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The Phoenix Squad (NA Sci-Fi)


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#1 jjohnson

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:02 AM

Hi everyone. I would love some feedback. I'm still navigating the forums, so I'm hoping to pay it forward and provide helpful critiques. Newest revision is in Post #15.

 

 

Chuck Carlyle starts college with the intent of having a typical experience: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he has the ability to move things with his mind and read people’s thoughts. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he’s not going to let that get in his way. He soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

Chuck settles into college and life seems to be going great until he encounters others of his kind, extremists, attempting to steal an ancient artifact. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, a new ability pops up, one that unearths an unnerving family secret. Chuck doesn’t know if he can get past what he’s learned.

 

However, when Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over humans, he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on this threat to humanity or guarantee his safety and let this new twisted form of eugenics run its course. All Chuck wanted was a normal life, but how much is he willing to sacrifice for it?

 

Meanwhile, he must navigate school, family issues, and growing powers that threaten to overwhelm him unless he gets them under control. He will find that no textbook could prepare him for what he’s facing. One life is hard enough. He couldn’t even imagine another life playing superhero.

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Please take a look at my query. Check me out on Facebook.


#2 E.G. Tczarzenskawitz

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 02:50 PM

All Chuck Caryle wanted was to have the typical college experience: classes, clubs, and an occasional party or two. Having telepathy and telekinesis didn’t really allow him to enjoy what one would classify a normal teenage experience. But now, controlling his powers might be the least of his problems.

(I liked your setup, but thought it needed some rephrasing to make it more understandable and flow smoother.)

As Chuck is settling in to the college routine, it looks like life might be giving him a break. That is until he encounters other gifted teenagers attempting to steal an ancient artifact from (We need a setting). He realizes not everyone that has these powers use them for good blah blah, some think these powers make them godly meaning they can do as they please blah blah. Add a bit more to connect how he sees these characters and how that causes conflict.

Then Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over humans. Now he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on these extremists that threaten humanity or guarantee his safety by allowing them to enact a new world order. Chuck must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to have a normal life.

Don’t end in a question. Make a powerful statement listing the conflict and stakes.

The ending paragraph you had seemed misplaced. I thought it was distracting from the rest of the query, so I removed it.

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words.

 

Thanks for your time and consideration.

 

Story sounds very cool. Good luck with your query. Hope my suggestions help.



#3 SRaay

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:52 PM

Chuck Carlyle starts college with the intent of having a typical experience went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he has the ability to move things with his mind telekinesis (if the agent doesn't know this common term, they propbably aren't the one you want) and read people’s thoughts. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he’s not going to let that get in his way, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

Chuck settles into college and life seems to be going great until When he encounters others of his kind, extremists, attempting to steal an ancient artifact, a rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, a new ability pops up, he finds he has a hidden ability, one that unearths an unnerving family secret. Chuck doesn’t know if he can get past what he’s learned. < Don't tease agents. They don't care about spoilers. Many would reject the query on this line alone.

 

However, when Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity, he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on this threat to humanity  his own people or guarantee his safety and let this new twisted form of eugenics run its course (okay, who in their right mind would call it eugenics and just accept it? "or will he let his kind rule the world" is a slight improvement. Work on this line). All Chuck wanted was a normal life, but how much is he willing to sacrifice for it?

 

Meanwhile, he must navigate school, family issues, and growing powers that threaten to overwhelm him unless he gets them under control. He will find that no textbook could prepare him for what he’s facing. < Nice, a metaphor related to his current life. I like it. One life is hard enough. He couldn’t even imagine another life playing superhero. He never wanted to be a superhero.

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. < They know this. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Overall a good story, bit hazy on his new ability and the family secret, so clarify that. I really like the "Life is Strange" vibe (if you haven't played/read about that game, do so, as it is similar and you can learn from it/ensure you don't copy it too closely). Keen to see the next query draft.

 



#4 Kindlyunspoken

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 09:17 PM

Hi everyone. I would love some feedback. I'm still navigating the forums, so I'm hoping to pay it forward and provide helpful critiques. 

 

 

Chuck Carlyle starts college with the intent of having a typical experience: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he has the ability to move things with his mind and read people’s thoughts. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he’s not going to let that get in his way. He soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

Chuck settles into college and life seems to be going great until he encounters others of his kind, extremists, attempting to steal an ancient artifact. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, a new ability pops up, one that unearths an unnerving family secret. Chuck doesn’t know if he can get past what he’s learned.

 

However, when Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over humans, he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on this threat to humanity or guarantee his safety and let this new twisted form of eugenics run its course. All Chuck wanted was a normal life, but how much is he willing to sacrifice for it?

 

Meanwhile, he must navigate school, family issues, and growing powers that threaten to overwhelm him unless he gets them under control. He will find that no textbook could prepare him for what he’s facing. One life is hard enough. He couldn’t even imagine another life playing superhero.

