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Cleveland: An Invasion (Action/Thriller)


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#1 Marcus Can'tStop

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 05:54 PM

Tear it apart people. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thang.


Dear,


The City of Cleveland bakes along the banks of Lake Erie amidst a record shattering heatwave; when a multitude of explosions engulfs the city in an unimaginable hell.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something, struggles to pay off his debts and keep his cool at a fast food chain restaurant. In the middle of an argument with a customer he is knocked out. He awakes with the restaurant burning around him. Accompanied by a few survivors, they stumble out of the wreckage to see the mayhem has consumed their beloved city.

The roads rendered useless they must hoof it out of the city. Together they battle not only the enemy, but the unusual weather; which drops more citizen around them than the enemy has bullets. With a rumored safe haven more the a day’s march away; will they make it?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

#2 Tom Preece

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:03 AM

Tear it apart people. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thang.


Dear,


The City of Cleveland bakes along the banks of Lake Erie amidst a record shattering heatwave; when a multitude of explosions engulfs the city in an unimaginable hell.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something, struggles to pay off his debts and keep his cool at a fast food chain restaurant. In the middle of an argument with a customer he is knocked out. He awakes with the restaurant burning around him. Accompanied by a few survivors, they stumble out of the wreckage to see the mayhem has consumed their beloved city.

The roads rendered useless they must hoof it out of the city. Together they battle not only the enemy, but the unusual weather; which drops more citizen around them than the enemy has bullets. With a rumored safe haven more the a day’s march away; will they make it?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I want more detail

#3 Moonshade

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:27 AM

Dear,


The City of Cleveland bakes along the banks of Lake Erie amidst a record shattering heatwave; when a multitude of explosions engulfs the city in an unimaginable hell. Focus less on Cleveland, and more on the explosion.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something, struggles to pay off his debts and keep his cool at a fast food chain restaurant. In the middle of an argument with a customer he is knocked out. He awakes with the restaurant burning around him. Accompanied by a few survivors, they stumble out of the wreckage to see the mayhem has consumed their beloved city.

The roads rendered useless they must hoof it out of the city. Together they battle not only the enemy, Who/what is the enemy? Talk more about them, as well as what made them decide to bomb(?) Cleveland. but the unusual weather; which drops more citizen around them than the enemy has bullets. Do you mean the heat wave, or something else? Give details. With a rumored safe haven more the a day’s march away; will they make it? What is this safe haven? How does Cleon know about it?

Here's where you put your standard info. AN INVASION is a XXX,000-word [genre] etc etc etc. You probably already know this, but I figure I might as well note it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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#4 Marcus Can'tStop

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:17 AM

Thanks for the tips. I'll get to working on it some more.

#5 the transylvanian

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the tips. I'll get to working on it some more.


Hi Marcus! Don't be shy to elaborate more on the action. I'll wait for the updated version.

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#6 Al N

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:01 AM

Hi Marcus – most of my coments are inside *** markings. Sorry, I did not get a feel for your story – I hope it is your query and not something else.
*** note: my typo checker does not function on ‘cut and paste’ material.

Tear it apart people. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thang.


Dear,


*** This not a hook – only set up – it does nothing for you. *** The City of Cleveland bakes along the banks of Lake Erie amidst a record shattering heatwave; when a multitude of explosions engulfs the city in an unimaginable hell.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something *** boy or girl? ***, struggles to pay off his *** ok you answered that question – but you still have a missing word or two.*** debts and keep his cool at a fast food chain restaurant. In the middle of an argument with a customer he is knocked out. *** this is a passive that ruins otherwise effictive writing – try something like – when something knocks him out. *** He awakes with the restaurant burning around him. Accompanied by a few survivors, they *** this is ineffective – try ‘He and a few survivors stumble’ *** stumble out of the wreckage to see the mayhem has consumed their beloved city.

The roads rendered useless they must hoof it out of the city. Together they battle not only the enemy, but the unusual weather; which drops more citizen around them than the enemy has bullets. With a rumored safe haven more the a day’s march away; will they make it? *** this whole paragraph is passive and thus inefficitive. – don’t worry, my editor said the same thing about some of my stuff.***

*** You have a missing paragraph – TITLE (in all caps) type of book, word count (rounded to 500 words, and status of your mss (agents will ignore your query unless you say your mss is complete and available.***

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Bear in mind that I am a published non-fiction writer working to get my first novel published.

Good skill – it isn’t luck.

