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Three Generations - SF/Suspense

Thrillers/Suspense Science Fiction

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#1 mkuriel

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:22 PM

JR Burbank has an itch. Scratching it could lose him $100M. 
 
JR lives in a virtual reality competition, Three Generations, where the competitors have to amass wealth in a lawless medieval land. The fastest way to fortune is the bonus earned by killing other competitors. Since they can come back as their children, if they have any, it's a bonus one can earn up to three times. JR, unlike his kill-happy competition, has no desire to be the wealthiest gravedigger standing. Not that he hasn't buried his share of the competition... Instead, he prefers to build businesses and plans to be king through a golden age he creates. 
 
After he purchases a Writ of Nobility, a hooded figure offers to "fix JR's projection." Thinking it nothing more than a glitched NPC, JR agrees. The next day his neck itches. Trying to get rid of it only makes it worse. The search for an ointment gets him stabbed to death. The itch follows him. Which means his physical body itches and the immersive VR system malfunctions. An admin resets the connection and JR starts having visions of his body. Only it isn't his body. It's a pale and atrophied approximation of his body. The people tending it claim he's aware of the real world for the first time in his life. 
 
JR resumes play in his second generation and the itch won't stop. He can't focus. Sleep leads to dreams of the "real" world. When a cut on his arm in VR appears on his "physical" body, JR knows it has to be a trick. Virtual reality cannot change physical reality. When other people in the game report injuries caused by in-game wounds, JR has to decide if his dreams of winning $100M are worth the risk of killing people for real. Even if they deserve it.
 
Three Generations is the Truman Show meets Sword Art Online set in a magicless Westeros. It is a suspense novel complete at 70,000 words.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
Contact Info
 
***Per most guidelines, the query word count is high. Any suggestions on where to trim the fat would be appreciated.
 
***Questions: I chose Three Generations as the title because the in-game time frame is 100 years and players can resume play as their children across a total of three generations. Since the "real-world" time is only 300 days, this creates a fun time differential where 1 virtual year passes every 3 earth days (or, 1 earth second = 121.67 virtual seconds = 2.03 virtual minutes)  This time difference is crucial to the story, but does it matter to the query? Did you even question the mechanics of how a person could resume play as their child after reading the above?


#2 Aightball

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:51 PM

 

JR Burbank has an itch. Scratching it could lose him $100M.   Nice opening line.  It gets my attention and makes me wonder what's going to happen.
 
JR lives in a virtual reality competition, Three Generations, where the competitors have to amass wealth in a lawless medieval land. The fastest way to fortune is the bonus earned by killing other competitors. Since they can come back as their children, if they have any, it's a bonus one can earn up to three times. JR, unlike his kill-happy competition, has no desire to be the wealthiest gravedigger standing. Not that he hasn't buried his share of the competition... Instead, he prefers to build businesses and plans to be king through a golden age he creates. 
 
After he purchases a Writ of Nobility, a hooded figure offers to "fix JR's projection." Thinking it nothing more than a glitched NPC, JR agrees. The next day his neck itches. Trying to get rid of it only makes it worse. The search for an ointment gets him stabbed to death. The itch follows him. Which means his physical body itches and the immersive VR system malfunctions. An admin resets the connection and JR starts having visions of his body. Only it isn't his body. It's a pale and atrophied approximation of his body. The people tending it claim he's aware of the real world for the first time in his life. 
/
For me, these two paragraphs become muddied.  You give us a good set up in the first paragraph but then I think you get too detailed in the second.  Try to only give us the absolute must have details.  You can go in depth to your world building in the synopsis but give us what we need to become interested in the query.  Right now, your hook is good, your first paragraph is interesting but the second loses me.  So, try to up the stakes and clean up the muddy bits.
JR resumes play in his second generation and the itch won't stop. He can't focus. Sleep leads to dreams of the "real" world. When a cut on his arm in VR appears on his "physical" body, JR knows it has to be a trick. Virtual reality cannot change physical reality. When other people in the game report injuries caused by in-game wounds, JR has to decide if his dreams of winning $100M are worth the risk of killing people for real. Even if they deserve it.  I'm not sure these stakes will stand out in the slush.  The stakes are good but I think, especially in your genre, you're going to have trouble selling this with these stakes.  What makes your book different from all the others in the slush with a similar plot?  Try to bring that out.
 
Three Generations a suspense novel complete at 70,000 words.  It is the Truman Show meets Sword Art Online set in a magicless Westeros. It is a   What is Westeros?  Make sure the references you use are ones everyone knows.  An agent likely won't take the time to Google something and will make a decision on whether to pass or not at this point. 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
Contact Info
 
***Per most guidelines, the query word count is high. Any suggestions on where to trim the fat would be appreciated.  See above =)
 
***Questions: I chose Three Generations as the title because the in-game time frame is 100 years and players can resume play as their children across a total of three generations. Since the "real-world" time is only 300 days, this creates a fun time differential where 1 virtual year passes every 3 earth days (or, 1 earth second = 121.67 virtual seconds = 2.03 virtual minutes)  This time difference is crucial to the story, but does it matter to the query? Did you even question the mechanics of how a person could resume play as their child after reading the above?  See above suggestions.  You don't need to worry about any of this in the query because it will bog is way, way down.  And it did. =)  Good luck!

