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Author Topic: SICO YA sci-fi  (Read 44 times)
utesfanami
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« on: Yesterday at 04:25:19 PM »

Hi guys, I'm getting close to getting in the query trenches for my latest project. I've been tinkering with this query letter. I've so much I'm trying to cram into this and also help it stand out. Please let me know what you think! Thank you so much!

Dear agent,

17-year-old Malcolm is a broken addict, a soldier forced to fight for the corporation Kauri Industries. His life’s numb—except whenever he slays a mechanized enemy fighter and his brainchip awards him the rush of the kill-drug, SICO. He lives only for SICO because when he’s high, he can forget his whole family’s gone.

He’s had the rush 352 times.

Everything changes when Kauri’s enemy, the Naturalists, free him. Malcolm just wants to die but they rehab him and enlist him in a scheme to save the planet from Kauri and its toxic reactors. Problem is, the Naturalists’ money is dwindling, and their soldiers are dying. They’ve one last chance to turn the war around, and super-killer Malcolm’s their hope.

Malcolm and a young team must enter Kauri’s School of Business and graduate on top. The school’s a simulated reality where students run opposing “businesses” in the 1920s gangster era. The businesses though, are often a front for something darker. With such fierce competition, many students will either become chalk-lines on diner floors, or victims of the Don, the vicious mob lord who requires weekly payments. But the biggest challenge will be the blood: the trigger for Malcolm’s murderous desires. A relapse could cost Malcolm’s closest friends their lives.

If Malcolm can overcome SICO and his business can win, he’ll be given an internship in Kauri’s HQ and have a chance to assassinate the CEO. If not, the Naturalists will fade, and the planet will never heal. Worse, neither will Malcolm.
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RJP
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« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 05:40:22 PM »

You've got some cool scifi stuff here!

So does Malcolm kill people in the real world as a soldier? Or is he a soldier in the virtual world? Because your story might be perceived as being two unrelated concepts mashed into one. You've got this concept about soldiers who are trained like Pavlov's dog to kill people (very cool). And then one of these soldiers gets saved and reformed and sent to infiltrate a virtual business school to win a scholarship in order to assassinate their leader? Do you see how each of those might be made into its own separate story? If Malcolm was a soldier in a battle for the virtual world, the two elements would mesh better. You might want to focus your query on the meat of your story, which I think is the virtual gangster contest.

You might want to delve into the Naturalist's motive to send Malcolm on the mission. He's being sent as the muscle, right? To help one of the others win? Because a drugged-up 17-year-old is the last person you'd want to send on an important mission to win a game of Mafioso. Or to win any kind of business contest. Then, I'd also hint that maybe they underestimated Malcolm and his brains.

Maybe all the students are required to be 17? That would explain why they'd send him.

Also, I think you need to explain that Malcolm dawns a disguise. The bad guys would, of course, know who he is from his days of fighting along side them.

Which leads me to wonder: why didn't the Naturalist's send Malcolm back as a soldier to infiltrate the enemy? Malcolm was one of them already, so why would they instead hatch this scheme to win a business contest? Malcolm's status as a soldier for the enemy is never exploited by the rebels. This is a potential plot hole and goes back to what I first said about maybe having two unrelated concepts.

Anyways, those are the red flags I got from reading your query. There's so much cool stuff, though, that it might not matter. Sort of how Hunger Games has some glaring plot holes :p





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utesfanami
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« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 06:40:48 PM »

Hi RJP,

I appreciate for your thoughtful critique. There are a whole flurry of questions you're asking, and I know a query should leave questions, but not awkward ones. As far as the plot-holes are concerned, those are not really issues in the book, but it's difficult writing a query concisely and giving enough scintillating details for the reader to make them want to read on without also, leading to more awkward questions. Anyway, You've given me a few good things to think about and I'll be working on those for my next draft.

Thanks!
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SincerelySinclair
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« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 07:13:11 PM »

Hey! You've got a cool query but I'm confused as to the plot. Is it Malcolm overcoming his killer drug use or Malcolm and his team infiltrating the school? If Malcolm is already a highly capable soldier then why is it necessary for him to go to a virtual 1920s business school? At this point, wouldn't the people monitoring his brainchip notice that he's not getting his dose of SICO?

Since he's been addicted to it for so long and he only gets it when he kills, he's not exactly anyone's first choice for business school if he's at risk for killing people to get high (this is, of course, assuming that the Kauri all talk to each other and no one finds out he's been to rehab.)
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