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YA- Light Sci-Fi- MAVEN.


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#1 SnowFox23

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:43 AM

new version is Post 11.

 

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen and immortal. Nobody, not even his foster brother and best friend Luke, knows his extraordinary secret.

At least, Jake thought nobody knew.

 

Secret genetic corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone and reprogram an entire army of genetically gifted people and use their powers to wipe out the human race. After humanity has been wiped out, the superhuman clones will re-populate the Earth with no memories of their previous lives.

 

Jake, because of his immortality, is of particular importance to Artic X’s mission.

Jake is number one on Artic X’s list. 

 

When their step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, Jake is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. Luke helps his friend escape with the aid of The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge on their safe island, an adult-less community filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of their island to Artic X, Luke and Jake know they must overcome their enemy, or they will lose their island home, their friends, and each other.

 

 

 

I have pasted the first ten pages below per submission guidelines.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration



#2 A.M.Rose

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:56 PM

My comments below in green

Dear ___________

 

 

I read on you #MSWL that you were looking for Stranger Things-ésque manuscripts.

I thought you might enjoy my YA light Sci-Fi manuscript, MAVEN, which is complete at 65,000 words. (I prefer this at the end, some like it at the beginning, the choice is yours.) 

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen and immortal. Nobody, not even his foster brother and best friend Luke, knows his extraordinary secret.

At least, Jake thought nobody knew. (Okay, interesting start)

 

Secret genetic corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone and reprogram an entire army of genetically gifted people and use their powers to wipe out the human race. After humanity has been wiped out, the clones will re-populate the Earth with no memories of their previous lives. (All I can think here is, why? Why would they want to do this? What is the purpose? You don't have to answer this here just wanted to provide my thought process and I am still interested in knowing more.)

 

Jake, because of his immortality, is of particular importance to Artic X’s mission. (Now this is a question I think you have to answer. Why? Maybe Jake's imortality is the key to Artic X's mission, and they will stop at nothing to get him. - or something.) 

Jake is number one on Artic X’s list. (Redundant, I think you can delete this)

 

When their step-father, Hayden, (Do we need to know his name for this? That's 3 names so if it isn't important consider just keeping it at step father) goes missing at the Artic X laboratory,(How? Does he work there? Why is he there?) Jake is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. (Again, why? Does Jake know they are looking for him before this? How do they know about Jake?) Luke helps his friend (I thought it was his "brother") escape with the aid of The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. (Now this is getting really complicated.) The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge on their safe island, an adult-less community filled only with superhuman children and teenagers. (I'm a little confused on what this story is about.)  

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have. (So everything is hunky dory? I'm not sure telling us all is good and fine works. No conflict = no story)

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of their island to Artic X, Luke and Jake know they must overcome their enemy, or they will lose their island home, their friends, and each other. (These stakes aren't really clear.) 

 

 

 

I have pasted the first ten pages below per submission guidelines.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

Okay, so wow. You have a super complex story going here. First, bravo. Lots of moving pieces will mean a nice pace and compelling read. That said I think you are missing the mark with this query. I don't really get a sense of what this story is about. 

 

So the only things the person reading this NEEDS to know is:

 

Who is the MC (You got this, I think it is Jake, right?)

What do they want (Goals - here I'm lost. I have no idea what Jake wants or how those wants fit into this story. You tell me what Artic X wants, but not your MC and he is most important) 

What stands in his way (Obstacles - since I don't know what he wants I have no idea what this is either)

What happens if he fails (Stakes - you mention they can lose their home and each other, but I don't get any sense that these things are important, or how they tie into Artic X, the missing dad, or being immortal. I need to care in order for the stakes to mean anything.) 

 

Don't worry about telling us everything there is to know about this world and how it works, it is the characters that makes someone care about the story. My suggestion would be to start there. 

 

Best of luck to you. 


A.M. Rose

Author of Road to Eugenica - Available 2018 from Entangled Teen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#3 AliRey80

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 06:40 PM

First of all, let me say A.M Rose gave some great pointers that I would definitely consider. 

