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SUPERCILIOUS (Sci-Fi)

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#1 margoo77

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:28 PM

Hi everyone!

I'd love some feedback on my query. I sent a few out but, I've quickly realized that it's better to get help from those who've actually done this before rather than go in blindly. I'm looking for help and any feedback you can provide, thanks!

 

UPDATED: 6/15 - After taking the notes below into consideration and reading through the Query Shark archives, this is my newest revision. I still welcome notes! 

 

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Lisa Jensen is an Operations Director who is trying her hardest to deal with the ridiculously dangerous situations her best friend James Binesi A.K.A. Thunderbird - the Savior of Stand City, has dropped her in. Lisa has finally had it with being kidnapped and/or tortured by the many enemies Thunderbird has acquired over the years.

 

Lisa is the unsung hero, the woman behind the man in the cape, but don't call her a sidekick.

 

Unfortunately, Lisa is just a mere mortal and can no longer afford the physical and emotional price. To add insult to insanity, all it takes is one cup of spiked OJ to epically derail her escape plan.

 

Two years of Lisa’s life are stolen by Thunderbird’s archenemy Dr. Boom in a near fatal explosion. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Lisa’s instant resurrection forces her to team up with fellow Operations Director Jack Death, a man possessed by the Lord of the Underworld, to Humpty Dumpty things back together again.

 

If Lisa is lucky she might be able to finally give James her heart. That is, unless a grieving Goddess with a grudge doesn't rip it out of her chest first. Ultimately Lisa will have to decide if it's better to stay in her literally dead-end job with the man she loves. Or woman up and finally step out of Thunderbird's shadow and into the light.

 

SUPERCILIOUS, is my first novel. It's an 82,000-word sci-fi/superhero book that functions as a standalone story with series potential.

 

The primary cast features people of color. As a woman who has a culturally diverse background, I feel it's important for us to be represented and to be able to see a piece of ourselves in the story.

 

Professionally, I've worked in the television industry for the past fifteen years. My love of sci-fi and all things geek was best served by my seven years working at Syfy.

 

I thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

(My name here) 



#2 BraveL

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:44 PM

Here are my thoughts:
 
When Lisa Jensen reluctantly joined her best friend in his heroic crusade to save Strand City, she didn’t realize that in one explosive instant it would end up stealing two years of her life away. She now needs the help of a man (literally) possessed to help her put all the pieces back together to get back to the man Lisa refuses to admit she loves.  I love how you are trying to show the stakes here, but it is too vague at the beginning. What do you mean it steals two years of her life - like she gets invested or wakes up from a coma. I would omit the second sentence here as you explain it later and its confusing at the beginning without the context. 
 
Lisa is just an Operations Director (don't call her sidekick) who is trying her best to deal with the extraordinary situations that her best friend James Binesi A.K.A. Thunderbird, has placed her in. She's the unsung hero, the woman behind the man with the cape. I love this sentence, but I would save it for the end, it stops the flow of the plot. But she's had it with being kidnapped and/or tortured by Thunderbird's enemies every other week. The life she’s leading is starting to take a toll on her physically and emotionally. To add insult to insanity, it’s a lonely road. I would change lonely road to it doesn't leave many dating options.  Dating is hard when you're busy holding a torch for your best friend. It's even harder when you show up to a date after you've been injected with a serum that turns you into a bustier-wearing evil version of yourself. haha
 
Lisa wants out but, once you enter a world full of heroes and villains, you sign a lengthy unspoken contract (much like the iTunes user agreement) This is funny, but I would omit it with those who wish to do you harm. As she tries to navigate the treacherous waters of knowing, and loving, a superhero you'll the audience will? Or she will get to meet others who share in her pain.
 
An unexpected double cross will lead her to make a life altering decision. Will she be able to share her heart with James before it gets ripped out of her chest? If there's one thing Lisa knows it's that when you're not Super, you're supercilious. 
 
SUPERCILIOUS, is my first novel. It's an 82,000-word literary sci-fi/superhero book for your consideration. It's a story told from the point of view of the people who sometimes feel like crickets bought from a pet store: disposable.
 
With a strong female lead and a diverse cast of heroes, gods, and everyday people just trying to survive the day, I think my story will resonate with lovers of pop culture, sci-fi, and fantasy. Be more specific here if you're going to use examples, there are so many different fantasy, sci-fi and pop culture examples. Pick something that has the same tune as your work.  This novel also casts people of color in the main roles. As a woman who has a culturally diverse background, I feel it's important for us to be represented and to be able to see a piece of ourselves in the story. This book is pretty relatable to both women and men, and can reach a vast audience. There is also potential here for this story to be expanded into a series. Omit these last two lines. Let your work speak for itself. 
 
Professionally, I've worked in the television industry for the past fifteen years. Most of my writing was creating scripts for shoots and interviews during my seven years as a digital video producer for Syfy. More recently I've covered stories for Crime Feed, Investigation Discovery's crime blog. I currently work as an Executive Digital Producer for Investigation Discovery.
 
Some overall points to consider - Her relationship with James must be clearer. At first you say she refuses to admit she loves him and then she secretly loves him. The concept is fantastic, but the plot is vague. She's a sidekick in love with her boss, but what is the event that pushes the story forward? 
 
