defeating J-L―even if it means tricking them into helping her(why does she need their help? why can't she just stop playing the game? this way she won't get sucked into it) and risking their lives.


But this time, as she leads her friends through the lands of the game, Malory must cope with the fact she doesn’t have a clue how to play. Cupcakes are swarming with cockroaches, monsters are lurking around meadows, light goes out in tunnels, innocents are found dead. And J-L the big perv sends Malory-like slaves to track the players down. To top it all, Malory’s best friends are nothing alike: one bulldozes ahead not giving a toss if she’s half-naked(maybe remove 'half-naked' it sounds fun without it. the bulldozes ahead is good way to show the character's attitude) or covered in blood, the other freaks out if a bug climbs up her dress or if the answer isn’t in a fairytale.(lolol)


There are no cheat codes, no rage quit anyway. Wits are the only way to win. J-L won’t let any player escape in one sane piece. If Malory can’t overcome her childhood demons and turn her real life around, she will lose her best friends to the virtual sanctuary that once preserved her from madness―assuming she ever manages to restore it.


MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the premise of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.


Thank you for your time and consideration.



I liked the query. My only problem is I didn't get much idea of the game Malory gets sucked into. Is it a car racing game like Need for Speed, a fighting game like Mortal Kombat, or a strategy game like Age of Empires?

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Adventure

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