 

 

 

I read on you #MSWL that you were looking for Stranger Things-ésque manuscripts. 

I thought you might enjoy my YA light Sci-Fi manuscript, MAVEN, which is complete at 65,000 words. I prefer the hook to be first.

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen and immortal. Nobody, not even his foster brother and best friend Luke, knows his extraordinary secret. 

At least, Jake thought nobody knew.

 

Secret genetic corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone and reprogram an entire army of genetically gifted people and use their powers to wipe out the human race. After humanity has been wiped out, the superhuman clones will re-populate the Earth with no memories of their previous lives. What is their reason for wanting to get rid of all non-super humans?

 

Jake, because of his immortality, is of particular importance to Artic X’s mission. 

Jake is number one on Artic X’s list. 

 

When their step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, Jake is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. Luke helps his friend escape with the aid of The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge on their safe island, an adult-less community filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them ​Why doesn't society want them? , the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have. This just needs more.... How was the Alliance born? What keeps them from detection? How many children reside here?  How do a group of children survive on their own?  I know you can't cover everything, but give us a clearer picture. 

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of their island to Artic X, Luke and Jake know they must overcome their enemy, or they will lose their island home, their friends, and each other.

 

Interesting story! Good luck-this is the hard part. I've been working on my query for far too long.  I'd love your input on mine, Unknown, which I will be posting shortly. Thanks.

 



#4 morgan.spraker

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:02 PM

Dear ___________

 

 

I read on you #MSWL that you were looking for Stranger Things-ésque manuscripts. Good personalization!! This would change for all the agents you submit to, right?

I thought you might enjoy my YA light Sci-Fi manuscript, MAVEN, which is complete at 65,000 words.

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen and immortal. Nobody, not even his foster brother and best friend Luke, knows his extraordinary secret. 

At least, Jake thought nobody knew.

 

Secret Secret? Does Jake know about it? Because right now, the query is from Jake's POV, and either this is shifting gears (and if it is, I think that needs to be a little more clear) or introducing a new concept altogether genetic corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone and reprogram an entire army of genetically gifted people and use their powers to wipe out the human race. After humanity has been wiped out, the superhuman clones will re-populate the Earth with no memories of their previous lives. Cool concept omg -- I would find a way to avoid saying "wipe(d) out" twice, whether it's by combining sentences or reshuffling things

 

Jake, because of his immortality, is of particular importance to Artic X’s mission.

Jake is number one on Artic X’s list. You kind of said the same thing twice here. Pick one or combine

 

When their step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, Jake is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. Luke helps his friend escape with the aid of The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. Since I'm assuming Jake is your MC, turn Luke into the sidekick-esque character rather than Jake The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge on their safe island, an adult-less community filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of their island to Artic X, Luke and Jake know they must overcome their enemy, or they will lose their island home, their friends, and each other. Make these two lines into one paragraph to make it less choppy. 

 

 

 

I have pasted the first ten pages below per submission guidelines.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

I like the concept you have! I think you need a little more content, because the summary is a bit bare-bones. Also, is Jake your main character? If he is, I think that needs to be made clearer. I don't know much about him or his personality, besides him being immortal, so I'd like to see a bit more of his spark. If you don't mind, would you take a look at my query? http://agentquerycon...ity-ya-fantasy/



#5 ThatDan

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:18 PM

Dear ___________

 

 

I read on you #MSWL that you were looking for Stranger Things-ésque manuscripts.

I thought you might enjoy my YA light Sci-Fi manuscript, MAVEN, which is complete at 65,000 words.

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen and immortal. Nobody, not even his foster brother and best friend Luke, knows his extraordinary secret.

At least, Jake thought nobody knew.​< Since Luke isn't mentioned until much later, you could cut him from the hook to make it stronger

 

Secret genetic corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone and reprogram an entire army of genetically gifted people and use their powers to wipe out the human race. After humanity has been wiped out, the superhuman clones will re-populate the Earth with no memories of their previous lives. ​<I want to echo the "why?!?" I assume humans are behind ArticX (unless tis is a world where clones do their own thing). So why would humans make a company that aims to wipe out humanity?