Keep working on it and good luck! Hope my thoughts were useful. 


#3 Sataris

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:22 PM

A few things to consider:
 
When Lisa Jensen reluctantly joined her best friend in his heroic crusade to save Strand City, she didn’t realize that in one explosive instant it would end up stealing two years of her life away. She now needs the help of a man (literally) possessed to help her put all the pieces back together to get back to the man Lisa refuses to admit she loves. 
 
I'm not sure if the possessed man is the same as the other man? Maybe a name to differentiate them? And I think I could use a tiny bit of clarification on the nature of the possession.
 
Lisa is just an Operations Director who is trying her best to deal with the extraordinary situations that her best friend James Binesi A.K.A. Thunderbird, has placed her in. She's the unsung hero, the woman behind the man with the cape, but don't call her a sidekick. But she's had it with being kidnapped and/or tortured by Thunderbird's enemies every other week. The life she’s leading is starting to take a toll on her physically and emotionally. To add insult to insanity, <i like this it’s a lonely road. Dating is hard when you're busy holding a torch for your best friend. It's even harder when you show up to a date after you've been injected with a serum that turns you into a bustier-wearing evil version of yourself.
 
What happened to the possessed character? There's also a pretty distinct tonal shift here from serious to tongue-in-cheek. Personally, I like the voice that comes through here more than the first paragraph.
 
Lisa wants out but, once you enter a world full of heroes and villains, you sign a lengthy unspoken contract (much like the iTunes user agreement) with those who wish to do you harm. As she tries to navigate the treacherous waters of knowing, and loving, a superhero you'll get to meet others who share in her pain. I think you want to avoid directly referencing the reader in your query; it pulls their attention away from the story you're telling.
 
An unexpected double cross will lead her to make a life altering decision. Will she be able to share her heart with James before it gets ripped out of her chest? If there's one thing Lisa knows it's that when you're not Super, you're supercilious.
 
SUPERCILIOUS, is my first novel. It's an 82,000-word literary sci-fi/superhero book that functions as a standalone story with series potential. It's a story told from the point of view of the people who sometimes feel like crickets bought from a pet store: disposable.
 
A quick note; are you implying that this work is going to have multiple perspectives?
 
With a strong female lead and a diverse cast of heroes, gods, and everyday people just trying to survive the day, I think my story will resonate with lovers of pop culture, sci-fi, and fantasy. This novel also casts people of color in the main roles. As a woman who has a culturally diverse background, I feel it's important for us to be represented and to be able to see a piece of ourselves in the story. This book is pretty relatable to both women and men, and can reach a vast audience. There is also potential here for this story to be expanded into a series.
 
I'd strike the parts about who you think the book will appeal to, but keep the notes on diversity, since many agents seem to be seeking underrepresented voices.
 
Professionally, I've worked in the television industry for the past fifteen years. Most of my writing was creating scripts for shoots and interviews during my seven years as a digital video producer for Syfy. More recently I've covered stories for Crime Feed, Investigation Discovery's crime blog. I currently work as an Executive Digital Producer for Investigation Discovery.
 
Don't get me wrong here; your career credentials are all far more impressive than mine, but I think the general rule is that if something doesn't directly apply to your writing (ie you're a detective with 20 years of experience writing a noir thriller) you leave it out.
 
I look forward to your response and I thank you for your time.
 
Sincerely,
Margaux McDonnell
 
I hope those comments are helpful. A few other general thoughts to consider: queries often fall in the range of 250-300 words, while yours clocks in at 500. I don't think this is a deal-breaker by any means, but if you can remove a bit of the background and make it more concise, I think your query will benefit from it.
 
The line about the heart being ripped out before she can offer it is very, very compelling place to start from. Then maybe follow with a line or two about the conflict with leaving the superhero life?
 
But yeah, this looks good! Have you ever read the Reckoner's trilogy by Brandon Sanderson? It's a superhero series that sold really well, with a main character who's voice might be fairly comparable to yours. Good luck!
 
If you've got a minute or two, I'd appreciate it if you could drop me a line about my query here: http://agentquerycon...z-post-apoc-ya/

You can find my current query here.


#4 margoo77

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:05 PM

 

 
But yeah, this looks good! Have you ever read the Reckoner's trilogy by Brandon Sanderson? It's a superhero series that sold really well, with a main character who's voice might be fairly comparable to yours. Good luck!
 
If you've got a minute or two, I'd appreciate it if you could drop me a line about my query here: http://agentquerycon...z-post-apoc-ya/

 

 

 

It's funny, my co-worker sent me Mistborn and before I was going to start, I got sidetracked with this writing project. But I will definitely check it out!

I also posted my notes for your query in the thread above.

 

Thanks for your help!



#5 margoo77

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:10 PM

 

 
Keep working on it and good luck! Hope my thoughts were useful. 

 

 

They were, thanks! I have incorporated what you told me in my revision above. 