Al N

#7 Rick Pieters

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 03:19 PM

Yeah, what they said... Just kidding. This sounds like it could be a cool story, but as has been said, I'm not really sure because I don't get much of a sense of what the story is. First off, Cleveland is not your protagonist, nor are the explosions or the weather. Start with your protag, why we should care about him, and hook us up front about HIM, what he needs to accomplish, what stands in his way, and the consequences if he fails. The brief story paragraph after your hook can show us the explosions, what they're fighting, the weather, and all that. And yeah, you could allow yourself a little more story detail, but not too much plot. Is this postapocalyptic/distopian? I could be a little clearer on that. Or is this the beginning of the apocalypse? You don't have to tell specifically, but give a better feel. I look forward to this fleshed out and readjusted.

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#8 Marcus Can'tStop

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:31 PM

Try #2





Burden by his past failures a young man is faced with an unachievable challenge.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something man, is stuck working a minimum wage job to pay off debts; after a drunken mistake forced him and his best friend to forgo their dreams. While working the drive thru window interference cuts into his headphones. Before they could solve the problem the restaurant is shook by a big blast. He awakens with the restaurant burning around him and his best friend dead. With a few survivors, he stumbles out of the wreckage to see the city under attack by thousands of armed individuals.

Confused and scared the survivors look to Cleon for leadership. He reluctantly leads them away from the epicenter of the attack. With the death of his best friend on his shoulders. He finds it difficult to keep the others alive as each decision leads them into ambushes and stretches their limitations to their breaking point.

A small fort just outside of the county their only hope out of this unforeseen hell. With more than a day march ahead of them, an unknown number of the enemy between them, and an unrelenting heat wave. Cleon must fight his own guilt and doubts and lead these people out of harms way.

Cleveland: An Invasion, at 55,000 words, is a YA Action/Thriller completed manuscript.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

#9 anne

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:44 PM

Marcus
Int opinion, like the first one better. Enjoyed the opening, second paragraph too! I understand it's "unusual weather" and explosions are the enemy and related. I like that you set the scene in the city of Clevelland, heat wave etc. Maybe a hint at the other enemy? I'm assuming it's reaction to fear, evacuation, mayhem.
Interestingly, revision has too many details and is not as well written.

#10 Marcus Can'tStop

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:33 AM

Probably a combo of the two would be better not as much detail as the 2nd.

#11 Cat Woods

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:40 AM

First off, congrats on finishing your novel. Good, action YA is needed and I think you might have it. However, just labeling it YA in your query doesn't let me know this.

You need to show me. Show me why kids should read this. Show me why I should care about your MC and his dead-end life. Make me feel his struggles and potential losses.

Don't be afraid to give us some details that will set your novel apart from other types of books like this.

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#12 Late Bloomer

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:43 AM

Try #2





Burden by his past failures a young man is faced with an unachievable challenge. (as a hook I read this and say "yeah - so?")

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something man, is stuck working a minimum wage job to pay off debts after a drunken mistake forced him and his best friend to forgo their dreams. While working the drive thru window interference cuts into his headphones. Before they could solve the problem the restaurant is shook by a big blast. He awakens with the restaurant burning around him and his best friend dead. With a few survivors, he stumbles out of the wreckage to see the city under attack by thousands of armed individuals.

Confused and scared the survivors look to Cleon for leadership. He reluctantly leads them away from the epicenter of the attack. With the death of his best friend on his shoulders he finds it difficult to keep the others alive, as each decision leads them into ambushes and stretches their limitations to their breaking point.

A small fort just outside of the county is their only hope out of this unforeseen hell. With more than a days march ahead of them, an unknown number of the enemy between them, and an unrelenting heat wave, Cleon must fight his own guilt and doubts and lead these people out of harms way. (note period and comma changes throughout)

Cleveland: An Invasion, at 55,000 words, is a YA Action/Thriller completed manuscript.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


I like this second revision much better than the first. It's starting to shape up nicely. My thoughts: When you are deciding on what to add or take out, tell us (no sorry) show us why this isn't just another 'the world as we know it is ending' story. Show us why your story is different and interesting and why we would want to read it.

#13 Joel Q

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:19 PM

Agree, a mix of the two would be better.

Bring Cleveland back into the query. It's an instant setting.

The heat wave... does it have anything to do with the invasion? If not, think about cutting it from the query.