 

Jake, because of his immortality, is of particular importance to Artic X’s mission.

Jake is number one on Artic X’s list. 

 

When their step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, ​<I dont think Hayden is important to the query. Jake is  nearly kidnapped ​by ArticX, Jake when he goes to look for him there. ​ is rescued by his foster-brother and best friend, Luke. helps his friend escape with the aid of ​and The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge on their safe island, an adult-less community filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor ​<this is the introduction to the conflict. We need to know about the enemy, and the stakes need to be fleshed out here. reveals the location of their island to Artic X, Luke and Jake know they must overcome their enemy, or they will lose their island home, their friends, and each other.

 

 

 

I have pasted the first ten pages below per submission guidelines.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

​I think what was confusing people is the 2 arcs you've got going. Jake vs ArticX, and Jake+Luke vs the traitor. Make one bolder and we'll get a clearer picture of the true story (or merge the two if that's what the story is). You've got good foundations here, but you just need to tighten up on the clarity of the story (the important bits).


I'm no professional. Take my critiques merely as suggestions.

No active query atm.


#6 SnowFox23

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:31 AM

Thank you for everyone's  suggestions.

I re wrote a fair bit, so, Take 2, I guess.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Three people know that seventeen-year old Jake Strickland is immortal. One of them is Jake himself. He has never met the other two people, but for years they have been quietly hunting him down.

 

James Abraham is the founder of secret genetic laboratory, Artic X.  Abraham has been secretly kidnapping and cloning people to use as slaves in his laboratory. But it is gifted people, like Jake, that Artic X are really hunting for. With Jake’s ability, they could clone an immortal army capable of wiping out mankind. With Jake, Artic X would be unstoppable.

 

When Jake is nearly kidnapped by Artic X, he is rescued by his foster-brother Luke ​and The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people.

 

Jake and Luke take refuge at The Alliance’s headquarters, a safe island called Maven. The island is inhabited only with superhuman children and teenagers that Artic X has been hunting. Here on the island, Jake learns to harness his ability with the help of his extraordinary new friends, and Luke begins to learn the secret that Alliance leader, Micah, has been hiding.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves.

 

MAVEN is a YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 65,000 words.



#7 bkarperien

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 02:00 PM

Thank you for everyone's  suggestions.

I re wrote a fair bit, so, Take 2, I guess.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Three people know that seventeen-year old Jake Strickland is immortal. One of them is Jake himself. He has never met the other two people, but for years they have been quietly hunting him down. (I'd rewrite this hook, as it doesn't really feel connected to the rest of the query. I'm also rearranging things a bit, for the sake of experiment.When Jake is nearly kidnapped by Artic X, a corporation that wants to use him to clone an immortal army capable of wiping out mankind, he is rescued by his foster-brother Luke ​and The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people, and taken to their headquarters on a secret island.

 

On the island, inhabited solely by superhuman children and teenagers that Artic X has been hunting, Jake learns to harness his ability (what ability?) with the help of his extraordinary new friends, and Luke begins to learn the secret that Alliance leader, Micah, has been hiding. (Irrelevant. Also takes the focus off Jake) But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves. (Why don't they just move to a different island? Also, how are they going to destroy the corporation? Also, Jake is the protagonist, focus on him.)

 

MAVEN is a YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 65,000 words.

This reads far too much like a synopsis. I'd recommend rewriting it to focus solely on Jake, not on your antagonist or Jake's brother. I'd focus on fleshing out your protagonist more, as I know nothing about him except that he's immortal and has a foster-brother named Luke. I also have no idea what his powers are, or how he intends to take on the corporation. But, sounds like an interesting novel :) 

Good luck with revisions!


Check out my query!


#8 rhwashere

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:03 PM

Thank you for everyone's  suggestions.