 


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis:

Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#3 mkuriel

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 02:46 PM

Thank you for your feedback Aightball. Oh, and Westeros is the setting for Game of Thrones; not something most people have to look up. :)



#4 Aightball

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:45 AM

Thank you for your feedback Aightball. Oh, and Westeros is the setting for Game of Thrones; not something most people have to look up. :)

=)  No problem!  I confess that GoT is on our TBR list, as we're stubborn old people who want to read before we watch, haha!  Although I should've recognized the reference regardless.  Good luck on your edits!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis:

Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#5 Erevos

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:48 AM

 

JR Burbank has an itch. Scratching it could lose him $100M. Interesting and somewhat funny hook, but after reading the rest of the query I'm wondering if it actually does justice to the tone you set up.
 
JR lives in Three Generations, a virtual reality competition where the competitors have to amass wealth in a lawless medieval land. The fastest way to fortune is the bonus earned by killing other competitors. Since they can come back as their children, if they have any, it's a bonus one can earn up to three timesThis is exposition. JR, unlike his kill-happy competition, has no desire to be the wealthiest gravedigger standing. Not that he hasn't buried his share of the competition... Instead, he prefers to build businesses and plans to be king through a golden age he creates. 
 
After he purchases a Writ of Nobility, a hooded figure offers to "fix JR's projection." Thinking it nothing more than a glitched NPC, JR agrees. Huh? I could understand him saying yes if he thought it was an admin, but he said yes to a glitched NPC? The next day his neck itches. Trying to get rid of it only makes it worse. The search for an ointment gets him stabbed to death. The itch follows him. Which means his physical body itches and the immersive VR system malfunctions. An admin resets the connection and JR starts having visions of his body. Only it isn't his body. It's a pale and atrophied approximation of his body. The people tending it claim he's aware of the real world for the first time in his life. This whole paragraph is plain exposition. I'd keep only the part where he realizes his actual body is pale and atrophied. Also, this creates more questions. I thought he was playing a VR game. So, he had a life before, right? If not, if he had no memory of his real self and only "woke" into a game, then it needs to be clarified early on.
 
JR resumes play in his second generation and the itch won't stop. He can't focus. Sleep leads to dreams of the "real" world. When a cut on his arm in VR appears on his "physical" body, JR knows it has to be a trick. Virtual reality cannot change physical reality. When other people in the game report injuries caused by in-game wounds, JR has to decide if his dreams of winning $100M are worth the risk of killing people for real. Even if they deserve it. What do you mean "deserve it"? I mean it's a game. I can go on a murder killing spree in a game since... it's a game. I can camp outside a base and PK everyone coming out. You don't expect everyone to act like they would in their real lives. But that doesn't mean I have to DIE because JR thinks "I deserve it". I'd remove that part completely.
 
 
" HAS TO DECIDE IF 100M$ ARE WORTH THE RISK OF KILLING PEOPLE" If he has no idea what is going on with his physical body, then what would 100M$ be good for? Also, he was doing that, everyone was doing that and there was absolutely no risk at all - except from actually dying. So your stakes are GO FOR THE PRIZE OR RISK DYING. Or even better, who cares about the money. Why is his body like that, what is going on with the real world, and how the hell is he going to escape are the things he should be worried about.
 
So: TAKE THE MONEY AND DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT'S ACTUALLY GOING ON OR RISK FINDING OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE WORLD EVEN IF IT MEANS DYING. Some like that anyway.
 
Aightball is right. What makes your book unique? Like your comps, it feels like a blend of Sword Art Online and many other "Life in a VR world" anime, mixed with The Matrix "what da hell happened to my body and the world" and finally the Ready Player One "Kill the competition to get the money". You have to give us something that makes your book stand out.
 
Three Generations is the Truman Show meets Sword Art Online set in a magicless Westeros. It is a suspense novel complete at 70,000 words. Suspense novel means nothing. MG, YA, A and Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance etc is what an agent wants to see.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
 

 


My query: http://agentquerycon...teampunksci-fi/

Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#6 VickyRosly

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:08 AM

 

Let me first say that I read your query as whole, before attempting to offer any suggestions. The book sounds like something I would definitely read, but there are parts that confuse me, and I believe that is due to the fact that you're trying to describe a complex notion with only a few words. Having said that let's begin:
 
JR Burbank has an itch. Scratching it could lose him $100M. Nice hook. Before reading on, I thought it was metaphorical but it turns out to be quite literal, Nice play with words.
 