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.

 

My opinion - I feel like there's a lot going on in this query and you could do without most of the information. 

 

Here's all the info I got in just one query: 

 

1 - can't control his abilities 

2 - news friends stealing ancient artifact 

3 - rash decision - warpath

4 - new abilities pop up 

5 - family secret 

6 - glimpse of future where he reigns over humans

7 - risk his life and take on " this threat" to humanity or guarantee his safety 

8 - navigate school

9 - family issues

10 - super hero (where did that come from)

 

If I was an agent reading this, I'd be overwhelmed and confused. There's wayyyy too much going and yet I'm not sure about the CORE of your story. Perhaps most of these issues I've listed are subplots and background info. If that's the case, don't include them. Focus on your story solely. 

WHO is your character? WHAT does he WANT? WHAT is preventing him from reaching his goals. This is the core of your story. The extra information isn't needed in a query. You have a few seconds to capture an agent with how interesting your story possibly is––take advantage. 

 

Hope I helped. 

 

Please return the favour - 

 

http://agentquerycon...porary-romance/



#5 jjohnson

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:09 AM

Revision #1

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he’s telekinetic and telepathic. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.

 

As Chuck settles into the college routine, it seems like life is giving him a break. That is until he encounters others of his kind attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden ability.

 

However, when Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity, he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on his own people or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to a new world order. Chuck didn’t sign up to be a superhero, but now he must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to have a normal life. No textbook could prepare him for this. 

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Please take a look at my query. Check me out on Facebook.


#6 Erevos

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:50 AM

Huge huge improvement. The others sure did a fine job!

I'll just add a comment here and there.

Revision #1

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he’s telekinetic and telepathic. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems. I like the hook. Clear and concise.                                  

 

As Chuck settles into the college routine, it seems like life is giving him a break. That is until he encounters others of his kind, attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath.

 

But In the middle of the chaos, Chuck discovers a hidden ability. However, when He gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity. Now Chuck has to make a choice: either risk his life and take on his own people or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to a new world order. I really like it till here. However the next two sentences...I'm not exactly sure. I mean, after seeing what the future brings, all he thinks is a normal life? Plus, you gave us the stakes before. Chuck didn’t sign up to be a superhero, but now he must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to have a normal life. No textbook could prepare him for this. 

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. No need. Thanks for your time and consideration.

 

I'd say your query is really great. It's also short, which leaves room for extra additions, should u decide so.



#7 jswen

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

This is looking pretty good so far. With a little shaping, I think you'll have a great query!

 

 

We'll start with the hook!

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he’s telekinetic and telepathic. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

I think you could strengthen this. 

Just playing around, what about something like...

Chuck Carlyle just wants to be a normal college student. Too bad he's got superpowers.

College student Chuck Carlyle just wants to go to class, math club, and the occasional party. But his superpowers keep getting in the way.  

 

What do you think?



#8 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:35 AM

Chuck, meet Darius. http://agentquerycon...view=getnewpost

:biggrin: I live for those little happenstances man haha

Revision #1

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. There’s only one hitch: he’s telekinetic and telepathic. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.

As Chuck settles into the college routine, it seems like life is giving him a break. That is until he encounters others of his kind attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden ability.

However, when Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity, he has to make a choice: risk his life and take on his own people or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to a new world order. Chuck didn’t sign up to be a superhero, but now he must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to have a normal life. No textbook could prepare him for this.

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. The manuscript is available, in part or in full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Wow, this is a hell of a query. The only thing I'd change is the end–I think you should Gordian knot the idea of "superhero...normal life...supervillain", since you mentioned the New Order of Telekinetics Etc. It INFINITELY raises the stakes.

JJW

#9 Niambi

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:36 PM

It's short and sweet but there's nothing there which jumps out at me. It's a great start, but a bit too basic. The good thing is that there is plenty of space to add more.

#10 jjohnson

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:52 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Here's the second revision.

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. His telekinetic and telepathic powers aren’t making things easy, though. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

As Chuck settles into the college routine, it seems like life is giving him a break. That is until he encounters others of his kind attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden ability.

 

When Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity, he finds that the only thing standing in the way of this new world order is the counterpart to the artifact. Chuck has to make a choice: risk his life and possible jail time to steal the second artifact first or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to the reign of his kind. This answer couldn’t be found in a textbook. 

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. [Personalized stuff] Thanks for your time and consideration.


Please take a look at my query. Check me out on Facebook.


#11 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 03:54 PM

I dig it. It's concise and has a good voice. Always keep developing it, though. Keep finding fresh ways to express (read, "sell") the story itself.