I re wrote a fair bit, so, Take 2, I guess.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Three people know that seventeen-year old Jake Strickland is immortal. One of them is Jake himself. He has never met the other two people, but for years they have been quietly hunting him down. (Who are the other two? Why does this matter to Jake?)

 

James Abraham is the founder of secret genetic laboratory, Artic X.  Abraham has been secretly kidnapping and cloning people to use as slaves in his laboratory. But it is gifted people, like Jake, that Artic X are really hunting for. With Jake’s ability, they could clone an immortal army capable of wiping out mankind. With Jake, Artic X would be unstoppable. (I would take this paragraph out. The query is all about your MC, what he cares about, his goals, his obstacles. I would focus on that, especially at the outset)

 

When Jake is nearly kidnapped by Artic X, he is rescued by his foster-brother Luke ​and The Alliance (you have to know that people are going to read "Luke and The Alliance" and think Star Wars. At least all the people in their twenties and thirties, like your prospective agents), a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people.

 

Jake and Luke take refuge at The Alliance’s headquarters, a safe island called Maven. The island is inhabited only with superhuman children and teenagers that Artic X has been hunting. Here on the island, Jake learns to harness his ability with the help of his extraordinary new friends, and Luke begins to learn the secret that Alliance leader, Micah, has been hiding. (The line becomes blurry as to who your MC is. Is it Jake or Luke?)

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves. (How will they do this? What does this have to do with the secret of the Alliance leader?)

 

MAVEN is a YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 65,000 words.

 

 

If you get a chance, please take a crack at my query at http://agentquerycon...eep-ya-fantasy/


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#9 VSChapman

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:13 PM

I like the second version much better. I also really like the first paragraph of the hook. I know this conflicts with what others have said above but it drew me in. The second version is much more concise. I'd read it!



#10 AmberA

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:53 AM

Thank you for everyone's  suggestions.

I re wrote a fair bit, so, Take 2, I guess.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

Three people know that seventeen-year old Jake Strickland is immortal. One of them is Jake himself. He has never met the other two people, but for years they have been quietly hunting him down. ( Snappy hook, but who are the other two? It's not mentioned in the other paragraphs. ) 

 

James Abraham is the founder of secret genetic laboratory, Artic X.  Abraham has been secretly kidnapping and cloning people to use as slaves in his laboratory. But it is gifted people, like Jake, that Artic X are really hunting for. With Jake’s ability, they could clone an immortal army capable of wiping out mankind. With Jake, Artic X would be unstoppable.

 

When Jake is nearly kidnapped by Artic X, he is rescued by his foster-brother Luke ​and The Alliance, a group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people.

 

Jake and Luke take refuge at The Alliance’s headquarters, a safe island called Maven. The island is inhabited only with superhuman children and teenagers that Artic X has been hunting. Here on the island, Jake learns to harness his ability with the help of his extraordinary new friends, and Luke begins to learn the secret that Alliance leader, Micah, has been hiding.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves.

 

MAVEN is a YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 65,000 words.

 

 

 

I really like this query. I would send it out the agents. You'd get a boat load off requests. I enjoy the concept of YA superheroes.  :wink: Just recommended minor tweaks that can be fixed with a sentence or few words. 

 

If you have time would love to get your feedback on my YA- IMPEDE query  :wub: http://agentquerycon...dits/?p=350623 


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=352035


#11 SnowFox23

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 12:16 AM

I can't get this bitch right! Ugh. Hate this so much.

 

The problem with my query is that the story is a third person omniscient, which means that the story follows everyone. Sometimes, a page or two is about Jake, sometimes Luke, sometimes members of the Alliance. The MC is Luke AND Jake. It was sort of like the Maze Runner with Thomas and Newt as the MC's.

 

 

NEW VERSION.

 

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen years old and has been dead seven times. Unknowingly, he has been hunted from birth for his one in a billion DNA.  And now, they have finally found him.

 

Secret Genetic Corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone an entire army of genetically gifted people like Jake and reprogram them into killing machines.

 

When Jake’s step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, he is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. He manages to escape with the help of his foster brother Luke and the Alliance: A group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people.