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#14 bkeats

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:56 AM

Off of Version #2

Burdened by his past failures ,a young man is faced with an unachievable challenge. (While not a bad hook, it's too vague to be a really good one)

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something young man, is stuck working a minimum wage job to pay off his debts after a drunken mistake forced him and his best friend to forgo his their dream. (I took the friend out of the query for two reasons. One, your hook implies that Cleon's burdens were a preexisting condion, and were in fact responsible for him winding up at the restaurant in the first place. Second, his friend's death not only wasn't Cleon's fault, there was nothing he could have done to prevent it) While working the drive thru window interference cuts into his headphones. Before they could solve the problem. Suddenly,the restaurant is shook by a massive explosion big blast. He awakens with the remains of the restaurant burning around him and his best friend dead. With a few survivors, he stumbles out of the wreckage to see the city under attack by thousands of armed individuals. (WAY too vague. What does Cleon see? Are these soldiers? Do they wear unforms? Are they speaking English? Are they even human?)

Confused and scared The survivors look to Cleon for leadership (Why? Who are these people that Mr. "Do you want fries with that?" suddenly looks like their best prospect for leadership?). He reluctantly leads them away from the epicenter of the attack. (This sounds like he doesn't want to get them out of there. If you're referring to his reluctance to assume leadership, you need to make that les ambiguous) With the death of his best friend on his shoulders. He finds it difficult to keep the others alive as each of his decisions leads them into ambushes and stretches their limitations resolve to the breaking point.

A small fort just outside of the county city is their only hope out of this unforeseen hell. With more than a day march ahead of them, an unknown number of the enemy before between them, and an unrelenting heat wave, Cleon must fight his own guilt and doubts and lead these people out of harm's way.

Cleveland: An Invasion, at 55,000 words, is a YA Action/Thriller completed manuscript. (If Cleon is twenty-something, then this isn't YA. You've way overshot your target market. Also, the phrase "Cleveland: Invasion" is awkward. Using the colon in this fashion sounds like you're describing the city. After all, they didn't call D-Day "Normandy: An Invasion," did they? Some suggested alternatives follow...

Invasion: Cleveland

The Invasion of Cleveland


Thank you for your time and consideration.


Happy Writing :smile:

#15 galaxyspinner

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:25 PM

I like the sound of "Invasion: Cleveland". "Cleveland Burns" also leaps to mind for me, as it draws the heat-wave in thematically.

What I find most appealing about this is the idea of an unlikely character being thrust into a position of leadership within the crucible that is his shattered bastion of stability. If you were looking to rework the hook, you might evoke some of that.

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#16 bkeats

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 04:37 PM

I like the sound of "Invasion: Cleveland". "Cleveland Burns" also leaps to mind for me, as it draws the heat-wave in thematically.

What I find most appealing about this is the idea of an unlikely character being thrust into a position of leadership within the crucible that is his shattered bastion of stability. If you were looking to rework the hook, you might evoke some of that.


Yes! Yes! To galaxy you listen! The idea of a slacker suddenly thrust into a position of leadership, while well-worn, is fantastic if done right. Reluctance to assume command in the first place, others jockeying for his position after early decisions result in setbacks/death, the point where he has the option to chuck it all, but decides not to, etc, etc. Good stuff. Remember, all the cataclysms in the world mean nothing if we don't care about the people who get caught in them.

#17 Grumpy Llama

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

Burden by his past failures a young man is faced with an unachievable challenge.

Cleon, a dispirited twenty-something man, is stuck working a minimum wage job to pay off debts; after a drunken mistake forced him and his best friend to forgo their dreams. While is working the drive thru window when interference cuts into his headphones. Before they could solve the problem a blast shakes the restaurant. (this is a stronger way of saying it. Don't be passive, especially when describing an explosion.) the restaurant is shook by a big blast. He awakens with the restaurant burning around him and his best friend dead. With a few survivors, he stumbles out of the wreckage to see the city under attack by thousands of armed individuals. (Who? Aliens? Foreign army? Terrorists? Dragons? This is an important detail.)

Confused and scared, the survivors look to Cleon for leadership. He reluctantly leads them away from the epicenter of the attack. With the death of his best friend on his shoulders. He finds it difficult to keep the others alive as Any wrong each decision leads them into ambushes and stretches their limitations to their breaking point, and Cleon finds himself fighting to stay in charge - a position he never asked for, never wanted.

A small fort just outside of the county their only hope out of this unforeseen hell (A few things in this sentence. 1. There's no verb. 2. how did they find out about this fort? 3. Maybe switch "county" for "city."). With more than a day's march ahead of them, an unknown number of the enemy between them, and an unrelenting heat wave (not sure this heat wave important enough to take up space in the query letter.). , Cleon must fight his own guilt and doubts and to lead these people out of harm's way.

Cleveland: An Invasion, complete at 55,000 words, is a YA Action/Thriller completed manuscript. (They know it's a manuscript.)

Thank you for your time and consideration.
[/quote]


Hope some of this helps. I think you need more detail. Also, I like "Cleveland Burns" better as a title, too.
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