JJW

#12 Veldehar

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:41 PM

You need to hit me with a what sets this story apart from the hundreds of other super heroes save the world stories out there, moment.

 

Let's take a look at this as a writing sample, and see what you hit us with right out of the gate:

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations...

 

First, that "the" can go, excess baggage. Second, "went into" is bland in an already ordinary sentence. Third, you've also a chance here to set the story stage: what campus, whether it's UCLA, or perhaps he's an Akron Zip, or Super Powers are us U, it makes a difference to the story. Fourth, lots of telling. Telling is natural in a query, but the telling lacks flavor. Plus, get active. Bring a little present tense to make the telling feel more like showing.

 

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Here's the second revision.

 

Chuck Carlyle went into college with the normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. His telekinetic and telepathic powers aren’t making things easy, though. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems. Tell, tell, tell... with a hint of tension, but...                                   

 

As Chuck settles into the college routine, it seems like life is giving him a break. We follow up with life is giving him a break, not going into the the obvious bad the previous sentence sets up. And even then, this sentence is made "passive" by the "As". That is until he encounters others of his kind attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. Mhmm, wordy, but ok. Still Vague and telly. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. Vague Tell. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. Vague Tell. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden ability. A "huh?" vague tell. If glimpses of the future are the new power, it's a mighty convenient one.

 

When Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns over all of humanity, he finds that the only thing standing in the way of this new world order is the counterpart to the artifact. For me, this is like throwing out a fishing line without a hook or bait, as a fish, I'm just staring at it. Chuck has to make a choice: risk his life and possible jail time to steal the second artifact first or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to the reign of his kind. We have no clue what this means, we can only assume bad. This answer couldn’t be found in a textbook. And huh? again. This final line is just out the blue.

 

The Phoenix Squad is an NA superhero sci-fi novel complete at 79,000 words. [Personalized stuff] Thanks for your time and consideration.

 

All and all, this is just too vague. Vague can be good if it sucks us in with mystery, but I'm not feeling it here. 



#13 jjohnson

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:32 AM

Here's the latest revision. You guys have been a great help.

 

 

Chuck Carlyle starts college with normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. His telekinetic and telepathic powers aren’t making things easy, though. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

Just as Chuck settles into the college routine, he encounters superpowered extremists attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how harmful powers can be in the wrong hands, as they leave a path of destruction in their wake. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden power, the ability to copy powers used on him.

 

Chuck searches for answers and finds that the artifact can unlock an unstoppable power. When Chuck gets a glimpse of a future where his kind reigns brutally over all of humanity, he learns that the final key to this new world order is the counterpart to the artifact.

 

Chuck has to make a choice: risk his life and possible jail time to steal the artifact or guarantee his safety and subject the rest of humanity to the reign of his kind. With his powers out of control, Chuck doesn’t know if he can take on the extremists.


Please take a look at my query. Check me out on Facebook.


#14 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:22 AM

I think the appeal starting to get lost, to be honest. The dichotomy of Chuck starting college while dealing with telekinesis is what appealed to me. Expanding on the rest of the plot post-museum robbery I think is a mistake.

Then Chuck encounters some punks trying to rob a museum. But when the artifact unlocks abilities Chuck never knew about, one rash decision could put him and [the few cool people he's met] at the forefront of an extinction-level event. If only he hadn't skipped that Darwin lecture.

Obvious spitballing, in an attempt to retain YOUR voice haha...Keep the focus on Chuck's asinine attempt at normality and end with something like that. Also, you use the word "power" too many times in this latest version. Just something I noticed.

This is loaded with potential, keep at it!

Hope this helps, I've updated my query too!

JJW

#15 jjohnson

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:17 PM

Sorry it's taken so long (a lot of things had come up), but here's my next draft.

 

Chuck Carlyle starts college with normal expectations: classes, clubs, and the occasional party. His telekinetic and telepathic abilities aren’t making things easy, though. His control over these abilities is haphazard at best, but he soon learns that’s the least of his problems.                                    

 

Just as Chuck settles into the college routine, he encounters others of his kind attempting to steal an ancient artifact from a museum. He sees firsthand how destructive powers can be in the wrong hands. A rash decision puts him and his friends right in their warpath. In the middle of the chaos, he discovers a hidden power, which ruins the fragile control he had on his powers. This was not the school trip he was expecting.

 

Chuck searches for answers and finds that the artifact can unlock an unstoppable force. The only thing standing in the way of the extremists’ plot for the fall of ordinary humanity is the artifact’s counterpart. Chuck has to find it first. But between the onslaught of school assignments and job obligations, Chuck barely has time to sleep, let alone save the world. They don’t teach a class on that.

 

The only way Chuck can succeed is for him to balance his life and learn to control his powers. Maybe then life can return to normal.

 

[Personalized stuff, Book stats]


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