#6 Lauraburns22

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:28 PM

When Lisa Jensen reluctantly joined her childhood best friend James in his crusade to save Strand City, she didn’t realize that in one instant this is confusing does she lose two years in one instant or is the span of the novel two years?  it would end up stealing two years of her life away. Now with the help of Jack, a man literally the parentheses are distracting  possessed, Lisa must Humpty Dumpty her life back together again. If Lisa is lucky, she might even be able to finally give James her heart. That is, unless a grieving Goddess doesn't rip it out of her chest first. why is she giving him her heart if he stole two years of her life? imo that's plenty. 
 
Lisa is an Operations Director who is trying her best to deal with the extraordinary situations James Binesi A.K.A. Thunderbird, has placed her in. She's had it with being kidnapped and/or tortured by Thunderbird's enemies every other week. Lisa is the unsung hero, the woman behind the man in the cape, but don't call her a sidekick. I like this paragraph better as the lead. 
 
Lisa can no longer afford the physical and emotional price, all these hospital visits make her feel like a box of crickets bought from a pet store: disposable. To add insult to insanity, it doesn't leave her many dating options. Dating is hard mainly because Lisa is busy holding a torch for her best friend. you already said this. don't get repetitive in a short query It's even harder when you show up to a date after you've been injected with a serum that turns you into a busTier-wearing evil version of yourself.
 
After Lisa's original escape gets epically derailed all because of a cup of OJ, she teams up with fellow Operations Director Jack Death and his celestial other half to get her home in one piece. Lisa will decide if it's better to stay in her dead-end job or woman up and step out of Thunderbird's shadow and into the light.
 
SUPERCILIOUS, is my first novel. It's an 82,000-word sci-fi/superhero book that functions as a standalone story with series potential. It features a strong female lead and a diverse cast of characters for your consideration.
 
Another thing to note is the primary cast features people of color. As a woman who has a culturally diverse background, I feel it's important for us to be represented and to be able to see a piece of ourselves in the story. #ownvoices 
 
Professionally, I've worked in the television industry for the past fifteen years. My love of sci-fi and all things geek was best served by my seven years working at Syfy.

 

Watch out with repeating yourself. I think this query would be a lot stronger if it was more succinct. She's got a dead end job that she's staying in because of her love for James. Make that your focus rather than trying to explain so much of the plot. 

 

 

 

 

Hope this is helpful! Please review my query

http://agentquerycon...hl=lauraburns22



#7 enveniya

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:10 AM

 

Lisa Jensen is an Operations Director who is trying her hardest to deal with the ridiculously dangerous situations her best friend James Binesi A.K.A. Thunderbird - the Savior of Stand City, has dropped her in. Lisa, an Operations Director, has finally had it with being kidnapped and/or tortured by the many enemies Thunderbird, AKA James Binesi, the Savior of Stand City, has acquired over the years. (These two sentences are repeating the same information - Lisa is being forced into dangerous situations by Thunderbird and she's tired of it. The second sentence is more specific to your story and more attention grabbing.)

 

Lisa is the unsung hero, the woman behind the man in the cape, but don't call her a sidekick. (This should have been the opening line. It's very punchy, it gives context to why she's fed up with Thunderbird (she's his sidekick that's forced to clean up after his mess), and implies she wants to get out.)

 

Unfortunately, Lisa is just a mere mortal and can no longer afford the physical and emotional price. (Also repeating information that she's tired of her situation. I would cut this line.) She wants to get out, but To add insult to insanity, all it takes is one cup of spiked OJ to epically derail her escape plan. (This sentence didn't link up with the following one. Did Dr. Boom spike her OJ? Did the explosion happen while she was unconscious?)

 

Two years of Lisa’s life are stolen by Thunderbird’s archenemy Dr. Boom (Cutting down on names so it doesn't make the query too complicated, and Dr. Boom's name doesn't show up again) in a near fatal explosion. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Lisa’s instant (not sure about the definition about "instant" in this sentence. I read it as she was instantly resurrected after the explosion, which doesn't make sense given that she's lost two years of her life. If the sentence implies the resurrection itself was immediate, then I don't think the word is necessary.) resurrection forces her to team up with fellow Operations Director Jack Death, a man possessed by the Lord of the Underworld, to Humpty Dumpty (cute!) things back together again.

 

If Lisa is lucky she might be able to finally give James her heart. That is, unless a grieving Goddess (ooooo some Greek myth undertones here! Very interesting) with a grudge doesn't rip it out of her chest first. Ultimately Lisa will have to decide if it's better to stay in her literally dead-end job with the man she loves, (changed the full stop into a comma) Or woman up and finally step out of Thunderbird's shadow and into the light.

 

SUPERCILIOUS, is my first novel. It's an 82,000-word sci-fi/superhero book that functions as a standalone story with series potential.

 

The primary cast features people of color. As a woman who has a culturally diverse background, I feel it's important for us to be represented and to be able to see a piece of ourselves in the story.

 

Professionally, I've worked in the television industry for the past fifteen years. My love of sci-fi and all things geek was best served by my seven years working at Syfy. 

 

I thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

(My name here) 

 

 

 

This sounds like a very interesting premise!

 

I hope this was helpful. If you have the time, I would greatly appreciate you taking a look at my query, The Tempest and the Fire.







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