 

The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge at their island headquarters, which is filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  

 

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves.

YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 68,000 words.



#12 PureZhar3

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:22 PM

Snowfox - I sympathize. I really do. Mine is a multi-POV third person novel that follows a ton of different people around, and I've been having the same struggle (my most recent query edit I put up two versions focused on two different characters). The problem is that my most MC character is the one who is wrapped up in almost 100% mystery. What helped me, and what I would suggest for you, is to try writing the query following one MC, even if it leaves out some aspects of the story. Your only job here is to get the agents to read more, so a unified (albeit incomplete) hook is better than a scattered, whole one. If you need to, try writing a query for each MC, and see how it goes.

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen years old and has been dead seven times. Unknowingly, he has been hunted from birth for his one in a billion DNA This doesn't tell me what's so special about his DNA - I would suggest trying to specify. I assume, given the previous sentence, that it has something to do with his ability to come back to life, but that's not clear enough.  And now, they have finally found him.

 

Secret Genetic Corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone an entire army of genetically gifted people like Jake and reprogram them into killing machines.

 

When Jake’s step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, he He who? is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. He manages to escape with the help of his foster brother Luke and the Alliance: A group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people. Alright, I'm a bit lost. Why is said group of teenagers at the Artic (Arctic?) X lab... is he nearly kidnapped because the Artic (Arctic?) X people know how special Jake is?

 

The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge at their island headquarters, which is filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  Is Luke superhuman? I thought he was part of the Alliance, given the escape bit, but the fact that you say "and Luke" makes me think that he's a guest too

 

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves.

YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 68,000 words. I assume you'll formulate this into a complete sentence when you're actually querying

 

You start out with great tension, but then it fizzles out. In my mind, this is reading too much like backstory, rather than the actual story, because all of the information about Jake being almost kidnapped and stuff has nothing to do with the ultimate stakes: he may lose his home/be cloned into a superhuman army. I would focus more about life on the island, since that's what will make us care about the fact that Jake is about to lose it. Great job focusing on Jake, though - I think he comes across as the MC without confusion.

Also, this is a minor thing, but what's with all the different font sizes? It would be best if you consolidate to one (although if it's tech issues, that may not be possible)


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#13 VSChapman

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 02:44 PM

I can't get this bitch right! Ugh. Hate this so much. (I know how you feel! This shit is hard! lol! Don't give up)

 

The problem with my query is that the story is a third person omniscient, which means that the story follows everyone. Sometimes, a page or two is about Jake, sometimes Luke, sometimes members of the Alliance. The MC is Luke AND Jake. It was sort of like the Maze Runner with Thomas and Newt as the MC's.

 

 

NEW VERSION.

 

 

Jake Strickland is sixteen years old and has been dead seven times. (love this!) Unknowingly, he has been hunted from birth for his one in a billion DNA (I would suggest making the link that his DNA is what has kept him alive. I'm assuming this although it may not be as clear to others).  And now, they have finally found him.

 

Secret Genetic Corporation, Artic X, has one mission: To clone an entire army of genetically gifted people like Jake and reprogram them into killing machines.

 

When Jake’s step-father, Hayden, goes missing at the Artic X laboratory, he (Jake) is nearly kidnapped when he goes to look for him there. He manages to escape with the help of his foster brother Luke and the Alliance: A group of teenagers sent to protect gifted people.

 

The Alliance allow Jake and Luke refuge at their island headquarters, which is filled only with superhuman children and teenagers.  (So Luke has powers too, right? I would maybe mention them here)

 

Here on the island and away from a society that never wanted them, the foster brothers are embraced into their new community, and build the family they never thought they’d have.

 

But when a traitor reveals the location of the island to Artic X, Jake and Luke know they must destroy the corporation, or they and their new friends will be cloned into a superhuman army of slaves.

YA light Sci-Fi, complete at 68,000 words.

This is much clearer. I like that you took out all the details about the girls and the love story there. I'm always a sucker for the love- but I think it clouded your earlier versions too much. This one is much better!






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