JR lives In the virtual reality competition Three Generations, where the competitors have to amass wealth in a lawless medieval land. The fastest way to fortune is the bonus earned by killing other competitors. Since they can come back as their children, if they have any, it's a bonus one can earn up to three times.(This is the first thing that started to confuse me. Why three times? They can have only three children? I know this is important to the plot because JR comes back again later so you have to mention it but it's not quite clear what that means or how the schematic works.) JR, unlike his kill-happy competition, has no desire to be the wealthiest gravedigger standing. Not that he hasn't buried his share of the competition... Instead, he prefers to build businesses and plans to be king through a golden age he creates. 
 
After he purchases a Writ of Nobility(This is never mentioned again. Is it really important to the plot? Sounds like it isn't.)  a hooded figure offers to "fix JR's projection." When a hooded figure offers to fix JR's projection, he thinks of it as Thinking it nothing more than a glitched NPC, JR and agrees.(Again, I'm not sure what fixing his projection really means. What is it? Was it broken to begin with? If it was, why isn't mentioned before?) The next day his neck itches. Trying to get rid of it only makes it worse. The search for an ointment gets him stabbed to death. The itch follows him to his physical body, which could only mean the immersive VR system is malfunctioning. Which means his physical body itches and the immersive VR system malfunctions. An admin resets the connection and JR starts having visions of his body. Only it isn't his body. It's a pale and atrophied approximation of his body. The people tending it claim he's aware of the real world for the first time in his life. (So the admin resets the VR connection and for JR is having visions? Also, so far it hasn't been clear if JR has any kind of awareness of the real world. Is he in the VR all day? Does he have a real life, eats or drinks? Or is he just hooked into the VR machine with complete disregard for his physical body? I believe the last sentences need to be reworded by you because we cannot know the "juice" and how-to's of your story.)
 
JR resumes play in his second generation and the itch won't stop. He can't focus. Sleep leads to dreams of the real world. When a cut on his arm in VR appears on his physical body, JR knows it has to be disregards it as a trick. Virtual reality cannot change physical reality. When other people in the game report injuries caused by in-game wounds, JR has to decide if his dreams of winning $100M are worth the risk of killing people for real. Even if they deserve it. ( Like Erevos said, in the query JR's real life and physical body appear to be of no interest to him. Why would he want to win 100 million? What's the motive? The killing people for real part sounds intriguing but there is no motive in winning the money, at least with JR appearing completely detached and uninterested for the real world.)
 
Three Generations is the Truman Show meets Sword Art Online set in a magicless Westeros. It is a suspense novel complete at 70,000 words. (The book sounds like fantasy rather than anything else.)
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
Contact Info
 
***Per most guidelines, the query word count is high. Any suggestions on where to trim the fat would be appreciated.
 
***Questions: I chose Three Generations as the title because the in-game time frame is 100 years and players can resume play as their children across a total of three generations. Since the "real-world" time is only 300 days, this creates a fun time differential where 1 virtual year passes every 3 earth days (or, 1 earth second = 121.67 virtual seconds = 2.03 virtual minutes)  This time difference is crucial to the story, but does it matter to the query? Did you even question the mechanics of how a person could resume play as their child after reading the above?

 


VP

#7 SnowFox23

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Posted Yesterday, 01:04 AM

JR Burbank has an itch. Scratching it could lose him $100M. nice.
 
JR lives in a virtual reality competition, Three Generations, where the competitors have to amass wealth in a lawless medieval land. The fastest way to fortune is the bonus earned by killing other competitors. cool! Since they can come back as their children, if they have any, it's a bonus one can earn up to three times. JR, unlike his kill-happy competition, has no desire to be the wealthiest gravedigger standing. Not that he hasn't buried his share of the competition... Instead, he prefers to build businesses and plans to be king through a golden age he creates. you're starting to lose me here. I didn't understand that last sentence.
 
After he purchases a Writ of Nobility? which is? , a hooded figure offers to "fix JR's projection." don't understand this either? Thinking it nothing more than a glitched NPC, JR agrees. don't understand this. The next day his neck itches. Trying to get rid of it only makes it worse. The search for an ointment gets him stabbed to death. The itch follows him. Which means his physical body itches and the immersive VR system malfunctions. An admin resets the connection and JR starts having visions of his body. Only it isn't his body. It's a pale and atrophied approximation of his body. The people tending it claim he's aware of the real world for the first time in his life. 
 
JR resumes play in his second generation and the itch won't stop. He can't focus. Sleep leads to dreams of the "real" world. When a cut on his arm in VR appears on his "physical" body, JR knows it has to be a trick. Virtual reality cannot change physical reality. When other people in the game report injuries caused by in-game wounds, JR has to decide if his dreams of winning $100M are worth the risk of killing people for real. Even if they deserve it.
 
Three Generations is the Truman Show meets Sword Art Online set in a magicless Westeros. It is a suspense novel complete at 70,000 words.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
I really loved the opening 3 lines, that is some good shit. Unfortunately, I just don't understand the rest. There is a heap of information going on, and I don't understand any of it. Which is a shame, because getting money from killing other competitors in a virtual reality land sounds awesome.
If you can simplifiy for dummies like me, then that would be awesome. Good luck!
When you get a chance could you look at my query, THE WOLF, THE CROW, AND THE QUEEN? Cheers!






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